Belief in God is best represented by the following formula which every Sunni, or orthodox Moslem must profess sincerely: God is one and has had no partner; Singular, without any like Him; Uniform having no contrary; Separate, having no equal; Ancient, having no first; Eternal, having no beginning; Everlasting, having no end; Ever–existing, without termination; Perpetual and Constant, with neither interruption nor termination; Ever qualified with the attributes of Supreme Greatness; nor is He bound to be determined by lapse of ages or times.
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Belief in God; What God is not
God is not a formed body; nor a measurable substance; neither does He resemble bodies, either in their being measurable or divisible. Neither is He a substance, nor do substances exist in Him; neither is He an accidental form, nor do accidentals exist in Him.
He is not like anything that exists, neither does anything resemble Him. He is not determined by dimensions, nor contained within bounds; nor is He
(1) As to His obvious existence.
(2) As to His reality
surrounded by sides; nor is He comprised within the heavens or earth. He sits upon the throne, after the manner which He Himself has described, and in that same sense which He Himself meant: it is a sitting, far removed from any notion of contact, or resting upon, or local situation; but both the throne itself, and whatsoever supports it, are sustained by the goodness of His power, and are conquered by His will. He is above His throne and above all things, but so above as at the same time not be a whit nearer to the throne and the heaven or farther from the earth.
God is exalted by infinite degrees above the throne, no less than He is exalted above the earth, and at the same time, He is near to everything that has being; nay, he is nearer to men than their jugular veins, and is witness to everything: though His nearness is not like the nearness of bodies; neither is His essence like the essence of bodies.
He does not exist in anything, nor does anything exist in Him; but He is too exalted, to be contained in any place, and too Holy, to be determined by time; for He existed before He created time and place; and He is now as he always existed.
He is also distinct from the creatures by His attributes, neither is there anything besides Himself in His essence, nor is His essence in any other besides Him.
He is too Holy to be subject to change, or any local motion; neither do any accidents dwell in Him, nor any contingencies befall Him; but He abides through all generations with His glorious attributes, free from all dissolution.
As to the attribute of perfection, He wants no addition of perfection. As to being, He is known to exist by the apprehension of the understanding, and seen as He is by the eyes, through a favour which will be vouchsafed out of His mercy and grace, to the holy in the eternal mansion, completing their joy by vision of His glorious presence.
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