What is faith in Allah (c.c) ? All about faith in Allah (c.c)…
The human mind cannot fully comprehend the nature of Allah, who has created the sky, the earth, and all things in between them. For this reason, contemplating the essence of Allah generates strange ideas in the imagination of man and damages correct faith. The Prophet (J) has forbidden this kind of contemplation:
“Contemplate upon the favors (His creation, power and greatness) of Allah and do not contemplate upon Him. (since no one can afford to do that).” (Kitâb al-Arbaîn)
In order to emphasize the limited nature of our mind, the leading Sufis state:
“O my Lord! You are as You are, You are above our perception and our information about You.”
Perceiving the nature of Allah is beyond the range of our power. However, it is possible for the human mind to deduce from cause to the causer, from art to the artist, from results to the causes. If the human mind, with a clean perception and a good will, looks at the attributes and acts of Allah it is unthinkable that it will reject belief in Allah. Rejection of faith is the consequence of a sick mind and mentality. If the purity of mind and heart can be preserved it will guard man from the rejection of faith. Even those who have been born in disbelieving societies can discover true faith, as may be seen in the example of prophet Abraham (a.s), so long as they have purity of heart. Although Abraham (a.s) was born in a society that believed in idols, through his intellect and heart he was led to the true faith and entered belief in the unity of Allah.
Believing is easier than disbelief. Affirming that there is no Creator will not resolve the issues surrounding the origin of the world, of life and of death. The condition of disbelief resembles a person who is hungry and does not feel the pain of his hunger due to a nervous breakdown, or a person who is drugged and does not feel the pain of the cutting knife. The Qur’an terms such people as deaf and dumb.
Allah the Almighty created man’s nature and bestowed in it the need for belief in Allah and the search for truth. There is no exception to this divine planning. If this does not happen it is due to spiritual blindness and dumbness. Our subconscious faith is blocked by the weight of material life as in our inability to remember our dreams.
Both in heavenly religions and in man made religions there is a conception of belief in Allah. However, the concept of Allah in man made religions has significantly deviated from the correct faith where Allah is the only creator of the universe, where He transcends all weaknesses and human attributes and instead possesses the most perfect of attributes. These attributes have been revealed to us through the Prophet (J) and are beyond alteration. According to the common division adhered to by scholars, the list of Allah’s most important attributes are as follows:
ALLAH’S EXISTENCE: There exists Allah and His existence depends on nothing. Thus, He is self-existent. There is no probability of Him being non-existent. And all things, apart from Him, are His creatures and their existence is a potentiality. Their existence is not necessary. It is declared in the Qur’an:
“There is no god But He, the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the Heavens and on earth…” (Baqara, 2:155).
It is an obvious fact that there exists an impeccable order and coherence in this immense universe. This coherent order has been running in a well-balanced and delicate way since the universe came into being. It is a known fact that if the earth had not had a 23,5 degree angle of pitch, seasons would not have come about. In that case, one part of the earth would have been in winter, and the other part in summer. Likewise, should the distance between the earth and the sun had been just a little bit longer, the earth as a whole would have turned into a frozen region; or should the distance between the two had been a little bit of shorter, the earth would have been turned into ashes. These and suchlike states of affairs demonstrate the fact that all celestial bodies are so wisely tuned into a program so that life becomes possible.
Such a mechanism of perfection and delicacy presents a sign for the existence and Oneness, Magnificence and Omnipotence of the Creator of the universe. It is declared in the Qur’an:
“And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the balance (of Justice).” (Rahman, 55:7).
“He who created the seven heavens one above another: no want of proportion will you see in the Creation of (Allah) most Gracious. So turn your vision again: saw you any flaw? Again turn your vision a second time: (your) vision will come back to you dull and discomforted, in a state worn out.” (Mulk, 3-4).
If a farmer saw that the plants in his farm were irregularly chopped down he would attribute what happened to his farm to the acts of the storm or another natural disaster. However, if he noticed that the plants were chopped down regularly, for example one in three or five plants, he would not attribute what happened to his farm to a natural disaster. He would realize that this action was taken by a conscious and potent being. He would think that this action might have been taken by one of his enemies. In that case, he is supposed to ask how the perfect and delicate mechanism of the universe can take place by chance while he does not accept that such a tiny action as chopping the plants down can happen by chance. Nadjib Fadl, the famous Turkish poet, calls to those who lapse into such unawareness:
I see that I am wrapped all round,
Does not a wrapped one require a wrapper?
Who is this craftsman drawing this human face;
Does not anyone ask looking at the mirror?
Jalal al-Din al-Rûmî calls for the awakening of the eyes and the hearts by opening out the doors of wisdom and meditation:
“As you see the movement of the millstone, you had better make more effort to see the water of the river that makes it move!”
“You see the dust in the air, you had better give a look at the storm that takes it up!”
“You see the pot boiling, you also look at the fire with foresight!”
“Tell me, O foolish one! Which is logical? Do those palaces and dwellings have a builder, or do they not have a builder?
“Tell me, O my son! Which is logical? Do those writings on the walls and the pages have a writer, or do they not have a writer?
“O son of Adam! Could you ever point to a single thing that came into being on its own? See what happens when you root out a plant from its soil. Do you think it vegetates by itself?”
The poet puts this point into words so elegantly:
Should this place have come into being by itself,
This caravan would arise by itself as well!..
The chimneys on the roofs tell you,
That there is no fire, no smoke.
Should there exist no power,
Would the universe turn round by itself?
Should once the gardener leave the vineyard on its own,
Would the wheat be resolvable from the straw on its own?
When the soil is thirsty for water, the cloud in the sky tells the eye,
Is there a river flowing on its own?..
Whoever says that he had not seen behind the curtain,
His lie will turn into a snake on its own!
Satan would be ready to pour tar over the light;
And he would say to the conscience “believe only on your own!..”
The tongue asked Mehmedî to appreciate his own heart;
Without it the tongue does not run on its own!
Any naturally disposed will and heart consciously realizes that there exists a chain of causes and all these depend on the Great Producer of all secondary causes, the Allah, and hence believe in Allah. However, Satan lays many traps at every corner in order to lead astray the humans in their thoughts. Jalal al-Din al-Rûmî warns humans not to be deceived by the tricks of Satan:
“Do not be deceived by Satan in this matter of belief. Satan is so wise a thief that he keeps a good look-out for dark nights to come to you and when he seizes the opportunity he knocks at your door. Then you want to answer the door to see who it is with the cresset in your hand. And every time you try to light the cresset Satan puts out the spunk by seizing it. Hence you cannot see who it is and you judge that the spunk has become moist. Thus you stay unaware of the thief who puts out the lighter. So, Satan, in this way, interferes with your belief cresset in the darkness of oversight. Therefore, Satan walks away with the virtues of your heart and makes you bankrupt of the after-life. In this manner, you stay unaware of both the creation and the Creator.”
