Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat
I know Allah does not need anything from His creation. So does the fact that He praises Himself mean that He needs to praise Himself? Would this not negate that He is free of all needs?
I pray you are well.
No, Allah has no inherent need for praise – neither from His creation nor from Himself. He is absolutely free of all needs due to His supreme perfection.
Allah’s Beauty and Perfection
Why, then, does He praise Himself? One reason is simply that He deserves it due to His perfection. Even as imperfect humans, we recognize that things of beauty or other qualities of greatness deserve praise.
Have you never stopped to admire the beauty of the night sky? The rising sun? A colorful flower? A cute child? Admiration leads to an expression of this appreciation, and therefore people praise things of beauty and perfection.
Allah’s beauty and perfection are absolute, so he deserves every single bit of praise possible; even for the beauty in the things He has created. We were told of this by the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) when he said, “Indeed, Allah is supremely beautiful; He loves beauty…” [Muslim]
Allah’s Excellence To Us
Another reason why He deserves praise is His extremely merciful and kind treatment of His creation. Look at the most extreme scenario: a disbeliever who rejects Him his entire left will be forgiven and rewarded with Paradise if he repents sincerely – even if it’s five minutes before his death. For these and many more reasons, Allah deserves praise.
He praised Himself in His book to teach us something of the greatness of our Master and Maker. This was for our sake, as we cannot fully comprehend or appreciate who He is, nor just how great He is. His praise for himself was for our benefit, not His. He needs nothing. He is perfect. [Zada, Hashiya ‘ala Tafsir al-Baydawi; Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid]
May Allah allow us to praise him constantly in this life, and forever in the next.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.