Belief in Allah
Belief in Allah signifies that Allah is the true God Who Alone deserves to be worshipped, as He is the Creator and the Sustainer of all human beings. It also signifies that He is also fully aware of their secret and open words and deeds and is Able to reward the righteous and punish the disobedient. In fact, Allah created mankind and the jinn for the sole reason to worship Him Alone. As the Qur’aan says: "And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone). I seek not any provision from them (i.e., provision for themselves or
for My creatures) nor do I ask that they should feed Me (i.e., feed themselves or My creatures). Verily, Allah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong." (Soorah 51 : 56-58)
And He said:"O mankind! Worship your Lord, Who created you and
those who came before you that you may become righteous. Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down rain from the sky, and brought forth therewith fruits as provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know that He Alone has the right to be worshipped." (Soorah 2:21,22) Allah sent the Messengers and sent down the Books to clarify
this Truth, call to it and warn against all that which contradicts it. The Qur’aan says: "And verily, we have sent among every Ummah a Messenger, (with the command), 'Worship Allah (Alone) and avoid (or Keep away from) At-Taghut (i.e., all false deities)." (Soorah 16:36)
"And We did not send any Messenger before you but we revealed to them (saying): La Ilaha illa Ana (none has the right to be worshipped but I, So worship Me." (Soorah 21:25) "(This is) a Book, the Verses whereof are perfected and then explained in detail from One (Allah), Who is All- Wise and Well-Acquainted (with all things): (Saying) worship none but Allah. Verily, I (Muhammad) am unto you from Him a warner and a bringer of glad tidings." (Soorah 11:1,2)
The reality of 'worship' mentioned in the above-mentioned Verses is to direct all one s acts to Allah Alone. These include, amongst other things, supplications, fear and hope, prayers, fasting, making sacrifices and taking vows. These should be done in total submission to His Will, fearing His chastisement and hoping for His Mercy as well as displaying love for Him. Many Verses of the Qur'aan clearly state this Islamic fundamental. The Qur’aan says: "Verily, We have sent down the Book to you in truth: so worship Allah (Alone), offering Him sincere devotion. Surely, sincere devotion (worship) is due to Allah Alone." (Soorah 39:2,3) "And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him." (Soorah 17:23) “So, call upon Allah with sincere devotion, making your worship pure for Him (Alone)” (Soorah 40:14)
Al-Bukhāri and Muslim also report on the authority of Mu’adh who said, that the Prophet said: “Allah’s right upon His slaves is that they should worship Him Alone and not to associate anyone with Him in worship.” Belief in Allah also necessitates the belief in all the apparent obligations including the five pillars of Islam, namely the declaration that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad ! is His Messenger, performing prayers, paying Zakah, fasting during the month of Ramadān, and performing pilgrimage to Ka’bah in Makkah, if one can afford it. The mast important of all these pillars is the declaration of Faith, That none has the right to he worshipped except Allah. This declaration requires offering sincere devotion to Allah Alone. Anyone who is worshipped besides Allah is but vain falsehood, as the Qur’aan says: "That is because Allah is the Only True God, and those besides Him whom they invoke are but vain falsehood." (Soorah 22:62) We have mentioned earlier that Allah created the jinn and men to worship Him Alone and that He sent His Messengers and sent down His Books to explain this fundamental to them. Many Muslims nowadays have neglected this fundamental and have thus fallen into ignorance and have, wittingly or unwittingly, worshipped others besides Allah, hence violating this right of worship, which is His prerogative. This belief also necessitates the belief that Allah is the Originator and Creator of the creation and that He Alone is the Disposer of their affairs with His Total Will and Absolute Knowledge. He is also the Master of the present world and the Hereafter and the Lord of the worlds. There is no creator or lord but He. He sent the Messengers and sent down the Books to call them to that which will benefit them in this world and in the Hereafter. The Qur’aan says:
"Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs." (39: 62) "Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens
and the earth in six days, then He rose over the Throne (in the manner that suits His Majesty). He covers the night with the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) are subjected to His Commandment. Surely, His is the creation and the
commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the worlds." (Soorah 7:54)
Belief in Allah also necessitates the belief in His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes that are clearly stated in the Qur'aan and are authentically mentioned by His Prophet Muhammad !. We should believe in all His Attributes without changing them, completely ignoring them, twisting their meanings, or claiming that they resemble human attributes. Rather, we should believe in these Attributes and describe
Allah in a manner that suits His Majesty and Grandeur, for none of His creatures resembles Him in any way. The Qur’aan says: "There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer." (Soorah 42: 11) "Invent not similitudes for Allah. Truly, Allah knows and
you know not." (Soorah 16:74)
Such is the creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā'ah, the Companions of the Prophet and those who follow in their footsteps. Imām Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash'arI mentioned this creed in his book 'A1-Maqālāt 'an Ashābil-Hadithi wa Ahlis-Sunnah. ' Other leading scholars have also mentioned this true creed in their works.
Imam A1-Awza said:
"Az-ZuhrI and Makhul were inquired about the Verses which talk about Allah' s Attributes and they replied, 'Leave them as they are." That is, do not interpret them.
Al-Walid bin Muslim said:
"Mālik, A1-Awzā'i, Al-Laith bin Sa'd, and Sufyān Ath-Thawri, may Allah have mercy upon them, were asked about the narration concerning Allah's Attributes, and they all said to believe in them all without interpreting their meanings."
"We used to say in the presence of At-Tābi'un, the successors of the Prophet's Companions, that Allah is over His Throne, and we believed in all the Prophetic traditions concerning Allah's Attributes." When Rabi'ah bin Abu 'Abdur-Rahmān, the teacher of Imām Mālik, was asked about the Verse, "Allah rose over His Throne." (Soorah 7:54), he replied: "Allah's rising over the Throne is not to be denied, to imagine the manner in which this is done is impossible, the Message is from Allah, the Prophet conveyed this Message, and we have to believe in it as it is."
When Imām Mālik himself was inquired about the manner in which Allah rose over the Throne, he replied: "Allah's action of rising over the Throne is known, the manner in which this was done is not known, the belief in this matter is obligatory, and inquiring about this manner is an innovation in religion, or Bid'ah."
Then he addressed the inquirer thus, "You are but an evil person." Then he asked people around him to send him out. Umm Salamah, the Prophet's wife, is reported to have made the same statement. Imām Abu 'Abdur-Rahman 'Abdullāh bin Al-Mubārak said in this connection: "We know that our Lord, Glorious is He, is over His Throne and over His heavens, distinct from His creation."
The religious scholars have written so much on this subject that it is impossible to quote them all in this treatise. Whoever is interested to find out more about this subject can refer to works written by scholars of Sunnah in this regard. These include, among other things, 'Abdullāh bin Imām Ahmad's As- Sunnah, Muhammad bin Khuzaimah's At-TawhId, Abul Qāsim At-Tabari's As-Sunnah. One can also refer to Imām Ibn Taimiyyah's reply to the people of Hamāt, Syria, in which he delineated the belief of Ahius-Sunnah. He also included in this reply the statements of Ahlus-Sunnah as well as logical and textual evidence from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah supporting their position and exposing their opponents' opinions. He also dealt with the subject in his treatise known as Ar-Risalatu At-Tadmiriyyah in which he cited the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah along with logical and textual evidence from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, leaving no room for argument for the objective seekers of Truth. Whoever adopts other than the position of Ahius-Sunnah as to the issue of Allah's Names and Attributes will certainly contravene massive logical and textual evidence from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.Ahlus-Sunnah have confirmed all the Names and Attributes that Allah confirmed for Himself either in the Qur'aan or through the authentic traditions of the Prophet !, without changing them completely, twisting their meaning, ignoring them or likening them to those of His creatures. They have
taken into account all possible proofs and have thus avoided falling into obvious contradictions. It is Allah's Plan to make the argument of those objective and sincere seekers of the Truth supreme: "Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it destroys it, and behold, falsehood is vanished." (Soorah 21:18)
"And no question do they bring to you but We reveal to you the Truth and the best explanation (thereof)." (Soorah 25:33)
Commenting on the Verse:
"Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He rose over the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty)." (Soorah 7:54) The renowned exegete of the Qur’aan, or Mufassir, Al-Hafiz
Ibn KathIr said:
"People in this regard adopt far too many different opinions, which are not possible to cite here. However, we adopt in this regard the position of (the righteous predecessors), As-Salafus-Salih, past and present, such as Mālik, Al-Awzā'i, Ath-Thawri, Al-Laith bin Sa'd, Ash-Shāfi'i, Ahmad and Ishāq bin Rāhwaih. They all believed in Allah's Attributes without
twisting their meanings, ignoring them completely, or likening them to those of His creatures." And whatever image comes to our minds about Allah should be rejected, for "there is nothing like unto Him, and He is
the All-Hearer, the All-Seer." (Soorah 42:11)
Nu'aim Al-Khuzā'i, the teacher of Imām A1-Bukhāri, said: Whoever likens Allah to His creatures is a disbeliever, and whoever denies the Attributes that Allah ascribes to Himself is a disbeliever. It is impossible to liken Allah to any of His Creatures. Guided are those who confirm to Allah the
Attributes, in a manner suiting His Majesty, mentioned in the clear Qur’aanic Verses and authentic Prophetic traditions and rejects all blemishes as to Allah's Attributes ."