The Just, The Equitable
O You who believe! Show integrity for the sake of Allah, bearing witness with justice. Do not let hatred for a people incite you into not being just. Be just. That is closer to piety. Have fear [and awareness] of Allah. Allah is aware of what you do. ( Surat al-Ma'ida, 5:8)
Allah is the most just judge. As His order encompasses the universe, He will show His justice to His servants both in this world and beyond. All the acts of Allah, Who is All-Seeing, All-Knowing, and All-Aware, are for a divine purpose and are just.
Allah will judge all of each person's deeds according to His justice. Allah informs us that those who engage in violence will be punished and that even a single good word will be rewarded. He will manifest His infinite justice in the Hereafter.
The difficulties that unbelievers make for Prophets and believers, as well as their slanderous accusations and sins, will not remain unanswered. All of these difficulties, which raise believers' ranks in Paradise , lead unbelievers to the lowest level of the Fire. On the Day of Judgment, Allah will set up the Just Balance, and no soul will be wronged in any way. Allah will call them to account by ending the time that He has granted them. Given that Allah, the All-Knowing, keeps His promise, all people will see the consequences of their wrong actions in the Hereafter. Thus, unbelievers will be punished severely, while those who remained true to Allah will be rewarded most bountifully. In one verse, Allah states the following:
Those who pledge their allegiance to you [the Prophet] pledge allegiance to Allah. Allah's hand is over their hands. He who breaks his pledge only breaks it against himself. But as for him who fulfils the contract he has made with Allah, We will pay him an immense reward. ( Surat al-Fath, 48:10)
There is an important point to consider here: While pondering over His justice, do not compare it with the human concept of justice, for a faithless person, while passing judgment, may well comply with his whims and desires, remain under the influence of his feelings, or forget what has been done. Most importantly, one never knows what is in the other party's mind. But Allah, Who never errs or forgets, has assigned angels for every person in order to observe and record each of their acts and thoughts. In brief, Allah holds each person's soul in His hand. The Qur'an also reveals that our Lord, Who gives the best judgment, is infinitely just:
On the Day We summon every people with their records, those who are given their Book in their right hand will read their Book and will not be wronged by even the smallest speck. ( Surat al-Isra', 17:71)
In the Hereafter, Allah will pay back all of the wrongdoing and plots hatched against believers. In this life, He may grant the unbelievers many blessings (e.g., wealth and possessions), yet these will only lead them to more evil. In the Qur'an, Allah states that believers must not be attracted to such blessings, for when compared with what awaits them in the Hereafter, the benefits of this short life are insignificant, especially when the infinite punishment of Hell awaits unbelievers.
In the Hereafter, each person's real abode, every soul will find itself confronted with all of its good deeds. Allah will manifest His justice in Hell and Paradise for all eternity. Ultimately, Allah will separate those who believe in Him from those who do not.
Say: “Our Lord will bring us all together and then will judge between us with the truth. He is the Just Decider, the All-Knowing.” (Surah Saba , 34:26)
Allah commands believers to be just as follows:
Allah does not forbid you from being good to those who have not fought you in the religion or driven you from your homes, or from being just toward them. Allah loves those who are just. ( Surat al-Mumtahana, 60:8)
Allah commands you to return to their owners the things you hold on trust and, when you judge between people, to judge with justice. How excellent is what Allah exhorts you to do! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing. ( Surat an-Nisa', 4:58)
They are people who listen to lies and consume ill-gotten gains. If they come to you, you can either judge between them or turn away from them. If you turn away from them, they cannot harm you in any way. But if you do judge, judge between them justly. Allah loves the just. ( Surat al-Ma'ida, 5:42)
Whether you reveal a good act or keep it hidden, or pardon an evil act, Allah is Ever-Pardoning, All-Powerful. ( Surat an-Nisa', 4:149)
People are fallible beings who may at any time think erroneously, make a wrong decision, or display a flawed attitude. But Allah, Who created humanity and is fully aware of these mistakes, forgives them. If He were not so forgiving, no soul would ever attain Paradise . Indeed, Allah calls attention to this fact, as follows:
If Allah were to punish people for their wrong actions, not a single creature would be left upon Earth, but He defers them until a predetermined time. When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour or bring it forward. ( Surat an-Nahl, 16:61)
Yet we need to remember that Allah only forgives His sincere servants who turn to Him in repentance. Thus, those desiring His forgiveness must be sincere and resolute in their repentance. Allah makes it clear that He will not forgive those who repent but then return to their former ways without feeling any true regret. In one verse, Allah states the following:
Allah only accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and then quickly repent after doing it. Allah turns toward such people. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. ( Surat an-Nisa', 4:17)
The Last; The One Who Exists After Everything Else Perishes
He is the First and the Last , the Outward and the Inward. He has knowledge of all things. ( Surat al-Hadid, 57:3)
Allah created the universe from nothing and, ultimately, will return it to its initial state and destroy it. Nothing is immortal, for all living beings come into existence for a predetermined period of time and then die—everything, that is, except Allah, Who is the First and the Last and therefore without beginning or end.
