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Contents

  1. Some statements from the salaf concerning the attributes of allaah and their consensus concerning the falsehood of ta‘weel: 1
  2. Affirming the sifaat with their apparent and real meanings and a refutation that the way of the salaf was allegedly tafweedh: [12] 3
  3. An Issue Concerning the Attributes of Allaah. 5
  4. The ahaadeeth about the attributes are divided into three categories: 8
  5. The Explanation of the Beautiful and Perfect Names of Allaah. 11
  6. General Principles Regarding the Attributes of Allaah. 27
  7. An Introduction to Belief in the Attributes of Allaah. 31

 

 

 

“PIVOTAL QUOTE”

 

The madhhab (way) of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) with regards to the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah) is to affirm them as they are ’alaa dhaahir (with their apparent meaning), negating any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them, nor takyeef (asking how they are).

 

Some statements from the salaf concerning the attributes of allaah and their consensus concerning the falsehood of ta‘weel:

[1]: Imaam al-Awzaa’ee (d.157H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘I asked az-Zuhree and Makhool about the aayaat pertaining to the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah), so they said: Leave them as they are.’’ [1]

[2]: al-Waleed Ibn Muslim (d.194H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘I asked Maalik, al-Awzaa’ee, Layth Ibn Sa’d and Sufyaan ath-Thawree – rahimahumullaah – concerning the reports related about the Attributes, so they all said: Leave them as they are, without asking how.’’ [2]

[3]: Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘These ahaadeeth should be left as they are…We affirm them and we do not make any similitude for them.  This is what has been agreed upon by the Scholars.’’ [3]

[4]: Nu’aym Ibn Hammaad (d.228H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Whosoever makes tashbeeh (resemblance) of Allaah to His creation has committed kufr (disbelief), and whosoever denies what Allaah has described Himself with has also committed kufr.  Indeed, all that Allaah has described Himself with, and what His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has described Him with, then there is no tashbeeh in it at all.’’ [4]

[5]: Imaam at-Tirmidhee (d.279H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘It has been stated by more than one person from amongst the People of Knowledge about such ahaadeeth, that there is no tashbeeh (resemblance) to the Attributes of Allaah, and our Lord – the Blessed, the Most High – descends to the lowest heavens every night.  So they say: Affirm these narrations, have faith (eemaan) in them, do not deny them, nor ask how.  The likes of this has been narrated from Maalik Ibn Anas, Sufyaan ath-Thawree, Ibn ’Uyaynah and ’Abdullaah Ibnul-Mubaarak, who all said about such ahaadeeth, ‘‘Leave them as they are, without asking how.’’  Such is the statement of the People of Knowledge from Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.  However, the Jahmiyyah oppose these narrations and say: This is tashbeeh!  However, Allaah – the Most High – has mentioned in various places in His Book, the Attributes of al-Yad (Hand), as-Sama’ (Hearing) and al-Basr (Sight) – but the Jahmiyyah make ta‘weel of these aayaat, explaining them in a way, other than how it is explained by the People of Knowledge.  They say: Indeed, Allaah did not create Aadam with His own Hand – they say that ‘Hand’ means that Power of Allaah.’’ [5]

[6]: al-Khattaabee (d.388H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The madhhab (way) of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) with regards to the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah) is to affirm them as they are ’alaa dhaahir (with their apparent meaning), negating any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them, nor takyeef (asking how they are).’’ [6]

[7]: Imaam as-Saaboonee (d.448H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Indeed, the Ashaabul-Hadeeth (the Scholars of Hadeeth), [those who held fast to the Book and the Sunnah] – may Allaah protect their lives and shower mercy upon those that have died – bear witness to the Tawheed of Allaah and to the Messengership and Prophethood of His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam). They know their Lord – the Mighty and Majestic – by the Attributes which He has spoken of in His Revelation, and by what He has sent down, or testified to, by His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)…They affirm for Allaah – the Mighty and Magnificent – what He affirm for Himself in His Book, or upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).  They do not believe in tashbeeh (resemblance) to His Attributes from the attributes of the creation.  They say: Indeed, He created Aadam with His own Hands, as He – the Most Perfect – textually stated,

‘‘O Iblees!  What prevents you from prostrating to one whom I have created with My own Hands?’’ [Soorah Saad 38:75]

So they do not distort the words from their context, by carrying the meaning of Yadayn (the two Hands of Allaah) to mean ni’matayn (two bounties) or quwwatayn (two powers) – which is the tahreef (distortion) of the Mu’tazilah and the Jahmiyyah – may Allaah destroy them.  They do not ask how the Attributes are, nor do they resemble them to their creation…Allaah – the Most High – protected Ahlus-Sunnah from such tahreef, takyeef and tashbeeh and favoured them with knowledge and understanding.’’ [7]

[8]: Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa (d.458H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The proof for the futility of ta‘weel is that the Companions and those who followed them from the Taabi’een, understood them (the Attributes) ’alaa dhaahir (upon their literal meaning) – and they did not take recourse to ta‘weel, nor did they move away from the dhaahir meaning.  If ta‘weel were permissible, then they would have preceded us in it…’’ [8]

[9]: Ibn ’Abdul-Barr (d.463H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Ahlus-Sunnah are agreed in affirming all the Sifaat (Attributes) which are related in the Qur‘aan and the Sunnah, having eemaan (faith) in them and understanding them ’alal-haqeeqah (in a real sense), not ’alal-majaaz (metaphorically).  How they are is not to be asked.  However, the Jahmiyyah, the Mu’tazilah and the Khawaarij all deny them and do not carry them ’alal-haqeeqah; claiming that whosoever affirms them has made tashbeeh (resemblance) and they claim that whosoever recites them (as they are) is a mushabbih (a person doing tashbeeh).’’[9]

[10]: Ibn Qudaamah (d.620H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The way of the Salaf is to have eemaan (faith) in the Names and Attributes of Allaah that He has described Himself with in His Revelation, or upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) – without increasing, nor decreasing upon it, nor exceeding the limits, nor explaining them (i.e. like the Mu’tazilah), nor making a ta‘weel of them in a way that opposes the dhaahir meaning.’’ [10]

[11]: Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘From eemaan (faith) in Allaah is: Eemaan in what He described Himself with and with what His Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) described Himself; without tahreef and ta‘weel, and without takyeef and tamtheel…’’ [11]

Affirming the sifaat with their apparent and real meanings and a refutation that the way of the salaf was allegedly tafweedh: [12]

[1]: Rabee’atur-Ra’ee (d.136H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Al-Istiwaa (Allaah’s Ascension) is not unknown, and how (it occurs) is not comprehendible, and from Allaah is the Message, upon the Messenger is to convey, and upon us is to affirm.’’[13]

[2]: Imaam Maalik Ibn Anas (d.179H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Al-Istiwaa is known, and how is unknown, and to have eemaan (faith) in it is obligatory, and to question it is an innovation.’’  Then he said to the questioner, ‘‘I do not think, except that you are an evil man.’’  So he ordered him to be expelled. [14]

[3]: Imaam al-Bukhaaree (d.256H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Mujaahid (d.104H) said about istiwaa: Rising over the throne.’’ [15]

[4]: Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree (d.310H) said concerning the statement of Allaah – the Most High:

‘‘The Most Merciful made Istiwaa over the Throne.’’ Meaning, Rising above and ascending.’’ [16]

[5]: Imaam Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree (d.324H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘If it is said: Why do you deny His statement,

‘‘Do you not see that We have created for them what our Own Hands have created.’’ [Soorah Yaa Seen 36:71]

And His statement:

‘‘Whom I have created with My Own Hands.’’ [Soorah Saad 38:75]

are majaaz (methaphorical)?  To him it is said: The ruling concerning the Speech of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – is that it is taken upon its dhaahir (apparent) and haqeeqah (real) meaning.  Nothing is moved from its dhaahir meaning to a majaaz (metaphorical) one, except with a proof…Likewise, the statement of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic, ‘‘Whom I have created with My Own Hands,’’ its dhaahir and haqeeqah meaning is affirming the Yadayn (two Hands of Allaah).  So it is not permissible to alter it from the dhaahir meaning of Yadayn to that which our opponents claim, except with a proof…Consequently, about His statement, ‘‘Whom I have created with My Own Hands.’’  It is obligatory to affirm two hands for Allaah – the Most High – in its haqeeqah (real) meaning, not with the meaning of ni’matayn (two bounties of Allaah).’’ [17]

[6]: al-Khattaabee (d.388H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The madhhab (way) of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors) with regards to the Sifaat (Attributes of Allaah) is to affirm them as they are ’alaa dhaahir (with their apparent meaning), negating any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them, nor takyeef (asking how they are).’’ [18]

[7]: Imaam at-Talamankee (d.429H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘There is ijmaa’ (consensus) from Ahlus-Sunnah that Allaah ascended over His Throne bi-Dhaatihi (by His Self)… There is ijmaa’ (consensus) from Ahlus-Sunnah that Allaah ascended over His Throne ’alaa haqeeqah (in a real sense), not ’alal-majaaz (metaphorically).’’ [19]

[8]: al-Qaadee Aboo Ya’laa (d.458H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘It is not permissible to repel these narrations – as is the way of a group from amongst the Mu’tazilah.  Nor to become pre-occupied with ta‘weel – as is the way of the Ash’ariyyah.  It is obligatory to carry them upon their dhaahir meaning; and that the Attributes of Allaah do not resemble anyone from His creation, nor do we have an ’aqeedah (belief) that there is any tashbeeh (resemblance) to them.  Rather, [we believe] in what has been reported from our Shaykh and our Imaam, Aboo ’Abdullaah Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hanbal, and other Scholars of Ashaabul-Hadeeth.’’ [20]

[9]: al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (d.463H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘As for Speech about the Attributes, that which is authentically related about them in the Sunnah, then the Salaf – may Allaah be pleased with them all – was to affirm them all as they are, ’alaa dhaahir (upon their apparent meaning); negating any tashbeeh (resemblance) to Allaah, and not asking how they are.  We do not say that al-Yad (the Hand of Allaah) means His Power, nor that as-Sama’ (Allaah’s Hearing) and al-Basr (Allaah’s Sight) meaning His Knowledge, nor do we say that He has jawaarih (limbs).’’ [21]

[10]: Ibn ’Ábdul-Barr (d.463H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘Ahlus-Sunnah are agreed in affirming all the Sifaat (Attributes) which are related in the Qur‘aan amd the Sunnah, having eemaan (faith) in them and understanding them ’alal-haqeeqah (upon their real meaning), not ’alal-majaaz (metaphorically).’’ [22]

[11]: Shaykh ’Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d.561H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘It is essential to carry the Attribute of al-Istiwaa (Allaah’s Ascending) by His Dhaat (Essence) over the Throne.  Istiwaa does not mean sitting and touching – as the Mujassimah and Karraamiyyah say; nor does it mean ’uluww (grandeur and highness) – as the Ash’ariyyah say; nor does it mean isteelaa (conquering or dominating over) – as the Mu’tazilah say.  None of this is related in the Sharee’ah.  Neither has this been related from any of the Salafus-Saalih, from the Companions and the Taabi’een, nor from the Ashaabul-Hadeeth (Scholars of Hadeeth).  Rather, it is related from them that they carried al-Istiwaa with its apparent meaning.’’ [23]

[12]: Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.671H) – rahimahullaah said:

‘‘Not a single person from the Salafus-Saalih denied Istiwaa (Allaah’s Ascending) over the Throne to be haqeeqah (in a real sense)…The reality of its kayfiyyah (how He ascends) is not known.  Imaam Maalik said that al-Istiwaa is known, how is not known, and to ask questions concerning it is an innovation.’’ [24]

[13]: Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said:

‘‘The Sifaat (Attributes) are just like His Dhaat (Self).  Thus, just as the Dhaat of Allaah is established haqeeqah (in a real sense) – without considering it to be like that of His creation, then likewise His Sifaat are also established haqeeqah – without considering them to be like that of the creation.’’ [25]

 

An Issue Concerning the Attributes of Allaah

By al-Haafidh Aboo Bakr al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee (d.463H) Checking by ’Abdullaah Ibn Yoosuf al-Juday’
Translated by Maaz Qureshi [1]

“PIVOTAL QUOTE”

So the basic principle (asl) is that speech about the Attributes is speech about the Essence (dhaat) of Allaah, so it follows it in that and takes it as a model of example.

INTRODUCTION:

Verily the praise is for Allaah, we seek His aid and guidance.  And we seek refuge from the evils of our own selves and from the evils of our actions.  Whomsoever Allaah guides, then none can misguide him.  And whosoever He misguides, then there is no guide for him.  And I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship besides Allaah alone, without any associates.  And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, may the complete and perfect greetings and peace of Allaah be upon him.  To proceed:

So this is the treatise, Mas‘alah fis-Sifaat which covers two issues.  Firstly, there is a narration from al-Haafidh al-Khateeb concerning an issue from the Masaa‘il of Imaam Aboo ’Abdullaah Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H) with respect to belief in the Speech of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and a refutation of the statement of the Jahmiyyah.  Secondly, there is a fatwaa from al-Khateeb concerning an issue related to the Attributes.  In it he mentions the general ’aqeedah (creed) of the Salaf in the Attributes of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic.  And in it he affirms that the path of the Salaf is the moderate path, just as he affirms the foundation of Salafiyyah, ‘Speaking about the Attributes is a branch of speaking about the Dhaat (Essence of Allaah).’  So he affirmed the Attributes, along with tanzeeh (negating anthropomorphism) and he nullifies ta‘weel (figurative interpretation).

And he opposes the People of Innovation in their attacks upon Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Athar, due to the fact that they narrate the ahaadeeth about the Attributes and explain the obligation of referring the mutashaabih (unclear) back to the muhkam (clear) in all of that and submitting to it.  Then he resorted to a division of the ahaadeeth that mention the Attributes into three categories by way of acceptance and rejection.  And he explained that whatever is confirmed from them must be carried in the same manner as what is mentioned of them by the Qur‘aan: upon ithbaat (affirmation) and negating tashbeeh (resemblance).  So this quality that al-Haafidh al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee was upon is the i’tiqaad (creed) of the Salaf, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Hadeeth.  He was not as some claim, when they connect him to some of the companions of al-Ash’aree.  His statement concerning al-Ithbaat (affirmation) generally agrees with the statement of al-Ash’aree in al-Ibaanah, [2] since that is what he traversed therein.  So this does not amount to evidence in attaching him to Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree, since the madhhab of ithbaat (affirmation) was the madhhab of the Salaf before the existence of al-Ash’aree.  And al-Khateeb was an imaam of Ahlul-Hadeeth in his time, so attaching him to them (Ahlul-Hadeeth) is an obligation besides which nothing else is befitting.  Rather, you will see in the issue discussed in this treatise that which completely frees al-Khateeb from being upon the Ash’aree madhhab; since he did not take the position concerning the creation of the Qur‘aan by which the Ash’ariyyah left the ’aqeedah of the Salaf, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Hadeeth.  I ask Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to protect you and I from misguidance, and there is no might, nor power except for Him.

THIS TREATISE:

In the checking of this treatise I utilized the sole preserved manuscript in Daarul-Kutubudh-Dhaahiriyyah in Damascus found entirely under (no. 16).

ATTRIBUTING THE TREATISE TO THE AUTHOR:

The treatise deals with two issues as I mentioned in the introduction.  Firstly, from the narration of al-Haafidh Ibn Naasir as-Sulaamee with his isnaad leading up to the narration of al-Khateeb.  And the second is from the narration of Abee Taalib as-Sayrafee with his isnaad leading up to the speech of al-Khateeb.  And the narrator from whom I extracted the two of them is not particular to me, because he connected the treatise: I’tiqaadus-Sunnah of al-Ismaa’eelee (d.371H), and that was from the narration of Imaam Muwaffiqud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah (d.620H) that was used by a later group of scholars.  Indeed, the second issue from this treatise is narrated by Ibn Qudaamah in his book, Dhammut-Ta‘weel (no. 15), as is narrated through him by adh-Dhahabee in al-’Uluww (p. 185) from Abee Taalib as-Sayrafee with his isnaad and he mentioned a portion from it.  So to convey through his narration is a strong conveyance.

So with regards to the modes of transmission that are confirmed, it becomes clear that this treatise comes from the narration of Abul-Hasan ’Alee Ibn Abee ’Abdullaah Ibn ’Alee al-Muqayyar al-Baghdaadee, with his ijaazah (license to narrate) from Ibn Naasir and from Abee Taalib as-Sayrafee.  And Ibnul-Muqayyar is musnad (supported), mukaththar (having many narrations) and saalih (righteous).  Indeed, a group heard this treatise from him in 633H.  And Ibnul-Muqayyar has an ijaazah for this treatise as well from Ibnul-Ma’aalee al-Fadl Ibn Sahl al-Isfaraayeenee, with his ijaazah (license to narrate) from al-Khateeb, as is found in the transmission of another manuscript.  I say, Ibnul-Ma’aalee is authentic in transmission, but he was charged with lying through his dialect. [3] There is a transmission by another group dated Saturday, the twenty-ninth of Dhul-Hijjah 730H, upon the righteous Shaykhah Umm ’Abdullaah Zaynab Bint Ahmad Ibn ’Abdur-Raheem as-Saalihiyyah, with her ijaazah from the noble Musnadah ’Ajeebah Bint Muhammad Ibn Abee Ghaalib al-Baaqadaaree al-Baghdaadiyyah, with her ijaazah from Abul-Farj Mas’ood Ibnul-Hasan ath-Thaqafee with his ijaazah from al-Khateeb.

This is the third isnaad for the treatise, but it is weak since they have spoken of the ijaazah of al-Khateeb for ath-Thaqafee and its feebleness (wahn). [4] And in what has preceded is sufficient confirmation of the authenticity of this treatise to al-Khateeb.  Indeed, al-Haafidh Aboo Taahir as-Silafee followed Aboo Taalib as-Sayrafee, so he related the second issue from az-Za’faraanee.  It was related by adh-Dhahabee in Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (18/283-284) and in Tadhkiratul-Huffaadh (3/142-143) and he mentioned the issue up until his statement,

There is none equal to Him.” [Sooratul-Ikhlaas 112:4]

NAMING THE TREATISE:

The treatise was not named in its original form purposely.  So I have named it due to its contact and due to the beginning of the answer from al-Khateeb, ‘As for speech concerning the Attributes…’

NOTES UPON THE TREATISE:

I have added footnotes to the treatise in terms of notes to places where they were needed.  They include explaining the narration and the ruling upon its isnaad, explaining a benefit, and in front of you is the text:

THE TEXT OF THE TREATISE:

We were informed by al-Haafidh Abul-Fadl Muhammad Ibn Naasir Ibn Muhammad Ibn ’Alee al-Baghdaadee [5] who said, we were informed by Abul-Husayn al-Mubaarak Ibn ’Abdul-Jabbaar Ibn Ahmad as-Sayrafee [6], reading aloud to him whilst I was listening in Shawwaal of the year 494H, that Aboo Bakr Ahmad Ibn ’Alee Ibn Thaabit al-Khateeb informed us: Aboo Mansoor Muhammad Ibn ’Eesaa al-Bazzaar [7] informed us saying, Saalih Ibn Ahmad al-Haafidh [8] relates to us saying, I heard ’Abdullaah Ibn Ishaaq Ibn Sayaamarad [9] saying, I met al-Marroodhee [10] in Tarsoos, so I said to him, ‘How did you hear Abaa ’Abdullaah [11] speaking about the Qur‘aan?’  He said, ‘I heard Abaa ’Abdullaah saying, ‘The Qur‘aan is the Speech of Allaah, it is not created. So whoever says, ‘It is created,’ then he is a disbeliever.”  I said, ‘How did you hear him speaking about the one who stops?’ He said, ‘This is an evil man, and I fear that he calls to the creation of the Qur‘aan.’  I said to him, ‘O Abaa Bakr, how did you hear Aboo ’Abdullaah speaking about al-Lafdh (the wording of the Qur‘aan)?”  He said, “Whoever says the wording of the Qur‘aan is created, then he is a Jahmee.”  I said to him, ‘And who is the Jahmee?’ [12] He said, “He is the one who doubted in Allaah for forty days.” [13] I said, “Whoever doubts in Allaah, then he is a disbeliever?” He said, “Yes.” [14]

THE SECOND TREATISE:

We were informed by Shaykh Aboo Taalib al-Mubaarak Ibn ’Alee as-Sayrafee, [15] granting permission, who said Abul-Hasan Muhammad Ibn Marzooq Ibn ’Abdur-Razzaaq az-Za’faraanee [16] informed us, reading it out whilst I was listening in Rabee’ul-Awwal of the year 560H, he said, al-Khateeb al-Haafidh Aboo Bakr Ahmad Ibn ’Alee al-Baghdaadee who said, “So the people of Damascus wrote to me asking me about some issues – and he mentioned them – so I answered them about that – and he read to us the answers to what he was asked about.  So he said, “I stand upon what the noble Shaykh wrote, may Allaah continue to aid him and to make good his success and correctness, and I sufficed with what had been presented to me of knowledge about him.  I traverse…[17] upon his footsteps.  I answered with that which I hope will fall into agreement with his choice.  And I ask Allaah for protection from humiliation and the success to recognize the correct statement and action by His bounty and mercy.

SPEECH CONCERNING THE ATTRIBUTES:

As for speech concerning the Attributes, then whatever is related about them from the authentic Sunan in the madhhab of the Salaf – may Allaah be pleased with them all – is to be affirmed and conveyed upon its apparent (dhaahir) meaning, and the kayfiyyah (modality) and tashbeeh (resemblance) must be negated from it.  Indeed, a group has neglected them, thus nullifying what Allaah the Glorified had affirmed.  And a group affirmed and actualized them to such an extent that they left from that and fell into performing tashbeeh (resemblance) and takyeef (asking how).  However, the correct view is only to tread the moderate path between the two affairs.  And the true Religion of Allaah stands between extremism and neglect.

