Sunday 25 November 2018

99 Attributes of Allah: Al Awwal, Al Akhir, Az Zahir and Al Batin (The First, The Last, The Outward and The Inward)

While praising Allah, for He is the best to be praised, the two attributes that describe Allah are The First and The Last, for no one is before Him and no one will be ever after Him. He is since eternity and will remain forever. This is how Allah describes Himself in Surah Al Hadid:

He is the First and the Last, the Ascendant and the Intimate, and He is, of all things, Knowing. [Surah Al-Hadid 57:3]

Al-Awwal (الأول) The First and Al-Akhir (الأخر) The Last thus mean The One whose Existence is without a beginning, and The One whose Existence is without an end. That is Allah precedes all things; He has no beginning.  He abides after all things without ever coming to an end. Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said, addressing God in supplication: "You are the First, so nothing precedes You.  You are the Last, so nothing comes after You. 
In Surah Al Qasas Chapter 28:88, Allah says: "And do not invoke with Allah another deity. There is no deity except Him. Everything will be destroyed except His Face. His is the judgment, and to Him you will be returned."
In Surah Ar Rahman, verses 26-27 Allah says: "Everyone upon the earth will perish, And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor." 
Allah is the First who is not preceded by anything else.  Though our imaginations cannot grasp this idea of something that is not preceded by something else, our hearts and minds easily accept it.  Likewise, God is the Last, whose existence persists without end. Thus Allah is timeless and eternal, without beginning or end.  By contrast, all created things have a beginning and end.

The above verse from Surah Al Hadid also include two more attributes of Allah: Az-Zahir (الظاهر) The Manifest One or The Ascendant or The All Ouward - Al-Batin (الباطن) The Hidden One or The Intimate or The All Inward:

Az Zahir  and Al Batin, The outward and inward are two dimensions of a unity. The outward is the manifestation of the inward in the corporeal realm, and the inward is the inner dimension of the outward. If the "All-Hidden Treasure," which is inward, had not manifested Itself, It could not have been known, nor would all those dazzling beauties throughout the universe have been observed, nor could the meanings in the horizon of the Name the All-Inward have been read. The Treasure of the inward has breathed itself out through the outward, which has consequently become an ornate envelope for the inward. [2]

“He is az-Zahir, who is felt through anything and He is al-Batin, who is not known through anything.” (Hak Dini Kur’an Dili) Every being created in this universe has an “antecedent”, because every creature was created afterwards. And every being has a “consequent”, because every being is mortal. Then, when everything that happened before and that will happen afterwards are considered together, we see that this world is knitted up with the manifestations of both of those names. [3]

Thus summing up these four attributes of Allah we need to understand that: The One Who is the First and the Last is also the All-Outward, Whose existence is more manifest than the existence of everything else and Who causes the hearts and spirits of all existent things and/or beings to be aware of all His Attributes, while all these existent things and beings indicate themselves only to the extent of their bodily existence; and He is the All-Inward, Who cannot be comprehended because of His Honor and Grandeur and the intensity of His manifestation. 

You may refer to our post "99 Attributes of Allah" for complete list of 99 attributes of Allah Almighty with meaning and explanation.

References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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