EDITOR'S NOTE: Knoweth Thou Thy Lord?

Praise be to Allaah,the Lord of the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon Muhammad, His last Messenger his household, his companions and all those who follow him till the last day.

Everything in our limited experience usually has a beginning and end. We ourselves are born and we ultimately die. This is the case with our parents and forefathers as well as with our children and descendants. Such relationships permeate creation. Sadly, such relationshipsfuel mans imagination and also his conception of his Creator; Allaah.This is why we must truly ask ourselves: "Do you know your Creator?" Who Created Allaah? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was referring to the limits of human reason when he said: "People will keep asking questions until they come to asking: :Allaah created the universe, but who created Allaah?" Whoever has thoughts like this should simply declare: "I believe in Allaah." Seek Allaah's help and desist from such thoughts". (Muslim)

One way of seeking Allaahs help from such self defeating imagination is to recite and ponder over Suuratul Ikhlaas: "Say: He is Allah. theOne, Allah, the Self-Subsisting, He begets not, nor is He begotten, and there's none like unto Him," (Q112[al-Ikhlaas]: 1-4). The crucial verse here is "He begets not, nor is He begotten". It shows that Allaahs perfection and Self-Subsistence defy human experience and transcend the limits of the human imagination. So Allaah says:"Allaah, the Self-Subsisting. He begets not, nor is He begotten" and immediately follows it with: "and there is none like unto Him," We cannot compare Allah with anythingin our experience.This is the way our faith in Allaah should be.

Nothing can be gained from pursuing the line of thinking as to "Who created Allaah?" Allaah's nature cannot be compared to created existence, nor can it be compassed by the limitations of human reason. The human mind, however, can conceive of Allaahs existence and acknowledge that He is the Creator of all things. Infact, the human mind resists any attempt to compel it to deny Allaahs existence as shown with the failure of the tyranny of Firawn. He Is The First, He Is The Last. The human mind acknowledges the existence of a Creator. Reason cannot escape from such an acknowledgment. The intellect certainly recognizes Allaah, but it is not capable of comprehending all of His attributes.

The role of Allahs Prophets and Messengers is to teach people what they need to know about their Lord and how Allaah wishes them to worship Him. This protects people from concocting all sorts of rituals and rites from their own imaginations that have no basis in revelation from Allaah. The Rasul (peace be upon him) said, addressing Allah in supplication: "You are the First, so nothing precedes You. You are the Last, so nothing comes after You. You are the Manifest, so nothing comes above You. You are the Hidden, so nothing comes below you. Fulfill our debts for us and enrich us so we will not be poor. "(Muslim)

Allaah is the First who is not preceded by anything else.This is a concept that cannot be fully grasped by the imagination, but it can certainly be accepted by the mind and heart. Our awareness of the limitations that our minds have is a crucial awareness. Likewise, Allaah is the Last, whose existence persists without end. As such, Allaah is truly the Inheritor: "And remember Zakkariyyah, when he cried unto his Lord: My Lord! Leave me not childless, though You are the Best of inheritors," (Q26[al-Ambiya]: 89) Timeless, Eternal..., Allaah is timeless and eternal, without beginning or end. By contrast, all created things have a beginning and end. Allaah cannot be understood according to the terms of material existence. He is not bound by the so-called laws of nature which are themselves part of Allaahs creation.

It is no surprise that the mind cannot fully grasp the Creator, since the mind is itself created and subject to the limitations of its created nature. The mind can only fall into confusion and self deception if it tries to rationalize that which is beyond its powers. Rather,we should apply our mental efforts to matters our minds are capable of engaging with - the universe that Allaah created and the vast horizons of knowledge that it presents. Allaah has given us the rational ability and the imaginative power to uncover and conceptualize the physical laws of nature. We can harness such knowledge to benefit humanity in ways that please Allaah. Certainly, revelation tells Usall we need to know about Allaah and how we must worship Him. Still, our imaginations becloud us and give birth to several misconceptions about our Lord. In this edition, we attempt to clear ten common misconceptions. May Allaah make us of those who will know Him and worship Him in truth.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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