By a member of the MuslimAnswers.net Team
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيم
One interesting argument I recently happened to read from the Atheist camp goes as follows in its logical structure:
Suppose that I am looking forward to a promotion in my job, but a moment comes when I suddenly find out that such a promotion will not occur, and I am disappointed at this shock. The atheist says that this feeling of disappointment and the knowledge of how it feels to be suddenly disappointed is only known to me, not to a supposed God. They say this would show that God cannot possibly have the accumulation of all possible knowledge, and thus claiming that God is “All-Knowing” makes no sense. There are many other variations of the “individual being surprised at sudden information and whether it relates to God”, and the question as posed is somewhat different from what I read, but this example should suffice, since the differing examples revolve around this same concept.
What we as Muslims say that Allah has the knowledge of these “emergent pieces of information” and their effects on the human psyche as well, since He is not a “Deist” type of deity, but rather the One from whom all things and all emotions are Created, and it is not possible for Him to create that which He does not know in its full details and particulars, whether these affect the humanly normally or in a more sudden manner.
But we also say that Allah’s “not feeling that person’s disappointment” in terms of internal emotional and physical bodily processes connected with disappointment and sudden shock is to begin with a contradiction in terms, since such a “feeling” cannot be attributed to Allah to begin with. This is so, since such a supposition would conflate what is taken to be the nature of Allah and that of the Creation by saying that bodily processes connected with creational disappointment (such as sequential seeing and hearing, sequential gaining of information, and so forth) are also attributable to Allah, while this is a false assertion.
Thus, knowledge of what the specifics of this disappointment entail is with Allah, but the literal experiencing of these physical and emotional feelings and thought processes are not to be attributed to Allah in His Self in the way the atheist (or anyone else for that matter) might imagine.