CONCERNING THE ATTRIBUTES (sifat) OF (HIS) ESSENCE (dhat) AND THE ATTRIBUTES OF (HIS) ACTIONS (af'al)
Says thc Shaykh Abu Ja'far (on whom be the mercy of Allah): our belief concerning the attributes of (His) essence is this. Whenever we describe Allah by the attributes of His essence, we only desire by each attribute the denial of its opposite in respect of Him, the Glorious and Mighty. We say that Allah, the Glorious and Mighty, has always been the Hearing One (sami), the Seeing One (basir), the Knowing One ('alim}, the Wise (hakim), the Powerful (qadir), the Glorious (aziz), the Living (hayy), the Ever-lasting (qayyum), the One (wahid), the Prior (qadim), - for these are the attributes of His essence. We do not say that He, the Glorious and Mighty has always been the Great Creator (khallaq), the One possessed of Action (fa'il), Will (sha'i') and Intention (murid), the Approver (radi), the Disapprover (sakhit), the Provider (raziq), the Bountiful One (wahhab),the Speaker (mutakallim), - because these are the attributes of His Actions (af'al), and (therefore) they are created (muhdath). It is not right to say that Allah is always to be qualified by them.
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