Who is Allah?
by Aishah Iqbal
The one thing we seek to have is rock solid Emaan, which can withstand the waves of difficulty and the ocean of the unknown. To have the Emaan that keeps you strong when you receive a nasty comment about your faith or when your relationships seem to be falling apart is something we all want. The reality is many of us go through times when we have this, times when our life and focus has clarity and a straight direction. Sadly, at other times, we may find our Emaan wavering and the simple acts we could once do with firm belief are now a struggle. This is something so many of us experience; the key question is how do we get our Emaan to be strong again? How do we maintain the bare minimum when in tough times?
Our faith is built upon a statement: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Whoever said "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a barley grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said: "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a wheat grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of an atom will be taken out of Hell." (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 47)
These words are what bring a person into the folds of Islam and these very words are what can help a person when they come across difficult Emaan times. The door to this religion is to accept and submit to Allah being one and the only one worthy of worship; it is of paramount importance for us to understand this statement to its core and seek to be aware of Allah and his characteristics. By doing so, we will feel much more connected to Him and this connection is what will sustain our Emaan and beliefs at all time. When trying to maintain the habit of praying the five salaahs, we may find an array of emotions when we fail to do so: anger, sadness, guilt, pity. We may even mentally punish ourselves because we are aware how highly salaah is regarded in Islam:
If you are turning to prayer towards a Lord whom you read little about and know little about, this paves way for the whispers of Shaytaan and general difficulties remaining steadfast. Sadly, many us put importance to different people, things and places when we really need to focus on who Allah is and His rights of being worshipped. To tackle all problems regarding faith, we first need to have a solid understanding of how Allah wants us to perceive Him and what His attributes are.
When we meet someone, we claim to know them if we are aware of their characteristics and values. Likewise, to know Allah we can look to the names he uses to describe himself. Here are some I feel are vital to remember when you find yourself in those dark moments of hardship and adversity.
Al-Ghaffar: The All Forgiving
But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents and believes and does righteousness and then continues in guidance. (Surah Ta ha 20:82)
We all make the mistake of sinning and failing to adhere to the beautiful rules set in the Qur'an and sunnah to help us attain the ultimate success of this life and the next. This is human nature. However, our Lord is one who forgives us; we have to turn to Him and ask for his forgiveness.
"Whoever repents" is explained by Ibn Kathir to mean: to turn away from what one was involved in of disbelief, associating partners with Allah, disobedience of Allah or hypocrisy.
Ar-Razzaq: The Sustainer
Is there any creator other than Allah who provides for you from the heaven and earth? (Surah Fatir 35:3)
There is not one creature on this earth who is not provided for. From the food on your table to the clothes on your back to the air that you breath. Whilst we may go out to earn and purchase items, Allah is the one who gives us everything we have. If we simply think of the oxygen we breath, Allah is the one who gave us this air that surrounds us and the ability to take it in without contemplation of the method.
Ash-Shahid : The witness
And sufficient is Allah as Witness. (Surah Al Fath 48:28)
Allah sees all and hears all. Sometimes, when nobody knows our pain or believes the situations we have experienced we can feel alone. Yet, Allah knows every single thing we have been through and that is sufficient enough because our reward of patience lies with Him, not the people. Our souls want imminent approval, care and success hence why we feel upset when we do not receive this. We need to hold on to the fact that Allah is just and the best of judges; He will reward and punish accordingly to what He knows. We are never alone because Allah knows.
Al-Wali : The Guardian Lord
“Allah is the Wali of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light” (Surah Baqarah 2:257)
To remember this when you are going through difficult times is fundamentally important. Our lives are full of darkness when we are feeling weak in faith; the darkness is what gives us a heavy, empty feeling where nothing seems to make sense nor can you find happiness. Through turning to Allah, He brings us to the light and away from uncertainty.
Ibn Kathir makes a very poignant point about the grammar used in this verse:
This is why Allah mentioned the light in the singular while mentioned the darkness in the plural, because truth is one, while disbelief comes as several types, all of which are false.
The only way to find light is through Allah and Him alone. The only way to find the happiness of this dunya is by focusing on your relationship with Him; Allah is the constant in our life so open your doors wide to receive His mercy and love. Ibn Qayyim said regarding the love of Allah: It is a light that if you are without it you are in and ocean of darkness. It is a medicine or cure that if you are without it, your heart becomes a place of sicknesses. May Allah guide us to be on the path of seeking His love in the correct way and make our belief in Him firm insha’Allah.