- In-depth knowledge of Allah’s names and attributes is the highest of all knowledge and gaining it is an obligation – not an option!
- It is extremely ungrateful to go on using Allah’s blessings and not even bother to know who He is
- So the knowledge and true understanding of Allah’s names and attributes, and consequently of His actions, His commands and His decree, is the first thing that we should have learned – or been taught.
- We may think we know Allah because we were (most of us) born and raised Muslim, but in reality, we barely even know the meanings of His names, and have no deep, conceptual understanding of His attributes.
Now, from the above conclusions, we realize that we’re in a fair bit of a mess. So is all of our society (talking about Pakistan), and most of the Muslim ummah.
Think back to your school days. Most of us have had our parents scold us, punish us, praise us, reward us, all based on one crucial factor: our grades! (This is especially true if you’re Asian). We’ve had to cram and learn and write and recite books upon books, usually full of information that we will have no use for in all the rest of our lives, with topics such as the fishing industry of Hong Kong, for example (we really studied this in 8th grade Geography).
On the other hand, how many school kids actually know about Allah? For example, how many children (or even adults, for that matter) have a strong concept of His justice, in duniya and akhirah? How many know of His mercy, His love, His wrath, and His punishment and His reward? Go back to Part 2 to refresh the reason we say that we don’t really know Allah.
So the point is, we need to do something about this. Sure, we need to educate ourselves on this topic, and inshaAllah educate our families, friends and kids. But is that enough? And more importantly, is that all there is in our capacity to do?
Look around in a bookstore – a good Islamic bookstore, if you will. You can count on one finger the number of books that are there about the names and attributes of Allah. Browse mainstream television programs/channels. You probably won’t find even one that is building the right concept of Allah’s names and attributes. Go through websites – sure, there’s a plethora of information out there, but how much of it is understandable, well-presented, authentic, and targeted at children/young people/amateurs as opposed to really advanced learners/scholars?
The situation is terrible, but we can’t sit around complaining. We need to do something about it. If we can’t find good books, we have to write them. If there are no good websites, we need to design them. If there are no sessions/classes building the correct concept of Allah and His attributes, we need to conduct them! Because when we can clearly see that a crucial piece of work is missing from the tapestry of Islamic efforts going on globally, we will be answerable for not doing that work ourselves – especially if Allah has given us the ability and the resources. And trust me, we can do it. We’ve done much harder work than this for university projects, haven’t we? (Entrepreneurship, marketing, event management, web design, literature projects and what not – let’s be honest with ourselves instead of making excuses!)
So, here’s a call for volunteers. Let’s get together and brainstorm and come up with ideas for (a) how we can ourselves understand the names and attributes of Allah as they should be understood, and (b) how we can spread this knowledge out to others in the most effective way possible. Then let’s put those ideas into action! Maybe some of us can write short articles about certain attributes/names of Allah. Some of us can make presentations. Some could make handouts to give out to people in schools/malls/resorts etc. Some of us (especially those linked to Islamic organizations) can arrange sessions or classes or design courses. Some of us can design a blog or website that brings the best resources together. Some of us can make posters/infographics that explain certain aspects of a particular name or attribute of Allah. Some of us can help focus and coordinate the whole effort. Others can be responsible for making these ideas reach other Islamic organizations globally, or even work with organizations to design programmes that they can carry out, to educate people about their Creator.
So, put your hands up, who wants to be a part of this effort? Let’s stop complaining and start acting – let’s work together to link people to their Creator!