الْمُجِيبُ is translated as The Fulfiller of Prayers and The Responsive.
الْمُجِيبُ is The One Who responds to requests of those who ask by assisting them. It is The One Who fulfills the needs of the needy one. He blesses before the request and grants favours before the entreaty and this belongs to Allah ta’ala alone as He knows the needs of the needy one.
Imam Ghazali says, He knows the needs of the needy before they [even] ask; indeed He already knew them in eternity, so He arranged the sources sufficient to their needs by creating food and nourishment, and by facilitating both the causes and the means of fulfilling all these needs.
Allah ta’ala is the best of responders. In Surah Saaffaat, verse 37 Allah ta’ala says,
وَلَقَدْ نَادَانَا نُوحٌ فَلَنِعْمَ الْمُجِيبُونَ - Nuh prayed to Us; see how excellent was Our response to his prayer.
Allah ta’ala is praising Himself saying He is the best Responder.
He responds to the Du’a of the مُضْطَر
أَمَّنْ يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ وَيَجْعَلُكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ الْأَرْضِ ۗ أَإِلَٰهٌ مَعَ اللَّهِ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
Just think who answers the oppressed person when he cries out to Him and relieves his affliction, and makes you, O mankind, inheritors of the earth? Is there another god besides Allah? How little do you reflect! [Surah Naml:62]
A مُضْطَر is one who is in a hard pressed situation who can find no way out and has become despondent due to losing hope. Here Allah ta’ala asks Who is it Who listens to a مُضْطَر? Why does Allah ta’ala specifically mention a person who is despondent? It is because this person has lost hope in the world and does not have any integral energy to continue. He has hit rock bottom and now sees only Allah ta’ala and he calls on Allah ta’ala with Ikhlaas and Allah ta’ala listens to his call and gives him vice regency on the land.
The reason why Allah ta’ala listens to this Du’a is the person’s sincerity. The person does not even have to be a good person but the sincerity is what gets him heard.
A person can even be an atheist and as the saying goes, “There are no atheists in potholes.” People who hide in these dug up potholes during war will pray to be saved even if do not believe in God. The sincerity comes out in desperate situations and this is what Allah ta’ala loves.
So seek His forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance. Surely my Lord is Ever Near, All-Responsive ˹to prayers˺.” [Surah Hood: 61]
Du’a are accepted by الْمُجِيبُ
Therefore call your Lord. He knows even before the words leave your tongue. All that is required is Ikhlaas.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,
“Three supplications are answered without a doubt: the supplication of an oppressed person, the supplication of a traveler, and the supplication of a parent for his child.” [Ibn Majah]
The version narrated by Imam Ahmad says: “the prayer of a father against his child.”
The question that comes up is, why are these people specifically mentioned? They are all in despondency. They have lost hope. They are in distress. The oppressed person has no one to help them, the traveller is without rest and needs and is stressed and the parent is hurt by his own child.
Our Du’a are always Accepted
Sometimes we think, our Du’a are not being answered however Allah ta’ala does answer Du’a. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,
“There is no Muslim who supplicates to Allah without sin or cutting family ties in it but that Allah will give him one of three answers: he will hasten fulfillment of his supplication, he will store it for him in the Hereafter, or he will divert an evil from him similar to it.” They said, “In that case we will ask for more.” The Prophet said, “Allah has even more.” [Musnad Aḥmad]
“Nothing can change the Divine Decree except Dua’.” [Tirmidhi]
Ask only from Allah ta’ala
Du’a is only made to Allah ta’ala and no one else, not even a Prophet. Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an,
And who could be more astray than the one who invokes those deities besides Allah who cannot answer him till the Day of Resurrection - which, in fact, are not even aware that they are being invoked?
[Surah Ahqaaf: 5]
Anyone who asks from other than Allah ta’ala is negligent.
Du’a is an ‘Ibaadah
Du’a and Dhikr are means of attaining proximity to Allah ta’ala. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,
الدعاء مخ العبادة - “Du’a is the essence of worship”[ Tirmidhi]
Therefore we should make Du’a from the heart and not just from memory, with hope and know that Allah ta’ala is listening. Recite Durood before and after and do not show lack of respect. When a person says my Du’a are not accepted or it is taking so long then that is lack of respect which affects the acceptance of Du’a.
Sins and Haraam food or lifestyle affects the acceptability of Du’a as does leaving enjoining good and forbidding evil. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,
“Allah the Almighty is good and accepts only that which is good. And verily Allah has commanded the believers to do that which He has commanded the Messengers. So the Almighty has said: “O (you) Messengers! Eat of the tayyibat (good things), and perform righteous deeds” [23:51] and the Almighty has said: “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you” [2:172]. Then he (peace be upon him) mentioned a man who, having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty, and who spreads out his hands to the sky saying, “O Lord! O Lord!” while his food is haram, his drink is haram, his clothing is haram, and he has been nourished with haram, so how can [his supplication] be answered?” [Muslim]
“By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted”.
[Hadeeth No. 193, Riyadhus Saliheen, Chapter 23]
Allah ta’ala wants us to make Du’a and becomes angry when we don’t. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,
“The person who does not ask from Allah (supplicates); Allah Ta’ala becomes angry with him” [Tirmidhi]
Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) says, “Man needs to be responsive first of all to his Lord, in whatever He commands or forbids him to do, and whatever He assigns to him or summons him to do. Then to His servants, in whatever God has bestowed on him by way of enabling him to do it; and in assisting every beggar in whatever they ask him, if he is able to do it; or with a kind response if he is unable to do so.”
الْوَاسِعُ is translated as The All-Embracing and The All-Pervading. It comes from the root word وُسْعَتْ which means to be expansive, vast. Allah ta’ala is vast in His Dhaat and Sifaat.In the Qur’an it is always linked with other names i.e. knowledge, generosity etc. It means it is an expansiveness that extends as far as possible.
What does it mean to be وَاسِعُ? Some Scholars have looked at it in terms of generosity that He is that Being Who is so generous that His generosity is enough for His dependant slaves. His provisions are so all-encompassing that they are enough for all of creation.
الْوَاسِعُ is also that Being in Whose possession is all power and all knowledge of everything and His Rahmah covers everything. In the Qur’an there is a famous verse,
Therefore, Allah ta’ala’s mercy envelopes, encompasses, covers everything, all of humanity and all of creation. Some Scholars say Allah ta’ala’s Rahmah is the most vast and comprehensive Sifat, and some say this verse is of the Mutashaabihaat i.e. not understood by the intellect similar to when Allah ta’ala says about the Arsh encompassing everything so His Rahmah is surrounding, enveloping, encompassing the circumference of the whole universe and is وَاسِع and in this name Allah ta’ala Himself is being regarded as الْوَاسِعُ.
Poets and Spiritual people like Mawlana Rumi (Rahimahullah) have written poetry regarding this. It comes in Surah Luqman, verse 27,
If all the trees on earth were pens, and the ocean were ink, replenished by seven more oceans, the writing of Allah's Words (His wonderful signs and creations) would not be exhausted; surely Allah is Mighty Wise.
Therefore Allah ta’ala is وَاسِع in terms of His knowledge, generosity, Rizq etc. and His vastness is also in His praise which never ends and the bounties He gives humanity are limitless and inexhaustible. Everything in the world and even the Angles who are described as huge, have limits. Every creation has limits but Allah ta’ala has no limits.
In the Qur’an
It is used 9 times in the Qur’an and always paired with another name. It comes 7 times with الْعَلِيمُ and once with الْحَكِيمُ and once with مَغْفِرَة.
To Allah belong the East and the West; whichever direction you turn your face there is the presence of Allah. Surely Allah is All-Embracing and All-Knowing. [Surah Baqarah: 115]
وَكَانَ اللَّهُ وَاسِعًا حَكِيمًا - other out of His own limitless resources, Allah is Amplegiving, Wise. [Surah Nisaa’: 130]
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ - surely for them your Rabb will have abundant forgiveness [Surah Najm:32]
The commentary in one of the books mentions science and the universe a lot. The oceans are regarded as vast and deep and people are still exploring them. It is said that we know more about the moon than the bottom of the oceans in some places. They are vast and a mystery. The space is vast and still being explored. It is said to be expanding all the time and Allah ta’ala is الْوَاسِعُ, vaster than the oceans and space.
In answer to people who do not understand God and why He does certain things, how can He be fully understood when His creation like the space, oceans, black holes etc., cannot be understood?
Allah ta’ala is الْوَاسِعُ – it means to make something vast or expand. One of the ways to feel it is to look at the stars and the ocean in darkness and one will realize that out there is a huge universe and Allah ta’ala pervades all of it and He is beyond space and time.
The theological and philosophical point that comes out is that Allah ta’ala is so vast in so many of His characteristics that it is beyond our understanding even though He is so close to us..
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam taught two Du’a for وُسْعَتْ, one for وُسْعَتْ in Akhlaaq (Internal) and one for the home (External.)
Du’a for an expansive character
O Allah! Forgive my sins, give expansion to my character, make lawful my earnings, give me contentment in whatever You provided me and do not make me quest something which You turned away from me. (taken from Munaajat-e-Maqbool).
What does it mean to have Wasi’ Akhlaaq? It means that a person in terms of his character and deeds is open-hearted. He gives, helps and shares with others. Everyone is nice to friends. The test is to have Wasi’ Akhlaaq with someone we do not like or there is no expectation of anything from them. We should ask Allah ta’ala to make our character expansive so that we can imbibe and take part in this name.
Du’a for expansion in the home
Allaahummagh fir lee Dhambi wa wassi’ lee fee daari wa baarik lee fee rizqee
O Allah! Forgive my sins and give expansion in my home and grant blessings in my Rizq.
Mufti Taqi Uthmani Sahib explains that there are two ways to understand وُسْعَتْ in the home,
• It refers to space i.e. a home big enough for the people to live in so that it is not too small or claustrophobic.
• It has a metaphorical meaning. We are asking Allah ta’ala to make the people of the house have وُسْعَتْ in their hearts so that it is a place of peace and not a place where hearts feel constricted and where there is conflict.
