The Importance of Tawhīd al-Asmā’ Was-Sifāt

1. This Tawhīd Represents Half of Īmān in Allāh

The Muslim is not oblivious of the importance of Īmān in Allāh, as it is the first

article of Īman, in fact, it is the greatest of them all, for the others merely follow on

from it and are its offspring.

This particular article is the single most matter for which creation was created, the

Messengers were sent, books were revealed, and upon which the correct path was


Īmān in Allāh is the foundation of every good, the source of all guidance, and the

reason for every success. Since man is a creation and is subject to Allāh’s Lordship,

he reverts back to his Creator and Maker in his knowledge and action. So, by Him he

is guided, for Him he acts, and to Him he will return. Man cannot do without Him

and averting to other than Him is the cornerstone of his destruction and ruin.

Man has Allāh as a substitute for everything whereas nothing or no one can dispense

of Allāh [1]. So the slave cannot attain any goodness or success except through

knowing his Lord and worshipping Him. If this occurs, then this is the intended

objective for him and the reason for his existence. Anything else besides this is of

extra benefit or superfluous, having no benefit, or is a harmful remnant.

The essential prerequisite for happiness, safety and success is obtained by

actualizing the two categories of Tawhīd that Īman in Allāh is built upon. For the

purpose of fulfilling this, Allāh sent His Messenger, and to it the earlier Messengers

called, the very first of them to the very last.

One of the two categories is Tawhīd al-‘Ilmī al-Khabarī al-‘I’tiqādī [2] , which

compromises affirming Attributes of perfection for Allāh and declaring Him to be

free of any similarity or likeness and elevating Him above descriptions of


The second category of Tawhīd [3]is to worship Him alone, without any partner; to

have absolute love, sincerity, fear, hope, and reliance in Him; to be pleased with Him

as Lord, Deity, and Patron, and not to set up any partners alongside Him in


Allāh has incorporated these two categories in the two Sūrahs of purity:

They are the Sūrah “ Kul Yā Ayuhā Al-Kāfirūn” which contains at-Tawhīd al-‘Amalī

al-‘Irādī, and the Sūrah “Kul Huwā Allāhu Ahad” which contains at-Tawhīd al-Ilmī


So, the Sūrah “ Kul Hūwa Allāhu Ahad” entails an explanation of what Allāh

possesses of Attributes of perfection and an explanation of His elevation over and

above any imperfections and similitude, whilst the Sūrah “Kul Yā Ayuhā Al-

Kāfirūn” entails the obligation of worshipping Him alone, without any partner, and

the renouncement of worshipping anything besides Him.

Neither of the two categories is complete without the other. For this reason, the

Prophet used to recite these two Sūrahs in the Sunnah prayers of Fajr, Maghrib, and

Witr [4], which commence work-time and conclude work-time, so that the beginning

of the day starts with Tawhīd and the end of the day closes with Tawhīd [5].

In summary, with regard to the Tawhīd that is demanded from the servant, half of it

is represented in Tawhīd al-Asmā’ was-Sifāt.

2. Tawhīd al-Asmā was-Sifāt is, Without Exception, the Most Noble and

Most Important Branch of Knowledge

Indeed, the excellence of a particular branch of knowledge is dependent upon the

excellence of that particular known thing itself, because of the assurance one has in

the evidences and proofs for its existence, the intense need one has for knowing it,

and the tremendous benefit it returns.

Without doubt, the Most Exalted, Most Magnificent and Greatest known entity is

Allāh, Whom none has the right to be worshipped but He, Lord of the Worlds, the

Self-Sufficient and Sustainer of the Heavens and Earths; the King; the Reality; al-

Mubīn [6]; the One described with all perfection; elevated above every defect;

deficiency and like, and above any similitude to His Perfection.

There is no doubt therefore, that knowledge of Allāh, His Names, Attributes, and

Actions is the most exalted and most excellent branch of knowledge. The

comparison of this branch of knowledge to all the other branches is like the

comparison of Allāh to all other entities.[7]

If it is questioned, “Knowledge is merely the means to action, and knowledge is

acquired for it: action is the objective. Moreover, it is of common fact that the

objective possesses a greater excellence than the means. So how is it that you prefer

the means over its goals?”

It is replied: “Both knowledge and action have two parts: a part that is the means

and a part that is the objective.”

So knowledge is not always the means and is not always indirectly sought after.

