Monthly Archives: November 2011

Explaining the Meaning of An-Nur (The Light) – One of Allaah’s Names

Prepared by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah)

An-Nur (The Light) – Soorat An-Nur (Qur’aan 24:35):

1-An-Nur is one of Allaah’s Names as well one of His Attribute, derived from His Nur (Light) which is an Attribute established with His Thaat (Essence).

Allaah, (Azzawajal), said:

Allaah is the Light (Nur) of the heavens and the earth [#2]…[TMQ;An-Nur (24):35]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to invoke Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) upon starting the night prayers (Tahajjud):

“All Praise is due to You; You are the Light of the heavens and the earth…”[#3]

2- “The texts from the Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah relate An-Nur to Allaah, according to the following angles:

The First Angle:

a. That Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) has a Nur related (gr. conjugated) to Him as an Attribute of His Thaat [Essense], the same as His other Attributes of Life, Sight, Knowledge, Might, and so forth.

Allaah, Most Majestic and Most Magnificent, says:
And the earth will shine with the Light of its Rabb (Allaah–when He will come on the Day of Resurrection to judge among men)…[TMQ; Az-Zumar (39): 69].
And if the earth will shine with His Light, then He (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) is a Nur (Light) as stated by His Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him): “You are the Light of the heavens and the earth…”[#4]

b. That An-Nur relates to His most Honorable and Majestic Face.
‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’oud (radhi Allaahu anhu) said:
“The light of the heavens and the earth is from the Light of His Face.” [#5]

c. Allaah’s Nur is also related (mudaaf) to the heavens and the earth as in His (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) saying:
Allaah is the Light (Nur) of the heavens and the earth …[TMQ; An-Nur (24): 35].[#6]

d. Light is Allaah’s Hijaab (Veil). The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Light is His Hijaab, If He uncovers it then the subuhaat (brightness, splendour, majesty, and greatness) of His Face would burn His creation so far as His Sight reaches.” [#7]

The cases of the aforementioned angle represent situations in which the sifah (attribute) of An-Nur has been related to its mawsoof (what is being described) as Imaam Ibnul Qayyim رحمه الله تعالى classified them.[#8]

The Second Angle:

The second angle is the idaafah (relating) of the maf’uool (object) to its faa’il (active subject).
Ibnul Qayyim said: “This is mentioned in the saying of Allaah, Most High:

The parable of His Light is as (if there were) a niche and within it is a lamp, and the lamp is in glass, the glass as it were a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east[#9] nor of the west[#10], whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself), though no fire touched it. Light upon Light! Allaah guides to His Light whom he wills. And Allaah sets parables for mankind, and Allaah is the All-Knower of everything.” [TMQ; An-Nur (24): 35]

It means: The parable of Allaah’s Light in the heart of his believing slave. The one having the greatest share of this Light is His Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him). This Light relates to Allaah تعالى being the One who grants and bestows it upon His slave. It is also related to the slave since he is its place (mahalluhu) and favorable recipient (qaabiluhu).

This light has a:

  • 1-faa’il (active subject),
  • 2-qaabil (recipient),
  • 3-mahal (place),
  • 4-haamil (carrier), and
  • 5-and maadah (substance).

The aayah above comprises all of these mattters in detail:

  • The faa’il (One Who does this) is Allaah, Most High, the One Who makes the lights to abound, Who guides to His Light whom He Wills.
  • The favorable recipient (al-qaabil) is the believing slave.
  • The place of reception (mahal al-qubool) is the believer’s heart.
  • The haamil (carrier) is his motivation, determination, and will.
  • The maadah (substance) is his sayings and actions.”[#11]

“The light which Allaah puts in the heart of the submitting Muslim is faith in Him, knowledge and love of Him, and remembrance of Him. It is His light (the Qur’aan) which He brought down, the origin of which is in the hearts of the Muslims. Its substance strengthens and increases until it appears on their faces, their limbs and their bodies, even on their clothes and in their homes. On the Day of Resurrection, this light emerges and runs forward before them [#12] amidst the darkness of the Bridge (Siraat)[#13] until they cross over it. The (intensity) of their lights on the Bridge will correspond to the intensity (strong or weak) of the repective lights in their hearts in the dunya (this life).

The similitude of this Light and its place, its carrier, and its substance is as the niche which is like the chest [of the believer]. Inside the niche there is a glass, from the most crisp and clear kind. [In the aayah] it is even made to resemble brilliant star in its clarity and purity. This glass resembles the heart [al-mahal]. The similitude to the glass is because it embodies qualities present in the heart of the believer: clearity, smoothness, and firmness. It sees the truth by virtue of its clarity; kindness, mercy and affection originate from it because of its smoothness; it stands firm in holding to the truth and it makes jihaad against the enemies of Allaah, due to the firmness in its structure…

In contrast with this enlightened heart, there are two other opposing and blameworthy hearts. One of them is stone-like, harsh, merciless, it lacks beneficience, reverence, and the clarity by which it can see the truth. In fact it is as an ignorant and a tyrant heart; it is neither aware of Allaah (the Truth) nor it is mercifull to the creation. Opposite to it, is a weak, watery, neither firm nor strong heart,… and everything (good, evil, wicked, etc.) that mixes with it, affects it in its own way.