He is the Supreme Authority over His servants; and He is the Wise, the Aware. [Surah An’aam: 18]
وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ - and He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. [Surah Hashr: 24]
حِكْمة in His creation
The commentary discusses the universe and nature saying there is wisdom behind everything Allah ta’ala created. Be it the body or the system of the universe or nature, we see that there is a function and a purpose and benefit in everything even though we cannot see it. It is easy when we see some purpose or benefit in something however the hard part is when we do not see it. For example, if we did not have lizards then there would be an over population of flies and mosquitoes. Problems are created when people meddle with the natural order of Allah ta’ala’s system. Therefore even if we do not see the wisdom behind things we should realise that Allah ta’ala is الْحَكِيمُ and there is wisdom and purpose behind everything and we may see it later or not see it at all. This point is demonstrated in the following anecdotes.
Anecdote - The fly on the King’s Nose
A fly came and sat on the nose of a king with pomp and royalty status. He waved it away but the fly kept returning. Annoyed at this he said he didn’t understand the purpose of the creation of flies and someone replied, “Maybe Allah ta’ala made this fly so people like you will realise there are certain things they cannot control despite their might and power and therefore keep your arrogance in check.”
Anecdote – The Muslim Fisherman
A story is related by Imam Ahmed bin Hambal (Rahimahullah) regarding two fishermen, one a Muslim and the other, a non-believer. As they put their fishing rods out at sea the Muslim would recite “Bismillah” however he did not catch any fish while his partner caught many. When he finally did catch one, it slipped away and he lost it. He was down about it as he felt he was taking the name of Allah ta’ala and he did not catch any fish while the non-believer was catching so many and he did not even believe in Allah ta’ala.
One of the angels on his shoulder asked Allah ta’ala regarding this and Allah ta’ala showed the angel the beautiful house which the Muslim would get in the Aakhirah and the place of punishment of the non-believer. How much would not catching fish in the Dunya hurt the Muslim when he saw his abode in the Aakhirah?
Therefore when these thoughts come in our minds, we should know that Allah ta’ala will reward us with a better return in the Aakhirah.
Anecdote – The Scorpion and the Tortoise
Imam Raazi rahmatullahi alayhi has written a story narrated by a pious person. The person narrated, “One evening I was walking along the riverbank, suddenly my eyes fell upon a scorpion walking in front of me. A thought occurred to me that this is also the Creation of Allah ta’ala and Allah ta’ala has created it out of some wisdom and reason. I did not know where it was coming from and where it was going to, or where its home was. I thought in my heart that I have got time; I have come out for a walk, so I will follow this scorpion. Therefore, I followed it. The scorpion stopped at one point on the riverbank and I stood near it.
After a short while I saw a tortoise swimming towards the scorpion. To my surprise, the scorpion jumped on to the back of the tortoise and mounted itself on it. As this was an extraordinary occurrence, I was determined to see where the scorpion would go. I also tagged along to see what happens.
The scorpion jumped off the tortoise's back at the other side of the riverbank and hurried along in a certain direction. Further on I saw a man sleeping under a tree. I thought to myself that the scorpion might bite the man; therefore, I should quickly awaken him. Just as I reached him, I saw a poisonous snake with its mouth wide-open standing by the head of the man. Suddenly the scorpion confronted the snake and stung it so decisively, that the snake fell onto the ground helpless.
As this amazing incident unfolded before me, I thought to myself that this must be a very pious man. I approached him to request for duaas but was astonished to find him in a state of drunkenness. Just then the man woke up, and I narrated to him the incident that had just taken place. The man was very touched by what he heard and immediately repented. Allah's Mercy is always directed towards His bondsmen, only if we were to turn towards him.” (Riyadul Jannah – December 2002) – Ending slightly different to what Sobia Aapa mentioned – Aapa did not mention regarding sleeping man being a drunkard.
Looking at the anecdote symbolically, we see that sometimes something appears bad and we get angry and upset however it is actually saving us from something else, something bigger or worse. That is why some Scholars say nothing is bad. We learn from the anecdote that everything has a purpose. Even Shaytaan has a purpose because the more we fight him the more reward we are getting. Therefore Allah ta’ala being الحکیم is behind things we may think are bad.
Anecdote – The King and the Wazeer
A king had a Wazeer (Minister) who, under all circumstances would say, “My king, do not be worry, because Allah ta’ala has put Khayr in it.”
One day the king cut his finger and was his habit, the Wazeer said, “My king, do not be worry, because Allah ta’ala has put Khayr in it.” Enraged, the king had him arrested and jailed and again the Wazeer said the same thing.
Later, the king left for a hunting trip and got separated from the party and tired decided to rest under a tree. As he was resting an animal appeared and would have attacked him had the animal not turned away from the smell of the blood from the King’s wound. Eventually the king found his party and on returning he ordered the release of the Wazeer and happily related to him what had happened and said that he had been right. The King said to the Wazeer that he did not understand why the Wazeer was put in jail as he had not been in any danger.
The Wazeer replied that had he been with the king then he would have been devoured by the animal as there as he did not have any wound so Allah ta’ala had put Khayr in everything.
To be a person of Hikmah is something we are all trying to be. It is not something anyone is born with. It is experience so we should make Du’a to be a person of Hikmah. In Surah Baqarah (Verse 269), Allah ta’ala says,
He grants wisdom to whom He pleases; and whoever is granted wisdom is indeed given a great wealth, yet none except people of understanding learn a lesson from it.
Having Hikmah is a “great wealth.” Luqman AS was famous as Luqmaan-al-Hakeem. Allah ta’ala granted him Hikmah to do Shukr therefore a person with Hikmah will have the wisdom to do Shukr, Sabr, Tawakkul etc. and so Hikmah is a Majmu’ah (Collection) of many characteristics.
In any situation, in any worst case scenario, like the Wazeer in the story, we should think there must be Hikmah of Allah ta’ala in it even if we cannot see it. If we truly believe Allah ta’ala is الْحَكِيمُ then we will know there is wisdom behind every situation and that we will see it later or be rewarded in the Aakhirah. This will bring tranquillity in the heart.
الْوَدُودُ is translated as The Loving-Kindness and The Most Affectionate.
It has the meaning of both, the one who is loved and the beloved, so the Muhibb (lover) and Mahboob (Beloved). It comes from the root word وُدُّ which means pure love therefore وَدُود has purity in it.
Allah ta’ala loves His friends and the pious and the people who do good deeds. Allah ta’ala is The One Who deserves to be loved the most because of His abundant blessings on us. Both, Allah ta’ala being Beloved and His loving us are found in this name. It is very similar to Al-Habeeb so some Scholars say they are both the same.
And of His signs, another one is that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may find comfort with them, and He planted love and kindness in your hearts; surely there are signs in this for those who think about it.
مَوَدَّةً comes from the same root word and here both words are used together. When people are young their emotions are intense i.e. passion, and a person will do things out of love and they are moved by feelings of the heart much more. When people are older, the emotions are not so intense and then there is رَحْمَةً and a person will do things out of mercy. So Allah ta’ala has put both مَوَدَّةً and رَحْمَةً in a relationship between husband and wife, and both are needed to make a relationship last.
In the same way Allah ta’ala is describing Himself in the verse of Surah Hood, that He is رَحِيمٌ and وَدُودٌ – Merciful and Loving.
Love & Forgiveness
Surah Burooj: 14
وَهُوَ الْغَفُورُ الْوَدُودُ - He is the Forgiving, the Loving,
This verse shows that when we love someone we are forgiving towards them and we see this when some women say they still love their husband and will forgive them even after the husbands have done terrible things to them. Also children mistreat parents but due to the parents’ love for the children they forgive them. Therefore these two Sifaat of being merciful and forgiving are especially connected to love. The more a person loves someone, the more mercy and forgiveness they will show the loved one and it is the same with Allah ta’ala.
Developing Love for Allah ta’ala
Imam Qurtubi (Rahimahullah) said a person needs to have certainty (Yaqeen) that Allah ta’ala loves His creation without any need. His love for us is pure. He does not need us and he does not get anything if we love Him back but it is for our benefit that we love Him. Allah ta’ala does not need our love and He does not need to love us either.
Love is a powerful force and one of our main emotions. It can lead to the greatest happiness or extreme sadness in life.
Connection to Allah ta’ala
This is something we all want and it is the result of two things:
• Obedience to Allah ta’ala
• Love for Allah ta’ala
These two things are the key factors to the connection with Allah ta’ala.
We see people over one edge or another. There are those people who are just obedient in terms of prayers and focused on attaining Jannah and safety from Jahannam which is fine but the concept of the Love for Allah ta’ala is side lined. Then there are those who are so focused on the love of Allah ta’ala that they do not care about the commands of Allah ta’ala i.e. I love Allah ta’ala but I just cannot cover my head. While being obedient we do make mistakes but that is different to intentionally not following commands again and again without any remorse or effort to rectification. True obedience shows true love. When a person loves someone they do what the beloved wants.
A man set out to visit his brother from another town and Allah sent an angel to him. When the man met the angel, he was asked: Where are you going? The man said: I am visiting my brother in this town. The angel said: Are you returning a favor? He said: No, only that I love him for the sake of Allah the Exalted. The angel said: I am a messenger from Allah to tell you that Allah loves you as you love him. [Muslim]
Therefore loving the right people for the right reason is a way to attain Allah ta’ala’s love.
Allah ta’ala loves His creation, even animals because our Deen teaches us not to hurt or abuse animals and even the slaughtering of an animal should be humane.
Ways of increasing love for Allah ta’ala:
• Tilaawat of the Qur’an with understanding and depth
• Nawaafil Salaah
• Sacrificing our beloved things for Allah ta’ala
• Understanding the Asmaaul Husnaa
• Tahajjud Salaah and Du’a in the night
Therefore A’amaal are required to attain the love of Allah ta’ala. A person who has true love for Allah ta’ala will also make Du’a for his enemy. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam made Du’a for Hidaayah even for those who hurt and injured him. Therefore when we have love for Allah ta’ala, we will have love for His Makhlooq as well even if they are disbelievers.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam has taught us the following Du’a:
الْمَجِيدُ is translated as The All-Glorious and The Majestic. It is similar to الْجَلِيلُ.
It comes from the root word مجد – the name Amjad means high rank/nobility (noble in terms of background and actions). It has the connotation of being distinguished.
The name الْمَجِيدُ is related in meaning but with differences in their nuances to three other names, الْجَلِيلُ (the Majestic), الْكَرِيمُ (The Generous) and الْوَهَّابُ (The Bestower).
The distinguishing factor difference between الْمَجِيدُ and these three names is that الْمَجِيدُ has the concept of being noble or notable and high ranking in terms of the Af’aal (Actions) of Allah ta’ala.
