Source

  • An-Nahj al-Asmaa’ by Shaikh Muhammad an-Najdi
  • Fiq-hul-Asmaa’ by Shaikh Abdurazaq al-Badr

 

The Noble Name of Allaah Al-Awwal is mentioned once in Surat al-Hadeed (57:3):

“He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him). And He is the All-Knower of everything.”

 

The Meaning of the Name:

 

Al-Farraa’ said: “The statement of Allaah ‘He is the First’ means He is before everything and ‘the Last’ means after everything.” [Ma’aani al-Qur’an]

Ibn Jarir said: “He is the First before everything without limit, and the Last after everything without end.” This is because He was there and nothing existed except Him. And He will be there after all things perish, as He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Qasas (28:88):

Everything will perish save His Face.” [Jami’ul-Bayaan]

 

Az-Zajjaj said: “Attributing Allaah with being Al-Awwal means He precedes all the events by endless times. All things existed after Him; He (Ta’ala) preceded them all.” The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say in his Du’aa (invocation):

 

“You are the First and nothing is before You, and You are the Last and nothing is after You.” [Tafseer al-Asmaa’]

 

Al-Haleemi said: “Al-Awwal is the First One, nothing is before Him; He is the Last One, whom nothing is after Him.”

Al-Baihaqi said: “Al-Awwal is the One Who has no initiation for His existence.” [Al-I’tiqaad]

 

The Impact of Believing in this Noble Name:

The best explanation for this Name and the three Names that follow it [i.e. Al-Aakhir (the Last), Adh-Dhaahir (the Most High) and Al-Baatin (the Most Near)] is the explanation given by the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – who is the most knowledgeable person amongst the creation of Allaah (Ta’ala) – Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to command us: when anyone of us intends to go to sleep, he should lie in bed on his right and then say: “O Allaah, the Rabb of the heaven, the Rabb of the earth and the Rabb of the Magnificent Throne, our Rabb, and the Rabb of everything. The Splitter of the grain of corn and the fruit kernel, the Revealer of the Taurat (Torah), Injeel (Gospel) and the Criterion (the Qur’an), I seek refuge in You from the evil of everything You shall seize by the forelock (You have perfect control over it). O Allaah, You are the First, there is none before You, and You are the Last and there is none after You. You are Supreme and there is nothing above You, You are the Knower of everything, there is nothing to bar you from anything. Remove the burden of debt from us and relieve us from want.” [Muslim]

Allaah (Ta’ala) is the First Whom nothing of the existing things is before Him, He advanced and preceded everything and nothing was with Him. It is reported on the authority of ‘Imran ibn Husain that he (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “There was nothing but Allaah, and His Throne was over the water, and He wrote everything in the Book (in the heaven) and created the heavens and the earth.” [Al-Bukhaari and Ahmad]

At-Tahaawi said in his ‘Aqeedah: “He is Old without beginning and eternal without end.” Ibn Abi Al-‘Ezz explained this statement saying: “Old without beginning and eternal without end is the meaning of Al-Awwal (the First) and Al-Aakhir (the Last).”

The knowledge about confirmation (affirmation) of these two attributes is fixed and established in the natural instinct. All that exists should end to Him (Who created everything), in order to cut the series (sequence). We witness the occurrence (creation) of the animals, plants, etc. and the occurrences in the air of clouds, rain and so forth; all these occurrences were nonexistent and then they came into being, so their inexistence and end of their existence indicate that they did not exist by themselves, as Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat at-Tur (52:35):

“Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?”

Allaah (Ta’ala) says (what means): “Were they created without a creator or did they create themselves?”

It is known that the created thing does not bring itself into existence.” [Explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Tahaawiyah]

 

Many people among the philosophers and some from among Ahl-as-Sunnah call Allaah- the Lord- with the word Al-Qadeem (the old) which is not one of Allaah’s Beautiful Names. Calling Him with the Name Al-Awwal is more appropriate because it is approved in the Book (the Qur’an), the Sunnah and even the language.

Al-Qadeem (the old) in the Arabic language, which is the language of the Qur’an, means prior to anything else. It is said: “This is Qadeem for the ancient and this is Hadeeth for the new.” They (the Arabs) did not use this word (Qadeem) except for one who is before him, and not for he who has not been preceded with inexistence, as Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat Ya-seen (36:39):

“Until it (the moon) returns (appearing) like the old dried curved date stalk”

The old dried curved date stalk remains until the other dried curved date stalk appears. When the new one appears, the previous one is called Qadeem (old). Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Ahqaaf (46:11):

And when they are not guided by it, they will say, ‘This is Qadeem (an ancient) falsehood.’”

i.e. advanced or preceded in time.

Therefore, many of the predecessors and successors like Ibn Hazm denied naming Allaah (Ta’ala) with this name. [Sharh al-Aqeedah At-Tahaawiyah]

The correct and right thing is to exchange this name (Qadeem) with Al-Awwal which is quoted in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

 

Al-Aakhir (the Last)

This Noble Name is mentioned once in the Noble Qur’an in Surat al-Hadeed (57:3):

He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him). And He is the All-Knower of everything.”

The Meaning of the Name with regards Allaah (Ta’ala)

Az-Zajjaj said: “Al-Aakhir (the Last) is behind everything and remains after everything.” [Tafseer al-Asmaa’]

Al-Khattabi said: “Al-Aakhir is the One Who remains after the creation perishes and it does not mean the one who has no end; similarly Al-Awwal does not mean the one who has no beginning. He is Al-Awwal and Al-Aakhir and not because He is first and last.” [Sha’n ad-Du’aa]

Al-Baihaqi said: “Al-Aakhir is the eternal (whose existence has no end).” [Al-I’tiqaad]

 

The impact of belief in the Names of Allaah Al-Awwal and Al-Aakhir:

Shaikh Abdur-Razzaq al-Badr said: “Knowing Allaah as being the First, which nothing is before Him and His Grace and Benevolence precedes all the means, requires one to single Him out with humility and resort to Him and not to turn to anyone else or rely on anyone else except Him. Knowledge about Allaah being the First requires one to devoid oneself from attachment to the means and not to turn the hearts to them.

Belief in the Name Al-Awwal requires one to be attached to the One from Whom the aids and preparation are sought and Whose Grace precedes all the means [He is the One Who brings the means into existence].

Knowing Allaah as being the Last requires one to make Him the utmost goal that one should seek and no one else. All requests and hopes end with Him; no goal is sought after Him. Also, the belief in Allaah Al-Aakhir causes one to not feel at rest towards the means, because for sure they will perish one day and only Allaah the Eternal will remain after them.

Attaching the heart to the means is attaching to what will perish and finish, whereas attaching to Al-Aakhir is attaching to the Ever-Living Who never dies and the Eternal, Who will never perish [He is the One Who will benefit you with the means].” [Fiqhul-Asmaa’]

 

The Noble Name of Allaah Al-Awwal is mentioned once in Surat al-Hadeed (57:3):

 

 

“He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him). And He is the All-Knower of everything.”

 

The Meaning of the Name:

 

Al-Farraa’ said: “The statement of Allaah ‘He is the First’ means He is before everything and ‘the Last’ means after everything.” [Ma’aani al-Qur’an]

 

Ibn Jarir said: “He is the First before everything without limit, and the Last after everything without end.” This is because He was there and nothing existed except Him. And He will be there after all things perish, as He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Qasas (28:88):

 

 

Everything will perish save His Face.” [Jami’ul-Bayaan]

 

Az-Zajjaj said: “Attributing Allaah with being Al-Awwal means He precedes all the events by endless times. All things existed after Him; He (Ta’ala) preceded them all.” The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to say in his Du’aa (invocation):

 

“You are the First and nothing is before You, and You are the Last and nothing is after You.” [Tafseer al-Asmaa’]

 

Al-Haleemi said: “Al-Awwal is the First One, nothing is before Him; He is the Last One, whom nothing is after Him.”

Al-Baihaqi said: “Al-Awwal is the One Who has no initiation for His existence.” [Al-I’tiqaad]

 

The Impact of Believing in this Noble Name:

 

The best explanation for this Name and the three Names that follow it [i.e. Al-Aakhir (the Last), Adh-Dhaahir (the Most High) and Al-Baatin (the Most Near)] is the explanation given by the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – who is the most knowledgeable person amongst the creation of Allaah (Ta’ala) – Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to command us: when anyone of us intends to go to sleep, he should lie in bed on his right and then say: “O Allaah, the Rabb of the heaven, the Rabb of the earth and the Rabb of the Magnificent Throne, our Rabb, and the Rabb of everything. The Splitter of the grain of corn and the fruit kernel, the Revealer of the Taurat (Torah), Injeel (Gospel) and the Criterion (the Qur’an), I seek refuge in You from the evil of everything You shall seize by the forelock (You have perfect control over it). O Allaah, You are the First, there is none before You, and You are the Last and there is none after You. You are Supreme and there is nothing above You, You are the Knower of everything, there is nothing to bar you from anything. Remove the burden of debt from us and relieve us from want.” [Muslim]

Allaah (Ta’ala) is the First Whom nothing of the existing things is before Him, He advanced and preceded everything and nothing was with Him. It is reported on the authority of ‘Imran ibn Husain that he (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “There was nothing but Allaah, and His Throne was over the water, and He wrote everything in the Book (in the heaven) and created the heavens and the earth.” [Al-Bukhaari and Ahmad]

 

At-Tahaawi said in his ‘Aqeedah: “He is Old without beginning and eternal without end.” Ibn Abi Al-‘Ezz explained this statement saying: “Old without beginning and eternal without end is the meaning of Al-Awwal (the First) and Al-Aakhir (the Last).”

 

The knowledge about confirmation (affirmation) of these two attributes is fixed and established in the natural instinct. All that exists should end to Him (Who created everything), in order to cut the series (sequence). We witness the occurrence (creation) of the animals, plants, etc. and the occurrences in the air of clouds, rain and so forth; all these occurrences were nonexistent and then they came into being, so their inexistence and end of their existence indicate that they did not exist by themselves, as Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat at-Tur (52:35):

 

 

“Were they created by nothing, or were they themselves the creators?”

 

Allaah (Ta’ala) says (what means): “Were they created without a creator or did they create themselves?”

It is known that the created thing does not bring itself into existence.” [Explanation of Al-Aqeedah Al-Tahaawiyah]

 

Many people among the philosophers and some from among Ahl-as-Sunnah call Allaah- the Lord- with the word Al-Qadeem (the old) which is not one of Allaah’s Beautiful Names. Calling Him with the Name Al-Awwal is more appropriate because it is approved in the Book (the Qur’an), the Sunnah and even the language.

 

Al-Qadeem (the old) in the Arabic language, which is the language of the Qur’an, means prior to anything else. It is said: “This is Qadeem for the ancient and this is Hadeeth for the new.” They (the Arabs) did not use this word (Qadeem) except for one who is before him, and not for he who has not been preceded with inexistence, as Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat Ya-seen (36:39):

 

 

“Until it (the moon) returns (appearing) like the old dried curved date stalk”

 

The old dried curved date stalk remains until the other dried curved date stalk appears. When the new one appears, the previous one is called Qadeem (old). Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Ahqaaf (46:11):

 

 

And when they are not guided by it, they will say, ‘This is Qadeem (an ancient) falsehood.’”

 

 

i.e. advanced or preceded in time.

 

Therefore, many of the predecessors and successors like Ibn Hazm denied naming Allaah (Ta’ala) with this name. [Sharh al-Aqeedah At-Tahaawiyah]

 

The correct and right thing is to exchange this name (Qadeem) with Al-Awwal which is quoted in the Qur’an and Sunnah.

 

 

 

 

Al-Aakhir (the Last)

 

This Noble Name is mentioned once in the Noble Qur’an in Surat al-Hadeed (57:3):

 

 

He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Most High (nothing is above Him) and the Most Near (nothing is nearer than Him). And He is the All-Knower of everything.”

 

 

The Meaning of the Name with regards Allaah (Ta’ala)

 

Az-Zajjaj said: “Al-Aakhir (the Last) is behind everything and remains after everything.” [Tafseer al-Asmaa’]

 

Al-Khattabi said: “Al-Aakhir is the One Who remains after the creation perishes and it does not mean the one who has no end; similarly Al-Awwal does not mean the one who has no beginning. He is Al-Awwal and Al-Aakhir and not because He is first and last.” [Sha’n ad-Du’aa]

 

Al-Baihaqi said: “Al-Aakhir is the eternal (whose existence has no end).” [Al-I’tiqaad]

 

The impact of belief in the Names of Allaah Al-Awwal and Al-Aakhir:

 

Shaikh Abdur-Razzaq al-Badr said: “Knowing Allaah as being the First, which nothing is before Him and His Grace and Benevolence precedes all the means, requires one to single Him out with humility and resort to Him and not to turn to anyone else or rely on anyone else except Him. Knowledge about Allaah being the First requires one to devoid oneself from attachment to the means and not to turn the hearts to them.

Belief in the Name Al-Awwal requires one to be attached to the One from Whom the aids and preparation are sought and Whose Grace precedes all the means [He is the One Who brings the means into existence].

Knowing Allaah as being the Last requires one to make Him the utmost goal that one should seek and no one else. All requests and hopes end with Him; no goal is sought after Him. Also, the belief in Allaah Al-Aakhir causes one to not feel at rest towards the means, because for sure they will perish one day and only Allaah the Eternal will remain after them.

Attaching the heart to the means is attaching to what will perish and finish, whereas attaching to Al-Aakhir is attaching to the Ever-Living Who never dies and the Eternal, Who will never perish [He is the One Who will benefit you with the means].” [Fiqhul-Asmaa’]


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