03 Nov The Positive or Affirmative Attributes.Part1
The Attributes Whose existence is indispensable and mark God’s absolute Perfection have been called the Positive or Affirmative Attributes.
God has Life, has perfect Knowledge of everything and an overwhelming Power over everything. He has also a Will Which determines whatever It wishes, however It wishes. In short, these Attributes make God known to us and describe Who He is through affirmative expressions. Like the Essential Attributes, the opposites of these Attributes cannot be conceived for the All-Holy Being, and all of these Attributes are eternal both in the past and in the future, for they are among the sacred Attributes that are inherent in or inseparable from the All-Majestic, All-Exalted Being with absolute perfection.
As discussed in books on Islamic creed, some of these Attributes such as Life, Knowledge, Power, and Will are in the infinitive form (in the Arabic), while others are in an adjectival form.
▪Human beings, jinn, spirit beings, and angels also have these attributes, but when ascribed to the Divine Being, they are absolute, timeless (eternal in the past and in the future), and inherent in Him. Other beings have them as reflections of the same Attributes of God, and these attributes are restricted.
With the exception of the Attribute of Making Exist or Creation, for which there are different considerations, all of the Positive or Affirmative Attributes are veils before the Dignity and Grandeur of the Divine Being, Who has no beginning, is eternally permanent, and infinitely encompassing. They are Attributes of Majesty and Grace that are inherent in the All-Sacred Being, Which subsist by Him, but are not nominally identical to the Divine Being Himself. They are Life, Knowledge, Hearing, Sight, Will, Power, Speech, and Making Exist.
1. Hayah (Life)
Life is one of the eternal Divine Attributes of Glory and—provided we do not ignore that Life is an Attribute of the Being Whom It describes—the sole source of life for all the worlds of living beings.
It is solely God Who gives life to and maintains everything in the heavens and on the earth, on land and in water, and in both the physical and metaphysical realms. Every existent thing and being in this world is favored with life by Him and will also be favored with a second life in the other world by Him.
▪Through the perpetual Divine Attribute of Life, every living being experiences its near and distant environment, builds relationships with these environments, and becomes as if a universal being while it is a particular. God bestows on everything a great profundity and every being gains a different expansion through this connection. While the Attribute of Life, Which is a veil for the All-Independent Being described by It, shows Itself with Its manifestations and reflections in all the worlds of living beings, It is never subjected to division or separation from the All-Sacred One Whom It describes. It is absolutely free from all such instances of exposure.
The Attribute of Life has priority to other Affirmative Attributes, for Attributes like Power, Will, and Knowledge cannot be conceived of without Life; it is not possible to think about these without considering Life. The manifest Qur’an draws the attention to that perpetual Life in many of its verses and reminds us of the reality, “He is All-Living, and never dies.”
The spirit is a general manifestation of Life, and the state of being alive is Its reflection.
▪In His Speech (the Qur’an), God calls attention to the celebrated Names the All-Living and the Giver of life as the background of life and He emphasizes that perpetual Life in different manners in connection with Prophets Adam and Jesus, and with all other living beings. The Ultimate Truth should be viewed through the telescope of life. Everyone who looks through belief can read on the face of life such truths as:
“It is He Who causes to die, Who revives, and Who will restore everything to a new life in the other realm; it is also He Who will return the bones, rotten and mixed with earth, to life in a different fashion with their essential parts”.