Posts

Uncreated Beings Besides Allah?

Ustadh Farid Dingle is questioned about the possibility of their being other creators besides Allah.

Are there other uncreated beings alongside Allah? Seeing as how the definition of god is the one who created the universe and creation, is it possible for there to be uncreated beings that Allah did not create? A being that created their own universe and creation. That is not regarded as god by us but regarded as god by their own creation that they have created.

I am asking this question because I have a thought going through my head that before the existence of any creation Allah had a quarrel with other uncreated things over who is more powerful. And that is why Allah has created the mankind and jinn to worship him; to prove to the other uncreated things that He is the most powerful.

I also go through thoughts that other uncreated beings alongside Allah do exist, but they all live in peace and that they all have created their own things and only the things they created regard them to be gods but not the things that the other uncreated things have created.

I know this sounds like it is against the teachings of Islam and I have tried to find anything that goes against this but I can neither find any convincing evidence against this claim or for it. The Qur’an mentions the impossibility of multiple gods in Sura al-Anbiya 21:22. But that only had to do with multiple gods creating the same thing.

My question is to do with multiple uncreated beings that create their own creation who are not regarded as god by the creation of other uncreated beings, but regarded as god by their own creation.

Please I would like for you to clear this up for me and give me an answer as soon as possible, because I am extremely confused and I need to desperately know what is the answer against this claim.

I also have other thoughts that Allah has sexual organs. I go through this thought because Allah mentions he has hands and a shin. I need to know what is the response to all of the above queries I have.

Dear questioner, I would strongly advise you to listen to this series of podcasts: Why Islam Is True.

Regarding your question, it is logically impossible that there be multiple creators because that necessitate a level of dependency in being or actions.

Were there other beings with the power to create and destroy, nothing would stop them from destroying each other, and then they wouldn’t have necessary existence. Similarly, if there were there beings with the power to create and destroy, the execution of such powers would be contingent upon the agreement of other such beings, and this would also be a dependency.

In short, the being that keeps everything in existence and keeps things the specific way everything is exists without any dependency whatsoever, and this dictates that it (He) be one.

As for His not having body parts, this also returns to His freedom of need: parts take up a certain among of space and this would entail that He needs space to exist. Verses that mention His hand or face are metaphorical. For more detail, please see Literalism and the Attributes of Allah.

Theologically, whenever anyone returns the whole of existence to one being, that being must be completely self-explainable: that it is and what is does cannot return to some other external determiner.

This is why the Big Bang cannot be the reason for the universe, Brahma, Jesus or, anything else apart from Allah as He is in the Qur’an.

Allah summarizes this beautifully in Sura al-Ikhlas 112: 1-4.

Say: It is the Allah is One, the One to Whom all else returns;
Never has He had children, nor was He ever born;
And there was [and never will be] anything equal to Him.

Again, listen to the podcasts and this will be more than clear, insha Allah.

I pray this helps.

Farid

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Allah’s Mercy and the Mercy Showed by People

Answered by Ustadh Torab Torabi
Question: Hi , I would like to ask if this is the correct understanding:
As we know Allah is uncreated. His attributes as well.
I also understand that the mercy showed by humans is created and not like the Mercy of Allah which is uncreated. Now with this said should I avoid to go into details regarding this matter as it might bring up a wrong train of thought ?

Answer: Asalaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuh.
I pray that Ramadan has proven to be a blessed month for you and your family.
Everything that you have stated is true. Allah is Eternal, He has no beginning and no end. He is the uncreated Creator and Master of the heavens and the earth. He is unparalleled and there is none unto like Him. And as you mentioned, the attribute of Mercy in Allah is uncreated and is absolutely different from the attribute of mercy that we attribute to human beings.
Please read this succinct answer by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra: Understanding Allah’s Attributes
You should actually delve deeper into this matter by studying with a reliable and trustworthy scholar whom can guide you on your path of knowledge. A little bit of knowledge can sometimes prove to be more detrimental than beneficial and I urge you to complete a text in the science of Islamic Theology. Seekersguidance is providing an amazing course and it would would behoove you to register and benefit, inshaAllah.
Here is a link to the Kharida (Aqidah) Class, taught by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. Registration is still open.
Keep us in your duaas.
And Allah knows best.
Torab Torabi
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Does Allah Understand Our Pain and Problems?

