All Text is directly quoted from Quran and Caitanya Caritamrita!
Allahu Akbar! - Yes, Allah is great, but HOW great He is, most muslims do not know.
Allah is discribed in the holy Qur'an as the One who posesses all the attributes of perfection. If we want to understand Allah -As He Is- we have to understand Him WITHOUT distorting the meaning of His
divine attributes. If we study the Holy Qur'an carefully (without fundamentalist doctrines and without misinterpretation) we can understand that Allah has a Sublime Image.
Al-Bukhari (6227) and Muslim (2841) narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Allah created Adam in His image."
Muslim (2612) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "When any one of fights his brother, let him avoid the face, for Allah created Adam in His image."
Ibn Abi ‘Aasim also narrated (516) that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "When any one of you fights let him avoid the face, for Allah created Adam in the image of His Face." Shaykh al-Albaani said: its isnaad is saheeh.
The above hadeeth indicates that the pronoun in the phrase "in His image" refers to Allah, may He be glorified.
'Allah is the Most High and alone
posseses the attributes of perfection; invoke Him, then, by
these, and stand aloof from all who distort the meaning of His
attributes. Al A'Raf 7:180, tr. Asad
"Invoke God, or invoke the
Most Gracious: by whichever name you invoke Him, He is always
the One -- for His are all the attributes of perfection." Al
Isra 17:110, tr. Asad
Laysa Kamithlihi Shayun Wa Huwa As-Sami' ul-Basir "...There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One
that hears and sees (all things). Qur'an [42:11]
The 99 Most Beautiful Names of God, mentioned
in the Quran, describe the Lords special attributes and characteristics,
which prove, that Allah has a personal aspect or form.
The Holy Qur'an describes Allahs attributes as
follows: Allah is swift (10.21); rightful (10.32); fazlin, or
bountiful (10.60); latif, or tender, hakim, or wise (12.100);
gafur, or forgiving, rahim, or merciful (12.98); aziz, or mighty,
zuntiqam, or able to requite (14.47); rahman, or beneficent
(20.5); qawiy, or strong, (22.40); afuw, or mild (22.60); halim,
or clement (2.263); shakir, or responsive (4.147); shadid, or
stern (40.3) ali, or sublime and kabir, or majestic (40.12).
It is obvious that the owner of all these qualities must be
a person. Otherwise how can an abstract power be rightful or
bountiful or forgiving or clement or responsive? To be responsive
Allah must be a Person. Response is possible only between individualities.
To say that an impersonal truth has all these qualities is meaningless.
There must be a person, Who is Allah.
If we study the Holy Qur'an carefully (without fundamentalist doctrines and misinterpretation) we will see that Allah has relationships with His creation. He guides,
punishes and awards, gives life and death, becomes angry, summons,
leads, loves and does not love, protects, teaches, beguiles,
takes care, remembers etc. Such relationships between Allah
and living beings display His personal nature, for only a person
can have such relationships. Impersonal light or power cannot
love, teach, remember, become angry etc. One must be a person
to have such relationships.
For instance, in the above mentioned ayat (24.35)
it is further explained that, Yahdillahu
li - nurihi many - yasha / wa yazribullahul - 'amsala linas
/ wallahu bi - kulli shay-'in 'Alim: "Allah guides
unto His light whom He will and Allah does set forth allegories
for mankind, for Allah is the Knower of all things." (24.35)
In the Holy Qur'an we find numerous verses which describe the bodily features of Allah. For example, Allah's
ability to see and the nature of His eyes are described in the
following way: Wallaahu
bimaa ta'-maluuna Basiir: "Allah sees well whatever
you do." (2.265)
There are a number of verses in the Holy Qur'an
which explains that Allah hears everything. The fact that Allah
can hear automatically suggests that He possesses the sense
of hearing; but His hearing and the sense of hearing alike are
transcendental. His sense of hearing is neither limited nor
conditioned like ours. Allah can simultaneously hear every murmur
and sigh in the whole creation. For instance, in the 50th ayat
of the 34th sura ("Saba", or "The City of Saba") it is written
that Allah "hears all things": Innahuu Samii-'un-Qarib: "It is He Who hears all
things, and is (ever) near." Wallaahu
Samii-'un 'Alim: "Allah is Hearer, Knower." (2.224)
Thus, Allah is the owner of spiritual senses of hearing. Allah's
spiritual Ears are eternal, perfect and have unlimited potency.
He can hear everything that is hearable and unhearable.
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments: "The attributes
of Allah are different from anything we know in our present
world. He lives, but His life is self-subsisting and eternal.
It does not depend upon other beings and is not limited to time
and space. The attribute of Qayyum includes not only the idea
of "Self-subsisting" but also the idea of "Keeping up and maintaining
all life"." (9, p. 114)
My Lord came in the most beautiful Image
Muhammad: "My Lord came to me in the most beautiful image"
Al-Tirmidhi (3234) narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “My Lord came to me in the most beautiful image and said, ‘O Muhammad.’ I said, ‘Here I am at Your service, my Lord.’ He said, ‘What are the chiefs (angels) on high disputing about…’” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
According to the lengthy hadeeth about intercession, it says, “… then the Compeller (al-Jabbaar) will come to then in an image different than the image in which they saw Him the first time…” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7440; Muslim, 182.
From these ahaadeeth we learn that it is proven that Allah has an image (soorah/surah in Arabic), in a manner that befits Him, may He be glorified and exalted. His image is one of His attributes which cannot be likened to the attributes of created beings, just as His essence cannot be likened to their essence.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: "The word soorah/sura (image) in this hadeeth is like all the other names and attributes narrated (in the texts) where the words used may also be applied to created beings, in a limited manner. When these words are applied to Allah, they carry a unique meaning, such as al-‘Aleem (All Knowing), al-Qadeer (All-Powerful), al-Raheem (Most Merciful), al-Samee’ (All Hearing), al-Baseer (All-Seeing), and such as His creating with His hands, rising above the Throne, etc.” Naqd al-Ta’sees, 3/396
Everything that exists must inevitably have a form or image. Shaykh al-Islam said: “Just as everything that exists must have attributes that, so too everything that exists by itself must have a form or image. It is impossible for something that exists by itself not to have a form or image.”
And he said: "There was no dispute among the salaf of the first three generations that the pronoun in the hadeeth refers to Allah, and it is narrated through many isnaads from many of the Sahaabah. The contexts of the ahaadeeth all indicate that… but when al-Jahamiyyah became widespread in the third century AH, a group began to say that the pronoun refers to something other than Allah, and this was transmitted from a group of scholars who are known to have knowledge and to follow the Sunnah in most of their affairs, such as Abu Thawr, Ibn Khuzaymah, Abu’l-Shaykh al-Asfahaani and others. Hence they were denounced by the imams of Islam and other Sunni scholars.”
Naqd al-Ta’sees, 3/202
Ibn Qutaybah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “That Allah should have an image is no stranger than His having two hands, fingers or eyes. Rather those are readily accepted because they are mentioned in the Qur’aan, but this idea (image or form) is regarded as strange because it is not mentioned in the Qur’aan. But we believe in them all, but we do not discuss how any of them are.”
Ta’weel Mukhtalif al-Hadeeth, p. 221
Shaykh al-Ghunaymaan said: “Thus it is clear that the form or image is like all the other divine attributes. Any attribute which Allah has affirmed in the Revelation, we must affirm it and believe in it.”
Sharh Kitaab al-Tawheed min Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 2/41
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: There is a hadeeth narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in which he forbids saying “May Allah deform your face”, and says that Allah created Adam in His image. What is the correct belief with regard to this hadeeth?
This hadeeth is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), in which he said: “If any one of you strikes (another), let him avoid the face, for Allah created Adam in His image.” According to another version: “In the image of the Most Merciful.” This does not imply resemblance or likeness.
What is meant, according to the scholars, is that Allah created Adam with the ability to hear and see, and to speak when he wants. These are also attributes of Allah, for He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing, and He speaks when He wants, and He has a Face, may He be glorified and exalted.
But it does not mean that there is any resemblance or likeness. Rather the image of Allah is different from that of created beings. What is meant is that He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing, and He speaks when He wants, and He created Adam also able to hear and see, with a face and hands and feet. But man’s hearing is not like Allah’s hearing, his seeing is not like Allah’s seeing, his speaking is not like Allah’s speaking. Rather Allah has divine attributes that befit His majesty and might, and man has attributes that befit him, attributes that are finite and imperfect, whereas the attributes of Allah are perfect, with no shortcomings, infinite and without end.
The Nature of Allah
The Koran establishes the impersonal nature of God, but a closer reading reveals the personal God. Once Mohammed explained that in each of the verses of the Koran there is an external as well as an internal meaning. Five hundred years ago, in the conversation with the saint Abdullah Pathan, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered His realized interpretation of the Sacred Koran.
Among the Muslims was present the saint Abdullah Pathan, who discussed with Sri Caitanya about the nature of Allah. Abdullah Pathan tried to establish the impersonal nature of God on the basis of the revelations of the Koran. All historians confirm that Sri Caitanya was a great expert of all the religions of the world and had full knowledge of all the meanings, external as well as internal, of the verses of the Sacred Scripture.
Sri Caitanya said, "The Koran has certainly established the impersonal nature of God, but ultimately it rejects impersonalism and establishes the personal God." Sri Caitanya pointed out that according to the Holy Koran, Allah is also a person. One who thinks, wills, feels, has senses, desires, qualities, remembrance, knowledge, relationship with others, individual existence, activities and identity is defined as a person. If this definition of a person is applicable to Allah, we should accept Mahaprabhu's statement regarding the personal aspect of Allah.
Since the Koran proclaims that Allah is unlimited, then He must be simultaneously personal and impersonal. This is possible because Allah is not a person in a limited mundane sense. His personality is completely spiritual, free from any material qualities and beyond the limits of time and space. The Koran itself suggests that Allah has different personal features.
Innallaaha la-Zuu-Fazlin 'alan-naasi wa laa- kinna 'aksa- rahum laa yash-kuruun
"Allah is bountiful toward men, but most of them are ungrateful" (10.60)
Inna Rabii Latiful-limaa yashaaa / 'inna-huu Huwal- 'Aliimul- Hakiim
"My Lord is tender to whom He will. For He is the knower, the wise." (12.100)
Innallaaha la - 'Afuw-wun Gafur'
"Behold! Verily Allah is mild and forgiving." (22.60)
In these few Qur'anic verses, Allah has been described as fazlin, or bountiful; latif, or tender; hakim, or wise; afuw, or mild; gafur, or forgiving. Obviously the owner of these qualities must be a person. Otherwise how can an abstract power be bountiful or forgiving, mild or wise? To say that an impersonal truth has all these qualities, which factually require a personal awareness, is meaningless. Sri Caitanya explained to the Pathans that Allah is the Supreme Person and should be worshiped through the sankirtana- yajna, the congregational chant of the holy names of the Lord.
