All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all the Worlds and Prayers and Peace
upon His Messenger Muhammad. Continuing with our discussion of Tawheed, we will look at how
to believe in the Names of Allaah. As with the Attributes of Allaah (Lesson 2),
there are certain principles that we have to adhere to in order to believe and
understand the Names of Allaah correctly. - This is because the Names of Allaah
and His Attributes are the basis of our worship of Allaah. We come to know Him
by His Names and Attributes, the more we know, the better our worship.
Todays lesson is taken and adapted from a book by Shaikh Ibn
Uthaimeen Qawaaid ul-Muthlaa Fee Sifaat iLlaah wa
Asmaaihil-Husnaa - (roughly, the Perfect Principles Regarding
the Attributes of Allaah and His Beatiful Names).
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE: All the Names of Allaah are
This means that the Names of Allaah reach the extreme of
perfection. They are perfect and complete in every single aspect. As Allaah
"And to Allaah belong the most-beautiful/excellent of
This is because these names represent the
qualities/characteristics that Allaah has and in which there is absolutely no
deficiency or shortcoming whatsoever.
An example: Al-Hayy the EverLiving - is a name of
Allaah, and this gives evidence to the perfect life of Allaah, a life which was
not preceded by death or non-existence and which will not be followed by death
or non-existence.This is unlike the life of created things, who
are born and die and then no longer exist. Also their life depends on other
created things such as food and water etc. But the life of Allaah is free and
independent of all of these things. Therefore His life is the most perfect and
Another example: Al-Aleem - the All Knowing - is
a name of Allaah and this gives evidence to the perfect knowledge of Allaah,
knowledge which was not preceded by ignorance and which will not be followed by
forgetfulness. Allaahs knowledge is free from all of that. As Moses said
"The Knowledge of of it (i.e. the state of the people of
past) is with My Lord in a Book. My Lord does not err, nor is He forgetful"
So Allaahs knowledge encompasses everything. He knows
what the hearts contain and what the wombs contain. He knows what is in the
depths of the oceans and what is in the heights of the heavens. Nothing is
hidden from him, not even the weight of an atom or what is less than that. So
the Name of Allaah al-Aleem gives evidence to perfect and complete
Another example: ar-Rahmaan - the One Full of
Mercy - is a name of Allaah and this gives evidence to the overflowing mercy of
Allaah, which is perfect and complete and about which the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"Allaah is more merciful to His servants than this (i.e. a female animal)
to her child". And Allaahs mercy encompasses everything i.e. it
covers everything, Allaahsmercy reaches everything.
"And My mercy encompasses every single thing"
NOTE: There are some names which are common between Allaah
and the Creation. But this does not mean that the reality behind them is the
same. For example Allaah has described Himself as hearing, seeing
[4:58] but He also described man as hearing, seeing [76:2].
However, the hearing and seeing of Allaah is one thing, but the hearing and
seeing of mankind is something else. Allaahs hearing and seeing is the
most-complete and most perfect, without any limitations or restrictions
whatsoever, as opposed to that of humans.
This is an important point because the people of innovation
claim, that just because we affirm these Names and Attributes for Allaah, we are
likening Him to his creation and this is false because of the following
"Agreement in the name does not necessarily mean agreement
of the reality behind them".
So Allaahs life is different from our life. His is
perfect, ours is not. So there is a big difference. The same can be said about
all those Names or attributes that seem to be common between the creation and
Allaah. Ibn Taymiyyah in at-Tadmuriyyah gives a list of all those
attributes/names that He has named Himself with and also with which He has named
the creation. By this Ibn Taymiyyah says that this is proof that although the
names are the same, the realities are different. Some of the names that Allaah
mentions about the creation in the Quraan and which are common between
the creation and Allaah are: