Thursday 25 June 2020

Who is Allah? Quran Explains

Allah to Muslims is the Only One Supreme and Ever Living Master of the Universe, Who created the entire Universe, the limits of which perhaps shall never be known, and the Seven Heavens. It is Allah Who is worthy of all praises and He alone is to be worshiped and revered.

Allah is an Arabic word, which means the One and Only One God. The term is also used by Christians and Jews when their scriptures are translated into Arabic. The name Allah is analogous to Eloh, a Semitic term found in the divine scriptures revealed to Prophets Musa and Eesa (Moses and Jesus, may peace be upon them both).

At many places, Qur'an has very elaborately explained Who Allah is and what are His many attributes. We have already written a series of posts explaining 99 attributes of Allah, but today we will explain Who Allah is in the light of three verses of Surah 59 Al Hashr where the attributes of Allah have been mentioned most comprehensively.  These verses explain what kind of God He is, and what are His attributes, Who has sent this Quran to you, Who has placed these responsibilities on you, and before Whom you have to render an account of your deeds in the end. This mention of the divine attributes immediately after the above theme automatically gives man the feeling that he has not to deal with an ordinary being but with Almighty Allah Who has such and such attributes.  

 Here, one should also understand that although in the Quran, the attributes of Allah Almighty have been stated in a unique way, which gives a clear concept of the divine Being, there are two places where the attributes of Allah have been mentioned in a most comprehensive way, in the Verse of the Alkursi (Al- Baqarah, Ayat 255) and in the following verses of Surah 59. Al-Hashr: 22-24.

Before we translate and expand the meaning of three verses of Surah Al Hashr, let us just give away the plain translation of verse 255 of Surah 2. Al Baqarah (called the Verse of Alkursi) which comprehensive explains Who Allah is. For details, please click on the link given above:
Allah, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting by Whom all subsist, there is no god but He. Neither slumber seizes Him, nor sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Who is there who might intercede with Him save with His leave? He knows what lies before them and what is hidden from them, whereas they cannot attain to anything of His knowledge save what He wills them to attain. His Dominion overspreads the heavens and the earth, and their upholding wearies Him not. He is All-High, All-Glorious.
Now let us see te plain translation and explanation of the verses 22-23 of Surah Al Hashr:
هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِىۡ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ​ ۚ عٰلِمُ الۡغَيۡبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ​ ۚ هُوَ الرَّحۡمٰنُ الرَّحِيۡمُ

(59:22) He is Allah: there is no god but He; the Knower of the unseen and the manifest, He is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.

Right from the outset, the 22nd verse clarifies that He is Allah beside Whom none else has the rank, position, attributes and powers of Godhead so that he may be worshiped and served as god. And then three attributes of Allah are spelt out:
First, He is the Knower of the unseen and the manifest " عٰلِمُ الۡغَيۡبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ​ ". That is He knows whatever is hidden from the creatures as well as whatever is known and visible to them. Nothing of this universe is unknown to Him. He directly knows whatever has happened in the past, whatever exists at present and whatever will happen in the future. He does not stand in need of any means or medium of knowledge.
That is, He alone is Ar Rehman "  الرَّحۡمٰنُ  " - the One Whose mercy is limitless, which covers the whole universe and blesses and benefits everything in it. None else in the world is the bearer of such all-pervading, infinite mercy. The mercy of every other being, characterized by the ability of mercy, is partial and limited, and that quality too is not essentially its own, but bestowed by the Creator for a specific need and purpose. He has created the quality of mercy for some other creature. He has created it in order to make one creature a means for the development and well-being of the other creature. This by itself is a proof that Allah’s Mercy is infinite.
He is the Most Compassionate - Ar Raheemالرَّحِيۡمُ  " - Ar Raheem conveys the idea of constant renewal and giving liberal reward to those who are deserving - the Merciful One whose love and mercy are manifested as that which is received as the consequence of one's deeds.
هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِىۡ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ​ۚ اَلۡمَلِكُ الۡقُدُّوۡسُ السَّلٰمُ الۡمُؤۡمِنُ الۡمُهَيۡمِنُ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡجَـبَّارُ الۡمُتَكَبِّرُ​ؕ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰهِ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُوۡنَ‏ 

(59:23) He is Allah: there is no god but He: the King, the Holy, the All-Peace, the Giver of security, the Overseer, the Most Mighty, the Overpowering, the All-Great. Exalted be He from whatever they associate with Him.

The word used in the original is Al-Malik "  اَلۡمَلِكُ ", which means that He alone is the real Sovereign. Moreover, the word al- Malik in its general sense also gives the meaning that He is King of the entire universe and not of a particular region or of a specific country. His Sovereignty and rule comprehends the entire universe.

He is Master of everything. Everything submits itself to His command and power and authority, and there is nothing to delimit His Sovereignty. At different places in the Quran all aspects of Allah’s Sovereignty have been presented and explained fully.
And whoever exists in the heavens and the earth, belongs to Him. All are obedient to Him. (Surah Ar-Room, Ayat 26).
He administers the affairs of the world from the heavens to the earth. (Surah As-Sajdah, Ayat 5).
To Him belongs the dominion of the earth and the heavens, and all matters are referred to Him for decision.( Surah Al- Hadid, Ayat 5).
He has no partner in His sovereignty. (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 2).
In His hand is the absolute control of everything. (Surah Ya Seen, Ayat 83).
Doer of whatever He wills. (Surah Al-Burooj, Ayat 16).
He is accountable to none for what He does, but all others are accountable (to Him). (Surah Al-Anbiyia, Ayat 23).
Allah rules and there is none to reverse His decrees. (Surah Ar-Raad, Ayat 41).
The Being Who gives protection while none can give protection against Him. (Surah Al-Momin, Ayat 88).
Say: O Allah, Sovereign of the Kingdom, You bestow kingdom on whomever You will, and You take it away from whomever You will. You exalt whomever You will and You abase whomever You will. All that is good is in Your power; indeed You have full power over all things. (Surah Aal-i-Imran, Ayat 26).
These explanations make it abundantly clear that Allah is not King in some limited or metaphoric sense but He is real King in the most perfect and complete sense of sovereignty. As a matter of fact, if sovereignty in its true sense is at all found somewhere, it is found only in Allah’s Kingship. Apart from this, wherever it is claimed to be, whether in the person of a king or dictator, or in a class or group or family, or in some nation, he or it possesses no sovereignty at all, for sovereignty is not a gift, which may at one time be granted and at another time withdrawn, which may be in danger of being usurped, the establishment and existence of which may be temporary and temporal, and the sphere of power and authority of which may be circumscribed and restricted by many other conflicting powers.

Al-Quddus (القدوس) is a superlative. It means that Allah is far exalted that He should have a fault or defect or demerit. He is the purest Being. No evil can be imagined about Him. Here, one should clearly understand that the attribute of holiness is a foremost accompaniment of sovereignty. Man’s intellect and nature refuse to believe that a being who is the bearer of sovereignty may be mischievous, ill behaved, ill-natured, who may be characterized with these base qualities from whose power and authority his subjects might be in danger of suffering evil instead of being blessed with good. That is why wherever man thinks sovereignty is centered, he assumes holiness also to be there, even if it is not there, for absolute sovereignty is inconceivable without holiness. But, obviously, there is no real Sovereign, nor can there be, except Allah, Who is the Holy. Whether it is monarchy, or sovereignty of the people, or dictatorship of the socialist system, or some other form of human rule, in any case holiness for it is inconceivable.

The word As-Salam (السلام) as used in the original means peace and Secure, Allah’s being called As-Salam means that He is peace and safety personified. He is far exalted that some calamity or weakness or defect should befall Him, or His Perfection should suffer a decline or blemish.

The word Al-Mumin (المؤمن) is derived from amun, which means to secure from fear, and Mumin is one who provides security to others. Allah has been called Al-Mumin in the sense that He provides security to His creatures. His creatures are secure from the fear that He would ever wrong them, or deprive them of their rights, or allow their rewards to go to waste, or would violate the promises He has made with them. Then, since no object has been mentioned with this subject, but the epithet of Al-Mumin has been used absolutely, it automatically gives the meaning that His security comprehends the entire universe and all that it contains.

The word Al-Muhaimin (المهيمن) has three meanings: (1) The Guardian and Protector. (2) The Observer who sees what everyone does. (3) The Being Who has taken up the responsibility to fulfill the needs and requirements of the people.
Here also, since the word Al-Muhaimin has been used absolutely, and no object has been mentioned of this subject, therefore, it by itself gives the implied meaning that He is guarding and protecting all creatures, is watching the acts and deeds of everyone, and has taken up the responsibility of sustaining and providing for every creature in the universe with its needs and requirements.
Al-Aziz (العزيز): such an Almighty Being against Whom no one may dare raise his head, no one may have the power to resist His decrees, before Whom everyone may be helpless and powerless.

The word Al-Jabbar (الجبار) as used in the original is derived from jabr which means setting something right by use of power, reforming something by force. Allah has been called Al-Jabbar in the sense that He sets the system of His universe right by the use of power and enforces His will, which is entirely based on wisdom. Moreover, the word Jabber also contains the meaning of greatness and glory. Thus, a palm-tree which is too tall for the people to pluck its fruit is called jabber in Arabic. Likewise, an act which is grand and glorious is called amal jabbar.

The word Al-Mutakabbir (المتكبر) has two meanings. (1) The one who is not actually great but poses as great. (2) The one who is actually great and sets himself up as such.

