NAMES OF ALLAH - Harun Yahya











The Afflictor

Am I to take as deities instead of Him those whose intercession, if the All-Merciful desires affliction for me , will not help me at all and cannot save me? (Surah Ya Sin, 36:23)

A sudden death, an unexpected disease, a crop-destroying hurricane, an earthquake leveling an entire city, fears for the future, a traffic accident, stress, loss of possessions, jealousy, ageing… Such events are sources of grief, fear, and despair for those who are unaware of the Hereafter's existence and consider this worldly life to be their real life. No one is immune to such events, any one of which may be encountered at any time and completely change one's life.

Since we know that Allah is infinitely compassionate, what is the divine purpose for such ordeals? Allah sends hardship and trouble so that a person can grow spiritually. A person who has difficulty breathing can hardly be arrogant or humiliate others. Meanwhile, one who recovers from being bed-ridden or a financial loss fully understands the value of the restored health and possessions. Through difficulty and ease, Allah makes each person better appreciate His generous blessings.

One point deserves special mention here. If the person being tested has faith and knows that the life in the Hereafter is one's real abode, he knows that every difficulty is from Allah and thus meets it with patience. Meanwhile, he seeks help only from Allah, for he knows that only Allah can remove this trouble. This way, Allah causes His servants to draw nearer to Him and raise their ranks in the Hereafter.

However, the truth is otherwise for those who have no faith in the Hereafter. Allah will display His name ad-Darr in Hell especially to these people. Yet compared to what they will go through in Hell, whatever causes grief here will remain insignificant, for all mundane pains are temporary.

In Hell, where unbelievers will roast in fire, every time their skins are burned off, Allah will give them new skins so that they can taste the punishment again and again. Their only food will be a bitter thorny bush, and their only drink will be boiling water that tears their intestines. They will face death, but will never die. Instead, they will suffer severe and eternal pain. Beaten with iron cudgels and covered with beds of fire, they will be cast into the narrowest and darkest corner of Hell, where they will only be able to groan.

Unbelievers will ask Hell's custodians to ask their Lord to let them out and lessen their punishment for just one day. While punishing them and denying them any escape, Allah will make them see the blessings and bounty being enjoyed by the believers in Paradise. In one verse, Allah commands:

If you ask them: “Who created the heavens and Earth?” they will say: “Allah.” Say: “So what do you think? If Allah desires harm for me, can those you call upon besides Allah remove His harm? Or if He desires mercy for me, can they withhold His mercy?” Say: “Allah is enough for me. All those who truly trust put their trust in Him.” (Surat az-Zumar, 39:38)


The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

And Ayyub, when he called out to his Lord: “Great harm has afflicted me, and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful. ” (Surat al-Anbiya', 21:83)

As is the case with all other beings, we also exist in a state of need. Our existence depends on many conditions: oxygen to breathe, water and nutrients for our bodies' physical functions, for example. The list is endless, for an infinite number of details are essential for maintaining each person's physical existence.

However, all people can survive without giving much thought to meeting their needs. Everything they need for their bodies and their survival has already been provided and put to use. The first example that comes to mind is breathing. Oxygen is essential for survival, but who provides the right ratio of oxygen in the atmosphere? Or, who places the system that takes in this oxygen and processes it so that it can be conveyed to each cell? None of these can be attributed to anyone, for no one has any part in forming the atmosphere or one's respiration system.

This vital need being the foremost, every detail is designed in its most perfect and feasible form. At this point, we encounter a superior wisdom that designs all details and the infinite compassion that the Owner of this wisdom—Allah, the Most Merciful—shows to us.

Allah's mercy is not limited to meeting people's physical needs. Allah created people, placed them in the most suitable place, and, in return, only asked them to serve Him. He also told people how to do this and sent down books and Prophets for this very purpose. This way, Allah made Himself known and called them to religion and moral excellence. These are obvious signs of our Lord's infinite mercy.


The First

He is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward. He has knowledge of all things. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:3)

Does the universe have a beginning? This question has occupied the minds of people for centuries. People who understand that the universe must have an owner believe that it must have a beginning. However, other people do not want to accept the Creator's existence and thus claim that the universe has no beginning. They assert that the universe has existed forever and will exist for all eternity. However, modern science proves that such an assertion is a great delusion.

Although many theses have been put forward for the universe's existence, scientific circles have reached the following consensus: In 1929, Edwin Hubble revealed that the universe is in a state of constant expansion. Following this, scientists deduced that if we reverse the concept of time, we can think of the expanding universe as a closely pressing system, like a shrinking giant star, for instance. In this case, we conclude that a universe that shrinks according to the concept of time ultimately reaches a point of oneness. That is, the universe came into existence when a single point expanded by means of a big explosion.

Given this, we can conclude that our universe has a beginning. Since such a flawless system has a beginning, it must have a designer. This means that the One Who designed the universe is the First and the Last, for He existed before everything and will continue to exist after everything else has ceased to exist. The Owner of this eternal power is Allah, for His name “The First” indicates that He existed before all living beings, planets, galaxies, the universe, and even time itself.


The Opener, The Splitter

Allah splits the seed and kernel. He brings forth the living from the dead, and produces the dead out of the living. That is Allah, so how are you deluded? He splits the sky at dawn , and appoints the night as a time of stillness and the Sun and Moon as a means of reckoning. That is what the Almighty, the All-Knowing has ordained. (Surat al-An‘am, 6:95-96)

Our planet contains many kinds of plants, each of which has seeds unique to itself. If you keep dry seeds in a room, they may remain unchanged for years. Yet once they are buried in the ground or another suitable place, they start to sprout and, one day, grow into a rose bush or a giant plane tree.

While it is amazing to see such variety coming from a “dry seed,” even more amazing is the formation of a living being. For a tree to exist, its seed has to collect the necessary materials from the soil and begin to grow. But a seed cannot determine the amount of minerals and water it needs, nor can it decide to grow into a green plant or a fruit tree.

If we claim that a seed can make such decisions, then we have to accept that the seed is “talented.” But we cannot seriously assert that any seed has such faculties. As the verses above inform us, only Allah “splits the seed and kernel.” By His will, countless trees and plants come into existence. Indeed, another verse relates that Allah creates everything:

He sends down water from the sky, from which We bring forth growth of every kind, and from that We bring forth the green shoots, and from them We bring forth close-packed seeds, and from the spathes of the date palm date clusters hanging down, and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates, both similar and dissimilar. Look at their fruits as they bear fruit and ripen. There are Signs in that for people who believe. (Surat al-An‘am, 6:99)


He Who Distinguishes (in the best way)

As for those who believe and those who are Jews, Sabaeans, Christians, Magians, and associaters, Allah will distinguish between them on the Day of Rising. Allah is witness of all things. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:17)

Some people seek mundane goals all their lives. Forgetting about the Hereafter, they strive for those goals they deem to be good. While doing this, however, they forget their real responsibility: to serve Allah. In order to please and thereby to earn the good pleasure of the deities they associate with Allah, they put forth a lot of effort and think that they benefit themselves and others.

Some people, on the other hand, devote their lives to Allah by using all of the means and blessings He grants them to earn His good pleasure. They seek to attain the straight path, please Allah, and display the moral excellence He demands from His servants.

The Qur'an states that the situation of these two people will not be the same, as follows:

The blind and seeing are not the same, nor are darkness and light, nor are cool shade and fierce heat. The living and dead are not the same. Allah makes anyone He wills hear, but you cannot make those in the grave hear. (Surah Fatir, 35:19-22)

On the Day of Judgment, Allah will distinguish between these people who adhere to differing paths and make them aware of their situation. On that Day, everyone will be fully repaid for what they did, and He will manifest His infinite justice:

On the Day of Rising, your Lord will decide between them regarding everything about which they differed. (Surat as-Sajda, 32:25)


The Creator; The Originator

“O My Lord, You have granted power to me on Earth and taught me the true meaning of events. O Originator of the heavens and Earth, You are my Friend in this world and the next. So take me as a Muslim at my death, and join me to the people who are righteous.” (Surah Yusuf, 12:101)

Earth has a special design that supports life. Its location in space and its special structure, which meets the needs of all living beings, make it clear that this planet is the product of a superior wisdom. Our planet's living beings show that an astonishing design is inherent in all of them. Gifted with an appropriate bodily structure, every living being lives in a suitable setting.

This aside, as we focus more on the details of their formation, the fact of creation appears more clearly. Each cell, the basic unit of every living being, has a perfect system and such a flawless order that it is a clear refutation of the unbelievers' claim that life somehow created itself or is the result of a series of coincidence.

All that we see around us carries traces of an intelligent and purposeful design—a design that belongs to our Creator: Allah. Our Lord's artistry is visible in any detail. Allah relates His system's inherent perfection, as follows:

He Who created the seven heavens in layers. You will not find any flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look again—do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted! (Surat al-Mulk, 67:3-4)

Say: “Am I to take anyone other than Allah as my protector, the Bringer into Being of the heavens and Earth, He Who feeds and is not fed?” Say: “I am commanded to be the first of the Muslims” and “Do not be among the idolaters.” (Surat al-An‘am, 6:14)

Their Messengers said: “Is there any doubt about Allah, the Bringer into Being of the heavens and Earth? He summons you to forgive you for your wrong actions and to defer you until a specified time.” They said: “You are nothing but human beings like ourselves who want to debar us from what our fathers worshipped; so bring us a clear authority.” (Surah Ibrahim, 14:10)


The Opener

I f only the people of the cities had had faith and fear, We would have opened up to them blessings from heaven and Earth. But they denied the truth, so We seized them for what they earned. (Surat al-A‘raf, 7:96)

As the Opener, Allah tests people with hardship. However, He does not impose an unbearable burden on anyone. When Allah sends difficulty to His sincere servants, He also opens a way out. Moreover, after each test He sends ease. Indeed, Allah cites the hardships that our Prophet (saas) encountered, as follows:

Did We not expand your breast and remove your load, which weighed down your back? Did We not raise your renown high? For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease. (Surat al-Inshirah, 94:1-6)

Allah gives many examples of the help He offers to believers. For example, He supported Prophet Musa (as) during his troubles and eased his way. When he asked Allah to let his brother Harun (as) accompany him on his mission to Pharaoh, Allah granted his request.

This is only one example of Allah's continuous support and help for believers. He eventually removes their hardships, even those that seem impossible to overcome. Yet, He makes the unbelievers' hearts narrow and constricted and withholds His blessings from them. No power can restore these blessings, for only Allah can grant them.

This aside, Allah opens the gates of torment for unbelievers, as follows:

... nor will they humble themselves until We open to them a gate to a harsh punishment in which they will at once be crushed by despair. (Surat al-Mu'minun, 23:76-77)


The Forgiving

"I [Nuh] said: 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Truly He is Endlessly Forgiving .'” (Surah Nuh, 71:10)

Allah's forgiveness is infinite. He gives all of His servants countless opportunities to repent and thereby purify themselves. People can save themselves from the punishment of Hell by repenting for what they did in ignorance. If they turn sincerely to the Qur'an and scrupulously adhere to Allah's commands, they will find our Lord ever forgiving and most merciful, as stated below:

Why should Allah punish you if you are thankful and have faith?... (Surat an-Nisa', 4:147)

In fact, even ungrateful people who are ignorant of religion may enjoy many blessings because of His forgiveness and compassion, for:

If Allah were to take mankind to task for what they have earned, He would not leave a single creature crawling on it; but He defers them until a specified time. Then, when their time comes, Allah sees His servants! (Surah Fatir, 35:45)

Allah grants enough time for anyone who is willing to receive admonition. He sends Messengers who warn and inform them about what is allowed and what is prohibited. Those who insist on denial, despite His revelations, will surely be repaid.

... I am Ever-Forgiving to anyone who repents, has faith, acts rightly, and then is guided. (Surah Ta Ha, 20:82)

But to those who do evil in ignorance and then, after that, repent and put things right, to them your Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nahl, 16:119)

O you who believe! Have fear of Allah and faith in His Messenger. He will give you a double portion of His mercy, grant you a Light by which to walk, and forgive you. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:28)


The Self-Sufficient, The Rich Beyond Need

O mankind! You are the poor ones in need of Allah, whereas Allah is the Rich Beyond Need , the Praiseworthy. (Surah Fatir, 35:15)

