By Editorial Staff
One of the names and attributes of God is “the Provider”. A believer in a god for this universe necessarily believes that this god is a provider. God is surely the Provider, along with Whom there is no other provider.
The Provider in Islam
The Qur’an often states that God (“Allah” in Arabic) is the One Who provides for His servants. He is the Only “Provider”, Who provides for others, and does not seek for provision from others. For example, we read:
Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:58)
Just as God is described as the “Provider”, He is also described as the “Best of Providers”. We read:
Say, “Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts [it] for him. But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the Best of Providers.” (Saba’ 34:39)
The above description is repeated by Jesus himself as quoted by the Qur’an when he prayed to God to send down to him and his disciples a table from heaven in order to deepen the disciples’ faith. We read:
[And remember] when the disciples said, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven? [Jesus] said,” Fear Allah , if you should be believers.” They said, “We wish to eat from it and let our hearts be reassured and know that you have been truthful to us and be among its witnesses.” Said Jesus, the son of Mary, “O Allah , our Lord, send down to us a table [spread with food] from the heaven to be for us a festival for the first of us and the last of us and a sign from You. And provide for us, and You are the Best of Providers.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:112-114)
The Qur’an affirms that it is God Who withholds and grants abundance in provision. We read:
And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned. (Al-Baqarah 2:245)
We also read:
Indeed, your Lord extends provision for Whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing. (Al-Israa’ 17:30)
The Provider in Christianity
In the Old Testament, the Bible tells us that it is God only Who is the Provider. For example, the Bible tells us that after God had created Adam and Eve he provided them with each plant and fruit on the face of the earth and He provided beasts, birds and animals with each green plant.
We read: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30)
The Bible also relates to us that it is God Who made trees which are good for food grow out of the ground. We read: “The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2:9)
Moreover, the Bible reports that God promised Noah and his children to provide them with animals and green plants as food after the Great Flood. We read: “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” (Genesis 9:3)
Furthermore, the Bible relates to us that God provided the Children of Israel with meat at twilight and bread in the morning after the Exodus as evidence for His divinity and lordship. We read: The Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, ‘At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’” (Exodus 16:11-12)
In the New Testament, the Bible narrates to us that Jesus taught his disciples to seek bread (i.e. provision) from God (called “Father” in Christianity). We read: “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’” (Matthew 6:9-13)
After all, the New Testament tells us that Jesus used to eat and drink from the provisions of God. We read: And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. (Luke 24:41-43)
We also read: “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)” (John 4:7-8)
Since God provided for Adam, Noah and Moses even before the birth of Jesus, who himself taught his followers to seek for bread (provision) from God and ate and drank from the provisions of God like all other creatures of God, how can Jesus be God?
In consideration of the foregoing, there is no denying that Jesus cannot be the “Provider” for he himself used to be provided for, like all other human beings.
1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)
2- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)