PRAISE be to God, the Creator and Restorer of all things; who does whatsoever He pleases, who is Master of the glorious throne and mighty force, and directs His sincere servants into the right way and the straight path; who favoureth them who have once borne testimony to the Unity by preserving their confessions from the darkness of doubt and hesitation; who directs them to follow His chosen apostle, upon whom be the blessing and peace of God; and to go after his most honourable companions, to whom He hath vouchsafed His assistance and direction, which is revealed to them in His essence and operation by the excellencies of His attributes, to the knowledge whereof no man attains but he that hath been taught by hearing.* To these, as touching His essence, He maketh known that He is One, and hath no partner; singular, without anything like Him; uniform, having no contrary; separate, having no equal.* He is ancient, having no first; eternal, having no beginning; remaining for ever, having no end; continuing to eternity without any termination. He persists, never ceasing to be; remains without falling; and never did cease, nor ever shall cease, to be described by glorious attributes; nor is subject to any decree so as to be determined by any precise limits or set times, but is the First and the Last, and is within and without.

What God is not.—He, glorified be His name, is not a body endued with form,* nor a substance circumscribed with limits or determined by measure; neither does He resemble bodies, as they are capable of being measured and divided. Neither is He a substance, nor do substances exist in Him; nor is He an accident, nor do accidents exist in Him. Neither is He like to anything that exists, nor is anything like to Him; nor is He determinate in quantity, nor comprehended by bounds, nor circumscribed by differences of situation, nor contained in the heavens. He sits upon the throne, after that manner which He Himself hath described, and in that sense which He Himself means, which is a sitting far removed from any notion of contact, or resting upon, or local situation; but both the throne itself, and whatsoever is upon it, are sustained by the goodness of His power, and are subject to the grasp of His hand.* But He is above the throne and above all things, even to the utmost ends of the earth; but so above as at the same time not to be a whit nearer the throne and the heaven; since He is exalted by (infinite) degrees above the throne, no less than He is exalted above the earth, and at the same time He is near to everything that hath being—nay, “nearer to men than their jugular veins, and is witness to everything”* — though His nearness is not like the nearness of bodies, as neither is His essence like the essence of bodies. Neither doth He exist in anything,* neither doth anything exist in Him; but He is too high to be contained in any place, and too holy to be determined by time; for He was before time and place were created, and is now after the same manner as He always was. He is also distinct from the creatures in His attributes, neither is there anything besides Himself in His essence, nor is His essence in any other besides Him. He is too holy to be subject to change or any local motion; neither do any accidents dwell in Him, nor any contingencies before Him; but He abides through all generations with His glorious attributes, free from all danger of dissolution. As to the attribute of perfection, he wants no addition. As to being, He is known to exist by the apprehension of the understanding; and He is seen as He is by immediate intuition, which will be vouchsafed out of His mercy and grace to the holy in the eternal mansion, completing their joy by the vision of His glorious presence.*

His Power.— … His is the dominion and the excellency and the creation and the command.* … His excellency consists in His creating and producing, and His unity in communicating existence and the beginning of being. …*

His Knowledge.—He knows what is secret and conceals it, and views the conceptions of minds, and the motions of thoughts, and the inmost recesses of secrets by a knowledge ancient and eternal, that never ceased to be His attribute from eternal eternity, and not by any new knowledge superadded to His essence…

His Will.—He doth will those things to be that are, and disposes of all accidents. Nothing passes in the empire or the kingdom, neither small nor great, nor good nor evil, nor profitable nor hurtful, nor faith nor infidelity, nor knowledge nor ignorance, nor prosperity nor adversity, nor increase nor decrease, nor obedience nor rebellion, but by His determinate counsel and decree and His definite sentence and will… He it is who gave all things their beginning; He is the Creator and Restorer, the sole Operator of what He pleases; there is no reversing His decree nor delaying what He hath determined; nor is there any refuge to man from his rebellion against Him but only His help and mercy; nor hath any man any power to perform any duty towards Him but through His love and will.*

His Word.—Furthermore, He doth command, forbid, promise, and threaten by an eternal ancient Word subsisting in His essence.* Neither is it like to the word of the creatures, nor doth it consist in a voice arising from the commotion of the air or the collision of bodies, nor letters which are separated by the joining together of the lips or the motion of the tongue. The Koran, the Law, the Gospel, and the Psalter are books sent down by Him to His apostles, and the Koran, indeed, is read with tongues, written in books, and kept in hearts; yet as subsisting in the essence of God it doth not become liable to separation and division when it is transferred to hearts and to papers.* Thus, Moses also heard the word of God without voice or letter, even as the saints behold the essence of God without substance or accident…

His Works.—He exists after such a manner that nothing besides Him hath any being but what is produced by His operation, and floweth from His justice after the best, most excellent, most perfect, and most just models…*

All things were created by Him—genii, men, the devil, angels, heaven, earth, animals, plants, substance, accident, intelligible, sensible. He created them by His power out of mere privation, and brought them into light when as yet they were nothing at all,* but He Himself alone existed from all eternity, neither was there any other with Him. Now, He created all things in the beginning for the manifestation of His power and His will and the confirmation of His word, which was true from all eternity. Not that He stood in need of them, nor wanted them, but He manifestly declared His glory in creating and producing and commanding, without being under any obligation nor out of necessity…

He rewards those that worship Him for their obedience on account of His promise and beneficence, not of their merit, nor of necessity, since there is nothing which He can be tied to perform; nor can any injustice be supposed in Him; nor can He be under any obligation to any person whatsoever. That His creatures, however, should be bound to serve Him ariseth from His having declared by the tongues of the prophets that it was due to Him from them. The worship of Him is not simply the dictate of the understanding, but He sent messengers to carry to men His commands and promises and threats, whose veracity He proved by manifest miracles,* whereby men are obliged to give credit to them in those things that they relate.*