Allah, the Creator of life and time, is not affected by any of matter's characteristics. Given that He is infinite, He will exist for all eternity, existed in the infinite past, and is unaffected by time and space. This fact is stressed in the Qur'an, as follows:
Everyone on it will pass away; but the Face of your Lord will remain, Master of Majesty and Generosity. ( Surat ar-Rahman, 55:26-27)
The Most Just Judge
Is Allah not the Most Just Judge ? ( Surat at-Tin, 95:8)
Allah passes judgment on each matter and concludes them. All events evolve and develop upon His command and wish. Each of His judgments contains many hidden divine purposes. However, most people do not really understand His commands, for, given their limited intelligence, their ability to do so is also limited. Furthermore, Allah is infinitely wise, exalted above time and space, and the One Who created and bound humanity to these concepts. A person can never know what will happen the next day or even in an hour. When Allah gives a command, however, He has total knowledge of all of its consequences, regardless of time or place. Consequently, Allah creates everything in compliance with His plan and for a divine purpose.
But unbelievers can never understand Allah's purposes, for they base their worldview on certain causes and then think that everything evolves randomly and coincidentally. Therefore, they fail to understand that Allah controls everything. Believers, however, strive to grasp the divine purposes in Allah's judgments and comprehend that He gives the best judgments. In the Qur'an, Allah commands the following:
Follow what has been revealed to you, and be steadfast until Allah's judgment comes. He is the Best of Judges. (Surah Yunus, 10:109)
Nuh called out to his Lord and said: “My Lord, my son is one of my family. Your promise is surely the truth, and You are the Most Just Judge.” (Surah Hud, 11:45)
Both East and West belong to Allah, so wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing . ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:115)
After people begin to think, they start to learn and, over time, accumulate more and more knowledge. Some specialize in certain fields, such as physics, philosophy, or history. All of this knowledge relates to the verb “to know,” as we understand it. However, this verb also has a dimension that is far beyond humanity's grasp: how Allah knows things.
Allah, being the Creator, holds the knowledge of the heavens, Earth, and every being in between, as well as of all the laws regulating the universe and anything that happens, regardless of time or place. Moreover, His knowledge is boundless, for He knows the names of all new-born babies at any moment, every leaf falling from every tree, what will happen to each star in each galaxy, whatever happens in space at any moment, what is hidden in every living thing's DNA, and an infinite number of other things.
