Q: What is the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah regarding the Names and Attributes of Allaah? And what is the difference between a Name and an Attribute? And does confirming the Name necessitate confirming the Attribute? And does confirming the Attribute necessitate confirming the Name?
A: The belief of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah regarding the Names and Attributes of Allaah is to confirm the Names and Attributes which Allaah has confirmed for Himself, without distorting the meaning, without negating it, without explaining how and without comparison.
The difference between a Name and an Attribute is that a Name is something by which Allaah has named Himself, and an Attribute is something by which Allaah has described Himself and there is a clear difference between them.
A Name is considered to be an appellation by which Allaah, the Almighty, the All-Powerful is known, and which implies an Attribute; and confirming a Name entails confirming the Attribute, for example:
“Verily, Allaah is Ghafoor (the Most Forgiving), Raheem (the Most Merciful).”
and the Name:
necessitates confirming the Attribute of Forgiveness, while the Name:
necessitates confirming the Attribute of Mercy.
But confirming an Attribute does not necessitate confirming a Name, for example, the Attribute of Al-Kalam (speech) does not necessitate that we confirm for Allaah the name: Al-Mutakallim (the Speaker); and based upon this, the Attributes are greater in number, because every Name necessitates an Attribute, but not every Attribute necessitates a Name.
- Transcribed from: Fatawa Arkaan-ul-Islam, Islamic Verdicts on the Pillars of Islam, Volume 1, Creed and Prayer – Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen