The Semantic Study of the Names and Attributes of Allah in Imam ‘Ali’s (a.s) Point of View



The belief in Allah and having the inclination towards Him is of the innate human disposition; and human beings have throughout the history sought to know their God and many have undeservingly applied the quest to false gods whom they have worshiped. In order to know Allah, some people liken Him to human beings or other creatures and even they attribute a body to Him; yet others establish absolute transcendence of God in order to avoid comparison claiming that they can by no means come to know God. Imam ‘Ali (a.s) rejects the comparison and establishes arguments on it such as the following: Allah has no match; the similarities among the creatures are the reasons of the uniqueness of Allah; Allah cannot be encompassed, etc. As for the rejection of anthropomorphism, he mentions some reasons and evidence such as the following: The impenetrable tremendousness of Allah withholds vision. Allah is pre-eternal; Allah is unmatched and place embraces Him not. He is never weary and incompetent and is not affected by suffering, and so forth. Thus, Imam ‘Ali (a.s.) interprets the Quranic verses which might have resulted in fanciful anthropomorphism. He does not establish the absolute transcendence of Allah, rather he knows that Allah can be discerned to the extent He Himself and His messengers did make Him known and as His signs and actions reveal. However, knowing the essence and the substance is by no means possible; The Imam (a.s) establishes some arguments for transcendence: Allah has no limits: Allah cannot be encompassed; Allah is beyond description.