Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Attributes of Allah- IV

By the grace of Allah I continue after a month (4 weeks) the 4th part of my Friday Sermon on the attributes of Allah. As I told you, Allah has no need to lie. He Himself is Malik, Rahman and Rahim. He is also Al-Haqq. He made the truth clear when people use tricks and all kinds of illusions to deceive people. We have this clearly in the example of Hazrat Musa (as).

So when we read the Holy Quran, it also mentions the example of Hazrat Dawud (as). Allah (swt) says that two people climbed the walls and entered the castle of Hazrat Dawud (as) and they said to him: O Dawud, do not be afraid; don’t think we are thieves or burglars; it won’t do you any good to make noises. In fact, we came to present a case [a concern] to you. I have a ewe, but he (my friend present here) has 99. He tells me to give him my eve, so that will make a number of 100 (i.e. 100 ewes). But I told him I only have one and I can’t give it to you. So tell us what to do.

So Hazrat Dawud (as) gave his judgment, but immediately after he turned to Allah (swt) in prostration and thought that Allah was in fact testing him. Allah certainly tested him and warned him against greediness to acquire small kingdoms to add to his own kingdom. Allah (swt) made him understand that he should not put pressure on the kingdoms that were nearby (in the vicinity), to be careful not to commit excesses.

There are commentators who have misinterpreted this verse, insinuating that he had 99 wives and that he wanted to appropriate another woman, which would bring the number of women to 100. But all this is actually an exaggeration. Do you not know that he was himself king and that all the kingdoms belonged to him and if he wanted, he could have had all the pretty ladies he wanted. He could have had everything he wanted because at that time the king had great superiority. So these commentators have their eyes closed; they accept the version of the Bible. All of this is completely imaginary.

In fact the advice was for Hazrat Dawud (as), to make him understand that Allah (swt) had given him very great kingdoms. And in the vicinity of these great kingdoms, there were small countries, and kings very often fell into the temptation to appropriate small countries to add them to their great kingdoms. Even today, there are countries who have their eyes on small islands, to have them in their control to act as military bases. They thought it was a very good deal. But this type of temptation sometimes makes them commit injustices.

Speaking of which, it is convenient for me to put forward a question that one of my disciples in an Arab country put before me, concerning what I said about the explosion that had occurred at the time of Hazrat Salih (as). I quote again what I had mentioned in my Friday Sermon of 27 March 2020:

The second characteristic of divine punishment is that it is subject to a certain condition which is not the direct cause of the earthly or celestial calamity which will manifest itself.

During the prophethood of Salih (as) (sent to the tribe of Thamud), there was a terrible explosion. There was no connection between the explosion and the fact that a she-camel was hamstrung.

What I make you understand here according to the knowledge that Allah has given me and that He Himself made me understand, it is indeed mentioned in the Holy Quran, in Surah Al-Araf and Al-Qamar that it was indeed the she-camel of Allah, and that, like everyone else, she also had her turn to drink water. But the perpetrators disobeyed Allah’s command and did not let the she-camel drink when its turn came. And in addition, they hamstrung her. And then the verses mention that after that Allah sent out an explosion, or a cry, or even a great earthquake, against them which destroyed them in their homes.

You must understand that as I told you, hamstringing the she-camel was not the direct cause of this punishment. This means that it is the disobedience that they have shown and that they have accumulated over time, years after years of disobedience which is the direct cause of this punishment, and not the action of hamstringing the she-camel only. Allah does not punish unexpectedly, in one stroke. He gives man or an entire people or even humanity as a whole enough time to repent. The people of Hazrat Salih (as) must have accumulated their disobedience and their sins through years and years when they ultimately exceeded all limits in their disobedience to Allah, otherwise Allah would not have punished them. It was years of disobedience that brought this great punishment to them. The trial concerning the she-camel was only “the straw that broke the camel’s back” [i.e. the limit which was exceeded].

So, that’s why I said: The second characteristic of divine punishment is that it is subject to a certain condition which is not the direct cause of the earthly or celestial calamity which will manifest itself.

This is the condition. If the people of Salih (as) had shown obedience to the command of Allah and the instruction of the prophet, that is, [to let the she-camel have her turn to drink water] and had they not hamstrung, then the people of Hazrat Salih ( as), even if they were still disbelievers, they would not have received this punishment. But these are years of disobedience; disobedience that they have accumulated which has brought them to their lost.

As in the case of Hazrat Dawud (as), like I explained to you, Allah tried him by the presence of these two people who came to his room to present their case to him. It is not the presence of these two persons and their story that counts in all this, but it is the trial/ test and the lesson that Allah wanted to teach Hazrat Dawud (as). That’s what matters in this Quranic account. And Hazrat Dawud (as) has come to understand that this is indeed a trial and a great lesson that Allah has taught him. Allah made him understand that he should not be greedy for the material goods of this world. He must be satisfied with what Allah has given him. Otherwise, like a Caliph of Allah, he would not have done his job properly. But when Hazrat Dawud (as) judged between these two characters with justice, he immediately understood that this judgement was in fact applicable on himself; he had to apply the same judgement to himself.

