yes, all that you say is excellent and correct, atleast, according to my undertstanding. however, just to understand the difference amongst philosophers and theologians divine attributes being 'qaaim biDhat' means that they 'depend' on the essence? attributes are qaaim biDhat but Dhat is not qaaim bil-wasf? is that right? what is the nature of this relation between the TWO? secondly, Dhat is eternal and sifaat are also eternal. wouldnt we have two eternals? the problem is that a sifat, for example, being a creator/khaliq only materialised when there was khalq. surely, you cant say bil-fe'l and bil-quwwa because khaliq becomes a khaliq when He creates! so the question is what was the nature of the sifat of being khaliq actually before any khalq. it is here that, atleast, rationally, essence being everything makes sense. anyway, al-Ghazali argues that essence is not dependent on the attributes but the latter are. in his al-iqtisad and tahafut. I think, I need to stop this discussion here and do so some more reading, when have time and then return here, though KS I do not disagree with you but only trying to explore it so we can defend the traditional position though amongst the traditionalists there are differences on the finer points.