How to Answer Loaded Questions?

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


I understand that the omnipotence paradox is a loaded question, but how would one respond to a contradictory question, such as “Can God draw an uneven rhombus?” or “Can God make a 7-sided cube?”

A unicorn is possible since a horse and having wings are not necessarily contradictory, but a rhombus is, by definition, even, and to make it uneven is contradictory. Additionally, could we say God can win ANY game of draughts vs. a perfect opponent, even though the game is solved as a draw with perfect play?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

The persons asking this type of question aim to prove that an omnipotent God is an absurd concept. When we understand what is really meant by being omnipotent, it becomes easy to see that these questions are harmless.

Islamic Belief regarding Allah’s Attribute of Power

Allah’s attribute of Power is limitless. Allah, Most High, can create anything that is rationally possible. And nothing can prevent Allah, Most High, from creating anything rationally possible. This is what is meant to be Omnipotent when using reason properly.

Allah, Most High, says: “Surely Allah is Most Capable of everything.” [Quran, 2:20]

The Judgments of the Intellect

To be able to answer this type of question, one has to understand the existence of anything conceivable is either rationally necessary (i.e., it is not rationally possible for this thing not to exist), rationally possible ( i.e., it is conceivable for this thing to exist or not to exist) or absurd (i.e., it is rationally impossible for this thing to exist). There is no other possibility. [Sanusi, Umm al-Barahin]

The Rhombus Scenario

A rhombus is a quadrilateral with both pairs of opposite sides parallel and all sides the same length. Thus it is rationally absurd to deem the existence of an uneven rhombus possible.

Allah’s attribute of Power is an attribute through which Allah, Most High, creates any rationally possible thing He has chosen to create. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid]

Thus, given the fact that an uneven rhombus does not belong to the realm of the rationally possible, it is rationally impossible (i.e., absurd) for Allah, Most High, to create such a rational absurdity.

It does not mean that Allah, Most High, is weak and powerless in this regard. It simply means that Allah, Most High, has granted human beings a reliable tool to distinguish between which things are rationally possible, which things are rationally impossible, and which things are rationally necessary. This tool is called “reason” or “intellect.” This is what distinguishes human beings from other animals.

By using this tool properly, human beings are able to establish that it is rationally impossible for the universe to be beginningless,  that Allah’s existence is rationally necessary, that Allah’s sending Messengers (blessings and peace be upon them) is rationally possible…In fact, by using reason properly, it is possible for human beings to establish that Islam is the only true religion rationally.

As for someone telling you that it is impossible for God to create an uneven rhombus, you should congratulate him for using his reason properly and discovering this truth. You should also encourage him to continue using his reason properly to establish much more important truths, such as the fact that God does exist and that Sayyiduna Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) is indeed the last Messenger of God to humanity and that human beings will be judged after being resurrected and that those who have rejected Islam as the true religion after having been called to it will end up in Hell for eternity.

Logic and Religion

There is no separation of logic and religion in Islam. One of the first science that Muslim scholars have been required to learn for centuries is logic.

One of the ways Muslim scholars refute Christianity and its concept of the Trinity is through reason because this concept is rationally absurd, just as an uneven rhombus is rationally absurd.

Allah, Most High, himself urges human beings to use their intellect in the Quran.

Allah, Most High, says: “And they will lament, ‘If only we had listened and reasoned, we would not be among the residents of the Blaze!’” [Quran, 67:10]

Game of Draughts Scenario

The game of draughts has been solved and will always end in a draw with perfect play. This means that it is rationally impossible for Allah, Most High, to create a sequence of moves that will beat an opponent who is playing the right sequence of moves that are necessarily leading to a draw.

Again, we should congratulate anyone discovering this truth and recognize that this has nothing to do with Allah, Most High, being powerless and everything to do with the tremendous fact that Allah, Most High, has granted to humanity a tool, their intellect, that enables them to distinguish truth from falsehood.

Let’s use this tool to discover truths that really matter.

Allah, Most High, says: “(This is) a blessed Book which We have revealed to you (O Prophet) so that they may contemplate its verses, and people of reason may be mindful.” [Quran, 38:29]

And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others. He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.