By Zain Siddique (5th Year ʿĀlim Student, DarusSalam Seminary)
All praise is to Allāh, the Lord of the Worlds. May He send peace and blessings upon the Noble Prophet Muḥammad, his house, and his Companions.
This paper shall discuss how pondering on Allāh’s Divine Attributes is a mercy for us. These Attributes all describe the Divine Essence. Allāh has many attributes that describe Him. In the books of theology, some of them have been enumerated. Some believers have questions regarding His Qualities, the Qualities which inform us about Him. Therefore, the theologians, may Allāh be pleased with them, wrote chapters specifically dealing with His Qualities. Upon reviewing these chapters, some reflections came to me regarding them, which I shall mentioned herein below.
The first quality that they discuss is His existence (ar. wujūd). This quality is necessary. Pondering on this reality, the fact that God exists, is a mercy. We would not even exist had it not been for He whose existence is necessary.
It is because of Him that we have a sense of direction and purpose in our lives. It is because of Him that we are have those who are dear to us. It is because of Him that we have happy moments in our lives. And it is because of Him that we have a reason to be patient when calamities befall us. The greatest gift that we have, by the mercy of Allāh, is believing in Him. It is only Allāh who guides whom He wills. For our belief in Him, we should always thank Him and reflect on His many magnificent names and attributes. Most especially, the fact that He is the one true necessary existence (ar. wājib al-wujūd).
Another one of His Qualities is that He is pre-eternal and always has been (ar. qidam). This attribute negates Him having an inception. He is not bound by time; rather, He created it. The scholars mention these Qualities to understand Him in a way that befits His majesty and greatness. Knowing that He has always been gives us peace of mind. Through this realization we know that there is such a Divine Being who has always existed without a beginning, before we existed. In this there is contentment for pondering hearts since His existence answers our own reality and situation.
Some theologians state that we can conclude that He exists through utilizing our intellect (ar. ʿaql). Not only did He provide us with the faculty needed to recognize His existence, He revealed a book (the Qurʾān) and a living example (the Prophet) for us to follow. This is from His divine mercy. There is mercy in knowing that He has always been and will always be. And there is mercy in Him communicating this reality to us through the means of His books and messengers.
Another quality is that He is everlasting (ar. baqāʾ). This negates there being an end to His sublime essence. This is another mercy for us to consider in our thoughts and the affairs surrounding us. Regarding our mental state, it helps us know what is ahead, so that we can plan accordingly. If one were to come into this life not knowing that there is a being who will endlessly be, He will be deprived of truly knowing who Allāh is.
When a misfortune occurs in our lives, we exercise patience because He who has no end is there. When joy comes to us, we know to be thankful because He is the one who gave us that. With this, we know that there are many blessings found in our lives when we reflect on even one of His Divine Qualities.
These Qualities show us that Allāh’s power is ultimate. In this life, whether we are humans, animals or the smallest of organisms in the darkest depths of the sea, we either dominate or are dominated. When we realize that there is a Supreme Being, our purpose becomes clear. Due to this, we should try to please the one who always was and always will be.