Just as Islam has five pillars (please recall tohe definitions of Islam and Pillar), so Iman (please recall the definition of Iman in all of its three necessary components) also has six pillars, taught to us by the Prophet (saws). These pillars are:

Belief in Allah;

Belief in the angels;

Belief in the revealed books;

Belief in the commissioned Messengers (peace be upon them).

Belief in the resurrection and the events of Qiyamah.

Belief in the predestination by Allah of all things, both the (seemingly) good and the (seemingly) bad.

The First Pillar

Belief in Allah Most High.

  • It is the foundation of the Islamic personality.
  • It is a basic human need, more basic than the need for his provision and sustenance.
  • Acts of worship only become real and valid with the feeling and awareness of their Object.
  • supplication
  • love
  • humility
  • fear
  • hope/reliance
  • adoration
  • Differences between the Creator and His creation.
  • He is free of any need for others.
  • He is the sole Creator of all that which pleases Him (and that which doesn’t).
  • Allah has ordered His creation and forbidden them only in ways which are in their best interest.
  • He sent the Messengers and the books with the truth Ilm-ul-Ghaib.

He alone can guide to Iman. This is why the people of paradise will say:

[All praise be to Allah who guided us to this, for we never would have been guided to it if He had not guided us to it.]

The best worship is insufficient as gratitude for his bounties and mercies – they always fall short and we are need of His forgiveness.

No one’s works will merit paradise. There is no contradiction between the Hadith:

None shall enter Paradise by his actions. and the verse which says:

[These are the people of paradise, therein forever, a reward for that which they used to do.]

Every human needs Allah’s forgiveness of his sins.

The Second Pillar

Belief in the Angels.

Belief that among Allah’s creation are angels.

Real beings, not illusions or figments of human imagination.

Created from light.

A Muslim must believe specifically in all the angels named and/or described in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Jibreel: in charge of delivering revelation.

Mika’il: in charge of bringing the rain.

Israfil: the blower of the horn on Qiyamah.

Malik-ul-Maut: the Angel of Death who takes people’s souls at death.

The Noble Recorders: those who record people’s actions.

The Protectors (Al-Mu’aqqibat): who keep people from death until its decreed time.

Ridhwan: in charge of Paradise.

Malik: in charge of Hell.

Munkar and Nakir: the questioners in the grave.

The Carriers of the Throne.

Those who record the future of the foetus.

Those who enter the Haraam: 70,000 every day.

Those who move about, descending upon gatherings at which Allah and His Book are mentioned and studied.

Belief in the angels is an integral part of Iman.

[See 2/285 Al-Baqarah]

Kufr with respect to the angels is Kufr.

[See 4/136 An-Nisaa]

They are not some metaphysical force or aspect of the human psyche or self. Deviants have said such things for many centuries, and it was not a new deviation when it was being propagated in America during this century.

The Third Pillar

Belief in the Books of Allah.

General belief in the phenomenon of the sending of books.

Six specific books mentioned in the Qur’an:

As-Suhuf of Ibrahim and Musa.

Az-Zaboor given to Daud.

At-Taurat revealed to Musa.

Al-Injeel revealed to Isa.

Al-Qur’an – the final revelation.

Attributes of the Qur’an:

Flawless and untampered with:

[See 41/42 Fusilat]

The final authority over any remnants of the previous books.

[See 5/48 Al-Maidah]

A guidance and a mercy.

[See 10/37 Yunus]

The Qur’an must be followed and applied.

[See 6/155 Al-An’aam]

Hadith narrated by Ali:

The Prophet (saws) said: Verily, there will be fitan. I said: What is the way out of them, Messenger of Allah? He said: The Book of Allah; in it is news of those who came before you; news of what is to come after you; the ruling on that which is between you; it is the decisive criterion, and is not jest. Whoever leaves it among the arrogant ones will be made small by Allah; whoever seeks guidance from other than it will be sent astray by Allah. It is the mighty rope of Allah, the Wise Reminder, and the Straight Path. With it, inclinations do not deviate nor tongues become confused. Scholars are never satiated with it; it never becomes tiresome with repetition; its wonders never diminish. … Whoever speaks by it is truthful; whoever applies it is rewarded; whoever judges by it is just; and whoever calls to it is guided to a straight path.

– Narrated by At-Tirmidhi [Its chain is not strong because of two unknown narrators.]

The Fourth Pillar

Belief in the prophets, prayers and salutations of Allah be upon them.

Belief in the process of prophethood.

Allah in His wisdom did not neglect His creation.

Prophets sent to guide us in this life and the next.

Specific belief in the 25 prophets named in the Qur’an: (1)Adam, (2)Nuh, (3)Idris, (4)Saleh, (5)Ibrahim, (6)Hud, (7)Lut, (8)Yunus, (9)Isma’il, (10)Is-haq, (11)Ya’qub, (12)Yusuf, (13)Ayub, (14)Shu’aib, (15)Musa, (16)Harun, (17)Alyas’, (18)Dhu Al-Kifl, (19)Daud, (20)Zakariya, (21)Sulaiman, (22)Ilyas, (23)Yahya, (24)Isa, and (25)Muhammad, prayers and salutations of Allah be upon him and upon all the messengers of Allah.

General belief that there are many other prophets and messengers, but never assuming anything without knowledge from Allah.

The subject matter of the prophethood.

Warnings and glad tidings.

So the disobedient will have no excuse before Allah. (Prophets sent to every nation.)

Enjoining the worship of Allah and the avoidance of At-Taghoot (Shaitaan, etc.)

[Study: 4/165, An-Nisaa; 16/36, An-Nahl]

Prophets are the best of the Awliyaa (Allies) of Allah.

What is wilaya; what it isn’t.

Wilaya, Iman, Kufr and Nifaaq are all variable attributes which can all be present to varying degrees.

The best of Allah allies are the prophets (a.s.).

The best among the prophets are the messengers.

The best among the messengers are the five firmly intentioned mentioned in the Qur’an.

[See: 42/13, Ash-Shuraa]

The best of the firmly intentioned is Muhammad (saws).

Attributes of the Prophet Muhammad:

Seal of the prophets; Imam of the pious; Foremost among the sons of Adam; Imam and Khatib of the prophets when they assembled; Possessor of the Praiseworthy Position which all of mankind will wish they had attained (and which is mentioned in the Du’a of hearing the adhan); Owner of the pool in paradise; Intercessor for all mankind on the day of Qiyamah.

Allah sent him with the best of the books and the best of His law. Allah made his nation the best nation brought forth for mankind. Allah gave him (and us) all of the good that was given only partially to the previous nations. His nation is the last in creation, the first in resurrection.

From the moment of his prophethood, Allah made him the criterion (Al-Farooq) for distinguishing Allah’s allies and their actions from His enemies and their actions: None can have any relationship to Allah except through belief in the Prophet (saws) and following what he brought in public and in secret. Whoever claims love or closeness to Allah while disobeying the message is actually drawing closer to Sheytan, farther from Allah.

The Fifth Pillar

Belief in the resurrection . Reconstruction of the body and return of the soul to it. People will come forth out of their graves like locusts. Faces bent down. Rushing to the Caller.

[See 53/76 Al-Qamar; 70/43 Al-Ma’arij; 17/49 Al-Israa; 36/78 Yasin; 20/108 Taha]

The resurrection is of the body and the soul, not some metaphysical resurrection of the latter.

Twelve verses from the Qur’an which prove that.

Hadith: The sun will come down toward the people on the day of Qiyamah until it is only about a mile up. The people will be in their own perspiration according to their acts: some of them will be in it up to their ankles, some up to their groin and others up to their chins, and he pointed to his mouth. Narrated by Muslim.

A disbeliever once came to the Prophet (saws) with an old bone, crumbled it with his hand and said: O Muhammad, will Allah bring this back to life after it has rotted?! The Prophet said: Yes, Allah will resurrect this and he will cause you to die, bring you back to life, and put you into the fire of Jahannam!

The Sixth Pillar

Belief In Predestination and Decree

A Muslim believes in Allah’s predestination of all things and events (Qadhaa), His decree (Qadar), His wisdom in His actions, and His will. Nothing in the universe can occur, even the voluntary actions of His slaves, except after Allah’s knowledge, and His decree of that event. A Muslim further believes that Allah is Just in His predestination and His decree, Wise in all of His actions. His wisdom follows His will: Whatever He wills is, and whatever He does not will is not. There is no power nor any movement except by Allah. This is substantiated by the textual and logical proofs which follow:

Textual Evidence

1) Allah informed us of this in the Qur’an:

[Verily, we have created everything in (predetermined) measure.] Qur’an 54/49

[And there is nothing whatsoever but that its reserves are with us, and we do not send it down except in known measure.] Qur’an 15/21

[No calamity strikes in the earth nor in your selves but that was in a book since before We created it (i.e. the event). That is easy for Allah.] Qur’an 57/22

[No calamity strikes except with the permission of Allah.] Qur’an 64/11

[Say: Nothing will befall us except what Allah had decreed for us, He is our protecting Ally, and upon Allah let the believers depend.] Qur’an 9/51

[And with Him are the keys of the unseen, no one knows them except Him. He knows all that is in the ocean and on the land. No leaf falls without His knowledge, nor any particle in the dark recesses of the earth, nor anything green and fresh or dry and withered but that it is in a clear book.] Qur’an 6/59

[This is nothing less than a reminder to all the worlds. * For whoever among you has an intention to go straight. * But you will never have this intention unless Allah so wills, Lord of the worlds.] Qur’an 81/27-29

[Those for whom good has already been decreed by us will be far removed from it (i.e. hell).] Qur’an 21/101

[If only, when you entered your garden, you had said: (This is only) by the will of Allah. There is no power except from Allah.] Qur’an 18/39

[Praise be to Allah who guided us to this, and we would never have attained guidance if Allah had not guided us.] Qur’an 7/43

2) The Prophet (saws), too, has informed us about the reality of Allah’s predestination and decree in many hadith:

Verily, each one of you is formed in his mother’s womb forty days as a drop, then he is something suspended for a similar period, then he is a piece of flesh like a chewed piece of meat for another period of forty days, then the angel is sent to insert the soul. This angel is ordered to record four things: the sustenance which he will receive during his lifetime, the length of his life, all actions that he will do, and whether he will end up miserable (in hell) or joyous (in paradise). I swear by the One other than whom there is no deity, one of you may do the works of the people of paradise right up until there is only an arm’s length between him and paradise, but his destiny overtakes him, so he does the actions of the people of the fire and enters it. And, verily, one of you may do the works of the people of hell until there is nothing between them and hell except for one arm’s length, but his destiny overtakes him, and so he does the works of the people of paradise, and enters it. (Muslim)

Young man, I will teach you some words: Preserve (your obligations toward) Allah and He will preserve you. Guard (your obligations toward) Allah, and you will find Him on your side. When you ask, ask Allah. When you seek aid and succour, seek it from Allah. And know, that if the entire nation got together to benefit you in some way, they could never benefit you at all except for that which Allah had already decreed for you. And, if they all got together to harm you in some way, they could do you no harm except for that which Allah had already decreed for you. The pens have been lifted, and the tablets have dried. (At-Tirmidhi, and he rated it Sahih.)

The first thing which Allah created was the pen. Then, He said to it: Write. It asked: My Lord, what should I write? He said: Write the proportions of all things up until the Hour. (Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, and it is hassan.)

Adam disputed with Musa. Musa said to Adam: O, Adam, you are the father of the human race, Allah created you with His hand, and blew into you of His spirit, and made His angels prostrate to you, why did you expel yourself and us from the garden? Adam said to him: You are Musa whom Allah favoured with His speech, and wrote for you the Taurah with His hand, so (tell me) by how many years before my creation did you find it written about me: [… then Adam disobeyed his Lord and got lost.] (Qur’an 20:121)? Musa said: By forty years. Then, Adam said: So how do you blame me for something which Allah had decreed for me before my creation by forty years? The Prophet said: And so, Adam defeated Musa in the dispute.

Iman (faith) is to believe in Allah, His angels, His revealed books, His messengers, the last day, and the predestination of all things both (those which appear) good and (those which appear) bad. (Muslim)

Act, for each of you will find easy that for which he was created. (Muslim)

Verily, oaths do not change destiny. (Sahih)

O, Abdullah ibn Qais, should I not teach you a word which is one of the treasures of paradise? (It is to say): There is no movement nor any power except from Allah.

Someone said: That which Allah wants and you want. To which the Prophet (saws) replied: That which Allah alone wants. (An-Nasaa’i, and he rated it sahih)

3) Millions of people from the nation of Muhammad (saws) have believed in Allah’s predestination and decree of all things and events including its scholars, righteous ones and others. They all believed too in His wisdom and His will and that everything is known to Allah in advance of its occurrence, and only takes place by His decree. Nothing can take place anywhere in His kingdom except for that which He wills. What He wills is, and what He does not will is not. The pen has already recorded the destinies of all things up to the establishment of the hour.

Evidence Of Reason

1) Reason does not reject the idea of predestination and decree and of Allah’s wisdom and His will. Just the opposite, reason demands that this is the case without doubt because of the clear evidences of it in the universe around us.

2) Belief in Allah and in his perfect might and power demands the belief in His predestination and His decree, His wisdom and His will.

3) An architect is able to make drawings for a huge building on a piece of paper. He determines the time in which it will be built, and then works at the execution of his plan, bringing the reality of the building from the paper to reality in the time set for its accomplishment, and in accordance with what he drew on the paper, neither more nor less. This being the case for a human, how could anyone reject the fact that Allah has set the proportions of all things from now until the hour? And then, due to the perfection of His knowledge and His power, He brings about those assigned proportions just as He had pre-set them in terms of quantity, nature, time, and place. There is no reason to reject these facts once we know that Allah is capable of all things!

The Affirmation Of Allah’s Characteristics (Without Negation, Analogy, Distortion Or Speculation)

The Author: Part of the belief in Allah is the belief in all that with which He has described Himself in His Book or with which His Prophet (saws) has described Him without any distortion, negation, speculation (as to the exact nature of these attributes), nor analogy (i.e. between Allah’s attributes and those of His creation bearing the same names).

This section is a more detailed explanation of the first pillar of Iman: belief in Allah Most High. This is, of course the most fundamental principle in Islam, and the foundation of all other principles of belief and action.

Distortion (At-Tahreef).

Distortion of the Names and Attributes themselves (i.e. the words) and (b) Distortion of their meanings.


The Jahmiy (follower of the deviations of Al-Jahm ibn Safwan) negates Allah’s statement about himself that he sat on the throne by adding an extra letter to the word in the Qur’an.

[Istawaa ‘alaa al-‘arsh] ==> [Istawlaa ‘alaa al-‘arsh]

The innovators who changed the case of a noun in the Qur’an in an effort to negate Allah’s attribute of speech:

[Wa kallama Allahu Musa takleeman] ==> [Wa kallama Allaha Musa takleeman]

Others distorted meanings of Allah’s attributes without actually changing the words. Examples include those who said that Allah’s anger (u>Ghadhab) means His intention to punish, His mercy (u>Rahma) means his intention to have mercy, His hand (u>Yad) is His generosity or His power, etc.

Negation (At-Ta’teel):

The meaning of the word is to leave, neglect or be done with something, or for something to be unused and non-functional. The technical meaning here is the negation or denial of any or all of Allah’s Attributes. Negation of Allah’s attributes can be divided into three categories:

Negation of the Exalted Perfection of Allah Most High via the negation of His Names and Glorious Attributes such as was done by the Jahmiya and the Mu’tazila.

Negation through negation of appropriate interaction with Allah and neglect of worship of Him and obedience to Him, or the association of others with Him in acts of worship and/or obedience.

Negation of the relationship of the creation to its Creator, such as the negation of the philosophers who claimed that this physical universe has no beginning, and that it has always and will always work according to its own internal rules. They turn Allah into an essence with no attributes – which is an impossibility!

Speculation And Analogy (At-Takyeef Wa At-Tamtheel):

At-Takyeef means attempts to ascribe a detailed understanding of the exact nature of the various attributes with which Allah has described Himself. At-Tamtheel means to make a direct comparison or analogy between one of Allah’s attributes and a human attribute having the same name, such as the comparison of Isa by the Christians to Allah Most High, or that of Uzair by the Jews or that of the idols by the polytheists to Allah Most High. Likewise the Mushabbiha among the Muslims who compare Allah with His creation by saying that He has a face like our faces, hands like our hands, hearing and sight like ours, etc.

The author said elsewhere: Rather [the believers] believe that Allah Most High is not comparable to anything or anyone else, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. They do not negate or deny any of that with which He described Himself, nor [do they] distort the words out of their proper context. They do not deviate [with respect to] His Names and His Verses. They do not seek detailed descriptions of the exact nature of His attributes without sources of that knowledge, nor compare His attributes with those of His creation, because there are none comparable to Him, nor any equal or partner!

Tauhid of Allah’s Names and Attributes means belief in everything which has come in the Qur’an and the authenticated hadith regarding Allah’s attributes with which He described Himself in the Qur’an, or with which His Prophet (saws) has described Him. A Muslim must believe in the reality of these attributes just as they have come in the above sources, without attempting to analyse the how of any of them, nor to attempt to represent them with something else, nor to view them as equivalent to something else, nor to re-interpret them with other than their apparent meanings in the Arabic language, nor to distort or negate them maintaining the belief that…

[There is nothing whatsoever similar to Him, and He is the Hearer, the Seer.] Ash-Shooraa/11

Allah said:

[Say: He is Allah, the One * Allah, the one sought for all needs, the self-sufficient, the eternal. * He bears not offspring, nor was He born, * And there exists nothing comparable to Him.] Qur’an Al-Ikhlaas/all

[And to Allah belong the best of names, so call Him with them, and leave those who deviate with regard to His names – they will be fully repaid for all that they used to do.] As- A’raaf/180

The Position Of Ahlu As-Sunnah With Regard To Allah’s Attributes

The Prophet (saws) said: The best of generations is my generation. It is followed (in superiority) by the one which comes after it, then the one which comes after that, then the one which comes after that.

Ahlu As-Sunna acknowledge and believe that Allah ta’ala is completely unlike and cannot be compared to any created being, neither in His essence, His attributes, His actions or His names. All of His names are glorious, and all of His attributes are attributes of perfection and absolute greatness. The ultimate and most concise proof of the position of ahlu as-sunnah is found in the verse cited earlier, in which Allah says:

[There is nothing whatsoever similar to Him, and He is the Hearer, the Seer.] Ash-Shooraa/11

This verse contains a negation which is followed immediately by an affirmation. The fact that Allah negates the possibility of anything or anyone being comparable or like Him, and follows that immediately with he affirmation of two of His glorious names and perfect attributes, puts an absolute end to the confusing arguments and sophistries of the innovators in the area of Allah’s names/attributes. When one comprehends fully the meaning of this verse and contemplates it, it is alone is sufficient for an understanding of this issue. It is further supported by the following verses:

[He knows all that is in front of them and all that is behind them, and they are incapable of encompassing Him with their knowledge.] Taha/110

[He knows all that is in front of them and all that is behind them, and they can encompass nothing of his knowledge (with their understanding) except what He so wills.] Al-Baqarah/ 255

The author said elsewhere:

those who used their imaginations, (2) those who distort meanings through non-apparent interpretation, and (3) those who postulate ignorance of their meanings on the part of the Prophet (saws) and the believers.

The imaginers are the philosophers and those who followed their path among sophists (u>Al-Mutakallimeen) and Sufis. The essence of their position is that they say: All that the Prophet (saws) has mentioned to us in the area of belief in Allah and the last day is just an imaginary conception of the realities delivered in a form that the masses could benefit from, but which do not make any of that reality clear or guide the creation to an understanding of them.

