Who Is Allah – Understanding Allah’s Names and Attributes #05
Channel: Tom Facchine
Series: Tom Facchine - Who is Allah
File Size: 38.60MB
Bismillah Al Rahman Rahim Al hamdu Lillahi Rabbil Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Ashraf al Anbiya a one more serene Medina look at what's in them Muhammad Ali upflow Salah was better steam Allahumma Ireland they've been they had found no and found that island was even their own money out of that I mean
last time talking about allows names and attributes and discussing in particular
a laws names Allah and Al Isla,
we talked about
a concept called Oulu here, which is derived from a law's name, Lila, this concept of absolute divinity of primary divinity. Basically, qualities which necessitate worship qualities that demand and command obedience. And how if you look into the Koran, especially the arguments that ALLAH SubhanA wa Tada uses against idolaters of every different generation.
Allah uses arguments and appeals to people's reason, and kind of reveals that there are certain criteria that we have to look for if we are interested in identifying what is a true God and what's not. What is an entity that is worthy of worship, that is truly divine? And what entity what entities fall short of that standard. And so, depending on the chapter in the story and the context, Allah mentions many of them,
one of them being dominion, right, you'll find a long string of questions at the end of solar a tool where a lot is kind of
kind of provoking the idolaters with these rhetorical questions, asking them if they can meet certain criteria, and implying that the fact that they can't meet these criteria exactly establishes their lack of a right to anything even close to divinity or the right to be worshipped. So one of those things is dominion. And by dominion, we mean both ownership and control over the creation right
This is also something seen in the story of Abraham. I know he's sit down when he first says to Nimrod. He says,
My Lord is the one who grants life and grants death. Nimmo road responds, this isn't sort of from the bucket up. He responds, oh, yeah, I can grant life and granddad. And so Abraham responds back, he says, Okay, well, my God can cause the sun to rise from the west and set in the east, can you cause it to be the opposite, or vice versa? You understand what I'm saying?
At which point he was stupefied. And he was dumbfounded. He didn't have a response. Why? Because he lacked the minion, he lacked true dominion. And so that is a criteria that Allah gave us for judging what is worthy of worship, or not.
The ability to create this is something Allah mentions all over the place in the Koran, as something that is distinguishing a true God, from a false God from true divinity, divinity that demands and necessitates worship, and kind of just fake divinity or something that's deficient, lesser divinity.
Absolute will, is another one of these things. This is similar to the story of Ibrahim with Nimrod, when he is challenging, he's challenging them, though, to impose his will. Right, being able to bring about what one wills in the universe is a quality and the criteria by which we judge what is truly, absolutely divine.
And anything that's not able to impose its will absolutely, primarily with no equivocation with no kind of exceptions, then it's simply not worthy of this title of divinity, and therefore, it's not worthy of being worshipped. This is also the argument that Allah uses to prove why there can't be two gods or two, even if we can, as a thought exercise, imagine two omnipotent gods, right, because in reality,
the only thing that differentiates or we should say not the only thing, but the primary thing that distinguishes two entities is their will.
One wants something and the other one's the other thing. And so Allah is exposing this fallacy, imagining that there could be two gods or two omnipotent creators, or to all powerful beings that deserve worship. Because whoever's ability
to impose their will is qualified in any way is not a true God, whoever is Will has to be checked or can be undone by another, or has to ask permission from another or just simply is subsumed within the activity of the other, then it's not a true God. It's not true divinity, absolute primary divinity, that deserves to be worshipped. It's a deficiency.
Similarly, the ability to pardon Allah is the only one who has true ability to pardon, in the ultimate sense we're talking about in the afterlife
provision, this is something that's very, very obvious how many times a law references his ability to provide for his creation, to bring down what He wills, both of the rain and of crops and livestock and every single thing that Allah has
brought under our use or made eligible for our responsible use. This all comes back to a laws provision. So whoever's present provision is, is qualified, or it's not absolute, then that person or that entity or that thing is not worthy of worship. It's not worthy of being described as divine.
And there's other things there speech. Allah uses this in the story of Ibrahim, where we all know he brought him goes to the idols of his people and kind of does what he does where he smashes them all except for one. And then when his community comes back and says, what happened? He saw he tells them, well, why don't you ask the big one?
And then they say, Well, you know very well that these can't talk and then So Ibrahim uses this as a proof upon said if they don't talk if they can't speak,
then this is deficiency. This thing is not a god this thing is not divine. If it can't speak to you, if it can't communicate to you
because there's no process or mechanism by which we can understand what the divine entity wants from us, except by communication.
