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WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ISLAM/God’s Characteristics

Overall God’s characteristics could be classified into two parts:

1.3.1. Provable Characteristics

Every characteristic which exists from real-perfection, increases worth of its object, making its essence more perfect without the condition of not requiring a body and being susceptible to change for the object which is being characterized is called a provable and elegant characteristic like: Knowledge, power, life, speaking, and intention. If we compare two existences with each other that one of them is a scholar and the other one is illiterate, we could realize it with our conscience that the existence of the scholar is more perfect, effective, and worthy than the illiterate.

Therefore on this basis it could be said that knowledge is one of the characteristics of a real existence. Other characteristics of perfection can be identified on the basis of the same comparison. The God of the Worlds possesses all characteristics of perfection and elegance and all of them are permanent for His essence. In order to prove this matter two reasons could be sufficient:

First Reason

Every perfection, goodness and prosperity that exists in the world all has been created by God and He has bestowed worthiness upon existences. Because the created beings for their real existence are needy of God, in the perfection of their existence as well in their beauty they are needy of Him. Since the real existence has been bestowed upon them by God and they do not possess any independence by themselves, perfection of existence too is received by them through God. Thus, the Creator of existences and their characteristics of perfection is God.

Now if you take a brief pause, your faculty of reason would say: God who has bestowed all these perfections to His creations could not have His own essence without these perfections. If He does not have them, it was not possible to bestow those things upon others. Because, the fountainhead and origin of perfection cannot be assumed of not having them in it; a lamp until it is not illuminated cannot provide illumination to others. Oil if it does not contain fat cannot make others things fatty. If water itself is not wet, it cannot make other things wet.

Persian Poetry

“Zat na’ya’fteh az hasti bakhsh,

Kay tawa’nad ke shaved hasti baksh.”

Translation

“Essence not obtained by the One Who bestows existence,

How could it ever provide existence to others?”

Second Reason

The Essence of God is absolute existence that does not possess any sort of limit and defect, since it is not limited and imperfect it is not needy of others and has not obtained His existence from others; i.e. He is (a being or things) Whose existence is necessary (Wajib al-Wajood). Therefore, on this basis each characteristic that exists from perfection is permanent for God and His essence with respect to it, does not have any boundary and limit and would not be empty of it.

If the essence of God does not have perfection it would be limited and needy and would not be a being or thing Whose existence is absolutely essential and inevitably would not be self-sustaining. Therefore, from this reason and the previous one it could be said that the Essence of the God of Worlds from every dimension is perfect and is infinite and possesses all perfections of existence and provable characteristics.

1.3.2. Some Provable Characteristics

1. Power: God is Almighty and Powerful; i.e. every possible task that He wishes, He could materialize; is not helpless from any task, with respect to each task is not compelled and helpless, For His All-mightiness, there is no limit and boundary and His power is infinite.

2. Knowledge: God is wise and intelligent, i.e. He knows everything and encompasses over all creations and world phenomena and there is nothing hidden from Him.

3. Life: God has life and is alive; i.e. He is a being that does his work in accordance with Knowledge, power, and intentions. God is not like others live beings who are identified through the means of their movement, respiratory system, and eating food, but since He performs acts with knowledge, power, and intention, life is proved for Him.

4. Intention: God does His works through intentions and determinations and is not like fire that does not have any intention in burning; God’s existence is a perfect existence that does work with intention and unlike subjects without intention, He is not defective.

5. Seeing: God is a Seer and has sight i.e. sees all visible incidents and phenomena of the world and none of them are absent from his sight.

6. Hearing: God is a Hearer and hears, i.e. He hears all hearable things and is not negligent with respect to any sound.

7-8. Ancient and Eternal: God is ancient, i.e. He always had been, and He was never without existence i.e. non-existence is not possible for Him. He is eternal and would always be, and annihilation and destruction for Him is not possible. God is absolute existence and His existence is exactly like His essence. Due to this reason, He does not need others for His existence; He always had been and would remain forever. No one has bestowed upon Him existence that could be taken away. God is superior to time and timely creations, and does not have a past and future.

9. Speech: God is a Speaker, i.e. He could explain realities for others and could make them to understand His determinations.

These sorts of characteristics are called provable characteristics which are valid for God’s essence.

1.3.3. A Necessary Reminder

Since we are imperfect in our essence and characteristics, i.e. are unable to do works without mental intention and bodily parts. We have power but without the interference of our bodily parts are unable to perform any task. We have power of hearing but cannot hear without ears and hearing nerves. We have power of seeing but cannot see without eyes and nerves related to sight. Since God’s essence is at an infinite degree of perfection and the same is true to His characteristics, He sees without eyes, hears without ears, works without bodily parts, and understands without brain and nerves.

The path of seeing and hearing is not that it should only be materialized through the means of eyes and ears; in a manner that if seeing and hearing is done without paying attention to it, we say: it is not hearing and seeing. But the reality of seeing and hearing is not except that it should not remain hidden and covered from the seeing and hearing person even if they are materialized without means of his attention.

Our essence and academic credentials too, if were not limited and imperfect, we could have seen things without eyes, and without ears could have heard, certainly seeing and hearing would have been valid upon them. Like in the state of our sleeping we could see and hear without natural ears and eyes. Since the God of Worlds from the point of view of essence and characteristics exists at the infinite state of perfection, His deeds and acts too are different from the acts of human beings, and any sorts of need and defect do not have any entry into His works.

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