The nature of God

Characteristics of Allah

Allah comes from the Arabic word ‘al-ilah’, which means ‘the god’. Allah has many different characteristics including:

All these characteristics are stated in the Qur’an (Surah 16:35-36), the Islamic holy book.


Tawhid is a fundamental belief in Islam. It forms the basis of faith and worship. Tawhid means ‘the oneness of Allah’.

Tawhid forms the basis of Shahadah, the first of the Five Pillars of Islam. This is the belief that there is only one God, Allah. During worship, saying these words allows Muslims to ensure that their full focus is on God.


Transcendence is the belief that Allah is the greatest being and cannot be rivalled by any human. This is shown through his 99 names, which are his key qualities, found in the Qur’an. There is no other being or object that can have these qualities as nothing can compare to Allah.

Some examples of Allah’s 99 names are:

  • Al Hakim - The Wise
  • Ar-Rahmaan - The Beneficent
  • Ar-Raheem - The Merciful
  • Al-Quddus - The Most Sacred