Water is called by different names in different languages: in english as water, in hindi as paani, in tamil as tanni. Similarly if god is called either allah, ram or jesus, is it not one and the same?
1. To allah belongs the most beautiful names
the glorious qur’an says in surah isra chapter 17 verse 110
“say: ‘call upon allah, or call upon rahman: by whatever name ye call upon him, (it is well): for to him belong the most beautiful names.’ ”
You can call allah by any name, but it should be a beautiful name,should not conjure up a mental picture, and should have qualities that only allah possesses.
2. Water can be called by differnt names in different languages but something else besides water cannot be called water in another language.
You can call water by various names in different languages, like water in english, paaniin hindi, tanniin tamil, mai in arabic, apahin sanskrit, jal in shudh hindi, jalor paani in gujrati, pandiin marathi, neerin kannad, neeruin telugu, vellam in malayalam, etc. If a person tells me that his friend has advised that everyday early in the morning he should have one glass of paani, but he is unable to drink it because when he drinks it, he feels like vomiting. On enquiry he says that the paanistinks and it is yellowish in colour. Later i realise that what he is referring to as paaniis not water but urine. Thus you can call water by different names having the same meaning but you cannot call other things as water or paani.
People may think that the example is not realistic and i agree with them because even an ignorant person knows the difference between water and urine. He will have to be a fool to call urine ‘water’. Similarly when any person who knows the correct concept of god, sees people worshipping false gods, he naturally wonders how a person cannot differentiate between a true god and false gods.
3. Purity of gold is not verified by calling it by different names in different languages but rubbing it against a touchstone.
In the same way, gold can be called sonain hindi, gold in english, dhahabain arabic. Inspite of knowing all these different names for gold, if a person wants to sell you his gold jewellery and says this is 24 carat pure sona, you will not blindly believe, without verifying it with a goldsmith. The goldsmith confirms whether it is gold or not with the help of a touchstone. The yellow glittering jewellery may not be gold, because all that glitters is not gold.
4. Surah ikhlas is the touchstone of theology.
Similarly, any person or candidate who is called god cannot be accepted as the true god without verifying him with the touchstone. The touchstone of theology, that is study of god, is surah ikhlas chapter 112 of the holy qur’an which says:
“say, ‘he is allah, the one and only; allah, the eternal, absolute; he begetteth not nor is he begotten; and there is none like unto him.’ ”
5. Any candidate who passes the acid test can be called god.
Any candidate who claims to be god and fits in this four line definition, passes the acid test, is entitled to be called god and worshipped as god.
Suppose a lunatic says that muhammad (pbuh) is god, (god forbid). Let’s put him to the test of surah ikhlas.
i. “kul hu allah hu ahad” – say he is allah, the one and only;
is muhammad (pbuh) one and only? No! He was not the only messenger. There were many other messengers.
ii. “allah hus samad” – allah, the eternal, absolute;
we know that muhammad (pbuh) had to undergo many hardships. Though he was the mightiest messenger of god, he died at the age of 63 and was buried in madeenah.
iii. “lam ya lid wa lam yulad” – he begetteth not nor is he begotten;
we know that he was born in makkah and his parents were abdullah and aaminah. He even had several children e.g. Fatimah, ibrahim (may allah be pleased with them), etc.
iv. “wa lam ya kullahu kufuwan ahad” – and there is none like unto him.
Though all the muslims love and revere the prophet (pbuh) and are supposed to follow each and every of his commandments, yet you will not find a single muslim in the whole world, who in his senses will ever say that muhammad (pbuh) is god. The islamic creed is, “la illaha illallah muhammadur rasoolullah”, which means that there is no god but allah, and muhammad (pbuh) is the messenger of allah. This is repeated five times a day during the call for prayer, so that the muslims are reminded daily that although they respect and obey him, he is only a messenger and servant of god, and not god himself.
6. Verify the gods you worship.
Now that we have explained to you how to use the touchstone of theology it is the duty of everyone to verify with this touchstone, whether the gods that they worship are true or false.