Mozaik Islam

Puasa Ramadhan, Fiqih Shalat, Rahasia Sunnah, Zakat Fitrah, Haji dan Umrah

Attributes of God (Allah)

To Allah belong the most beautiful names. The Holy Qur’an says: {{” Say (O Muhammad): “Invoke Allâh or invoke the Most Beneficent (Allâh), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. And offer your Salât (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.}} (Holy Qur’an 17:110)

Sources of Islam give no less than ninety-nine different attributes to Allah Almighty. The Holy Qur’an refers to Allah as Ar-Rahman (Most Gracious), Ar-Raheem (Most Merciful) and Hakeem (All Wise) among many other names.

God does not take human form: Many religions at some point believe, directly or indirectly, in the philosophy of anthropomorphism i.e. God is palatable to become a human. Their contention is that God Almighty is so pure and holy to the extent that He is unaware (It is true that Allah is not like us, but this does not mean that He is unaware of our situations!!!?- I would rather say: is far away) of the hardships, shortcomings and feelings of human beings. In order to set the rules for human beings, He came down to earth as a human. Let us now analyze this argument and see if it stands to reason.

Suppose I manufacture a videocassette recorder (VCR). Do I have to become a VCR to know what is good or what is bad for the VCR? What do I do? I write a manual instruction. “In order to watch a video cassette, you should insert the cassette and press on the play button. In order to stop, press on the stop button. If you want to fast forward, press on the FF button. Do not drop it from a height or it will get damaged. Do not immerse it in water or it will get ruined”. These manual instructions list the various do’s and don’ts for the machine. Similarly, our Lord and Creator, Allah does not need to take the human form so as to know what is good or bad for the human being. He chooses to reveal the manual instructions. The last and final manual instruction that is sent down to the human beings is the Glorious Qur’an whose ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ are mentioned to the human beings through the Holy Verses.

If you allow me to compare human beings with machines, I would say humans are more complicated than the most complex machines in the world. Even the most advanced computers, which are extremely complex, are pale in comparison to the physical, psychological, genetic, and social factors that affect individuals and collective human life. The more advanced the machine is, the greater the need for its manual instruction is. By the use of the same criteria, don’t the human beings require a manual instruction by which it is easy to govern their own lives?

Therefore, Allah does not come down personally to give the manual instruction. He chooses a man amongst men to deliver the message and communicates with him at a higher level through the medium of revelations. Such chosen men are called messengers and prophets of God.

God does not perform ungodly acts: The attributes of Almighty God preclude any evil since God is the source of justice, mercy and truth. God can never be thought of as doing an ungodly act. Hence, we cannot imagine God telling a lie, being unjust, making a mistake, forgetting things, or having any such human failings. Similarly, God can do injustice if He chooses to, but He will never do it because being unjust is an ungodly act. The Holy Qur’an says: {{Surely! Allâh wrongs not even of the weight of an atom (or a small ant), but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward..}}. (Holy Qur’an 4:40)

God can be unjust if He chooses to be so, but the moment God does injustice, He ceases to be God.

God does not make mistake: God can make mistakes if He wants to, but He does not make mistakes, because making a mistake is ungodly act. The Holy Qur’an says:

{{… My Lord is neither unaware nor He forgets,}}) Holy Qur’an 20:52)

The moment God makes a mistake, he ceases to be God.

God does not forget: God can forget if He wants to. But God does not forget anything because forgetting is an ungodly act, which reeks of human limitations and failings. The Holy Qur’an says:

{{… My Lord is neither unaware nor He forgets,}} ) Holy Qur’an 20:52)

Yasser Gabr & Houda Karkour, Islamic Propagation Office in Rabwah, Riyadh