What Is the Meaning of Ilah (Deity), and What Is the Explanation of the Negation and Affirmation Contained within the Kalima?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


What is the Meaning of Ilah (Deity), and What is the Explanation of the Negation and Affirmation Contained Within the Kalima?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

I pray you are in good faith and health. Thank you for your question and for seeking an Islamic answer. One is not sinful if they are trying to seek the truth about a matter.

Ilah (Deity, Divinity)

Imam Abul Hasan al-Ash’ari (Allah have mercy on him) said that Ilah is the one who has divinity, i.e., the one who has the power to originate essence and accidents.

Affirmation and Negation

The phrase of Divine oneness [tawhid] entails an affirmation of divinity [uluhiyya] for Allah Most High alone and negating it from everything besides Him. What is negated in this phrase is divinity from every particular except our Master, the Sublime, and Majestic. It is neither rationally nor legally possible to find that reality with any other because both the Divine texts and the intellect have proven that the true God is Allah alone-the One whose existence is necessary and the One who deserves all forms of worship. The worship of other than Him is false and is considered disbelief.

It is obligatory upon the legally responsible person to note that it is not sufficient to merely affirm Godhood for Allah, the Exalted; instead, it must be realized that it is impossible to affirm the meaning of Godhood for other than Him.

[Sunusi, Umm al-Barahin]

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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey.

He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His personal interest is the love of books and gardening.