The difference between Allah's Names and Attributes
Q 4: What is
the difference between the Names and Attributes of Allah (Exalted be He)?
The Names of Allah (Exalted be He) are those names that refer to Allah's Dhat (Divine Essence) and also refer to one of His perfect Attributes; such as Al-Qadir (the All-Powerful), Al-`Alim (the All-Knowing), Al-Hakim (the Most Wise), As-Sami` (the All-Hearing), and Al-Basir (the All-Seeing). These Names refer to Allah Himself (Exalted be He) and to His qualities of knowledge, wisdom, hearing and sight. His Attributes are perfect characteristics with which He is described; such as knowledge, wisdom, hearing and sight. His Names refer to two things, while His Attributes refer to one thing only. It is said that a Name includes the Attribute while the Attribute implies the Name. We must believe in all the Attributes that have been designated to Allah (Exalted be He), which He made known through Himself or through the Prophet (peace be upon him) in a manner that befits Him. We should also believe that He does not resemble any of His creation in any of His Attributes, just as He does not resemble them in His Essence. Allah (Exalted be He) says,
Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "He is Allâh, (the) One.
"Allâh-us-Samad (السيد الذي يصمد إليه في الحاجات) [Allâh the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, (He neither eats nor drinks)].
"He begets not, nor was He begotten.
"And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him."
He (Glorified be He) also says,
There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!