Another way to define it is That Being Who is deserving of all praise, high rank, miraculous actions and is full of wisdom. Due to the Af’aal, Allah ta’ala is regarded as الْمَجِيدُ and this is the differentiating factor between this and the other names. It’s about being glorious in terms of His actions and being esteemed in all His Sifaat with no one more glorious than Him.
In the Qur’an
It is mentioned twice in the Qur’an with Allah and twice to describe the Qur’an. In Surah Hood (Verse 73)
They said: "Do you wonder at Allah's decree? May Allah's mercy and His blessings be upon you, O residents of the household; for He is indeed worthy of all praise, full of all glory." [Surah Hood: 73]
It is in context of an adjective and with “Hameed” to increase and emphasise of what is being said.
ذُو الْعَرْشِ الْمَجِيدُ - the Owner of the Throne, the Glorious [Surah Burooj: 15]
Describing the Qur’an:
بَلْ هُوَ قُرْآنٌ مَجِيدٌ - Surely this is a Glorious Qur’an [Surah Burooj: 21]
ق ۚ وَالْقُرْآنِ الْمَجِيدِ - Qaf. By the glorious Qur’an [Surah Qaaf: 1]
The Qur’an has the greatest status over all the Books sent down and it is praiseworthy and most honourable and glorious.
Asmaa ul Husnaa, a Vocabulary for us to Express ourselves
This is one of the words of praise of Allah ta’ala. When we praise someone in the Dunya who we love or look up to, we are at a loss of words and sometimes cannot express what we want to say. In a way Allah ta’ala is giving us these Asmaa ul Husnaa (99 and many more) as a huge vocabulary describing Himself so that we can express our feelings towards Him and praise Him and this name has that connotation about it. Therefore if we do not understand the differences between them it does not matter.
In English “Glorious” and “Majestic” are two words with the difference being that “Glorious” is like the sun rising and with “Majestic” we think of Royalty so in our minds we have different words to differentiate something.
الْمَجِيدُ as Praise
Someone came to the famous Scholar from among the Taabi’een, Sufyaan bin Uyaynaa (Rahimahullah) and asked him why the Du’a-e-Karb (Difficulty) is so called when it is a praise and there is no mention of difficulty in it. He replied, “Do you not know the Hadith Qudsi where Allah ta’ala says, ‘Whoever is busy with My Dhikr and does not have any time left to make Du’a then I will give him something better than those who ask?’”
This means that when one is busy with the Qur’an or other remembrance of Allah ta’ala, and not busy in the kitchen or on the net. The point from this story is that when a person is praising and glorifying Allah ta’ala through Tilaawat of the Qur’an and other ‘Ibaadaat that in itself is like Du’a so we need to praise Allah ta’ala for our own selves and we need to keep learning and finding out how to praise Allah ta’ala. We should say “Alhamdulillah” even when we don’t feel like it when we are having a bad day i.e.
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ عَلَى كُلِّ حَالٍ and when we do that it will make us feel better. Praising Allah ta’ala has the power of Du’a and الْمَجِيدُ is one of those names of praise.
الْمَجِيدُ in Durood Ibraheem
Durood Ibraheem begins with اللَّهُمَّ and ends with مَجِيدُ .
O Allah, let Your Blessings come upon Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and the family of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious. Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad, as you have blessed Ibrahim and his family. Truly, You are Praiseworthy and Glorious.
• Secret of اللَّهُمَّ
Ibn Qayyim (Rahimahullah) said that starting with the name of Allah ta’ala actually includes all the names of Allah ta’ala. Therefore اللَّهُمَّ equals to all the Asmaa ul Husnaa and we see that most Du’a begin with اللَّهُمَّ so we are making Du’a through the Asmaa ul Husnaa.
• Ending with مَجِيد
Ending with مَجِيد is ending with a praise. الْمَجِيدُ is a Jamaali Sifat (His being Muhsin, Loving, Merciful etc.) and it is also a Jalaali Sifat ( it has power behind it). Therefore when we say إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ at the end in Durood Ibraheem it ends with two Sifaat of Allah ta’ala, one Jamaali and one Jalaali.
We are therefore saying, “O Allah! Through all Your Sifaat, the Jamaali and the Jalaali, I send Durood to Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam.”
In Durood Ibraheem we are sending Rahmat and Barakat on the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam and Ibraheem ‘alayhis Salam has been mentioned in it too.
This is a meaningful connection where it begins with all the Asmaa ul Husnaa and ends with all the Jamaali and Jalaali Sifaat of Allah ta'ala.
They said: "Do you wonder at Allah's decree? May Allah's mercy and His blessings be upon you, O residents of the household; for He is indeed worthy of all praise, full of all glory." Surah Hood (Verse 73)
Why we send Durood to our Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam?
Another point in the commentary is made regarding why we send Durood to our Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam and the Ambiyaa AS.
1. The Prophets were sent to all the communities and sending Salawaat is a gift. It is our belief in them and our love for them and a token of loyalty, humility and gratitude for them. They do not need our Durood like a king does not need a gift from a poor person. It is for us as one of the effects of it is that Allah ta’ala increases our Imaan and when we recite it with Ikhlaas, Allah ta’ala sends ten mercies upon us.
2. It ends Shirk. The Prophets are the highest ranking among human beings but Allah ta’ala has made them also dependant and they are not beyond the need of Salawaat and Rahmat of Allah ta’ala. When we send Salawaat it shows they are also needy of Rahmat from Allah ta’ala. It prevents feelings of Shirk people can have towards Prophets like the Christians who elevated the rank of ‘Isaa AS and nowadays there are groups who elevate the rank of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam.
1. We should act in our ‘Ibaadaat and following the Sunnah of Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam such that we hold Allah ta’ala as The Majestic.
2. We should fulfil the rights others have over us.
الْبَاعِثُ is translated as The Awakener and The Resurrector.
It is specific to the resurrection on the Day of Judgment. It comes from the root word بعث and is used to mean “To descend” and “To raise”. In the Qur’an Allah ta’ala says He sent Prophets and the same root word is used. Some Scholars say Allah ta’ala is بَاعِث as He has sent us Ambiyaa with commands. Some say He is بَاعِث as He sends Rizq.
Most Scholars have taken the meaning of resurrection from the graves as mentioned in Surah Hajj:
and this is a proof that the Hour of Doom is sure to come - there is no doubt about it; and that Allah will raise up those who are in the graves. [Surah Hajj: 7]
In the Qur’an
It is mentioned as a verb in different ways in the Qur’an so in some books of Asmaa ul Husnaa this name is not found as some regard it as a name and some don’t.
There were people in the time of Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam and are even now who denied resurrection, questioning how Allah ta’ala brings back to life a body which has decayed. Allah ta’ala has given many examples in the Qur’an how He made us the first time and how He can bring us back to life after death.
Even Ibraheem AS also asked Allah ta’ala regarding this and this is mentioned in verse 260 of Surah Baqarah.
His question was not a rejection as Ibrahim AS was a firm believer in Tawheed and in the resurrection after death. He was Khaleelullaah and he had Imaan-e-kaamil and Yaqeen-e-kaamil. He posed this question to Allah ta’ala merely to have an eye witness account (Mushaahadah) of Allah ta’ala’s ability to resurrect.
Allah ta’ala instructed him to find four birds, tame them, then cut them into pieces. These pieces were to be placed on several hills. Once this was done, he was to call them. This he did, and (instead of flying) they all came running to him, as a display of Allah ta’ala’s power.
Allah ta’ala says He cannot only bring us back to life after death but it will be with every detail as well, including the “tips of the fingers.”
بَلَىٰ قَادِرِينَ عَلَىٰ أَنْ نُسَوِّيَ بَنَانَهُ
Why not? We are able to put together, in perfect order, the very tips of his fingers. [Surah Qiyaamah: 4]
Interestingly we now know that every human being has different finger prints and this is a widely understood and accepted fact. Allah ta’ala chose to mention fingertips to say I can recreate everything including your fingertips so there will be no doubt as to who the person is.
To realise with certainty that Allah ta’ala can resurrect and now with science it’s not that hard to believe i.e. it is scientifically possible to clone from some hair or cells.
Death is inevitable even with all the protection we ask Allah ta’ala for and so we should have Yaqeen that I will be brought back to life after death and to ask yourself if you are ready to face Him. This will lead to preparing for the Aakhirah. Allah ta’ala give us Tawfeeq to prepare for it, Aameen.
الشَّهِيدُ is translated as The Witness and The Testifier. It is The One Who is present. It comes from Shahaadah (Witnessing).
Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) translates it as The Universal Witness and so Allah ta’ala is The Universal Witness witnessing and watching everything. It is very similar to الْبَصِيرُ (The All-Seeing), الْخَبِيرُ (The Inner-Aware) and الْعَلِيمُ (The All-Knowing) but with subtle differences.
Ibn Katheer (Rahimahullah) writes that Allah ta’ala watches all our acts and knows what is in our hearts which we hide from other people therefore Allah ta’ala is الشَّهِيدُ , witnessing everything.
Another Scholar says He listens to all voices, loud or soft, He hears everything. Shaheed does not just mean to witness in terms of watching but also to hear.
الشَّهِيدُ and الْعَلِيمُ are very close in meaning and have a connection between them. In the Qur’an, when Allah ta’ala says,
Allah is He, besides Whom there is no God, the Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Compassionate, the Merciful. [Surah Hashr 22]
He is referred to as عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ - The Knower of the unseen world and this is connected to الْخَبِيرُ i.e. knowing the innermost or unseen realm of the whole universe. عَالِمُ الشَّهَادَةِ is Knower of the known things, things which are apparent and this has to do with Allah ta’ala being الشَّهِيدُ
Whatever benefit comes to you O people, it is by Allah's grace; and whatever loss you suffer, it is the result of your own doings. We have sent you, O Muhammad, as a Rasool to mankind. Allah is your All-Sufficient Witness.
Say: "Sufficient is Allah as a witness between me and you. He is the One Who is Aware and Observant of His servants." [Surah Israa: 96]
ثُمَّ اللَّهُ شَهِيدٌ عَلَىٰ مَا يَفْعَلُونَ - and Allah, moreover, is Witness over what they do. [Surah Yunus; 46]
So this is the concept of Allah ta’ala watching and bearing witness to our actions. The last verse of Surah Yunus is particularly about the Jews and Christians of the past. They would know the truth of the Qur’an and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam but they would still reject it so Allah ta’ala says He is watching and knows what they do i.e. the strategies and tactics they use.