Throughout history, insolent and arrogant people have displayed one common characteristic: their power and wealth. These people grew arrogant toward Allah, due to the blessings He granted to them, and turned their faces away from Him. Forgetting that Allah is the real owner of everything, they attempted to claim ownership over what He granted them out of His great kindness. They grew rebellious, directed pressure and violence against believers, and met His Messengers with great hostility. Ultimately, Allah seized them with an unbearable torment. For example, He caused some of them to be swallowed up by an earthquake and showed others that He is Rich Beyond Need. In one verse, Allah relates the situation of such nations, as follows:

That is because their Messengers brought them the Clear Signs, but they said: “Are human beings going to guide us?” So they were unbelievers and turned away. But Allah is completely independent of them. Allah is Rich Beyond Need, Praiseworthy. (Surat at-Taghabun, 64:6)

These arrogant and unbelieving people fail to remember or grasp that only Allah, the sole Owner, actually owns all that exists. Allah informs us of this fact, as follows:

Whatever is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Allah. We have instructed those given the Book before you, and you yourselves, to have fear [and awareness] of Allah. But if you are unbelievers, what is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Allah. Allah is Rich Beyond Need, Praiseworthy. (Surat an-Nisa', 4:131)

The Qur'an informs us that these people, because they were well-off, had grown arrogant and thus had turned away from worshipping Allah and adhering to His Messengers. Prophet Musa (as) responded to them in the following manner:

Musa said: “If you were to be ungrateful, you and everyone on Earth, Allah is Rich Beyond Need, Praiseworthy.” (Surah Ibrahim, 14:8)

As Allah informs us in many other verses, He is the real Owner of power and wealth. He is Rich Beyond Need of any being, but everything and everyone is in need of Him, as the Qur'an reveals below:

Have they not traveled in the land and seen the final fate of those before them? They were far greater than them in strength. Allah cannot be withstood in any way, either in the heavens or on Earth. He is All-Knowing, All-Powerful. (Surah Fatir, 35:44)


The All-Aware

O you who believe! Have fear [and awareness] of Allah, and let each self look to what it has sent forward for tomorrow. Have fear [and awareness] of Allah. Allah is aware of what you do. ( Surat al-Hashr, 59:18)

Humanity, bounded by time and space, can be aware of only what is visible. Our inability to step outside of these boundaries is one of our greatest weaknesses.

Allah, Who created humanity as well as space and time, is not bound by these concepts. Allah, Who is exalted above anything, naturally is aware of all that takes place in the universe, regardless of time or location. He knows how many stars are in a galaxy located millions of light years away, each celestial body's orbit as well as the information hidden inside a seed lying underground.

Allah also knows everything about people's lives: their actions, where they were born and where they will die, and for what purpose they strove. He even knows such small details as when they cried or laughed, as well as their most secret thoughts, for He created them. The Qur'an states:

Those who are tight-fisted with the bounty Allah has given them should not suppose that that is better for them. No indeed, it is worse for them! What they were tight-fisted with will be hung around their necks on the Day of Rising. Allah is the inheritor of the heavens and Earth, and is aware of what you do. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:180)

Eyesight cannot perceive Him, but He perceives eyesight. He is the All-Penetrating, the All-Aware. (Surat al-An‘am, 6:103)

Put your trust in the Living, Who does not die, and glorify Him with praise. He is well aware of the wrong actions of His servants. (Surat al-Furqan, 25:58)

Truly Allah has knowledge of the Hour, sends down abundant rain, and knows what is in the womb. And no self knows what it will earn tomorrow or in which land it will die. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surah Luqman, 31:34)


The Guide

And so that those who have been given knowledge will know it is the truth from their Lord and have faith in it, and their hearts will be humbled to Him. Allah guides those who believe to a straight path. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:54)

There are two kinds of people: those who know and so can appreciate Allah's power, and those who do not. The latter lead an ordinary life and die. Throughout their lives, they are reluctant to wonder why they exist or who created them, whether they have any responsibilities toward Him, or the infinite power of our Lord, Who created the entire universe, including them, from nothing. Instead, they busy themselves with such mundane issues as their education, how to get promoted at work, or their children's future. Of course such matters deserve some attention, but it is a great mistake to make them the goal of one's life. Such minor issues hinder people from seeing the countless miracles surrounding them. Furthermore, even if they can see these miracles, they shy away from pondering over them.

