Attributes of Negation
And Allah says, "Do you know of any who is similar to Him?" Sheikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taimiyah said that the lexicographers state that it means, 'Do you know anything in the likeness of Him. Who deserves this name?' It has also been said, 'Do you know any such being who is comparable to Him?' It is reported from Ibn Abbas that this verse means similar or resembling.
The verse contains a negative interrogation which gives a negative sense and accordingly the verse will mean "You do not know anything comparable to Him."
And Allah says, "And there is non comparable unto Him." Kufu means comparable and of similar status. This verse negates all forms of resemblance and comparability with Allah. This is because the word has been used negatively in a general sense. So, as regards its meaning it is general. The complete explanation of the Surah Al-lkhlas (the Sincerity) has already been given earlier.
And Allah says, "Then do not set up rivals unto Allah when you know." The word Andaad is the plural of the word Nidd whose meaning as already explained is 'similar and comparable,' and it is proverbial that no one can be a partner or rival to Allah. It means negation of similarity as well as contrast. The meaning of 'Antum Ta'lamoon' will be that, when you know that Allah Alone has created you and your provisions and your gods whom you regarded as comparable and similar to Allah and made them equal to Allah in regarding them as deserving of worship, cannot create anything; they are rather themselves creatures; they are not owners of any profit and loss. So give up their worship and make Allah the only object of worship and reverence.
And Allah says, "And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah." (2:165). Allah is giving information about the polytheists that they keep their gods as dear as one should keep Allah, that is, they regard these gods as equal to Allah in loving. And those who become faithful, develop love for Allah more than the polytheists do for their objects of worship. This is because the faithful have particularized the love for Allah only while the love expressed by the polytheists lies divided in between their objects of worship. There is no doubt in it that if love is directed to one side alone it is more lasting and strong. It has also been said that the polytheists love their objects of worship in the same way as the faithful do with Allah; but the faithful love Allah far more than the disbelievers do with their gods.
Later He says, "And say: All the praises and thanks are to Allah ... and magnify Him with all the magnificence." We have already given the explanation of the meaning of Hamd (praise) that is, praising with tongue on the favors and the disfavors. The affirmation of Hamd for Allah consists of such perfections for Him that He Alone is deserving of absolute Hamd Who reaches the extreme of such perfection.
Then Allah negated all such things from His Self which fall short of the absolute Hamd such as having a son, a partner and a companion for His Self, in other words, negating all wants and needs. This is because Allah does not make a friend from His creatures to fulfill His wants and needs.
Then He commanded to His Messenger (peace be upon him) to magnify Him with all the magnificence, providing all kind of respect to Him and purifying Him from all defects.
And Allah says, "Whatsoever is... Able to do all things." Tasbeeh means purifying from defects and removing them as has already been explained.
There is no doubt in it that all things of the heavens and the earth say the Hamd of their Lord and bear witness to His Perfect Knowledge, Ability, Reverence, Intelligence, Device and Mercy. Allah says:
"And there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise. But you understand not their glorification" (Surah Al-lsra, 17:44).
There is difference of opinion regarding the hymns recited by the inanimate objects. Since they do not speak, is it that they recite the hymn by their existence or by their tongue. I think the second statement is preferable, for Allah says:
"And you understand not their praise."
Thus if their hymns were recited by their apparent condition then this would be known. So adding one's own interpretation is not correct. Allah said about Prophet Daud (David):
"Verily, We made the mountains to glorify Our Praises with him (David) in the 'Ashi (i.e. after the mid-day till sunset) and Ishraq (i.e. after the sunrise till mid-day). And (so did) the birds assembled: all with him (David) did turn (to Allah i.e. glorified His Praises)" (Surah Sad, 38: 18,19).
Allah says: "Blessed is He." We have explained that Tabaraka is derived from Barakah which means eternality of goodness and its abundance, but this excess does not imply the existence of any defective thing, for this means the rejuvenation of voluntary perfections under the Will and Ability of Allah. These perfections are born in His Self according to Wisdom. Prior to the demand of wisdom the fact of being devoid of these perfections will not be considered a defect.
Some people have done the explanation of Tabaraka with permanence and absence of change. The word Birka is derived from it which means a tank. This is because its water does not flow. But this is a rather remote explanation. Furqaan means the Quran. This name was given because the Quran has great power of discerning between truth and falsehood and between guidance and being strayed. The word Nazzala describes the gradualness in the descent of the Quran, for the entire Quran did not descend all at once. The word 'Abd means Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He was given the title of being a slave of Allah in order to award him nobility, as has already been mentioned.
And 'Alamin is the plural of 'Aalam. This is the 'Aaqil plural and there are differences of opinion in its meaning. One statement is that this means human being and another is that this means both humans and the jinns. The latter statement is correct. This fact is proved that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent as the prophet for the jinns also. He used to get together with them and would recite the Quran to them. On hearing the Quran, one of their groups embraced Islam and its members began to frighten their community by it.
"And (remember) when We sent towards you (Muhammad (peace be upon him) Nafran (three to ten persons) of the jinns, (quietly) listening to the Quran, when they stood in the presence thereof, they said: 'Listen in silence!' And when it was finished, they returned to their people, as warners" (Surah Al-AhqaJ; 46:29).
And Nadheer and Mundhir is that person who frightens someone with something. Its antonym is Basheer or Mubash-shir, that is, one who gives you tidings that makes you happy.
