The Reality of the Nature of Allah:

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Author’s note:
What I have to present is a very simple, concise, treatise on the nature of Allah’s existence, the splendor of His exclusivity, and the magnitude of His dominance over all things. I have taken upon myself to write something such as this, as a result of sitting in a class on `Aqidah/Islamic-Theology, in which the instructor, teaching this class, mentioned some things about Allah that didn’t sit right with me at all, in spite of this person mentioning evidence from various sources. The premise of this class was centered upon literal & allegorical/figurative aspects of revealed texts (the Qur’an in particular), which highlight some qualities & characteristics of Allah, in which persons, both classically, as well as contemporarily, have expressed various opinions about. But, with me being me, the position & justification that he gave for his stances weren’t good enough for me. So, of course, I had decided to take pen-to-paper, and here we are, with this treatise, concerning the nature of Allah.

My objective, however, is not to call people out, or declare heresy/blasphemy upon any Muslim. Rather, it is only an honest, unbiased, simple, attempt to clarify some aspects of Allah’s nature, especially for those Muslims who may be reverts/Non-Arabic speaking Muslims, and/or persons (both Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) who may legitimately be oblivious & ignorant to this millenium old issue, concerning Allah’s nature-To make it plain: everyone has opinions, about who Allah is, how does He manifest His divine qualities, what is the extent, if any, of His qualities , etc. This treatise is not about this. It’s simply a platform, to display specific things which Allah establishes for Himself, in both the Qur’an & Prophetic-Tradition, about Himself & His divine nature.

It is my sincere hope that anyone & everyone may be able to benefit, in some way, from whatever I’ve written in this treatise. I’m hopeful that this could inspire/empower others to, in fact, seriously study this subject matter, more extensively, for their own selves, in order to theologically empower & liberate one’s self, from the theological dominance of others, who may or may not have your best interests at heart. As Muslims, we owe it to Allah,then, to ourselves, to be theologically safe & free from theological flaws, mistakes, personal opinions of others & just stick to authentic stances, based upon authentic texts, from both the Qur’an & Prophetic-Tradition.

By the way, just for enforced personal clarification: I am a Non-Sectarian Muslim, which means that I am not partial, nor biased, towards or against any particular theological group, school, or scholarly standing, in regards to this issue, and various other Islamic, religious issues, which have been the source of many a debate, between Muslims, for the last 1,000 years.

The Nature of Allah:

His Existence-
Allah is uncreated, Eternal, Divine, Perfect, and completely unlike anything which has ever been, or ever will be, created. When describing Allah, firstly, it is of the utmost importance to stay within the authentic parameters of the Qur’an & Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, in regards to what Allah attributes to Himself, as well as to what extent Allah goes to elaborate on certain, and/or specific, attributions about Himself. When it comes to how He exist, He in fact exist in an eternal context. Meaning, He exists without having a beginning or an end-This is the absolute basis of His dominance over all else which exists, aside from Himself.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.112, V.2; 42, V.11)

His Oneness/Uniqueness-
Allah is one & absolute, completely & exclusively unique, as one who exists. This highlights His divinity, His exclusive right to be worshipped, at all times & in all places. This is important, because, when people take on acts of worship, they must be sure that it is Allah who is the object of their worship, and no one else who exists. The best example of this is the Shahadah, itself. The Shahadah is the religious testimony of faith for Muslims; it confirms two things: One, our recognition & acceptance that there is no one who is worshipworthy, except Allah. Two, that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah, to be followed in all things, regarding the proper way to be obedient to Allah.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.47, V.19; Chpt.33, V.21)

His Names & Characteristics-
Any & all of Allah’s names & characteristics serve as direct indicators of His qualities, which are: uncreated, eternal, divine, absolute, unlimited, complete, perfect & positive, just like He is.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.7, V.180)

Allah’s Divine-Impossibilities:
There are very detailed things which are impossible for Allah, and before people get crazy, let me explain them-

a. It’s impossible for Allah to be created, age, or die-
Allah explains in detail, how this is an impossibility.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.112, V.2)

b. It’s impossible for Allah to be more than one-
Allah is one, without being divided. He is perfectly individual.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.112, V.1; Chpt.2, V.163)

c. It’s impossible for to Allah to have parents or children-
Allah makes it crystal-clear that it is not from His divine-integrity to have parents or children.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.112, V.3)

d. It is impossible for Allah to be dependant upon anyone or anything-
Allah needs nothing from anyone or anything, and, everyone & everything needs Allah.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.255; Chpt.31, V.26)

