Of The Self Of Allah
Praise be to
Allah,and may Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad and
hisAl and Companions, and protect his nation from that which hefears for
Allah, the Exalted, said
For those blasphemers who do not believein
Allah and His Messenger, Wehave prepared Hellfire.
It is obligatory to believe in Allah
and to know whatis permissible to attribute to Him, what is necessary to
be ofHis attributes, and what is impossible to be of His attributes.Also,
it is obligatory to believe in the Messenger and to knowwhat is befitting
for him, what is permissible for him and theother prophets, what is necessary
to be of their attributes, andwhat is impossible to be among their attributes.
It is obligatoryto declare these beliefs by the tongue by uttering TheTestification
of Faith (Two Shahadahs):
I know, believe and profess no one is Godexcept
Allahand Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
The one who does not believe in Allah
and His Messengeris a blasphemer and shall enter Hell eternally. Before
proceedingwith this treatise let it be known that the judgments of the
mindare three kinds:
The intellectual necessity: This refers to
what the mind does not conceive its non-existence, i.e., non-existence
does not apply to its self.
Allah is the One Whose Existence
is necessary, because the mind does not accept His non-existence, i.e.,
non-existence does not apply to the Self of Allah.
The intellectual impossibility: This refers
to what the mind does not conceive its existence, i.e., that to which existence
does not apply. The existence of a partner with Allah is an intellectual
impossibility, because existence does not apply to it, i.e., the mind does
not conceive its existence.
The intellectual possibility: This refers
to what the mind conceives its existence at one time and its non-existence
at another time. This universe and its contents--among what we can see
and what we cannot see--is an intellectual possibility. It is so because
the mind conceives its existence after a state of non-existence. This is
the state of the entire universe. For example, Allah made the human
being exist after having been non-existent, and then this human being shall
be annihilated (Annihilation of humans is by complete death, which is defined
as the soul completely departing the body. The souls do not annihilate
and some bodies do not decay in the soil.) This is why the human being's
existence is among the intellectual possibilities.
Allah, ta^ala, said
Allahhas attributes that do not
resemble the attributes of others.
It is obligatory to believe the attributes
of Allah areconfirmed to Him. He who negates them is called an atheist.Hence,
the one who does not believe in the Existence of Allah,i.e., the
one who negates Allah's attribute of Existenceis called an atheist.
The attributes of Allah that are
obligatory to believein are confirmed to Him. They are not the Self of
Allahnor other than the Self of Allah. Rather, we say they
areattributes with which Allah is attributed and they arereligiously
and intellectually obligatory for Him. Imaman-Nasafiyy said: "His attributes
are not Him nor other thanHim."
The attributes of Allah that every
pubescent and saneMuslim is obliged to know are called the attributes of
the Selfof Allah and Allah is not attributed with theiropposites.
They are thirteen attributes; the scholars establishedby consensus he who
is ignorant of them is a committer of anenormous sin (fasiq).
These thirteen (13) attributes are: Existence
(al-Wujud),Oneness (al-Wahdaniyyah), Eternity (al-Qidam), Everlastingness(al-Baqa'),
Non-neediness of others (al-Qiyamu bin-Nafs),Non-resemblance to the creatures
(al-mukhalafatu lil-hawadith),Power (al-Qudrah), Will (al-Iradah), Knowledge
(al-^Ilm), Life(al-Hayah), Hearing (as-Sam^), Sight (al-Basar), and Speech(al-Kalam).
Existence (al-Wujud): It is obligatory to
believe in the Existence of Allah. Allah said: which
means: [There is no doubt in the Existence of Allah.] Hence,
it is obligatory to believe in the Existence of Allah. It is an
eternal and everlasting attribute. Allah exists without a beginning,
without an ending, and without a place.
Oneness (al-Wahdaniyyah): It is obligatory
to believe Allah is One without a partner. Allah said: which
means: [Know that no one is God except Allah.] Allah
is One in His Self, Attributes, and Doings--hence Allah has no equal.
So we say, for example: "Allah is the Creator and no one is a creator
except Allah". Allah is One but not as in numbers, because
numbers are created. Rather, He is One in that there is no partner with
Eternity (al-Qidam): It is obligatory to believe
Allah is Eternal, i.e., there is no beginning to His Existence.
His attributes are also eternal. Nothing is eternal except Allah
and His attributes.
Everlastingness (al-Baqa'): It is obligatory
to believe Allah is everlasting i.e., His Existence does not end.
His Existence is everlasting and His attributes are everlasting. There
is nothing everlasting in itself except Allah, because annihilation
does not apply to His Self. However, Paradise and Hell are everlasting
because Allah willed their everlastingness. Hence, they are everlasting--not
in their selves--but because of other than their selves. This is why they
are among the intellectual possibilities, and they are part of this universe.
Allah said which
means: [Allah is the Eternal, without a beginning, and the Everlasting,
without an ending.]
Non-neediness of others (al-Qiyamu bin-Nafs):
means: [Allah is the Master Who is resorted to in one's needs.]
Allah does not need anything. He does not need one to give Him existence
because He exists without a beginning. Also, He does not need one to specify
Him with Knowledge, instead of ignorance, or other than that among His
Attributes, because His attributes exist without a beginning.
Non-Resemblance to the Creation (al-Mukhalafatu
lil-hawadith): Allah does not resemble any of His creatures--neither
in His Self nor in His Attributes nor in His Doings. Allah said:
which means: [There is nothing like Him.] Imam Abu Hanifah said:
"The Creator does not resemble His creatures."
Power (al-Qudrah): It is obligatory to believe
Allah is attributed with Power, which is defined as an eternal and
everlasting attribute of Allah related to giving existence to and
annihilating what is intellectually possible. Allah said:
which means: [Allah has the Power over everything.] That
is, Allah's Power relates to all things that are intellectually
possible. Hence, the Power of Allah is not related to the intellectually
necessary neither in creating nor annihilating, because annihilation does
not apply to it in the first place. The power of Allah is not related
to the intellectually impossible neither in creating nor annihilating because
existence in the first place does not apply to that which is intellectually
impossible. The fact that the power of Allah is not related to the
intellectually necessary and the intellectually impossible is not powerlessness,
but rather indicates the perfection of Allah. Also, this fact conforms
to the judgment of the mind: the intellectually impossible does not turn
into an intellectual possibility, and the intellectually necessary does
not turn into an intellectual possibility. The Power of Allah is
related to the normal impossibilities. For example, although the existence
of a sea of mercury is an intellectual possibility, it does not occur,
and the Power of Allah is related to it.
Will (al-Iradah): It is obligatory to believe
Allah is attributed with Will. It is defined as an eternal and everlasting
attribute by which Allah specifies the creatures who are intellectual
possibilities with some attributes among what is possible for them. An
example is specifying a green colored board with green instead of other
possible colors. There is no difference in that regard between good and
evil, blasphemy and belief, winning and losing, and other opposites among
what is intellectually possible.
Knowledge (al-^Ilm): It is obligatory to believe
Allah is attributed with Knowledge. This is an eternal and everlasting
attribute of His Self. Allah knows eternally about His Self, attributes,
and what He creates. Nothing is absent from His Knowledge.
Life (al-Hayah): It is obligatory to believe
Allah is attributed with Life. Allah said:
which means: [There is no God but Allah, and He is attributed
with Life, and His existence does not end.] Life is an eternal and
everlasting attribute of Allah. The Life of Allah is not
like our life, because our life needs a combination of body and soul; however,
the Life of Allah is His attribute.
Hearing (as-Sam^): It is obligatory to believe
Allah is attributed with Hearing. This is an eternal and everlasting
attribute of Allah with which Allah hears all things that
are hearable. There is no difference between what is near to us and what
is far from us because Allah is not in a place. He hears without
an ear, without means, and without instruments. His hearing is not subject
to weakening nor change because weakness and change are non-befitting to
Allah. Allah said:
which means: [He is the One attributed with Hearing and Sight.]
Sight (al-Basar): It is obligatory to believe
Allah is attributed with Sight. This is an eternal and everlasting
attribute of Allah with which He sees all things that are seeable,
without an instrument and without means. He sees the things that are far
away from us and those that are near to us without any difference because
Allah is not in a place. His attribute of Sight does not change
or develop, because the One whose Self is eternal does not develop or change.
Allah's attributes are eternal and do not develop or change.
Speech (al-Kalam) : It is obligatory to believe
Allah is attributed with Speech (Kalam).This is an eternal and everlasting
attribute with which Allah orders, forbids, and informs. It is not
a letter nor a sound nor a language. The Qur'an and the other revealed
Books are expressions of the eternal Kalam of the Self of Allah.
When we write the word "Allah" it is an expression of the Self of
Allah. Likewise, the words and sentences of the revealed Books are
expressions of the Kalam of Allah. The Qur'an is called the Kalam
of Allah because it is not authored by Prophet Muhammad or Angel
Jibril. The Qur'an is also used to mean the eternal Kalam of the Self of
Allah. Allah said:
which means: [Allah spoke to Musa with His eternal Kalam]
i.e., Allah created in Prophet Musa the ability to hear the Kalam
of the Self of Allah, which is not a letter nor a sound.