Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

How can Allah be “given” an Inheritance?

Sam Shamoun with Jochen Katz

In the spirit of keeping Paul Williams honest and consistent, I have chosen to turn one his objections against the Deity of Christ against him.

The Muslim scripture teaches that Allah is given an inheritance from his creatures! 

And most surely We bring to life and cause to die and We are the heirs. S. 15:23 Shakir

It is We Who will inherit the earth, and all beings thereon: to Us will they all be returned. S. 19:40 Y. Ali

And We shall inherit from him that whereof he spake, and he will come unto Us, alone (without his wealth and children). S. 19:80 Pickthall

The Quran even goes as far as to describe Allah as the best of those who receive an inheritance!

And (remember) Zakariya (Zachariah), when he cried to his Lord: "O My Lord! Leave me not single (childless), though You are the Best of the inheritors." S. 21:89 Hilali-Khan

Now this obviously raises some major problems. God is supposed to be self-sufficient and self-existent by nature, as well as the creator and owner of all things. In light of this, how can Allah be “God” if he shall be “GIVEN” an inheritance from his own creation? So before Allah is “GIVEN” this “inheritance”, what was he? He was an obvious nobody, to use Williams’ own words. To put this in another way, what kind of God was Allah before he was GIVEN an inheritance? If Allah truly were the creator and owner of all things then why would he need someone else to grant him an inheritance, and how is it possible for him to be someone else’s heir?

If we take it seriously that Allah is an heir, inheriting large things, like “the earth” (Q. 19:40), and small things, like the possessions of individuals (Q. 19:80), this raises a host of questions.

What exactly is Allah inheriting from his creatures? The inheritance laws of the Quran specify various shares that are to be given to various people upon the death of a person, but Allah is not mentioned with a share. So how is he the heir of individuals?

How and by whom is this inheritance given to him? Does Allah kill people in order to get “an inheritance” from them (cf. Q. 15:23; 19:77-80)?

If Allah will inherit the earth at some time in the future (Q. 19:40), it means that it currently does not belong to him. Therefore, whom does the earth belong to before Allah inherits it?

These and many more questions surrounding this topic are discussed in detail in the two articles, Allah – the Best of the Inheritors? and Allah – the Heir?

I will leave it to Williams to solve this Islamic mess. In the meantime, I suggest reading the following articles and rebuttals for those interested in further pursuing this issue of Allah receiving an inheritance and the problems that this poses for Muslim polemicists such as Williams:

The Issue of Inheritance and Allah's Aseity
Allah as the Inheritor of Creation
Does Allah Inherit or Doesn’t He?
Muslim Dawagandist Sami Zaatari Conclusively Proves that Allah is not God!