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Communicating with Allah

Quran 42:51:

The following excerpt is taken from “The Message of the Quran” by Muhammad Asad pg. 954-955:

And it is not given to mortal man that God should speak unto him otherwise than through sudden 52 inspiration, or [by a voice, as it were,] from behind a veil, or by sending an apostle to reveal, by His leave, whatever He wills [to reveal]: 53 for, verily, He is exalted, wise.

Note 52: This is the primary meaning of wahy, a term which combines the concepts of suddenness and inner illumination (Raghib); in the usage of the Qur’an, it is often, though by no means always, synonymous with “revelation”. – The above passage connects with the first paragraph of verse 48, which speaks of the divine message entrusted to the Prophet.

Note 53: Cf. 53:10

The following is from page 1038 of the same book:

And thus did [God] reveal unto His servant whatever He deemed right to reveal,6

Note 6:

Lit., “whatever He revealed”: an allusion to the exceptional manifestation of the angel “in his true shape and nature” as well as to the contents of divine revelation as such. In its deeper sense the above phrase implies that even to His chosen prophets God does not entirely unveil the ultimate mysteries of existence, of life and death, of the purpose for which He has created the universe, or of the nature of the universe itself.

The Herald of Mercy

Quran 1:3:

the Compassionate, the Merciful

The following excerpt is taken from the “Study Quran” under the commentary of the above verse:

This verse repeats the two Divine Names, the Compassionate (alRaḥmān) and the Merciful (al-Raḥīm), that are recited in the basmalah at the opening of each sūrah, except for Sūrah 9, “Repentance” (al-Tawbah). Both Names are intensifications of the word raḥmah, meaning “Mercy” or “LovingMercy.” Al-Raḥmān, which is also the title of Sūrah 55, is considered to be more emphatic, embracing, and encompassing than al-Raḥīm (IK, Qu, Ṭ). It is one of the Divine Names that cannot be applied to anything other than God, either literally or figuratively, since it connotes the Loving-Mercy by which God brings forth existence. Al-Raḥīm indicates the blessing of nourishment (rizq) by which God sustains each particular existent thing. Thus it may apply figuratively to creatures, and the adjective raḥīm is in fact used to describe the Prophet in 9:128. As al-Raḥmān is more encompassing, it is closer to the highest Name of God, Allāh; 17:110 enjoins the Prophet to say, Call upon God, or call upon the Compassionate. Whichever you call upon, to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. The relationship between them is thus presented as that of different levels or degrees of light: al-Raḥmān is like the light of the sun that illuminates the whole sky, and al-Raḥīm is like the particular ray of sunlight that touches a creature. In Islamic metaphysics and cosmology it is stated that it was by God breathing “the Breath of the Compassionate” (Nafas al-Raḥmān) upon the immutable essences (al-aʿyān al-thābitah), which are the archetypes of all things in Divine Knowledge, that the world was brought into being. From this perspective, the very existence of the world is in essence nothing but the breath of Divine Compassion. Together these two Names refer to two aspects of the Divine Mercy (raḥmah): one essential and universal, the other attributive and particular. The first is that by which creation is brought forth, while the second is that by which God shows Mercy to those whom He will, as in 33:43: And He is Merciful (raḥīm) unto the believers. The essential and universal Mercy is that of the Compassionate, which God bestows upon all things through their very existence and is the Divine aspect referred to in 20:5: The Compassionate mounted the Throne; and 25:59: Then mounted the Throne, the Compassionate [is He]. The particular Mercy is that of the Merciful, through which each creature that exists is sustained and which varies in mode according to the manner in which this Divine Name or Attribute has become manifest. It is evident that Divine Names of beauty, such as “the Kind” (al-Laṭīf), “the Clement” (al-Ḥalīm), and “the Beautiful” (al-Jamīl), are manifestations of Mercy. But in Divine Names of rigor, such as “the Powerful” (al-Qādir), “the Avenger” (al-Muntaqim), and “the Abaser” (al-Mudhill), the manifestation of Divine Mercy is veiled by the inseparability of God’s Kindness from His Majesty and determinative power (qadar). God is thus said to be Compassionate toward all of creation and Merciful toward the believers (Ṭb). Positioned between v. 2, which alludes to God being the Sovereign over all dimensions of space, both seen and unseen, and v. 4, which alludes to God being the Master of all time, since all things end on the Day of Judgment, this verse indicates that God’s Mercy encompasses and interpenetrates all time and all space, as in 7:156: My Mercy encompasses all things.

Blessed Names and Attributes of Allah

The Throne of Allah

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The word ‘Allah’

In the Arabic language, the proper name of the One Supreme God is Allah.  This word usually is taken to mean the One and Only God, but there is a deeper history to this word.  It is derived, according to the Arabist Fleisher Franz Delitzsch, from the ancient Arabic root ilah or elah, which means “to be possessed of God.”  A derivative from that root term, aliha, means “to be filled with dread” and “anxious to seek refuge,” thus the Qur’an’s call for believers to seek refuge with God from all that they fear.  (See 7:200 and 16:98 for example.)  The Old Testament Book of Genesis (verses 21:42 & 53) uses the same term where God is called the “fear” or “dread” of Isaac – not in a negative sense, mind you, but in the sense of utter and complete awe.  The Hebrew word for God, Eloah (or El), which occurs 3,350 times in the Old Testament, mostly in its plural ‘royal’ form of Elohim, is linguistically related to the Arabic root ilah.  Adding the definite article al (the) to ilah makes it al-ilah which is the progenitor of the name Allah, or, The God.  If it is remembered that Ishmael, the son of Abraham who dwelled in Arabia, spoke the same ancient tongue as Isaac, whose descendants became the Hebrews, then it is clear why Arabic and Hebrew both have the same linguistic name for God.