Those who feel the urge to get acquainted with the signs of Allah's existence and absolute power, and then begin to appreciate them, lead a totally different life. Out of their strong conscience, they observe their surroundings with awe and acknowledge that He created whatever they see. Aware of their responsibilities toward our Lord, the All-Mighty, they do what is pleasing to Allah, live according to His rules, and, most important of all, realize that each person will be called to account in the Hereafter.

Allah guides the members of the first group. Although they have always remained a minority, their way has always been the right one. Allah relates the difference between these two groups, as follows:

Those who believe in what has been sent down to you, what was sent down before you, and are certain about the Hereafter. They are the people guided by their Lord. They are the ones who have success. As for those who are unbelievers, it makes no difference to them whether you warn them or do not warn them, [for] they will not believe. Allah has sealed up their hearts and hearing, and over their eyes is a blindfold. They will meet with a terrible punishment. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:4-7)

No doubt, being one of these people is a great blessing granted by Allah, for unless otherwise willed by Him, no one can guide anyone else to the truth and the righteous path:

You cannot guide those you would like to, but Allah guides those He wills. He has best knowledge of the guided. (Surat al-Qasas, 28:56)


The Abaser

Abasing [one party], exalting [the other] (Surat al-Waqi‘a, 56:3)

Everyone can see, think, and draw conclusions from what they think. For instance, our body's flawless functioning indicates an intricate design. Considering the wisdom inherent in this design's details will make one realize that someone must have planned, designed, and created all of these intricacies.

This process holds true for those who use their faculties. However, other people pay no heed whatsoever to the incidents they encounter. Unfortunately, this second group represents the majority. As we said earlier, they are born, grow up, lead an ordinary life, and then die. However, Allah praises those who think and learn, and humiliates those who do not. As the Qur'an states:

Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and Earth: “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire. Our Lord, those You cast into the Fire You have indeed disgraced. The wrongdoers will have no helpers.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:191-192)

Allah exalts those people who think and take heed. True servants of Allah, they are distinguished from all others. Those who do not think and do not use the faculties with which Allah has blessed them, on the other hand, lead a simple life like that of the animals, for they seek only to meet their physical needs. Allah debases such people, for they choose this animal-like life by refusing to exercise their conscience and think. The Qur'an describes them in the following terms:

The likeness of those who are unbelievers is that of someone who yells out to something that cannot hear—it is nothing but a cry and a call. Deaf, dumb, and blind. They do not use their intellect. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:171)


The Guardian; The Preserver

"If you turn your backs, I have transmitted to you what I was sent to you with; my Lord will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Him at all. My Lord is the Preserver of everything. " (Surah Hud, 11:57)

Today, all of our scientific data indicates that the universe was brought into existence from nonexistence. Those atoms that existed when the universe first came into existence, and those that make up every living and non-living being today, are the very same atoms. Science further verifies that the number of atoms in existence has never changed. Those atoms, which spread at a tremendous speed throughout the universe after it came into existence, today make up stars, Earth, the air, water on Earth's surface and even in your body. The fact that they accomplish this with such a superior order reveals the existence of the Power that controls each atom, for the existence of this order necessitates the existence of the Power that establishes it.

At this point, we come across one fact: Allah, Who created matter from non-existence and established a flawless order, surely knows about each stage of this process, for even a single second of such an intricate and complex system could not have formed randomly. This fact reveals His infinite power. Moreover, He continues to observe and protect this order. The verse, “Your Lord is always watching” (Surah al-Fajr, 89:14) reveals Allah's everlasting protection of the universe:

We know exactly how the earth eats them away. We possess an all-preserving Book. (Surat al-Qaf, 50:4)

He had no authority over them, except to enable Us to know those who believe in the Hereafter from those who are in doubt about it. Your Lord is the Preserver of all things. (Surah Saba, 34:21)

As for those who take others besides Him as protectors, Allah takes care of them. You are not set over them as a guardian. (Surat ash-Shura, 42:6)

The Prophet (saas) said:

“Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you.” (Hadith at-Tirmidhi)


The Judge

“ Am I to desire someone other than Allah as a judge , when it is He Who has sent down the Book to you clarifying everything?” Those We have given the Book know it has been sent down from your Lord with truth, so on no account be among the doubters. (Surat al-An‘am, 6:114)

Allah created all people and placed them on Earth, a place of trial set up to distinguish the good people from the evil ones. He sent Messengers with books that would enable the people to distinguish right from wrong. Throughout history, all Messengers warned their peoples and summoned them to the straight path. But over time, people distorted these books by replacing parts of the divine messages with personal judgments designed to protect their own interests. Despite this, Allah sent down an incorruptible Qur'an as a “guide” to them: “We have sent down the Reminder and will preserve it” (Surat al-Hijr, 15:9).

