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The Quranic Verse of the Throne (Part 1)

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Toward a Better Understanding of the Quran
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Allah’s Kingdom is infinite. It is beyond words or thoughts, as limitless as the limitless horizons of the heaven

Part 2

The Quranic verse of the Throne is described by the Prophet as the greatest verse in the Glorious Qur’an.

{Allah, there is no god except Him, the Ever Living, the Self-Sufficient Master Who sustains and protects all that exists.

Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him.

To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except with His Permission?

He knows what happens to them (His creatures) in this world, and what will happen to them in the hereafter. And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills.

His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 255)

The merit of this verse of the Throne lies in the flowing force of its exalting words, which powerfully uproot and dislodge whatever falsities are on their way to calmly enroot themselves, with the same motion, true belief within the soul.

{Allah, there is no god except Him…}

Anyone who claims himself to be a god is a liar.

Nothing in existence goes beyond being a mere slave of Allah. Anyone or anything, other than Allah, is a slave to Him. He alone is the sole God in the heavens and on the earth.

Anyone who claims himself to be a god is a liar. Any person who makes such a claim about a human is a liar.

There have been several eras during which people worshipped inanimate objects or animals as gods. These are truly the worst periods of mental and spiritual decline.

The prevalent error today is worshipping righteous men as gods besides or instead of Allah, under the false belief that they emanated from Him or that He dwelt in them.

This is a blasphemy that brings Allah, the Most High and Most Great, down to the level of man, and elevates man to the level of Allah.

Allah is the sole God Who creates all creatures, gives them life, and cares and provides for them from birth to death.

{They have taken besides Him gods which create nothing but are themselves created, and possess not for themselves any harm or benefit, possess not (power to cause) death, life, or resurrection.} (Al-Furqan 25: 3)

The Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him, who is the peak of human perfection, stresses this reality with his supplications:

“O Allah, I am but Your slave, son of Your slave man, son of Your slave woman. I am in Your Grasp. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your Decree over me is forever executed, and Your Judgment over me is just.” (At-Tirmidhi)

{the Ever Living…}

Living creatures have no power to give life to themselves; rather, life is bestowed upon them from outside themselves.

It is impermanent. It will depart them one day and shall not be returned to them except by the Will of He Who Bestowed it, the Ever Living, Whose Life has no beginning or end. Life is inherent in His Nature. It has been self-existent for eternity and will last until infinity. That is the difference between the life of the Creator and the creation.

Therefore, Allah says to His Prophet, peace be upon him:

{Verily, you (O Muhammad) will die and verily, they (too) will die.} (Az-Zumar 39: 30) For He alone is the Author, Owner, Giver, and Taker of life.

It is indeed appropriate – even essential – that Allah’s eternal and non-bestowed attribute of living be followed by His attribute of self-sufficiency and provision for all creatures: {…the Self-Sufficient Master Who sustains and protects all that exists.} Every breath, motion, or pause in the universe and all creatures is powered by Allah. His Careful, Comprehensive, and Full Supervision cover all their events and affairs. They are the poorest and neediest they can be to Him, and He is beyond any need of them.

He is the Maintainer of every soul, knowing what it has earned, and the heavens and the earth and whatever is in them. It is impossible that anything slips out of His Control or veers in a direction other than that which He has designed. Every tiny little thing relies for its existence, movement, and continuity on His Supreme Being.

{Verily, Allah holds the heavens and the earth lest they move from their places. If they were to move from their places, no one could hold them in place after Him.} (Fatir 35: 41)

These two attributes – the Ever Living and the Self-Sufficient Master – destroy any Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) and bear witness to the Creator’s absolute oneness.

{Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him.}

One subject does not distract Him from another, and nothing whatsoever escapes His Knowledge

Slumber is light drowsiness, relaxation, and heaviness, whereas sleep is profound drowsiness and complete rest of the body and mind.

We, as humans, experience hours of inactivity and unconsciousness of anything going on or anything around us. Even while awake, our mental alertness and cognitive performance differ during the day.

With tiredness or fatigue, our concentration diminishes, our energies wane, and our errors increase.

Allah is something entirely different. One subject does not distract Him from another, and nothing whatsoever escapes His Knowledge in the heavens or on the earth. He feels no fatigue, feebleness, or exhaustion. His ever-vigilant grasp, never for a moment falters, wavers, or lets go of an atom.

{To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth.}

Allah’s Kingdom is infinite. It is beyond words or thoughts, as limitless as the limitless horizons of the heaven, and as deep as the impenetrable depths of the earth. Visible and invisible realms of this vast cosmos of unknowable extents and energies all belong to Allah Alone. Those who ignorant people think are partners of Allah own nothing of it, not even a speck.

Are they idols? Stones or wood shaped by human hands, then bowed to, treated like a god, and some lives maybe sacrificed for, although they are the own possession and making of humans!

Are they humans? These humans belong to their Creator who formed them in the wombs, made their chests heave up and down with breath, and can arrest their heartbeats at any moment He wills, and no one can prevent Him.

The truth is that humans are nothing more than metaphorical owners of whatever they have. Their unreal possessions may lead them to domineer and tyrannize over others, then death comes to them and they depart this world empty-handed, leaving it all to the True Owner, to Whom belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth.

{And truly you have come to Us alone (without wealth, companions or anything else) as We created you the first time. You have left behind you all that which We had bestowed on you.} (Al-An ‘am 6: 94)

(... To be continued In-Shaa-Allah …)

This article is a translated excerpt from Shaykh Muhammad Al-Ghazali’s book: The Emotional Side of Islam. It is translated and adapted by Haya Muhammad Eid & edited by Emily Katharine Richardson.
Related Links:
Contemplate Allah’s Nearness to You
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Virtues of Ayat Al-Kursi
Want to Be Closer to Allah, But Don't Know How!

Sheikh Mohammed al-Ghazali al-Saqqa (1917–1996) was an Islamic cleric and scholar whose writings "have influenced generations of Egyptians". The author of 94 books, Sheikh Ghazali attracted a broad following with works that sought to interpret Islam and its holy book, the Quran, in a modern light. He is widely credited with contributing to a revival of Islamic faith in Egypt over the last decade." Another source called him "one of the most revered sheikhs in the Muslim world.

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