Sunday 23 May 2021

Allah, there is no god but He - The Knower of the Unseen

Many non Muslims are of the view that their God and Allah of Muslims are two different entities just to play a low on Muslims. Some even call Him the moon-god Allah. What they forget is that there has always been One True God all along since the eternity, Who is Living and Will never Die Out. The only difference is that Allah is the name of God in Arabic. Even in the Arabic translations of Bible, God is translated as Allah.

In the last verses of Surah 59. Al Hashr, Allah Himself explains Who is He. There are about thirty five attributes of Allah which Allah Himself explains. We will share these verses one by one so that our readers may know Who really Allah is - His attributes cannot be equated with any deities that people may worship. This series of posts should be read in conjunction with our earlier series of posts on 99 Attributes of Allah.

هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِىۡ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ​ ۚ عٰلِمُ الۡغَيۡبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ​ ۚ هُوَ الرَّحۡمٰنُ الرَّحِيۡمُ‏ 
( 59: 22 )   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.
These verses explain what kind of God He is, and what are His attributes, Who has sent this Qur'an 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 Qur'an the attributes of Allah Almighty have been stated in a unique way, which gives a clear concept of the Divine Bing there are two places where the attributes of Allah have been mentioned in a most comprehensive way, in the Verse of the Throne (Al-Baqarah: 255) and in these verses of Surah Al-Hashr. 

" Allah: there is no god but He " That is, He is the One besides Whom none else has the rank, position, attributes and powers of Godhead so that he may be worshiped and served as god.
" the Knower of the unseen and the manifest " 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. 
" He is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate " That is, He alone is the Being Whose mercy is limitless, which covers the whole universe and blesses and benefits everything a 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.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation
Here follows a passage of great sublimity, summing up the attributes of Allah. In this verse, we have the general attributes, which give us the fundamental basis on which we can form some idea of Allah. We start with the proposition that there is nothing else like Him. We think of His Unity; all the varying and conflicting forces in Creation are controlled by Him and look to Him, and we can never get a true idea of Him unless we understand the meaning of Unity. His knowledge extends to everything seen and unseen, present and future, near and far, in being and not in being: in fact these contrasts, which apply to our knowledge, do not apply to Him. His Grace and His Mercy are unbounded: see i. 1, and n. 19; and unless we realise these, we can have no true conception of our position in the working of His Will and Plan.

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
The term ash-shahadah (lit., "that which is [or "can be"] witnessed") is used in this and similar contexts as the exact antithesis of al-ghayb ("that which is beyond the reach of a created being's perception"). Thus, it circumscribes those aspects of reality which can be sensually or conceptually grasped by a created being.

Qur'an Wiki:
The rest of the surah is devoted to a long glorification of God, citing a number of His names and attributes. This serves as an aspect of the influence of the Qur'an on the universe. It is as if we see the universe as a person expressing this glorification with his mouth, and a vast kingdom echoing it in every corner. These attributes of God have clear effects on the very nature of the universe, its phenomena and interactions. As it offers this glorification, it testifies to the truth of these attributes and their effects.

"He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity," This imprints on our consciousness the truth of God's oneness in belief, worship, action and life conduct from the beginning of creation to its final end. On the basis of this oneness a whole code of living is based, regulating our way of thinking, feeling, behaviour, relations with the universe and its living creatures, as well as relations with people.

"Knower of the unseen and the witnessed." This divine attribute makes us clearly conscious of God's knowledge of everything, apparent or hidden. This awakes in our consciences the need to watch out, keeping God always in our thoughts, public and private. Thus, man will go about his life feeling that he is being watched by God and that he himself is on the watch for God's sake, realizing that he does not live alone, not even when he is in seclusion or locked alone with one other in private conversation. His actions will be coloured by this feeling that keeps him always on guard.

"He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful." Now a feeling of reassurance spreads within man's conscience as he feels the air of God's mercy spread over him. Feelings of awe and hope, fear and reassurance are well balanced within him. In the believer's concept, God does not chase His creatures, but watches them; He does not wish them harm, but loves that they should adhere to His guidance; He does not abandon them to struggle against evil without providing help for them.

Please listen to explanation of the ayat by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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