It goes without saying that Muslims are commanded to seek knowledge and reflect upon the universe and the creation of Allah in a way that makes us draw near to Him. However, we with our limited perception and human understanding are in no place to think of the entity of Allah, for it is far from our perception.

Imam Hasan Al-Banna in his ‘The Tract of `Aqa’id’ states that: “Know, my brother, may Allah guide me and you to the truth, that the nature of Allah (Glory be to Him) is too vast to be encompassed by the human mind or to be conceived by human ideas because however high the human mind may soar or however far human understanding may go, it is always limited in power and ability.

Here it suffices to remind you of what we surely know at present, which is that our minds, weak and strong, make use of many things which they know nothing about. Electricity and magnetism for example are forces which we use and benefit from, but we know nothing about their true nature. Not even the greatest scientist can inform you about the nature of these things. Knowledge of the reality and nature of things does not benefit us in any way, and it suffices for us to know their qualities in such a way that will benefit us.

If this is the situation regarding the concrete matters, what about the nature of Allah (Glory be to Him)? Many people who talked about the nature of Allah, glory be to Him, went astray. Their indulgence in that, caused them to be misled and to fight amongst each other because they had dwelled on matters which they cannot determine with their minds. This is why the Prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, forbade thinking about the nature of Allah (Glory be to Him) and commanded us to reflect on the creation of Allah.

Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, said that a group of people used to debate the nature of Allah, Glory be to Him, and the Prophet of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to them: “Ponder over the creation of Allah and do not ponder over the essence of Allah because your minds cannot possibly encompass that.”

This command does not mean to curb freedom of thought. It does not mean indifference to the search for truth, nor does it restrict the exercise of reason. Rather it is meant to protect the mind from falling into the pits of misguidance and keep it away from handling questions which it is not equipped to study, nor handle, however great its powers may be. This is the approach of the righteous servants of Allah who realize the greatness of His essence and the majesty of His position. Ash-Shibly, may Allah have mercy on his soul, was once asked about Allah, (Glory be to Him), and he answered: ‘He is Allah, the Only One, the Well-known, the Infinite, the Indescribable.’ Yahya-ibn-Mu`adh was also asked about Allah, glory be to Him, and he answered: ‘Your Lord is One.’ He was then asked, ‘What is He like?’ He said, ‘He is the Lord, the All Powerful.’ He was further asked, ‘Where is He?’ He answered: ‘He is the Ever Watchful (over His creation)’. Then the questioner further said: ‘I haven’t asked you about that.’ Ibn Mu`adh said: ‘What I have
described to you are the attributes of Allah. Anything else is the attributes of the created.’ Therefore, as a muslim you should confine your efforts to trying to grasp the greatness and majesty of your Lord through pondering over His creation and abiding by what His attributes entail.”

Almighty Allah knows best.