Beautiful Names

Vol 2 -Issue 4     Beautiful names

1. Ar-Razzaq: The Provider

Allah says in the Quran: “… Is there any creator other than Allah, who provides for you from the sky (rain) and the earth?…” (Fatir 35:3)

Allah (swt) is the one Who provides sustenance as well as the means to enjoy that sustenance. He provides the mankind with different foods, as well as the sense of taste and hunger to enjoy it. ‘Rizq’ is a very comprehensive word that includes everything that we enjoy, benefit from, and make use of. Sustenance is of two types: one that benefits our body such as food, fresh air, and clean water; the other that benefits our soul, which, if properly used, can ultimately lead to Paradise, where Allah’s (swt) provision is eternal. Examples of this kind of sustenance are: knowledge to give guidance, speech to bear witness and to teach, and hands to distribute alms. Allah (swt) extends sustenance to whomever He wills. Allah (swt) alone, the Great and Glorious, is the Provider. We should rely on Allah (swt) and no one else for sustenance. We should understand that people or things are only the means of providing sustenance and not the providers themselves. Indeed, believing in the latter is a grave sin.

2. Al-Fattah: The Opener

By Allah’s (swt) providence, whatever is closed gets opened. He has the keys to the heavens and the earth. Allah (swt) says in the Holy Quran: “Whatever of mercy (i.e., of good), Allah (swt) may grant to mankind, none can withhold it …” (Fatir 35: 2) Similarly, He opens the doors of sustenance, and success in this world to whomever He wills. Doors of great empires were opened for the Prophets by the will of Allah (swt). The doors of knowledge are opened for those He wants to guide to the straight path. Allah (swt) unveils the hearts of people and shows them the light of Islam. He opens up the earth to provide fruits for its creatures. We should do good deeds so that the Opener opens to us an abundance of goodness.

3. Al-Alim: The All Knower / the Omniscient

Allah’s (swt) knowledge is infinite and perfect. Things are derived from Allah’s (swt) knowledge, while our knowledge is derived from the things we know. Allah (swt) has the knowledge of the seen and unseen, the past and future. Angels, while accepting the fact that Allah (swt) is All Knowing say, to Allah (swt) in the Holy Quran: “Glory is to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the All-Wise.” (Al-Baqarah 2:32)

Similarly, our knowledge is limited to what Allah (swt) has given us. Allah (swt) says: “Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” (Al-Alaq 96:4-5) People are liable to fall into Shirk, if they believe that anyone other than Allah (swt) has the knowledge of the unseen. Only Allah (swt) knows the state of the heart of people, for He says in the Holy Quran that He has the knowledge of our faith. So, we must perform good deeds for the sake of Allah (swt) rather than for showing off and be aware of the fact that Allah (swt) has knowledge of ones deeds and He alone can give the reward. At the same time, this attribute of Allah should serve as a warning not to commit sins – since Allah (swt) has the knowledge of our bad deeds, He can also punish us.

Beautiful Names

Vol 2 -Issue 3     Beautiful namesAl-Ghaffar – the One, Who is full of forgiveness and forgives again and again.

Allah (swt) is the One, Who forgives sins. He is also the One, Who conceals the sins of His slaves. He makes manifest the beautiful and conceals the ugly. He lets a cover fall over the bad deeds of His believing slaves. By understanding this attribute of Allah (swt), we can be sure that all our sins can be forgiven by the will of Allah (swt). Calling upon Him by this name with sincere repentance, we can hope to be among the people of Paradise. This hope will further drive us to do more good deeds and keep away from sins.

We should also try to imitate this attribute of Allah (swt) by forgiving the mistakes of other Muslims and hiding their sins. This attribute will develop a strong bond of Muslim brotherhood and strengthen the broken threads of the Muslim society.

Al-Qahhar – the Dominator.

Allah (swt) is the One, Who dominates over all His creation. He breaks the backs of His enemies and suppresses them. He conquers the conquerors of this world – no matter how powerful we may be, we cannot make anything happen, unless Allah (swt) wills it to happen. The most ruthless tyrants ultimately meet their death and cannot postpone it even for a moment.

In Surah Al-Baqara verse 258, Allah (swt) has mentioned the story of Namrood, who argued with Prophet Ibrahim (as) about his land. When Namrood claimed that he is the one, who gives life and causes death, Ibrahim (as) replied that if Allah (swt) brings the sun up from the East, Namrood should bring it up from the West. Ibrahim (as) challenged Namrood to prove that all he has is but a limited dominion over people, while Allah’s (swt) domination is absolute and encompasses all His creation.

The dominator among men is the one, who subdues his enemies. Our biggest enemy is the desires of our souls (Nafs), which can lead us to sinful deeds. If we are in control of our desires, we actually dominate over all mankind, because no one can lead us to do bad deeds. Only by having a complete control over ourselves, we can conquer Shaitan, who takes advantage of human weaknesses.

