The use of “We” instead of “I” by God in the Quran


It is a great mystery that in many places God (Allah) uses “We” instead of “I” to mention Himself! In one hand, the Quran says God does not have any partner, God does not share His kingdom with anybody and most places in the Quran God says “I” or “Me” when referring Himself, on the other hand, some other places in the Quran God identifying Himself as “We” or “Our.”

Some smart Muslims come forward with a theory that if any action is taken by God through angels, God uses the words “We” and “Our” in the Quran!
For example: [43:80] Do they think that we do not hear their secrets and conspiracies? Yes indeed; our messengers are with them, recording.
On the other hand, if any action is taken solely by God, we see the use of words “I” and “Me” in the Quran.
For example: [43:68] O My servants, you will have no fear on that day, nor will you grieve.

Problem is that those Muslims have yet to read the entire Quran carefully so that they will easily discover their silly and arrogant mistakes in this regard. Is not it better to keep silent if you really do not understand something rather than uttering something nonsense!

If we read other verse of the Quran we can see clearly that the above theory does not work at all because according to the Islamic beliefs we cannot worship angel beside God. Therefore, when the issue of worshipping comes there must be “Me” or “I” instead of “We” or “Our.” But surprisingly this is not the case!

[The Quran 21:73] And We made them Imams (leaders) who guide by Our command, and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds, the observance of regular prayers, the giving of Zakat (required charity), and they were our devoted worshippers.

Therefore, the verse [21:73] seems to tell us that we worship not only God but also angels!

It is a firm belief of every Muslim that God alone can give the famous “Be” command to create anything whatever He wills but again we are surprisingly observing that God + angel is giving the famous “Be” command.

[The Quran 16:40] Our word to anything when We will it, is to say to it, “Be” and it is.

One can find another almost useless discussion here regarding this crucial issue with putting slightly different theory! But the author at least agrees that God is mysterious by quoting the verse “They can never fathom the greatness of God [ 39: 67],” so we will possibly never understand God and His greatness completely.

So the question still remains open why does God use “We” instead of “I” to refer Himself in the Quran? Our honest answer is that we do not know. At best we can say it is mysterious, at worst we can say the paper Quran (Mushaf) has been changed significantly and that is the reason we are seeing many inconstancies in the Mushaf. We are not claiming we are above mistake. In the future maybe we will have a better understanding on the issue; God only knows the future. Thank you and may God bless you.

 


5 Brilliant Comments - Join Discussion Now!

  1. In 21:73, the word used is aabideen (those who obey). Angels conveying Allah’s Messages are to be obeyed!

    As regards 16:40, angels are portraying a creative activity under Allah’s authority. They do not have ‘Wills’ of their own.

  2. Romi Elnagar says:

    I have never had problems at all with “we.” In English, there is a usage called the “royal we,” and I always assumed that this is what “we” in the Qur’an was. Kings and rulers are expected to use “we”when referring to themselves, and so, if there is some other reason for using “we,’ I appreciate knowing about it, but I think “we” is the right word for God to use when referring to Himself. It is in line with one of the asma al-husna, the Beautiful Names of God, and that is “al Malik,” the King.
    May God forgive me if I am wrong about this, and may He show me the straight path.

    • Imran says:

      I completely agree with you as I have same understanding and saying regarding this topic. May Allah forgive me too if I am on mistake.

  3. Moulvi saeed Siddique says:

    I think ‘we’ and ‘I’ have the same meaning in the broader perspective. Allah is one and HE alone guides us through the Holy Quran. But we, Desi Muslims as usual indulge in over-research on a complete Deen (5:3) which should be avoided. Thanks.