Attributes Depicting Divine Perfection:
These are the attributes which negate, any slightest absence of perfection or defect in the qualities, belonging to the Divine Being, for instance, Al-Awwal, Al-Akhir, Al-Zahir, Al-Ba’tin, Al-Dharr, Al-Nafe’, Al-Moizz, Al-Mudzill, Al-Afuu, Al-Muntaquim, Al-Mohyee, Al-Momeet.
Al-Awwal: Means the “First”. That is, He has no beginning and no void existed before Him and that He is the fountainhead of all universes. The Quran says:
هُوَ الأَوَّلُ وَالآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ (3) الحديد:3
(Translation of meaning) “He is the First, the Last, the Manifest, and the Hidden. And He is the great knower of all things” (Al-Haded: 3). The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
« كَانَ اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْءٌ غَيْرَهُ وَكَانَ عَرْشُهُ عَلَى الْمَاءِ وَكَتَبَ فِي الذِّكْرِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَخَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ» بخاري
There was Allah and there was nothing before Him and His Throne was on water and He wrote everything in his Zikr and He created the heavens and earth” (Bukhari).
Al-A’khir: The existence of Allah is infinite and unending. He is the final and ultimate Being. Nothing exists, beyond Him and nothing existed, before Him. He is not a mortal to be succeeded by anything. He exists from eternity to eternity. Allah says:
كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلاَّ وَجْهَهُ (88) القصص:88
(Translation of meaning) [“Everything is to perish except His entity.” (Al-Qasas: 88)]. The words of a prayer of the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) are:
اللهُمَّ أَنْتَ الأَوَّلُ فَليْسَ قَبْلكَ شيء وَأَنْتَ الآخِرُ فَليْسَ بَعْدَكَ شيء ، وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ فَليْسَ فَوْقَكَ شيء، وَأَنْتَ البَاطِنُ فَليْسَ دُونَكَ شيء .مسلم
(Translation of meaning) “O my God, You are the First, there was nothing before you, and you are the Last as there is nothing after you and you are the Manifest as there is nothing above you, and you are the Hidden as there is nothing beyond you” (Muslim).There can be nothing like Him, i.e. none of His creatures can be similar to Him. Allah says:
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ (11) الشورى :11
(Translation of meaning) [‘There is nothing like Him. And He is all-hearing and all-seeing” (Al-Shura: 11)].Every believer knows well that the existence of God is immune from this that anything be like Him. He is ever living and ever standing. He neither snoozes nor sleeps. The whole universe including heaven, space, earth and all that is contained in them is His property. When the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked about the nature of the Divine Being then Allah Himself introduced Himself in these words:
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ (1) اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ (2) لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ (3) وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ (4) الإخلاص 1-4
(Translation of meaning) [“Tell them that Allah is One; Allah is an insurmountable mountain; He neither bore anybody nor was born of anybody; nor there is anyone as His co-equal” (Surah Ikhlas: 1-4)]. “Al-Ahad” means that Allah in His existence, attributes and functions is one and alone. Nobody is His co-partner in any way. Oneness means that He is not made up of many things because He does not have organs or parts. Allah says:
سُبْحَانَهُ هُوَ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ(4) الزمر:4
(Translation of meaning) [“Be He glorified! He is Allah, the One, the Absolute.” (Az-Zumar: 4)].
The oneness of His attributes, means that none of His creatures has been vested with attributes similar to His. Like His being, He is unique in His attributes and unmatched. Sometimes, we use many of such terms in relation to human beings. But this does not mean that humans possess the attributes of Allah or share them with Him. No, the similarity, is merely literal and cannot be confounded with the illimitable and infinite qualities of Allah.
The oneness of the divine functions of Allah, mean that Allah is omniscient and omnicompetent and is capable of doing what He wills. And nobody can rival Him in doing what he wills. He is not dependent upon anybody in the performance of His functions. Allah says:
وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمْ الْخِيَرَةُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ (68) القصص:68
(Translation of meaning) [“And your Creator makes whatever He wills and chooses; there can be no choice for them (gods); Allah is pure of and above what these people make co-partners of Allah”(Al-Qasas: 68)]. In another place He says:
فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ (16) البروج:16
(Translation of meaning) “He performs whatever he wills” (Al-Buruj: 16)].