Al-Wahhab – the Bestower.

Allah (swt) is the One, Who bestows upon His slaves gifts and grants their wishes without seeking any recompense. While we all are in need of Allah (swt), He needs nothing. No human being by nature can be an absolute bestower because, if we present someone with a gift, we expect a return either from people or from Allah (swt). When we are in need of anything, we should call upon Allah (swt) by this name and ask Him to bestow it on us. In our hearts, we should be absolutely certain that Allah’s (swt) treasures are infinite.

Allah (swt) has said in a Hadeeth Qudsee: “O my servants, were the first of you and the last of you, the human of you and the Jinn of you to rise up in one place and make a request to Me, and were I to give everyone, what he requested, that would not decrease, what I have, anymore than a needle decreases the sea, if put into it.” (Muslim)

Beautiful Names

Vol 2-Issue 2 Beautiful namesAl-Aziz: The Eminent

This word encompasses three meanings:

1. Allah (swt) is so significant that nothing exists like Him,

2. Allah (swt) is also the One, of whom there is intense need,

3. Allah (swt) is in the unseen world, so it is difficult to see, feel or touch Him.

It is also difficult to comprehend His essence, only Allah (swt) knows Himself in the absolute sense.

Al-Aziz is a combination of all these meanings. This word is also translated as The Exalted in might; it comes from the word “to be strong,” “to be rare,” “to be respected.” It is mentioned in the Quran 89 times.

Often, Allah (swt) has combined this word with wisdom, although His Power is absolute, He uses His Power with wisdom. Similarly, Allah (swt) has used power with the ability to take retribution for wrong actions.

Allah (swt) is also Aziz ur Raheem, His power is combined with the attribute of mercy. Similarly, it is also used with the word Ghafoor, which means His Ability to forgive.

‘Izza’ means ‘dignity’ and ‘honour’ in Surah Mominoon, Allah (swt) mentions that Izza is for Allah (swt), and for His messengers, and for the believers.

In Surah Fatir, Allah (swt) mentions that all dignity and strength belongs to Him.

Al-Jabbar: The Compeller

Allah (swt) is the One, who implements His will in such a way that all creation is compelled to obey; and no one will prevail over Him. He is the One, from whose grasp nothing escapes.

When a human being is described as Jabbar, it usually means a tyrant possessing pride and power. This is an attribute, which human beings should not try to inculcate.

Al-Jabbar has also been described as He, who repairs all broken things, who completes that which is incomplete, and who has the ability, with force, to make people do whatever He wants.

The name, Al-Jabbar has appeared only once in the Quran – in Surah Hashr, verse 23.

Al-Mutakabbir: The Proud

It comes from a word which means ‘to consider oneself great.’ Allah (swt) is truly proud. Everything is unworthy of consideration in relation to Him. He sees greatness and majesty only in regard to Himself and looks upon all creation as a King looks upon His subjects. His pride is true pride, because all this is true only for Allah (swt), the Great and the Glorious.

Al-Mutakabbir; the Majestic, is He, who shows His Greatness in all things and in all ways. The only One, who has the right to this attribute is Allah (swt). The Prophet (sa) quoted Allah (swt), in a Hadith Qudsi, saying,”Majesty is My cloak and Grandeur is My garment; whoever contends with Me regarding either of them I will break his back and cast him into the fire” (Muslim).

If a human being is Mutakabbir, then Allah (swt) seals his heart. In Surah Ghafir, (Also known as Surah Momin) verse 35, Allah (swt) says: “Like that Allah (swt) puts a stamp on every haughty arrogant heart.”

Beautiful Names

Beautiful namesAl-Khaliq – The Creator

Al-Khaliq appears 8 times in the Quran. This name has a root word Khalaqa, which means to create. It also refers to measuring and proportioning.

An apt example of Allah’s Power is mentioned when Allah is reminding Isa (as) of His favours upon him: “…who you designed from clay [what was] like a form of a bird with My permission…” (Al-Maidah 5:110)

Referring to the basis of life, Allah reminds us in the Quran: “Is it you who created it or are We the Creator?” (Al-Waqi’ah 56:59)

He also states: “He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measure.” (Al-Furqan 25:2)

A person should recognize his insignificance before the Creator, knowing the One who can create is also the One who will question one day. This attribute should also apprise the feeling of gratitude in a person realizing what a wonderful world and its inhabitants Allah has created for him. The slightest bit of imbalance in the galaxy alone can lead everything to its doom. But Allah’s Creation is perfect and controlled. He has not only created but set everything in its place too till an appointed time.

