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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The attributes of God, Speech by Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohammad

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
A devotee speaks about his Master and Lord
Allah is My Lord, My Lord is Most Merciful Most Loving

When Al-Hassan, son of Ali, was asked about the evidence for the existence of God, he turned his face away from the person asking the question and said: Glory to you My Lord, when did You become absent to need evidence to point to You? When did You become distant to need things to manifest Your presence, an eye that does not see Your Observing presence is indeed blind and a deal that does not have a share of your love is indeed a losing deal.

When Abu Bakr the Truthful was asked how he came to know His Lord, he said: I knew my Lord through my Lord, had it not been for my Lord, I would not have known my Lord. He was asked again: how did you know Him? He said: the inability to comprehend is comprehension and to search into the nature of God can lead to polytheism.

When Imam Ali was asked: Did you see your Lord, O Imam? He responded: How do I worship what I do not see. They asked: how have you seen Him? He said: If the eyes are incapable of seeing Him with their ability of sight, the hearts will see Him through the truth of faith.

Our human minds dear friends have their limits, just like electrical goods, if these goods were to be given a higher voltage, they may be ruined or they may even explode. In this sense, talking about God is only perfected if the speech follows the manner that God had chosen to introduce us to Himself. Further, the name Allah points to God, it is a name that had never been given to anyone else.
Allah is the first without beginning and the Last without Ending.
Allah is known through kindness and is described through perfection.
Allah is One, not from shortness of numbers, He exists without deficiency.
"He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Concealed, And He is the Knower of all things." (57:3)
It would not be right to enquire about Him with "where", because He created all place and space, it would not be right to ask about Him with "when" because He created time. Allah was when there was nothing, He is as He was, unchanged from what He was, He knows what was, knows what is, knows what will be, and knows what would not happen, if it were to happen, how it would have happened.

Allah sees all things, hears all things, His omniscience encoumpasses all things, He would not be distracted with seeing something from seeing another, He is not distracted with hearing something from hearing another, He is the Creator of all things, there is nothing like unto Him, He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.

"Allah is the Creator of all things, He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs. To Him belong the Keys of the heavens and the earth: and those who reject the signs of Allah, it is they who will be in loss." (39:62-63)
"With Him are the keys of the unknown, none know them except Him, He knows what is in the land and in the sea, there is not a leaf that falls except with His knowledge, nor a grain in the dark (depths) of the earth, nor something green or withered, except that it is in a clear record." (6:59)
He is not reached with the five senses, nor comparable to His creation: "No eyes can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all eyes, He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things." (6:103)
He is singularly unique with all the attributes of majesty, perfection and beauty, everything is subdued before His Might, submitting to Him, returning to Him, in His hand alone are the keys for all affairs, the entire earth is his grasp on the day of resurrection and the heavens are folded in his right hand, glory to Him and Elevated High is He above all that they associate with Him. He says concerning Himself: "We indeed give life and cause to die and to Us is the return. The day that the earth will be rent asunder, from (people) hurrying out; that will be a bringing together that is quite easy for Us." (50:43-44)
"Allah is He Who created you from dust, then from a sperm drop, then made you into male and female, no female conceives or lays down (her load) except with His knowledge, nor is a long lived person granted length of days nor is a part of his life cut off except that it is in a book, that is all easy for your Lord." (35:11)
"Allah knows what every female carries and what the wombs may fall short in or exceed (the duration of pregnancy), every single thing is before His sight in due proportion. He knows the unseen and that which is open, He is the Great, the Most High. It is the same (to Him) whether one of you keeps his speech secret or makes it openly, or one who hides at night or walks forth freely by day." (13:8-10)
"No eyes can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all eyes, He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things." (6:103)
"He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, He made for you spouses from your own kind and made pairs from among cattle, by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, He is the One that hears and sees all things. To Him belong the keys of the heaven and earth, He increases and restricts the sustenance to whom He wills, for He knows full well all things." (42:11-12)

He created me as an act of Grace from Him, He made worldly life the place of my testing to bring to reality His kindness towards me and His justice in relation to me.
He is not benefited from my acts of obedience nor harmed through my disobedience, despite that, He charges me with obligations as a point of honour, He commanded me and forbade me. Commanded me towards goodness to make me happy and forbade me from evil to protect me.
He sent me a messenger who was a "mercy to the worlds", so he explained all things to me, he elaborated on things that needed elaboration and clarified everything that was mysterious. His condition to believe in him (as Muhammad, the messenger of God, peace and blessings upon him) was to also believe in all his brothers, the prophets who preceded him, he asked me not to distinguish between them because he himself, peace and blessings upon him, never discriminated against any of them. This is why his followers are asked to believe in all the prophets and messengers and not to give him preference over them nor discriminate against any of them.
He knew who I was, from where I came, why I came and to where I will go. He defined clearly for me my goal, my role and my message in this world.
He sent for me a way of life (Sharia) that complements, completes and perfects all the preceding divine teachings. He told me in His revealed book: "The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah – that which We have sent by revelation to thee – and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus: namely that you should remain steadfast in religion; and make no divisions therein: As to the polytheists, they see this as a difficult path to which you are calling them. Allah chooses to Himself whom He chooses and guides towards Himself those who turn to Him." (42:13). This Sharia protects me and protects all life around me; the environment, the people and the place.
He has taught me through this Sharia that life is sacred for all things, so it is not permissible to transgress against it, and that the human being is a construct from God, cursed is the one who demolishes it, and that whoever kills a soul other than in the course of justice or for spreading corruption on the earth, then it is as if he had killed all humanity and whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved all humanity.
He taught me through this way of life to add to the elements of beauty in life and to bring new beauty to this universe. He also taught me to confine the catalysts of ugliness and evil in others to the best of my ability. He also commanded me not to cause corruption saying: "Do not cause corruption in the earth after it had been set right". He taught me to protect the environment and the cleanliness of the street and to protect public order as being instrumental parts of my faith. He also commanded me to greet people with a cheerful face and to cooperate with them in removing harm. He taught me that the great heart is the one that shares others in their joys even when it is sad and their sorrows even when it is happy. He told me that my smile to the face of my brother is an act of charity, and providing guidance to a lost person is an act of charity and to take some of my property out of my bucket and put it in my brother's bucket is also an act of charity.
He taught me that He created the earth for all people, saying: "And the Earth, he placed for all people."
He taught me to champion the right to plurality in faith, race, language and that living with such plurality is not just a matter of choice made by people at their whims, but rather is a law made by God in relation to existence and that the person who will hold the highest honour with Allah is the one who rises above personal grudges and is forgiving with others and employs his skills and resources to help take humanity forward and improve their standard of life in accordance with the great Islamic principle that the best person is the one who is most beneficial to others, and that all people are dependent on God, the most beloved person to God is the one who is most beneficial to His dependents.
I learned from the human experience that freedom is a term that can only work with certain restrictions, my faith taught me that freedom is a term that must be defined and it distinguished between restrictive conditions and those that limit activity, livelihood and movement, it taught me the principle of "no harm" and that "avoiding harm takes priority over achieving a benefit." In this regard, freedom springs from catalysts that are based on moral uprightness which seeks to benefit humanity, not merely the benefit of the market.
My God taught me that pollution and corruption of the environment begins with a corruption in the soul and that moral pollution which is found in grudges, hatred, racism and duplicity in standards leads to physical pollution. He taught me that a breach in the values of truth, trustworthiness and loyalty leads to the breach in the Ozone layer because a corrupt soul will spread the ugliness of corruption throughout its surroundings.
My faith taught me that true civilisation begins with keeping the hearts alive and the souls pure, it does not with filling the world with concrete jungles and sky-scrapers. And that it is better for people to live on the ground whilst honest and pure than to soar into the horizon as thieves.

My Lord reproved me through His prophet, peace and blessings upon him, saying: "I and the Humans and Jinn have a great issue, I create, yet something else is worshipped, I provide but something else is thanked, My goodness descends upon them whilst their evil ascends to Me. I come to them with My blessings borne through My love for them whilst I have no need for them, yet they distance themselves from Me through acts of disobedience despite being the most dependent on Me. If they repent to Me, I am their beloved, I welcome them from a distance: welcome O penitent ones, if they do not repent to Me, I am their Doctor, I may afflict them with tribulations to cleanse them from sins and deficiencies. Those who remember Me are those who sit with Me, those who thank Me are they who receive more from Me, those who disobey Me, I will never forsake them of My mercy. A good deed is treated by Me like ten and I may increase whilst a bad deed is treated as one and I may forgive, My Mercy precedes My wrath and My forbearance precedes My bringing to account."

