Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
Surah Al-A’la – Part 1
Ustadh Nouman delves into the core of what it means to do “tasbeeh”, to declare the perfection of Allah’s name. He explains how it is completely different from saying that Allah is perfect, stressing that it is inappropriate to make up your own names for Allah. There is a certain decorum we must follow when addressing our creator and revelation will teach us what the parameters are.
2017-06-05 – Ramadan 2017
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The first thing you need to know is what does it mean to do to be a lattice we have the name of Allah sub assembly his Malbec, Allah Allah. So let me get into that a little bit. with you. First and foremost, it's different from saying allies Perfect. Now you're, you're thinking about the descriptions of Allah. And so the first thing we're gonna, we're gonna appreciate here is don't make names up for a lot. Like if you're going to maintain the perfection of last names, but no, make up your own names for Allah. In other words, you know, people, for example, talk casually about Allah or God. And they say, he's like my best friend, he's my buddy, he gets me. And people say things
like that about casually. Like he and I, we just get it. You know, you could get chummy with a lucky friendly with a love. But there are parameters that's the point of revelation revelation will teach you, what are the intimate names you can use for a lot? What are the formal names are used for Allah. So even if you're going to feel something towards a lot, you cannot just talk about him like you talk about any other relationship, there has to be a certain decorum, you have to maintain that's the first implication of Serbia his model bakerella. Then, of course, the other one. The second one very important is that there are many names of Allah that we use for ourselves also. And
that sounds bad, but it's true. A lot, for example, is Eileen is knowledgeable. That's a word we use for ourselves. Also, it can be a scholar whose ID folk who lizardmen early. Similarly, you have Ruth, one of the last names compassionate understanding. That's the name even used for the Prophet of Allah Mina role for him. So now as the same exact word is being used for Allah, and it's also being used for a creation. Similarly, you have a large soldier describing himself as Hakim wise, but that description of wisdom is given to others. Also, there could be an old man who's hacking, that could happen, right? So you've got an even simpler, you could have somebody who's able to see and
somebody who's can see as a bossier. But bossier is also a name of Allah. So now we've got words in the Quran that are used for Allah. And at the same time, they're also used for creation, it's important that even though the name is being the same word is being used, we do test B of that name, when we think about it for a lot, which means we remove any notion that we have of ourselves when we share the same name. Because when we think of it for ourselves, when you think of a wise person, when you think of a knowledgeable person, when you think of a patient person, when you think of any of these after or compassionate person, there are certain ideas that come in your head, because you
have a person in mind. The moment you have a person in mind, you have imperfection in mind, when you have to think about a lot, you have to think about perfection. So what does that mean? It means three, this three differences that have to always be kept in mind three differences, I'd like you to remember those, okay? The first of them is a lot of names, all of them have no beginning and no end. Right? Unless, for example, hearing has no beginning. And no end, it's been there forever, it will always be there. My hearing your hearing anybody else's hearing always had a beginning. And it will always have an end. That's the first difference. The second difference is my hearing has limits, I
cannot hear what's happening on the other side of that wall. I do not hear what's happening one block away. I do not hear a conversation happening way back there. I barely hear a faint whisper. I don't have to hear the conversations happening between the gyms or the angels in the light, I don't hear them. A lot hearings has no limits. Unless hearing is without limits. Mine is with limits. That's the second difference. So one was it's eternal, and the second one is limitless. And the mind is always going to be limited. The third one is going to be that my hearing is not actually my own. It was given to me. I don't actually own it, I have no rights to it. Allah gave it a level, take it
away. My knowledge is something Allah gave my if I have wisdom, it's a lens given. If I have patience, it's a lens, given any attribute that I possess is actually a grant not owned by myself. It's not mine, it is given at a time election what Take it away, because I have no rights over it allows attributes the same word being used for Allah, nobody gave it to him and nobody can take it away. It's entirely his own belonging. These three distinctions are very, very important to understand, then that I would add a fourth, that's beyond my own reading, I would personally add my fourth just from anecdotal experience talking to people, you cannot assume that allas attributes
work the same way as our behavior for example, your parents get angry with you. But you cannot compare a human beings anger with Allah is anger.
You know, people can be judgmental of you. But you cannot assume people's judgment as the same as a lot of judgment. And this is a very important one because a lot of times people come up and say, you know, what have I ever done to deserve this? Why is it a lot of giving me advice on lobbying fair, I pray and I pray and I pray they still keep failing my calculus exam. It's not even fair.
You know, and so you're thinking that the relationship with Allah should work
Kind of like a business deal, I did my part, now it's time for you to do your part. That's how it should have worked. Like if you paid your fees. Or if you paid, you know money to place an order, then you receive the product care exchange. Or if you did the assignment for your teacher, you'll pass the class, fair exchange. Now you're thinking that's how life should work. So it should work the same way with Allah, well, that's short of the speed of Allah, you do not assume the way things work with creation is the way things work with Allah xojo. So you have this is the test, we have the names of Allah. And this is how you have to think about his wisdom, his knowledge, His mercy, his
you know, him being him being patient or persevering. He all of those names actually has to have to, you have to maintain the distinction. So and that's a really careful thing a Muslim has to do. It's a mental exercise, you cannot just automatically have it, which is why the word is this, we remember, it's maintaining something, but it doesn't happen automatically. You've got to swim really hard and really fast to stay on the surface, otherwise, you'll dip. So the command Sunday is actually a mental exercise, constantly maintained, be mindful of the fact that you you know, whenever you hear something, be careful to think are you actually falling short of what Allah wants
you to think about for himself? Are you seeing something or hearing something that is short of the test, we have a law that would violate this we have any of his names any of his descriptions, by the way, I keep saying descriptions, which is to me a better, better translation for the word Islam. Islam in Arabic is closer to description than it is to name was some is a marker of distinguisher. It's a sign of beauty, also. And the word Islam is really beautiful in that sense that Allah is essentially saying all of his names are in fact beautiful. What sama from the same origin actually means handsomeness or beauty anyway. Now, the other way in which you can do that, you know, lack of
this we have less names, is there are some names of Allah that are pairs, and they're opposites. Okay, they're repaired, like, for example, he is, you know, and some of them sometimes those descriptions are not actual nouns, their verbs like Tasha to the lumen Tasha, you honor who and we heard this today, right? So you honor whoever you want, and you humiliate whoever you want. Now, okay, let us do things, he honors and he humiliates, or to tell, we'll come into Sha one, zero, and we'll come in Natasha, you grant Dominion to whoever you want, and you take it away from whoever you want. Now, if you take one of those names, and you say, yo, you're the one who takes everything
away, or law, the one who takes everything away.
That's messed up because a lot actually said that name balanced with the opposite name. Those two, those two names have to go together. You don't take one of them. And just call a lot. Yeah, Mozilla, Mozilla, Mozilla, humiliate or over, humiliated? No, no, no, no, no, the one who dignifies and the one who takes dignity away, they have to be kept together, those two names have to be kept kept together. And if you don't keep them together, then that's actually falling short of the test, we have a lot of names, it's you're taking one side of it, and the other side, you're ripping away, Allah keeps those things together. So we must keep those things together. Then, finally, the law
The last kind of lack of dispute over last names is not about opposite names. But its dimensions of names. Let me explain what that means. Let me give you some names of food. What do we have? Right, Kareem? These are names of generous giving, merciful, forgiving, loving, these are one side of names. Another side of names is azeez, learn to calm Jabbar kahar authority over you know, overwhelming dominating, capable of taking vengeance, powerful, mighty, these are kind of two different themes, aren't they? one's really soft and loving and intimate and hope filled, the other one's kind of scary and authoritative and what can happen when you don't have to. So we have a lot
as you take one set of these names. And your notion of Allah is now determined by one set of these names at the expense of the other side of these names. In other words, you're always thinking about how merciful ally is and how forgiving he is and Al Kindi is and how generous he is. And you've lost sight of the fact that allies also an authority also a judge, also can can take vengeance also can punish also brings to justice that's gone, or the flip side can happen. Somebody's always thinking about how it was going to punish how it was going to be angry, how it was going to bring to account etc, etc. And they've lost sight of how merciful ally is and how, how kind he is and how generous he
is and how forgiving he is. Those two also have to be kept in balance. And by the way, the only way to do that that's brings me to the beauty of this Sunday his model because Allah declared the perfection of your the perfection of the description of your master, the most high description of your master or your master most title and at the end could go towards the description that is most high or the master that is most high and both of them have implications. The if the description is the most high, then you basically are saying declare less perfection by finding the most perfect possible description for him. That would actually mean like even though I shouldn't say score on
actually mean that this sutra is saying, declare my perfection. And the best way to do that is this surah. And then by extension this Quran because this is the most high way of declaring a less perfection. This is where the names of Allah will be balanced and nothing will fall short where it should it. You're not going to take emphasize one side at the expense of another side. This is why it's going to be the ultimate Vicar it's going to be the perfect Vicar that's how everything in this this ayah comes together.