Importance of studying the names of Allah and His attributes (Part 3) Oct 14th 2012
Posted by Enlightenment into Islam Center
We hope that when we gather and study the Attributes of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) we are fulfilling the purpose behind our creation: To know about Allah and accordingly worship Him.
Knowing about Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will correct our religion. Last week, we mentioned that one of the virtues of studying the Names and Attributes of Allah is that it beautifies the decrees of Allah for us making us think good of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) and making it easy for us to act upon the Islamic laws.
Yusuf (‘Alayhis-salaam) explained his thirty years of suffering by saying that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) had been good to him. He was thrown in a well and put into prison, yet he concluded that Allah had been kind to him.
Who thinks this way?
Only the one who knows who Allah is. He is the one who will receive all the distresses with good thoughts. If he suffers from poverty, he thinks well of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) and says that Allah will make him rich one day. If he is sick he says Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will cure me. He knows that the end of every matter is better than its beginning. The believer is able to explain every decree of Allah.
For example, You might attend a lecture the first time. You will be going through a lot of difficulty because Shaytaan will whisper and make you overwhelmed; trying to distract you and make you dislike it. If you stay firm, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will make the end good because Allah has promised the end of every matter will be better.
1. Another virtue of knowing Allah by His Names and Attributes is that it makes it easy for the person to do acts of worship.
One of the most beloved actions to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is Tawbah. The person who knows Allah very well will always be repenting and renewing his repentance. A person may fall into pride or self conceit if he does a lot of good deeds. However, the believer who knows Allah, knows that one of His names is Al Halim (the Ever-Forbearing). He knows that the meaning and impact of this name is that if a person commits a sin Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will not:
- Hasten the punishment for him
- Then Allah will conceal it for him
- And Allah will open the gates of goodness for him in order to perform good deeds, increase in faith such that he will repent to Allah.
Therefore, don’t be deceived if you see someone busy doing a lot of good deeds. You don’t know that Allah may be dealing with him/her with His Hilm. Therefore the believer who knows Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) by this name will continuously repent to Allah because he knows that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) may have opened the gates of goodness because he sinned.
The believer, who knows that one of Allah’s names is As-Salaam (the One Free from all defects) will be able to receive the disliked decrees of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) with a good heart. You may have a request and will invoke Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) day and night for a long time, but your request may not be granted. If you believe in this name you will remember that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is free from imperfection and His decrees are free from play, oppression and injustice. You know that Allah is Salaam in all His attributes!
But then why are you not getting your request?
Every time Allah detains, deprives or withholds a blessing from you for some time it is to perfect you. Not to oppress you or make you suffer, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) wants to show you that if you show patience He will show you His graciousness.
Example: Haven’t you gone through a situation where one day you look for something but can’t find it then suddenly a few days later you get so much of that thing you were looking for? Like if you had no food in your house one day, the next day you had abundance of food from different sources.
How do we explain this?
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is giving us a lesson. Whenever he withholds any blessing from us it is to test us and perfect us. If you show patience, He will elevate you and show you his Ihsan in an amazing way, and show you his ability from places you cannot imagine. This is the Sunnah of Allah!
In Surah Ahzab Verse 22:
وَلَمَّا رَأَى الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْأَحْزَابَ قَالُوا هَٰذَا مَا وَعَدَنَا اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَصَدَقَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ وَمَا زَادَهُمْ إِلَّا إِيمَانًا وَتَسْلِيمًا
And when the believers saw AlAhzab (the Confederates), they said: “This is what Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam ) had spoken the truth, and it only added to their faith and to their submissiveness (to Allah).
During the battle of Ahzab the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) and his companions were surrounded by the disbelievers for more than a month. The companions (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhum) were happy and said, “This is what Allah has promised us!” They knew that when Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) puts forward a hardship that there is relief. They knew that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) would open the Dunya up for them and that’s exactly what happened. Whenever the Sahabah went through any distress they became happy, because they knew that the Sunnah of Allah is that after every difficulty there is relief, abundant relief. This is how Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) deals with those who think good of Him.
2. Another benefit of studying the names and attributes of Allah is that Allah created the humans and placed in them secrets. You will not be able to know the secrets of yourself unless you know Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) by his Names and Attributes.
What does this mean?
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala)created us weak, incapable, in need. These deficient states are considered blessings from Allah. But who sees them as blessings? Only those who know Allah by His Names and Attributes. Because if you know your weakness, then Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) tells you He is All-Strong. Your need is there to resort to the one who is Rich. Allah made you incapable of disposing your affairs and He is all able. In return of every deficient character there is a perfect attribute in Allah. These attributes are the secrets which will help you be a slave to Allah. To reach this state of servitude which is an honour for humans!
