Importance of Studying Allah’s Names and Attributes: Sunday 30th Muharram 1436 (23rd November 2014)
Posted by Enlightenment into Islam Center
Acquiring knowledge is one of the greatest deeds with which one can come closer to Allah,it is also the easiest way to Paradise.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.”
Renew your intention. Come out of your house hoping Allah will make the path to Paradise easy for you.
The person who truly believes that the meeting with Allah is inevitable will prepare for it.
Don’t exhaust your time and health on worldly things. These are blessings which Allah conferred upon you, so use it for the next life. Don’t distract yourself with worldly affairs. On the Day of Judgement the person will fall into a feeling of regret because he had the chance to come close to Allah in this life but he wasted it.
Allah gave the disbelievers the chance to believe but they didn’t take that chance. Even some believers will regret when they see other believers that surpassed them and occupied high lofty homes with Allah. They had the same chance but they didn’t take it.
One may know this fact and work hard for it while the other is distracted with worldly affairs. This difference will be shown on the Day of Judgement.
Surat Al-Waqi’ah Verse 3
It will bring down [some] and raise up [others].
If you really know that the life of the hereafter is the real life and that there is no good except the good of the hereafter then you should prepare for that day. Allah opened the gate of knowledge for you, so take advantage of that.
The most important knowledge we should seek is that of Allah’s names and attributes:
1) Weak acts of worship are due to weak belief which is due to weak knowledge.
2) As your faith increases as you will be able to fight the whispers of the Shaytan. Most people suffer from وسواس and this spoils acts of worship.
The Shaytan has steps. The first step of the Shaytan is casting the evil whisper to test you. The ignorant person, who doesn’t detect that this whisper is from the Shaytan, responds to him. This is why the Shaytan has no power over the knowledgeable people, because they are heedful that this is from the Shaytan. They immediately repel it and say أعوذ بالله.
The ignorant person will listen to these whispers and the Shaytan will plan for him until he spoils his acts of worship.
Another serious step of the Shaytan is that he makes acts of worship heavy on the heart. When a person is performing a good deed he will make it heavy. But when it is completed, the person becomes energetic. This is because he was overpowered by the Shaytan during the entire act of worship.
There are so many good deeds you want to do but he puts obstacles in front of you in order to prevent you. The knowledgeable person knows this and will immediately seek refuge with Allah from this because being prevented from a good deed is something serious.
Another step is that he whispers evil thoughts about Allah. That Allah is forsaking you, not responding to your prayer, wants to make your life difficult, etc. Thinking bad about Allah, despairing of Allah’s mercy is a serious matter. People fall into depression to an extent that they leave the religion.
The Shaytan makes the person not accept the Qadr of Allah and be discontented with it.
Therefore we need knowledge, especially the knowledge about Allah.
There is a difference between the whisper of the self and the whisper of the Shaytan. The self is always inciting you to do one specific thing all the time. A matter that your self desires and likes. This will come again and again. Whereas the Shaytan distracts you with many different matters.
You have to strive hard against your evil self and the Shaytan.
Every morning and evening we seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves. Keep praying until Allah gives you a tranquil soul. A soul that knows who Allah is, the reality of herself, this life, the hereafter and the Shaytan.
The Shaytan likes to make the believer sad and upset.
When you know Allah is your Wakeel, Al Rahman, Al Raheem, Al Wadood, Al Ra’oof you will expect good from Allah, nothing will distract you, you will explain situations in life correctly.
3) There is lack of morality nowadays. The believer is the one who practices high morals. When you see immorality then know that behind it is weak faith.
In 98 verses in the Qur’an Allah calls the believers. After every call is a warning or a command where Allah is either calling us to practice a certain behaviour or warning us against something evil.
Surat Al-Hujurat Verse 11
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا يَسْخَرْ قَوْمٌ مِّن قَوْمٍ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ وَلَا نِسَاءٌ مِّن نِّسَاءٍ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهُنَّ ۖ وَلَا تَلْمِزُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَلَا تَنَابَزُوا بِالْأَلْقَابِ ۖ بِئْسَ الِاسْمُ الْفُسُوقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيمَانِ ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُونَ
“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”
Your faith should prevent you from all these bad behaviours. There is a relation between Eeman and morals. Committing these sins indicates weakness of faith.
“Haya’ (modesty) and Iman (faith) are two that go together. If one is lifted, the other is also lifted.” [Recorded by al-Hakim]
Immodesty indicates weakness of faith. الحياء is a part of Eeman. Yet nowadays nudity is widespread, even amongst those who have knowledge. This is due to weak belief in Allah.
If they knew Allah is الحييّ and loves modesty then they would be modest. If Allah loves me then my life would be a reformed, good life.
Once a Bedouin transgressed against ‘Umar. ‘Umar became angry. He was reminded with one verse from the Qur’an: خذ العفوا. He immediately desisted.
His knowledge and belief made him immediately stop. Nowadays, people argue when you remind them, yet the early generations would be afraid. The difference between them and us is their faith.
When you practice morals, do so hoping the reward from Allah, wanting Allah to praise you, not the people. Remind yourself of this.
The problem is, even those around us don’t remind us. They see us committing wrong but no one reminds us. The believer practices morals hoping to have a high status with Allah.
Another moral which people hardly practice nowadays is patience.
Allah joined patience with Eeman in the Qur’an.
Surat Al-Baqarah Verse 153
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.”
Allah is commanding the believers to seek help in Patience and Prayer.
What does it mean when Allah says He is with those who are patient? This is the companionship of Allah. He is with the person by His knowledge, with His seeing, hearing. He will support the person, defend him, keep him firm.
الصبر is preventing oneself from responding to any thought that contradicts the Shari’ah.
Every action is preceded with a thought. Whenever a thought comes, you have to be patient and not act upon that thought.
Whoever tastes the companionship of Allah will not lose his temper or act foolishly and will control his tongue.
Surat Az-Zumar Verse 10
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ ۗ وَأَرْضُ اللَّهِ وَاسِعَةٌ ۗ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
Say, “O My servants who have believed, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this world is good, and the earth of Allah is spacious. Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.”
We need to practice patience, especially in difficult situations. This is the test. Remind yourself of the rewards and you will receive them.
You need to show patience the moment the problem hits and not after you are done complaining to the whole world.
If your husband oppresses you once and you publicise all his secrets and faults you become the oppressor.
Hold your tongue, don’t react. Don’t respond to the whispers of the Shaytan if you really want the reward.
Patience is required in three situations:
1) When we perform acts of worship
As soon as you intend to do any good deed,the Shaytan will try to stop you from doing it. Here you need patience to repel the whispers of the Shaytan.
While performing the good deed you need patience to continue and collect your heart when the Shaytan comes and whispers trying to make you finish faster and distracting you.
If you find yourself praying and your heart is elsewhere then you are not being patient.
You need patience after finishing the act of worship when asking Allah to accept it. Ask Allah to accept every little thing you do.
The Shaytan has no power over us except in one thing:
Surat ‘Ibrahim Verse 22
وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَانُ لَمَّا قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِيَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن سُلْطَانٍ إِلَّا أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِي ۖ فَلَا تَلُومُونِي وَلُومُوا أَنفُسَكُم ۖ مَّا أَنَا بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَا أَنتُم بِمُصْرِخِيَّ ۖ إِنِّي كَفَرْتُ بِمَا أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ إِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, “Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid, nor can you be called to my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me [with Allah ] before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.”
On the Day of Judgement, after the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the people of Hell enter Hell, the Shaytan will come and address the People of Hell.
Allah, out of His mercy, is telling us what’s going to happen on the Day of Judgement. The Shaytan has no power over us, except that he calls us. Regret will not benefit the person on that Day.
2) When we prevent ourselves from committing sins
The Shaytan and our self is always inciting us to commit sins.
If someone offended you, naturally you will feel bad. You want to forget but the Shaytan will remind you of that same event again and again. He doesn’t want you to forgive nor forget. If the person responds to the whispers and the planning of the Shaytan, as soon as you get the opportunity you will commit the sin.
Whenever the Shaytan reminds you of that person, pray for them as much as you can. You will be humiliating the Shaytan and he will not come to whisper again about that situation.
3) When the decree of Allah befalls us
If it pleases you, thank Allah. If it is an adversity, show patience. As long as you are on the journey to Allah you have to practice patience and gratitude.
Patience is a high moral, if done for the sake of Allah.
Another moral that is barely practiced is forbearance and deliberation
Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri said: “We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and he said: ‘The delegations of ‘Abdul-Qais have come to you,’ and no one had seen anyone. While we were like that, they came and alighted. They came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and Ashajj ‘Ansari was left behind. He came afterwards, and halted at the halting-place, made his she-camel kneel down, and changed of his traveling clothes, then he came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to him: ‘O Ashajj, you have two characteristics that Allah likes: Forbearance and deliberation.’ He said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, was I born with them or are they acquired?’ He said: ‘No, rather it is something that you were born with.’”
Forbearance is to withhold oneself from a reaction.
Patience leads to Forbearance.
Deliberation is to verify the matter and to not behave in haste. It is the opposite of Hastiness.
الحلم comes before الاناة.
This was an inborn quality in the man. If you don’t have it then you need to strive hard to attain it.
Nowadays we lack both.
When we receive a message we immediately forward it, later we find out that it was unauthentic. This indicates our hastiness.
We have to be forbearing, then verify and act. Don’t be hasty otherwise you may fall into a blameworthy action.
Allah loves these two characteristics.
After knowing that morals are built on faith then you need to strengthen your Eeman and the Eeman of those under your guardianship. The first thing you do is teach them about Allah, what He loves, and Hates, what will bring them closer to Allah. You teach this to yourself first, then your children.
Don’t expect good morals from your children if it is not based on faith.