Whether it is man or Satan, or some other creature, since greatness does not, in fact, belong to it, its posing itself as great and claiming superiority over others is, a false claim and a vice. Contrary to this, Allah Almighty is truly Great and greatness actually belongs to Him, and everything in the universe is low and insignificant as against Him. Therefore, His being Great and setting Himself up as Great is no false claim but reality; it is not an evil quality but a virtue and excellence, which no one else has but Allah.

هُوَ اللّٰهُ الۡخَـالِـقُ الۡبَارِئُ الۡمُصَوِّرُ​ لَـهُ الۡاَسۡمَآءُ الۡحُسۡنٰى​ؕ يُسَبِّحُ لَهٗ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضِ​ۚ وَهُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡحَكِيۡمُ

(59:24) He is Allah, the Planner, Executor and Fashioner of creation. His are the names most beautiful. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth extols His Glory. He is the Most Mighty, the Most Wise.

Those who regard a creature as an associate in His powers, authority, attributes, or in His Being, in fact, utter a grave falsehood, for Allah is far exalted that anybody or anything should be an associate with Him in any sense.

The entire world and everything in it, from the initial plan of its creation till its coming into existence in its final, finished form, is entirely Allah’s work of creation. Nothing has come into existence by itself nor come about accidentally, nor has anyone else the least share in its creation and development. Here, Allah’s act of creation has been described in three separate stages, which take place one after the other.
First is the stage of khalq, which means to ordain, or to plan. It is like an engineer’s conceiving the design of a building, which he intends to build for a specific purpose and draws out its detailed diagram and model, hence the attribute Al Khaliq (الخالق) .
The second stage is barr, which actually means to separate, to cut, to split asunder. The Creator has been called Al-Barii (البارئ) in the sense that He enforces the plan He has conceived and brings out the thing from non-existence into existence. It is Analogous to the engineer’s putting marks on the ground of the full measurements of the building according to the plan, digging the foundations, raising the walls and completing all the practical preliminaries of the construction work. 
The third stage is taswir, drawn from the attribute Al Musawwar (المصور), which means to give shape; here it implies giving something its final complete shape. In all these three stages there is no resemblance whatever between Allah’s work and human works. None of human plans is such as may not have been derived from previous models and plans. But each of Allah’s plans is, unique and His own original creation. Whatever man makes, he makes it by combining the substances created by Allah. He does not bring anything from nonexistence into existence, but composes and constructs by different methods whatever is present and available. Contrary to this, Allah has brought everything from non-existence into creation, and the substance itself of which He has made the universe is created by Him. Likewise, in the matter of giving shape also man is not the inventor but an imitator, and only a poor imitator. The real Maker of forms and shapes is Allah, Who has given a unique and matchless shape to every species and individual and has never repeated exactly the same shape or from.
Names imply the adjectives, and “His are the excellent names” means that those adjectives which indicate or express some kind of defect are not appropriate for Him. He should be remembered by those names which express His attributes of Perfection. In the Quran these beautiful names of Allah have been mentioned here and there, and in the Hadith 99 names of that Exalted and Pure Being have been enumerated which Timidhi and Ibn Majah have related on the authority of Abu Hurairah. If one studies these names as mentioned in the Quran and the Hadith carefully, he can easily understand what words would be appropriate and suitable if one has to remember Allah in another language.

That is, everything proclaims with the tongue, or otherwise, that its Creator is free from every fault and defect, weakness and error.

It may be added here that most of the non Arabic speaking followers of Divine religions are accustomed to the term God, whereas believers in Islam, regardless of their native language, use the Arabic word Allah. This difference in usage usually taken as an excuse for many to view the term Allah with reticence and uncertainty, preventing them from making the connection between the Arabic name and the accepted English equivalent term. Even some do not equate Allah with God and thus create doubts. But those who have wisdom, know very well that there is no god but one True God, called Allah in Arabic, Who has no associates. This out rightly negates the concept of Trinity of Christians who equate the Prophet Jesus and the Holy Spirit at par with God, a misnorm and a notion that is unacceptable for Allah or One True God cannot have offspring or worldly human beings like relations. In fact such thought is a slander for the Creator and Master of the Universe, whose entity is unparalleled and free of all pollution that man has tried to associate with Him.

Surah 112. Al Ikhlas beautifully sums up Oneness of Allah:
"Say: He is Allah, the One" 
"Allah, the eternally Besought of all" 
"He begetteth not nor was begotten"
"And there is none comparable unto Him" 
After reading this surah, there is no doubt left regarding Oneness of Allah and that "He begetteth not nor was begotten". It is misfortune of man that he is unable to fathom the deep meaning of this four verse surah of Qur'an.

These are just a few attributes mentioned here. Please refer to our post "99 Attributes of Allāh" for complete list of 99 attributes of Allah Almighty with meaning and explanation.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran

Source / Reference | 12 |
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