Monday, January 14, 2008

Belief in Allah (God)

The Belief in Allah 

Shaikh Mohammed Saleh Al-Uthaymeen

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks is due to Allāh, the Lord of al-‘ālamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.

The Belief in Allah Comprises of the Four Matters: The Belief in Existence of Allah, Belief in Allah’s Rubbubiyah; Belief in Allah’s Uluhiyyah, and Belief in Allah’s Names and Sifat (Attributes)

First: The Belief in Existence of Allah

The evidence for the existence of Allah is established by: • The Fitrah. • The Reasoning. • The Ash-Syara’. [22] • The Al-Hiss. [23]

1. Pertaining to the Proof of the Fitrah.

Every creature has been created in a state of belief in its creator without preceding thought or education. No one dissuades from what is necessitated by the Fitrah (i.e. the belief in Allah), except the one whose heart has been subjected to what averts it from its (natural course of) Fitrah, as the prophet Mohammed explained when he said:

“Each child is born in a state of” Fitrah” but his parents make him a Jew, or a Christian” [24]

2. The Evidence of “Reasoning”

All of the creatures, the first and subsequent ones, must have a Creator, Who brought them to existence, because they neither can bring themselves into existence, nor could they have come to exist by coincidence! The creatures could have not brought themselves to existence because a thing does not create it self –since prior to its existence it was nothing – so how could it be a creator? And it cannot accidentally bring into being, because every occurrence (novelty, etc.) must need an originator. Also because its existence in such highly magnificent order and homogenous coordination, and due to the coherent relationship between the means and the causes, and the creators with one another, it is absolutely impossible that is very being is coincidental. (In fact), what is (believed) to exist as a result of coincidence does not follow an ordered pattern at the beginning of its existence. So how could it remain to be ordered during its course of survival and development?

So if it’s impossible that the creatures have neither brought themselves into existence nor they did they came to exist by coincidence , then it becomes evident that they must have a creator , and He is Allah , the Rabb of the world.

Allah SWT stated the above rational and decisive proof in Surah At-Tur, saying:

“Were they created by nothing, or they themselves the creators?” [At-Tur 52:35].

It means that they were neither created without a creator, nor they were the creators of themselves? It becomes clear, therefore, that their Creator is Allah SWT.

When Jubair Bin Mut’im until then, a non-Muslim was sent by Quraish on a mission to the Muslims at Madinah. He says that when he arrived he heard the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), who was leading the evening prayer, reciting Surah At-Tur, and when the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) reached at the Ayat:

“Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Nay, but they have no firm to believe. Or are the treasures of your Rabb with them? Or are they the tyrants with authority to do as they like?” [Surah At-Tur, 52, 35-37] [25]

Jubair, who was then a Mushrik (polytheist), commented: “My heart was about to fly i.e his heart rent asunder (i.e. upon hearing this firm recitation) [26]. In another separate narration, he said: “And that was the time when Eman was first established in my heart” – he embraced Islam [27]

Let us give a parable that clarifies this matter: If someone tells you about a lofty palace , surrounded by gardens with rivers flowing in between , fully furnished with beds and mattresses, and decorated with all kinds of ornament, the basic , and the luxurious , then he says to you : “ This palace in all the of its perfection , has founded itself , or that it came to exit by coincidence , without a founder !” Immediately you will deny and reject his argument, and you will consider his talks as ridiculous. (With this in mind) is it, therefore, possible that this universe with its extended earth, skies, planets, conditions, wonderful and splendid order, could have brought itself into existence? Or that it came to exist without a Creator?

3. The Ash-Syara’a Evidence for the Existence of Allah. [28]

The Ash-Syara’a is evidence for the existence of Allah because all of the revealed Scriptures states so. The laws that address the welfare of creation and which are provided by these scriptures, constitute evidence that they came from an All-Wise Rabb who knows about the welfare and interests of His creation. The information about the universe brought forth by the scriptures and whose manifestation testifies for their truthfulness, is a proof that came from the (one) Rabb Who is able to bring into being whatever He already informed about.