THE BASIC PRINCIPLE:

So the basic principle (asl) is that speech about the Attributes is speech about the Essence (dhaat) of Allaah, so it follows it in that and takes it as a model of example.  So when it is known that the affirmation of the Lord of the Worlds, the Mighty and Majestic, is affirmation of existence, then likewise, affirmation of His Attributes is only an affirmation of existence, not an affirmation of limitation (tahdeed) and modality (takyeef).  So when we say, ‘Allaah has a Hand, Hearing and Seeing,’ then these are only Attributes that Allaah has affirmed for Himself.  And we do not say that the meaning of Hand is Power, nor do we say that the meaning of Hearing and Seeing is Knowledge.  And we do not say that these are bodily limbs and tools to perform actions.  Rather, we say that it is obligatory to affirm them, but to make tawqeef [18] of what is mentioned concerning them, due to the statement of Allaah the Blessed and Exalted,

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” [Sooratush-Shooraa 11]

And there is the statement of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic,

And there is none equal to Him.” [Sooratul-Ikhlaas 112:4]

So when the people of innovation find fault with the People of Narration due to their quoting the likes of the ahaadeeth, and they fool the one with weak knowledge, by claiming that whatever they (Ahlus-Sunnah) relate is not befitting for Tawheed, nor is it correct in the Religion.  And they charge them with the disbelief of the people of tashbeeh and the neglect of the people of ta’teel (denial). [19] So they answer by stating that in the Book of Allaah the Exalted, there are muhkamaat (clear) aayaat whose meaning is understood by taking them upon their apparent (dhaahir) sense, and there are unclear (mutashaabihaat) aayaat, whose meaning cannot be comprehended, except by referring them back to the clear ones.  And it is obligatory to have tasdeeq (attestation) and eemaan (faith) in all of them.  So likewise, the narrations of the Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) are to be conveyed in the same manner and they are to be treated the same as the Revelation (Qur‘aan), the mutashaabih from it must be referred back to the muhkam, and all of it is to be accepted.

The ahaadeeth about the attributes are divided into three categories:

So the ahaadeeth that are narrated about the Attributes are divided into three categories.  From them are the narrations whose authenticity was affirmed by all of the Scholars due to their abundancy and trustworthiness in narration.  So it is obligatory to accept them and to have faith in them, along with preserving the heart against that which inclines towards the belief in what necessitates resembling Allaah to His creation and describing Him with that which does not befit Him from bodily organs and parts and changing and movements.  The second category consists of narrations whose asaaneed (chains of narration) are not of good repute and they contain repugnant statements.  The people of knowledge have united upon the rejection of these narrations.  So it is not permissible to occupy oneself with them, nor to give them any consideration.  The third category contains narrations over whose conditions and transmissions the people of knowledge have differed.  So some of them accepted them, whilst others did not.  So in this case it becomes obligatory to strive hard and to look into the affair so as to discern whether it is to be associated with the people of acceptance, or if it is to be placed within the confines of corruption and falsehood.  As for pointing out such ahaadeeth, then I have not pre-occupied myself with that, nor has anything emanated from me in terms of an attempt to compile them.  Perhaps that will occur in the future, if Allaah wills. [20]

Footnotes:

[1] The following is taken from the al-Hikmah quarterly (issue 1/p.   ).

[2] Translator’s Note: Imaam Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree (d.324H) – rahimahullaah – said, “If it is said: Why do you deny His statement,

‘‘Do you not see that We have created for them what our Own Hands have created.’’ [Soorah Yaa Seen 36:71]

And His statement,

‘‘Whom I have created with My Own Hands.’’ [Soorah Saad 38:75]

are majaaz (methaphorical)? To him it is said: The ruling concerning the Speech of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – is that it is taken upon its dhaahir (apparent) and haqeeqah (real) meaning. Nothing is moved from its dhaahir meaning to a majaaz (metaphorical) one, except with a proof…Likewise, the statement of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic, ‘‘Whom I have created with My Own Hands,’’ its dhaahir and haqeeqah meaning is affirming the Yadayn (two Hands of Allaah). So it is not permissible to alter it from the dhaahir meaning of Yadayn to that which our opponents claim, except with a proof…Consequently, about His statement, ‘‘Whom I have created with My Own Hands.’’ It is obligatory to affirm two hands for Allaah – the Most High – in its haqeeqah (real) meaning, not with the meaning of ni’matayn (two bounties of Allaah).” Taken from al-Ibaanah ’an Usoolid-Diyaanah (p. 133). The ascription of this book to Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree, and that it was his final book concerning ’aqeedah (creed) – has been testified to by a number of Scholars, and from them: al-Haafidh Ibn ’Asaakir in Tabyeenul-Kadhibul-Muftaree (p. 152), al-Bayhaqee in al-I’tiqaad (p. 31), Imaam adh-Dhahabee in al-’Uluww (no. 276) and Ibnul-’Imaad in Shadharaatudh-Dhahab (p. 303).

[3] Refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (20/226).

[4] Refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (18/285), (30/47).

[5] He is commonly-known as ‘as-Salaamee’ (d.550H), he is reliable, a precise memorize, a person of the Sunnah, a zaahid (not concerned with the world).  He used to be Ash’aree in the first part of his affair, then he re-located to the way of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Hadeeth.  For his biography, refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (20/265).

[6] He is commonly known is Ibnut-Taywaree (d.500H), a firm and reliable Baghdaadee, upon correct principles along with steadfastness upon the Religion and good manners.  For his biography, refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (19/213).

[7] He is al-Hamdhaanee (d.431H), he is truthful and reliable, a righteous man.  For his biography, refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (17/563).

[8] He is at-Tameemee al-Hamdhaanee (d.431H), he is truthful and reliable, a righteous man.  For his biography, refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (16/518).

[9] He is an-Nuhaawandee, Aboo ’Abdur-Rahmaan; al-Haafidh Saalih Ibn Ahmad said, ‘I heard from him along with my father.  He was reliable, a respectful possessor of the Sunnah.  He memorized and retained.  He came to us in the year 380H.”  For his biography, refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (15/247).

[10] He is Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibnul-Hajjaaj, Aboo Bakr (d.275H), a Baghdaadee, an exemplary imaam, a leader in defending the Sunnah and calling to it.  He was from the most particular companions of Imaam Ahmad and at the head of their level.  And Ahmad would not put anyone before him.  For his biography, refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (13/173).

[11] Meaning, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241), may Allaah bestow mercy upon him.

[12] That is to say, who is the Jahmee to whom this statement is attributed?

[13] ’Abdullaah Ibn Ahmad relates in as-Sunnah (no. 189) with an authentic isnaad from Zayd Ibn Haaroon who said, “May Allaah curse al-Jahm and whosoever says what he said.  He was an obstinate disbeliever, he left the Prayer for forty days, claiming that he has apostated from the Religion, and that was due to his doubt about Islaam.”  I say, al-Jahm was Ibn Safwaan, the head of innovation, an imaam of misguidance.  May Allaah disfigure his face.

[14] The isnaad of this issue is authentic from Imaam Ahmad.  And he meant by ‘those who stop,’ those who say, ‘The Qur‘aan is the Speech of Allaah,’ and then they become silent.  So they do not say, ‘It is created,’ nor do they say, ‘It is not created.’  Indeed, this used to be sufficient before the emergence of the statement concerning the creation of the Qur‘aan.  As for after it had emerged and become widespread, then it was not permissible to remain silent.  So it became obligatory to refute the innovation and to make the Sunnah apparent, just as those who remain silent, because they are concealing the creed of the Jahmiyyah.  So they will say, ‘The Qur‘aan is the Speech of Allaah,’ yet their innovation is in their statement, ‘It is created,’ so if they do not deny it, then what distinguishes them from it?

As for the affair of al-Lafdh (the wording of the Qur‘aan), then whoever spoke with it was declared a Jahmee by Imaam Ahmad, because after Allaah the Mighty and Majestic exposed the falsehood of the people of misguidance, they fled form their statement, ‘The Qur‘aan is created,’ to their statement, ‘My recitation (lafdh) of the Qur‘aan is created.’  So this became the belief that the Ash’ariyyah traversed upon when they fled from the innovation of the clear Mu’tazilah to an unclear innovation is opposition to them.  That was because the Ash’ariyyah agreed with the Mu’tazilah in that the Arabic Qur‘aan which is well-known to the common-folk as well as the notables, written with letters, which begins with al-Faatihah and closes with an-Naas is created.  This is that by which they intend the Qur‘aan with words.  And the one that is not created is the meaning which comes from Allaah Himself, not the one with letters and verses.  So you will see Imaam Ahmad opposing this innovation, yet this occurred before any Ash’aree could be found.  Indeed, I have discussed and explained that in my book, al-’Aqeedatus-Salafiyyah fee Kalaami Rabbil-Bariyyah, so refer to it.

[15] He is known as ‘Ibn Khudayr’ (d.562H), a truthful Baghdaadee having many narrations, a righteous man.  For his biography, refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (20/487).

[16] He is al-Jalaab (d.517H), a Baghdaadee faqeeh (jurist), a precise muhaddith.  For his biography, refer to Siyar A’laamun-Nubalaa‘ (19/47).

[17] It was not possible to read this word.

[18] This refers to stopping at the texts of the Book and the authenticated Sunnah.

[19] Muhammad Ibn ’Abdul-’Aleem Abul-Hammaam of al-Azhar University said, after addressing the issue of interpolating istiwaa (He ascended) to mean istawlaa (He conquered), “And from this is the danger of ta‘weel (i.e. that it necessitates the consideration of Allaah and His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) to have lied).  And Ibnul-Qayyim explains that it (ta‘weel) is more evil than ta’teel – which is merely ‘denying the Divine Attributes and rejecting their being established with the Essence of Allaah (dhaat) – the Most Perfect.’ This is because it (ta‘weel) contains both tashbeeh, ta’teel and also playing and fooling with the texts as well as having a bad opinion of them. The mu’attil (denier of the Attributes) and the mu‘awwil (one who interpolates them) have shared (with each other) in the denial of the realities of the Names and Attributes. However, the mu‘awwil has exceeded in his playing and fooling with the texts and having a bad opinion of them and also ascribing to the one who speaks with them – that he speaks with their apparent meanings, that he is astray and leads others astray. Therefore, they have combined in (falling into) four dangers:

[1]: Their belief that what is manifest and apparent from the words of Allaah and His Messenger is impossible and is falsehood – therefore they have understood them to be tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) from the very beginning.

[2]: They have denied the reality of their meanings on the basis that this is such an understanding that does not befit them and nor does it befit the Lord – the Most Perfect.

[3]: Ascribing to the speaker – the perfect in knowledge and elucidation (bayaan) and the perfect in giving advice – and that is Allaah, the Most Perfect – the opposite of elucidation (bayaan), guidance (hudaa) and giving direction (irshaad). This (i.e. resorting to ta‘weel) necessitates that they are more knowledgeable than Him, more eloquent and clear in speech than Him and greater in giving advice to mankind.

[4]: Playing with the texts of the Book and the Sunnah and putting and end to their sanctity and sacredness. Let alone:

[5]: That the mu‘awwil (one who resorts to ta‘weel) is not pleased with – for Allaah the Exalted – what the most knowledgeable of Him amongst the people – and he is the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) – was pleased with for Him.

[6]: That this ta‘weel – had Allaah desired it for Himself – then He would have ordered it in His Book or upon the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and then ta‘weel of the Attributes of Allaah – the Exalted- would have been obligatory, a necessary part of the Religion; the neglection of which would be forbidden and whoever abandoned it would have been sinful. And this is in addition to the fact that when Allaah – the Exalted – has not permitted it then doing it would be a mistake and it would be a manner that is blameworthy and forbidden – due to what it implies – (that is): Its being a form of correcting and rectifying Allaah – the Most High – and His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).

[7]: That the mu‘awwil of the Attributes of Allaah – in fleeing from tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) and fearing it – has been ignorant of a great reality and this is the impossibility of there being any likeness between the Attributes of Allaah – the Exalted – and the attributes of His servants since there can be no likeness between the Attributes of the Creator and the attributes of the creation ever. And this is due to the fact that Allaah has informed that there is nothing like Him and He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing, and that He is Unique (Ahad) and that there is none equal to Him. And the mu‘awwil (in resorting to ta‘weel) is a liar (kaadhib) since the reality differs from what he says in its entirety and is also a denier (mukadhdhib) because he has rejected Allaah with respect to His saying,

There is nothing like Him.” [Sooratush-Shooraa 42:11]

And he is a pagan (mushrik) and a disbeliever (kaafir) due to associating some of the servants of Allaah with some of the Attributes of Allaah the Exalted.

[8]: That this mu‘awwil of the Attributes of Allaah – the Most High – in fleeing from tashbeeh and in fearing it – the mighty difference between the Attributes of the Creator – the Magnificent and Most High – and between the attributes of the weak and incapable servants has become hidden from him.

[9]: And ta‘weel makes the texts (of the Book and the Sunnah) lose their characteristic reverence and prestige since this ta‘weel has not depended upon an authentic text from the Sharee’ah and not a single one of the scholars of the Salaf have spoken with it.

[10]: And likewise this ta‘weel contradicts with the fact of Islaam being a practical religion that is compatible and in harmony with every age and era. And it also contradicts the fact that Allaah the Exalted has described the Qur‘aan as being a discourse (bayaan), an explanation (tibyaan) for every single thing, and something made easy for remembrance – and in whose aayaat – reflection and contemplation has been requested. And for this reason Abul-Qaasim Ibn Mandah said in his book ar-Radd ’alal-Jahmiyyah, ‘To the People of Hadeeth, ta‘weel is a form or rejection (takdheeb),’” Tuhfatul-Ikhwaan fee Sifaatir-Rahmaan (p. 36-38).

[20] The isnaad (chain of narration) of this treatise is authentic up to al-Haafidh al-Khateeb.

The Explanation of the Beautiful and Perfect Names of Allaah

[Taken from Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan, Abdur-Rahmaan Naasir as-Sa`dee’s Tafseer]

 

“PIVOTAL QUOTE”

His saying is the truth, His Actions are the truth, the meeting with Him is the truth, His Messengers are the truth, His Books are the truth, His religion is the truth, worshipping Him Alone is the truth, everything that has to do with Him is the truth.

The Explanation of the Beautiful and Perfect Names of Allaah
[Taken from Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan, Abdur-Rahmaan Naasir as-Sa`dee’s Tafseer]

PIVOTAL QUOTE

His saying is the truth, His Actions are the truth, the meeting with Him is the truth, His Messengers are the truth, His Books are the truth, His religion is the truth, worshipping Him Alone is the truth, everything that has to do with Him is the truth.

 

All Qur`aanic verses after the text have been added by the translator and are quoted to show examples of the Name being used in the Qur`aan

A large number of the Beautiful Names of Allaah are repeated manifold in the Qur`aan as demanded by the occasion and it is necessary to explain their meanings in a succinct way. So we say:

Ar-Rabb (The Lord): This name has been repeatedly mentioned in many verses.

 

Ar-Rabb is the One Who nurtures and sustains all of His servants through regulating the affairs and granting all types of favours and blessings. More specifically He is the One Who nurtures and sustains his sincere friends by correcting and purifying their hearts, souls and manners. This is why their supplications are frequently made with this Noble Name because they seek this specific nurturing.

“And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of Mercy. Were He to call them to account for what they had earned then surely He would have hastened on their punishment. But they have their appointed time beyond which they will find no escape.” (18:58)

 

Allaah: He is the One and Only Deity, the One Who is Worshipped and the One Who deserves to be worshipped by the whole of His creation due to the Perfect Godly Attributes that He is described with.

“Allaah! There is none worthy of worship but He, the Living, the Sustaining. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth. Who is there that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He Knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world and in the Hereafter. They will not encompass anything of His Knowledge except that which He Wills. His Footstool extends over the heavens and the earth and he feels no fatigue in guarding them. He is the Most High, the Most Great.” (2:255)

 

Al-Malik (The King), and al-Maalik (The Master and Owner), Alladhee lahu al-Mulk (the One to Whom belongs the dominion): He is described with the Attribute of The Master and Owner. These are Attributes of Grandeur, Majesty, Omnipotence and Regulation of the affairs of creation. The One Who directs all of the affairs to do with creation, command and recompense. To Him belongs the whole of Creation, all of it is subservient, owned and in continuous need of Him.

“Then High above all be Allaah, the True King. And be not in haste with the Qur’aan before its revelation is completed and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” (29:114)

“Say: O Allaah! Owner of the dominion, You give the kingdom to whom You will and You take the kingdom from whom You will. You endue with honour whom You will and You humiliate whom You will. In your Hand is the good. Indeed You are Able to do all things.” (3:26)

 

Al-Waahid, al-Ahad (The One): He is the One Who is singled out in all aspects of Perfection such that nothing else shares with Him in these. It is obligatory upon the servants to single Him out alone in belief, saying and action by acknowledging His unrestricted perfection, His uniqueness and singling Him out Alone for all types of worship.

“‘O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords better or Allaah, the One, the Irresistible?'” (12:39)

“Say: I am only a warner and there is no god except Allaah the One, the Irresistible.” (38:65)

 

As-Samad (The Self-Sufficient): He is the One upon Whom the whole of creation relies upon in all of their needs, predicaments and necessities. This due to His unrestricted perfection with regards to His Essence, His Names, His Attributes and His Actions.

“Say: He is Allaah the One. Allaah the Self-Sufficient.” (112:1-2)

 

Al-Aleem (the All-Knowing), al-Khabeer (the All-Aware): He is the One Whose Knowledge encompasses all the outward and hidden matters, the open and secret, all those things that must necessarily occur, all those things that are impossible to occur and all things that can possibly occur, of the affairs of the whole of creation, of the past, the present and the future. There is absolutely nothing that is hidden from Him.

“Verily Allaah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, he sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow and no person knows in what land he will die. Indeed Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (31:34)

“O Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know each other. Verily, the most honourable of you in the Sight of Allaah is the most God-Fearing of you. Indeed Allaah is the All-Knower, the All-Aware.” (49:13)

 

Al-Hakeem (the All-Wise): He is the One to Whom belongs the highest wisdom, the One Who is All-Wise in His creating and commanding, Who perfected everything He created, “and Who is better than Allaah in judgement for a people who have firm faith?” (5:50) Therefore He has created nothing out of mere frivolity and He has legislated nothing that is vain and of no use. The One to Whom belongs wisdom in the beginning and the end. He has three areas of ruling which nothing else has a share in: He rules between His servants with respect to His Law, His Decree and His Recompense. Wisdom is to place something in its correct place.

“For those who believe not in the Hereafter is an evil description and for Allaah is the highest description. He is the All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (16:60)

“It is He Who is the only God worshipped in the heaven and the on the earth. He is the All-Wise, the All-Knowing.” (43:84)

 

Ar-Rahmaan (The Most Beneficent), ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful), al-Barr (The Generous), al-Kareem (the Kind), al-Jawwaad (The Bestower of Good), ar-Ra`oof (the Kind), al-Wahhaab (The Bestower): All of these Names are close in meaning and all of them point to describing the Lord with Mercy, Generosity, Kindness, and to the great expanse of His Mercy and Generosity that encompasses all that is existence being granted in accordance to what His Wisdom dictates. The believers have been specifically singled out for this and they are granted a goodly and the best portion of this as Allaah said, “My Mercy encompasses all things and I shall decree it for those who have taqwaa.” (7:156) So the blessings and the good are all from the effects of His Mercy, Generosity and Kindness just as all the goodness in this world and in the Hereafter is from the effects of His Mercy.

“‘Verily, we used to invoke Him Alone before. Verily He is the Generous, the Most Merciful.” (52:28)

“O man! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Kind.” (82:6)

“And had it not been for the Grace of Allaah and His Mercy on you, (Allaah would have hastened the Punishment). And that Allaah is the Kind, the Most Merciful.” (24:20)

“(They say): Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us Mercy from You. Truly you are the Bestower.” (3:8)

 

As-Samee` (the All-Hearing): The One Who hears all sounds and voices, in all of their different languages and all their many and various needs.

“Say: if they believe as you (O Prophet and Companions) believe then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away then they are only in opposition. So Allaah will suffice you against them and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (2:137)

“And Allaah judges with truth while those to whom they invoke besides Him cannot judge anything. Indeed Allaah is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing.” (40:20)

 

Al-Baseer (the All-Seeing): The One Who sees all things even if they be insignificant and minute. He sees the black ant on a black stone in a black night. He sees what is below the seventh earth and what is above the seventh heaven. Also He is Hearing and Seeing of those that deserve recompense in accordance to what His Wisdom dictates.

“Say: Shall I inform you of things far better than those? For the God-fearing there are Gardens with their Lord underneath which rivers flow. Therein is their eternal home and pure wives. And Allaah will be pleased with them. Allaah is the All-Seer of His slaves.” (3:15)

“Neither your relatives nor your children will benefit you on the Day of Resurrection. He will judge between you and Allaah is the All-Seer of what you do.” (60:3)

 

Al-Hameed (the One Who is praised): in His Person, Names, Attributes and Actions. He possesses the best of names and the most perfect of attributes and the best and most complete actions for indeed the Actions of Allaah are based upon Grace and Justice.

“Alif Laam Raa. A Book which We have revealed to you that you might lead mankind out of darkness into the light by the leave of their Lord, the Mighty, the One Who is praised.” (14:1)

“And indeed We bestowed upon Luqmaan wisdom saying: ‘Give thanks to Allaah,’ and whosoever gives thanks, he gives thanks for (the good) of his ownself. And whoever is ungrateful then verily Allaah is All-Rich, Worthy of All praise.” (31:12)

 

Al-Majeed (the Glorious), al-Kabeer (the Great), al-Adheem (the Exalted), al-Jaleel (the Noble): He is described with the Attributes of Glory and Grandeur and Greatness and Magnificence. He is the One Who is greater, more exalted and magnificent than anything. He is glorified and magnified in the hearts of His friends and close ones. Their hearts overflow in exalting and magnifying Him, submitting to him and humbling themselves before his Grandeur.

