Importance of studying the names of Allah and His attributes. Sep 30th 2012
Posted by Enlightenment into Islam Center
Before we discuss the Names and Attributes of Allah we have to talk about the importance of studying the names of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) and His attributes.Why are we studying these?
- If we know who Allah we would worship Him according to His Names and Attributes.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) has mentioned in the Quran:
“It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth, the like of them. [His] command descends among them so you may know that Allah is over all things competent and that Allah has encompassed all things in knowledge.”[Surah Talaq: 12]
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) also informs us that “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Surah Dhariyat: 56]
When you join these two verses together you will come to the conclusion that the verse in Surah Talaq is the means and the verse in Surah Dhariyat is the goal we want to achieve.
- Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) when he created the creation He has sent them messengers and sent down books to guide them.
“We have not sent down to you the Qur’an that you be distressed.” [Surah Taha: 2]
In the verse before this Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) mentions the letters Ta-Ha. These are of the letters which prove the miracle of the Qur’an. No one can produce a Qur’an like this though the Qur’an is made of these letters. You find in every Surah, after these miraculous letters are mentioned, except three, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) immediately talks about the Qur’an
So Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is addressing the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) saying He hasn’t sent down the Qur’an to cause distress and hardship upon him. It is as a reminder for those who fear Allah.
At the end of the Surah Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) says:
“[Allah] said, “Descend from Paradise – all, [your descendants] being enemies to one another. And if there should come to you guidance from Me – then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the Hereafter].”[Surah Taha: 123]
A question arises; what is the relationship between this verse and the verse in the beginning of the Surah? This verse is the answer to the verse in the beginning of the Surah. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) has sent down the Qur’an as a reminder, not to cause distress, and whoever follows it will not be in distress.
When Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) created us He did not leave us without guidance. He sent messengers and books so that we may be guided to reach our destination in the Aakhirah (Paradise).
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” [Surah Taha: 124]
Some interpreters translated “depressed life” as the life in the grave.
Imagine you just arrived in Kuwait and you are told of a lecture in such-and-such place. In order to reach that area you will need guidance of some sort, like a map. If you do not receive this guidance you will not reach this place, or you may reach it after a long journey full of hardship and distress. This is our situation in life. We are heading towards the Aakhirah and we will never be able to reach Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) unless we follow the guidance that was brought by the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam). This guidance is the Qur’an.
What is the relation between what we are discussing now and the names and attributes of Allah?
The Qur’an is the speech and the rope of Allah. It is a rope extending from the heavens to the earth, and whoever holds fast to this rope will never be misguided or distressed. He will always be guided and happy.
In a nutshell: Whoever knows Allah by his names and attributes will never be misguided and distressed.
This is why the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) taught the Sahabah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhum) this dua:
“Oh Allah show me the way and help me and give me the ability to perform the deed in the best manner. Oh Allah help me perform the deed in the correct matter.”
In Surah Ta-Ha the names of Allah Ar-Rahman is mentioned thrice, and whenever a name/word is repeated in one Surah then it should draw your attention that there is something important in that matter.
Verse 2 – Allah negates the distress from everyone who follows the Qur’an:
We have not sent down the Quran unto you (O Muhammad Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) to cause you distress.
Verse 117 – A warning that if you follow Shaytaan you will be distressed:
Then We said: “O Adam! Verily, this is an enemy to you and to your wife. So let him not get you both out of Paradise, so that you be distressed in misery.
Verse 123 – If you follow the Qur’an you will not be distressed:
(Allah) said:”Get you down (from the Paradise to the earth), both of you, together, some of you are an enemy to some others. Then if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My Guidance shall neither go astray, nor fall into distress and misery.
Surah Ta-Ha is also called Surah Hidayah (Guidance). Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is telling us that if you hold fast to the Qur’an and know Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) by His names and attributes you will never be distressed. It is the person that turns away from the Qur’an and follows Shaytaan who will be distressed.
In the Qur’an there are many stories and information about Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) and how he deals with his slaves.
An example in Surah Nun Chapter 68 – Verses 17 – 32 (The story of the people of the Garden.)
Some say it is a parable other say it is a true story.
(The story: Two brothers inherited a garden from their father. It was the time of harvest and at night they gathered and resolved to pluck the fruits in the morning without saying Insha’Allah, thinking that they had complete control over the matter. They also decided not to give the due rights of Allah to the poor. So they plotted and went to sleep. At night a fire from Allah struck the garden and burnt it totally, making it become like a dark night (according to Ibn Abbas Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) and barren. When they reached their garden they were so astonished at its state that they thought they had gone the wrong way.)
What do we learn from this part of the story? Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is teaching us his actions. Allah dealt with them in this way because they relied on themselves and felt secure from the plot of Allah. They committed many sins such as preventing charity, feeling they had power independently from Allah, feeling secure from the plot of Allah, greediness, etc.
The most important lesson from this story is: Whoever intends to commit a sin (even if he hasn’t done it yet), Allah will punish him for it. Allah’s punishment will reach him even before he can carry out the sin.
How do we know how Allah deals with us? Through the Qur’an.
The Qur’an also teaches us that our relationships with righteous people will not benefit you in the hereafter. Don’t think that just because your husband is righteous you will enter paradise. Your relationship will not benefit you with Allah. The evidence for this is:
Allah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Nuh (Noah) and the wife of Lout (Lot). They were under two of our righteous slaves, but they both betrayed their (husbands by rejecting their doctrine) so they [Nuh (Noah) and Lout (Lot) ] benefited them (their respective wives) not, against Allah, and it was said: “Enter the Fire along with those who enter!”
Allah sets forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Nuh (Noah) and the wife of Lout (Lot). They were under two of our righteous slaves, but they both betrayed their (husbands by rejecting their doctrine) so they [Nuh (Noah) and Lout (Lot) ] benefited them (their respective wives) not, against Allah, and it was said: “Enter the Fire along with those who enter!” [Surah Tahrim: 10 – 11]
What are the evidences that the greatest matter in the Qur’an is the names and attributes of Allah?
- Ayat ul Kursi – This is the greatest verse in the Qur’an and it talks all about Allah’s names and attributes.
- Surah Ikhlas – This Surah is equal to one-third of the Qur’an and is about Allah alone.
- Surah Al-Fatihah – This Surah mentions great names of Allah and it is the mother of the Qur’an.
- Surah Al Hashr Verses 21 – 24 – Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) sets forth a parable in verse. If he sent the Qur’an upon a mountain it would humble itself out of fear of Allah. The mountain cautious of Allah’s punishment, fearing that if they did not give the speech of Allah its due right they would be punished. In the next three verses, Allah immediately talks about himself.
What is the relation between verse 21 and these 3 verses?
It is because the Qur’an comprises of the great names of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) that it makes the mountains which are huge and rigid to humble itself to Allah. This is the effect of the Qur’an on mountains! What about us? We are made of flesh, yet the Qur’an has no effect on our hearts due to our lack of understanding it.
- In more than thirty verses in the Qur’an Allah commands us to know about him:
For example: Surah Al Maaidhah:
Know that Allah is Severe in punishment and that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.[Surah Al-Ma’idah:98]
If you compare the verse that command us with offering prayer to the number of verses commanding us to know Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) you will find that the latter exceeds the former. This indicates it is a must to know Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). One of the reasons our prayer is lifeless is because we pray without knowing who we are praying to. If we really knew Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) we would pray with submissiveness.
We will continue mentioning the evidences next week insha’Allah….