If the person knows Allah by His names and attributes, he will yearn to please Allah. If Allah loves something he practices it, if Allah hates it he abstains.
The companions prior to Islam would commit many sinful crimes. After embracing Islam they became the best people on the earth because the Prophet took care in building the Eeman in their hearts, later the verses about the lawful and unlawful came.
Shu’bah bin Mugheera was a highway robber prior to Islam. After he embraced Islam, he became one of the best leaders in his morals. His faith and belief changed him.
Legal reasons that make us take care of studying Allah’s names and attributes:
1) The greatest verse in the Qur’an is Ayat Al-Kursi, the greatest Surah in the Qur’an is Surah Al-Fatihah, and the Surah which is considered a 1/3rd of the Qur’an is Surah Ikhlas. The common factor is that they all talk about Allah. Ayat Al-Kursi alone comprises 27 names and attributes of Allah.
Therefore when we study the Qur’an we should take care of His names and attributes, because Allah himself took care of focusing on this.
2) Most of the verses after the Huruf Muqata’at are either praising the Qur’an, the Prophet, or Allah.
In Surat Taha (Verses 1-8) Allah is defying the Arabs to produce a Qur’an like this, even though their language is made up of these letters.
Allah is talking about His greatness. That the Qur’an is coming from the One who created the heavens and earth
If a Surah starts talking about certain names of Allah, then the entire Surah is about these names.
Surat Al-Hadid Verses 1-6
سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
Whatever is in the heavens and earth exalts Allah , and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
His is the dominion of the heavens and earth. He gives life and causes death, and He is over all things competent.
هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
He is the First and the Last, the Ascendant and the Intimate, and He is, of all things, Knowing.
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَنزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا ۖ وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ
It is He who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth and what emerges from it and what descends from the heaven and what ascends therein; and He is with you wherever you are. And Allah , of what you do, is Seeing.
لَّهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ تُرْجَعُ الْأُمُورُ
His is the dominion of the heavens and earth. And to Allah are returned [all] matters.
يُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
He causes the night to enter the day and causes the day to enter the night, and he is Knowing of that within the breasts.
Everything in the heavens and earth praises Allah and frees Him from defects. Everything belongs to Him. Allah talks about His ability, His knowledge, then he talks about His greatness and creation. He is with us with his knowledge.
He sees everything. Don’t think that because He is rising over the throne He doesn’t see us. He knows what is in our breasts.
Six Verses, one after the other, about Allah. When Allah is telling us about His names and attributes, then you need to take care of them.
Surat Al-Hashr Verses 22 – 24
هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ ۖ هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ
He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.
هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
He is Allah , the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
We should know the meaning of each of these names and worship Allah by them.
Allah is drawing our attention, to worship Him by His names and attributes.
Surat An-Nisa’ Verse 176
يَسْتَفْتُونَكَ قُلِ اللَّهُ يُفْتِيكُمْ فِي الْكَلَالَةِ ۚ إِنِ امْرُؤٌ هَلَكَ لَيْسَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَلَهُ أُخْتٌ فَلَهَا نِصْفُ مَا تَرَكَ ۚ وَهُوَ يَرِثُهَا إِن لَّمْ يَكُن لَّهَا وَلَدٌ ۚ فَإِن كَانَتَا اثْنَتَيْنِ فَلَهُمَا الثُّلُثَانِ مِمَّا تَرَكَ ۚ وَإِن كَانُوا إِخْوَةً رِّجَالًا وَنِسَاءً فَلِلذَّكَرِ مِثْلُ حَظِّ الْأُنثَيَيْنِ ۗ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ أَن تَضِلُّوا ۗ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
They request from you a [legal] ruling. Say, ” Allah gives you a ruling concerning one having neither descendants nor ascendants [as heirs].” If a man dies, leaving no child but [only] a sister, she will have half of what he left. And he inherits from her if she [dies and] has no child. But if there are two sisters [or more], they will have two-thirds of what he left. If there are both brothers and sisters, the male will have the share of two females. Allah makes clear to you [His law], lest you go astray. And Allah is Knowing of all things.
Allah is talking about the weak categories of people in this Surah. He tells us he is teaching us the right way to act lest we go astray.
Allah knows everything, what benefits us and what doesn’t. When Allah states how much a woman should have, he knows that’s enough for her. He knows that the man is responsible for spending on others. The woman is free of responsibilities in this aspect.
Surat Al-Ma’ida Verse 120
لِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent.
In the beginning of the Surah he says “Indeed, Allah ordains what He intends.“. To Him belongs the heavens and the earth, therefore it is up to Him to judge as He wills. We have no right to question.
Surat At-Talaq is about divorce. In this Surah Allah mentioned, “And whoever fears Allah“ , five times. People have lack of knowledge and belief in Allah, they do not fear Allah regarding divorce. There are a lot of problems because people don’t fear, know, or magnify Allah.
It is important to take care of the names and attributes of Allah in our journey to Him.