Allah Almighty’s infinite power and greatness

Updated 15 January 2015

Allah Almighty’s infinite power and greatness

Allah created the order of the universe in superb detail to allow man to grasp His greatness. A verse referring to this order reads,”...so that you might know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge.” (Qur’an, 65:12) Faced with the sublimity of the details of this order, man becomes in awe, recognizing that Allah’s wisdom, knowledge and might is infinite.
So expansive is Allah’s knowledge that what for us is “infinite” is in His Sight already ended. Every event that has taken place since the creation of time, until deep into eternity, was predetermined and ended in Allah’s Sight.
Man must seek to appreciate the extent of Allah’s knowledge, and reflect to comprehend His greatness.
Billions of people have appeared on Earth since time immemorial. Therefore, Allah created billions of pairs of eyes, billions of different fingerprints, billions of different eye tissues, billions of different types of humans... If He so willed, He could also create billions more. As stated in the Qur’an, “...He adds to Creation in any way He wills. Allah has power over all things.” (Qur’an, 35:1)
Allah also possesses the power to create many other things beyond our limited imagination. The entire extent of the treasures Allah has bestowed in this world for His servants is all within His Sight. He sends down to us only that which He wills, all within a measure predetermined.
Allah has created many worlds and beings which we cannot see. To better understand the possibility of the existence of other worlds, we should consider the following: A picture is two dimensional-width and length.
The world in which we live, however, is 3 dimensional-width, length and depth-(time can be considered as the 4th dimension). The rest is beyond our comprehension. However, in the sight of Allah, there are other dimensions. Angels, for instance, are beings that live in another dimension.
In the Qur’an it is stated that angels can see and hear us from the dimension and space in which they exist. Furthermore, the two angels, seated on our either shoulder, each, and at every moment, is recording every word we speak and every deed we do. Yet, we do not see them. Jinn are also beings of another dimension, as we are informed by the Qur’an.
They, like us human beings, are also tested, all through their lives, and will ultimately be brought before judgment by Allah. However, they are possessed of completely different attributes than humans; their existence is dependent upon an entirely different system of cause and effect.
These are all facts that deserve careful consideration in order to attain a better grasp of Allah’s splendid Creation. It is within Allah’s power to create innumerable new worlds, beings and situations. Furthermore, each is He able to create with a limitless degree of differentiation. Indeed, in a nature unknown to us, Allah will create Paradise and Hell.
While systems left to their own in this world tend to age, become corrupted, and eventually expire, in Paradise, unaffected by the passage of time, nothing will deteriorate; “rivers of milk whose taste will never change” is an example which states this feature of Paradise.
The human body too will not degenerate; nor will anything ever age. As is related in the Qur’an, everyone in Paradise will be of like age, will live together for all eternity, in the best condition, and without growing older or losing their beauty. Allah also informs us in the Qur’an that in it will be bursting springs for us from which to drink. Hell, on the other hand, will be utterly different; in it, Allah will create unimaginable torment. No one will be able to conceive the pain of such torment until he experiences it.
On everything in this world, Allah has placed a limit. Everything has a finite existence. This being the case, in order to comprehend “eternity,” and Allah’s infinite might, we need to exercise our minds and compare these ideas with something that is familiar. We can only come to know to the extent that Allah permits us. Allah, however, is infinite in knowledge.
Let us consider the following example, Allah has created seven basic colors. It is impossible for us to visualize another color. However, Allah is able to create more than these basic colors. Although, unless He so wills, we will never be able to have a grasp that which is beyond what He has willed for us to know.
All that we have just mentioned belongs to that knowledge that Allah has allotted us in this world. But, one point deserves particular attention; because Allah’s power and might is infinite, anything can happen, and at any time, by His will. Allah’s Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also referred to the eternal power of Allah when he said, “The seven heavens and the seven Earths are no more in Allah’s Hand than a mustard seed in the hand of one of you.”
Allah explains the infiniteness of His knowledge in the Qur’an as follows: “If all the trees on Earth were pens and all the sea, with seven more seas besides, was ink Allah’s words still would not run dry. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.” (Qur’an, 31:27)
In brief, no matter how hard we strive to do so, we cannot possibly come to grasp the extent of Allah’s knowledge, because it is unlimited.
We can comprehend it only as far as Allah permits us to do so: “Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the Earth belongs to Him.
Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills.
His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the Earth and their preservation does not tire Him. He is the Most High, the Magnificent.” (Qur’an, 2:255)

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science.


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016

The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.