From the different verses the concept of Tawheed is apparent.
Another connection with this word is that Allah ta’ala Himself is witnessing but He has also given us the power to be witnesses i.e. in a court case the witness is asked what he saw regarding the crime in order to determine if the accused is guilty of the crime or not and similarly Allah ta’ala has placed in the universe things for us to see and witness and Allah ta’ala mentioned in the Qur’an,
Soon shall We show them Our signs in the universe and in their own souls, until it becomes clear to them that this Qur'an is indeed the truth. Is it not enough that your Rabb is a witness over everything? [Surah Fussilaat: 53]
Therefore there are elements we are supposed to witness and these signs should lead us to believe in Allah ta’ala and in His Oneness. In another verse Alah ta’ala says,
Allah Himself has testified to the fact that there is no God but Him and so do the angels and those who are well grounded in knowledge standing firm on justice. There is no Ilah (God) except Him, the Mighty, the Wise. [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 18]
First Allah ta’ala is mentioned as He created everything and He is the biggest witness and then the angels and people also testify. Some Scholars say the people are the Ulama and others say they are people of knowledge and they bear witness that Allah ta’ala is One.
Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah and Ibn Katheer (Rahimahullah) write that this is a very high rank for the Ulama that they bear witness that Allah ta’ala is One through their knowledge and understanding and study of the Qur’an and Hadith as they are being grouped with Allah ta’ala and the angels. Therefore it is a very noble group to be in.
Some Scholars say it does not mean just people of religious knowledge but it can be any knowledge which leads to the knowledge and concept of Tawheed. Nowadays even atheists and scientists say the universe is too perfectly made and did not just happen and they find it hard to explain.
When we know Allah ta’ala is witnessing our actions, movements, feelings, thoughts, etc. then we should be careful of our Ma’moolaat and interactions and dealings with people. We should keep them clear and the word used nowadays is “Transparency” – openness i.e. in organisations etc. where money is dealt with and the higher the person is the more transparency is required so we should be transparent and keep all matters (Amanah, secrets, trusts etc.) clear and clean as Allah ta’ala is watching and witnessing. When we know someone is watching we are more careful and here Allah ta’ala is watching.
A famous Scholar of the past said that people of Ma’arifat learn that when Allah ta’ala is witnessing and watching then if I mention all my matters i.e. grief, sorrow, difficulties etc. and not share with people and have Yaqeen that Allah ta’ala knows what I’m going through, then Allah ta’ala will relieve me of them. It is very consoling and also very empowering when you keep things between you and Allah ta’ala. It’s harder for some people to do this due to weakness in Imaan and they need someone to vent to or share their problems with and get Naseehah and consolation. Even while doing that do not depend on people. Keep the relationship with Allah ta’ala strong and think that Allah ta’ala is watching and witnessing and the more we have this realisation the more we will make Du’a and reach out to Allah ta’ala instead of people.
الْحَقُّ is translated as The Truth and The Only Reality.
It is defined in different ways and one of them is The True Presence Who exists. Another definition is The True existence whose presence and divinity is evident by proofs i.e. there are proofs that He exists (You have to look for them but they exist).
Another way it is defined is, that Being Whose existence cannot be denied and to acknowledge it is necessary i.e. the existence of Allah ta’ala is such an ultimate truth and reality that it cannot be denied and the point that is made here is that there is no clear proof that He does not exist. This is actually the basic level of Deen or any religion and especially in the Abrahamic religions that God exists.
Atheists have no Proof God does not exist
Therefore the truth of Allah ta’ala is so strong and so evident that His nonexistence cannot be proven. In debates with atheists when they say, “How do you know God exists?” the answer is, “How do you know God does not exist?”
Story of Person in search of truth
Ibn Katheer relates that a Muslim was not sure of his beliefs. He was a calligrapher and so he wrote manuscripts of the Tawrah, the Bible and the Qur’an but with some changes in each. He then went to see the scholars of each religion and presented it to them. The Jewish and Christian scholars were happy to see the beautiful manuscripts and rewarded him however the Muslim scholars found the mistakes and had him arrested for tampering with the Qur’an. He admitted making the changes and explained his reason which was to see which religion was true and protected by Allah ta’ala.
Story of Salman Farsi RA
There are many stories of people in search of the truth and one of the more famous ones is the search for truth of Salman Farsi RA. He grew up in Persia where his father kept him imprisoned for fear of losing him. He was devoted to the Magian religion however he came across Christianity and inclined towards it. He left home and travelled to Syria where he came into the service of a Bishop however he found the Bishop was corrupt. When the Bishop died he was replaced by a new Bishop who was an ascetic who longed forthe Hereafter and engaged in worship day and night. Salman RA was devoted to him and spent time in his company. On the death of this Bishop he travelled to another place where the Bishop was also an ascetic and he spent time in his service however as death neared him, Salman RA asked him where he should go after his death. The Bishop replied,
“There is nobody following our ways of life I can send you to. Nevertheless, your life seems to coincide with the era of the predestined Prophet who will arise from the Haram. His migration will be to a city full of date trees. Moreover, he will certainly have some distinct features: Between his shoulder blades, there will be the Seal of the Prophethood. He will eat food, provided it is a gift and not a donation. If you can reach that city, then do so, because you are very close to his era.”
Eventually Salman RA reached Madeenah and awaited the arrival of the final Prophet he was told about and when the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam reached Madeenah after Hijrah Salman RA accepted him.
Allah ta’ala is called الْحَقُّ and it means Allah ta’ala is The Truth and when a person tries to find the truth, it will lead to Him.
‘Ibaadah is only for Allah ta’ala
Only Allah ta’ala is الْحَقُّ and ‘Ibaadah is showing or manifesting the feeling of humility and this is only for Allah ta’ala and not for any Makhlooq and this is strongly mentioned in the Qur’an,
They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. There is no god save Him. Be He glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)!
[Surah Tawbah: 31]
‘Adi bin Hatim narrated, “I came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam while I had a cross of gold around my neck. He said: ‘O ‘Adi! Remove this idol from yourself!’ And I heard him reciting from Surah Bara’ah: They took their rabbis and monks as lords besides Allah (9:31). He said: ‘As for them, they did not worship them, but when they made something lawful for them, they considered it lawful, and when they made something unlawful for them, they considered it unlawful.’”
So it does not mean just worship people but also to follow them and let them determine what is Halaal and Haraam and Muslims do this too. They do not study the Qur’an and Hadith and sometimes blindly follow other people and Scholars who are not on the truth and this is a type of Shirk as well.
In the Qur’an
It is mentioned 10 times in the Qur’an.
ثُمَّ رُدُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ مَوْلَاهُمُ الْحَقِّ - Then those souls are brought back to Allah, their real Master. [SurahAn’aam: 62]
That is because Allah, He is the Truth. Lo! He quickeneth the dead, and lo! He is Able to do all things; [Surah Hajj: 6]
Allah ta’ala is the True Lord and we do not worship Prophets like the Christians did or angels like the Mushrikeen did and nowadays scientists often worship science i.e. science has truth in it however it is only Allah ta’ala Who is The True Creator and Lord and when we know this then we know that it is only Him we should ask help from. In Surah Faatihah we say,
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ - Thee (alone) we worship; Thee alone we ask for help.
Going through the names of Allah ta’ala we realise that Allah ta’ala holds the ultimate and absolute level in all His attributes and we know not to turn to anyone else and this is the running theme in the Asmaa ul Husnaa.
Prayer of the Night
It is narrated that when the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam got up at night to offer the Tahajjud prayer, he used to say these words of praise,
O Allah! All the praises are for you, You are the Holder of the Heavens and the Earth, And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You have the possession of the Heavens and the Earth And whatever is in them. All the praises are for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth And all the praises are for You; You are the King of the Heavens and the Earth; And all the praises are for You; You are the Truth and Your Promise is the truth, And to meet You is true, Your Word is the truth And Paradise is true And Hell is true And all the Prophets (Peace be upon them) are true; And Muhammad is true, And the Day of Resurrection is true. O Allah ! I surrender (my will) to You; I believe in You and depend on You. And repent to You, And with Your help I argue (with my opponents, the non-believers) And I take You as a judge (to judge between us). Please forgive me my previous And future sins; And whatever I concealed or revealed And You are the One who make (some people) forward And (some) backward. There is none to be worshipped but you [Bukhari]
We should make Du’a to be on the true path and to be with the truthful people. To be truthful to Allah ta’ala we need to be true servants and to be true to ourselves and to other people. There are many Hadith about being truthful.
الْحَقُّ has a higher level meaning. It is not about speaking the truth. In regards to Allah ta’ala, He is the ultimate Truth.
It comes that everything in the world is Baatil and this is the opposite of Haqq. In Surah Rahmaan (verses 26-27) Allah ta’ala says,
كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ - All that exists on the earth will perish.
وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ - But the Face of your Rabb will remain full of Majesty and Glory.
A verse in the Qur’an says this Dunya is Daarul Ghuroor, a place of deception/delusion and we live lives of delusion thinking we are something we are not. Allah ta’ala is The Truth and the force that will break us out of our falsehood. We should acknowledge our wrongdoing to Allah ta’ala and ask to be saved from all falsehood and to be guided towards Him as He is الْحَقُّ.
The more a person tries to be truthful to themselves and to others and live truthful lives, the more Allah ta’ala will bring them to Himself.
Haqq can also mean rights of Allah ta’ala i.e. Huqooqullah and Huqooqul ‘Ibaad, rights of Allah ta’ala and rights of the slaves of Allah ta’ala.
Allah ta’ala has the right to be obeyed, loved and worshipped and therefore not to give these rights to any human be it a Prophet or a scholar. We see this in the Asmaa ul Husnaa again and again.
We are often confused regarding what is right and wrong and what is true or false. If we say, “O Allah, I worship only You” then He will protect us from false people and paths.
To remember that the Qur’an is the Kitaab of Haqq and the words of الْحَقُّ and if we hold fast to it then we will be guided on the path of guidance and truth.
The truth touches people and the Quran touches even disbelievers to some extent. Allah ta’ala gives opportunities to everyone to glimpse the truth. Sometimes we see it and turn the other way as it is too hard to digest but may Allah ta’ala give us more opportunities and to take them up these opprotunities. People do not want to hear the truth or accept it and Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an that people are in delusion even though they know the truth. People do not want to be reminded of death and the Aakhirah. They want to remain happy in their delusion. If people deny the commands of Allah ta’ala they deny the truth. People’s acceptance or non-acceptance does not change the truth. It still remains the truth.