The Qur'an is the sole reference for arriving at the truth, for only It is unique and contains all of His commands. Those who embrace this Book and strive to fulfill its commands have found the true path. Those who judge according to Allah's commands and fulfill His demands will be rewarded in the Hereafter.


The All-Wise

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)

As we mentioned earlier, everything around us contains obvious signs of creation. Galaxies proceed toward a certain direction, Earth follows a particular orbit, living organisms contain intricate systems discovered only recently, and events occur in perfect order in the micro-universe, which is invisible to the naked eye... As science proceeds, the cumulative information reveals ever more clearly the delicacy inherent in the universe's design.

Modern science has unearthed the following fact: All events that have occurred since the universe's creation have developed according to a particular plan. The end result is Earth and all of its inhabitants. Given this, all of us have the responsibility to recognize that we are surrounded with the most suitable conditions and to grasp the divine wisdom behind the universe's formation.

Living amidst such blessings, we need to remember that everything is created for a certain purpose. After all, we are living on a planet designed to meet all of our needs perfectly. Just thinking about this fact is enough to realize that everything has been created with wisdom. As the Qur'an states:

... “Glory be to You! We have no knowledge except what You have taught us. You are the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.” (Surat al-Baqara, 2:32)

The men and women of the believers are friends of one another. They command what is right and forbid what is wrong, establish prayer and pay alms, and obey Allah and His Messenger. They are the people upon whom Allah will have mercy. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat at-Tawba, 9:71)

Your Lord will gather them. He is All-Wise, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Hijr, 15:25)


The Truth, The Real

That is because Allah— He is the Truth , and what you call upon besides Him is falsehood. Allah is the All-High, the Most Great. (Surah Luqman, 31:30)

As is the case with all living and non-living beings, space and time are also created concepts. In a moment when space and time were non-existent, the universe was suddenly created from non-existence, and from within this universe emerged the concepts of space and time. Indeed, as we go back in time, we encounter a limit that we can never cross: the moment the universe was created. Modern science has determined this limit to be 10-43 seconds after the moment the universe was created. Before this, space and time could not be defined.

At this point, we encounter a dimension in which space and time did not exist. As these two concepts that limit humanity were “created” at a certain time, spacelessness and timelessness existed before this “creation.” The One Who created these concepts is Allah, Who is utterly exalted above them and, consequently, Everlasting. This fact never changes, for only He has genuine existence. Outside His existence, everything is mortal and doomed to perish. As the Qur'an informs us, the only Truth is Him:

High exalted be Allah, the King, the Real! Do not rush ahead with the Qur'an before its revelation to you is complete, and say: “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (Surah Ta Ha, 20:114)

That is because Allah is the Real, gives life to the dead, and has power over all things. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:6)

In that situation the only protection is from Allah, the Real. He gives the best reward and the best outcome. (Surat al-Kahf, 18:44)

The Prophet (saas) used to glorify our Lord, saying:

“You are the Truth, Your saying is the Truth, Your promise is the Truth, and the meeting with You is the Truth, and Paradise is the Truth, and the (Hell) Fire is the Truth." (Sahih Bukhari)


The Creator

Allah created every animal from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of them on two legs, and some on four. Allah creates whatever He wills . Allah has power over all things. (Surat an-Nur, 24:45)

Bees accomplish their tasks perfectly. Worker bees construct the hive, ventilate it, and maintain a constant temperature in it. They also bring in the nutrients they collect from flowers. The queen bee, on the other hand, remains in the hive and ensures the community's continuity. The gnat larva changes its skin four times before it fully completes its development. Toward the end of the pupa period, the pupa cocoon, which is covered with a special viscous liquid that protects the gnat's head from contact with water, is torn at the top and the adult gnat climbs onto the water with only its feet touching it.

Bees and gnats are only two types of living beings on this planet. Yet, as is the case with all other living beings, Allah determines when they will be born, live, and die. From the time they are born, they live as Allah considers proper for them and commands them to live. Never do they transgress the boundaries of their assigned duties. This holds true for lizards that survive in deserts where the temperature reaches 50° Celsius (122° Fahrenheit), as well as for penguins living in polar regions where the temperature can drop far below -50° Celsius (-58° Fahrenheit) or sponges whose habitat is thousands of meters below the ocean's surface. The earlier ones also lived in the same way and the latter ones will continue to do so, for Allah determines a way of life for each living being. Therefore, no living being can determine how it will live, for this determination lies only with Allah, to Whom they all submit.

Humanity is a tiny part of life, a being Allah created from a drop of water and granted a way of life. Thus, only He can determine when a person will be born or die, control the aging process, or will one to be immune or susceptible to any weakness or disease. The unprecedented nature of His power and His control over everything is related in the Qur'an, as follows:

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)

Say: “Who is the Lord of the heavens and Earth?” Say: “Allah.” Say: “So why have you taken protectors apart from Him who possess no power to help or harm themselves?” Say: “Are the blind and the seeing equal? Or are darkness and light the same? Or have they assigned partners to Allah, Who creates as He creates, so that all creating seems the same to them?” Say: “Allah is the Creator of everything. He is the One, the All-Conquering.” (Surat ar-Ra‘d, 13:16)

They will ask their skins: “Why did you testify against us?” and they will reply: “Allah gave us speech, as He has given speech to everything. He created you in the first place, and you will be returned to Him.” (Surah Fussilat, 41:21)


The All-Clement, The Lenient

Those of you who turned their backs on the day the two armies clashed—it was Satan who made them slip for what they had done. But Allah has pardoned them. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Lenient . (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:155)

The Qur'an, which Allah revealed from His Sight to humanity, is the last Just Book. It still exists in its pure and uncorrupted state, for He has promised to preserve it, and He always keeps His promises. In this Book, Allah explains how to serve Him, what is allowed and what is prohibited, gives the good news that those who devote their lives to Him and strive to earn His good pleasure will enter Paradise and remain therein forever, and that those who turn their backs upon Him will enter Hell and be punished for all eternity.

Yet despite these facts, the majority of people disregard the Qur'an, and some of them never pick it up at all. Ignoring Allah's verses, they indulge in this world's pleasures and never worry about having to account for themselves after death or their next life. Ignoring the limits that He has set, they do not display the moral excellence Allah expects from them, share their possessions with others, or help them when they are in need. Furthermore, when they are called to have faith in Allah, they claim to know what they are doing. Very few of them have a genuine faith in Allah and meticulously comply with His commands.

Some reflection upon these facts can help us comprehend Allah's infinite compassion and mercy. Although unbelievers intentionally turn their faces away from the just religion and transgress the limits set by Allah, He does not punish them right away. Rather, He grants them various blessings and allows them to live in abundance. Moreover, He gives them time so that they may see the truth and return to the straight path. Islam is easy to practice, another expression of Allah's infinite mercy. In addition, He does not hold people responsible for their forgetfulness or their mistakes, and does not impose any responsibility upon the blind, the lame, and the sick. He relieves people's burdens by instructing them about patience and trust in Him. All of these examples are enough to grasp Allah's infinite mercy and compassion and the unbelievers' ungratefulness.

We need to keep another point in mind as well: Allah is infinitely just and, both in this world and the next, He will recompense people according to the best of what they did. This attribute is related in several verses, as follows:

Allah will not take you to task for inadvertent statements in your oaths, but He will take you to task for the intention your hearts have made. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Lenient. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:225)

The seven heavens and Earth and everyone in them glorify Him. There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise, but you do not understand their glorification. He is Lenient, Ever-Forgiving. (Surat al-Isra', 17:44)

Allah keeps a firm hold on the heavens and Earth, preventing them from vanishing. And if they vanished, no one could then keep hold of them. Certainly He is Lenient, Ever-Forgiving. (Surah Fatir, 35:41)


The Praiseworthy

He sends down abundant rain, after they have lost all hope, and unfolds His mercy. He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy . (Surat ash-Shura, 42:28)

All plants and animals live and glorify Allah wherever He has placed them. A fish in the ocean or a cactus in the desert lead their lives with great submission, according to what Allah has determined for them, and their maintenance of His order indicates this glorification. Everything in the heavens and Earth, oceans consisting of tons of water, mountains rising thousands of meters, clouds drifting in the sky, and thunderstorms also glorify Allah and indicate His infinite knowledge and power. Yet those who do not believe fail to grasp this glorification, as stated below:

The seven heavens and Earth and everyone in them glorify Him. There is nothing that does not glorify Him with praise, but you do not understand their glorification. He is Lenient, Ever-Forgiving. (Surat al-Isra', 17:44)

On the other hand, believers grasp our Lord's greatness, glorify Him, and thank Him for the blessings He grants, for they know that He expects them to be thankful servants. Allah commands thus:

What is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Allah. We have instructed those given the Book before you, and you yourselves to have fear [and awareness] of Allah. But if you do not believe, what is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Allah. Allah is Rich Beyond Need, Praiseworthy. (Surat an-Nisa', 4:131)

Musa said: “If you were to be ungrateful, you and everyone on Earth, Allah is Rich Beyond Need, Praiseworthy.” (Surah Ibrahim, 14:8)

Those who have been given knowledge see that what has been sent down to you from your Lord is the truth and that it guides to the Path of the Almighty, the Praiseworthy. (Surah Saba, 34:6)


The Reckoner

Those who conveyed Allah's Message and had fear [and awareness] of Him, fearing no one except Allah. Allah suffices as a Reckoner . (Surat al-Ahzab, 33:39)

Allah creates us and forms each one of us in our mother's womb with such great care that all of us are unique beings. While we are unconscious and still gestating, Allah protects and feeds us. Those nine months spent in the mother's womb is utterly a dark period, for no one knows all of the miraculous events that occur during that time. Only Allah knows these events, for He knows each person from the moment he or she was a single cell until the moment of his or her death.

Allah witnesses and remembers each person's deeds and thoughts, for He controls both the inner thoughts and the outer deeds. In brief, He controls everyone's spirit.

People forget their acts and words, and their experiences become dim memories. For example, something that happened a decade ago often seems meaningless. It is as if a major part of our past experiences have been deleted. But on the Day of Judgment, Allah will cause us to confront all of our good and evil deeds. Thus, we need to remember that He is with us all the time. Allah informs us about His name the Reckoner in the following verses:

Then they are turned to Allah, their Master, the Real. Jurisdiction belongs to Him alone and He is the Swiftest of Reckoners. (Surat al-An'am, 6:62)

Keep a close check on orphans until they reach a marriageable age. Then, if you perceive that they have sound judgment, hand over their property to them. Do not consume it extravagantly and precipitately before they come of age. Those who are wealthy should abstain from it altogether. Those who are poor should use it sensibly and correctly. When you hand over their property to them, ensure that there are witnesses on their behalf. Allah suffices as a Reckoner. (Surat an-Nisa', 4:6)


The Living

He is the Living —there is no deity but Him—so call upon Him, making your religion sincerely His. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. (Surah Ghafir, 40:65)

Being weak, what we can actually do is very limited. After we are born, we spend 5-10 years developing our intelligence through education and need constant care. Later on, we spend a great deal of time meeting our bodily needs (e.g., sleeping, and working to acquire food, clothing, and a place to live) and keeping ourselves clean and fresh.

Almost one-quarter of our life is spent in sleep. No matter how much we resist the need to sleep and use that time to engage in other activities, we cannot endure sleep deprivation for more than a few days. Indeed, such a lack of sleep affects our nervous systems by leaving us drowsy and unable to concentrate, and leads to poor memory and physical performance. If sleep deprivation continues, mood swings may develop.

All creatures have a fragile nature. Allah, the Creator of all beings, is al-Hayy (The Living). He controls everything at every moment, knows everything, and has power over all things. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep, and is exalted above all forms of weakness. He gives various weaknesses to His servants, and commands them to recognize these weaknesses, serve Him, and ask Him for everything. Given these inherent weaknesses, we turn to our Lord, aware that we cannot live for another second unless He wills it. Several verses inform us about this attribute, as follows:

Allah, there is no deity but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:2)

Put your trust in the Living, Who does not die, and glorify Him with praise. He is well aware of the wrong actions of His servants. (Surat al-Furqan, 25:58)

Faces will be humbled to the Living, the All-Sustaining, and anyone weighed down with wrongdoing will have failed. (Surah Ta Ha, 20:111)