Using the title 'Your Highness' to address the rulers

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  • Publish date:08/05/2012
  • Section:FATWA FOR ALL
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Salaam alaykum brother. May Allah reward the Islamweb team for their efforts in enlightening Muslims. My question: "Can the the title 'Your Highness' and the like be used to address rulers when Highness is only applicable to Allah azzawajal?"


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him was asked about the terms: ‘Majesty’, ‘His Majesty and ‘His Highness’, and he answered saying: “It is permissible if the person about whom the statement is said deserves such description, and provided it is not feared that this will lead that person to pride and haughtiness.”
Moreover, the Permanent Committee of Iftaa’ answered a similar question saying: “Many names are common in wording and in general conceptual meaning between Allah and His Creatures, so they are attributed to Allah with a meaning that suits Him and befits His Majesty, and they are given to a creature with a meaning that suits him and is peculiar to him. For instance, we say Allah is Haleem (i.e. The Forbearing) and the Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham), may Allah exalt his mention, is also called Haleem, but the Hilm (the forbearance) of Ibraaheem is not the same like the Hilm (the forbearance) of Allah. Also, Allah is The Ar-Ra'oof (The Compassionate) and The Ar-Raheem (The Especially Merciful) and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) is also compassionate and raheem, but the compassion and mercy of the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) are not like the Compassion and Mercy of Allah with His Creation. Allah is also the Owner of Majesty and Honor and is the Most Generous in an absolute manner, but every Prophet is kareeem (generous) and honorable but these qualities of every Prophet are not like those of other Prophets, and also they are not like those of Allah, but every one has his own above qualities that befits him.”
Therefore, it is permissible to use those common names and attributes to refer to the creatures in a manner that suits them.

Allah Knows best.

Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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