In the Mubarak Mosque in Islamabad, Tilford, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) envisioned having the attributes of Allah on its walls so people could reflect deeper on God’s existence. His Holiness (aba) guided minutely on all aspects of design and implementation.
This series delves deeper into each of God’s attributes to gain a better understanding of His Being.
The calligraphy was designed by Razwan Baig, while The Review of Religions were given the opportunity to manage the project and produce each piece. Research for this series was compiled by Syed Mubashar Ayyaz (Research Cell) and translated into English by Shahzad Ahmed, Zafir Mahmood Malik and Nooruddeen Jahangeer Khan.
85. THE PROHIBITOR; THE WITHHOLDER (AL-MĀNI‘)
The attribute of الْمَانِعُ (Al-Māni‘) has not been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. However, it has been mentioned in the Hadith.
The attribute Al-Māni‘ is derived from the Arabic root of مَنَعَ (ma-na-‘a). According to the Arabic lexicon Taj al-‘Urus, مَنْعٌ (man‘un) means something that acts as a hindrance or a barrier between a person and what they desire to attain. مَانِعٌ (māni‘un) is the active participle from this root and means the one who prevents or stops something. Another meaning derived from this root is to become protected or safeguarded, for example, مَنَعَ الرَّجُل (mana‘a al-rajul) means the person came under protection.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) has narrated a tradition in which the Holy Prophet (sa) once said: ‘Verily God Almighty has 99 names. Whosoever memorises them will enter paradise. He is Allah, and there is no God beside Him, the Gracious, the Ever Merciful…The Prohibitor.”
Worship None Besides Allah
One of the meanings of man‘un means to abstain and refrain from something. In relation to this the Promised Messiah (as) has stated:
‘Further, the Qur’an forbids the worship of anything besides God – whether man, beast, moon, sun, star, material provisions or one’s own ego. So beware and do not take a single step contrary to the teaching of God and the guidance of the Qur’an. I tell you truly that anyone who disregards even a small injunction of the seven hundred commandments of the Qur’an, shuts upon himself the door of salvation. The ways of true and perfect salvation have been opened by the Qur’an and all else is its reflection. Therefore, study the Qur’an with deep contemplation and hold it very dear. Love it more than anything else. God has said to me:
الْخَیْرُ کُلُّهُ فِي الْقُرْآن
Meaning, “all good is contained in the Qur’an”. This is the truth. Pity those who favour anything besides it. The fountainhead of all your prosperity and salvation lies in the Qur’an. There is no religious need of yours which is not fulfilled by it. On the Day of Judgement, the Qur’an will confirm or deny your faith. There is no other book beneath heaven besides the Qur’an, which can directly guide you. God has been most beneficent towards you in that He has bestowed upon you a book like the Qur’an.’
 Jami’ al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Da’wat, Hadith No. 3507.
 Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Noah’s Ark (Farnham, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2018), 42-43.
86. THE LIGHT (AL-NŪR)
ٱللَّهُ نُورُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ
‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.’
According to Arabic lexicon ‘Aqrab al-Mawarid, النُّوْرُ (Al-Nūr) is derived from the Arabic root نَارَ – یَنُوْر (nāra – yanūru) which means he caused something to be illuminated. Al-Nūr refers to any form of light. Another meaning derived from its root is to clearly convey and explain something. For example: أَنَارَ اللّه بُرْهَانَهُ (anāra Allahu burhānahu) means Allah the Almighty clearly manifested His proof and argument.
‘Abdullah bin Shaqiq relates, “I said to Abu Dharr (ra), ‘Had I seen the Messenger of Allah (sa), I would have asked him a question.’ Abu Dharr (ra) replied, ‘What did you want to enquire of him?’ I said, ‘I wanted to ask him whether he had seen his Lord.’ Abu Dharr (ra) then replied, ‘I in fact asked this very question to the Holy Prophet (sa), and he answered, “I saw Light.”’”’
Light of the Heavens and the Earth
In relation to this attribute of Allah the Almighty, the Promised Messiah (as) states:
‘Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. That is to say, every light that is visible in the heights or in the depths, whether in souls or bodies, whether innate or acquired, whether overt or covert, whether internal or external, is a bounty of His grace.
This is an indication that the general grace of Hazrat Rabbul-‘Alamin [Lord of all the worlds] encompasses everything and that nothing is deprived of His grace. He is the Source of all grace and the ultimate Cause of all light and the Fountainhead of all mercies. His True Being is the support of the whole universe and the refuge of all high and low. It is He who brought everything out of the darkness of nothingness and bestowed upon it the robe of existence. There is no other being that exists in its own right, or is eternal, or is not the recipient of His grace. The earth and the heavens, mankind and animals, stones and trees, and souls and bodies – all owe their existence to His grace.’
 The Holy Qur’an, 24:36
 Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, Hadith No. 351.
 Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya – Part III (Farnham, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2018), 92.
87. THE GUIDE (AL-HĀDĪ)
وَكَفٰى بِرَبِّكَ هَادِيًا وَّ نَصِيْرًا
‘And sufficient is thy Lord as a Guide and a Helper.’
According to Arabic lexicon ‘Aqrab al-Mawarid, الـهَادِي (Al-Hādī) is derived from the Arabic root هَدَی – يَهْدِی (hadā – yahdī) and has many connotations: هَدَاهُ إِلى الطَّرِيقِ (hadāhu ilā al-ṭarīq) which means he guided him to the path, هَدَى الْعُرُوسَ إِلَى بَعْلِها:زَفَّها إِلَيْهِ means he led the bride to her husband. جَاءَتِ الْخَيْلُ يَهْدِيْها فَرَسٌ أَشْقَرُ أَيْ يَتَقَدَّمُهَا means that the horses came, led by a red horse running in front.
Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra) has stated:
‘Thus, the word هُدَى (hudā) has three meanings:
(1) to show the way;
(2) to lead somebody to the way;
(3) to accompany someone to their ultimate destination by leading the way.’
Abu Malik al-Ashja‘i relates from his father that whenever someone embraced Islam, the Messenger of Allah (sa) would teach them the following prayer: ‘O Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me and grant me provisions.’
Only Allah Almighty Can Guide One to the True Path
In relation to the attribute of Al-Hādī, the Promised Messiah (as) received the following revelation:
قُلۡ إِنَّ هُدَى ٱللَّهِ هُوَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ
‘True guidance is indeed only that which comes directly from God Almighty’.
The Promised Messiah (as) states: ‘As man is otherwise prone to distort the meaning of the Book of Allah with his erroneous judgement and arrive at all manner of conclusions. It is God alone who never makes a mistake. Therefore, the guidance of Allah alone is True Guidance. No reliance can be placed upon people’s own assumed interpretations.’
 The Holy Qur’an, 25:32.
 Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), Tafseer-e-Kabir, Vol.1 (Qadian, India: Nazarat Nashr-o-Isha’at, 2004), 32.
 Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Dhikr wa al-du’a, Hadith No. 6849.
 Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya – Part V (Farnham, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2018), 112.
88. THE INFLICTOR OF PUNISHMENT (AL-ḌĀRR)
وَإِن يَمۡسَسۡكَ ٱللَّهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلَا كَاشِفَ لَهُۥٓ إِلَّا هُوَۖ وَإِن يَمۡسَسۡكَ بِخَيۡرٍ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٍ قَدِيرٞ
‘And if Allah touch thee with affliction, there is none that can remove it but He; and if He touch thee with happiness, then He has power to do all that He wills.’
The attribute of Al-Ḍārr is derived from the Arabic root of ضَرَّ۔ یَضُرُّ (darra – yadurru) which means to cause harm. With a subtle difference of vocalisation الضَّرُّ (al-ḍarru) usually refers to financial or material loss, whereas الضُّرُّ (al-ḍurru) refers to any loss which is of a personal nature or to do with one’s own self.
Abu Sirmah relates a tradition in which the Holy Prophet (sa) stated: ‘Allah will inflict His punishment upon those who cause harm to others; and whoever causes hardship to others, Allah will cause hardship for them.’
Trials for the Believers in this Life
It is divine decree that everyone undergoes trials in this life. Explaining this phenomenon, the Promised Messiah (as) states:
‘That is, we shall surely try you with somewhat of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and lives and of the fruits of your labour and the loss of progeny; that is to say, you will suffer all this by virtue of divine decree or at the hands of your enemies. Then give glad tidings to the steadfast, who, when a misfortune overtakes them, do not lose heart but say: Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return. It is these on whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy, and it is these who are rightly and perfectly guided. These verses indicate that there is no virtue in the knowledge that is confined to the mind and heart. True knowledge is that which emerges from the mind and regulates and trains all the limbs, and manifests in practice all the store of memory. Thus knowledge is strengthened and fostered through its impress being imposed on all the limbs by practical experience. No type of knowledge, however elementary, arrives at its climax without practice.’
 The Holy Qur’an, 6:18.
 Lughat al-Qur’an.
 Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab al-Ahkam, Hadith No. 2342.
 Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2017), 202-203.
89. THE BENEFACTOR (AL-NĀFI‘)
قُل لَّآ أَمۡلِكُ لِنَفۡسِي نَفۡعًا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّامَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُۚ
‘Say, “I have no power to do good or harm to myself, save as Allah please.”’
The attribute النَّافِعُ (An-Nāfi‘) is derived from نَفَعَ (na-fa-a’) and means to provide ease and benefit to someone. أَنْفَعَ الرَّجُلُ (anfa‘a al-rajulu) means for a person to profit from his trade or business. According to the Arabic lexicon, Lisan al-‘Arab, Al-Nāfi‘ is an attribute of Allah the Almighty which means Allah the Almighty provides comfort and ease to whomsoever He wishes from among His creation, because all good, harm, blessings and evil manifests only through His divine decree.
Hazrat Abu Barzah relates: ‘I said to the Holy Prophet (sa), “O Messenger of Allah (sa)! Teach me something through which Allah the Almighty will grant me His Beneficence.” The Holy Prophet (sa) stated: “Be mindful and remove anything that can cause hindrance or obstruction from the path of others.”’
God Almighty is Nothing but Mercy and Compassion
In relation to suffering pain and hardship, the Promised Messiah (as) explains:
‘Due to our own ignorance of certain divine attributes, we are afflicted by pain and hardship. For God Almighty Himself is nothing but mercy and compassion. The underlying mystery behind the cause of hardship and grief in this world is that humans suffer affliction by their own hands, as a result of their misjudgement and deficient knowledge. Therefore, it is through the skylight of God’s attributes alone that we find Allah the Exalted to be a most Merciful and Compassionate Being – a Being Whose benefit cannot be fathomed. Those who are closest and nearest to God reap the benefits of His Being to a greater degree. This rank is enjoyed by those who are righteous and who are blessed with a place of nearness to Allah Almighty.’
 The Holy Qur’an, 7:189.
 Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Hadith No. 20027 (Beirut, Lebanon: 1998).
 Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), Malfuzat – Volume I (Farnham, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2018), 106.