As declared in the Qur’an in the words .”..those truly fear Allah, among His servants, who have knowledge…” (Fatir, 35: 28), the cognizance of the Grandeur and the Magnificence of Allah adequately is, above all, a matter of knowledge (science). The following account of Einstein illustrates this reality:
“The creator of the universe does not play dice. His creation is not random and uncounted. We observe, as much as we can, the balance and harmony of this world with admiration… I may say that anybody who explores nature enjoys a religious respect as s/he discovers the Grandeur of Allah. Accordingly, I cannot think of a true scientist who does not have a profound faith. This fact may be articulated as follows: It is impossible to have faith in science having no religion. So, a religion with no knowledge (science) is blind, and knowledge (science) with no religion is lame.”
Thus, many non-Muslim scientists embraced Islam and many, though not embracing Islam, perceived that they had to concede to the Greatness of Allah. This is a miracle of the Qur’an. Allah says:
“And those to whom knowledge has come see that the (Revelation) sent down to you from your Lord-that is the truth, and that it guides to the path of the Exalted (in Might) Worthy of all praise.” (Saba, 34: 6).
“Soon will We show them Our Signs in the (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own souls, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord does witness all things?” (Fussilat, 41: 53).
Anybody who looks at the universe taking it as a lesson beholds the countless signs mentioned in this verse.
If there only existed humans and animals in the world they would use up all the oxygen by turning it into carbon dioxide, and in a short time they would be poisoned and perish by the increasing amount of carbon dioxide. However, the Might that called the universe into being also created the plants endowing them with the ability to use carbon dioxide turning it into oxygen so that the universe could keep running in equilibrium.
On the other hand, the Creator filled three fourths of the earth with water. And He created the great majority of the remaining one fourth in the form of infertile deserts and rocks. The earthy part of the world is only a small part. However, the Most High Allah transforms this earthy part from one form to another so that it could be a source to feed all living beings.
Let us examine a species of an animal. If all the past, the present and the future members of this species had been sent down to earth at once, the space and the sustenance of the world would not have been sufficient for even this single species. However, Allah creates them in an order of time and space sequence. The same point is valid for all living-creatures. So, the world, with the mystery of time and space, may sustain a trillion times more loading. Namely, the existence of the creatures in the universe is subject to an equilibrium and limitation. For example, it is a known fact that a plane-tree breeds millions of seeds and these seeds are sent away through the wind as if they all have a parachute made of feathers. Should the seeds of even a single plane-tree have the opportunity to be a new plant, all fertile parts of the world would soon be infested with plane-trees. Namely, the world would become not spacious enough for even a single tree. This example may be extended to all creatures. This fact points out to the existence of an impenetrable harmony and balance in the universe.
Besides, the Most Supreme Being endowed all living creatures with such features that even those who live on the same sort of foods produce different products and these complement one another in order to make life entirely possible. For example, a cow or a sheep eats the leaf of a mulberry, and it produces milk and wool; but a silkworm produces silk, and a musk-deer breeds musk from the same leaf. The bee produces honey from pollens, but the human being, who is considered to be the most perfect creature, has no ability to produce honey as the bee does. The colors, odors, and the lively leaves that various flowers draw out from the nutrients of the soil are the qualities that no chemist is able to exactly produce. While an animal is able to transform the grass into meat and milk, the human being is not able to produce just a piece of meat or milk from tons of grass in chemical laboratories.
Any sensible human is supposed to see the existence and magnificence of Allah wherever s/he turns in the universe. The qualities such as sending prophets and perfecting humans with their knowledge and morality are the works of Divine grace. In addition, when the human being takes a look at himself/herself and the universe intellectually, s/he immediately understands how ridiculous and laughable that it becomes to disbelieve in the face of its grandeur and magnificence. The poet puts this point into words so nicely:
Many meanings distill through the endless systems,
The signs of Allah will always be in the heart of Adam.
What a transcendent fact; the earth and the sky have no pillars,
There is no particle with no scale!..
With the endless space above, and the black ground beneath;
O you servant, what behooves you is to prostrate on the prayer rug!..
Surely, this infinite universe is a sign for the Existence and the Grandeur of Allah. It is a gleam of faith.
The sky has black and white holes. This is a new finding of the positive sciences. Yet we find Allah swear to these holes in the Holy Qur’an.
“Furthermore I call to witness the setting of the stars; and that is indeed a mighty adjuration if you but knew.” (Waqia, 56: 75-76).
This reality that contemporary science has just now discovered illustrates the magnificence facing us. The spot where stars are born is called a white hole; and the spot where they die is called a black hole. A small object comes through the white hole and instantly gets expanded a trillion times bigger than its actual size to bring forth a giant constellation. And many stars that are much more bigger than our world die in due course by drawing into the black holes. Accordingly, the sun that lightens our sky will, one day, be exposed to the fact of “When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up” (Takwir, 81: 1).
That day the sun will come to an end as well. No wonder that day is the doomsday. It is the end of everything!.. And there is no way except turning to Allah by prostration.
In short, those who are vigilant perceive that this world, in the face of the Divine Grandeur, is only a dust among trillions of dust particles in space. Among them are the mountains, plains, oceans, and humans. With this impotence, man is nothing but for his servitude.
This example of the human’s position, of being only a drop from the oceans, requires the logical perception of a Allah who is All-Powerful, Almighty, Self-existent, and Provider of the needs of men and beasts. However, in order to be able to perceive this reality one needs to have his/her heart open. It is stated in the Qur’an:
“Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts.” (Hajj, 22: 46).
Ibrahim Haqqi of Erzurum puts this point into words so wisely:
Those who are aware can see,
But those who are blind cannot.
Yunus Emre says:
The true path takes you to the right place,
The real eye leads you to perceive Allah…
Allah is watching everywhere,
But it requires an eye to see...
