This is about Subhan Allah [the phrase glorifying God].
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
We say Glory be to God for the following reasons:
- He is Absolutely Powerful via the Power essential to His being God, Absolutely Wealthy and free of powerlessness and need.
- He is Absolutely Perfect in His Being, Attributes and acts, and has no fault or defect. His works’ perfections point to His acts’ perfection, which points to His Names’ perfection. His Names’ perfection indicate His Attributes perfection, which testifies to His Essence’s perfection. All perfection and beauty are but a dim shadow of His Perfection and Beauty. All people of spiritual experience and discovery, as well as those who unveil hidden truths in creation, agree that creation is a shadow of the Necessarily Existent Being’s lights.
- He is One and Single. He has no partners in His dominion, for the work’s unity points to its doer’s unity; in His being Lord and Sustainer, as indicated by the Pen’s unity [“writing” on the “page” of time and space]; or in His Divinity, as Divinity requires absolute independence and being unique and peerless.
- He is All-Powerful and beginningless, without helpers and ministers, as such finite contingencies would put limits on the infinite, perfect Power.
- He is eternal and beginningless, without like or equal.
- He is the Necessarily Existent One, Who has no necessities pertaining to contingencies.
- His is the highest comparison in the heavens and earth.44 He is All-Mighty, All-Wise, and has no qualities attributed to Him by those with false beliefs. He has no defect, for faults and defects are particular to contingent mortals. As God is the Necessarily Existent Being, how could they be attributed to Him?
- He is the Perpetual, Eternal One Who does not change or alter, for these characteristics are particular to contingent, created beings and contrary to His absolutely necessary Existence and Oneness.
- He is the Creator of creation and space Who has no division and is not contained in space, for that is incompatible with the absolute independence essential to the Divine Being.
- He is the Eternal, Permanent One Who has no beginning or end.
- He is the Necessarily Existent Being, free of and exempt from whatever is not fitting for Him, such as incarnation and union.45 What relation can soil or something made of soil have with the Lord of all those who claim lordship? Being limited means being dominated, and saying that God begets something means placing limits on Him. He is absolutely free of and exempt from such mistaken beliefs and conceptions.
- He is the One Whom all angels and all that is in the heavens and on Earth glorify through what the Pen of Destiny has inscribed on their foreheads.
44 Since God Almighty is absolutely infinite, we cannot perceive His Essence. Therefore, to give us some knowledge and understanding of His Attributes, He usually speaks in parables, similitudes, or comparisons. (Tr.)
45 Incarnation is the belief that God assumes a human body. Union is the belief that a human being can unite with God in spirit, thus becoming a god in human form. Islam negates such beliefs. (Tr.)