The Sign of the Throne

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Allah T'ala says in the Holy Quran:

اللَّهُ لا إِلَهَ إِلا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلا نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلا بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلا بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ وَلا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

(2:255) Allah: the Everlasting, the Sustainer of the whole Universe; there is no god but He. He does neither slumber nor sleep. Whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth is His. Who is there to intercede with Him except by His own permission? He knows what is before the people and also what is hidden from them. And they cannot comprehend anything of His knowledge save whatever He Himself pleases to reveal. His Kingdom spreads over the heavens and the earth and the guarding of these does not weary Him. He alone is the Supreme and the Exalted.

This verse is generally known as the 'Verse of the Throne' and it provides in one piece knowledge of God with no parallel.

There is no god but Allah, the Everlasting, the Sustainer of everything.
Regardless of ignorant people's worship of false gods, the truth is that godhead in its entirety, belongs exclusively to the Eternal Being, Who is indebted to no one for His existence. In fact, He is not only self-existent, but upon Him rests the entire order of the universe. He alone wields all sovereign authority over His dominion. None shares His attributes or His power and might, and no one has the same claims against the creatures as He does. Hence, if anywhere in the heavens or earth someone sets up anything or anybody as an object of worship and service (ilah), either instead of or in addition to the One True God, it amounts to declaring war on reality.

He does neither slumber nor sleep.
This is a refutation of the ideas of those people who, in formulating their concepts of God, are inclined to consider God analogous to their own imperfect selves and hence ascribe to God the weaknesses characteristic of human beings. An instance at hand is the famous Biblical statement that God created the heavens and the earth in six days and on the seventh day He rested (see Genesis, chapters 1 and 2).

Whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth is His.
To God belongs the heavens and the earth and everything therein. There is no one who shares anything with God in governance of the heavens or the earth. Any conceivable being other than God would necessarily be a part of the universe and thus belong to, and be a subject of, God rather than His partner and equal.

Who is there to intercede with Him except by His own permission?
This is a refutation of the ideas of those polytheists who consider their saints, angels or other beings to be so influential with God that if they were adamant in demanding something of Him, their demand would prevail. They are being told that, far from anyone having the power to impose his will on God, none - not even the greatest Prophets and the most highly esteemed angels - will dare utter one word in the majestic court of the Lord unless they are expressly permitted to do so.

He knows what is before the people and what is hidden from them. And they cannot comprehend anything of His knowledge save what He Himself pleases to reveal.
Here another blow is struck against polytheism. On the basis of the concept of God's unlimited sovereignty and omnipotence, it was stressed in the foregoing verses that no one shares independently in God's governance of the universe, and no one is so powerful with God that his intercession would decisively influence His judgement. The same point is stressed here but in a different manner. It is pointed out that no one possesses the knowledge that would enable him to comprehend the order of the universe and the considerations underlying it, so no one can legitimately interfere in its governance. The knowledge of human beings, of jinn, of angels and of all other creatures is limited and imperfect. No one's knowledge embraces all the facts of the universe. If someone did have the right to interfere even in only a part of the universe, and if his suggestions were of necessity to be put into eflect, the entire order of the universe would be disrupted. Creatures are incapable of understanding what is best for them, and do not have the capacity to know how best the universe should be governed. It is God alone Who knows everything.

His Kingdom spreads over the heavens and the earth and the guarding of these does not weary Him. He alone is the Supreme and the Exalted.

(Tafheemul Quran)

 

compiled by Dr. Ishaq Zahid
July 20, 2007

 

Peaceful Beginning

When the Qur'an began to be revealed, the first word of the first verse was iqra, 'read.' (96:1) When we reflect on this verse, we find the starting point of Islamic action. It is to start from where there is no fear of violent reaction, from the point where it is possible to continue one's movement along peaceful lines.

At the time when the command of iqra was revealed in the Qur'an, several options existed in Makkah regarding the starting point for the Islamic movement. One option was to begin by launching a movement to clear the Kabah of the 360 idols, which had been placed in it. This option would certainly have provoked a violent reaction on the part of the Quraysh. Another option was to find a seat in Dar Al Nadwah (Makkah's parliament). The third option was to launch a movement to free Muslims from the domination of the Roman and Sassanid empires. This starting point again would have provoked a violent reaction on the part of these forces.

Leaving aside all these courses of action, the option followed was that of studying the Qur'an, about which it was certain that it could be continued peacefully, and that it would not provoke any violent reaction.

The Prophet of Islam adopted this principle throughout his life. His policy was to adopt a non-violent method rather than a violent method. It is this policy, which was referred to by his wife, Aisha: "Whenever the Prophet had to opt for one of two things, he always chose the easier one."

Islam - An Historic Perspective

Islam began when man's career on earth began---more precisely at the time of man's creation and his descent. Allah created Adam and Eve and enjoined them to worship Him and live a life of obedience to the Divine Will.

Allah is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and of human beings. Man must turn to Him for sustenance and guidance. The very word Islam means obedience to God. In this respect, Islam is man's natural religion---the only natural course is for man to look towards Him for guidance.

The day Adam and Eve were sent down to live on earth, Allah told them that they were His servants and He was their Master and Creator. He told them and mankind that the best course was for them to follow His guidance, to obey His orders and to refrain from what He had forbidden. God said to them that He would be pleased if they obeyed Him and in turn He would reward them. If, however, they did not heed His commands, He would be displeased and would punish them. This was the simple beginning of Islam.

 

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Islamic Concept of God

It is a known fact that every language has one or more terms that are used in reference to God and sometimes to lesser deities. This is not the case with Allah. Allah is the personal name of the One true God. Nothing else can be called Allah. The term has no plural or gender. This shows its uniqueness when compared with the word god which can be made plural, gods, or feminine, goddess. It is interesting to notice that Allah is the personal name of God in Aramaic, the language of Jesus and a sister language of Arabic. The One true God is a reflection of the unique concept that Islam associates with God. To a Muslim, Allah is the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, Who is similar to nothing and nothing is comparable to Him. The Prophet Muhammad was asked by his contemporaries about Allah; the answer came directly from God Himself in the form of a short chapter of the Quran, which is considered the essence of the unity or the motto of monotheism. This is chapter 112 which reads:

"In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Say (O Muhammad) He is God the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone."

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Attributes of Allah

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Eid Mubarak

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Islamic Caligraphy

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Islamic Architecture

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Natural Beauty

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