"Chant the name of Rahman!"
Mahaprabhu found references in the Holy Koran to show the Pathan soldiers how this spiritual method is not the exclusive monopoly of any religious sect. It is a universal method and is recommended in all the true Scriptures of the world. It is possible to develop love of God if we sincerely take shelter in the Supreme Lord and sing His holy names. In the Sacred Koran (17.110) it is said,
qulid-'ullaha 'awid-'ur rahman 'ayyama tad-'u fala-hul-'asma-'ul- husna
"Invoke Allah, invoke Rahman, the most merciful one. Invoke Him through any of His names. To Him belong the most beautiful names." According to a famous Islamic tradition, the knowledge of Allah is based upon one hundred names, one of which remains secret. It is said that one can conquer the world, if he discovers the hidden name.
Then Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, tomara shastre kahe sheshe 'eka-i- ishvara sarvaishvarya-purna tenho - shyama kalevara (Caitanya- caritamrita Madhya-lila 18.190)
"In your Holy Scripture it is said that ultimately there is only one God. He is full of opulence and His bodily complexion is shyama, blackish like a monsoon cloud." In the sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow" of the Holy Koran there is a specific verse which confirms this statement of Mahaprabhu's.
Allah has a beautiful color
In the sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow" of the Holy Qur'an there are specific verse which confirms this statement of Mahaprabhu's:
sibgatallah wa man 'ah - sanu minallahi sibgah
"We take our colour from Allah and who is better than Allah at coloring?" (The Qur'an 2.138)
In this verse it is explained that nobody can surpass Allah in lending colour to His own creation. He is the source of all colors and possesses them too. No wonder that some colour of this material world should resemble His colour. Besides, Mohammed personally said to his associates, "We take our colour from Allah". If the colour of the Arabs resembles that of Allah, we can safely conclude that Allah is of a beautiful dark complexion. And Krishna is that selfsame Allah. In fact, one of the most celebrated names of Krishna is Shyamasundara, the beautiful boy with shyama kalevara, the colour of a dark rain cloud. This dark colour(shyama), fully spiritual, is beyond the perception of the material senses and the mind.
The word sibgat is very significant in this verse. The root meaning of this word is color. In this verse it is explained that none can surpass Allah in lending color to this universe. There is no color that Allah doesn't have and none that He is not adorned by. Had He not been so adorned, then He will be less than His creation. The very thought of such offensive minimization of Allah is wholly unacceptable by anyone who professes to be a true Mussalman.
This is because no Muslim will dare contradict the Qur'anic statement: 'Allahu Akbar'(Allah is Great). Since Allah is the greatest, it is but natural for any sane person to put forward this question: How can the Great Allah be colorless, the epithet being an agent which reduces His unsurpassed Greatness to mere abstraction? The answer is that Allah is colorfully beautiful. Now, it is small wonder that some color of the material world should resemble His color, as Allah is the source of everything, including color.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.) said to his asabas [associates]: "We take our color from Allah." This means that the color of the Arabs analogously resembled Allah's color. From the representation of Allah's complexion by the Arabs we can safely conclude that Allah is of a beautiful dark complexion.
According to the ancient scriptures the color of God resembles the color of the monsoon cloud. Of course, this color of God is not material but spiritual. In this way the ancient scriptures further explain that the color of God is like the lightning. This means that God is effulgent. When the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.) met Allah he saw dazzling effulgence emanating from God. (131, p. 108) Therefore, Allah has a dazzling dark color. But we never see any dark color, which is dazzling. It seems contradictory.
That is because the color of Allah is not material, but spiritual, transcendental beyond the scope of the mundane senses and mind. From this point of view, we can understand why some Muslim scholars claim that Allah has no color. This means He has no material color, but He has spiritual color. Allah is full in all opulences, everything comes from Him and belongs to Him.
So how is it possible for Him not to have color? If He does not have color then it follows that He will be incomplete and imperfect because something will be missing in Him which is not possible. According to all recognized revealed scriptures, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.) and the Holy Qur'an, Allah has a spiritual, dazzling, dark color beyond the perception of the material senses and the imagination of the mundane mind."""
In India sometimes Krishna is called as Kanhaiya or Shyama (the dark colored one). May be in arab countries they pronounced Kanhaiya as Kahan. Also Krishna is dark in color. His color is similar that of a dark bluish monsoon cloud.
Esk (to love God) is the goal of life
Sri Caitanya explained that the purpose of the Holy Koran is to establish within the human society that Allah (Krishna), is the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Being, and that to develop esk, or pure love, for Allah is the ultimate goal of life.
The saint Abdullah Pathan, fully convinced by the expert preaching of Sri Caitanya, was later on initiated into the Vaishnava faith. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu renamed him Ram Das. Afterwards all the soldiers, transformed by the charismatic presence of Sri Caitanya, embraced the life of renunciation.
In Jaiva Dharma Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has reported an exchange of opinions about the ultimate goal of life between the Vaisnava saint Lahiri Mahashaya and the Head of the Mohammedan community or Kazi. Lahiri Mahashay put a question to the Kazi, "Will you kindly give me your definition of mukti as per your Koran?" The Kazi replied,"According to the Holy Koran, there are two kinds of 'ru' or individual souls. The ru in bondage is known as tarkavi-ru, the ru which is eternally free is the mujarradi-ru. 'Alam-misala' is the name of the spiritual world. 'Esk' means prema. By culturing esk, ru becomes pure and transcends mundanity. All this has been stated in the Koran, but all Mohammedans are not competent to understand these points." Are 'esk' and 'prema' on the same level? Again we find the answer in Jaiva Dharma. The words of Srila Sanatana Goswami, who was deeply learned in the Muslim language and tradition, are quoted in this regard. Sanatan Goswami said, "The word esk means love, but unfortunately the Muslim preachers cannot understand it properly. By the word esk they mean either physical or mental demonstration of love on the mundane plane." Links
The religion of the jivas is one. Apparently there is no reason why the religion of the individual souls should vary according to race, language and country. We can see that a variety of mental dispositions causes the jaiva dharma to appear in a perverted form. Actually all religions are pure in proportion to the degree of Vaishnava dharma they display. As humble preachers we are glad to find the connecting points between the different beliefs and the eternal sanatana-dharma. For instance, at the end of the Gita (18.66) Sri Krishna had requested Arjuna to abandon any form of irreligion and religion, and simply surrender unto Him. The Holy Koran (3.31) maintains the same principle:
"If you love Allah, follow me. Allah will love you. He will forget your sins because Allah is the One who forgives, the Merciful." We shall end here by remembering that Allahu Akbar. Yes, Allah (Krishna) is great and Mohammed is His prophet (or a prominent one).
Nobody before Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, had revealed to the world the real meaning of Allah's greatness and glory.
A thorough, scrutinizing study of the Holy Qur'an
affords one compelling evidence of the existence of Allah's
form. It is explained that Allah has a Sublime Image. How can
one, who has an image, be formless? The very mention of the
word 'image' signifies the existence of a form. So, it is illogical
to say that while Allah has an image, He is formless. Although
Allah is beyond mundane logic, by using spiritual logic (which
is based on the revealed scriptures) we can easily understand
that if Allah has a Sublime Image then He must also have a Sublime
Form which is transcendental to material time and space.
Since Allah is eternal, unlimited, has neither
beginning nor end, was never born and is deathless, how can
He have a material form? Therefore Allah has a spiritual form
which is perfect, unmanifest, unseen and inconceivable.The understanding
that Allah has a spiritual form is a better understanding. Considering
Allah formless is, to say the least, an inferior thought. Since
the statement that Allah has no form deprives Him of something
which even the lower creatures have, such a statement is offensive.
Therefore the most perfect understanding is that Allah has a
form which is absolutely spiritual and has little to do with
any material form whatsoever.
Why is almost every common description of Allah always interpreted in an impersonal way? (i.e. incorporeal, immaterial, ineffable, unfathomable, incomprehensible, etc.)
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu through innumerable quotations vivid instances, irrefutable examples has proved that Allah is both - Personal and Impersonal; Corporeal and Incorporeal, Manifest and unmanifest.
Whatever the opinion, it has been specifically stated in the Holy Quran that Allah is as much manifested as unmanifested, as Beginning as well as the End. So if we regard Him as manifested, then how is He without a form.
The Koran establishes the impersonal nature of God, but a closer reading reveals Allahs personal aspect. Once Mohammed explained that in each of the verses of the Koran there is an external as well as an internal meaning.
Allahs impersonal nature /vs. personal Aspect
Five hundred years ago, in the conversation with the saint Abdullah Pathan, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered His realized interpretation of the Sacred Koran. After visiting Vrindavan, Sri Caitanya was on the way to Allahabad when, in a condition of ecstatic rapture, he fainted in a village. Some Pathan soldiers saw the condition of Sri Caitanya and concluded that His companions must have poisoned Him and killed Him in order to steal His possessions.
Balabhadra Bhattacharya and other assistants of Sri Caitanya were immediately arrested. It was only after Sri Caitanya went back to the external consciousness that they were released. Among the Muslims was present the saint Abdullah Pathan, who discussed with Sri Caitanya about the nature of Allah. Abdullah Pathan tried to establish the impersonal nature of God on the basis of the revelations of the Koran. All historians confirm that Sri Caitanya was a great expert of all the religions of the world and had full knowledge of all the meanings, external as well as internal, of the verses of the Sacred Scripture.
Sri Caitanya said, "The Koran has certainly established the impersonal nature of God, but ultimately it rejects impersonalism and establishes the personal God." Sri Caitanya pointed out that according to the Holy Koran, Allah is also a person. One who thinks, wills, feels, has senses, desires, qualities, remembrance, knowledge, relationship with others, individual existence, activities and identity is defined as a person. If this definition of a person is applicable to Allah, we should accept Mahaprabhu's statement regarding the personal aspect of Allah.
