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Islam and Spiritualism ( 3 Feb 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Allah-u Akbar: Reflections on the Verse of the Throne



On Allah's Greatness, Allah-u Akbar!

By Idris Tawfiq

01 February 2015

All Muslims have favourite verses from the Quran.

They could be verses they learned when they were young or they could be verses that have a particular significance in their lives.

Muslims believe that the Quran is Almighty God’s final message to His Creation.

Unlike all previous scriptures, it is intended for all people and for all time. That is why the Quran has been preserved completely in the original state in which it was first revealed.

Done through the centuries, our scholars have made commentaries on its verses and Muslims look to these commentaries, known as “Tafseer” or Quranic exegesis, to better understand the context in which verses were revealed and how they relate to the rest of Allah’s revelation.

Tafseer, then, is important for Muslims to get an informed teaching what the majority of scholars have said about the Quran. By doing so they avoid the mistakes that can come from different translations and different opinions.

In addition to this, though, Muslims can look at verses of the Quran and imagine that Allah Himself is speaking just to them, helping them to live their lives today. In this sense, every verse of the Quran can help individual Muslims to be better Muslims as they go about the business of life.

Allah is Great beyond any measure:

{There is nothing whatever like unto Him.} (42:11), and {He created the heavens and the earth and everything in between them.} (25:59).

He is transcendent, beyond the understanding of His creatures, yet He is also closer to them than the jugular vein in their neck. Indeed, {not a leaf falls but that He knows it.} (6:59)

Despite all our striving to know what Allah is like and all our attempts to describe Him in our words, the simple truth is that He is so beyond our comprehension that when we find a way of describing Him, all we really know is that He is not like that!

This is why the most beautiful image of Islam is an individual man or woman bowing on the ground, with their foreheads touching the earth, admitting that there is nothing worthy of worship but Him. In submitting to Allah, Muslims accept that they are nothing without Him, yet with His help there is nothing they cannot achieve or be.

One of the most beautiful verses of the Quran, known to us as “the verse of the Throne,” is this:

{Allah! There is no god but He - the Living, The Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as he permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they encompass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth.} (2: 255)

This verse captures perfectly Allah’s Greatness and His Majesty. He is the Greatest of the Most Great. This is why at least five times a day Muslims will cry out “Allahu Akbar,” Allah is the Most Great.

The words of Ayat Al-Kursi help us to understand who Allah is.

{There is no god but He - the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal.}

Almighty God, Allah, is alive and has existed always and He was not created by anyone. More than that, there is nothing like Him. That is why Muslims say that: “there is nothing worthy of worship but Allah.” There is nothing in this world or in any other world deserving of our worship. And what is more, nothing will bring us happiness and fulfilment in the same way that Allah will.

{No slumber can seize Him nor sleep.}

Not only is Allah not in need of rest, but He is always there, always there for us and always guarding and protecting His Creation. We may tire and become sleepy, but Allah is eternally awake and waiting for us to approach Him and call upon Him with our prayers and our needs.

{His are all things in the heavens and on earth.}

He not only created everything that exists, but also everything that exists belongs to Him. This is a salutary lesson for those who would hoard their wealth in this world, imaging that somehow that wealth is theirs alone. In fact, all wealth is distributed to this person or that by Allah, and He can take it away whenever He chooses. No one will take their riches to the grave.

Even the act of praying and supplicating to Him is His gift.

{Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth?}

The very words and gestures we use would not exist without His act of creating us. The very breath in our bodies is breathed into us each day by Allah.

This verse of the Throne goes on to remind us that when we do pray, Allah knows our prayers even before we utter them and every thought that comes into our heads is known to Him before we think it. And despite all our discussions and deliberations, we can only gain any knowledge, either of Him or of anything else, by His leave.

{He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they encompass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth.}

{His throne doth extend over the heavens and on earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them, for He is the Most High. The Supreme (in glory)}

Unlike an earthly ruler, Allah does not tire of watching over His kingdom or of watching over us. Even though we turn away from Him and fail to give Him a thought except when we want something, He is always there guarding and protecting.

Of all the beautiful verses in the Quran, this is one of the most beautiful because it speaks of what Allah is like: He is beyond our knowledge and our understanding, yet knows and cares about us with an infinite care.

Our only response in the presence of such greatness is to bow down, to submit as one who is a Muslim, and to thank Him for his uncountable blessings.

Allah-u Akbar!