The Attributes of God

 
Allah (God) is the Creator of all living things. We, human being, are the creation of God. God creates human being simply to worship Him as God says in the Quran chapter 51 verse 56, "I have only created jinns and men, that they may serve Me." That means human being is the servant of God and that makes God as the Master of human being. 
 
As a servant, a person must know the characteristics or nature of his Master. It is very important for him because by knowing the characteristics of his Master, a person (servant) is able to understand the commands of his Master and is able to serve the Master better. He will not misunderstand the rules set by the Master. Furthermore, by knowing the nature of his Boss, he knows how to behave.
 
When we (people) talk, we sometimes make mistakes in what we say. Sometimes we are not consistent in what we say. And sometimes we are not being honest in saying certain matters. However, God is not like that. God is The Truth, God doesn't make mistakes, God is not inconsistent and God doesn't break promises. Therefore, the best way to know and understand the characteristics of God is of course straight from God's words, that is the Quran, which is never changed since 1400 years ago and which has been proved many times through science as the truth.
 
By understanding the Qur’an, a person can find out the attributes or characteristics of God, the way that God “think” and “behave”. And if a person believes that God’s characteristics are the ones explained in the Qur’an, he will never be worried, sad, or stressful in whatever he faces. By understanding the “mind” of Allah, a person knows how to handle problems in his life. Believing in he attributes of God is one of the godly believes that human being must have.
 
Some of God’s attributes as stated in the Qur’an are as follows:
1.      God values human being merely based on his or her righteousness as stated in the Qur’an chapter 49 verse 13, “…Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you…”. So, God doesn’t consider a person’s wealth, cleverness, fame, beauty, status, and descendant to determine someone’s quality. God only considers the level of obedience towards God’s rules or the righteousness. The more a person obeys God’s rules, the more righteous he becomes and the higher his rank is in the sight of God. If a person truly believes that God has this attribute, he then will not be influenced by hedonistic perceptions that a person is successful if he is rich, famous, and so forth.
 
2.      Allah (God) will not change our condition if we ourselves don’t try to change it, as stated in the Qur’an chapter 13 verse 11, “…Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)…”. So, if, for example, a person has financial difficulties and he believes this attribute of God, he will focus on his efforts in trying to change his situation. He will not focus on the result of his efforts because the result is under God’s care. Because of that, the person is free from stress or worry.
 
3.      God gives fortune or prosperity to human being differently. In the Qur’an chapter 16 verse 71 God says, “God has bestowed His gifts of sustenance more freely on some of you than on others…” A person who believes that God gives sustenance differently among the people, will not be jealous of other people’s greater fortune. If, after working hard and trying his best effort, the result is not as good as his friend who doesn’t work as hard as him, he will not be disappointed. He will just say, “Praise be to Allah Who gives wealth more to others…”
 
4.      God does not put a burden greater than a person can bear, as in the Qur’an chapter 2 verse 286, “On no soul doth God place a burden greater than it can bear.” Actually, God knows the capacity of every human being. So, if calamity or bad thing happens to someone, God knows that he can handle it. The problem is the person doesn’t want to deal with the problem with his own capacity. He only wants to have easy way out. It’s just like a student having an exam tomorrow. If he studies hard days before the exam, of course he will pass with good grades but if he doesn’t study hard, he will fail! Thus, if a person believes that God will never put a burden beyond his capacity, when trouble comes, he will try with all his might to solve the problem as he believes he can handle it.
 
5.      God is not unfair to human being, as stated in the Qur’an chapter 10 verse 44, “Verily God will not deal unjustly with man in aught. It is man that wrongs his own soul.” When bad things happen, people often say that God is so unfair to them. “Why is it happening to me…? It’s so unfair.” God is the Creator of the universe and God is The Most Merciful, The Most Gracious, The Most Noble, The Most Wise and The Most Knowing of what is good for every one of us. Is it possible that out of such a Creator then come unfair things…? No way! The reason why people think that God is unfair is because people have different perception of what is good and what is bad for them. To people, good is when things happen according to their ego and desire, and bad is when things does not happen according to their ego and desire. Meanwhile, to God, when something can make people go to heaven, it is good. And when something can make people go to hell, it is called bad.
 
6.      God is with people who are patience as stated in the Qur’an chapter 2 verse 153, “O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer for God is with those who patiently persevere.” If a person has difficulty in his life and he believes in this attribute o f God, he will do the best effort and at the same time he will be patient as well as pray to God. God helps people who make efforts, pray, and patient in doing the efforts.
 
7.      God will test human being with good and bad things. Chapter 7 verse 167 “…We have tried them with both prosperity and adversity.” Chapter 21 verse 35, “…And We test you by evil and by good, by way of trial.” Many people pray to God so that no calamities, problems, sickness or other bad things befall upon them. Actually that’s the wrong way to pray. It is God’s nature to give human being both good and bad as tests in life, as a sign of God’s mercy upon human. Thus, a person must pray to God, “O Allah… Please make me strong in dealing with Your trials…”
 
8.      God will give reward to people who restrain from their desire as stated in chapter 79 verse 40-41, “And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord’s (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, (41) Their abode will be the heaven (garden).”  Corruption, stealing, cheating, stinginess, being prejudiced, unwillingness to help others… Those are low desires and if a person follows such desires, he will only get sins from God. But if a person has an intention to cheat, and then he remembers God and he restrains from cheating, that person will earn great reward from God. 
 
9.      God will give relief after difficulty. God says in the Qur’an chapter 94 verse 5-6, “So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief, (6)Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.“ So, God will never give never-ending difficulty to a person. But, this characteristic is guaranteed as long as the person does good effort in handling his difficulty (look at no. 2). If the person doesn’t do anything, God will not help him in giving the relief.
 
There are many more of attributes of God that can be learned from the Qur’an. The above are just some of them. It is important to understand the Qur’an so that the attributes of God can be understood well. Understanding the characters of the Master (God) will help us serve the Master better, therefore, earning the rewards that we need for our next life in the hereafter.