God’s inherent and active characteristics

SHAFAQNA – Muslim Scholar Kolayni in his book mentioned the criterion for distinguishing between inherent and actual characteristics of Allah (SWT) [1]. He explained that the inherent characteristics are those that are exclusive to Allah (SWT) and the opposites of them cannot be applied to the Almighty; such as living or alive which the opposite of it, death cannot be applied to God.

The active characteristics can be applied to Allah (SWT) and others such as angels or complete human beings; in Ayah 258 of Surah Al-Baqarah is mentioned that God is the One who gives life and takes it, in Ayah 11 of Surah Al-Sejdah says: The Angel of Death who has been given charge of you will gather you in, then you will be returned to your God. Also in Ayah 49 of Surah Al-e-Imran, Prophet Jesus (AS) said: As a Messenger to the Children of Israel: I have brought you a sign from your God. I shall create something in the shape of a bird for you out of clay and blow into it so it will become a bird with God’s permission.

[1] Kafi by Kolayni, Vol. 1, page 111.

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