e. It is impossible for Allah to be a Tyrant-
This is based upon what Allah says about himself.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.18, V.49; an-Nawawi)

f. It is impossible for Allah to be selfish or cheap-
Allah gives of what he wills, how He wills, to whom He wills.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.64)

g. It is impossible for Allah to be defeated/subdued-
Allah can never be defeated or conquered by anyone or anything.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.6, V.28; Chpt.38, V.65)

h. It is impossible for Allah to have any negative names, characteristics, or qualities-
Allah is in eternal possession of the best names, characteristics, and qualities-His names, characteristics, and qualities are eternal, positive, and perfect, just as He is.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.286; Chpt.20, V.8; Chpt.7, V.180)

Allah’s features:

a. Allah has a Nafs/Persona-
This is solely based upon the fact that Allah does in fact describe Himself, in the Qur’an, as well as Muhammad (Peace be upon him), in the Sunnah, as having an actual Nafs/persona, not to be compared, or confused with the similitude of the Nafs/persona of any created thing.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.116; Tafsir-ul-Jalalayn)

b. Allah has a Face-
This is solely based upon the fact that Allah does in fact describe Himself, in the Qur’an, as well as Muhammad (Peace be upon him), in the Sunnah, as having an actual face, not to be compared, or confused with the similitude of the face of any created thing.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.55, V.26 & 27; Tafsir-ul-Jalalayn)

c. Allah has Speech, as well as a Voice-
This is solely based upon the fact that Allah does in fact describe Himself, in the Qur’an, as well as Muhammad (Peace be upon him), in the Sunnah, as having actual speech, along with an actual voice, not to be compared, or confused with the similitude of the speech or voice of any created thing.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.4, V.164; Tafsir-ul-Jalalayn)

d. Allah has Hands-
This is solely based upon the fact that Allah does in fact describe Himself, in the Qur’an, as well as Muhammad (Peace be upon him), in the Sunnah, as having actual hands, not to be compared, or confused with the similitude of the hands of any created thing.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.38, V.75; Tafsir-ul-Jalalayn; Bukhari)

e. Allah has Shins-
This is solely based upon the fact that Allah does in fact describe Himself, in the Qur’an, as well as Muhammad (Peace be upon him), in the Sunnah, as having actual shins, not to be compared, or confused with the similitude of the shins of any created thing.(Noble Qur’an: Chpt.68, V.42; Tafsir-ul-Jalalayn)

f. Allah has Feet-
This is solely based upon the fact that Allah does in fact describe Himself, in the Qur’an, as well as Muhammad (Peace be upon him), in the Sunnah, as having actual feet, not to be compared, or confused with the similitude of the feet of any created thing.(Bukhari & Muslim)

Now, at this point, I will have to explain why some Muslims would have a serious problem with what I’ve just mentioned:

There have been, classically & contemporaneously, (various persons, groups, schools, etc.) those whom have taken a theological position that the features which Allah has described Himself with are only allegorical, and not literal. This is based solely upon interpretations of linguistic nuances of the Arabic-Language, as opposed to what Allah has actually mentioned about Himself, what Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has mentioned about Him, what his Companions (May Allah be pleased with them all-together), and what the general consensus of Muslim scholars of the Salaf (the first three generations of Muslims, relative to the revelation of the Qur’an) have commented on concerning the features of Allah. In fact, classically, the vast majority of the Salaf have always taken a neutral stance, regarding the features of Allah, that they are what they are, as mentioned, in both the Qur’an & Sunnah, without attempting to explain them, nor denying the reality that these features actually exists.(Kitab Sharh-is-Sunnah [Explanation of the Creed], by Muhammad al-Barbahari) However, persons have deemed it necessary to do one of two things: One, two either negate the reality that Allah has described Himself with these features, giving them a figurative definition. Two, attempting to give the features of Allah form & structure. In all reality, both are equally, theologically, dangerous.

This particular debate, over the extent of the reality, or lack-there-of, of the features of Allah, has been a recurring, theological/scholarly, debate, for the past 1,000+ years, among Muslims. But, that’s not my concern, to get caught-up with the differing opinions of others. My point here is very simple at this point-There are so many things about Allah’s nature, which we, as created things will probably never know, and, it doesn’t even matter, for the following reasons: One, if it were really that important for us, as created things, to know in detail, regarding the features of Allah, then, Allah would’ve most definitely extended the definition of what His features are, or are not, either in the Qur’an, personally, or impersonally, via the Prophetic-Tradition of His Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Two, debating over whether Allah has these features or not will not get you any further in one’s development as a Muslim-Personally, I view this as a waste of time, for people to go back-and-forth, debating, arguing, attacking one another, verbally, sometimes, even physically, over this issue.

There should be no doubt, to any Muslim, that when Allah mentions something in the Qur’an, or through the Prophetic-Tradition of His Messenger (Peace be upon him), that He is not at all attempting to be deceptive. I mean, really…do you really think that Allah would just mention that He possesses all of these previously mentioned features, for Himself, just to throw us off & confuse us, to have us at one another’s throats (figuratively & literally), while we still at the end of the day don’t have a clue whether these features are real or not?!!!

What type of god do you think you’re worshipping?!!! Allah never plays practical-jokes upon people, nor does He deceive people, nor does He insult anyone’s intelligence. He makes things crystal-clear, all of the time, even when we deem things unclear, and, that’s solely the result of the fact that Allah has chosen to not disclose understanding to some of us, regarding things which may seem unclear.

So, never assume that Allah uses the “boogie-man” approach, in regards to defining Himself, either in His Book, or in the Prophetic-Tradition of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). He doesn’t want any of His creation, whom have been honored with being recipients of guidance, to ever fall into doubt or disbelief, about Him, via confusion about what is established in both the Qur’an & Sunnah. However, because we may possess some deficiencies of our own, due to diseases within our own hearts, lack of intellectual foresight, and just plain ignorance of the knowledge of sacred-texts, we have a tendency to overcompensate for the fact that we don’t comprehend something about Allah, by attempting to define it by ourselves, which in turns leads us astray.

Gareth Bryant/2012


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9 responses »

  1. You did a great job describing some of Allah’s characteristics. I was always told that if you can imagine in your mind what He looks like, then that is definitely not what Allah looks like.

    Allah also has 99 wonderful names, or attributes.

    • Thank you for your feedback. And, also, please, share this with others. It is oh so important that we, as Muslims, grasp the authentic, correct, conceptual understanding of the nature of Allah, without subtracting or adding anything to it. We all need a solid, genuine theological foundation. I’m just happy that this particular post has been well-received. Actually, I’ve recently found out that this post helped to influence someone’s decision to become a Muslim, so this is great & can actually be used as a great tool, for scholar & layman alike, to convey the simple, yet necessary knowledge of the nature of Allah.

  2. Sorry man I gotta bug you again. But you did say you want honest feedback from your readers…

    So I have some issues with how you describe Allah. I have a problem with how the god of monotheism is portrayed in general, but in no particular order:

    You mentioned that Allah is not created but is eternal. Doesn’t that mean Allah has an eternal past? Many monotheists believe God is timeless, but I don’t see how that is possible. Even the Qur’an says Allah’s day is a certain measurable length of time, whatever that may be. If Allah has an eternal past, wouldn’t it have taken him an eternity to get to the present?

    Does Allah have free will since he knows everything he is going to think and do, forever? Isn’t that kind of like being an actor and having to go along with a script forever knowing that you could never deviate from it?

    You mentioned that “Allah never plays practical-jokes upon people”. Really? Ever heard of the story of Abraham? Talk about practical joke. Whatever the lessen to be learned there, commanding someone to kill their son, and then saying it was all a test, is one hell of a joke. Can you imagine Abraham’s face when he found out it was all a test? Not to mention the look on his son’s face. This whole story is Allah’s intentional deception.

    You said “It is impossible for Allah to be a tyrant”. Excuse me. Allah is the tyrant of tyrants. It’s his way or the highway. He demands to be loved, worshiped and feared. That sounds to be a lot like Stalin and Kim Jung-Il. Nearly every line in the Qur’an mentions this. All the verse you pointed out says is “And thy Lord wrongs not anyone.” But the Qur’an justifies slavery, sexual slavery, and Allah even uses the role of the slave to show their masters how much higher Allah is to them. I don’t think a “perfect” being would justify human slavery, don’t you?

    • 1. When one is eternal, past, present, or future are irrelevant, this doesn’t affect Allah in any way. Yes, it’s true that things which we don’t know about, happened in the past, obviously. But, that has absolutely no affect upon Allah’s status as being eternal. Free-will is something that only applies to the creation, because free-will is something which is given, granted, allowed, allotted, etc. & it is Allah who gives-No one gives Allah anything-Allah owns everything. Since Allah is the one who sets the rules, guidelines, standards, etc., then, there’s no need for Him to be subjugated to a “free-will”, or lack thereof, by virtue of who He is, He is eternally free from any & all need, dependence, necessity, etc.

