03 Nov The Essential Attributes.Part3
5. Muhalafatun lil-hawadith (Being Unlike the Created)
This Attribute denotes that the All-Majestic, All-Exalted God does not resemble, in any way, any of His creatures in His Essence or Attributes.
▪On account of the fact that the opposites of the Essen- tial Attributes of God Almighty are inconceivable for the Divine Being, this Attribute has also been mentioned among the Attributes of Exemption. The decisive, explicit statements of the Qur’an and the Sunna which state that God has no peers, equals, partners, or opposites point to the truth of His Being Unlike the Created.
▪While some misguided sects have deviated into likening God to His creatures in some respects, some other schools of creed and thought, such as the Mu‘tazila and Jahmiyya, have gone to the extreme of not recognizing His Attributes to emphasize His being unlike the created.
However, the scholars of the Ahlu’s-Sunna or the Sunni scholars have followed the middle way and, by recognizing God’s Attributes and drawing attention to an important, basic difference between the Creator and the creation which is marked by the Attribute of Being Unlike the Created, have emphasized that God is unlike the created in both His Essence and Attributes.
They conclude: “Whatever comes to your mind concerning the Divine All-Transcending Being, He is beyond it.”
6. Qiyam bi-nafsihi (Self-Subsistence)
God’s Being Self-Subsisting means He subsists by Himself in absolute independence of anything else and without needing anything, either in His existence or subsistence, while everything and everyone other than Him owes both their existence and subsistence to Him.
▪On account of any meaning opposite to this Attribute being inconceivable for the Divine Being, this Attribute is also regarded as being among the Attributes of Exemption. Although this Attribute of Glory is not explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an, all the verses concerning God’s self-subsistence and maintaining the whole of creation also point to His Self-Subsistence.
▪Muslim theologians have explicitly stressed God’s absolute in dependence of and freedom from time and space, and from everything else, whether it be a substance or an accident, material or immaterial. They have regarded the physical causes and means that He employs in His Acts and executions as the veils of His Dignity and Grandeur.
In the words of Bediüzzaman, Divine Dignity and Grandeur require that physical causes must be veils before the Hand of Power in the sight of the intellect, so that the Power’s relationship with some unpleasant and insignificant seeming things and affairs will not be seen.