The Quran (Koran) speaks at length about the attributes of God (Allah in Arabic). In fact, serving God alone and “associating none with Him” is the primary teaching of Islam and the most recurring theme of the Quran. Yet, one might ask, “Who – or what – really is God?” Here are five key facts about God from the Quran that address this fundamental question and explain the concept of God in Islam.

1. God is the Creator of the Universe

God formed the universe and all that exists, including ourselves, while He is the uncreated, the eternal. He is the originator (Al-Khaliq), the evolver (Al-Baari), the shaper of beauty (Al-Musawwir).

“Have those who rejected [the word of God] not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We [i.e. God] separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?” (Quran 21:30)

2. God is Incomparable

God is unique in the degree of His attributes, and none has a share in His divinity. He is free from any deficiencies and is far beyond human weaknesses and desires.

“Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.” (Quran 112:1-4)

Read about the four basic terms used in the Quran

3. God is Near

God knows what is in our hearts and hears all our pleas. We do not require any intermediary to reach Him; we have a direct, one-to-one relationship with Him, activated by praying to Him personally. He is, in fact, closer to us than we might be able to perceive.

“And We [i.e. God] have already created the human and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.” (Quran 50:16)

4. God is Not in Need of our Worship

God does not require worship from anyone – it neither benefits nor hurts Him. Yet, He commands us to serve Him so that we may be rightly guided and become better human beings.

“O people, serve your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous.” (Quran 2:21)

“O people, you are the ones in need of God, while God is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.” (Quran 35:15)

5. God is the Light of the Heavens and Earth

While the nature of God (“What God looks like”) is beyond human perception, He has described Himself as the light of the heavens and the earth – an abundance of pure and perfect Light!

“God is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. God guides to His light whom He wills. And God presents examples for the people, and God is Knowing of all things.” (Quran 24:35)

Who has been described by the Quran as a “friend of God”? Find out here