4. The “Physical” Evidence for the Existence of Allah Comprises Two Aspects

One of them is that we hear and witness (Allah’s) response to all those who supplicate and those who are distressed and grieved. This constitutes an unequivocal evidence for the existence of Allah. Allah SWT says:

"And (remember) Noah, when he cried (to us) aforetime, We listened to his invocation" (Al-Anbiya’ 21:76)

"(Remember) when you sought help from your Rabb, and He answered you." (Al-Anfal, 8:9)

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is reported that Anas bin Malik said that:

“Once in the lifetime of the Prophet Mohammed (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) the people were affected with drought. While the prophet was delivering the Khutbah (religious talk) on a Friday, a Bedouin stood up and said” O, Allah‘s Messenger! Our possessions are being destroyed and the children are hungry; please invoke Allah (for rain). So the prophet raised his hands (invoked Allah for rain). At that time there was not a trace of cloud in the sky. By Him, in Whose Hands my soul is, clouds gathered like mountains, and before he got down from the pulpit, I saw the rain falling on his (prophet) beard... It rained that day, the next day, the third day, the fourth day till the next day. The Bedouin or another man stood up and said “O Allah‘s Messenger! The houses have collapsed, our possessions and livestock have been drowned; please invoke Allah for us (to stop the rain). “So the Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) raised his both his hands and said “O Allah! Round about us and not on us, so in whatever direction he pointed with his hands, the clouds disappeared and cleared away… [29]

Responding to the invocations of the supplicant who sincerely resort to Allah (alone) and fulfill the required condition for Ijabah [30] is a matter that is still being witnessed nowadays.

The second aspect is that the signs of the prophets which is called Mu’jizat (Miracles) and which people see or hear about, constitute and irrevocable evidence for the existence of the One who dispatched them: that’s Allah SWT Certainly these matters (Mu’jizat) are beyond the capability of mankind and that Allah manifests them to help and support His Messengers. For example, the Sign given to Musa when Allah commanded him to strike the sea with stick. He strokes it and the sea parted into twelve dry roads separated by water, which become like a huge mountain. Allah SWT says:

"Then We inspired Musa (saying): “Strike the sea with your stick.” And it parted, and each separate part (of that sea water) become like a huge, firm mass of a mountain."(Ash-Shuara, 26:63)

Another Example is the sign given to Eesa (Jesus) by which he was able to bring life to the dead and bring forth the dead from their graves by Allah’s Leave. Allah spoke about him saying:

"And I bring the dead to life by Allah’s Leave." (Ali-‘Imran, 3:49)

“And When you brought forth the dead by My permission.” (Al-Maidah, 5:110)A third example is that Prophet Mohammed (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) when the tribe of Quraish asked him to show them a sign (a miracle as a proof of his prophet hood) [31] He (the prophet) pointed to the moon and (behold!) it split asunder and the people saw it. Regarding the (sign) Allah SWT said:

“The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft, and they see a sign, they turn away, and say: “This is continuous magic.” (Al-Qamar, 54:1-2)

All of these physical signs (Miracles) which Allah SWT puts into effect to help and support His Messengers constitute an irrevocable proof for His existence.

Second: Belief in Allah’s Rubbubiyah.

Which means to believe that Allah is the only Rabb without a partner or a helper?

The Rabb is the One to Whom belongs the creation, kingdom and command; there is no Creator but Allah; No Malik (Possessor) except Him, [32] and there is no Command but His. He, Most High, says:

"He is the Creation and Commandment."(Al-‘Araf, 7:54)

“Such is Allah your Rabb; He is the Kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qanteer (the thin member of date stone.) ” [Fatir, 35:13] [33]

It is not known that anyone had denied the Rubbubiyah of Allah Subhanah except an arrogant who does not believe what he says, like what happened to the Pharaoh he said to his people:

"I am your rabb, most high." (An-Nazi’at, 79:24)

"Chiefs! I know not that you have an Ilah (a god) other than me." (Al-Qasas, 28:38)

What he said was not a matter of conviction. Allah SWT said:

And they belied then (the Ayat: proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) wrongfully and arrogantly, through their ownselves were convinced thereof. (An-Naml, 16:14) (i.e. the Ayat are from Allah and Musa is the Messenger of Allah in truth, but they disliked to obey Musa, and hated to believe in his Message of Tawhid.)

