There is no topic in the religion of Islam more important than that of iman; the entirety of one’s faith begins with a firm conviction in the oneness of Allah and His right to be worshipped alone. From this stems all of the other tenets of faith. One cannot believe in Allah’s angels, His books, or His messengers until they first have faith in Him.
Though we have an intrinsic knowledge of Allah, it is only through revelation that we learn the details of Allah’s perfect names and lofty attributes. And our faith is directly connected to this knowledge; as our knowledge of Him grows, so too does our faith. In fact, the motivation to serve Allah, the hope in His reward, and the fear of failing to gain His pleasure are all intrinsically tied to knowing who He is. Perhaps this is why Ibn al-Qayyim says, “knowing Allah is the foundation of all knowledge”, for without this knowledge, we cannot possibly put life into perspective.
In this series on the divine names, our authors draw on revelatory texts to highlight the various meanings and manifestations of Allah’s names, attempting to help the reader further draw closer to Allah and develop yaqeen. Those who truly understand Allah’s names are better equipped to deal with the challenges of life and solidify their relationship with Him. In the words of the erudite scholar, Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751), “Whoever knows Allah will inevitably love him. ِAnd when one loves Allah, the clouds of darkness dissipate from him. Grief, anxiety, and sorrow are removed from the heart, and it is [then] filled with joy and happiness.”