In the glass there is a lamp and it is the light (an-nur) that is in the wick. The wick in the lamp is the light carrier (al-haamil), and the substance of the light is the olive oil, extracted from the olives of a tree growing in the most suitable place by being exposed to the sun rays all day long. Its oil is from the purest of its kind, clear without turbidity, to the degree that it will almost glow forth of itself. Similar to the olive oil is the substance of the believing heart. It is from the “tree” of Revelation:[#14] it is the greatest blessed thing and most distant from deviation. It is intermediate and, indeed, it is the most just and best of all matters. It did not deviate like the deviation of Christanity and Judaism. In all things it is bound to a medium course between these two blameworthy extremes.

Since the clarity of this oil is so intense such that it almost glows by itself, and then upon mixing with fire its illumination as well as that of the fire’s substance of light intensifes, then this becomes light upon light.

Something similar happens to the believer. His heart is lit such that he almost knows the truth by means of his fitrah and intellect. His heart, however, has no maadah (substance) within itself. But when the maadah of the al-Wahy (Revelation) touches his heart and the latter rejoices in its company, its light [of fitrah] increases by the light of al-Wahy. The light of al-Wahy adds up to that of fitrah and it becomes a light upon light. So, the believer would almost speak the truth even though he may have not heard an evidence. He later   hears of the evidence to be identical to what has been attested to by his fitrah. Thus, it is being a light upon light. This is the status of the believer. He acknowledges the truth, in general, by means of his fitrah. He then hears of the textual proofs and [authentic] traditions presenting what he has acknowledged, but in details. His faith, therefore, stems from the attestation of al-Wahy and fitrah…” [#15]

I ask Allaah, An-Nur, to enlighten my heart and yours, and to fill them with firm Eeemaan. He is the Most Generous, the Most Merciful.
Saleh As-Saleh, 29-1-1426, March 10, 2005

Footnotes:

[#1]TMQ: Translation of the meaning of the Qur’aan.

[#2]In this Aayah’s construct, Allaah’s Nur is related (mudaaf) to As-Samaawati wal Ard (the heavens and the earth). Some had interpreted this aayah such that Allaah (Azzawajal), is the One Who illuminates (Munawwir) the heavens and the earth and guides their inhabitants. This is from His Actions, otherwise it does not preclude the fact that the Nur, which is one of His Attributes, is established with Him. It is common for the Salaf رحمهم الله تعالى , may Allaah’s Mercy be upon them, to mention all or some of the meanings of the attributes pertraining to Allaah’s Names. By mentioning some of the meanings they do not negate the other affirmed qualities of such names. As such, one of the meanings signified by Allaah being “An-Nur of the heavens and the earth” is that He has illuminated the heavens and the earth and guided their inhabitants by His Light. The saying that meaning is restricted to His illumination of the heavens and the earth by certain planets (sun, moon, stars), is wrong, because the illumination by their light does not cover the entire universe. [See Ibn Taymeeyah's al-Fatawaa, 6: 390-393].

[#3]For a full text of the Prophet’s invocation see Saheeh Al-Bukhaari (English/Arabic), V.9, Hadeeth # 482.

[#4] Grammatically, the “Light” which is related (annexed) to Allaah in the construct of the Aayah (which means): “And the earth will shine with the Light of its Rabb…” is not an annexation denoting possession, creation, honor, or preferment as it is the case in many aayaat (Verses) of the Noble Qur’aan including:

  • a. Baytee (My house), mentioned in the aayah (which means): That they (Ibraaheem and Ismaa’eel) may purify Baytee (My house, i.e the Ka’bah) for those who circel it, or stay (in I’tikaaf ), or bow, or prostrate themselves (near it, in prayer).” (TMQ 2:125)
  • b. Naaqatullaah (Allaah’s She-Camel) mentioned in Allaah’s Saying (which means): “This Naaqatullaah (She-Camel of Allaah) is sent to you (Prophet Saalih’s people, Thamood) as a sign. So allow it to graze in Allaah’s earth.”(TMQ 7:73).

[#5] Reported by at-Tabaraani (Mu’jam At-Tabaraani, V.9, # 8886), ad-Daarimiye in ar-Rad ‘alaa Bishr al-Mareesi (p.449), and al-Haythami in Majma’uz- Zawaa’id (V.1, p.85). Amongst its narrators, is Abu ‘Abdis-Salaam Az- Zubayr. Ibn Abee Haatim and Ibn Ma’een did not mention anything regarding the haal (status) of this narrator i.e. whether he is da’eef (weak), or thiqah (trustworthy transmittor), or otherwise. Ibn Hibbaan, however, mentioned him in his book ath-Thiqaat (The Trustworthy (men of Hadeeth). Al-Haythami realted that Abu Haatim (i.e. Ar-Raazi) described Abu ‘Abdis-Salaam Azubayr as majhool (unknown). Shayekhul Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah reported this narration and said: “It is affirmed upon the authority of Ibn Mas’oud (radhi Allaahu Anhu).” (See Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, V.6, p.391). He also mentioned it in V.2, p.189 of the same reference. And Allaah knows best.