Allah related what Musa told the Pharaoh:

“(Musa said: “Verily, you know that these sign have been sent down by none but the Rabb of the heavens and the earth as clear (evidence i.e. proofs of Allaah’s Oneness and His Omnipotence etc.) And I think you are, indeed, O Pharaoh doomed to destruction (away from all good!)”(Al-Israa’, 17:102)

For this reason the Mushrikeen (the pagan Arabs) used to acknowledge the Rububiyyah of Allah SWT despite committing Shirik in His Rubbubiyah.

Allah SWT said: "Say: “Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein? If you know!’ • They will say: ‘It is Allah’s! ‘Will you not then remember?” • Say:’ Who is (the) Rabb of the seven heavens, and (the) Rabb of the Great Arsh (throne)?” • They will say: ‘Allah.’ Say:’ Will you not then fear Allah (Believe in His Oneness, obey Him, belive in the Resurrection and Recompense for each and every good or bad deed)’.Say:’ In Whose Hand is the sovereinty of everything (i.e. treasures of each and everything?) And He protests (all), while against Whom there is no protector [34] “if you know.’ They will say:” All that belongs to Allah.” Say:’ How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth?" [Al-Mu’minun, 23:84-89]

Allah SWT also said:

“And indeed if you ask them, “Who has created the heavens and the earth “? They will say:” They will surely say: “Mighty, the all-knower created them.” ( Al-Zukhruf , 43:9)

He further said:

“And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say:”Allah”. How then are they turned away (from the worship of Allah Who created them”? (Al-Zukhruf, 43:87).

The Command of Ar-Rabb (Allah) comprises both Al-Kawnee (Universal) and the Ash-Syar’ie (Legal or Judicial) Commands. Just as He is the One Who runs the affairs of the universe, Ruling it as He wants and in accordance with what is necessitated by His Wisdom, He is also Judge Who Rules it by means of Legislations that deals with Ebadat [35] and Laws governing all forms of Muamalat [36] , in conformity with His Wisdom.

So, whoever sets up a legislator besides Allah in Ebadat or a judge in Muamalat commits Shirik and does not ascertain the Eman.

Third: Belief in Allah’s Uluhiyyah.

It is the belief that Allah Alone is the true Ilah, who has no partner or associate. The Ilah means Al-Ma’luuh i.e. Al-Ma’bud, the only true God who deserves to be worshipped out of love and magnification. Allah SWT said:

And your Ilah is one Ilah, La Illah illa Huwa (There is no true God worthy of worship but He,) Al-Rahman,) Whose Mercy encompasses everything), the Most Merciful. (Al-Baqarah, 2:163)

Allah SWT also said:

Allah bears witness that LaIlla Illah Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angles, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in justice. La illahillal Huwa, the All-Mighty, The All-Wise (Ali-‘Imran, 3:18)

All that is being taken as an ilaah worshipped as god besides Allah, its Uluhiyyah is false. Allah SWT says:

That is because Allah –He is the truth (the only True God of all that exist, Who has no partner or rivals with Him), and those besides Him whom they (the polytheists) invoke-they are but Baatil (vain Falsehood). And verily, Allah,-He is the Most High, The Most great.) (Surah Hajj, 22:66)

Calling them aliha (gods) does not entitle them to the right of Uluhiyyah .Allah SWT said describing the pagan deities of Al-lat, Al-‘Uz-zaam and Minaat that:

They are but names which you have named, - you and your fathers – for which Allah sent down no authority. (An-Najam, 53:23) [37]

He (Allah) told us that Yusuf said to his two companions of the jail:

Two companions of prison! Are many different arbab (lords) better or Allah, the one, Al-Qahhar? [38] You do not worship besides Him but only names which have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. (Surah Yusuf, 12:39-40)

For this reason, the Messengers may that Solat and Salam for Allah be upon them, used to say to their respective nations:

Worship Allah! You have no other Illah (God) but Him.(Al-‘Araf, 7:59,60,73,85;Hud, 11:50,61,84,; Al-Mu’minun, 23,32)

The Mushrikeen, however, refused and set up gods as rivals to Allah, worships them besides Allah, and seeking their support and help. Allah SWT invalidated their acts by two proofs:

First: There is not any Divine Quality in the gods they worshipped besides Allah. These gods are created and cannot create and extend neither benefit to their worshippers nor can award off harm from them; they can neither give them life nor cause them death; they possess nothing from the heavens and have no share in it. Allah SWT said:

"They have taken besides Him other gods that created nothing but are themselves created , and posses neither hurt nor benefit to themselves , and possess no power ( of causing) death , nor ( of Giving) life , nor of raising the dead." (Al-Furqan, 25:3)

Allah SWT also said:

Say: (O Muhammed to those polytheists, pagan, etc.) “Call upon those whom you asset (to be associated god) besides Allah, thy possess not even the weight of small ant,-neither in heavens or on the earth, nor have they any share in either, nor there is for Him any supporter from among them. Intercession with Him profits not, except for him Whom He permits. (Qur’an Saba’,34:22-23)

Do they attribute as partners to Allah those who created nothing but they themselves are created? No help they can give them, nor can they help themselves. ( Al-Araf, 7: 191-192)

If this is the situation with those gods, then worshipping them as gods besides Allah is the utmost of foolishness and falsehood.

Second: Those Mushrikeen used confess that Allah SWT Alone is Ar-Rabb Al-Lhaaliq (the Creator) in Whose Hand is the sovereinty of everything and He protect (all), While against Whom there is no protector. [39] This (confession) necessitates that they should have attested that He is the only True Illah Worthy of Worship (Uluhiyyah) as they have done with his Rabbubiyah (when they took Him as their only Rabb). In this regard Allah SWT said:

Mankind! Worship your Rabb (Allah), Who Created you and those before you so that you may become pious. Who has made the earth a resting place and the sky as a canopy, and sent down rain from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah (in worship) while you know. (That He alone has the right to be worshipped) [Al-Baqarah,2:21-22]

Also He said:

“And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: “Allah”. How then they turned away (from the worship of Allah, Who created them)?” (Az-Zukhruf, 43:87)

“Say: Who provides for you from the sky and from the earth? Or Who owns hearing and sight? Who brings out living from the dead and the dead from the living? And Who disposes the affairs? They will say: “Allah” Will you not then be afraid of Allah’s Punishment (for worshipping other than Him)?” such is Allah, you Rabb, in truth. So apart of Truth, what (remains) but error? So how then you are turned away?” (Yunus, 10:31-32)

Fourth: Belief in Allah’s Names and Sifat (Attributes)

It means to affirm the Names and Attributes, which Allah affirmed to Himself in His Book, and in the Sunnah of His Messenger in the way that best fits Him without:

• Tahreef (distortion of the meaning)

• Ta’teel (negating the meaning)

• Takyeef (assigning a manner to any attribute) or

• Tamseel (drawing parallels to Allah)

Allah SWT said:

“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong tho Allah , so call Him by them , leave the company of those who belie or deny ( or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.” (Al-‘Araf, 7:180)

He also said:

“He is the highest description (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but He, and there is nothing comparable unto Him) in the heavens and in the earth. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (Ar-Rum, 30:27)

“And there is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Qur’an 42:11)

Two sects went astray regarding this matter:

The First Sects: Al-Mu’atlah, who negated all or some of Allah’s Names and Attributes claiming that affirming Allah’s Names and Sifat necessitated Tasbih (drawing similarities between Allaah and His creation)! This claim is surely false in many respects, including:

First: it necessitates false obligations like contradiction in the word of Allah, far from every imperfection. This is because Allah affirmed the Names and Attributes to Himself and negated the likeness of anything unto Him. Had its affirmation necessitate the Tasbih, then it would imply contradiction in the speech of Allah and that its parts refute one another.

Second: It is not necessary that “agreement in Name [40] “or “in an Attribute” between two things obligates likeness between them. Indeed you see two people in a state of agreement where each is hearing, seeing, and speaking human. In no way this necessitate likeness in the human values, nor in hearing, sight, and speech. You see that animals have hands, legs and eyes. This kind of agreement does not necessitate that their hands, legs and eyes like each other. If this distinction in the agreement in Names and qualities amongst the created things is clear, then the distinction between the Creator and the created thing is greater and more evident.

The Second Sect: The Mushabbihah who affirm Allah’s Names and Attributes but make Tasbih (draw similarities) between Allah and His Creation, claiming that this is what is necessitated by the meaning of the texts on the ground that Allah SWT addresses the ‘Ibad (mankind) according to their understanding! Such a claim is false in many respects, including:

First: The Mushaabaha: Likeness of Allah to His creation is a false concept that is negated by the Shara’a as well as reasoning. Thus it is impossible that a false matter is necessitated by the text of the Qur’an and Sunah.