We must always keep the following fact in mind: In addition to what has been mentioned above, Allah knows all of our thoughts and our most secret acts. We assume that we alone are aware of our feelings, thoughts, or distress. But this is a delusion, for Allah, Who holds complete control over every point of the universe, knows what is in each person's mind and everything else. Indeed, the Qur'an informs us about Allah's infinite knowledge:
You will not attain true goodness until you give of what you love. Whatever you give away, Allah knows it. (Surah ‘Al Imran, 3:92)
Do you not see that everyone in the heavens and Earth glorifies Allah, as do the birds with their outspread wings? Each one knows its prayer and glorification. Allah knows what they do. ( Surat an-Nur, 24:41)
And the sun runs to its resting place. That is the decree of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. (Surah Ya Sin, 36:38)
See how they wrap themselves round, trying to conceal their feelings from Him! No, indeed! When they wrap their garments round themselves, He knows what they keep secret and what they make public. He knows what their hearts contain. (Surah Hud, 11:5)
But they will never ever long for it, because of what they have done. Allah knows the wrongdoers. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:95)
You did not kill them; it was Allah Who killed them. You did not throw when you threw; it was Allah Who threw: so He might test the believers with this excellent trial from Him. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. ( Surat al-Anfal, 8:17)
The Most High
It does not befit Allah to address any human being except by inspiration or from behind a veil, or He sends a messenger who then reveals by His permission whatever He wills. He is indeed Most High , All-Wise. ( Surat ash-Shura, 42:51)
Allah introduces Himself to us: Allah, the Creator of all the worlds and the sole Sovereign of the universe, is the Most High and the Possessor of the heavens, Earth, and everything in between. There is no deity but Him. High is He, Exalted above all that they associate (with Him). He is the Sovereign, the All-Powerful, and the Lord of the Ways of Ascent. Allah is Self-Sufficient, above all need.
All of the beautiful names belong to Allah, for He is the Owner of infinite beauty and infinite sublimity. A person can know Him only to the extent that He introduces Himself, and can appreciate Him through the verses of the Qur'an. In one verse, Allah describes this name in the following terms:
Allah, there is no deity but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and Earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge, except for what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and Earth, and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:255)
He [Prophet Nuh's son] said: “I will seek refuge on a mountain that shall protect me from the water.” Nuh said: “ There is no protector today from Allah's punishment but He Who has mercy …” (Surah Hud, 11:43)
People, all of whom are inherently feeble, can encounter all sorts of difficulties at any time, such as an earthquake, flood, hurricane, or volcanic eruption. In addition, people are vulnerable to mental distress. In the face of these unfavorable events, they must consider the following: Regardless of their effort or strength, they can never avoid a threat unless Allah wills this. Allah, the most Compassionate, is the only Protector, as the Qur'an relates in the following verses:
Say: “Who rescues you from the darkness of the land and sea? You call upon Him humbly and secretly: ‘If you rescue us from this, we will truly be among the thankful.'” Say: “Allah rescues you from it, and from every plight. Then you associate others with Him.'” ( Surat al-An‘am, 6:63-64)
People remember Allah when they are left alone, when they realize that neither material wealth nor powerful people can help them, or when they fall sick. Yet after these situations pass, they forget what happened to them and become ungrateful toward Allah. Such people, who insist upon ungratefulness despite Allah's protection, will see the truth when they face infinite punishment in Hell. Their situation is related, as follows:
As for those who show disdain and grow arrogant, He will punish them with a painful punishment. They will not find any protector or helper for themselves besides Allah. ( Surat an-Nisa', 4:173)
Everything in the heavens and everything in Earth belongs to Him. He is the Most High, the All-Glorious . ( Surat ash-Shura, 42:4)
Allah's might and grandeur is surely beyond humanity's grasp. Yet, within the limits of their wisdom, people can still see and grasp His might. Indeed, the entire universe abounds with countless examples that indicate His greatness. A closer look at our own planet will make people feel His sublimity.
The heavens carrying clouds that weigh many tons, mountains rising thousands of meters in the air, oceans harboring millions of living beings, a lightening flash and the noise of thunder following it, and billions of living beings that have submitted to Allah—all of these and countless other details are clear signs of Allah's existence.
To have a better grasp of our Lord's grandeur, let's move beyond the limits of our world and think: We live in an unbounded space, the universe, which contains billions of galaxies with countless billions of stars. We live in one of these galaxies on a planet called Earth, which rotates about its axis at a velocity of about 1.670 kilometers an hour. Just thinking on these vast figures make us realize that our existence in the universe is as insignificant as the existence of a dust particle on Earth.
