Allah's Names and Attributes in the Sunnah

Chapter Two

The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) interprets the Qur'an and clarifies it, and leads to it, and expresses its meaning. We must accept and believe in the sound Ahadith in which the Messenger (peace be upon him) described his Lord, The Almighty, The Exalted, such as the hadith:

"Our Lord descends during the last third of each night to the lower heaven, and says: 'Is there anyone who calls on Me that I may respond to him? Is there anyone who asks Me that I may give unto him? Is there anyone who requests My Forgiveness that I may forgive him?"' (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the hadith:

"Indeed, Allah is happier with the repentance of his 'abd (worshipper) than any one of you is with finding his lost riding camel." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the hadith:

"Allah laughs about two men who kill each other but both enter paradise." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the hadith:

"Allah marvels about the despair of His creatures ('ibad), while the changing of their situation from bad to good is very near, He looks at you, and you are very desperate, so He keeps laughing, because He knows that your relief is very close." (Its isnad is good; reported by AhmadIbn Hanbal and others)

And the hadith:

"(On the Day of Judgment) when a group of unbelievers is thrown into Hell, Hell asks for more until the Lord Almighty puts His foot into it; then it folds up saying: Enough, enough'." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the hadith:

"Allah The Exalted, says: 'Adam!' And Adam answers: 'Here I am, at Your service!' Then a voice calls: 'Verily! Allah orders you to send a delegate from your offspring to Hell'." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the hadith:

"Allah will talk to each person directly without a mediator between them." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) on curing the ill:

"Our Lord Allah Who is in heaven, may Your name be sanctified, Your law is in heaven and on earth; As Your Mercy is in heaven so make Your Mercy on earth. Forgive our faults and our sins. You are the Lord of the good people, bestow some of Your Mercy, and some of Your Cure on this pain that the sick may be cured." (This hadith has good isnad, reported by Abu Dawud and others)

And the hadith:

"Do you not trust me, while I have the trust of Him Who is in Heaven?" (Sound hadith; reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the hadith:

"The Throne is above the water, and Allah is on the Throne; He knows what you are up to." (Good hadith, reported by Abu Dawud and others.)

And the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to the maid:

"Where is Allah?" And she answering: "In heaven." And he saying: "Who am I?" And she saying: "You are the Messenger of Allah." And he saying "Free her; She is a believer." (Muslim)

And the hadith:

"When any one of you stands up for prayer, you must not spit in front of you nor to your right, because Allah is in front to you; But you may spit to your left, or under your foot." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the hadith:

"My Lord! The Lord of the Seven Heavens, and The Lord of the great Throne, our Lord and The Lord of all, The Creator of plants and trees, The Revealer of the Tawrah (Old Testament), the Injil (New Testament) and the Qur'an: I seek refuge in You from the evil of myself and from the evil of all creatures; You are The First; Nothing is before You. You are The Last; Nothing is after You. You are the Outward; Nothing is over You. You are the Inward; Nothing is inside of You. Help me to pay my debt and keep poverty from me." (Muslim)

And the saying (of the Prophet, peace be upon him), when his companions raised up their voices in invocation (Dhikr):

"0 people, restrain yourselves. Indeed, you are not calling One Who is deaf or absent; Rather, you are calling a Hearer, One very close by; The One Who you are calling is closer to each one of you, closer even than the neck of your riding animal." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And the saying (of the Prophet, peace be upon him):

"You will see your Lord as you see the full moon; Nothing will impair your view of Him; And if you are able to keep the dawn prayers and the mid afternoon prayers, do it." (Agreed upon it by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

And many more of these ahadith in which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) relates of his Lord whatever he relates.

The Saved Group (al-firqah an-najiyah), The people of the Sunnah and the Community believe these things, as they believe what Allah revealed in His Precious Book (i.e., the Qur'an); (They believe) without distorting or denying and without asking how (takyif) or shaping (tamthil); Rather, they comprise the center of the groups of the Ummah (the Muslim nation), as the Ummah comprises the center of all nations.

With regard to the Attributes of Allah, The Glorified, The Exalted, they comprise the center between the denying Jahmiyah and the people who shape and create likenesses (ahl at-tamthil al-mushabbihah); And they comprise the center between the Qadariyah and the Jabriyah with regard to [the acts of Allah the Exalted], and between the Murji'ah and the Wa'idiyah of the Qadariyah and others without regard to [Allah's threat], and between the Haruriyah and the Mu'tazilah and between the Murji'ah and the Jahmiyah with regard to [the names of faith and religion], and between the Rawafid and the Khawarij with regard to the (Prophet's Companions).

Allah is Above Everything

What we mentioned of belief in Allah included belief in what Allah has revealed in His Book (the Qur'an), and what has been continuously reported from His Messenger (peace be upon him), and what the early generation of the Ummah unanimously agreed upon: That Allah, The Glorified, is above His heavens on His Throne, exalted above His creatures, and that He, The Glorified, is with them wherever they be and knows whatever they do. He summed it up in His saying:

"He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth in six days; Then He Settled on the Throne. He knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it and what descends from heavens and what ascends into it; He is with you wherever you are; Allah sees all what you do."(al-Hadid 57/4)

His saying "He is with you" does not mean that He is commingled with the creatures: The language does not indicate this and it is against what the early generation of the Ummah agreed upon, and contrary to Allah's creation of all things; For example, the moon is one of Allah's Signs to be found amongst the smallest of his creatures; It is placed in the skies where it is at the same time with both the traveler and the non-traveller, wherever they are; and He, The Glorified, is on the Throne, watching over His creatures, ruling over them; This is, as well as other Signs of His Lordship.

All that Allah The Glorified mentioned-that He is on the Throne (al-'Arsh) and that He is with us-true in itself does not warrant distortion but should be protected from false conjectures, such as thinking that the apparent meaning of His saying "In Heavens" means that heavens contain Him. This is invalid according to the consensus of all the people of knowledge and faith.

"Indeed, His Seat (Kursi) encompasses heavens and earth, and it is He Who holds heavens and earth so they do not perish and He Who holds heaven so that it not fall on earth except by His Permission. "It is among His Signs that heaven and earth stand fast by His Order." (ar-Rum 30/25)

The Closeness of Allah to His 'Ibad

Included in this is the belief that He is very close to His creatures, responding, as He has summed it up in His saying:

"If My 'ibad (worshipers) ask you about Me; (say that) I am very close, answering the caller when he calls on Me." (al-Baqarah 2/186)

And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to his Companions when they raised their voices in invocation of Allah:

"0 people! Restrain yourselves. Verily, you are not calling One Who is deaf or absent, the One you call is nearer to each of you than is the neck of your riding animal."

What has been revealed in the Book (i.e.,the Qur'an) and in the Sunnah - of His Closeness and His Concomitance - does not contradict what has been told of His Exaltation and Highness. Indeed, Glory be to Him, there is none like Him in all His Attributes, and He is High in His Nearness and Near in His Highness.

The Qur'an is the Word of Allah

Part of the belief in Allah and His Books is the belief that the Qur'an is Allah's Word revealed, not created, that in Him it originated and unto Him it returns, that Allah truly uttered it, that this Qur'an which He revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) is truly the Word of Allah not the word of any other, that it is not allowable to say it is a narrative of the Word of Allah or an interpretation of it. That if the people read it or write it in books does not mean it is not the true Word of Allah, The Exalted, because speech is attributed to the one who spoke it initially, not to the one who narrated it. It is the Word of Allah, its letters and its meaning. The Word of Allah is not the words only, without meaning, and not the meaning only, without words.

Seeing Allah on the Day of Judgment

What we referred to of belief in Him, in His Books, and in His Messengers includes also belief that those who believe will see Him with their eyes, just as they see the sun on a day free of clouds; Just as they see the full moon without obstacle, they will see Him, The Glorified, while they are in the Courts of Judgment; And they will see Him after entering Paradise. This is as Allah, The Glorified, The Exalted, wills.

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