Attributes of Allah
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- THE MERCIFUL, THE FORGIVING: Human beings were created good and pure with a natural awareness of good and evil. The Almighty also created in, human desires, and gave them an ability to control those desires according to divine law or to turn them loose and follow them blindly. Allah created mankind knowing that they would disobey Him. Consequently, He taught human beings, beginning with Adam, how to repent and thereby purify themselves of their sins. Prophet Mohammad (saw) informed his followers of this reality, sayin, “ If you do not commit sins and turn to Allah, seeking his forgiveness, He would have replaced you with another people who would sin, ask Allah’s forgiveness and He would forgive them.” (Muslim)
No matter how great the sins of human beings may be, Allah can forgive them if man turns back to Him in sincere repentance. The Messenger (saw) was quoted as saying, “ When Allah created the universe, He made an obligation on Himself (recorded) in a document kept by Him: My mercy supersedes my wrath.” (Muslim)
He was also reported to have said, “Allah [created] mercy with one hundred parts, one of which was sent down upon the jinn, human beings and other living beings. It is out of this one part that they love each other, show kindness to each other and even the animals treat their offspring with affection. Allah has reserved the remaining ninety-nine parts of His true worshippers on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim)
- SUPREME JUSTICE: In the judgment of mankind at the end of this world, Allah’s attributes of supreme justice and fairness also became manifest. Based on His infinite knowledge, Allah could have created all members of the human race who were to live on earth and immediately placed some of them in paradise and the remainder in hell. Before creating man, Allah already knew what choices they would make in this life, what provision and opportunities He would give them, and in what state of belief or disbelief they would die. Therefore, in one sense it could be said that some people were created for paradise and others for hell. Aysha(RA), wife of the Prophet Mohammad(SAW), quoted him saying, “Don’t you know Allah created paradise and hell, and He created inhabitants for each?”
If Allah had immediately placed those headed for paradise in paradise, they would not question Allah’s decision. However, those immediately placed in hell would ask why. Consequently, Allah allows human beings to live out their lives on earth and make all the choices they would have made, so that everyone who enters Hell will know that they chose hell by themselves. And they will accept his judgment as being just and beyond reproach. However they will still beg for another chance to do good in this world, as Allah says in the Quran:
"If only you could see (the time) when the sinners will bow their heads before their Lord,[saying],Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back and we will do righteous deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty." (32:12)
However, if Allah were to send them back to this world having forgotten what they had seen of hell, they would again choose evil and end up in the hell as before.
Allah spoke about this in the Quran:
"But if they were returned [to this world], they would certainly go back to what was forbidden to them. Indeed they are liars." (6:28)
- DIVINE LOVE: Allah’s love is manifest in beings brought into existence, whether believer or disbeliever, to enjoy life, if only for a brief moment. It is also realized in the creation of paradise for those who chose righteousness over evil. Allah states in the final revelation that He loves those who do good (5:13), those who are just (5:42), those who are pious (9:4), those who are patient(3:146), those who put their trust in Him (3:159), those who frequently turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves (2:222). Consequently, those who follow the Prophets are most beloved to Allah.
In the Quran, Allah instructed Prophet Mohammad(Saw) to say the following to the believers:
"If you really love Allah, follow me and Allah will love you and forgive your sins." (3:31)
No matter how great human sins may become, the door for sincere repentance remains open until the last day of this world. Anas quoted Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying, Allah, the Almighty said: “O son of Adam, as long as you call on Me and ask of Me, I will forgive what you have done, and I do not mind. O son of Adam, even if your sins reached the clouds and you asked My forgiveness, I will forgive you. O son of Adam, if you came to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and you met Me without giving Me partners, I will give you a similar amount of forgiveness.” (Tirmidhi)
- DIVINE GRACE: As for those in paradise, they will not enter it solely based on their good deeds. It is the grace of Allah which will ultimately carry them there. Prophet Mohammad (SAW) said in this regard: Try your best to do right, and be happy. For none will enter paradise only because of his deeds. His companions said, “O Messenger of Allah! Not even you?” He replied “not even I, unless Allah envelopes me in his mercy and grace. And bear in mind that the deed most loved by Allah is one done constantly, even though it is small.” (Muslim)
In the Quran, Allah says:
"Whoever brings a good deed, will have[the value of] ten like it, and whoever brings an evil deed will only be punished with one like it, and they will not be wronged." (6:160)
Allah has manifested His grace by multiplying the value of good deeds, while keeping evil deeds at their face value. It is by the grace of Allah that the believers enter paradise. This does not mean that deeds have no role. Deeds have a major role, but they are not the deciding factor. Allah’s grace outweighs them. If He has told the humankind why He decided to do something, it is not for them to question why He decided to decide. It is they who will be questioned on the Day of Judgment about their actions and intentions and not He.
In the Quran Allah addresses this point:
"He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned."(21:23)
Prophet Mohammad(SAW) said, “Reflect on the creation of Allah but do not reflect on Allah.” Prophet Mohammad(SAW) warned that the satanic forces would seek to introduce doubts in the hearts of the believers by raising unanswerable questions about Allah.
Abu Hurairah related that Allah’s Messenger(SAW) said, “Satan will come to everyone of you and ask: Who created this and that? –until he questions: who created your Lord? When he comes to that, one should seek refuge in Allah[say:I affirm my faith in Allah and His prophets] and avoid [such thoughts]." (Sahih Muslim)
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