My Lord taught me never to despair of His Mercy or forgiveness. He stated to me through his prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him: "Had those who turn away from Me known how I wait for them and how gentle I am with them and how much I long for them to cease from their acts of disobedience, they would come. This is for those who turn away from me, what do you think of those who come to Me?" He has taught me that even a minute of life left is long enough to have great hope in the Mercy of Allah, He has addressed my kind saying: "Son of Adam, I commanded you but you turned away, I forbade you but you did anyway, I concealed your faults but you became daring, I turned from you but you did not care. O you who when called by slaves responds but when called by the Majestic turns away and goes far, if you ask of Me, I will give you, if you pray to Me, I will respond to you, if you fall ill, I will cure you, if you submit, when cured, I provide for you, if you come to me, I accept you, if you repent, I forgive you for I am the Oft-forgiving Most Merciful."

God opened for me all the gates of hope regardless of the scale of my sin, he alerted me to the breadth of His mercy so that I do not fall prey to Satan or a prisoner of despair, He said to me: "If you repent to Us, then break your repentance, return to Us again, if you break it a second time, do not let your shame prevent you from returning a third time, I am the Forbearing who is not hasty, I am the Forgiving without holding back, who has ever stood in Our door and was repelled, who has ever resigned from his sin and did not find forgiveness? I indeed forgive the sins and conceal the faults and provide relief to the one with an affliction, I show mercy to the weeping penitent, I am the knower of the unknown, my slave, stand in my door, I will record your name on the list of those I love, enjoy nearness to me, I will give you to drink from my very delicious drink."

Allah has taught me that His perfection fixes our deficiency, that His power shows compassion to our weakness and that being humble before Him, acknowledging our weakness and shortcoming and sinfulness is the way to His forgiveness, He said: "When the disobedient slave weeps for his sins and acknowledges his faults before His Master and Beloved and says: My God, I have done wrong. Allah Most High will say: I will overlook (and cover your sins). The slave will say: I am regretful, Allah Most High will say: I know. The slave will say: My God, I have returned. Allah Most High will say: and I have forgiven."

"My slave, do not despair of My Mercy, if you have the trait of treachery because I am known for My Generosity, if you have mistakes, I am One that always gives, if you have committed wrong, I make right, if you are dry and distant, I have Loyalty, if you are oblivious, I am Merciful, if you are fearful and penitent, I am Accepting and Responsive."

It has been said that the earth and the oceans conspired against the son of Adam, the earth said: "O Lord, this slave of Yours, You created him with your own hand, you made me servile to him through your Power, he ate from Your provisions and worshipped others, permit me to crack under him and become his grave? The oceans said: O Lord, this slave of Yours, You created him with Your own hand, and made me servile to him through Your power, he eats from your provisions and worshipped other than you. Permit me to drown him inside me. Allah Most High asks: My earth and my oceans, who created my slave? The earth and the oceans will say: You are the One who created him. Allah Most High says: I am the One Who created Him and from My provisions fed him, from my very soul I have given him life, I carry him on my earth and under my heaven I provide him shade. If he gets to know me, I will know him, if he mentions me I will mention him, if he forgets me, I will remember him, if he was to show animosity towards Me, I will make peace with him, if he was to distance himself from Me, I will call him, where would you find a Lord like Me, I am the Most Forgiving Most Merciful."

This is my Master whom I love and worship, I humble myself to Him so he gives me honour, I obey him and He gives me joy. I disobey him, acknowledge my mistake and return to him, He considers my weakness, accepts me and comes to me and consoles me. "He is my Lord," "He initiates and brings back, He is the Forgiving the Loving, with the Glorious throne, He does as He chooses."

He is my Lord, "indeed My Lord is Most Compassionate, Most Merciful."

Prepared by Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohammad
Translated by Keysar Trad
Delivered by Elsayed Kandil

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