الْوَكِيلُ is translated as The Trustee and The Advocator. It comes from وكل - to entrust.
All matters are under the trust of Allah ta’ala.
When one knows that all of creation is under the command of Allah ta’ala and no one else owns anything and that all of creation belongs to Him then one’s trust is also there. One realises He is the only One Who has the right to be entrusted.
“Wakeel” in Arabic and Urdu can mean “Lawyer”, someone who advocates for you and whose opinion and judgment you trust. Linguistically it means you entrust someone and make them responsible on your behalf. Allah ta’ala tells us in the Qur’an to entrust all our affairs to Him,
He is the Rabb of the east and the west: there is no god but Him, therefore, take Him as your Protector.
[Surah Muzzammil: 9]
In the Qur’an
It is mentioned 14 times in the Qur’an.
What is Tawakkul?
We should use the necessary means, make effort and leave the outcome to Allah ta’ala and this is what Tawakkul means.
Extremes in Tawakkul
Some people go to extremes one of them being when people are over confident. They will use the necessary means and then trust their own effort instead trusting in Allah ta’ala. They will have a little bit of arrogance i.e. “I planned for every possible problem.” This is not entrusting your affairs to Allah ta’ala. It is trusting in your own efforts more than in Allah ta’ala. Then when something goes wrong the person ends up blaming themselves saying they had put in so much effort and it has gone wrong. Obviously we make mistakes and cannot foretell every possible problem that can arise.
Another extreme is when people use Tawakkul as an excuse for being lazy and at the same time being pseudo-spiritual. They say, “I am going to trust in Allah ta’ala and I’m not going to do anything.”
The middle path is true Tawakkul which is to use the means, try your best and do what is in your power and then entrust your affairs to Allah ta’ala. So if you missed your flight despite planning then not to blame others or get angry but believe that there is Kahyr in it.
Make Allah ta’ala your Wakeel & do not make anyone else your Wakeel.
We gave Musa (Moses) the Book and made it a guide for the Children of Israel, saying: "Do not take any other protector besides Me. [Surah Al-Israa: 2]
Looking at these verses two things are apparent. One is where Allah ta’ala tells us to make Him our Wakeel and the other is Allah ta’ala saying not to take anyone other than Him as a Wakeel. Therefore we should make Allah ta’ala our Wakeel and not take anyone else as our Wakeel.
Result of Tawakkul
Allah ta’ala says in Surah Ahzaab (Verse 3),
وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا - And put thy trust in Allah, for Allah is sufficient as Trustee.
This verse was revealed after the Battle of Badr. The Muslims were facing a very strong army but they did their best and trusted in Allah ta’ala and that is a high level when one’s resources are limited and the challenge in front is greater and then to trust in Allah ta’ala. This is when Tawakkul shines through.
Trusting in the Asbaab
Trusting in the Asbaab is a mistake many people make. For instance if a child was diagnosed with some disease and was given a 50% chance of recovery if certain things were done, then to use those means but if the child did not recover as expected then to say, “I did what I was supposed to do , so why isn’t the child recovering?” Tawakkul is to do what one can and then trust Allah ta’ala to put an effect in it as He is the One Who grants Shifaa.
Tawakkul is a full hearted thing. The more your heart is into it the more you will find that He is the Wakeel for you.
He is the Rabb of the east and the west: there is no god but Him, therefore, take Him as your Protector.
[Surah Muzzammil: 9]
Regarding this verse Scholars have said that this Surah has spiritual stages.
The first stage is to stand in prayer at night - قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا
Then to read the Qur’an “Tarteelaa” - وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا
Another verse says to turn away from Ghayrullaah – وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا
Remember the name of your Rabb and devote yourself to Him exclusively.
Thereafter to have Tawakkul in Allah ta’ala – رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا
Therefore on a spiritual level to do ‘Ibaadah, use the Asbaab and then rely on Allah ta’ala. For example, in the middle of Ramadhaan when feeling low spiritually, the important thing is doing what we are supposed to do i.e. Salaah, Tilaawat, Du’a etc. then see what you should not be doing i.e. wasting time online, on social media etc. and refraining from it. This is trying from your side and then trusting in Allah ta’ala.
It is not the Asbaab which are going to make you a spiritual person. It is when Allah ta’ala wants you to be spiritually progressing that it will happen. Our job is to do what is required in terms of our Deen and make Du’a for spiritual progress.
Therefore Tawakkul is not just for financial or other materialistic, mundane worldly matters but it is also for our spiritual life. However we put emphasis on ourselves saying, “My ‘Ibaadah does not have enough Khushu’.” We should try to attain it and trust in Allah ta’ala and not in our ‘Ibaadah. There is an embedded arrogance in us that we think our ‘Ibaadah is good enough however the reality is that no ‘Ibaadah is going to be good enough and this gives some consolation as nothing is going to be good enough to reach Allah ta’ala. We can use the Asbaab and try and say, “O Allah! I trust in You to grant me Your Qurb.”
Sometimes we see that we do things half-heartedly or we put a lot of effort in and still don’t feel anything and we stress about it then suddenly out of nowhere, a small thing like a beautiful quote or a verse of the Qur’an etc. triggers a flood of tears and spiritual feelings. Therefore do what is required in all aspects of life and trust the outcome to Allah ta’ala.
Another verse in the Qur’an says,
وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ - for Allah is all sufficient for the person who puts his trust in Him. [Surah Talaaq: 3]
The better the quality of our Tawakkul the more Allah ta’ala will suffice. It is like a circle. It is not lack of deeds but lack of Tawakkul which is preventing spiritual progress.
We are lacking in Tawakkul due to general disloyalty and being let down by people so we stop trusting in Allah ta’ala but trusting in Allah ta’ala and trusting in people are two different things. People are also Asbaab i.e. our teachers are a means to Allah ta’ala so we trust in our teachers as a means but trust is in Allah ta’ala.
حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ – A Powerful Du’a in Difficulty
This is a very powerful Du’a to recite. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam and the Sahaba RA recited it. Ibraheem AS recited it when he was thrown in the fire. Scholars say we should recite it during difficulties.
Since Tawakkul is not leaving aside the Asbaab (it is using the means and then trusting in Allah ta’ala) if something did not happen the way we wanted or it takes a long time, then we should do Sabr, and if it does happen the way we wanted then we should do Shukr. The stronger the Tawakkul, the less likelihood of depression, anxiety and tension, and the more Tawakkul, the more peace of mind there is. Trust Allah ta’ala to put the effect in the Asbaab and do not trust in the Asbaab.
Two people came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam with a legal dispute and he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) decided in favour of one of them so the other person was quiet and said the above Du’a. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam called him and said that Allah ta’ala does not like him to accept loss and give up but to use the means and then if in a helpless situation, then say حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيل.
The point is that Allah ta’ala does not want us to just be helpless and weak. The person should make effort in the right way and then when there is nothing he can do, then say حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيل.
A person asked the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam “Should I tie my camel and have Tawakkul (trust in Allah for her protection) or should I leave her untied and have Tawakkul.” He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) replied, “Tie her and have Tawakkul.” [Tirmidhi]
A Scholar says that Maryam AS was told to shake the branch of a date tree while she was delivering. She did so and the dates fell. The Scholar is saying that Allah ta’ala could have let the dates drop on her but He wanted her to use the means and trust in Allah ta’ala to drop the dates. Therein is a lesson for us.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,
“O people, fear Allah and be moderate in seeking a living, for no soul will die until it has received all its provision, even if it is slow in coming. So fear Allah and be moderate in seeking provision; take that which is permissible and leave that which is forbidden.” [Ibn Majah]
and when you make a decision to do something, then put your trust in Allah (hold fast to your decision). Allah loves those who put their trust in Him. [Surah Aali ‘Imraan:159]
Allah ta’ala is teaching us how to do Tawakkul. When a person has looked at all the options regarding something and then decides, now do Tawakkul. Therefore do not be wishy-washy and say, “What if” but do Tawakkul. If something happens which is not what you wanted, then do not cry over spilt milk and do not go back and say “If”.
Ibn Qayyim (Rahimahullah) said “Tawakkul is half of Deen.” The reason is just as all of the Qur’an is in Surah Faatihah and all of Surah Faatihah is in “Iyyakana’budu wa iyyaa kanasta’een”, so Deen is in two parts. One is ‘Ibaadah and the other is to seek Allah ta’ala’s help and ‘Ibaadah is turning to Allah ta’ala and seeking Allah ta’ala’s help is Tawakkul.
Therefore doing what we can and then trusting in Allah ta’ala is actually asking Allah ta’ala’s help and it keeps us protected from Shirk.
It is mentioned in a Hadith in ibn Majah “The heart of man lingers after everything. Allah does not care for a man who puts his heart at the disposal of everything; he may be destroyed in any place (and way – Allah cares not for him). Whoever has trust on Allah, Allah suffices for him in all affairs.”
We are scattered in so many directions with different ideas in the heart and we are left nowhere. That person who tries to stick to one thing and trusts in Allah ta’ala then He will make that enough for him.
Benefits of Tawakkul
One of the benefits of Tawakkul is that one’s doubts and “ifs” and “buts” will be alleviated. Life becomes easier with less stress, anxiety etc.
A famous Scholar of the past, Fakhruddeen Razi (Rahimahullah) said in his Tafseer of Surah Yusuf relating his own experience that when a person really trusts someone other than Allah ta’ala then He will put the person through a lot of difficulty and effort and if a person trusts in Allah ta’ala then he will find everything working out beautifully. He stresses that we should trust only in Allah ta’ala and not in people.
It is not that we do not trust people, we do. For example we trust a doctor but the doctor is the means for cure or we trust our teacher being the means of us becoming better people.
Sometimes we trust people too much/wholeheartedly, more than Allah ta’ala and he will use that as a trial for us. Sometimes we trust abstract things i.e. our efforts, abilities, intelligence etc. and Allah ta’ala will use that as a trial for us. Sometimes a person trusts in his health saying how healthy he is and then he gets sick. Therefore saying or feeling something which Allah ta’ala dislikes or wholeheartedly putting trust in something instead of in Allah ta’ala, it becomes a trial. These trials bring a person back to trusting in Allah ta’ala. We also trust in our own good deeds i.e. when we think it is our deeds which will take us to Jannah.
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said to the Sahaba RA that none of them will enter Jannah because of their deeds. They asked if they should stop doing deeds and Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam replied that they should continue doing deeds and they will bring the mercy of Allah ta’ala.
No One Will Enter Paradise By Virtue Of His Deeds
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,
“Observe moderation (in doing deeds), and if you fail to observe it perfectly, try to do as much as you can do (to live up to this ideal of moderation) and be happy for none would be able to get into Paradise because of his deeds alone. They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: Allah’s Messenger, not even you? Thereupon he said: Not even I, but that Allah wraps me in His Mercy, and bear this in mind that the deed loved most by Allah is one which is done constantly even though it is small.” [Muslim]
Therefore we should continue doing good deeds as they will bring the mercy of Allah ta’ala. We should think it is not our deeds themselves which will gain entry into Jannah but they are a means to Allah ta’ala and to trust in Allah ta’ala that He will accept them and become the means of His mercy with which we will attain Jannah.
Three types of Tawakkul
Mufti Shafi’ (Rahimahullah) said there are three types of Tawakkul people can have:
• Lowest level: in terms of belief a person says he has Tawakkul on Allah ta’ala however in practical life the focus is on the means. The example he gives is that of a person who has a lawyer who he trusts to take care of his affairs however he is constantly checking up on him.
• The Middle level: is the person who takes care of the Asbaab (means) and puts trust in Allah ta’ala and their focus is on making Du’a. The person will find energy and inspiration to praise Allah ta’ala and make Du’a while the person with lack of Tawakkul will be so focused on the means that he will not even think of making Du’a.
• The highest level: is that of the Ambiyaa and Saaliheen. They have so much Tawakkul on Allah ta’ala that they do take care of the means however they are so content and at peace that they do not make Du’a regarding that matter.
Du’a in Hadith
A Du’a narrated by ibn Katheer (Rahimahullah) in times of sickness or lack of provision:
Surely it is Allah Who is the giver of all sustenance, the Lord of Power, the Invincible.
الْقَوِيُّ - absolute, perfect power over all things. It is similar to Qaadir (Allah ta’ala having Qudrat i.e. power to control) so it is more in terms of controlling and الْقَوِيُّ means power in the absolute sense.
Ibn Katheer (Rahimahullah) says الْقَوِيُّ means no one can dominate Him and no one can escape Him even if they tried and no one can delay or overrule His decision once He decides on any matter.
الْمَتِينُ – Has the meaning of intense power. It is that power which cannot be separated from Him i.e. it is part of His essence. He finds no difficulty in any of His matters and neither does He feel tiredness.
The subtle difference between the two names is that الْمَتِينُ has more intensity than الْقَوِيُّ. Another way to differentiate them is الْقَوِيُّ means complete and perfect power and الْمَتِينُ means intense or extreme power. Therefore الْقَوِيُّ is more comprehensive in His perfect power and الْمَتِينُ is in terms of its intensity.
Allah ta’ala is immeasurable but it’s like looking at the width and depth of something and if you think of width than قَوِيّ is the word and in terms of Allah ta’ala’s depth and intensity of power, it would be مَتِين.
Another way to describe Allah ta’ala’s power is that it is such power that fulfills His intention. Whatever He intends, He can do and does not have to deliberate over it. Allah ta’ala’s power surrounds all things with no fault or weakness in it. People who are powerful in the world have some weakness or fault and there is no super hero who is absolutely powerful as they have some fault or weakness embedded in them. There is no absolute power except Allah ta’ala.
Allah ta’ala has the power to humiliate or give respect and this is mentioned in many ways in the Qur’an and in the stories of the Seerah where people tried to weaken the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam and the Muslims and erase Islam however Allah ta’ala made Islam stronger and this is the running theme in Seerah. We think people give respect or disrespect but it is Allah ta’ala.
In the Qur’an
These two names appear once as in the verse mentioned earlier.
الْقَوِيُّ is mentioned 10 times paired with other names – 7 times with الْعَزِيزُ.
When Our Judgement came to pass, We saved Saleh and those who believed with him, through a special grace from Us, from the disgrace of that Day. Indeed your Rabb is All-Strong, All-Mighty
It is mentioned twice with شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ - Surely Allah is Mighty and severe in punishment. [Surah Anfaal; 52]
Note on Paired Names:
Scholars say when Allah ta’ala’s names are paired, the pair combine to form a unique name and if one of them is paired with another name, that combination will another nuance to the meaning.
الْقَوِيُّ in Dhikr – “A Treasure from the Treasures of Jannah”
The commentary spends time on لا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلا بِالله (There is no might and strength except with Allah) which is sometimes mentioned as a form of Dhikr, sometimes when awestruck and sometimes as emphasis as in ما شاء الله لا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلا بِالله
Abu Musa RA reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said to me,
“Shall I not guide you to a treasure from the treasures of Jannah?” I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah!” Thereupon he sallallaahu ‘alayhiw asallam said, “Recite, لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
Imam Nawawi’s (Rahimahullah) Explanation of this being a “Treasure of Jannah”
Scholars have tried to understand this Hadith and Imam Nawawi (Rahimahullah) writes that it is called one of the treasures of Jannah because “hawl” means to give some type of movement i.e. “Harakah” or to try to look for a path in a certain direction (To be in search for some path). Therefore,
“Laa hawl” means “there is no movement” plus
“Laa Quwwata” means no strength/no path/no way out/no exit/no escape, and
“Illaa billah” means “except for Allah”.
It is usually translated as “There is no might and no strength except with Allah” however it means, “There is no ability to move (“Laa hawl”) and no way out (“Laa Quwwata”) except with Allah.”
Imam Nawawi (Rahimahullah) says this phrase shows utter submission/servitude and if a person, while saying these words, was to acknowledge this with certainty that one is powerless to move or to do anything except with the power of Allah ta’ala then that Kayfiyyat (condition of the heart) is something that will take the person to Jannah and that is why it is one of the treasures of Jannah. ~~end~~
When that condition becomes a part of one’s life, it will protect the person from disobedience of Allah ta’ala. Also when we look at the لا, it is a negation and the إلا الله is the affirmation so we are negating the Ghayrullaah or the power of anything else.
لا حَوْلَ also means there is no power to stop evil except through Allah ta’ala. There is no way to save ourselves from disobedience and to be obedient except through Allah ta’ala’s help and we as humans are powerless. These are different reasons why it is called a treasure from the treasures of Jannah.
One of the objectives of studying the Asmaaul Husnaa is to connect with Allah ta’ala and to protect ourselves from hidden Shirk. Sometimes we think a particular person or doing the ‘Aalimah course will make me pious. The Scholars do not say we will make you pious. The people assume it however these are the means. The expectations are from means and not Allah ta’ala and this is what the لا is negating. No one has the power to make anyone pious. If the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam had had the power, he would have given Hidaayah to his uncle Abu Taalib.
A person once said to Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Rahimahullah) that he wanted what was in the Shaykh’s chest i.e. the love of Allah ta’ala, Taqwaa etc. and he asked the Shaykh to give it to him. In order to teach the person that it was Allah ta’ala Who had power to give and not him, the Shaykh (Rahimahullah) said, “My chest has phlegm in it, shall I give that to you?”
Therefore yes, there is benefit in spending time with the Ahlullaah, the close friends of Allah ta’ala and to attain knowledge but power to change us does not lie with the Mashaikh, Scholars or teachers. It is Allah ta’ala Who grants it and when we know that then we will not have that expectation from anyone other than Allah ta’ala and we will ask only Allah ta’ala for everything.
لا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلا بِالله – in Sorrow & Difficulty
Many Scholars of the past have stressed on this Dhikr which is mentioned in Hadith. Some have mentioned a virtue of this Dhikr saying it is very effective in sorrow and difficulty. It is mentioned in the book that reciting it 40 times with feeling will help in difficult situations. This is “Mujarrab” meaning over the years Scholars have had experience of its effect. It is also something which reminds us that it is only Allah ta’ala Who is in control and has the power to change the situation.
Mujaddid Alf Thaani (Rahimahullah) said that in order to protect one’s self from all difficulties and pain and to reach your goals, one should read لا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إِلا بِالله in abundance.
To Acknowledge the Strength of Allah ta’ala & our Weakness
The common thread seen between the Du’a of the Ambiyaa AS is,
• Deep humility
• Acknowledgement of their weakness
When Musaa AS was chosen as Prophet, he looked at and acknowledged his own weaknesses. He admitted he had a knot in his tongue and acknowledged he did not know how to talk to people and so to send his brother Haroon AS with him. He did not think he was deserving of prophethood and yet he was one of the greatest Prophets in history.
The Ma’rifat (Realisation) that Allah ta’ala is الْقَوِيُّ is the realisation of one’s weakness which becomes much more visible.
Beautiful Du’a of a Famous Taabi’ee (Aamir bin Abdullaah Tameemee RA)
Ilaahi laqad khalaqtanee bi amrika
(O Allah, You made me according to Your power/command)
Wa akamtanee fee balaayaa haadhihid dunyaa fee mashi-atika
(You have placed me in the difficulties of this world through Your wish)
Thumma qultanee idh thamtika
(Then You said to me, hold fast to the Deen of Islam i.e. obey me)
Kayfa ath-thumtiku illam tumsiknee bi nutfika
(How do I hold fast to You if You do not hold fast to me with Your Fadhl?)
Yaa Qawiyyu Yaa Mateen!
The feeling behind this Du’a is beautiful even if not said in Arabic. He is saying, “O Allah, You put me in this world and in difficult situations and then You tell me to hold fast. I cannot hold fast to You until YOU hold fast to me through Your grace. You are Al-Qawiyyu and Al-Mateen” ~~end~~
الْمَتِينُ - Allah ta’ala gives His different creation different powers and abilities in certain areas i.e. the power of memorization people have, the power of smell that ants have, the power of hearing that bats have etc. This comes from Allah ta’ala being الْمَتِينُ but however the intensity of all power, it is Allah ta’ala Who is
When we realise the power of Allah ta’ala we will realise our lowliness and this is how it is with the people who have Ma’rifat of Allah ta’ala and are close to Him. The more distant a person is from Allah ta’ala the more arrogance there is in them and they think they can do anything. A person who realises the power of Allah ta’ala is confident in the power of Allah ta’ala and is not affected by the power of people or become awestruck at their wealth.