It would be absolutely foolish to imagine that there is or it would be just, I can't think of a
of a logical universe in which there is an omnipotent, all wise deity, that is silence, and doesn't provide for the guidance doesn't communicate,
how that entity wants to be worshipped. And what's the right and wrong thing to do, that would be arbitrary, right? That would be unfair, there could be no moral accountability, that deity would have nothing to
no right to hold accountable. People who he never communicated to in the first place, what was their role in life what they were supposed to do, right, all this theoretical universe that's being constructed here. So the fact that Allah speaks, that Allah speaks is fundamental. Allah has to speak, as he says in the, in the story of Ibrahim. And it makes sense, because there needs to be some sort of communication, so that there can be so that there can be accountability, and the test.
Imagine, all of us went through school or some level of it, imagine if you just showed up to class, and then you just had a test, it was on all sorts of things, some parts on plumbing, some parts on electricity, some parts on engineering, some parts on anatomy, you were never given a syllabus, you were never given a test date, you were never given any sort of indication that this test were even going to happen. You could go to the board, or you could go to the
the registrar office and file a complaint and they would, they would support you because that would be absolutely ludicrous.
Knowledge. Knowledge is another criteria that a law sets out for our ability to judge who is a true God and who is not a true God. What is divine in the absolute sense, and what is not divine,
something that has no knowledge of what's going to happen in the future, someone or something that has no knowledge of what has happened in the past,
something or someone that has deficient knowledge of what's going on. Now.
These are all deficient beings that are dependent upon other than themselves. And so they have no right to be worshipped.
And similarly to knowledge is sight, and hearing.
Any sort of creature creation, idea, concept, deity, whatever you want to say, that can't see, that can't hear, but can't know, is dumb, literally, and figuratively. And so it's categorically ineligible for the cat for the description of divinity and it's categorically ineligible to be worship.
So we talked about that. And then we drew the eye back to us. And we asked ourselves the question, what is it that we worship, and we mentioned that worship falls into two broad categories, one of them, which is kind of easy and obvious, and the other which is a little bit more nuanced. The first one being that the worship of the body, right, your prayers, your do your supplication, your prostration pilgrimage is a kind of all of these things that involve the physical, a physical aspect. And you might have varying levels of sincerity, right. And according to that sincerity, which nobody can see, which you might not even know entirely, Allah will judge you. But there's also
of worship that's much more nuanced and much more difficult, because it's impossible to see, though we can feel it, if we listen. And this is the realm of the worship of the hearts.
And we began by talking about different acts of worship that the heart engages in.
Now, when we're talking about worship of the heart, one thing I neglected to say last week that I should say here, is that we're talking about a certain degree,
right? There's a special degree
of this activity that should only be reserved for Allah.
There are other degrees of these acts of these activities that are for other things other than a lung, let's talk about it'll make sense when we get into specifics. Let's talk about love. Okay, so one of the acts of worship that belonged to the heart is love. No one in their right mind could possibly say and you know, my
along with the person who reminded me of this,
because the way I worded it could have been misinterpreted. But nobody in their right mind would say that we're only allowed to love a lot. We're not allowed to love anybody or anything else in this world. That's just not true. Right. But what we mean by this is that there's a certain degree of love, maybe even a certain category of love, that is reserved for a loss of house Allah alone. And this degree, this special reserve of love is worship. Okay, it's not natural love, like you have for your country, or your people or your cuisine or your language. It's not
a biological natural love, like you have for your offspring or your parents or your spouse. Nor is it okay, like also attraction or romance, right, but it's this special degree that's reserved, that's above all of that, it might have elements of those sorts of things inside of it. But it's above all of that.
It is a love that takes priority, over all other love. It's a love that, once it finds its way inside of you, it's going to drive you and last you for the rest of your life.
It's going to give you solace. When other things maybe everything in your world is crashing down around you. This is this kind of special love that exists only for Allah.
As for the other types of love, some of them are held out. Some of them are fought on but they're lesser in degree. So we have
a job to do when it comes to looking into our hearts and seeing okay, what are the things that we actually love in this in this life? And the things that we do love? Are we loving them in a proper proportional way?
Or are we exceeding the bounds to take us into a special degree that's reserved for Allah subhanaw taala alone.
And the easy way to kind of identify whether this is happening or not, is to see what wins out. If the if the two and they don't always, of course, but if the two compete or conflict with each other.
