Can the word Sāhib be used for Allāh ta‛ālā?

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Can the word Sāhib be used for Allāh ta‛ālā?

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  • masjidmuhammad
  • Feb 02, 2021

Question:

Can the word Sāhib be used for Allāh ta‛ālā? How is it to use the word Hadhrat for Him?

Answer:

Bismihi Ta’ala

Which words can be used for Allāh ta‛ālā and which cannot is dependent on common practices in a community. Since these words are not commonly used in our community, one should abstain from using them. Hadrat Maulānā Yūsuf Ludhyānwī rahimahullāh writes:
In olden days, people used to say: “Allāh Sāhib says”. However, this usage has been abandoned in modern Urdu. In those days, this word was considered to be a word of respect, but in modern Urdu, it does not carry as much respect as before, to the extent that it must be used for Allāh ta‛ālā, the Prophets ‛alayhimus salām, the Sahābah radiyallāhu ‛anhum and the Tābi‛īn.1
Consequently, the words “Hadrat Maulānā” are not used for Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam although there is nothing wrong when looking at it linguistically. In the same way, the word “Sāhib” should not be used for Allāh ta‛ālā. It is better to use Sub-hānahu wa ta‛ālā for Allāh ta‛ālā. “Allāh Sāhib” was undoubtedly used in the past but this practice has been abandoned.
Moreover, the usage of honorific words is dependent on the practices of a community and what is in vogue. For example, the word Barkhurdār is used to refer to a son whereas this word means “one who derives benefit”. Similarly, the word Sar Parast is used to refer to a supervisor and is considered to be a good word. Whereas linguistically it refers to a person whose head is worshipped. Since the usage of “Allāh Sāhib” has been abandoned, it should not be used now.
The essence of this discussion is that just as we must use the honorific words which have come down to us for Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‛alayhi wa sallam, the same words which have come down to us from our pious predecessors must be used for Allāh ta‛ālā, or which are well-known and in vogue.

And Allāh ta‛ālā knows best.

References: Fatawa Darul Uloom Zakariyya Vol 1 Page 26,   Āp Ke Masā’il Aur Oen Kā Hull, vol. 8, p. 343.

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