Allah is the Wali (Protector) of those who believe, He brings them out of the depth of darkness and lead them into the light. [Surah Baqarah; 257]
Therefore Allah ta’ala is helping us in terms of guiding us.
Literally it means to be close, so it means a close protecting friend who wants the best for us, who wants to help us, rectify our mistakes, fulfil our needs, who loves us and who is watchful over our affairs. Allah ta’ala being the Wali of the Believers includes all of this and it’s a very high stage to have.
Mullah Ali Qari (Rahimahullah) said الْوَلِيُّ is that Being Who loves His friends and helps them against their enemies and the enemy can be people or one’s Nafs i.e. the impermissible desires of the Nafs (Sometimes we are our own worst enemies) so those enemies who stop people from preparing for the Aakhirah.
A true friend in the world is not just one who likes you and hangs out with you but the definition of a friend includes so much more. Some Scholars say friends help us because they have Shafaqat (Affection).
How a person gets Wilaayat (Allah ta’ala’s friendship)?
The actions are the means of attaining Allah ta’ala’s friendship and closeness.
Or have they chosen protecting friends besides Him? But Allah, He (alone) is the Protecting Friend. [Surah Ash-Shura; 9]
وَهُوَ الْوَلِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ - He is the Protecting Friend, the Praiseworthy [Surah Ash-Shura: 28]
Who were the Awliya of the Past?
The Ambiyaa AS, the Sahaba RA and many of those after them were the Awliyaa towards whom Allah ta’ala showed His friendship by granting them protection.
When Ibraheem AS was thrown into the fire Allah ta’ala ordered the fire to become cool. It is related that this was also the case for Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani (Rahimahullaah).
Adh-Dhahaabi narrated that Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansi was claiming to be a prophet in Yemen and he wanted Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani to acknowledge him as a prophet. When Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani refused to acknowledge him as a prophet, Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansi prepared a great fire and threw Abu Muslim Al-Khawlaani into it, but it did not harm him. He was thereafter forced to leave and he came to Madeenah. Upon arriving in Madeenah he entered the masjid, where ‘Umar RA saw him and got up to meet him.
He asked, “Where is this man from?”
He said, “From Yemen.”
He asked, “What happened to the one whom the liar burned with fire?”
He said, “That was ‘Abdullaah Ibn Thuwab.”
He then asked, “I adjure you by Allah, are you he?”
He said, “Yes, by Allah.”
‘Umar embraced him and wept, then he took him and seated him between himself and Abu Bakr and said, “Praise be to Allah Who did not cause me to die until I had seen among the ummah of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam one to whom was done the same as was done to Ibraheem Al-Khaleel.”
When a person reaches the stage of Wilaayat, Allah ta’ala becomes their true protecting friend.
How to Reach the Stage of Wilaayah?
• Keep away from all Shirk
• Refrain from all sins, minor and major and this is an ‘Ibaadah. A person once asked the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam how to become a person of ‘Ibaadah. He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam told him to protect himself from sins and he will become a person of ‘Ibaadah among people (‘Aabadan naas)
• Refrain from injustice – not to hurt anyone intentionally
We think a Wali is one who worships Allah ta’ala all the times however these three qualities are the foundation and if a person thereafter performs optional devotions, then the stage of Wilaayat attained is very high.
It is mentioned in a Hadith Qudsi,
Allah ta’ala said, “Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him.” [Bukhari]
After the Battle of Uhud, Abu Sufyaan asked three times,” Is Muhammad present among these people?” The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam ordered his companions not to answer him. Then he asked three times, “Is Ibn Abu Quhafa present amongst these people?” He asked again three times:, “Is Ibn Al-Khattab present amongst these people?” He then returned to his companions and said, “As for these (men), they have been killed.” Umar RA could not control himself and said (to Abu Sufyaan), “You told a lie, by Allah! 0 enemy of Allah! All those you have mentioned are alive, and the thing which will make you unhappy is still there.”
Abu Sufyaan said, “Our victory today compensates for yours in the Battle of Badr, and in war (the victory) is always undecided and is shared in turns by the belligerents. You will find some of your (killed) men mutilated, but I did not urge my men to do so, yet I do not feel sorry for their deed.” After that he started reciting cheerfully, “0 Hubal, be superior!” On that the Prophet said (to his companions), “Why don’t you answer him back?” They said, “0 Allah’s Messenger! What shall we say?” He said: “Say, Allah is Higher and more Sublime.” (Then) Abu Sufyan said:, “We have the (idol) Al-Uzza, and you have no ‘Uzza.” The Prophet said (to his companions), “Why don’t you answer him back?” They asked, “0 Allah’s Messenger! What shall we say?” He said: “Say Allaahu Mawlaanaa (Allah is our Helper) and you have no helper.”
To Remain a Wali
Once a person becomes a Wali, it does not mean he will always remain a Wali. Those who have attained the stage of Wilaayat after attaining it, remain steadfast because;
• They love Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam
• They love those who love Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam
• They dislike those who dislike Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam
• They keep friendship and connection with those who keep friendship and connection with Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam
• They keep working towards being obedient to Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam
To remember in all states of life that Allah ta’ala is my Wali. He is my close protecting friend and He knows what I’m going through. To have love for those who love Allah ta’ala and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam and keep a connection with them.
الْحَمِيدُ is translated as The Praised One and The laudable.
This word comes from حمد meaning praise. It is that Being Who has made mandatory for all creation to praise Him. Human beings do so voluntarily and all other forms of creation does Tasbeeh of Allah ta’ala. He is deserving of praise for all His countless bounties upon all the creation all the time, seen and unseen. Allah ta’ala mentions in the Qur’an that if you wanted to count the Ni’mat of Allah ta’ala, you cannot do so.
Allah ta’ala is Hameed in terms of His praise. He is praiseworthy in His Dhaat, His Sifaat and all His actions. When we praise someone for whatever reason, then that in reality is actually a praise of Allah ta’ala.
In the Qur’an
It is mentioned 16 times in the Qur’an;
10 times with الْغَنِيُّ
وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ - and it is Allah Who is Free of all wants, Worthy of all praise [35:15]
3 times with الْعَزِيزُ
Once with الْحَكِيمُ
Once with الْعَلِيُّ
Once with الْمَجِيدُ
Praise of Allah ta’ala
There is a lot of praise in the Du’a of the Ambiyaa AS and the pious people. It is mentioned in Hadith that the best of the servants of Allah ta’ala will be those who praised Him abundantly.
When Allah ta’ala grants a person any Ni’mah and the person says, “Alhamdulillah,” then the Tawfeeq to do Hamd of Allah ta’ala is better than the Ni’mat one received. The Ni’mat, no matter how great or small, will one day end i.e. chocolates will be eaten, jewellery will get old or broken etc. but the reward for the Hamd which was done upon receiving the Ni’mat will never end. Anything one connects to Allah ta’ala becomes Baaqee (Eternal). Therefore when we get the Tawfeeq to say Alhamdulillah then say Alhamdulillah for that Tawfeeq as it is Allah ta’ala Who is putting in our hearts to say Alhamdulillah! We should say Alhamdulillah with deep sincere feelings and not be desensitized.
The merits of Hamd are mentioned in many places of the Qur’an and in Hadith. Many Masnoon Du’a have words of praise in them as does Surah Faatihah which we recite in every Rakat of every Salaah.
It was narrated that Rifa’ah bin Rafi RA said,
“We were praying behind the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam one day and when he raised his head from bowing he said, ‘Sami Allahu liman hamidah (Allah hears the one who praises Him).’ A man behind him said,
‘رَبَّنَا وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ حَمْدًا كَثِيرًا طَيِّبًا مُبَارَكًا فِيهِ - Rabbana wa lakal-hamd, hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubarakan feeh. (O our Lord, and to You be praise, much blessed and pure praise.)’ When the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam had finished, he said, ‘Who is the one who spoke just now?’ The man said, ‘I did, O Messenger of Allah.’ The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: ‘I saw thirty-some angels rushing to see which of them would write it down first.’” [Nasai]
“House of Praise”
It was narrated that Abu Sinaan said, “I buried my son Sinaan and Abu Talhah al-Khoolaani was sitting at the graveside. When I wanted to go out he took my hand and said, ‘Shall I not give you some glad tidings, O Abu Sinaan?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, ‘When a person’s child dies, Allah says to His angels, ‘You have taken the child of My slave.’ They say, ‘Yes.’ He says, ‘You have taken the apple of his eye.’ They say, ‘Yes.’ He says, ‘What did My slave say?’ They say, ‘He praised you and said “Innaa lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon (Verily to Allah we belong and unto Him is our return).’ Allah says, ‘Build for My slave a house in Paradise and call it the house of praise.’” (Tirmidhi)
There is immense reward in praising Allah ta’ala when the heart is broken. We should praise Allah ta’ala in all states whether of ease or difficulty.
Praise Allah ta’ala with the tongue and in the heart. Thank people.
It is mentioned in Hadith that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah.” [Abu Daawood]
Difference between Hamd & Shukr
These two words are similar however there is a difference in meaning. Shukr can be sincere or insincere or the person being thanked may not be deserving of it while Hamd is praising that Being Who deserves being praised. Allah ta’ala is الْحَمِيدُ and deserves all praise.
In a difficult or testing situation it is hard to see why one should praise Allah ta’ala however when one reflects, one will always find something to praise Allah ta’ala for. It could be that the situation could have been much worse and that is something to be thankful for. To remain always praising Allah ta’ala even in situations where a person feels like complaining and not praising Allah ta’ala, keeps a person positive.
The more one praises Allah ta’ala and does Shukr to Allah ta’ala, the more He increases the bounties. Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an,
لَئِنْ شَكَرْتُمْ لَأَزِيدَنَّكُمْ – “If you are grateful [to Me], I shall most certainly give you more and more”
[Surah Ibraheem: 7]
Therefore we should praise Allah ta’ala for the Imaan and Deen He has bestowed upon us and for the Tawfeeq for doing good deeds and Allah ta’ala will increase these bounties.
الْمُحْصِي is translated as The Reckoner and The Appraiser. It comes from Ihsaab and has more of a quantification meaning i.e. it has the concept of enumeration, counting. Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an,
If you want to count the favours of Allah, you will never be able to number them [Surah Nahl: 18]
الْمُحْصِي is that being that knows each separate thing absolutely and knows the limit of each object and its quantity and dimension. In Surah Jinn, verse 28, Allah ta’ala says,
وَأَحْصَىٰ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عَدَدًا - and keeps a count of each and everything
Allah ta’ala is that Being Who knows the exact numbers of particles of dirt on the mountains, the number of rain drops that fall, the number of drops of water in the ocean, the number of leaves on the trees.
