خَالِقٌ بـِلا حَاجَةٍ، رَازِقٌ لَهُمْ بـِلا مُؤْنَةٍ،
Pt 7; He creates without need to do so, and provides without any effort (bila mu’nah).
Allāh, Exalted is He, created the creation in order that they worship Him. If some refuse to worship Him, His greatness is not diminished in the least, whereas the worship of those that submit themselves to Him does not help anyone save themselves:
‘O men! It is you, who stand in need of God, whereas He alone is self-sufficient, the One to whom all praise is due.’
The statement of the author: ‘and provides for His creation without any effort’ illustrates that Allāh is al-Ghani, free from having a need from anyone or thing. Moreover, He is the One sustaining all that exists in the heavens and the earth. Providing sustenance for all the creatures is not a burden nor an effort that is difficult upon Him:
‘I do not want from them any provision, nor do I want them to feed Me. Indeed, it is Allāh who is the [continual] Provider, the firm possessor of strength.’
Allah’s grace and bounty are endless:
‘O My slaves, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the jinn of you to stand in one place and make a request of Me, and were I to give everyone what he requested, that would not decrease what I have, any more than a needle decrease the sea if put into it.’
His attribute of creating comprises a number of dimensions. One of these is His ability to set in due measure based on absolute precision (taqdīr); as Allah said:
‘He created everything and determined it (qaddara) most exactly’.
Another dimension to His attribute of creating is that of fashioning (taswīr) in the form He wills. He fashioned every living creature in the wombs of their mothers, just as He wanted. Allah elucidated this to mankind when He said:
‘It is He who forms you in the womb however He wills.’
and in the Prophet’s statement narrated by Ibn Mas’ūd:
‘Each one of you is brought together in the womb of his mother for forty days, and then turns into a clot for an equal period and turns into a piece of flesh for a similar period’.
All of this is carried out with Divine Wisdom and without any burden or difficulty. This is yet another dimension; Allah’s act of creation is effortless:
‘Allah creates what He wills. When He has decreed something, He says to it only: “Be . . . . and it is’
لا يَفنى ولا يَبيد،
Pt 8; He Does Not Perish (yafna) or Pass Away (yabid).
This statement reinforces the previous one, that Allāh is eternal without a beginning or an end. The belief that Allāh is eternal sits at the heart of our understanding of Allāh as the Lord (rabb).
Allāh, Exalted is He, does not perish nor pass away as He has the attribute of Perfect Life (hayāt) and Perfect Existence (qayyūm). The verse of Surah al-Rahmān beautifully asserts this, when Allāh says:
‘Everyone on it will pass away; but the Face of your Lord will remain; full of Majesty and Generosity.’
The author negated these two attributes as a way of emphasizing the previous point: ‘He is Eternal without a beginning, Everlasting without an end’. This is in line with the methodology of the Qur’ān and Sunnah, which is to affirm attributes that relate to Allāh; with affirmation being the mainstay, and negating certain attributes from Allāh, as an exception. This is because negating defective attributes from someone does not necessarily entail praise, whereas affirming praiseworthy attributes by necessity entails honouring the person. For instance to introduce a speaker to an audience by saying: ‘The following individual is not a liar, nor a ignorant one, nor is he absent-minded’, and so on, is no way to praise him; how then could one praise the Creator of all in this manner? Rather:
‘for Allah is the highest description. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.’
Allah, Exalted is He, is the first and the last, and He will not perish or pass away. When affirmation of something praiseworthy is mentioned together with a negation of a related shortcoming, exclusivity and perfect praise is established.
Some of heretical sects claimed that certain attributes of Allāh would one day seize to exist, or be lost with time. The author here is affirming in the absolute sense that Allāh with not perish or pass away, both in terms of His Divine Essence (dhāt) and His Names and Attributes. For Allāh, time is a mere creation, and He is not subject to its constraints. He is al-Awwal (the First) and al-Ākhir (the Last).
Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad’s explanation of al-Aqeedah al-Tahawiyyah will soon be published as a hardback book. Islam21c have exclusive rights to share extracts from the book for its readers, and will be posting certain sections of the book on a weekly basis. The book: al-Aqeedah al-Tahawiyyah, is a short text outlining the aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah in short statements. Each extract posted is a complete explanation of any one of those statements. Edited by Asim Khan
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 Q. Al-Fātir, 35: 15.
 Q. Al-Dhāriyāt, 51: 58 & 59.
 H. Sahih Muslim
 Q. Al-Furqān, 25: 2.
 Q. Aal ‘Imrān, 2: 6.
 H. Sahih al-Bukhari
 Q. Āl-‘Imrān, 3: 47.
 Q. Al-Rahmān, 55: 26-7.
 Q. Al-Nahl. 16: 60.