As this example also reveals, people given to sincere contemplation can grasp the majesty of their Lord, Who creates billions of galaxies and holds all of them in His hand. In one verse, Allah informs us about His beautiful names:
Allah, there is no deity but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and Earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge, except for what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and Earth, and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the All-Glorious. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:255)
Do not imagine that Allah will break His promise to His Messengers. Allah is the Almighty , the Lord of Retribution. (Surah Ibrahim, 14:47)
This name of Allah expresses that He will always triumph and that He can never be refuted, for only He has true power. Allah created the universe's order, all of its laws (both known and unknown), and all beings on Earth. In the face of Allah's infinite power, which clearly manifests itself in the universe, the feebleness of every created being and thing is obvious. All that is created can only exist, survive, and act if He commands so.
No doubt, this feeling of feebleness also holds true for humanity. No matter how well-off, strong, and powerful people may be, each person is weak and helpless in Allah's sight. No possessions, money, or status can protect them from Allah's punishment; only those who surrender to Him, live by His orders, and strive to earn His consent will be protected. In the Qur'an, Allah promises to grant superiority to His loyal servants.
Allah has written: “I will be victorious, I and My Messengers.” Allah is Most Strong, Almighty. (Surah al-Mujadala, 58:21)
… and He has sent down the Furqan. Those who reject Allah's Signs will have a terrible punishment. Allah is Almighty, Lord of Retribution. (Surah ‘Al Imran, 3:4)
Allah bears witness that there is no deity but Him, as do the angels and the people of knowledge, upholding justice. There is no deity but Him, the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:18)
Do not be grieved by what they say. All might belongs to Allah. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surah Yunus, 10:65)
A pertinent hadith of Prophet Muhammad (saas) relates:
A bedouin once said to the Prophet (saas): “Teach me something to say.” The Prophet (saas) replied: “Say: ‘There is no god but Allah, the One with no partner. Allah is the Greatest by far; much praise be to Him. The Lord of the Worlds be praised; and there is no power and no strength save in Allah the Almighty, the All-Wise.'” (Sahih Muslim)
How can you reject Allah, when you were dead and then He gave you life, then He will make you die and then give you life again , and then you will be returned to Him? ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:28)
All people who have or will ever live are mortal. Everyone dies and is buried. Despite this obvious fact, however, most people avoid thinking about death and their subsequent resurrection. The Qur'an describes their situation, as follows:
They will ask: “Are we to be restored to how we were when we have become perished, worm-eaten bones?” ( Surat an-Nazi‘at, 79:10-11)
The Qur'an provides the most explicit answer to this popular delusion by proclaiming:
He makes likenesses of Us and forgets his own creation, asking: “Who will give life to bones when they are decayed?” Say: “He Who made them in the first place will bring them back to life. He has total knowledge of each created thing.” (Surah Ya Sin, 36:78-79)
As these verses indicate, Allah created humanity and granted different qualities to everyone. Indeed, down to his or her fingerprints, each person has unique characteristics. As our Creator, He can re-create each person in the very same manner as many times as He wills. Allah displays this coming resurrection each autumn, when nature begins to “die” and then actually experience a type of “death” during winter. Yet when spring comes, we see dry branches blossoming, nature being revived and becoming green all over. Furthermore, this “resurrection” has been happening without any interruption since time began. For Allah, resurrecting each person is as easy as this. The parallel features of these two resurrections are stated in several verses, as follows:
He brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living, and brings Earth to life after it was dead. In the same way, you too will be brought forth. ( Surat ar-Rum, 30:19)
So look at the effect of Allah's mercy, how He brings the dead Earth back to life. Truly, He is the One Who brings the dead to life. He has power over all things. ( Surat ar-Rum, 30:50)
Another meaning of the beautiful name Al-Ba‘ith is “sending out Prophets.” Allah sent Messengers to warn their people and bring good news in order to call them to the right path. He revealed books to some of his Messengers so that they could bring people out of the darkness of ignorance and into the light of true knowledge. No doubt, this is a great blessing of Allah to His servants. In the Qur'an, Allah relates that:
Mankind was a single community. Then Allah sent out Prophets bringing good news and giving warning, and with them He sent down the Book with truth to decide between people regarding their differences. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:213)
Allah showed great kindness to the believers when He sent a Messenger to them from among themselves to recite His Signs to them and to purify and teach them the Book and Wisdom, even though before that they were clearly misguided. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:164)
Everyone on it will pass away; but the Face of your Lord will remain , Master of Majesty and Generosity. ( Surat ar-Rahman, 55:26-27)
All of creation has an end. People are born, live for a certain period of time, and then die. This is also true of plants and animals. For instance, a tree may live for hundreds of years and then fulfill its destiny by dying at its appointed time. Similarly, non-living things also will meet their end, for time wears them all out. In addition, what remains of ancient nations is only their ruins. Allah calls our attention to this fact: “How many wrongdoing cities We destroyed, and now all their roofs and walls are fallen in; how many abandoned wells and stuccoed palaces!” ( Surat al-Hajj, 22:45)
The universe also has an end. All of the meteors, stars, and suns hurtling through space will one day exhaust their energy and disappear. Or, for another reason, Allah will destroy this universe and keep His promise regarding the Day of Judgment. He can do this, for He is the Creator and sole Owner of infinity, as the Qur'an reveals:
Anything you have been given is only the enjoyment of this world's life and finery. What is with Allah is better and longer lasting. So, will you not use your intellect? ( Surat al-Qasas, 28:60)
He is Allah—the Creator, the Maker , the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and Earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. ( Surat al-Hashr, 59:24)
The universe is based upon equilibrium and harmony. As scientific developments reveal more of its mysteries, we learn more about this equilibrium and harmony. It is apparent that each system in the universe has been designed by a superior intelligence that created everything in an amazing way. For billions of years, this great harmony and order has existed among an infinite number of living and non-living beings.
When we examine life on Earth, we come across amazing details. Whether we recognize it or not, we are surrounded with countless signs of creation. For instance, the ratio of different gases in the atmosphere are ideal for the survival of all living beings. Human beings and animals inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Although this process continues without interruption, the amount of oxygen never decreases and the amount of carbon dioxide never increases. Moreover, this amazing equilibrium is never disturbed, because contrary to human beings and animals, plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Thus, the oxygen consumed by people and animals is replaced by plants, a process that preserves this equilibrium.
This example is only one of the countless signs of creation on Earth. Both the micro- and macro-universes abound with similar examples. The universe, and thus life on Earth, exists only because our Lord creates things in conformity with one another. One verse reads:
And when Musa said to his people: “My people, You wronged yourselves by adopting the [golden] calf, so turn toward your Maker and kill yourselves. That is the best thing for you in your Maker's sight.” And He turned toward you. He is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:54)
Have they not looked at the birds above them, with wings outspread and folded back? Nothing holds them up but the All-Merciful. He is the All-Seeing . ( Surat al-Mulk, 67:19)
Our human faculty of sight is limited. With the naked eye, we can see for only a few kilometers. But to achieve this, we need clear weather and to be standing on a high place. Yet no matter how convenient the conditions may be, we can see only a hazy image.
In some situations, and especially when people are alone, they assume that nobody sees them. Assuming that they will not have to account for their deeds, they feel encouraged to do whatever they wish. Furthermore, they think they will never suffer any consequence for their wrongdoing. But this is a great delusion, for Allah sees even the smallest act. While our eyesight is limited, Allah sees the room in which a person remains, the rooms surrounding that room, the entire house, the city and country that harbor that house, the continent in which that country is located, the entire Earth, all planets, space, and all other dimensions beyond it. In the Qur'an, Allah informs us that He is aware of everything:
You do not engage in any matter, recite any of the Qur'an, or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it. Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on Earth or in Heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book. (Surah Yunus, 10:61)
Perform prayer and pay alms. Any good you send ahead for yourselves, you will find with Allah. Certainly Allah sees what you do. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:110)
They have different ranks with Allah. Allah sees what they do. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:163)
Those who adulterate Our Signs are not concealed from Us. Who is better—someone who will be thrown into the Fire or someone who will arrive in safety on the Day of Rising? Do what you like. He sees whatever you do. (Surah Fussilat, 41:40)
Is there anyone who will make Allah a generous loan so that He can multiply it for him many times over? Allah both restricts and expands . And you will be returned to Him. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:245)
Allah grants spiritual and material abundance to those who believe in Him and who obey Him wholeheartedly. He removes the difficulties they face. Upon encountering any hardship, trouble, or sickness, believers take refuge only in Allah. As a reward for this, Allah eases their tasks while making things difficult for unbelievers.
The Qur'an provides many examples about this issue. For instance, Prophet Musa (as) and the Children of Israel were forced to leave Egypt due to Pharaoh's violence. However, Pharaoh followed them. During this flight, the Children of Israel, who were caught between Pharaoh's army and the sea, thought that they were finished. Yet, Allah answered Prophet Musa's (as) call, divided the waters, and made a dry path so they could escape. Allah also destroyed Pharaoh and his army, and made the Children of Israel their inheritors.
This was also a manifestation of the following situation: “Those who make pilgrimage in the Way of Allah will find many places of refuge on Earth and ample sustenance. If anyone leaves his home, making pilgrimage to Allah and His Messenger, and death catches up with him, Allah will reward him. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” ( Surat an-Nisa', 4:100) No doubt, Allah's promise has always been true—and will remain so—for His faithful servants. One verse reads:
Your Lord expands the provision of anyone He wills and restricts it. He is aware of and sees His servants. ( Surat al-Isra', 17:30)
The Inward; The Hidden
He is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward . He has knowledge of all things. ( Surat al-Hadid, 57:3)
Look around your room. Everything you see has been designed and made by someone: the door, the CD-player, a picture hanging on the wall, the window, and so on. Now look through the window at the trees, the Sun, the sky, flying birds, and other people. If it is nighttime, you can watch the stars and the Moon. Knowing that everything in your room has been made, is it not clear that everything around you also has been designed?
The truth of this assertion is apparent. If you cannot claim that a picture hanging on the wall was made by coincidence, then you also cannot claim that the Sun, stars, and the Moon are the result of coincidence. Everything you see on Earth and in the sky has a designer, producer, and creator. Our Lord, Who created everything with great artistry, introduces Himself to us through His creation.
When you look through the window you cannot see Him. However, Allah's existence, power, and artistry is clearly seen in His creation. This is the meaning that al-Batin conveys to us. His existence and control is clear in every corner of the universe, yet no one can see Him unless He wills otherwise:
Eyesight cannot perceive Him, but He perceives eyesight. He is the All-Penetrating, the All-Aware. ( Surat al-An‘am, 6:103)
The Originator; the Innovative Creator
The Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something, He just says to it, “Be!” and it is. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:117)
No matter how competent and intelligent people may be, any innovation or new idea is limited to their background and what they see around themselves. We enjoy five senses and cannot imagine a sixth sense. Moreover, we can use these senses only to a certain extent. For instance, we are utterly ignorant of what we cannot perceive. Accordingly, we cannot think, discover, or exercise our wisdom about something that does not exist on Earth, or in the universe as far as we know it.
Indeed, scientists develop some of their projects by imitating animals in nature and their flawless systems. For example, the dolphin's snout served as a model for the bows of modern ships, while radar works on the principle used by bats, namely, emitting very high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to compensate for their poor eyesight. Such examples are legion. (For further reference, please see, Harun Yahya, For Men of Understanding , 3rd ed., [ London : Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., April 2003])
Allah's knowledge is unbounded. Everything that exists, whether visible or not to the naked eye, is the product of Allah's innovative creation. At a time when there was nothing, no universe, galaxies, planets, living beings, or even a single cell, He decided to create a flawless system consisting of atoms, molecules, cells, living beings, planets, stars, and galaxies. Upon His command “Be,” the universe and all of its contents came into being based upon no model other than what He willed to be. From the micro-world, of which the humanity became aware after thousands of years, to the celestial bodies discovered during the twentieth century, all of these systems were designed by Allah and function according to His laws. This is related in the Qur'an, as follows:
Say: “My Lord has commanded justice. Stand and face Him in every mosque and call upon Him, making your religion sincerely His. As He originated you, so will you return.” ( Surat al-A‘raf, 7:29)
He is the Originator of the heavens and Earth. How could He have a son when He has no wife? He created all things and has knowledge of all things. ( Surat al-An‘am, 6:101)
The Beneficent; The All-Good
Beforehand we certainly used to call on Him because He is the All-Good , the Most Merciful. ( Surat at-Tur, 52:28)
Allah created all people and placed them in a setting that is perfectly suitable for human life and that was designed to serve them. In Surat an-Nahl, Allah informs us about some of these blessings:
He created man from a drop of sperm, and yet he is an open challenger! And He created livestock. There is warmth for you in them and various uses, and some of them you eat. And there is beauty in them for you in the evening when you bring them home, and in the morning when you drive them out to graze. They carry your loads to lands you would never reach, except with great difficulty. Your Lord is All-Gentle, Most Merciful. And horses, mules, and donkeys both to ride and for adornment. And He creates other things you do not know. The Way should lead to Allah, but there are those who deviate from it. If He had willed, He could have guided every one of you. He sends down water from the sky, from which you drink and from which come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. And by it He makes crops grow for you, as well as olives, dates, grapes, and fruit of every kind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. He has made night and day subservient to you, and the Sun and Moon and stars, all of which are subject to His command. There are certainly Signs in that for people who use their intellect. And also the things of varying colors He has created for you in Earth. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who pay heed. He made the sea subservient to you so that you can eat fresh meat from it and bring out from it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it so that you can seek His bounty, and so that hopefully you will show thanks. He cast firmly embedded mountains on the ground so it would not move under you, and rivers and pathways so that hopefully you would be guided, and landmarks. And they are guided by the stars. ( Surat an-Nahl, 16:4-16)
No doubt, one can never bring into being, possess, or attain any of the blessings mentioned above by his own efforts. However, Allah has granted all of these beauties to humanity as blessings to indicate His vast generosity toward His servants. In return for such goodness, what does He expect? In the remaining part of the sura, Allah answers that He expects humanity to heed and serve Him, as follows:
Is He Who creates like him who does not create? So will you not pay heed? If you tried to number Allah's blessings, you could never count them. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. ( Surat an-Nahl, 16:17-18)
"Our Lord, You are the Gatherer of mankind to a Day of which there is no doubt. Allah will not break His promise." (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:9)
This attribute of Allah expresses His control over all systems in the universe. As the Creator of all that exists, He has the power to make all the living and non-living beings obey Him and so can gather them wherever He wishes. In the Qur'an, Allah promises that He will gather believers together in this world:
Each person faces a particular direction, so race each other to the good. Wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together. Truly, Allah has power over all things. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:148)
However, the actual gathering will take place on the Day of Judgment, when all believers will enter His presence. Allah, Who knows the unbelievers who reject Him and His messengers, as well as their actions, will collect everyone who has ever lived by causing the Trumpet to be blown. Allah will gather all unbelievers to account for their deeds, and then will order them to be cast headlong into Hell, where they will be repaid in full for what they did.
In Paradise , Allah will reward His followers also in crowds. On that Day, He will gather His servants and their leaders to His presence. With their light streaming out in front of them and to their right, they will attain Paradise due to His grace and mercy. Meanwhile, just as in this world, He will keep the unbelievers in Hell together and let them argue with one another. Their impious spouses and idols will remain together and be repaid in a narrow corner of Hell. The unbelievers will be consumed with the pain of being driven to Hell along with their irreligious spouses and friends, upon whom they had relied so much. In the verse below, Allah informs us that He will gather Satan's followers together and herd them into Hell.
It has been sent down to you in the Book that when you hear Allah's Signs being rejected and mocked at by people, you must not sit with them until they start talking of other things. If you do [remain seated], you are just the same as them. Allah will gather all the hypocrites and unbelievers into Hell. ( Surat an-Nisa', 4:140)
The Irresistible; The Compeller
He is Allah—there is no deity but Him. He is the King, the Most Pure, the Perfect Peace, the Trustworthy, the Safeguarder, the Almighty, the Compeller , the Supremely Great. Glory be to Allah above all they associate with Him. ( Surat al-Hashr, 59:23)
Unbelievers show their arrogance and rejection of Allah by claiming that they exist apart from and are independent of Allah, and by attributing some of His characteristics to themselves. However, if they would stop and think seriously about this claim for just a second, they would easily comprehend that they did not will themselves into existence, cannot know when they will die, and had no say in the formation of their physical traits. They would realize that whatever they possess, including their own bodies, are temporary and will ultimately disappear. All of this makes it obvious that humanity is weak and can neither possess nor control anything. Further contemplation will surely provide more evidence of this truth.
In the face of all these facts, one can readily see that being arrogant toward our Lord, the Creator, is both foolish and dangerous. In fact, a person needs to comprehend that Allah is All-Mighty and that He created everything from nothing, grants every person's characteristics and meets their needs, can take them all when He wills, and that all living beings will die while He alone will exist for all eternity. Once all of this is understood, people need to submit to their Owner, for Allah has the power to make all who rebel and turn against Him bow to Him whenever He wills.
Allah relates the example of the Companions of the Garden as a lesson to believers. One of these men, who had been spoiled by his prosperity and achievements, later recognized his weakness, thanks to the name of al-Jabbar , and confessed his wrongdoing. What happened to this man, who swore to himself that he would harvest in the morning, is related in the Qur'an, as follows:
So a visitation from your Lord came upon it while they slept, and in the morning it was like burnt land stripped bare. ( Surat al-Qalam, 68:19-20)
But when they saw it, they said: “We must have lost our way. No, the truth is we are destitute!” The best of them said: “Did I not say to you: ‘Why do you not glorify Allah?'” They said: “Glory be to our Lord! Truly we have been wrongdoers.” They turned to face each other in mutual accusation. They said: “Woe to us! We were indeed inordinate. Maybe our Lord will give us something better than it in exchange. We entreat our Lord.” Such is the punishment. And the punishment of the Hereafter is much greater, if they only knew. ( Surat al-Qalam, 68:26-33)
O you who believe! Respond to Allah and to the Messenger when He calls you to what will bring you to life! Know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart, and that you will be gathered to Him. ( Surat al-Anfal, 8:24)
People assume that they can take the best care of themselves and thus make the best decisions, set principles for themselves, and believe that their lives will be good if they adhere to these principles. But this is a great delusion, for Allah created humanity and is nearer to each person than his or her own jugular vein. A person may not know many things about himself; however, Allah encompasses everything about him, for He holds complete control over his seen and unseen features, his most inner thoughts, and his subconscious. Furthermore, a person can never know what she will face the next moment or may well forget some of her past experiences. But Allah, Who never forgets or errs, knows all that has happened — and ever will happen — in every person's life. For these very reasons, only Allah knows what is best for each person.
Indeed, Allah draws attention to this fact:
... It may be that you hate something when it is good for you, and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not know. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:216)
For this reason, a person needs to respond to Allah and comply with the “path that will bring him to life.” Allah made this path clear through the Qur'an, which He revealed to our Prophet (saas). In every verse, Allah gives a detailed account of how a person must conduct himself or herself in order to attain salvation.
The Remover of Tribulations
And with Allah's permission, they routed them. Dawud killed Goliath, and Allah gave him kingship and wisdom and taught him whatever He willed. If it were not for Allah's driving some people back by means of others, Earth would have been corrupted. But Allah shows favor to all the worlds. ( Surat al-Baqara, 2:251)
Allah, Who protects believers against all material and spiritual dangers, also grants them irrefutable power against all unbelievers, hypocrites, and idolaters. While unbelievers plan and plot, Allah moves against them. Driving their harm away, He makes the plotters suffer the consequences of their own plots.
Meanwhile, Allah divides unbelievers, makes them fight each another, and thereby causes them to lose their strength. Furthermore, He keeps those who hate Muslims apart from them and afflicts them with many disasters. The Qur'an relates this divine protection for believers, as follows:
Those who were expelled from their homes without any right, merely for saying: “Our Lord is Allah.” If Allah had not driven some people back by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, where Allah's name is mentioned much, would have been pulled down and destroyed. Allah will certainly help those who help Him… ( Surat al-Hajj, 22:40)
This aside, only Allah can repel all varieties of difficulty, disease, misgiving, Satan's promptings to evil, and many other disasters from believers. No doubt, each one of these represents Allah's overt and hidden help to humanity. He is very compassionate toward His servants, to those who take refuge in Him and seek His help and forgiveness.