“How can we know Allaah The Almighty?”

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“How can we know Allaah The Almighty?”
 
 
 
{And obey Allaah and His Messenger, if you should be believers.}[Al-Anfaal: 1]
 
He The Exalted also says:
 
{It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair.}[Al-Ahzaab: 36]
 
Then every believer should believe in the Names and Attributes of Allaah as it is mentioned in the Noble Book of Allaah The Almighty and the honorable Sunnah of His Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him.
 
Exactly as Imam ash-Shaafi‘i, may Allaah have mercy upon him, have said:  "I believe in Allaah The Almighty and in what has come from Allaah The Almighty in the meaning meant by Allaah The Almighty and I believe in the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him and in what has come from the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him, in the meaning meant by the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessings be upon him."[1]
 
And as Imam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, have said: “And we do not describe Allaah with more than He has described Himself.”[2]
 
We have to believe that all of the Attributes of Allaah The Almighty are true without making figurative interpretation for them or rejections.
 
So we have to believe that all what Allaah The Almighty has described Himself with is true.
 
We believe that Allaah The Almighty has Two Hands. Allaah The Almighty says:
{The hand of Allaah is over their hands.}[Al-Fat-h: 10]
 
He The Exalted also said:
 
{Rather, both His hands are extended}[Al-Maa’dah: 64]
 
We believe that Allaah The Almighty has a Face. Allaah The Almighty says:
{And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.}[Ar-Rahmaan: 27]
 
It was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “His veil is Light – or Fire - and if He were to remove it, the glory of His Countenance would burn everything of His creation, as far as His gaze reaches.”[3]
 
We believe that Allaah The Almighty has Eyes. It was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, may Allaah be pleased with them, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, mentioned Ad-Dajjaal and said: “I will tell you something about him which no prophet has told his followers: Ad-Dajjal is one-eyed whereas Allaah is not.”[4]
We believe that Allaah The Almighty has Foot. Allaah The Almighty says:
{The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able (to postrate).}[Al-Qalam: 42]
 
We believe that Allaah The Almighty Speaks. Allaah The Almighty says about His Speech to Moosa (Moses), may peace be upon him:
{And Allaah spoke to Moses with [direct] speech.}[An-Nisaa’: 164]
 
And also He The Exalted said to him: {I have chosen you over the people with My messages and My words [to you].} [Al-A‘raaf: 144]
 
Accordingly, Allaah The Almighty speaks whenever He The Exalted wants and however He The Exalted wills. By His words, He The Exalted gives and withholds, brings low and raises high, and honors and humbles. Allaah The Almighty says:
 
{His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, "Be," and it is.}[Yaa-Seen: 82]
 
We believe that the Noble Quran is sent down to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him. It is from the Speech of Allaah The Almighty and from His Attributes and that it is not created. Allaah The Almighty says:
{And We have certainly revealed to you verses [which are] clear proofs, and no one would deny them except the defiantly disobedient.}[Al-Baqarah: 99]
 
We believe that Allaah The Almighty will speak to us on the Day of Resurrection. Glory be to Allaah The Almighty. How a great opportunity and great honor. O Allaah, make us of those whom You will speak with the mercy.
It was narrated on the authority of ‘Adi ibn Haatim, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “There will be none among you but his Lord will talk to him, and there will be no interpreter between him and Allaah The Almighty. He will look to his right and see nothing but his deeds which he has sent forward, and will look to his left and see nothing but his deeds which he has sent forward, and will look in front of him and see nothing but the Hellfire facing him. So, save yourself from Hellfire even with half a date (given in charity) and even with (saying) a good word” [5]
 
We believe that Allaah The Almighty will be seen on the Day of Resurrection. This will be for the one whom Allaah The Almighty will please with sighting Him of His people of honor and love. How a great grace that will please the hearts of lovers. How a magnificent sight that will please the eyes of those who are yearning and make radiant the faces of close worshipers. Allaah The Almighty says:
{[Some] faces, that Day, will be radiant, Looking at their Lord.}[Al-Qiyaamah: 22-23]
 
O Allaah, Include us among them.
 
We believe that Allaah The Almighty descends down to the lowest heaven in a manner that suits His Majesty and the greatness of His Sovereignty.  It was narrated that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?”[6]
Also, we should not make a such corrupted figurative interpretation of the Names and Attributes of Alalh as some of the people of misguidance have done[7], they interpreted the “Hand of Allaah” to mean Power, ‘His Exalted Face’ to mean direction, His Istiwaa’ (rising over) His Throne to mean conqueringand so on. May Allaah punish them according to what they deserve.
 
