021 Personal attributes of Almighty Allah
Knowing something means knowing the characteristics of it. "Knowledge" isn't nothing but a judgment about the "existence-quality" relation. Don't we ask so many questions to the sales assistant and try to learn the qualities of a kitchen appliance that we are shopping for?
This principle also applies for our Almighty Lord, Allah, who is the reason for our existence, creates us, provides our livelihood, maintains our survival with the blessings He grants, educates and turns us into beautiful, moral and mature human beings. The more we familiarize ourselves with the attributes of our Lord, the more we know His almighty entity. The established term "attribute" is used to describe the qualities of the Almighty Creator. Our Fiqh (Islamic Law) Scholars reviewed the content of Qur'an, and Hadiths, and put forth the attributes of Allah and transferred them to us in detail.
Excluding the methodological knowledge that is called "usul", Islamic sciences comprises of five main departments; Qur'an and Tafsir, Hadith, Kalam, Fiqh, Tasawwuf and Akhlaq.
The department engaged with Islamic Law is called "Fiqh". Fiqh is a department of science which presents the information and provisions in relation to Islamic Belief, Worship, Morals, Life style and Law based on the verses of the Qur'an and Hadiths. The word 'fiqh' means understanding something thoroughly. An expert who specializes on fiqh are called "Faqih".
According to Faqihs, knowing Allah is only possible by under- standing his attributes as were explained in the verses and hadiths.
Knowing Allah by the information sent through the prophet, in other words by the attributes mentioned in the verses and hadiths and the way our faqihs forwarded is called the "transference" method. This method is the second one after the "reasoning" method which is the first step towards getting to know Allah as we tried to explain in our previous articles.
Some of Allah's attributes are those which only He possesses. No living being but Allah Himself possesses those attributes. These are called the "Personal Attributes" of Allah. They are:
1. Wujud (existence)
Allah's personal attributes are unique to Him, which no other being possesses them but Him. Assuming the existence of these attributes in other beings would be blasphemy. Therefore, everyone who has even a little faith in their heart must know, understand these and avoid speaking or behaving against these. My today's article is about these personal attributes.
Allah exists. However, existence of Allah is not like the existence of an object. The existence of Allah is absolute. His existence does not relate to the existence of other things. Should everything else but Allah disappeared, Allah would still exist.
Material and Spiritual worlds are created afterwards. Existence of living beings is only possible by Allah's blessing for them to survive. Their existence completely relies on Allah. If Allah (swt) does not keep them in existence, they will not be able to survive. Therefore, the existence of the created beings is a relative existence. In a sense, their existence do not has a true meaning like the existence of Allah but a metaphorical meaning. Some verses from the Qur'an order:
"That is because Allah - He is the Reality;" [Hajj, 62]
"On that Day Allah will pay them back (all) their just dues, and they will realize that Allah is the (very) Truth, that makes all things manifest." [Nur, 25]
There is no beginning or end of the existence of Allah. However, all the created things have a beginning and end.
"He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Hidden." [Hadid, 3]
"And verily, it is We Who give life, and Who give death: it is We Who remain inheritors (after all else passes away)." [Hijr, 23]
"And call not, besides Allah, on another god. There is no god but He. Everything (that exists) will perish except His Face. To Him belongs the Command, and to Him will ye (all) be brought back." [Qasas, 88]
Should Allah wishes, He can bless some of the things He created with immortality. He can keep them in existence forever. However, this does not mean that these things have become immortal by themselves.
Assuming that the universe is eternal (like some people, who see materialistic philosophy as a norm of belief, do) is a result of not knowing Allah enough. Neither the material nor anything in the material world is eternal. Everything in the material world has a beginning, development process and an end. Not only every phenomenon that we have the opportunity to observe around us but all the natural sciences and the data obtained by the space and celestial researchers indicate this. The only existence that is eternal is of Allah (swt). One must refrain from crediting other beings but Allah with these attributes.
