This is My Lord ()

 

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 This is My Lord

Prepared by

KhāledAl-Khelaiwi

First Edition

 Introduction

All praise is due to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and all his Companions. To proceed:

One of the most sublime of all spheres of knowledge, even the greatest of them all, is knowledge of Allah Almighty and His names and attributes. A fundamentalist rule says: The honor of knowledge comes from the honor of the known. Undoubtedly, the most honorable known entity is Allah Almighty. People’s neglect of this sphere is clear and common, even though it is the broadest sphere where one can worship Allah, Exalted and Glorified. Studying His names and learning their meanings is the most beneficial for the purification of one’s heart, the validity of one’s actions and the increase of one’s faith as well as one’s glorification and love for the Almighty Lord.

Al-Bukhāri and Muslim narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one; whoever knows them by heart shall enter Paradise. And Allah is odd (one) and He loves the odd number.” So, let us pay due attention to this knowledge and be devoted to learning it with the aim of winning the reward and approval of Allah Almighty, and avoiding His punishment.

In this regard, I would remind you of two useful books. The first is “Al-Nahj al-Asmā Fi Sharh Asmā’ Allah al-Husna”, authored by His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad Al-Hammūd al-Najdi. The second book is “WaLillāh Al-Asmā’ Al-Husna”, by His Eminence Shaykh Abdulaziz bin Nāsir Al-Jalīl. May Allah bless them both!

I have prepared this book to explain the meanings of many names of our Lord. I have also clarified some of the benefits we reap from studying those beautiful names. I implore Allah Almighty to accept and bless this work. May Allah guide us all to what pleases Him and grant us happiness in this world and in the Hereafter!

                                                                                  Your brother

Khāledibn ‘Abdullāh Al-Khelaiwi

 This is My Lord

The greatest mission of the prophets is informing humankind about the Creator, then informing them about the path leading to Him and to His pleasure, and then informing them of the end they will come to if they follow this path and outrun others.

This end is that Allah Almighty will be pleased with them and will admit them into the gardens of bliss.

***

 Here Are Wishes We Hope That Allah Will Grant and Bless

1) To set the study of the meanings of the names of Allah as part of the curricula of schools and universities in recognition of the right of our Lord upon us and in pursuit of the effect of this knowledge upon our hearts and manners. Indeed, it is an area of knowledge needed by everyone without exception.

2) To consider my book as part of the curricula in the Qur’an memorization schools as well as non-governmental schools.

Note: In this book, like other books, you will find some names of Allah that the scholars held different opinions in establishing them. So, let not this disagreement distract you from the information about Allah Almighty, and the great meanings and benefits contained in the relevant verses and Hadīths which will illuminate the path for you in worshiping Allah.

***

Upon Allah I rely and from Him I seek help!

 Allah

This is the name that encompasses all meanings of His other names and attributes, and to it they all refer. No one but Him is worthy of worship.

The name “Allah” occurs 2724 times in the Qur’an. An example of this is what is mentioned in Sūrat Al-Fātihah, {All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds}, in the Verse of Al-Kursi, {Allah - there is no god except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of all existence}, and in Sūrat Al-Ikhlās, {Say, “He is Allah, the only One.}

Some scholars said that it is the ever greatest name of Allah. In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    Know that you will attain happiness only through your belief in Allah, following His guidance, remembering Him a lot, showing gratitude to Him and worshiping Him properly.

2.    Remember that Allah Almighty is the Most Beloved Being ever, and this is due to His perfection and beauty and the immense favors He bestows upon His creation. Hearts only enjoy tranquility through remembering Him and souls only enjoy pleasure by knowing Him. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “There are three qualities; whoever has them will taste the sweetness of faith: To love Allah and His Messenger more than anyone else…”[1]

3.    Whoever knows Allah Almighty will possess such pride and tranquility that prompt him to fear none but Allah and to seek help only from Him.

4.    The worst wrongdoing a person may engage in is to know that Allah is his Creator and nonetheless worship someone else, and that Allah is the One Who bestows favors upon him and nonetheless shows gratitude to someone else. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was asked, “Which sin is the greatest?” He said, “To set up an equal to Allah while He has created you.”[2]

***

 Ar-Rahmān -Ar-Rahīm : The Most Compassionate - the Most Merciful

The Most Compassionate: It is a name denoting the vast mercy of Allah that encompasses all the creatures. This name exclusively belongs to Allah Almighty, and we may not call anyone by it. The name ‘the Most Compassionate’ occurs 57 times in the Qur’an. For example: {The Most Compassionate (1) has taught the Qur’an.}

These also include: {The Most Compassionate rose over the Throne.} [Sūrat Tāha: 5] The Most Merciful: is the One who possesses the vast mercy towards His creation. The believers, the good-doers and the merciful people are the biggest winners of this mercy. The name ‘the Most Merciful’ occurs 123 times in the Qur’an. These include: {And He has been the Most Merciful to the believers.} [Sūrat Al-Ahzāb: 43] And {“Peace,” a word from the Most Merciful Lord.} [Sūrat Yāsīn: 58]

In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.    Know that when you remember the vastness of the mercy of Allah Almighty your love for Him and pursuit of His grace increase.

2.    Do not forget the Prophet’s statement, “Show mercy to those on earth, and the One in the heaven will show mercy to you.”Indeed, this is one of the best means whereby one can attain the mercy of Allah Almighty.

3.    Be one of the good-doers so as to win the promise of Allah Almighty in Sūrat Al-A‘rāf, Verse 56: {Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.}

4.    Be smart and pursue in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet the means that bring you the mercy of Allah which is exclusively for the believers.

***

 Ar-Ra’ūf : The All-Kind

It refers to The One with complete kindness. Kindness is the highest level of mercy. Whoever shows kindness to people will be shown kindness by Allah Almighty.

The great name ‘the All-Kind’ occurs 10 times in the Qur’an. An example came in Sūrat Al-Hadīd: {And surely Allah is indeed All-Kind, Most Merciful to you.} [Sūrat Al-Hadīd: 9] Another example came in Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: {And Allah warns you of Himself, and Allah is All-Kind to (His) slaves.} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 30]

The name ‘the Ever-Compassionate’ occurs in association with the name ‘the Most Merciful’ in eight verses.

In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.    This name instills love for Allah Almighty in one’s heart and hope for what He has. No one is ever more kind or merciful than He.

2.    Kindness originally comes from Allah Almighty. He is Compassionate towards His servants. He revealed the scriptures and sent the messengers to them, made it easy for them to worship Him and He accepts repentance from them. Also, His compassion is shown as a result of invocation. Allah responds to His servants when they invoke Him sincerely and earnestly. {And those who came after them, saying, Our Lord, forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in faith, and do not put in our hearts any rancor towards those who believe, Our Lord, You are All-Kind, Most Merciful.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 10]

3.    It is said regarding the difference between kindness and mercy, as Al-Qurtubi mentioned: Kindness is a blissful favor from all aspects; whereas mercy may be painful at the moment, with a blissful outcome later. Hence, Allah Almighty says about the punishment of the adulterers, {And do not be taken by kindness for them in the religion of Allah.} [Sūrat Al-Nūr:2] He does not use the word ‘mercy’ here, for beating sinners on account of their disobedience is actually a form of mercy towards them, but not kindness. In fact, if kindness engulfs a person, he suffers no harm.

***

 Al-Ghani : The Self-Sufficient

He is the One Who needs none from His creation, for He has the perfect attributes, and all the creation stands in need of Him.

This noble name ‘the Self-Sufficient’ occurs 18 times in the Qur’an. For example: {O people, it is you who stand in need of Allah; as for Allah, He is the Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy.} [Sūrat Fātir: 15] And {And whoever turns away, then Allah is indeed the Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy.} [Sūrat Al-Hadīd: 24] And {And whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-Sufficient, Honorable.} [Sūrat Al-Naml: 40] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    Know that you can dispense with everyone save for Allah Almighty. No created being can ever dispense with the Almighty Lord, not even for the blink of an eye or less than that.

2.    Remember that no matter what power, status, or authority you may possess, you will still be in need for your Lord and His mercy, help, and favors. Allah says, {Allah wants to lighten your burdens, for man was created weak.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 28]

3.    Be certain that the more you stand in need for your Lord, the richer you become.

4.    In the sight of Allah, richness lies in the contentment of a person’s soul. In an authentic Hadīth, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Richness does not lie in worldly abundance, but in contentment of the soul.” [3]

The greatest thing that can fill a person’s heart with contentment is to know Allah Almighty, and to love Him and believe in Him.

***

 Al-Karīm - Al-Akram : The Generous - The Most Generous

The Generous is a name that refers to the abundance of Allah’s favors and the greatness of His giving. Indeed, Allah is Generous and He loves generosity.

The Most Generous: Refers to Allah being better in generosity than every generous one. He has no equal in this. Indeed, all good lies in His hands and comes from Him.

This noble name occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. An example of this is in the verse: {And whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-Sufficient, Honorable.} [Sūrat Al-Naml: 40], It is also mentioned in Sūrat Al-Infitār, {O man, what has deceived you about your Generous Lord.} [Sūrat Al-Infitār: 6]

As for the name ‘the Most Generous’, it only occurs once in the Qur’an in the verse that reads, {Recite, and your Lord is the Most Generous.} [Sūrat Al-‘Alaq: 3]

In light of these great names, I would say:

1. Let us praise a lot our Lord, the Most Generous, for none loves to be praised more than He does. Therefore, He praises Himself.

2. Say with me:

Glory be to the Generous One Whose favors are innumerable despite the commission of many sins on the part of His servants!

3. Know that the Generous Lord loves the generous and bountiful people. Show generosity to others and you will be shown generosity by Allah, and give to others and Allah will give you. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Verily, your Almighty Lord is Modest and Generous. He is so Modest that He would not turn down His servant who raises his hands to Him (in supplication) empty-handed.”[4]

True is the statement: Show me a miser whose lifespan was extended due to his miserliness! And tell me about a generous person who died because of his generosity!

4. Do not ever limit the areas of generosity to money and food. Indeed, there are other areas of bounty that are greater and more valuable. A person may show generosity through his standing, his knowledge, his time or his life. Generosity by giving one’s life is the supreme objective ever.

***

 Al-Wahhāb : The Bestower

He is the One Who bestows a lot of favors upon His servants as grace and benevolence from Him.

This noble name occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. An example is the verse that says, {Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower.} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 8]

Another example is the verse about Prophet Sulaymān (Solomon) in which Allah Almighty says,{He said, My Lord, forgive me and bestow upon me a kingdom such as none other after me will deserve. Surely You are the Bestower.} [Sūrat Sād: 25]

In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.    Belief in Allah and good deeds bring favors from our Lord, and gratitude for the favors He bestows is a reason for their continuity, blessing therein and their increase.

2.    No one envies another person except because he is ignorant of this great name and does not recall the many favors that Allah Almighty has bestowed upon him. Definitely, the One Who bestowed certain favors upon someone else will bestow favors upon you if you invoke Him sincerely.

3.    Do not do wrong to this name by thinking that the favors of Allah Almighty are only material giving. Rather, His giving is comprehensive and encompasses material and moral things. Having children is among the favors of Allah. Guiding them to the truth and making them steadfast to it is a great favor from Allah. Knowledge is one of the favors of Allah Almighty, and loving it and teaching it to others is also a great favor from Him. Wealth is a favor from Allah, and possessing it and using it to increase one’s bliss by spending it on good things - and not being deeply attached to it or spending it wastefully - is also a great favor from Him.

***

 Al-Jawād : The Generous

He is the One Who bestows many favors and blessings upon His servants.

This noble name does not occur in the Qur’an, yet it is mentioned in the aHadīth reported by Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him) in which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Indeed, Allah is Generous and He loves generosity. He loves lofty manners and hates low ones.”[5]

In light of this noble name, I would say:

1. Knowing the meaning of the name ‘the Generous’ and recalling the signs of Allah’s generosity increases one’s love for the Almighty Lord.

2. Since Allah is Generous and Bountiful, a person should frequently invoke Him and hope for His mercy and rewards.

3. The generosity of Allah Almighty includes the following: Forgiveness is dearer to Him than revenge and mercy is dearer to him than punishment. Grace is dearer to Him than justice. And giving is dearer to Him than withholding.

4. Be generous and you will win the love and generosity of the Most Generous.

***

 Al-Wasi‘ : The All-Embracing

It is a name that denotes the vastness of His mercy, knowledge, majesty and all His perfect attributes.

This noble name occurs 9 times in the Qur’an. An example of this includes: {You will face Allah in whichever direction you turn your face: Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 115] And {But if the two separate, Allah will make each dispense with the other out of His plenty provision. Indeed, Allah is All-Embracing, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 130]

In light of this great name, I would say:

1. Your knowledge of the vastness of the greatness of Allah and His mercy, power, knowledge, grace, and giving instills a sense of reverence and fear in your heart from Him, as well as love for Him. Think of the words of Allah as He says, {Our Lord, You have embraced all things in mercy and knowledge.} [Sūrat Ghāfir: 7]

2. You can couple Allah’s name ‘the All-Embracing’ with all His other names, for nothing in His creation is hidden from Him as He has all-embracing knowledge; nothing within His dominion can escape His power, for He has all-embracing ability, and the preservation of the heavens and earth does not tire Him; the sins of sinners do not trouble Him, for He has all-embracing mercy and forgiveness; and there is no limit to His giving and rewards, for He has all-embracing generosity.{The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 261]

***

 Al-Malik - Al-Maleek : The King - The Almighty King

The King is the One to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and earth and all that is between them, and He is the Disposer of the affairs of the universe according to His will and wisdom.

This noble name, ‘the King’, occurs 5 times in the Qur’an. An example is in the following verse: {So high [above all] is Allah, the King, the Truth.} [Sūrat Tāha: 114] And {He is Allah, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. He is the King, the Holy One.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 23]

‘The Almighty King’ is a name that denotes the magnificence of the dominion of Allah. It is more powerful than the name ‘the King’.

Allah’s name ‘the Almighty King’ occurs only once in the Qur’an in a verse in Sūrat Al-Qamar: {Surely the pious will dwell amidst Gardens and running streams (54) where they will be honorably seated in the presence of an Almighty King, a Supreme Determiner.} [Sūrat Al-Qamar: 54-55]

In light of these two noble names, I would say:

1.    You will have a great sense of awe and reverence for Allah when you remember the magnificence of His dominion and His absolute ability to dispose of all affairs within His dominion and all existence, for everything belongs to Him.

2.    Knowledge of these excellent names entails that we should worship Allah Almighty alone, with no partner, for He alone is worthy of being worshiped, and all other wrongly worshiped entities are as Allah says,{And those whom you invoke other than Him do not possess [as much as] the membrane of a date seed.} [Sūrat Fātir: 13]

3.    Do not seek sustenance except from its Possessor, Glorified is He: {And to Allah belong the treasures of the heavens and earth, but the hypocrites do not comprehend.} [Sūrat Al-Munāfiqūn: 7] And {And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision.} [Sūrat Hūd: 6]

4.    Allah Almighty is the Owner of the worldly life and the Hereafter. Nonetheless, the verse in Sūrat Al-Fātihah limits this to the Hereafter only. {The Possessor of the Day of Judgment.} The reason for this is that there are those in the world who claim to have power over the dominion and the affairs of life apart from Allah Almighty, to the extent that some even claim to be lords. For example, Pharaoh said, {I am your most exalted lord.} He also said, {Is not the kingdom of Egypt mine, and are not these rivers running beneath me?} But in the Hereafter, everyone will hide and fall silent as the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah will fold the heavens on the Day of Judgment and then take them in His right hand and say, ‘I am the King. Where are the mighty ones? Where are the arrogant ones?’ Then, He will fold the earths and take them in His left (hand) and say, ‘I am the King. Where are the mighty ones? Where are the arrogant ones?’”[6] Similarly, it is revealed in Sūrat Ghāfir that Allah Almighty will call out, {To whom belongs [all] sovereignty this Day?}But none will reply to Him. So, Allah will answer Himself, saying, {To Allah, the One, the Superb Vanquisher.} [Sūrat Ghāfir: 16]

***

 Al-Quddoos : The Most Holy

He is the One Exalted far above any deficiency or defect whatsoever, for He alone possesses the attributes of absolute perfection.

This noble name occurs twice in the Qur’an. The first in the verse that reads, {He is Allah, there is no god except Him; the King, the Holy One.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 23] And the second is in the verse: {All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth extols the glory of Allah, the King, the Holy One, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.} [Sūrat Al-Jumu‘ah: 1]

In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    One of the best means that increases a person’s love for his Lord is knowing His perfection from all aspects and the fact that He has no deficiency whatsoever in His Self or actions.

2.    Part of extolling Allah Almighty is to extol His Shariah and deem it exalted above any deficiency. This requires that we rule by nothing except His Shariah and follow nothing but His path, for He alone will ensure our safety in this world and in the Hereafter.

3.    A Muslim is recommended, after finishing Witr prayer, to say three times, “Glory be to the King, the Holy One”, raising his voice in the third one. [7]

4.    One of the good things said about the association between Allah’s name ‘the King’ and His name ‘the Holy One’ is that Allah Almighty is not like the kings in the world who may commit injustice, mistakes, or unwise acts or they go through heedlessness and forgetfulness. He is the Holy King Who is absolutely Perfect and Exalted far above all defects.

***

 As-Salām : The Source of Peace (and Perfection)

He is the One free from all deficiencies and defects in His attributes, names, and actions. Every peace in this world and the Hereafter comes from Him.

This noble name occurs once in the Qur’an in a verse that says, {He is Allah, there is no god except Him. He is the King, the Holy One, the Source of Peace.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 23]

And it occurs in the Sunnah, in a Prophetic supplication to be said after the five obligatory prayers, “O Allah, You are the Source of Peace and from You is the peace. Blessed are You, Owner of Majesty and Honor.”[8] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    A Muslim should believe that Allah Almighty is safe from any deficiency or defect in His Self, names, attributes and actions. So, He is safe from death or sleep. His words are safe from lying; His promise is safe from being broken and His threat is safe from being unjust.

2.    In order to attain peace and safety from Allah, you should heed the Prophet’s instruction: “Spread peace amongst you.”[9] Spread peace among people through your words and deeds.

3.    Paradise is the abode of peace. Allah Almighty says, {For them will be the Home of Peace with their Lord.} [Sūrat Al-An‘ām: 127]

It is the abode of pure bliss. There will be no trouble or unhappiness therein. Its dwellers will be safe from any illness that used to disturb them in the worldly life. Peace will be their greeting in it. So, worship Allah, the Source of Peace, you will attain paradise, the Home of Peace.

***

 Al-Mu’min : The Giver of Belief (Security)

He is the One Who gives credence to His messengers and their followers by His testimony that they are truthful and through the signs and evidence He establishes in support of their truthfulness. Any security in the worldly life or the Hereafter is granted by Him. He makes the believers secure from being unjust to them and from His punishment and He secures them from the panic on the Day of Judgment.

This noble name occurs only once in the Qur’an, in a verse that reads, {He is Allah, there is no god except Him. He is the King, the Most Holy, the Giver of Peace, the Giver of Belief (Security), the Guardian over all.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 23] In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.    Pondering the meanings of this noble name instills such tranquility within a believer’s heart. Indeed, Allah, the Giver of Belief (Security), is the Best One Who promised goodness and the Most Truthful One Who kept and shall always keep His promise.

2.    A believer will not attain security in this world or in the Hereafter except through the belief in the Giver of Belief and following His Shariah and the path of His Prophet.{They who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice – those will have security, and they are [rightly] guided.}

3.    If you want Allah, the Giver of Belief (Security) to keep His promise for you in this world and in the Hereafter, be a true believer and heed the statement: “A believer is the one from whom people’s lives and wealth are safe.”[10]

***

 Al-Muhaymin : The All-Controller

He is the One Who sustains and preserves things, watches over them and encompasses them.

This is one of the excellent names that occurs only once in the Qur’an. It occurs in the verse that says, {He is Allah, there is no god except Him. He is the King, the Most Holy, the Giver of Peace, the Giver of Belief (Security), the Supreme Controller.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 23] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    Always remember that Allah Almighty constantly watches over you. So, if you are engaged in a good act, do it well, and if you are about to engage in an evil one, turn away and desist. If it happens that you err, seek forgiveness and show regret.

2.    Knowing the meaning of Allah’s name ‘the Supreme Controller’ instills a sense of reverence for His Greatness, for He is Ever-Watchful over His creation and their deeds and He is the Guardian over every soul in this existence.

3.    The Qur’an is described as a guardian in a verse in Sūrat Al-Mā’idah: {And We have revealed to you the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a guardian over it.}

The Qur’an is a guardian and judge over the previous scriptures, and it is the best book revealed by Allah Almighty. This increases our love for this book, our joy because of it and our action according to it with all certitude and assurance.

***

 Al-‘Azīz : The All-Mighty

He is the All-Powerful and the Prevailing One Who is never defeated. He is the Magnificent and Exalted One Who is free from any humiliation. A servant enjoys as much honor and high status as he obeys the All-Mighty Lord.

This great name occurs 92 times in the Qur’an. For example: {Against these they had no grudge except that they believed in Allah, the All-Mighty, the Praiseworthy.} [Sūrat Al-Burūj: 8] And {So do not think that Allah will go back upon His promise to His Messengers. Indeed, Allah is All-Mighty, Lord of retribution.} [Sūrat Ibrahīm: 47] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    One of the great means for having peace of heart is to remember that Allah Whom you worship possesses the Absolute Might and He is the All-Powerful and All-Dominant over all things and that everything falls under His authority.

2.    O servant, you will attain as much might and high status as you believe in the All-Mighty One and follow His guidance. {And might belongs to Allah, to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.}

3.    How poor is the one who seeks might and strength through other than Allah Almighty Who says, {Those who take disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do they seek with them honor [through power]? But indeed, honor belongs to Allah entirely.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 139]

***

 Al-Jabbār : The Compeller

He is the Majestic One Who executes His will over all creatures through compelling and vanquishing. It also means the One Who supports the poor by wealth, the sick by cure, the needy by giving and the distressed by relief.

This is one of the excellent names that occurs only once in the Qur’an. It occurs in the verse that says, {He is Allah, there is no god except Him. He is the King, the Most Holy, the Giver of Peace. the Giver of Belief (Security), the Compeller, the Supreme.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 23]

In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    We should extol Allah Almighty and praise Him for His attributes of superiority, dominance, and mercy.

2.    Pondering the meanings of this noble name instills a sense of modesty in the heart and humiliation in front of Allah Almighty, as well as hope for His grace.

3.    It is authentically reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) used to say in his bowing and prostration, “Glory be to the Owner of Grandeur, Dominion, Superiority and Majesty.” [Narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dāwūd]

4.    Keep away from tyrants and their traits, lest you should be afflicted with what the early tyrants were afflicted.

Their traits include oppression, arrogance and conceit. However, the judgment of Allah pursues them wherever they may be. {They sought Our judgment. And every obstinate tyrant opposed to the Truth was brought to naught.} [Sūrat Ibrahīm: 15]

In an authentic Hadīth, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Hell and Paradise fell into dispute, and Hell said, ‘I have been distinguished by the arrogant and tyrants.’”[11]

***

 Al-Mutakabbir : The Supreme

He is the Majestic and Exalted One Who is far above any deficiency or defect and above treating His servants unjustly. He vanquishes the tyrants among His servants and is distinguished by pride; whoever disputes with Him over that, He will break him and subject him to punishment.

This great name occurs only once in the Qur’an, in the verse that says, {He is Allah, there is no deity except Him. He is the King, the Most Holy, the Giver of Peace, the Giver of Belief (Security), the All-Controller, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 23] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    When we contemplate the majesty of Allah Almighty, and the weakness of His servants, this instills within us a feeling of reverence and exaltation for Him and humility before His Shariah and creation.

2.    Allah Almighty is worthy of this name for He is the One Who has power over all things and is watchful over all things, and none in existence can escape His authority.

3.    No one should be described as ‘the Supreme and Arrogant’ by way of praise except Allah Almighty.

As for people, only modesty befits them. If a person acts arrogantly by rejecting the truth and despising people, he will be subject to the stern warning which Allah Almighty gave in this Divine (Qudsi) Hadīth: “Might is My garment and Pride is My cloak. Whoever disputes with Me over them, I will punish him.”[12]

***

 Al-Kabeer : The Great

He is the Great One in His Self, attributes, and actions. Nothing is greater than Him. Rather, all things are small next to His Majesty. This noble name occurs 6 times in the Qur’an. For example: {[He is] Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Great, the Exalted.} [Sūrat Al-Ra‘d: 9] And {So the judgment is with Allah, the Most High, the Great.} [Sūrat Ghāfir: 12] In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.    Let your exaltation of Allah Almighty be greater than your exaltation for any great human being for He is Greater than all things, Greater in His Self, attributes, actions, status, might, and majesty. He commands us to exalt Him saying,{And say, “All praise is due to Allah Who has neither taken to Himself a son, nor has He any partner in His dominion, nor does He need anyone, out of weakness, to protect Him.” So exalt Him in a manner worthy of His exaltation.} [Sūrat Al-Isrā’: 111]

2.    In light of this noble name and attribute of our Lord, we were commanded to say Takbīr in many areas of worship such as when we commence the prayer and when we move from one position to another in it; during the Adhān, Tawāf, Sa‘i, the throwing of pebbles at Hajj and after the prayers.

3.    When you say Allah is the Most Great, remember that:

·      Allah is Greater with His Self than any other self.

·      He is Greater with His safety and relief than any affliction.

·      He is Greater with His forgiveness than any sin.

·      He is Greater with His cure than any illness.

·      He is Greater with His power than any enemy.

Allah is the Most Great, and all praise is due to Him.

***

 Ar-Rabb : The Lord

He is the One Who raises His servants through His favors and makes them grow in a gradual way. And He raises His pious servants in a way that reforms their hearts. He is the Creator, the Possessor and the Master.

This noble name occurs more than 900 times in the Qur’an. For example: {“Peace,” a word from a Most Merciful Lord.} [Sūrat Yāsīn: 58] And {Eat of the provision of your Lord, and be grateful to Him; a good land and a Most Forgiving Lord.} [Sūrat Saba’: 15]

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The tooth-stick cleans the mouth and pleases the Lord.”[13]

Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Verily, I was forbidden to recite the Qur’an in bowing or prostration. As for bowing, glorify the Lord therein.”In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    Know that the prophets and messengers of Allah would mostly implore Him using His name ‘the Lord’. The Prophet Muhammad would often make this supplication: “Our Lord, give us in this world what is good and in the Hereafter what is good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”[14]

2.    If you know that Allah is your Lord, you must not worship or invoke other than Him. No one is more merciful to a servant than his Lord, Who created him, and none is more worthy of being worshiped than Him.

3.    Whoever believes in Allah as a Lord, a Creator and a Provider must also believe in Him as a Legislator Who issues commands and prohibitions. {Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command.} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 45] Oneness of Lordship entails Oneness of worship. {O mankind, worship your Lord, Who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 21]

4.    Some scholars divide Lordship into three types:

·      General Lordship for all creation for it is Allah Almighty, Who created and guided them and bestowed His provision upon them.

·      Special Lordship for the believers represented by raising their bodies in a lawful manner and cultivating their hearts through faith.

·      More special Lordship for the prophets and messengers represented by the revelation He sent down to them and the special favors He bestowed upon them.

***

 Al-‘Azeem : The Magnificent

He is the One Who possesses the absolute majesty in His Self, names and attributes. Hence, it is incumbent upon His servants to glorify and exalt Him and heed His commands and prohibitions.

This great name occurs 9 times in the Qur’an. An example came in Sūrat Al-Baqarah: {And the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the Most High, the Magnificent.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 255] And {So glorify the name of your Lord, the Magnificent.} [Sūrat Al-Wāqi‘ah: 96]

It is authentically reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) would make this supplication at times of distress: “There is no god but Allah, the Magnificent, the Forbearing. There is no god but Allah, the Lord of the Mighty Throne. There is no god but Allah, the Lord of the heavens, the earth and the Honorable Throne.”[15]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.    One of the best means whereby a person can exalt the magnificence of his Lord is to ponder His names and attributes and reflect upon His magnificent creation.

2.    Know that one of the greatest signs of a servant’s exaltation of his Lord is the exaltation of His Law. Allah Almighty says, {That [is the Command]; and whoever [constantly] magnifies the rites of Allah, then surely it is of the piety of the hearts.} [Sūrat Al-Hajj: 32] He also says, {That [is the Command], and whoever honors the sacred ordinances of Allah - it is best for him in the sight of his Lord.} [Sūrat Al-Hajj: 30]

3.    When a person recognizes the magnificence of Allah Almighty, this yields two benefits within his heart:

·      Submission to Allah Almighty, and showing humility to His creation.

·      Freeing oneself from fear from created beings for they are weak. No matter how strong they may appear, they are nothing compared to the magnificence of Allah Almighty. {They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal.} [Sūrat Al-Zumar: 67]So, be with the pious and the doers of good so that the Magnificent Lord will be with you. {Indeed, Allah is with those who fear Him and those who are doers of good.} [Sūrat Al-Nahl: 128]

·      Be calm in your prayer and fulfill your bowing and be careful to glorify your Lord. The Prophet {may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “As for bowing, glorify the Lord therein.”[16]

***

 Al-Qādir - Al-Qadeer - Al-Muqtadir : The Able - The Most Capable - The Supreme Determiner

The Able is the One Who can do everything and nothing escapes His power or will in earth or heaven; and He determines everything.

Allah’s name ‘the Able’ occurs 12 times in the Qur’an. Some came in the singular form such as: {Say, “He is the [one] Able to send upon you affliction from above you.”} [Sūrat Al-An‘ām: 65] And some in plural form, like: {Indeed, We are able to show you what We warn them against.} [Sūrat Al-Mu’minūn: 95]

‘The Ever-Determiner’ has the same sense of the Able but it carries more praise for Allah Almighty.

This name occurs 45 times in the Qur’an. An example his includes: {And to each is a direction towards which he turns, so race with each other for the charitable [deeds]. Wherever you may be, Allah will come up with you altogether. Indeed, Allah is Most Capable of all things.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 148]

As for the ‘Supreme Determiner’, it is a name that signifies excessive magnificence of the power of Allah Almighty. It occurs 4 times in the Qur’an, one of which is in the plural form: {Or We definitely show you what We promised them. So, surely We are Supreme Determiners over them.} [Sūrat Al-Zukhruf: 42] And it occurs three times in the singular form, like: {Indeed, the pious will be in Gardens and running streams, Where they will be honorably seated in the presence of a King, a Supreme Determiner.} [Sūrat Al-Qamar: 54-55]With regard to these noble names, I would say:

1.   A person should frequently praise and extol Allah Almighty for His absolute power. Nothing on earth or in the heaven can escape Him.

2.   Your knowledge of the power of Allah will inspire love within your heart for Him and trust in His promise as well as hope for His support, especially when it comes to things beyond human power.

3.   Imagine that you were Abu Mas‘ūd Al-Badri (may Allah be pleased with him) when the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) saw him beating one of his children. Thereupon, he said, “Know, O Abu Mas‘ūd, that Allah has greater power over you than your power over this boy!”[Narrated by Muslim]

This knowledge would prevent a sane person from oppressing anyone no matter how strong he is and how weak the other person is.

***

 Al-Khāliq - Al-Khallāq : The Creator - The Sublime Creator

The Creator is the One Who Created all creation in an unprecedented manner.

Allah’s name the Creator occurs 8 times in the Qur’an. Some of which are in the plural form, like: {Is it you who create it, or is it We Who are the Creators?} [Sūrat Al-Wāqi‘ah: 59]

And some come in the singular form, like: {He is Allah, the Creator, the Initiator, the Supreme Fashioner. To Him belong the fairest names.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 24] And {O people, remember Allah’s favor upon you. Is there any creator, apart from Allah who provides you your sustenance out of the heavens and earth? There is no god except Him. Whither are you, then, being misdirected?} [Sūrat Fātir: 3]

As for “the Sublime Creator”, it is a name that denotes the plenty of creation made by Allah Almighty. He, the Exalted, continues to create and possess this great attribute.

This name occurs twice in the Qur’an. The first one is in the verse that says, {Indeed, your Lord is the Sublime Creator, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Al-Hijr: 86]The second time is in this verse: {Has He Who created the heavens and earth no power to create the likes of them? Yes, indeed, He is the Sublime Creator, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Yāsīn: 81]In light of these great names, I would say:

1.      Remember that none can count the creation of Allah but Allah Almighty Himself. If you consider this, you will develop a sense of reverence and glorification within your heart for the Almighty Creator.

