Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Categories within 20 Sifats (RT 3/8/08)

Risalah Tauhid 3rd August 2008

Categorizing the 20 Sifats

The wajib attributes for God (Sifat 20) can be grouped together into 4:

Sifats Nafsiyyah – regarding God’s attributes in being. Also known as Sifats Tsabutiyyah (affirming God’s attributes).
Sifats Salbiyyah – regarding God’s distinct attributes. Also called Sifats ‘Adamiyyah (attributes that God is free of).
Sifats Ma’ani – regarding God’s attributes in capacity. Also called Sifats Wujudiyyah (what ability God has).
Sifats Ma’nawiyyah – as a follow-up to Sifats Ma’ani. Also called Sifats Haaliyyah (regarding the state or condition of God).

Sifats Nafsiyyah
Here we discuss attributes of Allah in being (zat), or attributes of Him regarding his existence. The only attribute under this category is Sifat Wujud. We simply state that God exists in being, not merely a name or results of imagination. He exists not due to “cause and effect” of some other event.
He exists even though we cannot see Him. In classical Arabic, God’s existence is “maujud fi zihin”, but not “maujud fi khaarij”. These translate roughly to: God’s existence is “comprehensible to our intelligence” but not “noticeable to the 5 senses”.

Said Ustaz Zakaria:

  • God exists in being, not just a result of metaphor, analogy, resemblance, or divine actions.

  • It will not make sense if we deny God’s existence (Sifat Nafsiyyah) but we accept God’s other attributes. Can we accept this:? “There’s a man in my neighborhood, he does not exist, but he’s 5 foot tall and dark-gray-skinned”.

  • We establish first that God exists, then we relate how He is like.

Wallahu a’lam.

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