 
What about the figurative interpretation that the religious texts have come with:
 
As we come to know that that it is not permissible to make a figurative interpretation for the Names and Attributes of Allaah The Almighty as we have mentioned previously. However, there are some narrations reported from Allaah The Almighty that should be interpreted figuratively in a manner that suits Him The Exalted, but this should be done according to the following guidelines:
 
Firstly, Allaah The Almighty is the only One Who interprets them as Allaah The Almighty says:
 
{And no one knows its [true] interpretation except Allaah.}[Aal-‘Imraan: 7]
 
Amongst the examples of that are that Allaah The Almighty has made a figurative interpretation for some texts in which He The Exalted spoke about Himself such as His Exalted saying in the Qudsi Hadeeth: “O My slave, I fell sick and you did not visit Me.” The man will say, ‘O Lord, how could I visit You when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ He The Exalted will say, “Do you not know that My slave so-and-so was ill and you did not visit him? Do you not know that if you had visited him, you would have found Me with him?”[8]
 
 
 
So the illness is of one of the slaves of Allaah The Almighty and the visit will be paid for such ill slave.
 
 
 
Another example, such as His Exalted saying in the Qudsi Hadeeth: “O son of Adam, I asked you for food and you did not feed Me?”
 
 
 
Its figurative interpretation runs as follows: That a man asked him (such slave) (for food) and he did not feed him. So he said: ‘O Lord, how could I feed You when You are the Lord of the worlds?’ He The Exalted will say, “Do you not know that My slave so-and-so asked you for food and you did not feed him? Do you not know that if you had fed him, you would have found that with Me.”[9]
 
 
 
So asking for food is what the hungry people seek from the rich. So these texts should be understood in the light of the texts that indicate what is obligatory of the Perfection, Majesty and Richness of Allaah The Almighty as it is mentioned in the words of Allaah The Almighty:
 
 
 
{I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is Allaah who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength.}[Adh-Dhaariyaat: 57-58]
 
 
 
Secondly,there are texts that explain the Attributes of Allaah The Almighty in a manner of perfection:
 
This is done in a manner that suits Allaah The Almighty. This can be attained through the induction of the texts. So they are to be interpreted according such texts that indicate the Perfection and Majesty of Allaah The Almighty.
 
For example: Forgetfulness as in the words of Allaah The Almighty:
 
{They have forgotten Allaah, so He has forgotten them [accordingly].}[At-Tawbah: 67] and the saying of Allaah The Almighty to one of the people of the Hellfire: “Today I will forget you as you have forgotten me.”[10]
 
 
 
Abu ‘Isa At-Tirmithi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: As for the meaning of His saying: ‘Today, I will forget you’, it means as He is saying: Today, I will leave you in torment. They have interpreted it in this way. So such texts are to be understood in the light of other texts that explain the Perfection of Allaah The Almighty and that He is High above all shortcomings and free from all defects.
 
 
 
Allaah The Almighty never forgets as he (Moosa, peace be upon him) said:
 
{My Lord neither errs nor forgets.}[Taa-Haa: 52]
 
 
 
Another example: Seeking loans. Allaah The Almighty says:
 
{Who is it that would loan Allaah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over?}[Al-Baqarah: 245]
 
 
 
So it can be understood by the words of Allaah The Almighty:
 
{O mankind, you are those in need of Allaah , while Allaah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.}[Faatir: 15] and also as in His Exalted saying in the Qudsi Hadeeth: “You will never be in a position where you are able to harm Me and you will never be in a position to benefit Me.”[11]  
 
 
 
 
[1] Sharh Lam‘at Al-I‘tiqaad (p. 36).
 
[2] Biography by Imam Ahmad Adh-Dhahabi (27).
 
[3] Reported by Muslim.
 
[4] Reported by Al-Bukhaari (2829).
 
[5] Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
 
[6] Reported by Al-Bukhaari.
 
[7] Amongst the deviant sects that made a figurative interpretation for the Attributes of Allaah The Almighty are Al-Jahmiyyah – Al-Mu‘atilah (deniers) and Al-Ashaa‘irah.
 
[8]Reported by Muslim.
 
[9] Reported by Muslim.
 
[10] Reported by At-Tirmithi (4/2428).
 
[11]Reported by Muslim on the authority of Abu Dharr, may Allaah be pleased with him.

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