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

Muhammad Alsayed Muhammad

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) ou 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 ﷺ, without deviation, denial, qualification or assimilation.In other words, it is necessary tbelieve 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 ﷺ 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 ﷺ, 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 ﷺ 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 preExistence 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 ﷺ 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 non 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 alThaabitah 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:

1.The Attribute of Creation Itself:
This is referenced in such Verses of the Quran as

{Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian over all things.}

[Al-Zumar 39:62]

Allah (Mighty & Majestic) is the One Who brought all things into existence after they had not been present, and He decreed things in Eternity after they had been nonexistent. Allah (Glorious & Exalted) is the Creator Who creates from nothing, with foreordainment and knowledge, then by forming and creating with ability and independence,

in accordance with the Saying of Allah Most High

{Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!"—and it is!}

[Ya-Sin 36: 82]

He (Glorious & Exalted) is the Supreme Creator Who originates in His creation as much and however He likes.

2.The Attribute of Eternity and Infinity:
These are two of the Attributes mentioned in the Holy Quran,

in the Saying of the Most High

{He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him)}

[Al-Hadid 57: 3]

Allah (Glorious & Exalted) preceded in His Existence everything that exists othe than Him. He (Noble & Sublime) is the Everlasting; He remains after every creature that is transient goes away. He (Glorious & Exalted) is the First Who is not preceded in Existence by anything, and He is the One Whose Being and Stature is exalted above all else. He is not in need of anything. He is the Self-Sufficient, Who is not dependent on anything Since Allah (Glorious & Exalted) is Eternal, He must necessarily be SelfSufficient, Independent of anything else. He (Glorious & Exalted) is described by perpetuity and permanence. He (Noble & Sublime) is the Everlasting, Who remains after His creation has ceased to exist.

This is indicated in the meaning of the Saying of Allah Most High


{Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish. * And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honor will abide forever.}

[Al-Rahman 55:26-27]

Here the question presents itself: How do we combine and reconcile the description of Allah (Mighty & Majestic) as the Last, the Remaining, Whom nothing comes after, and the eternity the created will spend in Paradise? The Most High has said the following about the people of Paradise, its blessings,

and the permanence of its pleasures and entertainments

{Allah will say, "This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth: theirs are Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise) – they shall abide therein forever. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. That is the great success (Paradise).}

[Al-Ma'idah 5: 119]

Allah (Mighty & Majestic) also said the following in His Perfect Book about the people of the Hellfire, their torment, and their evil destiny:

{"…and whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, then verily, for him is the Fire of Hell, he shall dwell therein forever."}

[Al-Jinn 72: 23]

There is also the exegesis of Allah's Saying

{And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honor will abide forever}

[Al-Rahman 55: 27]

and the hadith related by Muslim, that the Prophet ﷺ used to say in his prayers, "And You are the Last; there is nothing after You." The answer is: though it may seem contradictory on the surface that the people of Paradise and the Hellfire will remain there for all eternity and that Allah Alone (Mighty & Majestic) is Eternal, and that He is the Last, and there is nothing after Him, this contradiction vanishes when we learn that there is an essential difference between the Eternity of Divine Being and Attributes and the forever of beings created by Allah (Mighty & Majestic), such as Paradise, the Hellfire and everything in them. Paradise, for example, will remain forever by the Eternal Permanence of Allah (Mighty & Majestic) and because of it. The blessings that are renewed in it are dependent for their existence on the Will of Allah (Noble & Sublime). Allah's Being and Attributes, on the other hand, will remain forever by His Own Eternal Life. How great is the difference between the Eternal Life of Allah (Glorious & Exalted) and that which remains through His maintenance. Paradise is created, since Allah (Mighty & Majestic) brought it into being, and it exists subject to His Command; it is a captive to His Will and Wisdom. Thus, the existence of Paradise and its inhabitants for time without end is merely by the preservation of Allah (Noble & Sublime) and His Will, for existence and eternity are not characteristics of that which is created, nor are they part of its essence; rather, the nature of all created things is impermanence. Eternal life is neither from the essence nor nature of created things; in fact, only through continual extension from Allah Almighty and His constant maintenance is it  not discontinued.

3.The Attribute of Knowledge:

This is the Attribute referred to in Allah's Saying

{So Allah will suffice you against them, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.}

[Al-Baqarah 2: 137]

One of the Attributes of Allah (Mighty & Majestic) is that He is Omniscient. He knows everything that was, everything that is, and everything that will be. Nothing is hidden from Him (Noble & Sublime) in the earth or in the heavens, may He be glorified above all imperfection. His knowledge encompasses all things, evident or concealed, great or small. Indeed, He knows things before they exist.
Allah (Mighty & Majestic) knows everything that was, everything that is, and everything that will be. By virtue of His Ultimate Wisdom, He even knows everything that, if it would be, how it would be. The Knowledge of Allah (Glorious & Exalted) is described as Comprehensive Knowledge, in that His Knowledge extends to and contains all things. What a difference there is between the Eternal, Permanent Divine Knowledge of the Creator and the knowledge of transient, created slaves! The Knowledge of Allah (Noble & Sublime) is Vast, Complete Knowledge which is not preceded by ignorance, while the limited, narrow knowledge of the created is preceded by
ignorance. Thus, His Name, the All-Knowing, as mentioned in the Noble Verse and other scriptural sources, is a proper name, which indicates an attribute and its absolute quality. 

4.The Attribute of Power:

This Attribute is referred to in the Sayings of Allah Most High

{And Allah is Able to do everything}[Al-Kahf 18: 45] and {He creates what He wills, and it is He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.}

[Al-Rum 30: 54]

Indeed, one of the Attributes of Allah (Mighty & Majestic) is that He is Able to do anything. This is the meaning referred to by the Name, al-Muqtadir, that was mentioned in the first Noble Verse. He (Glorious & Exalted) is al-Muqtadir, Whose Knowledge completely encompasses a thing, Who has absolute mastery over it with power, Who is in full control of it with complete mastery and ability, so that nothing is impossible for Him. The Ability of Allah (Mighty & Majestic) is described as Absolute Power. This description is not fit for anyone besides Him (Noble & Sublime), for Allah (Glorious & Exalted) is the Eternal, Everlasting God, the Creator of all things.

5.The Attribute of Sovereignty:

This Attribute is mentioned in the Saying of the Most High

{Say, "Oh Allah! Possessor of the kingdom…"}

[Al-`Imran 3: 26]

Indeed, Allah (Mighty & Majestic) is the King, Sovereign over all things. He is the King of the Visible and Unseen Worlds. Allah (Glorious & Exalted) is the King in the Absolute, Eternal, Infinite sense. This Attribute is also mentioned in the Saying of the Most High,

{So, Exalted be Allah, the True King, none has the right to be worshipped but Him, the Lord of the Supreme Throne!}

[Al-Mu'minoon 23: 116]

Allah (Mighty & Majestic) is the King to Whom belongs the right to commandand prohibit in His kingdom. He is the One Who may administer His creation freely, giving orders and acting independently; no one has any preference over Him in doing what He pleases with His kingdom. He (Noble & Sublime) does what He wills and what He wants according to what His Complete, Ultimate Wisdom requires of Him,

as it says in the following Saying of the Most High

{He does what He intends.}

[Al-Burooj 85: 16]

Allah (Mighty & Majestic) is the True, Permanent King. There is no Creator for this universe besides Him, and no Designer for it besides Him (Noble & Sublime)

Previous article Next article

Related Articles with The Attributes of God, the Creator, according to the Muslims

Knowing AllahIt's a beautiful day