[#6] There is no contradiction between the interpreation that this aayah means that Allaah, Most High, is the Munawwir of the heavens and the earth and between the saying of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’oud in which the Nur is related to Allaah’s Thaat. The interpretation that Allaah is the Munawwir (The One Who Illuminates) or Haadi (The One Who Guides) the heavens and the earth is true because it relates the act (verb) of Tanweer (Illumination) to the active “subject” i.e. Allaah, the Most Magnificent. There is no contradiction whether one says that Allaah is the Nur of the heavens and the earth bi-Thaatihi (by Himself) or bi-Fi’lihi (by His Act). Imaam Ibnul Qayyim رحمه الله تعالى said: “The truth is that Allaah is the Nur of the heavens and the earth taking into consideration all of the interpretations.” Being the Munnawwir and the Haadi, does not negate the fact that He (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala), Himself, is Nur. Those who negate Allaah’s Attribute of An-Nur erred by thinking that if they would affirm the Attribute of An-Nur it would mean that Allaah is the light falling upon walls and gardens, etc.! The fact however is that the created light is an effect of the Attribute of An-Nur. We know that Ar-Rahmah (Mercy) is an Attribute of Allaah established with Him (Azzawajal). The rahmah (mercy) present on earth is an effect of Allaah’s Attribute of Ar-Rahmah separted from Him (Azzawajal). The knowledge of the creature is a distinct and separate effect of Allaah’s Attribute of Knowledge. The saying of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’oud (radhi Allaahu anhu) does not mean or imply that the light on walls and on the surface of the earth is the essence of the Light of Allaah’s most honourable Face. [See Ibnul-Qayyim, Mukhtasar as-Sawaa’iq al-Mursalah ‘alal-Jahmiyyah al-Mu’attilah, checked by Ridwaan Shaakir Ridwaan (Makkah and Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, Maktabat Nizaar Al- Baaz), pp. 547-548 and Ijtimaa’ al-Ju-youoshil-Islaamiyyah, ‘Awaad ‘Abdullaah Al-Mi’tiq, ed. (Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, Maktabat Ar-Rushd, 1415/1995], pp.45-46.

[#7]In another narration instead of the word “light” it is fire, due to the doubt of the narrator Abu Musa al-Ash’ari. Reported by Muslim (Saheeh Muslim – English translation, V.1, Hadeeth # 343), Ahmad (4:405) and others. Both narrations stating the “light” and “fire” are in Saheeh Muslim.

The pure “fire” which Allaah mentioned in the Qur’aan when He (Azzawajal) spoke to Musa (peace be upon him) (Qur’aan 27:7-8) is also called a light and it is a light which illuminates without burning. Allaah also called the fire of the lamp a light (Qur’aan 24:35), contrary to the dark fire of Hell which is not called a light. Therefore, the doubt of the narrator between the words “light” and “fire” does not prevent [from affirming] that the “Light” is His Hijaab. [See Shayekhul- Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah’s Fataawaa, V.6, pp.384-386 and Ibnul Qayyim’s Mukhtasar as-Sawaa’iq al-Mursalah, p.551. Shayekhul Islaam said: “There are three kinds of (created light): The first is characterized by Isharaaq bila Ihraaq (illumination but without burning) and this is the “pure” light like that of the moon. The second kind burns without illumination and this is the dark fire (a black burning fire). The third being a light and a fire, like the sun. Also the fire of the lamps in this world is described by being being both (a light and a fire)...” Imaam Ibnul Qayyim added “This is the case with the created and witnessed lights. The Hijaab of ar-Rabb (Allaah), Most Blessed and Most High, is a Nur (Light) and it is a Fire. All of the [three] kinds of the created lights are real relative to their proper classifications…And if the light of His creation, like that of the sun, the moon, and fire, are real, then how could His Light be not real? The Light of His Face is real too [and fits His Majesty] and it is not figurative.” Ibid, pp.551-552 (with a slight adaptation).

[#8] Ibnul Qayyim in Ijtimaa’ al-Juyoushil-Islaamiyyah, pp.45-54.

[#9] It does not get sun-rays only in the morning.

[#10] Nor it gets sun-rays only in the afternoon, but it is exposed to the sun all day long.

[#11] Ibnul Qayyim in Ijtimaa’ al-Ju-yoush al-Islaamiyyah, pp.45-54.

[#12] Allaah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) Says: { نورهم يسعى بين أيديهم } (The believer’s) Light will run forward before them. (Qur’aan 66:8)

[#13] Siraat: The Bridge over the midst of Hell; It is extremely slippery; On it there are hooks, claws, and bars; Over it mankind will pass. The believers, as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) explained, “Will pass like the blink of an eye, like the lightning, like the wind, like the birds, and like the fast horses and camels. Some will be saved, some will be lacerated then set free, and some will be thrown into the Fire…”. See Saheeh Muslim, V.1, Hadeeth # 352.

[#14] What Allah reveals in His Books and (or) inspires to His Messengers. The strength of its “roots” in the heart of the believer depends upon His compliance with its content. That is why there is a variation amongst the degree of faith amongst Muslims. Some are stronger than others in their adherence to the teachings of Islam. There are the obedient and disobedient Muslims. Those who mixed the substance (al-maadah) with ways not condoned by Islam, became corrupt, or were led astray. If they do not repent, and clean their hearts and follow the way of Revelation, they may subject themselves to the punishment of Allah, which may manifest itself in different ways on the individual and (or) the society levels.

When the way of uncontrolled lusts and desires takes over the heart of man, he will turn away from the Revelation and may choose for himself ways of “worship” or “religions” that ascribe best to his desires. The goal becomes the life of this world only, turning man to forget as to what occurs after death. He is overwhelmed by the “developments” taking place around him in all walks of life and wants to keep “on track”! Life turns to “drug stores” asking for “pills” to ease down the “rush”, or to “therapeutic clinics” to “relief” the worry and the sad heart! Or to suicide! Sometimes taking other lives with him.
[#15]Ibnul Qayyim’s al-Waabil as-Sayyib, verified by Saleem al-Hilaali (Ad- Dammaam, Saudi Arabia, Daar Ibnul Jawzi, 1415/1994), pp.100-103.

Source : Explaining the Meaning of An-Nur (The Light) One of Allaah’s Names – 16 Pages – by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh [PDF]

Allaah is Al-Hafeeth (the Preserver)

Allaah is Al-Hafeeth (the Preserver)

Al-Hafeedh (The Guardian): The One Who protects and preserves what He created and Whose Knowledge encompasses all that He brought into existence. The One Who protects His friends from falling into sins and the destructive matters. The One Who is Kind to them during their periods of activity and rest. The One Who accounts the actions of the servants and their rewards.

“And Iblees did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him, all except a group of the true believers. And Iblees had no authority over them – except that We might test he who believes in the Hereafter from him who is in doubt about it. And your Lord is the Guardian over everything.” (34:20-21)

“As for those who take friends and protectors besides Him – Allaah is the Guardian over them and you are not a disposer of their affairs.” (42:6)

Source: The Explanation of the Beautiful and Perfect Names of Allaah – troid.ca
Explaining the detailed meanings of the Names of Allaah from Tayseer Kareemur-Rahmaan of Imaam as-Sa’dee

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Aboo Tayyib At-Tabaree (an early scholar), was an old man – about a hundred years old. He was remarkable in that he was 100 years old and his vision and his hearing were sharp. He was physically capable of running and performing actions just like the young man. He once came back from a trip by sea – and you could imagine, during that time period, traveling by sea would exhaust people. Rather even today, by the time you land from an 8-houred flight, you are exhausted. This is with an air-conditioned seat and being served food, yet you are still exhausted. What about weeks and months at sea?

So when the boat landed and everyone was exhausted, Aboo Tayyib At-Tabaree jumps off the boat and hops down to the land. People were amazed. How could you be a hundred years old and jump around like this?

He said:

“When I was a young man, I preserved these bodily limbs from the disobedience of Allaah and Allaah preserved them for me in my old age”.

You can find this story mentioned by Ibn Rajab in his explanation to ‘Preserve Allaah and He will preserve you,’ of 40 Ahaadeeth of An-Nawaawee.

Source :

Al-Qawaa`id Al-Muthlaa – Shaykh Ibn Al-`Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)
Allaah’s Names May or May Not Include a Related Ruling or Implication & Allaah’s Names Are Tawqeefiyyah
By Ustaadh Moosaa Richardson , Notes by Umm Sufyaan Fatimah @ istijabah.com

Allaah’s Names Are Tawqeefiyyah

In the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. . .

Al-Qawaa`id Al-Muthlaa
Shaykh Ibn Al-`Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)
The FifthPrinciple
Allaah’s Names Are Tawqeefiyyah

By Ustaadh Moosaa Richardson,
Notes by Umm Sufyaan Fatimah @ istijabah.com

Allaah’s Names May or May Not Include a Related Ruling or Implication

In the Name of Allaah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy. . .

Al-Qawaa`id Al-Muthlaa
Shaykh Ibn Al-`Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)
The Third Principle
Allaah’s Names May or May Not Include a Related Ruling or Implication
By Ustaadh Moosaa Richardson,
Notes by Umm Sufyaan Fatimah @ istijabah.com

[Audio] Nothing occurs except what Allaah Wills

Explanation of Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah
From the Works of Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan & Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh
Translated By Abu ‘Iyaad Amjad Rafiq

Lesson No.5 : #8 of Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah, Excellent lecture !!

[Download MP3]

Listen : http://www.learnaboutislam.co.uk/audio/abu-iyaad/Aqeedah-at-Tahaawiyyah/Aqeedah-at-Tahaawiyyah-Lesson-05.mp3|initialvolume=120

And nothing occurs except what He wills.

In this is the affirmation of Al Qadr (predestination) and Al Iraadah (decree), so nothing happens in His domain nor does anything come to pass in His creation except through His universal decree.

“Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it “Be!” – and it is.” [Soorah Ya- Sin 36:82].

So all good and evil occurs through His universal decree, and nothing is outside of His decree, and this contains a refutation upon the Qadariyyah whom negate Al Qadr, and they think that it is the Abd (slave) himself who creates and brings about his action; how High is Allaah from what they say! In this is the weakening of Allaah, that there occurs in the creation what He the Glorious and Most High does not desire, and it is describing Allaah with a deficiency. So everything that takes place in the creation from good or evil, then it is by the decree of Allaah. So He creates good out of wisdom, and He creates evil out of wisdom. So in perspective, His creation of it is not evil, because it was from great wisdom, and for a tremendous goal, (and that is) as a trial and a test, and to separate the wicked from the good, and to reward good deeds, and to punish evil deeds. He the Glorious and Most High has wisdom in that, and He did not create it frivolously.

Source : Concise Notes on Aqeedah At Tahaawiyyah, Shaykh Saalih bin Fawzaan al Fawzaan. At Ta’leeqat Al Mukhtisirah Alaa Matn Aqeedah At Tahaawiyyah, Translated By: Kashif as Salafi

Related Links:

Two Important Principles Concerning Allaah’s Names – Moosaa Richardson

Al-Qawaa`id Al-Muthlaa Shaykh Ibn Al-`Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)
Class 02 – Two Important Principles Concerning Allaah’s Names
[PDF] By Ustaadh Moosaa Richardson
Notes by Umm Sufyaan Fatimah – www.Istijabah.com

The First  Principle  – “All Of Allaah’s Names Are Beautiful
The Second Principle  “They Are Both Titles And Descriptions

Ar-Rabb (The Lord)

The Meaning of Ar-Rabb, the Lord

Ar-Rabb is the owner who has full authority over his property. Ar-Rabb, linguistically means, the master or the one who has the authority to lead. All of these meanings are correct for Allah. When it is alone, the word Rabb is used only for Allah. As for other than Allah, it can be used to say Rabb Ad-Dar, the master of such and such object. Further, it was reported that Ar-Rabb is Allah’s Greatest Name.

