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GOD, THE ALLAH.

 

1)           IS THERE A GOD?

2)           DOUBTS ABOUT ALLAH'S ATTRIBUTES

3)           ALLAH'S ATTRIBUTES & THEIR MEANINGS

 

4)          ALLAH'S 99 NAMES

 

5)          GOD, ALLAH'S EXISTENCE

 

6)           IS ALLAH IN HEAVEN, ABOVE HEAVEN OR ON THRONE?

 

7)           IS ALLAH PHYSICALLY IN OR ABOVE HEAVEN?

 

8)           IF Allah IS ABOVE HEAVEN THEN HOW HE IS CLOSE TO OUR Jugular VEIN

 

9)           why did Allah create us?

 

10)        does good and evil come from allah?

 

11)        does god needs to be worshipped?

 

12)         does Allah descends from throne?

13)          Allah's entity and human perception

14)        ALLAH : IS HE A PART OF UNIVERSE

15)        THINKING IMAGE OF ALLAH

16)        IS ALLAH FORGIVING OR REVENGEFUL?

17)        "MY MERCY PREVAILS OVER MY WRATH"

18)       HOW GOD JUST & MERCIFUL AT THE SAME TIME

19)       WHY DOESN'T ALLAH ANSWERS OUR DU'A'S

20)       WHY PEOPLE ASKS OTHERS FOR DU'A'S

21)       Was name of Allah known to makkans

22)       Allah's WILL AND MAN'S CHOICE

23)       CAN ALLAH DO ALL THINGS?

   24)       NAME ALLAH AS GOD, EXISTED BEFORE ISLAM

   25)      WHERE DID GOD COME FROM?

 

 

1. IS THERE A GOD?

Question :

Is there a God, or it is a nature which is running the universe?

Answer :

Our logic necessitates that one of the following options must be correct:

1.  There is only one god, or

2.  There are many gods, or

3.  There is no god.

We likely believe that one of these three views must be correct, and the other two necessarily false.  This could be a logical explanation why Muslims are of the view that not all systems of belief are correct. While Islam teaches that "there is no compulsion in religion...." (Al-Baqra 2:256), it also teaches that the Truth is distinct from errors.  The Qur'an, a Scripture revealed to the final Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, in many verses invites people to reason and critically analyze its teachings, so that they may believe that such a Book is a Revelation, and that it could not have been produced by someone who had never read or written (since Muhammad, peace be upon him, was illiterate).

The Qur'an says that "....Whosoever wills let him believe, and whosoever wills let him disbelieve...." (Al-Kahf 18:29), as one's believing or not believing does not benefit or harm the Creator of the universe in any way.  One's belief is for one's own benefit.  That belief should be based on knowledge and clear proofs, rather than on blind faith and it should also not contradict our reasoning, for why would God create reason and religion that fundamentally contradict each other? 

One could ask, are there really any rational criteria at our disposal, based on which we can judge various claims of knowing the Truth?

We can put any religion or system of beliefs to test by examining whether it is rational, universal, applicable at all times, in all places, and by people of all colors and languages, and whether the religion's Scripture is free of alteration, internal and external inconsistencies.  A scripture is internally inconsistent if it contains discrepancies and contradictions within its text, and externally inconsistent if it contradicts facts (not theories) from science and nature as we know them.  For it is impossible that God does not know His creation or that which He creates.

We say "He", but it should be noted that Muslims believe that God is distinct from His creation and there is nothing like unto Him.  We humans cannot describe and attain to the utmost of His greatness, which is as He described Himself in the Qur'an. 

Muslims believe in pure monotheism and they reject views of those who give human characteristics of weakness and imperfection to the Divine (for example, the belief of some that God wrestled with a human, or that He was in a woman's womb for nine months, that he ate food, fulfilled his needs, was dead for a period of time, or has partners - we say, far above is God from such imperfections), or those who attribute Divine characteristics of perfection to humans or to any of God's creation.

Muslims also believe that this world neither created itself, nor that it came from nothing - and we believe that it is a product of Intelligence, rather than chance.  We also believe in all prophets sent from God, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all.  We believe that all of them called to the same religion, submission to the Creator, alone with no partner. 

Our experience tells us that a few minutes of reasoning can usually leave us persuaded in the truth of God's absolute Oneness and Uniqueness, so what remains to be studied is which religion is truly monotheistic in its nature. 

One of the major criteria for distinguishing the Truth from errors, that we would like to stress, is the authenticity of the religious scripture.  In reality, Muslims are the only ones who even claim to have an authentic scripture from God, in its original form, of which not a single letter has been changed.  We say Muslims are the only ones because, for example, many Jewish and Christian scholars dispute the authenticity of their books.   Most other religions admit that their scriptures are in fact human writings.  And if we say that there is a Truth and God, we are likely to believe that God wants us to do certain things and abstain from others.  Muslims believe that God communicates with His creation through His chosen Prophets. If we are of the view that God would not leave us without a reliable Revelation, then the mere fact that Muslims are the only ones who even claim to have an authentic revelation could attest to the truthfulness of their claim.  However, as mentioned earlier, the Qur'an invites us to reason and to accept faith based on knowledge, rather than the blind following of our traditions.

"Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully?  Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much contradiction." [An-Nisa 4:82]

“How do you disbelieve in Allah, seeing that you were dead and He gave you life! Then He will cause you to die, then He will give you life, then unto Him you will return”. (Al-Baqarah 2:28)

How do you disbelieve in Allah? How do you commit this act of kufr? How do you cover up this reality (the reality of Allah), seeing that you were dead - you were lifeless, not existing, not known or mentioned - and He gave you life?

How do you disbelieve in Allah? How with unlimited number of question marks and exclamation marks? This statement demonstrates how strange and unnatural this act of kufr (disbelief) is, being aware that one did not exist before and thus ignoring the Cause of existence. How would you disbelieve in the One Who gave you life and will cause you to die? And not only that but will give you life again and then calls you for accountability.

How do you disbelieve in Allah? How do you inflate yourselves with false pride, which is the main key of kufr [1], knowing that you were dead and will certainly go back to that state? Being aware of your beginning and of your end, and seeing that you have no control over both, you are indeed expected to be humble without having one iota of pride.

How do you disbelieve in Allah? How come you are unthankful to the One Who endowed you with the bounty of life and what it contains? Who endowed you with the faculties of hearing, seeing and understanding. In fact, humans are completely enveloped by God's favors. Thankfulness is the befitting and expected act from you not kufr (ungratefulness).

When we see an individual treating his or her mother badly, we become astonished and hate that kind of behavior. Surely our astonishment and hatefulness of such behavior increase when we realize the continuous effort of the mother and the care she provides her child with. The action of such individual is clearly a severe act of ungratefulness. And if this is the case, then what about the One Who created us and our mothers, the One Who provides for us and for our mothers? It becomes then clear that the act of ignoring the favors of Allah (glory be to Him) exceeds all limits of injustice and ungratefulness. Ignoring the favors of the Creator is surely a crime beyond description.

In fact, if Allah is not thanked whom else will be thanked? If Allah is not obeyed whom else will be obeyed? And if Allah is not worshiped whom else will be worshiped?

How do you disbelieve in Allah? How do you disbelieve in the One Who is that great (all greatness) and, Who is that able (all ability)? How do you disbelieve in the One Who brought you to existence and Who is to recreate you after death? How do you disbelieve in the One Who owns you fully and nothing happens in the universe except as a result of His will? He is indeed the One to be conscious of and the One to be respected. How do you disbelieve in the One Whom you will return to for accountability and there is no escape from meeting Him?

Allah is indeed our Owner. We are His property. A property that is completely dependent and is disparately in need of its Owner. And an Owner Who is in no need to His property and His property does not in any way increase His unlimited richness.

How do you disbelieve in Allah? How do you deny the resurrection and accountability, knowing that you were dead and Allah gave you life? It is extremely ignorant to doubt the ability of Allah (glory be to Him) - the One Who originated you to give you life again. And it is also foolish to ignore the seriousness and purposefulness that is ingrained in creation that strongly point out towards eventual accountability.

How do you disbelieve in Allah? How do you commit shirk (worshiping others with Allah or giving the attributes of Allah to others), which is one of the severest forms of kufr? Whereas Allah is the only One Who gave you life, the only One that will cause you to die then live again, and the only One that will bring you for full accountability.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) defined shirk saying- "That you make somebody or something similar to Allah, while He created you." In the Qur'an Allah (glory be to Him) says: "Yet they ascribe as partners unto Him the jinn . Although He did create them, they falsely, having no knowledge, attributed to Him sons and daughters. Glorified be He and exalted above (all) that, they ascribe (unto Him)," (Al-Anam 6:100)

We notice here, in the Qur'anic verse and the Prophet's saying, the exclamation about the act of giving the attributes of Allah or describing Him in human terms (attributing to Allah human qualities), while Allah is the Only Creator.

How do you disbelieve in Allah? How do you deny the existence of the Creator, while you are created and surely you have not created yourselves? Also nothingness can not be the Cause of your existence. How do you deny the Cause of your existence? It is like a machine denying the existence of its maker and not obeying his or her commands.

It the universe and what it contains is not enough for any sane individual, proving the existence of the Creator, then there are only two possibilities. First, the individual's mind is not functioning right, which means that the individual's faculty of understanding is shielded by various desires and self interest. The second possibility is that there is a problem of conception. If the individual views God, for example, as a trinity or as a white bearded being located at one of the far planets or stars, then how would one prove the existence of such being!

In reality Atheism (denying the existence of God) grows and flourishes in environments or situations where wrong beliefs are being inherited or adopted. In a society where mysticism, for example, is prevalent and being practiced one would certainly find people reacting properly or improperly to such nonsense, going to various directions like Atheism, Agnosticism or rarely the correct belief and understanding.

At times one hears some Muslims talking about the difficulty to prove the existence of God which is indeed unexpected and saddening. This kind of claim should only come from people following and promoting other belief systems that are not based on understanding and evidence. This is because if such people prove the existence of God logically, they would be unable to continue this process for unproven illogical other aspects, like for example, the trinity or the attributes claimed to be acquired by the so called saints.

Proving the existence of God is so simple to demonstrate and understand. One does not need to have a special experience, study or training. What is needed is simply the life experience of being here surrounded with the universe and its components (including humans and their life supporting systems).

Some people also claim that the belief in God is something internal; that is based on one's internal feelings. Surely the human nature, the built-in nature (the Fitrah), is a factor in the individual confirmation of the existence of God, but it is certainly not the only evidence. Furthermore, the human's built-in nature can be covered up with all kinds of whims and desires and thus becomes unable to function property. Therefore, depending on the inner feelings as the sole factor of proving the existence of God is clearly erroneous.

Saying that nature is the one who is controlling universe. Dear friend that nature is God, Allah almighty. As nature must have wisdom, and control of creation and sustenance in universe, and it demands that, there should be one who could do all that.  You can call Him  by any name, but that authority must exist, which in Muslim term is Allah.

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2.  DOUBTS ABOUT ALLAH’S ATTRIBUTES

Question:

1. Where does the word "Allah" Come From?

2. Where is God?

3. If God created everything - then who created God?

4. How can you believe in God, when you can't see, hear, touch, smell, taste or even imagine what He is?

5. Does God really have power over all things? - If so, then why does He let people become sick, oppressed and die?

Answer:

1. WORD "ALLAH"

"Allah" comes from the Arabic word "elah" - (Arabic) means 'a god' or something that is worshipped. This word (elah) can be made plural, as in "aleha" and it can be male or female. "Allah" comes from "elaha" but it brings more clarification and understanding

Allah = Has no gender (not male and not female). "He" is used only out of respect and dignity - not for gender.

Allah = Always singular - Never plural. "We" is used only as the "Royal WE" just as in English for royalty.

Allah =Means "The Only One to be Worshipped"

Is "Allah" only for Islam and Muslims?

"Allah" is the same word used by Christian and Jewish Arabs in the Bible, before Islam came.

On page one [1] of Genesis in the Old Testament, we find the word "Allah" seventeen [17] times.

2. Where is God?

Some other religions teach that "God is everywhere." This is actually called "pantheism" and it is the opposite of our believe system in Islam. Allah tells us clearly that there is nothing, anywhere in the universe that resembles Him, nor is He ever in His creation. He tells us in the Quran that He created the universe in six "yawm" (periods of time) and then He "astawah 'ala al Arsh" (rose up, above His Throne). He is there (above seven skies and on His Throne) and will  remain existed even all universe gets perished before the Day of Judgment.

“Indeed, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawaa) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty)...." [Al-A’raaf 7:54] 

“Everyone that is thereon will pass away (26) And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will remain forever” (Ar-Rahmaan 55:26 - 27)

3. If God created everything - then who created God?

According to the Quran, Allah tells us that He is the only creator and sustainer of all that exists and that nothing and no one exists alongside Him, nor does He have any partners. He tells us that He is not created, nor is He like His creation in anyway. He calls Himself by a number of names and three of them are:

  • A) The First - (Al-Awal)
  • B) The Last - (Al Akhir)
  • C) The Eternal, who is sought after by His creation, while He has no need from them at all. (As-Samad)

He always has existed and He never was created, as He is not like His creation, nor similar to it, in any way. Quran says:

“He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things”  (Al-Hadid 57:3)

4. How can you believe in God, when you can't see, hear, touch, smell, taste or even imagine what He is?

We know from the teachings of Muhammad, peace be upon him, that no one has ever actually seen God - at least not in this lifetime. Nor are we able to use our senses to make some kind of contact with Him. However, we are encouraged in Islam to use our senses and our common sense to recognize that all of this universe could not possibly come into existence on its own. Something had to design it all and then put it into motion. That is beyond our ability to do, yet it is something that we can understand.

We don't have to see an artist to recognize a painting, correct? So, if we see paintings without seeing artists painting them, in the same way, we can believe that Allah created everything without having to see Him (or touch, or hear, etc.) The personality of Allah is beyond our comprehension, because all what our senses and science can locate, it is beyond that. Even we all accept that there is “soul” but neither we can prove it by our senses nor scientifically. When soul which is a creation of Allah, we can not have its true concept than how we can identify Allah who is beyond our comprehension. Allah says :

“Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory)”  (Al-Baqarah 2:255)

5. Does God really have power of things? - If so, then why does He let people become sick, oppressed and die?

Allah has created all that we call the universe as a test for us. This is not our final destination. What we might consider to be "bad" or "good" could actually be quite the opposite. As regards oppression, this is something that Allah forbids for Himself to do to anyone and He hates it when anyone oppresses someone else. He does have absolute power over everything. He allows sickness, disease, death and even oppression so that we can all be tested in what we do. So this life is test from Allah, to some he tests by giving the luxuries of world and to some the miseries, deprivation and illness. Quran says:

“He who created Death and life that He may try which of you is best in deed ….”  (Al-Mulk 67:2)

Excerpted with modifications from: http://www.islamtomorrow.com/

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3. ALLAH’S ATTRIBUTES & THEIR MEANINGS

Question :

How can we imagine some attributes of Allah, suppose face, hands, feet etc? 

Answer :

Allah’s Attributes & the Mistake of Changing Their Meanings

(By Br. Abdul Wahid Abdul Muntaqim)

Ibn al-Qayyim once wrote that love for a beloved originates in the beauty and perfection of the beloved. Hence, by knowing and becoming familiar with Allah’s names, attributes and actions, one will love Him more and his Iman (faith and acceptance) will become stronger.

When Ibn Taymiyyah explained what the most precious and beneficial knowledge is, the first matter he mentioned was the knowledge of Allah’s Names, Attributes, and Actions, which plants in the heart, the love, hope, fear and glorification of Him (swt). No one would deny that knowing the One we worship improves our `Ibadah and that not knowing who Allah is, makes our `Ibadah almost meaningless. Allah (swt) said Himself:

"So know that Laa ilaaha ill Allah (there is nothing worthy of worship but Allah)..."  (Muhammad 47:19)

To understand Tawheed correctly, we need to have an understanding of Allah’s Names and Attributes. The question is, how are we to understand these names and attributes? Should we rely on our minds and speculative theology, or should we refer to the Qur’an, Sunnah and the understanding of the early predecessors? Many have strayed based on this point and, if Allah permits, we shall try to clarify some misconceptions related to tahreef (interpretation and changing the meanings) of Allah’s Attributes in particular.

