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The difference between the names and attributes of Allah


Publication : 16-12-2001

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What is the difference between the names and attributes of Allah?


Praise be to Allah.

The names of Allah are all those names that refer to Allah Himself and also refer to one of His perfect attributes that exist in Him, such as al-Qaadir (the All-Powerful), al-‘Aleem (the All-Knowing), al-Hakeem (the Most Wise), al-Samee’ (the All-Hearing), al-Baseer (the All-Seeing). These names refer to Allah Himself and to His qualities of knowledge, wisdom, hearing, sight. So the names refer to two things, while attributes refer to one thing. And it was said that the name includes the attribute and the attribute implies the name. We must believe in all the attributes that have been narrated from Allah or from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in a manner that befits Allah, whilst also believing that He does not resemble any of His creation in any of His attributes, just as He does not resemble them in His Essence. Allah says: 

“Say (O Muhammad): He is Allah, (the) One.

Allah-us-Samad [Allah — the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].

He begets not, nor was He begotten.

And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”” [al-Ikhlaas] 

“There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer” [al-Shoora 42:11]

And Allah is the Source of strength. May Allah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace. 

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Source: Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz