The 6 Pillars of Faith : Believe in Allah,Prophets, Angels, Books, Day of Judgment, and the Divine Decree(good or bad)

The Six Pillars of Iman

 

Just as Islam has five pillars (please recall the definitions of Islam and Pillar), so Iman (please recall the definition of Iman in all of its three necessary components) also has six pillars, taught to us by the Prophet (saws). These pillars are:

 

Belief in Allah;

Belief in the angels;

Belief in the revealed books;

Belief in the commissioned Messengers (peace be upon them).

Belief in the resurrection and the events of Qiyamah.

Belief in the predestination by Allah of all things, both the (seemingly) good and the (seemingly) bad.

The First Pillar

Belief in Allah Most High.

  • It is the foundation of the Islamic personality.
  • It is a basic human need, more basic than the need for his provision and sustenance.
  • Acts of worship only become real and valid with the feeling and awareness of their Object.
  • supplication
  • love
  • humility
  • fear
  • hope/reliance
  • adoration
  • Differences between the Creator and His creation.
  • He is free of any need for others.
  • He is the sole Creator of all that which pleases Him (and that which doesn’t).
  • Allah has ordered His creation and forbidden them only in ways which are in their best interest.
  • He sent the Messengers and the books with the truth Ilm-ul-Ghaib.

He alone can guide to Iman. This is why the people of paradise will say:

[All praise be to Allah who guided us to this, for we never would have been guided to it if He had not guided us to it.]

The best worship is insufficient as gratitude for his bounties and mercies – they always fall short and we are need of His forgiveness.

No one’s works will merit paradise. There is no contradiction between the Hadith:

None shall enter Paradise by his actions. and the verse which says:

[These are the people of paradise, therein forever, a reward for that which they used to do.]

Every human needs Allah’s forgiveness of his sins.

The Second Pillar

Belief in the Angels.

Belief that among Allah’s creation are angels.

Real beings, not illusions or figments of human imagination.

Created from light.

A Muslim must believe specifically in all the angels named and/or described in the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Jibreel: in charge of delivering revelation.

Mika’il: in charge of bringing the rain.

Israfil: the blower of the horn on Qiyamah.

Malik-ul-Maut: the Angel of Death who takes people’s souls at death.

The Noble Recorders: those who record people’s actions.

The Protectors (Al-Mu’aqqibat): who keep people from death until its decreed time.

Ridhwan: in charge of Paradise.

Malik: in charge of Hell.

Munkar and Nakir: the questioners in the grave.

The Carriers of the Throne.

Those who record the future of the foetus.

Those who enter the Haraam: 70,000 every day.

Those who move about, descending upon gatherings at which Allah and His Book are mentioned and studied.

Belief in the angels is an integral part of Iman.

[See 2/285 Al-Baqarah]

Kufr with respect to the angels is Kufr.

[See 4/136 An-Nisaa]

They are not some metaphysical force or aspect of the human psyche or self. Deviants have said such things for many centuries, and it was not a new deviation when it was being propagated in America during this century.

The Third Pillar

Belief in the Books of Allah.

General belief in the phenomenon of the sending of books.

Specific books mentioned in the Qur’an

 

As-Suhuf of Ibrahim and Musa.

Az-Zaboor given to Daud.

At-Taurat revealed to Musa.

Al-Injeel revealed to Isa.

Al-Qur’an – the final revelation.

 

Attributes of the Qur’an:

 

Flawless and untampered with:

[See 41/42 Fusilat]

The final authority over any remnants of the previous books.

[See 5/48 Al-Maidah]

A guidance and a mercy.

[See 10/37 Yunus]

The Qur’an must be followed and applied.

[See 6/155 Al-An’aam]

 

Hadith narrated by Ali:

The Prophet (saws) said: Verily, there will be fitan. I said: What is the way out of them, Messenger of Allah? He said: The Book of Allah; in it is news of those who came before you; news of what is to come after you; the ruling on that which is between you; it is the decisive criterion, and is not jest. Whoever leaves it among the arrogant ones will be made small by Allah; whoever seeks guidance from other than it will be sent astray by Allah. It is the mighty rope of Allah, the Wise Reminder, and the Straight Path. With it, inclinations do not deviate nor tongues become confused. Scholars are never satiated with it; it never becomes tiresome with repetition; its wonders never diminish. … Whoever speaks by it is truthful; whoever applies it is rewarded; whoever judges by it is just; and whoever calls to it is guided to a straight path.

– Narrated by At-Tirmidhi [Its chain is not strong because of two unknown narrators.]

The Fourth Pillar

Belief in the prophets, prayers and salutations of Allah be upon them.

Belief in the process of prophethood.

Allah in His wisdom did not neglect His creation.

