The Importance of learning the Names of Allaah
Posted by Enlightenment into Islam Center
عن النووي وَقَالَ الشَّافِعِيُّ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ طَلَبُ الْعِلْمِ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ صَلَاةِ النَّافِلَةِ وَقَالَ لَيْسَ بَعْدَ الْفَرَائِضِ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ طَلَبِ الْعِلْمِ وَقَالَ مَنْ أَرَادَ الدُّنْيَا فَعَلَيْهِ بِالْعِلْمِ وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الْآخِرَةَ فَعَلَيْهِ بِالْعِلْمِ
An-Nawawi reported: Ash-Shafi’ee, (رحمه الله) said: “Seeking knowledge is better than voluntary prayers.” And he said: “Nothing after the obligations is better than seeking knowledge.” And he said: “Whoever desires the world should seek knowledge, and whoever desires the Hereafter should seek knowledge.” [Majmu’ Sharh Al-Muhadhab 1/42]
We ought to live in the Dunya by living for the Hereafter. And the best thing we should spend our lives and time in doing is acquiring knowledge. Acquiring knowledge is the most virtuous deed after the obligatory acts of worship.
One of the most important عبادات [Ibaadaat (acts of worship)] one should spend his life and time in, is acquiring knowledge. And the noblest, most important knowledge that one should seek is knowledge about Allaah:
The Topic of the Names of Allaah form the Core of our Belief
The foundation of our Eeman is belief in the unseen. The first description of the believers is mentioned in Surat al-Baqarah [2:3]: They believe in the unseen يؤمنون بالغيب . And Allaah is Ghaib. The cornerstone of belief in the unseen الإيمان بالغيب is belief in Allaah.
Allaah Commands us to Believe in Him
We are commanded to believe in Allaah through the tongues of the Prophets and Messengers. How can one believe in Him when he does not know His Names and Attributes? – We have to believe in what Allaah has mentioned about His Noble Self through the tongues of the Messengers and Prophets.
Allaah commands us in Surat Al-Hadeed [57:7]:
“Believe in Allaah and His Messenger [Muhammad (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)], and spend of that whereof He has made you trustees. And such of you as believe and spend (in Allaah’s Way), theirs will be a great reward.”
We should know Allaah and believe in Him with certainty; without doubt. And this knowledge and belief should have an effect on our actions.
E.g. One of the greatest Names which people always repeat is the Name of Allaah الرزاق (Ar-Razzaq – The Provider). The believer recalls this Name through the situations he goes through. If he sees people loving him, he will say that this is a رزق (Rizq – Provision) from Allaah. If he sees people turning away from him, he will say that this was not written as a رزق (Rizq – Provision) for him by Allaah. If he has a good neighbor or companion, he will say it is a رزق from Allaah. This is the believer, whose belief in the Name of Allaah الرزاق (Ar-Razzaq) has reached the level of certainty, such that he sees everything as a رزق from Allaah. He will not say: “People like me because I am good.” He uses the Names of Allaah in every situation he goes through.
When the knowledge of Allaah dominates the thoughts of the person, it means that his belief has reached the degree of certainty. And this increases through situations he goes through. Allaah will make the person go through situation after situation to increase him in certainty.
Belief in Allaah is the Foundation of Ones Belief in the Other Pillars of Faith
The Connection between Belief in Allaah and Belief in the Day of Judgment: Allaah has appointed a day to account all mankind and Jinn.
The Connection between Belief in Allaah and Belief in the Angels: Allaah is the One who created the Angels in order to carry out His orders. He does not need them. He created them from light and they are great in creation, to indicate the greatness of the Creator.
The Connection between Belief in Allaah and Belief in the Qadar: Allaah decreed everything before the creation of the heavens and the earth by 50,000 years.
The Connection between Belief in Allaah and Belief in the Messengers and Books: Allaah chose and sent Messengers from amongst mankind, and He sent Books in order to guide the people to Tawheed. The universal message of the Prophets was Tawheed; to know Allaah and worship Him Alone.
The rest of the articles of faith are based on Belief in Allaah. If your belief in Allaah is weak, your belief in the Day of Judgment, and your belief in the Angels and the rest of the pillars of faith will also be weak.
Who is the believer? The believer is the person who receives news about the unseen from the Qur’an and Sunnah and believes in it with certainty. Then, this belief motivates him to take the correct action.
E.g. the believer hears that Allaah will grasp the earth on the Day of Judgment, and that He will roll the heavens like a scroll, and he accepts this news with certainty. He looks to the sky and thinks that one day Allaah will roll the heavens like a scroll. His thoughts are full of belief in the news he received in the Qur’an.
E.g. the believer hears that Allaah created Adam (عليه السلام) with His two Hands. He will have no doubt that Allaah created Adam (عليه السلام) from dust and with His two Hands, in the best form, and then taught Him the name of everything. Whoever believes in this with certainty will not accept it if someone tries to convince him of the theory of evolution and that we evolved from apes. His certain belief will reject that.
In order to be able to answer this question, one should be able to know who Allaah is. One’s belief is not inherited from his forefathers. Belief is something that is attained with time and effort. People are not created hypocrites and believers; when they do actions they become either believers or hypocrites. Just because someone is born a Muslim does not mean that he will die a Muslim.
Knowing Allaah by His Names, Attributes and Actions affects the Attentiveness of our Hearts during Acts of Worship
When you know Allaah, your heart will be more attentive when performing acts of worship. e.g. you say سمع الله لمن حمده (Sami’ Allaah Liman Hamidah – Allaah Hears who praises Him) in Salaat. Your belief in the Name of Allaah السميع (The All-Hearer) is required from you in this position. Allaah Hears and Responds. Because you believe that Allaah Hears and Responds, you will say:
اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا لَكَ الْحَمْدُ مِلْءَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَمِلْءَ الأَرْضِ وَمِلْءَ مَا شِئْتَ مِنْ شَىْءٍ بَعْدُ
“Allaahumma Rabbana wa lakal-hamd, mil’as-samawati wa mil’al-ardi wa mil’ama shi’ta min shai’in ba’d” (O Allaah, our Lord, to You be the Praise, filling the heavens, filling the earth, and filling whatever else You will.) [An-Nasaa’i]
And you say it expecting reward from Allaah. Allaah Hears what you say, so you expect reward. Your firm belief that Allaah hears you, makes you say these words.
There are many acts of worships that are neglected or performed weakly because of lack of knowledge about Allaah.
E.g. الإستعاذة [Istiaadhah (Seeking Refuge with Allaah)] is an act of worship which we all practice, but what Names of Allaah should we bring in front of us when saying it? Seeking refuge means that there is something you are scared of. You are running away from something which is chasing you – the Waswaas of the Shaytaan, fear of the future, etc. You are taking shelter in Allaah, who is العزيز (Al-Aziz), الحفيظ (Al-Hafeeth), القوي (Al-Qawiyy), القهار (Al-Qahhar). When you are afraid you do not seek shelter in one who is weak, but in one who is strong. You are seeking refuge with the One Who is All-Strong, the Almighty, Whom no one can overpower or repel His Commands. If you are in His shelter and protection, no one can harm you. No one can escape from the Power of Allaah, everything is within His dominion. If this is your belief, your Istiaadhah الإستعاذة will be strong. Nothing will be able to scare you anymore.
Knowing Allaah by His Names and Attributes affects our acts of worships. Our acts of worships are weak and have no effect because our belief in Allaah is weak. The believer seeks refuge with Allaah while having full trust and confidence in Allaah. He does not doubt in Allaah. If you are seeking refuge with Allaah and there is no effect, it means that your belief is weak.
In all the verses where Allaah commands us to seek refuge from the Shaytaan, Allaah concluded it with the Name Al-‘Aleem العليم. Allaah knows how much you have trust and confidence in Him, and He will be for you as you think of Him. Examine your Khushoo’ in your prayer, your Tawakkul in your affairs, etc.
Psychological and Mental Health
Nowadays, many people are not concerned with taking the means for their mental health, for rest and peace of mind. In Arabic this is called صلاح البال – where the heart and mind is peaceful and at rest. In Surat Muhammad [47:2]:
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَآمَنُوا بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَهُوَ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۙ كَفَّرَ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ وَأَصْلَحَ بَالَهُمْ
“But those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and believe in that which is sent down to Muhammad (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), for it is the truth from their Lord, He will expiate from them their sins, and will make good their state.”
Shaikh As-Sa’di (رحمه الله) said:
أي: أصلح دينهم ودنياهم، وقلوبهم وأعمالهم، وأصلح ثوابهم، بتنميته وتزكيته، وأصلح جميع أحوالهم،
Meaning: He will reform their Religion and their worldly affairs, their hearts and deeds, and He will reform their reward, by cultivating and purifying it, and He will reform all of their affairs.
Why did Allaah do all that for them?
In verse 3, Allaah says:
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا اتَّبَعُوا الْبَاطِلَ وَأَنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّبَعُوا الْحَقَّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ أَمْثَالَهُمْ
“That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood, while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. Thus does Allaah set forth their parables for mankind.”
والسبب في ذلك أنهم: ﴿اتبعوا الْحَقُّ﴾
Meaning: And the reason for that is because they (اتبعوا الحق – Follow the Truth)
About Enlightenment into Islam CenterThe Enlightenment into Islam Center is a community of sisters who aim to please Allah by seeking knowledge and calling the people (Muslims as well as non-Muslims) to Tawheed and obedience to Allah by spreading the true knowledge of Islam based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Posted on September 23, 2017, in Acquiring Knowledge, Importance of Studying the Names of Allah and tagged Acts of worship, Ash-Shafiee, belief, Believer, Knowing Allaah, Learning the Names of Allaah, Pillars of Faith, Seeking Knowledge, Seeking refuge. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.