Does God become angry?


“In the Name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful”

Does God become angry?

A narrator in Usul Kafi (one of the key Shia narration books) said, “I have asked Imam Sadiq (A) about the meaning of a verse of the Holy Quran which says, “So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all[1] (Al-Zukhruf:55). Imam replied, “God will not be sad, or angry like us but He created some guardians for Himself, they become happy and sad. They are creations of God. God made their satisfaction, His satisfaction, and their wrath, His wrath. Because God made those guardians the people who invite people to Him and guide people with his permission. So, God’s wrath and satisfaction are not like his creations. Imam continued that in a divine hadith God says, “Whoever insults my guardian has started a war with me”. God says in the Holy Quran, “He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), has indeed obeyed Allah[2] (An-Nisa:80). And also says, “Verily, those who pledge allegiance to you are pledging allegiance to God. The hand of God is over their hands[3] (Al-Fath:10). whatever I said so far is related to this subject. So, God’s satisfaction and wrath are like this discussed subject. Meaning everything is back to His guardians. If God becomes sad, hurt, or harmed by His creations, people might say, God, will be destroyed one day (while sadness and happiness are creations of God themselves). It is not possible because if it was like that then God will be varied and changed. If God varies and changes then He would not be indestructible. In this situation, the creator and creations will not be distinguishable because they are like each other, and both change. God is much higher than these discussions. God is the creator of things not because of a need. When God is needless then the limit will be impossible for God. So, understand this subject if God will”.

The core of philosophy was introduced by our Imams. Scholars who are against philosophy either have not seen these narrations or they do not understand them. If God becomes sad then He becomes an occurred object, because He was not sad and after a while becomes sad. So, He will not be eternal. When He became a non-eternal object and a creation then He will need a creator. So, if He changes, many deficiencies will be attributed to Him (Subhan Allah). “God be glorified, far above what they allege[4] (As-Saffat:159). Old mystic, Bu-Bakr Waseti said, “I hate that God who is pleased with my obedience and is angry with my sin because He is in my bondage and affected by me. The happiness and wrath of God are eternal,  He is eternally happy with His friend and angry with His enemy eternally”. So, God does not come from one state to another.

A tradition from Prophet Muhammad(S) says: “God Almighty has hidden three things in three things: He has placed his pleasure in obedience, His anger in sins, and his guardians and friends in his creatures. None of you should consider obedience light; Because no one knows in which obedience is the pleasure of God Almighty; And no one should undermine any disobedience; For he does not know in what sin the wrath of God is; And let none of you despise the creation of God; Because he does not know which of them is the guardian of God”. Assume we want to pledge alliance to God, what shall we do? Shall we bring up our hands and shake them in the air? We need a Hojjat (reason) for the pledge otherwise people pledge alliance with the God that they created in their minds. In the above verse of the Quran, it says, if you would like to pledge with God pledge with Prophet Muhammad (S). Anyone who does not understand this has not understood Islam. This subject is one of the basic principles of Shia.

When Imam Reza (A) arrived in Nishapur and wanted to leave there toward Ma’mun (the caliph), the narrators of the hadith asked, “O son of the Prophet of God, would you narrate us a hadith please before you leave?” Imam Reza (A), who was sitting in Kajavah (Is a wooden room that is tied to the back of a camel or any other animal and one or two people sit and travel), took out his head from Kajavah and said, “I heard from my father, Musa ibn Ja’far, who said: From my father, Ja’far ibn Muhammad, who said: From my father, Muhammad ibn Ali, who said: From my father, Ali Ibn Al-Hussain who said: I heard from my father, Hussain Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who said: From my father, the Amir Al-Mu’minin Ali Ibn Abi Talib, who said: I heard from the Messenger of God (PBUH) who said: I heard from Gabriel that who said: I heard God Almighty say: “(The word) La ilaha ill-Allah (لا إله إلا الله  – There is no God except Allah) is my fence (shelter) and whoever enters my fence (shelter) is safe from my torment. The narrator says: When the camel started walking, the Imam (A) said to us loudly, “But this has conditions and I am one of its conditions”.

In the Holy Quran, many times God attributes things to Himself (singular) like these verses, “It is He who created for you everything on earth[5] (Al-Baqara:29), “It is He who forms you in the wombs as He wills[6] (Al-i-Imran:6), “It is He Who takes you by night[7] (Al-An’am:60), “And it is He who sends down water from the sky[8] (Al-An’am:99), “It is He who made the sun radiant, and the moon a light[9] (Yunus:5), “And it is He who gives you life, then makes you die, then give you life[10] (Al-Hajj:66), and “And it is He who gives life and brings death” (Al-Mu’minun:80) but sometimes God attributes things to ourselves (plural) like these verse, “We provide sustenance for you and for them[11] (Al-An’am:151), “We narrate to you the most accurate history[12] (Yusuf:3), “Surely We revealed the Message, and We will surely preserve it[13] (Al-Hijr:9), “It is We who give life and cause death, and We are the Inheritors” (Al-Hijr:23), “There is no city but We will destroy before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe punishment. This is inscribed in the Book[14] (Al-Isra:58). “It is We who revive the dead, and We write down what they have forwarded, and their traces[15] (Ya-Sin:12).

When God says “We” (plural) it means the powers that are appointed by God. Let’s give a simple example to make it clear, if an angel truly says something to someone, is the angel’s speech different than God’s speech? No, the speech of angel Gabriel (A) is the speech of God. If Gabriel commands someone it means God commanded. Pay attention to the speech that angels had with Prophet Zachariah (A) and Lady Mary (A) and vice versa (Sura Al-i-Imran and Sura Maryam), for example, angels talk with Prophet Zachariah (A) but he talks with God, “He said, “My Lord, how can I have a son when my wife is barren, and I have become decrepit with old age?[16] (Maryam:8). This means, that the angel’s speech is not different from God’s speech, similarly, the speech of the Prophet and the Imams are the speech of God. “He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), has indeed obeyed Allah[17]  (An-Nisa:80). “Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it; and whatever he forbids you, abstain from it[18] (Al-Hashr:7). This is very important to know that angels, prophets, and Imams are not separated from God. Do not understand this is causing the Shia to be called polytheists because they asked for something from Imam Reza (A). This is absolute monotheism. Many people are polytheists without knowing it because they created a God in their minds and pray for it. As Imam Reza (A) said, “(The word) La ilaha ill-Allah (لا إله إلا الله  – There is no God except Allah) is my fence (shelter) and whoever enters my fence (shelter) is safe from my torment. The narrator says: When the camel started walking, the Imam (A) said to us loudly, “But this has conditions and I am one of its conditions”.

Muhammad Mahdi Me’marian

All praise is to God to the extent that He deserves it.

[1] -فَلَمَّا آسَفُونَا انتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

[2] -مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ

[3] -إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ

[4] -سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ

[5] -هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا

[6] -هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ

[7] -وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَتَوَفَّاكُم بِاللَّيْلِ

[8] -وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً

[9] -هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا

[10] -وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَحْيَاكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ

[11] -نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ

[12] -نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ

[13] -إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

[14] -وَإِن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ إِلَّا نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ۚ كَانَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَسْطُورًا

[15] -إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا وَآثَارَهُمْ

[16] -قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا وَقَدْ بَلَغْتُ مِنَ الْكِبَرِ عِتِيًّا

[17] -مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ

[18] -وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا

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