Answered by Iman Badawi

Question: Does Allah know our pain and everything else?

Answer: Bismillah

Dear Brother in Islam,

The Divine Transcends All Likeness

Allah, the Most High, says :
“the Creator of the heavens and earth.’ He made mates for you from among yourselves––and for the animals too––so that you may multiply. There is nothing like Him: He is the All Hearing, the All Seeing.” [Quran 42:11]

Allah is exalted above all deficiency and absolute in His Perfection. The human being, however, and all created things are limited and dependent by nature. It does not befit Allah, Most High, to be referred to or described in any way that resembles the creation; neither in His Essence (dhaat), nor His Attributes, nor His Actions. (Kharidah Bahiyyah, line 24).

Allah is Well-Aware of His Creatures

Allah, the Most High, says : “How could He who created not know His own creation, when He is the Most Subtle, the All Aware?” [Quran 67:14]

And also: “People, be mindful of your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them spread countless men and women far and wide; be mindful of God, in whose name you make requests of one another. Beware of severing the ties of kinship: b God is always watching over you.” [Quran 4:1]

Allah is our Creator and He knows us better than we even know ourselves. The believer should be conscious of Allah’s watchfulness of Him at all times and this entails purging one’s inner and outer states of all that displeases Him and beautifying them with all that He loves.

The Foundation of the Religion

The Islamic creed is the basis of the religion. It is based on the decisive proofs of the Quran and Sunnah and has been explained by the scholars. It is obligatory upon every Muslim to know this creed.

Please consider taking and referring others to the Kharida Bahiyya course with SeekersGuidance.

Allah’s Relationship with Time and Space

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: If Allah’s power enters time and space, such as in our lives, and Allah’s power is a part of him, then why could Allah not incarnate himself in the form of a human on this earth?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

Allah Most High is transcendent above any quality of His creation, including existing within time or space, as that would entail being limited.

Imam Tahawi states in his well-known creed, “Contrary to all created things, He is well exalted above limits, end points, pillars, or limbs; and the six directions do not encompass Him.”

Allah Himself states, “There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him, and He is all-hearing, all-seeing” (42:11), as well as “No one at all is equivalent or similar to Him” (112:4).

Divine Attributes

As for divine power (qudra), it is a timeless attribute ascribed to Allah’s entity. It is one of Allah’s seven affirmative attributes (sifat al-ma`ani), which are: power, will, knowledge, life, speech, hearing and sight.

All of these attributes are ascribed to the divine entity and are hence timeless, having no beginning or end. Therefore, they do not ‘enter’ creation or our lives. Rather, in the language of our theologians, they have what are termed ‘associations’ (ta`alluqat).

Divine power, for example, is ‘associated’ with everything conceivable: He brings into existence, or takes out of existence, whatever He wills of things conceivable. The created things are in time and space. The divine attribute is eternal, without beginning, end, or change.

How Exactly It Works

As for the nature of these associations, that is a realm the mind cannot penetrate. The exact relationship between the timeless attribute of divine power and its temporal effects in creation is one of the mysteries of the cosmos. And despite the amazing nuance of our theology, it remains a theology of humility and embracing our own limits. Trying to enter such realms causes only problems and misgivings.

As the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Reflect on creation, but do not reflect on the Creator, for verily you cannot give Him due estimation.” [Abu Shaykh]

We cannot ‘encompass’ the Divine, but the Divine fully encompasses us. As Imam Tahawi states, “Thoughts cannot reach Him, and minds cannot grasp Him.”

Or in the words of Allah Himself, “Sight cannot reach Him, but He reaches all sight. And He is ever-subtle, fully aware” (6:103).

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers and Courses:

A Reader on Understanding the Attributes of Allah

Islamic Beliefs for Seekers: Dardir’s Kharidah Explained

How Do We Understand the Hadith Stating that Allah Descends to the Lowest Heaven in the Last Third of Every Night?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Allah exists without place or space but what about this hadith – Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: ‘In the last third of every night our Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) (Allah (SWT)) descends to the lowermost heaven and says; “Who is calling Me, so that I may answer him? Who is asking Me so that may I grant him? Who is seeking forgiveness from Me so that I may forgive him?.”‘ [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith Qudsi]

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

The upshot is that there are two opinions of the scholars on this narration (hadith). Consequently, one of the ways it can be interpreted, here, is either:

[1] His mercy, command and angels descend; (t: just as we can say in English ‘the King made this town’, i.e. he commissioned for the town to be made, though the workers were the ones who actually did the job)

[2] It is a metaphor for His gentleness to those making supplication (i.e. at that time of night) and His answering them.

[Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari; Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

Furthermore, Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, the famous commentator on the Sahih al-Bukhari, Fath al-Bari, mentions a quote from Imam Baydawi in which he says that what is intended by the ‘descent’ is the light of His mercy and not His moving from one place to another (which is ‘lower’ in comparison to the first).

And Allah knows best.

Wassalaam,

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

A Reader on Understanding the Attributes of Allah

Is There a Way to Physically Describe Allah?

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: I would like to know how Allah (swt) is described. Not in terms of attributes, but in a physical sense. What does He look like. Is there a way to physically picture Him.

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I hope you are well.

Allah Most High cannot be described physically. Something “physical” is something that has material existence, form, limits, confinement in time and space, and so forth, all of which are impossible for Allah Most High.

The reason these aspects are impossible for Allah is because they are attributes of created things and Allah has clearly stated in the Qur’an that “there is nothing whatsoever like Him.” (42:11)

One should realize from this the transcendent nature and majesty of Allah Most High, whose reality the meager intellects of man cannot fathom. Thus, the Prophet (Allah bless him) is narrated to  have said, “Contemplate on the creation of Allah but do not contemplate on Allah.”  [Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman; Tabarani, al-Awsat; Abu Nu`aym, Hilya; Asbahani, Targhib]

Based on the prophetic dictate above, we should steer clear from trying to grasp the reality of Allah. We should suffice by understanding that the human intellect is very limited in its reach and see our inability to fully understand Allah as being from our weakness and imperfection as humans. This weakness and imperfection is only reaffirmed when we look at created things around us: the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the sky, and so forth, seeing thereby the greatness of Allah and His power. This will bring about a deeper sense of slavehood and neediness towards the one who is in need of no one.

Please see:

What Does The Narration “Allah created Adam In His/his Image” Mean?

Allah Breathing His Spirit Into Jesus? The Possible Meanings of this Verse & The Approach of Sunni Islam Towards Ambiguous Texts

Can Allah Feel Emotions Like Happiness and Sadness?

Wassalam
Salman

Can Allah Feel Emotions Like Happiness and Sadness? Emotions Influences Choices and Decisions – Would That Not be Wrong?

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: Can Allah Feel Emotions Like Happiness and Sadness?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I pray you are well.

There is an established principle within Sunni Islam that Allah Most High is completely dissimilar to created things. This is affirmed clearly within the Qur’an itself when it says, “there is nothing whatsoever like Him.” [42:11]

As such, Allah Most High is not characterized by emotions as emotions involve physiological changes and alterations in one’s state of consciousness. Since “change”, or moving from one state to another, is an attribute characteristic of created things, as it indicates their ephemeral nature, it is impossible to characterize Allah Most High with it.

However, at the same time, the primary texts have attributed Allah with love, mercy, anger, joy, and so forth. Thus, we affirm these meanings for Allah but we do so in a way that [a] befits Him and [b] is in accordance with the transcendence He affirms for Himself in the primary texts.

Understanding These Attributes in Light of Allah’s Absolute Transcendence

The basic principle when it comes to understanding these attributes is that, “whatever is impossible to attribute to Allah in terms of its beginning is permitted to apply to Allah in terms of its end result.”

For example, the word “mercy” (rahma) is defined as, “the softening of the heart that elicits favor and beneficience.” The beginning here is the softening of the heart. The end is the eliciting of favor and beneficience. It is impossible to attribute Allah with “mercy” in terms of “softening of the heart” but permissible to apply the meaning of “mercy” in terms of what it ultimately results in, namely “eliciting favor and beneficience.”

As such, when it is said that Allah is merficul (rahim/rahman), what is meant is that both favor and beneficience are established for Allah in terms of Him being favorful or beneficent towards creation or intending to do so.

The same methodology of understanding is employed to understand other similar attributes, such as love, joy, and anger.

Such a methodological approach continues to affirm that which Allah affirms for Himself in the primary texts while maintaining Allah’s absolute transcendence, something that a literalist approach fails to achieve. This is the balanced approach that Sunni scholars throughout centuries followed.

Related Answers

The Asharis & Maturidis: Standards of Mainstream Sunni Beliefs

Allah Breathing His Spirit Into Jesus? The Possible Meanings of this Verse & The Approach of Sunni Islam Towards Ambiguous Texts

The Meaning of the Angels “Ascent” to Allah

What Does The Narration “Allah created Adam In His/his Image” Mean?

And Allah knows best

Wassalam
Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

The Meaning of the Angels “Ascent” to Allah

Answered by Sidi Salman Younas

Question: How do you interpret Qur’anic verses that mention angels “ascending” to their Lord in light of our belief that no direction contains Allah? What about `Isa being raised “to” his Lord?

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

I pray you are well.

All scriptural texts that lend themselves to striking similitude between Allah and His creation when understood literally are interpreted figuratively in a manner that negates such similitude.

For example, the verse, “the angels and the spirit will ascend to Him/it (ilayhi)…” [32:5] was interpreted to refer Allah’s throne, or the lote tree of the furthest boundary (sidra al-muntaha), among other interpretations.

Similarly, Allah’s statement to our liege-lord `Isa (Allah bless him), “raise you to Myself…” [3:55] was interpreted to mean a place of Allah’s generosity and honoring due to the rank of the one being raised. This akin to the statement of our liege-lord Ibrahim (Allah bless him), “I am going to my Lord” when he traveled from Iraq to the Levant. It is also akin to the phrase “visitors of Allah” used for those performing pilgrimage.

Understanding such verses in a figurative way is permitted to ward off doubts and devilish whispers. Otherwise, there is no need ponder over the potential meanings of these verses, unless one is someone firmly grounded in knowledge.

For most of us, the descent of such ambiguous verses is a test from Allah to see whether we submit to His command to say, “We believe in it, all of it is from our Lord…” [3:7] Therefore, the best recourse is to simply focus on that which is clear within the Qur’an, not that which is ambiguous, while consigning the knowledge of the latter to Allah and knowing that He is transcendent beyond anything our minds can comprehend.

Related Answers:

What Does the Narration “Allah Created Adam in His/his Image” Mean

Allah Breathing His Spirit Into Jesus

Wassalam

Salman

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Understanding Allah’s Attributes: Love & Mercy

Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

Question:

1. When Allah “loves” someone He shows Him Mercy. When Allah “doesn’t love” someone He punishes Him. So if someone wants Allah’s Mercy he must seek Allah’s Love through good deeds because Allaah won’t show Mercy to someone He doesn’t love. As far as I understand no one can hope for Allah’s Mercy if Allah does not love him. For each human being Allah loves him or He does not love him  but there is no such things as being “indifferent ” towards somebody. Is all this correct?

2. A scholar said: “Allah’s love is translated in His attributes of forgiving, compassion and mercy.” Is that correct?

3. Are Allah’s Mercy and Love are the same thing? If not what is the link between Allah’s Love and Mercy?

Answer: As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the late response.

Firstly, its important to understand that Allah Most High is transcendently different from His whole creation. Thus, human beings experience emotions, and changes of heart and state, and they fluctuate in their feelings, depending on how they are affected by things around them. Allah the Creator of all things then, is utterly unique and is far above being affected and motivated by anything of the such.

Even when words are ascribed to Him in the Qur’an that resemble what humans feel or do, such as love or mercy or anger, what is to be understood is not with what those words literally entail for created beings, but the tangible end results that those words indicate.

For example, “having mercy” with respect to humans is the softening of the heart that inclines one to favor or do well to someone. With respect to Allah Most High, who is far exalted beyond having a heart and feelings like creation, it means the actual act of doing well for one of His creation, or His Will to do so – not any sense of emotional change. [al-Bajuri, Sharh al-Jawhara]

So when Allah says He loves a group of people, it entails His praising them, rewarding them and forgiving them. [al-Baghawi, Tafsir]

When Allah says He doesn’t love a certain type of people (say, those who transgress), this does not directly entail their punishment, rather it means that He does not will for them any good, and the point of the statement is to be understood as a strong reason not to be like those people. [Abu Sa’ud, Tafsir]

Using these definitions, to answer your main questions:

1. Allah’s Mercy comes before His Love. Thus, He shows mercy to all of creation by simply blessing each being with bounties such as existence, life, health, etc. His Love, which is a more particular form of His blessing, is reserved in the Qur’an for the more deserving of His servants, such as those who: believe, show excellence, repent, rely on Him, are just, fear Him and those who struggle against wrongdoing for His sake.

If Allah Most High did not love a servant first, they could never love Him. So if we want Allah to love us, we must show love to Him by doing the things He loves and leaving that which He doesn’t love, and we should know that the fact that we were given the ability to love Him, means He loved us in pre-eternity out of His pure largesse and generosity.

In terms of indifference (neither loving nor hating), this does not apply to Allah Most High.  Imam al-Alusi says in his commentary: “And there is no middle station between Divine love and Divine hate with respect to Him, mighty is His affair, and that is in contrast to the love and hate felt by human beings, because there is a middle-ground between the two, which is the absence of the two [which is indifference].” [al-Alusi, Tafsir]

2. and 3. – See definitions above.

May Allah Ta’ala make us amongst those who love Him, and amongst those He loves, and those who stay away from that which He does not love.

wasallam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Allah Breathing His Spirit Into Jesus? The Possible Meanings of this Verse & The Approach of Sunni Islam Towards Ambiguous Texts

Answered by Ustadh Faraz Khan

Question: What is the meaning of the verse that states Allah blowing His spirit into Jesus?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

InshaAllah you are well.

The verse in question is, “So We breathed into him of Our spirit” (66:12)

What the Scholars of Exegesis Have Mentioned

According to works of Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir), the expression “Our spirit” means “a spirit created by Us.” Of course, every human’s spirit is created by Allah Most High. The spirit of our Master `Isa (peace be upon him), however, is singled out with this expression as a way of honoring him. This ascription of honor (idafat al-tashrif) is quite common in the language of the Qur’an, such as “the house of Allah,” “the she-camel of Allah,” etc. That is, a house or she-camel so incredibly honored and so very special, that it is ascribed to Allah, who is of course utterly transcendent above using a house or she-camel, may He be glorified and exalted. Similarly, the spirit that Allah created for our master `Isa (peace be upon him) is so honored and special, it is ascribed to Allah directly, who is utterly transcendent above having His own spirit.

Another explanation given is that such an ascription is used to indicate that Allah created that thing without any intermediary or “means.” So the she-camel of Allah was created directly by Him without a womb, and the spirit of ‘`sa (peace be upon him) was created directly by Him without any means that Allah normally uses in the act of creation.

With respect to the expression “We breathed,” most exegetes mention that it was actually the Archangel Jibril (peace be upon him) who breathed the spirit into `Isa (peace be upon him). The act is ascribed to Allah in the verse, however, since He Most High is the One who commanded Jibril to do so. Therefore, “We breathed” actually means “We sent Jibril, who breathed.” [Qurtubi, Nasafi, Biqa’i, Abu Suud]

Imam Razi, however, interprets it as metaphorical, stating that the nature of the spirit is such that, once it is created in the body, it spreads to every part of the body, just as air that is breathed into a vessel. Hence according to him, there was no literal “breathing” that took place. And Allah knows best.

Dealing with Ambiguous Verses

The verse in question is considered one of the ambiguous verses (mutashabihat). With such verses, the outward apparent meaning of it cannot be taken literally with respect to Allah Most High, who is well-exalted and transcendent above all things temporal. This is established in clear, unequivocal verses such as “There is nothing like unto Him” (42:11) and “And He has no equivalent” (112:4).

Classically, there were two historical approaches among Muslim scholars in dealing with such verses. The first was, after negating the outward literal meaning, to consign the matter completely to Allah Most High without any attempt to interpret the verse (tafwid); this was the approach of the first few generations (salaf).

The second approach was to attempt to interpret the verse in a matter befitting His majesty (ta’wil), yet without affirming it with certainty since other meanings could also be correct; this was the approach of scholars of later generations (khalaf), who were forced to do so in order to safeguard the understanding of Allah’s transcendence from the incorrect beliefs of various sects that arose in their time. [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid]

And Allah knows best.

wassalam
Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani