MAGAZINE: EDITION DECEMBER 2019
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The Attributes of Allah

Mubarak Mosque

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.

His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba), the Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, granted special guidance in all the various phases of the construction of the mosque as well as the calligraphy produced inside it. His Holiness(aba) said that the attributes will serve as a means of inspiring the worshippers to reflect and ponder over the meanings of each attribute. The Review of Religions continues with its exclusive new series in which a short commentary of each attribute has been detailed.

The calligraphy was designed by expert calligrapher Razwan Baig. This research has been compiled by the Research Cell Rabwah through Syed Mubashar Ahmad Ayyaz, and translated into English by Shahzad Ahmed and Zafir Mahmood Malik, Associate Editors of  The Review of Religions.

The Most Forgiving (Al-Ghafūr)

قُلْ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّوْنَ اللّٰهَ فَاتَّبِعُوْنِيْ يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللّٰهُ وَ يَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوْبَكُمْ وَاللّٰهُ غَفُوْرٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

Say, ‘If you love Allah, follow me: then will Allah love you and forgive you your faults. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’[1]

The attribute الغَفُوْرُ– Al-Ghafūr – is derived from the Arabic root word, غَفَرَہٗ (Gha-Fa-Ra-Hu), which means to cover and conceal. The word مِغْفَرٌ (mighfar),which is derived from the same root, means a helmet worn by a soldier in battle. According to the Arabic lexicon Lisan Al-Arab,ذُنُوْبَہُ  غَفَرَ اللہُ (ghafar Allah dhunooba) means God Almighty covered his sins. The attributes of God Almighty الغَفَّارُ – Al-Ghaffār – andالغَفُوْرُ – Al-Ghafūr, are derived from the same Arabic root word. On one occasion Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiquera said: ‘I asked the Messenger of Allahsa to teach me an invocation that I could supplicate in my prayers. The Holy Prophetsa taught me the following prayer:

“اَللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْمًا كَثِيْرًا، وَلَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوْبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَغْفِرَةً مِنْ عِنْدِكَ، وَارْحَمْنِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ اْلغَفُوْرُ الرَّحِيْمُ “

“O Allah! I have wronged my soul through committing sin, pray forgive me for there is none else who can forgive sin beside Thee. Grant me Thy forgiveness and mercy, You are the Most Forgiving, the Ever Merciful.”’[2]

The Reality of Sin & Repentance

The Promised Messiahas relates, ‘It is narrated in a Hadith [oral traditions of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa] that when a person weeps before Allah time and again to seek forgiveness, ultimately, God says, “We have forgiven you, now do as you please.” This actually means that the heart of such a one has been transformed and thereafter he shall feel an innate aversion towards sin. No one who observes a sheep eating filth is driven by greed to consume it as well. Similarly, a person who is forgiven by Allah will never commit sin. Muslims instinctively abhor the flesh of swine though they may indulge in thousands of other unlawful and forbidden things. The wisdom in placing this form of disgust in Muslims is to illustrate that mankind should develop a similar revulsion towards sin.’[3]


[1] The Holy Qur’an, 3:32.

[2] Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al Azaan, Hadith No. 834.

[3] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat Vol 1, (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publication Ltd., 2018), 3-4.

The All-Knowing (Al-‘Alīm)

وَ اِذْ يَرْفَعُ اِبْرٰهٖمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَ اِسْمٰعِيْلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّااِنَّکَ اَنْتَ السَّمِيْعُ الْعَلِيْمُ

‘And remember the time when Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations of the House, praying, “Our Lord, accept this from us; for Thou art All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”’[1]

The attribute الْعَلِيْمُ – Al-‘Alīm – is derived from the Arabic root word, عَلِمَ یَعْلَمُ  (‘A-li-ma), which means to fully comprehend and acquire the knowledge of something. According to the classical Arabic dictionary Aqrab Al Mawarid, the attribute of Al-‘Alīm signifies the One Who possesses perfect knowledge and also bestows that knowledge to others. On one occasion Hazrat Abaan bin Uthman related that he heard Hazrat Uthman bin Affanra relate a saying of the Holy Prophetsa in which he stated:

‘Whosoever recites the following prayer three times in the morning and evening of each day, no harm will befall him:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الَّذِي لَا يَضُرُّ مَعَ اسْمِهِ شَيْءٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“In the Name of Allah, who with His Name, nothing in the earth or the heavens can cause harm, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”’[2]

The Reality of Sin & Repentance

The Promised Messiahas stated, ‘The All-Knowing God is well aware of my intentions and knows that my actions are for His sake alone and are in conformity with His will. He has enjoined us to be grateful to our benefactor, and, by being grateful, we obey our Glorious Lord, expecting a reward from Him alone.’[3]


[1] The Holy Qur’an, 2:128.

[2] Sunan Tirmidhi, Kitab ad Da’waat, Hadith No. 3388.

[3] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Proceedings of the Prayer Meeting, (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publication Ltd., 2018), 28-29.

The Enlarger (Al-Bāsiṭ)

اَللهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ إِنَّ اللهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيْمٌ


اَللهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ إِنَّ اللهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيْمٌ

‘Allah enlarges the means of sustenance for such of His servants as He pleases, and straitens them for whom He pleases. Surely Allah has full knowledge of all things.’[1]

The attribute الْبَاسِطُ – Al-Bāsi – is derived from the Arabic root word, بَسَطَ (ba-sa-ta), which means to expand and to enlarge something. According to the Arabic lexicon Aqrab Al Mawarid, when it is used for the attribute of God, Al-Bāsi means the One Who enlarges the means of subsistence for His servants. On the occasion of the Battle of Uhud when the idolaters fled after facing defeat, the Holy Prophetsa instructed the companions to gather together so that he could praise God Almighty. Subsequently the Holy Prophetsa offered the following prayer, which makes reference to the aforementioned attribute:

اللّٰهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ كُلُّهُ اللّٰهُمَّ لَا قَابِضَ لِمَا بَسَطْتَ وَلَا بَاسِطَ لِمَا قَبَضْتَ وَلَا هَادِيَ لِمَا أَضْلَلْتَ وَلَا مُضِلَّ لِمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَلَا مُعْطِيَ لِمَا مَنَعْتَ وَلَا مَانِعَ لِمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَلَا مُقَرِّبَ لِمَا بَاعَدْتَ وَلَا مُبَاعِدَ لِمَا قَرَّبْتَ اللّٰهُمَّ ابْسُطْ عَلَيْنَا مِنْ بَرَكَاتِكَ وَرَحْمَتِكَ وَفَضْلِكَ وَرِزْقِكَ اللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ النَّعِيمَ الْمُقِيمَ الَّذِيْ لَا يَحُولُ وَلَا يَزُولُ اللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ النَّعِيمَ يَوْمَ الْعَيْلَةِ وَالْأَمْنَ يَوْمَ الْخَوْفِ اللّٰهُمَّ إِنِّي عَائِذٌ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا أَعْطَيْتَنَا وَشَرِّ مَا مَنَعْتَ اللّٰهُمَّ حَبِّبْ إِلَيْنَا الْإِيمَانَ وَزَيِّنْهُ فِي قُلُوبِنَا وَكَرِّهْ إِلَيْنَا الْكُفْرَ وَالْفُسُوقَ وَالْعِصْيَانَ وَاجْعَلْنَا مِنْ الرَّاشِدِيْنَ اللّٰهُمَّ تَوَفَّنَا مُسْلِمِيْنَ وَأَحْيِنَا مُسْلِمِيْنَ وَأَلْحِقْنَا بِالصَّالِحِيْنَ غَيْرَ خَزَايَا وَلَا مَفْتُونِيْنَ اللّٰهُمَّ قَاتِلِ الْكَفَرَةَ الَّذِيْنَ يُكَذِّبُوْنَ رُسُلَكَ وَيَصُدُّوْنَ عَنْ سَبِيْلِكَ وَاجْعَلْ عَلَيْهِمْ رِجْزَكَ وَعَذَابَكَ

‘O Allah! All praise belongs to You. O Allah! None has the power to withhold that which You grant in abundance, and none can grant anything to one from whom You withhold. No one can guide the one who You deemed to have gone astray and no one has the power to mislead the one whom You grant guidance. No one can grant that which You forbid, nor can one restrict that which You bestow. No one can distance the one You grant nearness to and no one can grant nearness to the one You distance. O Allah! Bestow upon us Your mercy, blessings, grace and grant us provisions in abundance. O Allah! I seek those everlasting bounties, which will neither change with time nor go to waste. O Allah! I beseech Your rewards in the days of hardship and seek peace in my state of fear. O Allah, safeguard me from the evils of what You have granted or withhold them from us. O Allah! Instil the love of faith in our hearts and embed its beauty within us, make us averse to disbelief, disorder and disobedience; and count us amongst those who have been guided. O Allah! Keep us submissive to You whilst we are alive and cause us to die in the same state. Grant us the company of the righteous, less we fall prey to any evil and perish. O Allah! Destroy the disbelievers who reject Your prophets and stop others from following your path. Send down Your punishment upon them.[2]

Persevering in Prayer

The Promised Messiahas explained, ‘There are many people who pray and become disheartened, exclaiming that their prayers have not been answered. However, our advice for them is to continue in their endeavor, for they will ultimately attain their objective, and a day shall come when their heart and tongue become one. Humility and fervency, which is a prerequisite of prayer, will then develop within them. The person who awakes for prayers in the night, irrespective of their lack of attention and impatience, but if he supplicates, “O my lord! My heart is under Your divine control, purify it”, then at the time of difficulty when he seeks to be granted relief from his hardship, God Almighty shall grant him prosperity. This indeed is the hour for the acceptance of prayer. The supplicant will then witness for themselves that the soul melts and falls upon the threshold of the Almighty like flowing water, as if it were a droplet that falls from above.’[3]


[1] The Holy Qur’an, 29:63.

