The name “al-Quddus”, an adjective derived from the root “quds”, meaning “to be clean”, expresses the superlative and signifies that our Lord (swt) is free from all kinds of deficiencies and imperfections; He is immaculate. It declares that Allah is free from everything that may be contrary to perfection. According to al-Ghazali, this name signifies not only that Allah is free from the attribution of imperfection but also that He is free from all conceivable attributes of being created and from the cognition of His essence by the intellect. The ultimate judgment that the intellect can make about Allah, whose essence cannot be known through the patterns of the intellect, is that He resembles nothing. He cannot be limited in any way to fit into the human imagination! That’s why it is stated in the Qur’an: “There is nothing like Him.” (Shura, 42:11)

This name, which expresses infinite remoteness from all kinds of imperfection, can only be used for Allah. It is impossible to attribute this name to human beings, as it would imply the existence in them of some powers or qualities beyond a created being. Because no matter how good people are, no matter how perfect they appear to be, they cannot be completely free of imperfections and flaws. In fact, that is what makes them human. Even to be a perfect (kāmil) human being is not to be a person with superhuman qualities, but to be a person who can realize the morality that Allah expects of him/her despite having all the conditions of being a human. None of the truthful, martyred, or righteous people who are acceptable in the sight of Allah, including the prophets (Nisa, 4:69), nor the awliya whom people look upon with favor, nor even the angels (Nisa, 4:172; Yunus, 10:62-64), possess the “supra-creative and transcendent” qualities that constitute the essence of holiness.

As stated in the Qur’an, all the prophets warned their people not to attribute divinity, holiness, or perfection to anyone other than Allah and not to practice servitude to them. In essence, this is the belief of tawhid, which is the basic principle of every prophet’s message. However, over time, among Muslims, there has been a tendency influenced by foreign cultures to sanctify natural objects, persons, places, and times, similar to practices in pre-Islamic religions. This tendency includes the elevation of leading scholars of theological and jurisprudential schools of thought to an infallible status where their views are considered uncriticizable. Additionally, sacrilegious expressions about deceased tariqah leaders are sometimes used, and there is a tendency to treat their graves as shrines in the hope of seeking help from them.