The scholars say, the correct Faith in Allah’s attributes means believing in them without denying them or their meanings (ta`teel), without interpreting them and changing their meanings (tahreef), without explaining how they are (takyeef) or likening Allah’s attributes to those of the creation (tamtheel). Although a few scholars have slightly differed on this point, it is known that the consensus of the predecessors and leaders of this Ummah is as stated above. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support this, but we shall, by Allah’s will, quote several renowned scholars who wrote about this matter.

Often, the best way to explain what is Islam is by pointing out any contradistinction to what Islam is (or should not become). Therefore, if we study the beliefs of the misguided sects, our understanding of the Truth will be, by Allah’s permission, gets improved. A good example of this is, comprehending Tawheed is greater when accompanied with an understanding of Shirk.

This issue is also a matter of manhaj (program, way) and from whom we take our knowledge. A student of knowledge has recently commented that today’s Ash`arites are in fact Jahmees, because they still interpret some of Allah’s Attributes, which, in fact, leads them to negating the meaning of these Attributes (such as Allah’s Istawaa above the `Arsh, His Face, His Hand, His Hearing, His Seeing etc.). We have been warned of the great sin of speaking about Allah without understanding.

"Say (O Muhammad): My Lord has only forbidden indecencies, those of them that are apparent as well as those that are concealed, and sin and rebellion without justice, and that you associate with Allah in worship that which He has sent down no authority, and that you say about Allah that which you do not know."  (Al-Araf 7:33)

So it is indeed a dangerous to explain an Attribute of Allah without proof from correct Sources.

There is no doubt that all sects have deviated because they did not understand Usool (basic principles of) ud Deen. Therefore, the best way to safeguard one’s faith is to gain a solid understanding of the basics, before proceeding to study things that are not of the greatest importance, particularly those of us who are not scholars. Let us all realize the fact that we need to understand Aqeedah, and Tawheed in particular, before we proceed to study other matters, such as Fiqh. Verily, man has been created impatient, but we need to understand what the priorities are. If we consider the fact that (good) deeds of those who disbelieve are not accepted (see Quran 24:39, for example), we can see the importance of having a correct belief. Furthermore, the lack of understanding of the true Aqeedah among Muslims has led to great divisions and it would not be unfair to say that ignorance of the Aqeedah is the primary cause of our division today (at least indirectly, because if we knew the correct Aqeedah we would put most differences to one side).

Shall we not cling to the Rope of Allah (i.e. the Quran) and be united? Nowadays, groups are separating and those that have deviated or gone astray have even started cursing those who speak the truth.

Let it be clear that there is no compromise in the matters of Aqeedah as it is taken from the Quran and Sunnah, as understood by the `ijmaa, and let it also be clear that the consensus among scholars on this issue is very clear. Indeed, those who are close to the tradition (i.e. the Book and Sunnah) differ less among themselves than those who are far from the Truth. For this reason, it can be seen that the sincere ones who have slight differences in manhaj, but share the same authentic creed are one big step closer to unity (which should be very clear to those who follow the Ummah’s affairs). On the other hand, those whose very foundation is not firm will differ in a great number of issues. In addition, they are easy prey for Shaytaan, who seeks to misguide such people even further.

To reiterate how the Sifaat Allah are to be understood, we shall consider what Ibn Taymeeyah said in his Al-Ikleel Fee Al-Mutashbaabih Wa al-Ta’weel:

"God may be characterized by how He characterizes Himself and by how His Prophet characterized Him. The course to be followed (in understanding this doctrine) is that of the predecessors, the people of faith and knowledge, and of the meanings understood from the Book and the Sunnah. Response (to revelation) ought not to confuse it for such would be a distortion, a disbelief, an abandonment of the Book..."

And at-Tahaawee said in al-Aqeedah at-Tahaaweeyah:

"To imagine Allah in a certain form is not correct. The safest way for a Muslim is to believe in all the attributes of Allah is without adding any interpretation. To negate the attributes of Allah altogether or to compare Him to someone is a deviation from the right path. Our Lord is unique and without any equal at all."

What is ironic, is that most of those who call themselves Ash`arites today contradict their own teacher. For, Al-Ash`aree refuted many deviant claims of those who commit tahreef or ta’teel. He wrote in al-Ibaanah `an Usool ad-Diyaanah an arsenal of arguments against different heretics, and here is an example from this book, which represents the Aqeedah on which he finally settled:

"Whosoever questions us and says, ‘Do you believe God has a face?’, the answer is: ‘We believe it contrarily to the belief of the innovators; and His words ‘And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will abide forever’ (Ar-Rahman 55:27) are a proof of it.’"

He also stated: "If anybody says, ‘You do not deny that God’s words “….among the things which Our hands have …” (Yaseen 36: 71) and His words, “…before him whom I have created with My two hands…” (Sad 38:75) are metaphorical", the answer is: The rule of the Word of God is that it is to be interpreted literally and truly, and a thing is not transferred from its literal meaning to a metaphorical one, except by proof."

We therefore affirm these attributes of Allah (swt) and realize that "… There is nothing like unto Him…" (Ash-Shoora 42:11), that "There is none comparable to Him" (Al-Akhlas 112:4) and that "No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision…." (Al-Anam 6:103).

Can we Muslims settle on these issues and finally move on and do what Allah has ordered us to do? Or are we (some of us) still going to wonder blindly in following deviations? Are pantheist Sufis going to realize the fallacy of wahdat ul wujood and are some of the devotees of Sufism going to stop hiding the fact that they approve of it? Are Ash`arites going to stick to their creed in spite of what Al-Ash`aree actually said? Are the proponents of the Ash`arite theology in the Shaafi`iyy madh-hab going to stop picking bits and pieces from their scholars’ books and start taking their teachings as a whole? Will don’t they, for instance, realize how an-Nawawi regarded al-Ibaanah by Al-Ash`aree? Or how ash-Shaafi`ee, Abu Haneefa, Maalik and Ibn Hanbal understood Sifaat Allah? Are they going to realize the words of Al-Juwaynee, or al-Ghazaalee’s teacher, who also changed his view towards the end of his life and accepted the truth in this matter? He said in Ar-Rasaa’il al-Muniriah:

"I used to fear confirming al-Istiwaa’ and that Allah descends (if He will) to avoid limiting Allah, or assimilating Him (with the creation).

However, when I read the evidence from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (saws), I find that these evidences confirm these meanings (al-Istiwaa’ and descending). I find that the Prophet (saws), unequivocally confirms them, when talking about His Lord and describing Him (swt). I know for sure that his audience contained the knowledgeable and the ignorant, the smart and the slow, the Bedouin and the hard hearted. Yet, I find no quotations, clear or implied from him after describing Allah, that explains these meanings with what is not apparent, or what distorts these meanings as some of their philosophers did."

Many had strayed by committing small innovations, but Shaytan later led them to further from the truth. Interpreting Allah’s Attributes such as His Istawaa (rising over al-`Arsh in a manner that suits His Majesty), or His Face, has led people to deny them and to explain them in a manner which suited their opinions, based on reliable proof. If they only pondered over the words of Naa’im ibn Hammad, al-Bukhari’s teacher, who was quoted by ibn Katheer in his Tafseer:

"Whoever assimilates Allah with His creation has committed kufr (disbelief). Whoever denies Allah’s description of Himself has committed Kufr. Assimilation to (the creation) cannot be understood from the description of Allah by Allah, or His Messenger (saws). Whoever confirms the Attributes, mentioned in the clear Aayat (verses of the Qur’an) and authentic ahaadeeth, believing that these Attributes are in a manner befitting to Allah’s Majesty, and denying all ill descriptions of Allah; he has followed the way of guidance."

Ibn Katheer, in his tafseer of the verse “The Beneficent One, Who is established on the Throne”  (Ta-Ha 20:5), clearly stated that we should follow the understanding of the predecessors and not commit takyeef, tahreef, tashbeeh, ta`teel and tamtheel.

Imaam Al-Barbahaaree said, "Whatever Allah says is just as He says. There is nothing to contradict what He says. He is as He says."

And Allah (swt) states in the Qur’an:

"…. Whose word can be truer than Allah’s?"  (An-Nissa 4:122)

Ibn Taymeeyah said, "The early generations of Muslims and their Imams were in complete unanimous agreement that the Lord is separate and distinct from his creation. He (swt) is to be described only that which He described Himself (i.e. in the Qur’an) or with which His Prophet (saws) described Him, without distorting, negating, delving into the exact nature of, or believing them to be the same as something known such as human characteristics of the same names. Allah is described with all characteristics of perfection and no characteristics of weakness or imperfection. He (swt) knows that there is nothing comparable to Him, nor with His words in regards to any of His characteristics of perfection."

"Say: He is Allah, One (1) Allah, The Self-Sufficient (2) He begets not, nor was He begotten (3) And there is none equal or comparable to Him."  (Al-Akhlas 112:1-4)

Ibn Mas`ood and others said: "He is the one who has no cavity. The attribute of One (al-Ahad) means the one to whom there is no one comparable. Thus, the name as-Samad entails all of Allah’s attributes of perfection, and negation of any imperfections, and the name al-Ahad denotes the complete lack of anybody or anything being comparable to Allah in His names and characteristics."

Finally, to those who perform interpreting Allah’s Names according to their desires and based on no proof, and propagate it to others, we reply with the response given by Shaikh as-Sabt in his book "Ar-Rahmaanu `Alaa-l `Arshi Istawaa":

"This type of writer studied Tawheed and made their own minds as the judge and authority in this matter. They confirmed, of Allah’s Names and Attributes, what they thought appropriate, and rejected what they thought wrong. They subjected their Lord’s Names and Attributes to their own logic and understanding. Some of them approved of only seven Attributes and others were more generous to add six more.

This led to their understanding and believing Attributes of Allah, which are not the same as in the Qur’an. To those we say: ‘Do you know Allah more than Himself?’ This type of writers subjectively interpreted the verses of the Qur’an and the ahaadeeth of the Prophet (saws), in accordance with their own minds, changing their meanings. They made their thoughts as the base and changed meanings of the Qur’an to accommodate their opinion. They ignored the most basic rule of Tawheed, that is, to shape our thoughts and minds to accommodate the Nass (text of the Qur’an and Sunnah), confirming what the Nass confirms and rejecting what it rejects. These writers did the opposite; they shaped the Nass to accommodate their opinions and thoughts. They made their mind the god they worship. They fell into what they sought to escape from. They worshipped themselves, when they claimed immunity from error for their minds. Worshipping is following and obeying (Allah and His Messenger), is it not?"

As conclusion, Allah’s attributes of “established on the Throne”, face, feet, hand, seeing, hearing etc can never be compared with the human attributes of the same, and again we have to say what Quran says:

"… There is nothing like unto Him…" (Ash-Shoora 42:11

If anybody tries to make similitude with humans, than he is equaling Allah with humans attributes, which is in contrast to above verse.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://www.missionislam.com/

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4. Allah's 99 names

Question :

What are 99 names of Allah?

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

It is not possible to perfectly translate the 99 names of Allah from their original Arabic into English. However, here are some fairly close explanations.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah has ninety-nine names, ( i.e. one-hundred minus one) and whoever knows them will go to Paradise.” (Sahih al-Bukhari #2736)

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, Allah has ninety nine names and whoever preserves them will enter Paradise.”  (Muslim # 2677)

Following are 99 names of Allah.

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5. GOD, THE Allah's existence

Question:

Some of the biggest misconceptions that many non-Muslims have about Islam have to do with the word "Allah". Many people have come to believe that Muslims worship a different God than Christians and Jews. What is the most convincing way to prove the existence of Allah, the Almighty?

People are in confusion, where actual God exists, can you clarify with Quran and Hadiths?

Answer:

Muslim believes on the same God, that Christians or Jews believe. Only exception is in Islam as per Quran, God has named Himself by Allah. Muslim believes all the prophets before Mohammad (PBUH) i.e. is Jesus, Moses, Jacob, Ibrahim (peace and blessing of Allah upon all of them). The only problem is that Christians and Jews don’t want to accept His name as Allah, which Allah Himself given in His holy book Quran.

Who is Allah?

Very often one will hear the Arabic word "Allah" being used in regards to Islam. The word "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God, and is the same word used by Arabic speaking Christians and Jews. If one were to pick up an Arabic translation of the Bible, one would see the word "Allah" being use where the word "God" is used in English. Actually, the Arabic word for Almighty God, "Allah", is quite similar to the word for God in other Semitic languages — for example, the Hebrew word for God is "Elah". For various reasons, some non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Muslims worship a different God than Jews and Christians. This is certainly not the case, since the Pure Monotheism of Islam calls all people to the worship of the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all of the other prophets (peace be upon them).

Allah is above the Heavens, separate from the creation but among his creation by His Hearing (as-Samiy), His Seeing (al-Baseer) and His Knowledge (al-Aleem).

Now do we really need to prove Allah's existence? Scientific Logic says that this world neither created itself, nor that it came from any other source than a creator. You can not have even a glass without getting it manufactured by you with elements, Allah has provided you, then how science can believe that so big universe and its billions of different creations came to existence without any creator. Suppose you break the same glass, it won’t take in any uniform pieces, than how this universe can come to existence from a big bang explosion of huge matter without any planning, see what harmonious result of this big bang.

We see that in the result of big bang, a uniform of stars and planets system came into existence and all universe is expanding in order. No further collision happened later.

As you realize the Qur'an is above all a book of divine guidance. It concentrates first of all on the basic issue of faith: The belief in the Oneness of Allah and His control of, and supremacy over all the universe. The Qur'an draws our attention to the world around us and invites us to contemplate on every aspect of creation. It tells us that there are pointers and indications in the universe which prove without any shadow of doubt, that there is no deity save Allah, the Creator of all. If we were to reflect on these, the only conclusion we would derive from them is that Allah is the Creator of all and the Lord of all. Such indicators are everywhere in the world, but we tend to overlook them because they are so familiar to us.

If you consider how a big tree comes from a small seed and the process of planting the seed, its producing a shoot out of the soil, the way it establishes its roots, and how it grows, blooms and yields its specific brand of fruit, you will conclude that only Allah could have given the seed all these characteristics. But we do not tend to reflect on this, because the planting of trees and plants and waiting for their yield is so familiar to us that we tend to think of it as a simple natural process. It may be so, but who made it so natural?

Similarly, the birth of every child is a miracle, but we tend to accept it as the most natural thing on earth. Such birth is certainly a natural phenomenon, but who said that natural phenomena are not miraculous? Since it is beyond man's control, it is definitely subject to the will of a different power, i.e. that of Allah. Man has been studying this process of conception, pregnancy, and birth for centuries on end, but he still cannot influence, amend or change this process. Nor can man determine when to start it or influence its outcome. Not even the best techniques of helping women conceive change the fact that all efforts of man do not amount to more than inducing the start of the process and allowing it to take its course. Otherwise, can man conceive of any method which would bring children into being, without relying on the process of fertilizing a female egg with a male sperm?

Evidences from the Qur'an

As mentioned earlier, the Qur'an is full of both explicit and implicit proofs. Among the implicit proofs are the several verses that mention of deeds and Jesus being raised to Allah. Obviously, only what is below is raised or ascends. As Allah says, the meaning of which is:

"...And when Allah said: 'O Jesus! I will take you and raise you to Myself'...." [Aale-Imran 3:55]

"....To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds lift them...." [Fatir 35:10]

"From Allah, the Lord of the Places of Ascent (3), the angels and the Ruh (Gabriel) ascend to Him in a day the measure whereof is of fifty thousand years." [Al-Ma’arij 70:3-4]

And there are many other verses of similar nature but the above should suffice in making the point. Among the explicit verses, there are several other verses that mention clearly that their Lord is above them

"And He is the Subduer, above His slaves, and He is the All-Wise, Well Acquainted with all things." [Al-Anam 6:18]

And even more clearer:

"Do you feel secure that He, Who is fis-sama (above the heavens), will not cause the earth to sink (16)…Or do you feel secure that He, Who is fis-sama (above the heavens) will not send against you a violent whirlwind?" [Al-Mulk 67:16-17]

It is important to point out here that the literal translation of 'fis-sama' is 'in' the heavens. The scholars of tafseer have explained it according to the Arabic language for 'fi' in this context to have the meaning of above as it is not possible for Allah to be surrounded by His creation i.e. the heavens. Also, sometimes the word 'fi' is used in the meaning of 'ala' (on) as mentioned in another verse:

"....I will surely crucify you 'fi' (on) the trunks of palm-trees...." [Ta-Ha 20:71]

Now, obviously the 'fi' in this verse refers not to 'in' but to 'on' as one cannot be crucified within a trunk!

