THE CONCEPT OF DEITY AND GOD ALMIGHTY

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God Almighty should be considered from five perspectives. One is His “Essence” as Divine Being (Dhat in Islamic terminology), which only He can know. A Prophetic Tradition says: “Do not reflect on God’s ‘Essence’; instead, reflect on His works and acts.” God has no partners, likes or resemblance, as pointed to by the verse: There is nothing like or compared unto Him (42:11). The second perspective is His Essential, “Innate” Qualities as being God, which are the Attributes’ source. The third perspective is His Attributes, which are of three kinds: Essential Attributes (e.g., Existence, Having No Beginning, Eternal Permanence, Being Unlike the Created, Self-Subsistence); Positive Attributes (Life, Knowledge, Power, Speech, Will, Hearing, Seeing, Creating); and innumerable “Negative” Attributes, summed up as “God is absolutely free from any defect and shortcoming.”

The Attributes are the sources of the Names: Life gives rise to the All-Living, Knowledge to the All-Knowing, and Power to the All-Powerful. The Names are the sources of the acts: giving life has its source in the All-Living, and knowing everything down to the smallest detail or thing originates in the All-Knowing. God is “known” through His acts, Names, and Attributes. Whatever exists in the universe, in the material and immaterial worlds, is the result of the Names’ and Attributes’ manifestations: Universal and individual provision points to His Name the All-Providing, and the All-Healing is the source of remedies and patient recovery. Philosophy has its source in Wisdom, and so on. The acts, Names, and Attributes are the “links” between God and the created, or the “reflectors” with which to have knowledge of God.

Although we try to know or recognize God by His acts, Names, and Attributes, we must not think of Him in terms of associating likeness or comparison unto Him, for nothing resembles Him. He is absolutely One, Single, and totally different from all that exists or has the potential to exist. In this sense, His Oneness is not in terms of number. To have some knowledge of Him through His acts, Names, and Attributes, some comparisons are permissible. This is pointed to in the verse: To God applies the most sublime attributes (16:60). 

 Some of God’s Names are as follows:

Allah: Translated as God, Allah is the proper Name of the Divine Being Who creates and administers His creatures, individually and as a whole, Who provides, brings up, sustains, protects, guides each and all, Who causes to perish and revives each and all, Who rewards or punishes, and so on. All His Attributes are Attributes of absolute perfection, and He is absolutely free from any and all defects. He is Unique and Single, having no like or resemblance and nothing is comparable to Him. He is absolutely beyond any human conception. He is the Unique, Single Being with the exclusive right to be worshiped and to be made the sole aim of life. He is loved in and of Himself. Everything is dependent on Him and subsists through Him. Every truth has its source in Him. Knowledge of God (in the sense of the Arabic “ilm) is impossible in respect of His Being or Essence (Dhat). Because there is none like or comparable unto Him, it is therefore impossible to grasp or comprehend His Essence. However, we can recognize God or have some knowledge of Him (in the sense of the Arabic ma‘rifah) through His works, acts, Names, Attributes and Essential Qualities (shu‘un). Awareness of His works (what we see in the world, His creation) leads us to become aware of His acts, and that awareness leads us to His Names and Attributes which, in turn, lead us to His Essential Qualities, and thence to an awareness of the One Who has these Qualities.

