“First of all, to believe in Allâhu ta’âlâ,” he declared. Îmân is to have a heartfelt belief in 6 certain facts by finding through kashf (revelation) or wijdân (conscience) or by the comprehension of the ’aql (intellect, reason) through an evidence or by trusting and following a distinguished and approved statement, and to confirm this with the tongue.
The first of these 6 facts is that Allâhu ta’âlâ is the Wâjib al-wujûd and the Real Ma’bûd (the One Worshipped) and the Creator of all creatures. It should be believed for certain that He alone creates everything [every substance, atoms, elements, molecules, compounds, organic substances, cells, life, death, every event, every reaction, all kinds of power and sorts of energy, movements, laws, spirits, angels and every being living or lifeless out of nothing, and He makes them all survive] in both this world and the next without material, time or similarity, out of nonexistence. As He created all creatures in the universe [in one moment while they had been nonexistent], so He [creates some of them from one another, and, when the time for Doomsday comes, in one moment He] will annihilate everything. He is the Creator, Owner, Absolute Ruler of all creatures. It has to be believed and acknowledged that there is nobody to dominate Him, to command Him or to be superior to Him. Every type of superiority, every attribute of perfection, belongs to Him only. No defect, no deficient attribute exists in Him. He is able to do what He wills. What he does is not intended to be useful to Him or to others. He does not do something for a reward. In everything He does, however, there are hidden causes (hikma), uses, blessings and favours.
Allâhu ta’âlâ does not have to do what is good and useful for His creatures, nor does He have to reward some people or torture some others. It would befit His superiority and benevolence if He would bring all the sinners to Paradise. And it would become His justice if He would put all of those who obey and worship Him into Hell. Yet He decreed and declared that He would put Muslims, those who worship Him, into Paradise and grant them favours, and that He would eternally torture disbelievers in Hell. He does not go back on His word. It would be of no use for Him if all the living creatures believed and worshipped Him, nor would it give Him any harm if all creatures became disbelievers, became excessive or disobeyed Him. If man wishes to do something, He creates it if He, too, wills it be so. He alone is the One who creates every action of His human creatures and all things. If He does not will or create, nothing can move. If He does not wish, no one can become a disbeliever or can revolt. He creates disbelief and sins, yet He does not like them. No one can interfere with His works. No one has the strength or the right to ask the reason why He has done this or that or to comment on how He must do. He will forgive, if He wills, a person who has committed any great sin and has died without repentance, except if it is polytheism or disbelief. He will torture him, if He wills, for a merely venial sin. He declared that he would never forgive disbelievers and apostates and that He would torture them eternally.
He will torture in Hell those Muslims who worship Him yet whose faith (i’tiqâd) is not compatible with the faith of the Ahl as-Sunna and who die without repentance. Yet such Muslim people of heresy (bid’a) will not remain in Hell eternally.
It is possible (jâ’iz) to see Allâhu ta’âlâ with the eyes in this world, but no one ever has. On the Day of Judgement He will be seen by disbelievers and sinful Muslims in His Wrath and Glory, and by pious Muslims in His Kindness and Beauty. Angels and women, too, will see Him. Disbelievers will be deprived of this. There is a sound report conveying that genies also will be deprived of this. According to the majority of the ’ulamâ’, “Muslims whom Allâhu ta’âlâ loves will be honoured with seeing His Beauty every morning and every evening; Muslims of low degree will be honoured every Friday, and women a few times in a year, like festivals in this world.” It should be believed that Allâhu ta’âlâ will be seen. Yet we should not wonder how this will happen; His works cannot be comprehended through intellect (’aql). They are not like worldly affairs. [They cannot be measured with physical or chemical criteria.] Such concepts as direction, being opposite or being toward something have no connection with Allâhu ta’âlâ. He is not material. He is not an object, [nor is He an element, an alloy or a compound]. He is not countable, He cannot be measured, nor can he be calculated. No change takes place in Him. He is not at a place. He is not with time. He does not have a past or a future, front or back, bottom or top, right or left. Therefore, nothing of Him can human reasoning comprehend, nor does human intellect or knowledge suffice to do this. So, man cannot comprehend how He will be seen. Though such words as hand, foot, direction, place and the like, which are not suitable for Allâhu ta’âlâ, exist in âyats and hadîths, they are not used in the sense that we know and use today. Such âyats and hadîths are called mutashâbihât. We have to believe them, but we should not attempt to understand what or how they are. Or they can be explained away (ta’wîl) briefly or in detail; that is, they can be given the meanings suitable for Allâhu ta’âlâ. For example, the word hand may be interpreted as power or energy.
Muhammad (’alaihi ’s-salâm) saw Allâhu ta’âlâ during the Mi’râj. But this seeing was not with the eyes, like seeing in this world. A person who says that he has seen Allâhu ta’âlâ in this world is a zindîq. The observation of Awliyâ’ is unlike seeing in this world or seeing in the next world. In other words, it is not ru’ya (seeing) but shuhûd that occurs on them [that is, they see the examples (mithâls) through the eyes of their hearts]. Some Awliya’ said that they had seen Him. However, they mistook the shuhûd they experienced while in sakr, that is, when they were unconscious, for ru’ya. Or these words of theirs are to be explained away.
Question: “It is said above that it is possible (jâ’iz) to see Allâhu ta’âlâ with the eyes in this world. Then why should a person who says something happened which is possible be a zindîq? If a person who says so becomes a disbeliever, can it be said to be possible?”
Answer: In its literal meaning ‘jâ’iz’ means ‘possible to happen or not.’ Yet according to the madhhab of al-Ash’arî [Abu ’l-Hasan ’Alî ibn Ismâ’il, passed away in Baghdâd in 330 (941 A.D.)], the possibility of ru’ya means that Allâhu ta’âlâ is capable of creating in man quite a different sense for seeing in this world, different from seeing closely or face to face with Him, and different from seeing through the physical laws He created in this world. For example, He is able, so it is possible, to show a mosquito in Andalusia to a blind man in China, and anything on the moon or on a star to a man on the earth. Such a power is peculiar to Allâhu ta’âlâ only. Furthermore, to say, “I saw Him in this world,” is incompatible with the âyat al-kerîma and with the consensus of the ’ulamâ’. Therefore, he who says such a word is a mulhid or a zindîq. Thirdly, the phrase “it is possible to see Allâhu ta’âlâ in this world” does not mean “it is possible to see Him on the earth within the physical laws.” However, a person who says he saw Allâhu ta’âlâ means that he saw Him as he sees other things; this is a seeing which is not possible (jâ’iz). A person who says words that cause disbelief is called a mulhid or a zindîq. [After these answers, Hadrat Mawlânâ Khâlid stated, “Be careful!” Thus he directs attention to the soundness of the second answer.]
The elapse of time, day or night, cannot be related to Allâhu ta’âlâ. There can be no change in Him in any respect, nor can it be said that He was in this manner in the past or He will be like that in the future. He does not penetrate (hulûl) into anything. He does not unite with anything. He never has an opposite, reverse, likeness, partner, assistant or guide. He does not have a father, mother, son, daughter or wife. He is always present with everybody, surrounds and overlooks everything. To everyone He is closer than the big artery in his neck. However, His surrounding us, His presence or togetherness or closeness, is not like what we understand from these words. His closeness cannot be comprehended with the knowledge of ’ulamâ’, with the intellect of scientists or with the kashf or shuhûd of Awliyâ’. Human reason cannot understand their inner meanings. Allâhu ta’âlâ is unique in His Person and in His Attributes. No change or differentiation takes place in any of them.
Allâhu ta’âlâ’s Names are tawqîfî, that is, it is permissible to use His Names shown by Islam and not permissible to use other words.[Allâhu ta’âlâ’s Names are infinite. It is well-known that He has one thousand and one Names; that is, He revealed one thousand and one of His Names to human beings. In the religion of Muhammad (’alaihi ’s-salâm), ninety-nine of them, called “al-Asmâ’ al-husnâ,” were revealed.
The Sifât ath-Thubûtiyya of Allâhu ta’âlâ are 8 in the Mâturîdiyya madhhab and 7 in the Ash’ariyya madhhab. These attributes of His are eternal and everlasting like His Person; that is, they exist eternally. They are sacred. They are not like the attributes of creatures. They cannot be comprehended through reasoning or assumption or by comparing them with the things in the world. Allâhu ta’âlâ has endowed upon human beings an example of each of His Attributes. Seeing these examples, the Attributes of Allâhu ta’âlâ can be understood to a small extent. Since man cannot comprehend Allâhu ta’âlâ it is not permissible to think of or to attempt to comprehend Allâhu ta’âlâ. The eight attributes of Allâhu ta’âlâ are neither the same as nor other than His Person; that is, His Attributes do not make up His Person, nor are they other than He. These 8 attributes are:
Hayât (Life), ’Ilm (Omniscience), Sam’ (Hearing), Basar (Seeing), Qudra(Omnipotence), Kalâm (Speech, Word), Irâda (Will) and Takwîn(Creativeness). In the Ash’ariyya madhhab, Takwîn and Qudra make up the same attribute. Mashiyya and Irâda are synonymous.
Each of the eight attributes of Allâhu ta’âlâ is unique and in a uniform state. No change occurs in any of them. But each of them varies in its related quality in creatures. That an attribute of His varies in its relation to creatures and in affecting them does not harm its uniqueness. Similarly, even though Allâhu ta’âlâ has created so many kinds of creatures and is protecting all of them against annihilation, He is still One. No change ever occurs in Him. Every creature needs Him every moment in every respect. He does not need anybody in any respect.