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The Attributes Of Allâh God

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

Praise be to God the Creator of the world, the One Who exists without beginning, without end, without location, without a "how" and Who does not depend on time. Nothing resembles Him in anyway and He hears and sees everything without organs. Whatever you imagine, God is different from that. May the elevation in degree and preservation of his community of what he fears for it, be granted to our master MuHammad Al-‘Amin, the Honest One, who called for following Islam, the religion of truth, the religion of all the Prophets: of the First, Adam, to the last MuHammad.

Allâh, the Exalted, said:

﴿ وَمَن لَّمْ يُؤْمِن بِاللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَإِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ سَعِيرًا ﴾

(wa man lam yu’min bi l-Lâhi wa raçûlihî fa’innâ ‘a`tadnâ lil-kâfirîna sa`îrâ)

which means: « For those blasphemers who do not believe in Allâh and His Messenger, We have prepared Hellfire. »

It is obligatory to believe in Allâh and to know what is permissible to attribute to Him, what is necessary to be of His attributes, and what is impossible to be of His attributes. Also, it is obligatory to believe in the Messenger and to know what is befitting for him, what is permissible for him and the other prophets, what is necessary to be of their attributes, and what is impossible to be among their attributes. It is obligatory to declare these beliefs by the tongue by uttering The Testification of Faith (Two Shahadah):

أشهد أن لا إلـه إلا الله وأشهدُ أنَّ محمّدًا رسول الله

which means: « I know, believe and profess no one is God except Allâh and MuHammad is the Messenger of Allâh. »

The one who does not believe in Allâh and His Messenger is a blasphemer and shall enter Hell eternally.

The Judgments of the Mind

Before proceeding with this treatise let it be known that the judgments of the mind are three kinds:

The intellectual necessity: This refers to what the mind does not conceive its non-existence, i.e., non-existence does not apply to its self. Allâh is the One Whose Existence is necessary, because the mind does not accept His non-existence, i.e., non-existence does not apply to the Self of Allâh.

The intellectual impossibility: This refers to what the mind does not conceive its existence, i.e., that to which existence does not apply. The existence of a partner with Allâh is an intellectual impossibility, because existence does not apply to it, i.e., the mind does not conceive its existence.

The intellectual possibility: This refers to what the mind conceives its existence at one time and its non-existence at another time. This universe and its contents -among what we can see and what we cannot see- is an intellectual possibility. It is so because the mind conceives its existence after a state of non-existence. This is the state of the entire universe. For example, Allâh made the human being exist after having been non-existent, and then this human being shall be annihilated (Annihilation of humans is by complete death, which is defined as the soul completely departing the body. The souls do not annihilate and some bodies do not decay in the soil). This is why the human being’s existence is among the intellectual possibilities.

Allâh, ta`âlâ, said:

﴿ وَلله المَثَلُ الأَعْلَى ﴾

(wa li l-Lâhi l-mathalu l-'a`lâ)

which means: « Allâh has attributes that do not resemble the attributes of others. »

It is obligatory to believe the attributes of Allâh are confirmed to Him. He who negates them is called an atheist. Hence, the one who does not believe in the Existence of Allâh, i.e., the one who negates Allâh’s attribute of Existence is called an atheist.

The attributes of Allâh that are obligatory to believe in are confirmed to Him. They are not the Self of Allâh nor other than the Self of Allâh. Rather, we say they are attributes with which Allâh is attributed and they are religiously and intellectually obligatory for Him. Imam an-Nasafiyy said: "His attributes are not Him nor other than Him."

The attributes of Allâh that every pubescent and sane Muslim is obliged to know are called the attributes of the Self of Allâh and Allâh is not attributed with their opposites. They are thirteen attributes.

These thirteen (13) attributes of Allâh are: Existence (al-Wujud), Oneness (al-Wahdaniyyah), Eternity (al-Qidam), Everlastingness (al-Baqâ'), Non-neediness of others (al-Qiyâmu bi-n-Nafs), Non-resemblance to the creatures (al-mukhâlafatu lil-Hawâdith), Power (al-Qudrah), Will (al-Irâdah), Knowledge (al-`ilm), Life (al-Hayah), Hearing (as-sam`), Sight (al-Basar), and Speech (al-Kalam).