Beyond this, they fall into two groups: One group says that the Prophet (saws) did not have true knowledge of these realities, and they say that some of the later philosophers and spiritual seekers after him have arrived at this knowledge! They place some of the supposed awliyaa’ on a higher lever than the commissioned messengers! This is the belief of the many of the sufis and the Shi’a. Another group says that while the Prophet (saws) had knowledge of these realities, he did not make them clear to the people. In fact, they claim that he taught them meanings actually at odds with the realities which he understood because that was what was beneficial to them. Thus, their argument is that it was required of the Prophet (saws) to call the people to belief in Allah having attributes that they could understand, to the resurrection of our bodies on Qiyama, to eating and drinking in Al-Jannah, not because these things are real, but because it would not have been possible to call the people except with such things. Thus they allege that the Prophet (saws) was ordered to lie to the people for their own good. As for the practical applications and laws of Islam, they go two different ways: some accept their obligation upon them, while others say that they only apply to some people or that they apply to the common masses, but that certain special individuals become exempt from their requirements.

Those who distort by allegorical interpretation say that the Prophet (saws) did not intend, in these texts dealing with Allah’s attributes, that people should believe untruths; rather, he intended with them certain meanings which, however, he did not make clear, or did he point them in their direction. Rather, he wanted them to seek and attempt to know the realities with their minds, and then to fit the texts through interpretation to the meanings at which they arrive. In their belief, the teachings of the Prophet (saws) were nothing more than a test or a requirement of them to seek to know the truth from other sources, and not from him (saws).

Those who postulate ignorance (and there are many of them who claim adherence to the sunnah) claim that the Prophet (saws) did not know the meanings of the revelations about Allah’s attributes, nor did Jibreel. According to this, the Prophet (saws) spoke to us with things which he himself did not understand. They cite Allah’s statement that:

[None knows their true meanings (or interpretation) except Allah.]

This is basically a correct position, except for the fact that they failed to differentiate between meaning and interpretation (i.e. tafsir).

No Analogies Or Comparisons Can Be Made Between Allah Most High And His Creation

Allah Most High said: [So do not posit similitude’s to Allah; Verily Allah knows and you know not.] An-Nahl/74. Allah ta’ala cannot be compared to any among His creation in His actions and His attributes, just as He cannot be compared to any of them in his essence.

This position of the Sunnah and its followers, is at odds with he deviation of the Mu’tazilah and those among the Shi’a who imitated them. They make analogies between Allah and His creation and make Allah comparable to His creation and subject to the same methods of analysis. Then they proceeded to fabricate a law from themselves, saying that Allah must do such and such and must not do such and such.

The Mu’tazilah and those who follow their way are Mushabbiha in relation to Allah’s actions, and Mu’attilah in relation to His attributes. They reject some of what Allah has attributed to Himself, and they call that Tauhid; and they have made Him comparable to His creation in analysis of praiseworthy and blameworthy actions, calling that justice.

Their justice is a rejection of Allah’s absolute power and control over his creation (the Sixth Pillar of Iman, above), and is in reality shirk. Their tauhid is deviation with regard to his names and their rejection or negation (ta’teel).

[And to Allah belong the best of names, so call Him with them, and leave those who deviate with regard to His names – they will be fully repaid for all that they used to do.] As- A’raaf/180

In short, Allah’s is the utmost example (in all of his attributes); comparisons and analogies, either partial or total, cannot be drawn between Him and His creation.

[And His is the utmost example in the heavens and the earth, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.] Ar-Rum/27

Thus, any attribute of perfection or power with which humans can be described, is in its ultimate meaning, and is most appropriate when applied to Allah, ta’ala. And any negative attribute or shortcoming which is negated from humans by way of praise is in its ultimate meaning, and is most appropriate when applied to Allah ta’ala.

All issues of Allah’s attributes and names must be taken back, both to affirm and deny, to that which Allah said about Himself, and that which His Prophet (saws) taught us about Him. These sources cannot be neglected in favour of those who forge lies about Allah, and speak about Him that which they know not.

The author: And [Allah is] more truthful in speech and superior in discourse to his slaves…. This is taken from the verse:

[Allah! There is no deity but Him. He will surely bring you all together to the day of Qiyamah; there is no doubt therein; and who is more truthful in discourse than Allah?] An-Nisaa/87

Allah’s discourse is on the absolute highest level of truth. Any knowledge which contradicts the discourse of Allah is falsehood, lies or deception since it contradicts the ultimate and infallible truth.

The author: Further, His messengers are truthful and among those who believe as true… Truthfulness (As-Sidq) means accordance between statement and reality. Those who believe as true (Musaddiqeen) refers to their complete belief in the revelations which came to them.

The author: …This, in contrast to those who say about Allah that which they know not. This includes those who speak, based on speculation and their own minds, understandings and inclinations about Allah: His law, His Deen, His names or His attributes.

Allah said:

[Glorified is your Lord, the Lord of might above that which they attribute to Him. * And peace be upon the messengers. * And all praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.] As-Saaffaat/180-182.

Allah Cannot Be Compared To His Creation

The verses quoted previously are a concise expression of the position of the true worshippers of Allah in relation to His attributes about which He has informed us through His Messenger (saws). In the first verse, Allah declares His perfection and his remoteness from any of the things which humans attempt to ascribe to him with their minds. Next, He invokes a greeting upon the commissioned messengers – because of their faithful delivery of the true teachings about Allah and His attributes. Finally, He finishes by invoking to Himself Al-Hamd the ultimate praise which is due only to Him because of His glorious attributes of perfection and might.

Now, we will take a closer look at the meaning of the words in the verse.

{Subhaana Rabbika Rabbi Al-‘Izzati ‘Amma Yasifoon; Wa Salaamun ‘Alaa Al-Mursaleen; Wa Al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbi Al-Aalameen}


This is a verbal noun derived from the same root as Tasbeeh which connotes declaration of Allah’s freedom of all defects (and His deanthropomorphism) and His distance from all that is bad. Prayer has been called Tasbeeh, since this attitude toward Allah is the heart of all belief and worship.


Strength, power, dominion and control.


The Lord and Cherisher of all of His creation with a multitude of bounties and provisions.


Greetings (the greetings of peace) upon the Messengers. It also connotes integrity and freedom from defects (as opposed to those who speak of Allah as they imagine Him to be) in their teachings, since Salaama comes from the same root.


Plural of Rasool (Messenger). The Messengers are those to whom a law has been revealed from Allah, and who have been ordered to propagate it.


An expression of praise based on the good action which the praised one has done by his will and choice, whether that action has benefited the praiser or others beside him.

The General Meaning of the Three Verses:

These verses are a very important lesson in Tauhid, and an apt closing to Sura As-Saaffaat in which Allah has declared himself free of any consort, wife, partner, son or companion. This is so the Muslim may never be unmindful of these truths, and may place the seal of Tauhid on all of his good actions. Allah declares Himself free of all of the attributes which have been ascribed to Him by those who oppose the Messengers or deviate from their messages – attributes which are not appropriate to His greatness and perfection. The greeting upon the Messengers which follows this is because of the complete integrity and reliability of all that they taught about Allah, Most High. In this, also, is an indication that just as a Muslim must have a belief in Allah free from any shortcoming or flaw, a Muslim likewise must believe in the integrity of all of the Messengers in their actions and their statements. None of the Messengers ever lied about Allah, associated anything with Him or deceived their nations about Him; they speak nothing about Him but the truth, may the prayers and peace of Allah be upon them.

The people of the Sunnah are unanimous in affirming that the Messengers are infallible in their delivering of the message. It is impossible that anything could stabilize in their teaching and practice of the Shariah which is not Allah’s ruling. It is obligatory to believe all that of which they have informed us and to obey them in that which they have ordered and forbidden. Although a Muslim commits sins (and does not thereby cease being a Muslim), they are not to be accepted from him. Further, if he repents a true repentance, he may, with Allah’s mercy reach a superior state than the one previous to his sin and repentance.

It has been narrated that the Prophet (saws) used to recite these three verses just before giving Salaam in his prayer. It is also narrated as a du’a to be said at the conclusion of a sitting.

How To Believe In Allah’s Names And Attributes

The Author: Allah, subhaanahu, has combined in that with which He has described and named Himself negation (of all faults and negative attributes) and affirmation (of all attributes of might and perfection). The people of the Sunnah will turn nowhere away from that which the Messengers have brought. It is the Straight Path, the path of those upon whom Allah has bestowed His grace among the prophets, the ever-truthful, ever-faithful disciples, the martyrs, and all other righteous ones.

Thus, belief in Allah’s names and attributes is based upon two fundamental principles: negation and affirmation. Negation refers to rejecting with respect to Allah all attributes which contradict His perfection, including all types of faults, weaknesses or needs. We reject the idea that Allah could have any partner or peer. Nor can there be any comparable to Him in any of his attributes or the rights due to him alone. There are two types of affirmation: affirmation of general attributes such as Allah’s absolute perfection, majesty, etc; and affirmation of detailed attributes such as His detailed knowledge of all things, his decree of all events, His mercy, etc.

Negation (of a negative attribute) alone, not accompanied by affirmation (of its opposite) is not praise and is not befitting Allah. Thus, every negation which Allah has attributed to himself contains and implies the affirmation of its opposite. Allah’s negation of His having any partner or sharing any common attributes with any of his creation or of anything escaping His knowledge or of his acting with frivolity or of His forgetting, becoming tired or being touched by sleep all imply their opposites among Allah’s attributes of perfection.

The Author: The way of life in Allah’s eyes is Islam, and it is the straight path.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said (paraphrased): The best expression of the meaning of As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem is that it is the path which Allah set for his slaves on the tongues of His messengers, upon them be peace, and made it the path to Him – there is no other way for them. The straight path is dedicating all worship solely to Allah, and obedience solely to His messengers (among men). This then is the guidance, and it is knowledge of the truth and its application.

The way to Allah is one and no more. The Straight Path is sometimes attached by possessive to Allah {And this is my path which is straight}, because He is the one who ordained it and set it as the way to success for His slaves. Other times it is so attached to those who follow it, as in Sura Al-Fatiha, since they are the ones who traverse it.

As-Siraat in the Qur’an is of two types: spiritual (or abstract) and physical. The spiritual path is what we have been discussing, and the physical, tangible path (siraat) is the one which will be placed over the fire of Jahannam on Qiyamah. The people will pass over this bridge (or fail to) according to their actions in this life. The degree of their steadfastness on the metaphysical path while in this life will be directly reflected in their steadfastness and ability to cross over the physically real path which leads to Al-Jannah.

{Verily Jahannam is a place of ambush. * A destination for the transgressors. * Who will remain therein for ages. * Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink. * Except for boiling liquid and a liquid dark and murky. * A fitting recompense. * Verily, they used not to expect any taking of accounts. * And they arrogantly treated our verses as lies. * And all things we have recorded in a book. An-Naba’/21-29.

Testimony That Muhammed (saws) Is Allah’s Messenger

And I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s slave and messenger, may Allah’s prayers be upon him and upon his people (Aal) and his companions and Allah’s greetings (or peace) in abundance…

Meaning: I accept and believe in an absolute fashion that Muhammad is the slave of Allah and His messenger to all peoples of both men and jinn. He came as a bringer of glad tidings and a warner, a caller to Allah with His leave and a bright light of guidance. Thus, it is obligatory to believe him in each and every issue about which he informed us, whether past, present or future and to obey him in each and every order and forbiddance and to follow the law which he brought (Shari’ah) and his path (Sunnah).

The testimony to Muhammad’s (saws) status of slave of Allah and messenger goes hand in hand with the testimony as to the oneness of Allah, one is of no use without the other. In so bearing witness, a believer acknowledges the perfect servitude of Muhammad (saws) to Allah Most High and the completeness and perfection of his message. In so doing, we acknowledge the complete example in the person of the Prophet (saws) and that his person, life and example far exceed every other created being in every aspect including the law, his devotion to Allah, his character, etc.

[There is for you in Allah’s Messenger a good example for whoever hopes for Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.] Al-Ahzab 21

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: Just as Muhammad (saws) was sent with the message intended for every responsible being in Allah’s creation, likewise, his message was general and inclusive of all issues of life and religion both general principles and details. Just as no one is outside the scope of his message, likewise no ruling or judgement of which the nation has a need is outside the scope of his message or not explained fully by his message. Ibn Taimia said: The entire Din falls under the two testimonies since their meaning is that we worship none but Allah and that we obey his Messenger (saws). The entire religion of Islam consists of this: worship of Allah by obedience to His messenger. Every issue which is required or loved by Allah falls under obeying Allah and His messenger (saws).

The Messengers Are The Best of The Creation And the Most Truthful

Whoever contemplates that which was brought by the Prophet (saws) will come to know that it could not have been delivered except by most knowledgeable and the most truthful and most righteous of Allah’s creation. Such a teaching could not have come from someone intentionally lying and committing a forgery against Allah nor from someone ignorant who imagined that Allah has commissioned him. We know this from the perfection and completeness of the message of Islam. It guides mankind to that which is most beneficial to them and makes clear many issues which the human mind understands in general but is incapable of arriving at its details. The message contains knowledge at a level of perfection which could only have come from the All-Knowing and delivered by the most trustworthy and honest of mankind. And, it contains perfect benefit, good and guidance of the creation to that which will benefit them and warning them against that which will harm them that it could only have come from the Most Merciful, delivered the most compassionate, merciful and truthful of Allah’s creation, Muhammad, may the prayers and salutations of Allah be upon him.

Once we have understood that Muhammad (saws) is Allah’s messenger by our reason and by the transmitted evidence which has reached us and then find something in our mind which is at odds with any part of the message, logic and intellect demand that we submit the issue of difference between our own thinking and the message of Muhammad (saws) to the one more knowledgeable of all such issues. A Muslim would never give his opinion precedence over any statement of the Prophet (saws), knowing that his own intellect, no matter how great, falls far short of that of the Prophet (saws) and that the Prophet (saws) is more knowledgeable of Allah, His Names and Attributes, His law and of the hereafter.

The difference in knowledge between the most knowledgeable of the Muslims and the Prophet (saws) is much greater than the difference between an average man and a master doctor. When we are sick, we follow the prescriptions of the doctor even though we know that his medicines often don’t help and sometimes harm and that he makes mistakes. How then could we fail to follow the prescriptions of the Messenger (saws).

Our lack of knowledge of certain realities does not affect their reality. All that of which we have been informed by the Truthful messenger is established whether we know it or not — it is not affected by our knowledge of it one way or the other. All that of which the Prophet (saws) has informed us is truth regardless of who believed in it and who didn’t and all guidance which the Prophet (saws) delivered is from Allah, regardless of who obeyed it and who rebelled against it.

What is clear from all this is that intellect is not a source of establishing the law. Knowledge can neither give it any attribute nor affect it in any way since knowledge here only seeks to understand the message of Allah which is not in need of it in any way. To make this clearer, let us understand that knowledge is of two types. One type is a condition to the existence of its subject such as the comprehension of one of us of what we wish to do before undertaking doing it. The second type is theoretical knowledge of something which is self-existing and in no need of anyone’s knowledge of it. Examples of this are our knowledge of the oneness of Allah, the truthfulness of His messenger (saws) and the perfection of His law. The relationship of the Shariah to our own knowledge and understanding is along these lines. The Shariah which Allah sent down to us through His messenger is established and constant in and of itself, whether we understand it with our minds or not. It is in no need of our minds or our understanding. We, on the other hand are in dire need to know it and understand it with our minds so that we can gain its benefit. Our knowledge of the Shariah and of Islam will change the nature of our mind and elevate it to a higher level and ignorance of it will leave us ignorant and unguided even though none of that will have any effect on the reality of Allah’s Din which is established and unchanging.

That which is known infallibly through intellectual reasoning is never and can never by in conflict with the revelation of Muhammad (saws). In all such cases which have been claimed, we discover that either the narration cited is a forgery, or its indication of the claimed meaning is ambiguous and unclear. In such a case, the narration is understood in the way which does not conflict with reason.


Discussion Of Texts Dealing With The Attributes Of Allah In Which A Muslim Must Believe

Surah Ikhlas

First: Hadith which reveal the greatness of this Sura (presented orally).

Allah has described Himself with certain attributes in this short Sura which is equivalent to one third of the Qur’an, as the Prophet (saws) said in the hadith. These attributes are among those in which a Muslim must believe. Allah said:

[Say: He is Allah, the One * Allah, the one sought for all needs, the self-sufficient, the eternal. * He bears not offspring, nor was He born, * And there exists nothing comparable to Him.] Qur’an Al-Ikhlaas/all

These, then are among the attributes which a Muslim accepts as they have come in the revelation without negation, analogy, distortion or speculation. The Prophet (saws) informed us in a sahih hadith that this one short sura is equivalent to one third of the Qur’an. This is because all of the knowledge contained in the Qur’an fits into one of three categories:

Knowledge of the Rulings of the Law (Shariah): in which is included the science of Fiqh which deals with Ibadaat (worship), Mu’aamalaat (human interaction) and corollaries of those two;

Knowledge of the Consequences of Our Actions: which includes those actions which are the reason for returns of what their doers deserve, either reward or punishment, and descriptions of some of the details of the rewards and punishments in the hereafter;

Knowledge of Tauhid: This is the most sublime of the three types of knowledge, and includes knowledge of all that is obligatory upon Allah’s slaves in terms of knowledge of Him and belief.

Sura Al-Ikhlas contains the entire foundation for this third type of knowledge (and this, and Allah knows best, is why the Prophet equated it to one third of the Qur’an). Say, He is Allah, the One, i.e. the completely unique in His greatness and perfection, the one and only in his majesty, sublimity and grandeur. This is carried further by the next verse: Allah, the one sought for all needs, the self-sufficient, the eternal, i.e. Allah is the Lord whose lordship is absolute, the Great whose greatness is absolute, the All-Knowing whose knowledge knows no flaw, the absolute Sovereign, and the Perfect in each and every one of His names and attributes. Another meaning of As-Samad in this verse is He who is sought and needed by all creation for all of their needs, wants and aspirations. Thus the word As-Samad is not only one of Allah’s attributes, rather it includes in its meaning the affirmation of all of Allah’s glorious names and sublime attributes. This is the first and greatest aspect of the Tauhid of Allah’s Names and Attributes: affirmation of all of His attributes of perfection and greatness.

The second aspect of the Tauhid of Allah’s names and attributes, is negation with respect to Allah of any progeny, partners or equals. This is found in the next verses: He bears not offspring, nor was He born, * And there exists nothing comparable to Him.

The negation of the process of birth or the betaking of a son is in reality a negation of all types of shirk. Shirk is much more common among the human race than the claim of Allah having a son. Both of them entail the belief in another like unto Allah at least in some aspects. All of this is rejected by sound reasoning as well as the infallible texts of the revelation.

If this imagined son is considered equal to Allah, this means the need of each of them for the other, and that is impossible with respect to Allah, the All-Powerful, the Self-Sufficient.

If, on the other hand, the son is less than equal, this indicates that the father sought him to aid him in something. The fact that all created beings are in absolute need of their Creator for all needs, and that the Creator is absolutely self-sufficient and not in need of them for anything negates totally the concept of father and son with respect to Allah.

Birth is something which occurs not by the choice of the parents. It is impossible for anything to take place which is not by the choice and decree of Allah, Most High.

The betaking of a son is resorted to when one is unable to have their own as a substitute for a natural offspring. To say that about Allah is even worse, since it indicates a lack and a need.

This Sura has been called Al-Ikhlas (i.e., sincerity, completeness of devotion) because it is complete in its description of the Merciful or because it makes the devotion of one who reads and practices it complete and free of associations, either conceptual or practical.