The other interpretation is based on the variant meanings of the word 'Sama' which in Arabic can refers to that which is elevated-the higher, or uppermost of anything (the Muhkam). It can also refer to the ceiling of a house, to the sky, to the heavens and to elevation and transcendence. The meaning should not be, hence, confused with its predominant acceptation, a word of well-known meaning: the sky-the canopy of the earth (taj al-aroos). Hence, the verse could be translated as the one Who is in transcendence to all creation which in essence, has the same meaning of being above the heavens.

Evidences from the Sunnah (the Way) of the Prophet

The sunnah of the Prophet is the explanation of the Quran. One cannot take the Quran alone without letting the sunnah tag along. Like the Quran, the Prophet made it extremely clear the truth on this matter of where Allah is. Some of the ahadith on this matter are quoted next:

Abu Hurairah narrates that the Messenger said, "Whoever donates the equal of a date from whatever was collected righteously, and only good is ascended to Allah, then, He will accept it (the charity) with His Right and raise it for its giver till it becomes like a mountain." [Bukhari]

More clear:

Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-As related that the Messenger said, "Allah grants mercy to the merciful. Be merciful to those who are on the earth, (then) He Who is fis-Sama (above the heavens) will be merciful to you." [Abu Dawood & At-Tirmidhi]

Even more clearer:

Jabir ibn Abdillah said: "The Messenger of Allah said in his speech on the day of Arafah: 'Did I convey (the Message).' They said: 'Yes.' While raising his finger to the sky and then pointing at them, he said: 'O my Lord, be a witness." [Muslim]

And the Muslims of today have the audacity to say that Allah is everywhere when their own Messenger pointed nowhere except to the sky above him in this clear hadith. I ask you, O Muslims, if you were to sit in front of me and I were to refer to you, would not I point directly to you and NOT the ground or to the sky to do so? So, why is it then when the Prophet points to the sky above him to refer to Allah we do not understand from this that Allah was above him, is above you and all his creations? Why do we wonder any more?

Finally, justice cannot be done to this topic without mentioning the hadith about the slave-girl, whose faith was affirmed by just two questions, one being 'Where is Allah?':

Muawiyah bin Al-Hakam As-Salmi said:

"I had a slave-girl who used to herd sheep for me. One day I discovered that a wolf had killed one of her sheep, and I'm a man from the children of Adam, I get upset like they get upset, and I slapped her in the face. Then I went to the Prophet who impressed upon me the seriousness of my act. I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, should I not set her free?' He said, 'Bring her to me.' He asked her, 'Where is Allah', She said, 'He is above the heavens.' He said, 'Who am I?' She said, 'You are the Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'Free her, for she is a believer.' (Muslim and Abu Dawud)

Among the benefits inherent to this hadith (as mentioned by Muhammad bin Jamil Zeno in 'The Pillars of Islam and Iman'- pub. Maktaba Dar-as-Salaam) are:

1.    The Companions of the Prophet used to refer to him all of their problems, whether minor or major. Hence, all issues for judgment should be referred to Allah and His Messenger, acting upon the Statement of Allah : "But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Mohammed) a judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission." (An-Nisa 4: 65)

2.    The Prophet reproached the Companion for slapping the slave-girl and considered it a serious matter.

3.  Belief is a condition for freeing a slave and since the Prophet allowed her to be free, she had to be judged a believer by the Prophet otherwise she would continue to be a slave.

4. The necessity of asking about Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism); and part of it is the belief that Allah is above His Throne, knowledge of this being mandatory.

5.    The legitimacy of asking "Where is Allah?"; the fact that asking such is actually Sunnah, since the Prophet himself did not hesitate asking about it.

6.   The obligation of replying that Allah is above the heavens, since the Prophet affirmed the reply of the slave girl and it also goes along with the Statement of Allah in the Quran:

Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allâh), will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquake)?  (Al-Mulk 67: 16)

7.  The correctness of Belief includes the testimony that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

8.  The belief that Allah is above the heaven indicates soundness of one's Belief, and it is mandatory on every believer to accept this position.

9.   The refutation of the erroneous belief that Allah is in every place by His Essence. The truth is that Allah is with us by His Knowledge not by His Supreme Self.

10. The fact that the Prophet ordered for the slave-girl to be brought to her to allow him to test her shows that he did not possess the knowledge of the unseen [except of what Allah informed him. This refutes the claim of many Sufis and other Muslims that the Prophet had complete knowledge of the unseen].

The Ijma of the Sahaba and Their Sayings

As Muslims, we have three main sources of our deen. Two have already been mentioned. The third is Ijma' of the Sahaba because the Sahaba would never agree on falsehood. Let us examine some statements from this generation:

From the first Khalifa:

Abu Bakr As-Sideeq said: "Whoever worshipped Mohammed, Mohammed has died. Whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is Alive fis-Sama (above the heavens), and death does not touch Him." [Ad-Darimi in Ar-Radd 'Alal-Jahmiyyah].

Other than stating that Allah is indeed above the Heavens, Abu Bakr made another important refutation here. And that is to refute all those who say that Mohammed is actually alive and we can direct our dua' to him or that he can become a source of shifa' (intercession) or wasila (nearness to Allah) in this life. Indeed, the Prophet will be a shifa' for the Muslims on the Day of Judgment and indeed following the sunnah of Allah and His Rasul will be a source of wasila in this life but asking the Prophet for intercession in this life or seeking his help in nearness to Allah by saying 'O Mohammed, bring us nearer to Allah' or 'O Mohammed, we ask Allah to grant so and so for your sake' is nothing but falsehood and goes against Tawheed.

The Sayings of the Tabiyeen and the Tabe-Tabiyeen

The second generation after the companions (tabiyeen) continued the firmness in matters of Aqeedah. There are too many to enumerate. A few examples include Marwan, Qatadah, Sulayman, Al-Taymi, Muqatil and so on. [Al-Uluw by At-Thahabee]

And we continue to see the same thinking in the next generation (the tabe-tabiyeen). As narrated by Al-Bayhaqi:

"We used to say, while at-Tabiyeen were still many, that Allah, all praise to Him, is upon His Throne. We believe in what the Sunnah has told us of His Attributes." [Al-Uluw by At-Thahabee].

And as Muslims we know that the throne of Allah is above the heavens and the earth.

Logical Reasoning

The evidence mentioned in the previous chapter either indicates, or does not indicate that Allah is everywhere.

(a)   If it does not indicate that Allah is everywhere, then they can no longer use it for argument.

(b)   If it does indicate (that Allah is everywhere), then logical evidence, or discerned evidence (from ayat or ahadeeth) will either emerge to indicate, or not to indicate the conspicuous falseness (of claiming that Allah is everywhere).

(c)   If (a) is true, then this is our proof that their claim, that Allah is everywhere, is false.

(d)   If (b) is true, then [we tell them]: you are, therefore, obliged to say that Allah is everywhere; and you are further obliged to say that Allah is in garbage dumps, people's stomachs, and in rest rooms. May Allah be highly exalted above that, and may Allah curse him who has drawn us to have to write this.

(e)   If you say that Allah is not in these dirty places because He is praised from such, then we say: "Where is your proof?" If via the discerned evidence it becomes apparent to you that He is every place, and these dirty places are places, then He must be there. And you cannot exclude places without textual proof (discerned evidence), and that is not to be found; therefore, these texts must imply one meaning which is that it is with His knowledge that Allah is with us, wherever we are.

Conclusion

First of all, logic of science and wisdom says that there must be a God, as all universe and other creation can not come to existence in a logical way without somebody creating and sustaining it. The only problem with science is that it has got no practical laboratory where it can prove that, “Yes, here is God, and now we believe it. Here is God, whom we can see, touch, talk, and pray”. So this is the problem of science that it can not prove God existence, not the problem of God.

God has given His signs of existence by its billions of creations and then through His messengers and His books. If somebody doe not want to believe it, God is not in need of his/her belief. On the day of Judgement when he/she will see that they are being judged, and Heaven and Hell are there, then they will believe it, and unluckily that belief at that time will give no benefit to them.

Is Allah everywhere?

Many illogical people say that God is every where. It means that He is in humans, animals, trees, fire, water, insects, garbage, in toilets, in your pocket, under the table, in liquor, etc. etc. It is illogical, that you believe on one God, and that God is then divided in trillions and trillions to be present everywhere, and also whether that thing is pure for His status or not.

Aayat in the Quran are used by the liars and heretics to prove their claim that Allah is everywhere. Among them are the verses pointing to Allah's closeness to His Creation to the point of being closer than the jugular vein. But how then, if one accepts that this is proof that Allah is everywhere, will one refute all the countless arguments/verses/ahadith that were presented here. Is it then that there is contradiction in the Book of Allah, the Sunnah and that all the Imams and the scholars have preached falsehood? No rather the claim that Allah is everywhere is misinterpretation to the point of being disbelief. These verses merely point to the fact that Allah is everywhere but only by His Knowledge, His Seeing, His Hearing and His Power. Only this explanation will allow one to be in compliance with all the other proofs from the Quran, the Sunnah and the Ijma of the companions.

There are numerous evidences to prove our belief, (that Allah is upon the Throne). We end this discussion with what Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal said to a Jahmi: "On the Day of Resurrection, Won't there be Paradise, Hell-fire, the Throne, and the Air?" The Jahmi replied: "Yes." Ahmad said: "Then where will our Lord be?" The Jahmi replied: "He will be everywhere and in everything as He was in this life ..." Ahmad said: "Then, according to you: that of Allah which was upon the Throne, will be upon the Throne, and that of Allah which was in Paradise, will be in Paradise, and that of Allah which was in Hell-fire, will be in Hell-fire, and that of Allah which was in the Air, will be in the Air? It was at that point that their lying about Allah, whose praise is exalted became clear." [Ar-Radd 'Ala Az-Zanadiqah].

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6. IS ALLAH IN HEAVEN, ABOVE HEAVEN OR ON THRONE?

Question :  

I have read the many translations in english of the Holy Quran: Surat Mulk (chapter 67) Verses 16-17 Dr. Mhosin khan say “Do you feel safe from the one who is OVER the heaven…”, in both these ayats; however Yusaf Ali and pickthal state IN the Heaven, and some of the urdu translations say IN the heaven, I am a little confused because my Aqeedah is that Allah swt is above the heavens on His throne in a manner that fits his majesty, and he does descend to the first heaven during the 3rd part of the night. Also there interpretation of Istawa is fixed on the throne, M. khan’s “is rose over (in a manner that Suits my Lord)”.

I would realy appreciate it if you could explain this in detail, What does the ayat really say and when was it revealed, I have read Ibn-e-Kathir there is not much detail for this ayat there. Your website has been very helpful and i find it alhamdulilah very honest and frank, I have previously suffered from Waswasa, which i have recovered fom al praise be to Allah (swt) through your site’s answers.

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.

With regard to the issue of Allah being above His creation and rising above His Throne, there are two important principles which must be established and highlighted: 

1. Affirming that which Allah has affirmed for Himself in His holy Book, in which He describes Himself as being above all of His creation, and rising above His Throne after creating the heavens and earth. This is stated in clear and unambiguous verses of the Quran. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility]. (49). They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded”  (An-Nahl 16:49-50) 

“Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake? (16) Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allaah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning”   (Al-Mulk 67:16-17) 

And the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do you not trust me, when I am the trustee of the One Who is above the heaven and the news of heaven comes to me morning and evening?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4351) and Muslim (1064).

 And he also said: “Show mercy to those who are on earth so that the One Who is in heaven will show mercy to you.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (no. 1924) – he said it is hasan saheeh. And he also said: “When Allah created the universe, he wrote in His Book, which is with Him above the Throne: “My mercy prevails over My wrath.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3194) and Muslim (2751). 

2. Nothing of Allah's creation can encompass Him and He is not contained within His creation. He, may He be glorified, has no need of it. He is above needing it and exalted be He above any of His creation encompassing Him.  

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):  “No vision can grasp Him, but He grasps all vision. He is Al-Lateef (the Most Subtle and Courteous), Well‑Acquainted with all things”  (Al-An’aam 6:103) 

“He (Allah) knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them (in the Hereafter) but they will never compass anything of His Knowledge”  (Ta-Ha 20:110) 

From these two principles, Ahl al-Sunnah established that the idea of Allah’s being above His Throne and above all of His creation means that He is above all creation, above the heaven, above Paradise, above the Throne, and none of His creation encompasses Him, He does not need any of them; rather He is their Creator and Sustainer. The texts which describe Allah as being in heaven mean that He is high above His creation: they do not mean that the heaven surrounds and encompasses Him. That is because heaven [sama’] here means high, and it is not referring to the created heaven. Or it may be said that the proposition in [fi] in this case means above [‘ala], i.e., above the heaven. 

It is proven that ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Shaqeeq, the shaykh of al-Bukhaari, said: I said to ‘Abd-Allah ibn al-Mubaarak: How do we know our Lord?

He said: [He is] in the seventh heaven above His Throne. According to another version: [He is] above the seventh heaven above His Throne, and we do not say as the Jahamiyyah do, that He is here on earth. 

That was said to Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and he said: This is how we understand it. 

Imam al-Dhahabi said, commenting on this report:

This is saheeh and proven from Thaabit ibn al-Mubaarak and Ahmad (may Allah be pleased with them both). The words ‘in heaven’ in another report explain to you that what he meant by saying ‘in heaven’ was ‘above the heaven’, as in the other saheeh report which he wrote to Yahya ibn Mansoor al-Faqeeh. End quote. 

Al-‘Arsh 2/189 

We will quote here the words of the scholars which explained and clarified this matter: 

Al-Haafiz Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

With regard to the words of Allah (interpretation of the meaning): “Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven [fi’l-sama’] (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake” (Al-Mulk 67:16), what it means is the One Who is above the heaven, i.e., above the Throne. The word fi [in the phrase fi’l-sama’ (translated above as ‘over the heaven’); fi literally means ‘in’] may mean ‘ala [above, over]. Haven’t you seen the verse in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “So travel freely (O Mushrikoon) for four months (as you will) throughout the land [fi’l-ard] ….” (Al-Tawbah 9:2), meaning on the land; and the verse in which He says (interpretation of the meaning): “…. and I will surely, crucify you on the trunks of date palms [fi judhoo’ al-nakhl]….” (Ta-Ha 20:71). End quote. 

Al-Tamheed, 7/130 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The salaf, the imams and all the scholars of the Sunnah, when they say that He is above the Throne, He is in heaven above all things, do not mean that there is something which contains Him or surrounds Him, or that He has a location, or that there is something that encompasses Him. Exalted be He above that. Rather He is above all things, He has no need of all things, and all things are in need of Him. He is above all things, He is the One Who carries the Throne and its bearers by His power and might. All created beings are in need of Him, but He has no need of the Throne or of any created being. 

With regard to what it says in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, “Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven [fi’l-sama’]…?” (Al-Mulk 67:16) and so on, some people may understand the word heaven as being the same as the created heaven on high or the Throne and what is beneath it, so they say that His words “in heaven (fi’l-sama’)” mean that He is above the heaven, as the words “…. and I will surely, crucify you on the trunks of date palms [fi judhoo’ al-nakhl]….” (Ta-Ha 20:71) mean on the trunks of date palms, and the words “So travel freely (O Mushrikoon — see V.2:105) for four months (as you will) throughout the land [ fi’l-ard] ….”  (At-Tawbah 9:2) mean on the land. 

There is no need for that; rather the word sama’ (often translated as heaven) refers to what is up high, and does not apply to any specific thing. So the words fi’l-sama’ [translated above as ‘in heaven’] apply to that which is up high as opposed to being low or down. 

He is high and the highest, and He is the Highest of the high; there is nothing beyond the Most High, may He be glorified and exalted. End quote. 

Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (16/100-101) 

To sum up: What you believe, that Allah rose above His Throne, above His heaven, above all of His creation, is what every believer must believe. What you have read in the Tafseers referred to, that Allah is ‘in heaven’ is also correct and is in accordance with what you believe. It is mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, but on condition that it be understood that the word heaven (sama’) here means what is on high, above, or that fi [in] may mean ‘ala [above], as we have explained above. If the mufassir intended some meaning other than that which we have mentioned, then his words are to be rejected. We would appreciate it if you could tell us exactly what he said so that we may examine what is in it. 