Al-Bari – The Evolver / The Maker

It means to create without previous example. It refers to inventing and bringing into existence what He has created and measured. The root word for Al-Bari is Bara’a. Allah creates everything from nothing and creates all things with the knowledge of what will happen to them.

Despite revolutionary advancements in science and research today man has still not been able to create life from nothing. To initiate the process of building life man is still dependent on a living cell. Al- Bari, the Evolver, created that cell. Genetic engineers are still clueless about this miracle. Another theory that is blatantly proved incorrect is the Darwin’s theory, which propagates how lifeless chemical compounds came together to create life.

Allah states: “He is Allah, the Creator, The Evolver- The Bestower of Forms. To him belong Al-Asma Ul Husna (the best names)…” (Al-Hashr 59:24)

Al-Mussawwir – The Bestower of Forms / The Fashioner

It comes from the word Sawwarah- To fashion, to give something a shape or appearance. Allah is the one, who designs all things and gives them their shape and form. Al-Mussawwir has been mentioned in the Quran 4 times.

Quran states: “Allah, it is He who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shade and made your shapes good (looking) and has provided you with good things…” (Ghafir 40:64)

This is an incredibly important Ayah. For all of us who criticize and marvel at others’ looks must realize, whose creation are we challenging? Allah has declared that the form and appearance He gave us is the best according to Him. Why then do we belittle faces? Is it not equivalent to disgracing Al-Mussawwir’s creativity? Truthfully there is great wisdom and beauty in the tiniest creature like an insect right up to the huge mountains Allah formed.

He is Allah, Al-Khaliq, Al-Bari, Al-Mussawwir. If Allah wills something, He merely says to it ‘be’ and it comes into existence.

Beautiful Names

Vol 2 -Issue 4     Beautiful names“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them…” (Surah Al-Araaf 7:180)  Dr.Sadaf Shiekh and Umm Saad re-discover the Majesty of the Creator’s names.

1. Ar-Rahmaan: The Compassionate

The term Rahmaan comes from the Arabic word Rahmah. This name is exclusively for Allah, which encompasses every type of mercy that Allah has. Rahmah means tenderness, which makes one show kindness to others. Thus, Ar-Rahmaan means that Allah has much mercy and love for His creation.

“And He gave you of all that you asked for and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them…” (Ibrahim 14:34)

“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allah…” (Al-Nahl 16:53)

Since Allah has bestowed so much from the time when man was a drop of fluid in his mother’s womb till the time he dies, he should feel embarrassed to disobey Him. Another aspect of this name can be understood by the following Hadeeth, “Allah the Exhalted said, I am Ar-Rahman. I created the Rahm (womb, family relations) and derived a name for it from my name. Hence whoever keeps it, I will keep ties with him. And who ever severs it I will severe ties with him.” (Tuhfat Al – Ahwadhi 6:33)

2. Ar-Raheem: The Merciful

This is also derived from the word Rahma. But the difference is that Allah is Ar-Rahman to His creations but Ar-Raheem to the believers only. “And He is ever Raheem (merciful) to the believers.” (No reference of ayah)

Ar-Raheem is less general and softer than Ar-Rahman. Mercy is the patience and forgiveness that Allah holds for us and which flows from Him to all His creation, protecting them, preserving them, guiding them, and leading them to goodness. The Mercy of Allah is for everyone, while His justice and punishment are kept for those who turn away from the goodness. The benefits that we receive from others are because of Allah’s mercy to them and us. Allah says, “…My mercy embraces all things…” (Al-A’raf 7:156)

Allah has also described others by this name, “Verily there has come to you a Messenger from amongst yourself. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad sa) is anxious over you, for the believers he (sa) is kind and Raheem.” (At-Taubah 9:128)

A true Momin considers how generous and compassionate Allah has been to him in all of his affairs. To achieve more of that mercy, he humbles himself to Allah with sincere humility, supplications, best of speech and good deeds.

3. As-Samad: The Independent

This is one of the greatest names of Allah. Allah mentions this name in Surah Al-Ikhlas, which is equivalent to a third of the Quran. Al A’mash reported from Shaqiq who said that Abu Wail said, “As Samad is the master whose control is complete.” (Al Tabari 24:692)

Ikrimah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “That Allah As-Samad means the one Who all of the creation depends upon for their needs and their requests.” Ali bin Talhah (rta) reported from Ibn Abbas (rta),  “He is the Master Who is perfect in His sovereignty, the Most Noble Who is perfect in His nobility, the Most Magnificent Who is perfect in His magnificence, the Most Forbearing Who is perfect in his knowledge, and the Most Wise Who is perfect in his wisdom. He is the One who is perfect in all aspects of nobility and authority. He is Allah, glory be unto Him. These attributes are not befitting anyone other than Him. He has no co-equal and nothing is like Him. Glory be to Allah, the One Irresistible.” (Al Tabari 24:692)