All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all the Worlds and Prayers and Peace upon His
Continuing with our discussion of
Tawheed, we will look at how to believe in the Names of Allaah. As with the Attributes of
Allaah (Lesson 2), there are certain principles that we have to adhere to in order to
believe and understand the Names of Allaah correctly. - This is because the Names of
Allaah and His Attributes are the basis of our worship of Allaah. We come to know Him by
His Names and Attributes, the more we know, the better our worship. Today’s lesson is
taken and adapted from a book by Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen
‘Qawaa’id ul-Muthlaa Fee Sifaat iLlaah wa Asmaa’ihil-Husnaa’ -
(roughly, the Perfect Principles Regarding the Attributes of Allaah and His Beatiful
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE: All the
Names of Allaah are Beautiful/Excellent/Perfect
This means that the Names of Allaah
reach the extreme of perfection. They are perfect and complete in every single aspect. As
"And to Allaah belong the most-beautiful/excellent
of Names" [7:180]
This is because these names
represent the qualities/characteristics that Allaah has and in which there is absolutely
no deficiency or shortcoming whatsoever.
An example: ‘Al-Hayy’ the
EverLiving - is a name of Allaah, and this gives evidence to the perfect life of Allaah, a
life which was not preceded by death or non-existence and which will not be followed by
death or non-existence.This is unlike the ‘life’ of created things, who are born
and die and then no longer exist. Also their life depends on other created things such as
food and water etc. But the life of Allaah is free and independent of all of these things.
Therefore His life is the most perfect and most complete.
‘Al-Aleem’ - the All Knowing - is a name of Allaah and this gives evidence to
the perfect knowledge of Allaah, knowledge which was not preceded by ignorance and which
will not be followed by forgetfulness. Allaah’s knowledge is free from all of that.
As Moses said to Pharoah;
"The Knowledge of of it
(i.e. the state of the people of past) is with My Lord in a Book. My Lord does not err,
nor is He forgetful" [20;52]
So Allaah’s knowledge
encompasses everything. He knows what the hearts contain and what the wombs contain. He
knows what is in the depths of the oceans and what is in the heights of the heavens.
Nothing is hidden from him, not even the weight of an atom or what is less than that. So
the Name of Allaah ‘al-Aleem’ gives evidence to perfect and complete knowledge.
‘ar-Rahmaan’ - the One Full of Mercy - is a name of Allaah and this gives
evidence to the overflowing mercy of Allaah, which is perfect and complete and about which
the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Allaah is more merciful to His servants than this (i.e. a
female animal) to her child". And Allaah’s mercy encompasses everything i.e. it
covers everything, Allaahs’mercy reaches everything.
"And My mercy encompasses
every single thing" [7:156]
NOTE: There are some names which are common between
Allaah and the Creation. But this does not mean that the reality behind them is
the same. For example Allaah has described Himself as ‘hearing,
seeing’ [4:58] but He also described man as ‘hearing, seeing’
[76:2]. However, the hearing and seeing of Allaah is one thing, but the hearing
and seeing of mankind is something else. Allaah’s hearing and seeing is
the most-complete and most perfect, without any limitations or restrictions
whatsoever, as opposed to that of humans.
This is an important point because
the people of innovation claim, that just because we affirm these Names and Attributes for
Allaah, we are likening Him to his creation and this is false because of the following
"Agreement in the name does not
necessarily mean agreement of the reality behind them".
So Allaah’s life is different
from our life. His is perfect, ours is not. So there is a big difference. The same can be
said about all those Names or attributes that seem to be common between the creation and
Allaah. Ibn Taymiyyah in ‘at-Tadmuriyyah’ gives a list of all those
attributes/names that He has named Himself with and also with which He has named the
creation. By this Ibn Taymiyyah says that this is proof that although the names are the
same, the realities are different. Some of the names that Allaah mentions about the
creation in the Qur’aan and which are common between the creation and Allaah are:
knowing [aleem] 37:101 - so the
knowledge of the creation is not like that of Allaah
hearing, seeing [samee, baseer]
76:2 - the hearing and sight of the creation is not like that of Allaah
kind, merciful [ra’oof,
raheem] 7:128 - the kindness and mercy of the creation is not like that of Allaah
proud, arrogant [mutakabbir,
jabbaar] 40:35 - so the pride and arrogance of the creation is not like that of
and there are many others…so
the point here is that: "resemblance in name, does not mean resemblance in
reality and modality".