ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH
Now time has come to explain in short what is our belief concerning God. In preceding
chapters almost all the aspects of our belief have been explained. It should be apparent by
now that there are many attributes which are a MUST for God, while there are others
which are beneath His dignity and cannot be found in Him.
Therefore, in our faith, the attributes of Allah have been grouped as `positive’ and
The positive attributes which are befitting Allah are called Sifat ath-thubutiyyah. They
are many in number, but only eight of them are usually mentioned. They are:-
It means that Allah is Eternal, that is, He has neither beginning nor end. Nothing
except Allah is eternal.
It means that Allah is Omnipotent,that is, He has power over everything and every
It means that Allah is Omniscient, that is, He knows everything. Even our unspoken
intentions and desires are not hidden from Him.
It means that Allah was always alive and will remain alive for ever.
It means that Allah has His own will and discretion in all affairs. He does not do
anything under compulsion.
It means that He is All-perceiving, as as-Sami’ ` (All-hearing), al-Basir (All-seeing).
Allah sees and hears everything without any need of eyes or ears.
It means that Allah is the Master of the word, that is, lie can create speech in
anything, as He did in a tree for Prophet Musa (a.s) and in the “Curtain of Light” for
our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.w).
It means that Allah is true in his words and promises.
It is impossible to fix any limit to His attributes. This list is not exhaustive but it is essential
to understand the Glory of Allah.These attributes are not acquired but are inherent in the conception of Divinity.
The Negative Attributes which cannot be found in Allah because they are below His dignity
are called “as-Sifat as-salbiyyah “.They are many, but like “as-Sifat ath-thubutiyyah “
only eight are listed here. They are:-
The word “ash-sharik” means a colleague or partner. Allah has neither a colleague
nor a partner in His Divinity.
This word means “Compound” or “Mixed”. Allah is neither made, nor composed, of
any material. He cannot be divided even in imagination.
It means “Place”. Allah is not in a place because He has no body and He is
everywhere because His power and knowledge is manificently apparent
It means “Entering”. Nothing enters into Allah nor does He enter into anything or
anybody. Therefore, the belief of Incarnation in any form is abhorrent to the
conception of Divinity.
5. MAHAL AL-HAWADITH:
This means “Subject to Changes”. Allah cannot change.
It means “Visible”. Allah is not visible. He has not been seen, is not seen and will
never be seen.
It means “Dependence” or “Need”. Allah is not deficient in any virtue, so he does
not need anything. He is All-perfect.
8. SIFAT AZ-ZAID:
This means “Added Qualification”. The attributes of Allah are not separate from His
Being. When we say God is Omnipotent and Merciful, we do not mean that His
power and Mercy are something different from His Person. We see that a child is
born without any power, and then he acquires stength day by day. It is so because
power is not his person. God is not like this. He is Power Himself; Mercy Himself;
Knowledge Himself;Justice Himself; Virtue Himself;Truth Himself and so on.
It will thus be seen that according to Islam ALLAH is the name of God as perceived
in the light of the above Positive and Negative Attributes. In other words, ALLAH is
the Creator of the universe, Self-existent, the source of all perfection and free from