Prophets sent to guide us in this life and the next.

Specific belief in the 25 prophets named in the Qur’an: (1)Adam, (2)Nuh, (3)Idris, (4)Saleh, (5)Ibrahim, (6)Hud, (7)Lut, (8)Yunus, (9)Isma’il, (10)Is-haq, (11)Ya’qub, (12)Yusuf, (13)Ayub, (14)Shu’aib, (15)Musa, (16)Harun, (17)Alyas’, (18)Dhu Al-Kifl, (19)Daud, (20)Zakariya, (21)Sulaiman, (22)Ilyas, (23)Yahya, (24)Isa, and (25)Muhammad, prayers and salutations of Allah be upon him and upon all the messengers of Allah.

General belief that there are many other prophets and messengers, but never assuming anything without knowledge from Allah.

The subject matter of the prophethood.

Warnings and glad tidings.

So the disobedient will have no excuse before Allah. (Prophets sent to every nation.)

Enjoining the worship of Allah and the avoidance of At-Taghoot (Shaitaan, etc.)

[Study: 4/165, An-Nisaa; 16/36, An-Nahl]

Prophets are the best of the Awliyaa (Allies) of Allah.

What is wilaya; what it isn’t.

Wilaya, Iman, Kufr and Nifaaq are all variable attributes which can all be present to varying degrees.

The best of Allah allies are the prophets (a.s.).

The best among the prophets are the messengers.

The best among the messengers are the five firmly intentioned mentioned in the Qur’an.

[See: 42/13, Ash-Shuraa]

 

The best of the firmly intentioned is Muhammad (saws).

 

Attributes of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW):

Seal of the prophets; Imam of the pious; Foremost among the sons of Adam; Imam and Khatib of the prophets when they assembled; Possessor of the Praiseworthy Position which all of mankind will wish they had attained (and which is mentioned in the Du’a of hearing the adhan); Owner of the pool in paradise; Intercessor for all mankind on the day of Qiyamah.

Allah sent him with the best of the books and the best of His law. Allah made his nation the best nation brought forth for mankind. Allah gave him (and us) all of the good that was given only partially to the previous nations. His nation is the last in creation, the first in resurrection.

From the moment of his prophethood, Allah made him the criterion (Al-Farooq) for distinguishing Allah’s allies and their actions from His enemies and their actions: None can have any relationship to Allah except through belief in the Prophet (saws) and following what he brought in public and in secret. Whoever claims love or closeness to Allah while disobeying the message is actually drawing closer to Sheytan, farther from Allah.

The Fifth Pillar

Belief in the resurrection . Reconstruction of the body and return of the soul to it. People will come forth out of their graves like locusts. Faces bent down. Rushing to the Caller.

[See 53/76 Al-Qamar; 70/43 Al-Ma’arij; 17/49 Al-Israa; 36/78 Yasin; 20/108 Taha]

The resurrection is of the body and the soul, not some metaphysical resurrection of the latter.

Twelve verses from the Qur’an which prove that.

 

Hadith: The sun will come down toward the people on the day of Qiyamah until it is only about a mile up. The people will be in their own perspiration according to their acts: some of them will be in it up to their ankles, some up to their groin and others up to their chins, and he pointed to his mouth. Narrated by Muslim.

A disbeliever once came to the Prophet (saws) with an old bone, crumbled it with his hand and said: O Muhammad, will Allah bring this back to life after it has rotted?! The Prophet said: Yes, Allah will resurrect this and he will cause you to die, bring you back to life, and put you into the fire of Jahannam!

The Sixth Pillar

Belief In Predestination and Decree

A Muslim believes in Allah’s predestination of all things and events (Qadhaa), His decree (Qadar), His wisdom in His actions, and His will. Nothing in the universe can occur, even the voluntary actions of His slaves, except after Allah’s knowledge, and His decree of that event. A Muslim further believes that Allah is Just in His predestination and His decree, Wise in all of His actions. His wisdom follows His will: Whatever He wills is, and whatever He does not will is not. There is no power nor any movement except by Allah. This is substantiated by the textual and logical proofs which follow:

Textual Evidence

1) Allah informed us of this in the Qur’an:

 

[Verily, we have created everything in (predetermined) measure.] Qur’an 54/49

[And there is nothing whatsoever but that its reserves are with us, and we do not send it down except in known measure.] Qur’an 15/21

[No calamity strikes in the earth nor in your selves but that was in a book since before We created it (i.e. the event). That is easy for Allah.] Qur’an 57/22

[No calamity strikes except with the permission of Allah.] Qur’an 64/11

[Say: Nothing will befall us except what Allah had decreed for us, He is our protecting Ally, and upon Allah let the believers depend.] Qur’an 9/51

