MAGAZINE: EDITION AUGUST 2019
Ahmadiyyat Back Issues Magazine Mosques

The Attributes of Allah

Mubarak Mosque
©Makhzan-e-Tasaweer

This mosque is a source of blessings and is blessed itself. In it will be performed every blessed deed’.[1]


On 17th May 2019 His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, officially inaugurated the Mubarak Mosque in Islamabad, Tilford, marking a new chapter in its history.

The interior design of the mosque is unique amongst mosques of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. A beautiful adornment of the attributes of God Almighty decorate the walls of the mosque. Razwan Baig, master calligrapher and Islamic art collector had the great honour of carrying out the calligraphy and interior design and recalls: “I was astonished by the immense interest and knowledge of the Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba), in artistic design and aesthetic sense, referring to Al-Hamra and other concepts.

For the last 8 years I have been writing 99 attributes of God. It was a great learning process to discover from the Khalifa in one of our meetings, when he said that we had left out a very important attribute of God. He opened a personal book he had and read out all the names of God entailed, and said ‘Ar Rab’ [The Lord] is very important and was missing from the list of attributes. Therefore we added ‘Ar-Rab’ to the attributes of God in the Mubarak Mosque.’

‘A main aspect of the design in the mosque is the ‘Allah’ in the Mehrab’ [a niche at the front of the mosque where the Imam stands] which in the history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is perhaps the first time. His Holiness(aba) then said that Allah has a unique name in all religions and it is God’s personal name. Therefore it needs to be put in a prominent place in the mosque. ‘I then suggested to put it in the Mehrab’ says Razwan Baig ‘and His Holiness(aba) graciously approved.

‘His Holiness(aba) guided us about the colour, the material to use, in short all aspects he was heavily involved and we brainstormed. His Holiness(aba) had such aesthetic sense that he even advised about the type of calligraphic script to be used. The purpose of all these attributes in the Mubarak Mosque is it gives a feeling of being surrounded by the glory of these attributes.’

Syed Amer Safir, Chief Editor & Manager of The Review of Religions recalls:

‘A unique aspect of this project was that we had the blessing of brainstorming all aspects with the Caliph to the minutest detail. Normally one would expect to brainstorm and then take final proposals to the Caliph. However in this case all brainstorming was done with the Caliph. The Caliph even told us about the angle to place the calligraphy pieces. Initially we had placed them at one angle, but later His Holiness(aba) instructed to change the angle, to make the pieces more symmetrical with the windows. Regarding , ‘there is none who can repel His grace’[2] which is placed on the sides of the Kalimah [the core belief of every Muslim: There is no God except Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger], initially we had placed it in black. Later when I met His Holiness(aba) he referred to a dream of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), the Promised Messiah, in which he saw some verses being written in green ink over the door of the Mubarak Mosque [referring to the mosque of the same name in Qadian, India] in the Rayhani script. In the dream, the Promised Messiahas says that he started to read the verses but only one of them remained in his memory:

His Holiness’(aba) purpose in giving so much time and attention towards this project was because he wished for worshippers who come in the mosque to reflect on the names of God. The Caliph set a personal example in how much love one should show towards the house of God, namely a mosque, and also displayed how one should express love and devotion for the Creator. Our team members Musa Sattar, Musawer Din and Basil Butt worked painstakingly hard to glue together each piece, working all night for many weeks to support the great work of Razwan Baig. His Holiness(aba) was then so gracious to mention all of them in his Friday Sermon and pray for us.’

Inspired by the words, guidance, wisdom and prayers of the Caliph, The Review of Religions embarks on a new series in which a short commentary of each of the attributes is provided. These explanations are based on the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad the Promised Messiah and the Khulufa (Caliphs or Sucessors) where they providing explanations in light of the Holy Quran and Hadith.

This research has been compiled by the Research Cell Rabwah through Syed Mubashar Ahmad Ayyaz. The translation into English has been done by Shahzad Ahmad and Zafir Mahmood Malik, Associate Editors of The Review of Religions.

[1] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Tadhkira, (Tilford: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2009), 132

[2] The Holy Qur’an, 10:108.

Allah

Allah Arabic

قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ

Say, ‘He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Independent and Besought of all. He begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.’[1]

The name Allah is unique to the religion of Islam. Allah is the name of that Holy Being Who has existed from eternity and is Everlasting. He is the Living, Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. He is the Master, the Creator and Lord of all creation. Moreover, this is God’s personal name, and not an attributive name. In no other language except Arabic is a personal name found to refer to the Creator and Master of all things. It is only in the Arabic language that ‘Allah’ is used as a personal noun, referring to the One and Only Being. It is used only to refer to God’s name.