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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7. IS ALLAH PHYSICALLY IN OR ABOVE  HEAVEN

Question :  

Is Allah above the heaven or in the heaven physically? Also, is it part of belief that Allah is physically bigger than the universe?

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.

We put this question to Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allah preserve him), who answered as follows:

Praise be to Allah, the Most High (al-‘Aliy), the Almighty (al-‘Azeem), the Most Great (al-Kabeer), the Most High (al-Muta’aal). Glory be to Allah, the Almighty (al-‘Azeem). There is no god but Allah, and Allah is Most Great. And peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions…

One of the things which it is obligatory to believe in is that Allah is the Most High (al-‘Aliy, al-A’laa) and that He rose over the Throne, as He has told us about Himself in His Book. He, may He be glorified and exalted, is above all things. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in his du’aa’: “You are the Most High (al-Zaahir) and there is nothing above You.”

We are also obliged to believe that He is the Most Great (al-Kabeer), and that He is greater than all things, and that He is the Almighty (al-Azeem), and there is nothing mightier than Him. Part of the perfection of His might and power is that He will grasp the heavens and the earth in His two Hands on the Day of Resurrection, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

 “They made not a just estimate of Allâh such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified be He, and High be He above all that they associate as partners with Him!” (Azl-Zumar 39:67)

It must be noted that because Allah is perfect in His Highness and Power, He cannot reside in anything that He has created. So it cannot be said that He is in Paradise. On the contrary, He is above the Throne which is the roof of al-Firdaws, and al-Firdaws is the highest part of Paradise. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When you ask Allah for Paradise, ask Him for al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise and it is in the middle of Paradise, and its roof is the Throne of the Most Merciful.”

 It is not permissible for the Muslim to think about the essence of Allah, or to try to imagine His might, for the human mind is incapable ot comprehending the real essence and attributes of the Lord, and how they are. As Imaam Maalik said, when he was asked about how Allah rose over the Throne: “We know that He rose over it, but we do not know how. Believing in it is obligatory and asking about it is bid’ah.”

Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak


Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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8. IF ALLAH IS ABOVE  HEAVEN THEN HOW HE IS CLOSE TO OUR JUGULAR VEIN?

Question :  

Quran says "Angels and Gabriel ascents to Allah in a day equivalent to 5000 terrestrial years”. Does it imply that Allah is controlling the earthly matters sitting on the throne? Then how can be Allah nearer to us than the veins?

Answer:  Praise be to Allah.

It is proven in the Qur’aan and Sunnah and by the consensus (ijmaa’) of the salaf (early generations) of this ummah that Allah is above His heavens on His Throne, and that He is the Exalted, Most High. He is Above all things, and there is nothing that is above Him. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“Allah it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them in six Days. Then He  rose over (Istawaa) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). You (mankind) have none, besides Him, as a Wali (protector or helper) or an intercessor. Will you not then remember (or receive admonition)?”  (As-Sajdah 32:4)

“Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then rose over (Istawaa) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty), disposing the affair of all things ….”  (Yoonus 10:3)

 “…. To Him ascend (all) the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it (i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds)….” (Faatir 35:10)

“He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him) (Al-Hadeed 57:3)

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “You are the Most High and there is nothing above You…”

There are many similar ayaat and ahaadeeth. But at the same time, Allah tells us that He is with His slaves wherever they are:

“Have you not seen that Allah knows whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth? There is no Najwa (secret counsel) of three but He is their fourth (with His Knowledge, while He Himself is over the Throne, over the seventh heaven), — nor of five but He is their sixth (with His Knowledge), — nor of less than that or more but He is with them (with His Knowledge) wheresoever they may be” (Al-Mujaadilah 58:7)

Allah has combined mention of His being above His Throne with mention of His being with His slaves in one aayah, where He says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then rose over (Istawaa) the Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, and what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be ….) (Al-Hadeed 57:4)  

Saying that Allah is with us does not mean that He is mixed with (or dwells in) His creation; rather He is with His slaves by His knowledge. He is above His Throne and nothing is hidden from Him of what they do. With regard to the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge)”  (Qaaf 50:16) 

Most of the mufassireen said that what is meant is that He is near by means of His angels whose task it is to record people’s deeds. And those who said that it means that He is near explained it as meaning that He is near by His knowledge, as is said concerning how He is with us.

This is the view of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, who affirm that Allah is above His creation and that He is also with His slaves, and they state that He is far above dwelling in His created beings. With regard to the denial of all Divine attributes as voiced by the Jahamiyyah and their followers, they deny that His Essence is above His creatures and that He rose above His Throne, and they say that He is present in His Essence everywhere. We ask Allah to guide the Muslims.

Shaykh Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamqa.com/en/

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9. WHY DID ALLAH CREATE US?

 

Question :                                                                                                  

 

I am just confused about a question that has to do with faith and creed. There is a Prophetic hadith that states that Allah is neither hurt by the disobedience of humans nor does He benefit from their obedience. There is also a Qur’anic verse that claims that Allah didn't create the universe “for fun.” The first point suggests that Allah doesn't need to glorify Himself by urging humans to worship Him. I'm inferring that there is some other deep reason why Allah created us and put us to this hard test throughout our journey of this Life. Please clarify this point.

Answer :                                                                                                     

Name of Counselor: Shahul Hameed

 

Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an what means:

“To Allah belong all things in heaven and earth: verily Allah is He (that is) free of all wants, worthy of all praise”  (Luqman 31:26)

Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him), recited a hadith qudsi from Allah Most High (I quote only the relevant part of the long narration):

“… O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and will not attain benefiting Me so as to benefit Me. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as pious as the most pious heart of any one man of you, that would not increase My kingdom in anything. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to be as wicked as the most wicked heart of any one man of you, that would not decrease My kingdom in anything. O My servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decreases the sea if put into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon up for you and then recompense you for, so let him who finds good, praise Allah and let him who finds other than that, blame no one but himself.”  (Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah)

It is clear from the above that the majesty or power of Allah Almighty is not disturbed in any way by our actions on earth. The question then is this: Why did He put us on earth and decide to test us?

Allah Himself answers this question in His Qur’an:

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days—and His Throne was over the waters—that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct... .”  (Hud 11:7)

And again,

“He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving”  (Al-Mulk 67:2)

From the above verses, we can understand that the purpose of the test to which Allah Almighty puts us is to find out which of us is best in deed. It has also been made clear that Allah wishes to reward those who are good in motives and actions, and punish those who follow the evil one.

So the picture is clear: It is not for fun that Allah created the universe and everything in it. It was for a purpose. And also Allah does not benefit from our good deeds; it is we ourselves who benefit. And likewise, Allah is not harmed in any way by our wicked ways; it is we ourselves who face the consequences of our actions.

Allah says in the Qur'an:

“Who receives guidance, receives it for his own benefit: who goes astray does so to his own loss: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another: nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent an apostle (to give warning)”  (Al-Israa' 17: 15)

And Allah knows best.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.readingislam.com

 

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10. DOES GOOD AND EVIL COME FROM ALLAH?

 

Question :                                                                                                  

 

In surat An-Nisaa' (Women), there is a verse that states that everything is from Allah, but the next verse states that when bad things happen, they are from us humans, but everything good is from Allah. (An-Nisaa' 4:78-79)

I can see the logic behind this and that there is no contradiction, but I just wish somebody knowledgeable will explain these verses further.

Answer :                                                                                                     

Name of Counselor: Shahul Hameed

Thank you very much for your question and the good words you have spoken about the site.

The question of destiny and freewill has been nagging humans all through the centuries; and each religion has attempted to answer the question in its own way.

Master or Puppet?

The noble Qur'an enunciates the view that man is not completely a master of his fate; nor is he a puppet in the hands of blind destiny. It is a fact that Allah's sovereignty is all pervading and nothing falls outside its purview; which is to say that Allah knows everything and things happen according to His Will.

The whole of creation i.e. all the things and beings in the universe are subject to the overriding power of Allah, and we humans can do nothing without Allah willing it to be so.

Allah says in the noble Qur'an what gives the meaning of:

” ….He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements“ (Al-Furqan 25:2)

“We created everything according to a measure or destiny”   (Al-Qamar 54:9)

In both the above verses "destiny" implies the latent capabilities of things.

But this is not to say that Allah created a universe finished and complete, bound to the iron rules of nature. On the contrary, it means only that the creation of this universe was in accordance with the grand design of the Creator.

Well-Designed and Well-Planned

There is no element of chance in the creation of this universe. Everything is well-designed and well-planned. And Allah has a foreknowledge of everything that He created. But this does not imply that human beings have been completely deprived of the freedom of action.

The foreknowledge of Allah is different from predestination. Otherwise, man will not have any freedom of will or action; and what is more, Allah Himself is then made to be inactive, as things happen according to what people call predestination. But the glorious Qur'an clearly says that Allah is constantly active in creation. Allah Almighty says what means:

“Allah. There is no god but He, the Living, the Self-subsisting, Supporter of all. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permits? He knows what (appears to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He wills. His Throne does extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. For He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory)”  (Al-Baqarah 2: 255)

We may understand Allah's knowledge to be a living creative activity, which includes His fore-knowledge of events to come. The future may be conceived as an open possibility that pre-exists to be realized. This means that destiny as conceived by Islam does not negate our freedom of choice and action.

A Limited Freedom

Out of a set of inherent possibilities, we can make a free choice of those actions that are in harmony with Allah's Will; if so, we earn our reward from Allah. Thus from the point of view of Islam, humanity is free (in a limited sense) for all practical purposes, and has no excuse for making the wrong choice in the name of fate.

The Qur'anic view of humans is that they have a natural inclination to all that is good; but as we are given freedom of choice, we may choose evil against our natural tendency towards good. About divine guidance, Allah says what can be translated as:

“It is the truth from your Lord; wherefore let him who will, believe, and let him who will, disbelieve ….”  (Al-Kahf 18: 29)

Again we read: 

“Indeed Allah does not wrong the people at all, it is they wrong their own selves”   (Yunus 10: 44)

And: 

“There is no compulsion in religion. Surely the right way has become distinct from error ….”  (Al-Baqarah 2: 256)

The particular Qur'anic verses you have referred to in your question should be studied against the foregoing background.

“…. If some good befalls them, they say, "This is from Allah.; but if evil, they say, "This is from thee" (O Prophet). Say: "All things are from Allah." But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact?  (78) Whatever good happens to thee is from God; and whatever evil befalls thee is from thyself…”  (An-Nisaa' 4:78-79)

Good and Bad: From Allah's Will

First, it is mentioned that all things are from Allah; and then it is stated that good happenings come from Allah and evil happenings come from humans.

If we look for the correct interpretation of the verses above, we can see that there is no contradiction there. In fact, Allah Almighty is the ultimate source of all that is happening.

Consequently, all good that comes to man and all evil that befalls him flow originally from Allah's will: that is, everything is from Allah. And when man uses his freewill and makes a wrong choice out of several available options, evil follows. And we should remember that evil is the absence of good; or its opposite that follows a wrong choice by man. Thus it is true that evil happenings come from man.

It is also possible that what appears to be evil may very well turn out to be good in the end. In such cases evil is no more than a means of spiritual growth for man, and need not necessarily be "evil" in reality. And remember that:

“Allah does not wrong anyone by as much as at atom's weight …”   (An-Nisaa' 4:40)

We can also view the whole matter from a different angle as well. Everything is from Allah; and so we are from Allah. Evil is from us ourselves; but since we are from Allah, the evil that comes from us can also be attributed to the original source of all, namely Allah Almighty. So there is absolutely no contradiction in the verses you referred to. 

The Qur'anic concept of destiny includes the ideas of measurement, proportion, guidance and the completion of the creative process. We may say that it is the Law of Allah operating in the whole of His creation, including man.

In the case of humanity, the Divine Law includes the idea of freewill too. Allah has created everything with a purpose, a purpose that is attained by the completion of the process of creation.

In this scheme, humanity alone has a unique status as people can exercise freewill, where "evil" has a significant role along with good.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.readingislam.com

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11. DOES GOD NEEDS TO BE WORSHIPPED?

 

Question :                                                                                                  

We are created only to worship God, right? That is the reason for our creation. But since Allah doesn’t have any needs, why does He have a need to be glorified and worshipped? Why did He have to create the race of human beings at all? We make such destruction on earth and so on…

Also, I have doubts about the hereafter. Many things sound so naïve, just like manmade dreams - or horrors. All this is really destroying me. I loved being a very religious person. I felt so good and also secure, because I knew how world order works and so on.

Still, when I read or listen to the Qur’an, I am amazed by its beauty and sacredness. So, it really appeals to my emotions. But when I think reasonably, I don’t understand why God needs worshipping, while He should not need anything.

Answer :

Name of Counselor      Group of Consultants

 

This answer was kindly provided by both Brother Mahmoud Mahran and Sister Taqwa Saifulhaq, members of Ask About Islam Editorial Staff.

Thank you very much for your extremely important question. May Allah Almighty help us all to obey His teachings and rules.

Concerning the first part of your question; the reason of the creation of the human beings and whether Allah Almighty needs to be worshipped and glorified:

 

I believe that some of the doubts and questions you raised sometimes come to the mind of a Muslim when his faith is not quite strong. These thoughts are satanic in the first place, for Satan who stood in front of Allah Almighty and arrogantly said what means:

“He said: “As Thou hast caused me to remain disappointed I will certainly lie in wait for them in Thy straight path”  (Al-A`raf 7:16)

Satan wants the humanity as a whole to walk away from the right path, that’s why he always keeps whispering to them with his satanic thoughts that would sound reasonable to the people who do not have good knowledge of their religion.

As a basic idea, Muslims believe in is the verse that means:

“He cannot be questioned concerning what He does and they shall be questioned”  (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:23)

However, when talking about our creation, as human beings, we are talking about a gift from Allah Almighty. It is He Who created us and gave us the opportunity to choose the right from the wrong. It is He who led us to the right path through prophets and the divine scriptures. Allah Almighty says what means:

“And your Lord never destroyed the towns until He raised in their metropolis a messenger, reciting to them Our communications, and We never destroyed the towns except when their people were unjust”  (Al-Qasas 28:59)

The whole idea of creation and giving human beings the freedom of choice is a sign of the greatness of Allah Almighty. He doesn’t really need neither to be worshipped nor to be glorified, it’s only us who are in need of His love and mercy.

One of God’s names is “Al-Wadud” (the Ever-Affectionate). That means He Himself comes closer to the people whom He Himself created. The Qur’an reads what means:

“… and whoever is grateful, he is grateful only for his own soul, and whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-sufficient, Honored”   (An-Naml 27:40)

So worshipping Allah Almighty or not, it  neither increases nor decreases His greatness and glory. But worshipping serves us as humans to gain the everlasting blissfulness.

Now, we move to another point of yours: Is the human being a cause of destruction?

Who said that all human beings are a cause of destruction on earth? Allah Almighty said what means:

“And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalifah, they said: “What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness?” He said: “Surely I know what you do not know”    (Al-Baqarah 2:30)

This verse obviously means that Allah Almighty knows who will make mischief and who will make good deeds. He knows who will try to observe the precepts of Allah and who will live on earth causing mischief. That's why Allah Almighty gave us a will to differentiate between the right and wrong, whose works are going to be evil or good.

“Who created death and life that He may try you-- which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving” (Al-Mulk 67:2)

Now, let’s move to your doubts concerning the hereafter:

Muslims believe that this life has a final hour in which everything is to come to its end. This day will be the last of a life and a starting point of another totally different life. A life that will be either in Paradise or Hell forever.

Some people doubt the existence of the hereafter, so let us think about it together. Simply, let's make our example on a student who studies at a school, or a university or a college or what ever, do you think that he will prefer to keep studying forever without exams to finish a stage that is to qualify him to enter another? You may also ask an old man if he'd like to live forever. What do you think his answer will be? Is it going to be: “Yes, I want to live forever?” I doubt it. He will get tired from his life even if presumed that he doesn't suffer any of the old age hardships.

You may say that these examples are foolish and cannot possibly be used as samples to convince you about the importance of the existence of the hereafter. But it's of much importance to realize that there must be a kind of a philosophical question that is always around that is: "What's next?" It's a kind of question that every person needs to ask... This is because it is the logic we understand that everything is to come to a certain end. Allah Almighty says in the verse what means:

“What! did you then think that We had created you in vain and that you shall not be returned to Us?”  (Al-Mu’minun 23:115)

Do you think that it's justice to reward both, the one who makes good deeds and the other who makes bad deeds, with the same reward? This would not be justice at all. As a result, our faith in the hereafter urges us to make good deeds and to watch over ourselves and trying to make them all good. In addition, having faith in the absolute justice of Allah Almighty gives us the chance to rely everything concerning the hereafter to Him only, because He is the only One Who knows about who deserves paradise for his/her good deeds and who deserves hell for his/her bad ones.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.readingislam.com

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12. does Allah descends from throne

Question :

When asked "Where is Allah ?"  I reply "Above the seven Heavens and the Arsh" But taking the Hadith regarding that Allah descends to the lowest heaven in the latter part of the night. If someone asks where is Allah and they state it is in the latter 3rd of the night now.

What reply should you give? Another point is that some people say it is the latter part of the night all the time (somewhere on the earth at a particular point in time). From this they conclude that Allah is not above His Arsh.

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

Firstly, we have to know the ‘aqeedah (belief) of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah concerning the names and attributes of Allah. The belief of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is to affirm the names and attributes which Allah has affirmed for Himself, without distorting or denying them, discussing how they are or likening them to anything else. They believe that which Allah has commanded them to believe, for Allah says : 

“....There is nothing like Him, and He is the All Hearer, the All Seer” [Ash-Shooraa 42:11]

Allah has told us about Himself. He says : 

“Indeed, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawaa) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty)...." [Al-A’raaf 7:54] 

“The Most Gracious (Allah) rose over (Istawaa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). [Ta-Ha 20:5] 

And there are other aayahs which mention that Allah rose over His Throne.  The rising of Allah over His Throne, which means that He Himself is High and above the Throne, is of a special nature which befits His Majesty and Might. No one knows how it is except Him. 

This was proven in the saheeh Sunnah, where it is narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that Allah descends during the last third of the night. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Our Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when the last third of the night remains, and He says, ‘Who will call Me that I might answer him, who will ask of Me that I might give him, who will ask My forgiveness, that I might forgive him?’” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, Kitaab al-Tawheed, 6940; Muslim, Salaat al-Musaafireen, 1262)

According to Ahl al-Sunnah, the meaning of this descent is that Allah Himself comes down to the lowest heaven in a real sense, as befits His Majesty, and no one knows how that is except Him. 

But does the fact that Allah comes down mean that He vacates the Throne or not? Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said concerning a similar question: we say that this question is based on unnecessary and excessive questioning, and that the one who asked this is not to be thanked for his question. We ask, are you more keen than the Sahaabah to understand the attributes of Allah?

If he says yes, we tell him, you are lying. And if he says no, we tell him, then be content with what they were content with. They did not ask the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), ‘O Messenger of Allah, when He comes down, does He vacate the Throne?’ Why do you need to ask this question? Just say, He comes down. Whether or not the Throne is vacated is not your business. You are commanded to believe the reports, especially concerning the essence of Allah and His attributes, for this matter is above rational thought. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Uthaymeen, 1/204-205 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said concerning this matter: 

“The correct view is that He descends and that He does not vacate the Throne. A person's soul remains attached to his body night and day until he dies, but when he is asleep it ascends… It was said, night varies, and the last third of the night comes sooner in the east than in the west, so the descent of Allah to the lowest heaven, of which His Messenger spoke, happens in the east first and then in the west...” 

See Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah, 5/132 

Rising over (istiwaa’) and descending are two of the practical attributes which have to do with the will of Allah. Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah believe in that, but in this belief they avoid likening Allah to any of His creation or discussing how He is. It cannot occur to them that Allah’s descending is like the descending of any of His creatures or that His rising over the Throne is like the rising over of any of His creatures, because they believe that there is nothing like unto Allah and He is the All-Hearer, All-Seer. They know on rational grounds that there is a great difference between the Creator and His creatures, in their essence, attributes and actions. It cannot occur to them to ask how He descends, or how He rose over His Throne. The point is that they do not ask how His attributes are; they believe that there is a ‘how’, but it is unknown, so we can never imagine how it is. 

We know for certain that what is narrated in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is true and is not self-contradictory, because Allah says : 

“Do they not then consider the Qur’aan carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely, have found therein many a contradiction”  [An-Nisaa’ 4:82] 

Because contradictions in the reports would mean that some of them were showing others to be false, and this is impossible in the case of that which Allah and His Messenger tell us. 

Whoever imagines that there are any contradictions in the Book of Allah or the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), or between the two, it is either because of his lack of knowledge or because he has failed to understand properly or to ponder the matter correctly, so let him seek further knowledge and strive to think harder until the truth becomes clear to him. Then if the matter is still not clear to him, let him leave it to the One Who is All-Knowing and let him put a stop to his illusions and say, as those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say,

“....We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord....” [Aale ‘Imraan 3:7 – interpretation of the meaning]. Let him know that there is no contradiction in the Qur’aan and Sunnah and no conflict between them. And Allah knows best. 

See Fataawa Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/237-238 

Imagining that there is a conflict between Allah’s descending to the lowest heaven and His having risen over the Throne and His being high above the heavens stems from making a comparison between the Creator and the created being. For man cannot imagine the unseen things of His creation, such as the delights of Paradise, so how can he imagine the Creator, may He be glorified and exalted, the Knower of the Unseen. So we believe in what has been narrated of His rising over (the Throne), His descending and His being High and Exalted. We affirm that (and state that it is) in a manner that befits His Majesty and Might.

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13. Allah's entity and human perception

Question :  

I have been thinking of a scientific explanation of God's existence and I would be grateful for your comments. Time is eternal. It has neither a beginning nor an end. When there was nothing in the universe, there was time, which will still remain when there will be nothing as well. This is the universal time, not the one which we know, because our time is relative. Space is also eternal, without any end line. From time immemorial, there was space and after the destruction of the material universe, there will be at least space. Energy can neither be enacted nor destroyed, but it can change from one form to another. According to scientists, mass can be converted into energy, and energy into mass. All forms of energy, whether in gravitational, electromagnetic, nuclear form, etc. are derived from God Himself who remains the only source of energy.

Answer: Praise be to Allah.

I am not a scientist to be able to make any critical judgment of this approach, although it sounds to me much too simplistic. What we have here is a statement of certain scientific facts in order to assert or prove God's existence. But there is a big question mark that arises. The conclusion where it leads actually makes a definition of God in terms of time, space and energy, or indeed a combination of all three. From the Islamic point of view, such a definition is not particularly appealing, because we believe that God cannot be limited or confined within any particular framework. I realize that the framework which we have here is eternal in all its three dimensions of time, space and energy. But then, how do you account for God's other attributes such as absolute knowledge, compassion, provision of sustenance, etc.?

Scientists tell us that a source of energy need not have a will of its own. How can a combination of all three dimensions explain God's will which works according to His elaborate planning and faultless designs? I am only asking these questions to show that we cannot think of God's nature except in terms that are familiar to us. We have to perceive things in order to create an image or define a particular identity.

But God's nature, and indeed His existence, are not limited to what is familiar to us in our small corner of the universe. It is for this reason that the Prophet has ordered us not to think about God's entity. Such a pursuit will lead us nowhere. The explanation that my reader has presented seems to be appropriate, and it may, when elaborated, appear to many people as both convincing and conclusive. However, some scientists who prefer an agnostic or atheistic approach may have some counter arguments which may appeal to other people as also convincing. Where will we stand then?

If we are to require a scientific explanation for God's existence and, consequently, a scientific argument in support of faith, then we are likely to put ourselves in a very difficult position. One reason for that is the fact that science is in a continuous process of development. It proves today what it used to deny, and may reject tomorrow what it accepts today. Hence scientific arguments are not to be taken as final in matters which relate to God, His existence, power, will, etc.

It is far simpler and more appropriate to say that the entity and nature of God are questions that relate to what lies beyond the reach of human perception. Therefore, we do not involve ourselves in discussing them in terms that relate to our own world. That is simply not possible. As an English poet puts it: "How can finite reach infinity." Our own minds have a finite scope, but God is infinite in His attributes. Hence, our minds cannot truly perceive the exact nature of God or His entity. That, however, does not make believing in God difficult at all. There are numerous signs and pointers in the universe around us that indicate not only God's existence but many of His attributes as well.

God says in the Qur'an: "We will show them our signs in all fields and within themselves until they come to realize that it is the truth...." (Fussilat 41:53)

Numerous are the phenomena which cannot be explained except by saying that God has willed them to exist and to function in their particular ways. Within ourselves, and how we exist and function in our own world, there are numerous aspects testifying to the greatness of the Creator. These must be studied and we can immensely benefit from understanding them to confirm our belief in God's existence and His overpowering will.

But we do not take these as indicative of His nature or assume they point out His entity. These are matters that we will not be able to perceive. Why, then, indulge in such an idle pursuit? There need not be any scientific theory or argument to prove or indicate God's entity. We accept the fact of His existence and the fact that He is in absolute and free control of the whole universe without questioning. That is all that is required for us to have peace with ourselves, our world and the universe around us. Hence we stop at this.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )

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14. ALLAH : IS HE A PART OF UNIVERSE ?

Question :  

I know that in Islam there is not really a stated concept for what it is which constitutes Allah, since Allah is perceived to be ineffable and beyond the limits of human reason. And I know that in Islam, the creation of all matter is ascribed to Allah. I also know that 'shirk' is considered one of the most unpardonable sins in Islam.

Of course, what I know (about Islam or anything else) is inconsequential compared to my ignorance of the universe, but in my heart of hearts I believe that the universe is itself without beginning or end, that time itself is without beginning and ultimately must fold in around itself.

My question is this: considering what little I know about Islam and what (even less) I know about the cosmos, would it not be considered 'shirk' for a Muslim to believe as I do? That is: that the universe is not merely a creation of Allah, but is a part of it?

Is there any modality for perceiving the unperceivable (ie:Allah) which would not be inconsistent with a belief in the eternal nature of the universe itself?

 Perhaps I am asking if there is any basis for a pantheistic understanding of the nature of Allah. I know that the most common answer to this question is that Allah created everything, period, and there is no need to ask more than that. Such answers do not respond to the degree to which the question compels me. In measure, this matter is an academic one since I am an atheist and have been one for most of my adult life. However, my atheism is a product of my logical and rational self - the part ruled by the left side of my brain.

It does not respond to the poet in my heart or the child in me which senses a wordless beauty in the mountains and in the stars. So perhaps, if I am searching for an answer to a question which seems to you like a fool's quest, I ask only that you give a moment to consider that maybe in the heart of this fool beats the spirit of one who still searches for peace through beauty if not through reason.

To me, you see, there can be no reasoned search for something which - if it exists at all - exists only in the unbounded limits of time beyond all human knowledge.

Answer:

Dear Isla: Greetings of peace. 

I thank you for participating in this forum with this question which happened to be of many parts. Therefore, the answer is long.

First, I want to correct your statement that in Islam Allah (S.W.T.) is perceived beyond the limits of human reason. It is so in the physical sense only, i.e. where is he, what is made of, etc. These questions are not possible for us as humans to answer them because we (our brains & knowledge) are governed by physical laws that are three dimensional and subject to time like birth, aging and death. These laws do not apply to Allah or even his angels, therefore, it is impossible for us to comprehend His physics.

Second, you made a very strong statement of belief that in '' your heart of hearts you believe the universe is itself without beginning or end!''

I am sorry to say that science proved your belief to be wrong! Humason with a 10-inch telescope at Mount Wilson based on the measurement of ''Red -Shifts'' proved Hubble's theory of ''Expanding Universe'' or the ''Big bang''. Which Allah, the creator, have stated in the Quran over 1400 years ago:

''Don't the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit) and We separated them? And made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?'' (Al- Ambiya 21:30)

Third, No! Shirk is an Arabic term which means to believe there is one or more Gods beside Allah who created us and the universe. You claim to be atheist! As far as your belief that the universe is part of Allah and not His creation, my question to you is what is your proof of this new theory? Does the universe act like an intelligent full of knowledge, full of Wisdom Super Being that put together, in order and subject to exact laws, the marvels of all these different creations?

Fourth, Yes! But only through direct communication from Allah we (human beings) can perceive and understand Allah (S.W.T.)

Fifth, No! It is not an eternal universe, and No! there is no basis for the pantheistic understanding. The pantheistic view contradicts logic, science and the direct communication of the Creator of this universe.

Sixth, As far as the most common answer, it all depends on who you are asking. A Muslim is to answer only what he/she knows. That does not mean there is no answer. I have given you an answer, and another answer is: in the After life we will be recreated differently and in a different dimension, and Allah (S.W.T.) will give us the ability to see Him and speak to Him.

Seventh, Atheism is not a product of any logic or rational. It is the opposite! The left side of your brain is reacting to its inability to comprehend and visualize the nature of Allah. Which is natural because no brain is designed for that People at some point in time could not comprehend the fact that Earth is a big ball traveling in an orbit around the Sun in space, and they killed Galalio for saying that.

Eighth, your question is not a fool's quest, it is (if you are sincere) a quest to know the Ultimate i.e. Allah (S.W.T.). I know that in you heart and ''logical mind'' you know that the wordless beauty of this existence is not the product of blind chance, but the careful design of an infinitely intelligent, knowledgeable, powerful, purposeful and wise Creator – who told us His name i.e. Allah.

My suggestion is listen to your instinct and intuition (your heart) if your mind failed to comprehend it.

Ninth, the search in the universe for the physical nature of Allah is bound to fail, because he exists in the unbound limits of another dimension beyond human knowledge. However, the search for proofs of His existence and uniqueness is very attainable, you don't have to look far, just look at yourself and ask how I came into existence, who made the human design, who controls life and what causes me to die?

I hope this answers some of your questions. Thanks again for your participation. I hope to hear more from you, but shorter questions please! Greetings. 

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://islamicity.com/

Additional:  If somebody claims that “I am the one who built Empire State Building, Chicago, USA”. 

Now to ascertain his claim, you will go to the history of building and the history of claimant himself. With thorough investigation, one will be able whether claimant is correct or not.

Same way Allah has claimed that He is the one who created all the universe, all living and non living things and also sustaining it, and is also able to rewind it and will do it.

Have you gone seriously to explore this claim? I think “No”.

Because for this you have to go to History of Universe, Human History of land (specially Middle East)  and also the attributes of Allah, what He has explained about Himself and what He has created. For this you have to go to historical events recorded by humans and to the history of prophets and the books they were given, which Allah is claiming that He revealed to them.

Additionally scientifically you must see nuclear bonding, chemically integration, magnetically and gravitational links of all nonliving things. Also biologically composition of all living things and what makes them alive and what make them dead. Also how they came to existence initially.

For this Allah says in Quran:

“Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. (Aale-Imran 3: 190)

So you should go through all historical books and then the books , specially Bible and Quran. For Quran, you have to go its detailed commentary (Tafseers). Once you do that then you may be easily able to understand the nature of One who is owner of all that we see and what we don’t see.

I just give two examples of Allah saying in His book more than1400 years ago but confirmed now by scientist. One is :

''Don't the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit) and We separated them? ….'' (Al- Ambiya 21:30)

Scientist has confirmed it as “Bigbang” theory.

Second, Allah says in Quran :

 “…. and we made every living thing of water? Will they not then believe?  (Al-Anbia 21:30)

Scientist have also confirmed it.

Now a little about your thinking of Time and Space.

As per your thinking Time is eternal, which means it can’t be limited or controlled. Allah given us example of two real stories. In one case a prophet (Uzair) was made dead along with his donkey for 100 years. When he woke up (as per his thinking from sleep) his physical age was the same but his grand sons had become old. The donkey whose bones were turned dust, were made alive with its limbs getting collected and alive in front of prophet.

Secondly some persons (6 to 8 possibly) were made dead in a cave for about 300 years. When they got up from sleep they were not knowing all this until one of them gone to market for purchase with coins of 300 years old.

Now where is the time duration for them. It means that Time is under His control and He can manage it as per His wish.

Don’t say, it as miracle, because there is no base of Miracle in Science and human logic.

As for Space, it started from Big Bang. It is expanding under some guidelines along with galaxies. Who is managing all gravitational and other forces for that? Can it do by itself? No, then is it going on by Chance, but remember there is no “By Chance” on so big scale.

So for big questions of creations of universe, humans and all other living and non living things and their sustenance, don’t go to the word “By Chance”. This is not true scientifically and logically.

As for Allah being part of universe, it is totally absurd as Allah says about Himself

“Say: He is Allah, the One and Only (1) Allah, the Eternal, Absolute (2) He begetteth not, nor is He begotten (3) And there is none like unto Him. (Al-Akhlas 112:1-4)

“And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allah) with humility]. (49). They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded”  (An-Nahl 16:49-50) 

Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “When Allah created the universe, he wrote in His Book, which is with Him above the Throne: “My mercy prevails over My wrath.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3194) and Muslim (2751). 

Narrated Imran bin Husain: "First of all, there was nothing but Allah, and (then He created His Throne). His throne was over the water, and He wrote everything in the Book (in the Heaven) and created the Heavens and the Earth."  Bukhari

So the one who is claiming himself to be the Lord of All Worlds (universe) is Himself telling that He is beyond and above this universe. Now you tell me what scientific proof you have got that He is part of it.

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15. THINKING IMAGE OF ALLAH

Question:                                                                                                               

As-Salamu `Alaykum. Most people imagine Allah to have a certain form or image and to be in a particular place. Is this belief correct? What does Islam tell us about the appearance or physical attributes of Allah Almighty, and His place?

Answer:

First of all, we would like to stress the fact that, every committed Muslim should have a firm belief that Allah Almighty is UNIQUE in everything. There is no resemblance between Allah, the Creator and His creation. Referring to this, Allah Almighty says: "…. Naught is as His likeness; and He is the Hearer, the Seer." (Ash-Shura 42:11)

Also, one should be aware of the perverted ideas promoted by non-Muslims in this regard. In addition, every Muslim has to be aware of the snares of the Satan, and to avoid any wishful thinking concerning such issues that do more harm to the minds of Muslims than benefiting them.


In his response to the question, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), states the following:

"Allah, Glorified be He, is not something abstract. The Qur'an describes Him as a Personal Being with face, eyes, hands. He sees, hears, speaks, sits on the throne, likes and dislikes, loves and hates, certain things please Him and certain things displease Him and make Him angry. All these descriptions are in the Qur'an. Thus Allah certainly has an image or Surah.


We, Muslims, believe in and accept all that Allah has told us about Himself. But we do not say "how".


In Islamic theology this is called 'Bila Kayf' or 'without how.' Thus, we accept that Allah has face, hands and eyes, but we do not make a picture or an image of them. Allah Almigty says
“…. Naught is as His likeness; and He is the Hearer, the Seer." (Ash-Shura 42:11). He Almighty also says: "There is none equal to Him." (Al-Ikhlas 112:4)

It is acceptable in Islam to say that Allah is above or to raise one's head or hands towards the heaven to pray to Allah. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, went to the heavens in his Mi`raj and there Allah spoke to him. The “above” signifies the greatness, honor and glory of Allah. However Allah is not limited and confined to any particular place. His knowledge encompasses everything.

The Qur'an also tells us that He is very close to us. Allah Almighty also says:
"… and He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah is Seer of what ye do." (Al-Hadid 57:4)


Moreover, Dr. `Abdur-Raziq Muhammad Fadl at Al-Azhar University, adds:

 
"There are limits to what our mortal minds can grasp, in the sense that we will surely go astray if we give free rein to our thinking about Allah. A Muslim has to keep in mind that what applies to Allah do not apply to His Creatures. Allah Almighty says,
"Vision comprehendeth Him not, but He comprehendeth (all) vision. He is the Subtle, the Aware." (Al-An`aam 6:103)


Elaborating more on this, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid, the well known Saudi Islamic lecturer and author, states:


"The people of Ahl As-Sunnah Wal Jama`ah believe that Allah is exalted above His creation. This is based on the evidence from the Qur'an, Sunnah, consensus of the scholars, common sense and man's innate instinct or Fitrah


The Qur'an:


The Qur`an describes the "exaltedness" or "highness" of Allah in different ways, as His being High and Above, and by describing how things come down from Him, and go up to Him, and by stating that He is above heaven. For example, Allah Almighty says:
". . . and He is the Most High, the Most Great." (Al-Baqarah 2:255)

 
He Almighty also says:
"Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High."  (Al-A'la 87:1)

 
The Sunnah:


Many authentic reports state that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to say "Subhana Rabbi Al-A'la or "Glory be to my Lord Most High" in sujood, and in some Hadiths he is reported to have said "By Allah Who is above the Throne."

Among his deeds is the gesture of pointing up with his finger, when addressing the people in the greatest gathering, on the Day of 'Arafah during his Farewell Pilgrimage. He asked the people, "Have I conveyed the message?" and they said, "Yes, you have." He asked again, "Have I conveyed the message?" and they said, "Yes, you have ". He asked a third time, have I conveyed the message?" and they said "Yes, you have!" Each time, he said: "O Allah, bear witness!". He said so while pointing up to the sky and then at the people.

The Prophet also used to raise his hands towards heaven when he made Du`a, as it’s reported in tens of Hadiths. This also confirms the fact that Allah is Exalted and High.

An example of an approval of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon Him, which indicates that Allah is Exalted and High is the Hadith concerning the young slave girl, to whom the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon Him, said: "Where is Allah?" She said: "In heaven" He asked, "Who am I?" She said, "The Messenger of Allah." So he said to her master: "Set her free, for she is a believer." This young girl, though uneducated and a slave, knew that her Lord is above heaven.

Common Sense:

Highness is a quality which is associated in people's minds with perfection. If this is the case, then it should be attributed to Allah because every absolute perfection should be attributed to Him."

The above quotation is excerpted with slight modifications from;

www.Islam-qa.com

Finally, it’s clear that Allah Almighty is Omnipresent, though our mortal minds fall short to grasp His Divine Presence. But we have to bear in mind that He is the Creator of physical space and time, He is All-Knowing of every single millimeter in the entire universe.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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16. IS ALLAH FORGIVING OR REVENGEFUL?

Question:

The Qur’an says several times that Allah is most Merciful and Forgiving but also says many times that He gives severe punishment. Is He Forgiving or Revengeful?

Answer:

1.    Allah is most Merciful

The Qur’an says several times that Allah is the most Merciful. In fact all the 114 Surahs i.e. chapters of the Glorious Qur’an except for Surah Taubah chapter 9, begin with the beautiful formula, Bismillah-hir-Rahman-nir-Rahim, which means, "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful".

2.    Allah is Forgiving

The Glorious Qur’an mentions in several verses including Surah Nisa, chapter 4 verse 25 and Surah Maidah, chapter 5 verse 74:

"....And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

3.    Allah gives severe punishment to the deserving

Allah besides being Merciful and Forgiving is also strict in giving punishment to the deserving. The Qur’an mentions in several verses that Allah will give severe punishment to the unbelievers and rejecters of faith. He will give punishment to all those who disobey Him. Several verses of the Qur’an describe the various types of severe punishment that Allah will give in hell to all those who disobey.

"Those who reject our Signs, we shall soon cast into the Fire; as often as their skins are roasted through, we shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise". [An-Nisa 4:56]

4.    Allah is Just

The question is, whether Allah is forgiving or revengeful? An important point to be noted is that Allah besides being Merciful and Forgiving, He also has to give severe punishment to the deserving wicked or evil people, because He is also Just. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Nisa: "Allah is never unjust in the least degree....". [An-Nisa 4:40]

It is further mentioned in Surah Al-Ambiya:

"We shall set up scales of justice for the day of Judgement, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, we will bring it (to account): and enough are we to take account". [Al-Ambiya 21:47]

5.     Example: Teacher forgives a student who copies in the examination

If during an examination, a student copies and the teacher who supervises in the examination catches the student red-handed, the teacher says that he is very merciful and kind and forgives him and allows him to continue copying. Those students who have worked hard for the examination will not call the teacher merciful and kind but will call him unjust. This merciful act of the teacher will encourage the other students to also copy. If all the teachers are merciful and kind and allow the students to copy then no student will ever study for examinations and all will pass with flying colours by copying. The theoretical results of the examinations will be excellent in which all the students will pass with first class and distinction but practically these students will be a failure in life. The whole purpose of the examination would be defeated.

6.    This Life is a Test for the Hereafter

The life in this world is a test for the Hereafter. The Qur’an says in Surah Al Mulk: "He who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed; and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving". [Al-Mulk 67:2]

7.     If Allah forgives all and punishes none, who will obey him?

If Allah (swt) forgives each and every human being and punishes no one, then why should the human beings obey the command of Allah (swt)? I do agree that no one will go to hell, but this world would become hell to live in. If all human beings are going to go to heaven then what is the purpose and use of the human beings to come to this world, this life cannot be called a test for the hereafter.

8.    Allah only forgives if a person repents

Allah (swt) only forgives if a person repents. The Qur’an says in Surah Al-Zumar, chapter 39 verse 53-55:

"Say: ‘O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (53) "Turn ye to your Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (will), before the penalty comes on you - after that ye shall not be helped." (54)"And follow the best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the penalty comes on you - of a sudden, while ye perceive not!" [Az-Zumar 39:53-55]

There are four criteria for repentance: First, agree that the act is wrong. Secondly, stop it immediately. Thirdly, never do it again in future. And lastly, compensate for the loss if caused to anyone.

Another Hadith which uses the same wording in its first part mentions that the results of increased provisions and longer life depend on being kind to one's close relatives.

Again, dutifulness to parents and kindness to relatives are things that we do by our own free will. They are not imposed on us. But we should reflect that both the things that depend on them - increased provisions and longer life - are written down by the angel when everyone of us is still a fetus. Scholars have explained this and given two points by way of explanation. The first is that they point out a fact to which reference is made in Verse 39 of Surah 13 which includes this statement: "Alah blots out what He wills and confirms (what He wills). And with Him is the Mother of the Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz) [Ar-Rad 13:39]

This is in direct reference to what is written concerning the future. So, what has been written may be changed as a result of what we do. The other explanation is that when the angel is given his instructions to write down four things, he is told to write: "This person shall live for sixty years if he is not dutiful to his parents, but will continue to live until he is seventy if he is dutiful to them." Now, God knows in advance that the person concerned will be dutiful or not dutiful and at what moment exactly he will die. The angel does not know. Therefore, the extension in the person's age as a result of his actions is true in relation to all creatures, including human beings, angels and all living things on earth and in the wide universe.

To God the extension is known in advance. Could we not say that the same thing applies in relation to the lifestyle that we follow. To my understanding, the way God has created us and the world around us makes it clear that it is His will that we will be affected by a wide variety of causes. Therefore, if we lead a healthy lifestyle we are likely to live longer than if we are heedless of all the lessons that life brings to us.

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17. "MY MERCY PREVAILS OVER MY WRATH"

Question :        

Last week I saw a lecture of an Indian lecturer on a CD. In his talk, he said that Almighty Allah loves us 70 times greater than a mother. Isn't he comparing some humanly quality to Allah's quality? Isn't it a form of shirk?

Answer :

Name of Counselor :   Shahul Hameed

First of all, we need to understand what we mean by "humanly quality" and what we mean by "divine quality." I hope you understand the Quranic idea that humankind is Allah's khalifah (vicegerent) on earth. This means, among other things, that Allah has endowed man with some of His own qualities, but within limits.

Some of the qualities like mercy or kindness that we call "human" are given to humankind by Allah, and these same qualities are present in its fullness in Allah. For this reason, a comparison between human kindness, for instance, and divine kindness (though it is incommensurable) is possible for our understanding.

In the Quran, we read of Allah as "Al-Wadud" (the Loving) what means:

And He is the Oft-Forgiving, Full of Loving-Kindness”  (Al-Burooj 85:14)

You can see that for all practical purposes, Allah's love & His mercy is freely given to all His creatures. However Allah says about His mercy to humans:

Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful”   (Az-Zumr 39:53)

The idea is that those who do wrong are hurting themselves, however, Allah's forgiveness has no limits and the only condition is that we should repent and pray for His Mercy.

The Quran tells us of the angels praying for the believers:

"…. Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire  (Al-Ghafir 40:7)

Allah's mercy is bestowed on all His creatures and is seen in everything around us — in the water we drink, in the air we breathe, in the sunshine we enjoy, and so on. Allah says,

“….verily, if any of you did evil in ignorance, and thereafter repented, and amend (his conduct), lo! He is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”  (Al-Anam 6:54)

“…. And My Mercy embraces all things….” (Al-A`raf 7:156)

The Prophet said, "When Allah created the creatures, He wrote in the Book, which is with Him over His Throne: "Verily, My Mercy prevailed over My Wrath."  (Al-Bukhari)

He also said, "Allah has divided mercy into 100 parts, and He retained with Him 99 parts, and sent down to earth 1 part. Through this one part creatures deal with one another with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts its hoof over its young lest it should hurt it." (Al-Bukhari)

In fact, the two attributes of Allah, Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, which mean "The Most Gracious" and "The Most Merciful" respectively are probably the most repeated ones, as they are mentioned again and again in different verses as well as at the beginning of 113 chapters of the Qur'an: "In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful."

Prophet Muhammad said, "Those who show mercy to their fellow beings will be shown mercy by the Merciful Lord. So, show mercy to those on the earth, and He Who is in the heaven will show mercy to you." (At-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet also said:

Allah ordered the appointed angels over you that the good and the bad deeds be written, and He then showed how to write. If someone intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write for him a full good deed, and if he intends to do a good deed and actually did it, then Allah will write for him its reward equal from 10 to 700 times to many more times. And If someone intends to do a bad deed and he does not do it, then Allah will write for him a full good deed (in his account) with Him, and if he intends to do a bad deed and actually did it, then Allah will write for him one bad deed. (Al-Bukhari)

There is another famous hadith where the Prophet is reported to have said,

“Allah, the Almighty, says, 'Whosoever does a good deed, will have a reward 10 times like it and I add more, and whosoever does an evil, will have the punishment like it or I will forgive him, and whosoever approaches Me by one span, I will approach him by one cubit, and whosoever approaches Me by one cubit, I approach him by one fathom, and whosoever comes to Me walking, I go to him running, and whosoever meets Me with an earth-load of sins without associating anything with Me, I meet him with forgiveness like that.” (Muslim)

It is Allah's infinite compassion and mercy to His obedient servants that is expressed in the above two hadiths. Another hadith:

`Umar ibn Al-Khattab said: Some captives were brought to the Messenger of Allah and there was a woman among them whose breasts were full of milk. Suddenly, this woman saw an infant in the midst of the captives. She took hold of it, brought it into her bosom, and started nursing it. The Prophet then told the Companions, "Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?" We said, "No, By Allah she would not, if she is able not to." He then said, "Allah the Exalted is more merciful with His slave than this woman with her child." (Al-Bukhari)

Here, the Prophet clearly tells us that the mercy of Allah is far greater than the mercy of a mother for her child. This comparison is made by the Prophet to make the idea of Allah's boundless mercy as clear to ordinary humans as they can comprehend.

This example makes it clear that it is permissible for us to illustrate by way of examples and comparisons what one cannot make others easily understand by way of reasoning, just as the Prophet did in the above case. As it was impossible to describe the immensity of Allah's mercy, he cited the example of a mother's mercy for her child.

And what is more, the word for mercy (rahmah) is derived from the root r-h-m, which means a mother's womb. The complete protection provided to the unborn baby in the womb is symbolic of Allah's own mercy. Therefore, a comparison between the mother's mercy and Allah's mercy is quite in order.

To say that Allah's love for us is "70 times (meaning a great number of times) greater than a mother's" is the kind of common expression used to give an idea of the inexplicably huge difference between Allah's love and a mother's love. First, there is no element of shirk in it, as the speaker highlights the immense difference between the Creator and the creature.

Second, it is the Prophet who used this comparison and obviously there cannot be any element of shirk in it.

Lastly the mercy and forgiveness is so great that it can not be measured by anybody love and mercy of woldly living beings. Its example is in Quran, when Allah says:

“Verily, Allah forgives not that rivals should be set up in the worship with Him. He forgives save that (anything else) to whom He pleases and whoever set up rivals with Allah he has indeed done a tremendous sin”  (An-NIssa 4:48)

It means that Allah can show his mercy on us by forgiving all the sins (except shirk) and thus let us enter heaven. Can you make any comparison of this mercy and love to any mercy and love we see in the world? Of course NO, NO, NOT AT ALL.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.readingislam.com/

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18. HOW GOD JUST & MERCIFUL AT HE SAME TIME

Question :

How can GOD Almighty be absolutely Just and Merciful at the same time?  How is justice served when Mercy and Forgiveness of sins are applied to some people and not others?

Answer :

While the question seems to be impossible to answer on the surface, but the answer to it is actually quite simple and it is spelled out in the Noble Quran.

To simplify the answer, I'd like to take the scenario of sexual sinning and concentrate on it.  We have a scenario of two men living in the West where they all, on separate occasions, had sex with one prostitute.  One of them was forgiven by Allah Almighty while the other got punished for the sin.  How is that fair and just when GOD Almighty's Mercy was applied to one person and not to the other, and when GOD Almighty punished one person and didn't punish the other?  Let us look at the following Noble Verses from the Noble Quran:

“Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it (7) And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it” (Az-Zalzala 99:7-8)

“There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance dependeth on Allah: He knoweth the time and place of its definite abode and its temporary deposit: All is in a clear Record (Hood 11:6)

We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam"  (Al-Ahqaaf 46:15)

“Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them)”  (Al-Anfaal 8:38)

The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all between,- Exalted in Might, able to enforce His Will, forgiving again and again"  (Sad 38:66)

“Those who avoid great sins and shameful deeds, only (falling into) small faults, verily thy Lord is ample in forgiveness. He knows you well when He brings you out of the earth, And when ye are hidden in your mothers' wombs. Therefore justify not yourselves: He knows best who it is that guards against evil”  (An-Najm 53:32)

In these Noble Verses we see the following:

1-    Allah Almighty records everything that His creations do, and will bring it to their attention on the Day of Judgement.

2-  Allah Almighty recognizes that as the person grows up, he/she learns.  His example of the age of 40 in Noble Verse 46:15 clearly proves this.

3-  Allah Almighty's Mercy and Forgiveness are vast and He always Forgives His creation.

With these points established from the Noble Quran, we can now clearly see how Allah Almighty's Mercy and Justice do not contradict each others in anyway.  In the case of sexual sinning above, while it is true that the sin itself was committed by the two men and with the same woman, but the conditions that surrounded both men and effecting their upbringing, and their intentions and faith and fear in Allah Almighty, and their age differences and mentality, and other conditions that I can't think of right now are most definitely different between them, because each person is unique. 

A pornography promoter, for instance, is not the same as the victim who falls prey into the sexual sinning and lust through seeing it on the internet, VHS or DVD.  So the bottom line is it is not the sin itself that always matters to Allah Almighty.   It is rather the intentions of the person and the situation that he/she is in that caused him/her to sin it. 

And equally important, the age that they were in when they committed the sin also matters.  A 13-year old teenager committing fornication is not the same as a 60-year old committing it!  While the sin is the same, but the mentality and maturity between the 13-year old and the 60-year old is quite different!  Allah Almighty would most likely forgive the 13-year old boy while He may not forgive the 60-year old.

Also, even if the two sinners were on the same age (say 30 years old), still one of them might be forgiven while the other might not.  A man committing a sin in a very conservative and anti-sex society such as the Orthodox Muslim ones is different from one who lives in California or South Beach Florida where the girls always look sexually tempting and lustful.  Women in Orthodox Muslim societies don't look sexual at all.  Sexual temptation does not even exist in these societies and believe it or not, teenage boys may not even masturbate because the urge is just not there!  The case is not the same in whoredom societies where Christians mostly live such as in the US and Europe, where they pride themselves with sex and lust, and sin is their way of life.

Please visit:  X-Rated Pornography in the Bible.  The Bible literally sings praises to fornication and declares that women's vaginas and breasts taste like "wine".

Also, please visit: Why are Christians so notorious in sinning throughout the world? What is the real secret behind it?

If you ever wondered why Christians are always notorious in pornography, fornication (boyfriend-girlfriend sexual relationships), lust and other garbage, well it is because their gospel of porn allows them to be so.   Also, they never see fornication as a sin in the eyes of GOD Almighty!  Or to be more accurate, since everything that exists in this world is a sin to them, and only Jesus can free them, then committing any sin is not big deal at all, because Jesus paid for all of it with his blood.  And since the gospel of porn sings praises to fornication and women's vaginas and breasts, then committing fornication is not a big deal sin.

Of course, the crucifixion is a lie, and the early Christians in Palestine (where Jesus lived) NEVER believed that crucifixion ever happened.

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19. WHY DOESN'T ALLAH ANSWER OUR DU`A'S

Question :          

Why doesn't Allah answer our du`a's (supplications)?

Answer :             

Answering the question, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, states:

"Imam Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

Du`a's and ta`awwudhat [prayers seeking refuge with Allah] are like a weapon, and a weapon is only as good as the person who is using it; it is not merely the matter of how sharp it is. If the weapon is perfect and free of faults, and the arm of the person using it is strong, and there is nothing stopping him, then he can lay waste the enemy. But if any of these three features is lacking, then the effect will be lacking accordingly.” (Ad-Da’ wa-d-Dawa’, p. 35).

From this it will be clear that there is an etiquette and rulings that must be fulfilled in the du`a' and in the person making the du`a'. There are also things that may prevent the du`a' reaching Allah or being answered – these things must be removed from the person making the du`a' and from the du`a'. When all of these conditions are fulfilled, then the du`a' may be answered.

1. Sincerity in making du`a'. This is the most important condition. Allah has commanded us to be sincere when making du`a', as He says: “Therefore (O believers) pray unto Allah, making religion pure for Him (only), however much the disbelievers be averse.” (Ghafir 40:14)

Sincerity in du`a' means having the firm belief that the One upon Whom you are calling – Allah, may He be glorified and exalted – is alone able to meet your need, and it also means avoiding any kind of showing off in your du`a'.

2. Repentance and turning back to Allah. Sin is one of the main reasons why du`a's are not answered, so the person who is making du`a' should hasten to repent and seek forgiveness before he makes du`a'. Allah tells us that prophet Nuh (peace be upon him) said:

"And I have said: Seek pardon of your Lord Lo! He was ever Forgiving (10) He will let loose the sky for you in plenteous rain (11) and will help you with wealth and sons, and will assign unto you Gardens and will assign unto you rivers." (Nuh 71:10 -12)

3. Beseeching, humbling oneself, hoping for Allah’s reward and fearing His punishment. This is the spirit, essence and purpose of du`a'. Allah says: "(O mankind!) Call upon your Lord humbly and in secret. Lo! He loveth not aggressors." (Al-A`raf 7:55)

4. Urgently beseeching and repeating the du`a', without getting exasperated or bored; this is achieved by repeating the du`a' two or three times. Restricting it to three times is preferable, in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) liked to say a du`a' three times and ask for forgiveness three times. This was narrated by Abu Dawud and al-Nasa’i.

5. Making du`a' at times of ease, and saying more du`a's at times of plenty (of wealth). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of hardship.” (Reported by Ahmad)

6. Seeking to draw closer to Allah by calling upon Him by His Most Beautiful Names and Sublime Attributes at the beginning of the du`a' or at the end. Allah says: “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them…” (Al-A`raf 7:180)

7. Choosing the clearest and most concise words and the best of du`a's. The best of du`a's are those of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), but it is permissible to say other words according to the specific needs of a person.

Other aspects of the etiquette of making du`a', although they are not obligatory, are: to face the Qiblah; to make du`a' in a state of purity; to start the du`a' with praise of Allah and blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It is also prescribed to raise the hands when making du`a'.

One of the things that helps to bring a response to du`a' is to seek the best times and places. Among the best times is the time just before Fajr (dawn), the last third of the night, the last hour of Jumu`ah (Friday), when rain is falling, and between the adhan and iqamah. Among the best places are mosques in general, and al-Masjid al-Haram (in Makkah) in particular.

Among the situations in which du`a' is more likely to be answered are: when one is mistreated or oppressed, when one is traveling, when one is fasting, when one is in desperate need, and when a Muslim makes du`a' for his brother in his absence.

Things which may prevent du`a' from being answered include:

1. When the du`a' is weak in itself, because it involves something inappropriate, or involves bad manners towards Allah, may He be exalted, or it is inappropriate, which means asking Allah for something which it is not permitted to ask, e.g. when a man asks to live forever in this world, or he asks for a sin or something haram, or he prays that he will die, and so on. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “A person's du`a' will continue to be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties.” (Reported by Muslim)

2. When the person who is making du`a' is weak in himself, because he is faint-hearted in his turning towards Allah. This may be either because of bad manners towards Allah, may He be exalted – such as raising his voice in du`a' or making du`a' in the manner of one who thinks he has no need of Allah; or because he pays too much attention to the wording and tries to come up with unnecessarily ornate phrases, without paying attention to the meaning; or because he tries too hard to weep or shout without really feeling it, or he goes to extremes in that.

3. The reason why his du`a' is not answered may be because he has done something that Allah has forbidden, such as having unlawful wealth – whether it be food or drink or clothing or accommodation or transportation, or he has taken an unlawful job, or the stain of sin is still in his heart, or he is following bid`ah (innovation) in religion, or his heart has been overtaken by negligence.

4. Consuming unlawful wealth. This is one of the major reasons why du`a's are not answered. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“O people, Allah is Good and only accepts that which is good. Allah commanded the pious to follow the same commandments as He gave to the Messengers. He says: ‘O ye messengers! Eat of the good thing, and do right. Lo! I am Aware of what ye do.’ (Al-Mu’minun 23:51) ‘O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He whom ye worship.’ (Al-Baqarah 2:172) Then he mentioned a man who has traveled on a long journey and is disheveled and covered with dust; he stretches forth his hands to the heaven, (saying) “O Lord, O Lord”, but his food is haram (unlawful), his drink is haram, all his nourishment is haram, so how can his du`a' be accepted?” (Reported by Muslim)

The man described by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had some of the characteristics which help du`a's to be answered – he was traveling and he was in need of Allah, may He be exalted and glorified – but the fact that he consumed haram wealth prevented his du`a' from being answered. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound.

5. Trying to hasten the response. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The du`a' of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not impatient and says, ‘I made du`a' but it was not answered.’” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

6. Making the du`a' conditional, such as saying, “O Allah, forgive me if You will” or “O Allah, have mercy upon me if You will.” The person who makes du`a' has to be resolute in his supplication, striving hard and earnestly repeating his du`a'. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Let not any one of you say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You will, O Allah, have mercy on me if You will.’ Let him be resolute in the matter, whilst knowing that no one can compel Allah to do anything.” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In order for du`a' to be answered, it is not essential to adhere to all of these points and be free of all that could prevent one’s du`a' from being answered. That is something which happens very rarely. But one has to try hard and strive towards achieving this.

Another important point is to realize that the response to the du`a' may take different forms: either Allah will respond and fulfill the desire of the person who made the du`a', or He will ward off some evil from him because of the du`a', or He will make something good easy for him to attain because of it, or He will save it with Him for him on the Day of Resurrection when he will be most in need of it."

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islam-qa.com

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20. WHY PEOPLE ASK OTHERS FOR DU`A'S

Question :          

Why is it allowed to ask someone to pray for you, when Allah is with each person? Surely, they can pray for themselves. And why is that some people's prayers, e.g. the orphans, are accepted straight away by Allah, when others are not? Jazaka Allahu khayran.

Answer :             

"The fact that someone can pray for us has been established in the Qur'an as well as in the authentic traditions of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Allah sates in the Qur’an that the believers are the ones who pray to Allah saying: "…. Our Lord, forgive us, and our brothers and sisters who have preceded us in faith, and do not allow for rancor to exist in our hearts against the believers. Our Lord, you are companionate and Merciful." (Al-Hashr 59:10)

We also read that when Allah Almighty mentions children's duty towards their parents, He says they pray on behalf of their parents. Allah says, "And lower to them the wings of humility, born of mercy and pray, 'Lord, have mercy on them even as they have nurtured me when I was little." (Al-Israa' 17: 24)

Furthermore, we read in the traditions of the Prophet that when `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab once told the Prophet that he was planning to go for `Umrah, the Prophet addressed him saying, “don't forget me, my brother, in your supplication.''

By doing so, the Prophet was indeed setting an example for the believers that they should pray for one another. We also read in another tradition that one of the prayers that would be heard by Allah is a prayer of a brother or sister on behalf of another during his or her absence.

It is abundantly clear from the above that we can pray for one another, and Allah, out of His Mercy grants answers to such prayers. We cannot speculate on the nature of Allah. We know only about His nature to the extent that He has disclosed about Himself through the revelation, and the revelation is clear on this matter.

Coming to the question why prayers of certain categories of people are accepted, I can say that it because of the fact that they are nearer in status to Allah by virtue of their condition or state. For instance, the orphans have no support other than the support of Allah; so they deserve His continuing mercy."

 Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamonline.net

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21. WAS NAME OF ALLAH KNOWN TO MAKKANS

Question :

Did the Makkans worship the true God since they recognized "Allah"? Was "Allah" one of the gods of the Ka'bah? And if so, where did the Makkans derive the recognition and the name of "Allah" from?

Answer:

First, "Allah" was not one of the 360 idols which were in the Ka'bah, although Morey has claimed this without evidence. When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) entered Makkah victorious he went into the Ka'bah and broke the idols therein.

Secondly, the word "Allah" has been used all along for the name of "God" in the Arabic Bible for Jews and Christians alike. The proof is easy to verify; simple go to any hotel or motel on the earth and look in the drawer next to the bed and take out the complimentary Bible, placed there by the Giddeons and then look on page 5 or 6 where they list the examples of translations they have made into other languages.

The second example given is for Arabic speakers. The verse is from the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 16. Everyone knows this one; "For God so loved the world..." and the word in Arabic for "God" is "Allah." Then if you have a Bible in Arabic, look on page one in Genesis, and you will find the word "Allah" 17 times.

Next, the word for "God" to the Arabs, ever since the time of Abraham (peace be upon him) has been "Allah" and He is to them, the Lord of the Ka'bah (the black box in the center of the Holy Sanctuary in Makkah). He was the unseen God whom they would call upon when in distress. Yes, they worshipped the true God but their worship was not purely for Him. They also worshipped other gods thinking that they would act as intermediaries between them and the true God Allah.

The Arabs know of Allah because Abraham visited Makkah and together with his son Ishmael laid the foundation of the Ka'bah. The descendants of Ishmael retained some of the worship rites and beliefs from Abraham. This included their knowledge of the true God Allah.

Elsewhere we have shown conclusively that the true god, "El" of the Bible is the same as "Allah" of the Quran.

Please refer to: "Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah - What Is God's Real Name?" by Sheikh Shabir Ally.

Excerpted, with some modifications, from: http://www.godallah.com/

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22) ALLAH'S WILL AND MAN'S CHOICE

Question:

When something happens, we say that it has happened by Allah's Will. But then we say that man is required to abide by Islamic teachings and he will be either rewarded or punished for his actions. I realize that certain things like health and illness, birth and death, etc. are out of our control. But I have also heard it being said that with regard to financial earnings, a man cannot exceed what Allah has fixed for him. It is up to him to earn his money through legitimate or illegitimate means. At the same time, when someone has a large number of children, people will say Allah will provide for them. Could you please comment on these points?

Answer:

No believer will question the fact that it is Allah who has created the universe and who has set all the rules of nature in operation. On the basis of this common acceptability, everyone agrees that weather conditions, birth and death as well as effects of natural forces and conditions on man happen by Allah's will. We are not considering here the argument of non-believers who try to explain these phenomena away, by saying that they are the product of natural forces and natural laws.

 When you ask them who has devised these natural laws and set them in operation, they have no convincing answer. But to a believer who accepts that all these have been put into existence by Allah's will, no conflict arises between the divine will and his own choice. What is very important to remember is that it has been Allah's will to create man with the ability to determine his own actions. Moreover, human life is made in such a way that man is influenced by his own actions. When you do something, its results must affect you in one way or another. If they were to have no effect at all on you, then you lose the motivation or the incentive to do anything at all.

The point you have mentioned with regard to a person's earnings is rather misleading. A government employee who can get away with embezzlement of funds and remains in his job for several years will be able to amass a wealth which he could not hope to have received otherwise. We cannot say, therefore, that he would have ended up with the same amount of money whether he resorted to embezzlement or chose to be honest and not to take a single riyal in an illegitimate way. If this is true, people will sit idle and wait for their provisions to come to them.

Similarly, a person who drinks or smokes will have the ill-effects of both substances. A smoker is likely to develop lung cancer or heart disease or any one of the other diseases associated with smoking. If he does not smoke, the likelihood of him suffering any of these diseases is greatly reduced.

The same applies to alcoholic drinks and their effects on health. We cannot, then say that whatever man does, he will end up suffering the same diseases. Nevertheless, you have accepted that our health condition is part of Allah's will. How can we reconcile these two sets of facts?

The answer is simple. Everything operates according to Allah's will. Nicotine, which is the poisonous substance in tobacco, produces its effects by Allah's will. It is He who has given it its qualities. Therefore, when man inhales this substance, he cannot escape its cumulative effects on his health. This effect is, therefore, produced by Allah's will. What this means is that when man inhales nicotine he sets up Allah's will to operate on him in a certain manner. When he refrains from smoking, he sets it to operate in a different manner.

In both cases, he is subject to Allah's will, but the end result is widely different. The other point which we have to clarify here is Allah's advance knowledge of what we are going to do in our lives. Allah knows before He creates any man or woman or indeed any creature what this creature will do and what others will do to it and what will happen to it at every moment of its life. He knows who of us will be a chain smoker and who, like myself, cannot stand the smell of tobacco. He similarly knows who will have lung cancer as a result of smoking and who will be spared that agony. This knowledge does not interfere with man's choice. It is not the way that Allah has created a particular person that influences which make him take up this dangerous habit.

In the final resort, it is his choice which determines what happens to him. As you see, there is no conflict between Allah's will and man's choice. Man's choice is indeed part of Allah's will, in the sense that it is He who has given man this ability, told him of its effect on him and allowed him to exercise this freedom of choice throughout his life. This is what makes man accountable for his choices.

If his choice was not a free one, accountability would not come into it, in the same way as all animals are not accountable for their actions. They do not have free choice. As for children and what Allah provides for them, again this is a simple matter. Allah tells us in the Qur'an that everything that walks on earth will have its provision set for it by Allah. Nevertheless, if we were to stop working and consume what the earth produces of vegetables, fruit and cereal, etc. we will very soon go through all that is available on earth and find out that we have nothing to sustain us for another day.

At the same time, when we work we are able to increase production manifold. If you were to ask any scientist one hundred years ago whether the earth will be able to support five billion people, his answer would have been a decisive 'no'. Nor would he have imagined that the population would reach this figure in 1988. His answer was most probably according to his knowledge of the potentials of the earth. He could not have imagined the effects of electricity and other sources of energy on man's productivity. The earth could not have supported this number of people if we were still using the same agricultural and industrial techniques we were using one hundred years ago.

In this example, man's work is a very important factor in the equation of productivity and consumption. It is the means with which we are working that make all the difference. Allah has certainly given us the potential to earn our living and the living of our families. But He will not just send us an extra sum of money every month, which will come to us through a special post simply because we have another child. When you have a large family you have to work harder in order to earn more to support your wife and children. When you do work harder, Allah gives you the fruit of your work.

 Having said that, I must clarify that I include within "working harder" what every one of us tries to do when he is coping with a greater responsibility, namely, to look for more opportunities to help one's family. That such opportunities do occur is part of Allah's will. Whether we take them up or not is our choice.

 Reference:  Arab News

Excerpted, from: http://www.islamicity.com/

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23. CAN ALLAH DO ALL THINGS?

 Question:

Can Allah do everything? Answering Atheists and Christians.

Answer:

This is an answer to both Christians and Atheists. Atheists often put forward the question:

"If God can do anything, can He make something so heavy that even He can't move??? If not then He can't do everything and if He can, then He can't move it so again He can't do everything!"

Christians put forward a similar arguments saying:

"If God doesn't have a son, then that means Muslims believe He can't have a son so Muslims are limiting God and saying He can't do some things."

The answer to both the above questions is YES, Allah can do anything but Allah does not do any illogical, foolish and any non purpose thing and also which is against His dignity and Godhood 

For example, suppose Allah can have a son, doesn't mean he has a son, and also limited to one only, then again for having a son He must have a wife of its own nature, which means He must have already existed wife (or created one, which means she should also be female god).

How illogical string they are creating. If He can have son, then why not at least one daughter also? If he can have one son and daughter, then why He can not produce more than that? Where Christians friend will end or stop their thinking?

We say again:

Allah does not do foolish thing because everything in Universe belongs to Him, and He does not need kids as human needs, for their humanly wishes.  If Jesus can be a son then, why not Adam also be a son and Eve as daughter which were having no father and mother?

Allah can destroy us all right now, and He can send everyone to Hell or Heaven, but He doesn't do it now as He will do it when His time period for this universe will end. He Himself has set time table for that, and that time will not come on demand as being demanded by all last generations. Also He has set some conditions for anyone going to Hell or Heaven, although He can do either of one.

Although Allah has power to do all things, but Allah only do things which are logical and required as per His wisdom, not as requested by illogical questioners, who only want to confuse those who believes on God powers.

In fact the Qur'an constantly says that Allah is higher than what some attribute to Him. In other words, Allah doesn't do something that would belittle Him or bring down his status. (For example) He can lie, unjust, cruel, unmerciful, forgetful, but He will never do all that because it is against the quality of a God.

Even though He can have a son, He doesn't have a son because for son He must have a wife, which even Christians don’t accept. Also if He had a son, why He could not save His only begotten son from crucifiction.

 Further: Suppose we ask

·         Can ALLAH throw anything out of his domain?

·         Can ALLAH sleep?

·         Can ALLAH create someone just like HIM?

·         Can Allah Forget?

·         Can Allah be Unmerciful?

As per Quran:

“….; surely Allah has power over all things”  (Al-Baqarah 2:148)

We see that, although being all powerful, it is against His attributes to do all above. He only does what He wills but He does things which has wisdom and required in His will.

That is why ALLAH says that He has control (power) over all things instead of saying that he is able to do all things.

If you say Allah can do anything, then can He cease to exist, become none existent or die? If He can, then he is not The Ever-Living, it is the opposite of what eternal attribute necessitates. To say He can cease to exist, while being the Eternal One, would mean you combine two opposing opposites in the same thing, existence and none existence, which is impossible. Asking Allah to the impossible things that have no logics, is nothing but foolishness.

Allah can do whatever befits His Perfect Names, Attributes and Actions. He is the Ever-Living, which means He can never die, cease to be or be none existent. This is an essential attribute of perfection. Allah is praised on account of His perfect Names and Attributes. There is no praise for Allah if He supposed to die, unjust, unaware, forgetful, etc etc.

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24: name allah as God, existed before Islam

 

Question :

 

What are roots of Allah name by history?

 

Answer :

The word Allah, according to several Arabic lexicons, means "the Being Who comprises all the attributes of perfection", i.e. the Being Who is perfect in every way (in His knowledge, power etc.), and possesses the best and the noblest qualities imaginable in the highest degree. This meaning is supported by the Holy Quran when it says:

"His are the best (or most beautiful) names." (Al Asra17:110; Ta Ha 20:8; and Al-Araaf 7:180)

So Allah has not only given Himself named as Allah, but there are totally 99 names of Him, and Muslim, as per requirement, invoke Him by these names as they are His attributed names of his qualities e.g. Al-Rehman, Al-Raheem, Al-Aleem etc.

Contrary to popular belief, the word Allah is NOT a contraction of al-ilah (al meaning 'the', and ilah meaning 'god').

Had it been so, then the expression ya Allah ('O Allah!') would have been ungrammatical, because according to the Arabic language when you address someone by the vocative form ya followed by a title, the al ('the') must be dropped from the title. For example, you cannot say ya ar-rabb but must say ya rabb (for 'O Lord'). So if the word Allah was al-ilah ('the God'), we would not be able to say: ya Allah, which we do.

According to Islamic belief and Quran, Allah is the proper name of God, and humble submission to His will, divine ordinances and commandments is the pivot of the Muslim faith.

“He is the only God, creator of the universe, and the judge of humankind. He is unique (wāḥid) and inherently one (aḥad), All-Merciful and Omnipotent."

The Qur'an declares the reality of Allah, His inaccessible mystery, His various names, and His actions on behalf of His creatures.

The word Allah was known in Arab before revelation of Quran, which means it was being used from centuries and may be from the time of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma-‘il, as both were the one who built Ka’aba and prayed to Allah.

And remember Abraham and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing. (127) "Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. (128) "Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom, and sanctify them: For Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise." (129) And who turns away from the religion of Abraham but such as debase their souls with folly? Him We chose and rendered pure in this world: 0And he will be in the Hereafter in the ranks of the Righteous. (Al-Baqarah 2:127-130)

So the name Allah must be in use by that time, otherwise no other authentic proof, from where this name came. So It has also been used by Arab Christians since pre-Islamic times. The name was previously used by pagan pre-Islamic Arabs as a reference to a creator deity, possibly the supreme deity in pre-Islamic Arabia.

Allah is unique, the only Deity, creator of the universe and Omnipotent. Some archaeological excavation quests have led to the discovery of ancient pre-Islamic inscriptions and tombs made by Arabic-speaking Christians in the ruins of a church at Umm el-Jimal in Northern Jordan, which contained references to Allah as the proper name of God, and some of the graves contained names such as "Abd Allah" which means "the servant/slave of Allah".

The name Allah can be found countless times in the reports and the lists of names of Christian martyrs in South Arabia, as reported by antique Syriac documents of the names of those martyrs from the era of the Himyarite and Aksumite kingdoms.

A Christian leader named Abd Allah ibn Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad was martyred in Najran in 523 AD, as he had worn a ring that said "Allah is my lord".

In an inscription of Christian martyrion dated back to 512 AD, references to Allah can be found in both Arabic and Aramaic, which called him "Allah" and "Alaha", and the inscription starts with the statement "By the Help of Allah".

In pre-Islamic Gospels, the name used for God was "Allah", as evidenced by some discovered Arabic versions of the New Testament written by Arab Christians during the pre-Islamic era in Northern and Southern Arabia.

We must remember, there were the Jews and the Christians with whom the Arabs had constant opportunities of a close cultural contact. And naturally these Jews and Christians both used the same word Allah to denote their own Biblical God. In this case "Allah" means of course the God of the Bible, a typically monotheistic concept of God.

"Allah ... is a proper name applied to the Being Who exists necessarily, by Himself, comprising all the attributes of perfection, a proper name denoting the true god ... the al being inseparable from it, not derived..."

Allah is thus a proper name, not derived from anything, and the Al is inseparable from it. The word al-ilah (the god) is a different word.

The word Allah is unique among the names of God in all the languages of mankind, in that it was never applied to any being other than God. The pre-Islamic Arabs used it to refer to the Supreme Being, and never applied it to any of the other things they worshipped. Other names of God used by mankind, such as "lord", "god", "rab", etc. have all also been used for beings other than God. They have meanings which refer to some particular attribute of God, but "Allah" is the name which refers to the Being Himself as His personal name.

The Holy Quran itself refers to the uniqueness of the name Allah when it says:

"….. Do you know anyone who can be named along with Him……" (Maryam 19:65)

Arabic is the only language, and Islam is the only religion, that has given the personal name of God (as distinct from attributive names such as lord, god, the most high, etc.) There are clear prophecies in previous scriptures (the Bible, the Vedas etc.) about the man who will come and give the name of God, which in previous religions was regarded as a secret. 

1.   David prophesied:

"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Psalms 118:26).

This is also repeated in the Gospels (Matt. 21:9, etc.), and was fulfilled by the Holy Prophet Muhammad whose first revelation was “Read (Mohammad) In the name of thy Lord Who createth ”  (Al-Alaq 96:1)

2.   Zechariah prophesied:

"And the Lord shall be king over all the earth, in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name one." (Zech. 14:9 

All Muslims, anywhere on the earth, speaking totally different languages, recognize the name "Allah", thus fulfilling this prophecy, "his name one". (All Christians, to take an example, do not recognize a single name of God, and therefore do not fulfill this prophecy. 

3.   Isaiah prophesied:

"And in that day shall you say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name." (Isaiah 12:4)

So Muslims say repeatedly exactly this: al-hamdu li-llah, and call upon His name Allah.

A Confusion

The following objection has been raised regarding the name Allah:

Al -'The', lah - 'God'. It means the God. It was one of the gods worshipped by the Arabs. His female equivalent was Allat, al- 'the', Lat 'goddess'. Muhammed's followers did not like the concept of worshipping a female deity.

Clarification.

"Allah" was NOT "one of the gods" of the pre-Islamic Arabs, but was recognized by them as the supreme, abstract God. There was no idol which they called "Allah". The Quran quotes the idol-worshippers as presenting the argument that: 

“…… We worship them only that they may bring us near unto Allah. …….”   (Az-Zumar 39:3)

Obviously then, "Allah" was not just one of the gods.

It is also entirely wrong to say that Al-Lat was a feminine form of Allah. Besides Allah, the different tribes of the Arabs believed in their tribal gods. "Al-Lat" was the tribal god of the Thaqeef tribe who lived in the city of Taif (where there was a shrine with an idol of Lat). The Quraish worshipped Uzza as their tribal god, and similarly with other tribes.

So it is simply incorrect to say that the Arabs regarded Lat as being a female equivalent of "Allah". "Allah" was, as said above, regarded by them as their supreme God. Lat, Manat etc. were believed in as tribal gods as they wanted someone physical to pray in front, as it happened in may parts of the world.

Moreover, Lat, Manat and Uzza were believed by them to be daughters of Allah, as the Quran says:

“So have you considered al-Lat and al-'Uzza? (19) And another, the third (goddess), Manat? (20) Is the male for you and for Him the female?  (An-Najm 53:19-21)

The Quran is here pointing out the contradiction in their beliefs, that they ascribed daughters to Allah, but preferred to have sons themselves! So Lat being believed as a daughter of Allah, could not possibly be regarded by them as the female equivalent of Allah.

In Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon the words ilah (god) and Allah occur under the root A-L-H, but the word Al-lat is given under an entirely different root L-T. Therefore, "Al-lat" is not the feminine form of the word Allah (for in that case it would occur under the same root as for "Allah"), but is derived from a completely different root with a totally different meaning.

 The root from which al-lat comes means (among other things) "to moisten". Lane quotes several reports on how the idol came to be so called. It is named after a man called Al-Lat. Sometime before Islam, there was a man who used to give pilgrims a barley meal (known as saweek), moistened with either water or clarified butter. He thus became known as Al-lat. After he died, the rock where he was buried came to be worshipped and was known by his name. And thus there came to be the idol named Al-lat.

And Allah knows the best.

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25: Where Did God Come From?

Question:

 Where Did God Come From?

Answer:

All books Taurah, Bible and the Quran tell us God has always existed and there never was a time He did not exit. As such, He is the Eternal, without beginning and without end.

“He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent: and He has full knowledge of all things” (Al-Hadid 57:3)

He is the only creator and sustainer of all that exists and nothing and no one exists alongside Him, nor does He have any partners. He tells us, He is not created, nor is He like His creation in anyway. He calls Himself by a number of names and three of them are:

Ø The First - (Al-Awwal)

Ø The Last - (Al-Akhir)

Ø The Eternal and the One who is sought after by His creation, while He has no need from them at all.    (As-Samad)

He is the only creator, and there is nothing like Him in all His creation:

 "… There is nothing like unto Him…" (Ash-Shoora 42:11) 

·        He is not a man and He has no progeny or offspring.

·        He is not what He creates nor is He compared to it.

·        He always has existed and He never was created, as He is not like His creation, nor similar to it, in any way.

“Whatever is in the heavens and on earth, let it declare the Praises and Glory of Allah: for He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise”  (As-Saff 61:1)

The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained the devil would come to a person and ask them questions about creation;

"Who created this or that?" to which the reply would be; "Allah" until he would ask; "Who created Allah?"

At this stage the prophet advised us to drop this train of thought. Obviously, God - the real God, must be eternal and not have to be created.

Quran tells us:

“Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory)”  (Al-Baqarah 2:255) [This Verse is called Ayat-ul-Kursi.]

This verse truly presents the comprehensive representation of God in a way without trying to define Him by comparing Him to His creation, but rather as being the Absolute in all of His Attributes and Characteristics.

And Allah knows Thes Best

Excerpted with slight modifications from: www.godallah.com/

 

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