“And your god is one God. There is no deity (worthy of worship) except Him, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful (Qur’an 2:163)
In the Qur’an, we have the Arabic word Wahid for the number one, or something singular.
The Arabic word that is used for the word ‘one‘ or ‘singular‘ above is wahid
“He is Allah the Absolute, Allah the independent and besought of all or that which is independent of all things but all things are dependent upon.
He was not brought forth from like kind nor is like kind brought forth from Him. Nor is there to Him any equivalent.” (Qur’an 112:1-4)
The term for ‘Absolute‘ is AHAD
“The word ahad, -conveys an uncountable oneness. It is not one in a series. It cannot be added to or divided into fractions. It stands for a singular, unique entity.”-Sheikh Salman al-Oadah
“We say that his essence attributes are his essence, not other than it. Unlike what is claimed by the Asharis who say that the essence attributes are truthful meanings which are additional to his essence and that depends on it. This is false because if his essence attributes were other than his essence, then it’s obligatory for it to be either:
1) stored/positioned in his divine essence, and that’s false because it’s not correct his divine essence to be a store for things.
2) to be a part of his divine essence and that’s false as well because his divine essence doesn’t split, and partition of it is impossible.
3) for it to be something additional to the essence not positioned on it nor being a part of it. And this is false as well, because if it was something additional to the essence, then it’s obligatory for the essence to be lacking that addition, and the divine essence is complete by itself not in need of others, and who’s in need of other’s is not God because he’s helpless by himself, in need of others, and whoever is helpless and in need of others then he’s isolated from divine attributes and from completeness of essence.
4) also if his essence attributes were not his essence then it’s obligatory for it to be either comparable to his essence in existence which make it obligatory for the plurality of eternals (qadeems) and that’s false definitely! Or for it to be former in existence than his essence which make it obligatory for the happening of divine essence and that’s false as well!” – from the defender of truth, the noble Shaykh Nur al-Dīn Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh ibn Ḥumayd ibn Sullūm al-Sālimī (hafidullah!)
Now please go and see the other point of view. Which in reality this is the same belief of the entirety of ‘Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah’. Salafi/Athari/Ashari/Maturidi.
This is THE CENTRAL reason why the Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah -believe the Qur’an to be eternal/uncreated. Regardless of what differences internally they may have to other points on it.
Low and behold read from their own sources.
Is It Absurd to Believe That God’s Attributes Are Not Identical to God’s Essence?
November 2, 2016/in Belief
Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Is this belief: “the attributes of Allah are not the essence of Allah, but they are not other than Allah” illogical?
Answer: assalamu alaykum
This formulation is not illogical.
At the outset, you should note that a number of discussions concerning the attributes of God are not from the fundamentals of faith. For this reason, scholars have had extensive and heated debate on the issue without this effecting the Islam of any of them.
The classical position of Sunni scholars is that the attributes of God, such as power, will, and knowledge, are not identical to God’s essence nor are they separate from it. Their being non-identical returns to the manner in which each is rationally conceptualized in the mind: the reality of an essence is not the same as the reality of an attribute. The attribute of power that subsists through the essence of X is not identical to the essence of X. Rather, the mind conceives of a particular meaning for an attribute that is distinct to that which it conceives for an essence. It is from this perspective of how the meaning of an attribute and essence is conceptualized in the mind that scholars formulated the statement that an attribute is not the same as an essence.
At the same time, an attribute is not other than the essence in the sense of being separate from it, which refers to:
(a) an attribute not subsisting on its own i.e. it always requires an essence through which it subsists.
(b) an attribute being innate to the essence i.e. in the external realm of existence an essence cannot exist without attributes.
In conclusion, the phrase “the attributes of God are distinct to His essence” relates back to the manner in which the mind conceives of an ‘attribute’ and an ‘essence’, while the phrase “the attributes of God are not other than His essence” refers to attributes always requiring an essence to subsist through and the fact that attributes/essence are inseparable in the external realm of existence as opposed to purely rational conceptualization.
(Note: Technically, it is not accurate to state that the attributes of God are “not other than God”. Rather, the correct expression is that the attributes of God are “not other than the essence.” This is because the expression God does not refer merely to an essence but to an essence ascribed with specific attributes as Shaykh Saeed Fawda clarifies.)
[al-Dardir, Kharida al-Bahiyya (90); al-Bajuri, Jawhara al-Tawhid (91-2)]
قال الشيخ سعيد فودة في تعليقاته على الدرة الفاخرة: وكثير من الناس يطلقون اسم [الله] على مجرد الذات العارية عن الصفات، فيقولون: الله وصفاته كما يقولون الذات والصفات، فيقيمون [الله] مقام الذات المجرد فقط، ولكن هذا الاستعمال عندي غير صحيح وعارٍ عن الدقة، بل الله هو الذات الموصوفة، وليس مجرد الذات المرادة من المفهوم من الذات عند إطلاقها عقلا. وقد سبق توضيح ذلك
[Ustadh] Salman Younas
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.
First let us look at some key statements:
“The classical position of Sunni scholars is that the attributes of God, such as power, will, and knowledge, are not identical to God’s essence nor are they separate from it.“
“The attribute of power that subsists through the essence of X is not identical to the essence of X.”
“(Note: Technically, it is not accurate to state that the attributes of God are “not other than God”. Rather, the correct expression is that the attributes of God are “not other than the essence.”
So the attributes are: “not identical to the essence nor other than the essence” ?
Questions for those who follow the Ashari/Maturidi school.
So if the attributes are not identical to the essence nor other than the essence what are they?
What actually is your point of contention with Athari/Salafi movement on the nature of the divine? Both of you believe that God is a compound unity. Both of you believe in plurality with in the divine. You Ashari/Maturidi get so frustrated when the Athari/Salafi mention ‘hands‘ and ‘foot‘ and ‘two eyes‘ and talk about division with in Allah (swt) and parts. Yet you yourselves admit that Allah (swt) has attributes which are eternal and divine and yet are not equal to the essence! There is admittedly partition/division with in the divine no matter how you want to dance around it.
Questions for the Athari/Salafi school.
So if the attributes are not identical to the essence nor other than the essence what are they?
Can you prove your claims that the attributes are not identical to the essence using kitab wa sunnah? Using the Qur’an and the Sunnah? Will you need to rely upon kalam?
“He only orders you to evil and immorality and to say about Allah what you do not know. And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided? (Qur’an 2:169-170)
For those of you who are truth seekers and wanting to be on the side of truth in this matter insh’Allah we invite you to read:
About the author Shaykh Nur al-Dīn Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh ibn Ḥumayd ibn Sullūm al-Sālimī (hafidullah!)
He was born in Al Huqain in the town of Al Rustaq in the Sultanate of Oman in the year 1286 H. He started his childhood in the memorization of the Qur’an, until he finished memorizing it and reciting it from memory. Then he traveled throughout Al Rustaq in search of knowledge, and there he became a student of Shaykh Rashid bin Saif Al Lamki. When Shaykh Nur al-Din reached the age of 12 he became blind. This did not stop him. By the grace of Allah (swt) he attended knowledge based gatherings and he grew up famous for his consistency . From this consistency is his attending knowledge based gatherings of Shaykh Saleh bin Ali bin Nasser bin Isa Al Harthi. He attended to his gatherings and said about his teacher: He RadiAllahuanh was the most knowledgeable of the people in his time in the halal and haram, and the most caring for the rise and flourishing of Islam. All this until he became a known Shaykh and teacher in the town of Rustaq. The news of Imam Nur Al Din had spread to all parts of Oman. The author of the book ‘Nadhat Oman’ said about him: He was extremely zealous of Allah, the sacred rites, he says the Haqq, stands upon the truth, famous for his intrepidity and solidarity for the faith, high in replies to those that oppose Islam. Always busy with the Ummah, and happy for what benefits it and sad for what brings misfortunate to it to the point he would feel sad if the news reached him that a member of this ummah was harmed as far away as China! He has written 13 books. One of them, his Eminence Shaykh Ahmed Al Khalili wrote an annotated edition.
May Allah (swt) bless Nur al-Din al-Salimi!! Amin!
May you the seeker of truth be guided!