In fact, the word ‘Allah’ has not been derived from any other word, nor is any word derived from it.[2]

In regards to this unique and personal name of God, the Holy Prophet (sa) has stated:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ بُرَيْدَةَ الأَسْلَمِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ سَمِعَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَجُلاً يَدْعُو وَهُوَ يَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِأَنِّي أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ أَنْتَ اللَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ الأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَقَدْ سَأَلَ اللَّهَ بِاسْمِهِ الأَعْظَمِ الَّذِي إِذَا دُعِيَ بِهِ أَجَابَ وَإِذَا سُئِلَ بِهِ أَعْطَى

Abdullah bin Buraidah Al Aslami narrated on the authority of his father, who said that the Holy Prophet (sa) heard a man supplicating in the following words: ‘O Allah! Indeed, I seek from you, testifying to the fact that You are Allah; there is none worthy of worship except You; the One; the Independent and Besought of all; the One Who begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.’ The Holy Prophet (sa) then stated: “By the One in Whose Hand is my life, he has asked Allah by His Greatest Name, the one whereby if He is called upon, He responds, and when He is asked by it, He gives.”’[3]

All Perfect Excellences Belong to Allah

In the language of the Noble Qur’an, Allah is that Perfect Being Who is rightfully adored, combining in Himself all perfect attributes, and free from every defect, the One without associate and the Source of all beneficence; for Allah the Exalted has, in His holy word – the Noble Qur’an – made His name Allah comprehensive of all His other names and attributes and has not accorded that status to any other name. Therefore, the name Allah has primacy over all other names of which it is comprehensive. Since it is the aggregate of all names and attributes, it combines in itself all the perfect qualities. The meaning of Alhamdolillah [All praise is due to Allah] then is that every type of praise, whether relating to external aspects or internal realities, whether relating to inherent excellences or as manifested in natural phenomena, is due exclusively to Allah. No other shares in it. Whatever true praise or perfect excellence the wisdom of the wise can imagine or minds of the thinkers can contemplate belong to Allah, the Supreme. There is no excellence of which sane reason can contemplate the possibility but which Allah lacks. In other words, reason is not able to conceive of any excellence which is not comprehended among divine attributes. He has all the excellences that anyone can imagine and He is Perfect in His Being, in His attributes and qualities, in every respect and is totally free from every defect and shortcoming.[4]


[1]The Holy Qur’an, al-Ikhlas: 2-5

[2] Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Tafsir-e-Kabir Vol.1, pp. 11-12

[3] Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Kitab ad-Da’waat, Hadith no. 3475

[4] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part IV, Ruhani Khazain Vol.1, pp. 364-365, Footnote 11

The Gracious (Ar-Rahman)

Ar Rahmaan

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِیْنَ ۔ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ۔

All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, The Gracious, the Merciful.[1]

The word Ar-Rahman الرَّحْمٰنِ is one of the attributes of God Almighty and is used exclusively to refer to God Almighty and not for anyone besides Him.[2] This word is derived from the Arabic root word Ra-hi-ma-hu رَحِمَہُ, which means to instill emotions of kindness in one’s heart for another; to forgive and incline towards one with benevolence. The Holy Prophet (sa) has elaborated upon this attribute in a famous tradition:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهُ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ: ” إِنَّ الرَّحِمَ شَجْنَةٌ مِنَ الرَّحْمٰنِ ، فَقَالَ اللّٰهُ: مَنْ وَصَلَكِ وَصَلْتُهُ وَمَنْ قَطَعَكِ قَطَعْتُهُ

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates that the Prophet (sa) said, ‘The word Ar-Rahima [womb] is derived from Ar-Rahman regarding which God Almighty states: “I will keep good relation with the one who keeps a good relation with their kith and kin, and I will sever any relation with the one who severs ties with their kith and kin.”’[3]

Rahmaniyyat – The All Encapsulating Grace of God Almighty

‘The second excellence of God Almighty, which is His beneficence in the next degree and which is called general grace, is Rahmaniyyat, by virtue of which God is named Ar-Rahman in Surah al-Fatihah. In the idiom of the Holy Qur’an, God Almighty is called Rahman because He bestowed upon every living thing, which includes man, its appropriate shape and qualities. That is to say, man was bestowed all faculties and powers and was given a shape and limbs which were needed by the type of life which had been designed for him and to which they were suited. Whatever was needed for his maintenance was provided. Birds, animals and man were all bestowed powers that were suited to them. Thousands of years before their coming into being, God Almighty by virtue of His attribute of Rahmaniyyat, created the heavenly and earthly bodies so that all living things might be safeguarded. No one’s action has anything to do with the Rahmaniyyat of God Almighty. It is pure mercy which came into operation before the coming into being of living things. Man is the principal beneficiary of the Rahmaniyyat of God Almighty, inasmuch as everything is sacrificed for his success. Therefore, he is reminded that God is Ar-Rahman.’[4]


