Our Lord is the First without any beginning, and the Last without any end – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En]

Sharhu Sunnah : Lesson 14 : Point 11 (Part B)
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]

The author Imam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said,

And know, may Allaah have mercy upon you, that speculative speech, kalaam, about the Lord, the Most High, is a newly introduced matter and it is an innovation and misguidance. Nothing is to be said about the Lord except what He, the Mighty and Majestic, described Himself with in the Qur·aan and what the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam explained to his Companions. So He, the Majestic in Renown, is One.

There is nothing like Him; and He is The All Hearing The All Seeing. (Sooratush-Shooraa (42), aayah 11)

Our Lord is the First without any beginning, and the Last without any end. He knows whatever is secret and whatever is most hidden. He has ascended over His Throne, and His Knowledge is in every place. And no place is free of His Knowledge.

[In this Part B audio, the last paragraph in the above point is covered. You can Listen to Point 11 (Part A)]

[Souncloud Audio Link

The Explanation (Transcription of above Audio):

His saying, “Our Lord is The First, without any ‘when’. And He is The Last, without any end.” Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, is The First without any beginning and The Last without any end. He, the Most High, said

He (Allaah) is The First and The Last and The Uppermost and The One who is Closest (Sooratul-Hadeed (57), aayah 3)

These are names which are opposites. ‘The First’ (Al-Owwal) is opposite to ‘The Last’ (Al-Aakhir). ‘The Uppermost’ (Az-Zaahir) is opposite to ‘The Closest’ (AlBaatin). And the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam explained this aayah in his saying: You are The First, and there is nothing before You. And You are The Last, so there is nothing after You. And You are The Uppermost One, so there is nothing above You. And You are The Closest One, so there is nothing closer than You. [01]

This was the explanation of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. But then there came those people who explained it with other than the explanation of the Messenger (sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) who say, “Az-Zaahir means ‘one who became apparent to the intellects’ and ‘who became apparent through clear proofs’, and it does not mean that He is above the created beings or that He is above the Throne!” So this is false and futile, contrary to the explanation of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. The one from the people who knows best about Allaah is Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. And he has explained this aayah with a clear explanation, that ‘The First One’ means the One whom there is nothing before Him: “The First with no beginning.” And ‘The Last one’ He is the One whom there is nothing after Him: “The Last with no end.” And “The Uppermost” is the One whom there is nothing above Him. He is above all created beings.

And He is The Invincible Subduer above His servants. And He is The All Wise, The All Aware. (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 18)

And (Allaah) He is the Invincible Subduer above His servants. And He sends down guardians over you. (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 61)

He has exaltedness (being above and exalted) with regard to His Self (Thaat). And He has exaltedness of Status (Qadr). And He has exaltedness in Supremacy (Qahr). “And You are The One who is Closest so there is nothing closer than you…” meaning that He knows everything. Nothing at all is hidden from Him. So He, along with the fact that He is above His created beings, then along with this, nothing is hidden from Him, from the innermost secrets and what their chests conceal.

Nothing whatever is hidden from Allaah, in the earth nor in the heavens (Soorah Aali `Imraan (3), aayah 5)

And then people come who say, “Allaah the Majestic and Most High is not above and He is not beneath, and He is not to the right and He is not to the left, and He is not inside the Universe and He is not outside the Universe.” The meaning of this would be that He does not exist as occurs in the books of the people of kalaam (people of theological rhetoric).

His saying, “He knows what is secret and what is most hidden. And He is ascended upon His Throne.” So His knowing whatever is upon the earth and whatever is beneath the earth and whatever is under the soil, this does not contradict His being above His Throne. Because Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, encompasses everything and nothing encompasses Him, He the Perfect and Most High. And the whole of the creation in comparison to Him is just tiny, like nothing at all. And He is Al-`Azeem, The Tremendously Great One; Al-Kabeer, The Incomparably Great One; Al-Muta`aal, The Supreme and Exalted One; Al-Jaleel, The Majestic and Supreme – He the Perfect and Most High. So we do not make analogy between Him and ourselves.

They have not given Allaah the respect and honour which is due to Him, and the whole earth will be grasped by Him on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Perfect and Exalted is He and far removed from that which they associate with Him. (Sooratuz-Zumar (39), aayah 67)

All the created things are, in relation to Him, like nothing. Even if they are very great in the eyes of the people, but with respect to Him they are like nothing. (They are nothing) before His Tremendousness, He the Perfect and Most High. People, they do not give the honour and respect to Allaah that is His due when they deny His Ability and His Greatness.

O mankind, a similitude has been struck for you so listen to it. Those whom you call upon besides Allaah could never create even a fly, even if they gathered together to do it. And if the fly were to take something from them (those idols) they cannot rescue it from it. Weak is the seeker and the one sought.2 They do not give Allaah His due honour and respect. (Sooratul-Hajj (22), aayahs 73-74)

They do not recognise the Tremendousness of Allaah and His Ability and His Supremeness and His Knowledge. So therefore they draw analogy between Him and themselves. Therefore they belittle Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. If you people, all of you together, from the first of you to the last of you, all the jinn and all mankind, were to gather together to create a fly, the smallest thing, they would not be able to do so. Particularly whom they call upon besides Allaah, from those objects of worship and those false lords.

They could never create a fly even if they all gathered together to do it. If the most proficient doctors gathered, and the cleverest people in the world and the craftsmen and the inventors, and you were to say to them, “Produce a fly for us,” they would not be able to do it – even though they are able to build huge ocean liners which contain airstrips and carry aeroplanes, and they can build huge aeroplanes. They are able to build these things. As for creating a fly and putting life into it, then they are not able to do it. They can draw a picture of a fly and of a person and of wild animals and the like, but they are not able to make any such thing walk and talk. They can just draw it with its details only. As for breathing life into it, then this is from the command of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High. So therefore how can analogy be made between the Creator, the Majestic and Most High, and the creation. He is not reached by the intellects and people’s thoughts, and He cannot be imagined by their thinking, He the Perfect and Most High.

His saying, “He knows whatever is secret and whatever is most hidden. And He is ascended over His throne.” His being ascended over His Throne does not contradict His knowing whatever is hidden and whatever is most secret. So it may not be said that because He has ascended over His throne He is therefore distant from the people and He does not hear and does not see therefore, for this is claiming tashbeeh, that there is likeness between the Lord and the creation.

So Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, all things are the same to Him. Nothing is hidden from Him, He the Perfect and Most High; something close or something far, the first of the creation and the last of them, this world or the Hereafter. All of it is within the Knowledge of Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. And therefore this gigantic creation is caused to proceed by Him, He the Perfect, and by His Ability and His Will and His Creating.

Allaah holds the heavens and the earth, so that they do not move away. And if they were to move away, then no one besides Him, could hold them. Indeed He is Forbearing and He forgives extensively (Soorah Faatir(35), aayah 41)

The orbit of the stars, the Sun and the Moon in its precise calculated manner which does not alter and does not err and does not slip, who is the One who ordered it with this arrangement? He is Allaah the Majestic and Most High.

The Moon and the stars proceed in an orderly manner until Allaah wishes the end of this world and moving on to the Hereafter. The One who ordered it is All Wise and All Knowing, the Perfect and Most High.

So if you were to reflect upon this creation, then you would realise the greatness of Allaah the Perfect and Most High. So when the people see a precise machine they marvel at this skill, and at its maker, but it is a small thing; then how about this whole creation which does not fail. Who causes it to persist and who preserves it? Who is the One who preserves this creation, all of it, so that it does not alter and does not fail and does not miss out on anything? He is Allaah, the Majestic and Most High.

So these created things, the small ones and the large ones, who brings provision to them? Huge created things, who is the One who produced provision for them, for each one in accordance with its own condition? He is Allaah, the Majestic and Most High.

So what is obligatory is that we should submit to that which came from Allaah, because He knows best about Himself, and that we submit to what came from Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam because the Messenger is the one from the creation who knows best about his Lord, He the Perfect and Most High; and that we do not raise objections and we do not interfere with our intellects and our own thinking. So there is no contradiction between the fact that “He knows whatever is secret and whatever is most hidden” and “He is ascended over His throne.”

And His Saying, “And His knowledge is in every place. And no place is free of His knowledge.” His knowledge is in every place.

Nothing whatever is hidden from Allaah, in the earth nor in the heavens. (Soorah Aali `Imraan (3), aayah 5)

And He (Allaah) knows whatever is in the land and in the sea. And no leaf falls except that He knows it. And there is no grain in the darkest depths of the earth, nor anything fresh, nor anything dry, except that it is written in a clear book. (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 59)

And He (Allaah) is the One who takes your souls by night. Meaning in sleep.

And He knows whatever you do…
Meaning ‘whatever (deeds) you earn’.

…in the day. Then He raises you up in it. (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 60)

Meaning you get up from sleep. Who caused you to sleep in the first place? And who is it that causes you to wake up? He is Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. So if you were to think about this creation, then this would lead you to realize the Greatness of Allaah and you would submit to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic; if you were to reflect upon the speech of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and what he informed about with regard to events of the past and of the future, things which have occurred just as he informed sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. Who guided him to know that? It was Allaah, the Majestic and Most High. He is the One who revealed it to him. It was not from himself; rather it was just from Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. If you were to compare the ahaadeeth (sayings of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) to the events that have occurred, you would be amazed. The Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam mentioned to us about the lives of the Prophets and the previous nations (he mentioned) a great deal (of that), even though his time was much later. Who made him aware of this? It was Allaah, the Majestic and Most High. So this is indeed a proof that he is a Messenger from Allaah. This tremendous Qur·aan, it is not possible that it could have come from other than Allaah.

Say, if the whole of mankind and jinn were to gather together to bring the like of this Qur·aan, they could not bring its like, even if they all tried to help each other. (Sooratul-Israa· (17), aayah 88)

It is from the speech of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High. And the Messenger was just one who conveyed the Message from Allaah, the Majestic and Most High.

And this Qur’aan has been sent by Revelation to me to warn you with it and to warn whomever it reaches. (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 19)

So he was one who conveyed the Message from Allaah, the Majestic and Most High.

Footnotes:

[01] Reported by Muslim in his Saheeh (4/2084 no. 2713) from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anh.

[02 Translator’s side point: At-Tabaree explains that to mean, “Weak is the idol and weak is the fly.”

Transcribed by Fawad Abu Zaid Al Afghaani. Download PDF of Lesson 14

Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan
hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah

Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah

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