Ibn alQayyim’s Profound explanation of Allaah’s Name “As-Salaam”

Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim‫‪ رحمه الله said regarding Allah’s Name [As-Salaam]:

Allaah is the one who is most deserving of this name, because of him being free from any defect, weakness, imperfection and shortcoming in any way. So he is in truth As-Salaam(faultless) in all regards, while the creations are safe(salaam) only through Him.

So,

i) He (سبحانه) is free from any defect, imperfection and shortcoming in His self.

ii) He is free from any defect, imperfection and shortcoming in His attributes.

iii) He is free from any defect, imperfection and shortcoming in His actions. His actions are free from evil, oppression, injustice and free from being against true wisdom.

Rather He is As-Salaam(faultless) in truth in all ways and regards.

So it is known that Allaah’s entitlement to this name is greater than anyone who is attributed with this name.

This is the correct way to deny anthropomorphism*, by which He himself denied anthropomorphism and so did his messenger صلى  اللهُ عليه وسلم. Freeing Him from having a child, or from being similar to or equal  to  or resembling anything. Freeing Him from having any partners. Hence if you look at each of His perfect attributes of Allaah, you will find every attribute free from any form of negatives:

His Life is free from death, slumber or deep-sleep.

Similarly His Qayyoomiyyah(being self subsistent) and His Qudrah (power, omnipotence, ability, etc) are free from tiredness, fatigue or exhaustion.

His knowledge is free from anything escaping it,or showing forgetfulness or a need for recollection and speculation.

His will is free from being against true wisdom and not being beneficial.

His speech is free from lie and injustice, rather

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا ۚ

His speech has been fulfilled in truth and justice.

(AlAn’aam:115)

His Ghina(being free from any need) is free from dependence on things in any sense, rather every single thing is dependent on Him while He is independent of everything.

His reign is free from having any contenders for it or having any partners, requiring any helper or supporter. No one intercedes with Him except after He permits.

His Ilaahiyyah(divinity, being worthy of worship, etc.) is free from having any partners alongside Him in ilaahiyyah. Rather He is Allaah, there is nothing worthy of worship except Him.

His Hilm (gentleness), pardon and forgiveness are free from being out of need for anyone or  humbleness, or out of expectation from the one forgiven as it is seen from other than Him, rather it is pure generosity, beneficence and kindness.

Similarly His torment, His revenge, His strong strike, and His swift punishment are all free from being unjust, having a thirst for revenge, harshness or cruelty. But it is His genuine wisdom, justice, and His settling things to its proper place. And it is from the reasons for Him to be praised, just like His kindness, His rewards and His favors are reasons for Him to be praised.

But if reward is given in place of punishment it is surely contradictory to His wisdom and His glory(Izzah). Giving punishment at its proper place is from His justice, wisdom and glory. So He is free from what His ignorant enemies imagine against His wisdom

His Qadaa and Qadar (destiny and predecree) are free from being mere play, injustice or oppression, and from those who imagine him to be not in clear wisdom

His Shariyyah(rulings) and Religion are free from contradiction, inconsistency, discrepancy, disorder and disparity. They do not have that which contradicts good, mercy and benefit to the slaves of Allaah or His wisdom. Rather the Shariyyah is in total, His wisdom, mercy, justice. All of it is completely beneficial.

His giving to His slaves is free from any expectation or being in turn in  need  of the one to whom  He gives.

His deprival from giving is free from stinginess and fear of poverty. Rather His giving to His slaves is sincere and not from any expectation or being in need and His holding back something is justice, genuine and wisdom there is nothing of stinginess or incapacity in it.

His raising over the throne is free from Him being needy of the throne, rather the throne depends on Him. He is in no need of the throne or anything other than that. The raising over the throne does not result in any restriction, limit, need  towards the Throne or the Throne encompassing Him. He – Glorious and High is He, existed before the Throne was created, He never had any need for it He is Al-Ghanee and Al-Hameed.

Rather His raising over the throne and his being above His creations are the consequences of His kingdom and subjugation, with there being a need for His Throne or anything other than it in any sense whatsoever.

His perfection is free from what the Mu’attilah[those who deny His Names, attributes that are affirmed in the Qur’an and Sunnah] and Mushabbihah[those who believe that the attributes of Allaah and the attributes of His creations are equal] think about Him. He is free from being below anything or being encircled inside anything, Most High is our Lord from everything that contradicts His perfection.

His needlessness, hearing, sight are free from the imaginations of the Mushabbiha[those who believe that the attributes of Allaah and the attributes of His creations are equal] and from the allegations of the Mu’attilah[those who deny His Names, attributes that are affirmed in the Qur’an and Sunnah] .

His Mawalah [mawalah is a multi-dimensional word, meaning friendship, protection, gaurdianship, or support] to His Awliyyah is free from being lowly or humble as it happens in the mawalah between the creations but it is a mawalah of mercy, kindness, beneficence as Allah says

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ وَلِيٌّ مِّنَ الذُّلِّ ۖ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا

And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son (nor an offspring), and Who has no partner in (His) Dominion, nor He is low to have a Wali (helper, protector or supporter). And magnify Him with all the magnificence, [Allahu-Akbar (Allah is the Most Great)].”

So He did not negate for himself a walee completely, but he negated for him a walee out of lowness or weakness.

Similarly His love is free from the restrictions of the love between the creations. Their love is based on their need for each other, or flattery or for a profit in being near to one another. And it is free from the allegations of the Mu’attilah regarding it.

Similarly what He has described Himself with, like His Hand and His Face, then they are surely free from what the Mushabbihah and the Muattilah consider about it.

So ponder over how this name Al-Salaam includes everything that opposes negativity from Him تبارك وتعالى. How many of those who memorized this name do not know about what it includes from these secrets and meanings.

Allah is the one whose help is sought.

Reference:  بدائع الفوائد للإمام ابن القيم – رحمه الله -، 2/ 150 – 152، والطبعة المصرية، نشر مكتبة القاهرة، الطبعة التي طبعتها مكتبة الرياض الحديثة، 2/ 135 – 137 بتصرف يسير جداً.

Translation by Na’eem ibn Abdil Wadood

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Translator’s note-

Anthropomorphism: is the belief that Allaah is like His creation in any way, either in His essence, or His characteristics or His actions.

Allah Said:

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.

Naʹeem  ibn  Hammaad  al‐ Khuzaaʹee,the Shaykh of al‐Bukhaaree: ”Whoever makes Allaah similar to His creation has disbelieved.”

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