“Owner of the Throne, the Glorious.” (85:15)

“All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, the Great, the Most High.” (13:9)

“Then glorify with praises the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.” (56:74)

 

Al-Afuww (the Forgiving), al-Ghafoor (the Forgiving), al-Ghaffaar (the All-Forgiving): The One Who was and is known with the Attribute of Forgiveness. The One Who is described as having Forgiveness and Compassion. Everyone is in dire need of His forgiveness just as they are in dire need of His Mercy and Kindness. Allaah has promised forgiveness to the one who fulfils its conditions, He said, “and indeed I am All-Forgiving to him who repents, believes, associates none in worship with Me, does righteous deeds and then remains constant in doing them.” (20:82)

“Whether you disclose a good deed, or conceal it, or pardon an evil… verily Allaah is the Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:152)

“And indeed I am the All-Forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous deeds and then remains constant in doing them.” (20:82)

 

At-Tawwaab (the Oft-Returning): The One Who is continuously turning (in forgiveness) to those that turn to Him (in repentance), Who forgives the sins of the penitent. Everyone who turns to Allaah sincerely, Allaah turns to them by firstly granting them the ability to repent and turning their hearts towards Him, and after this He turns to them by accepting their repentance and forgiving their errors.

“Know they not that Allaah accepts the repentance from His slaves and takes the charity and that Allaah is the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful?” (9:104)

“O you who believe! Avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it! Fear Allaah, indeed Allaah is the oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” (49:12)

 

Al-Quddoos (the Holy), as-Salaam (the Peace): The One Who is far greater and far removed from any imperfection, or that He resemble any of His creation. Hence he is far removed from any defect just as He is far removed from anything resembling Him or coming close to resembling Him in any of His Attributes of Perfection. “There is nothing like Him”(42:11), “There is no one equal to or comparable to Him”(112:3), “Do you know of any who is similar to Him?” (19:65), “Then do not set up rivals to Allaah.” (2:22)

 

Al-Quddoos is similar in meaning to as-Salaam in that they both negate any form of imperfection while at the same time including unlimited perfection in every way. This because when deficiency has been removed then all that remains is perfection.

“Whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allaah – the King, the Holy, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (62:1)

 

Al-Alee (the High), al-A`laa (the Highest): To Him belongs highness in all of its aspects, Highness of His Essence, Highness of His Attributes and esteem, Highness of Strength and Power. He is the One Who has risen over His Throne and the One Who Has encompassed the dominion. He is the One in Whom all the attributes of greatness, grandness, magnificence and beauty find perfection and fulfillment.

“To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth, and He is the High, the Great.” (42:4)

“Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High” (87:1)

 

Al-Azeez (the Mighty): The One to Whom belongs might/honour in its entirety, the might/honour of strength, the might/honour of conquest and the might/honour of preventing. So He has prevented any of His creation from encompassing and grasping Him, He is Omnipotent over everything that is in existence, the whole of creation is subject and indebted to Him and yielding before His greatness.

“It will be said: ‘Seize him and drag him into the midst of the blazing Fire. Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water. Taste you this! Indeed you were (pretending to be) the Mighty, the Generous!'” (44:47-49)

“Blessed be He in Whose Hand in the dominion, and He is Able to do all things. Who has created death and life that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (67:1-2)

 

Al-Qawee (the Strong), al-Mateen (the Powerful): These fall under the meaning of al-Azeez.

“Those who have been expelled from their homes unjustly only because they said, ‘our Lord is Allaah’ – for had it not been that Allaah checks one set of people by means of another, monasteries, churches, synagogues and mosques, wherein the Name of Allaah is mentioned much, would surely have been pulled down. Indeed Allaah will help those who help Him and Allaah is the Strong, the All-Mighty.” (22:40)

“Indeed Allaah is the Provider, Owner of Strength, the Powerful.” (51:57)

 

Al-Jabbaar (the Compeller): This includes the meaning of al-Alee and al-A`laa, the meaning of al-Qahhaar, and the meaning of ar-Ra`oof. The One Who is Compelling over dejected hearts, to the one who is weak and impotent, to the one who resorts to Him and seeks refuge with him.

 

Al-Mutakabbir (the Supreme): The One Who is above any evil, defect and deficiency due to His greatness and grandeur.

“He is Allaah, other than whom none has the right to be worshipped. The King, the Holy, The One free from defects, the Giver of Security, the Ever-Watcher, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allaah! (High is He) Above all that they associate as partners with Him.” (59:23)

 

Al-Khaaliq (the Creator), al-Baaree (the Originator), al-Musawwir (the Shaper): The One Who created all that is in existence, Who made everything correct and in its place in accordance to His Wisdom, Who Shaped it in accordance to His praise and Wisdom. He is continuously doing so.

“He is Allaah, the Creator, the Originator, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (59:24)

 

Al-Mu`min (The Giver of Security): The One Who Has praised Himself with Perfect Attributes and with perfection of magnificence and beauty. The One Who sent His Messengers and revealed His Books containing signs and clear proofs. Who testified to the truth of His Messengers by giving them every sign and proof that would prove the truth of what they came with.

“He is Allaah, other than whom none has the right to be worshipped. The King, the Holy, The One free from defects, the Giver of Security, the Ever-Watcher, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allaah! (High is He) Above all that they associate as partners with Him.” (59:23)

 

Al-Muhaymin (the Ever-Watching): The One Who sees all the hidden matters, all that the hearts keep concealed, the One Whose Knowledge encompasses everything.

“He is Allaah, other than whom none has the right to be worshipped. The King, the Holy, The One free from defects, the Giver of Security, the Ever-Watcher, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allaah! (High is He) Above all that they associate as partners with Him.” (59:23)

 

Al-Qadeer (All-Powerful, the Able): The One Who has complete and perfect power and ability, by His Power He brought everything into existence, by it He arranges all the affairs, by it He fashioned and perfected the creation, by it He brings to life and causes to die, by it He will resurrect the servants for their recompense – rewarding the one who did good with His good and the one who worked evil with His Hellfire. The One Who, when He wills a thing to be he merely says ‘Be!’ and it is. By His power and ability he turns the hearts and directs them to whatsoever He Wills and Desires.

“For every nation there is a direction which they face, so hasten towards all that is good. Wheresoever you may be, Allaah will bring you together, Allaah is Able to do all things.” (2:148)

“(What is the matter with you?) When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: From where does this come to us? Say: It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds). And Allaah is the All-Powerful.” (3:165)

 

Al-Lateef (the Most Subtle, the Kind): The One Whose Knowledge encompasses all the secret and hidden matters, Who is Aware of all that is hidden (in the deepest depths of the heavens and the earth) and is Aware of everything down to the most minute and finest details. The One Who is Kind to his believing servants guiding them to that which would benefit them and aid them via means that they are not aware, this by His Kindness and Beneficence. It also carries the meaning of al-Khabeer and ar-Ra’oof.

“No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle, the Well-Acquainted.” (6:103)

“Do you not see that Allaah sends down the water from the sky and then the earth becomes green? Indeed Allaah is the Kind, the Well-Acquainted.” (22:63)

 

Al-Haseeb (the Reckoner): The One Who is All-Knowing of His servants and sufficient for those who put their trust in Him. The One Who recompenses his servants with either good or bad in accordance to His Wisdom and His Knowledge of the minutest and greatest of their actions.

“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it or at least return it equally. Allaah is the Reckoner of all things.” (4:86)

“Those who convey the Message of Allaah and fear Him and none save Him, Sufficient is Allaah as Reckoner.” (33:39)

 

Ar-Raqeeb (the All-Watcher): The One Who sees what is hidden in the hearts, the One Who charges every soul for what it earned, the One Who preserves all that is in creation and regulates them with the best organization and most complete and perfect planning.

“O Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord Who created you from a single person, and from Him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women. Fear Allaah through whom you demand your mutual rights, and (do not cut the relations of) the womb (kinship). Surely Allaah is the All-Watcher over you.” (4:1)

 

Al-Hafeedh (The Guardian): The One Who protects and preserves what He created and Whose Knowledge encompasses all that He brought into existence. The One Who protects His friends from falling into sins and the destructive matters. The One Who is Kind to them during their periods of activity and rest. The One Who accounts the actions of the servants and their rewards.

“And Iblees did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him, all except a group of the true believers. And Iblees had no authority over them – except that We might test he who believes in the Hereafter from him who is in doubt about it. And your Lord is the Guardian over everything.” (34:20-21)

“As for those who take friends and protectors besides Him – Allaah is the Guardian over them and you are not a disposer of their affairs.” (42:6)

 

Al-Muheet (The Encompassing): The One Who has Knowledge of everything, has power over everything, his Mercy encompasses everything and He is dominant over everything.

“If good befalls you it grieves them but if some evil overtakes you they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become of the God-fearing, not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Allaah Encompasses what they do.” (3:120)

“And be not like those who come out of their homes boastfully, to be seen of men, and hinder from the Path of Allaah. Allaah is encompassing all that they do.” (8:47)

 

Al-Qahhaar (The Subduer), Al-Qaahir (The Irresistible): The Irresistible over everything. The One before Whom the whole creation has humbled itself, and submitted before His Grandeur, Power and perfect Strength.

“And He is the Irresistible, Above His servants. He sends guardians (writing all of your deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers take his soul and they never neglect their duty.” (6:61)

“So think not that Allaah will fail to keep His promise to His Messengers. Certainly! Allaah is All-Mighty, Owner of Retribution. On the Day when the earth will be changed to another earth and so will the heavens, and they (all creatures) will appear before Allaah, the One, the Subduer.” (14:47-48)

 

Al-Muqeet (The Powerful): The One who provides everything that is in existence with what would strengthen it, Who provides it it’s nourishment and directs it howsoever He Wills in accordance to His Wisdom and Praise.

“Whosoever intercedes for a good cause will have the reward thereof, and whosoever intercedes for an evil cause shall have a share in its burden. Allaah is Able to do everything.” (4:85)

 

Al-Wakeel (The Disposer of Affairs, the One Who is relied upon): The One Who has the responsibility to dispose the affairs of the creation in accordance with His Knowledge, perfect Power and all-encompassing Wisdom. The One who looks after His friends and makes the good easy for them, preserves them from the evil and suffices for them in all of their affairs. Therefore the one who takes Him as One to be relied upon, He suffices him, “Allaah is the Friend of those who believe, He guides them from the darknesses into the light.”

“Such is Allaah your Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Creator of all things. So worship Him Alone, and He is the Disposer of all affairs.” (6:102)

“And put your trust in Allaah, and Allaah is Sufficient as a Disposer of Affairs.” (39:62)

 

Dhul Jalaal wal Ikraam (The One possessing Majesty and Honour): Meaning the One possessing Greatness and Grandeur, possessing Mercy and Generosity. The One Who shows beneficence in both its general and specific aspects. The One Who honours His friends and close ones – those who glorify, exalt and love Him.

“Everything in the earth will perish. And the Face of your Lord, full of Majesty and Honour, will abide forever.” (55:27)

“Blessed be the name of your Lord, the Owner of Majesty and Honour.” (55:78)

 

Al-Wudood (The Loving): The One Who Loves His Prophet and Messengers and those who follow them and they in turn love Him – He is more beloved to them than anything else. Their hearts have been filled with love of Him, their tongues are constantly moist with praising Him and their hearts are always drawn to Him in love, sincerity and repentance.

“And ask forgiveness from your Lord and turn to Him in repentance. Verily my Lord is the Most Merciful, the Loving.” (11:90)

“And He is Oft-Forgiving, the Loving.” (85:14)

 

Al-Fattaah (The Judge, The Opener): The One Who will judge between His Servants through His laws of the Sharee`ah, His laws of Decree and His laws and recompense. The One who opens the eyes of the those who are truthful and sincere by His Kindness. The One who opens their hearts so that they can know Him, love Him and repent to Him. He opens the doors of mercy and sustenance for His servants and provides them the means of attaining both the good in this life and the Hereafter, “whatever mercy Allaah may grant to mankind, none can withhold it and none can grant it thereafter.” (35:2)

“Say: Our Lord will assemble us all together (on the Day of Resurrection), then He will judge between them. He is the Judge, the All-Knowing.” (34:26)

“He said: My Lord! Verily, my people have belied me. Therefore judge You between me and them, and save me and the those of the believers who are with me.” (26:117-118)

 

Ar-Razzaaq (The Provider): The One Who provides for all of His servants, there is not a creature on the earth except that Allaah provides for it. His providing for His servants is of two types:

  1. The general provision which extends to the righteous and the sinner, the first and the last. This is the provision that is required by the bodies.
  2. The specific provision – this being granted to the hearts, nourishing them with knowledge and faith. Also the lawful provision that has been appointed for the benefit of the religion, this being specific to the believers and apportioned in accordance to their differing levels and what His Wisdom and Mercy dictates.

“Say: Come I will recite to you what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near shameful sins whether openly or secretly; kill not anyone who Allaah has forbidden except for a just cause. This He has commanded you that you may understand.” (6:151)

“I created man and jinn only that they may worship Me. I seek not any provisions from them nor do I ask that they feed Me. Indeed Allaah is the Provider, Owner of Power – the Most Strong.” (51: 56-58)

 

Al-Hakam (The Judge), al-Adl (The Just): The One who judges between His Servants in this life and the Hereafter with His Justice and Fairness. He will not oppress anyone to the extent of an atoms weight and none will be made to carry the encumbrance of another. No servant will be recompensed in a way that is greater that the magnitude of his sin, he will be given only what he deserves. Not a single persons right will be denied him, He is the Just in His regulation and decree, “indeed My Lord is upon the Straight Path.” (11:56)

“Say: I am on clear proof from my Lord, but you deny (the truth). I do not have what you are impatient for (i.e. the Punishment). The judgement is only for Allaah, He declares the truth, and He is the best of judges.” (6:57)

 

Jaami`un Naas (The Gatherer of Mankind): The One Who will gather mankind on the Day about which there is no doubt. He will gather their actions and provisions and will not leave out a single thing, be it large or small, except that He will take it to account. He will gather together the disintegrated remains of those that have died, the early and later by His perfect Power and All-Encompassing Knowledge, (and resurrect them).

“Our Lord! Indeed it is you who will gather mankind together on the Day about which there is no doubt! Verily Allaah never breaks His promise!” (3:9)

“I swear by the Day of Resurrection. And I swear by the self-reproaching soul. Does man think that We shall not assemble his bones? Yes, We are Able to put together in perfect order the tips of his fingers.” (75:1-4)

 

Al-Hayy (The Living), Al-Qayyum (The Sustainer): The One Who has perfect life, existing in and of Himself and not dependant upon anyone else. The Sustainer of the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, the One Who regulates their affairs and provisions. The Living includes all of the Attributes of His Self and The Sustainer includes all the Attributes of His Actions.

“Allaah! There is no deity worthy of worship but Him, the Living, the Sustaining.” (3:1)

“All faces shall be humbled before (Allaah), the Living, the Sustaining. And the one who carried the burden of wrong-doing shall be in complete loss!” (20:111)

 

An-Nur (The Light): The Light of the heavens and the earth, the One Who illuminates the hearts of the gnostics with knowledge of Him, faith in Him and His guidance. He is the One Who has lit the heavens and the earth with lights that He has placed therein. His veil is light and were He to uncover it then the Face of the Glorious would burn everything from the creation that His Sight fell upon.

“Allaah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, and the glass as if it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east or of the west, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) even though no fire touches it. Light upon light! Allaah guides to His Light whom He Wills. Allaah sets forth parables for mankind, and Allaah Knows everything.” (24:35)

 

Badee`us Samaawaati wal Ard (The Originator of the heavens and the earth): Meaning their Creator and Originator, done so in the best of ways, with the most marvelous of creations in amazing and perfect order, structure and harmony.

“The Originator of the heavens and the earth. When he decrees a thing to be, He merely says: Be! – and it is.” (2:117)

“He is the Originator of the heavens and the earth. How can He have children when He has no wife? He created all things and He Knows everything.” (6:101)

 

Al-Qaabid (The Taker), Al-Baasit (The Extender): The One Who takes the provisions and souls, the One Who gives provisions freely and gives (life to) the hearts – all of this in compliance to His Wisdom and Mercy.

“Who will lend to Allaah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it for him many times? And it is Allaah Who takes and increases (your provisions) and unto Him you shall return.” (2:245)

“And they made not a just estimate of Allaah such as is due to Him. On the Day of Resurrection His Hand will grasp the whole of the earth and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified be He, High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him!” (39:67)

 

Al-Mu`tee (The Giver), Al-Maani` (The Preventer): There is none who can prevent what He gives and none who can give what He prevents. Every thing that can bring goodness or benefit is sought and desired from Him. He is the One Who gives to whomsoever He Wills and prevents from Whosoever He Wills, all of this in accordance to His Wisdom and Mercy.

 

Ash-Shaheed (The Witness): The One Who is Aware of everything. The One Who hears every voice in existence – the loud and quiet. The One Who Sees everything in existence – the insignificant and significant, the small and large. The One Whose Knowledge encompasses everything. The One Who will testify for or against His servants for what they did.

“Say: What thing is the greatest witness? Say: Allaah is Witness between you and I; this Qur’aan has been revealed to me that I may warn therewith – you and whomsoever it may reach.” (6:19)

“It is He Who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth that he make it prevail over all religions. And sufficient is Allaah as a Witness.” (48:28)

 

Al-Mubdee` (The Starter), Al-Mu`eed(The Recaller, The One Who repeats creation): Allaah says, “He is the One Who started the creation and He will repeat it” (10:4) He began their creation to test them as to which one was best in action then He will recall them to reward those who did good and punish those who did evil for their evil. Similarly He is the one Who began by creating each individual thing and then continuously repeats it.

“Is not He (better than your false gods) Who originates creation and shall thereafter repeat it, and Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth?” (27:64)

“Allaah originates the creation and then repeats it, then to Him you will be returned.” (85:13)

 

Al-Fa`aalul Limaa Yureed (The One Who does what He Wills): This is from the perfection of His Power and the implementation of His Will, Desire and Decree that anything that He Wishes to do, He does and there is none to prevent Him or protest. He has no assistant or supporter in anything that He does, rather when He Wills a thing to be He merely says, “Be! And it is.” Despite the fact that He does what He Wills, His Will acts in accordance to His Wisdom and Praise. He is described with Perfect Ability and Power, and with the implementation of His Will and He is described with complete and all-encompassing Wisdom.

“As for those who are wretched, they will be in the Fire, moaning in a high and low tone. They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endured except as your Lord Will. Indeed your Lord does what He Wills.” (11:106-107)

 

Al-Ghanee (The Self-Sufficient, The Rich), al-Mughnee (The Sufficient): He is Self-Sufficient completely and unrestrictedly, deference is given to His perfection and the perfection of His Attributes. He has absolutely no deficiency of any kind, it is not possible that He be anything but Self-Sufficient, for self-sufficiency is from the necessary consequences of His Essence. Similarly it is not possible for Him to be anything but the Creator, The All-Powerful, the Provider and the Bestower of good. He is not in need of anything or anyone, He is the Self-Sufficient in Whose Hand lie the treasures of the heavens and the earth, and the treasures of this life and the Hereafter. He suffices for the whole of His creation generally, and is specifically sufficient for the believers in that He confers upon their hearts nurturing knowledge and the realities of faith.

“Kind words and forgiving faults are better than giving in charity. Allaah is the Rich, the Forebearing.” (2:263)

“And your Lord is Self-Sufficient, full of Mercy. If He Will He could destroy you and out in your place make who He Will to be successors, just as He raised you from the seed of another people.” (6:133)

 

Al-Haleem (The Forbearing): The One Who bestows favours, both outward and inward, lavishly to His creation despite their many acts of disobedience and transgression. He is gentle upon those that disobey him and in censuring them so that perchance they may repent and gives them respite so that they may become sorrowful.

“And know that Allaah Knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, the Forebearing.” (2:235)

“If you lend to Allaah a goodly loan He will double it for you and will forgive you. Allaah is the appreciative and rewarding, the Forebearing.” (64:17)

 

Ash-Shaakir (The Recognizer and Rewarder of good), Ash-Shakoor (The Appreciative): The One Who recognizes and rewards the small quantity of action, Who forgives the large quantity of sins. He is the One Who multiplies the rewards of His sincere servants manifold without any measure. He is the One Who recognizes and rewards those who give thanks to Him and remembers the one who remembers Him. Whosoever seeks to get close to Him by doing any righteous action, Allaah draws close to Him by a greater degree.

“Indeed Safa and Marwa are two of the symbols of Allaah. So it is not a sin on him who performs Hajj or Umrah to perform the going between them. And whoever does good voluntarily, then Allaah is the Recognizer, the All-Knowing.” (2:158)

“Indeed those who recite the Book of Allaah, and establish the prayers and spend out of that which we have provided them, secretly and openly, hope for a sure trade-gain that will never perish. That He may pay them in full and give them even more out of His Grace. He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Appreciative.” (35:29-30)

 

Al-Qareeb (The Close), Al-Mujeeb (The Answerer): He, Exalted is He, is close to everybody, this closeness being of two types:

  1. The general closeness which means His being close to everyone with respect to His Knowledge, Awareness, Seeing, Witnessing and Encompassing.
  2. The specific closeness which is specific to His worshippers, those who ask of Him, and those who love Him. The reality of this type of closeness cannot be comprehended all we can see is its resultant effects – His kindness to His servants, His care of them and His making them to be firm upon the Straight Path.

From the consequences of this closeness is His answering those who supplicate to Him and His granting them the ability to be penitent. He is the One Who answers, in a general sense, those who supplicate to Him whomsoever them may be and wheresoever they may be and whatever condition they may be in as He has promised them. He is the One Who answers, in a specific sense, those who love Him, those who imitate and follow His Sharee`ah. He is also the One Who answers the one in dire need and those who have given up all hope of being answered by the creation and therefore their connection to Him has been strengthened in terms of love, hope and fear.

“And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, I am indeed near to them. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when He calls upon Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me so that they may be led aright.” (2:186)

“And to the Thamud We sent their brother Saalih saying: O my people! Worship Allaah besides whom there is no other deity. He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him, and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly My Lord is Near, Responsive.” (11:61)

 

Al-Kaafee (The Sufficient): The One Who suffices His servants in everything that they are in need of. The One Who suffices, in a specific sense, those who believe in Him, put their trust in Him and seek their worldly and religious needs from Him.

“Allaah drove back those who disbelieved in their rage and they gained no advantage. Allaah sufficed for the believers in the fighting. Allaah is the Strong, the Mighty.” (33:25)

“Is not Allaah sufficient for His servant? Yet they try to frighten you with those who they worship besides Him! And whomsoever Allaah sends astray, for him there will be no guide.” (39:36)

 

Al-Awwal (The First), Al-Aakhir (The Last), Adh-Dhaahir (The Manifest), Al-Baatin (The Inward): The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) explained these in a succinct and clear way while addressing his Lord, “You are the First, there was none before You. You are the Last, there will be none after You. Your are the Manifest, there is nothing above You. You are the Inward, there is nothing close to you.”

“He is the First, the Last, the Manifest and the Inward. He is the All-Knower of everything.” (57:3)

 

Al-Waasi’` (The Vast): He is the One Who is vast with respect to His Attributes and qualities and those things linked to them – this from the point of view that none can enumerate His praise as He deserves, rather He is as He has praised Himself. Vast in grandeur, authority and dominion, Vast in bestowing grace and good and Vast in Goodness and Nobility.

“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allaah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allaah gives manifold increase to whom He pleases. Allaah is the Vast, the All-Knowing.” (2:261)

“O you who believe! Whoever from amongst you turns back from his religion, Allaah will bring about a people whom He will Love, and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers, fighting in the Way of Allaah and never afraid of the blame of the blamers. That is the Grace of Allaah which He bestows on whom He Wills. Allaah is the Vast, the All-Knowing.” (5:54)

 

Al-Haadee (The Director), Ar-Rasheed (The Guide): He is the One Who guides and directs His servants towards all that would be of benefit to them and away from all that would bring them harm. He is the One Who teaches them what they did not use to know and guides them with a guidance that keeps them firm upon the Straight Path. He is the One Who inspires their hearts with taqwaa and made them penitent and compliant to His Commands.

 

Ar-Rasheed also carries the meaning of Al-Hakeem (the Wise). He is ar-Rasheed in His Actions and Sayings. All of His legislation is good, correctly guiding and wise.

“Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy amongst the disbelievers. But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.” (25:31)

 

Al-Haqq (The Truth): He is the Truth in His Essence and Attributes, He is the most necessary of existences, He is what the whole of existence needs to exist. He is the One Who was and is described with Magnificence, Beauty and Perfection. He is the One Who was and is known to be Beneficent.

His saying is the truth, His Actions are the truth, the meeting with Him is the truth, His Messengers are the truth, His Books are the truth, His religion is the truth, worshipping Him Alone is the truth, everything that has to do with Him is the truth. This is because Allaah is the Truth and what they supplicate to other than Him is false and invalid and because Allaah is the Most High, the Great.

“And say: the Truth is from your Lord, so let whosoever who wills believe, and whosoever who wills disbelieve.” (18:29)

“And what is there after truth apart from falsehood?” (10:32)

“Say: the truth has come and falsehood has been vanished, indeed falsehood by its nature is bound to be vanished.” (17:81)

And all praise is due to Allaah by whose grace all good actions are completed and peace and blessings be upon Muhammad and upon his companions and those who follow them until the Day of Judgement.

General Principles Regarding the Attributes of Allaah

By ’Alawee ’Abdul-Qaadir as-Saqqaaf Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank [1]

 

 

“PIVOTAL QUOTE”
To deny for Allaah everything which He has denied for Himself in His Book, or which His Messenger denied for Him; along with believing that its fully-perfect opposite is confirmed for Allaah – the Most High.

THE FIRST PRINCIPLE:

‘‘Affirmation of everything that Allaah affirmed for Himself in His Book, or which His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) affirmed for him; without tahreef (distorting the wording or the meaning of the Attributes), without ta’teel (denying them), without takyeef (asking how the Attributes are), and without tamtheel (making any resemblance of them to the creation).’’ [2] This is because Allaah knows better about Himself than anyone else, and His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) knows better than the rest of creation about his Lord.

THE SECOND PRINCIPLE:

‘‘To deny for Allaah everything which He has denied for Himself in His Book, or which His Messenger denied for Him; along with believing that its fully-perfect opposite is confirmed for Allaah – the Most High.’’ [3] This is because Allaah knows better about Himself than His creation, and His Messenger out of all the people is the one who knows best about his Lord. So denying death for Allaah includes affirmation of His perfect Life; and denying oppression for Him includes affirmation of His perfect Justice; and denying sleep for Him includes affirmation of His perfect charge and control over everything.

THE THIRD PRINCIPLE:

‘‘The Sifaat of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – are tawqeefiyyah (i.e. only to be spoken of in accordance with a text). Thus, nothing is affirmed for Allaah, except that which Allaah affirmed for Himself, or was affirmed for Him by His Messenger. Likewise, nothing is denied for Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – except that which He denied for Himself, or was denied for Him by His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).’’ [4] This is because no one knows better about Allaah, than Allaah – the Most High Himself, and there is no one of the creation who knows better about the Creator than Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).

THE FOURTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘To halt with regards to vague terms which are not found to be affirmed or denied textually; in wording or meaning. So further explanation is sought. Then, if something false is meant by it, then we declare Allaah free of that and reject it. If, however, it is something that is true and something that is not to be denied for Allaah, then it is accepted and the correct terminology – as found in the Book and the Sunnah – is to be made clear. One should call for the usage of the correct terminology, in place of this vague and newly-introduced wording.’’[5] An example of this is the term jihah (direction). We halt – neither immediately affirming, nor denying it, and we ask the one who says it: What do you me by the term jihah (direction) for Allaah? If he says that he means a place which contains Him, then we say that this is something false and rejected, and Allaah is to be declared free from this. But if he says that it means that Allaah is unrestrictedly above, then we say that this is true; and it is not to be denied for Allaah. So we accept the meaning from him, but we say that it is more befitting that it be said: Allaah is above the heavens, or that he is above. Since these wordings occur in the authentic texts. But as for the term jihah (direction), then it is vague and is a novelty, so it is better to leave it.

THE FIFTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘Every Attribute that is established by an authentic report most definitely agrees with the sound ’aql (intellect).’’ [6]

THE SIXTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘To cut off any hope in reaching the reality of how the attributes are; as Allaah – the Most High – said: ‘‘And they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge.’’ [Soorah TaaHaa 20:110]’’ [7]

THE SEVENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘The Sifaat of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – are affirmed specifically and in detail; whereas denial is done in general.’’ [8] Example of detailed and specific affirmation is like affirming Hearing and Seeing, for Him and the rest of the Attributes. An example of generalized denial is like denying for Him any likeness; as in His saying: ‘‘There is nothing like Him.’’ [Soorah Shooraa 42:11].

THE EIGHTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘Every Name confirmed for Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – is inclusive of an Attribute, but he opposite is not the case.’’ [9] For example: Allaah’s Name ar-Rahmaan (the Most Merciful) incorperates the attribute of mercy; al-Kareem (the Munificent) incorperates the attribute of munificence; and al-Lateef (the Most Gentle, the All-Perceiving) incorperates the attribute of being gentle and All-Perceiving; and so on. However, as for His Attributes; such as His Iraadah (Will), His Majee (Comming), His Istawaa (Ascending) – then names are not to be derived from them, such as: the One Who Wills, The Comer, the One Who Ascends; etc.

THE NINTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘The Attributes of Allaah – the Most High – are perfect, containing no deficiency in any sense at all.’’ [10]

THE TENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘Attributes of Allaah are Dhaatiyyah (those pertaining to His Self), and Fi’liyyah (those pertaining to His Actions). And there is no limit or end to His Actions.’’ [11] Since Allaah says: ‘‘And Allaah does whatever He chooses.’’ [Soorah Ibraaheem 14:27]

THE ELEVENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘The proof from the Book and the Sunnah for establishing an Attribute is either by clearly stating it, or by its being incorperated by the Name, or by clear statement of an action or description proving it.’’ [12] Examples of the first: Mercy, Might, Power, His face, His Hands, His Fingers; etc. Examples of the second: al-Baseer (the all-Seeing) incorperates the Attribute of sight, and as-Samee’ (the all-Hearing) incorperates the attribute of hearing; etc. Examples of the third: ‘‘The Most Merciful made istawaa (ascended) over the Throne.’’ [Soorah Taa Haa 20:5]. This proves His having asceneded. And: ‘‘Indeed I will extract retribution from the criminals.’’ [Sooratus-Sajdah 32:22]. This proves that He extracts retribution.

THE TWELTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘One may seek refuge with Allaah – the Mighty and Magnificent’s – Attributes, and swear an oath by them.’’ [13] From this is his (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying: ‘‘I seek refuge in Your Pleasure from Your Wrath, and of Your granting safety from Your Punishment.’’ [14] Therefore Imaam al-Bukhaaree headed a chapter heading in the Book of Oaths and Vows: ‘‘Chapter: Swearing an oath by the Might of Allaah and His Attributes and His Word.’’

THE THIRTEENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘Speech concerning the Sifaat (Attributes) is like speech concerning the Dhaat (Self).’’ [15] Since, just as His Dhaat (Self) is real and does not resemble that of other than Him, then likewise, it is characterized by real Attributes which also do not resemble the attributes of others. And just as affirmation of His Dhaat is an affirmation of existence, but not of how He exists, then the same is true for the Attributes.

THE FOURTEENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘Speech concerning some of the Attributes is like speech concerning the rest of them.’’ [16] So whosoever affirms the Attributes of Allaah; like Hearing Seeing and Will, must therefore affirm Allaah’s Loving, being Pleased, His Anger and His Hating. Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: ‘‘Whosoever differentiates between one Attribute and another, despite their being the same with regards to reasons for their being literal or metaphorical, then he is contradicting himself, erroneous in his position, and resembling those who believed in a part of the Book whilst disbelieving in other parts.’’

THE FIFTEENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘Whatever is attributed to Allaah and is not something separate from Him, then it is an Attribute of His and is not something created. And everything that is attributed to Allaah, but is something separate from Him, then it is something created. So not everything that is attributed to Allaah is necessarily an Attribute of His.’’ [17] Examples of the first: Allaah’s Hearing, seeing, being Pleased and Wrath. Examples of the second: The House of Allaah, the She-Camel of Allaah.

