القدّوس (The Most Holy, the Most Pure, the Most Perfect)
Al Quddoos is on the structure of فعول, a form of mubalagah/intensification.
1.First meaning of (ق د س), is taharah (purity, cleanliness). The verb قدس is from the same root and it is used for the movement of a bucket. Why is it called قدس? Because from the bucket that has water, you will obtain purity and cleanliness. تقديس means تطهير, to purify and wash. تطهير is the highest form of cleanliness. There are three levels of cleanliness (as shown in the du`a’):
اللَّهُمَّ بَاعِدْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ خَطَايَاىَ كَمَا بَاعَدْتَ بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ اللَّهُمَّ نَقِّنِي مِنْ خَطَايَاىَ كَالثَّوْبِ الأَبْيَضِ مِنَ الدَّنَسِ اللَّهُمَّ اغْسِلْنِي مِنْ خَطَايَاىَ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ
‘O Allah, distance me from my sins just as You have distanced The East from The West, O Allah, purify me of my sins as a white robe is purified of filth, O Allah, cleanse me of my sins with snow, water, and ice.’
•Distancing (O Allah, distance me and my sins as between the east and west) Moving far away from dirt and deficiencies.
•Removing dirt/filth (purify me of my sins as a white robe is purified of filth) To remove the dirt, and make the place clear and empty of anything that is not clean. No naqs (fault) remains.
•Washing/Cleansing (cleanse me of my sins with snow, water, and ice) What’s the purpose of washing at the end? So that there is absolutely nothing that remains that is impure. So at the end you have something pure and clean.
“Al-bayt al-muqaddas” means the Purified House, the one in which people purify themselves from the filth of sins.
Jibril AS is called in Islam “al-ruh al-quds,” the Holy Spirit, because he was made from purity and cleanliness, and because he brings down the Qur’an, and through the Qur’an we cleanse ourselves, our character, our actions, and our intentions.
2. The second meaning of this root is barakah, a lot of goodness. So with this meaning, Al Quddoos means: The One who is Blessed, the One who is the Source of All Good, The One with a lot of Khayr. This root means to be or go far away. So Allah ta`ala (most High) is far from any impurity. He is the One who is far from, and untouched by, worldly imperfections or faults.
•Ibnul Qayyim states: Al Quddus means the One who is Free from and Above any sharr (evil), any naqs (deficieny) and any ‘ayb (fault). In other words, He is High Above what does not befit Him. He is THE Pure One. He doesn’t have any deficiency or fault.
•Ibn Katheer states: Al Quddus means the One free from any naqa’is (deficiencies). He also says Al Quddoos refers to the One who is attributed with the attributes of Perfection, for example: the attribute of Knowledge and of Creation.
•Al Bayhaqi states: Al Quddus is the One who is Taahir (Pure), and Uluww (High). The One who is Pure from having any children or partners.
According to al-Qurturbi, the name al-Quddūs also describes the One who is glorified and revered by the angels.
He is the One who is far from any imperfection, error, fault, and shortcoming and far from everything that is derogatory. The name al-Quddūs describes the unique, unimaginable purity and perfection that is Allāh, the One whose goodness and righteousness are beyond our understanding.
This name comes only twice in the Quran:
هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ ۖ هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ – 59:22
He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ – 59:23
He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.
هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيز الْحَكِيمُ – 59:24
He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ الْمَلِكِ الْقُدُّوسِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ – 62:1
Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is exalting Allah, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.
Narrated Ma’qil bin Yasar:
that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever says three times when he gets up in the morning: ‘A’udhu Billahis-Sami Al-‘Alim Min Ash-Shaitanir-Rajim’ and he recites three Ayat from the end of Surah Al-Hashr – Allah appoints seventy-thousand angels who say Salat upon him until the evening. If he dies on that day, he dies a martyr, and whoever reaches the evening, he holds the same status.” (Tirmidhi) Grade: Dai’f
When we look at Allah ta`ala as Al Quddus, what does it entail?
1. He is Free from the fault of shirk, or having any shareek.
He is Perfect. Who needs a partner? The one who needs help and cannot manage himself. Allah says in the Qur’an: Allahu laa ilaha ila Huwa—there is no one but Him.
2.He is Free from having any spouse or child.
3.He is Free from death.
He does not die, He does not sleep. The creation sleeps for energy and due to tiredness and all of the creation will die. He is free from these faults.
وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْحَيِّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ
—and place your trust in the One who is Ever-Living and does not die, (Qur’an 25:58)
كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ
—Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish. And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honour will abide forever, (Qur’an 55:26-27).
اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ ۚ لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ ۚ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ ۚ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ ۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ۖ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ – 2:255
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
4.He is Free from committing ظلم(injustice).
When do people commit ظلم? When they are overcome by their desires and wishes.