Allah says, "No son did Allah beget..." This blessed verse consists of a large number of deanthropomorphic attributes whose aim is negation of the attributes which are not in accordance with the Grace of Allah. In this verse Allah has proved Himself exalted and hallowed from having a son, and various other attributes which fabricative small minds ascribe to Allah, such as creators and objects of worship other than Him. He has forbidden from ascribing anything similar to Him and ascribing partner to Him without any valid rhyme or reason and saying anything about His Self without knowledge and argument:
This verse consists of the affirmation of Tauhid-ul- Uloohiyah, the Oneness of worship and Tauhid-ur-Ruboobiyah, the Oneness of His Lordship. After giving the information that Allah has no partner He has clarified it with evident arguments and definite reasons. Thus He says, "else would each god..." that is, if there were other gods as the polytheists maintain:
"...(if there had been many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others!...". (AI-Muininirn:91)
The clarification of this argument is that if there were a number of gods then creation and other acts would not have been proved and there would have been no means for mutual cooperation. This would have made mutual differences inevitable just as the individual weakness of each among the creatures makes the existence of the evil or lack of cooperation inevitable. Thus it is clear that the helpless and the weak cannot be Allah.
It is therefore necessary that each one is free in terms of its creatures and its acts. This will, however, demand that either they are equal to one another in power so that none of them could dominate the other and would not take the subject, the creatures and the possession of the other as is done by the rulers in this world. In fact, when they fail to acquire domination over others, they separate themselves along with their country, or someone among them proves to be the mightiest and by virtue of tact and treatment becomes distinct among them. In such a situation two things are necessary for the numerical position of gods. Either the creation of others is snatched by the mightiest, or some demonstrate their superiority over others and resort to rebellion.
But the segregation of each along with its creation from one another goes contrary to what is probable, for this will certainly lead to mutual hatred between the elements of the world, distance and parceling out into so many pieces. On the other hand, observation shows that the entire universe is like an organism whose various limbs are joined together and all its sides are mutually related. This makes it necessary that there is sway of only One object of worship; and the fact that one does not demonstrate superiority over others and rebels, demands that Allah must be only One.
And Allah says, "So put not forward simulitudes for Allah (as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything). Truly! Allah knows and you know not" (Surah An-Nahl, 16:74). This verse forbids that people regard anything as resembling Allah, for His resemblance is so high that no creature can partake of it.
We have already mentioned the laying down of such measures and analogies about Allah which may display resemblance and equality between Him and the creatures such as the analogy of Tamtheel and analogy of inclusion etc. The analogy of the First will be used in
His case which means that in the case of each one of that existential perfection with which the creatures are qualified, it does not imply absence or defect, then in having the attributes of such perfections the Creator occupies the first position. It is the Creator Himself Who has bestowed that perfection of the creature. If Allah, despite the possibility of being qualified with these perfections, were not qualified with them, then there would be possibilities of existence of such things which are more perfect than Him. But this is impossible. Thus, all such defects from which the creatures are immune and unpolluted, it is of the highest primacy that the Creator is free from them.
Allah says, "Say: The things that..." In-Nama is a word that denotes delimitation of something. This shows the delimitation of forbidding for the things that have been mentioned. This will connote that all the sacred things other than these are allowed for adoption; there is no objection therein, as has already been explained by the verse mentioned above.
Fawahish is the plural of Fahisha which means an extremely base action. Some people have meant from it particularly those acts of sin which are characterized by lust and taste such as adultery, sodomy, and other acts of shamelessness including the inner desires such as conceit and pride, egotism and love for power, etc.
Ithm, that is (sin), the exegesis of sin has been done by some people in terms of absolute sins. This will mean those sins which are in addition to Fahisha. Some people have particularized it with alcoholism which is the root of all the sins. And the meaning of unjustifiable excesses is that people are subjected to such excesses and harshness which have no aspect of retaliation or resemblance.
Allah says, "joining partners..." Allah has prohibited that you worship anyone else with His worship, or look for the affinity of a self other than Allah with any form of worship or any means of bringing closeness and working as a medium such as invocations,
vowing, slaughtering animals, fear and expectations, etc. It is therefore necessary that the slave of Allah purifies his heart , relation to Allah and bows his head before Him. This is forbidden that he invents such substitutes of Allah who lay down such ways of worship and conducting social affairs which have not been permitted by Allah. Such a thing was done by the Jews and the Christians that they made their priests and rabbis their lords in matters of legislating. This made them declare the things forbidden by Allah as permissible and the things made permissible by Him as forbidden and they followed the priests and the rabbis in these matters. Allah's command, "Which He has given no authority..." has been made a precondition so that the reality of the matter could be described, for when man worships, obeys and follows anyone except Allah, then that action will always be without a valid reason.
To say anything regarding Allah without knowledge is a wide issue which will include every such thing which has been stated in relation to Allah without a reason and argument, such as affirming such things which have been denied by Allah or to negate such things which he has affirmed, or to carry out distortions and amplifications of the Qur'anic verses for adopting irreligion, etc.
Allamah Ibn Al-Qaiyim writes in his book E 'laam-ul-Muwaqqi 'een that:
Allah has forbidden saying anything regarding Him without knowing it while issuing a Fatwa (verdict) or a Judgement, and has regarded it among the greatest prohibitions. In fact, He has kept it on the top of the list. Allah says:
"Say (O Muhammad (peace be upon him): '(But) the things that my Lord! has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawa'hish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse etc.) whether committed openly or secretly". (Surah Al-A 'raf, 7:33).
Allah has laid down four classes of things that He has forbidden, and began them by the easiest one, that is Fawahish. At the second higher level, He mentioned those that are more severely forbidden such as sin and injustice. At the third stage, He mentioned those which are harsher than the second such as associating partners to Allah. Then at the fourth stage, He mentioned that which is the biggest of all forbidden things, that is, saying something regarding Allah without having knowledge of it. This statement is general in its application in relation to His Names, Attributes, and Acts, and also in relation to religion and Shari'ah.