Monday, September 15, 2014

Allāh Attributes Of al-Hayy

Allāh Attributes Of  al-Hayy

The Living,  The Alive,  The Everlasting,  The Deathless,  The Ever-Living

By Ibn Saleh

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


The Living,  The Alive,  The Everlasting,  The Deathless,  The Ever-Living

It means Allāh Almighty is:

·        The One who is undying, everlasting. The One who is eternally whole and sound.
·        The One Life from whom all life arises. The One who calls all life into being.
·        The One who animates all life and who makes each living thing different and distinct.

From the three letter root h-y-y, which has the following classical Arabic connotations:

·        to live, to be living
·        to become apparent, distinct
·        to animate, to revive
·        to vitalize, to call into being
·        to be whole, sound
·        to call, summon, invite, hasten

The Qur’an refers to Allāh as “the Living” on five occasions:

  • “Allāh, there is no God but He, the Living and Self-Sustaining.” (Al-`Imran, 3: 2);
  • “Faces shall be humbled before the Living, the Self-Sustaining. Hopeless indeed will be those who carry a burden of injustice.” (Ta-Ha, 20: 111) ;
  • “And rely on the Living who does not die, and celebrate His praise.”(Al-Furqān, 25: 58) ;
  • “He is the Living. There is no God save Him. So call upon Him, making the religion sincerely for Him (alone).” (Ghafir, 40: 65) ;
  • “Allāh, there is no God but He, the Living and Self-Sustaining. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes him…” (Al-Baqārah, 2: 255)
  • Allāh’s life is the most complete and perfect life without deficiency or weakness of any kind. “Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes him.” 

The attributes of al-Hayy and al-Qayyûm are often used to together, with al-Hayy signifying the attribute of ever-lasting life, and al-Qayyûm signifying the attribute of self-existing life. Thus, the attributes of al-Hayy and al-Qayyûm express two aspects of the One Life.

Abu Hurayrah (radiyallāhu’anhu) reported that whenever the Prophet, (Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam), was faced with a serious difficulty, he would raise his head to the sky and supplicate, "Subhan-Allāh al-'Azim (Glory be to Allāh, the Mighty)." And when he implored seriously and strongly, he would say "Ya Hayyu, Ya Qayyum (O Ever-Living One, O Self-Existing One)."  (Hadith of Tirmidzi)

Allāh simply reminds the disputant of his being created in the first place. The second creation could be nothing if not easier.
Life is an attribute of Allāh’s essence. It is intrinsic to His existence. This is in contrast to created beings, whose lives are something that Allāh grants them from His favor. Their existence and their sustenance are fully dependent upon Him. 
Allāh is the Living who confers life upon others. He creates and sustains all living things in their mortal lives in this world. Then, in the Hereafter, He confers eternal life upon the denizens of Paradise.  It is one of the signs of Allāh’s creative power that He imbues inert matter with life.
Consider a stone and then compare it with an animate living thing, something which has sensory power, is aware of its surroundings, and is able to interact with other things in its environment. Consider the human being, a living thing with the power to reason and to articulate his thoughts through speech. 
When we consider how far removed this is from the inert matter of the stone, we can see why Allāh challenges humanity with the example of life, and cites it as proof of our resurrection in the Hereafter. We see this in how Allāh describes the unbeliever:
“He strikes out a likeness for Us, but forgets his own creation. He says: “Who will give life to the bones when they have rotten away?” Say: He will give them life who created them the first time – for He well-knows every creation – the same who produces for you fire out of the green tree, and behold! you kindle therewith (your own fires)!” 

(Ya-Sin 36: 78-80)
This verse was revealed after a group of Arab polytheists came forward with some old rotting bones, crumbling them between their fingers and saying: “Who will give life to the bones when they have rotten away?” This is a rhetorical question, spoken in derision. They asked this question to express their disbelief and disdain of the idea of a resurrection in the Hereafter.  Allāh replies that the disputant: “forgets his own creation.”
This is a concise but sufficient reply to the question of “Who will give life to the bones when they have rotten away?”
Allāh simply reminds the disputant of his being created in the first place. The second creation could be nothing if not easier. In any case, it is no different to Allāh whether it is the first or second creation. However, considering the question of creating something from a human perspective on the matter, the second would be perceived as easier than the first.  This is why Allāh says:

“As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. It is a promise We have undertaken; truly We shall fulfill it.” 

(Al-Anbiya’, 21: 104
Both creations are the same to Allāh. Allāh but says: “Be!” and it is. However, He gives this example to address human experience. People who believe that Allāh created them in the first place accept the fact that Allāh gave the properties of life, sensory faculties, and mental powers to the inert matter from which they are made.
Consequently, they can easily accept the idea that Allāh can bring them to life again after they have died and their bones have turned to dust.

(Also written as  Al-Hayy, The Ever-Living: Ya Hayy, Ya Hayyu)

Wal-Hamdulilahi Rabbil ‘ālameen, Was-Salātu was-Salāmu ‘ala Sayyidil Mursaleen waimamil Muttaqeen, Wa ‘ala ālihi waahli baitihi wasahbihi ajmaeen (And Praise is to Allāh, the Lord of the universe; Salawāt and Sālam on the sayyid of all the Apostles and its righteous followers, his family, members of his household and all the companions).

And Allāh Almighty Knows best.

[Excerpted from “Towards Understanding Allāh's Attributes: Allāh Is the Ever-Living (Al-Hayy)” By Salman Al-Oadah, Via Islam Today  Saturday, 31 August 2013;and Via  Wahiduddin Richard Shelquist , Longmont, Colorado, USA]

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