Source : Tafseer Ibn Kathir, Surah Fathiha

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Ar-Rabb (The Lord): This name has been repeatedly mentioned in many verses.

Ar-Rabb is the One Who nurtures and sustains all of His servants through regulating the affairs and granting all types of favours and blessings. More specifically He is the One Who nurtures and sustains his sincere friends by correcting and purifying their hearts, souls and manners. This is why their supplications are frequently made with this Noble Name because they seek this specific nurturing.

Source : The Explanation of the Beautiful and Perfect Names of Allaah – troid.ca
Explaining the detailed meanings of the Names of Allaah from Tayseer Kareemur-Rahmaan of Imaam as-Sa’dee. [Taken from Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan, Abdur-Rahmaan Naasir as-Sa`dee’s Tafseer]

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The meaning of ar-Rabb

With regards to the meaning of ar-Rabb, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah states:

Rabb – meaning khaaliq (Creator) and Sovereign Owner and the One who controls; so He is the One who created the heavens and the Earth; and He is the One who owns the heavens and the Earth; and He is the One who controls the heavens and the Earth.

He, the Most High, said:
أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالأَمْرُ
Certainly creation and command are His alone. [Soorah al A’raaf (7) aayah 54]

And this is His being unique with regards to His creating and His controlling.

And He, the Most High, said:
وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرضِ
And to Allaah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the Earth. [Soorah al Jaathiyah (45) aayah 27] And this is His being unique in terms of sovereignty.

(And His saying) :
رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Rabb il ‘aalameen (Lord of all creation) [Soorah as Saaffaat (37) aayah 182] Meaning: their Creator and their Sovereign Owner and the One who controls their affairs.

And an ‘aalam is: everything other than Allaah. And they are called ‘aalam because they are a sign for their Creator. So in everything from the created things of Allaah, there is a sign proving His Oneness and His Perfection.

(And His saying)
رَبِّ الْعِزَّةِ
Rabb il ‘izzah (power and might) [Soorah as Saaffaat (37) aayah 180]

Meaning: ghalabah (supremacy).

And rabb here has the meaning of ‘one who possesses’ (something) and its meaning is not ‘creator’.

And it occurs in the Qur’aan with the meaning of Creator and Sovereign Owner and One who controls – except in this place; so the intent here is ‘one who possesses’ only. And it is not possible that it be with the meaning of ‘creator’ (here) since al ‘izzah (power and might) is one of the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic; and the Attributes of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic are not created.

So it is a must that the intent behind ‘rabb’  in His saying “rabb il ‘izzah”  is the One who possesses power and strength, and not Creator (of ‘izzah)  since the Attributes of the Rabb are not created.

(Tafseer Soorah as Saaffaat of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al ‘Uthaymeen rahimahullaah , quoted in Mu’jam at Ta’reefaat p200. Translated by Nasser ibn Najam)

Source : http://www.ittibaa.com

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And Ar-Rabb (the Lord) is the One Who is worshipped,

and the proof is His saying, He the Most High:

<<O mankind, single out your Lord with all worship, He Who created you and those who came before you so that you may be dutiful to Him, seeking to avoid His anger and His punishment. He Who made the earth a resting place for you and the sky a canopy, and He sent down from the clouds rain, and He brought out with it crops and fruits from the earth as provision for you, so do not set up rivals for Allaah whilst you know that you have no Lord besides Him>>. [2:21-22] (#9)

[#9]: His saying, “And Ar-Rabb (the Lord) is the One Who is worshipped”: meaning, He is the One Who deserves to be worshipped, as for other than Him, then it does not deserve worship, because it is not a Lord. This is the intent of the speech of the Shaikh rahimahullaah in his saying, “Ar-Rabb (the Lord) is the One Who is worshipped”, meaning He is the One Who deserves worship. Then also it is not sufficient that a person just affirms Ar-Ruboobiyyah (Lordship), rather he must affirm Al-‘Uboodiyyah (Allaah’s deserving all worship), He the Perfect and Most High, and he must carry it out making it purely and sincerely for Him, the Perfect and Most High. So since he has affirmed that He is Ar-Rabb (the Lord) then it is binding upon him to affirm that he is Al-Ma‘bood (the One Who therefore deserves to be worshipped), and that others besides Him do not deserve anything from worship.

Source : Sharh Usool-ith-Thalaathah – Explanation of the Three Fundamental Principles – www.ittibaa.com
of Imaam Muhammad ibn ‘Abdil-Wahhaab [1115-1206 H], Explained by Shaikh Saalih ibn Saalih al-Fawzaan haafidhahullaah, Lesson 20: The Lord is the One Who is Worshipped; The Meaning and Types of Worship
(And Ar-Rabb (the Lord) is the One Who is worshipped…)

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<<All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists)>>. (Surah Faathiha v.2)

(V.1:2) Lord: The actual word used in the Qur’ân is Rabb. There is no proper equivalent for Rabb in the English language. It means the One and the Only Lord for all the universe, its Creator, Owner, Organizer, Provider, Master, Planner, Sustainer, Cherisher, and Giver of security. Rabb is also one of the Names of Allâh.