[And with Him are the keys of the unseen, no one knows them except Him. He knows all that is in the ocean and on the land. No leaf falls without His knowledge, nor any particle in the dark recesses of the earth, nor anything green and fresh or dry and withered but that it is in a clear book.] Qur’an 6/59

[This is nothing less than a reminder to all the worlds. * For whoever among you has an intention to go straight. * But you will never have this intention unless Allah so wills, Lord of the worlds.] Qur’an 81/27-29

[Those for whom good has already been decreed by us will be far removed from it (i.e. hell).] Qur’an 21/101

[If only, when you entered your garden, you had said: (This is only) by the will of Allah. There is no power except from Allah.] Qur’an 18/39

[Praise be to Allah who guided us to this, and we would never have attained guidance if Allah had not guided us.] Qur’an 7/43

 

2) The Prophet (saws), too, has informed us about the reality of Allah’s predestination and decree in many hadith:

 

Verily, each one of you is formed in his mother’s womb forty days as a drop, then he is something suspended for a similar period, then he is a piece of flesh like a chewed piece of meat for another period of forty days, then the angel is sent to insert the soul. This angel is ordered to record four things: the sustenance which he will receive during his lifetime, the length of his life, all actions that he will do, and whether he will end up miserable (in hell) or joyous (in paradise). I swear by the One other than whom there is no deity, one of you may do the works of the people of paradise right up until there is only an arm’s length between him and paradise, but his destiny overtakes him, so he does the actions of the people of the fire and enters it. And, verily, one of you may do the works of the people of hell until there is nothing between them and hell except for one arm’s length, but his destiny overtakes him, and so he does the works of the people of paradise, and enters it. (Muslim)

 

Young man, I will teach you some words: Preserve (your obligations toward) Allah and He will preserve you. Guard (your obligations toward) Allah, and you will find Him on your side. When you ask, ask Allah. When you seek aid and succour, seek it from Allah. And know, that if the entire nation got together to benefit you in some way, they could never benefit you at all except for that which Allah had already decreed for you. And, if they all got together to harm you in some way, they could do you no harm except for that which Allah had already decreed for you. The pens have been lifted, and the tablets have dried. (At-Tirmidhi, and he rated it Sahih.)

The first thing which Allah created was the pen. Then, He said to it: Write. It asked: My Lord, what should I write? He said: Write the proportions of all things up until the Hour. (Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, and it is hassan.)

 

Adam disputed with Musa. Musa said to Adam: O, Adam, you are the father of the human race, Allah created you with His hand, and blew into you of His spirit, and made His angels prostrate to you, why did you expel yourself and us from the garden? Adam said to him: You are Musa whom Allah favoured with His speech, and wrote for you the Taurah with His hand, so (tell me) by how many years before my creation did you find it written about me: [… then Adam disobeyed his Lord and got lost.] (Qur’an 20:121)? Musa said: By forty years. Then, Adam said: So how do you blame me for something which Allah had decreed for me before my creation by forty years? The Prophet said: And so, Adam defeated Musa in the dispute.

Iman (faith) is to believe in Allah, His angels, His revealed books, His messengers, the last day, and the predestination of all things both (those which appear) good and (those which appear) bad. (Muslim)

 

Act, for each of you will find easy that for which he was created. (Muslim)

Verily, oaths do not change destiny. (Sahih)

O, Abdullah ibn Qais, should I not teach you a word which is one of the treasures of paradise? (It is to say): There is no movement nor any power except from Allah.

Someone said: That which Allah wants and you want. To which the Prophet (saws) replied: That which Allah alone wants. (An-Nasaa’i, and he rated it sahih)

 

3) Millions of people from the nation of Muhammad (saws) have believed in Allah’s predestination and decree of all things and events including its scholars, righteous ones and others. They all believed too in His wisdom and His will and that everything is known to Allah in advance of its occurrence, and only takes place by His decree. Nothing can take place anywhere in His kingdom except for that which He wills. What He wills is, and what He does not will is not. The pen has already recorded the destinies of all things up to the establishment of the hour.

Evidence Of Reason

1) Reason does not reject the idea of predestination and decree and of Allah’s wisdom and His will. Just the opposite, reason demands that this is the case without doubt because of the clear evidences of it in the universe around us.

2) Belief in Allah and in his perfect might and power demands the belief in His predestination and His decree, His wisdom and His will.

3) An architect is able to make drawings for a huge building on a piece of paper. He determines the time in which it will be built, and then works at the execution of his plan, bringing the reality of the building from the paper to reality in the time set for its accomplishment, and in accordance with what he drew on the paper, neither more nor less. This being the case for a human, how could anyone reject the fact that Allah has set the proportions of all things from now until the hour? And then, due to the perfection of His knowledge and His power, He brings about those assigned proportions just as He had pre-set them in terms of quantity, nature, time, and place. There is no reason to reject these facts once we know that Allah is capable of all things!