With all the technology in this age scientists give estimations and come up will mind boggling numbers of things in the universe however Allah ta’ala knows the exact number of everything in the universe from the beginning of time till the end. Someone said, “You can find God in the detail”
Beautiful Du’a of a Bedouin which includes the Concept of Enumeration
Anas RA reports that Rasoolullaah sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam passed by a bedouin while he was supplicating in Salaah and Rasoolullaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam stopped to listen to him. Thereafter Rasoolullah sallallahu’ alayhi wasallam sent someone to fetch him saying when he finished praying and when he was brought to him Rasoolullah sallallahu ’alayhi wasallam gave him gold which had been given to him as a gift. The Du’a is as follows,
يا منْ لاَّ تَرَاهُ العُيُون
Yaa Man La Taraahul ‘Uyoon
O the one who eyes cannot behold in this world
ولا تُخالِطُهُ الظُّنُون
Wa Laa Tukhaalituhudh-Dhunoon
and minds cannot comprehend His greatness
ولا يَصِفُهُ الْوَاصِفُون
Wa Laa Yasifuhul Waasifoon
and people cannot praise Him as he deserves to be praised
ولا تُغَيِّرُهُ الْحَوَادِث
Wa Laa Tughayyiruhul Hawaadith
and situations do not change him
ولا يَخْشَى الدَّوَائِر
Wa Laa Yakhshad-Dawaa’ir
and he does not fear the passing of time
يَعْلَمُ مَثاقِيلَ الْجِبال
Ya’lamu Mathaaqeelal Jibaal
He knows the exact weight of the mountains
Wa Makaa-yeelal Bihaar
And the volume of the oceans
وَعَدَدَ قَطْرِ الأمْطار
Wa Adada Qatril Amtaar
And the number of drops of rain
وَعَدَدَ وَرَقِ الأشْجار
Wa Adada Waraqil Ashjaar
And the number of leaves on trees
Wa Adada Maa Udhlima Alayhil Layl. Wa Ashraqa Alayhin-Nahaar
And those things that the day illuminates with its light and the night hides in its darkness
ولا تُوَارِي مِنْهُ سَمَاءٌ سَمَاءً، وَلا أرْضٌ أرْضَاً
Wa Laa Tuwaari Minhu Samaa’un Samaa’, Wa Laa Ardun Ardaa’
And one sky cannot shield another sky, and no ground can shield another layer of ground from Allah
وَلا بَحْرٌ مَا فِي قَعْرِهِ
Wa Laa Bahrun Maa Fee Qa’rihi
And the ocean (in its depths and darkness) cannot hide anything from Allah
وَلا جَبَلٌ مَا فِي وَعْرِهِ
Wa Laa Jabalun Maa Fee Wa’rihi
And a mountain cannot (in its deepest darkest cave) hide anything from Allah
اِجْعَلْ خَيْرَ عُمْرِي آخِرَه
Make best part of my life the last part of my life
وَخَيْرَ أيَّامِي يَوْمَ ألْقَاَكَ فِيْه
وَخَيْرَ عَمَلِي خَوَاتِيْمَه
and make the best of my action the action that I do in this life and the best day the day I return back to meet You.
[Al-Mu’jamul-Awsat of Tabarani, hadith: 9448]
الْمُحْصِي - in terms of Recording Deeds
Allah ta’ala is الْمُحْصِي in terms of our books of deeds. Everything is recorded , written down, preserved. Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an,
وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ كِتَابًا
“But We have placed on record every single thing [of what they did]” [Surah Naba’: 29]
To have Yaqeen (Certainty) that Allah ta’ala is watching and everything, whether it’s our actions or intentions and feelings, is being recorded and preserved. Our deeds do not have to be written down but they are. People who have the Ma’rifah regarding this name are careful how they spend their time and how they use their bodies, wealth, etc. as they have Yaqeen that everything is being counted and recorded.
There is Barakah in writing things down. In our age there are courses and advices given on how to be organised and one of the things which are emphasised is writing things down i.e. making lists, writing down goals and resolutions etc.
الْمُبْدِئُ and الْمُعِيدُ will be discussed together
Translations & Definitions
الْمُبْدِئُ is translated as The Originator and The Starter. This word comes from بدع meaning to begin. It means coming out of non-existence so مُبْدِئُ is and Ism Faa’il and الْمُبْدِئُ is The One Who brings into existence that which was non-existent and that Being can only be Allah ta’ala as only He can bring something out of nothing. In our case we need raw materials to bring something into existence.
الْمُعِيدُ is translated as The Restorer and The Renewer. الْمُعِيدُ is that Being Who brings back creation from life towards death.
مُبْدِئ means to bring something to life and مُعِيد literally means bringing back. Therefore it means taking back from the life of this world, bringing it toward death and then from death, bringing it to life again in the afterworld. Another explanation of الْمُعِيدُ is to bring back all of creation even though the physical bodies have decomposed.
مُبْدِئ - To bring something from nothing (i.e. the first time)
مُعِيد - To return something that has ceased to exist (i.e. the second time)
Every person, Believer or non-believer, atheist etc., accepts we came into existence from non-existence and some day we will return. These are two things no one can deny. That leaves us with the middle stage. We should accept that we were non-existent and came into existence and we will cease to exist and Allah ta’ala wil then bring us back to life and this is where Imaan comes in as everyone accepts the first and last stages. This world is Daarul-amal where we’re supposed to work and the Aakhirah is Daarul-jazaa’ where we will be compensated.
We should think that I was nothing and Allah ta’ala is الْمُبْدِئُ and brought me to this world and He is الْمُعِيدُ and I shall have to return to Him.
Another way to understand this is that Allah ta’ala brings us into this world in different forms and different circumstances i.e. born into a rich or poor family, male or female etc. and since Allah ta’ala has brought us from non-existence in to different circumstances, we should learn from this that we have to be just to other people. If we are rich then we should be kind and generous to the poor as Allah ta’ala is الْمُعِيدُ and He will return us and question us. The more certainty there is in this name i.e. that I have to return to Allah ta’ala , the more careful one will be about being just in every way.
Concept of Resurrection
Allah ta’ala mentions two episodes in Surah Baqarah regarding Ibraheem AS and a Prophet of the Bani Isra’eel, Uzair bin Barkhiya AS, both of whom asked Allah ta’ala regarding resurrection (for peace of heart and not due to disbelief.)
The first incident in verse 259 - Uzair bin Barkhiya AS
The town referred in the verse is Baytul Maqdis and the Bani Isra’eel lived in and around this area. Nebachanezzar (in Arabic Bakht Nasr) had killed and enslaved the Bani Isra’eel and razed Baytul Maqdis. Among them was a Nabi and many commentators have stated that the person mentioned in this verse was the Nabi, Uzair bin Barkhiya AS. He was also enslaved however he managed to secure his release from captivity and he returned to Baytul Maqdis which he found in ruins. In awe he wandered out loud how Allah ta’ala could restore the place to life again. It was innocent wondering and not the doubting of Allah ta’ala’s power.
Allah ta’ala caused him to die and remain in the state of death for a hundred years, after which he was brought back to life. Allah ta’ala asked him how long had he remained in this state of death, whereupon he replied that it was for the duration of a day or a part of it. Allah ta’ala corrected his misjudgment, informing him that a hundred years had passed. Despite this long period, Allah ta’ala had preserved his body as if it had been lying there for only a few hours.
Thereafter Allah ta’ala demonstrated to him how He reconstructed the decomposed body of his donkey. All its bones were scattered about, but Allah ta’ala collected them together to arrange them properly. Then Allah ta’ala covered these bones in flesh after which it was brought back to life. When it was all completed before his eyes, he said, “I know that Allah is Powerful over everything.”
During his 100 years sleep, Bakht Nasr had died and the Bani Isra’eel returned to Baytul Maqdis and inhabited the area once again. This episode occurred to the person in question so that it may serve as a lesson to people after him, so that they believe in the resurrection after death.
The second incident in verse 260 –Ibraheem AS
This verse mentions Ibraheem AS who sought from Allah ta’ala the favour of being shown as to how He would bring the dead back to life. His question was not a rejection as Ibrahim AS was a firm believer in Tawheed and in the resurrection after death. He was Khaleelullaah and he had Imaan-e-kaamil and Yaqeen-e-kaamil. He posed this question to Allah ta’ala merely to have an eye witness account (Mushaahadah) of Allah ta’ala’s ability to resurrect.
Allah ta’ala instructed him to find four birds, tame them and then cut them into pieces. These pieces were to be placed on several hills. Once this was done, he was to call them. This he did, and (instead of flying) they all came running to him, as a display of Allah ta’ala’s power. Some scholars say Ibraheem AS was told to tame / domesticate the birds so that he would recognise the birds. When they come back he should be able to see that these are the same birds.
On that Day We shall roll up the heavens like a scroll of writings; just as We originated the first creation, so shall We produce it again - that is Our promise, and We will fulfill it.
In answer to those who deny the resurrection Allah ta’ala says He will resurrect you how He created you the first time. It is easy to resurrect the second time after the first time.
Aishah RA reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,
The people will be assembled barefoot, naked, and uncircumcised.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, will the men and women look at each other?” The Prophet said, “The matter will be too serious for them to notice.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
The Mushrikeen would take a bone and ask how Allah ta’ala can resurrect from a bone and even today people have doubts and criticism regarding life after death. This is based on limited power and knowledge of humans but Allah ta’ala is beyond any limitations and His power is perfect.
We should value our worldly life and prepare for the Aakhirah. The more certainty there is of leaving this world and of resurrection and returning to Allah ta’ala, the more a person will value his life. As people get older the certainty of life ending increases and they often begin to value life more. Whatever phase we pass, we will never return to it so do not look back to the mistakes that were made. Look to the future and value the time that is left.
People who do not believe in the Aakhirah have no meaning in life and they do not value their lives as for them there is nothing after death.
Use in Du’a
We should say, O Allah, You are الْمُعِيدُ and I have to return to You. I want to return in the state where You are pleased with me.
We shall have to face Allah ta’ala in the Aakhirah so we should not do anything that will make us ashamed to face Him. For sins committed, there is Tawbah which wipes the slate clean.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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