Second: Allah addressed mankind according to their understanding of the basic meanings of His Names and Attributes. However, the knowledge of the essence and true nature of meanings regarding His Thaat (Essence) and Sifat exclusively belongs to Allah Alone. So if Allah affirms to Himself that He is All-Hearer, then the Hearing is known from the understanding of basic meaning, which is the comprehension of voices. However, the essence of this meaning with respect to the Hearing of Allah SWT is unknown because the essence of hearing is distinct even amongst the created. Certainly, the distinction between the hearing of the created and that of the Creator is greater and more evident.

It is known that if Allah mentioned about Himself that He Istawa ‘ala Al-‘Arsh [41] , then the Istawa’ according to the basic meaning is known ( means: ascendance) , however , the manner (the ‘how’) of his ascension above His “Arsh is unknown , because the essence of the Istawa’ amongst the creatures is distinct . The Istaa’ on firmly stable chair is not the same as that on the saddle of an unyielding and easily frightened camel. When this is distinct with respect to the creatures, than it greater and more evident between the Creator and the creatures.

The belief in Allah SWT according to what we have described above yields great benefits to the believers:

First: The true manifestation of the Tawhid of Allah SWT such that there is no attachment to other than Him in hope and worship.

Second: the perfect love, magnification and exaltation of Allah SWT as obligated by His Most Beautiful Names and Sublime Attributes.

Third: Manifesting His worship by doing what He commands and avoiding what He forbade.

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.


22. Revealed text of the Qur’an and Sunah

23. Lit: sensory perception, sensation. It pertains to the evidence about Allah’s existence. Al-Hiss means, that which is perceptible through the sense. [TN]

24. Related by Imam Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, V.8, pp.389-90

25. Qur’an 52:35-37

26. Sahih Al-Bukhari, V.6, pp.336-358, Hadith # 377

27. Sahih Al-Bukhari, V.5, pp.236, Hadith # 358

28. Al-sh-Shara’a: Islamic Texts and Legislations in the Qur’an and Sunah

29. Sahih Al-Bukhari, V.2, Hadith #55.

30. Ijabah: Answering the Du’a of the supplicant by Allah. [TN]

31. Narrated Anas “The people of Makkah asked Mohammed to show them (the miracle) of the cleaving of the moon “Sahih – Al-Bukhari, V.6, Hadith #360

32. Allah, Most Creator, is the Possessor of every possessor. He permits whom He wishes to possess. Allah possesses all the treasures of the heavens and the earth .All the good is in His hand, He gives whom He wishes. Everything is in need of Allah. [TN]

33. This is great Ayah is reminder for those who invoke upon dead or the absent person(s) seeking help and refuge in them, that those whom you seek and call upon instead of Allah don’t posses even a Qanteer. They cannot help themselves let alone those who call upon them .Those who seek refuge or intercession through the righteous in their graves have not correctly estimate Allah as the One who gives and takes , the One who provides and sustains , the One who loves to be invoked alone.

34. If Allah saves anyone none can publish or harm him, and if Allah punishes or harm anyone none can save him [Tafsir Al-Qurtubi.V12, p.145]

35. Ibadat: Acts of Worship done sincerely for Allah’s sake and in accordance with evidence from Qur’an (or) authentic Sunah [TN]

36. Muamalat: All forms of mutual relations, treatment, procedures, behavior, conducts (towards others,) and interactions including social, business, transactions.

37. Allah said that Hud told his people: Disputes you with me over names which you have named – and your fathers, with no authority from Allah? (Al-‘Araf, 7:71)

38. Allah is Al-Qahhar: He subdued all creatures and all the elements of the loftiest and lowest world; nothing occurs or moves without His Permission. Everything of His creation is in need of Him. His Irresistibility is linked to His Perfect Living, Power, and Ability. [TN]

39. If Allah saves anyone none can punish or harm him, and if Allah punish or harm anyone none can save him. See the translation of the Meaning of the Noble Qur’an by Al-Hilali and Khan, Surah Al-Mu’minun, Ayat 88, quoting from Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, v.12

40. There are many Names that are common between Allah and His creature

41. Istawa ‘ala Al-Arsh: Ascended above the Throne

[Via Al-Islam]

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