The most precious kind of knowledge is to know Allah, the Exalted through His beauty. This is granted to the truly pious among His creatures, while others know Him through one of His attributes, while those who know Him the best know Him through His perfection, glory, and beauty.
There is nothing like Him in His attributes. If we assume that all creatures are beautiful and we think of the most beautiful one we know, and compare their inner and outer beauty to that of Allah, the Exalted, it will be like we are comparing the light of a candle to the sun.
Surely, if He withdraws the veil from His face, the splendor of His countenance would consume His creation. The beauty that is contained in the inner and outer elements of this worldly life and the Hereafter comes from the effect of His creation. What then, is the extent of beauty of the Creator?
He has all glory, power, charity, generosity, knowledge, and favor. With the light of His face, all darkness disappears. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in supplication of At-Ta’if, “I seek refuge with Your Face that darkness will go and without which both the affairs of this life and the Hereafter will go astray.”
‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Allah does not have either night or day: the light of the Heavens and the earth is from the light of His face.”
Allah, the Exalted is the light of the heavens and the earth and on the Day of Resurrection when Allah will judge mankind, the earth will shine from His light.
From among the names of Allah is “the most Graceful.” It was recorded in the sahih that the Prophet (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) said, “Verily, Allah is Graceful and He loves Grace.” (Muslim – Kitabul Iman)
The beauty of Allah is on four levels: the beauty of self, the beauty of His attributes, the beauty of His deeds, and the beauty of His names. All His names are beautiful, His attributes are all attributes of perfection, and His deeds are all wise, just, and merciful, and He considers the benefit of man.
Only Allah knows the beauty of self and what it is like, and His creatures only have some definitions that He bestowed upon some of His servants that He honored. This beauty is preserved away from others and is covered by a veil and a lower garment, as the Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Pride is my cloak and majesty is my lower garment.” And because pride is wider and greater, it deserves the name of cloak, as Allah is the Greatest and the Most High.
Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Allah covered His self with attributes and covered His attributes with deeds. What do you think about a beauty that is covered by the attributes of perfection and of glory and loftiness?”
From this some other meanings of beauty can be understood. The servant achieves progress from knowing the deeds and then the attributes, and from knowing the attributes to knowing the self. If he saw something among the beauty of deeds, he would reach the beauty of attributes and then he reaches the beauty of the self.
So all praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Exalted , and none of His creation can praise Him as He deserves, but only as He praises Himself and He deserves to be worshiped, loved, and praised. He loves His attributes and deeds as He loves His self. All of His deeds are beautiful and precious and there is nothing hateful among His deeds.
There is nothing in the universe that is loved and praised except Allah, the Exalted. And whatever is loved other than Him, if love is for the sake of Allah, this love is lawful otherwise it is not. And this is the reality of Lordship, s The true Lord is the one that is loved and praised. What then if we add to that His charity, favor, mercy, forgiveness, and piety?
The servant should <now that there is no god but Allah, so he would love and praise Him for His self and for His perfection and should know that there is no one that grants secret and public favors and blessings except Him, so he would love Him for His compassion and blessings.
As there is nothing similar to Him, loving Him is not like any kind of love; loving with submission is the kind of worship that Allah created all things for. It is the utmost love with the utmost humility and it cannot be shown except to Allah. Indeed to show it to other than Him is polytheism that Allah does not forgive if the doer dies in that state.
Praising Him includes two matters: being informed about His praiseworthy acts and His attributes of perfection, and loving Him because of them. If someone informs another person about their praiseworthy acts without loving him, he is not praising him. And whoever loves him without informing others about his praiseworthy acts, he is not praising him until he combines the two matters.
Allah, the Exalted praises Himself by Himself and praises Himself by the tongues of those who praise Him from among the angels, the Prophets, the Messengers, and the believers. They praise Him according to His wish and by His permission. He is the one, Who enables them to praise Him, and all things are done with His permission.
All blessings begin and end with Him; they begin with His praise and end with His praise. He inspires His servant to repent and is happy with it while it is from His favor and generosity and He inspires His servant to obey, helps him to do that, and rewards him for it! He is in no need of anything but all things are in deep need of Him at all times. The servant needs Him to help him to achieve his aims.
Whatever is not permitted by Him will never be and whatever is not done for His sake is useless.
By : Imam Ibnul Qayyim, From the book : Al-Fawaid