26 Dhul-Qa'dah 1438

Kitab at-Tawheed – Tawheed al-Asmaa wa as-Sifaat: Introduction to Tawheed of the Names and Attributes [Ep. 4]

By uzma
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May 17th, 2016
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The third type of Tawheed is known as Tawheed al-Asmaa wa as-Sifaat – the Tawheed of Allah’s Beautiful Names and Attributes. This is a great type of Tawheed. The Qur’an and the Sunnah are filled with verses and Ahadeeth confirming this. It is to worship Allah ‘azza wa jal Alone with His Beautiful Names and Attributes, to think that there is no equivalent to Him, that there is nothing similar to Him, neither in His Names nor in His Attributes, subhaanahu wa ta’aala. However, some of the people have gone astray in this form of Tawheed. This has happened mainly because they are negligent about the Qur’an and the Sunnah and because they sometimes use their logic over what they are supposed to embrace and submit to without thinking.

This form of Tawheed is based on 2 pillars. The first pillar is to confirm and affirm to Allah ‘azza wa jal what He has described Himself with and what the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam has described his Lord with. So, such Beautiful Names and Attributes cannot be manipulated. You have to believe in them as they are.  When Allah says that He is As-Samee’, The All-Hearing, do we know or understand how this can be? No! Because Allah ‘azza wa jal has nothing similar or comparable to Him! But we know what hearing is and we know that Allah ‘azza wa jal has the highest level of that. So we do not go into details, rather we take it as it is, without twisting its meaning or trying to find similar things to it. We affirm it as Allah ‘azza wa jal has described it or as the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam has described it for Allah.

The second pillar is the negation or ‘at-Tanzeeh’.  This is when we exalt Allah the Almighty from attributes that do not befit Him. So in this pillar, I am not describing Allah ‘azza wa jal with affirmative descriptions or attributes, rather I am denying Allah ‘azza wa jal of having any negative attributes. So, anything that is not befitting Allah ‘azza wa jal, we would say that Allah does not have it. For example, when someone says, “Allah does not sleep”, that is, he is stating a negation. This is okay as sleeping does not befit Allah ‘azza wa jal. We also have to remember that when we use this to describe a human being, it is a defect! When we say that an individual doesn’t sleep at all at night, it means he has insomnia. It is an illness! However, when we say that Allah ‘azza wa jal doesn’t sleep, it is not a defect, rather it is a sign and characteristic of perfection! Because if Allah ‘azza wa jal were to sleep for even a fraction of a second, the whole world would collapse! Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala does not sleep. So, anything that doesn’t befit Allah ‘azza wa jal, we have to negate it, we have to say that this does not happen to Allah the Almighty. Another example is when someone says that Allah ‘azza wa jal is everywhere. We ask him what he means by this. He says, “Allah is with us…Allah is in my heart…Allah is in this room…He is with me where I go and where I come…!” This is not befitting of Allah ‘azza wa jal! Because Allah described in the Qur’an, and the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam described in the Hadeeth that Allah ‘azza wa jal is on His Throne and that Allah is above the seventh heaven. So, Allah is not with us as people think, rather He is with us with His Power and His Sight and His Hearing and His Control. Allah ‘azza wa jal is Exalted and above His Throne, subhaanahu wa ta’aala.

So, in short, it is to believe in Allah ‘azza wa jal, in His Beautiful Names and Attributes:

  • Ø As He described Himself, and as the Prophet salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam described Him.
  • Ø Without any ‘Tahreef’ or distortion. You do not come and say, “This attribute sounds like this but this is not what it really means. The real meaning is such-and-such.” This is distortion.
  • Ø Without ‘Takweel’ or twisting the meaning. Like when they say for:

 

‘Ar-Rahmanu ‘alaa al-‘arsh istawa’

{The Most Gracious (Allah) rose over (Istawa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty)}

 

that this does NOT mean ‘Istawa’ (rising over). Saying this is a kind of distortion! They say that Allah is not above His Throne, but rather it means that He has control over His throne, or that this is His dominion {as some of them explain the throne as Mulk-Allah (The Kingdom of Allah)}. This is rubbish! This is not according to Ahlu as-Sunnah wa al-Jamaa’. Another example of twisting is when someone says for ‘Allah’s Hand is over their hands’ that Allah does not have a Hand and what it means is that Allah the Almighty’s Power is over their hands and powers. Again, this is twisting.

  • Ø Without ‘Ta’teel’ or denying the reality. Like the Jahmiya say that Allah is All-Hearing but He does not hear. Subhaan Allah! Are you playing with Allah ‘azza wa jal? This is Kufr! These things are so important and essential for a Muslim to know. But even though the vast majority of Muslims know these things by their heart and by their nature, however, the philosophies that came to us from the Greeks and Romans corrupted the religion centuries ago.
  • Ø And without ‘Takyeef’ which means without asking ‘how’ they are. So Allah ‘azza wa jal has Eyes and has Hands. But can we ask how they are and how they look like? Can we say anything regarding this? No.

 

And Allah ‘azza wa jal knows best.

 

The quotations from the Qur’an in this article are a rough translation of the meanings of the original text!

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