Elucidations of "Aqeedahtu Tahawiyah" 5 to 8
Adapted from Lectures by Sheikh Ahmad Musa Jibril

5. He is the Eternal without a beginning and enduring without end.
(These statements are not in any order like the Iman section or the sectionon refuting other beliefs, and so on. The author chose his statements in different orders. The same applies for the attributes of Allah (azza wajal) , some statements are replies to deviants, and some are from the principles of Ahlus Sunnah .)

Matters of Discussion:

The proof for this attribute is as Allah (azza wajal) said (huwa alawwal walakhr)

1. "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 every thing." 57:3
2. Also a hadith in Muslim the prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) used to say about Allah (azza wajal) "You are the first and nothing before you, and you are the last and nothing after you." (Muslim 2713)

Thus, these are the proofs that Allah does not have a beginning and is enduring without an end.

The word "QADEEM" means "old". Unlike the name of Allah (azza wajal) "AL AWWAL" which means "first", the word "QADEEM" is NOT one of Allah's names. This is worth nothing because this is what the proponents of philosophy claim.

"QADEEM" is not an attribute of Allah. "QADEEM" is only used to describe the attribute and name of Allah -al awwal- which means the first.


1. Because we only take names of Allah (azza wajal) from the Qur'an and the Sunnah . "QADEEM" is not in the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
2. "QADEEM" is a word that can be used to describe, to praise, and to defame. However, all of Allah's names are all praiseworthy names. For instance, Allah (azza wajal) says:
"And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf." 36:39.
Allah (azza wajal) described "old-shriveled palm leaves" something that is not praiseworthy but rather derogatory.
Not only that, but when one says "old shriveled palm leaves" it implies that it will remain that way until the new one replaces them.

3. There is a big difference between QADEEM and AL AWWAL. When one says Al Awwal, "the first", it implies that there is nothing before it. When one says QADEEM it implies that there is someone older. We know this is not true of Allah (azza wajal) for the following reasons:

-The prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to Allah (azza wajal) "You are the first and nothing before you."
-As indicated by the previous ayah, "old" is a derogatory word and implies that it will be replaced.
-Allah (azza wajal) said:
"And those who disbelieve (strong and wealthy) say of those who believe (weak and poor): "Had it (Islamic Monotheism to which Muhammad is inviting mankind) been a good thing, they (weak and poor) would not have preceded us thereto!" And when they have not let themselves be guided by it (this Qur'an), they say: "This is an ancient lie!" 46:11
Meaning, old in time and there is something older than it.
-Ibn Hazm, among many other scholars, clearly said "QADEEM" is not one of Allah's names.
-AL AWWAL is better because it gives the impression that what comes after it belongs to it and follows it unlike the word "QADEEM".
4. QADEEM is not a term you can call unto Allah (azza wajal) with like "Ya Qadeem, give me such and such.."
Allah (azza wajal) said:
"And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do. " 7:180

Using the names of Allah (azza wajal) to call Him is a means for Allah (azza wajal) to accept your dua'a. Thus, it would not make sense to call upon Allah by saying for instance "Oh the face of Allah!" (azza wajal) or "Oh the hands of Allah!" These are not in our dua'a because they are names and not attributes and we only call Allah (azza wajal) by his names as the verse says.

Why does the Author use the word "QADEEM" here?
The author here uses the word QADEEM but restricts it to - "Qadeem, without beginning". Had the author said "QADEEM, old/eternal" then he would have been wrong to say so.

Hence, QADEEM is not a attribute of Allah (azza wajal) nor can it be used alone without adding the words -"without beginning" to it..

4] THE RULES FOR A NAME OF ALLAH (azza wajal):

1) That the Qur'an and Sunnah indicate that it's a name of Allah (azza wajal). It be specified that it is a name of Allah (azza wajal). An action of Allah (azza wajal) will not be a name.
2) It should be from that which we call Allah (azza wajal) with in our dua'a
3) It must be a praising of Allah (azza wajal) otherwise it's not a name of Allah (azza wajal).
This is from another rule of ahl alSunnah which is the Names of Allah (azza wajal) are more restricted than His attributes, and His attributes are more restricted than His actions and His action is more restricted than explanations about Him.
The opposite applies. Explaining about Allah (azza wajal) is broader. Actions are broader than the attributes. And, attributes are broader than the names of Allah (azza wajal).
Thus, this statement "Qadeem Bila ibtidaa", eternal without a beginning, is a more broad explanation of Allah's (azza wajal) attribute. While to give Allah (azza wajal) the attribute of Qadeem gives the explanation less leeway, as well asto name Allah (azza wajal) Qadeem is even more constricting.
All 3 rules do not fit the word Qadeem
1. It's not in the Qur'an and the Sunnah as His name.
2. We cannot call Allah (azza wajal) by it in our dua'a because it's not a name.
3. It's not a praising of Allah (azza wajal) by itself simply because in order for the author to praise Allah (azza wajal) with the word Qadeem, he added the restriction "without a beginning" to it.


- Al-Awwal and Akhr
That's what we have proof on.
-He is awwal first in himself and his attributes.
-And Last in himself and in his attributes.
-He will continue to have these attributes forever.

So we say his knowledge is first. His mercy is first. We don't say his knowledge is "QADEEM", old, His mercy is old..etc.

6. He will never perish or come to an end.

Matters of Discussion:

This statement shows that Allah (azza wajal) will never perish. All creations other than Allah (azza wajal) were nonexistent originally, and then Allah (azza wajal) created them. They will die and be resurrected on the final day.

Allah (azza wajal) said :

"Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish." 55:26

Allah (azza wajal) said :

"And put your trust (O Muhammad) in the Ever Living One Who dies not, and glorify His Praises, and Sufficient is He as the All-Knower of the sins of His slaves;" 25:58

*Yafna and yabeed are the same in meaning. Both are used together because in the Arabic language it is an emphasis, an assurance and affirmation that He will never come to an end.

Two reasons:

a) To add praise to Allah (azza wajal) by showing His might in the fact that He will never perish which helps explain the previous sentence "enduring without an end".
b) To oppose innovators who claim that some of Allah (azza wajal) attributes fade away. And by this, it was made clear that the attributes of Allah (azza wajal) never fade or die away and we do not restrict it to a certain time or year. He (subhana wa ta'ala) will never perish.

7. Nothing happens except what He wills.

Matters of Discussion:


Allah (azza wajal) said:

"But you cannot will, unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise." 76:30

Allah (azza wajal) said:

"And you will not, unless (it be) that Allah wills, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)." 81:29


This proves the will and Qadr (destiny) of Allah (azza wajal). Everything on this universe happens by Allah's will, both what we consider good and bad.


*This statement by Imam Tahawy is a reply to a sect called Qadriyyah, also known as Jabriyyah, mu3tazilah. They claim that Allah's will was to have people have Iman. It is the independent will of the kafir to have kufer, that the kafir creates (yakhluq) his own actions, meaning, that among Allah's creations is that which goes against the will of Allah (azza wajal).

This is showing that things in this universe go against Allah's will and this is nothing but a defamation of Allah (azza wajal).

Hence, Imam Tahawy wanted to reply to these two groups who did not master nor comprehend what the will of Allah (azza wajal) meant and what the difference between the two wills of Allah (azza wajal) are (see below for iradah).

The two groups he is replying to are:

-They believe that a servant is independent in his actions. Allah (azza wajal) has no will over the actions of worshippers.
- They believe that actions of slaves of Allah (azza wajal) are not created.
- They believe that slaves are the creators of their actions.
- They believe that sins don't happen by the will of Allah (azza wajal).
- The extreme ones from them deny that Allah (azza wajal) even knows about it.
- They basically deny Allah (azza wajal) full eternal will over everything.
- They are called the majoos of this ummah in that the majoos believe in the lord of darkness and lord of brightness. If they deny that Allah (azza wajal) creates actions of humans then by default there must be another creator.

-They went to another extreme in Qadr by saying a human/slave of Allah has no choice in his actions.
- They believe that a person has no choice or no will.
- They believe that a person is like a feather flying in the air.
- They believe that actions of humans are metaphors and not reality.
- They believe that to pray, to fast, or to be killed is like saying the sun rose, the wind blew the tree, the rain fell.
- They basically accuse Allah (azza wajal) of oppression
- They accuse Allah (azza wajal) of vainly ordaining people to do things and put commands and prohibitions on them.
- To them there is no wisdom in ordain and prohibitions.
-They are called Qadriyyah Mushrikeen because the mushrikeen said to prophet :

"Those who took partners (in worship) with Allah will say: "If Allah had willed, we would not have taken partners (in worship) with Him, nor would our fathers, and we would not have forbidden anything (against His Will)." Likewise belied those who were before them, (they argued falsely with Allah's Messengers), till they tasted of Our Wrath. Say: "Have you any knowledge (proof) that you can produce before us? Verily, you follow nothing but guess and you do nothing but lie." 6:148

What is the basic belief of ahl alSunnah in this matter?
The belief of ahl alSunnah is (Allah (azza wajal) is that Allah (azza wajal) created the action but the human being does not get judged by the creation but by the doing of it and choice he made)

*Every good and bad/evil creation is under Allah's will.

To help shed more light on this matter you will need to know the will of Allah (azza wajal) is two kinds:

1- Iradah Qadriyyeh/Kawniyyah/Khalkiyyah - The Universal Will- everything Allah (azza wajal) wills.

Everything falls under this type of will. Whether it be good and bad, things Allah (azza wajal) likes and things he does not like, everything falls under this category.

Allah (azza wajal) may not be pleased with it or like it (la yahubuh wala yardah) but it falls under His will for a wisdom only Allah (azza wajal) knows, like kufur, disputes, and so on. He created the good and bad and said He (azza wajal) likes the good and despises the bad.

Allah (azza wajal) creates the good for a wisdom and that which we think is bad and evil for a wisdom. For instance, the point of creating evil has a wisdom behind it. It has a significant function such as testing people, separating the truthful from falsehood, to reward upon the deeds, to punish on the sins. In fact, Ibn al Qayyim lists 33 benefits from the creation of Shaitan.

From the Qur'an on Iradah Qawniyyah (Universal Will):

Allah (azza wajal) said:

"And whomsoever Allah wills to guide, He opens his breast to Islam, and whomsoever He wills to send astray, He makes his breast closed and constricted, as if he is climbing up to the sky. Thus Allah puts the wrath on those who believe not." 6:125

"And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah's Will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return." 11:34

"Those Messengers! We preferred some to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honour); and to 'Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), We gave clear proofs and evidences, and supported him with Ruh-ul-Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)]. If Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear Verses of Allah had come to them, but they differed - some of them believed and others disbelieved. If Allah had willed, they would not have fought against one another, but Allah does what He likes." 2:253

2- Iradah Deenyyah/Shariyah/Amriyyah: Everything Allah (azza wajal) wills and likes:

"Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu-Akbar; Allah is the Most Great) on seeing the crescent of the months of Ramadan and Shawwal] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.". 2:185

"Allah wishes to make clear (what is lawful and what is unlawful) to you, and to show you the ways of those before you, and accept your repentance, and Allah is AllKnower, AllWise." 4:26

"And Allah would turn to you in mercy; but those who follow vain desires would have you go tremendously astray." 4:27

"Allah would make the burden light for you, for man was created weak." 4:28
"Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful." 5:6

"Allah wishes only to remove ArRijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification." 33:33

-Saying "this person does that which Allah (azza wajal) does not want" falls under category #2 meaning that which Allah (azza wajal) does not like , pleased with or orders.
-The first type of iradah is like saying "mashallah kan wama lam yasha lam yakun" -whatever Allah (azza wajal) wills will happen and that which he does not will will not happen.


a) Iradah Qawniyyah: Allah (azza wajal) may like it and be pleased with it, and he may not like it and may not be pleased with it. Shariyah can only be what he likes and is pleased with.
Iradah Qawniyyah is the will of Allah (azza wajal) . Iradah Shariyah is the will of Allah (azza wajal)that he likes.

b) Iradah Qawniyyah may be created for other than itself, like creation of devil. That could have been created for many good reasons such as repentance, patient, mujahidat nafs and istighfar.
Iradah Shariyah was created for itself because Allah (azza wajal) wants obedience and liked it and is pleased with it for itself.

c) Iradah Qawniyyah must happen. Allah (azza wajal) wants something it must happen like death, life or like that. Iradah Shariyah does not necessarily have to happen (could happen and could not)
If Iradah Shariyah was a must to happen then everyone would muslim. There would be no sinners, repenters, praying..etc

d) Both wills of Allah (azza wajal) (Shariyah and Qawniyyah ) combine in one who is obedient.

One who prays has had both wills by his prayer.
Prayer is liked by Allah (azza wajal), He ordered it, and He liked it and is please with it. This is from Iradah Shariyah. From Iradah Qawniyyah, is that it happened.

Belief in Iradah Qawniyyah is alone in a kafer… By it happening shows it is under Allah (azza wajal) will because nothing happens except by the will of Allah (azza wajal). The fact that it is not liked and not pleases Allah (azza wajal) shows it as Qawniyyah and not Shariyah .

Shariyah happens alone in believing of kafer(who did not believe yet), and obedience of sinner (who did not stop yet). These are Shariyah in that Allah (azza wajal) likes it and is pleased with it, however it did not happen so it not Qawniyyah.

8. No imagination can conceive of Him and no understanding can comprehend Him.

"He (Allah) 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." 20:110

This does not mean Allah (azza wajal) is not known to us, rather we know of Allah (azza wajal) and have knowledge of him. But the point is we cannot with our limited mentality comprehend Him fully knowledge wise, or imagine him mentally because He is supreme more than anything.

No mind can imagine him. Anything you imagine of Allah (azza wajal), know Allah (azza wajal) is way more supreme than that.

Last Updated: March 10, 2003

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