Divine attributes

Some chapters of the Qur'an start with a number of divine attributes. Here are some examples which help us understand Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) better:

Ha-Mim the revelation of the book is from Allah, the mighty the knower; the forgiver of sins, the accepter of repentance, the stern in punishment, the most bountiful. There is no god except he. Unto him is the final journeying. ( 40:1-3 )

Another example is the following:

All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah, and he is the Mighty, the Wise. His is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, he gives life and death; and he is capable to do all things. He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Inward, and he is Knower of all things. He prevailed on the throne; he knows all that enters the earth and all that emerges from it; and all that descends from the sky and all that ascends to it. And he is with you wheresoever you may be. And Allah is seer of what you do. His is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and unto Allah all things are returned. ( 57:1-5 )

A third example is:

All what is in the heavens and all what is in the earth glorifies Allah, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, the Mighty, the Wise. He it is who has sent among the unlettered ones a messenger of their own, to recite to them his revelations and to purify them, and to teach them the book and wisdom though before that they were indeed in error manifest.( 42:1-2 )

There are, as a matter of fact, seven chapters in the Qur'an that start with glorification of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). These chapters are the following: Iron 57, Exile 59, the Ranks 61, Friday 62, Mutual Disillusion 64, the Most High 87, Children of Israel 17. All tenses are used to express Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala)'s glorification. We already cited three examples. Scholars of the Qur'an said that glorification of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) is expressed in the holy book sometimes in the past tense; sometimes in the present tense; sometimes in the infinitive; and sometimes as a command. This may not be clear in English or any translation of the holy utterance in any other language. However scholars said that the reason of using different tenses for glorification is to make this a perpetual process that never stops. Here are some more examples in addition to the already mentioned ones:

Glory be to him who carried his slave by night from the sacred mosque to the farthest mosque the neighborhood of which we blessed that we may show him some of our miracles. He, only he, is the Hearer, the Seer.( 17:1 )

Another example of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala)'s glorification that occurs at the beginning of some Qur'anic chapters is the one starting chapter 87. Here we are commanded to glorify Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) as follows:

Glorify the Name of your Lord the Most High, who created then disposed and straightened, who measured and destined then guided.( 87:1-3 )

Glorification of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) in the Qur'an means that we praise him, declare his oneness and single him out to be the only one worthy of our worship. It occurs in the Qur'an very often and is not limited to the seven chapters we mentioned earlier. In addition to these seven chapters started with glorification, this act is mentioned very often in the holy Qur'an. The holy book, in fact, asserts that everything in the universe glorifies Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) and declares his absolute perfection and his freedom from all evil or deficiency. In chapter 17 verse 44 we read:

The seven heavens and the earth and all who are in them declareHis glory; and there is not a thing but hymns his glory and praise, but you understand not their glorification. He is ever Clement, Oft-Fforgiving.

Some scholars said that everything glorifies Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) through its actual condition not by word of mouth, but by striking in humans and other sensible creatures admiration and submission to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). So they ignore that lifeless things like stones and trees and the like celebrate the glory of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) by expression. This group cites the saying of prophet Muhammad to the effect that he once passed by two graves of dead Muslims and said that they were being punished in their graves due to minor sins. Then he recommended a green palm tree branch to be split into two and put on the two graves and he commented : these two branches may decrease the punishment as long as they are wet and green.

Scholars of the first group said that based on this tradition, a dry branch would be lifeless and so would be of no benefit. But the truth is with the other group that asserts that everything glorifies Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) although we do not understand their method of expressing it as the verse exactly states. They cite two incidents from the biography of the prophet p.b.u.h. Who said: i know a stone in Makkah which used to greet me before prophethood and i still know it even today.(3)

The other incident is that the prophet used to climb on a dry trunk of a palm tree to give Friday sermon. His companions then made a pulpit for him, so the trunk was abandoned and the new structure was used instead. The prophet heard a moaning sound from the trunk which did not stop until he took it in his arms and touched it with love.

