Contemplate, Oh Muslim, upon the words of your father – Ibrahim AS
وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖإِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿١٢٧﴾ رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿١٢٨﴾ رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Surat Al-Baqarah Verses 127 – 129)
What a beautiful invocation. Each Du’a ends with a reference to Allah’s lofty names and attributes. Sometimes the heart merely repeats such beautiful names without due reflection. What does it mean when we say “Indeed you are the hearing, the knowing….Indeed, you are accepting of repentance and the bestower of mercy…Indeed, you are the exalted in might, the wise”. Let us try to expound on this inshaAllah.
This is a name of Allah that has appeared in approximately 50 places in the Qur’aan. As-Samee’ refers to the one who hears all voices regardless, of the differences within languages and variety of requests made. Indeed, his hearing extends to voices both, concealed and made apparent.
The attribute of hearing can be classified into 2 categories:
- Hearing refers to the acknowledgement of the voices/requests that are made.
- Hearing refers to response (i.e. Allah has heard you and is now responding to you)
The first category (acknowledgement of voices/calls/requests) is split into 3 further categories:
a) The attribute of hearing gives the notion of a threat/warning. i.e. be aware, Indeed, Allah does hear you!
For instance, when Allah refers to the criminals destined for the hellfire: –
“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private conversations? Yes, [We do], and Our messengers are with them recording. (Surat Az-Zukhruf Verse 80)”
b) The attribute of hearing gives the notion of assistance
For instance, when Allah said to Musa AS and Haroon AS
“[Allah] said, “Fear not. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see.” (Surat At-Taha Verse 46)
c) The attribute of hearing refers to hearing a dialogue/speech
“Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah. And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing” (Surat Al-Mujadilah Verse 1)
Oh reader! How can you ever despair when you have As-Samee’ as your custodian? Indeed, he hears your call and vanquishes your perils
This name appears more than 150 times in the Qur’aan. Al-A’leem refers to the one whose knowledge encompasses the external and internal matters. His knowledge extends to affairs that are revealed/out-in-the-open and those that are kept hidden. His knowledge extends to that which was in the past, that which is in the present and that which is in the future. When the believer ponders upon this name of Allah sincerely – he/she becomes much more conscious over his.her actions.
Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ameen Ash-Shinqeeti said “the scholars are agreed that this (name/attribute) serves as the greatest admonition and wake-up call (to the believer) to have descended from the heavens to the earth”.
This point is exemplified by the following narration reported by Ibn Rajab:
There was a man who wanted to seduce a woman. He had ordered her to close all the doors (in the house) and then asked her “Are there any doors left unclosed?”. She responded “Yes, the door between us and Allah”. This response was enough to subdue the man who did not proceed with his intention.
Ibn Katheer RHM said re. Allahs name Al-‘Aleem:
“Allah informs us that his knowledge is complete, perfect and encompasses all things – no matter if they are of a distinguished nature nor, insignificant..no matter if they are big nor, small..no matter how subtle nor dexterous the matter is. He does this in order to alert mankind about his knowledge of them so, they may display the rightful amount of modesty and taqwa before him. He does this so, they are vigilant of him. For indeed, Allah is knowledgeable about that which deceives the eyes ...”
Know my dear reader – not a leaf falls from a tree without his knowledge encompassing it. When you call upon your lord; have conviction that Al-‘Aleem is fully aware of your circumstances and your call will not go in vain.
At-Tawaab (Acceptor of repentance)
At-Tawaab refers to the one who forgives whom he wills from his slaves by giving them the ability to repent in the first place. Know, oh beloved reader, that sincere repentance paves the way towards haviing your Ad’iyah (supplications) accepted. Ponder upon the story of Imam Ahmad & the Baker.
Ar-Raheem (Bestower of mercy)
Allah’s mercy overcomes his wrath. This latter statement alone fills the heart with joy! Do you not see that he provides for the disbeliever despite, the disbeliever rejecting the message of Islam? Does he not feed them and quench their thirst? Such is the mercy of Allah!
Ponder this, oh reader,,,,when a person fears another person – naturally, he would flee AWAY from his opponent but, when a believer fears Allah – he FLEES TO HIM. Allahu Akbar! Never despair in the mercy of Allah. For indeed, Allahs mercy knows no bounds. However, his mercy is of 2 kinds (General and Specific). His general mercy extends to ALL of mankind regardless, of faith. However, his specific mercy only envelops the believers. This is the mercy that pertains to Imaan, Religion and the affairs of the world and the hereafter. This is via granting them the ability to obey him and enjoin the good, This specific mercy is what keeps the believers steadfast and grants them entry into Jannah and saves them from Jahannum.
Al-‘Azeez (Exalted in might)
This name appears approximately 100 times in the Qur’aan. Al-‘Azeez refers to the one who possesses all forms of honour. There are predominantly 3 forms of honour:
a) Honour via strength.
“Verily, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty” (Surat Al-Hajj Verse 74)
b) Honour via enrichment
He is free of all needs..the creation cannot harm nor benefit him. He is solely the benefactor (benefitting whom he wills) and inhibitor (withholding benefit).
c) Honour via subjugation
All of creation are subdued before Allah’s might. They are submissive to his greatness and will. Everything is in his hands. Nothing moves or becomes inanimate except, by his leave! Whatever Allah wills, happens….and whatever he does not will..does not!
Al-Hakeem (The wise)
This name of Allah appears close to a 100 times in the Qur’aan. This name hghlights the perfect and complete wisdom that belongs to Allah. He is the sole legislator and there is no one that can repel his ordainments.
“And Allah judges, there is none to put back His Judgement and He is Swift at reckoning.” (Surat Ar-Ra’d Verse 41)
The above names are to be utilised in Du’a from a perspective of awe and hope. The believer should call upon Allah using his names and attributes that he has manifested unto himself. The aforementioned names are just a few amongst many of Allahs names. However, those briefly expounded upon in this article apply to a whole range of scenarios and circumstances. For indeed, if you are a sinner – call upon At-Tawwab, if you feel disheartened, call upon Ar-Rahman, if you are oppressed, call upon Al-‘Azeez, if you are lost and confused, call upon As-Samee’ and Al-‘Aleem!
May Allah make us amongst those whom he loves and those who frequent in the art of making du’a to him with a fully submissive and humble heart..Aameen