Allah's Impersonal Nature
Allahu nurus: "Allah is the Light"
(The Qur'an 24.35)
Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu agreed with the Muslim scholar that "The Qur'an had certainly established impersonalism." (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 18.189)
In the beginning of his speech Mahaprabhu admitted that the Holy Qur'an certainly established impersonalism which means that the Supreme Absolute Truth is not a person and has no form. He is without hands, legs, mouth, ears or eyes. According to this conception, spirit is the denial of matter; whatever pertains to matter cannot pertain to spirit. Spirit is just the opposite of matter. The material world is a realm of forms and personalities. In contrast, the spiritual world is a realm where nothing like forms or personalities ever exist.
For example, the 35th ayat of the 24th sura of the Holy Qur'an, states, Allahu nurus - samawati wal - 'ard: "Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth."
In this way the Holy Qur'an describes the impersonal feature of Allah. First of all, it is explained that Allahu nurus: "Allah is the Light". Indeed, Allah is the original spiritual Light. He illuminates the whole universe. All effulgent objects of the creation took their origin from this spiritual Light.
Eminent scholar and ustad (spiritual master) Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his commentary (9, p. 1015) on the verse (24.35) writes:
"The physical light is but a reflection of the true Light in the world of Reality, and that true Light is Allah."
The sun and the moon reflect this true spiritual Light. The original spiritual Light penetrates the whole creation. It is omnipresent.
Furthermore, the following statement occur in the Holy Qur'an: Inna llaha wasi 'un 'alim: "Behold! Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing." (2.115) Thus Allah is Wasi, All-Embracing, that is to say, everything exists in Him. Whereas He is Alim, All-Knowing which means His knowledge is unlimited, perfect, absolute and eternal, our knowledge is limited, imperfect, relative and temporary.
It is stated in the sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow":
Allahu la ilaha illa hu / al-Hayyul Qayyum / La ta' khuzuhu sina tun wa la nawm . . . Huwal 'Aliyyul 'Aziim: "Allah! There is no God but He, the Living, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. . . . He is the Sublime, the Tremendous." (2.255)
This is the Ayat-ul-Kursi, the "Verse of the Throne". The attributes of Allah has nothing to do with qualities of this material world. He lives, but His life is eternal. It is not limited by time and space. His Life is absolute Life. His Being is absolute Being, while others are dependent and temporary. Allah's life is self-sufficient. It does not depend upon other living beings. In fact, His life is the source and constant support of all derived forms of life. Perfect life is perfect activity, in contrast to the imperfect life which we see around us, which is not only subject to death but also to the need for rest and sleep. But Allah has no need for rest or sleep. His activity, like His life, is perfect and self-sufficient.
It stated in the same sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow":
Wallahu Ganiyun Halim: "Allah is Absolute, Lenient." (2.263)
Thus Allah is Gani, "The Absolute" which means He is free of all wants. He is the Ultimate Truth and Supreme Perfection.
Furthermore the Holy Qur'an says:
Huwa al-awwal wa huwa al-akhir / wa huwa az-zahir wa huwa al- batin: "He is the First and the Last, and the Outward and the Inward." (57.3) This is other reference that indicate Allah's impersonal aspect: He is al-awwal wa al-akhir: "the First and the Last", namely, He is the beginning and the end of everything. He is az-zahir wa al-batin: "the Outward and the Inward", that is to say He is present outside and inside of everything.
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments (9, p. 1687) on the verse (57.3):
"Allah is Evident in so far as there is ample evidence of His existence and providence all around us. On the other hand, Allah is Hidden in so far as intellect cannot grasp His essence nor can He be seen in the present world. The following tradition in Sahih Muslim is also significant for an understanding this verse. The Prophet (peace be on him) said: "You are the First, so that there was nothing before You; and You are the Last, so that there is nothing after You; and You are Evident, (or Ascendant) so that there is nothing above You, and You art the Hidden, the Knower of hidden things, so that there is nothing hidden from You."
It is stated in the sura "An-Nisa", or "The Women" of the Holy Qur'an:
Inna llaaha kana 'Aliyan Kabira: "Behold! Allah is Most High, Great." (4.34) Thus Allah is Ali, Most High. No one is equal to or higher than Him. Allah is Kabir, Great. He is the greatest and no one greater than Him.
Also in the sura "Al-Hashr", or "The Gathering" we can find the following ayat: Huwallaa . . . Salamul . . . 'Azizul . . . Mutakabir: "He is Allah, . . . Peace, . . . Majestic, . . . Superb." (59.23)
Thus Allah is Salam, "Peace". The attribute "Salam" has not only the idea of Peace as opposed to Conflict, but wholeness as opposed to incompleteness. Allah is Aziz, "Majestic" and Mutakabir, "Superb". He is above all things and creatures.
It is stated in the sura "Al-An'am", or "The Cattle": La tudri-kuhul-'absaru / wa huwa yudrikul-'absar / wa huwal-Latiful-Khabir: "No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is subtle and well-aware." (6.104)
So Allah is Latif, "Subtle". Latif means fine and subtle. So subtle as to be invisible to the eyes; so fine as to be imperceptible to the senses. No one can see Him, no one can understand Him.
Thus Allah is Nur - "Light", Wasi - "All-Embracing", Gani - "Absolute", Salam - "Peace", Aziz - "Majestic", Mutakabir - "Superb", Qayyum - "Eternal", Ali - "Most High", 'Aziim - "Tremendous", Kabir - "Great", Latif - "Subtle". All these attributes describe the impersonal nature of Allah. His impersonal aspect is a dazzling spiritual effulgence, which is unmanifested and beyond the reach of our senses, and our intellectual speculative capacity. The impersonal aspect of Allah has no legs and no hands, yet goes faster than all and accepts everything which is offered with devotion. He is self-effulgent. He is unembodied, beyond reproach, without veins, pure and self-sufficient. He walks and does not walk, He is far far away, but He is very near as well. He is within everything, and yet He is outside of everything, His power is inconceivable. Although fixed in His abode, He is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running, He surpasses all in excellence. He is unlimited. No one can fully describe the transcendental nature of Allah, the Absolute. No one can fully understand the impersonal features of Allah. He is beyond the expression of the mind and speech.
Allah's Personal Nature
'Allahu Waliy yullazina 'amanu:"Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe."
(The Qur'an 2.257)
Shree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as already mentioned, pointed out that the Holy Qur'an also "establishes the personal aspect of Allah." (Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 18.189)
Although Mahaprabhu is agreed on the fact that Allah is impersonal, He nevertheless points out that according to the Holy Qur'an, Allah is also a person. Metaphysical philosophy defines a person as "a self-objectifying consciousness". This means that a person knows his own individuality and is aware of who he is. One who thinks, wills, feels; has senses, desires, qualities, remembrance, knowledge, relationships with others, individual existence, activities and identity is defined as a person. Only if this definition of a person is applicable to Allah, can we accept Mahaprabhu's statement regarding the personal aspect of Allah. Since Shree Chaitanya refers to the Holy Qur'an let us carefully analyze ayats of Al-Qur'an and ascertain the acceptability of his statement.
Logically, this statement of Mahaprabhu's makes perfect sense although we say the Supreme Lord is beyond logic. But if that logic is based on the revealed scriptures, then it is confirmed by the statements of the scriptures. Therefore, such logic should always be accepted. Since the scriptures proclaim that the Absolute Truth, Allah, is unlimited, then He must be simultaneously personal and impersonal, for if He is only one and not the other we impose limitation on Him. Thus we limit the unlimited. It will always remain inconceivable for us how Allah can simultaneously be personal and impersonal. It is possible because Allah is not a person in a limited mundane sense. His personality is completely spiritual, free from any material qualities, and beyond limits of time and space. He is an unlimited person with unlimited qualities and as such He can simultaneously be personal and impersonal. His personal feature is the energetic source of His impersonal feature just as the sun is the energetic source of the sunlight.
Nothing is impossible for Allah and if He wants to be a person who can prevent Him from doing so? But apart from such undeniable logic, there are many indirect scriptural statements that establish the Supreme Lord, Allah, as a Person. Now let us consider if there are any verses in the Holy Qur'an which support this statement of Mahaprabhu's.
Allah has Light
The previously mentioned ayat (24.35) of the Holy Qur'an states that Allah is Light, but immediately after that, in the next line, it speaks about Allah's possessing Light. Thus Allah is not just light but He has light, or light belongs to Him. Then in the third line, there is a very nice parable of a lamp cited in order to deepen our understanding that Allah is not merely light, but He also has light. It is this: just as light emanates from a lamp, so also does the spiritual light emanate from Allah. Now let us analyze this ayat of the sura "An-Nur", or "Light", more carefully: Masalu nurihi ka-Mishkatin-fiha Misbah: "The similitude of His Light is as if there were a niche and within it a lamp." (24.35)
The words Nurihi, ''His Light'' is very significant. Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"Physical light has drawbacks incidental to its physical nature: 1) it is dependent upon some source external to itself; 2) it is a passing phenomenon; if we take it to be a form of motion or energy it is unstable, like all physical phenomena; 3) it is dependent on space and time; its speed is 186,000 miles per second, and there are stars whose light takes thousands of years before it reaches the earth. The perfect Light of Allah is free from any such defects." (9, p. 1016)
This means that Allah has Light. He owns the Light. In other words, Light emanates from Allah. The example of al-misbah, a lamp, is given here. The light emanates from the lamp; the lamp is the source of light. Similarly, Allah is the source of Light from which all light comes. Just as mishkat, a niche, (a niche is a hollow area in the wall of an Eastern house, high off the ground, which was used to hold a lamp before the days of electricity) is the basis for misbah, a lamp, similarly, Allah is the basis for spiritual effulgence.
Allah has personal relationships
If we study the Holy Qur'an carefully we will see that Allah has relationships with His creation. He guides, punishes and awards, gives life and death, becomes angry, summons, leads, loves and does not love, protects, teaches, beguiles, takes care, remembers etc. Such relationships between Allah and living beings display His personal nature, for only a person can have such relationships. Impersonal light or power cannot love, teach, remember, become angry etc. One must be a person to have such relationships.
For instance, in the above mentioned ayat (24.35) it is further explained that, Yahdillahu li - nurihi many - yasha / wa yazribullahul - 'amsala linas / wallahu bi - kulli shay-'in 'Alim: "Allah guides unto His light whom He will and Allah does set forth allegories for mankind, for Allah is the Knower of all things." (24.35)
So, here, Yahdillahu, Allah guides, is mentioned, which means that Allah has a personal relationship with the living beings of His creation: "He guides whom He will."
Tuzillu biha mantasha-'u wa tahdi mantasha': "You (Allah) sends whom You wilt astray and guides whom You wilt." (7.155)
These ayats explain that Allah guides whom He will and sends astray whom He will. Allah guides us by giving us the revealed scripture. He also guides us from inside by personal instructions and from outside through the association and instructions of the enlightened saintly persons. In this way Allah guides us to the right path, helping us to realize our relationship with Him and surrender to Him. But if we reject His instructions and disobey His order, He will satisfy our desire by putting us into darkness. We will move further away from His light, from understanding the real meaning of life. Thus, Allah personally guides everyone according to one's desire. In this way His relationship with each of us is personal.
Qala azabi 'usibu bihi man 'asha / wa rahmati wasi-'at kulla shay / fasa-'aktubuha lillazina yatta-quna wa yu'-tunaz - zakata walla - zina hum-bi - 'ayatina yu'-minun: "He (Allah) said, I smite with my punishment whom I will but my mercy embraces all things, therefore I shall ordain it for those who do right and pay zakat (the dues for the poor people) and those who believe in Our revelations." (7.156)
Innal-laaha Qa-wiyun Shadidul-'iqab: "Allah is strong, severe in punishment." (8.52) Falama nasu ma zukiru bihi 'anjay-nallazina yan-hawna 'anis-su-'i / wa 'akhaz-nallazina zalamu bi-'azabim - ba - 'isim - bima kanu yafsuqun: "When they disregarded the warnings that had been given them, We (Allah) rescued those who forbade wrong, and visited those who did wrong with dreadful punishment because they were evil-livers." (7.165)
In these ayats Allah explains that He punishes those who disobey His order and He awards mercy to obedient servants. Actually, when Allah punishes someone, being all-merciful, He does this for one's benefit. Just like when a father chastises his son, he actually does so for his son's benefit. We cannot accuse the father of being cruel. For by chastising his son the father protects him from incurring more suffering. In fact, Allah always wants to help us achieve real spiritual happiness. But if someone insists on being disobedient and continues committing sinful acts, he reaps bitter fruits for his sinful activities. Every action brings a reaction. As you sow you shall reap. Accordingly one gets reactions for one's actions. Everyone enjoys or suffers according to his previous activities. If someone suffers he should blame no one but himself, not Allah, as most people tend to do. When a government punishes a criminal, for example, it is for the benefit of the society as well as the individual. Similarly, when Allah punishes a sinner, it is for the benefit of mankind as well as the sinner. Thus, Allah mercifully cares for the sinner and nonsinner alike.
Huwa yuh-yi wa yumit: "He gives life and death." (7.158)
Allah gives life and death to everyone. He is the origin of life and He sanctions death to all embodied beings. He grants eternal life to His pure devotees and He meets nondevotees as death. Actually, all living beings are spiritual, eternal by nature, never-ending, but due to sinful desires they become imprisoned in a material body. These bodies are made of matter and therefore temporary, but the conscious soul within is eternal. All material bodies must suffer the miseries - birth, disease, old age and death. Those who are wise surrender unto Allah as He guarantees to personally deliver them to a blissful eternal life in His abode, but those who go against the will of Allah, will continuously suffer. Allah via His different energies controls and personally regulates the life and death of every living entity. The scriptures state even a blade of grass doesn't move without Allah sanctioning it.
Fi-'atin-faqad ba-'a bi-gazabim-minal-laahi: "He truly has incurred wrath from Allah." (8.16)
Those who disobey the will of Allah and especially those who commit offenses against His devotees incur the wrath of Allah. Allah personally favors His devotees and He arranges for the punishment of those who are offensive to them.
Wal-laahu yad-'u 'ila Daris-Salam / wa yahdi manya-sha-'u 'ila Siratim-Mustaqim: "And Allah summons to the Abode of Peace and leads whom He will to a Straight path." (10.25) Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"In contrast with the ephemeral and uncertain pleasures of this material life, there is a higher life to which Allah is always calling. It is called the Home of Peace. For there is no fear, nor disappointment, nor sorrow there. All are called, and those will be chosen who have sought, not material advantages, but the Good Pleasure of Allah." (9, p. 555)
Those who strictly follow the principles given by Allah in the revealed scriptures, for them Allah leads to the right path. So at the end of this life when they leave their body Allah personally takes them to the Daris-Salam, "the Abode of Peace", or "the Home of Peace" where they live eternally in bliss and knowledge.
Wa 'inyam-sas-kallahu bi-zurin-fala kashifa lahu 'illa hu / wa 'inyu-ridka bi-khay-rin-fala radda li-fazlih / yusiibu bihii manyashaaa-'u min 'ibaa-dih / wa Huwal Gafur-ur-Rahim: "If Allah afflicts you with some hurt, there is none who can remove it but Him and if He desires good for you there is none who can repel His bounty. He strikes with it whom He will of His servants. He is the Forgiving, the Merciful." (10.107)
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Even when we suffer under trials and tribulations, it is for our good, and no one can remove them except He, when, in His Plan. He sees it to be best for all concerned. On the other hand, there is no power that can intercept His blessings and favours, and His bounty flows freely when we are worthy and often when we are not worthy of it." (9, p. 579)
An ancient proverb states, "If Allah wants to kill someone, no one can protect him and if Allah wants to protect someone, no one can kill him." If someone satisfies Allah by one's sincere devotional service, Allah rewards him accordingly and no one can repel Allah's bounty. But if someone commits sin Allah punishes him according to his misdeeds and no one can remove it besides Allah. If one endeavors to understand his mistake, regrets and rectifies himself, then Allah lovingly forgives him and removes the punishment which he no doubt still deserves. When a living entity realizes his constitutional position as an eternal servitor of Allah then spiritual life and understanding begins. Leading from this, if one takes up the process of sincere devotional service to the Supreme Lord, then Allah becomes very pleased with that relationship, and personally removes all the bad reactions for that person's previous sinful activities.
Inna 'anzal-nahu Qur'anan 'ara-biyal-la-'allakum ta'-qilun: "Behold! We (Allah) have revealed it, a Lecture (Qur'an) in Arabic, that you (Muhammad) may understand." (12.2)
Allah explained here that He revealed the Qur'an in Arabic, so that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.) may understand it. Thus, Allah time after time reveals His eternal message to different prophets in the appropriate language. In this way Allah personally delivers His message to the world.
Also, Innal-laaha yuhibul-tawwa-bina: "Allah loves those who turn unto Him" (2.222) and Innallaha la yuhibul-mu'-tadin: "Allah does not love aggressors" (2.190). Allah has overwhelming love and compassion towards all His creation. No matter what sinful desires or activities a living entity cultivates Allah never hates any entity. He loves every entity like a father loves a son. Even His punishment is really a blessing, a wake up call to let us know we're drifting towards more misery and suffering. But it is stated in the revealed scriptures that Allah certainly favors those who follow the path of devotional service and surrender unto Him.
Allah has individual, personal relationships with everyone. He likes those who follow the path of devotional service and naturally He dislikes those who transgress the rules and regulations of the revealed scriptures. Allah gives mankind different scriptures for different people in different circumstances. Those who cultivate goodness and virtue, and desire the true path to please Allah will follow the principles of bona fide scriptures and attract Him. This is the ultimate goal of life, the ultimate happiness.
In this regard Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes:
"The Message (of God) was not merely an abstract proposition of philosophy, but the direct concrete message of a personal Allah to the creatures whom He loves and cherishes." (9, p. 1980)
Allahu Waliy-yullazina 'amanu: "Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe." (2.257)
Actually, Allah is the only friend of all living entities. So-called friendships in this world are not real friendships. Real friendship exists in the spiritual realm only. Ultimately, Allah is realized as the only friend to those who believe and follow His instructions. He personally protects His devotees from the dangers of material existence. Everyone who serves Allah with love and devotion can develop and maintain a personal friendship with the Supreme Lord, the reservoir of all pleasure. Friendship suggests existence of two persons. No impersonal light or abstract power can befriend the believers. This means that Allah is a Person.
Wa yu-'alimu-kumullah: "Allah is teaching you." (2.282)
Ultimately Allah is the only teacher of all living entities. He is the eternal spiritual master of everyone. He teaches everyone from inside and outside. Allah is omnipresent. Allah teaches us by three methods - from within, from His bona fide scriptures and via His messengers and saintly devotees.
Innal-muna-fiqina yu-khadi-'unallaha wa huwa khadi-'uhum: "Behold! The hypocrites seek to beguile Allah, but it is Allah who beguile them." (4.142)
Nobody can trick Allah because He is omniscient, all-knowing and all-pervading. So those who try to cheat Him become cheated by Him. Those who deny Allah, cheat and deceive others by any means, whether it be a single wife or a whole society. They cheat themselves of real knowledge and sink ever deeper into the clutches of Allah's material energy, which is designed to keep impure, corrupt people in darkness and ignorance. Those who try to cheat Allah by posing themselves as religious persons but are actually committing sinful acts are the worst of the corrupt. They try to beguile Allah, but Allah beguiles them in such a way that they don't even realize it.
Zalikumul-laahu Rabbukum . . . Huwa 'ala kulli shay-'inw- Wakil: "Such is Allah, your Lord! . . . He take care of all things." (6.103)
Allah takes care of all things. Although Allah is the Supreme Lord and has no duty to perform, still out of His causeless mercy He takes care of every living entity. Allah is the creator, the maintainer, the provider, and the destroyer of all creation. He takes care of believers and non-believers, devotees and non-devotees. But unlike the path of struggle for existence chosen by non-devotees, those who surrender to Allah and serve Him with love and devotion, their needs are personally taken care of by Allah, supplying all their necessities of physical and spiritual life. They will enter a reciprocal relationship with Allah.
Faz-kuruni 'az-kurkum washkuru li wa la takfurun: "Therefore remember Me, I (Allah) will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not Me." (2.152)
Here Allah clearly states that if we remember Him, He will remember us. Actually Allah always remembers us and takes care of us. So in appreciation we should give thanks to Him and not reject Him. In this ayat Allah invites us to be engaged in the important process of devotional service, namely remembering Allah. But this is not as easy as it sounds, as the mind cannot be held steady to think about one object. Especially in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy. The ancient scriptures say it's easier to control the mighty winds than it is to control the mind. Therefore constant chanting of the holy name of Allah is highly recommended in the Holy Qur'an to purify and steady the mind. A purified and steady mind is more inclined to His devotional service and by chanting His holy names we can easily remember Him in all circumstances.
Razi yallahu 'anhum wa razu 'anhu / wa 'a-'adda lahum jannatin-tajri tahtahal 'anharu khalidina fiha 'abada za-likal-fawzul 'azim: "Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the Supreme triumph." (9.100)
Allah is very pleased with those who render devotional service unto Him and devotees feel equally pleased and gradually reach a position of eternal bliss. By performing devotional service unto the Supreme Lord they happily reside in the temporary material world and after this life they will go to Allah. By constantly chanting and rendering devotional service devotees develop a personal relationship with Allah. When such pure devotees leave the body Allah personally takes them into His spiritual world.
From all these quotations we can understand that Allah has a personal relationship and directly connected with mankind. Allah is Wahid, One. At the same time He has munasabat, a relationship or connection with his own created Alam-e-Kainat, Universe. He is the Supreme Person, directly related with man and the world. But Allah should not be confused with a mundane person. He is a completely spiritual person with no tinge of material contamination. His personality is completely different from mundane personalities of this material world. His personality is beyond the limits of time and space.
In the Holy Qur'an Allah is revealed as the Creator, having manifold relations with men and the world. As for example: 1) He directs and guides people through his prophets and apostles; 2) He is pleased with those who follow Sarat-ul-Mustaqim, the Straight Way, and provides a reward of bihisht, heaven in the life to come; 3) He punishes evil doers and warns them of the coming punishment in jahannum, hell.
Allah has personal feelings
From the Holy Qur'an we can also understand that Allah has personal feelings. He loves and does not love, pleased and displeased, shows mercy and favor, displays anger and wrath, feels pleasure etc. One who has such a variety of feelings cannot be an abstract light but must be a person.
Thus in the sura "Al-Imran", or "The Family of 'Imran" it is said: Innallaha yuhibbul - Mutawakkiliin: "Behold! Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him)." (3.159)
The negative feeling of Allah is explained in the sura "Al-Ma'ida", or "The Table Spread":
Wa yas-'awna fil-'arzi fasaadaa / wallahu laa yuhibbul-mufsidiin: "Their effort is for corruption in the land, and Allah does not love corrupters." (5.64)
So Allah loves those who trust Him and does not love corrupters or miscreants.
Furthermore, in the sura "At-Tauba", or "Repentance" it is explained:
Was-saabi-quunal 'Awwa-luuna minal-Muhaajiriina wal 'Ansaari wallaziinattaba - 'uuhum-bi - 'ihsaanir-razi-yallaahu 'anhum wa razuu 'anhu: "The vanguard (of Islam) - the first of the Muhajirs and the Ansar, and those who followed them in good deeds, - Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him." (9.100)
The vanguard of Islam - those in the first rank - are those who dare and suffer for Allah and never flinch. The first historical examples are the Muhajirs and the Ansar. The Muhajirs - those who forsook their homes in Mecca and migrated to Medina. The Holy Prophet being among the last to leave Mecca, is mentioned first. Then come the Ansar, the Helpers, the citizens of Medina who invited them, welcomed them, and gave them aid, and who formed the pivot of the new community. Next, all who follow them in good deeds are mentioned. In spite of all their sacrifice and suffering they rejoice in pleasing Allah; their Salvation, which is synonymous with Allah's pleasure, affords them supreme bliss. Thus Allah derived pleasure from sacrifices of His devotees. He has feelings of a person, but that of a Supreme Spiritual Person, of course.
Laqattaa-ballaahu 'alan Nabiyyi wal-Muhaajiriina wal-'Ansaaril-lazii-nattaba-'uuhu fii saa-'atil-'usrati . . . Innahuu bihim Ra-'uufur-Rahiim: "Allah turned in mercy to the Prophet, and to the Muhajirs and Ansar, - who followed him in a time of distress. . . . Behold! He is Full of Pity, Most Merciful towards them." (9.117) Another feeling of Allah and His reciprocation with His devotees is described in the sura "Yusuf", or "Joseph":
Qaaluuu 'a-'innaka la-'anta Yuusuf? Qaala 'ana Yuusufu wa haazaaa 'akhii / qad mannal-laahu 'alay-naa: "They said: 'Are you indeed Joseph?' He said, 'I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah has shown us favor." (12.90) This verse is connected with an interesting story about the messenger of God, Joseph, that Allah narrated to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.) (12.4-101):
The father of Joseph was Jacob, also called Israel the son of Isaac, the younger son of Abraham. Jacob had four wives. From three of them he had ten sons. In his old age he had from Rachel, a very beautiful woman, two sons: Joseph and Benjamin (the youngest). The place where Jacob and his family and his flocks of sheep were located was in Canaan, and is shown, by tradition, near modern Nablus (ancient Shechem), some thirty miles north of Jerusalem. Once Joseph said to his father: "O my father! I saw in a dream eleven stars and the sun and the moon. I saw them prostrating themselves to me."
His father replied: "O my dear son! Tell not your brothers of your vision, otherwise they will plot against you. The Lord has preferred you and will teach you the interpretation of events, and will shower His grace upon you."
Joseph was a mere lad. But he was true and frank and righteous. His father loved him dearly. But his stepbrothers were jealous of him and hated him. His destiny was predicted in the dream. He was to be exalted above his eleven brothers (stars) and his father and mother (the sun and the moon, respectively). The young lad Joseph (Arabic Yusuf) was innocent and did not even know of his brothers' guile and hatred, but the father knew and warned him.
After a while one of Joseph's brothers said: "Indeed Joseph is dearer to our father than we are."
Another brother suggested: "Kill Joseph or cast him to some other land, so that our father's favor may be solely for us."
A third said: "Don't kill Joseph, but throw him to the bottom of a well; some caravan will find him and enslave him."
They came to their father, saying: "O father! Why will you not trust us with Joseph? We love him immensely. Send him with us tomorrow so that he may play and enjoy himself. We shall take good care of him."
The father replied: "In truth it saddens me that you should take him with you, because I fear your carelessness will leave him for the wolves to devour."
They said: "If the wolves should devour him, when we are so close together, then surely we would have already perished."
Later, they led Joseph off and threw him to the bottom of a well. They came back weeping to their father in the evening: "O father! We went racing with one another, and left Joseph with our things, and the wolves devoured him." They showed the "false blood" on Joseph's shirt. It was not the blood of Joseph, but the blood of a goat which the brothers had killed expressly for this purpose. Jacob understood that there had been some foul play, and he did not hesitate to say so. Thus, with a knowing expression on his face, he said: "No, your minds have bewildered you into something wrong. The tale you tell may be good enough for you, who invented it, but not for me. I pray for Allah's aid."
Meanwhile there came a caravan to the well and when the water-drawer let down his bucket he found Joseph. They took him from the well and sold him as a slave. The rich man of Egypt purchased him and said to his wife: "Receive him honorably. He may prove useful to us. We may adopt him as a son."
When Joseph reached his full manhood Allah gave him wisdom and knowledge. Once the wife of his master tried to entice Joseph to a sinful act. She bolted the doors and commanded: "Come!"
Joseph replied: "I seek refuge only in Allah. My master has treated me honorably. Wrong-doers never prosper." She truly desired him, and he would have desired her had it not been that he understood the will of his Lord. Allah always warded off evil and lewdness from him, for he was Allah's chosen servant. As Joseph hurried to the door, she tore his shirt from behind, and they met the master at the door.
The woman said: "What shall be the reward for one who wishes evil on your wife; it should be prison or a painful doom?"
"It was she who asked of me an evil act", said Joseph.
One of the lusty woman's household testified that if Joseph's shirt is torn from the front, then she speaks truth and he is the liar. But if his shirt is torn from behind, then she has lied and he is the truthful.
When the ruler saw Joseph's shirt had been torn from behind, he said: "This is your cunning and deception. Woman, ask forgiveness for your sin."
The women in the city said: "The rich man's wife is asking of her slave-boy an ill deed. Indeed she has fallen for him with all her heart. She is bewildered by lust." When the wicked wife heard of their sly talk, she invited the city women to a feast and called Joseph: "Come out!"
When the women saw his overwhelming beauty they exalted him and cut their hands with the fruit knifes, exclaiming: "O Allah! This is not a human being. This is no other than some gracious angel!"
She said: "Now you can understand why I cannot control myself in his presence. I asked of him an evil act, but he proved firm in his sensual control. But still if he does not do as I desire of him then he truly shall be imprisoned."
Now Joseph had all the women urging him for sexual pleasure as his beauty was so great. Joseph prayed: "O my Lord, prison is much better than to do as they urge me. If You do not help defend me from their persuasive desires then I shall fall weak and become foolish. So the Lord heard his prayer and fended off their evil desires.
After a while Joseph was imprisoned and two young men were imprisoned with him. One of them said: "I dreamed that I was pressing wine."
The other said: "I dreamed that I was carrying bread on my head, from which the birds were eating. Tell us the meaning of this." Joseph replied: "O my two fellow-prisoners, as for one of you, he will pour out wine for his master to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified so that the birds will eat from his head." Then he said to one that would be released: "Mention me in the presence of the king."
Upon his release the man forgot to mention Joseph to the king. As a result Joseph was kept in prison for many years. Then the king had a dream: "I saw seven fat cows which seven lean cows were eating, and seven fresh ears of corn and seven dry ears of corn. O learned ones! Explain to me my vision."
His advisers answered: "Confused dream. We do not know the interpretation of such a vision." The man from the prison now remembered Joseph, he went to the prison immediately and exclaimed: "O Joseph, explain this dream, that I may return to the king and let him know the meaning of his vision."
Joseph replied: "You shall sow crops for seven years as usual, but that which you reap, leave it in the husk and save it all except what little you need to eat. After that will come seven hard years which will devour all your crops except that which you have stored. After that, will come a year when the people will have bountiful crops."
When the king heard this interpretation he said: "Bring this man to me so that I may keep him at my side."
After talking with Joseph the king said: "Today in our presence you are established and trusted."
Joseph said: "Set me over the storehouses of the land, for I am a skilled custodian."
Having been put through all kinds of trials and tribulations Joseph never lost faith in Allah; he never deviated from the righteous path. Soon Joseph was reunited with his parents and younger brother in Egypt. Thus from these events we can see how Allah shows favor to His sincere devotees. Devotees of the Lord never lose their faith in Allah and He protects, guides, and favors them. This story illustrates how Allah is affectionate towards His devotees in a very personal way.
Furthermore it is stated in the Holy Qur'an: Gayril-magzuubi alay-him wa laz-zaaalliin: "Not (the path) of those who earn Your anger nor of those who go astray." (1.7)
Wa many-yu-wallihim yawma-'izin-duburahuuu 'illaa muta-harrifal-liqitaalin'aw mutahay-yizar 'ilaa fi-'atin-faqad baaa-'a bi-gazabim-minal-laahi: "If any do turn his back to them on such a day, unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own), he draws on himself the wrath of Allah." (8.16)
Laa khayra fii kasiirimin-naj-waahum 'illaa man 'amara bi-sadaqatin 'aw ma'-ruufin 'aw 'is-laahim-baynannaas / wa many-yaf-'al zaalikab - tigaaa-'a marzaa-tillahi fa-sawfa nu'-tiihi 'ajran 'azziimaa: "In most of their secret talks there is no good. But if one exhorts to a deed of charity or goodness or peace-making between the people: to him who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall bestow a vast reward." (4.114)
From all these ayats we can see that Allah loves (3.159) and does not love (5.64); is pleased and displeased (9.100); is full of pity (9.117); shows favor (12.90), anger (1.7) and wrath (8.16); takes pleasure (4.114).
Only a person can have these characteristics. One who is a person, who has individuality can have personal feelings. No abstract light or abstract power can have individual feelings. No impersonal energy can have such variety. The Holy Qur'an explains that Allah loves and loves not, is pleased and displeased, is full of pity, shows favor, anger and wrath, takes pleasure, etc. For displaying all these feelings Allah must have senses, mind and intelligence. He is not less than us. Of course, the senses of Allah cannot be material for they would be temporary like our bodily senses. His senses must be spiritual. Unlike our very limited material senses, they are perfect, unlimited, eternal and beyond contamination and illusion..
Allah has personal desires
Another proof that Allah is a person is that He has desires. One of the characteristics of a person is that he has desires. Allah wishes all living beings well. He is our ever well-wisher. He desires for us eternal life, perfect knowledge and everlasting bliss. If Allah has desires then He is a person. Of course, His desires differ from ours. His desires are completely spiritual and transcendental. He does not need to work hard for their fulfillment like us. He just desires and it happens. For example, there are the following statement in the sura "Yunus", or "Jonah" of the Holy Qur'an:
Wa 'inyam-sas-kallahu bi-zurin-fala kashifa lahu 'illa hu / wa 'inyu-ridka bi-khay-rin-fala radda li-fazlih / yusiibi bihii manyashaaa-'u min 'ibaa-dih / wa Huwal-Gafur-ur-Rahim: "If Allah afflict you with some hurt, there is none who can remove it but He and if He desire good for you there is none who can repel His bounty. He strikes with it whom He will of His servant. He is the Forgiving, the Merciful." (10.107)
We can understand from this verse that Allah awards his bounty and favor to whom He desires. If Allah desires to award His favor there is no one who can repel His mercy. This indicates that Allah acts according to His personal desire.
Allah also proclaims in the sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow" of the Holy Qur'an: Yaa - Baniii - 'Israaa-'iilazkuruu ni'-matiyallatiii 'an-'amtu 'alaykum wa 'awfuu bi-'Ahdiii 'uufi bi-'Ahdikum wa 'iyyaa-ya farhabuun
Wa 'aaminuu bimaaa 'anzaltu musaddiqal-limaa ma-'akum wa laa takuunuuu 'aw-wala kaafirim-bih / wa laa tash-taruu bi-'Aayaatii samanan qaliilaa / wa 'iyyaaya fattaquun:
"O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill your (part of the) covenant with Me, I shall fulfill My (part of the) covenant with you, and fear none but Me.
And believe in what I reveal, confirming that which you possess already (of the Scripture), and be not first to disbelieve therein, nor sell My revelations for a small price, and keep your duty unto Me." (2.40-41)
In these verses Allah addressed the people of Israel by saying, remember My favor, fulfill your covenant, I shall fulfill Mine, fear Me, believe in My revelations and keep your duty unto Me. This means that Allah desires that the people of Israel remember His favor, fulfill their covenant, fear Him, believe in His revelations and keep their duty unto Him. This and many other similar ayats in the Holy Qur'an where Allah expresses His wishes or gives commands clearly reveal that Allah has desire. This means Allah is indeed a Person, but this should not be misunderstood to mean an ordinary person. Allah is the supreme original Person. Only a person can have a desire. He is the never ending ocean of unlimited pure spiritual desires. It is because Allah has desires that we too have them. Allah is origin of everything. Undeniably, our desires are imperfect and contaminated through association with matter. But if we surrender to Allah without selfish motives our desires will be purified and spiritualized. Existence of desires in Allah demonstrates that Allah is a Person. No abstract light or abstract power can have desire. Desire has to originate from an individual. Allah is unlimited and yet He is a Person simultaneously. This is the inconceivable nature of Allah.
Allah has personal Memory
From the Holy Qur'an we can understand that Allah always remembers us. He remembers all our good and bad activities. Allah remembers our devotional service and reciprocates accordingly. He also remembers all our promises and desires. It proves that Allah has memory that is characteristic of a person. Certainly, Allah's memory is not like ours. His memory is unlimited and beyond the limits of time and space. He is never subjected to forgetfulness like us. Therefore He is The Supreme Transcendental Person beyond the limits of matter.
In the sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow" of the Holy Qur'an, Allah exclaims,
Faz-kuruni 'az-kurkum washkuru li wa la takfurun: "Therefore remember Me, I (Allah) will remember you. Give thanks to Me, and reject not Me." (2.152)
The word "zikr", or "remember" is very important in this verse. Allah assures us that if we remember Him, He will remember us. Factually Allah always remembers us by His causeless mercy. We are subject to forgetfulness, but He is not. His memory is perfect, complete and unlimited.
It is stated in the sura "Al-Mujadila", or "The Woman who Pleads" of the Holy Qur'an:
Alam tara 'annallaaha ya'-lamu maa fis-samaawaati wa maa fil-'arz? Maa yakuunu min - najwa salaasatin 'illaa Huwa raabi-'uhum wa laa Huwa saadisuhum wa laaa 'adnaa min-zaalika wa laaa 'aksara 'illaa Huwa ma-'ahum 'aynamaa kaanuu summa yunabbi-'uhum-bimaa 'amiluu Yawmal-Qiyaamah / 'innallaaha bikulli shay-'in 'Aliim: "Have you not seen that Allah knows all that is in the heavens and on earth? There is no a secret consultation between three, but He is the fourth of them, nor between five but He is the sixth, nor between less than that or more, but He is with them, wheresoever they may be; and afterward, on the Day of Judgment, He will tell them what they did. For Allah is Knower of all things." (58.7)
Thus secrecy is a relative and limited term among ourselves. There is nothing hidden from or unknown to Allah. Everything is open before Allah's sight. He remembers everything, and afterwards Allah will remind "them what they did."
In the sura "Ta-Ha" we can find following verse:
Qaala 'ilmuhaa 'inda Rabbii fii Kitaab / laa yazillu Rabbii wa laa yansaa: "He (Moses) said: 'The knowledge of that is with my Lord, duly recorded. My Lord neither errs nor forgets." (20.52)
Thus the Holy Qur'an show how Allah remember everything. In the 152nd ayat of the 2nd sura Allah says: "Remember Me and I will remember you". This means Allah has individual memory. Allah remembers everything which happens in past. In the Holy Qur'an (58.7) it is explained that Allah knows and remembers all the actions of the living beings, good and bad. So, on the Day of Judgment, He will tell them of what they have done. It is revealed, therefore, Allah can remember. Also it is explained by Moses in (20.52) that Allah neither errors nor forgets. Men may make mistakes or may not remember, but Allah never mistakes and never forgets. This means He has a personal memory which further reveals and confirms that Allah is an individual Being, not an abstract thing.
Allah has personal Features
Allah's different qualities, which are described in the Holy Qur'an emphasize the personal aspect of Allah. Undoubtedly, the qualities of Allah are completely spiritual and have nothing to do with the qualities of this material world. In this sense Allah can be called 'One who is devoid of qualities'. This means that He has no quality which resembles material qualities. At the same time, He has qualities which are purely spiritual and cannot be compared to the material qualities. For example, His mercy has no limit, His might no equal; His speed no one can excel and His benevolence no one can emulate. These qualities suggest the existence of A Supreme Spiritual Personality who is completely different from any known personality in this material world.
Thus Allah has different personal features according to the following Qur'anic verses: Qulil-laahu 'asra-'u makraa: "Say: Allah is more swift in plotting." (10.21) Fazaa-likumul-laahu Rabbukumul-Haqq: "Such then is Allah, your rightful Lord." (10.32)
Innallaaha la-Zuu-Fazlin 'alan-naasi wa laa-kinna 'aksa-rahum laa yash-kuruun: "Verily Allah is bountiful toward mankind, but most of them are ungrateful." (10.60)
'Inna Rabii Latiiful-limaa yashaaa / 'inna-huu Huwal-'Aliimul-Hakiim: "Verily my Lord is tender to whom He will. For He is the Knower, the Wise." (12.100) Qaala sawfa 'astag-firu lakum Rabbii / 'inna-huu Huwal-Gaffuu-rur-Rahiim: "He said: 'I shall ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Behold! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.'" (12.98)
Innallaaha 'Aziizun-Zuntiqaam: "Behold! Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite." (14.47) Ar - Rahmaanu 'alal - 'Arshistawaa: "The Beneficent One, Who is established on the Throne." (20.5)
Wa la-yansurannallaahu many - yansuruh / 'innallaaha la-Qawiyyun 'Aziz: "Verily Allah will help one who help Him. For Allah is Strong, Almighty." (22.40)
'Aziz means Exalted in power, rank, dignity; Incomparable; Full of might and majesty; Able to enforce His Will. The last signification is the one that predominates here. (9, p. 962)
Innallaaha la-'Afuw-wun Gafur: "Behold! Allah verily is Mild, Forgiving" (22.60) Wallaahu Ganiyyun Halim: "Allah is Absolute, Clement." (2.263) Wa kaanal -laahu Shaakiran 'Alima: "Allah was ever Responsive, Aware." (4.147) Tanziilul-Kitaabi minallaahil . . . Shadiidil-'Iqaabi: "The revelation of the scripture is from Allah, . . . the Stern in punishment." (40.2-3) Fal-Hukmu lillaahil-'Aliyyil-Kabir: "The command belong only to Allah, the Sublime, the Majestic." (40.12)
Thus, Allah is swift (10.21); rightful (10.32); fazlin, or bountiful (10.60); latif, or tender, hakim, or wise (12.100); gafur, or forgiving, rahim, or merciful (12.98); aziz, or mighty, zuntiqam, or able to requite (14.47); rahman, or beneficent (20.5); qawiy, or strong, (22.40); afuw, or mild (22.60); halim, or clement (2.263); shakir, or responsive (4.147); shadid, or stern (40.3) ali, or sublime and kabir, or majestic (40.12). It is obvious that the owner of all these qualities must be a person. Otherwise how can an abstract power be rightful or bountiful or forgiving or clement or responsive? To be responsive Allah must be a Person. Response is possible only between individualities. To say that an impersonal truth has all these qualities is meaningless. There must be a person, Who is Allah.
Allah plays different personal parts
After having carefully read the Holy Qur'an, we can't but accept the indisputable fact that Allah is a person, for He is portrayed as a full-fledged, active person throughout. He acts as a friend, witness, judge, guardian, creator, king, patron, helper, hearer, knower, observer, provider, decider etc. One who acts in such a way must be a person. Irrefutably, the activities of Allah are completely spiritual and beyond the limits of mundane time and space. Activities in this material world are a perverted reflection of His transcendental activities. His activities are perfect with no tinge of material contamination. His friendship is everlasting, His judgment is perfect, His creation is complete, His kingship is sublime, His patronship is gracious, His help is selfless, His knowledge is unlimited, His observation is acutest, His provision is exact, His decision is faultless etc. One who is so endowed cannot be a person like us. Allah is not a person in a limited mundane sense. Rather, He is a spiritual person whose personality perfectly corresponds to the above mentioned activities. Therefore nobody can comprehend or even conceive of His personality. And yet He is a person.
Thus the Holy Qur'an describes how Allah plays different personal parts: Allahu Waliy-yullaziina 'aamanuu: "Allah is the Protecting Friend of those who believe." (2.257)
Wallahu Shahidun 'alaa maa ta'-maluun: "Allah is Witness of what you do." (3.98)
Wa Huwa Khayrul Hakimin: "He is the Best of Judges." (10.109)
'Inna Rabbaka Fa'-'aalul-li-maa yuriid: "Behold! Your Lord is Doer of what He will" (11.107)
Falammaaa 'aataw-hu maw-siqa-hum qaalal-laahu 'alaa maa naquulu Wakil: "Allah is the Warden over what we say." (12.66)
Qulil-laahu Khaliqu kulli shay-'inwa: "Allah is the Creator of all things." (13.16) Fata-'aalallaahul-Malikul-Haqq: "Then exalted be Allah, the True King!" (20.114) Fa - 'aqiimus Salaata wa 'aatuz Zakaata wa'-tasimuu billaah / Huwa Mawlaakum - fani'-mal Mawlaa wa ni'-man Nasir: "So establish worship, pay zakat, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Protecting Friend. A blessed Patron and blessed Helper!" (22.78) Wallaahu Samii-'un 'Alim: "Allah is Hearer, Knower." (24.21)
Wa kaanallaahu 'alaa kulli shay-'ir-Raqiibaa: "Allah is Watcher over all things." (33.52)
'Annallaaha bimaa ta'-maluuna Basir: "Allah is Seer of what you do" (2.233) Wa Huwa Khayrur-Raaziqiin: "He is the Best of Providers." (34.39) 'Innallaaha bi-'Ibaadihii la-Khabiirum-Basir: "Allah is indeed Observer, Seer of His servants." (35.31)
Huwallaa-hullazii . . . Qudusus . . . Muminul Muhay-minul . . . Jabbarul: "He is the Allah . . . the Holy One, . . . the Keeper of faith, the Preserver of safety, . . . the Compeller." (59.23)
Huwa-laahul Khaliqul Bari-'ul Musawiru: "He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Fashioner." (59.24)
Wa Huwa Khayrul-fasiliin: "He is the Best of Deciders." (6.57)
Am 'indahum khazaaa-'inu Rahmati Rabbika 'Azizil Wahab: "Or have they the treasures of the mercy of your Lord, the Mighty, the Bestower?" (38.9)
Thus, Allah is Wali, Friend (2.257); Shahid, Witness (3.98); Hakim, Judge (10.109); Faal, Doer (11.107); Wakil, Warden (12.66); Khaliq, Creator (13.16); Malik, King (20.114); Mawla, Patron; Nasir, Helper (22.78); Sami, Hearer; Alim, Knower (24.21); Raqib, Watcher (33.52); Basir, Seer (2.233); Raziq, Provider (34.39); Khabir, Observer (35.31); Qudus, Holy One; Mumin, Keeper of faith; Muhay-min, Preserver of safety; Jabbar, Compeller (59.23); Bari, Evolver; Musawwir, Fashioner (59.24); Khayr, Decider (6.57); Wahab, Bestower (38.9). All these attributes reveal the Supreme Personality of Allah. No mere abstract light or power can reciprocate like a friend, king, helper, holy one or judge. There must be a person who is purely spiritual, transcendental and beyond the imagination of our mind and perception of the senses. He is Allah - our sole Supreme Lord.
Allah has personal Will
In the Holy Qur'an it is explained that Allah has Iradah, or Will. It is very significant. This means that Allah has his own personal will power. Willing is one of the constitutional attributes of a person. The willing of Allah is certainly different from ours. Our will power is conditioned, limited and fragile. To fulfill our will we must work hard and overcome many impediments. But Allah's will is supreme and transcendental and no one can check its fulfillment. His will determines everything. When Allah wills: 'let it be so'; it becomes so. Such will is indicative of a Supreme Spiritual Person.
Thus it is said in the Holy Qur'an:
Wa lillaahi mulkus-samawati wal-'arzi wa maa baynahumaa / Yakhluqu maa yashaaa' / Wallaahu 'alaa kulli shay-'in Qadir: "To Allah belongs the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He creates what He will. For Allah is able to do all things." (5.17)
Subhaanah! 'Izaa qazaaa 'amran fa-'innamaa yaquulu lahuu Kun-Fa-yakuun: "Glory be to Him! When He (Allah) determines a matter, He only says to it: 'Be!' And it is." (19.35) There is another important statement in the sura "Al-Buruj", or "The Zodiacal Signs": Allah is Fa-'alul-lima yurid: "Doer of what He will." (85.16)
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
"Allah's Will is itself the Word and the Deed. There is no interval between them. He does not change His mind. No circumstances whatever can come between His Will and the execution thereof. Such are His Power and His Glory." (9, p. 1931)
So from these ayats of the Holy Qur'an the existence of Allah's personal will power is obvious. Metaphysical philosophy defines a person as "one who has thinking, feeling and willing." Presence of the "will" indicates a person. No impersonal, abstract light or energy can have will. If there is a will, there must be an owner of this will, or a person. Allah is the owner of the supreme will because He is able to do all things just by willing it. This means that Allah is the Supreme Person with Supreme Will Power.
Allah is the Living One
Another important point which we can find in the Holy Qur'an is that Allah is 'the Living One'. This clearly shows that Allah has His own personal life which indicates existence of Allah as an individual. Individual existence of Allah leaves no room for doubt as to whether He is a person. Unlike ours, Allah's life is eternal, self-sufficient, complete and perfect. It has nothing to do with the pitiable life of mundane living entities. The life of Allah is the origin of universal life. Material life is a dim, perverted reflection of the spiritual life. After creating the first form of a human being, Allah animated it with His own spirit. Thus life comes from life. We have our personal lives because Allah has His personal life. But the perfect life of Allah as well as His spiritual personality, is beyond comprehension and perception of the mundane mind and senses.
So in the sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow", the Holy Qur'an states,
Allahu la ilaha illa hu / alhayyu lquyyum: "Allah! There is no God but He, the Living, the Eternal." (2.255)
Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his commentary (9, p. 114) on this verse writes:
"The attributes of Allah are different from anything we know in our present world; He lives, but His life is self-subsisting and eternal; it does not depend upon other beings and is not limited to time and space."
Furthermore in the sura "Al-Mu-min", or "The Believer" it stats: Huwe lhay: "He is the Living One." (40.65) "The real, self-subsisting Life is only in Allah." (9, p. 1444)
From these ayats we can clearly see that Allah is Lhay, or the Living One, One who is alive, not a dead or an inert abstract reality. "Life" indicates personality. If we say, Allah is the Living One this means Allah is a Person. Because "life" is a symptom of individual existence. Of course, the life of Allah is endless, has no beginning and no end. That is why the Holy Qur'an proclaims, Allah is alhayyu lquyyum, or the Alive, the Eternal. Allah is the Living One, the Alive Person whose life is eternal. He is the supreme Living Being among unlimited living beings and He is the original Eternal among unlimited eternal souls. We cannot trace the beginning of Allah's life. He is never born and never dies. Allah is the Eternal Alive Supreme Person.
Allah has personal Power
The Holy Qur'an describes Allah as Almighty or One Who has unlimited power. We cannot even imagine how powerful Allah is. By His inconceivable power He keeps innumerable planets on their respective orbits. Furious storms, hurricanes, the concomitant ominous streaks of blinding lightning, disastrous cyclones, coupled with cataclysmal volcanic eruptions are the slightest exhibition of His awe-inspiring incalculable power. With the unlimited power He possesses, Allah performs multifarious activities. Allah's possession of such an attribute firmly establishes Him as a person. Obviously, He is not a person like us with limited power and strength but a Supreme Powerful Person Who is inexorably progressive. Thus the Holy Qur'an states,
Innallaha 'ala kuli shay-'in-Qadir: "Allah is Able to do all things." (2.20)
Innallaha la-Qawiyun 'Aziz: "Verily Allah is Strong, Almighty." (22.40) Thus Allah is Qadir, or able to do everything, Qawiyun, Strong and Aziz, Almighty. Allah has Qudrat, Power and creates everything in the heavens and on the earth, He gives life to the dead, creates moving and non-moving living entities. He is supremely Almighty. This means that Allah has ability and power to do anything He desires. This power belongs to Him, it is His personal Power. Thus Allah is a Person who has the ultimate Power.
Allah has personal Faculty of speech
There are many verses in the Holy Qur'an which describe the speech of Allah. He spoke with the angels, prophets and mankind. So, if one has the faculty of speech, then He is a person. Arguably, Allah is an extraordinary Person Who is beyond this limited material world. Our power of speech is very limited and what little we are able to speak is grievously erroneous. But the speech of Allah is perfect and He can speak with the whole universe. One with such power of speech must be a Supreme Person. His personality and His speech alike are transcendental.
For instance, in the sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow", it states:
Allah "said to the angels: 'I will create a viceroy on the earth.'" (2.30);
Allah also "narrates unto (Muhammad) the best narratives." (12.3)
Thus in the 30th ayat of the 2nd sura the word qala, "said" is very important. This means that Allah has personal reciprocation through kalam, speech with angels, the Prophet and mankind. This also means that Allah has His personal power of speech. He is the One who creates kalam, speech. "The speech" means reciprocation. It indicates at least two personalities, one who speaks and one who hears. Allah spoke with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.). is a person this means Allah is also a Person. Allah is the Supreme, He cannot be less than the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.). If human beings have personality how can we say that Allah does not have personality? How dare we deprive Allah from something. When the Holy Qur'an states, "Allah speak" this means that Allah is a Person, not an abstract reality. Because an abstract reality is speechless. Thus according to the Holy Qur'an, Allah is Active Alive Speaking Person.
Allah has personal Faculty of hearing
In the Holy Qur'an the description of Allah's faculty of hearing is a recurrent theme. Generally people pray in the mosque, "O Allah, please forgive all our sins." Allah hears and He forgives, for He is merciful. If one hears, then he is a person. But Allah's hearing is not like ours. His faculty of hearing is neither conditioned nor limited. Even if we pray in our heart silently Allah hears us. He hears every single whisper within the whole creation. This proves Allah to be The Supreme Spiritual Person.
Thus the Holy Qur'an states:
Wallahu Sami-'un 'Alim: "Allah is One Who hears all things." (2.224)
Wallahu Sami-'un 'Alim: "Allah is Hearer, Knower." (24.21)
This means that Allah has an individual capacity samaa, to hear everything. Ability to hear indicates personality. The Holy Qur'an proclaims, "Wallahu Sami-'un 'Alim." This means Allah hears and He knows. When Allah hears the prayers of His devotees He reciprocates. There are many stories in the Holy Qur'an which show us how Allah spoke with the prophets. For example, with Moses, Abraham, etc. When they replied to Allah He heard them. Thus Allah has personal reciprocation with the prophets through speaking and hearing. This individual capacity of Allah to hear gives further proof that He is a Person, not an abstract senseless, deaf and dumb reality.
Allah has personal Faculty of sight
The Holy Qur'an also describes Allah's faculty of sight. Allah is able to see everything; nothing is hidden from His sight. Foolish people try to hide their crimes and sinful activities but Allah sees everything. Nothing can obscure His vision or escape His notice. Our eyes fully depend on light. In darkness we cannot see even ourselves. But Allah's vision is independent. Such extraordinary ability to see can belong only to The Supreme Spiritual Person.
Thus it is explained in the sura "Al-Baqarah", or "The Cow":
Wataqullaha wa'-lamu 'annallaha bima ta'-maluna Basir: "Fear Allah and know that Allah sees well what you do." (2.233)
Then again Allah states:
Inni bima ta'-maluna Basir: "Behold! I am Seer of what you do." (34.11) Ustad Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments:
". . . They were told that Allah was watching over them all with personal solicitude implied in the singular pronoun "I"." (9, p. 1276)
This means Allah has the personal ability basar, to see everything. Basar or ability to see indicates personality. Allah said in the Holy Qur'an, "Bima ta'-maluna Basir", "I am Seer of what you do". This means that seeing of Allah is not an abstract observation but it is vision of a personality. Allah sees what we do at every moment of our lives and He reciprocates accordingly. Allah is the Witness of our activities. Out of His causeless mercy, He personally watches and guides us. This is Allah - the Seer, the Witness, the Watcher which, in the ultimate sense, means He is a Person. He personally sees, He can't be an abstract observing us. No. Allah is the personal Seer, One Who witnesses, One Who watches with His all-seeing eyes, all this clearly informs us, not only is Allah a person but He is the Supreme Transcendental Person.
Allah has personal Identity
Allah described in the Holy Qur'an as an individuality. He many times clearly said "I" which define Him as an individual, or a person. For example, in the sura "Az-Zariyat", or "The Winds That Scatter" of the Holy Qur'an it is mentioned:
Wa ma khalaqtul Jinna wal-'insa 'illaa liya'-buduun Ma 'uriidu minhummir Rizqinw-wa ma 'uriidu 'any-yut-'iinuun:
"I have created the jinns and humankind only that they may worship Me. I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me." (51.56-57) The term Ma, or "I" is very significant here. The speaker who is saying "I" must have His own personality. Any person who has any knowledge of grammar can understand that "I" refers to a personality. Therefore, the Personality of God, speaking to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S. A. W.), uses "I" while describing His own transcendental identity. "I" has a specific meaning, it is not a vague term which can be whimsically interpreted. "I" when spoken by Allah, refers to the Supreme Personality of God and nothing else.
Allah has personal Knowledge
The word Alim, or "Knower" in the previously mentioned ayat (24.35) is very important. This defines Allah as one who knows everything. Our knowledge is limited and imperfect. But His knowledge is all-encompassing and perfect. It is yet another attribute which supports Mahaprabhu's statement in relation to the personal aspect of Allah.
Thus the Holy Qur'an says:
Wallahu bi - kulli shay-'in 'Alim: "Allah is Knower of all things." (24.35)
Wa 'indahu mafatihul Gaybi la ya'-lamuha 'illa hu / wa ya'-lamu ma fil-bari wal-bahr / wa ma tas-qutu minw-waraqatim 'illa ya'-lamuha / wa la habatin fi zulumatil-'arzi / wa la rat-binw-wa la ya-bisin 'illa fi Kitabim-Mubin: "With Him are the keys of the invisible. None but He knows them. And He knows whatever there is on the earth and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything wet or dry but (it is noted) in a clear record." (6.59)
Thus, Allah is Alim, Knower, that is, He knows everything, visible and invisible, manifest and unmanifest. This means that Allah has absolute knowledge about everything and about Himself also. He has knowledge about His identity. Metaphysical philosophy defines a person as "a self-objectifying consciousness". Allah, in the ultimate sense, is the Person, as He knows His own individuality and is aware of who He is. Allah is the absolute individual Person with the ultimate inconceivable consciousness. He is fully conscious of His own individuality and is fully conscious of every other individual.
Allah is the best Person
One more point which the Holy Qur'an mentions is that Allah is the best among personalities. When the Holy Qur'an compares Allah to other persons it is logical to say that Allah is also a person. However, He is a spiritual person. Such verses leave no doubt that Allah is the best person among all persons.
For instance, the Holy Qur'an says:
Wallahu Khayrul-makirim: "Allah is the best of plotters." (8.30) and Wa innallaha la-huwa Khayrur- raziqin: "Verily Allah, One Who is best of all who make provision." (22.58)
It is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an that Allah is Khayrul-makilim and Khayrur-raziqin, or "Allah is best of all who plot" and "best of all who makes provision". In this way the Holy Qur'an compares Allah with other persons who make plots and persons who make provisions. But we can compare only comparable things. We can compare a person with a person but we cannot compare a person with an impersonal energy. When the Holy Qur'an compares Allah with persons this clearly indicates that Allah is not an impersonal energy but also must be a person. Otherwise how can an impersonal energy be best among personalities? Such statements make no sense. Therefore, from above mentioned ayats we can understand that among all persons who plot Allah is the best Person and among all persons who make provisions Allah is again the best Person.
Allah's seven excellent names
The personal nature of Allah is revealed through seven isma-e-hasna (excellent names), or attributes. Four are called Sifat-e-Lazmi fit zal-e-Allah, or "Attributes essential in the being of Allah" and three are called Sifat-e-Sabuti fil zat-e-Allah, or "Attributes substantiating the being of Allah". The first four are Haiyat (Life), Ilm (Knowledge), Qudrat (Power) and Iradah (Will).
The first isma-e-hasna (excellent name) is Haiyat (Life). Allah is not an abstract being, but living God. He is not as most people are led to believe, simply a Supreme Light, a Supreme Power, an impersonal energy. Allah is all these but He is overwhelmingly a lot more.
The second isma-e-hasna is Ilm (Knowledge) which reveals Allah as a knowing being. Allah is Alim (Knower). He knows Himself and all His creation perfectly. This means Allah is the living being not an abstract energy. He has absolute total knowledge of every single aspect of His own unlimited individual identity. This is a definition of individuality. Allah is individuality with individual attributes, knowledge and consciousness.
The third isma-e-hasna is Qudrat (Power), which reveals Allah as Qadar (Almighty).
The fourth isma-e-hasna is Iradah (Will). Allah has individual will power. Thus Allah is the Supreme Person Who knows Himself and His position perfectly: Who is the supreme eternal living One Who has unlimited knowledge, power and will, Who makes Himself known through his kalam (speech).
The next three are Samaa (Hearing), Basar (Seeing) and Kalam (Speaking). These three isma-e-hasna (excellent names) - Kalam, Samaa, Basar - confirm the being of Allah as a Person. For it is a person who speaks, hears and sees as a living being. These three names are called isma-e-sabuti bil zat-e-Allah (names proving the being of Allah).
Therefore, Allah is one; but richly so. His oneness is enriched with isma-e-hasna (excellent names), which reveal His nature as a living personal God Who is inconceivable and unknowable by such limited beings as us.
By summarizing all the above mentioned points we can assert that Allah, as revealed in the Qur'an, is not an abstract being but a being who has haiyat (life), ilm (knowledge), qudrat (power), iradah (will) and who is able to kalam (speak), basar (see) and samaa (hear).
Saying that Allah cannot be a person is offensive since it is tantamount to calling Him deaf, dumb, blind etc. Moreover, it contradicts the Qur'anic statements. Actually He has life which is eternal, knowledge which embraces everything, power which is unexcelled, will which determines everything and He is able to speak with the entire universe, to see and hear everything with no effort. These attributes clearly indicate that Allah is not a person in the ordinary material sense. Considering Allah an ordinary mundane person is a severe limitation of His personality. He is an unlimited Supreme Transcendental Person beyond our imagination and perception of our mundane limited senses.