By Editorial Staff
One of the names and attributes of God is “the Sustainer”, i.e. the One Who sustains and looks after His creatures and servants. Such sustainment entails God’s pre-existence that is not preceded by non-existence, everlasting consciousness that is not preceded by unconsciousness, enduring wakefulness that is not interrupted by sleeping and eternal existence that is not ended by death.
This universe could not have been there and cannot continue to exist if God has not pre-existed it or if sleep or death could have absented Him from it.
The Sustainer in Islam
In the Qur’an, God (called “Allah” in Arabic) is described as “the Sustainer” Whom cannot be overtaken by drowsiness or sleep. We read:
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. (Al-Baqarah 2:255)
“The Sustainer” is one of the greatest names of God which if He is prayed thereby He will answer and if He is asked thereby, He will give. Anas (may God be pleased with him) reported that he was sitting down with the Messenger of God (peace be upon him), while a man was praying and supplicating: “O Allah! We ask You, since all praise is up to You, there is no God worthy of worship but You alone, the Beneficent, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, O Lord of Majesty and Bounty, O the Ever-living, the Sustainer.” Then, the Prophet said: “He prayed to God by His Great name which if He is prayed to thereby will answer and if He is asked thereby He will give.” (At-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’I, and Ibn Majah)
Also, Prophet Muhammad used to use this name to invoke God when he got up at night to offer prayers. It is reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbas (may God be pleased with them) that when Prophet Muhammad got up at night to offer prayers, he would supplicate: “O Allah, our Lord, to You belongs all praise, You are the Sustainer of heavens and earth. To You belongs all praise. You are the Lord of Heavens and Earth and all that is within them. To You belongs all praise…” (Al-Bukhari)
The Sustainer in Christianity
Though Jesus is taken as God in Christianity, the Bible tells us that he was not “the Sustainer” simply because he was created after the creation of the universe. We read: “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:18)
In the New Testament, the Bible reports that Jesus was a helpless newborn whom Joseph took along with his mother to Egypt to save them from death. We read: When the magi had departed, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod will soon search for the child in order to kill him.” (Matthew 2:13)
The Bible also narrates that Jesus used to sleep like any other human being. We read: “When Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. A huge storm arose on the lake so that waves were sloshing over the boat. But Jesus was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, rescue us! We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:23-25)
The Bible also relates to us that Jesus died for three days and three nights and he predicted the same. We read: “Just as Jonah was in the whale’s belly for three days and three nights, so the Human One will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40)
However, the New Testament, particularly the very Gospel of Matthew from which we quoted the above verses, states that Jesus was buried Friday night (Matthew 27:60) and rose before dawn on Sunday (Matthew 28:1) i.e. Saturday night, that is to say he remained in his alleged grave two nights and one day only.
Anyhow, we may ask: who sustained the universe before the birth of Jesus and when he was a helpless newborn and when asleep and after his death for the alleged three days and three nights?
There is no doubt that it is God (called “Father” in Christianity) Who sustained the universe at the stated and all other times.
Accordingly, God is the true Deity Who is worthy of worship. Jesus is not God. Had Jesus been God, the universe would not have stuck out before his birth, during his infancy and sleep and after his alleged death.
Since the universe held out, this means that there was someone else who was in charge. This is God, the Sustainer.
1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)
2- Sahih Al-Bukhari
3- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)