The Importance of Studying Allah’s Names and Attributes – 18th October 2015
Posted by Enlightenment into Islam Center
The only thing that Allah ordered the Prophet to ask for increase in is knowledge.
Surah Taha Verse 114:
فتعالى الله الملك الحق ولا تعجل بالقران من قبل ان يقضى اليك وحيه وقل رب زدني علما
So high [above all] is Allah , the Sovereign, the Truth. And, [O Muhammad], do not hasten with [recitation of] the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you, and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.”
The Prophet (Salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, exhorting the companions, “Ask Allah for beneficial knowledge and seek refuge from knowledge that doesn’t benefit” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
This Hadith emphasizes the virtue of acquiring knowledge. It also tells us that the sign of the truthful student of knowledge is that he asks Allah to grant him beneficial knowledge.
The most truthful amongst those who acquire knowledge is the one who asks Allah to make him understand the knowledge and benefit him with what he’s learning.
The Prophet also told us to seek refuge in Allah from knowledge that doesn’t benefit us as it is harmful.
What is non beneficial or detrimental knowledge?
It could be knowledge that is void of benefit in itself (e.g. Philosophy, Magic, etc.) or
The second one type is beneficial knowledge which the person uses against himself. It is good knowledge that could be detrimental when the student becomes arrogant, proud etc. due to having acquired it.
A person may seek worldly benefit through it or may even talk about Allah without knowledge when he gets into discussions and arguments, in order to show the people that he knows. He always wants to be superior. This is all pride and haughtiness.
These things will destroy and corrupt a person, and the knowledge he seeks becomes unbeneficial.
The heart is the vessel in which we receive knowledge. We need to check our hearts. There could be a barrier between it and the knowledge we learn. This barrier could be a sickness of the heart.
Ask Allah, Al-Fattah, to open your heart to knowledge.
Very few of those who have studied Tawheed act upon what they have learnt.
Many of us go through situations and are confused as to what to say and what to do. She has knowledge but she doesn’t know when and how to use it, this indicates the knowledge she has is unbeneficial to her.
If one becomes truthful in seeking knowledge, he will find that everything will benefit him. We have to purify our intentions and ask Allah prior to coming to the class to open our hearts and benefit us.
The truthful person doesn’t take the knowledge for granted. Don’t let the knowledge you learn be a plea against you.
The people attached to this world covet and exert their utmost to gain the Dunya. The student of knowledge should have this yearning and longing when it comes to knowledge.
There are students of knowledge to whom Allah opened gates of knowledge, and instead of excelling they start looking for differences of opinions amongst scholars. These people will be deprived of knowledge.
The little you learn and act upon is better for you than having abundant knowledge and not acting upon anything you learnt.
On the authority of Anas ibn Maalik (radhi Allaahu ‘anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (Salla Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) used to say, ” Allahumman fa’nee bi-maa ‘allam-ta-nee wa ‘allim-nee maa yanfa’u-nee war zuq-nee ‘ilman yanfa’u-nee [O Allah! benefit me with what you have taught me, teach me what will benefit me and provide me with knowledge that will benefit me].”
[Collected by an-Nasaa’ee in al-Kubraa: 7868 and al-Haakim: 1:510]
The most important knowledge is knowledge about Allah, His names and attributes.
We are in dire of need of knowing about Allah.
1. As we are in an abode of trial
Allah tests whether we are pleased with Him, His decrees.
The person who knows Allah will have a good life. But if you remember this world constantly you will have no pleasure and you will never be satisfied.
The people who aren’t pleased don’t know how dangerous being ungrateful to Allah for the blessing is. Allah revealed a whole Surah (Surah Saba) to tell us that what happened to the people of Saba will happen to those who are ungrateful. Allah will take away the blessings because they didn’t thank Allah for it.
We are humans and our hearts can turn towards this world making us fall into forgetfulness, but don’t allow these moments to be prolonged.
Out of Allah’s kindness is that he won’t allow the person to sink into it, He will send a reminder to tell you to wake up from your sleep. Allah gives the Dunya to both the Kaafir and the Muslim. Do you want the temporary enjoyment or the eternal life in Paradise? If Allah wants good for this person he will wake up and adopt the right path. This is out of Allah’s kindness. We need to reflect over the nurturing of Allah in our lives.
- In order to establish Tawheed.
Tasting the sweetness of faith will not happen unless we have certainty in our hearts.
- There is a strong relation between the names and attributes of Allah and our acts of worship. There is also a strong relation between the names and attributes of Allah and His laws.
- Knowing Allah by His names and attributes helps the heart become sound. (قلب سليم)
Not knowing Allah causes the sicknesses of the hearts, one of which is hypocrisy. Because of the lack of knowledge of Allah’s attributes the hypocrites hide disbelief in their hearts and show belief. They lie to the people thinking no one knows, forgetting that Allah knows what is in their heart. They don’t give Allah His due estimate and magnification.
Whoever knows Allah by His names and attributes, knows that everything is in Allah’s Hand and that there is wisdom in all His actions. He would not find any pride in his heart when Allah gives Him a blessing. He wouldn’t attribute the blessing to his effort and knowledge, unlike Qarun and Pharoah. He knows that the dominion belongs to Allah, He gives it to whom He wills and takes it from whoever He wills. He gives the dominion to TEST people whether they are grateful or not.
Sulayman (‘Alayhissalam) knew this , therefore his response when he saw the queen’s throne is expressed here:-
Surah An-Naml Verse 40:
قال الذي عنده علم من الكتاب انا اتيك به قبل ان يرتد اليك طرفك فلما راه مستقرا عنده قال هذا من فضل ربي ليبلوني ااشكر ام اكفر ومن شكر فانما يشكر لنفسه ومن كفر فان ربي غني كريم
Said one who had knowledge from the Scripture, “I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you.” And when [Solomon] saw it placed before him, he said, “This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful – his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful – then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous.”
We never deserve whatever Allah gives us. How many blessings has He given us that we never even thought of asking Him. He is The Most Generous, All Rich. If we don’t thank Him we are the losers. He doesn’t need us.
Knowledge about Allah will purify your heart from all the sicknesses and give you peace.
The heart has many states. It could go into the state of blindness, hardness, diversion, arrogance, envy, self-conceit.
There are hearts which are constantly returning to Allah in (repentance). This is one of the descriptions of the people of paradise. There are hearts which are filled with sincerity and love of Allah.
If the people with sick hearts don’t cure it they might die with a bad end. This is the severity of the sicknesses of the heart.
The Shaytan will not overpower except the hearts which are sick. He will whisper evil suggestions in their hearts like fear, suspicion, doubts, etc.
If this person knows that Allah is Al-Wakeel, he’ll put his trust in Allah.
The person should seek refuge in Allah from the Shaytan. He should practice ‘Ibadat al Muraghama – عبادة المراغمة. Humiliate the Shaytan by doing the opposite of what he wants you to do. Don’t listen to him.
When the same matter is being whispered to you repeatedly then know that this is from the Shaytan.
When Shaytan whispers into some people while they do acts of worship they fear that their acts of worship won’t be accepted. Allah is forgiving and appreciative. Know that Allah forgives our shortcomings and deficiencies in the act of worship and multiplies the reward for us.
In Surah Al-Fatir Verses 29-30:
ان الذين يتلون كتاب الله واقاموا الصلاة وانفقوا مما رزقناهم سرا وعلانية يرجون تجارة لن تبور
Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend [in His cause] out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, [can] expect a profit that will never perish –
ليوفيهم اجورهم ويزيدهم من فضله انه غفور شكور
That He may give them in full their rewards and increase for them of His bounty. Indeed, He is Forgiving and Appreciative.
Allah is The Forgiving-He will give them their reward in full, as if they perfected it. He is The Appreciative-He won’t just give their reward in full, but He will multiply it and give them far more than they deserve.
They do the good deeds with the belief that Allah is forgiving and appreciative. This is their state in the Dunya. When they enter paradise they will say:
وقالوا الحمد لله الذي اذهب عنا الحزن ان ربنا لغفور شكور
And they will say, “Praise to Allah , who has removed from us [all] sorrow. Indeed, our Lord is Forgiving and Appreciative
الذي احلنا دار المقامة من فضله لا يمسنا فيها نصب ولا يمسنا فيها لغوب
He who has settled us in the home of duration out of His bounty. There touches us not in it any fatigue, and there touches us not in it weariness [of mind].”
It is out of Allah’s mercy that he admits his slaves into Paradise, their deeds are not deserving of it.
Allah accepts the little, deficient, good deed, and multiplies the reward. Only the person who knows this can repel the whispers of the Shaytan.
There will always be obstacles which prevent us from performing or perfecting the deed, as a test from Allah. The more the person who is constantly struggling against the whisper of Shaytan fights and doesn’t respond to it, the greater his reward will be. According to Shaykh As Sa’dee, this is one of the means of multiplying the reward.
Obstacles can be both external and internal.
For example Fear: There are people don’t go to Hajj out of fear of stampedes, sicknesses, etc. This is a kind of wiswaas. If the person fights this and goes for Hajj and ‘Umrah, then the reward for this person will be more.
Another example is the lack of certainty in Allah’s promises.
There are deeds which Allah has promised us that if we do, we will get certain rewards, like giving in charity.
Narrated Abu Huraira (Radhi Allahu ‘anhu] that the Prophet [Salla Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam] said, “Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,’ and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser.’ ” [Bukhari]
You have to be certain that Allah will compensate you. Some people aren’t certain and doubt this, this impacts their behaviour. You can see them obsessing over wealth. Spending in charity will NEVER decrease your money.
Fight these obstacles and your reward will be multiplied.