      2. Allah doesn’t think, thinking is an aspect, quality of created things: What does the work think mean?

      Think-
      to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.
      (Courtesy of Dictionary.com)

      Allah doesn’t reason, because He knows everything, there’s nothing for Him to ponder about or investigate. He doesn’t remember, because He never forgets anything. Allah doesn’t rationalize, because He already possesses all knowledge & wisdom of everything which exists.

      3. It’s never an issue of Allah having a “script”, that He can never “deviate” from-There’s no limitations set upon Allah, except those that He places upon Himself. He does however have a Sunnah (Allah has a divine-routine), and Allah mentions, in the Qur’an, that His Sunnah never changes, not that it can’t, but it will not. As Muslim, we are not entitled to place limitations, boundaries, conditions, standards, etc., upon Allah, which Allah has never placed upon Himself.

      4. Allah doesn’t impose practical-jokes upon people. He has the sole right to test, anyone or anything that He so desires, we just have to deal with it.

      5. Allah has never been tyrannical, and He never will be. Allah specifically says, “Verily, Allah doesn’t oppress Humans at all. However, Humans do oppress themselves.”(Noble Qur’an: Chpt., V.) And, also, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has said, “Oh, My Property!!! Verily, I’ve made oppression prohibited upon Myself, as well as between you. So, do not oppress one another!!!”(an-Nawawi) Furthermore, Allah is the Lord of the Universe; and, as such, He definitely has the exclusive right to be respected, feared, loved, worshipped, etc.

      • You know when I hear theists talk about their God, it reminds me a lot of North Koreans talking about their “Dear Leader”. To the North Korean the Dear Leader is always right, he’s always perfect, all thanks and tribute and gratitude must go to him. He can never do any wrong, ever. This is because they fear him, which is one of Allah’s qualities.

        Now a North Korean might truly in their heart, be completely willing to submit to the Dear Leader, and destroy any will that they might possibly have for their own being and give all their control to him. But this submissive and very masochistic way of living in the eyes of others, is not something to be proud of. We in the West can easily see how ridiculous and sadistic the Dear Leader is. But most Muslims cannot see this with their own concept of God as non Muslims clearly can, because they live in fear of Allah’s wrath and they are brainwashed (as you clearly) are by its dogma, just like the North Koreans are in their country.

        In the Qur’an, Allah has nothing but hatred and contempt for those who do not submit to them. Anger and jealousy are not virtuous traits, otherwise we would teach our children these values positively. Therefore the core character of Allah is one that is sadistic, capricious, extremely jealous beyond comparison, totalitarian, tyrannical, who enjoys the torment of those in hell like a teenage boy enjoying a slasher movie, and whose love is only conditional as to whether you completely and blindly submit yourself as his slave.

        Now do you see how free-thinking people like me don’t see Allah as anything but a cosmic “Dear Leader”. You might be fine submitting to him. But you know what, some people find happiness in slavery. Some people like giving up all their power to authority. It comes from the masochistic aspect of human nature, and religions capitalize on that. Others of us want to live our lives freely, while respecting others so that we can live in a civil society.

        Allah has limitations, he can only do what is logically possible, which is why he cannot create a square circle, or another god better than him.

        Now if free will is given, that defeats its whole purpose, because you didn’t have the free will for it to be given. The characteristics of Allah are not logically possible, but theists just assert them to be so, through theological wordplay. It is like the ontological arguments given about god. You’re just “defining” Allah as “perfect” without offering any proof. As I said before, having 1 flaw exterminates perfection. And jealousy, anger, and sadism (enjoy the torment of others) cancels this perfection. The same standards apply to everyone, including Allah.

        But I’m sure that you, just like the North Koreans, will fail to recognize this in the one you worship, because you’re brainwashed and fearful. Your religion prevents you from applying a critical eye towards Allah or any Islamic dogma. You must take a step back, from the perspective outside of your faith in order to see where I’m coming from.

      • Everything that you’ve just mentioned has absolutely no basis at all. There are more uses of the word mercy & forgiveness, in the Qur’an itself, than torment or punishment. So, your statements against Allah, which are obvious lies, are not even worth me disproving. It’s just another lame-ass attempt, by you, to try to convince me to have a negative opinion of Allah, the Lord of the Universe, and it’s just not working & it could/would never work. If Allah were truly merciless, as you claim, you wouldn’t even be allowed to take your next breath. For all of the insidiously slanderous statements that you’ve just made against Allah, you don’t even deserve the intellect that He’s given you, let alone the life that He’s given you. But, out of His ultimate mercy, He still, in spite of your disgusting rebellious behavior, against Him, He still allows you to live.

