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How To Understand Allah’s Absoluteness?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Khan

Question: I have not understand the last point from this answer:

Universal Validity of Religions and the Issue of Takfir

‘To answer our question above, the first premise that Allah alone is absolute, and all forms are relative, is plainly wrong, and contradicted by the manifold existence of Allah’s determinations, which, though contingently necessary (wajib aradi) rather than inherently so, are no less absolute than the Divine itself.’

Can someone explain it to me?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states. Please pardon me for the undue delay in answering your question.

It is true that Allah alone is absolute, but Allah’s absoluteness pertains to His entity, His attributes, His actions and His rulings. So while something in and of itself might be logically possible, if Allah preeternally willed it to be, its occurrence would then be necessary (or absolute)… not in and of itself, but due to consideration of another factor (namely, the divine decree).

Sheikh Nuh (Allah preserve him) is using this distinction to refute those who claim that because Allah alone is absolute, those verses He revealed which affirm Islam as the final religion that abrogates all others are merely relative. The fallacy of this reasoning is that the verses of the Qur’an are from Allah’s eternal and unchanging speech, which signifies what Allah knows, and reveals what Allah has willed. So because Allah is absolute, so too are His attributes of knowledge, will, and speech (along with all other divine attributes of perfection). Hence while logically it is possible that Islam not abrogate all previous dispensations, that reality is necessary in light of Allah’s preeternal decision and His scripture that informs us of His decision.

It is also important to note that the sunna (prophetic way and teaching) also informs us of Allah’s preeternal decision, since the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) did not speak of his own accord, but spoke only what Allah revealed unto his blessed heart. As such, the confirmation from the sunna that Islam abrogates all other religions is also an absolute, mirroring as it were the absoluteness of Allah’s choice.

I hope that makes sense.

And Allah knows best.



Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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