Jun 12, 2013

A brief explanation of Aqeedah Al-Wasitiyyah - Part 5

By Amatullah Aminah

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


Explanation of Ayat Al Kursi 
Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. 

(allaaho laa elaaha illaa howa, al-hayyul qayyoomo) 

Allah- He is the One and only God- Lord of all creation. This statement repeatedly negates the false claims of the existence of other ‘gods’.

These lines also hold the greatest names of Allah according to Ahadith- Al Hayy and Al Qayyum.

Al Hayy means the one who is everlasting, eternal and Al Qayyomo means the self-existing one i.e. no one created Him. He is self-existing and through him all forms of life exists. So Allah is the ONLY ONE who is Everlasting and Self-Existing while we-His creation not only came into existence through His Will and Power but also we continue to survive through Him.

Abu Hurairah reported that whenever the Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was faced with a serious difficulty, he would raise his head to the sky and supplicate, “Subhan-Allah al-‘Azim (glory be to Allah, the Mighty).” And when he implored seriously and strongly, he would say “Ya Hayyu, Ya Qayyum (O Ever-Living One, O Self-Existing One).” [Tirmidhi] 

No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. 

(laa taakhozohu senatuwn walaa nawmun) 

Polytheistic ideas conjured an image of god similar to human beings. Associating god with traits of sleep and slumber was a common understanding. However God is nothing like His creation. He does not get tired, sleepy, hungry, thirsty and so on. Allah clearly states here that sleep and slumber are not godly attributes and are strictly restricted to His creation alone.

Imam ibn Kathir gives a very powerful dimension to this verse; he associates sleep and slumber to negligence and unawareness. He explains: “Allah could never be negligent, unaware, nor can He err in regards to His creation. Rather, He is completely controlling by being aware of what every soul earns. His comprehension upon everything is perfect and nothing can be hidden from His Knowledge and there could be no secret kept from Him...”

His are all things in the heavens and on earth.
(lahu ma fis-samaa waati wa ma fil-‘ard) 

He Created the heavens and the earth and everything they hold. He has exclusive ownership over His creation, and it cannot be put more aptly that ‘To Allah we belong and to unto Him will we return’. 

Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His Permission?
(Man dhal-ladhi yashfa’u ‘indahu illa bi-idhnihi) 

The idolaters believed that their idols would intercede on their behalf in front of Allah. Allah makes it clear in this revelation that nobody would be able to intercede, except by His Permission. The translation of the Arabic language does not do justice to the beauty and depth of the original verse; the verse although posed as a question, is still a statement roaring with tones of authority. It is set in a challenging tone, as to who can defy Allah and meet His Challenge. The answer is: NONE. These ayaat affirm Allah’s Greatness, Pride, and Grace, and that no one dare to intercede with Him on behalf of anyone else, except by His Permission. “...Except by His Permission” refers to the intercession of the Prophet sal allahu alayhi wasallam, [2] some angels [3] and some of His slaves with whom He is pleased [4].

He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, 
(Ya’lamu ma baina aidihim wa ma khalfahum) 

These lines speak of Allah’s Perfect Knowledge which encompasses the entire creation. He has knowledge of the past, present and future including things and events unknown to human beings.

and they encompass not a thing of His Knowledge except for what He wills.
(wa la yuhituna bi shai’im-min ‘ilmihi illa bima sha’a) 

These words further strengthen Allah’s Grace, Power and the extent of His Knowledge. We as lay people think that the prophets and righteous scholars have access to Allah's complete knowledge, but even their knowledge is limited and they know only to the extent of what Allah allows them to know. No one has complete knowledge of all things except Alllah subhaanahu wa ta'ala. Allah firmly states that complete comprehension of Allah and other types of knowledge is in the Hands of Allah, and we know only that portion which He decides to reveal. There could be (and there is) a lot more out there, beyond the realms of our knowledge which would come to light only when Allah decides to reveal it to us.

His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, 
(Wasi’a kursiyuhus-samawati wal ard) 

We should be very cautious in trying to understand the term ‘kursi’. It should be understood separate and with no comparison to the creation. Imam ibn Kathir has narrated from ibn Abbas that kursi means ‘knowledge’ thus Allah’s Kursi being His Dominion, Knowledge and Extent of Power (as described by various scholars), extends over the heavens and earth, enveloping all things.

and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
(wa la ya’uduhu hifdhuhuma Wa Huwal ‘Aliyul-Adheem)

Preservation of both the worlds and the entire creation does not tire Allah, He- the Most High is incapable of experiencing fatigue. He runs all the events and things perfectly without any lapses and loopholes. Allah being ‘Aliyul-Adheem’ is above and greater than these things.

[1][Sahih Muslim: Fada’il al-Qur’an, under Surat al-Kahf & Ayat al-Kursi. Imam Muslim]
[2]Prophet (pbuh) said, I will stand under the Throne and fall in prostration, and Allah will allow me to remain in that position as much as He wills. I will thereafter be told, "Raise your head, speak and you will be heard, intercede and your intercession will be accepted''. The Prophet then said, "He will allow me a proportion whom I will enter into Paradise.''
[3]And there are many angels in the heavens, whose intercession will avail nothing except after Allah has given leave for whom He wills and is pleased with [53:26]
[4]They cannot intercede except for him with whom He is pleased [21:28]
[5] Tafsir ibn Kathir: http://www.qtafsir.com/index.phpoption=com_content&task=view&id=141&Itemid=36


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