The Uniqueness And Oneness Of God In His Names And Attributes

The uniqueness and oneness of God in His names and attributes indicates that God does not share in the attributes of created beings, nor do they share in any of His. God is unique in every way. He cannot be limited in any way, for He is The Creator of everything. God, The Most Great says, “God! None is worthy of worship but He, The Ever Living, The One who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what happens to them [His creatures] in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never encompass anything of His knowledge except that which He wills. The pedestal of His throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is The Most High, The Supreme.” [Qur’an 2:255]

In Islam it is forbidden to attribute to God characteristics of His creation. The only attributes that may be ascribed to God are the ones He revealed Himself in the Qur’an or those used by the Prophetp to describe Him. Many of God’s names and attributes seem to have equivalents on the human level, but this is only a reflection of human language. God’s attributes, like God Himself, are unlike anything in our experience. For instance, God has divine knowledge. Man has knowledge. God’s knowledge however, is nothing at all like the knowledge of human beings. God’s knowledge is unlimited (omniscient, The All Knowing). It is neither learned nor acquired. God’s knowledge encompasses all things without experiencing increase or decrease. Human knowledge, on the other hand, is acquired and limited. It is constantly changing, increasing and decreasing, and subject to forgetfulness and error.

God, The Irresistible, has divine will. The human being also has a will. God’s will always comes to pass. Like His divine knowledge, His will encompasses all things that God wants to come to pass in creation — past, present, and future. Human will, on the other hand, is merely an intention, a desire. It can only come to pass if God wills it to happen.

Human attributes cannot be ascribed to God. All human attributes are limited. God has no gender, weakness, or deficiency. God is beyond the human and creation attribute of gender. Here we have used the pronoun “He” only because there is no gender-neutral pronoun in English/Semitic languages, and it follows the conventions of English usage. When the royal “We” is used in the Qur’an to refer to God, it is for respect and in no way implies plurality. To ascribe to God attributes of created things is a form of polytheism. It is likewise a form of polytheism to ascribe to created things attributes that belong to God alone. For instance, anyone who believes that any other than God is The All-Wise or All Powerful has committed the sin of polytheism.
“Blessed be the name of your Lord, full of majesty, bounty, and honor.” [Qur’an 55:78]