Since godly entity is beyond human inference, how can we know and understand Him? The holy Quran directs man to brood over the blessings He gifted us and to realise His qualities thereby knowing Him. Quran introduces Allah through adjectives that spread light over His characteristics. Through these information that the Quran puts forward, it is possible for anyone to understand His characteristics within his intellectual boundaries. Verily, â€˜Know Allah', means to know His qualities. His names and qualities proclaim so clearly that he is the sole deserver of all forms of worship. Thus, indeed, anyone who understands Allah in the form put forward by the Quran can never attribute worship to anyone or anything other than Him.
â€œAnd Allah's are the best names, therefore call on Him thereby, and leave alone those who violate the sanctity of His names; they shall be recompensed for what they did.â€(Qur'an 7:180)
Considering Allah as â€˜the one with out attributes' is not in way with the Qur'anic teachings. It introduces Allah as the one in which all the good qualities are completely and perfectly blended. But godly qualities are incomparable with the human qualities. Since man is a mere creation, his qualities are limited as well as bound by time-space continuum. On the contrary, Allah, the creator of time and space is the processor of boundless qualities. The Quran verses
â€œAnd there is none comparable unto Himâ€ (Quran 112:4) and
â€œThere is nothing like unto Himâ€ (Quran 42:11) refer not only to His entity but also His qualities. Certainly, none of His creations can equal Him in virtues.
Qur'an and Hadiths enlighten us with many holy names of Allah;the names that emphasis His love and kindness; the names that manifest the acme of His power.
Certain names of Allah stated in the Quran are:
Arrahman (The Beneficent), Arrahim (The Exceedingly Merciful), Al Malik (The King), Al Khudoos (The Pure), Assalam (The One who is free from every imperfection, the saviour), Al Mu'min (Guardian of Faith), Al Muhaymin (The Guardian), Al Aziz (The Mighty), Al Jabbar (The Compeller), Al Muthakabir (The Majestic, The Supreme), Al Khaliq (The Creator), Al Bari' (The evolver, The Designer), Al Muswawir (The Shaper of Beauty), Al Gaffar (The great forgiver), Al kwahhar (The Dominant), Al Wahhab (The Bestower) Al Fathaah (The Judge), Al Aleem (The All-knowing), Al Assamee' (The All-Hearing), Al Basweer (The All-Seeing), Al Lathweef (The Gracious), Al Khabeer (The Aware), Al Haleem (The Forebearing), Al Adweem (The Magnificent), Al Gafoor (The All-Forgiving), Assukoor (The Grateful), Al aliy (The Most High), Al Kabeer (The Most Great), Al Kareem (The Generous One), Al Mujeeb (The Responder to Prayer), Al Waasee' (Theinfinite, the all embracing) Al HakeemThe Perfectly Wise Al Wadood (The Loving One), Al Majeed (The Most Glorious One), Al Haq (The Truth;), Al Wakeel (The Trustee), Al Matheen (The Steadfast), Al Waliy (The protector), Al Hameed (The Praiseworthy), Al Muhyi (The Restorer, The Giver of Life), Al Hayy (The Ever Living One), Al Qayoom (The Self-Existing One), Al Ahad (The One), Asswama (The Independent), Al Awwal (The first in existance), Al Aakhir (The Last), Adwaahir (The evident), Al Baathwin (The Hidden), Al Muthaalee (The Supremely Exalted), Al Birr' (The Doer of Good) Athawwaab (The Acceptor of Repentance), Al Afoow' (The Forgiver) Arraoof (The Compassionate) Al Jaami' (The Gatherer), Al Hadee (The Guide), Rabb (The saviour)
Qur'an and Hadiths depict many holy qualities and acts of Allah. It is needless to mention that all the qualities and acts exist in its most complete and perfect sense in Allah. Based on these qualities and acts several names can be inferred for Allah.
Narrated abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, â€œAllah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise.â€(Sahih Muslim)
From this prominent Hadith, we understand that Allah has ninety nine names. From other reports we get an idea that the number of His holy names is not determined. A Hadith quoted by Imam Tirmidhi, Ibnu Majah and Hakim reports the ninety nine names as such. This report is in fact a weak one. Prominent scholars comment that these names are derived from the qualities and acts of Allah that the Qur'an and the Hadith depict. They also comment that it is sinful to deduce names for Allah that He did not reveal to us. However all scholars are united in the opinion that Allah's names portrait His power, kindness, empathy and much more. Those perceiving Him through these names will certainly know the true Creator in the right sense and can never offer worship to another one.
Quran and Hadiths enclose several references on the physical as well as entity attributes(Swifath). It is important to understand that His entity attributes like knowledge, life, power, sight, hearing, face, hands, talk, sovereignty, magnificence, eminence, self-sufficiency or kindness and His physical attributes like occupied the throne, descend, astonished, laughed, cheerful, loved, hated, enraged, played tricks etc are all incomparable, unequalled and unique. The right way to grasp these qualities of Allah mentioned in the authentic scripture Qur'an and Hadiths is to realize that they belong to Allah in a form that is most apt for His nobility. Rather, their denial (tha'thweel), comparison with the qualities of His creations (thashbeeh), figurative comparison (Thamdheel), their alteration (Thahreef), assigning extra forms or explanations (Thakyeef) are all astray. In addition, Allah's qualities have to be accepted as qualities itself rather than organs(thajseem).
Since the Quran and Hadiths reveals Allah's swifaths to us, it is not right to comment that we are ignorant about Him. Yet, the actual forms of the swifaths (Kaifiyath) are not revealed. This knowledge lies solely with the Almighty. For example, verses mentioning that Allah ascends the throne are not incomprehensible or of unknown meaning. But we are ignorant of how He ascends and so it is right to grasp that He ascends the throne in a manner that is most apt for His nobility which is unknown to us. This is the path set forward by the Prophet and followed by the pious ancestors in understanding the qualities of Allah. Rather, we, one among a billion creations of Him, possessor of limited knowledge and narrow logic should not dare to interpret the Ultimate One's qualities. All those who have dared it have resulted in the popping up new religiousdoctrines.
Assigning Godly qualities to anyone other than Him and assigning those attributes to Him that He does not possess are both far from the way of monotheism. Such allegations have led to the decline of mankind. The concept that God is present everywhere is the best example for this. In this concept, Godly entity, which actually exists beyond the universe, is brought inside to spread the misconception that every earthly object possesses some kind of divinity. By assigning god this quality that He does not possess, its spokesmen have wandered ultimately astray in the concept that the universe itself is divine. While this concept has paved way for worshipping stones and idols, it has rejected His actual qualities and assigned Him those which He does not possess. Sticking firmly on to what is taught by the scriptures will, indeed, keep man on the right track.
Those who dared to step beyond for self annotation of His qualities have deplorably ended up rejecting the presence of the almighty God. The Adwaitha philosophy goes on as â€˜All qualities have limitations. Thus God is devoid of qualities. If so, He cannot create. Then where is the universe from? It is God Himself.â€ This has exposed how the obstinate who gave self explanations of the almighty have pathetically ended up in the denial of His existence.
He, Allah is the owner of boundless and unsullied qualities. It is impossible to measure His qualities with our senses which are limited. Humans can opt for nothing other than accepting the qualities that the Quran and the Hadiths pointed out as Allah's. These qualities exist in Him in a form that is complete and most perfect. Their comparison with the qualities of His creations as well as self explanations will lead us astray. History holds record that all those who have gone beyond the understandings of the followers of the Prophet have got entangled in rationalism and finally ended up in doctrinal decay rejecting the existence of God Almighty.