Editorial – Fall 2019
Different faith traditions call upon God with diverse names, such as Elohim, Yahweh, Paramatma, Zeus, Jah, Nagai, and Waheguru. God, in all religious beliefs, also has numerous attributes, and each Divine attribute is glorified with a different name. In Islam, His name is Allah. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah has numerous ‘Beautiful Names,’ each name stands for one of His magnificient characteristics, reflecting a different and unique aspect of Divinity. For the present issue of the Muslim Sunrise, we have chosen the important theme of “Divine Attributes of Allah.”
At the very beginning of the Holy Qur’an, in Surah Al-Fatihah (Chapter 1), are mentioned four principal Divine attributes : (i) Rabb al-‘Alamin (Lord of the worlds), (ii) Rahman (The Compassionate), (iii) Rahim (The Merciful), and (iv) Malik-e-Yaum ad-Din (Master of the Day of Judgment). Then, throughout the Qur’an, His attributive names are revealed in specific Qur’anic contexts. Some Divine attributes are unique to God alone, and cannot be applied to anyone else. For example, He is al-Hayy (Ever-Living), al-Khabeer (Omniscient – All-Knowing), al-Qayyum (Self-Subsisting), al-Lateef (Incomprehensi-ble), Al-Muqtadir (Omnipotent – brings to pass anything He chooses), and as -Samad (Besought of all, and upon Whom all depend for their needs). Some of God’s attributes reflect His relationship with His Creation, especially human beings, such as, al-Wadud (The One Who Loves), as-Shafi (The Healer), al-Mutakallim (Who speaks to His servants) and al-Hadi (The Guide). Other names express God’s responsive attitude towards various good or evil actions carried out by human beings; for example, al-Ghaffar (The Great Forgiver), al-Mu’izz (The Bestower of honor), al-‘Adl (The Just), at-Tawwab (The Acceptor of repentance) and ad-Darr (The Inflictor of punishment).
As it was not possible to cover all the “Beautiful Names” of God in one issue of the Muslim Sunrise, only a few of the Divine attributes are selected. These include God being One, the Creator, the Compassionate and Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgment, the Light, the Source of Peace, the Ever-living, the Wise, the Answerer of Prayers, the Friend and All-Suficient.
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