Knowledge of Allāh, His Names and Attributes is without exception the most

excellent of all types of knowledge, and it is sought after in itself. Allāh Ta’ālā says:


It is Allāh Who has created seven Heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e.

seven). His commands descend between them, so that you may know that Allāh

has power over all things and that Allāh completely comprehends all things with

His knowledge. [8]

Allāh Subhānahu informs that He created the Heavens and earth and brings down

commands between them so that His slaves may know that He is well-aware of

everything and that He is over all things Ominpotent. So having knowledge of this is

the desired objective. Allāh Ta’ālā also says:

So know that none has the right to be worshipped except Allāh… [9]

The knowledge therefore of His Oneness and that none has the right to be

worshipped except He, is sought for in itself, even though the person cannot suffice

with this by itself. Rather, he must add to this worship of Allāh alone, without any

partner. So they are two distinct matters which are sought after in themselves.

The first matter: to know the Lord by His Names, Attributes, Actions, and Laws.

The second matter: to worship Him in accordance and on the basis of this


So just as worship of Him is demanded and directly intended in itself, then likewise,

knowledge of Him is also demanded and directly intended in itself.

In fact, (acquiring) knowledge is from amongst the best acts of worship. [10]

3. Tawhīd Al-Asmā Was-Sifāt is the Origin of All Religious Knowledge


Just as knowledge of the Names, Attributes and Actions of Allāh is the most exalted,

noblest and greatest of knowledge, it is also the origin of all knowledge. All other

branches of knowledge are its subsidiaries and are dependent on it for their very

own verification. Knowledge of Him is therefore the origin and basis of every other

type of knowledge. So, whoever knows Allāh will be able to know other than Allāh,

and whoever is ignorant of His Lord, then he in fact possesses greater ignorance of

everything else besides Allāh. Allāh says:

And be not like those who forgot Allāh and He caused them to forget their own

selves. They are the transgressors [12]

Contemplate this Āyah, you will find within it a mighty and illustrious meaning:

“Whosoever forgets his Lord, He will cause him to forget his very own self and

soul.” He will not know his own reality or what constitutes his welfare. In fact, he

will forget what constitutes his own prosperity in this life and the next. This is

because he has departed from the original disposition he was created upon. He

forgot his Lord, so Allāh caused him to forget his own self, its qualities, and what

leads to its fulfillment, purification, and happiness in this life and the next. Allāh


…and do not obey the one whose heart We have made heedless of Our

remembrance, who follows his own desires and whose affair (i.e. deeds) has been

lost [13]

He did not give any remembrance to remembering His Lord and so his affair and

heart went into disarray. As a result, no regard is now paid to the welfare, growth,

or purification of his self and heart. Instead, he has sundered his heart and caused its

downfall. He exceeded all bounds, is confused, and is unable to find the right way.

Thus, knowledge of Allāh is the origin of all knowledge, and it is the basis of the

servant’s knowledge towards his happiness, perfection and betterment in this life

and the next. Ignorance of Allāh necessitates ignorance of one’s self and of what

constitutes its betterment, perfection, purification and success.

So, knowledge of Him proposes happiness for the servant, and ignorance of Him lies

at the heart of his misery. [14]

4. Knowledge of Allāh’s Names and Attributes is a Great and Important

tenet within the Methodology of the Salaf

Knowledge of Allāh’s Names and Attributes is the foundation upon which the servant’s

actions are built. On the strength of this foundation the relationship that binds the servant to

his Lord is determined, and in view of this foundation the Muslim worships his Lord and

seeks to attain nearness to Him.

For this reason, the basis for the knowledge and action of the Salaf was:

1. Knowledge of Allāh

2. Action directed solely to Allāh

With this, they combined both belief based on knowledge and action based on love.

Furthermore, their belief, actions and love were based upon knowledge; so they were free of

the harmful elements found amongst the deviant Mutakallimah (scholastics) and Sūfīs.

With respect to the scholastics, the majority of their study and statements center on issues of

affirmation, negation, existence, non-existence and on issues pertaining to belief. Their area

of discussion therefore, concentrated on belief, knowledge and information.

Whereas the Sūfīs, their main concern centered on love, hate, intentions, dislikes and

physical actions. There are of discussion therefore, concentrated on love, submission, action

and intentions.

Both of these two deviant groups have within them two corrupted elements:

The first:

The presence of speech that is not based on knowledge with respect to the scholastic, and the

presence of action that is not based on knowledge with respect to the Sūfī.

This is a direct reference to the innovated speech and action that occurred from them, which

lie in contradiction to the Book and Sunnah.

The second:

The neglect of deeds by the scholastic and the neglect of speech by the Sūfī. [15]

As for the Salaf and their followers, they fulfilled both matters:

The speech concerning creed that is based upon the knowledge of Allāh’s Names, Attributes

and Actions that are recorded in the Book and Sunnah, and the intention-based actions that

emanate from abiding to commands and refraining from prohibitions in accordance with

Allāh’s legislations in His Book and upon the tongue of His Messenger.

Accordingly, their external and internal speech and actions were based upon knowledge

and each of their knowledge and action were linked to the other; they are indeed the true

Muslims. [16]

So, the Salaf and their followers made Tawhīd al-Asmā’ was-Sifāt one of the two pillars on

which they built their methodology.

This is directly due to the importance and status this category of Tawhīd holds, which is

attested to by numerous texts of the Sharī’ah.

5. Knowledge of the Names and Attributes of Allāh Opens the Door for

the Servant to Knowing Allāh

The question of possessing love for something is primarily dependent upon firstly

being acquainted with that thing. The most knowledgeable of Allāh amongst

creation will therefore have the strongest love for Him. Everyone who knows Allāh

loves Him, but here is no route to acquiring this knowledge except through the

doorway of knowledge of Allāh’s Names and Attributes.

The servant therefore, will only be able to attain knowledge of Allāh by acquainging

himself with the Names and Attributes of Allāh recorded in the Qur’ān and Sunnah.

Consequently, knowledge of Allāh’s Names and Attributes will open this mighty

door for the servant, as Allāh did not designate the way to knowing Him through

seeing Him directly. This doorway is blocked until the Day of Judgment just as we

have been informed by our Prophet Muhammad when he said, “Know that none of

you will see his Lord until he dies.” [17]

Furthermore, it is impossible for the human intellect to independently attain and

comprehend this knowledge in a detailed manner. [18] It is incapable of achieving

this because Allāh is from the Unseen about which there is no way of acquiring any

knowledge except by way of revelation. Allāh says:

…You have not been given of knowledge except a little [19]

This Āyah clearly shows the limitations of man’s knowledge.

The Mercy of the Mighty and Wise necessitated that He send Messengers who

would inform the people about Himself and call them to Him. He made the

knowledge of Himself by way of His Names, Attributes and Actions the key to their

Da’wah and the essence of their message.

The basis of the Da’wah of the Messengers and the first tenet contained within it is

knowledge of Allāh by His Names, Attributes and Actions. Two great tenets then

follow on from this:

1. To acquaint the people with the way that leads to Allāh (i.e. His Sharī’ah that

embodies His commands and prohibitions)

2. To inform the people of what awaits them in the Hereafter

These two tenets follow on from the first and are based upon it.

So the most knowledgeable of Allāh will be the one who follows best the way which

leads to Him and he will also be the most knowledgeable concerning the conditions

of the people when they return to Him.

6. The Basis of Sound Knowledge is Īmān in Allāh and in His Names

and Attributes

Correct Īmān, pure Tawhīd and all the dictates contained within the message (of

Islām) stand upon the foundation of sound and correct knowledge of Allāh, His

Names and Attributes.

This category of Tawhīd is the basis of guidance and Īmān and it is the foundation

upon which the Religion stands.

This is why it is not conceivable for correct Īmān to be held by one who does not

know His Lord. This knowledge is a must for the basis of Īmān to settle in the heart.

It is of extreme importance to the believer because of his dire need for it, for the

benefit of the well being of his heart, the goodness of his belief and the uprightness

of actions.

This knowledge of Allāh’s Names, Attributes and Actions grants the servant the

ability to differentiate between Īmān and Kufr, Tawhīd and Shirk, and between

affirmation and negation.

It enables him to elevate his Lord over and above everything that does not befit Him

and to depict Him in the Glorious and Majestic manner well deserving of Him.

This is achieved by contemplating over the words of Allāh and over what He has

mad known of His Names, Attributes and Actions to His servants upon the tongues

of His Messengers, and also by contemplating over those attributes which do not

befit Him, which He has declared Himself free of and elevated Himself over.

It is appropriate here to mention that knowledge of Allāh is of two levels:

The first level: General Knowledge

This knowledge is a necessary requirement for the believing servant to possess the

basic Īmān. The degree to which this knowledge manifests is related to the level at

which the servant Is able to distinguish his Lord from all false objects of worship. By

this knowledge, Imān in its elementary stage exists, the servant escapes from the

dangers of Kufr and Shirk that would otherwise expel him from the boundaries of

Īmān [20], and he comes away from the realm of remaining ignorant of his Lord and

as to what His rights are.

This knowledge can be readily obtained by reading Sūrat Al-Ikhlās, Āyat al-Kursī

and other Āyāt, and by understanding their meanings.

This level of knowledge however, does not generate strength of Īmān, nor does it

firmly establish it.

The second level: Detailed Knowledge

This comes to light by knowing the detailed evidences found within this subject are,

learning them, believing that Allāh is depicted with such, understanding their

meanings and acting in light of their instructions and rulings.

This is the level of knowledge that causes Īmān to increase and to ground itself


The more the servant knows of Allāh, the more his Īmān increases, and the greater

will be his fear, love and attachment to his Lord.

It is only those of His slaves who have knowledge that fear Allāh [21]

This knowledge also imparts to the servant light and insight, which will protect him

from areas of doubt and misconceptions that can (otherwise) cause him to stray and

which protect him from unlawful desires and lusts.

[In reality, two types of knowledge are meant by the phrase ‘Knowledge of Allāh’]

The first: knowledge of Allāh Himself, i.e. of the Majestic and Honorable qualities

He is characterized with and of what His most beautiful Names indicate.

If this knowledge is well established in ones heart it will most certainly produce fear

of Allāh, because he will definitely know that Allāh rewards any obedience to Him

and punishes any disobedience to Him.

The second: ‘Knowledge of Allāh’ means knowledge of the rulings of the Sharī’ah,

such as the commands and prohibitions and the lawful and unlawful.

This is why some of the Salaf have mentioned, ‘The scholars are three:

1. One who knows Allāh and is ignorant of His Command

2. One who knows Allāh’s Command but is ignorant of Allāh

3. One who knows both Allāh and His Command

The one who knows Allāh is the one who fears Allāh, and the one who knows His

command is the one who knows the lawful and unlawful.” [22]

7. Knowledge of Allāh’s Names and Attributes is Life to the Hearts

The heart is void of any life, comfort, happiness, security, and tranquility without

knowing its Lord, Deity and Creator, and without Allāh being more beloved to it

than anything else.

One who does not have Īmān in Allāh cannot obtain knowledge and guidance [23],

and without being guided to his Lord, he will always be miserable and tormented, as

is the case with the unbelievers.[24]

Allāh created man and assembled him with both body and soul.

He desired that the body be created from the earth. Allāh says:

…For We have created you all from earth [25]

Allāh made the body’s life and livelihood dependant upon this same earth; he eats,

drinks and takes his clothing from the land and what is found within it.

Allāh placed within this body, thoe soul. He said:

So when I have fashioned him (i.e. Ādam) and breathed into him the soul I have

created for him… [26]

Allāh willed that the sustenance and livelihood for this soul be knowledge of

Himself and worship of Him.

There is therefore nothing more pleasant to the servant, nor anything sweeter, more

wholesome and blissful to his heart and life, than love for His Originator and Maker,

being in a state of constant remembrance of Him, and always seeking to earn His


Consequently, whoever possesses in his heart even of life or love for his Lord, a

desire for Him, and a yearning to meet Him, then his pursuit for this subject area, his

strong desire to know and increase his understanding of it and his query and

investigation of it, will be his greatest goal and most glorious objective.

For this is the perfection, without which the servant cannot otherwise attain

perfection. It is the reason behind his creation and because of it revelation

descended, Messengers were sent, the Heavens and earth stand, and Paradise and

Hell-Fire exist. For this very reason laws were legislated, the correct path was

established, the Qiblah was determined and it is the pivot of creation and order,

upon which they center.

It is by all rights, the finest thing which the hearts can possess, which the souls can

attain and which the minds can grasp. Sound and healthy hearts and secure and

tranquil souls do not yearn earnestly for anything greater than to know this matter,

nor are they more joyful with anything other than succeeding in arriving at the

truths contained within this matter. [27]

8. The Fruits of Knowing and Understanding Allāh’s Names and


Another aspect which indicates and emphasizes the importance of this category of

Tawhīd is the benefits derived in the believer’s heart from knowing the Names and

Attributes of Allāh. These include an increase in Īmān, firmness in certainty and the

light and insight it instills (in one’s heart), which protect him from areas of doubt

and misconceptions that can (otherwise) cause him to stray and which protect him

from unlawful desires and lusts.

Thus, if this knowledge is firmly established in the heart it will most definitely

produce fear of Allāh.

Each and every Name of Allāh has a particular impact on the heart and character of

the servant. If the heart comprehends the meaning of a specific Name, what it

embodies, and is conscious of it, it will reply to these meanings and this awareness

and understanding will reflect in the person’s thinking and mode of behavior.

Likewise, every Attribute has a specific form of worship attached to it, which is the

result of the requisites dictated by this particular Attribute.

The most beautiful Names of Allāh and His most exalted Attributes therefore

yield worship as their effects.

This covers all forms of worship that appear on the hearts and limbs. For example,

the knowledge of the servant that Allāh alone is able to Harm and Benefit, Give and

Withhold, to Create, Sustain, to give Life and cause Death, will produce the worship

of Tawakkul in its inner form (i.e. in the heart) and the requisites and fruits of

Tawakkul in its apparent form (i.e. upon the limbs).

The servant’s knowledge of Allāh’s Hearing, Sight and Knowledge, and of the fact

that not a single atom in the heavens and earth escape Him, and that He knows the

secret and hidden, what the treacherous eyes behold what the breasts conceal, will

make him preserve his tongue, limbs and the notions of his heart from anything that

displeases Allāh. He will make these limbs devoted to what Allāh loves and is

pleased with. So it yields modesty within him as well as manifesting it outwardly by

making him steer clear of the prohibited and repulsive matters.

Knowledge of His Richness, Generosity, Kindness, Beneficence, and Mercy will

grant the servant a wealth of optimism, and it will give birth to many types of

hidden and apparent servitude, all in proportion to his understanding and


Likewise, the knowledge of the Majesty of Allāh, His Greatness and Might generates

for the servant humility, submission and love. These inner conditions in turn

produce several apparent forms of servitude.

Similarly, knowledge of His Perfection, Beauty and exalted Attributes will grant him

a specific love that becomes represented by many forms of servitude.

So all forms of servitude to Him are related back to the dictates of the Names and

Attributes and are linked to it. [28]

In light of the above, it has become apparent that the servant’s knowledge of the

Names and Attributes of Allāh in the correct manner, which Allāh has informed

about in His Book and in the Sunnah of His Messenger, will certainly make the

servant establish servitude to Allāh in the most perfect manner.

Hence, the more complete the servant’s Īmān in the Attributes is, the stronger will be

his love, sincerity, and worship. Additionally, the person who has the greatest

servitude is the one who worships Allāh with all the Names and Attributes He has

made known to mankind, as every Name of His has associated to it a specific form of

worship on the basis of 'knowledge and understanding' and on the basis of 'state'.

'Knowledge and understanding', i.e. whoever knows that Allāh is named with this

particular Name and understands what Attribute it entails, then believes in it, this in

itself is worship.

'State', i.e. every Name belonging to Allāh has a specific meaning and particular

effect on the heart and character. If the heart therefore, comprehends the meaning of

a specific Name, what it embodies and is conscious of it, it will reply to these

meanings and this awareness and understanding will reflect in the person’s thinking

and mode of behavior.

This method is extracted from the heart of the Qur’ān, Allāh says:

And to Allāh belong the most beautiful Names, so call upon Him by them… [29]

Calling upon Him (du’ā) incorporates invoking Him, praising Him and worshipping

Him. Allāh calls His servants to know Him by His Names and Attributes, to praise

Him with them and to take their share of servitude from them. [30]

9. The Importance of Steering Clear of Falsehood and Not Opposing the

Way of Truth in This Domain

The realm of the Names and Attributes is regarded to be one of the most dangerous

areas because of the fact that it has been the subject of severe and complex

differences. [31] This war broke out between the Salaf on one end, and the

philosophers, Ahl Al-Kalām (scholastics) [32] and Mushabbihah at the other.

Hence it is from the obligatory duties of the student of knowledge to profoundly

understand to a deep level the truth that is based upon the Book and the Sunnah.