Emerick, Yahiya. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an in Today’s English (p. 827). Unknown. Kindle Edition.

Thou Shalt Never See Me

Quran 7:143:

And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, “My Lord, show me [Yourself] that I may look at You.” [Allah] said, “You will not see Me, but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.” But when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious. And when he awoke, he said, “Exalted are You! I have repented to You, and I am the first of the believers.”

The following excerpt is taken from the “Study Quran” under the commentary of the above verse:

This verse speaks directly to the issue of the human ability or inability to “see” God and seems to support the view that God cannot be seen by human beings, at least in the ordinary sense of seeing, in this world. It is consistent with the statement in 6:103: Sight comprehends Him not, but He comprehends all sight. Moses’ desire to see God is engendered by the state of intimacy he experienced with Him upon the mountain. There his Lord spoke unto him without intermediary (Ṭs, Z); and, according to a legendary report, God was so close that Moses could hear the scratching of the pen across the tablets as they were being written upon by God (Ṭ). With this closeness and the sweetness of God’s speaking to him (Su), Moses was overcome with spiritual ecstasy (Qu), yearned to be yet nearer to God, and was emboldened to ask, My Lord, show me, that I might look upon Thee (Ṭ). Some argued that Moses, who surely knew that God transcended all form and corporeality and thus could not be seen physically, asks this only to satisfy the Israelites, who in 2:55 declare, O Moses, we will not believe thee till we see God openly (Ṭs, Z). Still others suggest that Moses was not asking for a physical vision, but rather for such complete spiritual knowledge (maʿrifah) of God that it would be as if he were able to see Him directly (Ṭs, Z). The verb show me might also be translated “cause me to see”—that is, “grant me the ability to see”—so that Moses might look upon God and attain the vision he desires. Some commentators understand God’s response, Thou shalt not see Me, to mean that God is not seen in this world, but may be in the next (IK, Ṭ), sometimes invoking 75:23, which
speaks of the righteous gazing upon their Lord in the Hereafter; and Sufi writers speak of the ability to see God inwardly, with the eye of the heart. Others, however, argue that the response Thou shalt not see Me is stated in an emphatic form, indicating that God will not be seen, even in the next world (Ṭs, Z). In the Biblical account, Moses is told that none can see the Face of God “and live” (Exodus 33:20), and some commentators mention this as well (IK, Ṭ) or note that, had Moses not looked at the mountain when God manifested Himself, he would have died (Su). According to one report, Moses responded that he would rather see God and die than live without seeing Him (Ṭ). For Sufis, this may be connected with the idea that the vision of God in this life is only possible after the “death of the ego,” when one has completely “died” to the passions and desires of the soul. The annihilating power of God’s Self-Manifestation is similarly suggested in the saying attributed to the Prophet, “His veil is light. Were He to remove it, the Glory of His Face would burn up everything His Sight reached” (Su). That the mountain crumbles after God says of it, if it remains firm in its place, then thou wilt see Me, indicates that seeing God with the physical eye is as impossible as the mountain being able to withstand God’s Self-Manifestation (Z); it demonstrates the annihilating power of that vision, since even the mountain, so much larger and stronger than Moses himself, was incapable of bearing it (IK). He made it crumble to dust might also be translated “He leveled it to the ground.” Elsewhere, mountains are awed or moved by the Power of God; see, for example, 33:72, where the mountains fear accepting the Trust of God, and 19:90–91, where it is said that the earth would be rent asunder and the mountains destroyed by the claim that God has a son. Moses fell down in a swoon out of sheer awe (Z) or as the result of being passed over by one of the angels (Ṭ, Z). In a swoon translates ṣaʿiqa, which might also be translated “thunderstruck,” from the same root as the thunderbolt (ṣāʿiqah) that is said to have struck the Israelites for asking a similar question in 2:55. Some indicate that Moses actually died in this moment and was brought back to life (Qm, Ṭ, Z), although others argue that recovered (afāqa) connotes arousal from a state of unconsciousness, rather than from physical death. Upon recovering, Moses “turns in repentance,” repenting of having asked to see God (Ṭ, Ṭs, Z). Moses’ assertion that he is the first of believers may mean that he was the first among the Israelites of his time to believe (Ṭ), that he was the first to believe that God could not be seen physically (IK, Qm, Ṭs, Z), or that he was the foremost believer of his time. The Sufi tradition speaks of those who seek, and sometimes receive, the blessing of “seeing,” or “witnessing” God, or receiving an inward vision of God. Al-Sulamī, commenting on this verse, indicates that “nothing can withstand the witnessing of God save the hearts of the gnostics,” which God has adorned with spiritual knowledge of Himself and illuminated with His Light. Even so, al-Sulamī indicates that this “witnessing” really describes God’s witnessing or seeing Himself, “for the Real is witnessed by none but Himself.”

Who will enter Heaven by Allah’s Mercy

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How do I repent?

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God and the Life Hereafter

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Explanation to the Beautiful Names of Allah

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