The earth and the sky bear many clear evidences to the existence of Allah and this reality needs no explanation. Men of Allah taste this reality with all qualities of their hearts. Their souls sense the divine secrets as they throw over the earthlings. Those who can manage the act of self-denial in accordance with the hadith, “die before your death!”, are to rise in the springtime of reality. They wriggle themselves out of metaphoric beings and live in the spirit of the Prophet (J). They never ever have a doubt about truth and reality. This example clearly illustrates this fact:
Junaid al-Bagdadî, one of the Great Saints, asked the people around who were running somewhere with a rush:
“– Where are you going? Why is this hurry?”
“– We were told that there came a scholar from somewhere! He has the ability to explain the existence of Allah with a thousand and one evidence! We are going to benefit from his explanations. You may come, if you like!”
Upon hearing this, Junaid al-Bagdadî told them with a sour smile:
“– There are countless signs and evidences in the universe for the eyes to see, and the hearts to feel. There are innumerable testimonies indicating the existence of Allah. O people! Despite all the evidence, let those of you who still have doubts go! My heart has no scrap of doubt.”
Thus, those people with spiritual knowledge explain this point as follows:
“Allah is never a hidden being. However, it may be said that “Allah is hidden from our vision because human beings cannot bear the power of the sight of Him.”
Namely, if a room had a bulb of five thousand volts, human eyes would not be able to see anything under so powerful a voltage. Just as in this example, the vision of Allah’s is so powerful, and for this the vision of Allah remains hidden to human beings. Namely, human beings have no ability to see Allah with their biological eyes. That is why Allah told the Prophet Musa “By no means can you see Me (direct)!” (Araf, 7:143).
ETERNAL EXISTENCE IN THE PAST
ETERNAL EXISTENCE IN THE PAST: It is a logical prerequisite that all creatures came into being from a priori cause on a reason-and-result basis. This a priori cause (being) needs not be created; yet, on the contrary, it should be able to create. So, this a priori cause is Allah Almighty. This is the Being whom human beings call Allah. There is no beginning to His High Being. It is He, who is the beginning of everything. He had eternal existence in the past. It is stated in the Qur’an:
“He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent…” (Hadid, 57: 3).
“In the beginning there existed Allah, nothing existed before Him…” (Bukhari).
The Prophet (J) used to say in his prayers “O, my Lord! You are the beginning, and nothing existed before You…” (Muslim, 61) and he advised Muslims to pray with these words.
ETERNITY: Allah has no ending, He is Eternal. The Qur’an states that:
“And call not, besides Allah, on another god. There is no god but He. Everything (that exists) will perish except His own Face. To Him belongs to command, and to him will you (all) be brought back.” (Qasas 28:88).
“All that is on earth will perish: but will abide (for ever) the Face of your Lord – full of Majesty, Bounty and Honor.” (Rahman, 55:26, 27)
Nothing in this world has the attribution of eternity. That is why, everything in this world lives a life on a time-sharing basis, because Allah assigned this attribution (eternity) only to Himself and made all creation transitory.
The epitaph of “It is only He, Who is eternal” written on Muslims’ tombstones signifies this fact. Yunus Emre reminds us of the fact that everything except for Allah is transitory:
Show me a construction,
That has no ruinous end…
Gather all your belongings,
That all you leave behind…
Therefore, men of Allah do not care about this world and long for reaching the state of annihilation in Allah. These wise men/women do not fall for the transitory delights and involvements of this world and they, being in the secret of the principle of “die before your death”, set forth on a journey to the season of eternity.
Believing that “it is the flesh that perishes, not the soul”, they throw off the bodily enslavement, and go on a journey of the heart. Finally, they reach Allah and say:
I have found the most beloved one,
Let my life be sacrificed.
THE UNITY OF ALLAH
THE UNITY OF ALLAH: The fact that the universe keeps running in a great harmony and order since it was created is enough to indicate that everything is only the work of a single force. If this force had partners, harmony and the order of the universe would be damaged due to the differences among them, and the chaotic atmosphere would make the life impossible. It is stated in the Qur’an:
“Allah has said: Take not (for worship) two gods: for He is just One Allah: then fear Me (and Me alone).” (Nahl, 26:51).
“Say: If there had been (other) gods with Him, as they say, behold, they would certainly have sought out a way to the Lord of the Throne!” (Isra, 17:42).
“If there were, in the heavens and the earth, other gods besides Allah, there would have been confusion in both! But glory to Allah, the Lord of the Throne: (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!” (Anbiya, 21:22).
”.. Nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each Allah would have taken a way what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!” (Muminun, 23: 91).
If the Qur’an is examined in depth it will be seen that the most important ability that Allah enjoins on His servants is the belief in His attributes. Among these attributes, the belief in the unity of Allah is the most sensitive one. So much so, that attributing a partner to Allah is ranked as the prime sin that incites Allah’s wrath in Islam. The Qur’an warns and advises people not to fall into this kind of intellectual poverty:
”..Whoever joins other gods with Allah, Allah will forbid him the garden, and the fire will be his abode. There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.” (Maida, 5:72).
“But it has already been revealed to you, as it was to those before you. If you were to join (gods with Allah), truly fruitless will they be your work (in life), and you will surely be in the ranks of those who lose (all spiritual good).” (Zumar, 39:65).
“Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed.” (Nisaa, 4:48).
Other religions of revelation were the same as Islam in their original form but they were subsequently distorted, moving away from the basics. Among them the manipulation exercised on Christianity is highly remarkable. The belief in the unity of Allah in Christianity was terribly changed at the end of the fifth century and the belief in the absolute unity and oneness of Allah was replaced with that of the Trinity. However, religiously sophisticated people of our time do not support this unreasonable belief and dissociate themselves from the church. Therefore, the papacy today has started scholarly work in order to have Christianity revert to properly expressing its original belief in the unity of Allah.
Allah is “One.” And this statement is clear enough to indicate that there is no probability to have a second god. The poet articulates the Oneness of Allah with these words: “It is only Him that exists. He is One on His own; He is the only One!”
Hence, the belief in the unity of Allah should be clear enough not to regard a second being as possible. Islam requires and enjoins such a kind of belief in the unity of Allah. This is the first step in coming under the religion of Islam. Many doors of Allah’s mercy, blessing, grace, and beneficence are unfolded to those who take a worthy step in this way. Thus, Bilal-i Habashi (may Allah be pleased with him) endured the severe torture by the idolaters to have him return to idolatry, and with a great ecstasy of faith he replied to them by uttering the words “Ahad, Ahad (One, One.) (Allah is One!)” In return for his forbearance he was given the honor of being the chief muezzin (caller to prayer) of the Prophet.
