Praise be to Allah, Who granted His Believing Servants the occasions of glad tidings and good to double their rewards and expiates their sins. May peace and blessings be upon the one whom Allah sent as a guide, bearer of glad tiding, and a warner for the people. The one who called to Allah by His Leave and was an illuminating lamp. May peace and blessings be upon him, his family, his Companions, the followers, and those who follow them.
One of the greatest tasks and beneficial means that draw a person near to the pleasure and fear of Allah is self-accountability by considering the past times and revision for many of his actions. Many times have passed and their months, weeks, days, and hours were counted against us. During which a person has committed many sins, enjoyed desires and lusts, and seen the different conditions of life, joys and sadness, which hardened the heart and kept us away from the Lord of the heavens and the earth. In addition, we forgot about the Last Day and about death, so we had to advise and remind people, perhaps admonition awakes the neglectful hearts and warns the distracted minds to revise themselves and come back to its senses to rectify their behaviors.
Dear honorable Muslims: During these blessed lessons —in sha’ Allah— we shall remember and remind others with a set of rights that are due for us which many people do not know or tolerate all or part of them. A group of people, who messed up in the different valleys and paths of this world, ignored them, so it might be an admonition to the indifferent, an education for the ignorant, a warning for the wasters, and a good advice for fulfilling these rights and act according to them for the sake of Allah.
The right of Allah is the first of all these rights and the most important, and every right emerges from this important right because it is the basis that every Muslim should not ignore or do not know, rather than tolerate that right.
Dear Muslim brother: The right of Allah is the cause for which all messengers were sent, all scriptures were sent down, and for which man was ordained to fulfill in this worldly life. Upon which reward and accounting depend as well as happiness and success in this world and in the Hereafter. Therefore, it is better for a Muslim to know it and revise it from time to time because there is no happiness, success, security, or tranquility save fulfilling it.
From the rights of Allah are the following: unification of Allah in terms of Himself, unification of Allah in terms of His Lordship, unification of Allah in terms of deity and worship, and unification of Allah in terms of His Names and Attributes.
The meaning of unification of Allah in His Lordship is: To declare that Allah is one in His Actions by admitting that Allah is the Owner, the Creator, the Provider of sustenance, the One who gives life and the One who takes it away, the Beneficent and the One who is Able to cause harm, and the only One who can answer the invocations at need. He has all affairs and matters in His Hand and in His Hand is all good, and He is Able over everything; glory be to Him who has no partner. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: ﴾Say (O Muhammad peace be upon him): “Who provides for you from the sky and the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and brings out the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs?” They will say: “Allah.” Say: “Will you not then be afraid of Allah’s punishment (for setting up rivals in worship with Allah)?”﴿ Allah (Glory be to Him) says: ﴾And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: “Allah.” How then are they turned away (from the worship of Allah, Who created them)? ﴿ Allah (Glory be to Him) says: And If you were to ask them: “Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death?” they will surely reply: “Allah.” Say: “All praise and thanks are Allah’s!” Nay, most of them have no sense. ﴿ Allah (Glory be to Him) says: ﴾Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Little is that you remember! ﴿
There are numerous Ayahs which show that Allah (Glory be to Him) is the only one who has dominion and creation, sustenance and management, giving life and taking it, and benefit and harm. All people, even the polytheists who did not deny it as shown in the previous Ayahs, know this kind of unification.
A believer believes and admits that lordship is solely for Allah Alone, feeling that sense in his life, and fulfilling the implications of that unification. When a person knows that Allah is the sole Creator and Provider, he will invoke Him alone without associating any of His Servants with Him.
One of His Unification too is: the unification of Allah in terms of His Names and Attributes. Allah (Glory be to Him) called Himself names in His Book and the Messenger of Allah attributed names to Him. He also described Himself with some attributes and the Messenger (peace be upon him) described Him with some attributes. So, it is obligatory on Muslims to call Allah with the names and attributes He chose for Himself without knowing the nature of this quality, without comparing Allah to His Servants, without distortion, and without disabling. They are names and attributes fit the glory and greatness of Allah and no one of His Creation is like Him ﴾There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. ﴿ Allah (Glory be to Him) is All knowing, All Able, and He is the Ever living and the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. He has the full will and the absolute wisdom. He is All Hearing All Seeing, the Compassionate and the Most Merciful, and He rose over the Throne. He is the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glorified is Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him. He has all these beautiful names and high qualities and others.
It is the right of Allah that a Muslim should believe in the beautiful names and high attributes of Allah and does not associate any partner with Him. A Muslim should not interpret these attributes to disable them and should not compare them to the attributes of humans by seeking to know its nature, but he should attribute to Allah what He or His Messenger attributed for Himself and negate the attributes that He or His Messenger negated. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: ﴾And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do. ﴿ Allah (Glory be to Him) says: ﴾Say (O Muhammad peace be upon him): “Invoke Allah or invoke the Most Gracious (Allah), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. And offer your Salah (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between. ﴿
The Pious predecessors understood that meaning and acted upon. Imam Malik (may Allah bestow mercy upon his soul) was asked about Allah’s Saying: ﴾The Most Gracious (Allah) rose over (Istawa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His Majesty). ﴿ Thereupon, he said: The meaning of (Istawa) is well-known, but the nature is unknown, believing in is obligatory, and asking about is a heresy. Imam Ash-Shafi`y (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) used to say: I have believed in Allah and in what was reported about Him in the way He meant. And I have believed in the Messenger of Allah and in what he came with as the Messenger of Allah meant. Imam Ahmad (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said while speaking about the attributes of Allah: We have faith in them and believe them without knowing their nature and without interpreting them. There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer ﴿
Dear Muslim brother: These were some short pauses and references, perhaps they draw our attentions to revise this basic and important right. Let each one of us account himself to renew his faith and monotheism in order to increase his fear, reverence, and glorification to Allah and to see the reflection of that meaning on one’s work and behavior.
I ask Allah by His Beautiful Names and High Attributes to apportion to us such fear as should serve as a barrier between us and acts of disobedience; and such obedience as will take us to Your Paradise; and such as will make easy for us to bear in the calamities of this world. He is All Hearing, All Responding, and the Only one who is sought for help.
We shall continue our discussion in the next lesson, in sha’ Allah.