2.      Here we recall the Prophet’s statement to Juwayriyyah (may Allah be pleased with her): “I recited four words, after I had left you; if they were to be weighed against what you have been reciting since morning, they would outweigh them. These are: Praise and glory be to Allah, by the amount of His creation and His pleasure, and by the weight of His throne and the ink of His words.”[17] Always remember and contemplate Him by thought!

3.      Belief that Allah is the Creator entails belief that He alone is worthy of being worshiped and only His Shariah should be applied. Allah Almighty says, {Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 54] The lost atheists, on the other hand, argue that neither the creation nor the command belongs to Allah Almighty, for they do not believe in His existence.

As for the self-contradictory polytheists, they say that the creation belongs to Him, but not the command. But the guided believers say what their Lord says, {Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command.}

***

 Al-Bāri’ : The Initiator

He is the One Who brought the creatures He willed into existence.

This great name occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. It occurs once with the definite article in the verse that reads, {He is Allah, the Creator, the Initiator, the Supreme Fashioner.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 24] And it occurs twice in the possessive form: {And [remember] when Moses said to his people, “O my people, indeed you have wronged yourselves by your taking the calf [for worship]. So repent to your Initiator and kill yourselves. That is best for [all of] you in the sight of your Initiator.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 54]

In light of this great name, I would say: Contemplating what Allah Almighty has created and initiated which He alone can count, makes a person engage more in glorification and praise for the Almighty Lord.

***

 Al-Musawwir : The Supreme Fashioner

He is the One Who made His creation into the forms He willed, as per His wisdom, knowledge and mercy.

This great name occurs once in the Qur’an in the verse that says, {He is Allah, the Creator, the Initiator, the Supreme Fashioner.} [Sūrat Al-Hashr: 24]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.      We owe a solemn right to our Almighty Lord Who created us and gave us good forms. He says, {He created the heavens and earth in truth and shaped you, giving you excellent shapes. And to Him is your ultimate return.} [Sūrat Al-Taghābun: 3]So, let us engage a lot in praise and gratitude for Him and His countless blessings.

2.      Your amazement will not cease as you ponder only a small part of what Allah Almighty created and fashioned including humans and animals with their different sizes, forms and colors. How Glorious are You, our Creator, and how Excellent a Fashioner You are! {He is the One Who fashions you in the wombs as He decide. There is no god except Him, the All-Mighty, the Wise.} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 6]

3.      For the distinction between the Creator, the Initiator, and the Supreme Fashioner, I say as the author of Adwā’ Al-Bayān said:

·  The Creator: He is the One Who determined the creation before its existence.

·  The Initiator: He is the One Who brought the creation into existence after determining it.

·  The Supreme Fashioner: He is the One Who gave forms to the creation after its existence.

***

 Al-Awwal : The First

He is the One before Whom there was nothing. All creatures came into existence by His creation. As for Him, there is no beginning for His existence.

The names ‘the First’ and ‘the Last’ occur in the verse that says, {He is the First and the Last, and the Manifest and the Hidden and He is All-Knowing of everything.} [Sūrat Al-Hadīd: 3]

It also occurs in the Prophet’s Sunnah in a Hadīth reported by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) involving a supplication to be said before sleep, “O Allah, You are the First and there is nothing before You. You are the Last and there is nothing after You.”[18] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.      Your glorification and love for Allah Almighty will grow so much when you know that He had always been and nothing existed before or along with Him, and there is no beginning for His existence. That is the attribute of the True God.

2.      Know that all things apart from Allah Almighty were non-existent and He bestowed upon them the favor of bringing them into existence in addition to preparing them and providing them with sustenance. All praise is due to Him in this Life and in the Hereafter.

3.      Your servitude to Allah, the First, means that you should worship the Almighty Initiator.

This gives you a sense of tranquility and trust in His promise.

***

 Al-’Ākhir : The Last

He is the One after Whom there is nothing. He is the Ever-Lasting and everything on earth will perish and ultimately return to Him. There is no end to His existence, Exalted is He. In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Know that everything in existence apart from Allah Almighty was previously non-existent and then Allah brought it into existence; and that it is doomed to end and perish. Anything destined by Allah to endure forever does only derive this eternity through the grace and will of the Almighty Lord.

2.   Your servitude to Allah, the Last, means that you worship the Ever-Lasting God Who will not die or perish. Everything else will come to an end. But Allah is the Last after Whom there is nothing and to Whom there is no end. So, let our hearts attach to Him and let our bodies pursue the proper means to our goals.

***

 Az-Zhāhir - Al-Bātin : The Manifest - The Hidden

The Manifest is the One Who is Higher and Above all things. Nothing is higher than Him. And He is the One Who Dominates and Encompasses everything.

As for ‘the Hidden’, it means the One Who is more Subtle than everything else, and nothing is closer to anything than He is. And He is All-Knowing of all secrets and hidden things.

These two noble names occur once in the Qur’an in a verse in Sūrat Al-Hadīd: {He is the First and the Last, and the Manifest and the Hidden, and He is All-Knowing of everything.} [Sūrat Al-Hadīd: 3]

They also occur in the Prophet’s Hadīth reported by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) involving a supplication to be said before sleep, and it reads, “And You are the Manifest and nothing is above You. You are the Hidden and nothing is more subtle than You.”[19] In light of these great names, let me say:

1.   Your knowledge of these two names increases your recognition of the perfection of Allah Almighty, and your glorification and love for Him.

2.   One of the best means for instilling modesty within a person’s heart is to consider his own weakness next to the greatness of his Lord, partially represented by these two names which indicate that Allah encompasses all creation in terms of time and place. He is the First, and everything else was initiated and created by Him; He is the Last, and everything else will perish and go away; He is the Manifest, and everything else declines against His greatness and highness and He is the Hidden, and so He is close to everything else, no matter how distant or hidden it may be.

***

 As-Samee‘ : The All-Hearing

He is the One Whose Hearing encompasses all things, secret and public, and all sounds no matter how loud or low they maybe; and He is the One Who responds to those who supplicate to Him.

This noble name occurs 45 times in the Qur’an; one of which is in the verse that reads, {Indeed, Allah is All-Hearing, All-Seeing.} [Sūrat Al-Mujādilah: 1]

Another verse says, {And [remember] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed, You are the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 127]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.      The approach of Ahl Al-Sunnah Wa Al-Jamā‘ah is so beautiful and simple in dealing with these excellent names of Allah Almighty. They say clearly: We affirm what Allah established for Himself, in His Book or by the tongue of His Prophet; yet we reject likening Him to anything else; Allah has hearing that befits His magnificence and greatness, and the created beings have hearing that befits their weakness and need. Allah Almighty says about Himself, {There is nothing like unto Him: He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.} [Sūrat Al-Shūra: 11]And regarding human beings, He says in Sūrat Al-Nisā’, {Allah wants to lighten your burdens, for man was created weak.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 28]

2.      As you are careful not to let Allah Almighty hear from you what displeases Him, also be keen to make Him hear what is pleasing to Him.

3.      To everyone in need (and we are all in need), I say: People may hear your complaint, but they may be unable to help you. As for Allah Almighty, He hears your complaint, knows your condition and answers your supplication as long as you are sincere to Him. Prophet Ibrahīm is quoted to have said in Sūrat Ibrahīm, {Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of supplication.} [Sūrat Ibrahīm: 39]

***

 Al-Baseer : The All-Seeing

He is the One Whose seeing encompasses all that exists in the seen and unseen worlds, hidden or manifest, small or great.

This noble name occurs 42 times in the Qur’an. For example: “And He is the All-Hearing, All-Seeing.” [Sūrat Al-Shūra: 11] And {And Sufficient is your Lord as All-Knower and All-Seeing of the sins of His servants.} [Sūrat Al-Isrā’: 17]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Praise Allah Almighty and extol Him as a form of worship for His hearing which encompasses everything in the heavens and earth. {The One to Whom belong the kingdom of the heavens and earth. And Allah is a Witness over all things.} [Sūrat Al-Burūj: 9]

2.   Be careful to let Allah Almighty see you in situations pleasing to Him and beware of letting Him see you in situations that displease Him. And remember His words to His Prophet, {Who sees you when you rise [to pray]. And your movements among those who prostrate themselves. He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Al-Shu‘arā’: 218-220]

3.   Follow the path trodden by the righteous predecessors and Ahl al-Sunnah as it is the right and easy course. So, believe that Allah has vision as He affirmed for Himself, and it befits Him and His majesty and power. Vision is one of the attributes of perfection. Prophet Ibrahīm criticized his father for worshiping what could not see or hear. {As he said to his father, “O my father, why do you worship what neither hears nor sees, nor avails you anything?"} [Sūrat Mariyam: 42]

4.   Your knowledge that Allah hears all sounds and sees everything in this universe inspires tranquility within your heart which prompts you to hope for the divine relief for you and your fellow Muslims everywhere and expect that Allah will inflict His punishment upon tyrants and oppressors.

***

 Al-‘Afoow : The Pardoner

He is the One Who erases and pardons sins and does not punish the perpetrator, though he deserves it.

This noble name occurs 5 times in the Qur’an. For example: {If you display a charitable [deed] or conceal it, or pardon an odious deed, then surely Allah has been Pardoner, Most Competent.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 149] And {Indeed, Allah has been Pardoner, All-Forgiving.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 43]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.      When you see how Allah Almighty pardons His servants and shows clemency towards them, your love for Him and your hope for His rewards increases.

2.      When a person knows the great clemency of Allah Almighty, no despair can remain in his heart.

3.      Whoever sincerely seeks the clemency of Allah Almighty, deserves to be pardoned by Him especially if he accompanies that with regret over his past sins and real resolve to follow the right path.

4.      One of the best means whereby you can attain the pardon of Allah is to be clement yourself towards His servants, for indeed He is Clement and loves clemency. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah increases the honor of him who pardons.”[20] Referring to the immense reward of those who pardon, Allah Almighty says,{And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah.} [Sūrat Al-Shūra: 40]

5.      There are cases when the mistake is serious, and the person at the receiving end finds it difficult to pardon given the heinousness of the error. In such situation, he should remember his Lord and how He loves and pardons those who are clement and the generous reward He has prepared for them. As a result, his fury and desire for revenge abates and his anguish turns into pleasure and peace.

A case in point is Prophet Yūsuf’s conduct towards his brothers despite all what they did to him. He said without hesitation, {No blame lies with you today. May Allah forgive you. He is the Most Merciful of all those that are merciful.} [Sūrat Yūsuf: 92]

***

 Al-Ghafoor - Al-Ghaffār : The All-Forgiving - The Superb Forgiver

The All-Forgiving is the One Who covers the sin of His servant and does not expose or punish him for it.

This name occurs 91 times in the Qur’an, most often in association with Allah’s name the Most Merciful.

For example: {Inform My servants that I am indeed the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Sūrat Al-Hijr: 49] And {Say, “O My servants who have been extravagant against themselves, do not feel despondent of the mercy of Allah! Indeed, Allah forgives sins all together; He is the indeed All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Sūrat Al-Zumar: 53]

The Superb Forgiver is a name that denotes the frequent forgiveness by Allah Almighty of the sins of His servants who ask for it.

This name occurs 5 times in the Qur’an. For example: {So I said, “Ask forgiveness of your Lord; surely He has been a Superb Forgiver.”} [Sūrat Nūh: 10] And {And I am indeed Superb Forgiver to him who repents and believes and does good and thereafter is [rightly] guided.} [Sūrat Tāha: 82]In light of these great names, I would say:

1.      Your love for Allah Almighty and your hope for His bounty will increase if you know and ponder the vastness of His forgiveness towards His servants despite their plenty of sins. All praise is due to our Lord.

2.      Know and teach others about the immense forgiveness and pardon of Allah Almighty, lest Satan may penetrate into a sinner’s heart at a moment of heedlessness and ignorance and make him despair of the mercy of his Lord Who says,{Inform My servants that I am the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Sūrat Al-Hijr: 49]

3.      Do you remember what the polytheists did to the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) as they harmed him and his Companions? Nonetheless, Allah Almighty revealed the following to him,{Say to those who disbelieve, if they refrain, whatever has already passed will be forgiven for them; and in case they go back, then the enactment [for] the former people has already gone by.} [Sūrat Al-Anfāl: 38]

***

 As-Sitteer : The Concealing

He is the One Who conceals the faults of His servant and does not publicize his faults among people. And He loves His servant who conceals his faults and private issues and faults of others.

This great name does not occur in the Qur’an, but it does in the Sunnah. Ya‘la ibn Omayyah reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) saw a man taking a bath in an open place without a lower garment. Thereupon, the Prophet ascended the pulpit, praised Allah, and said, “Indeed, Allah, Exalted and Glorified, is modest and concealing, and He loves modesty and concealment. So, when any one of you takes a bath, let him conceal himself.”[21] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.      Contemplating Allah’s name ‘the Concealing’ and its meaning will increase your love for Him and your hope for His great bounty. Indeed, a person should frequently praise Allah Almighty and show gratitude for His favors and concealment.

2.      Always remember the Prophet’s statement, “And whoever conceals the fault of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his fault on the Day of Judgment.”[22] Allah Almighty loves that His servant be concealing with regard to himself and others so that He will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter.

3.      Beware of violating Allah’s concealment of you or others. In this regard, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) made an important statement, “Everyone of my Ummah may be forgiven except those who commit sins openly.”[23]

4.      Woe to those who fall under this verse: {Indeed, those who like immorality to spread among those who believe will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know.} [Sūrat Al-Nūr: 19]

***

 Al-Haleem : The Forbearing

He is the One Who does not hasten the punishment for His servants despite His ability to do so. Rather, He pardons and forgives them if they ask for forgiveness.

This noble name occurs 11 times in the Qur’an. For example: {A kind word and forbearance is better than that charity which is followed by insult or injury. Allah is Self-Sufficient and Forbearing.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 263] And {If you give Allah a goodly loan, He will increase it for you several fold and will forgive you. Allah is the Most Appreciative, Forbearing.} [Sūrat Al-Taghābun: 17]

Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) used to make this supplication at the time of distress, “There is no god but Allah, the Majestic, the Forbearing; there is no god but Allah, the Lord of the heavens and earth, and the Lord of the Majestic Throne.”In light of this great name, I would say:

1.      Know that none can be described as forbearing unless he has the ability to inflict punishment; otherwise, he should not be labeled as such. No one has power over anyone like the power that Allah Almighty has over those who disobey Him. Nonetheless, He forgives, pardons and reprieves them. Praise be to Allah for all this!

2.      As you praise Allah Almighty for His forbearance, you should also beware of His wrath. So, hasten to ask for His forgiveness and pardon and return to Him quickly. Allah says in the Qur’an, {So flee to Allah. I am indeed a clear warner to you from Him.} [Sūrat Al-Dhāriyāt: 50]

3.      The Forbearing Lord loves those of His servants who are forbearing. Indeed, the attribute of forbearance is one of the greatest favors Allah has bestowed upon His servants. Prophet Ibrahīm and Prophet Isma‘īl (peace be upon both of them) won this attribute as it is attested by Allah Almighty, {Indeed, Abraham was forbearing, tenderhearted, and oft-turning to Allah.} [Sūrat Hūd: 75] About Isma‘īl, Allah says,{So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy.} [Sūrat Al-Sāffāt: 101]The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said to Ashajj ‘Abd Qays, “You possess two qualities which Allah and His Messenger love: Forbearance and deliberateness.”[24]

4.      Know that there are means that lead to forbearance. Pursue those means so that you can reach this noble quality. Meanwhile, remember the Prophet’s statement, “Indeed, forbearance can be attained by acting in a forbearing manner."[Narrated by Al-Tabarāni]

 Al-Lateef : The All-Subtle

It is a name that refers to Allah’s knowledge of subtle matters and that nothing is hidden to Him; and that He brings good and benefits to His servants through hidden ways that they themselves do not expect; and that He is also hidden from His servants in this world; they will only see Him in Paradise.

This great name occurs 7 times in the Qur’an. For example: {No visual perception can encompass Him, even though He encompasses all visual perception. He is the All-Subtle, All-Aware.} [Sūrat Al-An‘ām: 103] And {Would He not know, He Who has created, when He is the All-Subtle, All-Aware?} [Sūrat Al-Mulk: 14] And {Indeed, my Lord is Subtle in what He wills. Indeed, it is He who is the All-Knowing, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Yūsuf: 100] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Glorifying, praising, and loving Allah Almighty is one of the best benefits reaped from knowing His name ‘the All-Subtle’.