THE SIXTEENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘The Attributes of Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – and all other matters of ’aqeedah (belief) are established by whatever is [authentically] established from Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), even if it is an Aahaad narration.’’ [18]

THE SEVENTEENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘The meaning of Allaah’s Attributes which are established in the Book and the Sunnah, are known and are explained with their dhaahir (apparent and literal) meaning, never with their majaaz (metaphorical or figurative) meaning. But as for their kayfiyyah (how they are), then that is unknown.’’ [19]

THE EIGHTEENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘Whatever occurs in the Book and the Sunnah, then it is binding upon every Believer to hold what it entails as his saying and to believe in it; even if he does not understand its meaning.’’ [20]

THE NINETEENTH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘The domain of the reports [about Allaah and His Actions] is wider than that of the Attributes. So things related about Allaah are not necessarily dependant upon a text; such as Allaah is the pre-existing, that He is a thing, that He exists; etc.’’ [21]

THE TWENTETH PRINCIPLE:

‘‘No analogy is made regarding the Attributes of Allaah.’’[22] So no analogy is made between His Sakhaa (liberty) and His Jood (Generosity), nor between His Jalad (Strength) and His Quwwah (Might), nor between His Istitaa’ah (Capability) and His Qudrah (Power), nor between His Riqqah (Compasion) and His Rahmah (Mercy). This is because, with regards to Allaah’s Attributes, then we cannot go beyond the principle of halting until a text is found; as was explained in the third principle.

THE TWENTY-FIRST PRINCIPLE:

‘‘The Attributes of Allaah – the Mighty and Magnificent – cannot be enumerated, since every Name of Allaah comprises an Attribute, and Allaah’s Names cannot be enumerated; since from them are those which Allaah has retained with Himself in the Knowledge of the Unseen.’’ [23] The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘‘No pre-occupying concern, nor grief inflicts a servant whereupon he says: O Allaah, I am your slave, the son of your slave, the son of your female-slave. My forelock is in Your Hands; Your judgement is continually being carried out upon me; Your decree upon me is just. I ask you with every Name that is Yours, with which You have named Yourself, or sent down in Your book, or taught to any of Your creation, or have kept for Yourself in the hidden knowledge which is with You…’’[24]

Footnotes:

[1] From the introduction to Sifaatullaah ’Azza wa Jallul-Waaridah fil-Kitaab was-Sunnah.

[2] ’Aqeedatus-Salaf wa Ashaabul-Hadeeth (p. 4) of as-Saaboonee and Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (3/3, 4/182, 5/26, 6/38) of Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah.

[3] al-’Aqeedatut-Tadmuriyyah (p. 58) and al-Jawaabus-Saheeh (3/139) both by Ibn Taymiyyah.

[4] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/26)

[5] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/299, 6/36) and at-Tadmuriyyah (p. 65)

[6] Mukhtasarus-Sawaa’iqul-Mursalah (1/141, 253)

[7] Manhaj wa Diraasaat li Aayaatil-Asmaa was-Sifaat (p. 25) of al-’Allaamah Muhammad al-Ameen ash-Shanqeetee

[8] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (6/37, 6/515)

[9] Badaa‘i’ul-Fawaa‘id (1/162) of Ibn al-Qayyim and also al-Qawaa’idul-Muthlaa fee Sifaatillaahi wa Asmaa‘il-Husnaa (p. 30) of Ibnul-’Uthaymeen

[10] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/206) and Badaa‘i’ul-Fawaa‘id (1/168)

[11] al-Qawaa’idul-Muthlaa (p. 30)

[12] al-Qawaa’idul-Muthlaa (p. 38)

[13] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (6/143, 229) and refer also to Sharhus-Sunnah (1/185-187) of al-Baghawee.

[14] Related by Muslim (no. 486)

[15] al-Kalaam ’alas-Sifaat (p. 20) of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee, al-Hujjah fee Bayaanil-Mahajjah (1/173) of al-Asbahaanee, and Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/330, 6/355)

[16] at-Tadmuriyyah (p. 31) and Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/212)

[17] al-Jawaabus-Saheeh (3/145), Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (9/290) and also Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa wa Rasaa‘il (1/166) of Ibnul-’Uthaymeen

[18] Mukhtasar Sawaa’iqul-Mursalah (2/332, 412, 433)

[19] at-Tadmuriyyah (pp. 43-44) and Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/36-42). For a full reply to the doubts refer to ar-Risaalatut-Tadmuriyyah, Munaadharatul-’Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah, ar-Risaalatul-Hamawiyyatil-Kubraa and ar-Risaalatul-Murraakashiyyah – all within Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa in order (3/1-128), (3/160-194), (5/5-121) and (5/153-193)

[20] at-Tadmuriyyah (p. 65) and Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/298)

[21] Badaa‘i’ul-Fawaa’id (1/162)

[22] Sha‘nud-Du’aa (p. 111) of al-Khattaabee

[23] Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (5/176)

[24] Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (1/391). It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Kalimut-Tayyib (no. 102)

An Introduction to Belief in the Attributes of Allaah

By Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan Translated by Maaz Qureshi

 

 

“PIVOTAL QUOTE”
And they do not disbelieve in the Names of Allaah and His Attributes, and they do not try to determine their modality and they do not liken His Attributes to the Attributes of the creation.

 

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“And from faith in Allaah is faith in what He described Himself with in His Book and what His Messenger Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) described Him with, without tahreef or ta’ateel and without takyeef or tamtheel.”

 

Commentary:

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan says:

After the writer briefly mentioned the foundations that are obligatory to have faith in, he mentions them in a detailed way and he begins with the first foundation, which is faith in Allaah the Exalted. So he mentions that entering into it is faith in the Attributes of Allaah which He described Himself with in His Book, or those that He was described with by His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in his Sunnah. So we affirm these for Him as they came in the Book and the Sunnah with their terminology and meanings, without tahreef in their terminology or ta’ateel in their meanings, and without making tashbeeh for them with the attributes of the creation.

 

Tahreef (alteration): It is the distortion and disinclination of something from its apparent meaning. It is said: he altered such and such so he distorted it. It is of two types:

 

The First Type: Tahreef in terminology – It changing the word to other than its apparent meaning, either by adding a word, or by taking it out, or by deleting a diacritical mark as in the statement of the people of misguidance concerning the statement of Allaah the Exalted:

And your Lord will come.

[They say] that is the Command of your Lord. So they added a word. Similarly, there is their statement regarding the statement of Allaah the Exalted:

And Allaah spoke to Moosaa directly.” [They] reaffirm it to another term.

So they change a diacritical mark.

 

The Second Type: Tahreef in meaning – It is changing a word from its apparent meaning and its reality, and presenting the word with the meaning of another word. Such as the statement: ‘Verily the meaning of Mercy is wanting reward and the meaning of Anger is wanting punishment.’

 

Ta’ateel (void): Void language – It is used to make the word empty, that is, to void, and the meaning here is to negate the Attributes from Allaah the Glorified and Exalted. The difference between tahreef and ta’ateel is that tahreef negates the correct meaning without changing it to different meaning, like a chaotic action. So everyone who performs tahreef also performs ta’ateel but everyone who performs ta’ateel does not perform tahreef.

 

Takyeef (to ask ‘how’) – It is to distinguish the modality of the Attributes. It is said: ‘One can determine the modality of something if its modality known.’ So to determine the modality of the Attributes of Allaah is to determine their ‘how’ and condition which they are upon. This is not possible for human beings because it is from that knowledge which Allaah has kept to Himself. So there is no path to attain it because it is from His Essence. So just as it is not possible for humankind to know the Essence of Allaah, they cannot determine the modality of His Attributes. So when Imaam Maalik was asked:

The Most Merciful ascended (istawaa) above His Throne.

“How did He ascend?” So he said: “Istawaa is known and its modality is unknown and faith in it is obligatory and questions concerning it are an innovation.” This is the statement concerning the Attributes.

 

Tamtheel (resembling) – It is to liken Allaah by saying that His Attributes are like those of the creation; such as saying that the Hand of Allaah is like our hands and His Hearing is like our hearing and His Eyes are like our eyes. (far above is Allaah from that) Allaah the Exalted said:

There is nothing like Him. He is the Seeing, the Hearing.

So it cannot be said about His Attributes that they are comparable to our attributes or that they resemble our attributes or that they are like our Attributes. Likewise, it cannot be said that the Essence of Allaah is like our essence. So the monotheist believer affirms all of the Attributes of Allaah upon their apparent sense by Magnifying Allaah and His Greatness. The one who performs ta’ateel negates them or negates some of them and the one who likens Allaah affirms them upon a sense not befitting of Allaah, and this is only befitting of the creation. [1]

The people of the Sunnah and the Jamaa’ah do not take their faith in the fact that there is nothing like Allaah to mean that they negate from Him what He affirms for Himself such as those who go to an extreme in deanthropomorphizing Him until they make Him void of His Attributes, in trying to leave of likenesses for Him, in trying to avoid any likening of His Attributes to those of the creation. So the people of the Sunnah say that the Attributes of Allaah the Exalted are specific to Him and only He is described with them. The creation have Attributes specific to them and they are described with them. There is not similarity between the Attributes of the Creator and the attributes of the Creation. So this warning is not necessary except for those people who distort Allaah’s Attributes. [2]

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“And they do not disbelieve in the Names of Allaah and His Attributes, and they do not try to determine their modality and they do not liken His Attributes to the Attributes of the creation.”

 

Commentary:

Ilhaad (disbelief/heresy) in the Language: The distortion and alteration of something, and from it meaning is digging (lahada) a grave. Due to this, it is named as altering and moving from the road that is in the direction of the Qiblah. Heresy in the Names of Allaah and His Signs is alteration and distortion in them from their realities and correct meanings to falsehood. Heresy in the Names of Allaah and His Attributes is of various types:

 

The First Type: Naming idols by them. This is like naming al-Laat from al-Ilaah and al-‘Uzzah from al-‘Azeez and al-Manaat from al-Mannaan.

 

The Second Type: Naming Him the Glorified and exalted with what He has not been described with. This is like the Christians who call Him ‘Father’ and like the philosophers who call Him the Reason of the Cause for Activity.

 

The Third Type: Describing Allaah the Glorified and Exalted with deficiencies that He is free of. This is like the statement of the Jews who say:

Verily Allaah is poor and we are wealthy.”

And their statement:

The Hand of Allaah is tied up.

There is also their statement that Allaah rests on Saturday. (far above is Allaah from what they say)

 

The Fourth Type: Resembling His Attributes to the Attributes of the Creation. This is like the statement of the anthropomorphist who says: ‘His Hand is like my hand’ and other than that. (far above this is Allaah) Indeed Allaah has threatened those who commit heresies in His Names and His Signs with a tremendous threat. So Allaah the Exalted says:

And Allaah has the most Beautiful Names, so call upon Him by them. And leave those who commit heresies in His Names. They will be recompensed for what they used to do.” [Sooratul A’araaf 7:180]

Allaah says:

Verily those who commit heresies in Our Aayaat, they are not hidden from Us.” [Sooratul Fussilat 41:40] [3]

 

Footnotes:

[1] This section was taken from Sharhul ‘Aqeedatil Waasitiyyah (p. 15-16) of Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan.

[2] Sharhul ‘Aqeedatil Waasityyah (p. 17).

[3] Sharhul ‘Aqeedatil Waasitiyyah (p. 18