The Attributes of God, the Creator, according to the Muslims

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The Attributes of God, the Creator, according to the Muslims

 

The Oneness of God (Glorious & Exalted) has been proved to us with all certainty—He Who is the Creator of this observable universe and all the creatures and beings therein, the Creator of all things—as we have shown previously, since the existence of any other god beside Allah (Mighty & Majestic) is impossible.

     As a result of what we have clarified, in terms of the Oneness of Allah (Glorious & Exalted), we must necessarily believe and have faith that Allah (Glorious & Exalted) is the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Designer of all things.

     This is what is called the unity of lordship (tawhid al-rububiyyah): that lordship belongs to Allah (Might & Majestic), since there is no lord beside Him (Noble & Sublime).

     This means that:

     If we confess to the unity of lordship: that Allah Alone is the true and only Lord (Mighty & Majestic), then we must single Him (Glorious & Exalted) out exclusively for worship, by not taking any person or partner beside Allah Almighty to be worshipped or drawn near to through sacrificial offerings or the like, for Allah (Glorious & Exalted) Alone is entitled to worship, to the exclusion of all others. This is what is known as the unity of divinity (tawhid al-uluhiyyah).

     Suppose a man admits completely to the unity of lordship—that Allah Alone is the Lord and Creator, the Provider, the Sovereign, the Designer of all things, etc., but he—this man—worships others beside Allah (Noble & Sublime), such as in going to a grave to worship the person inside, praying to him or giving a sacrificial offering to draw near to him, then he—this man—would thereby have committed the sin of shirk, or associating others in worship with Allah Most High. He would therefore be subject to His punishment and torment, for if he has confessed to the unity of the Lordship of Allah (Noble & Sublime), but he diverted his worship to other than Allah (Glorious & Exalted), then he would not benefit from his confession to the unity of lordship.

     We would also like to imply that:

     As we are obliged to believe in the Oneness of Allah (Glorious & Exalted), and to single Him out exclusively as Lord and God by not worshipping anything other than Him or making sacrificial offerings to anyone but Him for the sake of drawing near to Him. That is because belief in the Oneness of Allah (Glorious & Exalted) also requires of us belief in the unity of His Names and Attributes, by way of acknowledging the uniqueness of the Names He (Glorious & Exalted) has used to refer to Himself and the Attributes He has ascribed to Himself in His Book or on the tongue of His messenger (pbuh), without deviation, denial, qualification or assimilation.

     In other words, it is necessary to believe in what Allah Most High has called Himself and in the Attributes He has used to describe Himself literally, not metaphorically. These must be taken without qualification and without assimilation, for we do not claim anything of which we have no knowledge.

     We say about Allah (Mighty & Majestic) that which He said about Himself and what His Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh), said about Him. We use these Names and Attributes in a positive sense, without assimilation or qualification, and we negate about Him (Noble & Sublime) that which He negated about Himself (Glorious & Exalted) and that which His Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh), negated about Him, in terms of Names and Attributes, without denial or deviation, in light of Allah's Saying, {There is none like unto Him.}[Al-Shura 42: 11]

     God the Creator (Noble & Sublime) cannot be nothing; this is elementary.

     And if He is not nothing, then he must be described with positive qualities.

     It is not possible that He (Noble & Sublime) only has mental existence, for He (Glorious & Exalted) is the Creator of minds. Thus, His Existence (Noble & Sublime) precedes the existence of such minds.

     As such, whoever compares the Attributes of God the Creator (Noble & Sublime) to the attributes of created beings has effectively worshipped an idol. Likewise, anyone who explains the Attributes of God the Creator (Noble & Sublime) in a way that denies their meaning has effectively worshipped nothingness.

 

What we have related here in brief are the three aspects of Islamic monotheism discussed by the scholars: the unity of lordship (tawhid al-rububiyyah), the unity of divinity (tawhid al-uluhiyyah), and the unity of names and attributes (tawhid al-asmaa' wal-sifaat).

     In preparation for the explanation of the Attributes of God the Creator we would like to say that:

     Man, in his pure, good nature, believes in his Lord. His natural tendencies were designed to make him believe in the Existence of Allah (Mighty & Majestic), His Most Beautiful Attributes, and His Absolute Power. Indeed, man's good nature is ever on the lookout for a God Who is the Creator, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Wise, and so on from the Attributes of Allah Almighty and His Most Beautiful Names.

    Indeed, Allah (Glorious & Exalted) has bestowed us with the blessing of reason, and distinguished us and preferred us over many of His other creations, so that we might comprehend, through knowledge of the Greatness of His Power, Wisdom, etc., the elevated status, the highest level, and the most exalted position befitting His Greatness (Noble & Sublime).

     Although he is created, man uses his reason carefully. He puts effort into using it to achieve the best, most superior qualities he can for himself in everything.

