knowing [aleem] 37:101 - so the knowledge of the creation
is not like that of Allaah
hearing, seeing [samee, baseer] 76:2 - the hearing and
sight of the creation is not like that of Allaah
kind, merciful [ra’oof, raheem] 7:128 - the kindness
and mercy of the creation is not like that of Allaah
proud, arrogant [mutakabbir, jabbaar] 40:35 - so the pride
and arrogance of the creation is not like that of Allaah’s
and there are many others…so the point here is that:
"resemblance in name, does not mean resemblance in reality and
THE SECOND PRINCIPLE: The Names of Allaah are both
Names/Identities and also Descriptions.
What this actually means is that when we have a Name of Allaah.
It actually consists of:
1. A Name, or something which acts as an identifier. Just
like a person may have a name such as Zaid, or Khaalid or whatever. So we
know that this person is known by this name. And if we were to say
‘Zaid’ everyone would know who we are referring to.
2. The quality or characteristic it indicates or gives
To illustrate, if we take the name ‘Al-Aleem’
(All-Knowing), we know from this that Allaah has the title or name of
‘al-Aleem’ firstly, and secondly that He must therefore have the
quality or characteristic of ‘knowledge’.
Another example: ‘al-Baseer’, (All-Seeing)we know
from this that Allaah has the title or name of ‘al-Baseer’ firstly
and that He must therefore have the quality of ‘sight’.
And the same goes for all of the Names of Allaah. They are
names firstly, AND they indicate certain qualities or charactersitics.
This shows that all the names of Allaah are similar in the
sense that they refer back to Allaah, but they are different in the sense that
they each carry a different meaning. To explain what this last sentence means.
If I said: ‘al-Aleem’, ‘al-Azeez’, al-Qawiyy’ (The
All-knowing, The Mighty, the Strong), then all of them refer back to Allaah, so
they all refer to one thing. The essence of Allaah. However they all carry
different meanings. So the meaning of ‘al-Aleem’ is not the same as
that of ‘al-Azeez’ and so on for all of the other names.
To show this further, we know that the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had
different names. Messenger of Allaah, Abul-Qaasim, Muhammad, Ameen (trustworthy)
etc.. So if I said to you, ‘Abul-Qaasim’, you know I am referring to
Muhammad. If I said to you ‘Messenger of Allaah’, you know I am
referring to Muhammad, if I said to you ‘Ameen’ you know I am
referring back to Muhammad. So in this sense the different names and titles all
refer back to the same person. However, they all carry different meanings
because they give evidence to different qualities or attributes.
So Allaah is called al-Aleem (All-Knowing) and He has the
characteristic of knowledge
Allaah is called al-Hakeem (All-Wise) and He has the
characteristic of wisdom.
Allaah is called al-Ghafoor (All-Forgiving) and He has the
characteristic of forgiving.
Allaah is as-Samee (All-Seeing)and He has the characteristic of
And the same for all of the Names of Allaah. They are 1)Names
firstly and 2) they give evidence to the attributes or qualities behind
NOTE: For the creation, they might be given a name but they
might not necessarily have the quality that it indicates. For example someone
might be called ‘Saadiq’ (truthful), yet he could be a liar, or
someone might be called ‘Ameen’ (trustworthy) yet he might not be
trustworthy, or someone could be called ‘Raheem’ (merciful) yet he
could be really harsh and mean. So for humans, they can be called by a name, but
they do not necessarily have the quality which the name indicates.
As for Allaah, then He is called by His Names because He has
the qualities that they indicate in a most perfect and complete way, with no
deficiency whatsoever. So Allaah’s actions arise from His Perfect Names
and Attributes. He forgives because is the All-Forgiving and He has the quality
of forgiveness. With the creation however, we give them names based upon their
actions. What this means that we can only call someone ‘truthful’ if
he really is truthful. We can only call someone ‘generous’ if his
actions prove that he is generous. So people receive these titles and
descriptions when they prove in their actions that they have these qualities. So
the perfection of people lies in their actions. However, for Allaah, His actions
come from His Perfection, from His Names. In other words it is the other way
NOTE: The people of Bid’ah argue that because we
affirm lots of attributes of Allaah we have claimed that there are lots of gods.
This argument is so ridiculous it is not even worth discussing.