      • Well you’ve proven my point exactly because if you’ve ever seen a North Korean react when someone points out to them the obvious truth that their leader is not really all that he is cracked up to be, they can’t even fathom for one second that that could be correct.

        You mention Allah’s forgiveness and mercy. Sure, only for those who blindly submit to be his slave forever. His love is purely conditional as to whether you sacrifice your entire personality and free will to him. Now Allah could be humble. He could say “I need not be worshiped” and could act as an advice giver and give us true scientific and moral knowledge and let us make our own decisions, whether good or bad, like a father does. But no, he demands total submission and worship constantly or else he will enjoy your torment in hell. That is far from humble, or merciful, this is what you call megalomania, and there is no denying this at all.

        I don’t need Allah’s permission to breath because he doesn’t exist. He only exists in the minds of the people who believe in him. And even so, there are so many different versions of God that exist inside people’s minds that it shows you that man created God, not the other way around. You believe him on faith and you have no real evidence to his existence and it is a good thing, because who in their right mind would want to live under such a demanding tyrant that you will have to submit to and worship forever like his little play thing, as merely a means to HIS end; who rewards you with watching the torment of others in hell to enjoy this sadism?

        The Islamic mentality is a form of psychopathy if you think what I mentioned above (in paragraph 2) is perfectly alright because Allah’s power makes it right. It prevents one from thinking rational. Muslims believe “might makes right” and it is sad. That same mentality justifies brutal kings and dictators. When Muslims assert that “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet” they don’t realize that only the first 4 words are correct.

  3. Mike Walsh if you say there is no Allah then who created you, Well if we say at present age that there is no creator of a laptop or a computer or a car everyone will say you are mad you have no brain but such intelligent people will say that this world has no creator. You say Allah is Tyrant To his creatures then He (Allah) would not have given you a free will and a choice to choose from good and evil.

    He don’t want any worship from us as He Allah is free from all need but why He (Allah) ordered us to do so because He (Allah) wants us to be free from all the troubles of these world where we can fall in by following our own desires. You are a person who has no faith even a Christines and jews have faith but i think you are an idiot atheist who don’t believe in any thing. You remember this date when you writted all these comments and on the day of Judgement all these statements will be held against you.

    If you work for a company that is paying you some salary so they tells you precisely what you have to do for them and they take all your freedom merely for paying you some dollars and how the hell you can question Allah when He (Allah) has given you everything and asking you to just worship Him alone. Understand Muslims are not 24/7 in worship but we east sleep enjoy our life with our family but all the orders that He (Allah) has given us is merely for human benefits.

    you dumb think that Alllah ordered us to not have wine today how many people are dying just because of drinking wine. Allah ordered us to not have illegal sexsual acts today many people are dying for aids. Allah forbids killing of Human beings today how many are killed just in the name of terroris. Allah forbids interest and today whole world is in crisis just because of this interest thing. Allah says dont be jealous of others and today how many kills each other for this jealousy. Even a person with little mind can understand that Allah has complete knowledge and only Allah can set what is right and what is wrong.

    If Allah wills he can take you life in a moment and i wish you are still alive to read this but if you really want to see Allah’s power then sit a side and say Oh Allah if you exist then show me your power by taking all the powers that you have given me to move and speak and i hope you will see the power of Allah;s existence and if you did not see it then wait for Judgement day or for the day you are going to die then you will regret each and every statement that you used here.

    You have eyes but really you can’t see this whole universe that Allah created, you have brain but you can think about unlimited food items that Allah created for you. You have intellect but you can think that how Allah has created day and night for you.

    When someone is Caring for you so much then you don’t owe a gratitude to that someone and that someone is Allah and we thank Him by worshiping Him alone.

    Whether you understand or believe does not matter we Love Allah We believe in Allah we try to be His good slaves and when Master is so great why not to be His Slave. When you can be slave to yourself, to government, to police then why not to Allah who is our creator. When Police says stops at Red signal why you stop say i have my will, you dumb ass you people can be slave to everything money women to your desire but you feel problem having slave to Allah.

    We will meet on judgement day for sure remember this.

  4. Pingback: Islam’s Dark Past | All you would like to know about God!

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