2.   If things grow harder for you while you are obedient to your Lord, expect imminent relief and ample favors from Him. Do not rush to judge things outwardly. How often a hardship and distress become a source of affluence and ease! {O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to become heirs to women against their will. It is not lawful that you should put constraint upon them that you may take away anything of what you have given them; unless they are guilty of brazenly immoral conduct. Live with your wives in a good manner. If you dislike them in any manner, it may be that you dislike something in which Allah has placed much good for you.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 19]

3.   Know that the meanings of subtleness also include kindness, hospitality and generosity. So, treat those under your authority and care gently so that Allah may show you the effects of unimaginable gentleness and subtleness from Him.

***

 Al-Witr : The Odd

He is the One Who has no partner.

This noble name occurs in the Prophet’s Hadīth that reads, “Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one; whoever knows them by heart shall go to Paradise. And Allah is odd (one) and He loves the odd number.” It came in another version as: "Whoever memorizes them."In light of this great name, I would say:

1.      A believer should glorify his Lord and praise Him in a way that is due to Him as He is the Odd One Who has no partner or equal, neither in His Self nor in His names and attributes.

2.      A believer should also not worship anyone except this Almighty God, for He alone possesses the absolute perfection and all others are imperfect. It is for this reason that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said to Ibn ‘Abbās, “If you ask for anything, ask for it from Allah; and if you seek help, seek it from Allah.”[25]

***

 Al-Jameel : The Beautiful

He is the One Who possesses absolute beauty in His Self, names, attributes and actions. Any beauty in His creation comes from Him.

This noble name occurs in the Hadīth in which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said about his Lord, “Allah is Beautiful and loves beauty.”[26] In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   If a person remembers and recalls the absolute beauty of his Lord, his love to Allah, longing for meeting Him and the desire to strive for looking at Him will increase. Indeed, the believers will be given nothing greater than looking at Allah Almighty in Paradise.

2.   Seek closeness to the Beautiful Lord through the beautiful words, deeds and manners that are pleasing to Him. He is Beautiful and He loves that His servants beautify themselves through purification, outward and inward.

***

 Al-‘Alee - Al-A‘la - Al-Muta‘āl : The High - The Most High - The Exalted

He is the High One in His status, power and Self, and the Exalted One before Whom all else stand in humiliation. Nothing is above Him. Everything falls under His power and authority.

The name ‘the High’ occurs 8 times in the Qur’an. For example: {And the preservation of both of them tires Him not, and He is the High, the Magnificent.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 255] The name ‘the Most High’ occurs in the verse that says, {Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High.} [Sūrat Al-A‘la: 1]

As for the name ‘the Exalted’, it occurs once in the Qur’an in a verse that reads, {[He is] the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, the Great, the Exalted.} [Sūrat Al-Ra‘d: 9] In light of these sublime names, I would say:

1.   Allah Almighty is worthy of being exalted; whereas it is only appropriate for created beings to submit to their Lord, accept His Shariah and be humble before His creation.

2.   Always remember that how high you become, Allah is Higher and has greater power over you. So, let not your transient and limited highness drive you to oppress others, for tyrants and oppressors get nothing from Allah Almighty but humiliation and disappointment. {They sought Our judgment. And every obstinate tyrant opposed to the Truth was brought to naught.} [Sūrat Ibrahīm: 15]

3.   It is good here to note the meaning of this verse: {For those who do not believe in the Hereafter is the evil attributes, whereas for Allah is the highest attributes. He is the All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Al-Nahl: 60] That is Allah Almighty Who possesses the best and most perfect attributes from every aspect. Those who do not believe in the Hereafter, on the other hand, possess evil attributes of disbelief, polytheism and ignorance.

***

 Al-Wāhid- Al-Ahad : The One - The Only One

He is the One Who is single and unique in all His absolute perfections. No one shares them with Him, and none is like Him.

Allah’s name ‘the Only One’ occurs only once in the Qur’an in Sūrat Al-Ikhlās: {Say, “He is Allah, the Only One."} It also occurs in the Sunnah. Buraydah reported from his father that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) heard a man saying, “O Allah, I implore You by virtue of my testimony that You are Allah, there is no god but You, the Only One, the Eternal Refuge, Who has not begotten and has not been begotten and none is like Him.” Thereupon, the Prophet said, “You have implored Allah by the name by which when asked, He gives, and by which when supplicated, He answers.”[27]

As for Allah’s name ‘the One’, it occurs in a number of places in the Qur’an. For example: {They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the third of three.” And there is no god except one God.} [Sūrat Al-Mā’idah: 73] And {Say, “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Superb Vanquisher.”} [Sūrat Al-Ra‘d: 16]In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   Since Allah is One and Unique in His Self, attributes and Lordship, a servant is required to believe and adhere to His Oneness in terms of belief and deeds; in other words, he should worship none but Him and not apply any Shariah except His.

2.   Know that your heart will not enjoy happiness or tranquility except through belief in the Oneness of Allah with whole devotion to Him. A heart attached to someone else will find worry and desolation. The most blissful people ever are those with the best belief in the Oneness of Allah, namely the prophets and messengers.

3.   Allah’s name ‘the One’ is not associated with any other name in the Qur’an except the name ‘the Superb Vanquisher’ for indeed it follows from Him being One that He should be Vanquisher of everything. Al Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, “The One should necessarily be Vanquisher, and the Vanquisher should necessarily be One. So, partnerships are denied from all aspects.”

4.   The scholars (may Allah have mercy upon them) mentioned some differences between the names ‘the One’ and ‘the Only One’. They include the following:

·  ‘The Only One’ is more powerful in negating polytheism than ‘the One’. It is like the difference between ‘one’ and ‘anyone’. If it is said, for example, “there is not one in the house”, this could mean there are two or three. But if it is said “there is not anyone in the house”, this means that none whatsoever is in the house.

·  The idea suits the names in Arabic; it does not apply to the English translation.

·  The idea suits the names in Arabic; it does not apply to the English translation.

***

 As-Samad : The Eternal Refuge

He is the Master with perfect glory; to Whom all creatures turn for support and fulfillment of all their needs. He provides all with sustenance, and none provides for Him.

This great name occurs only once in the Qur’an in Sūrat Al-Ikhlās: {Say, “He is Allah, the Only One. Allah, the Eternal Refuge.}

It also occurs in the Sunnah. Buraydah reported from his father that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) heard a man saying, “O Allah, I implore You by virtue of my testimony that You are Allah, there is no god but You, the Only One, the Eternal Refuge, Who has not begotten and has not been begotten, and none is like Him.” Thereupon, the Prophet said, “You have implored Allah by the name by which when asked, He gives, and by which when supplicated, He answers.”[28] In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.      This name denotes the perfection of Allah Almighty in His glory, wisdom, mercy as well as other attributes, and this inspires within one’s heart glorification and love for Him.

2.      We should invoke and rely upon none but Allah Almighty, for only He has the power to fulfill all our needs.

3.      Implore Allah Almighty by His name ‘the Eternal Refuge’, and know that He opens the door and sends unexpected blessings to those who are sincere to Him.

4.      If people realized the meaning of Allah’s name ‘the Eternal Refuge’, we would not see in our Muslim world people who go around graves and invoke those buried or seek their intercession. But unfortunately, this happens because many people are ignorant and there are a few people who spread ignorance regarding such shrines because they benefit from them. Meanwhile, they take it lightly that people associate partners with Allah Almighty Who addresses the best human being by saying,{and that mosques belong to Allah, so do not invoke anyone with Him.} [Sūrat Al-Jinn: 18] He also says, {Say, “Surely neither it is in my power to hurt you nor to bring you to the Right Way.} [Sūrat Al-Jinn: 21]

***

 As-Sayyid : The Master

He is the One with absolute mastery over His creation. He is their Owner and Lord, and they are His creation and servants.

This great name does not occur in the Qur’an, but it does occur in the Sunnah. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The Master is Allah.”[29]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.      When a person knows the glory and absolute perfection of Allah Almighty, he feels His glorification and love for Him and extends a lot of praise to Him.

2.      A person should realize that no matter what the mastery he may reach, it is still deficient and insignificant compared to the mastery of Allah, the Ever-Lasting Lord. This realization prompts him to be humble to Allah Almighty and to treat His creation in a proper manner.

3.      Whoever wants real mastery should seek it by obeying Allah, fearing Him, drawing close to Him and following His guidance. Hence, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, "I am the master of the children of Adam, and I am not bragging."[Narrated by Muslim and Al-Tirmidhi] A real master is a person established as such by Allah Almighty while He is pleased with him - not the one made a master by people while Allah is displeased with him. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not call the hypocrite ‘master.’”[30] The hypocrites and the enemies of Allah Almighty are not true masters even if people regard them as such.

***

 Al-Qāhir - Al-Qahhār : The Vanquisher - The Superb Vanquisher

He is the One Who subjugates and enslaves His servants, and He is Exalted above them. He is the Dominant One to Whom all submit. Allah’s name ‘the Superb Vanquisher’ is an exaggerated form of His name ‘the Vanquisher’.

The Vanquisher occurs twice in the Qur’an, one in the verse that reads, {And He is the Vanquisher above His servants, and He is the All-Wise, All-Aware.} [Sūrat Al-An‘ām: 18] The other one is in the verse that says,{And He is the Vanquisher above His servants, and He sends preservers over you till when death comes to any of you, Our Messengers take him up, and they do not ever neglect.} [Sūrat Al-An‘ām: 61] As for Allah’s name ‘the Superb Vanquisher’, it occurs 6 times in the Qur’an coupled in all of them with the name ‘the One’. Allah Almighty says, {Say, “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Superb Vanquisher.”} [Sūrat Al-Ra‘d: 16] In another verse, He says, {Which is far better: many different lords or Allah, the One, the Superb Vanquisher?} [Sūrat Yūsuf: 39] In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   If you believe in Allah Almighty and know that His names include the Vanquisher and the Superb Vanquisher, your heart will be filled with hope that His religion and allies will triumph and His enemies will be defeated regardless of any power they possess.

2.   Glorify Allah Almighty and praise Him for He is the Vanquisher of all else, particularly when you know that the Superb Vanquisher should only be One. If there were equals to Him, He would not be a Superb Vanquisher. That is why His name ‘the One’ is coupled with His name ‘the Superb Vanquisher’ in all verses.

3.   Considering these two magnificent names inspires within a person’s heart humbleness to the Lord of all the worlds. Thus, he reveres and trusts His Shariah and treats people kindly and modestly.

4.   Some scholars said: Allah’s name ‘the Superb Vanquisher’ exclusively belongs to Him. It is not permissible to call any created being, who is weak and ignorant by this name. Describing Allah as the Superb Vanquisher is praise of Him. However, if we describe a person as such, this is considered as dispraise of him for this name will necessarily be accompanied by oppression and tyranny against people. Allah Almighty says about Pharaoh, {He said, “We will soon massacre their sons and spare alive their women, and surely we are vanquishers above them.”} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 127] Addressing His Prophet, Allah Almighty says, {As for the orphan, do not subdue [him].} [Sūrat Al-Duha: 9]

 Al-Haqq : The Truth

He is the Real One in His being and existence and the Perfect One in His attributes. So, no one is worthy of being worshiped except Him. Everything worshiped apart from Him is false god. His speech is true, His actions are true, and His promise is true.

This noble name occurs in 10 verses in the Qur’an. For example: {That is Allah, your Lord, the Truth.} [Sūrat Yūnus: 32] And {So high above all is Allah, the King, the Truth.} [Sūrat Tāha: 114] The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) used to say during his night Qunūt, “O Allah, praise is due to You. You are the Truth; Your speech is true, and the meeting with You is true.”[31] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   The most thing you should be glad about is that you have been guided to the True God and you follow His true religion, and thus you are subject to His true promise. In this way, you will live in guidance in this world and in bliss in the Hereafter. {O mankind, the promise of Allah is certainly true.} [Sūrat Fātir: 5]

2.   You should be completely content with Allah’s commandments and destiny. Nothing comes from Him but what is true, good and wise. Allah Almighty commanded His Prophet to challenge the polytheists, saying, {Say, “Are there of your ‘partners’ anyone who guides to the truth?” Say, “Allah guides to the truth. So is He who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed or he who guides not unless he is guided? Then what is [wrong] with you - how do you judge?"} [Sūrat Yūnus: 35]

3.   Remember the Prophet’s statement defining arrogance, "Arrogance is to reject the truth and despise people."[Narrated by Muslim] Do not reject the truth and thus incur the wrath of Allah, the Truth.

4.   Nothing is more assured than the promise of Allah Almighty, if we follow His path. He has promised the believers with victory, empowerment, and a good outcome. So, they should be reassured and certain that distress will be relieved and what is usurped will be taken back.

***

 Al-Mubeen : The Evident

He is the One Who is Evident in His Oneness, wisdom and mercy; and He is the One Who makes the path to guidance clear to His servants so that they can follow it, and makes the path to misguidance clear so that they can keep away from it.

This is one of the excellent names that occurs only once in the Qur’an in the verse that says, {That Day, Allah will pay them in full their deserved recompense, and they will know that it is Allah Who is the Evident Truth.} [Sūrat Al-Nūr: 25]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Knowing the meaning of this name is one of the great things that show you how vast Allah’s favors and mercy towards His servants are, especially the Muslim Ummah, as He sent to us the Evident Book and the Evident Prophet. In the Qur’an, He says, {Alif, Lam, Ra. Those are the verses, of the Evident Book.} [Sūrat Yūsuf: 1] He also says, {However could they have the Reminding, and an evident Messenger has already come to them.} [Sūrat Al-Dukhān: 13]

2.   This great name prompts all of us to resort to Allah Almighty, especially when things get complicated and the truth and falsehood become intertwined. So, we turn to Him to clarify the truth to us and make us willing to accept and follow it - and to expose the falsehood to us and guide us to hate it and warn others of it.

***

 Al-Qawī- Al-Mateen : The All-Powerful - The Strong

‘The All-Powerful’ is the One Who possesses absolute power and ability. No one can resist Him or repel His decree, and nothing in the heavens or earth can ever escape His power.

Allah’s name ‘the All-Powerful’ occurs 9 times in the Qur’an, mostly coupled with His name the All-Mighty. For example: {Allah is Ever-Kind to His servants; He provides whomever He wills; and He is the All-Powerful, the All-Mighty.} [Sūrat Al-Shūra: 19] And {Indeed, Allah is the All-Powerful, All-Mighty.} [Sūrat Al-Hadīd: 25]

As for the name ‘the Strong’, it refers to His tremendous strength and power, and that He finds no difficulty in whatever He does. Allah’s name ‘the Strong’ occurs only once in the Qur’an in a verse that says, {Indeed, Allah is the Superb Provider, the Owner of Power, the Strong.} [Sūrat Al-Dhāriyāt: 58] In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   No matter how much strength you possess, it is nothing compared to Allah’s strength. Therefore: Be humble before Allah, the Lord of the Throne, so that you may be elevated. No servant who submits to the Creator can ever be disappointed.

2.   It is incumbent upon all of us to rely on none but Allah, the All-Powerful, the Strong, for He is always the strong support when others let us down.

3.   We feel such great tranquility and peace of mind as we know that the One we rely upon is the Strong God Whose commands and decrees can never be opposed. What strength can any enemy possibly put up before the Almighty God, the Strong!

What matters is to know how to gain and deserve Allah’s assistance and support. {Indeed, Allah will definitely help those who help Him. Indeed, Allah is surely All-Powerful, All-Mighty.} [Sūrat Al-Hajj: 40]

***

 Al-Hayīy : The Modest

He is the One with modesty that befits His majesty and tremendous power. Indeed, the modesty of Allah Almighty is one of generosity, kindness, and magnificence.

This name does not occur in the Qur’an, but it does in the Prophet’s Hadīth, “Indeed, Allah, Exalted and Glorified, is modest and concealing, and He loves modesty and concealment. So, when one of you takes a bath, let him conceal himself.”[32]

It came in the Hadīth reported by Salmān (may Allah be pleased with him), “Verily, your Almighty Lord is Modest and Generous. He is so Modest that He would not let His servant who raises his hands to Him (in supplication) be rejected, empty-handed.”[33] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   This name inspires love for Allah Almighty within our hearts, as well as modesty before Him; and it also makes us praise Him for His forbearance, generosity, pardon, and concealment towards His servants as it is indicated by His name ‘the Modest’.

2.   Know that one of the attributes most pleasing to Allah Almighty in His servants is modesty. Indeed, it is a part of faith and it prompts people to keep away from all ugly and inappropriate behaviors and to do what is good.

***

 Al-Hayy - Al-Qayyūm : The Ever-Living - The All-Sustainer

The Ever-Living is the One Who has permanent life and existence that has no beginning or end; all life in existence stems from Him, Exalted be He.

This great name occurs 5 times in the Qur’an, most notably in the Verse of Al-Kursi: {Allah - there is no god except Him, the Ever-Living, the All-Sustainer.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 255] Another verse reads, {And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt [Allah] with His praise. And sufficient is He to be All-Aware with the sins of His servants.} [Sūrat Al-Furqān: 58] And it occurs in the Sunnah in the Prophet’s supplication, “O Allah, the Ever-Living, the All-Sustainer, I seek relief in Your mercy.”[34] And in the Hadīth in which Ibn ‘Abbās (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) used to say, “O Allah, I surrender to You, I believe in You, I rely on You, I return in repentance to You, I take your opponents as enemies. I seek refuge with Your Honor, there is no god but You, that You do not lead me astray. You are the Ever-Living who never dies, yet the jinn and humans will all die.” [Narrated by Muslim]

 Al-Qayyūm : As for the name ‘the All-Sustainer’

He is the All-Sustainer, the One Who does not need any of His creation; and He is sustaining all those in the heavens and earth who all stand in need of Him.

This noble name occurs 3 times in the Qur’an, most notably in the Verse of Al-Kursi: {Allah - there is no god except Him, the Ever-Living, the All-Sustainer.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 255] And also in the initial verses in Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: {Alif, Lam, Meem. Allah - there is no god except Him, the Ever-Living, the All-Sustainer.} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 1-2]In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   Always remember that the Greatest One who deserves praise and loves to be praised is Allah Almighty. His name ‘the All-Sustainer’ is coupled with the name the Ever-Living to comprise all the attributes of absolute perfection, complete self-sufficiency and absolute power.

2.   Stand in need of your Lord constantly. You are innately needy and He is innately Self-Sufficient. Remember that the more you feel humble and needy before your Lord, the richer you become.

3.   Know that your life and movements entirely depend on Allah, the Sustainer. So, reform your relationship with Him so that He will give you good health and guide your steps.

4.   Stick to invoking Allah Almighty using His names ‘the Ever-Living’ and ‘the All-Sustainer’ for it is reported in the Hadīths that this helps get your invocation answered and your need fulfilled. In a Hadīth reported by Anas, a man supplicated to Allah Almighty using these two great names and praising Him. Thereupon, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “He invoked Allah by His greatest name by which when asked, He gives, and by which when supplicated, He answers.”[35]

***

 Ash-Shākir – Ash-Shakoor : The Appreciative - The Ever-Appreciative

He is the One Who accepts good deeds, however small, and gives a reward for them, multiplies the reward, and increases His favors and praise upon His servants. The Ever-Appreciative is more profound than that.

Allah’s name ‘the Appreciative’ occurs twice in the Qur’an. One is in Sūrat Al-Baqarah in the verse that says, {Indeed, Safa and Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘Umrah - there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good - then indeed, Allah is Appreciative, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 158] And the other is in the verse that reads, {What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And Allah is ever Appreciative, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 147]

As for His name ‘the Ever-Appreciative’, it occurs 4 times in the Qur’an, including: {They will say, All praise is due to Allah Who has taken away all sorrow from us. Surely our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Appreciative.} [Sūrat Fātir: 34] And {If you give Allah a goodly loan, He will increase it for you several fold and will forgive you. Allah is Ever-Appreciative, Forbearing.} [Sūrat Al-Taghābun: 17]In light of these great names, I would say:

1.   With these two names and knowing their meanings, love for Allah Almighty grows in our hearts.

2.   These two names motivate us to perform a lot of good deeds and act rightly, knowing that Allah Almighty appreciates every good act and rewards it generously.

3.   How amazing are the favors and generosity of Allah towards His servants, as He guides them to what is good in the first place and then appreciates it and rewards them.

4.   As people deal with one another, a person appreciates any favor done to him. But when you deal with Allah Almighty, you find that He appreciates the favor you do to your own self. You pray, give charity, and do good, while you are the one who benefits from this. {If you do good, you do good to yourselves.} Nonetheless, Allah Almighty appreciates it, even though He is in no need for His creation. All good and endless praise is due to Him.

5.   Consider how Allah’s name ‘the Ever-Forgiving’ is beautifully coupled with His name ‘the Ever-Appreciative’ and you will recognize the great favors of Allah upon His servants. {They will say, All praise be to Allah Who has taken away all sorrow from us. Surely our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Appreciative.} (Sūrat Fātir: 34)He forgives sins, whatever they are great and appreciates good deeds, whatever they are small.

6.   The Ever-Appreciative God loves the appreciative among His servants, those who show gratitude to their Lord and to other people who do good to them. {We enjoined upon man to be dutiful to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning lasted two years: Be grateful to Me and to your parents. To Me is your ultimate return.} [Sūrat Luqmān: 14]

***

 Al-Fattāh : The Greatest Judge

Al-Fattāh, in Arabic, is the One Who opens the treasures of His dominion, mercy and provisions to whomever He wills among His servants according to His wisdom and knowledge.

It also means the One Who judges between His servants justly and gives victory to His pious servants over His enemies.

This great name occurs only once in the Qur’an in the verse that says, {Say, Our Lord will bring us together and then He will rightly judge between us. He is the Greatest Judge, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Saba’: 26] It occurs in the plural form in the verse that says, {Our Lord, judge between us and our people in truth, and You are the best of those who judge.} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 89]In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   This name inspires us to love Allah Almighty and aspire for what He has, for all treasures lie in His hand. Allah says, {Whatever mercy Allah accords to people, none can withhold; and whatever He withholds, no other will be able to release after Him. He is the All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Fātir: 2]

2.   Whenever you find that your provisions are restricted and all doors are closed before you, turn to your Lord, Al-Fattāh, and invoke Him using this great name so that perhaps He will grant you what you want, for none can actually do this but Him.

3.   Trust your Lord and be reassured about His promise and by His promise. Indeed, He helps those who help Him [His religion]. Rather, victory comes only from Him. In this way, the prophets received victory from the One Who bestows it. Prophet Nūhis quoted in the Qur’an to have said, {He said, “My Lord, indeed my people have denied me. So pass a clear judgment between me and them and rescue me and the believers with me.”} [Sūrat Al-Shu‘arā’: 117-118]Prophet Shu‘ayb is quoted as saying, {Our Lord, judge between us and our people in truth, and You are the best of those who judge.} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 89]

***

 Al-‘Aleem – Al-‘Ālim : The All-Knowing - The Knowledgeable

He is the One Whose knowledge encompasses all things, outward and inward, open and secret, past, present, and future. Nothing is hidden from Him.

This noble name occurs 157 times in the Qur’an. For example: {They said, “Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the All-Knowing, All-Wise."} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 32] And {Indeed, Allah alone has the knowledge of the Hour. It is He Who sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs, although no person knows what he will earn tomorrow, nor does he know in which land he will die. Indeed, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.} [Sūrat Luqmān: 34] As for Allah’s name ‘the Knowledgeable’, it occurs in the plural form in two verses in Sūrat Al-Anbiyā’: {Surely We had bestowed wisdom upon Abraham even earlier, and We were Knowledgeable of him.} [Sūrat Al-Anbiyā’: 51] And {And We subdued the strongly raging wind to Solomon which blew at his command towards the land We blessed. We are Knowledgeable of everything.} [Sūrat Al-Anbiyā’: 81]

And it is attached to the Unseen and the Witnessed or the Unseen only in 13 places in the Qur’an. For example: {They will excuse themselves to you when you return to them. Say, “Do not excuse yourselves; we will never believe you.” Allah has already fully informed us of (some of) your tidings; and Allah will soon see your doing, and His Messenger (will see). Thereafter you will be turned back to the Knowledgeable of the Unseen and the Witnessed (and) so He will fully inform you of what you used to do.} [Sūrat Al-Tawbah: 94] And {He is the Knowledgeable of the Unseen, and He does not disclose His Unseen to anyone.} [Sūrat Al-Jinn: 26]

1.   When we learn about the knowledge of Allah Almighty, our glorification and praise for Him and His perfection grows.

2.   And when we also know that Allah is Knowledgeable of our situation, this should prompt us to engage in more good deeds and to perform them better; and this should also prevent us from committing sins.

3.   My sure knowledge that Allah, the All-Knowing, is Watchful over everything in the universe increases my reassurance and my belief that Allah’s victory and promise will certainly come true. Hence, one of the best sources of the Prophet’s solace and comfort is that Allah Almighty would remind him that He is Knowledgeable of his condition and the condition of his enemies. {We certainly know that their statements surely grieve you.} [Sūrat Al-Hijr: 97]

4.   One of the greatest concerns of a person seeking help is the probability that his helper does not hear him or know about his situation. This is not the case when dealing with Allah Almighty. So, we should trust Him and expect His relief.

5.   How would a person choose for his life a law other than the Shariah of the All-Knowing and the All-Wise Lord! This is nothing but ignorance and wrongdoing. Allah Almighty says, {Do they desire judgment according to the Law of Ignorance? But for those who have certainty of belief whose judgment can be better than Allah’s?} [Sūrat Al-Mā’idah: 50]

6.   Allah’s pleasure with any of His servants is based on His knowledge of him. In fact, this constitutes a slap in the face of some ugly people who slandered the Prophet’s Companions and declared them disbelievers even though Allah Almighty is pleased with them and did please them, as revealed in Sūrat Al-Fat’h: {Allah was much pleased with the believers when they swore fealty to you under the tree. He knew what was in their hearts. So He bestowed inner peace upon them and rewarded them with a victory near at hand.} [Sūrat Al-Fat’h: 18]

7.   How poor are those criminals who secretly and cunningly plot against people. Allah Almighty says, {Whether you speak in secrecy or aloud, (it is all the same to Allah). He knows the secrets that lie hidden in the breasts of people.} [Sūrat Al-Mulk: 13]If they have cunning plots and schemes, we do have: {And Allah surrounds them.}

***

 Al-Hakeem : The All-Wise

He is the One Who puts everything in its proper place, and His planning is never marred by any defect or error. Supreme wisdom belongs to Him in what He creates and does, and His judgments are the best.

This noble name occurs 91 times in the Qur’an. For example: {All that is in the heavens and earth extols the glory of Allah. He is the All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Al-Hadīd: 1]And {As for the thief - male or female - cut off the hands of them both. This is a recompense for what they have done as an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Al-Mā’idah: 38] And {O Prophet, fear Allah and do not obey the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Verily Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Al-Ahzāb: 1]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   We should feel complete reassurance as regards the religious and fateful rulings of Allah Almighty, for nothing comes from Him but what is good and right. He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, the All-Aware.

2.   We should know that our minds are too deficient to realize the wisdom of Allah Almighty, behind all that happens in the universe. It is reasonable to realize that reason has its limits!

3.   There is nothing wrong if you try to arrive at the wisdom in the Shariah of Allah Almighty in order to be more submissive to Him and have deeper reassurance. But it would be wrong and unreasonable to base your belief upon knowing the wisdom behind everything. This reminds us of Prophet Ibrahīm’s statement, {And [remember] when Abraham said, “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.” [Allah] said, “Have you not believed?” He said, “Yes, but just to reassure my heart.”} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 260]

4.   Implore Allah, the All-Wise, to bestow wisdom upon you. In the Qur’an, He says, {He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 269]

***

 Al-Hakam : The Judge

He is the One Who judges between His creation justly. He does not wrong anyone. And He revealed His Book as a judge among people.

This noble name occurs in the Prophet’s Hadīth: “Indeed, Allah is the Judge, and judgment belongs to Him.”[36] In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   Our hearts should be completely reassured about the worldly rulings of Allah and totally content with His commandments. No one is wiser, more just or more merciful than Him. In the Qur’an, He says,{Is not Allah the most just of judges?} [Sūrat Al-Tīn: 8]

2.   It is prohibited to refer for judgment on the earth of Allah but to His rulings. {Do they desire judgment according to the Law of Ignorance? But for those who have certainty of belief, whose judgment can be better than Allah’s?}

3.   It is really unwise for individuals, groups or countries to abandon the rulings and Shariah of Allah Almighty, while He is the Creator, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, and the Ever-Merciful, and turn to deficient man-made laws. {You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. Verily, judgment belongs to none except Allah.} [Sūrat Yūsuf: 40]

***

 Al-Khabeer : The All-Aware

He is the One Whose knowledge encompasses all inward and hidden things as well as the outward ones.

This great name occurs 45 times in the Qur’an. For example: {Indeed, their Lord with them, that Day, is All-Aware.} [Sūrat Al-‘Ādiyāt: 11] And {And what We have revealed to you [O Muhammad] of the Book is the truth, confirming what was before it. Indeed, Allah, of His servants, is All-Aware, All-Seeing.} [Sūrat Fātir: 31] And {And He is the Vanquisher above His servants, and He is the All-Wise, the All-Aware.} [Sūrat Al-An‘ām: 18] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Our knowledge of the meaning of this name increases our glorification and praise for Allah Almighty, as well as our love for Him.

2.   Our belief in the meaning and comprehensiveness of this great name prompts us to do good deeds and to do them perfectly and deters us from doing wrong to our Lord or to His creation. Allah Almighty says, {And how many have We destroyed from the generations after Noah. And sufficient is your Lord as All-Aware and All-Seeing of the sins of His servants.} [Sūrat Al-Isrā’: 17]

3.   A person can possibly deceive people and pretend to them that he is honest, kind, and religious while he is inwardly malicious and wicked. But, before Allah Almighty, all secrets are exposed. {Whether you speak secretly or loudly, He knows the secrets that lie hidden in the breasts of people. Does He not know, He Who has created, while He is the All-Subtle, All-Aware?} [Sūrat Al-Mulk: 13]So, he can either repent to his Lord and ask Him for pardon and forgiveness or wait to be exposed and punished, sooner or later. Allah Almighty says, {And who is a greater wrong-doer than he who invents a lie against Allah? Such men will be set forth before their Lord and witnesses will say, “These are those who lied against their Lord. Lo! Allah’s curse be upon the wrong-doers.”} [Sūrat Hūd: 18]

4.   It is not possible for a person who knew the meaning of Allah’s name ‘the All-Aware’ to have any doubt or worry whatsoever regarding the beauty of the Shariah of Allah and the correctness of His rulings in every time and place. This should come as no wonder for it is the Shariah of the All-Wise and All-Aware Lord.

***

 At-Tawwāb : The Accepting of Repentance

He is the One Who returns to His servant with approval after being angry at him and with forgiveness after punishing him or the punishment becomes due. And He is the One Who enables His servant to repent and accepts his repentance.

This noble name occurs 11 times in the Qur’an. For example: {Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He Who is the Accepting of Repentance, the Ever-Merciful.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 37] And {Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is the Accepting of repentance.} [Sūrat Al-Nasr: 3]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Always remember that the one who is most worthy of praise, laudation, and extolment is Allah Almighty. We cannot extend enough praise to Him; indeed, He is as He has praised Himself. Praise your Lord for His acceptance of repentance from His servants and His vast forgiveness and pardon. {It is He Who accepts repentance from His servants and forgives sins and knows all what you do.} [Sūrat Al-Shūra: 25]

2.   When we contemplate how Allah Almighty generously accepts repentance from His servants, we feel love for Him and our despair goes away for He is the Most Beloved One. {And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, and because Allah is accepting of Repentance, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Al-Nūr: 10]

3.   O sinner, and we all do sin, implore Allah Almighty to make you incline to sincere repentance without delay and ask Him to accept it from you. Remember Allah’s favor upon the three persons who lagged behind, as He forgave them. {And [He also forgave] the three who stayed behind [and regretted their error] to the point that the earth became constrained on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them so they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of Repentance, Ever-Merciful.} [Sūrat Al-Tawbah: 118]

4.   Consider the Prophet’s statement: “All human beings are sinners, and the best of sinners are those who frequently repent.”[37] And know that people are of two types, as revealed in Sūrat Al-Hujūrāt: {And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers.} So, they are either forgiven repentant ones or deprived wrongdoers.

5.   Remember what the scholars rightly said: Repentance is a trait of the believer accompanying him in all stages of life and during his entire journey. Indeed, he will always do wrong things, no matter how pious he may be. Here is our Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), the dearest person in Allah’s sight, saying, “O people, repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness. Verily, I repent to Allah one hundred times a day.”[38]

***

 Al-Qareeb : The Near

He is the One close to all His creation, Who encompasses them and knows their conditions. He is also close to the believers by supporting and protecting them and answering their invocations.

This great name occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. For example: {And when My servants ask you [O Muhammad] concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 186] And {And to Thamūd [We sent] their brother Sālih. He said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no god other than Him. He has produced you from the earth and settled you in it, so ask forgiveness from Him and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is near and responsive.”} [Sūrat Hūd: 61]In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   What a great solace it is when a servant knows that his Lord is near him! He feels reassured and his hope and trust increase.

2.   As you know that Allah is near you, this should prompt you to get close to Him by things dear and pleasing to Him. He says in the Qur’an,{Indeed, the mercy of Allah is near to the doers of good.} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 56] He also said in a Qudsi Hadīth, “My servant does not draw close to Me through things dearer to Me than what I made obligatory for him; and My servant continues to draw close to Me through supererogatory acts until I love him.”[39]

3.   Remember the Prophet’s statement, “A servant is nearest to his Lord when he is prostrating himself.”So, be one of those who prostrate themselves, in obligatory and supererogatory prayers, and be one of those who prostrate themselves physically and spiritually within their hearts.

***

 Al-Mujeeb : The Responsive

He is the One Who answers the call and invocation of His servants according to His knowledge and wisdom.

This is one of the excellent names that occur only once in the Qur’an, in the verse that says, {And then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is near and responsive.} [Sūrat Hūd: 61] It occurs in the plural form in the verse that says, {And Noah had certainly called Us, and [We are] the best of responders.} [Sūrat Al-Sāffāt: 75]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   This name should inspire us to invoke Allah Almighty and hope for what He has, presenting our worldly, religious and otherworldly needs to Him. Whenever a servant is true to his Lord, the Almighty Lord is true to him. So, stand in need before His ample bounty, frequently ask from Him, and admit your shortcoming with regard to His rights. And then expect abundant favors from Him. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Verily, your Almighty Lord is Modest and Generous. He is so Modest that He would not let His servant who raises his hands to Him (in supplication) be rejected empty-handed.”[40]

2.   Here is the truth of the matter in brief: “It is a response in exchange for a response.”This is indicated in the verse that reads,{And when My servants ask you [O Muhammad] concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 186]

***

 Al-Wadood : The Most Affectionate

He is the Loving One Who loves His pious servants and shows affection to them through forgiveness and giving - and they love Him. When Allah Almighty loves someone, He answers his invocations, protects him from what he fears, and makes him well accepted by people. And when a person loves Allah Almighty, he obeys Him and longs to meet Him.

This noble name occurs twice in the Qur’an. One is in the verse that says, {And ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is Most Merciful, Most Affectionate.} [Sūrat Hūd: 90] The second time is in the verse that reads, {And He is the All-Forgiving, Most Affectionate.} [Sūrat Al-Burūj: 14]In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   We should praise our Lord a lot, especially when we know that the Lord we worship is the Most Affectionate. All praise is due to Him.

2.   A wise person would pursue every means that wins him the love of Allah Almighty, such as faith, kindness to people, drawing close to Him through various kinds of obligatory and supererogatory acts of worship and repenting to Him from any shortcoming or mistake. {Surely Allah loves the ones constantly repenting, and He loves the ones constantly purifying themselves.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 222]

3.   Whoever wants to taste the love of Allah Almighty should get to know the perfect attributes of His majesty and beauty and reflect upon His great bounty and favors towards His creation. In the Qur’an, He says, {And whatever favor you have - it is from Allah. Then when adversity touches you, to Him you cry for help.} [Sūrat Al-Nahl: 53]

4.   Always remember that one of the clearest signs of Allah’s love for a person is what He revealed in the verse that says,{Say [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 31]

5.   When a person tastes Allah’s love, life becomes pleasant in his eyes, good deeds become easy for him and he enjoys abandonment of sins and misdeeds for the sake of his Lord. His eagerness shall continue until he sees his Lord Whose promise is sure to come. {Some faces on that Day will be fresh and resplendent, looking at their Lord.} [Sūrat Al-Qiyāmah: 22-23]

***

 Al-Wali - Al-Mawla : The Guardian - The Protector

The Guardian is the One Who manages the affairs of His creation and dominion and He is the supporter of His pious servants.

This noble name occurs 11 times in the Qur’an. For example: {And Allah is most knowing of your enemies; and sufficient is Allah as a guardian, and sufficient is Allah as a helper.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 45] And {And it is He who sends down the rain after they had despaired and spreads His mercy. And He is the Guardian, Praiseworthy.} [Sūrat Al-Shūra: 28]The Protector is the Lord, the King, and the Master Who supports, helps, and protects His pious servants. This noble name occurs 12 times in the Qur’an. For example: {And He is an excellent protector and an excellent helper.} [Sūrat Al-Hajj: 78] And {He is an excellent protector and an excellent helper.} [Sūrat Al-Anfāl: 40]In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   Know that you will gain as much protection from Allah as your level of faith. So, it is up to you to take much or little.

2.   Remember that when a person takes Allah as a protector, He protects him, and that the allies of Allah Almighty are not those who possess supernatural powers, as alleged by some, but they are the pious believers. {Verily, [for] the allies of Allah there will be no fear on them, nor will they grieve. Those who believe and fear Allah.} [Sūrat Yūnus: 62]

3.   If you are not one of the allies and close servants of Allah, be sure at least to love and support them and strive to imitate them. As long as you belong to them, you will not be miserable. In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty says, {The believing men and believing women are allies of one another.} [Sūrat Al-Tawbah: 71]

4.   The protection of Allah is both general and specific. His general protection encompasses all His servants, for He is their Master, Creator, and Owner. {Then they will be returned to Allah, their true Protector. Unquestionably, His is the judgment, and He is the swiftest Reckoner.} [Sūrat Al-An‘ām: 62]

Allah’s specific protection is for the believers. He supports, helps, and protects them. The biggest winner of these is the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty commands him to say, {My guardian is Allah Who has revealed the Book, and it is He Who protects the righteous.} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 196]

***

 Al-Hameed : The Praiseworthy

He is the One Who is praised for His names, attributes and actions, and He is praised at good and bad times and in prosperity and adversity.

This noble name occurs 17 times in the Qur’an. For example: {They were guided to the pure word; they were guided to the Way of the Praiseworthy.} [Sūrat Al-Hajj: 24] And {Against these they had no grudge except that they believed in Allah, the All-Mighty, Praiseworthy.} [Sūrat Al-Burūj: 8]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Know that Allah Almighty is praiseworthy for His perfect attributes, even if His servants do not praise Him.

2.   You should also know that one of the greatest verbal acts of worship is to frequently extend due praise to Allah. Let your tongue say it, your heart feel it, and your rank be elevated because of it. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “And ‘glory be to Allah’ and ‘praise be to Allah’ fill what is between the heaven and earth.”[41]Praise is to describe Allah by the perfection of His Self, attributes, and actions while feeling love and glorification for Him. If love and glorification is not there, then your praise is not a true one.

3.   One of the most sublime things for which Allah Almighty is praised is His excellent names and attributes. He is praised for His power and strength, forbearance, knowledge, majesty, magnificent authority, and His vast mercy and forgiveness. Then, He is praised for His blessings and bounty.

4.   We should try to know the situations where the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) is authentically reported to have engaged in Dhikr comprising praise for Allah Almighty. For example, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that whenever the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) went to bed, he would say, “All praise is due to Allah, Who provided us with both food and drink, protected and provided us with shelter. There are many who have no one to protect or shelter them.” [Narrated by Muslim]

5.   Let me conclude my speech on this with the words of Al-Zajjāj (may Allah have mercy upon him), “Allah Almighty is the One Who is praised by everyone and in every situation as we say in the supplication, 'All praise is due to Allah, other than Whom none is praised for all conditions.'"[42]

Here I’d like to note the lack of accuracy in the common phrase that says, “All praise is due to Allah, other than Whom none is praised for unpleasant things.” This was also noted by the two erudite scholars Ibn ‘Uthaymīn and Al-Barrāk.

***

 An-Naseer : The Helper

He is the One Who helps and supports whom He wills. Those He supports cannot be defeated by anyone, and those He abandons cannot be supported by anyone.

This noble name occurs 4 times in the Qur’an. For example: {He is an excellent protector and an excellent helper.} [Sūrat Al-Anfāl: 40] And {And sufficient is Allah as a guardian, and sufficient is Allah as a helper.} (Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 45) And {And sufficient is your Lord as a guide and a helper.} [Sūrat Al-Furqān: 31]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Know that victory can only be sought from the One Who can give it, namely Allah Almighty. {And victory is not but from Allah. Indeed, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Al-Anfāl: 10]

2.   If you know that none can give you victory but Allah Almighty, you should also know that if He supports you, none can defeat you even if all mankind and jinn were united against you. Allah Almighty says, {If Allah helps you none shall prevail over you; if He forsakes you then who can help you? It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 160]

3.   If you want to know the means whereby you can get support and victory from your Lord, consider the verse that says, {O you who believe, if you support Allah, He will support you and make you stand firm.} He says in another verse, {And helping the believers is ever incumbent on Us.} [Sūrat Al-Rūm: 47] He also says, {Surely We shall help Our Messengers and the believers in the life of this world and on the Day when witnesses will rise to testify.} [Sūrat Ghāfir: 51]

4.   Commenting on the verse that says,{But Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers}, Al-Tabari (may Allah have mercy upon him) said, {But Allah is your protector}: He is your guardian and supporter against His disbelieving enemies. {and He is the best of helpers} Not the Jews and disbelievers to whom you rush for help. So, resort to your helper and protector, the Almighty Lord, and seek His support, not the support of those who want for you nothing but evils and misfortunes.

***

 Al-Hafeez – Al-Hāfiz : The All-Preserver - The Preserver

These two noble names point out Allah’s protection for His servants so that they can lead their life as predestined for them, and He preserves their deeds, good and bad. He also protects His pious servants from anything that may undermine their faith, notably suspicious matters, vain desires and Satanic insinuations.

Allah’s name the All-Preserving occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. For example: {Surely my Lord is All-Preserving of all things.} [Sūrat Hūd: 57] And {And your Lord is All-Preserving of all things.} [Sūrat Saba’: 21]As for His name the Preserver, it occurs in a verse that says, {But Allah is the best Preserver and He is the most Merciful of the merciful ones.} [Sūrat Yūsuf: 64] And it occurs in another verse that reads, {Indeed, it is We who sent down the Reminder, and We will be its Preservers.} [Sūrat Al-Hijr: 9]In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   A person should heed Allah Almighty in all what he says and does for He preserves the deeds of His servants in order to hold them accountable for them on the Day of Judgment. {No! But you deny the Recompense. And surely there are indeed preservers over you; honorable writers. They know whatever you do.} (Surat Al-Infitār: 9-12)

2.   Contemplating the meaning of this name fills the heart with extolment of Allah Almighty Who generally preserves all His creation. {And the preservation of them both tires Him not, and He is the High, the Magnificent.}And He particularly preserves His pious servants. He says, {Indeed, Allah defends those who believe.} [Sūrat Al-Hajj: 38]

3.   The path is clear to whoever wants to gain the specific preservation of Allah, keeping him away from suspicious matters and vain desires and preserving him from his enemies in the world and from the horrors on the Day of Judgment.

Hence, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Be mindful of Allah, and He will preserve you.”[43]

Be mindful of Allah Almighty, by establishing His Shariah, performing His obligations and following His Prophet’s path - and in this way you will gain Allah’s preservation for you in the worldly life and in the Hereafter.

***

 Al-Majeed : The Most Glorious

He is the One Who is Glorious in terms of His excellent names and attributes as well as His bounty and magnificence.

This great name occurs twice in the Qur’an. One is in a verse that says, {May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy, Most Glorious.} [Sūrat Hūd: 73] And the other one is in a verse saying, {And He is the All-Forgiving, the Most Affectionate, the Owner of the Throne, the Ever-Glorious.} [Sūrat Al-Burūj: 14-15]In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Since Allah Almighty is the Most Glorious and possesses tremendous magnificence and bounty, then He alone should be worshiped and turned to for the relief of distress and the fulfillment of needs.

2.   If you seek glory and high status, get close to the Most Glorious Lord, obeying and praising Him and acting upon His Glorious Book.

3.   Allah Almighty describes His Throne as Most Glorious, saying, {The Owner of the Most Glorious Throne.} The Throne is the biggest and most massive of all the creation known to us. Allah Almighty describes His Book as Most Glorious, saying, {Qāf. By the Most Glorious Qur’an.} The noble Qur’an is glorious in terms of its miracles, rulings, and blessings which are inexhaustible.

4.   We are required to glorify our Creator by frequently remembering Him, praising Him, and heeding His commands and prohibitions. Do not ever remember a created being or glorify him more than you remember and glorify the Most Glorious Creator.

***

 Ash-Shaheed : The Ever-Witness

He is the One Ever-Watchful over all His creation, hearing all sounds and seeing all beings.

This noble name occurs 18 times in the Qur’an, one of which is in the verse that reads, {And You are Ever-Witness over all things.} [Sūrat Al-Mā’idah: 117]In another verse, He says, {Allah suffices as a Witness.}In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   When you know that Allah is Ever-Witness over all His creation, this gives you reassurance, in case you are righteous or oppressed, and warning you, if you are a sinner or oppressor. Allah Almighty says, {Surely Allah is Ever-Witness over all things.} [Sūrat Al-Hajj: 17]

2.   Do not be too worried about the current situation of Islam and the oppression inflicted upon its followers, for Allah is the Ever-Witness, the All-Wise, and the Ever-Merciful. He is watchful over the plots of the disbelievers and hypocrites and knows well the weakness of Muslims. {The people of the pit were killed, with fire abounding in fuel, while they sat around it, and they were witnessing what they did to the believers. Against these they had no grudge except that they believed in Allah, the All-Mighty, the Praiseworthy, Who has the Kingdom of the heavens and earth, and Allah is Ever-Witness over all things.} [Sūrat Al-Burūj: 4-9]

What matters is your true commitment to this religion and your keenness to be among the righteous for whom will be the good outcome, even if they are powerless.

***

 Al-Muqaddim – Al-Mu’akhkhir : The Advancer - The Delayer

He is the One Who advances some of His creatures, in terms of their creation, and delays others, according to His will and wisdom; and He is the One Who advances some of His servants, in terms of merit, and delays others, in accordance with His will, knowledge and mercy.

These two noble names occur in the Prophet’s Hadīth comprising the prayer opening invocation during his Tahajjud at night, “O Allah, to You I surrender and in You I believe... You are the Advancer, and You are the Delayer; there is no god but You.”[44] Also, ‘Ali bin Abi Tālib (may Allah be pleased with him), describing the Prophet’s prayer, reported that he used to say between Tashahhud and Taslīm, “O Allah, forgive me for what has come to pass of my sins and what will come to pass, what I have concealed and what I have declared, what I have done with excess, and what You know about better than me. You are the One Who brings forward and You are the One Who holds back. There is no god but You.”[45] In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   The advance and delay brought about by Allah Almighty is of two types:

·      Universal, like making some creatures better than human beings in creation. This is all based on His wisdom and knowledge.

·      Shar‘i, like giving precedence to some people over others in terms of merit. A case in point is the prophets, who are preferred over other people. This is based on justice, mercy, and grace.

2.   You should know that when Allah Almighty gives precedence to some of His servants over others, this is not based on their looks or physical bodies, but on what He knows of the sincerity, purity, and faith in their hearts, as well as their righteous words and acts. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Indeed, Allah does not look at your forms or wealth, but He looks at your hearts and deeds.”[46]

3.   Those whom Allah brings forward are advanced, even if people hold them back; and those whom Allah delays are delayed, even if people bring them forward. Allah knows while we do not. {Would He not know, He Who has created, when He is the All-Subtle, the All-Aware?} [Sūrat Al-Mulk: 14]So, you should care about your status in the sight of the Creator before caring about it in the sight of created beings.

4.   Beware of bringing forward those Allah Almighty wants to delay or delaying those Allah wants to advance.

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “People should be led in prayer by the one who is best in the Qur’an’s recitation. And if they are the same in the recitation, then they should be led by the more knowledgeable of the Sunnah.”[47]

***

 Al-Musa‘ir :The Fixer of Prices

He is the One Who increases or decreases the value, rank, or influence of things, and so their prices go up or down according to His wisdom, knowledge, and mercy.

According to the scholars like Al-Qurtubi, Ibn Hazm, Al-Shawkāni, Ibn Bāz and Al-Albāni, this noble name which they counted among the excellent names of Allah, occurs in a Hadīth in which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is the One Who fixes prices, the Holder, the Expander, and the Provider.”[48] In light of this noble name and description, I would say:

1.   As we know that the Almighty Lord is the Disposer of all affairs and the Overturner of the night and day and all what they contain, this makes us more attached to Him, and our reliance upon Him and hope for His bounty increase for He is the One Who expands and increases provisions and so their prices go down, or He restricts and decreases them, and so their prices go up.

2.   We should have firm belief that if we obey Allah Almighty, He will give us what He has guaranteed. {Had the people of those towns believed and been God-fearing, We would certainly have opened up to them blessings from the heavens and earth; but they denied [their prophets] and so We seized them for their deeds.} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 96]

***

 Al-Qābid - Al-Bāsit :The Holder - The Expander

He is the One Who holds the souls and withholds provisions from whomever He wills in accordance to His wisdom and power; and He is the One Who expands sustenance for His servants according to His generosity and mercy, testing them thereby, as per His wisdom. And He is the One Who stretches His hand with forgiveness to those who sin and repent.

These two noble names do not occur in the Qur’an, but in a Hadīth reporting that the people said, “O Messenger of Allah, prices have gone up. So, fix the prices for us.” He said, “Indeed, Allah is the One Who fixes prices, the Holder, the Expander, and the Provider. Indeed, I wish to meet Allah while none of you will have any claim against me for injustice regarding blood or property.”[49] In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   ‘The Holder’ and ‘the Expander’ are two names that should not be separated, for absolute perfection materializes when the two traits are combined. So, we should praise Allah Almighty for the two attributes together.

2.   We should rely upon Allah Almighty, entrust our affairs to Him and hope for what He has, for none can restrict what Allah expands or expand what Allah restricts. These issues are not controlled by creatures. They only proceed according to Allah’s plan. Therefore, we should feel reassured and be at peace.

3.   When Allah Almighty restricts or expands something, this stems from His wisdom, knowledge, and mercy. So, be content with what Allah had predestined for you.

4.   Know that the best expanse Allah Almighty may give to any of His servants is to expand his heart and make it inclined to belief and goodness. {Is one whose breast Allah has expanded to Islam and he is upon a light from his Lord [like one whose heart rejects it]?} [Sūrat Al-Zumar: 22]

5.   Ask Allah Almighty to expand what gives you happiness in worldly life and in the Hereafter including lawful sustenance, good health and safety, useful knowledge, and faith that fills your heart.

6.   Bear in mind that when Allah Almighty expands the provision of any person, this does not necessarily mean that He is pleased with him. Likewise, when He restricts the provision for any person, He is not necessarily displeased with Him. Rather, Allah Almighty afflicts His servants with prosperity and adversity. Those with whom He is pleased are the people He guides to faith, righteous deeds, patience and gratitude. In the Qur’an, He says,{Then, as for man, just when his Lord tries him, so He honors him, and showers His favors on him, then he says, “My Lord has honored me.” But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, “My Lord has humiliated me.”} [Sūrat Al-Fajr: 15-16]

7.   In order to have your sustenance expanded, heed this Hadīth in which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever loves to have his sustenance expanded and his term of life prolonged should maintain ties of kinship.”[50]

And also mark these words in the Qudsi Hadīth, “Spend, O son of Adam, and I will spend on you.”[51] So, stretch your hands with goodness and giving for the sake of your Lord and expect a great result.

***

 Al-Mu‘tee :The Giver

He is the One Who gives whatever He wills from His treasures to whomever He wills from His servants. No one can repel His giving. The pious servants of Allah have the greater share in His giving. He is also the One Who gave every creature its form.

This noble name occurs in a Hadīth in which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When Allah wills good for someone, He gives him proper understanding of religion. Allah is the Giver, and I am the divider. This Ummah will continue to prevail over their opponents until the command of Allah comes while they are prevailing.”[52]

As for the Qur’an, it occurs therein in verb form. For example: {And your Lord is going to give you, so you will be satisfied.} [Sūrat Al-Duha: 5] And {Surely We have given you the Al-Kauthar (Abundance).} In light of this noble name, I would say:

1. If a person considers how Allah Almighty gives him generously, and remembers his shortcoming with regard to his Lord, this will inspire great love in his heart for Allah as well as a sense of shame before Him. A Qudsi Hadīth reads, “O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what they asked for, that would not decrease what I possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it."

2. Since Allah Almighty is the Generous Giver, be the upright asker. {If people were to keep firmly to the Right Way, We would have vouchsafed them abundant rain.} [Sūrat Al-Jinn: 16]

3. Be giving and generous, for Allah Almighty loves giving and givers. In the Qur’an, He says, {As for he who gives and fears Allah and believes in the best [reward], We will ease him toward ease.} [Sūrat Al-Layl: 5-7]

·  Give from your money.

·  Give from your intercession.

·  Give from your knowledge.

·  Give from your advice.

·  And expect a good outcome as promised by your Lord.

4. Allah’s gift surpasses human imagination. In worldly life, He gives the pious and the wicked, and Muslims and disbelievers. Then on the Day of Judgment, He only gives to the believers and bestows His favors upon them. {To each [category] We extend - to these and to those - from the gift of your Lord. And never has the gift of your Lord been restricted. Look how We have favored [in provision] some of them over others. But the Hereafter is greater in degrees [of difference] and greater in distinction.} [Sūrat Al-Isrā’: 20-21]

***

 Ad-Dayyān :The Recompenser

He is the One Who recompenses His servants for their deeds. If they are good, He multiplies the reward; and if they are bad, He punishes them according to His justice or pardons them.

This noble name only occurs in a lengthy Hadīth in which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Then, He - Allah Almighty - will call them with a voice that will be heard by those distant and those near, saying, ‘I am the King, I am the Recompenser.’”[53] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   If the meaning of this name firmly settles in one’s heart, he will fear his Lord and avoid anything that displeases Him before standing before Him for the reckoning and recompense. {And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as Reckoners.} [Sūrat Al-Anbiyā’: 47]

2.   This name inspires a great sense of tranquility, trust and comfort within the hearts of oppressed people as they know that Allah Almighty will restore their rights to them and punish the oppressors. {Do not think that Allah is heedless of the evil deeds that the evil-doers are engaged in. He is only granting them respite until a Day when their eyes shall continue to stare in horror.} [Sūrat Ibrahīm: 42]

3.   How Just and Merciful our Lord is! In a Hadīth, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The claimants shall get their claims on the Day of Resurrection so much so that the hornless sheep shall get its claim from the horned sheep.”[54]

***

 Al-Mannān :The Bestower of Favors

He is the One Who gives generously and bestows lots of favors and blessings upon His servants.

This name only occurs in the Qur’an in a verb form. For example, Allah Almighty says,{Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 164]

It occurs as a name in a Hadīth in which Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he was sitting with the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) while a man was praying and then made this supplication: O Allah, I implore You by virtue of the fact that all praise is due to You, there is no god but You, You are the Bestower of favors, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Owner of majesty and honor, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer!” Thereupon, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “He has implored Allah by His greatest name by which when asked, He gives, and by which when supplicated, He answers."In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   Considering Allah’s name ‘the Bestower of favors’ and pondering His bounty and generosity towards His servants inspires love within our hearts for Him and makes it incumbent upon us to give thanks and praise to Him.

2.   Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy upon him) wrote these beautiful words, “The Bestower of favors is the One Who gives before being asked.” All praise is due to our Lord in this world and in the Hereafter.

3.   Reminding His servants of His favors is a praiseworthy attribute of Allah Almighty; but it is bad and objectionable for a person to remind others of his favors to them. All blessings people enjoy come from their Lord as a favor from Him. But how a created being boasts of favors that do not actually come from him. Moreover, when a person gives something, he gets a reward for it and is promised compensation. On the other hand, Allah Almighty gives His servants as grace from Him, while He does not need them. Rebuking the nomad Arabs for counting their conversion to Islam as a favor to the Prophet, Allah Almighty says, {They count it as a favor to you that they accepted Islam. Say, Do not regard your [accepting] Islam as a favor to me; rather, Allah has bestowed a favor on you by guiding you to faith if you are truthful.} [Sūrat Al-Hujūrāt: 17]

4.   Know that Allah Almighty loves that His servants be aware of His blessings and recognize His favors. This is a distinguishing trait of the believers. In the story of Prophet Yūsuf, the Qur’an says, {They exclaimed, “Are you indeed Joseph?” He said, “Yes, I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah has surely been gracious to us. Indeed, whoever fears Allah and remains patient, Allah does not allow the reward of such people to go to waste.”} [Sūrat Yūsuf: 90] And about the dwellers of Paradise, Allah Almighty says, {And they will approach one another, inquiring of each other. They will say, “Indeed, we were previously among our people fearful [of displeasing Allah]. So Allah conferred favor upon us and protected us from the punishment of the Scorching Fire. Indeed, we used to supplicate Him before. Indeed, it is He who is the Beneficent, Most Merciful.”} [Sūrat Al-Tūr: 25-28]

***

 Ar-Rāziq - Ar-Razzāq :The Sustainer - The All-Sustainer

The Sustainer is the One Who guarantees the sustenance for all those in the heavens and earth, be they pious or wicked, and then He gives special sustenance for His close servants, increasing them in faith and wisdom and growing their bodies through lawful earning.

Allah’s name ‘the Sustainer’ occurs 5 times in the Qur’an. For example: {And provide for us, and You are the best of providers.} [Sūrat Al-Mā’idah: 114] And {But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, “What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers.”} [Sūrat Al-Jumu‘ah: 11]

The All-Sustainer is a name that denotes the abundance of the sustenance He gives His servants. He provides for them before they ask for it, and even provides for them while they disobey Him.

This great name, The All-Sustainer, occurs only once in the Qur’an in the verse that says, {Surely Allah is The All-Sustainer, the Owner of Power, the Strong.} [Sūrat Al-Dhāriyāt: 58]In light of these two great names, I would say:

1.   When a person knows these two names, he feels love for His Generous Lord. If a disbeliever lives on the provision of Allah, then what about the believer! Allah Almighty says,{And there is no creature on earth but upon Allah is its provision.} [Sūrat Hūd: 6]The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “No one is more patient over a hurtful thing he has heard than Allah: They falsely attribute a son to Him, and then He gives them safety and sustenance.”[55]

2.   Be certain that sustenance lies in the hands of Allah Almighty. No created being can, independently, bring sustenance to anyone or keep it away from anyone. This gives us relief and reassurance. {Whatever mercy Allah accords to people, none can withhold; and whatever He withholds, no other will be able to release after Him. He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.} [Sūrat Fātir: 2]Out of their ignorance, the hypocrites during the Prophet’s time called for a dirty economic war against him and his Companions unaware that sustenance is in the hands of Allah Almighty. {It is they who say, “Give nothing to those who are with the Messenger of Allah so that they may disperse.” And the treasures of the heavens and earth belong to Allah. But the hypocrites do not understand.} [Sūrat Al-Munāfiqūn: 7]

3.   Know and bear in mind that the provision of Allah Almighty is too broad to be limited to only food and drink. Rather, it is everything good, material or moral, worldly or otherworldly, that your Lord bestows upon you. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) spoke to ‘Ā’ishah about Khadījah, saying, “Her love was given to me as a provision (from Allah).”[56] If people are mindless to this broad meaning of provision, then some may think that they suffer deprivation, given that they have little wealth, even though Allah has given them good health, success and love among people.

4.   The best means whereby a person can seek sustenance and blessings is belief in Allah Almighty and fearing Him. In the Qur’an, He says, {Had the people of those towns believed and been God-fearing, We would have certainly opened up to them blessings from the heavens and earth; but they denied [their prophets], so We seized them for their deeds.} [Sūrat Al-A‘rāf: 96]

He also says, {And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out, and will provide for him from where he does not expect.} [Sūrat Al-Talāq: 2-3]

***

 Al-Wakeel - Al-Kafeel :The Trustee - The Guarantor

He is the One Who manages and directs the affairs of all beings; and He is the One Who suffices those who resort to Him and preserves those who seek refuge in Him.

As for His name ‘the Trustee’, it occurs 14 times in the Qur’an, including: {And rely upon Allah. And sufficient is Allah as s Trustee.} [Sūrat Al-Ahzāb: 3] And {Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is Trustee over all things.} [Sūrat Al-Zumar: 62]Allah’s name ‘the Sponsor’ occurs only once in the Qur’an in the verse that says, {And fulfill the covenant of Allah when you have made a pledge, and do not break the oaths after they have been affirmed. And you have already made Allah Guarantor over you.} [Sūrat Al-Nahl: 91]In light of these great names, I would say:

1.   We should sincerely rely upon Allah Almighty, for He is the One Who directs all matters and possesses all provisions, and He is the One Who has the power to truly bring about benefit and ward off harm. Hence comes the command: {And rely upon the Ever-Living who does not die, and exalt with His praise.} [Sūrat Al-Furqān: 58]

2.   If a person properly knows the magnificence of Allah Almighty, He will rely upon none but Him and seek help from none but Him. This is how the believers are. {The true believers are those who, when Allah’s name is mentioned, their hearts quake, and when His verses are recited to them their faith grows, and who rely upon their Lord.} [Sūrat Al-Anfāl: 2]

3.   The most reassured people are those who rely most upon their Lord. This is because they know Him well and resort to Him in a sincere manner.

***

 Al-Kāfee :The All-Sufficient

He is the One Who suffices His servants against their concerns and troubles.

This great name occurs only once in the Qur’an in the verse that says, {Is not Allah sufficient for His servant.} [Sūrat Al-Zumar: 36]In light of this noble name, I would say:

1. Allah’s sufficiency for His servants falls under two categories:

a. General: He suffices all His servants as He provides for them and manages and reforms their affairs.

b. Specific: He suffices His believing servants by guiding and supporting them and showing kindness to them.

2. This name increases a servant’s trust in his Lord and fills his heart with peace and reliance upon Him, for Allah Almighty undertakes to provide for His servants and support His pious ones, and none is more truthful than Him. Addressing His Prophet, Allah Almighty says, {So if they believe the same as you believe, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 137]

3. We should frequently praise Allah Almighty for the favors and sufficiency He bestows upon us. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) used to say while going to bed, “All praise is due to Allah, Who provided us with food and drink, protected, and provided us with shelter. There are many who have no one to protect or shelter them.”[57]

4. Scholars who counted ‘the All-Sufficient’ among the excellent names of Allah Almighty include Ibn Al-‘Arabi Al-Māliki and Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalāni.

***

 Ar-Raqeeb :The Ever-Watchful

He is the One Who watches over His creation and records the deeds of His servants. He misses nothing whatsoever, neither a look nor a thought.

This noble name occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. For example: {Indeed, Allah is Ever-Watchful over you.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 1] Another verse quotes Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as saying, {Then when You took me up, You were indeed the Ever-Watchful over them, and You are Ever-Witness over all things.} [Sūrat Al-Mā’idah: 117] In the third verse, Allah Almighty says, {And Allah is Ever-Watchful over all things.} [Sūrat Al-Ahzāb: 52] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Always remember that Allah is ever watchful over you and your conditions. If you commit any sin, ask Him for forgiveness. And if you do any good deed, give thanks to Him. And if you are engaged in a certain endeavor, seek His help and support.

2.   Knowledge of this name explains why many societies abounds with theft, oppression, betrayal and deception. This is only due to the lack of heedfulness of Allah’s watchfulness over us, in public and secret.

***

 Al-Muhsin :The Superb Benevolent

He is the One Who perfected everything He created, and Who has been good to His servants through His great favors and blessings.

This name occurs in the Qur’an only in a verb form. For example, Allah Almighty says, {And do good as Allah has done good to you.} [Sūrat Al-Qasas: 77] And {Who perfected everything which He created and began the creation of man from clay.} [Sūrat Al-Sajdah: 7]

Yet it occurs as a name in a Hadīth in which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “If you judge, judge justly, and if you speak, speak good; indeed, Allah is Benevolent and He loves benevolence.”[58] In another Hadīth, Shaddād ibn Aws reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Indeed, Allah Almighty is Benevolent and He loves benevolence. So, when you kill, kill benevolently.” [Narrated by ‘Abd al-Razzāq in his Musannaf] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   When we remember the benevolence of Allah Almighty as He perfected His creation and bestows abundant favors upon His servants, we feel great love for Him and find it easy and even enjoyable to do good deeds and shun sins.

2.   Know that as Allah perfected His creation, He also perfected His law, and as we believe in His words, {So blessed is Allah, the Best of creators,} we should also believe in His following words: {But who is better than Allah in judgment for a people who are certain in faith.} [Sūrat Al-Mā’idah: 50]

3.   Always remember that the Superb Benevolent Lord loves His benevolent servants. {And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 195]

4.   One of the quickest and best ways for attaining happiness is doing good to people. Allah Almighty says, {Can the reward of goodness be any other than goodness?} [Sūrat Al-Rahmān: 60]

So, be good and perfect your worship to Allah Almighty as He has perfected your creation and has been good to all His servants, including you, by endowing them with favors and blessings.

***

 Al-Haseeb :The Ever-Reckoner

He is the One Who suffices His servants against all their concerns and troubles in terms of worldly and religious affairs. The believers win the greater share of His sufficiency. And He is the One Who recompenses His servants for their deeds.

This noble name occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. For example: {And Allah suffices as Ever-Reckoner.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 6] And {Surely Allah has been Ever-Reckoner over everything.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 86] In light of this great name, I would say:

1.   Knowledge of this name prompts a person to heed Allah Almighty and strive to follow the path dear and pleasing to Him, for He is the One Who records the deeds of His servants and recompenses them accordingly on the Day of Judgment. {Surely Allah has been Ever-Reckoner over all things.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 86] And He does not wrong anyone at all. In the Qur’an, He says, {Read your record. Yourself is sufficient against you this Day as a reckoner.} [Sūrat Al-Isrā’: 14]

2.   A wise person should also remember the Day of Reckoning, and that ahead of him is a Day when he will be recompensed for his deeds. No one forgets or disbelieves in the Day of Recompense except that he feels free to oppress others and act criminally and sinfully. {Indeed, those who go astray from the way of Allah will have a severe punishment for having forgotten the Day of Reckoning.} [Sūrat Sād: 26] In the Qur’an, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) is quoted to have said, But Moses said, “Indeed, I have sought refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every arrogant one who does not believe in the Day of Account.” [Sūrat Ghāfir: 27]

3.   When the meaning of this name firmly settles in one’s heart, it gets filled with peace and reassurance, and he disavows reliance upon anyone but Allah Almighty. He says in the Qur’an, {And He will provide for him from where he does not expect.} [Sūrat Al-Talāq: 3]

4.   The biggest winners of Allah’s sufficiency and preservation are the believers in Him and the followers of His Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him). {O Prophet, Allah is sufficient for you and those believers who follow you.} [Sūrat Al-Anfāl: 64]

***

 Ash-Shāfi - At-Tabeeb :The Healer - The Curer

He is the One Who heals hearts and bodies from their illnesses. People can do nothing but apply the medicine created by their Lord, and then the cure lies in the hands of Allah Almighty alone with no partner. So, He is the only Healer, and there is no cure but His cure.

These two noble names do not occur in the Qur’an, but they do in the Prophet’s Sunnah. As for the name the Healer, it occurs in a Hadīth in which ‘Ā’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that whenever the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) visited an ill person, he would supplicate, “O Allah, the Lord of people, remove the trouble and heal, for You are the Healer. No healing is of any avail but Yours, healing that will leave behind no ailment!”[59]

As for His name the Curer, it occurs in a Hadīth in which Abu Ramthah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: My father and I rushed to the Prophet, and my father said to him, “Show me that thing on your back, for I am a curer.” He replied, “Allah is the Curer. You are only a kind man. The One Who cure it is the One Who created it.”[60]In light of these two great names, I would say:

·  Maladies that affect people are of two types: diseases of the body and diseases of the heart. Diseases that affect hearts and souls are more dangerous. Hence, all of us should recall this meaning while supplicating Allah Almighty to cure us from the diseases of our bodies and hearts. When a heart is hard, this is an illness; when it is attached to other than Allah, this is also an illness; moral deviation is an illness; and foul speech is an illness. So, be careful to seek both kinds of cure.

·  Always remember that true cure comes from Allah Almighty Who says, {If Allah afflicts you with any hardship, none other than Him can remove it; and if He wills any good for you, none can avert His bounty. He bestows good upon whomsoever of His servants He wills. He is the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Sūrat Yūnus: 107] Pursue the means of cure materially, but keep your heart attached to the Almighty Healer. Turn to Allah, trust Him and expect abundant goodness from Him, for He has the power to cure you and this is easy for Him.

·  Just as Allah Almighty is the Healer, His Shariah is a source of healing for all people if they embrace and follow it. The world is full of illnesses in economy, politics, and education. The cure for all this lies in the Shariah of the All-Wise Lord, Who says, {And We send down of the Qur’an what is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.} [Sūrat Al-Isrā’: 82]

***

 Ar-Rafeeq :The Kind

He is the One Who adopts a gradual approach in creating and legislating, though He is able to do this all at once. He is the One Who treats His servants kindly and gently, not charging them with anything beyond their capacity.

This noble name does not occur in the Qur’an, yet it does in a Hadīth in which ‘Ā’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Allah is Kind and He loves kindness in all matters.”[61] There is a nice story behind this Hadīth. Read it. In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   Kindness has two meanings: one is better-known and the other is little-known. The better-known meaning is: gentleness and adopting what is easier. The little-known meaning is: adopting gradation.

2.   Allah Almighty is Kind to His servants and wants ease for them; and He is also Kind in the sense that He adopts a gradual approach in His creation and legislation which involves apparent facilitation.

3.   This name inspires great love for Allah and a strong sense of trust in His Shariah. Showing His grace to His servants, Allah Almighty says, {Allah does not charge any soul except its capacity.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 286] ‘Ā’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported, "Whenever the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) was given a choice between two things, he would always choose what is easier, unless it was a sin.” [62]

4.   Whoever wants to meet a lot of success and little failure should stick to the attribute of kindness about which the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) beautifully said, “Whoever is deprived of kindness is deprived of all goodness.” [Narrated by Muslim] He also said, “Whenever kindness exists in something, it adorns it; and whenever it is removed from it, it makes it defective.”[63]

So, be kind to yourself and others and treat all people gently. Be gradual in acquiring good traits and advising people. Do not hasten to pick up the fruits before they are ripe.

If a person rushes to take something before its due time, he gets punished by being deprived of it. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “When Allah wills good for a household, He makes kindness exist amongst them.”[64]

***

 Al-Muqeet :The All-Nourisher

He is the One Who created subsistence and sustenance and guaranteed to make them reach His creatures. Also, He is the Keeper over them and over the deeds of His servants without any omission.

This great name occurs only once in the Qur’an in the verse that says, {And Allah is All-Nourisher to all [living] things.} [Sūrat Al-Nisā’: 85]In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   When we consider how Allah is gracious to us and makes our sustenance easy for us since we were embryos, this makes us feel great love for Him. {And if you should count the favors of Allah, you will not be able to enumerate them.} [Sūrat Al-Nahl: 18]

2.   We should rely upon Allah Almighty alone for providing our sustenance. About the creation of the earth, He says, {He set up firm mountains on it, blessed it and provided it with sustenance in proportion to the needs of all who seek sustenance. All this was done in four days.} [Sūrat Fussilat: 10]

3.   As you ask your Lord to give you the provision for your body and to bless it, do not forget to also ask Him for the provision of hearts and souls. A person’s soul is fed by spiritual meanings, and not by food or drink.

4.   Some scholars differentiated between Allah’s names ‘the All-Nourisher’ and ‘the All-Sustainer’, saying, The All-Nourisher is more specific than the All-Sustainer, for the former is about subsistence only (food and drink), while the latter encompasses all sustenance, food and drink as well as other things.

***

 At-Tayyib :The Good

He is the Pure One Who is free from any deficiency or defect; and He is the One possessing absolute beauty and perfection and showing lots of good to His servants. He only accepts the acts and charity that are good, lawful, and done sincerely for His sake.

This noble name does not occur in the Qur’an, yet it does in a Hadīth in which Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, "The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, 'O people, indeed Allah is good and only accepts what is good; and indeed Allah commands the believers as He commanded the messengers. He says, {O you the Messengers, eat of the good things and do righteousness; surely I am All-Knowing of whatever you do.}'[Sūrat Al-Mu’minūn: 51] He also says, {O you who believe, eat from the good things which We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 172] Then he mentioned [the case] of a man who, having journeyed far, is disheveled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying “O Lord, O Lord,” while his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothing is unlawful and he has been nourished unlawfully, so how can his supplication be answered?” [65]In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   Your love for Allah Almighty will grow when you know the meaning of His name ‘the Good’ and that He has good names, attributes and actions; and nothing but good comes from Him or goes up to Him; and that His Paradise is good and only the good servants will be admitted to it; rather, all good things are not good except because of Him.

2.   Always bear in mind that Allah is the Good and does not accept from His servants except what is good whether they are beliefs, words, deeds, or manners. Allah Almighty says, {To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it.} [Sūrat Fātir: 10] And the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “He who gives in charity the value of a date that was lawfully earned - and Allah only accepts what has been lawfully earned - Allah will accept it with His right hand and will nurture it for him, just as one of you nurtures his foal until it becomes like a mountain.”[66]

3.   Always remember that Allah, the Good, loves His servants who are good in their hearts, words, deeds, and manners. So, being good wins you a good life in this world and in the Hereafter. {Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer - We will surely cause him to live a good life.} [Sūrat Al-Nahl: 97]

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 Al-Hādi :The Guide

He is the One Who guides His creatures and helps them pursue their interests and sustenance and avoid harmful things; and He is the One Who guides His accountable servants to the path of good and the path of evil, as well as the path of salvation and the path of ruin; and He is also the One Who guides, inspires and helps His servants to follow the right path according to His wisdom and mercy.

This great name occurs twice in the Qur’an. One is in a verse that says, {And sufficient is your Lord as a guide and a helper.} [Sūrat Al-Furqān: 31] And the other came in a verse saying, {And Allah is indeed a Guide of those who have believed to a straight path.} [Sūrat Al-Hajj: 54]In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   All creatures move in this world according to Allah’s general guidance for them. {He [Pharaoh] said, “So who is the Lord of you two, O Moses?" He said, “Our Lord is He Who gave everything its form and then guided it.”} [Sūrat Tāha: 49-50]Hence, everything guides us and points to the Almighty Creator Who created, proportioned, determined, and guided.

2.   No one can guide and lead a person to the straight path but Allah Almighty. So, we should stand in need before our Lord and implore Him to guide us to it and help us hold onto it. In a Qudsi Hadīth, Allah Almighty says, “O My servants, you are all in misguidance except those I guide. So, seek My guidance and I will guide you.”[67]

3.   Know that you are constantly in need of guidance at every moment of your life, so as to be led to what is dear and pleasing to your Lord - day and night and under all conditions. We should, therefore, recall the great meaning of the supplication we repeat in every Rak‘ah of our prayer, {Guide us to the straight path.}And we should always remember that we need it.

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 Al-Barr :The Beneficent

He is the One Who shows superb beneficence towards His creation. No one can enumerate His blessings. And He is the One Who always keeps His promise.

This great name occurs only once in the Qur’an in the verse that says, {Indeed, we used to supplicate Him before. Indeed, it is He who is the Beneficent, Most Merciful.} [Sūrat Al-Tūr: 28] In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   When we observe the beneficence of Allah Almighty towards His servants, we feel great love for Him.

2.   Know that Allah, the Beneficent, loves beneficence which means giving and good morals. Allah Almighty says, {You will never attain righteousness until you spend of whatever you love.} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 92] And the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Beneficence is good character.”[68] The more beneficent you are, the more you receive beneficence from your Lord.

3.   Among the meanings of Allah’s beneficence is that He always keeps His promise. Rather, none is more true to his promise than Allah Almighty. About the believers who found the certain truth, He says,{And they will say, “All praise is due to Allah, Who has fulfilled for us His promise and made us inherit the earth [so] we may settle in Paradise wherever we will. And what an excellent reward of workers!”} [Sūrat Al-Zumar: 74]

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 As-Subbooh :The All-Glorious

He is the One far exalted above any deficiency or defect, for He possesses the attributes of absolute beauty and perfection.

This noble name occurs in the Prophet’s Sunnah, in a Hadīth in which ‘Ā’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) used to say in his bowing and prostration, “All-Glorious, All-Holy, Lord of the angels and the Spirit.”In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   A person should know that all creatures in the heavens and earth glorify and praise their Lord and Creator, and attest to His Oneness and immense dominion. {And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting.} [Sūrat Al-Isrā’: 44]So, hasten to be among those who exalt the Almighty Lord!

2.   Remember that one of the best acts of worship to Allah is to glorify Him, and this Dhikr was the means of salvation for Prophet Yūnus (Jonah) (peace be upon him), {There is no god but You; Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.} [Sūrat Al-Anbiyā’: 87]

3.   Do you know that the last Hadīth narrated in Sahīh Al-Bukhāri relates, as reported by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Two phrases are light for the tongue to utter, heavy in the scales and dear to the Most Compassionate: ‘Glory and praise be to Allah; glory be to Allah, the Magnificent.’”[69]So, be keen to say them frequently.

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 Al-Wārith :The Inheritor

He is the One Who will remain after the end of all creation. All things return to Him after their temporary owners die, and all what we possess in this world is a trust that will one day return to its Almighty Owner.

This noble name occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. For example: {And indeed it is We who give life and cause death, and We are the Inheritors.} [Sūrat Al-Hijr: 23] And {And it is We Who were the Inheritors.} [Sūrat Al-Qasas: 58] In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.      Allah Almighty is the Ever-Magnificent, the Most Great. All creation is doomed to perish and only Allah will remain. Glory be to Him. {All that is on it [earth] will perish, and there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.} [Sūrat Al-Rahmān: 26-27]

2.      Beware of attachment to worldly life, for all of it will perish and disappear and nothing will endure but belief in Allah and righteous work. {But the enduring good deeds are better for your Lord as a reward and better as a hope.} [Sūrat Al-Kahf: 46] This is all to win the gardens of bliss, about which Allah Almighty says, {Such is the Paradise which We shall cause those of Our servants who were God-fearing to inherit.} [Sūrat Mariyam: 63]

3.      We should trust Allah’s promise to the believers: {Surely We wrote in the Psalms, after the exhortation, that the earth shall be inherited by My righteous servants.} [Sūrat Al-Anbiyā’: 105]

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 Al-Muheet :The All-Encompassing

He is the One Who encompasses all His creation with His knowledge and power. Nothing of their conditions is hidden from Him and they are all under His control and authority.

Allah’s name ‘the All-Encompassing’ occurs 3 times in the Qur’an. For example: {But Allah is All-Encompassing of the disbelievers.} [Sūrat Al-Baqarah: 19] And {And Allah is All-Encompassing of them on every side.} [Sūrat Al-Burūj: 20]In light of this noble name, I would say:

1.   Whoever properly ponders Allah’s name ‘the All-Encompassing’ will feel fearful and shy of Him.

2.   When the meaning of this name firmly settles within one’s heart, he no longer fears people who are weak creatures. Allah Almighty says, {If anything good happens to you, they are grieved; if any misfortune befalls you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain steadfast and mindful of Allah, their schemes will not cause you any harm. Indeed, Allah is All-Encompassing of all what they do.} [Sūrat Āl-‘Imrān: 120]

This is also true when a person knows that there is no escape from Allah but to Him. {So flee to Allah. Indeed, I am a clear warner to you from Him.} [Sūrat Al-Dhāriyāt: 50]



[1] Narrated by Al-Bukhᾱri]

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[28][Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi]

[29] Narrated by Ahmad]

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[31] Narrated by Al-Bukhᾱri]

[32] Narrated by Abu Dāwūd and Al-Nasā’i]

[33] Narrated by Abu Dāwūd and Al-Tirmidhi]

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[42]Tafsīr Al-Asmā’, p 55]

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[48] Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi and others; Abu ‘Īsa said: This Hadīth is sound authentic]

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[50] Narrated by Al-Bukhāri and Muslim]

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