Allāh Ta’ālā says:

…and if you differ in anything, then refer it back to Allāh and the Messenger…


Referral back to Allāh is accomplished by referring back to His Book, and referral

back to the Messenger after his demise is accomplished by referring back to his


Allāh Ta’ālā also says:


…are you more knowledgeable or is Allāh? [34]

Allāh is more knowledgeable about Himself and He is the One who has informed us

of His Names and Attributes in His Book and upon the tongue of His Messenger.

More so, the Prophet is the most knowledgeable person of his Lord as well as being

the most truthful in speech, and Allāh has said of him:

Nor does he speak from his desire. It is but a revelation which is revealed. [35]

It is compulsory upon the Muslim to study this field and to attain a deep

understanding of it in accordance to what is found in the Book and Sunnah. [36]

He must be wary of the philosophical tendencies that brought harm to their

advocators and which introduced them to endless deviation and loss. These

tendencies barred the knowledge of their Lord from reaching their hearts.

Consequently, their hearts darkened and became ignorant of the realities of Īmān.

This caused them to turn away from Allāh and His remembrance and from loving

Him and praising Him with His qualities of Perfection and Attributes of Majesty. As

a result, the vigor of their love, longing and intimacy was directed elsewhere.

It is a common fact that the servant cannot attain any knowledge – or Īmān, for that

matter – until he believes in the Names and Attributes of the Lord and he knows

them to a level that removes him from the bounds of being ignorant of Him.

Thus, Īmān in the Names and Attributes of Allāh and understanding them is the

foundation of Islām, the principle of Īmān and the fruit of the tree of Ihsān.

Whosoever denies them has indeed destroyed this foundation of Islām, principle of

Īmān, and fruit of the tree of Ihsān, let alone, for him to be attributed to those who

possess exceptional gnostic knowledge.

The believer therefore, must exert all his capabilities towards understanding and

knowing the Names and Attributes. Furthermore, his understanding must be free of

at-Ta’tīl and at-Tamthīl which have put to trial many of the people of innovation,

who stand in opposition to what the Messenger brought.

Correct knowledge is that which is taken from the Book and the Sunnah, and which

has been narrated from the Companions and their followers in righteousness. This is

the beneficial knowledge which forever keeps its occupant at a high level of Īmān, a

strong degree of certainty, and a tranquil state of affairs.

[1] i.e. one who relies on Allāh and entrusts his affairs to Him, truthfully and upon knowledge and

insight, is content and manages without anyone or anything besides Him in both prosperous and

troublesome times. At the same time, nothing or no one can dispense of Allāh in trying to achieve

their welfare and repel any harm, regardless of the physical and mental strengths he has. These two

meanings of Allāh’s Name, ‘Al-Qayyūm’ as the qayyūm is the one who is self-sufficient and self-

supportive and who supports and suffices all else, and that is Allāh alone.

[2]Al-‘Ilmī, i.e. concentrating on knowledge as opposed to action (al-‘Amalī).

Al-Khabarī, i.e. this knowledge is dependent upon revealed text (khabar).

Al-‘I’tiqādī, i.e. it takes form as part of the person’s belief.

[3] At-Tawhīd al-‘Amalī al-Irādī.

Al-‘Amalī, i.e. concentrating on action.

Al-Irādī, i.e. that the heart and limbs worship, strive, intend, and desire only Allāh in their actions.

[4] Shaykh al-Albānī, may Allāh have Mercy upon him, mentions this fact for all three prayers and

provides the Takhrīj for it. Refer to The Prophet’s Prayer Described from the Beginning to the End as

Though You See It, pp. 31, 34, and 38.

[5] Ijtimā’ al-Juyūsh al-Islāmiyyah ‘Ala Ghazwi al-Mu’attilah al-Jahmiyyah, pp 35-36.

[6] One of Allāh’s most beautiful Names, the Evident, Whose presence and reality is an

unquestionable certainty because of the multitude of proofs and signs He has shown and placed

within His creation. Indeed, the evidences pointing to His Tawhīd, His Lordship, and His Sovereignty

are more evident than the midday sun. He is also the One who has clearly shown to His creation the

path to salvation and success.