The Affirmation Of Allah’s Characteristics (Without Negation, Analogy, Distortion Or Speculation)

The Author: Part of the belief in Allah is the belief in all that with which He has described Himself in His Book or with which His Prophet (saws) has described Him without any distortion, negation, speculation (as to the exact nature of these attributes), nor analogy (i.e. between Allah’s attributes and those of His creation bearing the same names).

This section is a more detailed explanation of the first pillar of Iman: belief in Allah Most High. This is, of course the most fundamental principle in Islam, and the foundation of all other principles of belief and action.

Distortion (At-Tahreef).

Distortion of the Names and Attributes themselves (i.e. the words) and (b) Distortion of their meanings.

Examples:

The Jahmiy (follower of the deviations of Al-Jahm ibn Safwan) negates Allah’s statement about himself that he sat on the throne by adding an extra letter to the word in the Qur’an.

[Istawaa ‘alaa al-‘arsh] ==> [Istawlaa ‘alaa al-‘arsh]

The innovators who changed the case of a noun in the Qur’an in an effort to negate Allah’s attribute of speech:

[Wa kallama Allahu Musa takleeman] ==> [Wa kallama Allaha Musa takleeman]

Others distorted meanings of Allah’s attributes without actually changing the words. Examples include those who said that Allah’s anger (u>Ghadhab) means His intention to punish, His mercy (u>Rahma) means his intention to have mercy, His hand (u>Yad) is His generosity or His power, etc.

Negation (At-Ta’teel):

The meaning of the word is to leave, neglect or be done with something, or for something to be unused and non-functional. The technical meaning here is the negation or denial of any or all of Allah’s Attributes. Negation of Allah’s attributes can be divided into three categories:

Negation of the Exalted Perfection of Allah Most High via the negation of His Names and Glorious Attributes such as was done by the Jahmiya and the Mu’tazila.

Negation through negation of appropriate interaction with Allah and neglect of worship of Him and obedience to Him, or the association of others with Him in acts of worship and/or obedience.

Negation of the relationship of the creation to its Creator, such as the negation of the philosophers who claimed that this physical universe has no beginning, and that it has always and will always work according to its own internal rules. They turn Allah into an essence with no attributes – which is an impossibility!

Speculation And Analogy (At-Takyeef Wa At-Tamtheel):

At-Takyeef means attempts to ascribe a detailed understanding of the exact nature of the various attributes with which Allah has described Himself. At-Tamtheel means to make a direct comparison or analogy between one of Allah’s attributes and a human attribute having the same name, such as the comparison of Isa by the Christians to Allah Most High, or that of Uzair by the Jews or that of the idols by the polytheists to Allah Most High. Likewise the Mushabbiha among the Muslims who compare Allah with His creation by saying that He has a face like our faces, hands like our hands, hearing and sight like ours, etc.

 

The author said elsewhere: Rather [the believers] believe that Allah Most High is not comparable to anything or anyone else, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing. They do not negate or deny any of that with which He described Himself, nor [do they] distort the words out of their proper context. They do not deviate [with respect to] His Names and His Verses. They do not seek detailed descriptions of the exact nature of His attributes without sources of that knowledge, nor compare His attributes with those of His creation, because there are none comparable to Him, nor any equal or partner!

 

Tauhid of Allah’s Names and Attributes means belief in everything which has come in the Qur’an and the authenticated hadith regarding Allah’s attributes with which He described Himself in the Qur’an, or with which His Prophet (saws) has described Him. A Muslim must believe in the reality of these attributes just as they have come in the above sources, without attempting to analyse the how of any of them, nor to attempt to represent them with something else, nor to view them as equivalent to something else, nor to re-interpret them with other than their apparent meanings in the Arabic language, nor to distort or negate them maintaining the belief that…

 

[There is nothing whatsoever similar to Him, and He is the Hearer, the Seer.] Ash-Shooraa/11

Allah said:

 

[Say: He is Allah, the One * Allah, the one sought for all needs, the self-sufficient, the eternal. * He bears not offspring, nor was He born, * And there exists nothing comparable to Him.] Qur’an Al-Ikhlaas/all

 

[And to Allah belong the best of names, so call Him with them, and leave those who deviate with regard to His names – they will be fully repaid for all that they used to do.] As- A’raaf/180

The Position Of Ahlu As-Sunnah With Regard To Allah’s Attributes

The Prophet (saws) said: The best of generations is my generation. It is followed (in superiority) by the one which comes after it, then the one which comes after that, then the one which comes after that.

 

Ahlu As-Sunna acknowledge and believe that Allah ta’ala is completely unlike and cannot be compared to any created being, neither in His essence, His attributes, His actions or His names. All of His names are glorious, and all of His attributes are attributes of perfection and absolute greatness. The ultimate and most concise proof of the position of ahlu as-sunnah is found in the verse cited earlier, in which Allah says:

 

[There is nothing whatsoever similar to Him, and He is the Hearer, the Seer.] Ash-Shooraa/11

This verse contains a negation which is followed immediately by an affirmation. The fact that Allah negates the possibility of anything or anyone being comparable or like Him, and follows that immediately with he affirmation of two of His glorious names and perfect attributes, puts an absolute end to the confusing arguments and sophistries of the innovators in the area of Allah’s names/attributes. When one comprehends fully the meaning of this verse and contemplates it, it is alone is sufficient for an understanding of this issue. It is further supported by the following verses:

 

[He knows all that is in front of them and all that is behind them, and they are incapable of encompassing Him with their knowledge.] Taha/110

 

[He knows all that is in front of them and all that is behind them, and they can encompass nothing of his knowledge (with their understanding) except what He so wills.] Al-Baqarah/ 255

 

The author said elsewhere:

 

those who used their imaginations, (2) those who distort meanings through non-apparent interpretation, and (3) those who postulate ignorance of their meanings on the part of the Prophet (saws) and the believers.

The imaginers are the philosophers and those who followed their path among sophists (u>Al-Mutakallimeen) and Sufis. The essence of their position is that they say: All that the Prophet (saws) has mentioned to us in the area of belief in Allah and the last day is just an imaginary conception of the realities delivered in a form that the masses could benefit from, but which do not make any of that reality clear or guide the creation to an understanding of them.

Beyond this, they fall into two groups: One group says that the Prophet (saws) did not have true knowledge of these realities, and they say that some of the later philosophers and spiritual seekers after him have arrived at this knowledge! They place some of the supposed awliyaa’ on a higher lever than the commissioned messengers! This is the belief of the many of the sufis and the Shi’a. Another group says that while the Prophet (saws) had knowledge of these realities, he did not make them clear to the people. In fact, they claim that he taught them meanings actually at odds with the realities which he understood because that was what was beneficial to them. Thus, their argument is that it was required of the Prophet (saws) to call the people to belief in Allah having attributes that they could understand, to the resurrection of our bodies on Qiyama, to eating and drinking in Al-Jannah, not because these things are real, but because it would not have been possible to call the people except with such things. Thus they allege that the Prophet (saws) was ordered to lie to the people for their own good. As for the practical applications and laws of Islam, they go two different ways: some accept their obligation upon them, while others say that they only apply to some people or that they apply to the common masses, but that certain special individuals become exempt from their requirements.

 

Those who distort by allegorical interpretation say that the Prophet (saws) did not intend, in these texts dealing with Allah’s attributes, that people should believe untruths; rather, he intended with them certain meanings which, however, he did not make clear, or did he point them in their direction. Rather, he wanted them to seek and attempt to know the realities with their minds, and then to fit the texts through interpretation to the meanings at which they arrive. In their belief, the teachings of the Prophet (saws) were nothing more than a test or a requirement of them to seek to know the truth from other sources, and not from him (saws).

Those who postulate ignorance (and there are many of them who claim adherence to the sunnah) claim that the Prophet (saws) did not know the meanings of the revelations about Allah’s attributes, nor did Jibreel. According to this, the Prophet (saws) spoke to us with things which he himself did not understand. They cite Allah’s statement that:

 

[None knows their true meanings (or interpretation) except Allah.]

This is basically a correct position, except for the fact that they failed to differentiate between meaning and interpretation (i.e. tafsir).

No Analogies Or Comparisons Can Be Made Between Allah Most High And His Creation

Allah Most High said: [So do not posit similitude’s to Allah; Verily Allah knows and you know not.] An-Nahl/74. Allah ta’ala cannot be compared to any among His creation in His actions and His attributes, just as He cannot be compared to any of them in his essence.

This position of the Sunnah and its followers, is at odds with he deviation of the Mu’tazilah and those among the Shi’a who imitated them. They make analogies between Allah and His creation and make Allah comparable to His creation and subject to the same methods of analysis. Then they proceeded to fabricate a law from themselves, saying that Allah must do such and such and must not do such and such.

 

The Mu’tazilah and those who follow their way are Mushabbiha in relation to Allah’s actions, and Mu’attilah in relation to His attributes. They reject some of what Allah has attributed to Himself, and they call that Tauhid; and they have made Him comparable to His creation in analysis of praiseworthy and blameworthy actions, calling that justice.

Their justice is a rejection of Allah’s absolute power and control over his creation (the Sixth Pillar of Iman, above), and is in reality shirk. Their tauhid is deviation with regard to his names and their rejection or negation (ta’teel).

[And to Allah belong the best of names, so call Him with them, and leave those who deviate with regard to His names – they will be fully repaid for all that they used to do.] As- A’raaf/180

In short, Allah’s is the utmost example (in all of his attributes); comparisons and analogies, either partial or total, cannot be drawn between Him and His creation.

 

[And His is the utmost example in the heavens and the earth, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.] Ar-Rum/27

 

Thus, any attribute of perfection or power with which humans can be described, is in its ultimate meaning, and is most appropriate when applied to Allah, ta’ala. And any negative attribute or shortcoming which is negated from humans by way of praise is in its ultimate meaning, and is most appropriate when applied to Allah ta’ala.

 

All issues of Allah’s attributes and names must be taken back, both to affirm and deny, to that which Allah said about Himself, and that which His Prophet (saws) taught us about Him. These sources cannot be neglected in favour of those who forge lies about Allah, and speak about Him that which they know not.

 

The author: And [Allah is] more truthful in speech and superior in discourse to his slaves…. This is taken from the verse:

 

[Allah! There is no deity but Him. He will surely bring you all together to the day of Qiyamah; there is no doubt therein; and who is more truthful in discourse than Allah?] An-Nisaa/87

Allah’s discourse is on the absolute highest level of truth. Any knowledge which contradicts the discourse of Allah is falsehood, lies or deception since it contradicts the ultimate and infallible truth.

 

The author: Further, His messengers are truthful and among those who believe as true… Truthfulness (As-Sidq) means accordance between statement and reality. Those who believe as true (Musaddiqeen) refers to their complete belief in the revelations which came to them.

The author: …This, in contrast to those who say about Allah that which they know not. This includes those who speak, based on speculation and their own minds, understandings and inclinations about Allah: His law, His Deen, His names or His attributes.

Allah said:

[Glorified is your Lord, the Lord of might above that which they attribute to Him. * And peace be upon the messengers. * And all praise is to Allah, Lord of the worlds.] As-Saaffaat/180-182.

Allah Cannot Be Compared To His Creation

The verses quoted previously are a concise expression of the position of the true worshippers of Allah in relation to His attributes about which He has informed us through His Messenger (saws). In the first verse, Allah declares His perfection and his remoteness from any of the things which humans attempt to ascribe to him with their minds. Next, He invokes a greeting upon the commissioned messengers – because of their faithful delivery of the true teachings about Allah and His attributes. Finally, He finishes by invoking to Himself Al-Hamd the ultimate praise which is due only to Him because of His glorious attributes of perfection and might.

Now, we will take a closer look at the meaning of the words in the verse.

{Subhaana Rabbika Rabbi Al-‘Izzati ‘Amma Yasifoon; Wa Salaamun ‘Alaa Al-Mursaleen; Wa Al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbi Al-Aalameen}

 

Subhaana:

This is a verbal noun derived from the same root as Tasbeeh which connotes declaration of Allah’s freedom of all defects (and His deanthropomorphism) and His distance from all that is bad. Prayer has been called Tasbeeh, since this attitude toward Allah is the heart of all belief and worship.

 

Al-‘Izza:

Strength, power, dominion and control.

 

Al-Rabb:

The Lord and Cherisher of all of His creation with a multitude of bounties and provisions.

 

As-Salaam:

Greetings (the greetings of peace) upon the Messengers. It also connotes integrity and freedom from defects (as opposed to those who speak of Allah as they imagine Him to be) in their teachings, since Salaama comes from the same root.

 

Al-Mursaleen:

Plural of Rasool (Messenger). The Messengers are those to whom a law has been revealed from Allah, and who have been ordered to propagate it.

Al-Hamd:

 

An expression of praise based on the good action which the praised one has done by his will and choice, whether that action has benefited the praiser or others beside him.

The General Meaning of the Three Verses:

These verses are a very important lesson in Tauhid, and an apt closing to Sura As-Saaffaat in which Allah has declared himself free of any consort, wife, partner, son or companion. This is so the Muslim may never be unmindful of these truths, and may place the seal of Tauhid on all of his good actions. Allah declares Himself free of all of the attributes which have been ascribed to Him by those who oppose the Messengers or deviate from their messages – attributes which are not appropriate to His greatness and perfection. The greeting upon the Messengers which follows this is because of the complete integrity and reliability of all that they taught about Allah, Most High. In this, also, is an indication that just as a Muslim must have a belief in Allah free from any shortcoming or flaw, a Muslim likewise must believe in the integrity of all of the Messengers in their actions and their statements. None of the Messengers ever lied about Allah, associated anything with Him or deceived their nations about Him; they speak nothing about Him but the truth, may the prayers and peace of Allah be upon them.

 

The people of the Sunnah are unanimous in affirming that the Messengers are infallible in their delivering of the message. It is impossible that anything could stabilize in their teaching and practice of the Shariah which is not Allah’s ruling. It is obligatory to believe all that of which they have informed us and to obey them in that which they have ordered and forbidden. Although a Muslim commits sins (and does not thereby cease being a Muslim), they are not to be accepted from him. Further, if he repents a true repentance, he may, with Allah’s mercy reach a superior state than the one previous to his sin and repentance.

 

It has been narrated that the Prophet (saws) used to recite these three verses just before giving Salaam in his prayer. It is also narrated as a du’a to be said at the conclusion of a sitting.

How To Believe In Allah’s Names And Attributes

The Author: Allah, subhaanahu, has combined in that with which He has described and named Himself negation (of all faults and negative attributes) and affirmation (of all attributes of might and perfection). The people of the Sunnah will turn nowhere away from that which the Messengers have brought. It is the Straight Path, the path of those upon whom Allah has bestowed His grace among the prophets, the ever-truthful, ever-faithful disciples, the martyrs, and all other righteous ones.

 

Thus, belief in Allah’s names and attributes is based upon two fundamental principles: negation and affirmation. Negation refers to rejecting with respect to Allah all attributes which contradict His perfection, including all types of faults, weaknesses or needs. We reject the idea that Allah could have any partner or peer. Nor can there be any comparable to Him in any of his attributes or the rights due to him alone. There are two types of affirmation: affirmation of general attributes such as Allah’s absolute perfection, majesty, etc; and affirmation of detailed attributes such as His detailed knowledge of all things, his decree of all events, His mercy, etc.

Negation (of a negative attribute) alone, not accompanied by affirmation (of its opposite) is not praise and is not befitting Allah. Thus, every negation which Allah has attributed to himself contains and implies the affirmation of its opposite. Allah’s negation of His having any partner or sharing any common attributes with any of his creation or of anything escaping His knowledge or of his acting with frivolity or of His forgetting, becoming tired or being touched by sleep all imply their opposites among Allah’s attributes of perfection.

The Author: The way of life in Allah’s eyes is Islam, and it is the straight path.

 

Ibn Al-Qayyim said (paraphrased): The best expression of the meaning of As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem is that it is the path which Allah set for his slaves on the tongues of His messengers, upon them be peace, and made it the path to Him – there is no other way for them. The straight path is dedicating all worship solely to Allah, and obedience solely to His messengers (among men). This then is the guidance, and it is knowledge of the truth and its application.

The way to Allah is one and no more. The Straight Path is sometimes attached by possessive to Allah {And this is my path which is straight}, because He is the one who ordained it and set it as the way to success for His slaves. Other times it is so attached to those who follow it, as in Sura Al-Fatiha, since they are the ones who traverse it.

 

As-Siraat in the Qur’an is of two types: spiritual (or abstract) and physical. The spiritual path is what we have been discussing, and the physical, tangible path (siraat) is the one which will be placed over the fire of Jahannam on Qiyamah. The people will pass over this bridge (or fail to) according to their actions in this life. The degree of their steadfastness on the metaphysical path while in this life will be directly reflected in their steadfastness and ability to cross over the physically real path which leads to Al-Jannah.

 

{Verily Jahannam is a place of ambush. * A destination for the transgressors. * Who will remain therein for ages. * Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink. * Except for boiling liquid and a liquid dark and murky. * A fitting recompense. * Verily, they used not to expect any taking of accounts. * And they arrogantly treated our verses as lies. * And all things we have recorded in a book. An-Naba’/21-29.

Testimony That Muhammed (saws) Is Allah’s Messenger

And I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s slave and messenger, may Allah’s prayers be upon him and upon his people (Aal) and his companions and Allah’s greetings (or peace) in abundance…

Meaning: I accept and believe in an absolute fashion that Muhammad is the slave of Allah and His messenger to all peoples of both men and jinn. He came as a bringer of glad tidings and a warner, a caller to Allah with His leave and a bright light of guidance. Thus, it is obligatory to believe him in each and every issue about which he informed us, whether past, present or future and to obey him in each and every order and forbiddance and to follow the law which he brought (Shari’ah) and his path (Sunnah).

 

The testimony to Muhammad’s (saws) status of slave of Allah and messenger goes hand in hand with the testimony as to the oneness of Allah, one is of no use without the other. In so bearing witness, a believer acknowledges the perfect servitude of Muhammad (saws) to Allah Most High and the completeness and perfection of his message. In so doing, we acknowledge the complete example in the person of the Prophet (saws) and that his person, life and example far exceed every other created being in every aspect including the law, his devotion to Allah, his character, etc.

 

[There is for you in Allah’s Messenger a good example for whoever hopes for Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.] Al-Ahzab 21

 

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: Just as Muhammad (saws) was sent with the message intended for every responsible being in Allah’s creation, likewise, his message was general and inclusive of all issues of life and religion both general principles and details. Just as no one is outside the scope of his message, likewise no ruling or judgement of which the nation has a need is outside the scope of his message or not explained fully by his message. Ibn Taimia said: The entire Din falls under the two testimonies since their meaning is that we worship none but Allah and that we obey his Messenger (saws). The entire religion of Islam consists of this: worship of Allah by obedience to His messenger. Every issue which is required or loved by Allah falls under obeying Allah and His messenger (saws).

The Messengers Are The Best of The Creation And the Most Truthful

Whoever contemplates that which was brought by the Prophet (saws) will come to know that it could not have been delivered except by most knowledgeable and the most truthful and most righteous of Allah’s creation. Such a teaching could not have come from someone intentionally lying and committing a forgery against Allah nor from someone ignorant who imagined that Allah has commissioned him. We know this from the perfection and completeness of the message of Islam. It guides mankind to that which is most beneficial to them and makes clear many issues which the human mind understands in general but is incapable of arriving at its details. The message contains knowledge at a level of perfection which could only have come from the All-Knowing and delivered by the most trustworthy and honest of mankind. And, it contains perfect benefit, good and guidance of the creation to that which will benefit them and warning them against that which will harm them that it could only have come from the Most Merciful, delivered the most compassionate, merciful and truthful of Allah’s creation, Muhammad, may the prayers and salutations of Allah be upon him.

 

Once we have understood that Muhammad (saws) is Allah’s messenger by our reason and by the transmitted evidence which has reached us and then find something in our mind which is at odds with any part of the message, logic and intellect demand that we submit the issue of difference between our own thinking and the message of Muhammad (saws) to the one more knowledgeable of all such issues. A Muslim would never give his opinion precedence over any statement of the Prophet (saws), knowing that his own intellect, no matter how great, falls far short of that of the Prophet (saws) and that the Prophet (saws) is more knowledgeable of Allah, His Names and Attributes, His law and of the hereafter.

 

The difference in knowledge between the most knowledgeable of the Muslims and the Prophet (saws) is much greater than the difference between an average man and a master doctor. When we are sick, we follow the prescriptions of the doctor even though we know that his medicines often don’t help and sometimes harm and that he makes mistakes. How then could we fail to follow the prescriptions of the Messenger (saws).

 

Our lack of knowledge of certain realities does not affect their reality. All that of which we have been informed by the Truthful messenger is established whether we know it or not — it is not affected by our knowledge of it one way or the other. All that of which the Prophet (saws) has informed us is truth regardless of who believed in it and who didn’t and all guidance which the Prophet (saws) delivered is from Allah, regardless of who obeyed it and who rebelled against it.

What is clear from all this is that intellect is not a source of establishing the law. Knowledge can neither give it any attribute nor affect it in any way since knowledge here only seeks to understand the message of Allah which is not in need of it in any way. To make this clearer, let us understand that knowledge is of two types. One type is a condition to the existence of its subject such as the comprehension of one of us of what we wish to do before undertaking doing it. The second type is theoretical knowledge of something which is self-existing and in no need of anyone’s knowledge of it. Examples of this are our knowledge of the oneness of Allah, the truthfulness of His messenger (saws) and the perfection of His law. The relationship of the Shariah to our own knowledge and understanding is along these lines. The Shariah which Allah sent down to us through His messenger is established and constant in and of itself, whether we understand it with our minds or not. It is in no need of our minds or our understanding. We, on the other hand are in dire need to know it and understand it with our minds so that we can gain its benefit. Our knowledge of the Shariah and of Islam will change the nature of our mind and elevate it to a higher level and ignorance of it will leave us ignorant and unguided even though none of that will have any effect on the reality of Allah’s Din which is established and unchanging.

 

That which is known infallibly through intellectual reasoning is never and can never by in conflict with the revelation of Muhammad (saws). In all such cases which have been claimed, we discover that either the narration cited is a forgery, or its indication of the claimed meaning is

ambiguous and unclear. In such a case, the narration is understood in the way which does not conflict with reason.

 

About slaveofallah14

Slave of Allah dedicated to learning and providing authentic Islamic education for the Muslim and non-Muslim women,only for the sake of Allah.

Posted on January 4, 2014, in I - The 6 Pillars of Faith and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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