Part 1 : Praising Allah and Regarding Him Pure

Praise belongs to Allah Who is exalted above (all the creation) in His Oneness,1

and is near (to His creation) in His loneliness.2 Sublime is His authority, and great are the pillars3 of His (names).

1 While He is matchless and thus cannot be compared with His creation by the term “being above”, He is exalted.

2 While nothing is beside Him, He is close to everyone.

3 According to the traditions, Allah has created twelve pillars out of His three major names. These pillars are, in turn, the foundations of 120 names of Allah. cf. al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 112, Hadith 1.

His knowledge encompasses everything while He is lofty in status.1

He subdues all the creation through His power and evidence.

He has always been praiseworthy and shall always be praised.

[He is the glorified Whose glory has no end. He begins and repeats (the creation),2

1 This means that Allah does not need to move into the places of the objects to encompass them in knowledge. It can be proven by reason that Allah has no place, for He is the creator of place. He does not need His creation, and He was eternally existent before any of His creation. Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said, “… Certainly, Allah formed the quality, and thus He is without quality.

He positioned the place, and thus He is without place.” (al-Tawhid, p. 125, Hadith 3; Bihar al- Anwar, vol. 4, p. 143, Hadith 13). Therefore, the word “Makan”, in the sermon, refers to “Makanah” or “Manzilah”, which means lofty position in terms of importance and magnificence, and not physical place.

Implying the same meaning, one may possibly return the pronoun in the second sentence to “everything” instead of Allah. Then, the phrase is translated as: “His knowledge encompasses everything while everything is in its own place.” 2 cf. the Holy Quran, Chapter 30, Verse 11.

and to Him all affairs are returned.

He is the maker of what has been elevated (i.e., heavens),

the expander of what has been spread out (i.e., the earth),

and the dominator of the planets and the heavens.

He is holy and exalted above all purifications, the Lord of the angels and the spirit.

He grants to all that He created.

He prolongs His grace to all that He originated.

He sees all eyes, and eyes do not see Him.

He is generous, forbearing, and patient.

He made His mercy encompass everything,2

1 For the explanation of the marks after the brackets, see the endnotes. 2 cf. Chapter 40, Verse 7 of the Holy Quran.

and He favored them by His grace.

He does not hasten His revenge,

nor does He take the initiative on what (He knows) they deserve of His punishment.

He comprehends the secrets, and knows what the hearts conceal.

Hidden things are not concealed from Him,

nor do they make Him doubtful.

He encompasses (in knowledge) and dominates everything,

and has strength and power over everything.

Nothing is like Him1, and He is the establisher of “the thing” when it was nothing.

1 cf. Chapter 42, Verse 11 of the Holy Quran.

He is everlasting [and free of need]., who acts justly;

He is exalted beyond being grasped by visions, while He grasps all visions, and He is subtle, well aware (of all things).2

None can reach His description by seeing Him, nor can anyone find out how He is, secretly or openly, and (He is not known) except by what Allah, the mighty and the majestic, has made as the signs of Himself.3 .Uae.B.G.5

1 cf. Chapter 3, Verse 18 of the Holy Quran.

2 cf. Chapter 6, Verse 103 of the Holy Quran. The word "visions" mentioned in this verse is not limited to seeing by eyes. It covers all types of vision and perception as it is used in a plural form in the verse. Under the commentary of this verse, Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said: “Verily, thinking or imagination of the mind is greater than the vision of the eyes. Thus, (the verse means) minds can not reach Him, and He reaches to all minds.” (al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 98, Hadith #10; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 4, p. 39, Hadith #16).

3 The recognition of Allah for us is only through His signs, not by grasping His Essence. Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said, “Anything that is known by itself (i.e., by the comprehension of its essence) is a created thing.” Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) also said, “Allah is recognized by the signs and is proven by the indications.” Furthermore, Imam al- I testify that He is Allah, Whose holiness overspreads all ages,

Whose light overwhelms perpetuity1, Who enforces His command without consulting an advisor.

There is no partner with Him in (His) planning, nor is there any discrepancy in (His) management.

He shaped whatever He originated without a preexisting model, Baqir (PBUH) said, “Allah is not recognized by analogy (between the creations), nor is He perceived by senses, nor does He resemble people. He is introduced by signs and is recognized by marks.” See: al-Tawhid, p. 35, Hadith 2, p. 47, Hadith 9, and p. 108, Hadith 5, respectively.

1 It refers to what Allah sustains in the Hereafter forever. This cannot be compared to His Eternity, as He has no similarity whatsoever with His creation, including His light, which is the light of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and His family (Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)).

and created whatever He created without getting assistance from anyone, burdening Himself, or having any need to find out a solution.

He originated it (in His will), thus it came into being, and He formed it (in His intention), thus it became distinct.1 So, He is Allah, the One that there is no god but He,

Who is proficient in skill, and beautiful in action.

He is the just Who never oppresses, and the most generous to Whom all affairs are referred.2

I further testify that He is [Allah]¦ that before His magnificence everything is lowly, before His might everything is humble,

1 For the explanation of the will and the intention of Allah towards His creation, see al-Tawhid, p. 334, Hadith 9; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 5, p. 102, Hadith 27.

2 cf. Chapter 57, Verse 5 of the Holy Quran.

before His power everything surrenders, and before His awe everything yields.

He is the king of all domains, the turner of the heavenly bodies in their orbits,

the dominator of the sun and the moon, each of which pursues its course to an appointed time. He makes night overtake day, and day overtake night, (each one) seeking the other rapidly1.

He is the destroyer of every stubborn tyrant, and the annihilator of every rebellious Satan.

Neither has there been any opposing power beside Him, nor any peer.

1 cf. verses 39:5 and 7:54 of the Holy Quran.

He is Unique and impenetrable. 1 He never begets nor is He begotten, and none can ever be a match for Him.2

He is the only God, the glorious Lord, Who wills, and thus carries out, Who intends, and thus decrees, Who knows, and thus takes into account.

He causes death and gives life. He impoverishes and enriches.3 He makes (men) laugh and makes (them) weep.4 [He brings near and drives away.]. He denies and grants.

For Him is sovereignty, so is praise. In His hand is all goodness, and He is powerful to do everything.5

1 Allah is impenetrable (al-Samad) meaning that there is no way to comprehend His Essence. On the meaning of al-Samad, Imam al- Sadiq (PBUH) said, “It means the One that there is no entry in Him.” (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 82, p. 53).

2 cf. Chapter 112 of the Holy Quran.

3 cf. Chapter 39, Verse 52 of the Holy Quran.

4 cf. Chapter 53, Verses 43-44 of the Holy Quran.

5 cf. Chapter 64, Verse 1, and Chapter 3, Verse 26 of the Holy Quran. He lets night enter the day, and day enter night;1 there is no god but He, the mighty, the oft-forgiving.

He is the responder to supplication, open-handed in granting, the enumerator of breaths, and the Lord of the Jinn and the humans.

Neither does anything bring difficulty for Him, nor does the cry of those who appeal for help annoy Him, nor does the insistence of those who insist exhaust Him or force Him to assent.

He (is Who) protected the righteous, and gave success to the prosperous.

He is the guardian of the faithful, and the Lord of the worlds, Who deserves that all His creations thank Him and praise Him [in any situation. 1 cf. Chapter 57, Verse 6 of the Holy Quran. I (therefore) praise Him and thank Him]¦ in joy and sorrow, and in hardship and comfort. I believe in Him, His angels, His books, and His messengers.

I listen to His command, obey Him, proceed towards whatever pleases Him, and submit to what He decreed, longing for His obedience and fearing His punishment,1

for He is Allah against Whose schemes no one should feel secure, nor should anyone be in fear of injustice from Him.

1 This phrase, among many other pieces of evidence from the Quran and the traditions, proves that, despite some unfounded claims, even the best human beings were obeying Allah while fearful of His punishment, though their major goal in worship was to thank Allah for His blessings. See also Verses 76:7, 76:10, 6:15, 7:205, 10:15, 13:21, 14:14, 24:37, and 32:16 of the Holy Quran concerning the fear of Allah’s best servants from His punishment.