So who is Allah?
ALLAH Subhan wa Ta’ala introduced Himself and asked us to reflect on His Asma was Sifaat – Names and Attributes – so that His awe and majesty may permeate our hearts.
Before He introduced Himself He told us that the people of the Hellfire and the people of Jannahare not equal. They are on two different paths leading to two different places. Islam gives people the choice to choose the path that they want to follow and nobody is compelled to follow any particular path. However each path leads to a different place. He said:
Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise. It is the dwellers of Paradise who will be successful. (Hashr 59:20)
Allah then mentioned His Glorious Book and said:
Had We sent down this Qur’an on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allâh. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect. (Hashr 59:21)
Allah gives us examples so that we may reflect on His Glory and Majesty and remind ourselves of who it is that we worship. He then introduced Himself thus:
He is Allâh, than Whom there is Lâ ilâha illa Huwa, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen (open). He is the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. He is Allâh than Whom there is Lâ ilâha illa Huwa, the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allâh! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him. He is Allâh, the Creator, the Inventor of all things, the Bestower of forms. To Him belong the Best Name. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (Hashr 59:22-24)
This is who we worship – not a stone, a concept, a human being, an idea or anything in creation – but the Creator Himself. We worship Him without any partners, associates, assistants or equals. Because He is alone in His Grace, Power and Majesty – unequalled, unparalled and incomparable. This is not our concept of Allah but how Allah described Himself. In Islam Allah is not a concept. Allah is real. Taqwa is to develop this connection with Him, this awareness of His being, such that to displease Him is something that the Muslim is terrified of doing. That is the meaning of ‘fear of Allah’
That is why there is no contradiction between ‘loving’ Allah and ‘fearing’ Allah because both result in the same outcome i.e. fearing to displease Him.
Allah promised Al Hidaya (guidance) only to those who have Taqwa. He said:
This is the Book (the Qur’an), in which there is no doubt, a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqoon. (Baqara 2:2)
Allah loves the Muttaqeen. He said:
Verily, for the Muttaqun, there will be success (Jannah) (Naba 78:31)
He encouraged us to race towards Jannah which is for the Muttaqoon. He said:
And race towards the forgiveness from your Rabb, and for Jannah as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqoon. (A’al Imraan 3:133)
And He said:
And (when) it is said to those who are the Muttaqoon, “What is it that your Rabb has sent down?” They say: “That which is good.” For those who do good in this world, there is good, and the home of the Hereafter will be better. And excellent indeed will be the home of the Muttaqoon. ‘Adn (Jannah) which they will enter, under which rivers flow, they will have therein all that they wish. Thus Allah rewards the Muttaqoon. Those whose lives the angels take while they are in a pious state (state of Taqwa) saying (to them): Salamun ‘Alaikum enter Jannah, because of (the good) which you used to do (in the world). (Nahl 16:30-32)
And finally He said:
And those who kept their duty to their Rabb will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salamun ‘Alaikum! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein. And they will say: “All praises and thanks be to Allah Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land. We can dwell in Paradise where we will; how excellent a reward for the (pious good) workers!” And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne (of Allah) from all round, glorifying the praises of their Rabb (Allah). And they (all the creatures) will be judged with truth, and it will be said. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Rabb of the ‘Alamin (all that exists).” (Zumar 39: 73-75)