Allah is unique. There is no divine power but Him. He is unique in His existence, attributes, creation and work. Allah creates whatever He wishes. He arranges, organizes and manages the things He creates. He specifies the qualities that every object will possess and designs them as He wishes. He determines and assigns any changes to occur on every object in the future. Then, He realizes these when the time comes. He does not get any energy, help, support, information, power or strength from anywhere, anyone or object in order to realize these. He is the one who creates people, information, energy, power and strength. Everything living or non-living, material or spiritual gets their existence, disposition, skills, power and energy from Him. If He doesn't want, even a fly cannot move its wing. He is unique in His creation, work and act. There is no same or similar being to Him and He has no partners or assistants. One must not worship objects, people, saints or prophets. Prophets and their successors are people who are assigned to tell us the truth, inform us the existence, rules and orders of Allah and raise us as educated mature people. One must sincerely love and respect them. However, one must not worship them. This is a blasphemy. All objects and humans are creatures. Created things cannot be deity. No one but Allah has any power or strength. The power, strength and all other qualities and skills possessed by everything are granted by Allah. The creator of all humans and their actions is also Allah.
Some people are mistaken by the things that Allah (swt) created in the material world, the creation of them based on reasons associated to certain rules and a program and obtaining certain results when clinging to certain reasons. This leads them to regarding themselves as powerful. Whereas Allah is the creator and absolute ruler of everything; He is the absolute master of every information and power. He does not partner anyone to His existence, attributes, creations and managing the universe. He is unique. No one must have any doubt in this. Some verses from the Qur'an order:
"Say: He is Allah, the One;" [Ikhlas, 1]
"Allah. There is no god but He! To Him belong the most Beautiful Names." [Ta-ha, 8]
"Your God is One God." [Nahl, 22]
"If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been ruin in both! but glory to Allah, the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!" [Anbiyaa, 22]
"Say: If there had been (other) gods with Him, as they say,- behold, they would certainly have sought out a way in submitting to the Lord of the Throne!" [Isra, 42]
"Had Allah wished to take to Himself a son, He could have chosen whom He pleased out of those whom He doth create: but Glory be to Him! (He is above such things.) He is Allah, the One, the Over powering." [Zumar, 4]
He is able to survive on His own; He does not need anything to maintain his existence. Whereas all the created things need Allah to survive. Because, Allah blesses them with energy and meet their needs. Let's think about ourselves. If we do not get oxygen for 10 minutes, we die. This applies to all living beings. They would die if they can't get the food, temperature, oxygen etc. that they need to survive. Allah does not need anything, however everyone and everything need Him. He meets the needs of every being and enables them to survive. Some verses from the Qur'an order:
"Allah. There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Supporter of all. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth." [Baqarah, 255]
"And among His Signs is this, that heaven and earth stand by His Command:" [Rum, 25]
"Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;" [Ikhlas, 2]
"O ye men! It is ye that have need of Allah. but Allah is the One Free of all wants, worthy of all praise." [Fatir, 15]
Allah does not have any similarity with anything He created. Nothing is same or similar to Him.
"And there is none like unto Him." [Ikhlas, 4]
"There is nothing whatever like unto Him…" [Shura, 11]
No one can know, understand and comprehend the entity of our creator Allah. We can only understand His existence through His attributes that are given in the Qur'an and hadiths and His work and affect in the material world. He sometimes creates unexpected reasons and makes one of his souls’ pray come true. And sometimes He prevents things happening even humans want them so much, by creating various reason. Everything He does for his servants is good and fair for them and they are His mercy and grace. All the prophets chosen since the beginning of earth have tried to tell us Allah with His six attributes which are summarized in the world "Lailaheillallah" (there is no god, but Allah).
You have to accept Allah as described by Allah's prophets who are protected from all lies. Do not try to understand the attributes of Allah as you would comprehend the qualities of an object using your five senses. These [attributes] cannot be comprehended using the five senses. They can only be understood by reasoning. A horse or a dog was created to recognize their owners but they were not created to realize and manage a five-ten year long project. Similarly, you were created to recognize your Lord, manage the world and produce projects that will last for 50-100 years and on using the mind and superior skills that Allah blessed you with, however, you were not created to understand Allah with your sense organs. You do not have the power to do that. Therefore, you have to be contented with the information passed on by His prophets.
Everyone on earth benefit from His mercy and grace. But, only those who truly believe in Him and depend on His rules will benefit from His mercy and grace afterlife. Therefore, do not waste your life by going after the superficial desires of yourself. Don't forget that the Creator's punishment is very severe just as His blessing and goodness are plenty. The earth is a place of acquirement for afterlife. Do not miss this opportunity!... It will be too late for remorse afterwards...
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus