I’m not a Muslim. But I’m curious as to what Muslims believe is the answer to this question. Do all Muslims agree on one definition? What do you think? Who is God?
Yes, the God has been described well in Qur'an. But the descriptions are not like mathematical proofs but are philosophical and infrastructural; Here are the examples from Qur'an:
He says: [Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Tohid, page ~480]
Hope these help :)
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Sūrat al-Ikhlāṣ provides a good insight about how Muslims view Allah:
Also, the 99 Names of Allah are another source of His attributes. They are far too many to list here, but this Wikipedia article does a good job of listing them with English translations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99_Names_of_God
Here, the consensus ends. Some Shi'a scholars believe that Allah has no physical form and cannot be seen (by the eye). Among Sufis there is a belief that the whole universe is a manifestation of Allah. Some Sunnis, on the other hand, believe that Allah does have a physical presence that is vaguely human (with hands and feet). Many others (from all sects) believe that this is an unanswerable question.
this is how Imam Ali (sa) defines Allah:
Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks.
The foremost in religion is the acknowledgement of Him, the perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness, the perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognises His like, and who recognises His like regards Him two; and who regards Him two recognises parts for Him; and who recognises parts for Him mistook Him; and who mistook Him pointed at Him; and who pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him; and who admitted limitations for Him numbered Him.
Whoever said in what is He, held that He is contained; and whoever said on what is He held He is not on something else. He is a Being but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.
The Creation of the Universe
He initiated creation most initially and commenced it originally, without undergoing reflection, without making use of any experiment, without innovating any movement, and without experiencing any aspiration of mind. He allotted all things their times, put together their variations gave them their properties, and determined their features knowing them before creating them, realising fully their limits and confines and appreciating their propensities and intricacies.
When Almighty created the openings of atmosphere, expanse of firmament and strata of winds, He flowed into it water whose waves were stormy and whose surges leapt one over the other. He loaded it on dashing wind and breaking typhoons, ordered them to shed it back (as rain), gave the wind control over the vigour of the rain, and acquainted it with its limitations. The wind blew under it while water flowed furiously over it.
Then Almighty created forth wind and made its movement sterile, perpetuated its position, intensified its motion and spread it far and wide. Then He ordered the wind to raise up deep waters and to intensify the waves of the oceans. So the wind churned it like the churning of curd and pushed it fiercely into the firmament throwing its front position on the rear and the stationary on the flowing till its level was raised and the surface was full of foam. Then Almighty raised the foam on to the open wind and vast firmament and made therefrom the seven skies and made the lower one as a stationary surge and the upper one as protective ceiling and a high edifice without any pole to support it or nail to hold it together. Then He decorated them with stars and the light of meteors and hung in it the shining sun and effulgent moon under the revolving sky, moving ceiling and rotating firmament.
The Creation of the Angels
Then He created the openings between high skies and filled them with all classes of His angels. Some of them are in prostration and do not kneel up. Others in kneeling position and do not stand up. Some of them are in array and do not leave their position. Others are extolling Allah and do not get tired. The sleep of the eye or the slip of wit, or languor of the body or the effect of forgetfulness does not effect them.
Among them are those who work as trusted bearers of His message, those who serve as speaking tongues for His prophets and those who carry to and fro His orders and injunctions. Among them are the protectors of His creatures and guards of the doors of the gardens of Paradise. Among them are those also whose steps are fixed on earth but their necks are protruding into the skies, their limbs are getting out on all sides, their shoulders are in accord with the columns of the Divine Throne, their eyes are downcast before it, they have spread down their wings under it and they have rendered between themselves and all else curtains of honour and screens of power. They do not think of their Creator through image, do not impute to Him attributes of the created, do not confine Him within abodes and do not point at Him through illustrations.
Description of the Creation of Adam
Allah collected from hard, soft, sweet and sour earth, clay which He dripped in water till it got pure, and kneaded it with moisture till it became gluey. From it He carved an image with curves, joints, limbs and segments. He solidified it till it dried up for a fixed time and a known duration. Then He blew into it out of His Spirit whereupon it took the pattern of a human being with mind that governs him, intelligence which he makes use of, limbs that serve him, organs that change his position, sagacity that differentiates between truth and untruth, tastes and smells, colours and species. He is a mixture of clays of different colours, cohesive materials, divergent contradictories and differing properties like heat, cold, softness and hardness.
Then Allah asked the angels to fulfil His promise with them and to accomplish the pledge of His injunction to them by acknowledging Him through prostration to Him and submission to His honoured position. So Allah said:
"Be prostrate towards Adam and they prostrated except Iblis (Satan)." (Qur'an, 2:34; 7:11; 17:61; 18:50; 20:116)
Self-importance withheld him and vice overcame him. So that he took pride in his own creation with fire and treated contemptuously the creation of clay. So Allah allowed him time in order to let him fully deserve His wrath, and to complete (man's) test and to fulfil the promise (He had made to Satan). Thus, He said:
"Verily you have been allowed time till the known Day. " (Qur'an, 15:38; 38:81)
Thereafter, Allah inhabited Adam (p.b.u.h.) in a house where He made his life pleasant and his stay safe, and He cautioned him of Iblis and his enmity. Then his enemy (Iblis) envied his abiding in Paradise and his contacts with the virtuous. So he changed his conviction into wavering and determination into weakness. He thus converted his happiness into fear and his prestige into shame. Then Allah offered to Adam (p.b.u.h.) the chance to repent, taught him words of His Mercy, promised him return to His Paradise and sent him down to the place of trial and procreation of progeny.
Allah chooses His Prophets
From his (Adam's) progeny Allah chose prophets and took their pledge for his revelation and for carrying His message as their trust. In course of time many people perverted Allah's trust with them and ignored His position and took compeers along with Him. Satan turned them away from knowing Him and kept them aloof from His worship. Then Allah sent His Messengers and series of His prophets towards them to get them to fulfil the pledges of His creation, to recall to them His bounties, to exhort them by preaching, to unveil before them the hidden virtues of wisdom and show them the signs of His Omnipotence namely the sky which is raised over them, the earth that is placed beneath them, means of living that sustain them, deaths that make them die, ailments that turn them old and incidents that successively betake them.
Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet deputised by Him, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument or a standing plea. These Messengers were such that they did not feel little because of smallness of their number or of largeness of the number of their falsifiers. Among them was either a predecessor who would name the one to follow or the follower who had been introduced by the predecessor.
The Prophethood of Muhammmad
In this way ages passed by and times rolled on, fathers passed away while sons took their places till Allah deputised Muhammmad (peace be upon him and his progeny) as His Prophet, in fulfilment of His promise and in completion of His Prophethood. His pledge had been taken from the Prophets, his traits of character were well reputed and his birth was honourable. The people of the earth at this time were divided in different parties, their aims were separate and ways were diverse. They either likened Allah with His creation or twisted His Names or turned to else than Him. Through Muhammmad (p.b.u.h.a.h.p.) Allah guided them out of wrong and with his efforts took them out of ignorance.
Then Allah chose for Muhammmad, peace be upon him and on his progeny, to meet Him, selected him for His own nearness, regarded him too dignified to remain in this world and decided to remove him from this place of trial. So He drew him towards Himself with honour. Allah may shower His blessing on him, and his progeny.
In Islam, God is the creator of the Universe. He is the the most powerful being, the most most beneficent, the most merciful. There are in infact 99 names for God in Islam. All these names depict a quality in God. In other words, they are praise worth names of God.
There is no conflict among the definition of God in Islam, what so ever. In fact there is one chapter in Quran about who is God, named Tashid. The translation is
In Chapter Yasin, the power of God is depicted as
This basically means, when he wishes to do something, it happens automatically.
Also the main crux of Islam is to recognize God and say that he is the only God and there is no one beside him who is worthy of worship.
The second clause in Islam is to recognize Prophet Muhammad who was the true prophet of God through him we know God.
this is how Imam Sajjad (S.A.) defined God:
Talking from a Shia perspective, @YasserZamani and @Ahmadi have answered the question very good, and from the other answers you can easily see that not all the Muslims agree on one understanding of Allah. However, let me put the issue differently so that you can hopefully find more coherence behind all of them.
All those who believe in a Heavenly religion, Muslims, Christians and Jews, as far as I know define God as a perfect being. This very beginning is the same in all such perspectives. However, the interpretation of being perfect is somewhat different and this is understandable from the distinctions between teachings of different schools and religions.
For example, God is considered as omnipresent and omnipotent in all such schools and religions but then see how differently would they use these reputations to talk about their God, which is of course a same God for all of them (differeny understanding of a same notion):
So you see, from the very fundamental levels of teachings of the prophets and their successors --peace be upon them all-- all of us, Shia or Sunni, Muslim or Christian or Jew, think the same, God is perfect, but then some have their own interpretations of those teachings and one should personally seek for the one interpretation which appear as rigorous and reasonable:
Also look at Surat Al-'Ikhlas as others mentioned.