Addressing Allaah with third person pronoun
Fatwa No: 332530

  • Fatwa Date:27-9-2016 - Thul-Hijjah 25, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Thank you for replying to my message. This question is bothering me a lot, and I pray to Allah to satisfy my search through your advice. In Islam, we see everywhere that Allaah, The Exalted, loves His slaves to praise, worship, respect, and honor him. We always show our respect to elders and people of high ranks by addressing them in a proper way. When it comes to addressing Allaah, The Exalted, in different languages, we find that He is addressed in third person. Whenever I see this way of addressing, I feel very disturbed and guilty. How can the entire world based on Allaah's creation commit such disrespect to the One Who created them and has the entire creation at His feet. It is so difficult to address this situation and find no one willing to answer the problem. I speak Urdu, and this problem is very much magnified in how I address Allaah, The Exalted. I prefer to use plural words to address Allaah, The Exalted. May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

You should know that speaking of Allaah, The Exalted, using the third or second person pronoun does not reflect any disrespect to Him; Exalted is He. We find the Quran talking about Allaah using the third person; for instance, Allaah says (what means): {He is Allaah, other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.} [Quran 59:22] There are endless examples in the Quran in which Allaah is mentioned in the third person mode.

Moreover, Allaah is generally spoken of in the third person in the statements and supplications of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, using singular pronouns. There is no doubt that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was the keenest on glorifying Allaah in the most perfect manner and that he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, knew the rights of Allaah the best.

It is also allowable to address Allaah using the plural pronouns. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {...he says: My Lord, send me back.} [Quran 23:99] The Arabic imperative verb used in the verse Irji‘oon is the plural form of the singular verb Irji‘ which means to return. Scholars of Hadeeth underlined that the verb Irju‘oon was used in the verse in the plural form for the purpose of glorifying the addressee, i.e. Allaah, The Exalted.

In any case, this is not the best way of addressing Allaah, The Exalted. The best and most perfect manner to address Allaah, The Exalted, is that which is used in the statements of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, speaking to Allaah and supplicating Him, and it was all using the singular pronouns. For example, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "Allaahumma ighfir lee warhamni... (O my Lord; bestow your forgiveness and mercy on me)." There are numerous similar examples in the Sunnah. Indeed, the best and most perfect guidance is the guidance of Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Allaah knows best.

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