The Great Islamic Scholar, the Proof of Islam [Hujjathul Islam] ,the Mujaddid of the 5th Century of Hijra Imam Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali (Rah) (d.505.AH.Tus.Iran) wrote ,in his most noteworthy book on the theology of Islam , AL IQTIṢĀD FĪ AL-I’TIQAD: [ Moderationin Belief ]
“ALLAH is existent (mawjud),eternal a parte ante (Qadim) eternal a parte post (Baqi) ,not a substance (Jawher) ,not acomposite body (Jism) and neither He is an accident (‘arad) nor is He defined. He is not in direction,is seen and knowable and is one.”
“He does not accept divisibility which has no quantity neither definition nor magnitude. He is more perfect having no equal in any manner either in Essence or in Attributes. Thereis no plurality in Allah’s Essence either through Attributes or otherwise.
“He has seven Perfect Attributes(Sifaat) , [Seven as per Ash’ariyyah and Eight inMaturidiyyah] [the essential seven are “Life(Hyat), Knowledge(Ilm), Power(Qudrat),Will(Iradat), Seeing (Basr), Hearing (sam’;), Speech (Kalam)] [and Creating (Takwin) too in Maturudiyyah] ,which are not the Essence but rather they are
1) Eternaland subsistent in Essence, and that it is impossible that any aspect of theattributes is temporal.
2) Distinct (Existing separately and objectively)
3) Super added to the Essence (Dhat).
We maintain that theMaster of the world is Knowing according to Knowledge, Living according toLife, Powerful according to Power, Willing according to Will, Seeing accordingto Sight, Hearing according to Hearing, and Speaking according to Speech”
(The Divine attributes are notsomething other than Allah).
”All the attributes are all eternal because if they were originated the Eternal a parte ante would be a locus for contingent things which is absurd .It is impossible for a Necessary Essence(Wajibu Dhat) to possess possible Attributes. “
“When say “ALLAH” , we point to the Divine Essence(Dhat) together with the Attributes(Sifat) and not to the Essence alone because the term “ALLAH” could not be predicated of an Essence that is judged to be free from Attributes.”.
“[As against ] Philosophers [ and Christians] who say that attributes are essence, We believe that Attributes are not Essence but only superadded to the Essence. They are rather point to Essence.”
“The Essence is independent of Attributes but the Attribute depend on theEssence .
“All the attributes subsist in His Essence and none of them could possibly subsist without His Essence whether(the attribute is) in a locus or not“.
[There is no contradiction in this belief as, Imam adds:] “Just as the mind is capable of intellecting an Eternal existent(Allah) who has no cause, it is also capable of intellecting an Eternal existent who has Attributes and who has no cause for the existence of both”[essence as independent and attributes as super added].
[ ie, The Attribute are not something other than Allah and there in no Pleurality in His Essence either through attributes orotherwise].
On the Acts of Allah Most High:
“ Allah Most High is not obliged to give [any] commandment to Men, nor to create [them], nor to reward [their compliance with] the commandment, nor to observe what is best for his servants; that it is not absurd that Allah should give commandments that cannot be fulfilled; that Allah is not obliged to punish sinners; and that it is not impossible for Allah to send forth prophets; but that [all of these things] are possible for him”.
“The ignorant who hold wrong views about the belief in Allah and His attributes will be told (on the Day of judgment) ,”Thou was heedless of this; therefore, We have now removed from thee thy covering, and so thy sight Today is piercing .
“It will become evident to you, O seeker of instruction in the fundamental dogmas of the Sunnis, who demands to know their verification through decisive proofs, that the ability to achieve consistency between reason and its implementation is to be found in only one sect, which is this [the Sunni] Sect. I thank Allah Most High that He has caused you to follow in their footsteps and affiliate with the community of their order”
“To enter into their abundance and join company with their sect. For, perhaps in this way you will be able to be resurrected among their ranks on the Day of Reckoning”
“We ask God most high to cleanse our souls of the stains of error and that He will illuminate our souls with the light of truth; that He will cause our tongues to be silent rather than to speak words of falsity, and cause them to utter words of truth and wisdom. For, He is bounteous in the effusion of His grace and replete with Mercy”