One of the main aspects of the journey of life is to reconnect with our Creator and to understand where we came from. I want to share with you a powerful piece of writing, I came across this summer, about Allah (swt) and who He is. I can honestly say that because of how very direct and eloquent the writer is, for the first time ever in my life, my knowledge of who Allah (swt) is, jumped up to an extraordinary level of understanding. The excerpt may seem quite lengthy, but trust me, once you start reading you’ll just want to keep going until the end.
From Imam Birgivi’s ‘The Path of Muhammad (s.a.w.s): A Book on Islamic Morals & Ethics’ (pgs 3-5):
“ON ALLAH (MAY HE BE GLORIFIED AND EXALTED)
First, I beseech all Muslims to believe, say, and confirm this with their hearts: there is no god but God worthy and deserving to be worshipped, obeyed, and loved.
He has no partner, nor is anything like Him. He eats not, drinks not, sleeps not, begets not, nor is He begotten. He does not have a wife, son, or daughter. He exists neither in a place nor at a time. He is neither on earth nor in heaven, on your right or your left, under or above. He has no shape or form or color, nor face, hands or feet. He fears not, hurts not, is saddened not, changes not, and is free of all defects. He is other than all we know or can imagine.
He has no age. He was before always, and will be after the after, forever. He is self-existent, and does not depend on anything. His essence is only His. It is unknown to anyone but He, and is constant. He has priority over everything. He created all from nothing and can turn all into nothing. Nothing has the power to resist Him, and there is no difficulty for Him. For Him to create seven heavens and seven earths is the same as creating a fly.
No one can influence, dominate, or judge Him, and He governs all and everything. He needs no one, and all are in need of Him. No good or harm can come to Him from anywhere or anyone, even if all the faithless kept faith with Him or if all the sinners became obedient. All the worship directed to Him, from the beginning of time until the end, confers no benefit upon Him. If no one ever believed in Him, it would not harm Him at all.
He is One, Only and Unique. He is Ever-Living, All-Knowing, Aware of all that is in heaven and earth, whether it is observed by or hidden from humanity. He has the accounting of all the leaves on the trees, the number of wheat kernels and grains of sand. Nothing is unknown to Him. He knows the parts of every whole, and the past, present, and future of every existence. He knows what you do, what you say, think, and feel, what you show and what you hide. He knows all that is visible and invisible, what there is and what is yet to come. He cannot be mistaken, nor miss or forget anything that He knows. His knowledge existed before there was anything to know: it is uncreated, like Him.
God is All-Seeing and All-Hearing. He sees the tiny black ant walking on a black stone in the darkest of nights and hears its footsteps. If you whisper in someone’s ear and neither he nor even you hear your voice, know that God hears your voice loud and clear. He has no eyes, no ears, yet He hears and sees without senses.
All will is His. He does what He wills. Nothing happens or exists without His will. He has no needs or wishes. No one’s wishes no matter how strong can influence His will and make Him do things. Every atom in the universe exists because He willed it to be. Both good and eveil are His will. If He willed not, the faithful could not have believed and obeyed Him by their will. He is the one who wills the faithlessness of the faithless, and the sin of the sinner. If He did not, there would be neither sin nor evil. Not a fly can move its wing without His will. What man does, God makes him do. If He willed, all the people would have been pious. If He willed, all people would have been evil. Then why did He not will everyone to be devout, but made some sinners? The answer is that no one has the right to question Him. He is absolute, one, unique in His will and in His actions.
Yet there is a divine reason and wisdom in what He does that human beings cannot understand. There is always an advantage for all. Even if you cannot know, believe that there is a multitude of good hidden in the existence of poisonous snakes, scorpions, vermin and bugs, and all other things we associate with suffering and misfortune. It is an obligation for all faithful ones to believe this, and to believe that it has always been so, and always will be.
God’s will is eternal as He is, not created. God is All-Powerful: All power belongs to Him. His power is only conditional upon one thing: His will. Only what He makes comes to exist; only what He does, happens. There is nothing He cannot do. He has brought the dead back to life, made stones and trees talk and walk, made stars disappear and reappear, turned earth to gold and gold to earth, made rivers flow uphill, raised those He loved above the seven heavens and brought them back, transported them from the eastern end of the world to its western end in an instant. He is the one who does everything with His power, which is eternal like Himself, though created afterwards, and which is inexhaustible.
Every word, every sound, all that is said and heard are His. His commands, His ordinances and judgments that apply to His creation, are in His words. These are contained in the last divine book, the Holy Qur’an, which includes all the other preceding holy books. The Qur’an is His final word, whose meaning is infinite and eternal.
God’s word is soundless. It does not need a tongue or lips to pronounce it, nor does it need ears to be heard, nor does it need letters to be written or eyes to be read.
God is the creator of all and everything. There is no other who created but He. He is the one who created the eye and what it sees, the hand and what it does, the tongue and what it says. He is the one who created us and our deeds – the whole, the parts, the essence and the attributes of men and jinn. The worlds and the heavens, devils, beasts, plants, rocks and jewels, all that can be seen, felt and imagined, and the invisible and unimaginable, are created by Him from nothing. Only He existed before anything existed. He created the creation not because He needed it, but to manifest His Love, His Will, His Wisdom, His Power, and His Compassion.
So: He is before the before. He did not become; He always was. He is after the after, eternal: He will always be. He is one, only and unique, without partner. He is the cause of all and everything. All are in need of Him, while He needs no one and nothing. He said “Be” and all became. Everything will be gone when He says “Be gone.” He is the creator, bearing no resemblance to what He created. He is the self-existent, independent, without any needs.
These are the essential things that human beings can understand about the perfection of their Sustainer, whom they should believe, love, and obey.”
(*Please excuse spelling errors. I typed it word for word. Also Please Note that I will rarely publish an excerpt of this length.)