     If someone of high status and authority compliments him on his excellent manners and good qualities, for instance, we rationalize and imagine this person in the best way and the highest position.

     Likewise, if a building is described as tall, grand, and beautiful, of solid foundation and good quality, for instance, we reason and imagine the building in the best way we possibly can.

     So, if the positive imaginings we mentioned are the case with created human beings or other created things, then how should it be with God, the Creator and Maker?

     Wouldn't this great blessing—the blessing of reason—which Allah (Blessed & Exalted) has bestowed on us then lead us to glorify Allah (Mighty & Majestic) to the extent He deserves? Wouldn't it make us exalt this Great Deity, our Creator and the One Who made all things, above anything unbefitting of Him (Glorious & Exalted), in terms of the qualities of imperfection, defect, or debasement ascribed to Him by the Christians, the lies of the Jews, or any of the other nations that came before them, or contemporary false sects? Would we not confess the Greatness of His Power, the Perfection of His Wisdom, and the Beauty of His Creation, since He created signs for us to show us this?

     The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (pbuh), came with Islam, as a religion and law from Allah (Blessed & Exalted), consisting of sound beliefs and ideas from Allah (Glorious & Exalted)—beliefs and ideas pleasing to men's good natures and pure souls, beliefs and ideas that are not unpalatable to reason or indomitable to the mind, beliefs and ideas anyone of sound mind could accept.

     Allah's Messenger (pbuh) came with that which contained glorification of Allah (Noble & Sublime): the unity of lordship (tawhid al-rububiyyah), the unity of divinity (tawhid al-uluhiyyah), and the unity of Divine Names and Attributes (tawhid al-asmaa' wal-sifaat), as we have previously shown.

     Allah's Messenger (pbuh) also came to vindicate Allah of all that is unbefitting of Him, from actions, statements and attributes. He came to clear His Holy Name of all imperfection, blame, defect and fault attributed to Him, such as the charge of taking a wife and a son, as the Christians falsely claim, or the charge of being the god of one particular group of people, as the Jews falsely claimed when they said that the Lord is the Lord of the Israelites, or the attribution of weakness or inability, as the Zoroastrians falsely claim, besides all the other lies perpetrated against the Creator by His creations, may Allah Almighty be exalted high above all that.

     Allah's Messenger (pbuh) came with the Holy Quran which contains Allah's Saying, {There is none like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing}[Al-Shura 42: 11], for the Attributes of Allah, the Great Creator, are not like those of His slaves whom He created.

     The Attributes of Allah (Mighty & Majestic) are the epitome of absolute perfection in their beauty and splendor, in their meaning and essence.

     Allah (Glorious & Exalted) is the First, the Alpha: there is nothing before Him. He is described with the Attribute of Perfection before all things, for His Names and Attributes (Noble & Sublime) are everlasting and eternal.

     Just as He (Glorious & Exalted) Himself is the First without beginning, His Names and Attributes follow from His Being (Noble & Sublime). Thus, they are pre-Existing by the pre-Existence of Allah Almighty, without beginning. Likewise, He (Glorious & Exalted) does not acquire any new attribute that did not exist before, nor does He lose any Attribute that has been with Him.

     The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) came with the Saying of Allah Most High,

 

{Say: "He is Allah, (the)One. * Allah, the Self-Sufficient Master (Whom all creatures need, though He is dependent on none)* He begets not, nor was He begotten. * And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."}

[Al-Ikhlas 112: 1-4]

 

    Thus, Allah (Glorious & Exalted) is the One and Only God, the Unique, to Whom none compare. He is not equal to any of His creation. No laws, analogies, or rules apply to Him as they apply to them. He (Glorious & Exalted) is al-Samad, the Master Who is obeyed, the One others seek out in their continual need. Allah (Glorious & Exalted) has not taken a son, for He (Noble & Sublime) begets not, nor is He begotten. He is the Creator, and He is Independent of any need to take a son.

     He (Glorious & Exalted) has no peer or equal, for there is none like unto Him.

     To find out more about the Most Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah Almighty, please refer to Islamic books which are specialized in explaining and discussing them, especially the book, Allah's Most Beautiful Names Confirmed in Quran and Sunnah (Asmaa' Allah al-Husnaa al-Thaabitah fil-Kitaab wal-Sunnah), by Dr. Mahmoud Abdul-Raaziq al-Ridwaani.

     What we have set forth here is but a brief summary of some of the Attributes of Allah (Glorious & Exalted) that a Muslim believes about his God and Creator, from which no one of sound, reliable reason and good, pure nature should be dissuaded. Indeed, that is not his right.

 

There are a few of the Attributes of Allah (Glorious & Exalted) that we would like to discuss in greater detail, in less general terms, due to their importance, and the confusion some people have concerning them. Among these Attributes are:

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