Even a scrap of deficiency in the matter of faith cannot be recovered by many virtuous acts. This may be likened to the position of somebody who appreciates many favors towards him, but cannot bear any insult towards his honor. So, blasphemy is nothing but a violation of the Glory of Allah. It is a villainy committed against Allah’s Majesty. It is for this reason that it is regarded as unforgivable. Therefore, faith is the primary act that Allah demands and then comes pious work.
During the battle of Uhud a courageous man named Amr bin Sabit came into the presence of the Prophet (J) to embrace Islam, but when he witnessed the intensity of the battle he asked the Prophet (J) whether he should join the battle first or pronounce his faith in One Allah. The Prophet told him:
“- Pronounce your faith first, join the battle afterwards!”
Amr bin Sabit followed what the Prophet (J) told him. After the battle, when the Prophet (J) saw his body among the martyrs he said:
“He worked little, but gained a lot!..” (Ramazanoglu Mahmud Sami, Uhud Gazvesi, 35).
Unity requires pronouncing Allah to be the one sole and unique without a partner. It is the denial of duality. It is a palace of faith that offers humans the most excellent throne. Yunus Emre puts this point into words so nicely:
We need the palace of unity,
And announcement of good tidings,
Wangle out of the idea of duality,
And your ego, o, the servant!
As unity is an attribute that belongs to the Glory of Allah, favoring it with Allah is effectual in having one’s prayers answered. The Prophet (J) used to advise his companions to favor Allah’s attributes, especially the Unity, so that their prayer could be accepted.
Ubade bin Samit narrates from the Prophet (J):
“Let those who awake in the night invoke these words: ‘There is no deity apart from Allah. He is One and has no partner. Dominion is in His hands, and all praises belong to Him. He is Almighty. He is exempt from any unworthy thing, and He is Great. All due strength and vitality for prayers and devotions are from Allah’.”
The Prophet (J) proceeded:
“If the person says ‘O my Lord! Please forgive me!’, or if s/he invokes another prayer, or if s/he makes ablution and says his/her prayers his/her prayers are answered.” (Bukhari, Tahajjud, 21).
The Prophet (J) also said:
“Whoever feels that s/he needs Allah’s help, let him/her make ablution first and then make two units of prayer. Let him/her praise Allah and pronounce the formula calling Allah’s benediction on the Prophet, and then invoke a prayer as follows:
“There is no deity, but the Clement and the Generous Allah. The Allah of the great universe is exempt from any unworthy thing, and all praises belong to Him. Oh, my Lord! I beseech You to incur the occasions for me to have Your forgiveness, and save me from all sorts of sins. And I wish to gain safety from all sorts of wealth and favors. Please let none of my sins and shortcomings remain! O, my Lord, the most Compassionate and the most Merciful, Let me perform the actions that You approve.” (Tirmizi, Witr, 17).
THE UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH
THE UNIQUENESS OF ALLAH: Allah is not to be equal to anything. He does not bear resemblance to any creature. He is, therefore, exempt from any anthropomorphic attribute.
One of the controversial points in the distorted religions today has to do with this point. These religions have gone astray leaving aside such attributes of Allah as being transcendent, being beyond imagination and perception, and they have attributed many anthropomorphic features to Allah in their books in accordance with their own imagination. They have even attributed features such as forgetfulness, exhaustion, repentance, oversight, and confusion. According to them, for example, Allah gives orders regarding a flood, but He later forgets them. Just then He sees that everywhere is covered with water! Only by then does He remember his order and after making sure that all creatures are in the ark He hastily closes the door of the ark Himself. Yet again, according to their books the Prophet Jacob wrestles with Allah and he subjugates Allah. In addition to these unreasonable expressions, it is a known that the Jews called Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians called Christ the Son of Allah (Tauba 9: 30). Allah says in the Qur’an regarding their attempt to believe in their own imagination:
“No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him: on the Day of Judgment the whole earth will be but His Handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right Hand: Glory to Him! High is He above the Partners they attribute to Him!” (Zumar, 39:67).
“.. There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).” (Shura, 42:11).
“Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah the Eternal Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.” (Ikhlas, 112:1-4).
When the Prophet heard someone praying “O, my Lord! You are One and Only, You do not beget nor are You begotten, You are not to be equal. I appeal for Your Mercy. Please, forgive my sins, You are all-forgiving and all-merciful!”, he said:
“He was forgiven. He was forgiven. He was forgiven!” (Abu Daud, Salaat, 179).
Yunus Emre, who knows this good news, takes refuge in Allah with the following words:
Allah the Almighty, Allah the Almighty,
There is none like unto You!
Please forgive our sins,
You are the most Merciful!..
SELF-EXISTENCE OF ALLAH: Allah is ever Self-existent and Eternal. The attribute of Self-existence and eternity is one of the divine names of Allah, meaning that He is self-existent with no beginning and end, and that He is free of any need from creation. Rather, everything needs Him for existence. The Qur’an says:
“O you men! It is you that have need of Allah: but Allah is the One free of all wants, worthy of all praise.” (Fatir, 35:15).
“… Allah is free of all needs from all creation.” (Ankabut, 29:6).
As these Divine messages clearly put, Allah does not need any agent for His existence. That is why it is stated that Allah is permanently self-existing.
If a person does not perceive this Divine attribute of Allah, and if s/he does not have a complete faith in this regard, his/her faith is ranked as insufficient and void, because by doing so s/he reduces Allah to the level of creation.
Thus, Allah is exempt from the attributions that belong to all else besides Him. However, those hearts having mature faith constantly invoke the Divine name of “Self-Existent and Eternal”, and with the blessing of this invocation they, heart and soul, bind themselves to the bond of Allah and annihilate themselves in Allah. Namely, the servant’s enjoyment of the invocation of the Divine names of Allah is to do with how much s/he is independent of all else besides Allah.
A companion of the Prophet prayed as follows:
“O, my Lord! All praises be to You, You are the most Beneficent, and there is no deity, but You, You are the Creator of the skies and the earth who has Glory and Kindness. You are the Living, the Self-Subsisting, and Eternal. O my Lord, I beseech you by means of Your names!..”
When the Prophet (J) overheard this praying person, he asked those around him:
“Do you know by what means is this person praying?”
They replied: “Allah and His Prophet know better!”
The Prophet (J) answered:
“I swear by the Allah who sustains my life that this person prayed to Allah by means of His greatest names. The prayers and wishes by means of these greatest names are answered.” (Tirmizi, Daawaat, 63).
The established attributions of Allah are as follows:
LIFE: Allah has life, and this feature of Him is existent with Himself. He is the Ever-living as the famous name “Hayy” indicates. He is alive, everlasting, and He has an absolute life.
