Pearl of Wisdom
'As you give so shall you get.'I
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Ibid. no. 7208
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"... and Allah is better and more abiding" (Qur’an, 20:73).
"Al-Baqi" is one of Allah's Attributes the root word of which is baqa': the opposite of extinction. It also means: obedience to Allah and awaiting His rewards, or the lingering status of goodness.
The reality of al-Baqi, Glory to Him, is in His ever-enduring existence; endurance is one of His characteristics. Al-Baqi, Glory to Him, always exists and Whose existence is necessitated by virtue of His own merits. He is ever-Present, Who remains existing forever, from the beginning of any beginning and for eternity.
The Absolute al-Baqi is the One the duration of Whom never ends, and such duration is described as abaci, perpetual, eternal, and endless. The Absolute al- Qadeem is the One the time of Whose beginning, if there is such a thing, goes back to the very beginning of time, and such duration is called azali, eternal. When you say that His existence depends on His own merits, this Attribute will then include both meanings.
What affects the determining of the "past" and the "present" are certain variables; both words describe time, and nothing measures time other than change. One Who is above change by virtue of motion is above being affected by time; therefore, neither "past" nor "future" can apply to Him.
The Truth, Exalted is He, is before time, since He Himself created time, and nothing in Him changed, and He was before time, and He remains after His creation of time just as He has always been and will always be. Those who have claimed that duration is a characteristic added to the essence of al-Baqi are far from the truth, and still further from the truth than them are those who claim that time is an additional quality in as far as the Eternal One is concerned. There is no need to bother the reader with details about such confusion regarding existence, duration, and which qualities endure.
Allah's existence stands on its own merits and is self-necessitating, that is, it does not accept extinction in any way. The duration of anything which is self-sustaining during the past and will remain so in the future as well as it did in the past is called old, and its duration in the future is called existence.
The subject of enduring and duration attributed to Allah has been referred to in the text of the Holy Qur’an in more than one place. Examples are the following:
... and the sustenance of your Lord is better and more abiding. (20:131) And there will endure forever the person of your Lord, the Lord of glory and honor. (55:27) ... what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and rely on their Lord. (42:36)
... ever-abiding good deeds are with your Lord best in recompense and best in yielding fruit. (19:76)
The good fortune a servant of Allah may receive if he remembers this Attribute quite often is that the Almighty will reveal to him enduring facts and will make him observe the perishing trails, so he will flee eagerly to al-Baqi and decorate his conduct with the meanings its qualities and moral code suggest.