[2] Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 24, pg. 246.

[3] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat Vol 6 (Islam International Publications, 1984),94.

The Abaser (Al-Khāfiḍ)

اِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَۃُ۔ لَیْسَ  لِوَقْعَتِھَا کَاذِبَۃٌ۔ خَافِضَۃٌ رَّافِعَۃٌ

‘When the Event comes to pass, none can say that its coming to pass is a lie; Some it will bring low, others it will exalt.’[1]

The attribute الْخَافِضُ – Al-Khāfi – is derived from the Arabic root word خَفَضَ (kha-fa-da) and means to lower or reduce. It is the antonym of رَفْعٌ (rafa) which means to exalt. خَفَضَ (khafasa) also has connotations of softness and tranquillity and has been used in this context in the following verse of the Holy Qur’an:

وَاخْفِضْ لَھُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحۡمَۃِ

‘And lower to them the wing of humility out of tenderness.’[2]

According to the Arabic lexicon Lisan Al-‘Arab, when this root is used for the attribute Al-Khāfi, it signifies that God Almighty abases and humiliates the oppressors and tyrants. This attribute can be found in the following prayer of the Holy Prophetsa:

اللّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ لَا هَادِيَ لِمَنْ أَضْلَلْتَ، وَلَا مُضِلَّ لِمَنْ هَدَيْتَ، وَلَا مُهِينَ لِمَنْ أَكْرَمْتَ، وَلَا مُكْرِمَ لِمَنْ أَهَنْتَ، وَلَا نَاصِرَ لِمَنْ خَذَلْتَ، وَلَا خَاذِلَ لِمَنْ نَصَرْتَ، وَلَا مُعِزَّ لِمَنْ أَذْلَلْتَ، وَلَا مُذِلَّ لِمَنْ أَعْزَزْتَ، وَلَا رَازِقَ لِمَنْ حَرَمْتَ، وَلَا حَارِمَ لِمَنْ رَزَقْتَ، وَلَا مَانِعَ لِمَنْ أَعْطَيْتَ، وَلَا مُعْطِيَ لِمَنْ مَنَعْتَ، وَلَا رَافِعَ لِمَنْ خَفَضْتَ، وَلَا خَافِضَ لِمَنْ رَفَعْتَ، وَلَا سَاتِرَ لِمَنْ خَرَقْتَ، وَلَا خَارِقَ لِمَنْ سَتَرْتَ، وَلَا مُقَرِّبَ لِمَنْ بَاعَدْتَ، وَلَا مُبَاعِدَ لِمَنْ قَرَّبْتَ

‘O Allah! All praise belongs to You. No one can guide the one who You deem to have gone astray and no one has the power to mislead the one whom You grant guidance. No one can humiliate the one whom You bestow with honour nor can anyone grant honour to the one You humiliate; and the one who You forsake, no one can come to their aid, and no one can reject the one you grant succour to; there is no one who can dishonour the one who You bestow reverence and there is none who can elevate the one who You abase; there is none who can grant sustenance to the one who You deprive, nor can one withhold any of the provisions that You grant; no one can restrict that which You bestow nor can anyone grant that which You forbid; no one can elevate the one who You abase, nor can anyone dishonour the one You grant a lofty status; no one can conceal the faults which You reveal, nor can one expose that which You conceal; no one can grant nearness to the one You distance, nor can anyone distance the one whom You grant your nearness.[3]

‘I Shall Humiliate Him Who Designs to Humiliate You’

The Promised Messiahas said, ‘This is the practice of God Almighty in relation to me that He eventually seizes the one who overzealously pursues his intention to humiliate me or, manifests a sign for me in some other way in opposition to him. He invariably does at least one of these two things, or manifests His Sign of authority in both respects. Therefore, since Abdur-Rahman Muhyuddin issued a public circular to disgrace me before all the Muslims in the Punjab and asserted that I was an impostor, a liar, an infidel, a non-believer, a Pharaoh; and not only this, he also appended the revelation that God would ruin and kill me, and my children, too, would die, and none of them would survive. On account of his transgression, he became worthy of suffering disgrace in accordance with the divine revelation:

اِنِّیْ مُھِيْنٌ مَّنْ اَرَادَ اھَاَنتَك

[‘I shall humiliate him who designs to humiliate you.’]