Source : Surah Fatiha – Translation of the meanings of The Noble Qur’an , in the English Language , By Dr. Muhammad Taqiuddeen al-Hilaalee and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan

Allaah is Al-Hakeem (The All-Wise)

<<And He is al-Hakeem, al-Khabeer>> [Soorah Saba 34:1]

And His saying, (…And He is al-Hakeem…) has two meanings.

The first of which is that he is the Judge (Haakim) between His creation, by way of His command that relates to the creation (al-amr al-kawnee) and His command that relates to the Sharee’ah (al-amr ash-shar’ee), in both this life and Hereafter.

The second meaning is that He is the one who is decisive, precise, exact, who perfects matters. And it is taken from “hikmah” which is to put something in its proper place. Hence, He, the Sublime, is the Judge (Haakim) between His servants, who has hikmah in both his creation (i.e. His act of creation) and His command (both kawnee and shar’ee). He did not create anything with no purpose, out of mere play, and nor did He command anything except that which is pure benefit, goodness.

Source : Sharh Aqeedat ul-Waasitiyyah – Shaykh Salih al-FawzaanPart 16 : Allaah’s Everlasting Life, and the Names al-Hakeem and al-Khabeer – Trans. Abu `Iyaad Amjad Rafiq

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Al-Hakeem (the All-Wise): He is the One to Whom belongs the highest wisdom, the One Who is All-Wise in His creating and commanding, Who perfected everything He created, “and Who is better than Allaah in judgement for a people who have firm faith?.” (Al-Ma`idah, ayah 50) Therefore He has created nothing out of mere frivolity and He has legislated nothing that is vain and of no use. The One to Whom belongs wisdom in the beginning and the end. He has three areas of ruling which nothing else has a share in: He rules between His servants with respect to His Law, His Decree and His Recompense. Wisdom is to place something in its correct place.

For those who believe not in the Hereafter is an evil description and for Allaah is the highest description. He is the All-Mighty, All-Wise. (An-Nahl, ayah 60)

It is He (Allaah) Who is the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) in the heaven and the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) on the earth. And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower. (Az-Zukhruf, ayah 84)

Source : The Explanation of the Beautiful and Perfect Names of Allaah – troid.ca
Explaining the detailed meanings of the Names of Allaah from Tayseer Kareemur-Rahmaan of Imaam as-Sa’dee. [Taken from Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan, Abdur-Rahmaan Naasir as-Sa`dee’s Tafseer]

Al-’Alee Al-’Atheem

And He [Allaah] is the Most High, the Most Great.

 This sentence, with both of its boundaries defined, denotes exclusivity that He (Allaah) alone is the Most High, meaning that He possesses the absolute Transcendence (al-’uluw al-mutlaq). The restricted or limited ‘uluw (transcendence) is affirmed for the humans. Allaah تعالى said:

So do not become weak (O you pious believers), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory).

[Qur’aan, Soorat Aal-’Imraan (3: 139)]

This superiority is restricted such as being above the kuffaar [in victory], not an absolute transcendence. The latter is exclusively restricted to Allaah, for He, the One who is most High and free from all imperfection, is above everything.

Then it must be known that the attribute of Transcendence of Allaah in the creed of ahlu-sunnah wal jamaa’ah is classified into two types:

(a)    The ‘uluw of the thaat : The Transcendence of Allaah’s Essence.

(b)   The ‘uluw of the sifaat : The Transcendence of Allaah’s Attributes.

The ‘uluw of the thaat means that Allaah (Subhanahuwa ta’alaa) in His Essence is above everything, and everything is below Him, Most Majestic and Mighty is He. Regarding the ‘uluw of the sifaat , it means that Allaah is qualified with the superlative qualities as He, the Most High, said:

And for Allaah is the Highest Description

[Qur’aan, Soorat An-Naml (16:60)].

Every Attribute which Allaah (Subhanahuwa ta’alaa) qualified Himself with is an Attribute of Perfection and in every respect is free from any kind of imperfection.

If you ask: “What is the reason behind this kind of classification? Do you have a proof of it from the Qur’aan or the sunnah ? Did you find this in the sayings of the sahaabah ?

The answer is: “No! But I found it to be necessary when it has been determined that the people of negation (an-nufaat), who themselves are ahlu-ta’teel (those who deny the Attributes), restrict the ‘uluw to the sifaat (qualities) only. They said that Allaah’s Transcendence is in His sifaat only not in Essence (thaat ). The people of ta’teel (ahlu-ta’teel) themselves became divided regarding the ‘uluw of the thaat, as discussed below.

What is important is that the Imaams of  as-salaf -us-saalih (رحمهم الله) and the scholars who came after resorted to this classification out of necessity because they were tested by the people of ta’teel (who denied the ‘uluw of the thaat ), and thus they were obligated to affirm the Transcendence in this way. In fact, if we say only that, “Allaah is the Most High,” and if someone from the people of ta’teel says that, “the ‘uluw relates to His Attributes,” then what would the common Muslim understand? The only thing he will understand is that Allaah is qualified with the ‘uluw of the sifaat only. But if we say, “Allaah is Most High in His sifaat as well as in His Essence,” the common Muslims will understand this meaning. In fact, the first thing that is obvious to the common Muslim is that Allaah’s ‘uluw concerns His Essence. Certainly the ‘uluw of the sifaat is part of the meaning of the ‘uluw but the strange thing is that the people of negation and ta’teel establish it while it is not obvious to many people.

