Interpreting the Name Al-Rab as the essence of Allah

( Part No : 3, Page No: 152)

( Part No : 3, Page No: 153)

Tawhid-ul-Asma’ wal-Sifat (Oneness of Allah’s Names and Attributes)

( Part No : 3, Page No: 154)

Al-Asma’ (Allah’s Names)

Fatwa No. 11109

Q 1: Surah Al-Rahman, 55: 78 Blessed is the Name of your Lord (Allâh) That is, Allah, the Great and Exalted, glorifies and praises His Divine Essence whose blessings are abundant. My question now is: The Name of the Lord is Allah. The word “Allah” itself is a proper Name representing the Divine Essence. Some exegetes say that Name of the Lord is itself the same as the Divine Essence. This is a fatal mistake and Kufr (disbelief). I hope you will explain things.

Q 2: Surah Al-Waqi`ah, 56: 74 Then, glorify with praises the Name of your Lord, the Most Great. That is, O you Muhammad, glorify your Lord and raise Him far above all that the polytheists ascribe to Him of imperfect attributes and so. My second question is the same as question No. 1.

Q 3: Surah Al-A`la, 87: 1 Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High, That is, O Muhammad (peace be upon him) glorify your Lord, Who is the Most High and Grand and raise Him far above all imperfect attributes and defects ascribed to Him by sinners and things befit Him not.

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The third question is the same as questions No. 1 and 2.

Q 4: Surah Al-`Alaq, 96: 1 Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). i.e. O Muhammad (peace be upon him) start reading the Qur’an in the Name of your Lord seeking His help, for He created all the creatures etc. The question here is, how can he start reading with or seek help from the Name of the Lord while it is a mere Name of Allah’s Divine Essence? I hope you will explain things to me.

Q 5: In the sentence “Allah said”, why does the word “Allah” stand for the subject with the declensional ending of damma (the subject mark in Arabic) – as taught in schools – while the word “Allah” is a mere reference to not an embodiment of the Divinely Sacred Essence?

Q 6: Victory is ascribed to the word “Allah” which is a mere Name of the Divine Essence: Surah Al­Rum, 30: 4 And on that Day, the believers (i.e. Muslims) will rejoice. Surah Al­Rum, 30: 5 In the victory of Allah. What does the word “Allah” stand for? Why do we append the word “Name” to the word “Allah” and say “Allah’s Name”? I hope you will explain things to me.

A 1: The word “ism (اسم)(Name)” mentioned in the following Ayah (Qur’anic verse):Surah Al-Rahman, 55: 78 Blessed is the Name of your Lord (Allâh) refers to the Name of Allah and His

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Most Beautiful Names. Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) used these Names to refer to the Essence of Allah. Lafdh Al-Jalalh (Allah) and Allah’s other Names denote the Essence of Allah Who has Exalted Attributes. Thus, glorifying Allah or any of His Most Beautiful Names is an act of glorifying the Divine Essence with the Perfect Attributes. It is not a glorification of the name itself or its letters. In fact, it means glorifying and praising the word “Allah” and its denotation, i.e. the Divine Essence with its Attributes. The same applies to other Names of Allah reported in the Qur’an and Sunnah. These Names are not themselves the Divine Essence rather they denote the Divine Essence. Consequently, glorification in the first place is for the Divine Essence and all the names that stand for it come after that, whether it is the word “Allah” or any other Name.

A 2: The same applies to the interpretation of the following Ayah (Qur’anic verse):Surah Al-Waqi`ah, 56: 74 Then, glorify with praises the Name of your Lord, the Most Great. Glorification here is not for the word “Name” or its letters. In fact, it is for the Divine Essence in the first place and what may represent it like the word “Allah”. The word “Allah” or “Lord” are not themselves the Divine Essence (may He be Glorified and Exalted).

A 3: The same is applied to the interpretation of the following Ayah (Qur’anic verse):Surah Al-A`la, 87: 1 Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High, Glorification here is also of the Divine Essence of the Lord in the first place and the word Lord refers to the Divine Essence of the Lord (may He be Praised).

( Part No : 3, Page No: 157)

A 4: The same is applied to the interpretation of the following Ayah (Qur’anic verse):Surah Al-`Alaq, 96: 1 Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). Seeking help is not from the word “Name” or its letters. In fact, help is sought from the denotation of the word “Lord”, as it represents the Divine Essence of the Most High and Exalted Lord. So help to start reading is sought from the Divine Essence of the Lord (may He be Praised) and after that from what may stand for it like the word “Lord”.

A 5: The inflectional marks may appear with the word “Allah” , for it can be written and pronounced. But its denotation cannot be parsed because it is not a word. In fact it is the Divine Essence of Allah. We seek the help of this Essence to read or do anything. It is this Essence Who has created everything and created man. It is this Essence Who has taught (the writing) by the pen and taught man that which he knew not. But the Name or its letters, and not the Essence, did not create anything or teach man that which he knew not. Names like “Allah” and “the Lord” and their letters do not refer to the Essence meant, for what is meant is the Divine Essence of the Lord Who has Exalted Attributes.

A 6: “Victory” is ascribed to the word “Allah” because it denotes the Divine Essence Who has Exalted Attributes. It is this Essence not its Name that brings victory. The word “Allah” is used to denote the Divine Essence but it is not itself the Divine Essence.

From everything mentioned above, we gather that we offer Salat (Prayer) and other acts of worship to the Truth for which words like “Allah” and “Lord” stand for but not for the words themselves.

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The words “Lord” or “Allah” are used to refer to the Divine Essence of the Lord or the Divine Essence of Allah. So Allah’s Most Beautiful Names do not represent themselves. In fact, they stand for The Supreme Creator, i.e. God, the Only Being worthy of worship. It is He that rewards mankind for their deeds.

We enjoin you to read the books of the learned Shaykh Ahmad ibn `Abdul-Halim ibn Taymiyyah in the topic of the Name and Its Meaning. He (may Allah be merciful to him) explained all this at length.

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessing be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’

Member Committee Deputy Chairman The Chairman
`Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan `Abdul-Razzaq `Afify `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz
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