On the other hand, there is more than one verse in the Qur'an that confirm the glorification of lifeless things like mountains and others. About prophet David the Qur'an says:

And mention our slave David, lord of might, he was ever turning in repentance; we subdued mountains to hymn glorification with him both at nightfall and sunrise.( 38:17-18 )

Describing rocks Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) almighty says in the Qur'an:

And some of them sink for fear of Allah.( 2:74 )

And about mountains, heavens and earth we read:

They say: Allah most gracious has taken a son! Indeed you have put forth a thing most monstrous! Even heavens are almost ready to burst at it, the earth to split and mountains to bow down in utter ruin, that they should claim a son for the most gracious.( 19:88-91 )

On the other hand, Anas Ibn Malek, the close servant and companion of the prophet p.b.u.h. Said: no morning or evening passes but some spot of earth calls upon other spots saying: o my neighbor! Has any slave passed by you today who prayed to Allah or remembered Allah upon you? The other spots would either say no or yes. If the answer is yes the latter would be proud for that honour. Secondly prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. Said: no one jinn (the under world) or humans, trees or stones or dust or anything who hears the voice of the caller to prayer but will testify for him on the day of judgement.(4) Abdullah Ibn Masud, the well known companion of the prophet said: a mountain says to another mountain: has any one who remembers Allah passed by you today? If the answer was in the affirmative the lucky mountain would express its happiness.(5) these and other statements confirm that everything in the universe glorifies Allah although we do not understand their glorification.

Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala)'s concern in his creation:
One example in the Qur'an that shows how much Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) is concerned about the affairs of his slaves is the following occasion. When an old man said to his wife: to me you are as the back of my mother; the wretched wife rushed to complain to prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. She did this out of piety and also out of love to her poor old husband. The prophet told her something which she could not bear to do. So she started to argue very strongly with the prophet. Here divine revelation came to the help of that poor old woman; and the Qur'an recorded this incident as follows:

Allah has heard the discourse of her who disputes with you concerning her husband, and complains to Allah; and Allah hears your dialogue. For Allah is Hearer, Knower.( 58:1 )

He who depends on Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) is the strongest. This is one result of faith in Islam. One incident mentioned in the Qur'an is the following:

If you support him not, still Allah helped him (Muhammad) when those who disbelieved drove him out, the second of two, when they two were in the cave, when he said to his comrade: grieve not! Allah is with us. So Allah sent his peace of reassurance upon him and supported him with hosts you could not see; and he made the word of disbelievers the lower most, while Allah's word is always the uppermost. And Allah is Mighty, Wise.( 9:40 )

Should any one be son of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala)? No one qualifies to be son of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala), for this is first of all a huge misunderstanding of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). We have already quoted from the Qur'an what Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) is. It is now time to explain what Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) is not. He has no son at all nor any physical relationship with anybody. This is simply because he is the creator. How can he be like the created? Some say: but a human who can exercise miracles or whose birth was miraculous deserves to be semi-god or son of god; and these people insist that Jesus Christ is the son of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). To refute this and to establish the absolute oneness of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) the Qur'an says:

Indeed the likeness of Jesus in relation to Allah is as the likeness of Adam; he created him from dust, then he said to him be and he was. This is the truth from your lord; so be not of those who doubt.( 3:59-60 )

Then the Qur'an refutes all claims in favour of Jesus that he is son of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala):

They surely disbelieve who say: Allah is the messiah son of Mary. The messiah said: o children of Israel, worship Allah, my lord and your lord. Who ever ascribes partners unto Allah, for him Allah has forbidden paradise. His abode is fire. For wrong doers there will be no helpers.( 5:72 )

They surely blaspheme who say: Allah is the third of three; when there is no god except the one god. And if they desist not from saying so, a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve. Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of him? For Allah is oft-forgiving, merciful. The messiah, son of Mary was no other than a messenger before whom messengers had passed away; and his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat food. See how we make the revelations clear to them and see how they are turned away. Say: worship you in place of Allah that which possesses for you neither hurt nor profit? And Allah is the Hearer, the Knower.( 5:73-76 ) Another verse that distinguishes Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) from creation especially from Jesus Christ is the following:

They do blaspheme who say: Allah is the messiah son of Mary. Say: who then can do anything against Allah, if he wanted to eliminate the messiah, son of Mary, his mother, and all those on earth? Allah's is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and what is between them. He creates what he wills; and Allah is able to do all things.( 5:17 )

Source: Muslim World League - Canadian Office