In their denial of the ‘uluw of Allaah’s thaat (Essence), the people of ta’teel ended up being divided into two groups:

The first group:  They said that Allaah, in His Essence, is everywhere, and if so then He, according to their claim, either occupies a hayyiz [70]  or He does not. If He occupies a hayyiz then it is necessary that He would occupy the “places” and there would remain no single “place” present. And if He does not occupy a hayyiz, then He is ma’doom (none-existing). [71]  They would not say that what does not occupy a hayyiz is like the “air” or the like thereof, because this would not be harmonious with their position. [72]

The second group: They said, “He I is neither in ‘uluw (loftiness) nor in sufl (opposite ‘uluw: lowness); He is neither inside the world nor outside it; neither to the right nor to the left; neither joined nor separate.

This position is absolute ta’teel (negation) because it is a description of al-’adam (none-existence). Some scholars said, “If we were asked to describe al-’adam we would not find a more comprehensive definition than this description [above].”

So contemplate as to how their negation of what has been affirmed by the way of naql (texts) and ‘aql (rational) led them to say what cannot be accepted neither by sensory perception (hiss), nor by naql or ‘aql.

We have explained earlier that the ‘uluw of Allaah is proven by the way of the kitaab (the Book, i.e. the Qur’aan), the sunnah , ijmaa’ (general consensus of the salaf ), ‘aql , and fitrah . [73]  The proofs of the Book and sunnah are diverse:

·       Some of which mention the ‘uluw like in the saying of Allaah (Subhanahuwa ta’alaa):

        { وهو العَلِيُّ العَظِيم } [البقرة:255].

And He [Allaah] is the Most High, the Most Great.

{ سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الأَعْلَى } [الأعلى،1]

And make tasbeeh [declaring that Allaah is far removed above all imperfection] of your Rabb , the Most High, above everything.

[Qur’aan, Soorat Al-A’laa (87:1)].

 ·       Others state the fawqiyyah [Allaah being above creation], as in Allaah’s saying in the Qur’aan:

{ وَهُوَ القاهِرُ فَوْقَ عِبادِهِ } [الأنعام،1].

And He [Allaah] is al-Qaahir [74]  above His slaves.

[Qur’aan, Soorat Al-An’aam (6:18)].

 ·       Some aayaat (verses) mention the su’ood (ascent) of things up to Him U:

{ إليهِ يَصعَدُ الكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ والعَمَلُ الصالِحُ يرفَعُهُ } [فاطر،10].

 To Him ascend [all] the goodly words, and the righteous deeds exalt it [the goodly words, i.e. the goodly words are not accepted by Allaah unless and until they are followed by good deeds].

[Qur’aan, Soorat Faatir (35:10)].

{ تَعرُجُ الملائِكَةُ والرُّوح إليه } [المعارج،4].

The angels and the rooh [Jibreel u] ascend to Him.

[Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Ma’aarij (70:4].

·       Sometimes the Qur’aan mentions the descent of things from Him (Subhanahuwa ta’alaa):

 { يُدَبَّرُ الأمر من السَّماء إلى الأرض } [السجدة،5].

He [Allaah] arranges [every] affair from the heavens to the earth. [Qur’aan, Soorat As-Sajdah (32:5)].

 { إنَّا نحنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ } [الحجر،9].

Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the thikr  [the Qur’aan].

 [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Hijr (15:5)].

 ·       In the Book there is also the affirmation that Allaah (Subhanahuwa ta’alaa) is above the heavens:

{ ءأمنْتُم من في السَّماء أن يخسِفَ بِكُمُ الأرْضَ } [المُلك،16].

Do you feel secure that He, who is above the heaven [Allaah], will not cause the earth to sink.

[Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Mulk (67:16)].

 In addition to the above aayaat, there are many other references in the Qur’aan which affirm the ‘uluw of Allaah. Similarly the sunnah affirms Allaah’s ‘uluw in His Essence by the way  of  saying, action, and approval. The affirmation in the saying as in the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him):

” رَبَّنَا اللَّهُ الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاء”. [رواه أبو داود].

Our Rabb is Allaah Who is in the heaven …” [75]

And in his action as when he (peace be upon him) pointed towards the heavens when he said: O! Allaah be witness [saying it thrice],” before the greatest assembly of Muslims then. [76]

As to his approval, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked a slave girl: Where is Allaah? She replied: “Above the heavens.” He (peace be upon him) then ordered her master, “Grant her freedom, because she is a believer .” [77]

As for the ijmaa,’  it is acknowledged that the salaf are in agreement that Allaah is above His ‘arsh . No one among them had ever said that He is everywhere or that He is neither above the world nor below it, or that He is neither to the right nor to the left, or that He is neither separated from the world nor associated with it.

On the other hand, the proof of the ‎‘aql (intellect), has two angles to it:

1. The ‘uluw is an attribute of perfection and therefore being as such necessitates that it is an affirmed attribute of Allaah because Allaah is qualified with the attributes of perfection from every angle.

2. For the sake of argument, if we say that, “Allaah is either above the world or under it or on its right or left,” then which of these descriptions denote perfection? The answer is, “Allaah is above the world,” because if he is “under it” then He would be less perfect than the created! And if He is in the same place as the created, then Allaah (Subhanahuwa ta’alaa) would be equal to him in perfection. Thus it is necessitated that Allaah (Subhanahuwa ta’alaa) is above everything.