Many people hate the word ‘slave of Allah’. These people are ignorant for they are comparing the servitude of Allah with the servitude to humans. A human king oppresses and can be unjust towards his slave. But Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala), the true King, deals with his slaves with justice. He only asks you to rely on Him and He will take care of you, enrich you, dispose of your affairs, protect you and give you what you want. Nothing is impossible with Allah! When you show your humility and need to Allah, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will support you and give you strength. There is a huge difference between servitude to humans, and servitude to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). Servitude to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is an honoured state. A slave to Allah is a person who admits his weakness, incapacity and need for Allah. If he feels weak he resorts to Allah, if he needs something he asks Allah to fulfil it for Him. Whoever opposes this nature of weakness and feels self sufficient, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will leave that person to manage their lives and they will fail. By nature we love to be loved. And Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said I am Al-Wadud (the Most Loving) who loves His servants. He has been Al-Muhsin (the Benefactor) to you your whole life since you were a fetus in the womb of your mother. Thus your heart should be attached to Him and not the creation. By nature we love to be forgiven, and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) says He is Ghafoor ur Raheem (Oft-Forgiving,the Most Merciful) so that we may attach our hearts to! If someone offended us we need someone to comfort our heart Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) says He is Jabbaar,the One Who reforms and repairs (mends) the matters , resort to Him and He will mend your heart!
Advice: Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) created us with deficiencies. But He concealed our deficiencies because he is As-Sittir (the Concealer,the Coverer). Whenever you attach your heart to any human being bear in mind that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will show you some of their defects in order that you will not like him. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) concealed the people, so don’t be the person that is the means of disclosing the defects of people. Be a blessed person. Don’t let your heart be attached to anyone but Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) , He is the perfect one and no one else. How many have people loved each other excessively, and Allah showed them each other’s defects in order that your heart may not be attached to someone deficient. If by nature you are a person who is afraid and you get scared easily you are told to put your trust in Allah, Al Mu’min (the Giver of Security), and He will put peace in your heart. When Musa (‘Alayhis-salaam), in Surah Qasas verse 24, said:
رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ
“My Lord! Truly,I am in need of whatever good that you bestow on me!”
When he admitted his need and poverty, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) immediately enriched him giving him family, children, etc. And in Surah Ghafir when Firaun wanted to kill Musa (‘Alayhis-salaam) , Musa (‘Alayhis-salaam) immediately sought refuge in Allah. We learn from this that whenever you fear something you should immediately seek refuge with Allah. For example, as soon as your child leaves the house Shaytaan may whisper and say, “Maybe you will not see your children again.” You need to seek refuge in Allah. Only the person who knows Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) by His Names and Attributes will resort to Allah. There are many people who are disturbed and have no confidence in themselves. Psychologists advise them to change their environment and go for a holiday but after all that they end up committing suicide. Because the only remedy is knowing Allah by His Names and Attributes. It is the solution for every sickness in life whether it be psychological, a sickness in your heart, or body.
3. Another benefit of studying the names of Allah is that knowledge about Allah will increase your faith and your belief in the articles of faith.
Example: The Judgement Day. Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu’ alaihi wa sallam) said in a Hadith “Allah will gather all the people on the Judgement day and He will call them with a voice which can be heard by those who are far and those who are near. And He will say ‘I am the King, I am the Dayyan, whoever among the people of the Hell has a right due for him from a person of paradise I will judge for him, and whoever among the people of paradise has a right due for him from one of the people of hell I will judge for him” The companions said, “O messenger of Allah, how since we are coming naked, barefooted and having nothing with us?” The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said “ with good deeds and evil deeds”
You hear that Allah is Ad-Dayyan (the One Who Recompenses) and will even give the people of hell their rights. Even if it is a slap, He will take it from your good deeds. See the mothers, who hit their children, they will come on the Day of Judgement taking your good deeds from you! There is no mother and father, son or daughter, on the Day of Judgement everyone will say,” nafsi nafsi.” You may need one single good deed to save you from hellfire! Allah is Ad-Dayyan, if you believe in this name, the impact of believing in it that you will watch your tongue, even backbiting your children. Prophet Muhammed (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), also told us in a hadith, that Allah will speak without any interpreter or translator between us and him. Have you prepared for every answer? If you want to be treated mercifully on the Day of Judgement you have to be merciful in this life. Whoever shows mercy in this life, believing in the name of Allah Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem, hoping Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will deal with his mercy, he will be dealt with mercy on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) advised Ayesha (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anha) to say this Dua on Laylatul Qadr:
“O Allah, you are the One who grants pardon for sins.You love to pardon so pardon me”
Why did the Prophet mention the attribute of Affuw and not any other?
Because it is by Allah’s pardon on the Day of Judgement that the person will be removed away from the Hellfire and will be admitted into paradise. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surah Imran Verse 185:
كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذَائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ۖ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ النَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).
Who will be successful? Only those whom Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will pardon. Whom will Allah pardon? Whoever in this Dunya was merciful and pardoning the people, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will deal with him on the Day of Judgment pardoning him his sins. If you know about Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) and act upon every name in this Dunya, Allah will deal with you accordingly on the Day of Judgement.