[1] The Holy Qur’an, al-Fatihah: 2-3

[2] Aqrab-ul-mawarid

[3] Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith no. 5988

[4] Ayyam-us-Sulah, Ruhani Khazain Vol.14, pp. 248-249

The Merciful (Ar-Rahim)

2 Ar Raheem

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِیْنَ ۔ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ۔

All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds, The Gracious, the Merciful.[i]

The word Ar-Rahim الرَّحِیْم is derived from the Arabic root word Ra-hi-ma رَحِمَ [ii]. Its meaning signifies repetition and dealing with someone according to their due.[iii] Therefore, the meaning of the attribute Ar-Rahim is the Being Who bestows His reward to the one who is deserving of His mercy.

The word Rahim is used in the context of the one who shows mercy, as well as the one who is granted mercy.[iv] Expounding on this attribute of God, the Holy Prophet (sa) states in a Hadith:

عَنْ صَفْوَانَ بْنِ مُحْرِزٍ، أَنَّ رَجُلًا سَأَلَ ابْنَ عُمَرَ، كَيْفَ سَمِعْتَ رَسُولَ اللّٰهِ صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ فِي النَّجْوٰى؟ قَالَ: يَدْنُو أَحَدُكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِ حَتّٰى يَضَعَ كَنَفَهُ عَلَيْهِ، فَيَقُولُ: ” عَمِلْتَ كَذَا وَكَذَا “، فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ، وَيَقُولُ: ” عَمِلْتَ كَذَا وَكَذَا ” فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ، فَيُقَرِّرُهُ، ثُمَّ يَقُولُ: ” إِنِّي سَتَرْتُ عَلَيْكَ فِي الدُّنْيَا فَأَنَا أَغْفِرُهَا لَكَ الْيَوْمَ”

Safwan bin Muhriz related that a man once asked Hazrat Ibn Umar (ra), ‘What did you hear from the Messenger of Allah (sa) regarding An-Najwa [the discreet conversation that will take place on the Day of Judgement between God and a sinful servant from among the Muslims]?’ Hazrat Ibn Umar replied, ‘The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “A person will be brought before God Almighty, and He will place His arm around him and say: ‘Did you commit such-and-such sin?’ He will submit, ‘Yes.’ Then God Almighty will ask: ‘Did you commit such-and-such sin?’ He will say, ‘Yes.’ Then God Almighty will make him confess [all of his sins] and will say, ‘I concealed your sins for you in the world, and today I shall forgive them all.’”[v]

Rahimiyyat – The Special Grace of God Bestowed to Man

‘The third excellence of God Almighty, which is His beneficence in the third degree, is Rahimiyyat, by virtue of which God has been named Rahim in Surah Fatihah [the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an]. In the idiom of the Holy Qur’an, God is called Rahim when accepting the prayers, supplications and righteous actions of people, He safeguards them against calamities, misfortunes and waste of effort. This beneficence is described as special grace and is confined to human beings. Other things have not been bestowed the faculty of prayer and supplication and righteous action, but man has been bestowed this faculty. Man is an articulate animal and can be the recipient of divine grace through the exercise of his faculty of speech. Other things have not been bestowed this faculty. It is obvious, therefore, that supplication is a quality of humanness, which is inherent in man’s nature.’[vi]

The Promised Messiah (as) also says:

‘The difference between graciousness (rahmaniyyat) and mercy (rahimiyyat) is that the former has no relation to actions and deeds, whereas in the latter case, actions and deeds have a role to play, though human weakness exists as well. The mercy of God desires to cover man’s shortcomings.’[vii]


[i] The Holy Qur’an, al-Fatihah: 2-3

[ii] Arabic words are formed from three-letter (trilateral) roots. Complex words containing more than three letters are usually all derived from a basic three-letter root which has a general meaning. Variations in this three letter root are formed by applying them to a set pattern. The three letters of ل – ف –ع (meaning ‘to do’) are usually the base model used to build these patterns. Another example of a pattern is Fa’il ( ل -ی- ع – ف)The more letters that are added to the base model the greater the meaning of the word.

[iii] Al-Bahrul-Muhit

[iv] Aqrab-ul-mawarid

[v] Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Adab, Hadith no. 6070

[vi] Ayyam-us-Sulah, Ruhani Khazain Vol.14, pp. 249-250

[vii] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Malfuzat Vol 1, 126-127

The Master (Al-Malik)

مٰلِكِ یَوْمِ الدِّیْنِ

Master of the Day of Judgment.[i]

The word Malik مَالِک means the one who rightly possess something and exercises his authority over it. This can also be used for the one who issues commands and directives according to his will for other people to adhere to. Al-Mulk المُلْک means to exercise one’s authority over something which he has complete ownership of. Hence, the attribute Maliki-Yaum-id-Din means that God Almighty is the Master of the Day of Judgement.[ii] In a famous tradition, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated:

عَنْ اَبِیْ سَلَمَۃَ اَنَّ اَبَاھُرَیْرَۃَ  قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُوْلَ اللّٰہِ ﷺ یَقُوْلُ:’’یَقْبِضُ اللّٰہُ الْاَرْضَ وَیَطْوِی السَّمَاوَاتِ بَیَمِیْنِہِ ثُمَّ یَقُوْلُ :اَنَا الْمَلِکُ ، اَیْنَ مُلُوْکُ الْاَرْضِ‘‘

Abi Salamah narrates on the authority of Abu Hurairahra who said that he heard the Holy Prophet (sa) say: ‘Allah will hold the entire earth, and roll up the heavens with His Right Hand, and will then say, ‘I am the King; where are the kings of the earth?’[iii]

God Almighty: The Master of all Sovereigns

‘The fourth beneficence of God Almighty, which might be named most special grace, is Malikiyyat [authority over] of the Day of Judgement, by virtue of which He has been named Maliki-Yaum-id-Din in Surah al-Fatihah. The difference between this attribute and Rahimiyyat is that through prayer and worship Rahimiyyat operates to establish a person’s worthiness and through Malikiyyat the reward is awarded. Through the operation of Rahimiyyat, a person deserves success in an affair like a student’s passing an examination, but to be awarded the rank or other object for which the examination was undertaken and passed is by virtue of the attribute of Malikiyyat. These two attributes indicate that the beneficence of Rahimiyyat is achieved through God’s mercy and the favour of Malikiyyat is achieved through the grace of Almighty God. Malikiyyat would manifest itself on a vast and perfect scale in the hereafter, but in accordance with the measure of this world, all these four attributes manifest themselves in this world as well.’[iv]


[i] The Holy Qur’an, al-Fatihah: 4

[ii] Mufradat Imam Raghib

[iii] Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab at-Tafsir, Hadith no. 4812

[iv] Ayyam-us-Sulah, Ruhani Khazain Vol.14, pp. 250-251

The Holy One (Al-Quddoos)

هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللّٰهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

He is Allah, and there is no God beside Him, the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace, the Bestower of Security, the Protector, the Mighty, the Subduer, the Exalted. Holy is Allah far above that which they associate with Him.[1]

The word Al-Quddoos القْدّْوس is an attribute of God Almighty and signifies that His Being is free from all sorts of flaws and deficiencies. Al-Quddoos is derived from the Arabic root word Qa-du-sa قَدُسَ which means one became pure and blessed. The phrase Qaddasahu Allah قَدَّسُہُ اللہُ means that an individual has been purified by God Almighty and He has blessed him. [2] An authentic tradition from Sunan at-Tirmidhi [one of the six canonical collections of the oral traditions of the Holy Prophet (sa)] states:

عَنِ الزُّبَیْرِ بْنِ الْعَوَّامِ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُوْلُ اللّٰہِﷺ: مَا مِنْ صَبَاحٍ یُصْبِحُ الْعِبَادُ فِیْہِ اِلَّا وَ مُنَادٍ یُنَادِیْ: سُبْحَانَ الْمَلِکِ الْقُدُّوْسِ۔

Hazrat Zubair bin Al-Awan (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa)stated: ‘There is not a single morning which dawns upon a believer except that a caller makes the declaration, “All Glory is for that being Who is the Sovereign, the Holy One.”’[3]

Al-Quddoos – Glorified by the Heavens and the Earth

Then after this, it [the Holy Qur’an] establishes through the law of nature that God is free from every shortcoming and deficiency, and says:

تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمٰوٰتُ السَّبْعُ وَ الْاَرْضُ وَ مَنْ فِيْهِنَّ

Meaning that, all seven heavens and the earth and everything that exists therein glorifies God; there is nothing that does not glorify Him, but you do not understand their glorifications. This means that reflecting upon the heavens and the earth proves that God is Perfect and Holy and is without sons or associates, but only for those who possess understanding.[4]

The Promised Messiah (as) also says:

‘…الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ That is, He is the Sovereign without any default. It is obvious that human sovereignty is not without default. For instance, if all the subjects of an earthly sovereign were to leave their country and to migrate to another country, his sovereignty would come to an end.[5]


[1] The Holy Qur’an, al-Hashr: 24

[2] Aqrab-ul-Mawarid

[3] Sunan at-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Da’waat, Hadith no. 3569

[4] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya Part IV, Ruhani Khazain Vol.1, p. 520 (Sub-footnote No.3)

[5] Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, Ruhani Khazain Vol.10, pp. 373-374

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