So what could be a greater disgrace than his dying in my very lifetime?

If, in accordance with his revelation, I was the ‘Pharaoh’, it would be expected that I should die in his lifetime, not otherwise. Moreover, his revelation had this stipulation that I would remain issueless. God was pleased to grant me three more sons after his death. This, too, bode his humiliation because it transpired contrary to his revelation.’[4]


[1] The Holy Qur’an, 56:2-4.

[2] The Holy Qur’an, 17:25.

[3] Ibn Abi Shaibah, Kitab ad Dua’,Vol. 8, pg. 751, Hadith No. 30510.

[4] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Philosophy of Divine Revelation, (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publication Ltd., 2018), 453-454.

The One Who Bestows Honour (Al-Mu‘izz)

قُلِ اللّٰهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتَنْزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ إِنَّكَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

‘Say, “O Allah, Lord of sovereignty, Thou givest sovereignty to whomsoever Thou pleasest; and Thou takest away sovereignty from whomsoever Thou pleasest. Thou exaltest whomsoever Thou pleasest and Thou abasest whomsoever Thou pleasest. In Thy hand is all good. Thou surely hast power to do all things.”’[1]

The Arabic root of اَلْمُعِزُّ – Al-Mu‘izz – means strength, power, supremacy, etc.[2] Hence المَعْزُوْزَۃُ

(Al-muzooza) means that land which becomes hardened[3]. Al-Mu‘izz is an attribute of God and means that God Almighty grants honour to whomsoever He pleases. This attribute is found in the following saying of the Holy Prophetsa:

اللّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ لَا هَادِيَ لِمَنْ أَضْلَلْتَ، وَلَا مُضِلَّ لِمَنْ هَدَيْتَ، وَلَا مُهِينَ لِمَنْ أَكْرَمْتَ، وَلَا مُكْرِمَ لِمَنْ أَهَنْتَ، وَلَا نَاصِرَ لِمَنْ خَذَلْتَ، وَلَا خَاذِلَ لِمَنْ نَصَرْتَ، وَلَا مُعِزَّ لِمَنْ أَذْلَلْتَ، وَلَا مُذِلَّ لِمَنْ أَعْزَزْتَ، وَلَا رَازِقَ لِمَنْ حَرَمْتَ، وَلَا حَارِمَ لِمَنْ رَزَقْتَ، وَلَا مَانِعَ لِمَنْ أَعْطَيْتَ، وَلَا مُعْطِيَ لِمَنْ مَنَعْتَ، وَلَا رَافِعَ لِمَنْ خَفَضْتَ، وَلَا خَافِضَ لِمَنْ رَفَعْتَ، وَلَا سَاتِرَ لِمَنْ خَرَقْتَ، وَلَا خَارِقَ لِمَنْ سَتَرْتَ، وَلَا مُقَرِّبَ لِمَنْ بَاعَدْتَ، وَلَا مُبَاعِدَ لِمَنْ قَرَّبْتَ

‘O Allah! All praise belongs to You. No one can guide the one who You deem to have gone astray and no one has the power to mislead the one whom You grant guidance. No one can humiliate the one whom You bestow with honour nor can anyone grant honour to the one You humiliate; and the one who You forsake, no one can come to their aid, and no one can reject the one you grant succour to; there is no one who can dishonour the one who You bestow reverence and there is none who can elevate the one who You abase; there is none who can grant sustenance to the one who You deprive, nor can one withhold any of the provisions that You grant; No one can restrict that which You bestow nor can anyone grant that which You forbid; no one can elevate the one who You abase, nor can anyone dishonor the one You grant a lofty status; no one can conceal the faults which You reveal, nor can one expose that which You conceal; no one can grant nearness to the one You distance, nor can anyone distance the one whom You grant your nearness.[4]

‘Is Not God sufficient for His servant?’

The Promised Messiahas, referring to the famous prophecy that was revealed to him, writes, ‘Hence it is worth noting, indeed, with what clarity, might, and glory this prophecy has been fulfilled:

اَلَیْسَ اللّٰہُ بِکَافٍ عَبْدَہٗ

[‘Is not God sufficient for His servant?’]

Is this the work of an impostor? Or are these satanic insinuations? Certainly not! On the contrary, it is the work of the Almighty in whose hands lie honour, dishonour, adversity, and prosperity.’[5]


[1] The Holy Qur’an, 3:27.

[2] Lisan al-Arab.

[3] Taj-ul-‘Uroos.

[4] Ibn Abi Shaibah, Kitab ad Dua’,Vol. 8, pg. 751, Hadith No. 30510.

[5] Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, The Philosophy of Divine Revelation, (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2018), 268-269.

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