  • (Al-)‘Adl: The All-Just
  • (Al-)‘Afuww: The All-Pardoning (Who overlooks the faults of His servants); The One Who grants remission; The One Who excuses much
  • (Al-) Ahad: The Unique One (Who is beyond all kinds of human conceptions of Him and absolutely free from having any partners, likes, parents, sons or daughters)
  • (Al-)Ahir: The Last (Whom there is none that will outlive)
  • (Al-)‘Alim: The All-Knowing
  • (Al-)Aliyy. The All-Exalted
  • (Al-)Amin: The One in Whom Refuge is Sought
  • (Al-) ‘Atuf: The All-Affectionate
  • (Al-)Awwal: The First (Whom there is none that precedes)
  • (Al-)‘Aziz: The All-Glorious with irresistible might (Whom none can prevent from doing what He wills)
  • (Al-)Baqi: The All-Permanent
  • (Al-)Bari: The All-Holy Creator (Who is absolutely free from having any partners and Who makes every being perfect and different from others)
  • (Al-)Basir: The All-Seeing
  • (Al-)Batin: The All-Inward (Who encompasses the whole existence from within in His Knowledge, and there is none that is more penetrating than Him)
  • (Ad-)Dayyan: The Supreme Ruler and All-Requiting (of good and evil)
  • (Al-)Fard: The All-Independent, Single One (free from having any equals or likes in His Essence and Attributes)
  • (Al-)Fatir: The All-Originating (with a unique individuality)
  • (Al-)Fattah: The One Who judges between people with truth and separates
  • (Al-)Ghaniyy: The All-Wealthy and Self-Sufficient
  • (Al-)Habib: The All-Loving and Loved
  • (Al-)Hadi: The All-Guiding
  • (Al-)Hafiz: The All-Preserving and Keeper of records
  • (Al-)Hakim: The All-Wise (in Whose every act and decree there are many instances of wisdom)
  • (Al-)Halim: The All-Clement (showing no haste to punish the errors of His servants)
  • (Al-)Hamid: The All-Praiseworthy (as the Lord Who creates, provides, and rears)
  • (Al-)Hannan: The All-Kind and Caring
  • (Al-)Haqq: The Ultimate Truth and Ever-Constant
  • (Al-)Hayy: The All-Living
  • (Al-)Jabbar: The All-Compelling of supreme majesty (Who subdues wrong and restores right)
  • (Al-)Jalil: The All-Majestic
  • (Al-)Jamil: The All-Gracious and All-Beautiful
  • (Al-)Jawad: The All-Generous
  • (Al-)Kabir: The All-Great
  • (Al-)Kafi: The All-Sufficing
  • (Al-)Karim: The All-Munificent
  • (Al-)Khabir: The All-Aware
  • (Al-)Khaliq: The Creator (Who determines measure for everything and brings it into existence out of nothing)
  • (Al-)Latif: The All-Subtle (penetrating into the most minute dimensions of all things); the All-Favoring
  • (Al-)Mahmud: The All-Praised
  • (Al-)Malik: The Sovereign
  • (Al-)Mannan: The All-Bounteous and Favoring
  • (Al-)Ma’ruf: The One Known (with His works); the All-Recognized
  • (Al-)Mubin: The One from Whom nothing is hidden and Who makes all truth manifest
  • (Al-)Mughni: The All-Enriching
  • (Al-)Muhaymin: The All-Watchful Guardian
  • (Al-)Muhit: The All-Encompassing
  • (Al-)Muhsin: The All-Benevolent
  • (Al-)Muhyi: The One Who revives, Who gives life to the dead
  • (Al-)Mu’in: The All-Helping and Supplying
  • (Al-)Mu‘izz: The All-Exalting and Honoring
  • (Al-)Mujib: The All-Answering (of prayers) and Meeting (of needs)
  • (Al-)Mu’min: The Supreme Author of safety and security Who bestows faith and removes all doubt
  • (Al-)Mumit: The One Causing to Die; the All-Dealer of death
  • (Al-)Mundhir: The All-Informing and Warning
  • (Al-)Murid: The All-Willing
  • (Al-)Musawwir: The All-Fashioning
  • (Al-)Mutakabbir: The One Who has exclusive right to all greatness
  • (Al-)Mu‘ti: The All-Granting
  • (An-)Nur: The All-Light
  • (Al-)Qaim: The All-Observing and Controlling
  • (Al-)Qadir: The All-Powerful
  • (Al-)Qahhar: The All-Overwhelming (with absolute sway over all that exists)
  • (Al-)Qarib: The All-Near
  • (Al-)Qawiyy: The All-Strong
  • (Al-)Qayyum: The Self-Subsisting (by Whom all subsist)
  • (Al-)Quddus: the All-Holy and All-Pure (Who is absolutely free of any defect and keeps the universe clean)
  • (Ar-)Rabb: The Lord (God as the Creator, Provider, Trainer, Upbringer, and Director of all creatures)
  • (Ar-) Rahim: The All-Compassionate (Who has particular compassion for each of His creatures in their maintenance, and for His believing servants, especially in the other world)
  • (Ar-) Rahman: The All-Merciful (Who has mercy on the whole existence and provides for all without making a distinction between believers and unbelievers)
  • (Ar-)Rauf: The All-Pitying
  • (Ar-)Razzaq: The All-Providing
  • (As-)Sabur: The All-Patient (Whom no haste induces to rush into an action)
  • (As-)Salam: The Supreme Author of peace and salvation
  • (As-)Samad: The Eternally-Besought-of-All (Himself being needy of nothing)
  • (As-)Sami‘: The All-Hearing
  • (As-) Sani’: The Maker
  • (As-)Sattar: The All-Veiling (of His servants’ shortcomings and sins)
  • (Ash-)Shafi: The All-Healing
  • (Ash-) Shahid: The All- Witnessing
  • (Ash-)Shakur: The All-Responsive (to the gratitude of His creatures)
  • (As-)Subhan: The All-Glorified
  • (As-)Sultan: The Absolute, Eternal Authority
  • (At-)Tawwab: The One Who accepts repentance and returns it with liberal forgiveness and additional reward
  • (Al-)Wadud: The All-Tender and Excusing; The All-Loving and All-Beloved
  • (Al-)Wahhab: The All-Bestowing
  • (Al-) Wahid:  The One (having no partners and equals; One Who manifests all His Names upon the whole of the universe, or a species, or on a whole)
  • (Al-) Wakil: The One to rely on and to Whom affairs should be entrusted
  • (Al-)Waliyy: The Guardian, the Protecting Friend (to rely on)
  • (Al-)Warith: The One Who survives all beings and inherits them
  • (Al-)Wasi‘: The All-Embracing (in His Mercy)
  • (Az-)Zahir: The All-Outward (Who encompasses the whole of existence from the outside, and there is none that encompasses Him)

 

Unal, Ali. “Living in the shade of Islam” The Light, Inc. 2003

Aug 14, 2013 @ 21:28