Finally, as far as the fitrah (natural inclination or disposition) is concerned, each person naturally acknowledges the fact that Allaah is above the heavens. That is why whenever a person supplicates His Rabb (Allaah) he (she) takes refuge towards the direction of the sky (i.e. upward). [78]

[In this regard it is noteworthy to mention] that because Abul Ma’aali al-Juwayyni, [79]  may Allaah bestow His mercy upon him and may He forgive him, denied the ascending of Allaah above the ‘arsh (istiwaa’ ‘ala al-’arsh) and the ‘uluw of Allaah in His Essence, he had  decided that, “Allaah was and there was nothing, [80]  and He is now as He ever has been,” [81]  denying the istiwaa ‘ala al-’arsh. Abul ‘Alaa al-Hamadaani, [82]  may Allaah bestow His mercy upon him, said, “Teacher! There is no need to mention the ‘arsh. [83]  Just tell us about this necessity which we find within ourselves: Whenever an ‘aarif (one who knows of Allaah) says: ‘O! Allaah,’ he finds within his heart a compelling intent aspiring upward? [84]  Al-Juwayyni slapped his hands against his head screaming, “Al-Hamadani rendered me perplexed. Al-Hamadaani rendered me perplexed.” He was unable to respond because the matter is natural and cannot be denied.

The strange thing is that those who deny the Transcendence of Allaah themselves raise their hands upward in the direction of the heavens when they invoke Allaah. I do not know of the situation of the person who believes that Allaah is everywhere in His Essence or that He is not inside the world nor outside it or He is neither above nor below, how is he going to face His Rabb on the Day of Resurrection?

Then Allaah I said: { العَظِيم }: The Most Great, meaning the One Who possesses the absolutely perfect Greatness.

The great of a certain kind of things is the majestic whose qualities attained the utmost degree of perfection, as Allaah تعالى has said about the throne of the Queen of Sabaa’ :

 { وَلَهَا عَرْشُُ عَظِيم }

And She has a great throne.

[Qur’aan, Soorat An-Naml (27:23)].

In this sense the great of a certain kind of things is that which is characterized by utmost importance and utmost degree of perfection in its qualities.

Source : Tafseer Ayatul-Kursi By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-’Uthaymeen
With Related Points of Benefit From the Shaykh’s Commentary on Imaam ibn Taymeeyah’s Sharhul ’Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah,  Prepared by  Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah)

Related Links:

Neither Slumber, Nor Sleep overtakes Allaah

In His Saying: { لا تأخُذُهُ سِنَةُُ وَلاَ نَوْمُُ}  Neither slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him, Allaah did not say (what means): “He does not sleep,” instead He said: { لا تأخُذُهُ } (which means) “does not overtake Him” in order to comprise the sleep which overcomes and that arising by choice. If you say, “Does not sleep,” it would imply that He does not sleep by choice. However, Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, does not sleep neither by ghalabah (overcoming) nor by choice, because sleep is an imperfect attribute which contradicts both the perfection of the Self and the perfection in relation to others.

The person who is given to sleep misses a lot of his work because of His sleeping. Consider, for example, the case of a person who has many people working for him and he sleeps a lot. He is unable to reckon with nor manage the business or other related matters. This is an imperfection with respect to others.

As regard to self-perfection, sleep is a deficiency because it  indicates that the person’s body got tired and thus he needed the sleep as a rest from what has passed, as well as a means to renew his activity to engage in what will come ahead. That is the why the people of al-Jannah do not sleep—because of the perfection of their lives and bodies. No illness or the like touches them.

If someone says, “We know that the person who does not sleep is unable to do so because of some kind of sickness or a defect, while you say that the lack of sleep is a perfection. Explain.”

We say, “This applies to the creature, and in this case perfection is a relative matter [with respect to Allaah it is perfection]. There is no doubt that the person who does not sleep because of an illness has a defect, and that is why he stays always in a state of languor and exhaustion. Thus his welfare will not be established. This is evident from the saying of Allaah, the Most High:

And have made your sleep as a thing for rest [Qur’aan, Soorat An-Naba’ (78:9)],

meaning that sleep is something that will discontinue the hardship and tiredness. If Allaah would sleep, and far is He above such imperfection, then this would necessitate that He needs to rest. In addition, the creation will be ruined because they are in need of Him; even the sleeping person is in need of Allaah. In fact, the Prophet (r) used to invoke Allaah at night when he was about to sleep:

If You take my soul, bestow mercy on it [and forgive it, as in another narration], and if You release it then protect it as You protect your righteous slaves .” [38]

In short, it is impossible that Allaah, the One free of all imperfections and the Most High, sleeps. The Prophet (r) said:

Verily Allaah does not sleep and it does not befit Him to sleep . [39]

The word “لا ينْبَغِي” [does not befit] when used in the Qur’aan and sunnah means “the thing which is absolutely impossible to be,” as Allaah تعالى said:

But it is not befitting for (the Majesty of) ar-Rahmaan (Allaah) that He should beget a son (or offspring or children). [Qur’aan, Soorat Maryam (19:92)].

[It should be noted] that Allaah’s saying:

{ لا تأخُذُهُ سِنَةُُوَلاَ نَوْمُُ}

Neither slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him,

signifies as-sifaat as-salbiyyah (attributes of negation: negating any imperfection and implying perfection). The rule with respect to the Names and Attributes of Allaah, the Most High, is that there is no such thing as a pure attribute of negation. [40]  Indeed, when  as-sifaat as-salbiyyah are mentioned, it is because they imply the perfection of the attributes which are in contradiction to those of negation. [41]  So, because of the Perfection of Allaah’s Life and qayyoumiyyah , [42]  then neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him. [43]

Source : Tafseer Ayatul-KursiBy Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-’Uthaymeen
With Related Points of Benefit From the Shaykh’s Commentary on Imaam ibn Taymeeyah’s Sharhul ’Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah,  Prepared by  Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah)