"He is Allah; there is no Allah but He...."

Allah is unique in terms of true Being. No other being can be said to exist 'of itself'. In fact, "Everything perishes except His Presence (Face)" [28:88]. It is probable that the name Allah occurs to indicate the Absolute in the same way that proper nouns denote particular things. Everything that can be said, however, in respect of the origin of the word is from the human point of view, that is, relative and arbitrary.

As Allah breathed His Spirit on the human form it can aspire to actualize Allah's Qualities but the possibility of this occurring is limited and relative to our own natural disposition -- which Allah gave us -- and the extent of our directing our motivations and perceptions towards this goal.

However, gaining knowledge of Allah's Most Beautiful Names and assuming them as noble or praiseworthy character traits whatever possible makes us in no way comparable to Allah's likeness.

The Qur'an clearly states, "Naught is as His likeness" [16:74] nor should one consider that sharing in every quality means a likeness. Likeness is defined as sharing in a specific thing and in essence. A horse and a human being may both be swift but their likeness ends here.

The meaning of the name Allah is so specific that it is inconceivable that there could be any sharing of the Name whether it be metaphorically or literally. In view of this, the rest of the Names are described as being the Names of All‚h and are defined in relation to All‚h.

One may say that the Patient, the Compeller, and the Sovereign are among the Names of Allah but one cannot say that Allah is one of the Names of the Patient, the Compeller, the Sovereign.

This is because the Name Allah, is more indicative of the true nature of the meaning of divinity and is, therefore, more specific. As a result, one dispenses with trying to define it by something else whereas the other Names are defined in relationship to the Name Allah. As the Qur'an says, "Do you know of any other that can be named with His Name?" [19:65]


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