And so, all lives come to being as reflections of this attribution of Allah, and they are relative. Therefore, the life of a creature is a contemporary and material one that comes about as a result of the union of the body and the spirit. Thus, it is taken back from every earthling in due course. The attribution of Ever-living (Hayy) is associated with Allah’s Being, because His Excellency is to do with Him being alive, permanent, and having an absolute life. In short, the life of Allah is not the negation of death, and it belongs only to Allah. This is pointed out in the Qur’an:
“And put your trust in Him Who lives and dies not…” (Furqan, 25:58).
Abu Musa (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
“The Prophet (J) rose among us and uttered these five sentences:
“Allah is always alive, never slumbers, and slumber, in fact, does not go with Him. He reduces or increases the sustenance that He provides. The prayer made at night reaches Allah before the one made at daytime, and the prayer made at daytime reaches Allah before the one made at night. His curtain is the Divine Glory. If Allah was to uncover this curtain, His face would burn out all creation.” (Muslim, Iman, 293).
It is said in another saying of the Prophet (J):
“Whoever prays asking Allah’s forgiveness by saying three times ‘I appeal for mercy from the Allah who is Ever-living and Everlasting”, s/he is forgiven.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, III, 10).
“He is the Living (One): There is no god but He: Call upon Him, giving Him sincere devotion. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.” (Mumin, 40:65).
The Prophet (J) used to make the following prayer when something worried him.
“O, my Lord, the Ever-living, the Everlasting! I appeal for your help that comes out of your Mercy.” (Tirmizi, Daawat, 91).
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
“When the battle of Badr started I fought for sometime. Then I came to the Prophet (J). I wanted to see what he was doing. And I found him in position of prostration saying these words:
‘O, my Lord, the Ever-living, the Everlasting! I take refuge in You, I appeal for your help!’
I left him and went to fight again for sometime. Then I came back to see him again. He was still in the position of prostration and he was still saying:
‘O, my Lord, the Everliving, the Everlasting! I take refuge in You, I appeal for your help!’
I went back to fight again, and after a while I returned once again. He was still in the same position, and he kept his position until Allah granted us victory.”
With regard to the following verse of the Qur’an, “Know you (all) that Allah gives life to the earth after its death! Already have We shown the signs plainly to you, that you may learn wisdom.”(Hadid, 57:17)
Ibn Abbas said:
“Bringing the earth back to life is an object lesson that we can observe. However, the following meaning is also pointed to in the above verse. Allah mellows the black and hard hearts in matters of faith and He leads them to return to their Creator. He mellows dead hearts through learning and wisdom.”
KNOWLEDGE (WISDOM): Allah has knowledge, and His knowledge (wisdom) is all-encompassing. There is nothing beyond His knowledge. He is accordingly the One who knows the past and the future. Nothing remains hidden from His knowledge. Everything is known by and readily observable to Him. And all the wisdom (science) that humans have acquired are only small particles’ of this attribute of Allah. It is said in the Qur’an:
“From Allah, verily nothing is hidden on earth or in the heavens.” (Âl- Imran, 3:5).
“Say: Whether you hide what is in your hearts or reveal it, Allah knows it all: He knows what is in the heavens, and what is on earth. And Allah has power over all things.” (Âl- Imran, 3:29).
“And He is Allah in the heavens and on earth. He knows what you hide, and what you reveal, and He knows the (recompense) which you earn (by your deeds).” (Anam, 6:3).
“He knows that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass out of His knowledge nothing except what He wills…” (Baqara, 2:255).
That is why we say: “Allah knows best!” for man’s knowledge is even less than a pinhead in the ocean of the immense universe. It is stated in the Qur’an:
.”.. Of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you.” (Isra, 17:85).
Therefore, many doors of science are kept open for human beings to investigate, but there are also walls of mystery that defy penetration or until Allah permits. The reason behind this is to let the servant know his/her powerlessness, and understand his dependence on Allah, and thereby resign himself/herself to the wisdom of Allah. It is said in the Qur’an:
.”.. It is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, but Allah knows and you know not.” (Baqara, 2:216).
In fact, human beings get distressed about the things that initially seem bad. S/he cannot see the mercy behind them. And s/he is sometimes wrapped up in many things coming in a shape of goodness, and s/he cannot see the evil hidden in them.
It is narrated that there used to be a righteous man belonging to an Arab tribe. The tribe used to take heed of the advice of the man and direct themselves in accordance with his instructions. One morning, when they woke up, they found all their dogs dead. They went straight to the man to tell him what happened. After a short time of meditation the man told them:
“– Their death may hopefully bring you salvation!”
The following night all of their cocks died as well. They went to the man again. He answered them in the same way:
“– Their death may hopefully bring you salvation!”
Upon hearing him one among them asked:
“– O, master! Dogs are our keepers, and the cocks are our muezzins (caller to prayer). What sort of salvation can their death bring to us?
The righteous man answered:
“– It is Allah who knows all secrets. Surely, He must have hidden a great truth in this event that we cannot figure out now.”
And the following night no one’s light was on. Everybody was wondering what kind of nuisance they would again be exposed to.
Yet, when they woke up in the morning they realized why such mysterious events had been taking place. That night the enemy had raided and looted the surrounding region. The enemy came close to that tribe, but as there was no dog and cock to be heard, and also no light to be seen they passed by without noticing them. Thus, the tribe had escaped great looting and slaughter. (Silk’s-Suluk).
So, we see that an event seeming to be a source of distress turning into a favor! Ibrahim Haqqi of Erzurum puts this point into words as follows:
Do not question why this is so,
It fits where it is.
Watch what happens in the end;
Let us see what our Lord brings in the end,
He does the best!..
The Prophet (J) says:
“When the servant is taken ill, Allah sends him two angels and orders them: ‘– Go and find out how the servant welcomes the illness he suffers from.’.
If they find the servant thanking and praising Allah, they transmit his attitude to Allah who knows the best. And Allah, who sends the angels to have them witness the deeds of the servant, says:
‘– If I take the life of this thankful servant, s/he deserves a place in paradise. Yet, if I cure him/her s/he deserves to have a better flesh and blood, and I forgive his sins’.” (Muwatta, Ayn, 5).
This saying of the Prophet (J) acknowledges that the events that seem to have no outward benefit for us are divine trials, and they may have great rewards behind them.
