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Tuesday 31st of January 2023
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ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH

ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH


Now time has come to explain in short what is our belief concerning God.. It should be apparent by now that there are many attributes which are a MUST for God, while there are others which are beneath His dignity and cannot be found in Him. Therefore, in our faith, the attributes of Allah have been grouped as 'positive' and 'negative'.

Sifate Thubutiyyah

The positive attributes which are benefitting Allah are Sifate Thubutiyyah. They are many in number, but only eight of them are usually mentioned. They are:
1. QADEEM :It means that Allah is Eternal, i.e., He has neither beginning nor end. Nothing except Allah is eternal.
2.QAADIR:It means that Allah is Omnipotent, i.e., He has power over every thing and every affair.
3. AALIM: It means that Allah is Omniscient, i.e., He knows every thing. Even our unspoken intentions and desires are not hidden from Him.
4.HAI :It means that Allah was always alive and will remain alive for ever.
5.MUREED :It means that Allah has His own will and discretion in all affairs. He does not do anything under compulsion.
6. MUDRIK :It means that He is All-Perceiving, as 'Samii' (All-Hearing), 'Basser' (All-Seeing). Allah sees and hears every thing without any need of eyes or ears.
7. MUTAKALLIM :It means that Allah is the master of the word, i.e., He can create speech in anything, as He did in a tree for Hadhrat Musa (A. S) and in the "Curtain of Light" for our Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
8. SADIQ :It means that Allah is true in his words and promises. It is impossible to fix any limit to His attributes. This list is not exhaustive but is essential to understand the Glory of Allah. These attributes are not acquired but are inherent in the conception of Divinity.

Sifate Salbiyyah

The negative attributes which cannot be found in Allah because they are below His dignity are called "Sifate Salbiyyah." They are many, but like "Sifate Thubutiya" only eight are listed here. They are:
1. SHAREEK :The word "Shareek" means a colleague or partner. Allah has neither a colleague nor a partner in His Divinity.
2. MURAKKAB :This word means "Compound" or "Mixed". Allah is neither made, nor composed, of any material. He cannot be divided even in imagination.
3. MAKKAN :It means "Place". Allah is not in a place because He has no body, and He is everywhere because His power and knowledge is magnificently apparent everywhere.
4. HULOOL :It Means "Entering". Nothing enters into Allah nor does He enter into anything or anybody. Therefore, the belief of Incarnation in any form is abhorrent to the conception of Divinity.
5. MAHALLE HAWADIS : This means "Subject to changes". Allah cannot change.
6. MAR-I : It means "Visible". Allah is not visible. He has not been seen, is not seen and will never be seen.
7. IHTIYAJ : It means "Dependence" or "Need". Allah is not deficient in any virtue, so he does not need anything. He is All-Perfect.
8. SIFATE ZAlD : This means "Added Qualifications." The attribtates of Allah are not separate from His Being. when we say that God is Omnipotent and Mercifil, we do not mean that His Power and Mercy are something different from His Person. We see that a child is born without any power; and then he acquires strength day by day. It is so because power is not his person. God is not like this. He is Power Himself; Mercy Himself; Knowledge Himself; Justice Himself; Virtue Himself; Truth Himself; and so on.
It will thus be seen that according to Islam ALLAH is the name of God as preceived in the light of the above Positive and Negative Attributes. In other words, ALLAH is the Creator of the Universe, Self-Existent, the source of all perfection and free from all defects.

 NAMES OF ALLAH

The proper name which Islam uses for God is "ALLAH". "ALLAH" means "One 'Who deserves to be loved" and "Into Whom everyone seeks refuge." This word, grammatically speaking, is unique. It has no plural and no feminine. So this name itself reflects light upon the fact that Allah is one and only one; He has neither any partner nor any equal. The name cannot properly be translated by the word "God" because God can be transformed in 'gods' and goddess".
Two more frequently used names are Rahman and Rahim. Rahman signifies that Allah is Merciful and that His Mercy encompasses each and everything in the universe without any distinction on account of faith or belief He makes, creates and sustains everything and every man whether he be a Muslim or Kafir.
Rahim signifies that the Mercy of Allah on the Day of Judgement will surround the true believers only, and that unbelievers and hypocrites will be left out.
It is apparent that both of these names signify a distinct aspect of God's Mercy. His Mercy in this world, as signified by 'Rahman' is general; and the one in the life-hereafter, as signified by 'Rahim' is special. It will be of interest to note that the word 'Rahman' cannot be used except for Allah, while 'Rahim' can be used for others also.
That is why it has been told by Imam that 'Rahman is a reserved name which denotes unreserved Mercy, and Rahim is an unreserved name which denotes Reserved Mercy."

ATRIBUTES OF PERSON AND ACTION

Question:  One of the names of Allah is 'Khaliq' i.e Creator As Allah was Creator from ever, does it not follow that the 'created things, i.e., the universe is from ever?

Answer:  Allah was not creating from ever. If you study carefully you will find that the attributes of God, as mentioned in the above chapter, may easily be divided into two groups:

First, there are those attributes which can never be separated from the conception of divinity. For example we say that God is Qaadir (Omnipotent) Aalim (Omniscient) and Hai (Everliving). These are such attributes which can never be separated from the conception of God, because there never was a time when God was not Omnipotent, Omniscient or Living. He was Qaadir, Aalim and Hai for ever, and will remain Qaadir, Aalim and Hai for ever. Such attributes refer to the person of Allah, and are, therefore, called 'Sifaat-e-Dhat' (Attributes of person of Allah).

Second, there are the attributes which describe the actions of Allah. For example, we say that Allah is 'Khaaliq' (Creator), 'Raaziq' (Sustainer) etc. These are the Attributes which describe the actions of Allah, and are, therefore, called 'Sifaat-el Afaal' (Attributes of Actions of Allah).
These actions were not from ever, and therefore these attributes were not used for Allah, from ever. You know that Allah is 'Mureed'. He acts according to His own plan and His own Will. He is not like fire which burns without any intention or will of its own. Nor is He like the sun which goes on giving light and warmth without intention and will of its own. Allah works according to His own plan. He created when He wished, and not before that.
It does not mean that God had no power to create. The power to create was there for ever; because the 'Power' is not separate from His person. But the appearance of that power, and bringing it into effect, was not from ever. In short, Allah had power to create from ever, but He did not create from ever, And when He created, He was called Khaaliq; but not before that.
 Likewise, when he sustained, He was called 'Raaziq'; when He forgave, He was called 'Ghaffaar'; when He avenged, He was called 'Qahhaar'; when He gave life, He was called 'Muhyi', when He gave death, He was called 'Mumeet'


Source:

God: An Islamic Perspective
By: Allamah Sayyed Saeed Akhtar Rizvi

 

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