So, I return to the subject of my sermon. Since Allah is the absolute Master, then there is no need for Him to take things, and be greedy, or do all kinds of tricks and schemes to acquire things. And He is beyond lying and He has no use in committing injustices.

And this time Allah linked the quality/ attribute of “Master” with the attribute of “Truth”. Further ahead when I will explain the verse in detail, then there will still some very interesting explanations which will come to light. Why did Allah (swt) link the attribute of “Truth” with “Master”? In fact the reason for this is exactly as I told you.

“Malik” has a connection to property. If a person is master and he gives something to someone and does not give to another, then that action cannot be called injustice. He can give to whomever he wants because he is the master and all these things belong to him and no one has the right to qualify this as an injustice. He has all the rights to give to whomever he wants. No one can say, “O! He gave so and so but gave me nothing.”

So this is ignorance and nothing else. In fact the attribute of truth or justice has no connection with this but it has a connection with the Master. Where the Quran linked this, there is the mention of “Malik”, but despite this, there is all of this in Surah Al-Fatiha. Because Malik Yaumid Deen is applicable to both. It is Allah Himself Who makes the decisions, Himself Who is the Judge and Himself the Master. So, like I told you, the word Haqq is connected/ linked with all the names that are mentioned in Surah Al-Fatiha.

Therefore, have this complete certainty that Surah Al-Fatiha is the mother of the attributes of Allah. And just as it is the mother of the Quran, so is it also the mother of all the names of Allah. To understand the names of Allah, you must refer to Surah Al-Fatiha and then the subject will become clearer. 

Now I come to the verse which treated this subject in different aspects, from different angles. So far I have been speaking on the verse where it is mentioned - [where Allah makes us understand] why people lie, and in light of this we are certain that the attribute of Haqq of Allah is deeply connected with the attributes of Surah Al-Fatiha. And then we can prove 100% that a Being Who possesses these qualities cannot be a liar. It is impossible that He has any connection with the lie [lying]. And since there is a complete rejection of all aspects of lying, this is why He is known as “Al-Haqq” - the complete and perfect truth that has no connection, even from afar, with lies.

Now if you reflect on the word Haqq in all the places where Allah has mentioned it, then you will have plenty of lights to illuminate your own characters and for your own ways of living. You will understand Allah as Haqq and you will want to take full advantage of Him. There is something that we must definitely accept, is that if you [we] are deprived of all aspects of truth, then you cannot have any connection with the truth - not even any connection. For there to be a connection, there must be cooperation. Without cooperation, the connection will be completely cut. If a person cuts his connection completely with the attributes of Allah, then he will remain deprived of all the benefits of these attributes. So it is necessary to understand what is the truth and what are the advantages that the Quran has mentioned in connection with the truth. There is a certain advantage that you can immediately understand. For this, I have chosen a few verses as examples and maybe we will only be able to speak on two at the moment.

In Surah Al-Anam Verses 62 and 63, Allah (swt) says that He is supreme over His servants. And in Urdu when the word supreme is used, then your attention goes to the negative aspect but in fact “supreme” is such a being who has absolute power. A being who can punish if He wants to. He certainly has the capacity, the power to punish. And if He wants to, He can also forgive. He can do whatever He wants.

So when He has total control, then we say He is supreme. In human politics also this word is often used; where there is a fear for another being, then the  word “supreme” does not apply. There are, for example, great powers which sympathize with small countries, because each has a fear of the other. When this fear is broken, then at that time, supremacy descends in the form of injustice. Yet this supremacy was always present, but no one saw it because this supremacy took on the negative aspect when there is no fear for anyone. So when the word supremacy is mentioned in connection with Allah, then it means that if He wants to, Allah can destroy everything. There is no one who can ask Him questions about it.

But since He is Hamid too, therefore, although He has this ability, yet He does not destroy these people. And sometimes people come to such a situation where they really deserve punishment, but again Allah does not destroy them. It is said that if Allah had willed, He could have eliminated and destroyed all life for the sins they commit, because humans are immersed in sins. But since He does not show His negative aspect but only shows His positive side [the Good God]. As you can see, see and also reflect, this is certainly a very broad subject and cannot be developed in just one or two sermons. It is not easy to explain the attributes of Allah (swt). Insha-Allah, may Allah (swt) give this humble servant the ability and the opportunity to continue on the same subject next Friday. Insha-Allah.

May Allah (swt) guide each of us on the right path and enable us understand His messages and warnings for the welfare of mankind. Insha-Allah, Ameen.

---Friday Sermon of 10 April 2020~16 Shabaan 1441 AH delivered by Hadhrat Khalifatullah Munir A. Azim (atba) of Mauritius.