‘for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God’

Q:Asalamualaikum,

I had a question regarding your 04/23/2010 Friday English speech… this question is not only to better my own understanding but to elaborate further on a specific topic to rid any confusion that was caused or chaos it may have created in the minds of especially those who are not fully educated on the 12 commandments.  1st commandment-“You shall have no other gods before Me” and you also quoted it and said that God says that he is a jealous God? can you please elaborate on this to further clarify so that we can better understand the relationship between the 12 commandments and Islam.  Why does God say he is a jealous God? Maybe the God and Goddesses are jealous but Allah is in no need of anything or anyone nor is he is need of our worship and is definitely free from jealousy? please explainThanks

Time: Saturday April 24, 2010 at 10:48 pm

A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

The aspect of ‘Jealousy’ was quoted by a member from our audience. We had merely quoted it and elaborated upon its content. It was originally derived from the following quote:

‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; And showing mercy unto the thousandth generation of them that love Me and keep My commandments’

Muslim take on this given phrase: Allah being Jealous refers to Allah not wanting a partner to Himself. Jealously in human terms refers to one person not wanting to enjoy what the other possesses. In terms of Allah, it refers to Allah having a Hatred for a person who ascribes partners to Him. It is amongst the greatest of sins in Islam. His Jealousy is not for the benefit of Himself, it is for the benefit of humanity with a repulsion towards them ascribing partners with Him.

There is a word in Arabic called Ghayrah. This word functions to describe the type of feeling that a person has when someone uses his/her thing without consent, stares at his/her spouse, etc. Likewise, Allah having Ghayrah refers to the repulsion He has towards that human that would chose to hurt themselves by wrongful actions of worship. Allah being the Creator of His servants wants His servants to worship Him in the rightful manner.

I agree, the word ‘Jealousy’ being used could sound poor in word usage, however, i am glad we could clarify the matter, for this word would be used on a comparative level repeatedly as we journey through other religious principles proving all types of differences as well as similarities.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

12 responses to “‘for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God’

  1. I am sorry, but I thought there were only 10 commandments, is that not right?

  2. The answer is awesome !!
    Baraka-Allahu Feeka/Feeke (may allah bless you)

  3. ?????… OK.. the Qur’an never said that Allah is a jelouse God.. The bible said that…

    • This is exactly the point, if the bible said it and people that claim to be followers of the bible refuse to follow it in its entirety — as God (Allah as being the One and Only) then this quote should assist in placing sense into those that reject this concept in its Absolute nature.

  4. Westener comment: You are quoting from my bible the 1st(loyalty) and 2nd(worship) commandents. My understanding of them is that God (or Allah) our one and only true God
    asks us to demonstrate our love for Him by having no other God’s,and he loves us so much that He is jealous of our love and does not want to share our love by us bowing down to meaningless idols. So I am kinda confused as to the above answer.

  5. Cordoban Cowboy

    Hola Rustiana,

    As a former Christian, I would be happy to clarify. It is true that many Christians do not worship Idols (although many, especially the majority of Catholics and Orthodox Christians do). It seems you are a christian who does not worship idols.

    In the Jewish and Muslim understanding the term “I the Lord thy God am a Jealous God” does not only refer to idol worship: it includes worshipping anything and anything other than God almighty. Thus God is also jealous when a christian worships Jesus Christ, prays in the name of Jesus Christ (Muslims pray in the name of God), ask Jesus for things in prayer, or attribute any form of absolute power to Jesus instead of God.

    This is very common to all christians, and thus, as Jesus himself is reported to have made the fact that he is not God very clear in Mark 10:18 where Jesus says “Why do you call me good?” “No one is good—except God alone,” Worshipping Jesus is a form of paganism which God is no less jealous of than the worship of idols.

    • Hola Cordoban!
      Thank you that really clarified it for me…I was a little confused. I am not a Christian, actually I was a practicing Catholic looong time ago.
      Now I beleive in God Almighty (Allah) as my one true higher power.
      Munchas Gracias Senor!

    • Jesus says “Why do you call me good?” “No one is good—except God alone,”
      I think cordoban means God and not ‘good’ in the above. correct me if i am wrong.’ (text.)

  6. Cordoban Cowboy

    Actually the wording is “good,” the story begins in Mark 10:17 when a young man walks up to Jesus to ask him a question and calls him “good master” and Jesus interrupts him and exclaims “why callest thou me good, there is only one that is good, that is God.”

    It can be found here

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%2010&version=NIV

    My research tells me that few would have believed Jesus to be actually God, even for several decades at least after his time. It is interesting, however, that he is reported to have made that clarification anyway…

  7. Hello, I would like to comment on the verse mentioned in Mark 10. While Jesus questions the man for calling Him “good teacher”, He does not say that He is not good or not God. He is merely proving the man to see where his faith lies. Jesus does this on many occasions such as in John 6:5-6 where He asks Phillip where they will get the food to feed the multitudes from. In this question, Jesus is not suggesting that He does not know the answer but is testing Phillip to show his faith or lack of it.
    The same is true in this instance. Jesus is not suggesting that He is not good or that He is not God, but proving the man to show his faith. In other words, He is saying “you cannot call me good unless you call me God, for there is no one that is good other than God.” So we cannot place Jesus or anyone in a category of being truly good unless we are calling that person God. This point is brought out in the entire Gospel message. Jesus predicts His death and resurrection multiple times to His followers and if He did not in fact die and resurrect than He was lying to the people (ie: John 10:17-18).
    In John 10:27-33, Jesus declares Himself to be equal with God and this is why the Jews wanted to kill Him. So in other words, the Jews understood that they could not accept anything Jesus had to say unless they accepted Him as LORD. He is either a liar and false prophet or the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
    -Adam