We worship Allahumma. He is our Lord and Master, and possesses many different names and attributes. For example, His name is Al-Hayy, the Living, and possesses the eternal attribute of hayat (life). We believe that He was always named with the name Al-Hayy (the Living) from eternity and that He was always in possession and described with having the attribute of hayat (life) from eternity. He did not acquire this name or that attribute, as all of His names and attributes are eternal. This is the orthodox doctrine of Ahl us-Sunna, and Allahumma says in His Book:
وَلِلَّـهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا ۖ وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ
And for Allah are the most beautiful names. So invoke Him by them and leave those who deviate [Yulhiduna] concerning His names.
This Verse condemns the Ithna Ashari sect (Twelver Shi’ites) who are guilty of Ilhad (deviation) concerning the holy names of Allahumma. The Ithna Asharis do not believe that Allah’s names are eternal, but rather, that they are created and became His names at a certain point in time. This heresy of theirs is taught in one of their most important books. For example, the Ithna Asharis claim that Allah’s first name is Al-Aliyy Al-‘Azim, and that Allah created His own names and attributes as a means through which His creation can know of and worship Him (al-Kafi v.1 pp.81-84):
The Shi’ites have in fact inherited this theology from the Mu’tazilites. These heretical groups do not shy away from stating that Allah’s names are created, and that He did not possess any of His names from eternity. Furthermore, they believe that the meaning of His names and attributes are merely negations of imperfections. For example, they say that when Allah is described as being Hayy it only means He is not dead, when He is described as being Qadir it only means He is not weak or incapable, when He is described as being Alim it only means He is not ignorant, etc. They also reduce the significance and scope and combine the meaning of His names and attributes. When it is said that Allah is Sami (Hearing), they say it means all that is audible is within His knowledge, and not that He literally hears, and when it is said that He is Basir (Seeing), they say it means all that is visual is within His knowledge, and not that He is literally One Who sees, etc.