So I have a funny story. I used to lead, Hajj and Ramallah groups when I was in Medina. And so
we always had this thing where many of the guys that are coming for hygiene ombre, right, they're normally clean shaven. Okay. And it's, we won't get into the fixed side of things. But it's a very good thing for certainly rewardable By Allah or a man to have something called a beard, right? Whether that's something that's short or small, or this or that, that's a whole other discussion, but the beard is part of the snap. Right? It's one of the signs of Islam. And so it was always kind of funny, because there would, I would always try to initiate if when you're in hajj, you're going for several days in the State of Iran where you're not allowed to shave. So now, you know people are
getting into it, they get a little more scruffy. You know, they're, this is a new experience for a lot of people. So what I would do
is on the Day of Arafah, which is the day before
I eat which is the day where if you're on Hajj, which you make tacony surah you kind of like, come out of most of your prom. And for some people, that includes shaving, shaving the beard off. So I would kind of conspire to start what I call him like the beard club. Or I would go around to the guys and I would give like a emotional speech and say, Listen, guys, you guys have all looked great. You know, I'd be complimenting people in the days leading up to it like, Hey, that looks really good on you. You should think about growing up here this that and yeah, and then like kind of it would lead up to this day. The day artifact or I kind of spring it on, it's like let's commit to this.
Let's make a beard club where all of us are going to commit to have like, just even a little bit of a beard.
And the biggest obstacle I found to this beard club idea was not the men themselves. It was their spouses. It was the wives
and that shocked me I don't know why I wasn't I wasn't prepared for it but the wives they were like no, we want our husbands to shave we like the clean shaven look. So it was funny. I actually had to go around and kind of convinced the wives or negotiate sometimes I was able to negotiate a goatee here and there, but sometimes I was able to you know, do what I could do. But the all of this to say that there are certain certain situations where
love for our spouse or love
For our love for Allah and His commands might come into conflict. This is a humorous example. And it's the stakes are not very high. But there are there are other examples where the stakes are very high. We know stories from the companions. And we know stories from anybody who accepts Islam these days, that sometimes they're in a marriage where the other person in the marriage tries to weaponize their relationship against that person to get them to give up their faith.
Right? This is the same sort of situation with even the relationship with a parent, like Saudi Arabia will cost the famous companion, one of the 10 promised paradise, who was such so devoted to his mother, and loved his mother so much, but his mother tested him by trying to go on basically, what was a hunger strike, to get him to give up his religion. This is an example of where one has to draw the line between
a certain degree of love and obedience that set aside for Allah, and a certain degree of love and obedience that set aside for your spouse, which is, at the end of the day less than that.
As Allah says in the Quran, that certainly our spouses and it's not wives, it's not something that's gendered in this is our spouses and our children are a fitna for us. And someone in the women's class, they brought up that Oh, fitness is a really strong word. And that's true in the sense of how we use it typically. But in the Quranic context, it's not a negative thing that you're saying something's a fitna, does it imply that there's something wrong with that thing, or that thing is evil? What a fitna is, that's an A is to test something. Pfitzner is literally in the Arabic language, taking gold and putting it to fire to see what it's really made out of to see so that the
impurities would burn off.
And so a fitna is like a trial or a test that exposes your priorities. So in this sense, yes, our spouses and our children there fits in for us, they're going to expose what our priority score. What are our priorities? Do we prioritize Allah?
Do we prioritize our Islam? Or are we going to in the few cases where the two things kind of collide with each other? Are we going to prioritize obeying something that our spouse would have us do that's in conflict with our obedience to our Creator?
So this should, this should spark a question within us and that is, do we really love Allah and His messenger? And the question I'll pose for all of you is, how do you tell how can you tell if you love someone or not? How can you tell if you love Allah or not? How can you tell? If you love the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa salam or not, what are the signs
What if someone came up and they just didn't believe you? You said I love Allah. I said, Now you don't prove it.
What would you say? What's your answer? How would you respond to such a person? How can you prove that you love a lot? What what what does loving Allah look like?
You do things to please him.
which necessitates what
how do you know what pleases Him?
You feel joy and relief from facing
follow Allah's commands.
How do you know what his commands are?
It feeling okay. It's a feeling true.
Orion and Sunnah. Yes.
For the two responses that said to please Him and to obey or follow His commands, how do you know what those things are in the first place?
And even for even for feeling joy, and relief when facing him? How do you gain that joy and relief?
Does it come automatically? Does it is it given to you in a dream? Is there a pathway that you take so that you can build
that joy and relief when you face a law? And if so what is that pathway?
Law learning. Very good.
So Mohammed said learning Yes.
Because someone can have a feeling
Yes. All that's right.
Someone can have a feeling.
I can feel like I love Allah. I can just say on the corners of the streets and unit guy can go to downtown and say I love a lock and hang a big sign on my chest that says I love Allah.
if I don't know the first thing about Allah
what's the status of that feeling?
