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Fatwas / Aqeedah / Five questions concerning Allah’s Names and Attributes

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1. Is Allah to be described with “beauty” and called by it?

2. Is Allah to be described with “ma`rifah” (knowledge) based on the hadith, “Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will recognize (remember) you in times of adversity.”

3. Is it permissible to use the phrase, “May Allah be friendly to you”? And is the attribute of “friendliness” affirmed for Allah?

4. Is it permissible to use the phrase, “May Allah shelter your child”?

5. Is Allah to be called “the Truth”?

خمسة أسئلة في الأسماء والصفات


Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.

As to what follows:

1. Yes, Allah Almighty is correctly described with beauty, as has been narrated from Ibrahim al-Nakha`i, from `Alqamah, from Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.” [Muslim (91)]

It is also from among His most beautiful names. It has been mentioned in the hadith that consists of the mention of Allah’s most beautiful names, which is a hadith that the scholars have agreed is not authentically attributed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), [but may be attributed to some of the companions]. Ibn al-Qayyim has also counted it among the names of Allah, as mentioned in his Nuniyyah [poem].

2. A group of scholars have made a distinction between `ilm and ma`rifah (knowledge); ma`rifah meaning comprehending something by thinking and contemplating, as opposed to `ilm. Thus, ma`rifah is `ilm that is deficient. Others have said that ma`rifah is `ilm that is preceded by forgetfulness or ignorance. That is why Allah is not to be attributed with it; this is what they have said. Yet others have said that ma`rifah is synonymous with `ilm. So it is permissible to describe Allah with ma`rifah. They cited as evidence what has been narrated from various chains from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will recognize (remember) you in times of adversity.” [Ahmad]

3. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “May Allah be friendly to you,” because this is a du`a for Allah to give him a friendly atmosphere, tranquility and high spirits. So it is like everything else that a person asks his Lord to do of good for himself or others. As for describing Allah with friendliness, I have not come across it [in the texts of the Qur’an and Sunnah]. However, it comes under His general actions, for He is the Doer of whatever He wishes; and an action is a kind of attribute of the one who performs it. And Allah knows best.

4. There’s nothing wrong with that, because it is a du`a for protection and shelter from evil, as has preceded in the previous question.

5. Yes, “the Truth” is from among Allah Almighty’s names. Its mention has been made in many different places of His Book, among which is Allah Almighty’s statement:

 “Then they [His slaves] are returned to Allah, their True Lord.” [Al-An`am 6:62]

And His statement:

 “For that is Allah, your Lord, the Truth. And what can be beyond truth except error? So how are you averted?” [Yunus 10:32]

And His statement:

 “So high [above all] is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth.” [Taha 20:114]

And His statement:

 “That is because Allah is the Truth.” [Al-Hajj 22:6]

And His statement:

 “And they will know that Allah, He is the Manifest Truth.” [Al-Nur 24:25]

And other similar statements. And Allah knows best.

Your brother,

Khalid bin `Abdullah al-Muslih

19 / 6 / 1425 AH

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