This Sura contains in its meanings all three types of Tauhid. It deals explicitly with the Tauhid of Allah’s names and attributes; the Tauhid of Allah’s lordship is implicit in its meanings; and the Tauhid of worship and obedience is an inevitable consequence of the contents of this Sura.

Knowledge Contained In This Sura

The Oneness of Allah Most High;

The complete need of the creation for Allah, and His absolute lack of any need for them;

A rebuttal of the claim of those who say that the Qur’an is the words of Muhammad;

Rejection of the claim of the Jews that Uzair is the son of Allah and that of the Christians that Isa is His son;

A call to reliance on Allah for all needs;

A call to the worship of Allah alone and with no partner;

Exaltation of Allah above any resemblance to His creation;

Details of belief are to be taken from the Qur’an and the Sunnah only;

A rejection of those who say the nature and its laws are what direct all events in the universe;

Whoever steadfastly believes in the Oneness of Allah, that He is As-Samad and that He is the Doer of whatever He wishes purifies his heart from all contamination of shirk or attachment to other than Allah Most High; and

This Sura includes the rejection of all of the various types of associationism. Multiplicity of the Deity is rejected by the words the One. Allah negates all types of need for others on His part with the word As-Samad. He negates any similarity or equality between Creator and creation with the words He bears not offspring. He negates the possibility of His coming about at a point in time (Al-Huduth) with the words Nor was He born. And, finally, he negates the possibility of any others being at all comparable to Him with the words: And there exists nothing comparable to Him.

Ayat Al Kursiy

All that with which Allah has described Himself in Verse255 of Sura Al-Baqarah, the greatest verse in the Qur’an, also known as the Verse of the Throne (Aayat Al-Kursiy) is also part of the attributes of Allah in which a Muslim believes.

{Allah. There is no Deity but Him, the Living, the Ever-Present Sustainer. Drowsiness can never overtake Him, nor sleep. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the Earth. Who then can intercede in His presence except with His permission? He knows all that is in front of them and all that is behind them; they can encompass nothing of His knowledge except as He wishes. His throne extends over the heavens and the earth; maintaining them causes Him no fatigue whatsoever; and He is the High, the Great.} Baqarah/255.

In the famous hadith of Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet (saws) explains the great power of this verse:

The Prophet (saws) placed me in charge of the of guarding the Zakat of Ramadan. In the night, an intruder came and began taking some of the food. I seized him and said: I will take you to Allah’s Messenger (saws) …. He said: When you go to your bed, read the Verse of the Throne. There will continue to be a guardian from Allah with you until morning, and no Sheytan will approach you. [When this was reported to the Prophet,] He said: He was truthful with you, though he is a liar – that was Sheytan!

Sahih Al-Bukhari/Fadhaa’il Al-Qur’an/10.

who is self-sufficient and absolutely free of any need for any of his creation and (2) who watches over all His creation without interruption; He created them, completed their creation, He provides them sustenance, manages their affairs and extends to them all that they need. This name includes implicitly all of Allah’s attributes of action (u>As-Sifaat Al-Fi’liya). This is why it has been narrated that Al-Hayy Al-Qayoom is the greatest name of Allah which, when du’a is made in this name, it is answered; i.e. because of Al-Hayy including all of Allah’s attributes of His essence and Al-Qayoom including all of His attributes of action.

Then, Allah expounds upon His attribute of Al-Qayoom (the Ever-Present Sustainer, and the Self-Sufficient), by declaring that drowsiness can never overtake him, nor sleep.

After that, Allah mentions the totality of His dominion over the upper worlds and the lower. Another aspect of the completeness of His dominion is that none can intercede in His presence except after His permission. Thus, this verse also mentions Ash-Shafaa’a, an obligatory part of a Muslim’s Aqidah. It is the intercession which takes place after His permission and with His pleasure. The Shafaa’a which is rejected, on the other hand, is that in the beliefs of the Associationists, which is sought from other than Allah and without His permission. Thus, the completeness of Allah’s Greatness and Dominion means that none can ever intercede before Him except those to whom He grants permission and that this permission will only be granted to those with whose actions and speech Allah is pleased. Allah states in the Qur’an that no intercession of anyone will be of benefit to the Associationists.

Next, Allah mentions the greatness of His knowledge, its all-encompassing quality and that nothing whatsoever is hidden from His knowledge. As for His creation, they are not capable of encompassing (i.e. comprehending) anything of His knowledge except to the degree that He so wills. This refers to the portion of His knowledge in the areas of the Shari’ah, Tauhid and the question of predetermination which Allah has allowed some of his creation to have access to and some understanding of. It is an infinitesimally tiny degree of knowledge compared the knowledge of the Creator, Most High. Thus, the angels said to Allah after the discussion about the creation of Adam: Glorified are You! We have no knowledge except that which You have caused us to know. (Sura Al-Baqarah).

After this, Allah Most High gave us a glimpse of His Majesty and Might in a description of His Kursiy, which is as the footrest of the Throne (Al-Arsh) itself. This Kursiy encompasses the heavens and the earth and all that is therein. Allah informs us that he preserves and maintains the heavens and the earth, keeping them from crashing into each other or shaking apart. He caused the whole universe to function smoothly according to the laws which he prescribed for it and in a manner which provides countless bounties and provisions for His creation. The correct interpretation here is that Al-Kursiy and Al-Arsh are not the same thing and that, as the Prophet said in the hadith, the magnitude of the Kursiy in relation to the Arsh is like the size of a ring cast out into the desert compared to the whole desert. In spite of this incredible size of Allah’s creation, He is full capable without any hardship to maintain all of it perfectly from His mighty Arsh to the smallest cell or atom.

{And he is the High, the Great.} Allah concluded this mighty verse with these two names of His. Allah has the attribute of absolute highness and elevation from every perspective. Elevation of His essence meaning his being far above His creation mounted on the Throne and elevation of degree meaning His possession of all attributes of greatness and perfection that those attributes being in the ultimate and absolute form in relation to Allah Most High. And Allah is the Great, possessor of absolute greatness and all perfect attributes of greatness, pride and power.

The Author said elsewhere: It is mandatory to understand that the upper and the lower worlds, all of them put together are tiny in relation to the Creator, Most High, as has been clearly established in the texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. No comparisons whatsoever may be made between the two magnitudes. The heavens and the earth and all that is therein is, in Allah’s grasp, like nothing more than a mustard seed in the grasp of a human being. Furthermore, the whole of Allah’s creation knows instinctively to look for their Lord in the upward direction, in contrast to some of the Associationists or philosophers who have become confused on this issue. [paraphrased]

Knowledge contained In This Ayat

Assertion of Allah’s deity ship.

His oneness in His attribute of deity ship.

Assertion of Allah’s attribute of Life.

Assertion of Allah’s attributes of a) self sufficiency and lack of all need for anyone and b) His complete and total maintenance of and care for His entire creation on a continuous basis without interruption. (Both concepts are from the term Al-Qayoom.)

Exaltation of Allah (negation) above any possibility of drowsiness or sleep.

Negation of Allah’s ever being incapable of anything.

Assertion of the absolute and complete nature of Allah’s knowledge and that it encompasses everything in His creation.

Assertion of the completeness of Allah’s dominion and that to him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth both in terms of their original creation and His ownership of them after than, in which He has no partner or competitor.

His total control over knowledge of His creation, and that they can never know or comprehend anything except that which He wills for them.

Assertion of the reality of the intercession by those to whom Allah grants permission.

Assertion of Allah’s attribute of elevation and that He is above his creation and, obviously, therefore distinct and separate from it.

Assertion of Allah’s will or decree (Al-Mashee’a).

Rejection of the position of all of those who claim intercession for idols or others.

Rejection of all those who deny the absolute nature of Allah’s knowledge e.g. that He doesn’t know events until they occur.

That Allah, when he so wishes, grants to humans some portion of His knowledge, as Allah said:

{We will show them Our signs on the horizons and in them selves until it becomes clear to them that it is the Truth. It is not sufficient that your Lord is a witness over all things?} Fusilat/53

That no human is the true possessor of anything — they only possess its use temporarily, and Allah is the true Owner of all things.

That the most knowledgeable of humans has been given only a tiny portion of knowledge.

That there are, in the heavens, creations known only to Allah.

That intercession before Allah is not something that can be earned or achieved by any human. Rather, it is only after and by Allah’s permission to those with whom he is pleased.

Allah’s Knowledge Encompasses All

{He is the First, the Last, the Uppermost and the Innermost and He is completely knowledgeable of all things.} Al-Hadeed/3.

{And place your reliance on the Living, who never dies, and exalt His praises, and enough is He to be fully informed of the sins of His slaves.} Al-Furqan/58.

{He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in Truth; the day He says, Be!, and it is. His Word is the Truth. His will be the dominion the day the horn will be blown; Knower of the unseen and the apparent, and He is the Wise, the Fully-Acquainted (with all things). Al-An’aam/73

The Prophet (saws) has interpreted the four glorious names of Allah found in the verse from Sura Al-Hadeed above saying (in some of his Du’a):

You are the First so there is nothing before you, and You are the last so there is nothing after You, and you are the Uppermost so there is nothing above You, and You are the Innermost so there is nothing closer than You.

The common denominator of these four names is the concept of encompassing. This concept can then be divided into two categories: encompassing in time and encompassing in space. With relation to time, Allah is the First before all else no matter how ancient, and the Last after which there is nothing. With relation to space, Allah is the Uppermost above all other dominators or mighty ones; and He is the Innermost beyond which there is nothing. Thus, the First is Allah’s having no beginning, the Last is His eternal existence, the Uppermost is Allah’s elevation above His creation and His Mightiness, and the Innermost is his closeness (in His knowledge and power).

Then, Allah said: …and He is completely knowledgeable of all things. Allah is all knowing of all that ever was, all that is now, all that ever will be, and all that would have been if such-and-such a variable had been different. He knows all of this about the lower worlds and the upper worlds, about all apparent and hidden things, about all that is possible, that which must be and that which cannot be and {…nothing can be hidden from Him, not even an atom’s weight, neither in the heavens nor in the earth.} Saba/3.

Knowledge Contained In This Ayat

The affirmation of Allah’s attribute of First, and His being before all else.

The affirmation of Allah’s eternity, that He will remain forever, and that nothing is after Him.

The affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Highness and elevation above His creation.

Allah’s closeness (with His Knowledge and Power) and His encompassing of all things.

The perfection of Allah’s Knowledge and that it encompasses all things.

Rejection of the claim that Allah knows only the generalities in the universe but not every intricate detail.

Rejection of the claims of those who reject Allah’s attribute of Knowledge.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of speech.

Urging to be conscious of Allah in public and in secret.

In the second verse, Allah orders us to place our reliance in Him, the Living who never dies. The meaning of At-Tawakkal is the reliance of the heart on Allah for the acquiring of all benefit, and the repelling of all harm accompanied by trust in Allah, and practice of the causes. i.e., Place your reliance on the Eternal Lord, the Lord and Sovereign of all things, make Him your sanctuary and refuge, refer all of your affairs to him, actively seek submission to His Will and Order and then be steadfast in the face of all that afflicts you in the pursuit thereof, with a surety of knowledge that He is sufficient for you, He is your Helper and Ally, and the only One to take you to your goal.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: The people are in unanimous agreement that At-Tawakkal in no way conflicts with the pursuit of the causes of success and that At-Tawakkal is no valid unless accompanied by pursuit of the causes. Sahl ibn Abdallah said: Whoever attacks effort and striving has attacked the Sunnah and whoever attacks At-Tawakkal has attacked Iman (belief), for At-Tawakkal was the state of the Prophet (saws) and striving and working was his Sunnah. Therefore, whoever works on (achieving) his (saws) state, let him beware lest he neglect his (saws) Sunnah.

At-Tawakkal is two types: reliance on Allah and reliance on other than Allah. Reliance on other than Allah is three types:

Reliance on other than Allah in affairs of which none are capable except Allah Most High. Examples include reliance on the dead and those worshipped besides Allah in issues of sustenance, achieving benefits or repelling harm. This is major association (Ash-Shirk Al-Akbar).

Reliance on other than Allah in some of the apparent causes such as reliance on a ruler in those areas in which Allah has given him some power such as material wealth, repelling harm or coming to one’s aid in battle. This is a type of minor association (u>Ash-Shirk Al-Asghar).

Commissioning another person to do something of which you yourself are capable on your behalf. This is legitimate in general, but it is not acceptable for him to place in reliance in that, but rather to maintain his full reliance upon Allah to make his affairs easier. With this condition, this is part of the legitimate pursuit of the causes of success.

Ibn Taimia said: The turning away of the heart from seeking from Allah and placing all hope in Him leads inevitably to the drifting of the heart away from the worship of Allah. This is especially so when one places hopes in created beings and is distracted from placing his hopes in the Creator. And so, his heart becomes attached to his political power, his armed forces, his followers, his servants, his Shaikh or others among those who have either already died, or who will die.

Allah says {And place your reliance on the Living, who never dies…}. The human heart can never attain felicity, happiness or experience any true sweetness and peace and tranquillity except through worship of its Lord, love for Him, and turning to Him in submission and repentance. Even if one were to achieve all the sources of pleasure and sweetness from Allah’s creation, but without the supreme pleasure of Iman and Tawakkal, he would never find peace therein because of the spiritual poverty from which he would suffer.

Knowledge Contained In This Ayat

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Life. This is one of the attributes of Allah’s essence. Allah’s Life is the ultimate and perfect meaning of Life which inevitably means His eternity. The significance of this attribute here is the Ever-Living is the one in whom one should place his trust and reliance.

The order to place one’s true reliance in Allah Most High.

Rejection of the claims of those who reject Allah’s attribute of Life.

Allah’s Attribute Of Knowledge

One of the attributes with which Allah has described us is His attribute of knowledge or of knowing. As with all of Allah’s attributes, we accept at face value that Allah knows since He said He does. Since Allah is totally unlike any of His creation and there is nothing at all comparable to him, we know that Allah’s knowledge is not like human knowledge which we know of and can in no way be compared to it. Finally, since that we know that Allah is the Exalted, Possessor of all attributes of perfection and might, we know that His knowledge is the ultimate and perfect meaning of the concept of knowledge.

In this section, We will discuss four different verses which indicate Allah’s attribute of knowledge.

{He is the one who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then sat on the throne. He knows all that enters into the earth and all that comes out there from; and all that descends from the heavens and all that ascends therein. He is with you wherever you are, and Allah is Seeing of all that you do.} Hadeed/4

This verse is one of the proofs of Allah’s attribute of knowledge. Allah’s knowledge is on of His attributes of His essence (As-Sifaat Adh-Dhaatiya). Allah’s knowledge includes and encompasses all things. He knows what was, what is, what will be and what would have been if such-and-such a variable had been different.

This verse, then affirms Allah’s knowledge. He knows all that enters the earth such as water, treasures, the dead, seeds, animals, cave creatures, etc.. He knows all that issues forth from the earth such as plants, minerals, water, steam and the dead on the day of Qiyamah. Allah knows all that descends from the heavens such as the angels, rains, heat, cold and calamities. And He knows all that ascends therein such as the preservers of people’s actions.

Al-Qadariya reject Allah’s attribute of eternal knowledge. They deny Allah’s knowledge of events before they occur. Imam Ahmad said in his rebuttal of this position: If the Jahmiy says that Allah does not have knowledge he has disbelieved and if he says that Allah has knowledge that came about at a point in time he has also disbelieved. This is because, in so doing, he has claimed that Allah was at some point unknowing until the knowledge came to him and then He knew. And if he says that Allah possesses eternal knowledge which is neither created nor did it come about at a point in time, he has reversed his position and returned to the position of the people of the Sunnah.

This can even be seen from the standpoint of logic and sound reasoning as follows: Allah is the Creator of all things. It is impossible that He could have created and yet be ignorant of them. This is because creating of something can only be an act of will. This will necessitates a conception of what is to be created, and this conception necessitates His knowledge of what he created. Secondly, if it is said that created beings possess some forms of knowledge, then this knowledge could only have come from their Creator. It is not possible that the creator of knowledge could Himself be without it. Rather, Allah’s is the most sublime analogy, and He is no way equal or comparable to His creation. In fact any positive attribute with which Allah’s creation are praised has its perfection and ultimate form in the Creator Himself, exalted his He. And any negative attribute with which Allah’s creation are praised by its denial, is more deservedly and more perfectly negated in the case of the Creator Most High.

Knowledge Contained In This Ayat

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of knowledge or knowing.

Rejection of the position of Al-Qadariya in the question of Allah’s knowledge.

Allah’s knowledge includes and encompasses all things – nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him.

Rejection of the position of those who claim that Allah knows only the generalities and not the details of events in the universe.

Proof of Allah’s elevation above His creation.

Allah’s absolute capability and power to do all things.

An urging to be conscious of Allah at all times and to beware of His laws and boundaries.

Proof of the non-literal or general with-ness of Allah with His creation (Al-Maa’iya Al-Amma).

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Seeing.

Evidence of resurrection of the dead, taking of accounts, and rewards and punishments according to one’s actions in this life.

{And with Him are the keys to the unseen; none know them except Him. He knows all that is in the land and in the sea. No single leaf falls without His knowledge, nor any seed (or particle) in the dark recesses of the earth, nor any moist thing or dry thing – all of that is in a clear book.} 59/6.

{Allah knows what every female carries, that which the womb absorbs and that which increases. Everything is with Him in precise proportion.} 8/13.

The verse about the keys of the unseen is one of the greatest verses in the Qur’an which deals in detail with Allah’s all-encompassing knowledge. The meaning is that with Allah Most High alone are the stores of the unseen or the keys thereto. He is the one who has encompassed all with His knowledge – all beside him are ignorant and know nothing whatsoever of the unseen except that which Allah gives to them. Al-Mannawiy said: Thus, whoever claims for himself knowledge of any of the unseen has entered kufr. The Prophet (saws) said:

The Keys of the Unseen are five: Very Allah possess knowledge of the Hour; He sends down the rain; He knows what is in the wombs; no soul knows what it will earn tomorrow; and no soul knows in which land it will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.

In the second verse, Allah tells us that no conception can take place nor any birth without His knowledge. He knows on what day any female will conceive and on what day (and if) she will give birth. His knowledge also includes what is in the womb – whether male or female, whole or deformed, what provision they will obtain while in this life and whether of the people of paradise or of the people of hell-fire.

Knowledge Contained In These Verses

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of knowledge.

Proof of the reality of the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfoodh).

Evidence of Allah’s greatness in His sublime attributes.

That the Preserved Tablet is a record of all things.

That Allah is in full knowledge of the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknown and of all things in all times and places no single thing of any kind is hidden from His knowledge.

Rejection of the position of those who believe that the Prophet (saws) was a knower of the unseen.

In this verse is the knowledge which totally rejects the lies of the sorcerers, fortune tellers, astrologers and the like who make claims to things which are not within their ability or their knowledge.

A reminder to all responsible creatures of Allah (Mukallafoon) and a warning not to be unmindful of their actions and conditions as they relate to rewards and punishments.

It is understood from this verse that all of the information in the lands and the sea are tiny in comparison to the whole meaning of the Keys of the Unseen of which Allah is all-knowing.

That Allah alone knows what the wombs contain.

{Allah made the Ka’abah – the Sacred House – a sanctuary (or a sustenance or support) for the people and (likewise) the forbidden month, the sacrificial animals and the (special) collars (that mark them). That is so you may know that Allah knows all that is in the heavens and the earth and that Allah is all-knowing of all things.} 5/97

That is so you may know… refers back to Allah’s acts expressed in the first part of the verse, or to the meanings in the verses before this in the Sura or to an omitted phrase, the meaning being: He did that in order that you may know… i.e. that you may know that Allah’s power and knowledge are perfect, and He is capable of all things. His knowledge and power includes all things, including the acts of His slaves. Whenever He wills to do anything, He does it with no opposition and none who can prevent Him. All things in the creation are under the force of His absolute power and will, and nothing is outside of His knowledge.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Allah’s absolute knowledge and His absolute capability, power and control.

Proof of the Tauhid of Deityship (Tauhid Al-Uluhiya).

Guidance to contemplation and the seeking of beneficial knowledge.

Fear of Allah, the Capable of all things.

Rejection of the position of Al-Qadariya who claim that the actions of people do not fall under Allah’s Qudra (power and decree).

Proof of Allah’s attribute of creation.

That Allah’s slaves do not truly conceive of His greatness. (See, Sura Al-An’aam (6), verse 91.) If they did, they could never commit acts of disobedience knowing that He could destroy them for it in an instant.

Allah’s immense patience, compassion and forbearance with the disbelievers and the disobedient believers. (Otherwise, He would destroy them immediately and not give them more and more chances to go right.)

Allah’s Will

Allah says, quoting the man speaking to the one with the great garden:

{Rather He is Allah, my Lord, and I will associate no one with my Lord. And, if only, when you entered your garden, you had said: That which Allah wills; there is no power except by Allah, if you see me as less than you in wealth and children.} Al-Kahf/38-39

In this verse, and others like it, Allah affirms the reality of His absolute will. Allah’s will is of two types:

Iradat Allah Al-Kauniya Al-Qadariya: This is His will as related to His decree, which we have already discussed. It is His determination of all things and events. This will must be, and nothing whatsoever can alter it, change it, or prevent its coming about. The decree of Allah contains both human actions which are in accordance to Allah’s Shariah and things which are in violation of it. The will referred to in the above verse is of this type.

Iradat Allah Ad-Deeniya Ash-Shar’iya: This is Allah’s will as related to His order, i.e., all that with which He has ordered us via His messengers. At this point in time, that means the Shariah found in the message of Muhammad (saws). This will may be in any particular case and it may not be. Thus Allah ordered that Abu Talib should be a Muslim, but He did not decree it. This will contains only that which is pleasing to Allah, i.e. that which is enjoined in the Shariah.

In this verse, the believing man is addressing another who has become haughty because of worldly wealth which Allah has given him. He says to him that if you were so pleased with your garden when you entered it, why didn’t you then thank Allah for the bounty which He has bestowed upon you, reminding yourself that whatever happens is only what Allah has decreed. This would have been on your part an admission of your powerlessness, and that all that is in your garden is only by Allah’s will, as is its continued existence or its destruction and decay. Furthermore, the development and cultivation which you have done to it was only by Allah’s permission and with His aid, not by your own strength, capability or power.

Knowledge Contained In This Ayat

Affirmation of Allah’s will, in this case His absolute will or decree which must be, and which is the sole determinant of all events.

All that occurs and all that is can only be that which Allah has predestined and decreed to be.

A reminder to praise/thank (Al-Hamd) Allah for His bounties and to acknowledge our helplessness and lack of power except with the aid of Allah Most High.

That nothing can be transformed from one state to another except by Allah’s power. (This is the meaning of Laa Haula wa Laa Quwwata illa billahi.)

A sincere advice and a reprimand to anyone who says something like what the owner of the garden said. In the verses before this, he is quoted as saying: I am greater than you in wealth and stronger in number. Then, when he entered his garden, he said: I don’t think this will ever be destroyed. And I don’t think the Hour is really coming; and even if I am returned to my Lord, I will surely find something even better than this in exchange.

In Sura Al-Baqarah, Allah mentions the Prophets, peace be upon them, and then says:

{…And if Allah had so willed, those who came after then would never have fought one another after that which is clear had come to them. But they differed: some of them believed and some of them disbelieved. If Allah had so willed, they would never have fought, but Allah does as He wishes.} Al-Baqarah/253

In this verse, Allah informs us of what took place among the followers of all of the Prophets, peace be upon them, and what was to take place among Muhammad’s followers as well. They differed and became enemies of each other. Here, Allah reminds us that all of that was only be His will (of the first type as explained above, and not of the second type!), since nothing whatsoever can take place in His creation except that which He as predestined and decreed. If Allah had willed that they would not differ and fight, it would not have happened. In fact, as Allah tells us elsewhere in the Qur’an, if He had willed that all humanity be believers, it would have been so, but he did otherwise for a wisdom and a reason known to Him.

Knowledge Contained In This Ayat

Affirmation of Allah’s absolute will and that whatever occurs is by His will and that whatever He wills must occur.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of doing, and that He does whatever He wishes.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of absolute power and ability to do all things.

The next verse from Sura Al-Maidah is an example of the other will of Allah, i.e., the one relating to that which pleases Allah and that which He enjoins upon us and that is the Shari’ah if Islam.

{O you who believe, fulfil your contractual obligations. Allowed for you are the grazing animals, except that which has been recited to you, and not to make hunted animals allowed while you are in a state of Ihraam. Verily Allah rules as He wishes.} Al-Maidah/1

The will of Allah alluded to here is of the second type explained above. It is clear that it is Allah’s will or order that we eat only of the animals which are Halal, and that we not break the restrictions on hunting during the Hajj. It is also clear that this will does not always occur in all cases. Some people follow the orders of Allah, while others violate it and partake of the haraam.

Allah rules (yahkum) as He wishes. He is the absolute sovereign and source of law (u>Al-Hakim), and there can be no objection to His rulings. He is Al-Hakim and there is no other sovereign (Haakim) other than Him. All sovereignty other than His sovereignty is false and rejected. Anyone who rules by any rulings or laws other than those of Allah and His Prophet (saws) is a Taaghoot (shaitaan) and a Kaafir. Allah said:

{And any who rule not by what Allah has sent down are indeed Kaafireen.}

This is general, and covers all areas of life. There is no issue in which Allah does not have a ruling. Allah said:

{We have neglected nothing in the book.}

{On this day we have perfected for you the Deen, and completed our favour upon you.}

The Prophet said in the hadith:

I have left you on the clearest of bases. Its night is like its day. None are corrupted away from it except those doomed to destruction.

It was an obligation upon every single messenger sent by Allah to point his nation to all that he knew was for their good and to warn them against all that he knew was for their detriment.

Abu Dharr said: The Prophet (saws) passed way from us and there was not a single bird flapping its wings in the sky but that he had given us some knowledge of it.

There can be no doubt that anyone who turns away from the book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saws) and taking in its stead man-made laws is a kaafir whose Kufr is sufficient to remove him from the Ummah of the Muslims. Likewise, anyone who mocks the Qur’an, or claims that it is contradictory or a forgery or that humans could produce the likes of it. Also anyone who denies or rejects any part of the contents of the Qur’an.

It is also Kufr for anyone to believe that they can transcend the law of Muhammad, as it was possible for Al-Khidhr in the Qur’an to transcend the law of Musa. Or one who believes the guidance of another man to be superior to the guidance of Muhammad (saws). Or that we must transcend his law because of the time in which we are living – i.e., that it was fine in the days in which it was revealed but is not out of date.

Knowledge Contained In This Ayat

Affirmation of Allah’s absolute and unique sovereignty.

Four-legged grazing type animals are halal, except what has been exempted in the Qur’an or the Sunnah.

Prohibition of hunting during the period of Ihraam.

Affirmation of Allah’s will as relates to his Shariah, and that He rules in whatever way He wishes.

Affirmation of the Tauhid of Allah’s Deityship.

Allah’s mercy and compassion with His creation.

Allah’s Will

{Is then the one who had been dead, who We brought to life and for whom We made a light with which he walks among the people like the one whose analogy is [as] one in darkness, never coming out there from? Thus, that which the disbelievers do is made to seem fair to them. * And thus We made in every village prominent ones who are its criminals that they may plot therein. But they plot not except against their own souls, without even knowing it. * And when a clear sign comes to them, they say: We will not believe until we are given like that which was given to the Messengers of Allah. Allah knows best where He placed His message. He will afflict the criminals with humiliation before Allah and a harsh punishment because of the plots which they used to make. * And so as for he who Allah wishes to guide, He will expand his breast for Islam; and whoever He wishes to send astray, He will make his breast constricted and impenetrable as if they were ascending into the sky. Thus Allah makes evil and punishment upon those who do not believe. * This is the way of your Lord which is straight. We have made the signs clear for those who accept admonition. * Theirs is the abode of peace with their Lord and He is their protecting Ally because of that which they used to do.} Al-An’aam/122-127

In this verse, Allah tells us that whoever has been prepared by His will (which one?) and His decree to accept the Da’wah of Islam, which is the Deen of Al-Fitra and the guidance to the path of righteousness will find in his heart an expansiveness and an open-minded, joyous desire to accept the Da’wah. This joy in the heart at the hearing of the Da’wah will mean that they will experience no difficulty in looking carefully into that which is being presented to them and contemplating it. Then, this person will discover its wonders and his whole heart and will will be guided to the bright light and flawless proofs of the message of Islam.

That Prophet (saws) was asked about the meaning of expansion of the breast and said:

A light which is cast therein making it expansive and roomy. They then asked him if there were any signs by which this state could be known. He said: The turning [of the heart] toward the Abode of Permanence, the repulsion from the Abode of Deception and preparedness for death before its approach.

Then Allah said: {and whoever He wishes to send astray…}. Whoever possesses a fitrah which has become impure through the presence of Associationism or contaminated with sins and disobedience will find his heart tight and constricted when he is called to contemplate the signs of Tauhid. He will not be open to the contemplation of the clear signs in the revelation, in the physical world around him and in himself. Rather, his heart is infatuated with the falsehood of custom, nationalism, arrogance and other forms of foolishness. He is blocked from turning away from that to which he as become accustomed as have the people around him. His will is not strong enough to leave his ways in response to the caller to the Deen of Islam. He finds the practice of the Deen to be a heavy burden, and feels incapable of carrying it, just as one who ascends into the upper atmosphere feels constriction in the chest and difficulty in breathing. Another interpretation of this analogy is that practicing Islam seems as heavy a burden to him as if he were asked to fly (unaided) up into the atmosphere.

Ibn Taimia said elsewhere: Allah made three types of hearts: impenetrable, diseased and believing. This is because it is either dry and fossilized and unable to soften up to the truth and acknowledge and submit to it, or it is not so. The first one is the impenetrable heart – it is dry and hard like a rock – it cannot change and faith has not been decreed for it. Furthermore, knowledge can not enter it, because that requires a soft and open place to accept it. The second is either firm and steadfast in faith due to inner strength along with softness and openness of the heart or this openness may be accompanied by weakness and negligence. The first is the believing heart, and the second is the one in which their is disease.

Knowledge Contained In This Ayat

The reality of the two types of wills which belong to Allah Most High and the difference between them.

That guidance and going astray is entirely in the hands of Allah Most High and not within human power.

Affirmation of the Deity ship and Lordship of Allah Most High.

That we possess no power over our benefit or our harm and are completely impoverished and in need before our Lord Most High for guidance and for all other needs.

The One who alone possesses creation and giving of sustenance is the only One to rightfully be given exclusive devotion in the area of Deityship, worship, beseeching and all other forms of worship. No one – neither Prophets nor angels nor anyone else – has any power to guide hearts or remove calamities except Allah Most High.

Affirmation of Al-‘Illa and the wisdom behind Allah’s actions and rulings. Since He does them intentionally and wilfully, there is of necessity a reason and a wisdom behind all of Allah’s actions and rulings.

A sign of those for whom Allah has decreed belief is an openness and softness of the heart to receive and contemplate the message of Islam followed by a joyful acceptance of it and an easy and willing submission to all of its dictates.

A sign of those for whom Allah has decreed disbelief is the constriction and difficulty of the heart to listen to the message of Islam followed by a stubbornness and unwillingness to contemplate its message and a perception of the practice of Islam as a heavy burden.

Allah directs the hearts of his slaves in whatever way He wishes. (The Prophet (saws) used to make Du’a to Muqallib Al-Quloob i.e., He who turns hearts over.

That there are signs which indicate those for whom faith has been decreed and those for whom disbelief has been decreed.

Whoever feels that Allah has blessed him with expansiveness of breast to accept Islam and submit easily to its teachings should constantly express gratitude to Allah and beseech Him to grant him steadfastness on the path until death.

Question: There are four logical possibilities of the presence of either or both of Allah’s wills in any event. Name and describe the four possible combinations and give examples for each.

Allah’s Attribute Of Love

{And spend in the path of Allah and do not cast yourselves to destruction with your own hands and practice Ihsaan. Verily, Allah loves those who practice Ihsaan.} Al-Baqarah/195

[Note: Read 5:41 which speaks about hypocrites and some of their allies first.]

{Constant listeners to lies, constant devourers of the forbidden. So, if they come to you, judge between them, or turn away from them. If you [decide to] turn away from them, they will not harm you in the least. And, if you [decide to] judge between them, judge between them with in equity. Verily, Allah loves those who judge in equity.} Al-Maidah/42

{How could the associationists have a pact before Allah and His Prophet?! Except those with whom you made a pact at the Sacred Mosque: as long as they live up to their pledges to you, live up to yours to them, verily, Allah loves the people of Taqwa.} At-Tauba/9

{They ask you about menses. Say: It is unclean, so withdraw from women during their courses. And do not approach them until they have become clean. Then, when they have purified themselves, go to them from where Allah has ordered you. Verily, Allah loves those who ever turn to Him in repentance and He loves those who ever purify themselves.} Al-Baqarah/222

{Say: If you [truly] love Allah, then follow me that Allah may love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. * Say: Obey Allah and obey the Prophet. Then, if they turn away [know that] Allah loves not the disbelievers.} Aal-Imran/31-32

In these verse is the proof of Allah’s attribute of love. Love is one of the attributes of Allah’s actions (u>As-Sifaat Al-Fi’liya). There can be no doubt about this attribute of Allah as is clear from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the Consensus of the beginning of the Ummah of the Muslims. His love is called just that, and is of a nature appropriate to His Greatness and Perfection. It cannot be compared to human love except in name, since Allah said about himself: {There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearer, the Seer}. This is the case with all of Allah’s attributes, both those of His Essence and those of His Actions.

The linguistic derivation of the work for love (Hubb) contains the meanings of things being consistently together, and steadfastness. Thus is is said that a camel Ahabb (the same verb as the one meaning loves) when it sits down and is quiet. Thus, one who loves is constant in the remembrance of the object of his love, and his heart is steadfast in its love with not desire to move away from it or to shift it to another.

Among the evidences of the Sunnah for Allah’s attribute of Love is the following sahih hadith narrated by Ahmad:

Three Allah loves, and three Allah hates: a man who faces the enemy along with a group [of mujahideen] and continues to face them until he either is killed, or opens a way for his companions; a group of people who press on in their journey until they yearn to touch the ground (i.e. sleep), and so they stop. Then one of them takes himself off to one side and continues praying until he wakes his companions to continue their journey; and a man who has a neighbour who harasses him and who is patient with his neighbour’s torments until they are separated by death or journey. As for those whom Allah hates: a businessman who ever swears by the truth of his claims; a poor person who is arrogant; and a stingy person who is ostentatious and boastful about what he gives.

Ibn Taimia said: The people of the Sunnah and Al-Jamaa say that Allah loves and is pleased, as the Qur’an and the Sunnah have clearly shown. They further say that Allah’s love and his pleasure (or acceptance) is more specific than His Will. Thus, Allah does not love disbelief or any forms of corruption and disobedience nor does he accept it, even though all of these things fall under His Will and His Decree as does everything in the creation.

Discussion Of The Cited Versus Cited Above

In this verse, Allah informs us that He loves Al-Muhsineen i.e., those who practice Ihsaan. Ihsaan means doing of good, and is the opposite of Isaa’a, doing bad [toward] or offending. Ihsaan is of two type: Ihsaan in the worship of Allah and Ihsaan toward His creation. Ihsaan in the worship of Allah has been interpreted in the hadith as: …to worship Allah as if you see him for, verily, even though you do not see Him, He surely sees you. As for Ihsaan toward His creation, it can consist of causing spiritual or material benefit to reach them or using ones strengths to keep some harm away from them, or both together. In this category is the spending of knowledge, i.e., exerting of one’s efforts to teach people that which is beneficial to them and which has not reached them, and the spending of material wealth in the many paths of good.

It has been authenticated that Ibn Abbas said about the phrase in the first part of this verse, i.e., do not cast yourselves to destruction that: This is about spending and not about fighting. This means that the Muslims have been warned that if they neglect the spending of wealth in the path of Allah, they will cast themselves to destruction. This can come about in three ways: 1) Excessive and unnecessary spending of what Allah has blessed us with, so the remainder is not sufficient to spend in the path of Allah; 2) Greediness and a desire to build up one’s wealth rather than spending in the path of Allah; and 3) Laziness and/or backwardness which causes one not seek the sources of material power in the first place, and so it is not available to be spent in the path of Allah. This can be caused by a misunderstanding of Islam and thinking that it demands that we flee from the life of this world altogether. This will lead to our casting ourselves to destruction with our own hands!!

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of love — in a manner appropriate to His Greatness and Perfection.

That rewards or punishments are appropriate to the actions which caused them.

Ihsaan is a cause of Allah’s love for His slave.

Proof that we act and that our actions have consequences.

An urging to seek the way and practice of Ihsaan.

Allah’s great Compassion for his slaves, in that He enjoins us to practice Ihsaan with one another.

Allah’s Attribute Of Love

Justice and equitable, unbiased judgement are a must in all interaction and judgments with all people. This is regardless of whether such are relatives, strangers, enemies or friends. Equity with respect to Allah’s rights over us means to utilize all of the provision which He has bestowed upon us in the path of obedience to Him, and not to use any of that for the purpose of disobedience to Allah ta’ala.

Allah loves those who are just and equitable in all that they commit and all that they omit. He loves those the just with their families, and all that have been placed under their care or custody, in any work which they undertake, any decision which they give in a question and in every responsibility of any kind. Ibn Abbas narrates that the Prophet (saws) said:

The just are with Allah on the day of Qiyamah on towers of light on the right of the Throne — those who are equitable in their rulings, with their families, and in all responsibilities which they have been given.

Justice is obligatory from everyone toward everyone and in all situations. Oppression is absolutely forbidden and can never be permissible in any situation. Furthermore, justice is something loved by all humanity. It is of the Ma’roof which the heart recognizes as good and which Islam enjoins and orders us to enjoin. On the other hand, oppression (or injustice and inequity in judgement) is of the Munkar which the heart rejects, and which Islam forbids us and commands us to forbid it to others. (The Prophet reported Allah as saying: I have forbidden injustice to myself and it is likewise forbidden among you.)

The law of Islam or Shariah which is obligatory upon every ruler and state to apply to the fullest is absolutely just. It contains no injustice or unfairness of any kind. Rather, the ruling of Allah is the ultimate and perfect ruling in all issues. The Shariah is that which Allah sent down. Whoever rules by what Allah has sent, rules with justice and equity, and whoever rules by other than what Allah sent down is, as Allah has described him (or her) in the Qur’an and oppressor (Dhaalim), corrupt (Faasiq) and a disbeliever who has left Islam (Kaafir).

A nation’s affairs can be established through a system of justice which is mixed with sins and deviations more than it can be established with an oppressive system, even though it may contain few other sins (and be quite Islamic otherwise). For this reason, it has been said that Allah causes the just nation to flourish even if it is disbelieving, but He causes the oppressive nation to perish, though it may be Muslim. The affairs of this world can flourish with justice combined with disbelief, but not with Islam combined with oppression.

This is because justice is the system of the entire creation. So, if the affairs of this world are established and maintained with justice, they will succeed, even though their authors may have no share in the good of the hereafter. If, however, the affairs of this world are executed with oppression and injustice, they will not flourish, even though their authors may have Iman sufficient to save them in the hereafter

Knowledge Found In This verse

Allah’s order to be just and equitable in all things.

Justice is a cause of Allah’s love.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Love

Affirmation that humans act and are responsible for their actions — that Allah will recompense all of use in accordance with our actions: reward for good and obedience to the Shari’a, and punishment for evil doing and transgression of the Shariah.

In this verse, Allah instructs the Muslims how they must act toward the pagans of Makka in relation to a peace treaty which was between them since before the revelation of Sura At-Tauba. Allah’s statement {…as long as they live up to their pledges to you, live up to yours to them…} means that as long as they live up to the terms of the agreement between you and them and continue to restrain from warfare (for the prescribed ten years). The Prophet (saws) and the Muslims did that, and the peace treaty with the pagans of Makka from Dhiy Al-Qi’dah of year 6 until Quraish broke the agreement by inciting their allies among the Arab bedouins (particularly, a tribe called Banu Bakr) to attack the allies of the Muslims among the bedouins. At that point, the Prophet invaded Makka with a force of 10,000 believers, and the Holy city was liberated by Allah for belief and worship in Ramadhan of year 8.

Love is the gravitation of the soul toward the object of love because of some perceived attribute of goodness or perfection. Al-Azhariy said: Love of the slave for Allah and for His Prophet (saws) is his obedience of their orders and the following of them in all things. The love of Allah for His slave is a love which is appropriate to His Greatness and Perfection and its signs are His Mercy, His kindness and favour toward His slave. The meaning of this verse is: Say [to them], O Muhammad that if you truly love Allah, then follow me, for that which I have brought is from Him and makes clear His Attributes, His orders and His forbiddances. One who truly loves is very concerned to know the object of his love and to know his orders and forbiddances, that which pleases and that which annoys him so that he may seek to come closer to the object of his love through complying with his wishes and avoiding all that displeases him. Thus, if you follow me, Allah will surely love you.

This is a firm rejection of those claim to Allah’s love while their actions give lie to their words. It is not possible for love to exist in the presence of ignorance of the Loved and lack of care for His orders and forbiddances. This is as Al-Warraaq said in poetry:

You disobey the god while you feign love of him;

This, I swear is a new type of analogy;

If your love were true, you would obey Him;

He who truly loves is to his loved obedient.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Affirmation of the Deity ship of Allah ta’ala.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Love.

Enjoining the true love Allah which means exerting oneself in its cause — seeking Allah’s love through obedience to Him.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Forgiving. Among Allah’s names are Al-Ghafoor and Al-Ghaffaar.

An order to follow the Messenger (saws). This verse is the standard by which those who truly love Allah can be known and distinguished from those who falsely claim to love Him. The sign of love for Allah is the following of His Prophet (saws) in all things.

Note: Al-Jahmiya and Al-Mu’tazilah and those who followed them rejected Allah’s attribute of Love. They said that love is something which does not occur except between similar beings. With this flimsy argument, they attempted to strip Allah of one of the attributes which He attributed to Himself!

Summary: Allah Most High loves the people of obedience to His orders: the prophets and messengers, His angels, His allies (awliyaa) and the believers and Muhsineen among His slaves. Allah is also the object of the love of His devoted, believing slaves, and their love of Him knows no equal in anyone or anything else. This is the obligation upon every Muslim: that every love be subordinate to and lesser than a Muslims love for Allah and His Prophet (saws). Love of Allah is the heart of all righteous action and all worship, both apparent and internal is based on the love of the slave for his Lord Most High. This is only by Allah’s grace and mercy, and through no power or ability of His slave. Rather it is Allah who loved his slave and granted him the love of Allah in his heart and made it greater than all other love, so that he would be among the people of obedience to Allah and people of His love and acceptance.

Allah’s Attributes Of Mercy And Forgiveness

Allah’s statements: {In the name of Allah, Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem}, {Our Lord You have encompassed everything with mercy and with knowledge}, {And [Allah] is, with the believers, ever Raheem (merciful)}, {And my Mercy encompasses all things}, {You Lord as decreed mercy upon Himself.}, {And He is Al-Ghafoor (the Forgiving), Al-Raheem (Al-Raheem)}, {And Allah is the best Protector, and He is the most Merciful of those who have mercy.}

Al-Basmalah: The preposition bi, here translated as in, signifies the seeking of Allah’s aid. It goes with an omitted phrase which it indicates equivalent to I begin, seeking Allah’s aid… The word for name (ism) is derived from either the root meaning elevation or loftiness or from the root meaning sign or marking. The Arabic word Allah is derived from aliha which connotes Deity ship or the taking of one as a deity. The derivation of this word is that it was originally Al-Ilaah, i.e., the god. Then, the Hamza in the middle was eliminated to form Allah. This word was in use among the Arabs to denote the Lord and Creator long before the coming of Islam. This name of Allah, like all of His names, serves as a name, and also indicates some of His attributes, here His attribute of Deityship. About His being Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem, Ibn Abbas said: Al-Rahman and Al-Raheem are two names denoting compassion, one more so than the other, i.e. denoting a more encompassing Compassion. Both words are intense forms (u>Seeghat Al-Mubaalagha). Al-Rahman is a form more intense than Al-Raheem and involves a more drastic change to the root. Al-Rahman is only for Allah ta’ala. No others can be names or described with this attribute. In fact, this word was not used in Arabic until Allah himself introduced it in the revelation. This is not the case with Al-Raheem. People can be described with this attribute and, in fact, Allah himself described His Messenger with this attribute in the Qur’an.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: The names of the Lord Most High are both names and attributes. They point to His attributes of Greatness and Perfection, with no contradiction between their being attributes and their being names. Al-Rahman is His name and it is also a description of His attributes.

As for the mention of both of these attributes together, it has a meaning more sublime than the sum of the two meanings: Al-Rahman indicates the attribute of Mercy in Allah’s essence (one of As-Sifaat Adh-Dhaatiya, remember?), while Al-Raheem indicates this mercy being carried out with relation to those shown mercy (and thus is one of As-Sifaat Al-Fi’liya). The first one means that Allah has the attribute of Mercy, and the second means that He indeed has mercy on His creation. This distinction can be seen from the Qur’an itself, where Allah mentions that He is Al-Raheem with the believers, etc., but never is Al-Rahman mentioned in conjunction with Allah’s creation.

These two names also indicate the truth of the sending of the prophets and the revealed books. This is clear to anyone who ponders their meaning. Allah’s attribute of mercy and His actual mercy upon His creation makes in impossible that He could neglect them and not inform them of the way to absolute bliss. Thus, anyone who gives these attributes their full due, will realize that they include in their meaning the sending of the messengers and the revealed books even more clearly than they include the sending of the rain or the causing of plants to grow. The life of the heart arising from Allah’s mercy in giving us guidance is far superior to the physical life of our bodies arising out of His supplying us with physical sustenance in this world.

Knowledge Contained In The Basmala

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Compassion and Mercy.

Affirmation of the Deity ship of Allah ta’ala.

Affirmation of Allah’s names and attributes generally.

{Those who carry the Throne and those around it exalt the praises of their Lord and believe in Him; and they seek forgiveness for those who believe: Our Lord! You have encompassed everything with mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who have repented and have followed Your path, and shield them from the torment of Al-Jaheem!} Ghaafir/7

Allah’s mercy is of two types: His all-encompassing mercy which includes all of his creation, and His special mercy and compassion for those who live according to His Order, those who do that which Allah loves and that which pleases Him. The angels her invoke Allah’s all-encompassing mercy in making Du’a for the righteous believers who practice repentance.

{Muhammad is not the father of any of your men. Rather, the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. And Allah is in full knowledge of all things. * O, you who believe remember Allah, much remembrance. * And exalt Him morning and evening. * He is the one who sends His prayers upon you along with His angels, that He may take you out of the darkness to the light and He is, with the believers, Most Merciful.} Al-Ahzaab/40-43.

Here, Allah informs us that He has a special mercy for the believers, the people of His Way and His Order. As for this life: His mercy upon them is that He guided them to the truth of which others remained ignorant, and showed them the way which others failed to see or deviated from such as those who call to Kufr or Bida’h and the ignorant ones who follow them. And Allah’s mercy upon the believers in the hereafter: It is His protecting them from the fear and tribulations of that day, the His Order to the angels to receive them with glad tidings of success with paradise. About this mercy, Allah said: {I will decree (lit: write) it for those who have Taqwa and pay the Zakat, those who believe in our Ayat, those who follow the unlettered Prophet Messenger…} (7:156-157) And, in another verse: {Verily, those for whom good has been decreed will be from it far removed. They will hear no sound of it and they will be in that which they desire for eternity. The Greatest Tribulation will not grieve them and the angels will receive them [saying] this is your day which you were promised!}

Knowledge In These Ayaat

Affirmation of Allah’s Mercy and, in particular, His special mercy toward the people of obedience to Him.

A reminder to strive for Iman.

A rejection of the position of those who rejected Allah’s attribute of Mercy, or interpreted it in some obscure and unjustified fashion.

Allah’s Attribute Of Mercy And Forgiveness

{And write (i.e. decree) for us in this world a good thing and in the hereafter. We have been guided to you. He said: [As for] my punishment, I send it upon whomever I wish and my Mercy encompasses all things. So I will write (i.e. decree) it for those who have Taqwa and pay the Zakat, and those who believe in Our ayat. * Those who follow the Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet…} 7:156

Allah here informs us that His Mercy is general, encompassing all things in the upper worlds and the lower worlds, both the righteous and the corrupt, the believer and the disbeliever. There is no living thing, but that the Mercy of Allah has touched it. However, the most complete mercy is not for everyone in Allah’s creation, as we see in Allah’s statement {So I will write it…}. This is the special Mercy for the People of piety and obedience to Allah and is the Mercy whose consequence is joy in this life and in the next. Thus, in this verse is found proof of Allah’s attribute of Mercy, that it is expansive and encompasses His entire creation, and also that His special Mercy which leads to joy in the hereafter is reserved for the people of taqwa and obedience.

{Say: Whose is all that is in the heavens and the earth? Say: [They belong] to Allah. He has written Mercy upon Himself. Verily, He will gather you all on the day of Qiyama, in which there is no doubt. Those who lost their own selves do not believe.} 6:12

This verse starts with a reminder that Allah is the Creator of all that is in the universe and the Owner and absolute Free Agent of His creation. This is followed immediately by Allah’s declaration that He has written Mercy upon Himself. Here Allah shows His compassion for those who have turned their backs on Him, reminding us that He is Raheem with His slaves and fully capable of delivering immediate punishment for their actions. In spite of this, He has written mercy upon Himself, giving them time right up to the approach of death or Qiyama to repent and change their ways. He has written this, and promised it to us purely as a grace and a favour from Him. No one has or possibly could oblige Him to do that or anything else. This is then followed by mention of those who lose their own selves. This is a reminder of our full accountability for actions. So, although, with our meagre understanding, it may not seem merciful or even just for Allah to punish those who transgress and die without repenting from their sins, we are reminded again that we make our own choices and act. Therefore, it is completely just and fair that we face their consequences. Furthermore, it shows that great Mercy of Allah that he will overlook much, forgive many sins, and leave the door to repentance open.

This process of writing in the Qur’an comes with both its Shar’iy (please review if you have forgotten!) and Kauniy meanings. Examples of this word in the Qur’an with its Shar’iy meaning include the following: {Fasting has been written upon you…}, And We wrote upon them in it (i.e. the Taurat) that [the law is] a life for a life…}. And, examples of its Kauniy meaning include: {And we have written in Az-Zaboor, after the Dhikr, that the earth will be inherited by my righteous slaves…}, {He wrote upon him (i.e. Shaitaan) that [his state would be such that] with regard to any who turn to him, he will lead them astray and guide them to the punishment of the blazing fire.}

In this verse we have another example of this term used in its Kauniy sense. Allah has written upon himself Mercy with His creation as a pure favour from Him and with no compulsion from any direction.

Think about this: We know that it is possible for a person to obligate himself with certain things or to forbid other things to himself. Thus, this is obviously possible for He above whom there is nor one capable or ordering or forbidding. Also: Allah’s writing something upon Himself necessitates his wanting of that thing to be, His loving it and acceptance of it just as His forbidding himself something necessitates his dislike for it and His intention that it should not be. Thus, whatever Allah writes and obligates upon Himself must occur, and whatever Allah forbids Himself must not and will not occur. This is in contrast to that which He forbids His creation or that which He obligates upon His creation, all of which takes place in some cases, but not in others. Human actions are always in accordance with Allah’s decree, but are not always in accordance with His order, and that which He likes and that which pleases him. His actions, on the other hand, are always exactly what he wills and that which it pleases Him to do. This explains why write in this verse is Kauniy and not Shar’iy.

The people have become divided in this issue into two extremes of deviation, and the middle way. On group rejects the idea that anything could become required of him or forbidden him even through His own action and choice. Others declared a variety of things obligatory upon Allah or forbidden to Him using their minds.

Allah has guided the Ummah to the middle way in that in which they differed. He is not to be compared to His creation in any of His attributes or actions. On the other hand, his attributes with which He has described Himself cannot be negated or rejected. Nothing can be declared obligatory upon him or forbidden to Him, rather the people of the middle way simply report that which He has said about himself in the Qur’an or through His Prophet (saws).

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Mercy.

Affirmation of the Tauhid of Allah’s Lordship.

Allah’s care for his creation is of two types: general and specific. The general includes His creation of all people, His giving of sustenance, and His showing them the way to that which is to their benefit in this life and the next. Allah’s special care is His mercy and care for His allies (Awliyaa) which is his nurturing of their Iman and His granting them the success of doing that which pleases Him and is in accordance with His order.

Affirmation that Allah has a self (nafs), and that, like all of Allah’s attributes, is of a nature and meaning appropriate to His greatness and perfection.

Allah’s Attributes Of Being Pleased With, Anger, Wrath, Dislike For Something Etc.

{You will never find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day gravitating toward the love of those who act in opposition to Allah and His Messenger; even though they may be their fathers, their sons, their brothers or their kinsmen. For these Allah has written (i.e. decreed) Iman in their hearts and aided them with a spirit from Him. He will admit them to gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allah is well pleased with them and they with Him. These are the party of Allah. Truly, it is the Party of Allah who will be successful.} 58/22.

In the verses of this chapter and others, Allah Most High describes Himself with the following attributes of action:

Ar-Ridhaa: to be pleased with something or someone, in this case with the believers and their actions.

Al-Ghadhab: anger; Allah is, as he mentioned in Al-Fatiha and elsewhere, angry with those who rebelliously disobey His orders.

As-Sakht: wrath; a more extreme anger, things which Allah loathes and which annoy and displease Him.

Al-Kurh: to be displeased with something.

Al-La’n: usually translated to curse. It means for one to be completely removed from and distanced from Allah’s mercy.

All of these attributes and those like them are of Allah’s attributes of action (As-Sifaat Al-Fi’liya) which Allah does when and as He wishes.

It is firmly established by textual evidence that the Creator has attributes of willful action such as sitting on the throne, withholding, giving in abundance, descending, and creating. Of these, some involve Allah alone, while others are transitive in nature and are actions which affect Allah’s creation. This division corresponds to the two type of verbs found in all human languages. There can be no doubt that both types of actions are actions of Allah whether of the first type or the second. It is impossible either logically or in terms of the Shariah that they could have their existence in any besides Him. Further, all of Allah’s wilful actions are under his complete Power and Will. Whenever and whatever He wishes to speak is spoken. Whatever He wishes to do He does whether in the past, the present or the future. This is a principle upon which the early generations were unanimous and which are clear in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

In the first verse above, Allah sets out in no uncertain terms on of the attributes of the believers: Their loyalty, their love is entirely dedicated to Allah, His Messenger, and the people of Iman. They do not gravitate toward the people of disbelief or yearn to be like them and imitate them, no matter how close their previous relationship may have been. And, they do not give their loyalty to or feel that they belong to any grouping of any kind or description except for the group and the nation of the believers. They place nothing above this tie of Iman, neither the closest ties of blood and kinship or of nation, language, friendship, etc. No need for long discussions on the relationship of Islam to nationalism – Allah said it all and much more in this one verse.

Allah tells us that those who achieve this level of Iman – rising above all other ties and groupings except the brotherhood of Iman are the ones for whom He has decreed Iman and that He will aid them with strength and the light of Iman in their hearts. They are the ones who He will admit to the gardens of Paradise. Next (and to the point of this chapter), Allah tells us of his being pleased with these people and that they are content with Him as their Deity. They represent the Party of Allah, and Allah tells us that they are the ones who will be successful, i.e., will experience the good of this life and the next. The Prophet (saws) taught about this attribute of Allah in the following hadith:

Verily Allah will say to the people of Paradise: O, people of Paradise…, to which they will respond: Labbaik, our Lord, and Saadaik, all good is in Your two Hands. Allah will then say: Are you now pleased? They will answer: What is with us that we could not be pleased, when You have given us that which you gave no others in Your creation. Allah says: Should I not give you something even better? Then, they will ask: O Lord, what could possibly be better than that? To which Allah says: I fix upon you My pleasure, and I shall never be angry with you, ever! [Narrated by Muslim and Bukhari.]

{And whoever kills a believer intentionally [shall have] his reward of Hell fire, to dwell therein forever. Allah is angry with him, has cursed him and has prepared for him a terrible punishment.} 4/93.

In this verse is a harsh warning to those who intentionally murder a believer that their punishment will be Hell fire forever. The meaning of forever (u>Khaalidan feehaa) here is an extremely long stay therein. Allah further states that he is angry with them (u>Al-Ghadhab), and has cursed them (u>Al-La’n), i.e., has cast them away from His mercy. With respect to human action, this word means to curse and to revile, while with respect Allah’s action it means to cast away and to put at a distance (from His mercy). This is the opposite concept of Allah’s sending his prayers (u>Salaat) upon the righteous which has also been mentioned in the Qur’an. {He is the one who sends His prayers upon you, as do His angels, so that he may take you out of the darkness into the light; and He is with the believers most Merciful. Their greeting on the day they meet him is Salaam.} And, about Al-La’n, Allah said: {Verily Allah has cursed the disbelievers and prepared for them a blazing fire}.

The apparent meaning of this verse is that tawbah is not accepted from one who killed a believer. This position has been reported as the position of Ibn Abbas and others among the companions, based on the many very harshly-worded hadith about the sin of killing a Muslim. The position of the majority of the Ummah, however, is that the verses and hadith about tauba which state that all sins are wiped clean by tawbah include murder and thus, what is meant here is one who died without repentance. Wa Allahu A’alam!

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: The truth of this matter is that murder involves three rights: Allah’s right, the right of the victim, and the right of the victim’s guardian. Thus, if the murderer surrenders himself voluntarily, sincerely regretting what he has done and fear of Allah and repenting a full repentance, Allah’s right has been taken care of. Then, the right of the victim’s guardian can only be removed by the fulfilment of what is upon him, compromise or forgiveness on the guardian’s part. As for the right of the victim which remains, Allah will compensate for it on Qiyama for the sake of his sincere, repenting slave, and so no rights are lost.

Further, if such a killer is put into Hell fire, he will not stay therein for eternity. This is the truth, insha Allah, and unlike the position of the Khawaarij and Al-Mu’tazilah who say that they will be in the fire forever, even if they were people of Tauhid. Hadith have been narrated from the Prophet (saws) with Tawaatur (extremely large numbers of narrators which make forgery impossible) which state clearly that all of the people of Tauhid, if they enter the fire, will eventually be removed there from.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

A harsh warning to any who wilfully murder believers with legal cause.

Affirmation of Allah’s attributes (of action) of Anger and Cursing of those deserving thereof.

Killing of believers is completely forbidden except for the three legal justifications: for murder, for adultery when proven and tried and for spreading corruption in the earth.

Jahannam is a reality. Allah has prepared it for the disbelievers and the disobedient who He has decided to punish.

Allah’s absolute justice between his slaves.

Evidence of the resurrection, the gathering, the taking of accounts, paradise and hell-fire, and recompense for our actions.

The sanctity of the rights of the believer.

Proof that Allah has attributes of wilful action.

The ruling mentioned in the verse applied only to intentional killing of a believer.

Allah’s Attributes Of Being Pleased With, Anger, Wrath, Dislike for Something Etc.

{O, you who believe, why do you say that which you do not do?! * Greatly detested is it before Allah that you should say that which you do not do.} As-Saff/2-3

Al-Maqt is another attribute of Allah. It means to loath, abhor or detest something and find it hateful. The verse says that the loathsomeness of people among the group of the believers who talk but fail to live up to what they themselves say is very great with Allah. That is, that they should commit themselves to something but fail to live up the meaning of their promise. This is because the fulfilment of promises is a sign of noble and praiseworthy character. Based on such character, and only with its presence, the bonds of trust are created in the Jamaa, and its members are brought close in ties of consideration and love. The opposite situation gives precisely the opposite results: when the character of saying what one does not becomes widespread, and this includes not living up to promises, or feigning a commitment while in the heart there is another reality, trust is not established among the members of the Jamaa, and instead of closeness, mutual concern and compassion, the group is afflicted with individualism, envy, hatred and broken relationships. When the Ummah reaches this state, it becomes like an untied knot: there is no benefit from it and they strike no fear in the hearts of their enemies. They cannot function in any situation of stress and challenge because of their tawaakul (not Tawakkul), and because of their lack of trust in one another.

Knowledge Contained In These Verses

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Al-Maqt, to loath, detest or abhor.

That Allah’s abhorrence is of varying degrees (since the verse says kabura maqtan i.e., great is the loathing of Allah that….

A reminder to Muslims that they should always live up to their word in all things, both large and small, and with other people as well as with Allah ta’ala.

The firmest of forbiddances of failing to fulfil one’s promises. This verse has been cited as evidence that fulfilling of promises is absolutely obligatory with no exceptions, even if there was never really an intention to do what was promised. In this regard, the famous hadith from Muslim is also cited: The signs of a Munaafiq are three: when he speaks he lies; when he promises he fails to fulfil; and when he is entrusted with something he is treacherous.

A single individual may be an enemy of Allah and then become an ally (Waliy) of Allah and thus Allah detested him in the first stage but loved him in the latter stage.

{So how [will it be] when the angels take them in death, beating them in the front and in the back? * That is because they followed that which causes Allah’s hatred, and they disliked [that which brings] His pleasure; and so He invalidated their works. * Did those in whose hearts is sickness imagine that Allah would not bring forth their inner secrets?} Muhammad/27-29

These verses describe the terrifying ordeal of these people in death. They are all those who sink in the disobedience of Allah, and to whom Shaytan has succeeded in making lusts and sins and transgression seem acceptable or even positive and good. They then come to detest all good things, all that which pleases Allah ta’ala, i.e., Iman, Tauhid and obedience to Allah’s law. When this happens, Allah invalidates all good which they may have done before their apostation. He also invalidates all of their actions which in appearance are obedience and are righteousness such as giving in charity, aiding the oppressed, maintaining ties of kinship and friendship, etc. There can be no acts of obedience and no possibility of thawaab in the absence of belief, and belief, as we have seen, includes testimony, conviction and action!

Knowledge Contained In These Verses

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of As-Sakht, i.e., wrath or loathing. It is similar in meaning to Al-Maqt, and the actual nature of all of Allah’s attributes is that which is appropriate to His Greatness and Perfection.

Proof of the causality of our actions and our eventual situation. It is our choices and our actions which determine whether we are of those who Allah loves or among those who He detests. This in turn determines our condition in the hereafter.

That evil actions are the cause of Allah’s anger, torment, and the invalidation of one’s good works.

Rejection of the claim that there is no relationship between our actions and our reward or punishment.

A condemnation of those who love that which is detested by Allah.

An equal condemnation of those who hate that which Allah loves.

The great compassion of Allah for His creation because of the fact that He sent His messengers (peace be upon them) to make clear that which pleases Allah and leads to our own happiness and that which displeases him and is a cause of the invalidation of our actions, and our misery and torment in this life and in the hereafter.

Proof that Allah takes vengeance upon those who disobey him and go against His order.

A warning and reminder to all Muslims to beware of going against Allah’s order, since this is the cause of His anger, His wrath and His punishment.

Allah’s Attribute Of To Come (Al-Majee’, Al-Ityan)

{O you who believe, enter into the Peace (i.e. Islam) all together and do not follow the steps of Shaytan. Verily he is to you a clear enemy. * And if you backslide after that which has come to you by way of clear signs, know that Allah is Mighty, Wise (Sovereign). * Is it then anything that they await but that Allah should come to them in canopies of clouds along with the angels, and the issue is settled. And to Allah is the conclusion of all issues. Al-Baqarah/ 208-210.

In these verses, Allah informs us that the only way to be safe when Allah comes to us and all accounts are settled is to enter into the peace of submission to Allah’s order. We are warned not to follow the steps of Shaytan who, being our avowed enemy, waits at every turn to lead us astray to whatever extent he can. If we fail to heed these warnings, we are reminded of Allah’s perfect attributes of Might. Might, in that Allah is fully capable of taking vengeance upon those who rebel against His order, as has been explained in the Tafsir. And, Wise (or Sovereign) in that His Justice is absolute and none shall be oppressed in the least. This demands the punishment of the wrongdoers, since it would not be just to those who worked righteousness to be treated in the same manner as the criminals. {Should then we treat those who submit the same as the criminals? * What is wrong with you, how do you judge?!}. And, finally, Allah informs us of the time when He will come to us, along with His Angels, and all accounts will be settled and final. Obviously, we must prepare for that day, since what follows it is eternal – either torment or bliss. As Imam Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) used to say: Prepare during your passage for you place of permanence.

Knowledge Contained In These Verses

Islam is the complete submission to Allah’s order.

Allah will justly repay all for their actions, good and bad.

Proof of the resurrection, the taking of accounts, and the repayment for all actions.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of being High and above His creation.

Affirmation of Allah’s attributes of voluntary action (Al-Af’aal Al-Ikhtiyaariya), and in particular, that He will come down to us on Qiyamah (Al-Ityaan).

Allah is the final Judge of all affairs, and all affairs will go to Him for resolution.

In these verses, and all those dealing with Qiyamah, is a reminder to the believer to rush to rectify his or her actions and repent to Allah without delay since Qiyamah may come upon him suddenly by way of an unexpected death, or an early illness may prevent him from doing good works and improving his account.

{As for man, whenever his Lord tests him, bestowing on him honour and wealth, he says, My Lord has honoured me. * And as for [the times when] He tests him, limiting his wealth, he says, My Lord has humiliated me. * No! Rather you respect not the orphans. * Nor do you encourage one another to feed the poor. * And you greedily devour inheritances. * And you love wealth with an inordinate love. * No! When the Earth is pounded to powder. * And your Lord comes along with the angels, rank upon rank. * And hell-fire that day is brought out. On that day, man will remember, but how will this remembrance benefit him? * He will say, Woe is me, if only I had sent forth (some good deeds) for (this) my (real) life.} Al-Fajr (89)/15-24.

Knowledge Contained In These Verses

Allah’s attribute of to come (Al-Majee’)

The angels, too, will come down with Allah subhaanahu wa ta’ala.

Allah’s elevation above His creation.

The need to live in this live with ones attention focused mainly on the hereafter.

An urging to maintain consciousness of Allah (u>Al-Muraqaba) at all times.

Whatever seemingly great things man has created on earth, whether empires, structures, weapons, etc. are only temporary, and will be crushed to powder whenever Allah so wills.

A glimpse into the terror of Qiyamah, from which hearts will recoil in fear, especially hearts of the oppressors and wrongdoers.

Allah is the one who will carry out the judgement between all of His creation.

Allah’s Attribute Of A Face

{All who are upon it shall perish. * And there will remain the Face of Allah, full of Majesty and Honor.} Ar-Rahman (55/27)

In this verse, Allah informs us that all who are upon the earth shall perish, leaving only His glorious countenance. The general rule in Arabic is that a pronoun must refer back to the specific mention of the thing intended. In many verses of the Qur’an, however, we find pronouns without any such reference but where the intended meaning can be inferred from the flow of the verses. Thus, this verse starts out All who are upon it… Although this verse has not been preceded by any explicit mention of the earth, it can be understood what is intended. Other examples of this from the Qur’an are: {And you see no creature upon its back.} (the earth). {If only, when it reached the throat…} (the soul on its way out in death). {Verily, it throws off sparks the size of castles} (hell-fire).

Then, Allah describes His Face saying, full of Majesty and Honour. Full of majesty is clear. Full of honour here could refer to Allah’s honouring of His prophets, messengers, allies and believing slaves, as He said in another verse: {And we have honoured the sons of Adam and have carried them over the land and the sea.} Or it could refer to His being the all-deserving of honour, glorification, tauhid, praise and worship from all of His believing slaves.

Allah’s Face has also been mentioned in various hadith. It has been authentically narrated that the Prophet (saws) used to seek refuge with Allah’s Face and that he used to say: I ask you the sweetness of looking at your Face.

Al-Jahmiya rejected that Allah is described as possessing a Face, and interpreted it as a mere relative word such as self which merely means Allah himself. There are several problems with this. First, this use of the word wajh (face) is totally unknown in the Arabic language. Second, as Al-Khattabi, Al-Baihaqiy and others have mentioned, in this verse Allah attributed the Face to himself, and then attributed two attributes to His Face (i.e., full of Majesty and Honour). Since the Face itself has attributes, it is obviously not merely Adh-Dhaat (Allah Himself).

Another erroneous interpretation which has been claimed is that the word Face is used to mean Allah’s thawaab, i.e., the rewards which He gives to his obedient slaves. This runs contrary to many dalils. The Prophet (saws) in a variety of sahih hadith sought mentioned Allah’s face. I seek refuge in Your Glorious Face that You might give me shade. You are the Living who does not die, while men and jinn die. It is unacceptable to say that the Prophet (saws) sought refuge in something created (e.g., Thawaab), and so we know that the Face is an attribute of Allah, and not something separate from Him and created by Him such as thawaab. In another hadith, it is reported that the Prophet (saws) said: His veil is light. If it were removed, the majesty of His Face would burn up all that of His creation upon which His sight fell.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Allah is the All-deserving of our praise, honour and worship.

A rejection of the claims of those who denied this attribute of Allah or twisted the meanings of the words to give other meanings without authority.

An urging to humbly honour Allah, keep consciousness of Him and beware of Him.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of His Face and that He is the Living who will remain and never die unlike His creation who must all die.

{And call not along with Allah another deity – there is no deity but He. All shall perish except His face. His is the Rule, and to him you shall be returned.} Al-Qasas (28/88).

The meaning of this verse is that all the inhabitants of the earth shall perish and go to that which Allah wishes for them and there will remain only His Glorious Countenance. This applies to all created living beings: men, angels, jinn and animals without exception. Of Allah’s creation, non-destruction and continued existence when all else perishes has been decreed for eight things: (1) Al-Arsh, (2) Al-Kursiy, (3) Hell-fire, (4)Paradise, (5) The tailbones of people, (6)Souls, (7)The Tablet, and (8) the Pen. Thus, the meaning of All shall perish is that all things for whom destruction has been decreed.

Note: Things described As Being Of Allah

Those things which have been attributed to Allah Most High via the Arabic Idhaafa, such as Baitullah (Allah’s House) or Ilmullah (Allah’s knowledge) fall into two distinct categories, very different in meaning and very important to be understood by every Muslim:

Things which have their own separate existence such as Allah’s House, Slave of Allah, Allah’s Spirit (Ruhullah), etc. They have only been thus described by way of honouring them and stressing their status among Allah’s creation. It does not, however, make them anything more than what they are: creations among the creations of Allah Most High.

Attributes which have no existence separate from Allah Most High such as Allah’s Knowledge, His Life, His Omnipotence, His Might, His Hearing, His Words, His Face, etc. This are mentioned as being of Allah in the literal sense, i.e., the relation of an attribute to the Possessor of that attribute.

The same two categories exist for things which have been described as being from him (u>minhu or min Allah). For example {a spirit from Him}, and {And He placed at your service all that is in the heavens and the earth, all of that is from Him} refer to things among his creation which are only from Him in the sense that He is their Creator, but they are not part of Him. On the other hand, {The sending down of the Book from Allah} describes the Qur’an as being from Allah while Allah’s words are one of His attributes, cannot be separated from Him, and have no existence separate from Allah Most High. Again, the Prophet (saws) sought refuge in the perfect words of Allah and, since it is impossible that the Prophet (saws) could have sought refuge in something created (which is Shirk!), we know that Allah’s words are not other than Allah, rather, they are one of his attributes like His Might, His Mercy, etc.

Allah’s Attribute Of Two Hands

{He said: O Iblis, what has prevented you from prostrating to that which I have created with My Two Hands?! Are you too proud? Or are among the high and arrogant?’} Sawd (38/75).

{Why don’t the Rabbis and scholars forbid them the uttering of sinful words and the consumption of the forbidden? Evil indeed are their works. * And the Jews said: ‘Allah’s hand is tied.’ May their hands be tied up and they be cursed for that which they have said. Rather, His two hands are outstretched, He gives out in whatever way He wishes… } Al-Ma’idah (5/63-64).

The Reality Of Allah’s Two Hands

{He said, O, Iblis, what has prevented you from prostrating to that which I have created with My Two Hands? Have you become arrogant, or are you among the high and mighty ones? He said, I am superior to him. You created me from fire and you created him from clay.} Saad(38)/75-76

Allah asks the question in these verses not seeking some knowledge or understanding (Istifhaam), but by way of calling attention to and condemning this grave error of understanding and action. The meaning then is: what is it that has diverted or prevented you from prostrating, according to My Order, to that which I have created directly with My Two Hands without any intermediary? As has been mentioned earlier, the description of the creation as being Allah’s is to emphasize its status, not to make it a part of Allah Most High, who is completely separate from His creation. Other created things which have been thus described as being Allah’s include: Allah’s spirit (Ruh), Allah’s House, Allah’s She-Camel, and Allah’s Mosques.

That fact that Allah has mentioned his hands in the dual form is the most conclusive proof that His hands are a reality (again, a reality unlike any known to us and appropriate to His Greatness and Perfection) and cannot be interpreted to some other abstract meaning not apparent in the words themselves. This is a clear rebuttal of the position of those who have tried to deny that Allah has any attribute called Hands and who claim that the meaning is His Power, His Control or His Bounties. This pointless dispute arose fairly early in the history of Islam, and Imam Abu Hanifa has sharply condemned such interpretations in his book Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar. In spite of this, great numbers of the followers of this great Iman today espouse the baseless interpretations which their Imam condemned.

Knowledge Contained In These Verses

Affirmation of the reality of the Two Hands of Allah.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of creation.

Intellectual reasoning or analogy are useless and only lead one astray in the face of information and/or commands from Allah Most High.

Rejection of the position of those who claimed abstract, non-apparent meanings attributed to Allah’s Hands in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

An indication of the high status of Adam before Allah.

Condemnation of all disobedience of Allah Most High.

{Why do their Rabbis and scholars not forbid them their speaking of evil and their devouring of the forbidden. Evil indeed are their works. * The Jews say: Allah’s hand is tied! Be their hands tied and be they cursed for that which they have said! Nay, His Two Hands are outstretched and He gives of His bounties as He pleases. Indeed, many of them will only be increased in transgression and disbelief by that which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And We have placed amongst them enmity and hatred until the Day of Qiyamah. Every time they kindle the fire of war, Allah extinguishes it. But they (ever) strive to create corruption on the earth, and Allah loves not the makers of corruption.} Al-Ma’ida(5)/63-64

In these verses, Allah informs us about the Jews, upon whom the curse of Allah has descended until the day of Qiyamah, telling us how they attributed miserliness to Allah, just as they attributed poverty to Him in another incident. (Exalted is He above that which they say!) They expressed this blasphemy (miserliness) by saying that Allah’s Hands are tied. Allah’s reply to this Be their hands tied has a number of interpretations: an invocation against them, or information about their state. Furthermore, it could refer to this life or to the hereafter. If it refers to this life, it could be a reference to their own miserliness. This interpretation is supported by actual experience with this people; miserliness follows them as an object’s shadow follows the object. The general experience has been that no matter how wealthy one of them becomes, they are among the most miserly and avaricious of Allah’s creation. In this life the tying of their hands could also refer to their hands being bound in captivity. If the reference is to the hereafter, then it is a reference to the binders (u>Al-Aghlaal) with which the denizens of hell-fire will be bound. The word cursed (u>La’an) as we have seen previously, means to be removed at a distance and cast away from the mercy of Allah, in this case because of their blasphemous utterance about Allah Most High.

Knowledge Contained In These Verses

Allah’s attribute of Two Hands, which are among the attributes of His essence (As-Sifaat Adh-Dhaatiya).

Allah’s Hands cannot be rejected or twisted to mean something else, not apparent in the words of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

The destruction of any nation that neglects the ordering of what is right and the forbidding of what is wrong. This responsibility is upon every individual in the Ummah, but is especially burdensome upon the people of knowledge among them.

Condemnation of the Jews and Allah’s curse upon them because of their attributing to Him that which is not one of His attributes.

That mere words spoken on the tongue can bring on the curse or punishment of Allah. The Prophet (saws) was once asked if mere words could send one to hell-fire and he replied: And are the people cast into the fire on their faces for anything else besides the harvests of their tongues?

Allah’s curse on the Jews and that their hands are tied — possible meanings of this expression.

For many among Allah’s creation, the message of Islam when delivered to them will only increase them in transgression and kufr.

The inability of the disbelievers to wage any war against the Party of Allah. As we know from hadith, they only overcome the Muslims when the Muslims themselves bring about their own defeat.

Allah is to be described with the praiseworthy attributes of which He has informed us in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. We have no knowledge or ability to take the matter beyond this.

The various interpretations of the Hands of Allah as meaning His Bounties or his Power are rejected by the Qur’an and the Sunnah. A brief summary of the falsehood of these interpretations follows:

The term has been used in many different ways which do not admit these interpretations: e.g. which I have created with My Two Hands, His Two Hands are outstretched, …the earth is in His grip on the day of Qiyamah and the heavens are rolled up in His Right Hand.

Allegorical meanings of this type are never used in the dual in the Arabic language — they only occur in the singular or the plural. If we say that Allah’s Hand is his Power, then are we inventing two powers and two generosities of Allah Most High??!

Thus, one who ponders the many references to Allah’s hands in the Qur’an and the Sunnah and the words of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, can be left with no doubt that they are a reality, and not an allegory for something else.

Affirmation Of Allah’s Attributes Of Hearing And Seeing

Allah Most High said:

{Allah has heard the statement of she who disputed with you regarding her husband and raised her complaint to Allah. And Allah has heard your discussion. Verily Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.} Al-Mujadilah(58)/1

{Allah has heard the statement of those who said: Allah is poor and we are rich.} Aal-Imraan(3)/181

{Or did they imagine that We hear not their secrets and their private discussions? On the contrary! Our messengers are amongst them writing [everything].} Az-Zukhruf(43)/80

In these verses, Allah is described with the attributes of hearing and seeing and that He hears and sees with a reality of seeing which is exalted above the attributes of any created thing and is beyond any comparability to them. This is the belief of the Salaf (beginning generations) of this Ummah and its Imams and is clearly indicated by the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

In the first verse: The meaning is that Allah has heard the statements of the woman who discussed with the Prophet (saws) about her husband. Her name is Khaula bint Tha’laba. The story is that she raised her complaint to Allah over the weakness of her position and the lack of any avenue at her disposal. This was after her husband pronounced Adh-Dhihaar after many years of marriage and the birth of many children. Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: Blessed is He who encompasses all sounds. Verily, the woman conversed with Allah’s Messenger (saws) while I was in another corner of the house. I heard some of her words while others were inaudible. Then Allah sent down the verse {Allah has heard…}.

Thus, no rational person can doubt for a moment that the meaning of this verse is explicit and literal. It can accept no non-apparent interpretation whatsoever. Rather, it asserts the reality of Allah’s hearing and that Allah Himself hears.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of hearing. One of His names is As-Samee’. Its meaning with respect to Allah ta’ala is the One from whose hearing no sound whatsoever escapes or is hidden however inaudible it is to us. The footsteps of a tiny black ant walking on a smooth rock on a dark night is heard by Allah ta’ala. His hearing encompasses all sounds, the secret and the public, the near and the far. Further, these sounds do not become confused with Allah despite the many different languages and the many and varied sounds just as if they were to Him a single sound.

As-Sam’ (hearing or to hear) is used with four different meanings: 1) hearing as a perception or sense and its object is sound; 2) hearing with the meaning of comprehension and understanding and its object is meaning; 3) hearing in the sense of response and granting that which was asked; and 4) acceptance and following. Examples of each follow:

1) Perception of sounds:

{Allah has heard the statements of she who disputed with you regarding her husband…}

{Allah has heard the statement of those who say that Allah is poor and we are rich.}

2) Understanding of meanings:

{And do not say attend us rather say look to us and listen.}

{…We hear and we obey…}

3) Response and granting of what was asked:

The statement in Salat: Sami’a Allah liman hamidahu, i.e., Allah hears for he who praises Him. In a Du’a narrated from the Prophet (saws): O Allah hear (i.e., respond) and grant me what I have asked.

4) Acceptance and following:

{Constant listeners to lies, constant consumers of the unlawful…}

{If they had come out with you, they would not have increased you except in confusion and disorder and they would have sown discord among you desiring for you calamity and amongst you are listeners to them and Allah is fully knowledgeable of the oppressors.} At-Tauba(9)/47

Linguistically, hearing as a perception of sound is transitive with no preposition, hearing as comprehension of meaning is also transitive with no preposition, hearing with the meaning of acceptance is transitive with the preposition li sometimes and min others, and hearing with the meaning of response and granting of a request is also transitive with the preposition li.

Thus, we see that Allah possesses hearing with which He hears all sounds and sight with which He sees all things. We cannot fully comprehend either of these attributes since they are unlike anything we know and we must not attempt to do so.

Raising a complaint to Allah does not indicate a lack of patience.

Rejection of the claims of those who reject Allah’s attribute of hearing or interpret it to mean something other than the apparent.

The right of the Muslims to take their problems, their legal questions and their complaints to the ruler.

Allah’s hearing encompasses all sounds.

In the second verse: The occasion of the sending down of this verse is described in that which is narrated by Saeed ibn Jubair from Ibn Abbas:

When Allah sent down the verse: {Who is the one who will lend Allah and goodly loan? Allah will increase it many times over} the Jews said: O Muhammad! Your Lord has become poor and so He asked His slaves for a loan. And so Allah sent down the verse: {Allah has heard the statement of those who said that Allah is poor and we are rich.}

In the rest of the verse, Allah states that He will record this heinous statement along with their killing of the prophets and then will say to them: {…taste the punishment of the fire!}. Allah attributed the killing of the prophets to the living Jews even though they did not physically take part in it because of their acceptance of these deeds and of their perpetrators as their forefathers and the early generations of their Ummah. Thus, all of them shared the guilt either directly or by association. Those who know of evil and do not try to stop it or condemn it and speak out against it even after the fact, are equally guilty even though they did not physically take part in the act.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of hearing in a manner appropriate to His greatness and perfection.

Proof of the resurrection and the accountability of all for their deeds and statements.

Proof of rewards and punishments according to ones words and deeds in this world.

That Allah neglects nothing and that all things are recorded.

It is obligatory upon every member of an Ummah to condemn and rebuke those who do evil and to change it or prevent it if they are able. If they fail in this obligation, they become deserving of punishment in this life in the form of oppression and poverty and the punishment of Allah in the hereafter.

If the latter members of an Ummah fail to analyse the actions of their predecessors with the measure of the Shariah and to praise the praiseworthy and condemn the evil, they become partners in the actions of their predecessors and equally guilty and equally deserving of punishment.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of speech (in the rest of the verse).

The reality of the recording angels.

An example of the lowliness of the Jews in the time of the Prophet (saws) in describing Allah with poverty.

In the third verse: The meaning of secrets is one’s discourses with himself in his mind or with another in a hidden place. Private discussions (u>An-Najwaa) means a discussion between companions which they conceal from others. Do they think that any of this is hidden from Allah ta’ala? On the contrary! Allah hears both their thoughts and their secret meetings and the recording angels are taking down all statements or actions which they commit. Until, on the day of Qiyamah, all find all that they have said and done present before them and Allah oppresses no one! {And so whosoever commits an atom’s weight of good shall see it and whosoever commits an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.}

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Allah’s hearing encompasses both the open and the secret.

Affirmation Of Allah’s Seeing, Hearing, Being With His Knowledge

{They (two) said: Our Lord, verily we fear lest he hasten in acting against us or transgress all bounds. * He said: Fear not (you two), verily I am with you (two) hearing and seeing.} Taha(20)/45-46

{Have you seen he who prohibits * a slave when he prays? * Do you see that he is on guidance? * Or enjoins piety? * Do you see, if he rejects and turns away * Has he not come to know that Allah sees?} Al-Alaq(96)/14

{And warn the closest among your relatives. * And lower your wing to those believers who follow you. * Then, if they disobey you, say: I am innocent of that which you do. * And place your reliance on the Mighty, the Merciful. * He who sees you when you stand * and your movements among those who prostrate. * Verily He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.} Ash-Shu’araa(26)/214-220.

{And say: Act, for Allah will see your actions as will His Prophet and the believers and you shall be returned to the Knower of the hidden and the apparent who will then inform you of all that you used to do.} At-Tauba(9)/105

In the first verse: This verse is addressed to Musa and Harun when they were sent to confront Pharaoh. Allah reminds them that they should not fear the superior power of Pharaoh compared to them or fear that he may rush into attacking them before the completion of the Da’wah and the showing of the signs. Allah says: {hearing and seeing}, i.e., I hear what you say and what Pharaoh says and I see your position and his position. No element of the situation is hidden from Me. And know you (two) that his forehead is in My hand – he can neither speak nor breathe nor strike except with My permission and after My decree. I am with you (two) with my protection, aid and support, so do not be concerned.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Affirmation of Al-Maa’iya Al-Khaasa, i.e., Allah describing Himself as being with certain individuals in particular.

A reminder to rely solely upon Allah, the High and Great.

Affirmation of Allah’s attributes of hearing and seeing.

Affirmation of Allah’s total power and control over all that happens in His creation.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of speech.

A tribute to the lofty station of Musa and Harun because of Allah’s being with them in particular.

In the second verse: Did not this person who tried to prevent Allah’s slave from praying know that Allah sees him and hears his words and that He will repay him for his actions in full?! This is a very grave threat. It has been reported that this verse was revealed about Abu Jahl when he prohibited the Prophet (saws) from making prayer around the Ka’aba. This verse is a clear affirmation of Allah’s deity ship and other things coming after the next paragraph.

In the third verse: Allah is the One who sees you during the great worship that is Salat. He sees you when you are standing and through the other motions of the prayer – the bowing and the prostrating. Allah specifically mentioned prayer because of its importance and because whoever maintains remembrance during the prayer of the closeness of Allah (in His knowledge and power) achieves concentration and humility in his Salat and performs it very well. With this quality in his Salat, his other actions are also rectified and he seeks aid with it in all of his affairs. Verily, He is the Hearer of all sounds despite their many and varied types. He is the Knower whose knowledge encompasses all the hidden and the apparent, the present and the absent. When a Muslim maintains his remembrance that Allah sees all that he does and hears everything that he utters and knows of all that is in his heart, he is aided thereby in increasing in Taqwa and moving toward the station of Ihsaan.

Knowledge Derived From These Two Verses

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of sight and hearing.

Affirmation of Allah’s all-encompassing knowledge.

A reminder to strive in remembrance of Allah’s proximity to us and to all that we do.

The importance of giving Da’wah to those closest to you.

That there is a cut-off point in the process of Da’wah at which point a Muslim must assert his innocence of the disbeliever, even if he is a close relative.

A Muslim must maintain remembrance of the absolute power of Allah and place his reliance solely in Allah in Da’wah and all other activities.

In the fourth verse: Allah here addresses His Prophet (saws): Say, O Muhammad, to these hypocrites: Do whatever you wish and continue, if you like, in your falsehood, but do not deceive yourselves that any of that will be hidden. Of necessity, your actions will be exposed and become clear to all. Mujahid said: This is a threat, i.e., from Allah to those who act against His orders and a warning that their actions will be shown before Him and to His Prophet (saws) and to the believers. This will happen without fail on Qiyamah. Allah said: {On that day, you will be shown, and no secret of yours will be hidden.} Furthermore, Allah may expose it to the people in this life, as has been narrated by Imam Ahmad traced to the Prophet (saws): Even if one of you were do to an action in a rock which has no door and no exit, Allah would expose his actions to the people, no matter who he was.

Anas narrates from the Prophet (saws): Don’t bother being impressed with anyone until you see that with which his actions will be sealed. For, verily, one may act for a long period of time doing righteous deeds which, if one were to die in that state, would get one into paradise only to change to do acts of evil after that. And, another may act for a long period of time doing evil deeds which, if one were to die in that state, would condemn one to hell-fire only to change and do acts of righteousness after that. When Allah wishes good for his slave, He causes him to act before his death. They asked the Prophet (saws): O Messenger of Allah, how does He cause them to act? The Prophet (saws) answered: He causes him to do some righteous act and then takes him in death therein. Narrated by Imam Ahmad.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Affirmation that Allah sees all that we do.

Affirmation of the reality of the resurrection and the repayment of all according to their actions.

Affirmation of Allah’s all-encompassing knowledge.

Affirmation that Allah does not forget or neglect anything whatsoever.

Allah Schemes And Lays Snares

{The thunder exalts His praises and the angels out of fear of Him. And He sends the thunderbolts, striking with them whomever He pleases. Yet they dispute about Allah, and He is mighty in overpowering strength.} Ar-Ra’d(13)/13

{And they schemed and plotted and Allah schemed and Allah is the best of schemers.} Aal Imraan(3)/54

{They planned a scheme of deception and We planned a scheme of deception but they were unaware of it.} An-Naml(27)/50

{As for them, they are planning a scheme of deception * And I am planning a scheme of deception. * Therefore do not be impatient with regard to the disbelievers and grant them a delay for a little while.} At-Tariq(86)/15/17

In these verses is an affirmation of Allah’s attributes and His description of Himself with Al-Makr (scheming to dupe or deceive), Al-Kaid (plotting to overcome and snare) and Al-Mumaahala or Al-Mihaal (overpowering strength or escape-proof snares). These are among Allah’s attributes of action which apply to Allah in a manner and a meaning appropriate to His greatness and perfection. Ali said: …mighty in seizing; Ibn Abbas said: …mighty in overpowering strength; Mujahid said: …mighty in strength; Abu Ubaida said: …mighty in punishment and it has been said: …mighty in scheming. Al-Mumaahala and Al-Mihaal (the word actually used in the verse) mean scheming and overcoming. One of the scholars of Tafsir said: The meaning is that He is mighty in scheming and snaring His enemies — coming to them with their destruction from an unexpected direction.

There is an importance between 1) those attributes of Allah which come together by way of names such as Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem or As-Samee’ Al-‘Aleem and 2) those which come together in the Idhaafa construction such as {They seek to deceive Allah, but He is their deceiver} and {And thus the seizing of your Lord when he takes a town engaged in oppression: verily His seizing is painful and harsh.} and {And He is mighty in overpowering strength.}.

In the first case, each of Allah’s names indicates one of His attributes (mercy, hearing, knowledge) and there is a corresponding verb derived from that name of Allah (Allah has mercy, hears, knows, etc.) which is also applicable to Allah ta’ala.

In the second case, we apply these words to Allah only in the Idhaafa form in which they have come in the Qur’an or as a verb (e.g., Allah deceives the hypocrites, Allah seizes those who disobey Him and seizes the oppressors). We do not, however, derive a name from such constructions. Thus the deceiver, the seizer and the schemer are not among the names of Allah ta’ala.

Similarly, those actions which have come in the Qur’an in the verb form, are applied to Allah as they have come — we do not derive names for Allah from them, unless these are evidenced in other verses or hadith. For example, Allah says in many verses that he schemed against those who schemed against Him, yet we do not refer to Allah with the name of the schemer.

As for the reason for these seemingly unpraiseworthy actions of Allah, it is said that this is in the sense of reciprocation as in the verse: {And the reward of evil is evil like unto it} and {And if you are dealt a blow, deal a blow like the one that was dealt to you}. The meaning of scheming (Al-Makr) is giving one appearance while concealing another reality in order to achieve one’s goal. It can be divided into two types: praiseworthy and blameworthy. The blameworthy scheme is the one done to one not deserving of it while the praiseworthy scheme is the one done to one who deserves it as a just punishment. This latter is the only one attributed to Allah and it indicates no blameworthy trait or deficiency. Of the praiseworthy type, then is Allah’s scheming to deceive those who schemed to deceive Him as an appropriate response to their actions and a just reward of the same nature as their transgression. Precisely the same analysis applies to laying snares (u>Al-Kaid): He only does the praiseworthy of that action out of His Justice and Wisdom.

The meaning of scheming (Al-Makr) is sudden overtaking and seizing at an unexpected moment, as Allah said elsewhere: {We will lead them (further) astray from a direction which they know not.} So, when Allah uses words like scheming and ensnaring in speaking about Himself, He is applying verbs to His actions. This area is much wider than Allah’s names. Thus, Allah attributed many actions to Himself, but did not take names corresponding to each of these verbs. He described Himself as intending (Araada) and wanting (Shaa’a) but did not take the names of intender (Mureed) or wanter (Shaa’ee). Those who derived a name for Allah from every verb which He attributed to Himself have made a serious error. They came up with over 1000 names, although the hadith numbers them at 99.

Also, Allah ta’ala sometimes informs us about himself with nouns but which are not among His names and so this area too is wider than His glorious Names. For example, in the Qur’an Allah refers to Himself as a thing (Shai’), etc. but did not take this as a name.

Thus, it is upon every Muslim to exercise utmost caution in determining the names with which Allah has named Himself and sticking to these names as found in the revelation, avoiding applying words to Allah which He did not apply to Himself except those phrases which are equivalent in meaning to the names with which Allah has named himself. In such case, the words must be carefully defined, especially with respect to those attributes which contain both praiseworthy and blameworthy potential meanings. Examples of this are found in the Qur’an: {…Doer of whatever He wishes} and {The product of Allah who perfected all things}. Doer and Producer are not among Allah’s glorious names.

Review Of Concepts

The three actions attributed to Allah in these verses (scheming, ensnaring or trapping and overpowering) are among Allah’s attributes of action, but are not among His glorious names.

Attributes of Allah in the Qur’an which are also among His Glorious names.

Other nouns attributed to Allah in the Qur’an in Idhaafa constructions which are not among His glorious names.

Verbs (actions) which Allah attributes to Himself in the Qur’an but from which no derivative name has been given to us.

Such verbs are many more than Allah’s names and to derive names from them is without basis does not always yield praiseworthy names.

The error of some modern scholars who derived a name for Allah from every such verb.

Affirmation Of Allah’s Attributes Of Forbearance, Forgiveness, Capability And Might

{Allah does not like evil to be made open in public speech, except for he who has been oppressed and Allah is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. * Whether you show good openly or conceal it or pardon evil, verily Allah is ever Forbearing, fully Capable.} An-Nisaa(4)/148-149

In this verse: Allah informs us that the doers of good, whether secretly or openly, and those who are forbearing and forgiving with people are among those to whom He will be good. He will reward them in a fashion similar to their actions in this life, forgiving their bad deeds. One of Allah’s attributes is Forgiveness and Forbearance, and He is the fully capable who gives great rewards upon little action.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Allah’s all-encompassing Knowledge.

The Deity ship of Allah ta’ala.

The total Capability of Allah over all things.

Allah’s great generosity and kindness.

A reminder to study and contemplate Allah’s Glorious Names.

Allah’s attribute of Forbearance (Al-‘Afw) is close in meaning to His attribute of The Forgiving (Al-Ghafoor), but is wider and stronger in meaning. Forgiveness is based on covering up or hiding, while Forbearance is based on the concept of wiping something out, which is a stronger concept.

Then, since the most complete forbearance is that granted in spite of a complete capability hold to account and to avenge, Allah paired His attribute of Forbearance with His attribute of Al-Qadeer, i.e., the One fully capable of all things.

A call to the character of forbearance and graciousness to others.

That forbearance and forgiveness of others is a cause of Allah’s forbearance and forgiveness.

Rewards are of like nature to actions.

A rejection of the position of Al-Jabriya, who say that humans possess no ability to act, and that actions are attributed to them only in an allegorical sense.

Open and public actions are all the same to Allah.

{Let not those endowed with plenty and ample means among you resolve by oath against giving to their relatives, to the poor and to those who make Hijra in the path of Allah. And let them forebear and forgive. Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.} An-Nur(24)/22

In this verse: Forbearance here means to overlook, conceal and forgive. In this verse, Allah urges the forgiving and overlooking of wrongdoing or mistreatment received at the hands of others. Then, Allah mentions a great motivator, saying: {Do you not wish that Allah should forgive you?} i.e., because of your forbearance and forgiveness toward those who did some evil to you in this life. {And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.} i.e., Allah is very great in forgiveness and mercy toward His slaves in spite of their many sins and transgressions.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

An order to be forbearing toward those who mistreat us and to be of good character.

Forbearance in this life is a cause of Allah’s forgiveness in the next.

Allah’s attribute of Forgiving (Al-Maghfira).

Affirmation that humans indeed act and are the authors of their actions.

Helping of needy relatives is not to be stopped because of their disobedience to Allah.

An order not to swear oaths not to do some act of good. Some scholars said: This is the most hopeful verse in the Qur’an since Allah advised us to be kind even to a slanderer.

Evidence that Allah’s names are derived from attributes and meanings attributable to Allah Most High and are thus names and attributes at the same time. This is why they are called Al-Asmaa’ Al-Husnaa (roughly: Glorious Names).

{They say, If we return to Madina, the mightier among us will surely drive out the more lowly. And to Allah belongs all might and to His Messenger and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.} Al-Munafiqoon(63)/8

In this verse: The second half of this verse lays out a response to the first part, the abomination spoken by the hypocrites. When they said {…the mightier among us will surely drive out the more lowly…}, they saw themselves as the mightier, i.e., in numbers and arms. They said this whereas the reality is that anyone with any kind of sense knows that all strength and victory belongs to Allah alone and to those upon whom He bestows it among His Messengers and righteous ones.

Allah’s might is His total Power and Control over his enemies. The might of His Prophet (saws) is the raising of Allah’s Din above over all other ways. Finally, the might of the believers is Allah’s helping them to victory over their enemies.

Thus, every believer possesses might in proportion to his share of Iman and the realities of Iman. Any time their is a decrease in might and stature, there is a corresponding decrease in the realities of Iman in knowledge and belief, openly and in secret. The believer is mighty, high in stature, aided by Allah and victorious wherever he is, even if all the peoples of the world join against him as long as he maintains the realities of Iman. Whoever suffers decrease in his Iman suffers also a decrease in his might and victories.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of Might. This is one of His attributes of Essence. Allah’s attribute of Al-‘Izza includes three meanings, all meanings of the word in Arabic:

Strength, as in His names Al-Qawiyy and Al-Mateen

Self-Sufficiency, as in His name Al-Ghaniyy. Allah is the Self-Sufficient and not in need of anything from His slaves.

Power and Control over all things.

He (Iblis) said: O my Lord, then give me respite until they day they are raised. * He said: Respite then is granted thee… * Till the day of the time appointed. * He said: Then, by Your Might, I will lead them into error – all of them… * Except for Your sincere and devoted slaves among them. * He said: The truth then, and the truth I speak… * I will fill the hell-fire with you and with those among them who follow you all together.} Saad(38)/79/85

It is allowed to swear an oath by Allah’s attributes.

Allah’s attributes are not created and are inseparable from Him. (I seek refuge in Allah’s Might and Power.)

Proof that the Jinn speak.

A Rebuttal To Those Who Reject The Jinn

There are many in our time who reject the Jinn. Most of them rely in their arguments on their claim that the only way to know the existence of something is through seeing or hearing and they have not been able to see or hear the Jinn. However, anyone’s inability to perceive the Jinn with their hearing, sight or any other sensory perception is no evidence of their non-existence logically and much less as far as the authoritative texts are concerned.

As for logic and reason, there is nothing to negate the possibility of a living being which cannot be seen except with the recently-invented microscope. Microbes are living things created by Allah found almost everywhere, including in the various layers of the atmosphere, but it is not possible to see them. Furthermore, anyone who rejects the existence of all that cannot be perceived by human senses is required by their claim to reject the spirit since it cannot be seen. Allah said: {They ask you about Ar-Ruh. Say: Ar-Ruh is Allah’s affair, and you have not been given knowledge except a small amount.} Further, these people must reject the angels, heaven and hell, intelligence, anger and anything else which cannot be seen or perceived.

As for textual evidence, it is indeed plentiful both in the Qur’an and in the Sunnah. Allah said:

{I have not created Jinn and humans except that they may worship Me.}

{Say: It has been communicated to me that a group of Jinn listened and said: Verily we have heard a wondrous Reading. It guides to correctness of conduct, we have believed in it and shall associated no one with our Lord.}

{And when We directed to you a group among the Jinn; they listened to the Qur’an. When they came to it they said Pay attention and when it was over they turned to their people as warners.}

{And We have bred for hell-fire many of the Jinn and the humans. They have hearts with which they do not understand, eyes with which they do not see and ears with which they do not hear.}

{And, on the day when We assemble them all: O, you ranks of the Jinn, you have done much (misleading) towards the humans. And their allies among the humans said: Our Lord, we have taken pleasure in one another.}

{O, you ranks of Jinn and humans, did not messengers come to you from amongst you reporting to you My signs (Ayat)?}

Verily he sees you, he and his people, from whence you cannot see them.}

{And he gathered for Sulaiman his forces from among the Jinn and the humans.}

{Say: If all of the humans and all of the Jinn got together to bring forth something like this Qur’an, they could never bring something like it.}

Also, from the Sunnah, there are very many proofs, too many to mention here. Among them:

A mischievous and powerful one among the Jinn came to me last night attempting to disrupt my prayer. Allah gave me power over him. I wished to tie him to one of the pillars of the masjid so that you could look at him in the morning. Then, I remembered the statement of my brother Sulaiman: My Lord, forgive me and give me a dominion not befitting to anyone who comes after me.}

Safiya, the wife of the Prophet (saws) once came to visit him while he was in I’tikaaf. When she was ready to leave, he escorted her to the door of the masjid, whereupon two of the Ansaar saw them and greeted him. Then he said: Take it easy, she is Safiya bint Huyayy. They said: Subhaana Allah O Messenger of Allah! and were quite shocked. Then, the Prophet (saws) said: Verily Shaitaan reaches of a person that which is reached by his blood and I feared that he may put something into your hearts.

This last hadith is clear and explicit in stating that Sheytan can enter the human body and move through it as blood moves through it invisibly. Sheytan has committed himself to various pursuits in his avowed and unending enmity to humans:

{I will lead them astray, I will arouse their hopes, and I will order them so that they clip the ears of the cattle and they will change the creation of Allah.}

{I will sit (waiting) for them on Your straight path. Then, I will approach them from the front, from the back, from the right and from the left and most of them You will not find grateful.}

Shaitaan is an open and avowed enemy. Allah detailed that which Sheytan orders us to do elsewhere and listed three things:

1) As-Soo’: (evil) which includes all acts of disobedience both major and minor and whether acts of the heart or the body.

2) Al-Fahshaa’: (obscenity) which are the more abominable and major sins such as fornication, killing and dealing in interest.

3) Wa an taqoolu ‘alaa Allah maa laa ta’lamoon: (…and to say about Allah that which you know not) this is of course the greatest sin and is the starting point of Shaitaan’s efforts to lead humans into Shirk.

Very many other hadith prove the existence of this other creation of Allah known as the Jinn.

There is no child born that is not contaminated by Sheytan except for the son of Maryam and his mother.

There is no one among you who has not been assigned one of the Jinn. The companions asked: Even you? The Prophet (saws) answered: Even me, but Allah aided me over him and he became Muslim and only orders me to do that which is good.

Also, the well-known hadith of Abu Hurayrah in Sahih Al-Bukhari about the Shaitaan (i.e., evil jinn) who came to him repeatedly while he was guarding the food of Zakat and who, on the third night taught him to recite Ayat Al-Kursiy before retiring to protect him from Shayateen!

Verily, these houses have occupants. When you see one of them, order them to leave thrice. Then, if they leave fine, otherwise kill them for they are disbelievers. Now go and bury your companion.

When the call to prayer is issued, Shaytan turns and runs passing gas so as not to hear the Adhaan. When the Adhaan is over he returns until the Iqama is issued, at which time he runs again. When the Iqama is over he returns to put suggestions between a Muslim and his self saying: ‘Remember such-and-such’ about something that the Muslim had not even thought of, until a Muslim reaches a state of not knowing how many (rakaats) he has prayed.

Shaytan ties three knots at the back of your head when you sleep chanting over each one You have a long night, now sleep. When you wake up and mention Allah one knot is released. If you perform Wudhuu’, a second knot is released. And, if you pray all three knots are released. You will then wake up in the morning energetic and with a clean heart. Otherwise, you will wake up with an unclean heart and lazy.

Do not clean yourselves with manure nor with bones for it is the food of your brothers among the Jinn.

It has been reported in authentic hadith that the Jinn eat and drink. And we have been ordered to eat only with our right hand and drink with it and give with it and take with it because Shaytan does all of these things with his left. None of this is in need of any explanation or interpretation. Thus no one can reject the reality of the Jinn except one possessed of no reason, one who has slipped completely out of the Din of Islam because he is attributing lies to Allah, his Prophet and the consensus of the Muslim Ummah from its East to its West. And Allah Most High knows best.

Negation And Affirmation

{Blessed is the name of your Lord, Possessor of majesty and honour.} Ar-Rahman(55)/78

In this verse: The meaning here is how exalted are His names and how great and blessed are His attributes. Then, Allah mentions his attribute of Al-Jalaal or majesty and greatness. As for Allah’s using the word Tabaarak (Blessed is…), this word has occurred in many places in the Qur’an. In each of these places is a mention of Allah’s Majesty, Greatness, or some of His actions which point to His Lordship, His Deity ship or His Wisdom, or any of His attributes of perfection such as sending down the Qur’an, creation of all creatures, placing stars in the heavens, His uniqueness in sovereignty, and his total power over all things. This attribute of Tabaaruk or Blessedness is on of Allah’s attributes of His essence. Evidence of this is the fact that it is connected to Allah’a name. Al-Baraka, or blessing, is of two types. The first type of Baraka is an action of Allah ta’ala as in the phrase Baaraka Allahu feeka. This verb is transitive with no preposition, with Fiy and with ‘Alaa. The receiver of this Baraka is called Mubaarak.

The second type of Baraka is one of Allah’s attributes of essence and is attributed to Him as are His attributes of Mercy, Might, etc. From this comes the expression Tabaaraka Allahu and for this reason this word cannot be applied to any other than Allah. He is Al-Mubaarik (the Granter of Baraka), while His slaves and His Prophets are Mubaarak (receivers of Baraka) as Isa said: {…and He made me Mubaarakan}.

{Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them: so worship Him and be constant and patient in His worship. Do you know of any namesake of Him?}

Worship (u>Ibada) in Arabic means servitude and humility. Ibn Taimiya has defined it as: A noun which denotes the totality of all human statements and actions, both external and internal, which please Allah ta’ala. The concept of namesake (Samiyy) here means someone similar or comparable. The word so (the particle Fa in Arabic) denotes causality since Allah’s being Lord of the Worlds demands that he be worshipped.

The meaning then is: Once you know that He is in total control of all that is in the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, submit to Him and worship Him, being steadfast and constant with the difficulties and hardships involved therein. The question in this verse has the meaning of negation, i.e., You do not know of any namesake of Allah and this demands the worship of Him since He is the grantor of all sustenance and provision both the great and the small.

Thus, it is a must to exalt His majesty to the maximum by acknowledging His Lordship, submitting to His rule and dedicating all worship to Him alone without partner. The meaning is not Do you find any who call themselves by His names? since some of His names can be applied to others. However, their meanings when applied to Allah ta’ala are of course not the same as their meanings when applied to others.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Lordship and Unicity of Allah.

An order to be patient and steadfast in worship of Allah.

Rejection of the possibility of anything similar or comparable to Allah ta’ala.

An order to exalt Allah and to submit to His authority and to dedicate all worship solely to Him and the forbiddance of directing any worship to others.

Allah’s great compassion toward His slaves in that He has directed us and urged us to the worship of Him alone, which is our only salvation from eternal torment.

{Say: He is Allah, One. * Allah the Self-Subsisting the Eternal. * He has not given birth nor was He born. * And there is no one whatsoever like unto Him.} Al-Ikhlas

The meaning of the last verse of this short sura is that there is absolutely no one and nothing at all comparable to Allah in His essence, His names or His attributes. This meaning includes:

Rejection anything similar to Allah ta’ala.

Rejection of the position of all who hold anything or anyone similar to Allah in any of His names, His attributes or His Actions.

Rejection of the claims of those who attribute to Allah any spouse or offspring.

{The One who made the earth your couch, made the heavens as your shelter, sent down the rain from the sky, then brought forth therewith produce and sustenance for you. Then do not set up equals to Allah even though you know (the truth).} Al-Baqarah(2)/22

This verse (along with the previous one) includes the call to worship of Allah alone in two ways: (1) citing the clear evidence of Allah’s creation of us, the heavens, the earth and the rain; and (2) mentioning the obvious rights He has over us and our great obligations toward Him because of His great beneficence toward us and his provision of our every need. Starting in the previous verse, Allah mentions His creation of His addressees and of their forefathers, since the Creator is deserving of worship and obedience. Then, He goes on to mention the graces He has bestowed on us all by making the earth and the atmosphere inhabitable and creating the water cycle and the rain to bring forth that which sustains us, showing us His right to be shown obedience and gratitude.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Evidence that man is created with an instinctual knowledge and acceptance of Allah ta’ala.

Rejection of all direct comparisons between Allah and his creation.

Prohibition of Shirk.

Affirmation of Allah’s Deity ship.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of creation.

Allah’s great compassion toward His creation.

Proof Of The Impossibility Of The Existence Of A Second Diety

{Allah has not taken on a son nor is there any deity along with Him. If this were so, each deity would take away that which it had created and one would have overpowered the other. Exalted is Allah and free of that which they attribute to Him! * Knower of the unseen and the apparent, and High is He above that which they associate with Him.} Al-Mu’minoon(23)/91-92

In these verses: Allah negates from Himself the possibility of His having any son or associate in His dominion, in His acting and decreeing and in the worship of Him. Then, after informing us of the non-existence of any deity besides Himself, Allah makes this very clear with an easily understood argument: {If this were so, each deity would take away that which it had created…}, i.e., each one would have taken control over its share of the creation and would not accept that any portion of its creation or of its beneficence be attributed to the other. Further, each would strive to prevent the other from gaining any control over its portion of the creation.

This is clearly impossible since it means opposition, separation and disharmony between portions of the creation. However, it is visibly apparent that the universe is systematic, organized and in harmony. All of the upper and lower realms are bound together in the ultimate manifestation of perfection and harmony and You cannot see in the creation of Allah any discrepancy.

Then, Allah says {…and one would have overpowered the other}, i.e., the stronger of the two would have overcome the weaker and dominated him, taking away his dominion as is the custom of kings in this world. Clearly, they cannot both be the stronger, and so this one who dominated and overcame the other is the only one who could rightfully be a deity. The philosophers mentioned this argument and referred to it as the proof of mutual impossibility: Let us posit two or more creators. Then one of them wished for a certain object to move but the other wished for it to remain still. It is clearly impossible for both of them to accomplish their wish. This impossibility only arises because of the imagined multiplicity of deities. If on the other hand, one is able to accomplish his wish, then the other of necessity has been overcome. In this case, the first one is clearly the deity, since the deity cannot be defeated or overcome.

Ibn Taimia said (elsewhere): Whatever you choose to contemplate in creation, you will find it to be dependent on something else. This shows clearly that all that we can see in this world is strictly dependent and does not have any attributes of the Deity. Rather, each is in need of the creator of the other things it needs in this world. This chain continues all the way to the ultimate dependence of all creation on Allah, the Creator of all things. It is not possible for there to be two deities independent of each other, with their respective creations independent of the creation of the other, since as we have seen, this demands the joining of mutually exclusive opposites. It is also impossible that they could be in cooperation as partners as is the case with the creation, since this implies weakness and need.

Allah closes the first verse saying: {Exalted is Allah and free of that which they attribute to Him!}, declaring His freedom of any son or associate and from all the other things with which the enemies of the prophets described Him. Next, Allah says {Knower of the unseen and the apparent, and High is He above that which they associate with Him.}. In this verse, Allah draws our attention to the greatness of His divine attributes with some examples of His perfection, informing us that He is the Knower of that which is hidden from His creation and of that which they see. His knowledge encompasses all things: which must be, which may be, the impossible, the past, the present and the future. The implication of this verse applies to those who attributed to Allah a son or associate. They are mistaken and have spoken without knowledge. He (Allah) is the one who knows all things, both the apparent and the hidden, nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him, and He is the one who has rejected this allegations. His word is the truth and not theirs. {High is He above that which they associate with Him.}!

The unseen is divided into two categories. The first is the unseen which no one knows except Allah ta’ala and which is hidden entirely from His creation. Allah said: {Say: No one in the heavens and the earth knows the unseen except Allah}. The second is that which is unseen with respect to some of Allah’s creation such as men and jinns but not to others. Such things are part of the unseen for those from which they are hidden, but not for those who see or witness it.

Knowledge Contained In These Verses

Rejection of any son ascribed to Allah ta’ala and a rejection of all claims to the contrary (Christians, Jews and Arab Associationists).

Affirmation of the tauhid of Lordship (Rububiya) of Allah Most High.

Rejection of all claims of the existence of another deity.

Affirmation of Allah’s attribute of knowledge.

Allah alone possesses knowledge of the unseen.

Allah alone creates and provides all sustenance.

{Say: That which my Lord has forbidden is none other than obscene and major sin (u>Al-Fawaahish), both the open and the secret; sin (Al-Ithm) and transgression (u>Al-Baghy) without any right; that you should associate with Allah that for which he sent no authority; and that you should say about Allah that which you know not.} Al-A’raaf(7)/31

Al-Fawaahish means those acts whose sinfulness is very great. This includes the Kabaa’ir (major sins) whose sinfulness has reached the level of obscenity such as fornication, homosexuality, arrogance, pride and hypocrisy. Al-Ithm means all that brings on humiliation and includes all acts of disobedience to Allah ta’ala. Al-Baghy without right means on the rights of the people in their blood, their property and their self-esteem without that being a legal act of punishment or retribution. To associate others with Allah is to beseech Allah but to also beseech others besides Allah.

In this verse we find the five forbidden things about which all of the prophets, all of the revealed books and all of the divine laws are in agreement. Speaking about Allah without knowledge is the basis of all Shirk, since every Mushrik speaks about Allah without knowledge. However, it is broader and more general than the concept of Shirk. All speaking about Allah without knowledge is forbidden and is transgression, but only some of it reaches the level of Shirk. Lesser deviations and Bida’h involving speaking about Allah without knowledge are also forbidden by this verse.

Scholars of Tafsir have analysed the five areas of criminality as follows:

Crimes of man against himself; and these are Al-Fawaahish.

Crimes against intelligence and reason, and these are Al-Ithm.

Crimes against others and their rights of life, property and self-esteem, and these are Al-Baghy.

Crimes against the Din of Allah which is two types: the first is slander against the Tauhid of Allah ta’ala which is alluded to in the verse as associating others with Allah.

And the second type is transgressing against the Din with the spoken word, i.e., saying about Allah that which you do not know.

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: The basis of all disobedience both major and minor is three things: (1) for the heart to become obsessed with other than Allah and (2) obedience to the power of anger and (3) obedience to the power of lusts and desires. These three are Shirk, Dhulm (oppression), and Al-Fawaahish (major sins). The maximum of obsession of the heart with other than Allah is Shirk, the maximum of obeying one’s anger is murder, and of obeying ones desires is fornication. That is why Allah joined these three concepts in the verse: {Those who do not call on others besides Allah, do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except with right and do not commit fornication.}

Man oppresses himself when he neglects that which is to his benefit and engages in the detrimental. All that Allah has ordered us to do is that which benefits us and all that He has forbidden is that which is to our detriment. Oppression of others means withholding what is due to him or transgressing on any of his rights.

Knowledge Contained In This Verse

Major and minor sins are forbidden, both the open and the secret.

Transgression on the rights of others is forbidden; rightful retributions and punishments according to the Shariah, however, are lawful.

Forbiddance of associating others with Allah, and that the reason for that is that Allah has sent no authority.

It is forbidden to speak about Allah without knowledge. The relevance of this to a book about Tauhid is that this is precisely the error of those who differed about Allah’s glorious names and attributes.

Forbiddances and permissions come only from Allah Most High. (This is the tauhid of Deityship or Uluhiya.)

Allah’s Shariah is complete and includes all that is needed by human society.

Forbiddance of dealing in interest, since it falls in the category of Al-Fawaahish.

The great sanctity of individual rights in Islam and the forbiddance of transgressing on the rights of Muslims except for legal actions in their bodies, their property or their self-esteem.

An urging to do all that Allah has ordered and avoid all that He has forbidden for our own benefit only.

To speak about Allah without knowledge is equivalent to or greater than Shirk and the other forbidden things mentioned in the verse.

Any society which does not forbid itself the five areas of criminality will be filled with corruption, oppression and moral decay.

Allah’s Shariah is based on our benefit — there is not possible benefit to Allah in our benefit. All obedience to Allah contributes to As-Salah in our individual and collective lives just as all disobedience to Allah contributes to Al-Fasaad in our lives and our environment.

An implied order to seek knowledge of Islam to the extent of our abilities.

Condemnation of ignorance.

Allah has not neglected his creation, but has provided them with orders and forbiddances which would rectify their situation if followed.

That people make decisions and act — otherwise there would be no meaning to orders and forbiddances.


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