Nature of God

Allah is the Arabic word used by Muslims for God. Islam teaches that Allah is the one true God, and only Allah is worthy of worship. Allah is the supreme being who created and sustains the world. Therefore, Muslims believe he should be treated with the utmost respect and given praise.

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Do they not see that Allah, who created the heavens and earth and did not fail in their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yes. Indeed, He is over all things competent.Qur’an 46:33

Tawhid

Tawhid is the word used to express the Islamic belief in the oneness of Allah (God). Muslims believe that there is only one God, who is not divided in any way into parts: Allah Himself witnesses that there is no God except Him. (Qur’an 3:18)

Confirming that Allah is the only God is the first part of the Shahadah. Shirk (blasphemy) means believing in more than one God or holding up anything or anyone as equal to Allah. Muslims believe that shirk is the worst of all sins.

The characteristics of Allah

Muslims believe that Allah has shown 99 characteristics (sometimes called attributes) to human beings to help them better understand his nature, eg “He is Wise” or “The Great Forgiver”. Muslims call these attributes the 99 names of Allah. Some Muslims use subhah (prayer beads) when praying to remember these names.

Muslims believe that Allah is:

  • Transcendent – Allah is above and beyond anything that exists in the world.
  • Fair and just - Allah judges everyone equally.
  • Immanent - Allah is close to every human and within all things on Earth.
  • Omnipotent - Allah is all-powerful.
  • Beneficent - Allah is all-loving.
  • Merciful - Allah shows compassion and mercy, and he forgives people.

Adalat in Shi’a Islam

For Shi’a Muslims, Adalat is one of the five roots of Usul ad-Din (also called the five roots of faith or religion). Shi’a Muslims believe that because Allah is just and merciful, he created a world that would be fair and just to everyone.

Question

What do Muslims mean by the ‘99 names of Allah’?

Muslims believe that God has shown himself to have 99 characteristics, to help human beings better understand his nature.