[7] Miftāh Dār as-Sa’ādah, 1/86

[8] At-Talāq (65):12

[9] Muhammad (47):19

[10] Miftāh Dār as-Sa’ādah 1/178

[11]In turn, religious knowledge forms the basis of all other types of knowledge besides it. Hence,

absolutely all types of knowledge return back to Allāh’s Names and Attributes, as shown in the


[12]Al-Hashr (59):19

[13]Al-Kahf (18):28

[14]Miftāh Dār as-Sa’ādah 1/86

[15] This is the ruling, in general. One observes that theoretical and speculative discussions dominate

the concern of Ahl al-Kalām, of old and new, but actions amongst them are few, especially acts of

worship such as prayer, remembrance, recitation, etc. That which is observed from the Sūfiyyah on

the other hand, is concentration on actions of the heart and limbs, but with negligence of determining

precisely the knowledge-based issues and the validity of their actions. This is a ruling based on what

is found to be dominant amongst them.

[16] Majmū’ al-Fatāwā 1/41, slightly abridged

[17] Related by Muslim in his as-Sahīh, the book of Fitan, Chapter: The mention of Ibn Sayyād, 8/193

[18] As opposed to a very general manner. By looking around and contemplating over the universe,

one can conclude certain Attributes of the Creator, such as Knowledge, Ability, Mercy, etc. However,

without revelation, how can one know for instance, that our Lord descends to the lowest heaven at

the least third of the night asking abut how is beseeching Him, seeking His forgiveness and asking of

Him, so that He may grant them what they seek?

[19]Al-Isrā’ (17):85

[20]The type of Kufr and Shirk referred to here is the major type

[21] Fātir (35):28

[22] Majmū’ Al-Fatāwā 3/333, slightly abridged

[23] i.e. knowledge, which is based upon correct principles pertaining to Īmān, whereby they ensure

praiseworthy fruits in this world and the Hereafter. It is obvious that if the disbeliever exerts efforts,

he will obtain some knowledge, but much of it is false and little of it is true, being limited in benefit

and great in harm.

[24] The reality of the state of the disbelievers caused by their alienation to the religion of Allāh is

something very evident. Just a quick glance at the effects of the spiritual vacuum they experience,

may Allāh protect us from that, reveals for us a little of this reality; the great numbers of suicides,

incurable mental illness, submersion into materialism, the inexhaustible amount of laughable and

lamentable fashions, the regulation and legislation for sexual deviation, etc.

[25] al-Hajj (22):5

[26] al-Hijr (15):29

[27] See al-Fatwā al-Hamawiyyah al-Kubrā, pp. 28-29

[28] Miftāh Dār as-Sa’ādah 2/90

[29] al-A’rāf (7):180

[30]Madārij as-Sālikīn 1/420

[31] There are a number of important points that have to be understood here, some of these are:

a) The basic principle is the simplicity, easiness and clarity of the whole religion, which includes this

topic of Allāh’s Names and Attributes

b) The complexity found within certain matters that pertain to the Names and Attributes does not

emanate from the texts but instead from the philosophers and Ahl Al-Kalām as a result of the

innovations and unintelligible terminology they introduced. This impelled Ahl As-Sunnah to refute

their falsehood.

c) There lies no doubt that the fundamentals of this subject area, which our righteous predecessors are

in agreement on, are built upon conclusive evidences, both in terms of the validity and establishment

of such texts and in terms of the unequivocal meanings the indicate and signify.

[32] Ahl Al-Kalām (or Mutakallimūn) are the people of innovation, who spoke on areas of ‘Aqīdah

with false, innovated and censured speech. They are extreme in their reliance upon their deviant

intellect at the expense of revelation. The philosophers however, are people of heresy who contest the

concept of revelation and prophethood. They also discuss issues of ‘Aqīdah upon the methodology of

the Greek pagan philosophers. Ahl Al-Kalām are much affected by the false principles and laws laid

down by the philosophers. Moreover, there are a number of people who are mistakenly attributed to

Islām but are in fact philosophers, who are actually outside the fold of Islām because of their evident

heresy. There are a number of differences between Ahl Al-Kalām and the philosophers just as there

are a number of similarities. For a detailed explanation one can for example refer to Shaykh Ibrāhīm

al-Buraykān’s work, Ta’rīf al-Khalaf bi Manhaj as-Salaf, Dār Ibn al-Jawzī, K.S.A.

[33] An-Nisā’ (4):59

[34]Al-Baqarah (2):140

[35] An-Najm (53):3-4

[36]The obligation for the layman is to acquire the knowledge he is required to be aware of, without

having to delve too deeply in this field and any other area of Islāmic knowledge. The intention of the

author here, however, is to express that as for the one who wants to proficiently study this field (the

student of knowledge he refers to in an earlier paragraph) then he has to obtain such knowledge upon

the methodology of the Book and Sunnah

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