Why does Allah say in Quran 6:101 that he can’t have a son without consort although he is able of doing everything?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
One of the wisdoms behind the revelation of Quran Verse (6:101) is to respond, and refute a rationale that Jesus was a begotten son of God. As we know lot of Christian people believe that. That would NOT necessarily imply God that mated with Mary and fathered Jesus as that what would vast majority of Christians would say it is not the case.
Yet Allah Exalted He is refuting all and any potential logical impossibilities that may or may not arise the minds of people and not refuting His ability to have a sone if he wanted to.
Since we are humans that idea that Mary as a human conceived without a consort, potentially might trigger such mental comparison between Mary and other fellow humans in the minds of some people.
Questions such as how can Mary has a son without a father and when she answered that it was a miracle from Allah as per the Glorious Quran. Such response as we stated earlier might trigger that very unlikely question of (she might have a father potentially God in the sick minds of some people).
So, when Allah Exalted, He is refuting that highly unlikely potential logical impossibility, Allah Exalted He emphatically in his crystal clear, divine Noble words of Quran (6:101) exclude any possibility, need, or want from him to have any sons.
When Allah Exalted, He denies Jesus as a son despite the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus Christ the Messiah, that is indisputable evidence that Allah Exalted he is the only true God and creator of Prophet Jesus and his mum Mary and everything.
Hypothetically speaking If the Glorious Quran was not the word of our creator Allah Exalted, he and was a word of human, that human would speed to claim the sonship of Jesus for God since it is a miracle would add a credit to that human.
Need and ability are two different things, that verse is implying that Allah is not like a creation that needs or wants a consort to have son or like that, creation that needs to have a son. Allah is complete, perfect so should not there be any need for a consort than you are not talking about Allah but a creation of Allah. Someone who is incomplete without the consort.
Then Quran verse 6:101 comes along to ask how he can Allah Exalted; He have a begotten “son” (Jesus) when he never had a “consort” (never mated with Mary or anyone else) thus refuting such rationale.
We must keep in mind that whenever someone claims that someone or species is “son/daughter” of Allah, he is claiming that Allah is that being’s “father” and someone would be that being’s “mother”.
We don’t know of any example where Allah is considered a mother anywhere in the history or at least most of among those who think that Allah can have children. So, whenever anyone is saying Allah has a “son”, he is saying Allah is that son’s father!
So, the question asked here is: When Allah is considered “father” of a “son”, where is the mother?
And if someone asks, “If Mary can beget without father, why can’t Allah?”
again, Here Allah here is only refuting an illogical doctrine among people, not His ability.
When it comes to Mary (pbuh), Allah clearly say’s Allah created her child, this is how he came into being. He “created” Jesus (pbuh), it is inconceivable for Mary (pbuh) to conceive otherwise.
And again, when people attribute “sons” to Allah, they think Allah as “father”.
Now even if Allah could beget without a wife, He would no longer be assumed as father because the parent being who gives birth without a mate is only called “mother”, not “father”.
May Allah forgive and pardon me for saying atrocious things about Him although just for the purpose of explanation.
Please note here Again that:
In this verse Allah is only refuting a logical impossibility, when people think consciously that Allah has a “son”, they think subconsciously that there might be a female counterpart of Allah.
No question has arisen about His ability
Christians and Cherry picking:
It’s not saying that He can’t have a son without a wife. Christians have cherry picked the verse and have misrepresented it to be referring to their ideology. But reading the previous verses shows that the verse in question is not even talking about Jesus exclusively.
Yet they associate the jinn with Allah ˹in worship˺, even though He created them, and they falsely attribute to Him sons and daughters out of ignorance. Glorified and Exalted is He above what they claim! ˹He is˺ the Originator of the heavens and earth. How could He have children when He has no consort? He created all things and has ˹perfect˺ knowledge of everything. (Surah 6:100-101).
Why don’t Christians quote the verse 100 and say that we don’t believe the jinns to be gods? We don’t believe God have daughters. We don’t believe God have multiple sons.
In fact, the verse 101 doesn’t even use the word son, it says child.
And Allah is not asking how it is possible for Him to have a child without a consort. It’s more like “Why would He?”
For example, when someone does something horrible, we say “how can you do this!?”
If Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world was to steal something, we would say “How could he do that when he’s the richest man in the world!?”
Now does this mean it’s not possible for the richest man to steal? No, it means that it’s not befitting for the richest person in the world to steal.
So, the meaning behind the verse is that it doesn’t befit God to have a child, He is so great that He created everything without any partner. How can he have a child then?
Could Allah have a son? Surah 39:4 affirms and Surah 6:101 denies this possibility.
I highly recommend you watch the following video that describes the particle “law”.
Arabic Grammar: Forming Conditional Sentences in Arabic الشرط
There are 2 words that are translated into “if”:
- “Idhaa”: When a sentence starts with “idhaa”, the next clause shows a possible condition.
- “Law”: When a sentence starts with “law”, the next clause shows an impossible condition. The clause will be present in the sentence just to show that this condition is never going to happen. That is the case of 39:4. It says: If (“law”) Allah wanted to have a son- that means it is an impossible condition and Allah will never ever want to have that. This clause is only present (with “law”) to describe to the reader about the impossibility of such situation to happen.
- 39:4 uses the verb “akhadhaa” (took). It is talking about holding someone from his created being as his “son”. It’s more like selecting a created body instead of begetting a real godly figure.
- 6:101 uses the verb “kanaa” (be). It is talking more like producing a real godly son with a godly mother. That is why the verse says: “How can god has son when he has no wife!”
- 42:11, 112:4 says “there is nothing like him”. 112:3 says “he doesn’t beget”.
- Thus, 39:4 describes the impossibility of selecting someone from a created being as his son and 6:101, 42:11, 112:3–4 directly cancel the possibility of begetting a godly son.
- 39: 4 uses the word “subhanahu” or “glory be to him”- it describes the real reason for him to not have an son within created being. He is too holy to have a created body that is limited by hunger, thirst, sleep, lust, excretion etc. 6:100 similarly negates his need of sex, wife and son.
Quran’ stance is clear that Allah is above taking a son. He is above anything that polytheist associate with Him. The chapter Ikhlas that is considered as the corner stone of Islamic monotheism describes it thus.
1. Say, “He is God, the One.
2. God, the Absolute.
3. He begets not, nor was He begotten.
4. And there is nothing comparable to Him.”
The value of Chapter Ikhlas is described in the words of the Prophet Muhammad as ‘equalant to be one third of Quran’.
The verse you quoted comes in this way
But they have attributed to Allah partners – the jinn, while He has created them – and have fabricated for Him sons and daughters. Exalted is He and high above what they describe Quran (6:100)
[He is] Originator of the heavens and the earth. How could He have a son when He does not have a companion and He created all things? And He is, of all things, Knowing. Quran (6:101)
That is Allah, your Lord; there is no deity except Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Disposer of all things. Quran (6:102)
Allah questions polytheist belief in many logical ways. One of the logical questions is what you see in the verse above. There are two ways in Allah makes people reflect:
- Allah questions if you attribute a son to God, what do you say about the wife of God. Allah points out at the half-baked fabrication on the His part where people talk about a son of God and have nothing to say about consort of God.
- Allah created everything, so why He could not create a messenger without a father.
In other parts, Allah compares Jesus with Adam. He makes people reflect that if Jesus is to be considered son of God because he did not have a father, why do you ignore the status of Adam who was created without a son and mother.
Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. Quran (3:59)
In other parts of Quran, Allah questions the belief of polytheist of Makkah who believed that their gods were angels and daughters of Allah. They are questioned that they like to have sons as strengths for their tribe and attribute daughters to God. The verse is as follows:
Then, has your Lord chosen you for [having] sons and taken from among the angels’ daughters? Indeed, you say a grave saying. Quran (17:40)
These are all eloquent ways of Allah through which He makes people reflection upon the gaps in the fabrications of polytheist so that they may turn to monotheism.
Comparatively, by issuing a judgment on two living beings, people are mistaken if they compare a monkey to a man. They are of different nature.
To avoid making any assumptions, Allah Exalted He says to be different from anything that a sane person can imagine.
Quran (112 :4) Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”
Now if the man gets married, it is because naturally is incomplete, when being still single, his imbalance pushes him to seek for a partner. Furthermore, if he’s still in the unsteadiness, it pushes him to be in permanent adultery.
Allah (swt) is complete, and is above all need:
Quran (2 :255) 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. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
That’s why he does not need a partner!
Professor Bart D Ehrman points out this fact here:
“In Greek myths, by far the more common view was that a divine being comes into the world – not having existed prior to birth – because a god has had sex with a human, and the offspring then is in some sense divine. In Greek myths it is most frequently Zeus who engages in these morally dubious activities, coming down from heaven when he sees an attractive woman that he has to have, leading to a rather exotic sexual encounter and a highly unusual pregnancy….”
“Many people believed that Alexander was one of Zeus’s offspring. Alexander’s actual father was the famous and powerful Philip, king of Macedonia, who had fallen in love with a woman named Olympias. According to Plutarch, the night before the two were to consummate their marriage, Olympias dreamed that a thunderbolt came down from heaven and entered into her.
