Importance of Studying the Names of Allah and His Attributes – Sunday 15th Dhul-Hijjah,1434 ( 20th October, 2013)
Posted by Enlightenment into Islam Center
One of the most important means of keeping firm is knowledge about Allah.
What has Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) promised those who believe in the name Ar-Rabb?
In Surah Fussilat Verses 30-32,
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ
“Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah (Alone),” and then they Istaqamu, on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!”
نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ
“We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your inner-selves desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask for.”
نُزُلًا مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ
“An entertainment from (Allah), the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
they say their Rabb is Allah and acted upon his command. They submitted themselves to Allah.
The angels will descend upon them telling them not to grieve or be afraid, and to receive the glad tidings of Jannah. They were their friends in the Dunya and the Aakhirah and they will have everything you desire, and everything they ask for.
This reward is prepared for those who have these descriptions:
1) They said رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ (Our Lord is Allah), they didn’t just say this with their tongue, they said it with their heart. They confessed with Tawheed, that no one is their Rabb except Allah.
2) After they confessed that their Lord is Allah, they are pleased with Him and with His actions.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is turning them from one state to another state. This is out of the nurturing of Allah. This is an action of Allah. They are pleased with whatever Allah does to them.
3) Then they submitted themselves to Allah.
How did they reach this state? Whatever Allah does to them, they check their heart. When Allah elevates them, they are pleased with Him, when He brings them down they are pleased, when He deprived them they are pleased, when they are sick they are pleased etc. This is the person who says my Lord is Allah.
Are we only happy with Allah when He gives us and when He doesn’t, we murmur and are grumpy?
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) nurtures them continuously with His actions and they are always pleased with Allah. They are the truthful slaves, therefore they are pleased with His actions and Ruboobiyah (Lordship). Allah nurtures them with His attributes and they are pleased with Him.
Every time Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) nurtures us, He tests our contentment with Him to see if we are pleased with Him or not.
Especially at times when we are deprived of something we like, we need to check our contentment with Allah.
If you are pleased with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) you will say, my Lord is Allah. He gives and takes; the Dominion is in His hand and He is disposing our affairs in the best way. He is Merciful and Gracious and what He decrees for us is the best.
We need to check ourselves. Are we submitting ourselves to Allah, acting upon His commands and staying away from his prohibitions.
Keeping firm on the straight path requires ﻋﻠﻢ ﻭ ﻋﻤﻞ ,Knowledge and Action. It is like a person sought knowledge, he learned a lot but is not satisfied with what he knows. He acts upon what he learned because he is afraid of knowing and not acting. This is how to stay straight on the right path.
If there is something you don’t like but Allah likes it, you do it. Fulfilling these two conditions result in the following reward.
1) The angels will descend upon such a person at the time of death. During this time the Shaytan will be present because he doesn’t want to waste this last chance to misguide the person. The person who lived in this life knowing Allah, the angels will protect him from the misguidance of the Shaytan.
The person who is dying is afraid of the future, he doesn’t know what is going to happen to him. The angels will inform him not to be afraid. The soul will come out of his body smoothly, and they will say come out to meet a Lord who is not angry with you. This is a critical time.
They will tell him not to be sad about those he is leaving behind and that Allah will take care of them.
They will tell this soul to receive the glad tidings of paradise.
They will say, “we have been your friends in the Dunya”.
How will the angels be friends with us in the Dunya?
According to Shaykh as-Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) in Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan:
1) The angels will encourage a person to do good and endear the good deed to his heart. The angels will make him love good deeds, love learning, love to attend lectures to learn about Allah.
2) The angels will make the evil ugly. When you are confused about a matter the angels will inspire you to do it if it’s good or avoid it if it’s evil.
3) They pray for the person.
Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Purify these bodies and Allaah will purify you, for there is no slave who goes to sleep in a state of purity but an angel spends the night with him, and every time he turns over, [the angel] says, ‘O Allaah, forgive Your slave, for he went to bed in a state of purity.’” [Reported by at-Tabaranee. See Saheeh al-Jaami’ #3831]
He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) also said, “As long as any-one of you is waiting for the prayer, he is considered to be praying actually, and the angels say, ‘O Allah! Be merciful to him and forgive him’, (and go on saying so) unless he leaves his place of praying or passes wind (i.e. breaks his ablution).” [ Sahih al-Bukhaari 3229]
4) As soon as the person confronts any calamity the angels will come and keep his heart firm.
At time of hearing about death some people are calm and don’t panic, it is Allah who keeps them firm by sending the angels to them to keep their hearts firm at that time.
In the Aakhirah, the angels will keep them firm when answering the questions in the grave. When the people arise from their graves on the Day of Judgment and the people are afraid of the horrors around them, the angels will come and tell them not to be afraid. They will give them the glad tidings of paradise and even after entering paradise the angels will congratulate them. They will send Salaam upon them.
All these rewards are for the person who lived in this Dunya knowing Allah his Lord. If we are pleased with what Allah had decreed for us we will receive this reward. It is something great for the angels to be with us until the end.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) created us to know Him. Knowing Allah will help us attain success in this life and next, it will help us explain the things that happen to us.
Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah), said: “In this Dunya [worldly life] there is a paradise; whoever does not enter it, will not enter the Paradise in the Hereafter.” They said: “And what is that paradise O Imam?” He said: “The love of God and His remembrance.” [Mentioned by Ibn Qayyim in Madaarij as-Saalikeen]
Another importance of learning about Allah’s names and attributes is that it will strengthen your Tawakkul (reliance) on Allah.
Three things strengthen one’s reliance on Allah:
1) Your feeling of total need of Allah:
Allah created us weak, incapable, poor. This is something natural in human beings. He created us like this in order to resort to the One who is strong, rich, able to manage our lives.
The believer who knows Allah’s names and attributes is the person who resorts to Allah in every situation, admitting his incapacity.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in a Hadith Qudsi, ” O My servants, all of you are hungry (needy) except for those whom I feed, therefore seek food from Me so that I may feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked (need clothes) except for those whom I provide garments, therefore seek clothing from Me so that I should clothe you.” [Muslim]
We need to ask Allah even if it is something little, don’t feel shy. So know your weakness and know Allah by His perfect attributes. When you are confused, immediately do Istikhaarah and make du’aa. Everything you confront in your life, consult Allah. This is the attitude of a person who knows Allah.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) created us defective in order to worship Him with His perfect attributes and actions.
All people are poor even if they are wealthy. They are still in need of their shoes to walk with, they are in need of food to remain alive, they are in need of their bed to sleep, they do not own anything not even the thin skin over the date stone. How can our heart be attached to the people then.
In Surah Fatir Verses 13 – 14:
يُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّهُ رَبُّكُمْ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ مَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِن قِطْمِيرٍ
”He merges the night into the day (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the night are added to the hours of the day), and He merges the day into the night (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the day are added to the hours of the night). And He has subjected the sun and the moon, each runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmir (the thin membrane over the datestone).”
إِن تَدْعُوهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُوا دُعَاءَكُمْ وَلَوْ سَمِعُوا مَا اسْتَجَابُوا لَكُمْ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكْفُرُونَ بِشِرْكِكُمْ ۚ وَلَا يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثْلُ خَبِيرٍ
”If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call, and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad, Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything).”
This verse should be enough for those who call upon the dead to make their hearts attached to Allah and no one else. The people are a test; turn your heart to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala).
2) Knowing the impact of the name of Allah before doing anything:
When you say ﺑﺴﻢ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ you are seeking the help of Allah, when you say it before you eat you are asking Allah to help you eat, digest, etc. we can’t do anything without Allah’s help. Before we hold the pen, before we write, we seek Allah’s help. Before we do anything we ask Allah for help. Saying Bismillah indicates that you are relying on Allah in whatever you do.
Whenever you mention the name of Allah, the Barakah of the name will be bestowed upon you. You are not asking Allah for help alone but for the Barakah in the action you are doing. Barakah is abundant, continuous good.
We say Bismillah many times but we don’t say it with belief. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surah Mulk Verse 1:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
”Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion, and He is Able to do all things.”
You may buy a dress for a child and when the child grows up, his younger siblings may use the same clothes. Many people say it is because of the brand or because it is very expensive. They don’t say it is because the Barakah is in Allah’s hand.
Ibn Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) said: ”If you mention the name of Allah on something scarce, Allah will make it abundant; if you mention it on sickness, Allah will cure it; if you mention it on something you are afraid of, the fear will go; if you mention it when the Shaytaan attacks you, he will be driven away” – [In the book Tayseer ul-’Azeez ul-Hameed, Dr Abdur-Razzaq al-Badr mentioned this as a reference]
We don’t see the Barakah in our lives because we don’t say Bismillaah with belief.
Abu Hurairah (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) reported: By Allah other than Whom there is none worthy of worship, I used to press my stomach against the earth owing to my hunger; I would tie a stone over it. One day, I was sitting on the way they usually take when the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) passed by me. When he saw me he smiled at me and knew my condition and my feelings. He called me and I replied, “At your service, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “Follow me.” So I followed him. Having arrived at home, he sought permission and entered. He allowed me in and I, too, entered. He found milk in a bowl and asked, “Where is this from?” He was told that it was a gift for him from so- and-so. He called me and I responded: “At your service, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “Go to the people of As-Suffah and usher them in.” He Abu Hurairah (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) explained: The people of As-Suffah were guests of Islam; they had no family, no property and no relations. When Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) used to receive something in charity, he would send it to them without taking anything from it. When he received a present, he would send for them and share it with them. On this occasion, I disliked to give them anything. I said to myself: “This meager quantity of milk will not be enough for all the people of As-Suffah! I am more deserving of it than anyone else. By drinking it I may attain some strength. When they come, he will order me to give it to them. I do not expect that anything will be left for me from this milk.” As there was no alternative but to obey Allah and His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). I went and called them. They came and sought permission which was granted. They took their seats. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) called me and I responded, “At your service, O Messenger of Allah.” He then said, “Take the milk and give it to them.” I took the bowl and gave it to one man who drank his fill and returned it to me, and I gave it to the next and he did the same. I went on doing this till the bowl reached Messenger of Allah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) . By that time all had taken their fill. He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) took the bowl, put it on his hand, looked at me, smiled and said, “Abu Hirr.” I said, “At your service, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “Now you and I are left.” I said, “That is true, O Messenger of Allah.” He said, “Sit down and drink.” I drank, but he went on saying, “Drink some more.” I said, “By Him Who has sent you with the Truth, I have no room for it.” He said, “Then give it to me.” So I gave him the bowl. He praised Allah, uttered the Name of Allah and drank the remainder. [Al- Bukhaari].
This requires certainty. We see food and say it’s not enough. We always want more. The Barakah is from Allah. Say Bismillaah and Allah will bless it.