The attribute of Allâh: the Existence (al-Wujud)

It is obligatory to believe in the Existence of Allâh. Allâh said:

﴿ أَفِي اللهِ شَكّ ﴾

(‘afi l-Lâhi chakk)

which means: « There is no doubt in the Existence of Allâh. » Hence, it is obligatory to believe in the Existence of Allâh. It is an eternal and everlasting attribute. Allâh exists without a beginning, without an ending, and without a place.

The attribute of Allâh: the Oneness (al-Wahdaniyyah)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is One without a partner. Allâh said:

﴿ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ﴾

(Fa`lam ‘annahû lâ ‘ilâha ‘illâ l-Lâhu)

which means: « persevere on knowledge that no one is God except Allâh. » Allâh is One in His Self, Attributes, and Doings, hence Allâh has no equal. So we say, for example: "Allâh is the Creator and no one is a creator except Allâh." Allâh is One but not as in numbers, because numbers are created. Rather, He is One in that there is no partner with Him.

The attribute of Allâh: the Eternity (al-Qidam)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is Eternal, there is no beginning to His Existence. His attributes are also eternal. Nothing is eternal except Allâh and His attributes.

Allâh said:

﴿ هُوَ الأَوَّلُ وَالآخِرُ ﴾

(huwa l-‘awwalu wa l-'âkhir)

which means: « Allâh has non beginning nor end. » [sûrat al Hadîd, ‘ayah 3]

The Prophet MuHammad, Salla lLÂllâhu `alayhi wa sallam, said:

« كَانَ اللهُ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ شَىءٌ غَيْرُهُ »

(kâna l-Lâhu wa lam yakun chay'un ghayruh)

Which means: « Allâh existed [eternally] and nothing else existed with Him. »

The attribute of Allâh: the Everlastingness (al-Baqâ')

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is everlasting i.e., His Existence does not end. His Existence is everlasting and His attributes are everlasting. There is nothing everlasting in itself except Allâh, because annihilation does not apply to His Self. However, Paradise and Hell are everlasting because Allâh willed their everlastingness. Hence, they are everlasting - not in their selves - but because of other than their selves. This is why they are among the intellectual possibilities, and they are part of this universe. Allâh said:

﴿ هُوَ الأَوَّلُ وَالآخِرُ ﴾

(huwa l-'awwalu wa l-'âkhir)

which means: « Allâh is the Eternal, without a beginning, and the Everlasting, without an ending. »

The attribute of Allâh: the Non-neediness of others (al-Qiyâmu bin-Nafs)

Allâh said:

﴿ اللهُ الصَّمَد ﴾

which means: « Allâh is the Master Who is resorted to in one’s needs. » Allâh does not need anything. He does not need one to give Him existence because He exists without a beginning. Also, He does not need one to specify Him with Knowledge, instead of ignorance, or other than that among His Attributes, because His attributes exist without a beginning.

The attribute of Allâh: the Non-Resemblance to the Creation (al-Mukhâlafatu lil-Hawâdith)

Allâh does not resemble any of His creatures, neither in His Self nor in His Attributes nor in His Doings. Allâh said:

﴿ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىءٌ ﴾

(layça kamithlihi chay')

which means: « There is nothing like Him. » Imam Abu Hanifah said: « The Creator does not resemble His creatures. »

The attribute of Allâh: the Power (al-Qudrah)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is attributed with Power, which is defined as an eternal and everlasting attribute of Allâh related to giving existence to and annihilating what is intellectually possible. Allâh said:

  ﴿ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ‌ ﴾

('inna l-Lâha `alâ koulli chay'in qadîr)

which means: « Allâh has the Power over everything. » That is, Allâh’s Power relates to all things that are intellectually possible. Hence, the Power of Allâh is not related to the intellectually necessary neither in creating nor annihilating, because annihilation does not apply to it in the first place. The power of Allâh is not related to the intellectually impossible neither in creating nor annihilating because existence in the first place does not apply to that which is intellectually impossible. The fact that the power of Allâh is not related to the intellectually necessary and the intellectually impossible is not powerlessness, but rather indicates the perfection of Allâh. Also, this fact conforms to the judgment of the mind: the intellectually impossible does not turn into an intellectual possibility, and the intellectually necessary does not turn into an intellectual possibility. The Power of Allâh is related to the normal impossibilities. For example, although the existence of a sea of mercury is an intellectual possibility, it does not occur, and the Power of Allâh is related to it.

The attribute of Allâh: the Will (al-Iradah)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is attributed with Will. It is defined as an eternal and everlasting attribute by which Allâh specifies the creatures who are intellectual possibilities with some attributes among what is possible for them. An example is specifying a green colored board with green instead of other possible colors. There is no difference in that regard between good and evil, blasphemy and belief, winning and losing, and other opposites among what is intellectually possible. The Prophet Muhammad, SallAllâhu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

« مَا شَاءَ اللهَ كَانَ وَمَا لَمْ يَشَأْ لَمْ يَكُنْ »

(mâ châ’a l-Lâhu kâna wa mâ lam yacha’ lam yakun)

The attribute of Allâh: the Knowledge (al-`ilm)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is attributed with Knowledge. This is an eternal and everlasting attribute of His Self. Allâh knows eternally about His Self, attributes, and what He creates. Nothing is absent from His Knowledge. Allâh said:

﴿ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴾

(wa huwa bikulli chay’in `alîm)

The attribute of Allâh: the Life (al-Hayah)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is attributed with Life. Allâh said:

﴿ اللهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلا هُوَ الحَيُّ القَيُّومُ ﴾

(Allâhu lâ ‘ilâha ‘il-lâ huwa l-Hayyu l-Qayyûm)

which means: « There is no God but Allâh, and He is attributed with Life, and His existence does not end. » Life is an eternal and everlasting attribute of Allâh. The Life of Allâh is not like our life, because our life needs a combination of body and soul ; however, the Life of Allâh is His attribute.

The attribute of Allâh: the Hearing (as-sam`)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is attributed with Hearing. This is an eternal and everlasting attribute of Allâh with which Allâh hears all things that are audible. There is no difference between what is near to us and what is far from us because Allâh is not in a place. He hears without an ear, without means, and without instruments. His hearing is not subject to weakening nor change because weakness and change are non-befitting to Allâh. Allâh said:

﴿ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ ﴾

which means: « He is the One attributed with Hearing and Sight. »

The attribute of Allâh: the Sight (al-Basar)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is attributed with Sight. This is an eternal and everlasting attribute of Allâh with which He sees all things that are visible, without an instrument and without means. He sees the things that are far away from us and those that are near to us without any difference because Allâh is not in a place. His attribute of Sight does not change or develop, because the One whose Self is eternal does not develop or change. Allâh’s attributes are eternal and do not develop or change.

The attribute of Allâh: the Speech (al-Kalam)

It is obligatory to believe Allâh is attributed with Speech (Kalam). This is an eternal and everlasting attribute with which Allâh orders, forbids, and informs. It is not a letter nor a sound nor a language. The Qur’an and the other revealed Books are expressions of the eternal Kalam of the Self of Allâh. When we write the word “Allâh” it is an expression of the Self of Allâh. Likewise, the words and sentences of the revealed Books are expressions of the Kalam of Allâh. The Qur’an is called the Kalam of Allâh because it is not authored by Prophet MuHammad or Angel Jibril. The Qur’an is also used to mean the eternal Kalam of the Self of Allâh. Allâh said:

﴿ وَكَلَّمَ اللهُ مُوسَى تَكْلِيمًا ﴾

which means: « Allâh spoke to Musa with His eternal Kalam. » i.e., Allâh created in Prophet Musa the ability to hear the Kalam of the Self of Allâh, which is not a letter nor a sound.