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Teaching the Creation about Allaah, His Oneness and Attributes

22nd October 2015

There is no question that guiding the creation to the understanding and implications of Allaah's Oneness سبحانه و تعالى and Uniqueness (tawheed) is the overriding purpose of the Qur'aan. It is part of the nature of a human to want to know Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, his Lord and Creator. It is the Qur'aan that eloquently tells the human about his Lord such that he will then recognise the signs of his Lord, appreciate His actions and know His attributes. [1] 

Through these teachings found in the Qur'aan, the human will increase his love and adoration for his Lord. He will worship Him with greater intensity and love and he will be a more devoted servant to Him. [2] 

Through Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى clear description of His complete power over all things, His complete power to punish and His justice, the human learns to fear his Lord because of his own sins and shortcomings toward Him. At the same time, Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى clear description of His forgiveness and great mercy as well as the generous rewards He grants to the believers for their belief and good deeds increases the human's hope in Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. Hence, all of these aspects of the Qur'aan are intended to help the human know his Lord, have the proper relationship toward Hum and to have the feelings in his heart that make him act properly towards Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. 

Thus when one reads the Qur'aan, he should realise that he is reading about his God and Lord. The Qur'aan is answering those basic human questions for him: Who is my Creator and God? What is my relationship to Him? Why did He create me? But, more importantly, Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is telling the human about Himself so the human may draw closer to Him and increase his adoration and worship Him. 

That this is one of the overriding purposes of the Qur'aan can be seen in the following hadeeth wherein the Prophetصلى الله عليه وسلم identifies the greatest or most virtuous verse in the Qur'aan: Ubayy Ibn Ka'ab رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said to him, "O Abul-Mundhir! Do you know which verse of the Book of Allaah with you is the greatest?" He replied, "Allaah and His Messenger know best." Again the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم asked, "O Abul-Mundhir! Do you know which verse of the Book of Allaah with you is the greatest?" He replied, "I said, '[The verse,] Allaah, there is no god worthy of worship besided Him, the Ever-Living, the Ever-Sustaining'"? The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم then struck his chest and said, "By Allaah, may knowledge be made pleasant for you oh Abul-Mundhir [as you answered correctly]." [3] 

The verse referred to in the hadeeth is verse 255 of Sooratul Baqarah, known as Aayatul-Kursee (the verse of the Footstool): 


"Allaah - there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great." (Sooratul-Baqarah, 2:255) 

The greatest verse of the Qur'aan is all about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, His attributes and His greatness. This is a clear sign that Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is, if one may use the term, "revealing" Himself to His creatures through the verses of the Qur'aan. This aspect of the Qur'aan is one of the most important, if not the most important, of aspects. 

Similarly, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said about Sooratul-Ikhlaas, "By the One in whose hand is my soul, it is equal to one-third of the Qur'aan." [4] [5] 

Sooratul-Ikhlaas is the following Soorah:



"Say, 'He is Allah , [who is] One, Allaah-as-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need), He begets not, nor was He begotten; And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him." (Sooratul-Ikhlaas, 112:1-4) 

Once again, this Soorah which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم declared to be equivalent to one-third of the Qur'aan is all about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, His names and attributes, and His uniqueness. 

There can be no doubt then that one of the major purposes of the Qur'aan is to teach the creation about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. This should be something clear in the mind of the reader. He should turn to the Qur'aan to learn about His creator. He should be emphasising the relevant verses during his reading. When Allaah سبحانه و تعالى mentions His names and attributes, the reader should be alert and realise that this is one of the main goals of the Qur'aan and it is information about his creator that he will not be able to receive from any other source. 

These teachings about Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى names and attributes are essential for the strength and health of one's faith. It is by these verses of the Qur'aan that one really knows whom he is worshipping and he then no longer worships something or theory alone without any aspect of realness to him. This point is aptly summarised in the following quote: "You will not be able to fulfill the true form of worship and servitude nor attain the proper direction [in your worship] if you do not know the One who you are worshipping and directing your worship toward - that is, if you do not know the attributes that He has. [You will not be able to fulfill the true worship] until your worship is based on recognition and knowledge. And Allaah سبحانه و تعالى has described Himself in His noble book with attributes that He wants us to know and attribute Him with [so that our worship of Him can be proper and as complete as we can make it]." [6] 

Furthermore, many of the people before the coming of the Prophet accepted the idea of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى being the only Creator of the Universe. However, they associated partners with Allaah سبحانه و تعالى in different forms of worship. Therefore, Islaam came to purify this concept of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى being the Lord or Rabb and gave it its proper understanding. By doing so, then they would worship Allaah سبحانه و تعالى alone properly. But the way to achieve that, or the beginning point, is to have knowledge and correct understanding of Allaah's names and attributes سبحانه و تعالى. If one has knowledge and a correct understanding of Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى names and attributes, then one would never turn to anyone else or direct any form of worship to anyone other than Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. Hence, a correct and detailed understanding of Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى names and attributes is truly the foundation for the correct application of the proper belief in Allaah. [7] 

Hence, the desired product of these verses of the Qur'aan is a true and devoted worship of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى alone. The more that one knows about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and His attributes, the more one will love Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, fear Him and have hope in Him. Definitely, the more one knows about Allaah سبحانه و تعالى, the more one should love Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and desire to please Allaah سبحانه و تعالى and have Allaah سبحانه و تعالى pleased with him. Hence, the correct understanding of the names and attributes of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى is very important and very beneficial and forms one of the major goals of the teachings of the Qur'aan. [8] 


[1] Obviously, the human mind or intellect cannot discover this information by itself as it is well beyond its limitations. All philosophers who have tried to determine the nature or attributes of God without the aid of revelation have ended in confusion and frustration. The only reliable source for this kind of information is revelation from Allaah Himself سبحانه و تعالى. 

[2] Those philosophers of Islaam who turned away from or denied Allaah's سبحانه و تعالى clear descriptions of His attributes had, as is clear from their writings, a very empty and hollow conception of God, void of any real feelings of the heart. 

[3] Saheeh Muslim 

[4] Saheeh al-Bukhaaree 

[5] This hadeeth has been explained by some of the scholars in the following fashion: The verses of the Qur'aan may be divided into three categories: 

a) Those related to the stories of the prophets 
عليهم الصلاة والسلام and earlier peoples, 

b) those related to law and rulings, and 

c) those related to the attributes of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. 

Hence, Sooratul-Ikhlaas covers the last third. Allaah سبحانه و تعالى knows best. See Imaam an-Nawawi رحمه الله, Sharh Saheeh Muslim (Riyadh: Daar al-Muayyad, 1995), vol. 6, p. 335 

[6] Muhammad Qutb, Rakaa'iz al-Imaan (Riyadh: Daar Ishbeeliyah, 1997), p. 105 

[7] Ahmad Salaam, Muqaddimah fi Fiqh Usool ad-Da'wah (Beirut: Daar Ibn Hazm, 1990), p. 97 

[8] How to Approach and Understand the Quran, pp. 118-123

posted by Seifeddine-M on 22nd October 2015 - 0 comments


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