Chapter 1, Section 3
Tahqiq (Research) on Names & Attributes
Allah Almighty has said:
The most beautiful Names belong to Allah. So call on It by them…” (Koran [7:180])

(For complete collection please click here...)
Consensus amongst the Sufi Nation is that the Glorious and Majestic Lord has infinite Names (Asmaa) and unnumbered Attributes (Sifaat) [0]. Each Name is a guide towards an Attribute and each Attribute a passageway towards a Prehension [1] and each Prehension appropriation of a Divinity and each Divinity unconditionally demands Acquiescence. The Divine Fiat has decreed the selection of ninety-nine Names from the infinite ensemble—fitting the intellectual cognitive faculties, human capacity and endurance—uncovered the curtains of unseen to début at the Sahara of Zohoor (perceptible outer-manifests). And the beauty of the Attributes (Sifaat) within the said perceptible outer-manifests, upon the vision of the passionate spectators exhibited the face of Its everlastingness and everlasting face of Itself.
So each moment, Its manifest, a solace and each shaft of light piercing through every Name rendering the beauty of some Sifat (Attribute) thus ever-increasing beatitude upon beatitude and passion upon passion. Because each moment when the face of a new Sifat (Attribute) unearthed, the heart rejoiced with beatitude anew whereupon de novo desires and passions due to the perception of the beauty of the Zhaat (Divine Essence) aroused within (the lovers). Thus from beyond Its Transcendental Absence (Qayb) Ishaarat (hints) transmitted to busy and engage (the fancy of the lovers) until the day of preordained rendezvous (day of resurrection) and the birds of Its secrets immovable upon the branches of longing singing the song:
Anytime thirsting for those wet lips
Gulping the wine upon the heart
What comparison the wine and those wet lips?
At best intoxicating delirious my ailing heart
(The poem points at our interface with Sifaat as the best we can do to be near the Beloved)
The Praiseworthy Lord has indeed far beyond the ninety-nine names, and be cautious suspecting that the Divine Names you have already heard are all that there is (for Its Names). Since copious Names stored within the treasury of Its Omnipotence, concealed within Its Sequestered Seclusion (Qayrat) and no being except the Divine Knower of all secrets (the Lord) has any information about. And the Azali (Void of any beginning and cause) Knowledge exclusively installed for their cognizance (the hidden Names). Its Names are unnumbered and Its Attributes (Sifaat) infinite. And as far as the Divine Names and Attributes that have reached you which by means of Divine Edict (Sharia) has been attributed and defined by It, do not believe that their true meanings are what you have comprehended. Or the nature and essence of these Names and Attributes are your corresponding nature and essence since no man is able to traverse beyond the human essence. These are the limits of your cognition concerning the Names and Attributes and your portion of comprehension incomparable to their true infinite and highly ranked nature:
But over all endued with knowledge is One (Allah), the All-Knowing” Koran [12:76]
We raise some of them above others in ranks” Koran [43:32]
As the Names are boundless the meanings and essence of each Name are limitless as well. The boundaries of comprehension of each comprehensor beget a personalized and exclusive meaning and the portion of acquisition of each seeker of a Name’s nature, a personalized and exclusive essence. (Each seeker discovers a different frontier for a Name)
Be aware not to compare and confuse the Lord’s Attributes (e.g. Divine Mercy) with that of the people’s Attributes (e.g. human mercy). Since Its Sanctified Lofty Zhaat (Essence) is not similar to any other essence and Its Sifaat (Attributes) dissimilar to any others’. The reasons for manifesting those specific Names and Attributes to you are:
  1. The Divine Benevolence and Azali (No beginning or cause) Grace has endowed the Children of Adam with well-portioned finely crafted Sifaat (Attributes). And thus exalted the Sifaat whereupon with sublimity translated into the Names. (Enrobed with Names). Therefore people benefit according to their aptitude and ability.
  2. To teach and culture the slave with morality that is not based upon the slave’s imagination and inventiveness rather based upon the Divine Nomenclature It has selected for describing and invoking Itself. Thus It is attributed by Attributes It has attributed to Itself. (“It hath inscribed for Itself (the rule of) Mercy”, Koran [6:12])
The consensus amongst the Sufi Nation is that each Sifat (Attribute) from Divine Attributes, is an immovable Truth and its meaning truly discernable from another Sifat (Attribute) and the nature of it derived from the Divine Essence (Zhaat). (Sifaat the Attributes are atomic but unlike the components of an assembly)
However worldly paradigms and cognizance can enter the Sifaat (Attributes) e.g. Upright Posture [2], Descend, Hand, Step, Smile and Marvel, these are all signs or hints from the nature of Its Oneness and guidance for understanding Its Nonesuch being, “Whomever understood then understood and whomever did not understand then did not understand” (Nothing further to be added). No one should confuse these descriptions as measure of similarity and suchlike. The duty of the people is to believe in these Attributes in spite of the fact that they can never comprehend their nature and any inner workings of them. As was adumbrated by Anas Bin Malik with regards to a question about Lord’s ‘Upright Posture’, “’Upright Posture’ is a clear notion but its inner workings impenetrable to minds, faith in it a must and questions about it inventiveness”.
[0] Names constitute objects such as identifiers, data, knowledge, descriptions, software… any form of cognition within our minds to point out towards a known attribute. For example, Mercy (Rahmah) is an attribute; the word ‘mercy’ is the Name as well as our descriptions of being merciful by means of examples or elucidations.
[1] Prehension -- category of existence representing the concrete fact of relatedness. The most fundamental type of perception in which a subject perceives all relevant past actual and eternal objects.
The way in which we perceive things, the meaning we attach to them, the way we integrate these sensory impressions into a coherent whole involves, as Kant would say, the spontaneous activity of the mind organizing its sensations.  Whitehead suggests that this model of perception can be generalized as our model for understanding all causation. Therefore, he takes the word "apprehension", a conscious taking account of other things, and [modifies it to create the word] “Prehension". Prehension is the opposite of the way we generally perceive causation. Therefore, if A causes B, the B prehends A.
In the Genetic Theory, the cell is exhibited as appropriating for the foundation of its existence, the various elements of the universe out of which it arises. Each process of appropriation of a particular element is termed a Prehension. (Alfred North Whitehead, Process & Reality)
[2] These are attributes of Allah discussed in Koran or by the Prophet. For example ‘Upright Posture’ is with regards to Allah’s position on the throne Koran [10:3].

© 2004-2002,  Dara Shayda