Part 6 – Attributes 32 to 36 of Allah
- Al-Halīm – The Most Forebearing
“And do not make Allah a pretext, when you swear by Him, to avoid doing good, being righteous and making peace between people. Allah is All-Hearing and All-Knowing
“Allah will not call you to account for any oaths you uttered un-intentionally, but He will take you to task for what is intended in your hearts. Allah is Most-Forgiving and Most-Forebearing (32).”
(Al-Baqarah, 2:224, 225)
- The authoritative ahadith depict that if one has taken an oath and then causes to know that it is better to abandon that oath, then he should abandon it and pay the amnesty for it. The amnesty is to feed ten poor persons or to give them clothes or to keep fast for three days. This directive has been referred in the following verse from Al Quran:
- “Allah will not impose blame upon you for what is meaningless in your oaths, but He will impose blame upon you for (breaking) what you intended of oaths. So it’s expiation is feeding of ten needy people from the average of that which you feed your (own) families or clothing them or freeing of a slave. But whoever can not afford it then fast of three days (is required).
- Al-‘Azīm – The Most Great
- Al-‘Alīy – The Most High
Note: The verse (2:257) is known as Ayat-ul-Kursi which deals with the attributes of Allah in a comprehensive manner. The Prophet declared it as the loftiest verse of the Quran (Ibne Kaseer with difference to Muslim and Ahmad). This verse, also known as the Throne Verse, has won the admiration of non Muslims. According to the well known commentator of Quran Kareem, George Sale, “it is a magnificent description of the Divine Majesty and Providence.” According to the Arabic English Lexicon, it is “one of the most admired passage in the Quran.”
This verse consists of ten short sentences. In the first verse the word Allah is the Ism-e-Zat (personal name of the One Supreme Being) Who is the Creator, and Controller of all and Who is free from all defects. The attribute numbers 33 and 36 in the last ten sentences encompass all the other nine attributes mentioned in this long verse. Hence it has been selected as the best reflection of these two important attributes of Allah.
“Allah, there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of (all) existence1. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep2. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth3. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission?4 He knows what is (presently) before them and what will be after them5, and they encompass not a thing of His Knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursī6 extends over the heavens and the earth and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most-High (36), the Most-Great (33).
- The ignorant persons have coined many gods and deities but the actual matter of fact is that over-all Sovereignty (godliness) belongs to the permanent One Being without any interference to Him, rather He is alone by virtue of His own existence. The whole system of all this cosmos is established only because of Him. He Himself is the Controller and Executor of all the affairs of the Sovereignty. Hence whenever any other deity is established as His equivalent, this commences conflict in the absolute Truth.
- This statement nullifies the opinions of the persons who give the Supreme Being Allah (God) the same position and then assign to Him the nearness that are the indications of imperfection. Bible declares that God created heavens and the earth in six days and took rest on the Sabbath (seventh day). Thus it has been interpreted in two types of testaments by the followers of the Bible.
- No one is having any share in the partnership with Allah. His planning and His control over the universe is permanent. Anyone else whom human beings assign His partnership shall be questioned on the day of Resurrection.
- Here is the total denial of the interpretation of the polytheists who use to consider that there are some humans, angels, or other unseen objects who have great influence over Allah. They are admonished here that rather having influence over Allah none can dare upon his/her transgression over Allah.
- This statement of the Quran is a tremendous blow over the foundation of polytheism. In this another verdict has been disclosed that in His Sovereignty there is no legislative directive as well as it is also indicated that no one has the knowledge to grasp the wisdom and strategies for the control and management of the whole cosmos.
- Humans, Jinns or the Angels have limited and imperfect knowledge of the secrects of the cosmos. Thus if any individual becomes so much mistaken that his/her influence or intervention is operated in the functioning of the cosmos, the whole cosmos will be totally disturbed. Hence, eventually any living being is totally dependant on the guidance and directives of the Supreme Power who is the real Source of all knowledge.
