Contributed by Jameel Kermalli,
EXPLANATION AND DERIVATION OF THE WORD, ALLAH
Excerpts from the article by DR. JIBOURI in his book – Knowing ALLAH, The Concept of God in Islam.
- The Almighty is Endless regarding His essence, perpetuity, eternity, Attributes, qualities and blessings.
- His creation, on the other hand, are described as reaching the end of their life terms, being limited in their characteristics, thoughts, and spheres.
- The one who is incapacitated cannot reach the Endless One.
- No wonder, then, that the minds are forever overcome by the lights of His Independence, and the reasons are too feeble to realize the brightness of His Greatness.
- He is as He describes Himself when He says in 6:18 and 6:61, “He is the Supreme above His servants.”
The Creator is the One Who is adored, and He is worYour of it; hence, He is called ilah. He has made it clear for us that He is the One who bestows His blessings upon those whom He creates in sundry ways. Adoring is the ultimate form of glorifying. Reason testifies that the ultimate end of glorification suits only the One Who is the source of benevolence and bliss. It is to this fact that the Almighty refers when He says, “How do you deny Allah while you were dead and He gave you Life”? (2:28).
- Nobody knows Allah as He deserves to be known except Allah Himself.
- In sermon 186 in Nahjul Balagha, Imam Ali says the following:
One who assigns conditions to Him does not believe in His Oneness, nor does one who likens Him to anything grasp the reality about Him. One who illustrates an example for Him does not revere Him. One who points at Him and imagines Him does not know the meaning of His Lordship. Anything known by itself is a created thing, and everything that exists by virtue of other things is the effect thereof. He does things but not with the help of instruments.
He assigns measures but not with the faculty of thinking. He is rich but not by acquisition. Time does not keep company with Him, nor does He seek help from any means. His Being precedes time. His Existence precedes non-existence, and His eternity precedes beginning. By creating the senses, it is known that He does not have the same. By comparing antitheses, it is known that He has no antithesis, and by striking similarities between things, it is known that there is nothing similar to Him.
He has made light the contrary of darkness, brightness the opposite of dimness, dryness the opposite of moisture, and heat the opposite of coolness. He causes harmony among opposites.
He fuses together diverse things; He brings closer what is remote and distances what is joined together. He is not confined to limits, nor computed by figures. Matters are attracted to one another, and parts point out to what is similar to them; the word “since” disproves their eternity, and possibility disproves their perpetuity, while certain means keep them distant from perfection. Through them does the Creator manifest Himself to the intellect, and by them is He veiled from vision.
Stillness and motion do not apply to Him; how can anything that He causes to have any effect on Him, and how can anything which He has created revert in its effect unto Him? Or how can anything have an impact upon Him while He Himself brought it to being? Had it not been so, He would have become subject to diversity, His Being would have become divisible (into parts), and His reality would have been prevented from being Eternal. Had He had a front, He would have had a rear! He would have needed to be completed had there been any shortage in Him.
In that case, characteristics of His creatures would have appeared in Him, and He would have become a sign (leading to other objects) instead of the latter leading to Him. Through the might of His effectiveness is He distanced above being affected by things. Neither change nor extinction affect Him. He has not begotten anyone lest He should be said as having been Himself born. He has not been begotten lest He should have been confined to limits. He is too sublime to have sons, too pure to take women. Imagination cannot reach Him to assess Him. Comprehension cannot conceive Him and fancy a shape for Him. Senses do not perceive Him to probe Him. Hands cannot touch Him to feel Him. He does not change into any condition. He does not pass from one stage to another.