Is that feeling a genuine feeling? Is that feeling a authentic feeling? Or is it really just kind of my own? Delusion?
Is it really just kind of my own? Vanity?
Is it possible to love?
Can't hear you brother?
Okay, can you hear me now?
Yeah, sorry about that. I don't know what happened, I got booted out.
The point I think is clear, it's not possible to love Allah.
Truly, to truly love Allah, without knowing who Allah is. If we drew an example from this life,
it would become clearer. Let's say that, you know, imagine you're 18 Again, or you're 17 again.
And you're just in love with this person.
And you're writing poetry and you're like, really, really
waxing poetic about this, this person.
And then someone stops you and asks you, oh, well tell me what this person is like.
And you can't tell them what that person is like?
They asked you Well, tell me what that person makes that what makes them happy? What makes them sad? What makes them angry? What makes them feel good? And you don't have any answers?
Is that true love? Can anybody in their right mind call that love? Or is it delusion?
Is it really like that person kind of projecting this idea? What they think, is that person or in this case, Allah
and being in love with that. And reality it's it's a love. It's an infatuation with someone's own, a figment of your own imagination. That's the height of vanity and delusion. And so knowledge is the antidote to this knowledge is the antidote to a vain, narcissistic love.
So the more that you know about Allah, who he is, what he does, what he doesn't do,
what pleases Him, what doesn't please him.
The more you're building your capacity to love Allah, it's not automatic. It's not that as soon as you know, then it just transfers down to your heart and then you love know, it's habitual. It takes practice. It takes meditation, it takes embodiment.
You have to embody that knowledge.
But it has to come through knowledge.
Another thing that we could say, the test of how you can prove that you love someone and how you can, how you can prove that you love Allah subhanaw taala is sacrifice.
This is something that's well known in marriage, anybody who's been married
there's kind of like the, with the puppy love what they say in English, the puppy love phase, where you're kind of like infatuated with one another. You know, you're really like, into that person. It's exciting. It's new, there's novelty.
And then in every relationship, there comes struggle, and there comes the first round of conflicts.
And everybody kind of has to make a decision at some point, with whatever relationship that they're in.
Am I going to
commit myself to this relationship and struggle
and sacrifice to make it better. Or am I kind of am I going to kind of keep my eye on the exit sign and be ready to jump ship. As soon as the water gets rough, as soon as things start to go bad
the sacrifice is a proof of the love and you'll feel for those of you who are married, you feel once you get through this sacrifice, once you come out on the other side,
you reach equilibrium again, it might not it might not be the same type of love is that kind of early, bubbly infatuation. But it's a deep, deep love. It's something that's extremely strong, and very, very difficult to shake. When you've been through so much with some person with one person. You've been committed to them for so long, you've given up your youth, you've given up your your wealth, and your opportunities and everything else.
To be with this person and to be in this relationship.
That to throw it all away would be madness. And it would be insanity.
Well, just like that happens in our romantic relationships in our marriages that can happen with a lot too. And somebody who doesn't feel like they can recall things that they've sacrificed for Allah
should sit with themselves, and ask themselves, what type of commitment they have to Allah.
There are things that happen when you have an option to do things kind of in a way that is pleasing to Allah. And in a way that's convenience. What are we choosing? are we choosing to sacrifice maybe something or some convenience in this life?
Or are we always kind of choosing the convenience?
After a series of these kinds of sacrifices, you're going to have such a relationship and a history of commitment with a law that there's no turning back. It'll be just like your your marriage where you've committed so much, you've given up so much and you've dedicated so much to Allah, that to throw it all away would be would be lunacy.
Wow, we just talked 30 minutes about love Mashallah. Another aspect of worship of the heart is fear.
And this is very, very strange to people who are kind of always surrounded by maybe like the contemporary culture in which fear is a really a bad thing right now. It's not cool, like fear is totally passe, right? Fear is a negative emotion, we're told, fear is a comes from a lack of understanding people fear things they don't understand. Right?
This is a whole kind of ideology. It's basically the,
the rendering of all fear as phobia, right, irrational due to a lack of knowledge, and therefore negative, therefore cured by just knowing more. And you can see kind of the anthropological dimension of this cavemen evolving from apes, as it were, right? Didn't know what the spooky shadows were the bumps in the night, and they kind of made up religion, to kind of make themselves less afraid. That's how the story goes. Right? And so fear is always this kind of, you know, this kind of negative,
suppression, oppression, restriction,
until it's remedied by actual knowledge, and usually they mean scientific knowledge. Well, that's fine, we have a completely different conception of fear. We don't deny that that kind of fear does exist. Yes, it's true. But that's not all that fear can be.
Fear can be righteous. Fear can be based upon knowledge and not due to the absence of knowledge. Just like someone can be afraid of a wild animal, or someone has an experience with a certain place
or a certain dangerous situation.
You wouldn't say that that person has a phobia, he would say that that person is smart. He's learned from his experience, he knows what to look out for.
Well, our fear of Allah is not a phobia.
Fear of Allah is not a phobia. It's the second type of fear of fear that's based out of knowledge and intelligent fear that's based off of experience.
You know, that there's going to be a day of judgment. You know, that Allah is more powerful and in control
More powerful than anything that you can imagine.
You do know that he's merciful and that he loves you. But you know that he will take people to task if they go too far and transgress the bounds.
So any fear that you have of Allah that's based in this knowledge is a righteous fear. And it's actually a fear that isn't negative, it's not a hindrance to your life, it's not a hindrance to your liberation or your freedom, it's actually a virtue, it's actually going to do things that are good for you, it's actually going to expand or give you the opportunity
to live in tranquility in this life, because you've stayed away from the things that Allah wants you to stay away from. And you're not going to hurt people,
and tranquility in the next life, when you're rewarded for it.
As for fearing other things in the dunya, than these also fall into these two categories, there's a certain degree of fear that should be expected, natural fear of, again, wild animals falling from a certain height, right, you know, contagion, pandemics, these sorts of things that are natural if they're kept in check in a certain degree. But we need to be careful, be careful that the things that we fear, never cross over into that preserve of fear,
which is really the reserve of Allah subhanaw taala alone,
that we're not so dominated by our fear, that we're now disobeying a law or reflecting an attitude of gratefulness, or reflect reflecting an attitude that demonstrates a misunderstanding of who Allah is in the first place.
This is something Allah mentioned the assault on Bucha when he says that the devil threatens you is the verb promises, the AI the AI in the coalmine, Sakura, he promises you or he threatens you with poverty.
Right, so how does the devil get people to do things, crazy things, bury their daughters in pre Islamic Arabia, through fear through fear of what's her fear of poverty, oh, if you do this, and you're going to be destitute, you're going to be on the street, you're going to be ruined, you're not going to be able to make ends meet, you're going to be humiliated.
And so this type of fear is something that is crossing over where you're demonstrating a misunderstanding or a misapplication of Allah's Bounty, and the loss favor and his blessing.
And so that's a degree of fear that's gone over too far into a laws reserve of fear that is preserved for him alone.
Similarly, there are other sort of situations with sickness and harm and disease and even violent death. We're Muslims, we live in the West, somebody could come and shoot up the message any day.
Either the biller we don't want that to happen, it's probably not going to happen. But is it a possibility in like a mathematical way? Yes, it's a possibility.
But we can't live in such a way that it's demonstrating a misunderstanding of Allah as our protector Mowlana. And Allah as a dude who loves us.
And all these other things, I feel the protector,
right, we can't betray or lose sight of our understanding of who Allah is. And let the fear get out of control, and control us.
And in this way, much of sin, if not all of sin, is an act of forgetting. It's an act of forgetting a loss to nature and who Allah is. It's a temporary, usually it's a temporary forgetting, but it can turn into a habit of forgetting
where you, you regularly forget that Allah is merciful.
And so you are afraid that every little thing that is going to come out and grab you and ruin your life.
And there's many other examples. But we want to get to the end of this. This name is shallow, and we only have two minutes. So another act of worship from the heart is hope. What we have hope and in the same thing, there are things that we hope for in this world that are good and pure. But there's a degree of hope that's the preserve of Allah alone.
Right? We don't depend on our hopes, in the same way that we depend on our hopes for the afterlife.
We have high expectations of what's going to happen in the afterlife. We have to temper our expectations for what's going to happen in the dunya.
The belief in our afterlife
is what shapes these expectations.
And the belief in our afterlife is what gives us this kind of balance and equanimity. When it comes to our expectations in the dunya, you'll notice that people who don't have any belief in the afterlife, all of their hopes are in this dunya their hopes for fulfillment their hopes for happiness, their hopes, hopes for pleasure and everything meaning significance, it's all about the dunya. So they're so afraid, and they're controlled, by their hope, because they've put all of their hope in something that's temporary, something that they have no right to expect that much from.
Whereas we put our ultimate hope in the afterlife, and we hold out a tempered, reasonable moderate hope for what Allah will shower us with in the afterlife. That's the end of this chapter, the name of Allah and Allah next time we'll talk about Allah's name of ROB in sha Allah Tada. Does anyone have any questions? We're under a minute so it might cut off any second but if anyone has any questions please let it rip
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