- The word Kursī is used in Arabic which means plinth of a building that holds it. It is generally used for the word supervision which stops becoming exhausted and tired.
- This long verse number 255 reflects the cognition of Allah to the greatest extent. Hence the verse is considered as the most respectful verse of the Quran.
- This verse is the end of the passage starting from the verse 243 that is i.e. 13 verses before. This is the precise verdict of the last final addition of the divine message of Allah started systematically from the Prophet Nuh. First the believers were prompted to spend their wealth and life for the establishment of the Sovereignty of Allah in their societies. Then it was expected through the historical endeavours of the previous believers of Bani Israeel. Then it was informed that success and victory in any endeavour does not depend upon the quantity of material sources but rests with the faith, patience and perseverance and firm persistence for the cause.
- Then the Wisdom of Allah with the phenomena of battles and wars: Allah for controlling the management of world affairs removes one group of people through the other group because of the conflicts among them, one on the right side and the other on the wrong side. Then this dilemma passes to the next process.
- If Allah has deputed the Prophets to finish and diffuse the conflicts among humanity then these deficiencies would not vanish. Another question arises why Allah is helpless that He could remove the differences among the humans? The answer of this dilemma has been dealt in subsequent passages.
- Al-Ghafūr – The Forgiving
- Al-Shakour – The Appreciative
Note: The attribute numbers 34 and 35 are mentioned in the Quran together at important places where Allah’s wisdom and great-heartedness is most explicit. The following passage of four verses draws the picture very beautifully encompassing these two adjacent attributes.
“Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky, and We produce therefrom fruits of varying colours? And in the mountains are tracks white and red of various shades (some) extremely black.
“And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colours similarly1. Only those fear Allah, from among His servants, who have knowledge2. Indeed Allah is the Appreciative (35) and The Forgiving3 (34).
“Indeed, those who recite the Book of Allah and establish prayer and spend (In His cause) out of what We have provided them, secretly and publicly, (can) expect a transaction (in profit) that will never perish”
“That He may give them in full their rewards and increase for them of His bounty. Indeed, He is the forgiving (34) and Appreciative (35).
This passage depicts the reality of the whole universe that there is no where full homogeneity and one same monotonous scenery in the world. There are immense number of varieties in the universe of plants and fruits of different sizes, colours and taste produced from one piece of land through the same one rainwater.
Just see one mountain! you will feel it of different colours and of different geological constituents in its different portions. Even in human beings two siblings are not essentially similar to each other. A person much impressed and interested with similarity among humans gets bewildered on the vast differences and dissimilarities among them. Actually all the variants and varieties are providing evidence about the actions of the Almighty Wise Being Who created the universe with lots of laws, rules and regulations impressing upon the humans the existence of Unique Creator and highly Exalted Artisan possessing plentiful and innumerable designs for the selections of these attractive manifestations. The extreme variance productions have been possible only by different human beings of different thinking and different knowledge and capabilities.
Hence these verses give exceptional evidence that the humans are not the occurrence of a sudden random endeavour. The occurrence of the great plan and creatures is itself the proof of the Most Wise Single Being. Only a foolish person can consider the existence of these occurrences without the Wise Being.
- a) The persons who shall be unacquainted with the essential attributes of Allah shall ever neglect the existence and need of Allah while the persons with cognition of Allah shall become saturated and then find the attributes of Allah which would ultimately provide them the directives and injunctions of Allah to be followed.
- b) The word ‘ulama’ refers to the knowledge of the cognition of Allah. The knowledge not having about Allah is not referred to the ulama who don’t have the consciousness and fear of Allah.
Allah is Almighty and Powerful to the extent that He cares large-heartedly with His obedient servants. He is not the Master who is strict in dealing with His servants in punishing them if they make any slight mistake. He is so Benevolent and Merciful that he fully appreciates the sincere services of His obedient servants and also forgives them on their minor mistakes.
Continued in AMUST issue #112 March