Presumably this was Zeus doing his magic. In any event, Philip apparently looked in on his wife that night and saw a serpent engaged in conjugal embrace with her. As Plutarch indicates, and as one might understand, this sight very much cooled Philip’s passion for his bride.
In ancient times Zeus was often represented in the form of a snake. And so, for those who believed this tale, the child – Alexander – was no mere mortal. He was literally the son of a god.”
“In mythology we have even more striking accounts of Zeus, or his Roman counterpart Jupiter, engaging in such nocturnal activities. No story is more intriguing than the tale of the birth of Hercules.”
“There are several forms of the tale in antiquity.”
“Amphitryon has gone away to war, leaving his pregnant wife at home. Jupiter casts a lustful gaze upon her from heaven and decides that he has to have her. And he knows just how to do it.”
“Jupiter disguises himself as Amphitryon and tells his “wife” that he has now come home from battle. She welcomes him with open arms and takes him to bed. So much does Jupiter enjoy the ensuing activities that he orders the constellations to stop in their circuit. In other words, he makes time stand still, until he – even he, the mighty god with divine capacity for enjoyment – has his fill. ” (Source: Miraculous (Not Virgin) Births in Ancient Pagan Texts)
I quoted the above from Prof Bart D Ehrman only to show that many people in the ancient world believed God begot sons through consorts. This is the only purpose of the above quotation.
Now, which people is Quran 6:101 is specifically addressing? Not Jews. Not Christians. But idolater, pagans. The context proves this. The context is the verse or verses before and after it. Here’s the context: –
“وَجَعَلُوۡا لِلّٰهِ شُرَكَآءَ الۡجِنَّ وَخَلَقَهُمۡ وَخَرَقُوۡا لَهٗ بَنِيۡنَ وَبَنٰتٍۢ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍؕ سُبۡحٰنَهٗ وَتَعٰلٰى عَمَّا يَصِفُون
“And yet, some people have come to associate the jinn with Allah in His divinity,67 even though it is He Who created them; and in ignorance they impute to Him sons and daughters.68 He is Holy and Exalted far above that which they attribute to Him.” (Quran 6:100)
So, its addressing those who take jinns as objects of worship and associate Allah with sons and daughters through the jinns!
The next verse addresses them further: –
بَدِيۡعُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِؕ اَنّٰى يَكُوۡنُ لَهٗ وَلَدٌ وَّلَمۡ تَكُنۡ لَّهٗ صَاحِبَةٌ ؕ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ ۚ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيۡمٌ
“He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have a son when He has had no mate? And He has created everything, and He has full knowledge of all things.” (Quran 6:101)
So, this verse is not addressing Christians but only pagans who worshipped jinns who believed Allah bears sons and daughters through consorts that Allah has no such a consort so He would never bear such a son!
The Quran says Allah is an all-powerful creator of the universe and simply say “be” and it is (Surah 40:68). If this is true, why can Allah not have a son who can become human?
It all boils down to what “can” mean, “Why can or cannot Allah do something?”
For example, can Allah (God) create a stone that he can’t lift? Can God destroy himself? Can God create another equal God?
These hypothetical ideas are some similar, but more straightforward questions, and the answer to these can be applied to the original question as well.
“Can” means “Able To”, i.e., having the ability to do something. We assess such abilities with possibility (not to be confused with probability) and impossibility, both of which we typically derive logically. That means that we decide if things are possible logically or impossible logically.
For example, for a chair to have 3 legs, is [logically] possible, but for a four-legged chair to have 3 legs, is impossible, unless by “four-legged chair” we don’t mean the exact words but a metaphor or analogy.
For things that are not logically possible, we cannot conceive them happening. We cannot conceive a rock that is bigger than the whole universe. We cannot conceive a horse that is red and has no color at the same time. To us, these are impossibilities, and we cannot comprehend them.
Now since we understand God logically, and make arguments about him logically, for him not to be able to do logically impossible things, is one of the following two cases:
- God can do impossible things, but we just cannot conceive them, and thus our understanding of God limits what he can do (in our understanding).
- God simply cannot do impossible things, and that’s not a limit on him, because impossible things are not possible to be done at all.
In the first case, God can have a son, but if he does, we cannot conceive that happening. It would be something beyond our logical comprehension, and thus we must resort to faith. That is one main reason Christianity advocates for faith-based belief and dissuades logical thinking.
In the second case, the answer to the question is simply no, and the problem is solved. Obviously The Glorious Quran is the true message of our creator that is supported by all types of crystal clear logic to those who truly seek the truth.
Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds.