In the first place, we should be very cautious while choosing our words. In talking about Almighty Allah, we should keep in mind that He, Glory be to Him, is the Ever-Merciful, the Ever-Compassionate. It is He Who knows us better than we know ourselves. However, this must not overlook the fact that Almighty Allah is severe in punishment; He is the Omnipotent and Omniscient. Allah can never be referred to as Evil. He is the source of goodness. Almighty Allah says: “Whatever good comes your way, it is from Allah and whatever ill strikes you, it is due to yourself” (An-Nisa: 79)
Regarding the attributes of Allah, Islam teaches that though Allah has many attributes, their full meanings cannot be grasped by man whose mental faculty is restricted to that which is manifest. Allah the Almighty is Unique and above human manifestation.
Unlike the case in other religions where Allah, the Lord of all humanity, is perceived differently, creating a physical image of Him, Muslims are warned against that, Allah is unique and superior to His creations. The Qur’an has made this clear: “There is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).” (As-Sura: 11)
The statement you referred to, dear questioner, actually stems from ignorance and lack of knowledge in choosing words when talking about Allah. This point refers to what is known in Arabic as Mushakalah. The word Mushakalah is used to denote an act with the same description given to another act so as to make the former clear in mind. Sheikh Ibrahim Salih Al-Husaini, Mufti of Nigeria, sheds light on some examples of such words used in the Qur’an as he says:
“Revealed in Arabic, the Qur’an is to be explained and interpreted in the same language. Any one who wants to understand the meanings of the Qur’an should be proper at Arabic. In Arabic there is something called Mushakalah (isomorphism). In Arabic this term is used to refer to words that resemble one another in form but the doer is different and the act is different. Verses that exemplify this meaning include the following: “And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers.” (Al-`Imran: 54)
This verse does in no way mean that Allah schemed like people. Rather, it just makes it clear that as the people in question schemed Almighty Allah nullified their conspiracy and invalidated their scheme.”
In the same vein, we can say that the words may mean, if you are a gangster and conspirator, Allah will invalidate your conspiracy and will demolish your evil deeds and nip the deviant behavior of yours in the bud.
Again, we stress the fact that we should be cautious when talking about Almighty Allah so as not to fall into the abyss of unclean words inadvertently
Shedding more light on the issue, Sheikh `Abdel-Khaliq Hasan Ash-Shareef, a prominent Muslim scholar and Da`iyah, states the following:
“Among the Fairest Names of Allah is the name ‘Al-Jabbar’ (The Sublime Potentate). However, we should abstain from talking about Almighty Allah while using names or attributes that are neither recorded in the Qur’an nor in the Sunnah. It is true that there are many other names of Allah, as clear in the Hadith that reads: “I beseech You by all Your Names, those which You use to refer to Yourself, or have revealed in Your Book, or have taught to any one of Your creation, or which You have chosen to be kept hidden with You in the Unseen”. But we have to know that the Names of Allah are known only through Divine revelation; they are of no limited number. We use only those Names known to us.
As regard the point in hand, it is not suitable at all to use such an improper description while talking about Almighty Allah due to two main reasons; first, such address is neither recorded in the Qur’an nor in authentic Hadiths. Second, such address may be construed by some people as indicating something that totally involves imperfection to some extent and thus are to be avoided.”
In his Tract of `Aqa’id (Islamic Creed), late Imam Hasan Al-Banna, may Allah bless his soul, wrote the following:
“The inadmissibility of changing or inventing Names or Attributes for Allah:
Majority of Muslim scholars agree that it is inadmissible to ascribe to Allah a name or an attribute that is not mentioned in the Shari`ah with the intention of addressing Allah by it even if it gives the impression of perfection. It is not right, for example, to describe Allah as the “engineer of the universe or the “Director General of human affairs”. This description is not acceptable in cases where they are construed as names or attributes conventionally ascribed to Allah. However, if such phrases are used in a certain context to explain the actions of Allah and make it easier for people to understand, then there is nothing wrong with that. However, it is better to refrain from using such phrases out of reverence for Allah.”
Dear questioner, it’s clear in light of the above-mentioned facts that Muslims must be cautious in choosing words when addressing Almighty Allah, especially as we know that words are construed by people in a different way, according to their mental perception and religious awareness. Despite the fact that Allah Almighty is Most Powerful and the Supreme Lord who has power to destroy anything at anytime, it’s not proper to address Him as “the greatest terror”, taking that as a unique attribute of Allah. This stems from the fact that Allah’s mercy is overflowing and it precedes His Wrath. He never punishes save those who transgress limit. Even for them, His door of mercy is wide open! So we Muslims believe that our God is the Lord of Mercy, not the Master of Terror!
Almighty Allah knows best.