The Quran

Commentaries for 7.180

Al Araf (The heights) - الأعراف

7.180 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Allah's are the fairest names) the loftiest attributes: knowledge, power, hearing, sight, and the like. (Invoke Him by them) recite by them. (And leave the company of those who blaspheme His names) those who deny His names and attributes; and according to a different reading this means: those who are disinclined to acknowledge His names; and it is also said that this means: those who liken His names to al-Lat, al-'Uzza, and Manat. (They will be requited) in the Hereafter for (what they do) and say in the life of this world.
7.180 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
And to God belong the most beautiful names, so supplicate Him by them, and leave those who deviate concerning His names.
God has names, and those names are His attributes. By those names He is renowned, praised, and recognized. They are names full of blessing, sweet to the hearts. They are a pure arrangement and pure words from the pure Lord, a worthy arrangement and beautiful words from the one Lord, the ornament of the tongue, the lamp of the spirit, and the everlasting laudation.
He Himself says, " 'My light is My guidance, 'No god but God' is My word, and I am He': The servant who gains access gains it with My light, when he finds the way he finds it with My lamp-the lamp of the Sunnah, the lamp of recognition, the lamp of love. I light the lamp of the Sunnah in their hearts, I light the lamp of recognition in their secret cores, and I light the lamp of love in their spirits. " Happy is the servant who walks among these three lamps! Who is more exalted than he in whose heart the greatest light is shining and who sees the Friend face-to-face in his heart?
Then He said that " No god but God " is My word and My attribute. " God " is My name, and I am the name that I am, for My name is requiter and lovingly kind, the God of all, the keeper of the world, the giver of turns to the world's folk.
The Pir of the Tariqah has a few words appropriate to this place. He said, " O worthy of Your own laudation, O grateful for Your own bestowal, O You who show Your own trial as sweet! In myself I am incapable of lauding You, in my intellect I am incapable of recognizing Your favor, in my ability I am incapable of what is worthy of You. O generous one! I am captive to the pain for which You are the remedy. I am slave of that laudation of which You are worthy. What do I know of You? You know. You are what You Yourself have said, and what You Yourself have said, You are that. "
This is the same as MuṣṬafā said: " I do not number Thy laudations-Thou art as Thou hast lauded Thyself.
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And leave those who deviate concerning His names. Deviation in God's names is to turn back from the road of rightness and correctness. It is of two sorts: either it increases or decreases. Someone speaks of a name or an attribute that God Himself did not speak about, or someone does not mention what He did speak about. The first is an assertion of likeness and the second a declaration of ineffectuality. The folk of asserting likeness increased and thereby deviated, and the folk of declaring ineffectuality decreased and thereby deviated.
Shaykh al-Islām Anṣārī said, " What God showed of Himself, that He is and such is His attribute. God is the explication of Himself, and MuṣṬafā has face-to-face vision of Him. About Himself He says, 'Ask about Him from one who is aware' [25:59]. About MuṣṬafā He says, 'He does not speak out of caprice' [53:3]. "
It is not appropriate for someone to affirm attributes for God on his own, nor to declare Him incomparable on his own. Keep your ears fixed on the Book and the Sunnah! Whatever they say, you say that it is that. God said there are attributes, there are names, so you should also say that. Since He did not say that there are not, you should not say that there are not. He did not say " how " He is. If He had said " how " He is, we would say that. God said, " I am. " He did not speak of howness. You should speak of being, but you should not speak of howness.
Anyone who comes to know two verses of the Qur'an will escape from declaring Him similar: " Is He who creates like him who does not create? " [16:17]. " Nothing is as His likeness, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing " [42:11]. These are affirmation of the name, not declaration of similarity. Calling holy while negating is the creed of Iblis. Those who declare similarity are outside the precinct of the submission, and those who reject attributes are heretics.
Know also that the Creator has names and created things have names. Every name of a created thing is an artifact, borrowed, made up, and metaphorical. Every name of the Creator is eternal, beginningless, worthy of Him, and true.
None of His names is newly arrived. Some people have said, " There must be the created for there to be a Creator, there must be the provided for there to be the Provider. " But it is not as they have said, for no newly arrived thing has access to the name God. There was nothing created while our Lord was the Creator, there was nothing provided for while our Lord was the Provider.
God has ninety-name names and is renowned by those names. He is not named by the things to which He gives names, for He is named in the beginningless. In heaven and earth He is, just as He is in the first and in the last. Imaginations have nothing to perceive, nor do understandings have causes. He causes things but He is not caused. He throws everything into " why, " but He Himself does not come under why. Thus all who go into whys and hows have gone outside the path of the Sunnah, for the Exalted Lord does not enter into opinions, is not encompassed by understandings, is not classified by intellects, and is not perceived by imaginations. He is recognized, but through attribute and name. In relation to Him all are standing on marks and messages through the light of recognition, the Book, the Sunnah, and inspiration.
7.180 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And to God belong the, ninety nine, Most Beautiful Names — mentioned in hadīth — (al-husnā is the feminine for al-ahsan) so invoke, name, Him by them, and leave those who blaspheme His Names (yulhidūn, ‘they blaspheme’, from [fourth form] alhada or [first form] lahada, meaning ‘those who incline away from the truth’), by deriving from them names for their gods, as in the case of al-Lāt, from Allāh (‘God’), al-‘Uzzā, from al-‘Azīz (‘Mighty’), and Manāt, from al-Mannān (‘Lord of Favours’). They will be requited, in the Hereafter, the requital, for what they did — this was [revealed] before the command to fight [them].
7.180 Kashani - Kashani
And to God belong the Most Beautiful Names: it has already been mentioned how each Name represents the Essence combined with some attribute [of His] and [how] God governs every affair through one of His Names - so invoke Him, by that [Name] when in need of [the attribute of] that Name, either by the tongue of the state, as when an ignorant person seeking knowledge invokes Him by His Name 'the Knower', and the sick person seeking cure invokes Him by His Name 'the Healer', and the poor person seeking enrichment invokes Him by His Name 'the Enricher', each one of them by actualising the preparedness that is the prerequisite for the reception [of his invocation], due to the effective power which that Name has and the effect of that attribute; or [that one should invoke Him] by the tongue of the speech, as when that first person might say, 'O Lord', intending by that 'O Knower', since that Name is specific to His Lordship, or when that second person might intend by 'O Lord' 'O Healer', or when that third person might intend by 'O Lord' 'O Enricher'; or [that one might invoke Him] by the tongue of the act, as when the seeking wayfarer might be invoking Him by his very acquisition of that [divine] attribute, such that if his knowledge [of Him] should be spent, he invokes Him by His Name 'the Knower', and if he should find the cure for his illness in Him and should he then ask Him to cure someone else by his assumption of the attribute of 'healing', he invokes Him by His Name 'the Healer', and if he should find himself of availed of his poverty through Him, he invokes Him by His Name 'the Self-sufficient'. That is the invocation to which the affirmers of [His] Oneness from among believers have been enjoined: so let them heed this example; and leave those who blaspheme His Names, [those] who seek these attributes from other than Him and attach these [attributes] to that [other], thus committing idolatrous association with Him.
7.180 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Allah's Most Beautiful Names
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ للهِ تِسْعًا وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا مِائَةً إِلَّا وَاحِدًا، مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ وَهُوَ وِتْرٌ يُحِبُّ الْوِتْر»
(Verily, Allah has ninety-nine Names, a hundred less one; whoever counts (and preserves) them, will enter Paradise. Allah is Witr (One) and loves Al-Witr (the odd numbered things),) The Two Sahihs collected this Hadith. We should state that Allah's Names are not restricted to only ninety-nine. For instance, in his Musnad, Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said;
«مَا أَصَابَ أَحَدًا قَطُّ هَمٌّ وَلَا حَزَنٌ فَقَالَ: اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ، ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ، نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضُاؤُكَ، أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُهِفي كِتَابِكَ أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرآنَ الْعَظِيمَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي، وَجَلَاءَ حُزْنِي، وَذَهَابَ هَمِّي، إِلَّا أَذْهَبَ اللهُ حُزْنَهُ وَهَمَّهُ وَأَبْدَلَ مَكَانَهُ فَرَحًا»
(Any person who is overcome by sadness or grief and supplicates, `O Allah! I am Your servant, son of Your female servant. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your decision concerning me shall certainly come to pass. Just is Your Judgement about me. I invoke You by every Name that You have and that You called Yourself by, sent down in Your Book, taught to any of Your creatures, or kept with You in the knowledge of the Unseen that is with You. Make the Glorious Qur'an the spring of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my grief and the dissipater of my concern.' Surely, Allah will remove his grief and sadness and exchange them for delight.) The Prophet was asked "O Messenger of Allah! Should we learn these words'' He said,
«بَلَى يَنْبَغِي لِكُلِّ مَنْ سَمِعَهَا أَنْ يَتَعَلَّمَهَا»
(Yes. It is an obligation on all those who hear this supplication to learn it.) Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,
وَذَرُواْ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِى أَسْمَـئِهِ
(and leave the company of those who belie His Names) "To belie Allah's Names includes saying that Al-Lat (an idol) derived from Allah's Name.'' Ibn Jurayj narrated from Mujahid that he commented,
وَذَرُواْ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِى أَسْمَـئِهِ
(and leave the company of those who belie His Names) "They derived Al-Lat (an idol's name) from Allah, and Al-`Uzza (another idol) from Al-`Aziz (the All-Mighty).'' Qatadah stated that Ilhad refers to associating others with Allah in His Names (such as calling an idol Al-`Uzza). The word Ilhad used in the Ayah in another from means deviation, wickedness, injustice and straying. The hole in the grave is called Lahd, because it is a hole within a hole, that is turned towards the Qiblah (the direction of the prayer).
7.180-183 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Now that the discourse is coming to an end, the people are being admonished and reproved to guard against some well known deviations. At the same time they have been warned of the serious consequences of the attitude of ridicule and denial they were adopting towards the Message of the Holy Prophet.
This admonition about giving names to Allah is of great importance, for different names reflect different concepts which people form of Him in their minds. It is obvious that people give such names to things as express their conception of them. The defects in the conceptions of things are reflected by the defects in the names and defects in the names show the defects in the conceptions. Besides this, man's relationships and his dealings depend on that particular. conception which he forms about some one or some thing. The defect in the conception of things shows itself in the defect of one's relationship to it. On the other hand, if one's conception of a thing is correct and right, one's relationship to it will also be of the correct and right son. The same is true in the case of one's relationship with Allah. The error one commits in giving wrong names to Allah (whether for distinction with reference to His attributes) is the result of one's error in the creed and in the conception of Allah and His attributes. A man commits the same kind of error and to the same extent in the formation of his moral attitude towards life that he commits in his creed and his conception of Allah. In fact a man's moral attitude towards life is wholly governed by his conception of Allah and his relationship to Him and the universe. That is why Allah has commanded the people to give most excellent names to Him and to refrain from giving wrong names to Hint, for He is worthy of excellent names only. Therefore the best thing is to give Him excellent names because the results of the perversion of His names are most serious "Excellent names" are those names that point to the greatness, the supremacy, the sanctity, the purity and the perfection of His attributes. It shall be deemed perversion of His names to give Hint such names as are below His dignity; which are against the reverence due to Him; which ascribe defects and shortcomings to Him or mislead one to form wrong creeds about Him. Again it shall also be a perversion to give such names to any of His creation as are worthy of Allah alone
As regards the Command ".....leave alone those who pervert His names," it means, "........you need not involve yourself in useless discussions with them, if they do not listen to your admonition and do not try to understand what you say, but use crooked arguments to confuse the issue They themselves shall see the consequences of their deviation".
7.180 Tustari - Al-Tustari
And to God belong the Most Beautiful Names, so invoke Him by them.He [Sahl]said:Truly behind the names and attributes are attributes which no comprehension can penetrate, for God is a blazing fire and is inaccessible. Yet we have no option but to plunge in [and try to reach Him]. And leave those who blaspheme His names [7:180], that is, those who are blasphemouswith His names and deny [the truth].’His words: