Mere profession of faith in one god is not sufficient for one to be a believer. In fact, many people may claim to profess such a belief, and yet their conceptions of the One God are often strikingly different. The prophets, and in particular Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), were sent to eradicate idolatry, and describing Allah as resembling creatures is nothing but a manifestation of idolatry. Allah is transcendent, above the limitations of created things, beyond our sensory perception, and can be recognized only through His attributes. An important principle, which follows from Allah’s transcendence, is that we may only describe Him by those names and attributes by which He describes Himself, or by which His Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has described Him.
It is important to stress that Allah’s non-resemblance to creatures does not make Him unreachable or incomprehensible.
“And when My servants ask you concerning Me, indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [Qur’an, 2:186]
Indeed, we can sense or comprehend the effects of many of Allah’s attributes. An example is the attribute of mercy.
“So observe the effects of the mercy of Allah – how He gives life to the earth after its lifelessness.” [(30) Al-Rum, 50] Continue reading “1b – Attributes Of Allah”