In the history of humanity there are events that at first seemed to occur in the form of wrath, but turned into the form of grace in the end. However, the contrary also happened. For example, the people of the Prophet Hud mistook the clouds of wrath for that of rain. Only when the stones began to fall down instead of rain did they understand the fact. Yet, it was too late for them!..
Therefore, it is the duty of the servant to surrender himself/herself to Allah being conscious that Allah knows the best. And this surrender may only be actualized by the knowledge of Allah or mystical contemplation as no science can eliminate the evil consequences that ignorance may bring in this matter. It is only the knowledge of Allah that may eliminate evil consequences. In fact, there are a good many unlettered people who were given distinguished rewards through the knowledge of Allah.
For this reason, Yunus Emre tells that the fundamental science is the knowledge of Allah:
Twenty nine syllables,
You read them from A to Izzard,
You say A, o master,
What does it mean?
Science means knowledge,
It means self-knowledge,
If you do not know your self,
Why do you study science?
Allah divulges the position of humanity over against His wisdom:
“.. Nor does anyone know what it is that he will earn on the morrow…” (Luqman, 31:34).
“Say: As to the knowledge of time, it is with Allah alone…” (Mulk, 67:26).
Knowledge is in the vision of Allah. Namely, the absolute knowledge belongs to Him. His knowledge encircles everything. Allah’s knowledge is like a mirror. The things that are reflected in the mirror may differ, but the mirror covers all things reflected in it, and it does not change.
Allah’s knowledge is exempt from being the result of a thought or an idea. The delicate order and harmony of the universe to which no will or intellect can deny, is the most fresh evidence of the endless knowledge of Allah. It is evident that a human being can reach to even a minor invention in years and through the cooperation of many different individuals. For example, the communication by cellular phone today is the result of an accumulation of knowledge beginning centuries ago and of many different experiences of humanity. Other developments and advancements are of this sort as well. Whereas all these inventions and the as yet unmanifest endless mysteries are the features that Allah placed in the order of the universe instantaneously with His divine knowledge. Allah, in the Qur’an, reminds human beings of this fact:
“Should He not know, -He that created? And He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them).” (Mulk, 67:14).
ALLAH, THE ALL-HEARING
ALLAH, THE ALL-HEARING: Allah is the All-Hearing. His hearing is not like ours. There is no voice hidden to Him. As it is has been described He hears the sound of an ant walking on a stone. And all creatures that have the capability of hearing can only hear through the reflection of Allah’s attribute of the All-Hearing. They can hear nothing when deprived of this capacity. There are many examples of it.
Allah repeatedly cites His attribute of All-Hearing along with that of All-Seeing, and reminds human beings of His Divine sight, and thereby warns them not to go astray from the right path.
ALLAH, THE ALL-SEEING
ALLAH, THE ALL-SEEING: The attribute of the All-Seeing is also an attribute of Allah in accordance with His Divine nature. He duly sees everything, He is the All-Seeing. There is nothing hidden to His sight. Again, as it is described, He sees a black ant on a black stone at night.
Jalal al-Din Rumi explains why the human beings are notified of the attributes of the All-Knowledge, the All-Hearing, and the All-Seeing:
“Allah notifies you of His attribute of the All-Knowing lest you attempt to introduce subversive activities on earth.”
“Allah notifies you of His attribute of All-Hearing so that you keep your mouth closed to unpleasant and nasty words.”
“Allah notifies you of His attribute of the All-Seeing lest you perform evil and secret acts.”
Thus, Allah lets the servants know their responsibilities in this matter as follows:
“And pursue not that of which you have no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Judgement). (Isra, 17:36).
Niyadhi Misri puts into words this responsibility with the following words:
An eye that has no ability to see,
Is nothing but an enemy to the head it stays on.
An ear that takes heed of no advice,
Deserves pouring lead through it.
A tongue that has no familiarity with invoking Allah’s names,
Do not call that flesh as tongue.
The heedless servants of Allah will be addressed as follows:
“O the servant! Did you acknowledge Us in the earthly life, or not? If you did not, why did not you try to acknowledge Us? If you did, you were supposed to behave accordingly.”
The noble Nahshabi who quotes the above statement says:
“O fearless person! Do what you do without the presence of other people so that it becomes clear whether you fear Allah, or the people! If you fear Allah, you fear Him everywhere!..”
“The real followers of the path of virtue and piety are, everywhere and every time, aware of the fact that they are under the observation of Allah.”
The second caliph Omar was patrolling the streets of Madina at night-time when he stopped all of a sudden to hear the dispute coming out of a house between a mother and her daughter. The mother was telling the daughter:
“– Add some water to the milk that we are going to sell tomorrow!”
The daughter replied:
“– Mum, did not the caliph forbid to add water to milk?”
The mother told her daughter off saying:
“– How can the caliph know that we add water to milk at this time of the night!..”
However, the girl who feared Allah did not accede to the fraud her mother wanted, and she told the mother:
“- Mum, let us suppose that the caliph does not see, what about Allah? It is easy to hide this fraud from people, but how would it be possible to hide it from Allah who is the All-Seeing?..”
The caliph, Omar, was moved by the words of this Allah-fearing girl. He was so affected by the behavior of this pious girl that he later managed to help to arrange for his son to marry her. Omar bin Abdulaziz, who was to become the fifth caliph, was the offspring of this noble lady and his son.
Therefore, the whole issue is to manage consciously to realize that we live under the observation of Allah. It is said in the Qur’an:
“No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things.” (Anam, 6:103).
THE WILL OF ALLAH
THE WILL OF ALLAH: Allah wills and acts as He wants. When He intends a thing, His command is just “Be!”, and that thing happens. His actions are never to be questioned:
“To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and earth: when He decrees a matter, He says to it: “Be,” and it is.” (Baqara, 2:117).
“He is the Irresistible (watching) from above over His worshippers, and He is acquainted with all things.” (Anam, 6:118).
“Say: O Allah! Lord of Power (and Rule), You give power to whom You please, and You strip off power from whom You please: You endow with honor whom You please, and You bring low whom You please: in Your Hand is all Good. Verily, over all things You have power.” (Âl-i Imran, 3:26).
As these verses point out that Allah is the Absolute Actor. Any occurrence and act depend on His Will. In a word, “a thing that He decrees occurs, and a thing that He does not decree does not occur!”
Therefore, the deeds that Allah approves occur in accordance with His Will. And the deeds that Allah disapproves, again, occur with His divine permission, but this time they are in the position of trials for us.
Thus, as the above verse states, every happening requires the condition of “If Allah pleases or permits.” This condition covers all creation, both bodily and spiritual beings, as well as the prophets. An example of this occurred in the life of the Prophet (J):
A group of Bedouins came to the Prophet (J) asking him some questions. As he was not very knowledgeable about their query and thinking that he might get a revelation about it later in the day, he asked them to visit him again the following day by telling them:
“Come to see me tomorrow and get your answer then!”
Yet, as he did not say “so please Allah or Allah-willing” while speaking to them no revelation was sent down by Allah for a fortnight. And after this long wait the first revelation was of the following verse:
“Nor say of anything, ‘I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow’ without adding, ‘so please Allah!’ And call your Lord to mind when you forget, and say, ‘I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road.’” (Kahf, 18:23).
As this verse illustrates, human beings are not always able, or do not have the necessary capacity, to act as they wish because their will and power are deficient. So, the servant is supposed to know his/her limitations and s/he, duly observing the rights of Allah, must not go too far. So that Allah explains that He may forgive the sins and villainies of His servants, but not the denial of Allah or attributing partners to Him as well as infringing on the rights of his fellows. Namely, Allah will forgive anyone whom He pleases and will not forgive anyone who has displeased Him. This is declared in the Qur’an as follows.
“To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth. He forgives whom He pleases and punishes whom He pleases; but Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Âl-i Imran, 3:129).
Friends of Allah commit their will to the will of Allah through perceiving this attribute. As in other subjects they annihilate themselves in Allah. They duly know that any will of Allah is perfectly placed and they guide their surroundings in this direction.
Sheikh Sunbul Sinan (may Allah be pleased with him) asked his disciples the following question:
“O my sons! What would you do, if Allah gave you the right to mastermind the world?”
They each gave different answers. One said:
“– I would exterminate all unbelievers!”
“– I would eradicate all who drink!”
Another one said:
“– I would exterminate all smokers!”
Among the disciples there was a learned scholar named Mustapha Muslikhiddin Affendi. He was keeping quiet. The sheikh faced him and asked:
“– O my son! What would you do?”
Mustafa Muslikhiddin Affendi answered decently:
“– O master! What is wrong -Allah forbid!- with the way Allah is already masterminding? I would keep the things as they are.”
Sheikh Sunbul Sinan rejoiced and said: “The thing now found the center it should be in.” And from that day forth Mustafa Muslikhiddin Affendi was called as the center of masters and he succeeded the sheikh.
Ibrahim Haqqi of Erzurum declares his commitment to Allah by the following words as if he summarizes this point:
All His acts are superior,
All His acts are well-matched,
And all his acts are favorable;
Let us see what He does,
He does the best!
Upon my word He has done the best,
Upon my oath He has done the best,
Upon my word He has done the best;
Let us see what Allah has done,
He has done the best!..
THE OMNIPOTENCE OF ALLAH
THE OMNIPOTENCE OF ALLAH: Allah is the Omnipotent and the Almighty. There is no hardship for Him. Allah summarizes this attribute in the Qur’an as follows:
.”.. Allah has power over all things.” (Baqara, 2:20).
In another verse it is said:
“Verily, when He intends a thing, His command is ‘be’, and it is!” (Yasin, 36:82).
And when Allah commands a thing, that thing is bound to happen. Therefore, we should not fall into the error of thinking about the Omnipotence of Allah with our weak mind as we have limited power. Allah’s endless power is exempt from any of the limitation and impotence humans are subject to. Therefore, there is no being who is not impotent before His endless power. Our power is only as much as He ordains.
History has witnessed the defeat of many who rose against this Power. Among them were Nimrod, Croesus, Abu Jahil, and many others. They left the world empty-handed. Allah took their lives bringing them into derision. In particular, the death of Nimrod, who claimed to be a divine being, is a striking one, providing a message regarding the Divine Power. Nimrod died from a mosquito bite. The termination of Abraha and his soldiers who attacked the Ka’bah, counting on the elephants he had, by the birds of Abâbil is again a striking one.
Jalal al-Din Rumi says:
“Though this world is too great and endless in your view, it is not even a particle before Allah. Open your eyes and look around; what an earthquake, a hurricane, and a flood does to the world and its contents!”
Truly, the Power of Allah sometimes makes itself manifest in extraordinary ways that we are not used to. For example, the positive quality of fire, water, wind, and other natural elements are sometimes transformed into a destructive quality by the Divine Power. In this regard, one is supposed to see the Divine Will in the background of the events taking place in the nature. Those who cannot see it are stuck with a blind perspective. Jalal al-Din Rumi warns those heedless people:
“Do not forget that this world is a straw before Allah. The Divine Will sometimes elevates it and sometimes lowers it. It sometimes makes the world sound, and sometimes unsound. It sometimes carries the world to the right, and sometimes to the left. It sometimes makes it a rose garden, and sometimes a thorn garden…”
These facts are frequently touched upon in the Qur’an:
“Know you not that to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth? And besides Him you have neither patron nor helper.” (Baqara, 2:107).
Yunus Emre, the sultan of the sagacious people and the lovers, puts into words our impotence before Allah:
If I take my way without You,
I cannot be helped to take a step!
You are my power in my body,
To take my head away!..
THE WORD OF ALLAH: Allah has a word. He does not need a voice, letters, words, and sentences to line up. Namely, Allah’s speech is exempt from both letters and sound; His speech never has any resemblance to that of humans. And humans can speak through receiving a share from that of Allah. Yunus Emre voices this point so perfectly:
Oh the Knower of the essence of the words
Come and say from him this word comes through?
The one who does not understand the essence of the word,
Thinks that it comes from me!
Allah Almighty communicates His orders, prohibitions, and other wills to angels, prophets, and human beings, and even to all other creation through the attribution of Divine Word. Essentially, as His creation comes through His word of “Be!” creation, in a way, depends on this attribute of Allah. A minute manifestation of this attribute is to be seen in the ability to talk given to human beings. Yunus Emre says in this regard:
A word may stop the war,
A word may have the head cut off,
A word may turn the poisonous soup
Into honey and butter!
All the Divine holy books are sent down through the attribute of the Divine Word. Revelation was sometimes sent down by the Angel Gabriel, and sometimes directly, hidden behind many veils. This is a kind of communication with Allah. It is said in the Qur’an:
“It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah’s permission, what Allah wills: for He is Most High, Most Wise.” (Shura, 42:51).
“.. And to Moses Allah spoke directly.” (Nisaa, 4:164).
Allah spoke to Moses directly not by means of a tongue or voice, but by means of His attribute of the eternal Divine Word. Seventy people who were accompanying Moses to witness the occasion and the Angel Gabriel did not hear or sense this Divine speech. Moses lost consciousness in the face of this Divine transfiguration. He felt beyond the limits of time and space not remembering where he was, in this world or in the Hereafter. He strongly wished for the sight of Allah, but he was told by Allah: “You can never see Me!”
However, when Moses unconsciously insisted to see Allah he was told to look at the mountain and in case he sees the mountain remain he would be able to see Allah as well. According to narratives, radiance came to the mountain behind many veils, and the mountain exploded, and Moses lost consciousness. When he regained consciousness he appealed for mercy, feeling that he had gone too far. If Moses had not lost consciousness then, he would have been blown up together with the mountain as well.
On the other hand, the Angel Gabriel, one of the great angels, told the following words to the Prophet (J) on the night of the Prophet’s miraculous journey to heaven when they together reached the lotus tree in the seventh heaven:
“– O Prophet! I am allowed only to this point. Beyond this point you will go alone. If I take just one step more, I will burn to a cinder!”
It is the Prophet Muhammad (J) who was given the generous opportunity in this respect and he had the honor of having ascended to the heavens. On the night of the ascension, the Prophet (J), sultan of the universe, was honored with a special union and communication in a way that we cannot perceive.
As the attribute of the Divine Word has no association with other words, it is exempt from any limitation. The Divine Word that are reflected to us in this world, in fact, are an endless ocean of meaning. This is told in the Qur’an as follows:
“Say ‘If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the Words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the Words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid.” (Kahf, 18:109).
“And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the Words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing). For Allah is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom.” (Luqman, 31:27).
All words in this world are reflections of the attribute of the Divine Word. Thus, Allah has His Great Names cited by countless tongues. Allah endowed all creation, including the ones that are thought to be inanimate, with a language from His attribute of the Divine Word. It is said in the Qur’an:
“The seven heavens and the earth, and all beings therein, declare His Glory: there is not a thing but celebrates His praise; and yet you understand not how they declare His Glory! Verily He is Oft-Forbearing, Most Forgiving!” (Isra, 17:44).
Yunus Emre perceives the mystery of this verse:
Rivers of paradise
Flow splashing the words Allah, Allah
The nightingales of Islam
Sing out saying the words Allah, Allah
Branches of the Tuba tree swing
Read the Qur’an by their tongues
Rose of the paradise
Smell saying the words Allah, Allah
CREATION (GENESIS): It is the attribute by which Allah creates. It means creation from nothingness; and this type of creation only belongs to Him. The countless worlds are His production. And other factual attributes of Allah are included in the attribution of creation.
It is said in the Qur’an:
“He who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay.” (Sajda, 32:7).
“It is He who has created for you all things that are on earth; moreover His design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments; and of all things He has perfect knowledge.” (Baqara, 2:29).
“The same who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! You kindle therewith (your own fires)!” (Yasin, 36:80).
“Do they not look at Allah’s creation, (even) among (inanimate) things, how their (very) shadows turn round, from right and the left, prostrating themselves to Allah, and that in the humblest manner?” (Nahl, 16:48).
The attribute of creation differs from other attributes of Allah. Allah knows through the attribute of Knowledge. And through the attribute of Power, He makes things exist or annihilates them. And through the attribute of Will He decides to make things exist or to annihilate them. And then comes the attribute of Creation through which things are created.
The mysteries of the universe are hidden in the attribute of Creation. Therefore, everything bears witness to the existence of Allah.
To sum up, Allah is known by His servants mainly through the above attributes. All these attributes and all other countless divine attributes are not existent now and then, in accordance with the requirements of time and space, but existent all the time.
No attribute of Allah has an opposite to it in Allah’s Person. Namely, Allah is alive, but He is exempt from death. He exists, but His existence is exempt from extinction. He has Knowledge, but His Knowledge is exempt from ignorance. He supplies the needs, but He is exempt from being needy. All attributes of Allah follow this line.
On the other hand, Allah is exempt from having human organs regarding all attributes, and not even an atom of the attributes of Allah exists in humans. It is only the reflections that exist in humans. Namely, our ability to talk comes from a particle of the reflection from Allah’s attribute of the Word. Thus, Allah’s life does not bear resemblance to our life. His Sight is not like ours.
In a word, the content of all attributes of His Exalted Being present an endlessness and infinity. And all the attributes are eternal in the past and in the future. Namely, no attribute of Allah is limited. Accordingly, His Knowledge, Power, Word, Creation, and all other attributes are exempt from any kind of similitude and explanation. When it comes to our makings they are both limited and transient. Thus, humans, who cannot properly know themselves, cannot know the attributes of Allah as required. Namely, as we cannot perceive the factual being of Allah we cannot either perceive the factual characteristics of the attributes of Allah.
On the other hand, a superior being or an attribute cannot be compared or associated with an inferior one. If that sort of association is established, it is only done to devalue the superior one. For example, when a cat is associated with a lion, this association points out that cat’s superiority over fellow cats in terms of strength. Yet, if a lion is associated with a cat, this association shows the cowardice and impotence of the lion. Thus, comparing Allah with the creatures is a blindness and a villainy. Moreover, it is a defamation that does not go with the supremacy of Allah. That is why such an act is called polytheism, and the actor is called a polytheist. For instance, polytheists make the mistake of associating the boundless attributes of Allah such as the All-Hearing and the All-Seeing in parallel with their own capacity to hear and see in view of their own framework and they, subsequently, reduce their beliefs regarding the attributes of Allah to the impotent stones they themselves give shape to. However, those who comprehend the truth that his human attributes are a scrap of reflection from Allah’s attributes live in the season of nothingness by this spiritual knowledge and they, feeling the delight of faith, say:
“There is no being, but Allah.”
They mentally and emotionally have sound knowledge of the fact that “My Lord! You are what you are!”
In this way, they, being exempt from any suspicion and delusion, and having a sound heart reach their Lord, and they find a place in the book of saints.
One of the dervishes asked Bayazid-i Bastami:
“O master! What are the great names of Allah?”
Bayazid-i Bastami answered:
“– O my son! Are there any minor names of Allah? Do not be unwary; All names of Allah are great. If you want your request to be answered by Allah, stop being occupied with the vanities of life! Allah’s names are not reflected in unwary hearts. It is the enlightened hearts which Allah attends through many names.”
Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş, ISLAM SPIRIT AND FORM, Erkam Publications