Abu Dharr reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, reported that Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, said:
يَا عِبَادِي، إِنِّي قَدْ حَرَّمْتُ الظُّلْمَ عَلَى نَفْسِي، وَجَعَلْتُهُ مُحَرَّمًا بَيْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَظَالَمُوا
O My servants! I have forbidden dhulm (oppression) for Myself, and I have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another. O My servants, all of you are astray except those whom I have guided, so seek guidance from Me and I shall guide you. O My servants, all of you are hungry except those whom I have fed, so seek food from Me and I shall feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except those whom I have clothed, so seek clothing from Me and I shall clothe you. O My servants, you commit sins by day and by night, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness from Me and I shall forgive you. O My servants, you will not attain harming Me so as to harm Me, and you will not attain benefiting Me so as to benefit Me. O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all as pious as the most pious heart of any individual amongst you, then this would not increase My Kingdom an iota. O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all as wicked as the most wicked heart of any individual amongst you, then this would not decrease My Kingdom an iota. O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I account for you, and then recompense you for. So he who finds good, let him praise Allah, and he who finds other than that, let him blame no one but himself. [Muslim]
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ ۖ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَاعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا – 4:40
Indeed, Allah does not do injustice, [even] as much as an atom’s weight; while if there is a good deed, He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward.
5.He is free from lying.
He is so Pure that He does not lie, or say anything that is untrue.
وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقًّا ۚ وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ قِيلًا – 4:122
[It is] the promise of Allah, [which is] truth, and who is more truthful than Allah in statement.
وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللَّهِ حَدِيثًا 4:87
—‘and who is truer than Allah in narration?
6.He is Free from dhalaal (error) or nisyaan (forgetfulness).
When Fir’awn asked Musa `alayhi salaam (peace be upon him) about the previous nations in surah Taha, he said:
لَا يَضِلُّ رَبِّي وَلَا يَنْسَى
My Rabb does not make a mistake and He does not forget. (20:52)
7.He is Free from faqr (poverty) and bukhl (stinginess).
Allah repeats many times in the Qur’an: ‘lahu Mulk as samawaati wal ardh—for Him is the Sovereignty of the heavens and earth.’ So how can the One who owns the heavens and the earth be poor?
وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ ۚ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُوا بِمَا قَالُوا ۘ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ ۚ -5:64
And the Jews say, “The hand of Allah is chained.” Chained are their hands, and cursed are they for what they say. Rather, both His hands are extended; He spends however He wills.
O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it. (Sahih Muslim)
8.He is Free from having a shabeeh (one who is similar to Him).
Allah is free from this imperfection. None is like Him, in any way.
هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيًّا—’Do you know of any who is similar to Him?’ (Qur’an 19:65)
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ —’there is nothing like unto Him.’ (Qur’an 42:11)
وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ —’And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him,’ (Qur’an 112:4).
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THIS NAME IN OUR LIVES:
1.This is a quality we should try and emulate.
How? If Allah is the Pure, and His Kalaam (speech) is Pure, how should our hearts be? Dirty? Filthy? Should we be unclean in our body, in our actions, in our intentions, in our `aqidah (creed)?
Clean `Aqeedah:We must have the right tawhid (belief in the Oneness of God) and the right eman (faith).
Clean hearts: Allah looks at our hearts, intentions and actions.
“Verily, Allah does not look to your faces and your wealth but He looks to your hearts and to your deeds,” (Muslim).
Be clean from shirk, from nifaaq (hypocrisy), from lies, from jealousy and all such vices.
Clean in our actions: first we should have physical taharah as cleanliness is half of faith
Indeed Allah is Beautiful and Loves beauty (Muslim).
Then we have to perform salah (prayer) so that we clean ourselves from the past sins.
The Prophet ﷺ asked the sahaba (his companions), if someone bathes in a river outside of his house five times a day, will there be any impurity left on him? (Muslim)
إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ —indeed the salah prevents from the indecency and evil, (Qur’an 29:45).
In giving zakaah and giving sadaqah (charity) for the sake of Allah ta`ala, Allah is Al Quddus, He deserves that which is good. When the sahaba would give sadaqah, it was the best sadaqah they could give. A’ishah radi Allahu anha would clean the sadaqah she gave and perfume it, and she would say: ‘It goes in the Hand of Allah before it goes in the hand of the one who is asking.’
2. Imperfections of this world exist so that we turn towards Allah who is free from any imperfections.
Our responsibility as servants of Allah is to turn away from this imperfect world and direct ourselves towards Allah.
3. Dua invoking Al Quddus
Dua in prostration: سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ رَبُّ الْمَلَائِكَةِ وَالرُّوحِ
Subooh: the One who is Praised a lot; Quddus: the One who is very Pure; Rabb ul malaa’ikati war rooh: Lord of the angels and of Jibril.
It is humility: we acknowledge Allah’s Purity and that He is Rabb, and it reminds us how small we are.
We can also make du`a’ to Allah with the Name Al Quddus when we want barakah in your time and energy. Remember the second meaning of Al Quddus is Al Mubaarak. Also we can make du`a’ with this Name when we want to develop sincerity and call upon the Pure to purify our intentions.