THOSE WHICH ARE NOT HIS: AN INFERENCE ON SOME OF YORÙBÁ ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH (GOD) By Hamdi Juhm
THOSE WHICH ARE NOT HIS:
AN INFERENCE OF SOME OF YORÙBÁ ATTRIBUTES OF ALLAH (GOD)
We give praises and adore Allah, the most High. The only One worthy to be called God. The One that no one else deserves to be worshipped except Him. We worship Him, but do we do it right? We praise Him, but do we not go beyond the limits? We call on His names, but call Him by other than His. We strive to please The One who fashioned and created us. Do we ever rethink and realize if we have actually been displeasing The All Mighty Almighty?
Verily, if only we had known, that our quest for His mercy through our worship and praise had gone wrong. If only we had known that our day to day utterances aimed at praising Him, born His displeasure. We give Him names which are not His; names which have no record of approval, attributes contrary to His Powerful Being. We contradict ourselves each and every living day of our lives. We live against the teachings in the Quran.
We may start to wonder where we have gone wrong. Not learning our Deen (religion) is in fact, our biggest mistake. Had we stick to learning and taking knowledge from the right sources, the concept of Tawheed would, to a significant extent, play an important role in restraining our hearts from wrong thoughts about Allah and giving Him unbefitting names and attributes or saying things that are against His being, thereby reducing the weights of our scales of sins.
Above all, the simplest of proofs is that which Allah says in Surah Ikhlas (Qur’ân 112:4) that “Nor is there any equivalent to Him”. Another translation will go by “And there is none comparable to Him”. To save all vocabulary, everyone does understand when it is said in clear terms that “There is no one like Him“.
How and why should an attribute like ‘Abetílu/Elétílu kára bíi ajere‘ (One whose ears are pierced like that of Ajere) be a befitting attribute or name of God when ‘ajere’ is a kind of vessel/basket for keeping nuts (usually palm nuts) for ifa divination. How then can a person be so certain that God’s ears are (pierced) like this very (idolatry) basket/vessel? Truly, Allah says He hears/All hearing ( Qur’ân 2:181,224,227,244, Qur’ân 4:58,134, etc) but it is sinful to ever think they’re like any of His creatures. He says He has hands (Qur’ân 3:73, 48:10, 57:29) but it is sinful to call Him ‘Ọlọ́wọ́ gbọgbọrọ’ (The One who has long hands). He sees (Qur’ân 4:134, 22:61,75) but it is derogatory to give a liken to His Sight. No one has ever seen Him and He never gave a vivid description of His Mighty Being. Why must we then sin by trying to make an image of Him when there has been a warning against such action?
Allah is Al-Malik (The King) and Maalikal-Mulk (King of Kings). Calling Him ‘Aládé wúrà‘ (Owner of golden crown) is demeaning. He’s a King that needs no crown, let alone being golden or made of anything that His creatures use/wear.
There is no equivalent of Him. Likening Him and His activities to human activities is a grave error. Where has it been said that He wears clothes? If none, why bother to give him ‘Agbádá‘ (a certain Yoruba wear usually used to be worn by men of high status) . Not even just any Agbádá but ‘Agbádá iná‘ (Agbádá made of fire). Going as far as saying He has underwear of sun/ wears sun as His underwear/undergarment (Aláwọ̀tẹ́lẹ̀ Òòrùn).
Allah is strong. No strength matches His. To ‘praise’ Him as ‘Òyìgìyígí ojú ọ̀run‘ belittles His strength. When ‘Òyìgìyígí’ may have been said to be stone, or something round and big, or the attribute of being strong (of a stone), it is unbefitting to say God is as strong/stone/round and big or is the strength of the sky (‘Òyìgìyígí ojú ọ̀run’) . Which of these ever makes sense to sensible human beings?
“… Neither drowsiness nor sleep overtakes Him” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:255). How then can He be ‘Ọba Ajídárà‘ (The king who wakes up to perform wonders) when He never sleeps to wake up before performing His Miracles and Wonders? Have we not gone far beyond limits in praising God? Have we not been taking Him to be equal to man or His other creatures?
Allah is the Greatest. The greatest of the greatest of what man knows or can think of. He is not ‘Atẹ́rẹrẹ kárí ayé‘ (He extends over the earth). Ayé (earth) is not the biggest planet or heavenly body. The smallest star is bigger than the biggest planet.
His Kursiy (footstool) extends over the heavens and the earths. It is authentic according to the two Sahih Hadith (Bukhari and Muslim) that Ibn `Abbas (Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “If the seven heavens and the seven earths were flattened and laid side by side, they would add up to the size of a ring in a desert, compared to the Kursi.” A ring (of the finger) in a desert, how lost would that ring be? Then, not just the earth but the seven earths and heavens (recall that the heavens contain the planets, stars, and those that are even unknown to man), laid side by side is like a ring compared to God’s footstool. How mighty do we think His throne is? Is it then not degrading, demeaning and derogatory to say He extends on/over the earth?
Have these and many more, not contradicted the popular Yorùbá song/saying “Ta la bá fi ọ́ wé, ta ló lè bá ọ dọ́gba?… ” (Who shall we compare to You, who can be equivalent to You?…)
It is worthy of note that saying ‘Ọlọ́hun òò kádàrá…‘ (God didn’t destine….) is against Belief in Qadar (Destiny and predestination), that Allah has predestined everything about man and everything that will happen. It is rather safe to say ‘Ọlọ́hun kádàrá pé…‘ (God destined that… ” or ‘ó wà nínú àkọọ́lẹ̀ pé…’ (It has been predestined that..)
These are just a very few. How much more do we think we have said and how many limits we have crossed? We indeed have given Him those attributes which are not His.
© Hamdi Juhm
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