God the Sustainer

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God the Sustainer is a theological term referring to the conception of God who sustains and upholds everything in existence.

Al Qayyum, sometimes rendered "The Sustainer" is one of the 99 Names of God in Islam. "Creater, Sustainer, Redeemer" is reportedly a "common phrase" in Protestantism in the United States, specifically in Baptist liturgy.[1]

Christian theology

In the Christian theology, the described doctrine is supported by the following biblical and Deuterocanonical references:

  • Wisdom 11:21-26: “For you love all things that exist, and detest none of the things that you have made; for you would not have made anything if you had hated it. How would anything have endured, if you had not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by you have been preserved? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love the living.”
  • John 5:17: My Father works until now and I work.
  • Hebrews 1:3: He upholds all things by the word of his power

Moreover, there are other relevant places in the doctrinal Christian literature, for example:

  • St. Augustine comments on John 5:17: Let us therefore believe that God works constantly, so that all created things would perish, if his working were withdrawn.[citation needed]
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in 301: With creation, God does not abandon his creatures to themselves. He not only gives them being and existence, but also, and at every moment, upholds and sustains them in being, enables them to act and brings them to their final end. Recognizing this utter dependence with respect to the Creator is a source of wisdom and freedom, of joy and confidence:[citation needed]

In Islam

God is known as "The Sustainer" (Arabic: ar-Razzaq) within His 99 names. Sustenance is everything that can be benefited from. Sustenance can be divided into two parts, physical sustenance like food and spiritual sustenance with science and knowledge. Names of people with the name Abdul Razzaq also exist. The mentioned references in the Koran are:

"وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ"

" wa many yattaqil laaha yaj'al lahoo makhrajaa. Wa yarzuquhu min haythu la yahtasib." (at-Talaq:2-3)

“ And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. And will provide(sustain) for him from where he does not expect."

"وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ، مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ، إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ"

"Wa maa khalaqtul jinna wal insa illaa liya'budoon. Maaa ureedu minhum mir rizqinw wa maaa ureedu anyyut'imoon. Innal laaha Huwar Razzaaqu Zul Quwwatil Mateen" (Adh-Dhariyat:56-58)

“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is Allah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength."

Hinduism

The conception of Deity in a sustaining/conserving/preserving mode is also used in Hindu theology where the Godhead, or Trimūrti in Sanskrit, consists of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver/Sustainer, and Siva the Destroyer.

Pantheism and pandeism

In pantheism and pandeism (pantheistic deism) generally, God or some similar formulation is characterized as only needing to exist as a sustaining force, with no other aspect.

  1. ^ Thomas J. Scirghi, An Examination of the Problems of Inclusive Language in the Trinitarian Formula of Baptism (2000), p. 168. John Stanford Holme, The Baptist Hymn and Tune Book (1858), 822, 825, 849.
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