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Massive Online Encyclopedia of Islam : SUBJECT-OBJECT DILEMMA
SUBJECT-OBJECT DILEMMA

The Subject-Object Dilemma is a major philosophical problem for the Islamic concept of God. According to Islamic teachings, the 99 most beautiful names of Allah are the attributes of God and, since God is eternal, His attributes must also be eternal.

The problem is : if God is Eternal (name #95. The Eternal (al-Azali)) and non-contingent (name #67 calls God The Independent (al-Samad)) then how can God be Merciful and Compassionate? For example, to whom was God Merciful and Compassionate before the creation of man? Obviously, since God is all perfect and all powerful, He does not need to show mercy or compassion to Himself. Therefore, instead of God being non-contingent, He is, according to the Islamic concept of God, contingent on His creation because without His creation, God cannot demonstrate His eternal attributes - which are, in fact, according to this argument, not eternal since they could not have been performed by God prior to creation.


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