Al-Malik (The King) is one of Allah’s ninety-nine Beautiful Divine Names and Attributes. Whosoever knows each one of them will be admitted into Paradise. Allah, Most Gracious, says, “He is Allah, besides Whom there is no god, the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah! High is He above all that which they associate as partners with Him.” [XLI; 23] He, Most Merciful, also says, “The Only Owner (and the King) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).” [I; 4]
According to the Shafi’ite school of Islamic Jurisprudence a worshipper should recite the above Quranic Verse in the first Rak’a of prayer as “The Only Owner of the Day of Recompense” and in the second Rak’a as “The King of the Day of Recompense”. This Name also occurs in the Quranic Verse: “in a seat of truth (i.e. Paradise), near the Omnipotent King” [LIV; 55]
In another Quranic Verse Allah, Glory to Him, says, “Say: ‘O Allah, Owner of the Kingdom! You give kingdom to whom You will, and You take kingdom from whom You will; and You endue with honor whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the Good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.” [III; 26] He, Praised and All-High, also says, “So Glorified and Far Exalted is He (above all that they associate with Him), in Whose Hand is the Dominion of all things, and to Whom you shall be returned.” [IIIVI; 83]
Definition of Al-Mulk (Ownership):
In Arabic the word “Mulk” means “the ability to dispose with things”, and hence, Allah’s Beautiful Name “The King” is derived from His Holy Self, but it can also be derived from His Acts as the Disposer with all things. In a Divine Hadith, Allah, Glory to Him, says, “I am the King of kings, and the Owner of kings. The hearts of kings are in My Hand: if My slaves obey Me, I turn the hearts of their kings to them with tenderness and mercy; but if My slaves disobey Me, I turn the hearts of their kings to them with wrath and avenge. Therefore, do not occupy yourselves by abusing kings but (rather) pray (to Allah) for their reform, for their reform comes from your own reform.”
Allah, Praise belongs to Him, is the King and Owner of kings. In other words, everything that can be owned belongs to Allah, All-High. Some scholars hold that a king is someone who rules but does not own, and an owner is someone who owns but does not rule; but Allah, Glory to Him, is the Owner and King.
Sometimes, a person may own something but does not, or does not have the right to, use it. Sometimes, a person may use, and dispose with, something although he does not own it. And sometimes, a person may own, use and dispose with something, but in the end it does not remain his own.
An example: A person may own a house legally and lawfully. He may dwell in and dispose with it, but suddenly an act of public appropriation is issued and the house is seized from him by the government. Thus, when it is said that Allah is the Owner of the Kingdom, it means that He owns and disposes with all things; and their final end will be to Him. Therefore, Allah’s Ownership is Supreme and Absolute.
An Arabian who owned a herd of camels was once asked, “Whose are those camels?”. In reply he said, “They belong to Allah, but they are in my hand (i.e. I have been allowed by Allah, their real Owner to dispose with them).” Hence, a true believer is someone who believes that his house, shop, car, expertise, social position …etc. belong to Allah, All-Mighty.
An example: Even the very best and most specialized physician may sometimes lose his memory or even become insane because of a blood-clot in his brain and is, therefore, sent to an asylum. So, who is the Owner of the Kingdom? It is, undoubtedly, Allah, Glory and Praise belong to Him.
Who is the Owner of our eyes by which we see things?! Who is the One Who owns our ears, tongues, movement, power…etc. Allah, Praised and Exalted! In other words, true Faith necessitates that one should firmly believe that everything in one’s possession belongs in reality to Allah, All-Mighty, Who allows one to dispose with it.
“Whose are these camels?” “They belong to Allah, but they are in my hand.” Thus, your house belongs to Allah, but it is in your hand, and so is your car, your shop …etc.
Now, if we say, “Someone is a king.” do we mean that he is really or metaphorically a king? Scholars said: No one can really own anything except Allah; and any kind of ownership other than that of Allah is only metaphoric and unreal. This is because the real king is someone who is self-sufficient in both himself and attributes and needs no one, or nothing, else in existence. Is there a king who is self-sufficient and needs nothing for his existence and survival? Does he not need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and sleep to rest? Does he not feel afraid or sad? Does he not wish he could have more supporters and helpers? Each and every human being is, therefore, in need of other fellow humans or other things for the achievement of his existence and survival; and, therefore, no human being, or any other creature, can ever be a real king. The Real King is Allah, the All-Mighty, the Self-Sufficient; and anyone else can be only metaphorically called “a king”.
The Real King is He, Who is Self-Sufficient in Himself and Attributes and needs nothing but all things in existence need Him for everything. In other words, He is the King by Himself, His Existence, and His Attributes. He is in need of nothing, but all things do need Him. Such is the accurate definition of “The King”, and none but Allah, All-Mighty, All-High, deserves it. In other words, the Real King is Allah; and whosoever describes himself as king, or owner of a certain house, shop, business or company is only metaphorically as such. Therefore, we should know the reality of ourselves; and Allah will have mercy on those who know their reality and abide thereby.
Allah, Glorified and All-High, is the One Who owns and grants ownership. To this effect Allah, Most Gracious, says, “Say: ‘O Allah, Owner of the Kingdom! You give kingdom to whom You will, and You take kingdom from whom You will; and You endue with honor whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the Good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.” [III; 26] And real ownership is to control one’s desires and not to let them dominate over one, to be free from oneself and not possessed thereby. To this effect, Joseph, (PBUH), invokes his Lord, “My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams. (You are) the (Only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Guardian in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous.” [XII; 101]
The above-mentioned Quranic Verse is very delicate: Joseph acknowledges the fact that Allah has bestowed on him sovereignty. But what kind of sovereignty was it? It might be thought that it was sovereignty over treasures of the earth, but most interpreters hold that it was not that as such, but, rather, he (PBUH) was granted the real sovereignty, namely self-control. That is because sovereignty in the traditional sense, which Allah, Most Gracious, grants to whomsoever He pleases of His slaves, is a perishable kind of sovereignty and is by no means a laudable privilege. But what is real sovereignty? It was when he got control of himself saying, “I take refuge with Allah!” when the king’s wife invited him maliciously to indecent work, seducing him: “Come on!”. Scholars of Quranic interpretation said: This is real sovereignty that never perishes – sovereignty whereby one is happy for ever – i.e. to get control of oneself and dominate over one’s whims and caprices. In other words, if you get control over you whims and caprices, you are a real king; if you have self control, you are a real king; if you dominate over yourself, you are a real king; if you suppress your desires, you are a real king; and if you guide yourself to the way of righteousness and happiness, you are a real king. If, however, your desires and caprices lead you to misguidance, wrong-doing and sinful deeds, you are a slave. If your mind rightly guides you, you are a real king; but if your whims and desires mislead you, you are a mere slave. And great is the difference between being a king or a slave.
One of the former European leaders who achieved great victories in World War II once said a word that I never forget. He said, “In fact, we have dominated the whole world except our own selves. We are weak before ourselves!” A man, no matter how great and powerful he might be, is a mere slave to his desires if he is seduced to illegal sexual relation by a woman working with him. In fact, all mankind have two destructive points of weakness, namely money and women. A man may have too many great things, good knowledge, and amazing talents and abilities, yet he could be enslaved by women and money. In this case he is by no means a free person but rather a mere slave. In this context, the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), says, “Miserable is he who is enslaved by the Dirham and the Dinar (i.e. money).” [narrated by Ibn Majah]
A slave is he who is enslaved by money and fails to make money in his own benefit and service. This is because money is originally meant to be used by people and not vice versa. In other words, if people get themselves enslaved by money, they are mere slaves. The Prophetic Hadith goes on: “Miserable is he who is enslaved by the vulva (pudendum of the female); miserable is he who is enslaved by garments.”
Whenever you read Joseph’s invocation “My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty!”, you really should deliberate its great connotation, namely that real sovereignty is to get control of one’s own self and not to be controlled thereby, to enslave one’s own desires and caprices and not to get enslaved thereby, to be with the truth wherever it might be, to stick to Allah’s Book, and to acknowledge the rights of other fellow humans. Such is real heroism; and such is what most interpreters say about Allah’s Words “My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams. (You are) the Only Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Guardian (and Protector) in this world and in the Hereafter! Cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous!” [XII; 101]
Some say: The King is He Who possesses the hearts of worshippers and makes them anxious. In fact, when someone gets to know Allah, Most Gracious, All-Mighty, he enters a state of love and becomes possessed thereby. He becomes great after having been trivial. Hence, he enters a state of permanent anxiety until he meets his Lord, wondering, “Is my Lord contented with me?! Does my work appeal to Allah, Most Gracious?! Does Allah love me?! Is my work sincere enough?! Is there any deviation in my work?! Is there anything or anyone I seek other than Allah?!
They also say that the King is He Who possesses the hearts of those who know Him and causes such hearts to burn; the King is He Who, if He so desires, grants ownership, or, if He so desires, causes to perish: “Verily, the Seizure of your Lord is severe and painful.” [LXXV; 12]. If He gives, He amazes; and if He brings someone to account, He inquires about everything. A few years ago, He gave us heavy rain that amazed us and produced seventy folds as much as previous years of wheat; but if rain is withheld from us, who can ever order such rain to come down?! Even if all nations, counsels or leaderships gather together, they can by no means cause rain to fall down. And if rain is withheld from us, plants, animals and humans will inevitably die. We are slaves because we can not survive without rain: “Say, ‘Tell me! If (all) your water were to sink away, who then can supply you with flowing (spring) water?!’”[LXVII; 30]
Allah, Glorified and Exalted is The King, Who, if He so desires, grants ownership and dominion, and, if He so desires, causes to perish. He is the Real King, Whom none could ever defy or dispute with. None could ever resist His Irresistible Divine Will or prevent His Judgment. He is the King, by Whose Command all stars and planets run.
In one Quranic Verse Allah, All-Mighty, mentions five basic elements of ownership. He, Most Gracious, says, “Say, ‘O Allah, Possessor of the Kingdom! You give the kingdom to whom You will; and You take the kingdom from whom You will; and You endue with honor whom You will; and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, Your are Powerful over all things.’” [III; 26]
Scholars interpreted the word “Kingdom” as that in the Hereafter as well as that in the present world. In other words, if you are a true straightforward honest sincere believer who performs deeds of righteousness, you are a king in the Hereafter, when neither wealth nor children can avail anything, except for those who come to Allah with pure hearts. Imam Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, says, “Richness and poverty are (determined) after standing before Allah (for judgment and accountability).” The above Verse says, ”You give the kingdom to whom You will”. But who does the word “whom” refer to? When Allah, All-Mighty, says, “And Allah guides whomsoever He pleases to a Straight Path.”, He means: whosoever seeks guidance, Allah will guide him/her. He also says, “And He misguides whomsoever He pleases” in the sense that He, Most Gracious, misguides those who seek misguidance. In other words, guidance and misguidance are given to people in fulfillment of their own free choices of seeking either. To this effect, Allah, Most Merciful, says, “And (remember) when Moses said to his people, ‘O my people! Why do you annoy me while you know certainly that I am the Messenger of Allah to you?’ So when they turned away (from the Path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the Right Path). And Allah guides not the people who are disobedient.” [LXI; 5]
In the light of the above-mentioned the words “You grant kingdom to whom You will” means that Allah grants guidance to those who seek it just as He takes away guidance from those who reject Allah’s Religion, His Divine Mercy, His Great Promise – i.e. those who seek the perishable pleasures and enjoyments of the present world as well as the fulfillment of their lusty desires and caprices even by committing sinful deeds and evil deviations.
By the way kingdom in the present world can be granted by Allah to both those whom He loves and those He does not; but kingdom in the Hereafter is granted only to those whom He loves.
The second connotation of kingdom in the present world is derived from Allah’s Words, “And it is He Who has made you generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth. And He has raised you in ranks, some above others that He may try you in that which He has bestowed on you. Surely your Lord is Swift in retribution, and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [VI; 165]
Who has made you owner of your own house? It is Allah, Most Gracious. Who did your house previously belong to? It belonged to someone else. How did he sell it? He needed money, so he sold it. Who has made you the new owner of such house? It is Allah, Most Generous. Your job: Who has given it to you? It is Allah, Most Gracious. Why was someone else made to leave such job so that it became yours? It is Allah, Most Wise, by His Infinite Divine Wisdom and Judgment. This is the second connotation of Allah’s Words in the above Verse “You grant kingdom (and ownership) to whom You will” in the present world. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says, “It is He Who has made you generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth.” But what is the wisdom behind this? Why does Allah, Most Wise, give someone ownership and deprive someone else of it? Why does he raise someone in rank above another and make someone else inferior to another? The answer is simply: “that He may try you in that which He has bestowed on you.” Allah tries you in both richness and poverty, in both good health and sickness, and in both powerfulness and weakness. If someone is rebellious and disobedient, what is the remedy? The answer comes from the Lord, All-Mighty: “Verily, your Lord is Swift in retribution”. But if he is obedient and devoted, the answer is: “And verily, I am indeed Forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous good deeds, and then remains in guidance.” [XX; 82]
Therefore, we, human beings, have been made generations coming after generations replacing each other, and people’s lots in the present world have been allotted by way of trial and testing; and they will be allotted by way of recompense in the Hereafter. Allah, hence, is the Possessor of the Kingdom: He either grants you kingdom in the present world, the Hereafter, or both.
How nice are religiousness and richness if they combine together,
And how ugly are infidelity and poverty in man!
By the Quranic Words “And you endue with honor whom You will” we embark on the notion of honor and humiliation. Here we have something delicate: If Allah desires to honor you, He subjugates even your enemies for you; and if He desires to humiliate someone, He makes even his closest relatives humiliate him: “And he whom Allah humiliates shall receive honor from none.”:
Make all your honor with your Lord, it will be firmly established;
But if you seek honor from someone who dies, your honor will inevitably perish.
Therefore, Allah’s being the King necessitates that it is He Who honors and it is He Who humiliates; so try always to be with Him.
Obey Our Commands, and We shall remove for you Our Veils,
For We have granted with full content to those who have obeyed Us.
And take refuge with Us and seek Our Protection,
That We may protect you from the evil ones from among our creatures.
The Quranic words “In Your Hand is the Good” mean that even humiliation coming from Allah to some of His slaves is good, and taking away kingdom from other slaves is also good, even if it might be considered as evil by some ignorant people.
The words “You make the night enter into the day…” denote Allah’s Divine Disposal with the universe. The earth goes round the sun in an elliptical orbit. Who makes it move in its accurate orbit round the sun? Is there in the whole universe any other power that can put the earth back to orbit if it were to go away from it? If it went away from its orbit round the sun, the earth would perish and be attracted by other heavenly objects!!
“Verily, Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places; and if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could possibly grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.” [XXXV; 41]
The above Quranic Verse denotes that Allah, All-Mighty, holds the heavens and the earth in their orbits. If a train goes out of its rails, can a tiny creature like a baby, an ant or a fly bring it back to its rails? “And if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could possibly grasp them after Him”. Who has made the earth go 30 km/hour round the sun? Ho has made it turn round itself 1600 km/hour? Who has made it that big? Who has made it so far away? This is one of the connotations of Allah’s Divine Name “The King”.
“You make the night enter into the day; and You make the day enter into the night. You bring the living out of the dead; and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give wealth and sustenance to whom You will without limit .” [III; 27]
The phenomenon of animal, plant and human generation: “You bring the living out of the dead”: an olive seed seems like a lifeless piece of wood, but a real olive-tree is hidden inside it. Consider types and circles of life: a tree is dry and dead in the winter, but no sooner does spring come than it is brought back to life again.
One day, Omar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, asked ‘Amr bin Al-‘Ass to describe Egypt to him. ‘Amr said: “O Commander of the Faithful! Its length is a month and its width is ten (i.e. Its length is a distance of a month-march, and its width is a distance of a ten-days-march). A blessed river runs across it. O Commander of the Faithful! While it is a dark piece of amber (i.e. its soil is dark because of fertility), it is a white pearl (i.e. when the Nile floods) and a green chrysolite. Blessed is Allah, Who does whatever He wills.”
‘Amr described Egypt in winter, at the time of the flood of the river Nile, in the spring, and in the summer. He also described its length and width.
One of the connotations of Allah’s being The King is that He alternates day and night and brings the living out of the dead and the dead out of the living. Of the meanings of Allah’s Words: “He brings the dead out of the living and the living out of the dead” is that a disbeliever might give birth to a believer and vice versa.
“And Noah called upon his Lord and said, ‘O my Lord! Verily, my son is of my family! And certainly, Your Promise is true; and You are the Most Just of the judges.’ He (Allah) said, ‘O Noah! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous. So ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you lest you should be one of the ignorant.’” [XI; 45,46]
The last item of Allah’s being The King is: “And You give wealth and sustenance to whom You will without limit” in the sense that He, All-Mighty, may give wealth and sustenance to a weak person just as He may make a powerful and clever person poor. That is why merchants and businesspeople usually say: “With Allah there is no clever merchant”; and one of the invocations of believers against disbelievers is, “O Allah! Make their own destruction in their evil planning!” In other words, the evil plots of disbelievers are sure to bring about their own destruction. Thus goes the Prophetic Hadith: “No might or power could ever avail a powerful person against You (Allah).”
Now, the question is: Does a person really own, i.e. if someone makes you the owner of something, do you really possess it? How can this idea be discussed? The owner of a certain house, a building, a car is in our opinion the one who enjoys full ownership by means of authentic documents accepted by others. This is what we usually say; and there is not much wrongness in it. Scholars literally said: It is more proper and more correct to say that a human being can not own. Why? This is because his being independent and free to dispose with other things is part of his self-independence and self-sufficiency. If a human being can never be self-independent or self-sufficient, then how can he be independent in his disposal with other things. That is why Allah, Most Gracious, admonishes His Messenger, (PBUH), and all human beings after him, “Say, ‘I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. And if I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil would have ever touched me. Verily, I am but a warner and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.’” [VII; 188]
If the Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), possesses no power over benefit or hurt to himself, could he possibly have such power to others? The answer is definitely, “No.” In other words, if one is unable to rightly guide one’s son, could he ever be able to guide someone else’s son?! Impossible. Therefore, it is definite that Allah, Glorified and All-High, is the Only Real King; and man is only metaphorically as such. For example, an employee in the foreign ministry might sometimes tell you: “We have appointed Mr. so and so as an ambassador.” Such a saying has a metaphoric denotation, because the one who has actually appointed the ambassador is the minister himself, not the employee who tells you that. Yet, in absolute certainty: the One Who has granted this man such a post is Allah, Most Gracious.
A slave, for example, when is he on travel? When his master is. When is he in settlement? Also when his master is. Does a slave have any freedom in his movement away from his master? No. Then definitely you have to feel, when you have documents of the ownership of a house, that it belongs in fact to Allah, All-Mighty. At any moment you can sell or dispose with it, but you are by no means its real owner. Something wrong might go with a certain part of your body, and you might be told that such a surgical operation costs 800, 000 pounds in addition to travel and accommodation costs. The result is that you have to sell your house to pay for such a surgical operation. Glorified is the Owner of Ownership. Another example: kidney transplantation might sometimes cost 1000,000 pounds; and all that you own might be the cost of such an operation. Transplantation of a heart-valve costs 500,000 pounds. Therefore, if someone is granted good health by Allah, Most Merciful, he is rich in the full sense of the word.
There is a somewhat delicate issue; but before dealing with it, let’s read Allah’s Words in His Holy Quran: “Allah puts forward the example of (two men – a believer and a disbeliever): a slave (disbeliever) who is under the possession of another and has no power of any sort, and (the other) is a man (believer) on whom We have bestowed a good provision from Us and he spends thereof secretly and openly. Can they be equal? (By no means). All praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.” [XVI; 75]
If a slave possessed by another person is unable to do anything independently, could he ever be a real owner, i.e. someone who disposes with the things that other people possess? That is impossible. But why does the Quranic Verse go, “Within a few years. The decision of the matter, before and after, is only with Allah. And on that Day, believers will rejoice.” [XXX; 4]
Deliberate, dear brother believer! Decision of the matter is always in Allah’s Hand. To this effect, Allah’s Words go: “On the Day, when no person shall have any power to do anything for another, and the Decision, on that Day, will be (wholly) with Allah.” [LXXXII; 19] Therefore, the decision of all matters is in Allah’s Hand. In another Verse, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “The Decision of the matter, before and after, is only with Allah.” In another Verse, He, All-Mighty, says, “Then they were returned to Allah, their True Master, the Just Lord. Surely, to Him does belong the Decision, and He is the Swiftest in reckoning.” [VI; 62] He, Most Merciful, also says, “And He is Allah; there is no god but He, and all praises and thanks are to Him both in the present world and the Hereafter. And to Him belongs the Decision; and unto Him you shall be returned.” [XXVIII; 70]
Who does the Decision belong to in the present world? Does it not belong to Allah? Yes, indeed. Another example is Allah’s Words, “And to Allah belongs the Unseen of the heavens and the earth, and to Him do return all affairs (for decision). So worship Him and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you do.” [XI; 123] He, Glory to Him, also says, “The Path of Allah, to Whom does belong all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Verily, all matters, in the end, do go to Allah (for decision).” [XLII; 53]
But in whose hand is the decision before the end? Here and in interpretation of the above Verse scholars had a great opinion. They said: The fact is that the decision of all matters, before and after, is only with Allah. In other words, decision of all matters always belongs to Allah; and decision-making is His at all times. But heedless straying feeble-minded disbelieves wrongly believe that decision belongs to other human beings. On the Day of Judgment, all creatures will inevitably see that both Judgment and Decision as well as the Kingdom belong only to Allah and to no one else. They will see that all affairs return to Him for decision and judgment. Hence, it is wisest to see this before it is too late.
Therefore, even disbelievers and those who are heedless and straying will inevitably see with their own eyes that decision is in Allah’s Hand, that judgment belongs to Him and that to Him all matters will be retuned. In the present world, they do not see Allah, All-Mighty. They see other guardians and protectors than Him. They see superpowers and worship them instead of Allah. But on the Day of Resurrection, they will see the Truth.
In fact it is only a matter of time: You either see the Truth in time before you are overtaken by death or see it for sure on the Day of Resurrection and incur absolute regret. Heroism is, therefore, not to wait until you see the truth with other ignorant people. Heroism is to see the truth in due time in order to avail yourself of it.
There is another thing: Why can’t a slave be an owner in the full sense of the word? It has been said: That is because he can not be self-sufficient. Let us suppose that a great king is in no need of any of his subjects, but is he ever in no need of the air, water, food or marriage? That is why when Haroun Ar-Rasheed, the famous Abbaside Caliph, whose kingdom spread to the end of the ancient world, asked for a glass of water, his intelligent vizier asked him, “O Commander of the Faithful! How much would you pay for this glass of water if it were withheld from you?” “Half of my kingdom”, he replied. The vizier asked, “How much would you pay if you were unable to get rid of it (i.e. to urinate it)?” “The second half of my kingdom”, the Caliph answered. The vizier said, “Then, your kingdom is worth only a glass of water!”
In one of Cairo museums there is the tomb of one of the greatest Pharaohs, called Tout Ankh Amoun. It was dug out with a lot of gold, jewelry, and other precious ornaments. But there was one thing that called my attention, namely that he died at a very young age, eighteen years old. His coffin was very short and so was his body. I said, “Glorified is Allah! No matter how great man’s ownership and kingdom might be, his life remains in Allah’s Hand. He owned all of Egypt together with its enormous treasures and resources; nevertheless Allah caused him to die at the age of eighteen. The tomb is full of priceless gold, jewelry and ornaments, but he died very young. His great kingdom and wealth availed him nothing against death. His kingdom was by no means real but rather metaphoric. In fact he owned nothing; but Allah entrusted him with such kingdom and ownership.
One day, a prince asked a righteous man, “How can I help you?” The righteous man asked, “Who? Me?!” “Yes, you”, the prince replied. The righteous man said, “I have two slaves that are your masters: care and hope. Care for the present world and hope for a long life are my slaves; but they are your masters. I have dominated over them, but they have dominated over you. I have got control over them, but they have got control over you.” Thus, man is a real king if he controls his desires and caprices.
A righteous man once said, I was passing by ‘Asafan when I saw a beautiful woman. She attracted my admiration and love, but I sought help from Allah and was pious and went along doing nothing with that woman. When I went to bed that night, I saw the holy Prophet Joseph (PBUH) in my sleep. I asked him, “Are you Joseph?” “Yes, I am”, he replied. I said, “Praises and thanks to Allah because He protected you from the wife of the ‘Aziz (of Egypt).” He replied, “And Praises and thanks to Allah because He protected you from the woman of ‘Asafan.” Such is real kingdom: to obey Allah, All-Mighty.
At first, Joseph (PBUH) was brought into his master’s palace as a slave. Then, later on, he became a king. When, one day, a slave-woman, who had known him as a slave, saw him going in a kingly procession, she said, “Glorified is Allah, Who has made some of His slaves kings when they obeyed Him; and Glorified is He, Who has made some kings slaves when they disobeyed Him.” The truth is: He who is a truthful sincere slave to his Master owns (as it were) all the wealth of his Master.
Shaqeeq Al-Balkhi was once quoted as saying: “My repentance began when, in a year of drought and famine, I saw a boy playing joyfully while all people were deeply depressed. I reproached him angrily, ‘O you there! Playing happily while others are very sad?! Aren’t you ashamed?! Don’t you see how miserable people are?!’ The boy replied, ‘Why should I be unhappy? My master owns a whole village wherein I keep all that I need?’ I said to myself, ‘This boy, who is enslaved by a human master, does not feel unhappy or lonely at times of distress because his master owns a village on earth, so why should I be unhappy or feel lonely and my Master is the King of all kings?!’ So I knew the truth and repented.” In other words, the slave-boy gave him a lesson in repentance. That is why wise people say: whether you plan or not, the Disposer is Allah, Glorified and All-Mighty.
Turn away from all your worries,
And leave all matters to Allah’s Divine Decree,
And be happy with a soon-coming good
Whereby you forget all that has passed.
Many an unpleasant thing
Will bring you happiness in the end.
And perhaps the way may get narrowed,
And perhaps space may get wide.
Allah does whatever He desires,
So be not rebellious.
Allah has always shown you His Favors,
So measure according to what has passed.
And an evil visitation might bring hardship to someone,
Yet the way out thereof is with Allah.
The rings of distress narrowed so much so that they became so tightly wrought,
Bu then it ended well although I have never thought it would end as such.
It has been recently announced that it rained so heavily in Italy last year. In one night, the rain that fell was equal to that of a whole year. This proves that in one single moment, Allah, Most Merciful, is able to provide us with more than the usual average of rain; and should rain be delayed, it is all in Allah’s Command to provide us with it. But never forget that Allah’s determination of the amounts of rain-fall is meant for admonition and is by no means out of disability.
True belief in Allah’s being the King necessitates that the salve should be more confident in what is in the Hands of Allah than that which is in his own hands. In other words, if you want to be the richest of all mankind, be more confident in what is in Allah’s Hands than what is in your own hands. If you want to be the strongest of all mankind, put all of your trust in Allah. And if you want to be the most noble of all mankind, be dutiful and obedient to Allah.
One day, Al-Hatim Al-Assam was fasting. When it was time for breakfast, he was brought a tray with different kinds of delicious foods. But suddenly a poor man came to ask him for food, so he gave him all that. Then, another tray was brought to him, and as he was about to start eating, another poor man came to ask him for food. So he gave him all that. He opened his eyes to see some Dinars (gold money) in his hand. He could not help calling out, “Al-Ghaouthu Mina-l-Khalaf (i.e. Please help me from Al-Khalaf)!” One of his neighbors was called Khalaf, so people hurried to him saying, “Why are you doing harm to the Sheikh (i.e. Al-Hatim Al-Assam)?!” And they brought the man to the Sheikh saying, “Here is Khalaf! He has come to apologize to you.” Al-Hatim said, “I did not mean him at all when I called out. I meant that I just can not thank Allah enough for the good way whereby He treats me: whenever I spend something, Allah gives me something better in recompense.”
One day, ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said about Abdu-r-Rahman bin ‘Aouf, one of the Prophet’s venerable Companions, “I am afraid that ‘Aouf will enter Paradise crawling because of his great wealth.” He, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Nay! By Allah! I shall enter it (i.e. Paradise) running. What can I do if I spend a hundred (Dinars) in the morning, but Allah grants me what is better in the evening.
It has been rightly said that he who knows that the Real King is Allah rejects haughtily to humiliate himself to any other human being. It has also been said: How come that a free person humiliates himself to slaves while he gets from his Master (Allah) whatever he desires?! In the Divine Hadith, Allah addresses his righteous believing slaves, “Just ask, and you will be granted! Be to me as I desire, I be to you as you desire!” It does not befit you, after having known that Allah, Most Gracious, and no one else, is the King, Who owns everything, that you humiliate yourself to anyone else. He who knows Allah does not need any help from other creatures or human beings. It has been rightly said that seeking delight from being in company with people is the token of feeble-mindedness.
Bishr Al-Hafi once saw Ali bin Abi Talib, Commander of the Faithful, in his sleep. He said, “O Commander of the Faithful! Admonish me.” Ali said, “How good is sympathy of the rich on the poor for the sake of Allah’s Recompense! And better than that is the pride of the poor over the rich out of trust in Allah.”
If you put your trust in Allah, All-Mighty, Most Merciful, He will never let you down. And he who sits before a rich person and humiliates himself to him loses two thirds of his religion.
A man once asked a righteous scholar, “Admonish me!” The scholar said, “Be a king in the present world, you will be a king in the Hereafter.” “How can I do that?” The man asked. “Renounce pleasure in worldly things i.e. lead a pious ascetic life), and you will be a king in the Hereafter.” And it has been rightly said: “If you do not need someone, you are equal to him; if you need someone, you are his slave; and if do good to someone, you will be his commander.” In other words, if you are a king in the present world, you will be a king in the Hereafter.
Al-Hassan Al-Basri was one day asked, “How did you achieve such a prominent holy position?” “By my being in no need of people’s worldly things and their need for my knowledge,” he replied.
Sufian bin ‘Uyaynah once said, “While I was going round the Old House (the Ka’bah), I saw a man whom I thought to be one of the righteous. I came to him asking, “Will you teach me something for which Allah does me good.” He said nothing and kept going round the Ka’bah. When he finished, he performed two Rak’as of prayer behind the station of Abraham and then entered the Hijr (of Ishmael) and sat down there. I sat beside him asking again, “Master! Will you teach me something for which Allah does me good.” He turned to me saying, “Do you know what Allah, All-Mighty, Most Gracious, says? He says, “I am the Ever-Living, Who never passes away. Come unto me in obedience and devotion, and I shall make you ever-living and never cause you to die – with your Lord and provided (with sustenance).”
On his first night in his grave man is addressed by Allah, All-Mighty, “My slave! They have gone away and left you alone; and in the earth have they buried you. If they had stayed with, they would have availed you nothing. No one has remained with you except Me; and I am the Ever-Living, Who never passes away. If you obey Me, I shall make you ever-living in a the Garden of Paradise, whose width is the heavens and the earth. I am the King, Who never perishes. Come unto Me in obedience and devotion, and I shall make you kings that never perish, kings of the Hereafter. I am the King, Who, if He desires a thing, He says to it, ‘Be!’ And it is. Come unto Me in obedience and devotion, and I shall make you as such (i.e. if you ask me anything, I grant it to you), for I am as you think of me. If you ask Me, I shall give you; and if you pray to Me, I shall answer you.”
The above-mentioned are some definitions, qualities and meanings denoted by Allah’s Beautiful Name “Al-Malik” (The King).
The Irresistible Subduer
Before starting with a new Divine Name of Allah’s, namely “Al-Qahhar” (the Irresistible Subduer), it is necessary to stop at an unchangeable fact about man, explicitly that he has been granted by Allah, Most Gracious, a cognitive power substantiated by his senses, mind, and heart. The senses feel, the mind thinks and the heart feels. The five senses are something common among mankind and other living creatures. For, example, there are animals that see, hear, and perceive outer environment by some senses that Allah, All-Mighty, has bestowed upon them. But man, alone, has been granted an intellect, which is called “mind” by some people, and to which Allah, All-Mighty, refers: “And follow not (i.e. do not say, do or witness) that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, man is held responsible for his hearing, sight and heart.” [XVI; 36] In this Quranic Verse the word “heart” means “the mind”, i.e. man is held responsible for his sight, hearing and thoughts. In other words, Allah, Most Gracious, has granted man a heart (i.e. a mind) whereby he conceives things. To this effect, Allah, Glory to Him, says, “Have they not traveled through the land with hearts whereby they understand, ears whereby they hear?! Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but rather, it is the hearts, which are in the breasts, that grow blind.” [XXII; 46]
Now what is the difference between sense perception, mental conception and understanding?
Sense Perception is to perceive light with your own eyes, hear sound with your ears, smell with your nose or feel heat with your skin. This is sense perception.
But a young child may sometimes put his hand on a snake that feels smooth and looks nice although it is very dangerous. If he were older and knew what a snake is, he would have another different attitude towards it. In other words, a young child may quite often see a snake and touch it with his hand, but he does not know its reality.
Therefore, there is a great difference between sense perception and mental perception. Mental conception takes place by way of the mind. You may read an article about dangers of smoking but you still smoke. In other words mental conception is not enough to make you abstain from doing things. But in some cases mental conception reaches a certain degree that makes the mind understand the reality of something and drives us to keep away from it.
The accurate difference between understanding and mental conception is that if there is something detrimental and, therefore, you keep away from it, this means that you understand its reality. You may conceive something but do not have a certain definite attitude towards it. But if you understand its reality, you must necessarily have a certain attitude towards it. In other words, there is always a practical attitude with understanding and mental conception with thinking; and mental conception makes knowledge.
Sometimes man is driven by his desires and not by his knowledge. In other words, most people know what is lawful and what is unlawful, for, as Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says “Lawful things are evident and so are unlawful things.” They know that by both their minds and pure original human nature. They also know that by the admonition they receive through religious preaching. But why do they still do unlawful things?! Simply because they do not understand their danger.
The senses feel and perceive, the mind conceives and the heart understands. The important thing is the heart. When you take a definite practical attitude towards something, this means that you have understood its reality. To this effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “And as to those who believed but did not emigrate, you owe no duty of protection to them until they emigrate; but if they seek your help in religion, it is your duty to help them, except against a people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance; and Allah sees well all that which you do.” [VIII; 72] He, All-Mighty, also says, “But if they answer you not, then know that they only follow their own desires; and who is more astray than one who follows one’s own desires without guidance from Allah?! Verily, Allah guides not the people who are transgressors.” [XXVIII; 50]
Both of the above Verses make clear that true believers understood certain obligations and had definite attitudes towards them.
A person is not described as understanding unless his mental conceptions are translated into actions, attitudes, and behavior. And the thing that saves man, on the Day of Judgment, is not his knowledge but rather his behavior, attitudes, commitment, straightforwardness, obedience, devotion and adherence to Allah’s Commands.
Once again, we reiterate that we perceive by our senses, conceive by our minds, and understand by our hearts. The senses, the mind and the heart constitute cognitive power in man. And if we neglect the cognitive aspect in man, he becomes a mere brute animal. In other words, without knowledge man is a mere animal, for knowledge enhances intellectual power and makes the mind more mature. Also, knowledge is the means whereby we achieve paramount and noble ends.
The second fact that I hope you understand is that in Islam knowledge is not an end in itself but rather a means to an end. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “Learn whatever you desire (to learn), for you shall never be rewarded unless you work by that which you learn.” He, (PBUH), also says, “Knowledge is disastrous to those who acquire it unless they work by it.”
In the light of the above two introductory parts, it can be said that man has a cognitive power manifested by the senses, the mind and the heart; and in Islam knowledge is not an end in itself but rather a means to an end, namely application of Allah’s Religion of Islamic Monotheism.
The third fact is that in man there is an emotional aspect, an intellectual aspect, and a material physical aspect. The material physical aspect is common among both human beings and animals: Human beings eat, and so do animals; and human beings get tired and sleep, and so do animals. Moreover, a lot of animals excel human beings in some of these physical qualities.
Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Qahhar”:
We have already mentioned that Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names do not differ in regards to their levels. A doctor may sometimes have certain knowledge according to which he treats a patient. But later on, he may acquire more knowledge and experience that make his treatment more effective. In other words, the more knowledge a doctor acquires, the better treatment he gives to his patients. Such change and improvement can be applied to human beings, but with Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names, things are completely different. There is no difference between Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names. Then, how does an ordinary neutral (non-emphatic) Name such as “Al-Qahir” occur in the Quranic Verse, “And He (Allah) is Al-Qahir (the Irresistible Sunduer) over His slaves, and He sends guardians (Angels) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers (Angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.” [VI; 61], while an emphatic form of the same Name, “Al-Qahhar”, occur in another Verse, “The Day when they will (all) come out, nothing of them will be hidden from Allah. Whose is the Kingdom today?! It belongs to Allah, Alone, the One, Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer).” [XL; 16]?!
How can we reconcile the non-emphatic Name “Al-Qahir” with the emphatic one “Al-Qahhar”, taking into consideration that Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names do not differ as regards their significance?! This seems problematic.
Previously, while we were explaining Allah’s Name “Al-Ghaffar”, I said that if someone eats food, he is called in Arabic “Akil” (i.e. someone eating food), but he is not called “Akoul” (i.e. someone who eats too much or too often) unless he eats a lot or too often. Emphasis is placed either on number or quality.
When Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names come in the emphatic form, they mean repetition and not difference in quality, because the level of Allah’s Names is always the same. In this context, the well-known scholar and Imam, Al-Ghazali, said: “It is not possible to have better than that which has been” He means to say, “I can not have anything better than that which He (Allah) has given me.”
Allah, All-Mighty, is Wise in creating both an ant and a galaxy. He is Wise to the same degree in creating both the tiniest and the most gigantic creatures. He is All-Knowing. His Wisdom and Knowledge are both Infinite and Absolute. If His Names change, this is because of the change of the creatures not because of the change of the Creator. If a Divine Name occurs in the emphatic form, this is only for emphasizing repetition and not change of quality, for Allah’s Qualities are Absolute and Unchangeable.
Sometimes a person fights an enemy and defeats him, but he might not be able to defeat a second or third enemy. But when we say that our Lord, Allah, is the One, the Irresistible Subduer, this means that all creatures are constantly subdued by His Infinite Divine Power and dominated thereby.
“Whose is the Kingdom today?! It belongs to Allah, Alone, he One, Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer).”… “And He (Allah) is Al-Qahir (the Irresistible Subduer) over His slaves,”
And Allah, All-Mighty, also says, “And Allah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of them know not.” [XI; 21] Yes, indeed! Allah has full power over His Affairs. To this purport does go the story of the holy Prophet Joseph, (PBUH).
Another story in which Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Qahhar” is clearly manifested is that of the holy Prophet Moses, (PBUH), with Pharaoh, who wanted to slaughter all the male infants of the children of Israel in order to prevent fulfillment of a dream that he saw, namely that a male infant from among the children of Israel would destroy his kingdom. Allah, the Irresistible Subduer, defeated him by making him bring up, in his own palace, the same infant who would destroy his kingdom. In fact, all of Allah’s Divine Acts stem from, and manifest, all of His Beautiful Divine Names and Attributes. This is why the Quranic Verses that speak about Allah’s Divine Self include the personal pronoun “Ana” (“ I ” in English), while those that speak about His Divine Acts include the personal pronoun “Nahnou” ( “we” in English): “Verily, it is We Who give life and cause to die; and to Us is the Final Return.” [L; 43],
“Verily, it is We Who have sent down the Quran to you by stages.” [LXXVI;23], and
“Verily, I am Allah! There is no god but Me. So, worship Me and perform prayer for My remembrance.” [XX; 14]
As clearly seen in the above Verses, when the first person singular pronoun “Ana” (I) is used, it refers to Allah’s Divine Self; but when the first person plural pronoun “Nahnu” (We) is used, it refers to the fact that all of Allah’s Beautiful Names are included in His Divine Acts. And when we say that Allah is Al-Hearing, All-Seeing, Kind, All-Powerful, All-Mighty, All-Wise, we do this only for academic study and analysis, for all of Allah’s Divine Names and Attributes are included in one another. And sometimes, Allah, All-Mighty, gathers together all of His Divine Names in Collective Names, as in His Words, “Blessed is the Name of your Lord (Allah), the Owner of Majesty and Honor.” [LV; 78]
Majesty is a quality that gives the sense of Divine Greatness; bestowing honor is another quality that gives the sense of Generosity and Bounty. In your daily life, you may deal with someone whom you glorify but do not love, and you may deal with someone whom you love but do not glorify. In your relationship with Allah, All-Mighty, the ideal thing is to combine both glorification and love towards Him. This is because our Lord, Glory to Him, is Most Merciful, Kind, Gentle, Friendly, Compassionate, Generous, All-Pardoning and All-Forgiving as much as He is Majestic, Great, Sublime, Supreme, Powerful, Mighty, Exalted, Irresistible, Omnipotent, and Self-Existent. In other words, some of Allah’s Divine Names and Attributes have to do with His Divine Majesty and some have to do with His Divine Honor, which are both found in a couple of Verses: “And the Face of your Lord (Allah) full of Majesty and Honor will remain forever.” [LV; 27], and, “Blessed is the Name of your Lord (Allah), full of Majesty and Honor.” [ibid; 78]
In both Names, Majesty and Honor, all of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names and Attributes are included and manifested.
Sometimes, in the question of straightforwardness, the Lord, Glory to Him, mentions only two of His Divine Names. For example, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof. His Command descends between them (the heavens and the earth), so that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah encompasses all things in (His) Knowledge.” [LXV; 12]
In the above Verse Allah, Praised and Exalted, mentions only two of His Divine Names and Attributes, explicitly, His Divine Knowledge and Power. This is because you will never obey His Divine Commands unless you firmly believe that both His Divine Knowledge and Power encompass you. In such an issue as straightforwardness you need to believe in Allah’s two Attributes: Knowledge and Power. In order to be straightforward and magnify the Lord, you also have to believe that He is full of Majesty and Honor.
As mentioned above, Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Qahhar” (the Irresistible Subduer) comes in a non-emphatic form such as “Al-Qahir”, as in the Quranic Verse, “And He (Allah) is Al-Qahir (the Irresistible Subduer) over His slaves, and He sends guardians (Angels) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our Messengers (Angel of death and his assistants) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.” [VI; 61], and in an emphatic form, “Al-Qahhar”, as in another Verse, “The Day when they will (all) come out, nothing of them will be hidden from Allah. Whose is the Kingdom today?! It belongs to Allah, Alone, he One, Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer).” [XL; 16]?!
There is a very delicate Quranic Verse in which Allah, All-Mighty, says, “The Path of Allah, to Whom does belong all that which is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Verily, all matters, in the end, go to Allah (for decision).” [XLII; 53]
It might be surprising!! These are Allah’s Divine Words!! But why does Allah say, “Verily, all matters, in the end, go to Allah (for decision).”? Where are all matters now?! Aren’t they with Allah?! In whose hand are they now?! Allah’s Words in the above Verse may seemingly mean that all matters, before and now, in the past and present are not in Allah’s Hand, but they will be in His Hand in the end. In fact, most people are heedless of the truth, for they wrongly think that matters are in the hands of other humans, that such and such decision is in the hand of such and such person. They, quite often, say, “If so and so desires to grant you honor, he can raise you up to the utmost; but if he gets angry with you, he makes you lowest of the low.” This is mere polytheism! This is mere illusion! On the Day of Resurrection, all mankind will definitely get to know that the Kingdom and Dominion do belong, everywhere and at all times, to Allah, the One, the Omnipotent, the Irresistible Subduer. But now, in the present world, only true believers and knowledgeable holy scholars know such an indisputable truth, which all mankind will get to know in the Hereafter.
Allah, All-Mighty, says, “And He (Allah) is Al-Qahir (the Irresistible Subduer) over His slaves, and He is The All-Wise, the All-Aware.” [VI; 18], and, “The Day when they will (all) come out, nothing of them will be hidden from Allah. Whose is the Kingdom today?! It belongs to Allah, Alone, he One, Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer).” [XL; 16] This Name also comes implicitly, as in Allah’s Words, “And Allah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of mankind know not.” This means that His decision is the Dominant Irresistible one. To this effect, A Divine Hadith goes, “O My slave! I have created, for you, the heavens and the earth; and I have not been tired out by their creation. Can I be tired out by a piece of bread that I bestow upon you every now and then?! O My salve! I have (ordained) for you an obligation; and you have provision (to receive) from Me. Even if you disobey Me concerning My Obligation (that I have ordained for you), I do not deprive you of your provision (that you receive from Me). By My Might and Majesty! If you are not contented with that which I allot for you, I shall set on you this present world, in which you shall be made to run as wild animals run in the wilderness. Then, you shall get from it (the present world) nothing except that which I have already decreed for you; and I shall not care; and you shall (then) be dispraised by Me…”
In another Divine Hadith, Allah, All-Mighty, says, “O My slave! You will, and I will. If you surrender to Me in what I will, I suffice you in what you will. But if you do not surrender to Me in what I will, I tire you out in what you will, and then, nothing shall be except what I will.”
The above Divine Hadith makes clear Allah’s Beautful Divine Name “Al-Qahhar” (the Irresistible Subduer): Allah’s Decision is Irresistible. Things may seem to turn and turn, but Allah’s Decision dominates despite all things.
Some people who read some books that speak about the evil plots of the Jews say, “Such a plan is Jewish.” But Jews are mere human beings. They plan and plot, for they are the most evil treacherous of all mankind. Nevertheless, what they do is not theirs; it is Allah’s. If you think that they are the doers and that what goes on in the world is out of their plans and plots, you are grievously mistaken. You should believe that Allah’s Divine Plan contains their human plan, for Allah, All-Mighty, Most Gracious, may exploit their evil plots for admonishing and deterring some of His slaves. To this effect, Allah, the Irresistible Subduer, says, “And thus do We set the wrong-doers on one another because of that of which they have earned.” [VI; 129]
If you say, “So and so does what he does.”, you unknowingly fall easy prey to polytheism. The right thing to say is: “Allah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of mankind know not.” You should the Divine Hadith: “You will, and I will. If you surrender to Me in what I will, I suffice you in what you will. But if you do not surrender to Me in what I will, I tire you out in what you will, and then, nothing shall be except what I will.”
Linguistically speaking, “Al-Qahr” means subduing, oppressing or overcoming, as in Allah’s Divine Command: “Therefore, do not oppress an orphan!” [XCIII; 9]
By the way, there are always Divine Names and Attributes, which, if given to a human being, they bear a negative connotation and denote dispraise, but if they are attributed to Allah, All-Mighty, they denote Divine Perfection.
Let’s have the following parable: Someone is in need of financial help and, therefore, he goes to two people, one is very rich and has a lot of money, while the other is poor and has nothing. If the poor person says, “I shall give you the money.”, this would be imperfect of him and would mean that he is a mere liar. If, however, he says, “I’m sorry! I am poor. I have nothing to give you.”, this would be truthful and perfect on his part. In other words, perfection for the poor person is to be truthful and not to claim what he cannot do or does not own. As for the rich person, if he says, “I am poor! I have nothing to give you!”, while he is rich and can help the man, it would be imperfect of him. Therefore, “Al-Mutakkabir” (the Sublime, the Supreme) is one of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names and Attributes; and it denotes praise and glorification of Allah, All-Mighty: if anyone takes refuge with Him, He will certainly grant him all that he asks for. The same word “Mutakabbir” denotes imperfection and dispraise to the poor person in the above-mentioned parable, who did not have anything to give to the man, or the rich person, who, due to his being niggardly, did not give the man any money. In this context, Allah, “Al-Mutakabbir” (the Sublime, the Supreme), says, “And He (Allah) found you poor, and so He enriched you. Therefore, do not oppress an orphan, nor repulse a beggar. And proclaim the Grace of your Lord.”[XCIII; 8-11]
Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” is the emphatic word for His Name “Al-Qahir”; and it has a quantitative rather than qualitative emphasis, since qualitative emphasis does not befit Allah’s Divine Perfection.
It may be known to you, dear reader, that Allah’s Divine Names are of three types: Those that describe Allah’s Divine Self, those that describe His Divine Attributes, and those that describe His Divine Acts. In this context, scholars said that Allah is “Al-Qahir” in the sense that He is Able to prevent anyone else from doing anything against His Divine Will and Desire, i.e. His Divine Will is Irresistible. That is why it has been rightly said, “You will and I will, but Allah, Alone, does what He wills.”, and “Whatever Allah wills is, and whatever Allah wills not is not.” Moreover, Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” is strongly connected with Islamic Monotheism; and mankind can never learn anything better than Monotheism.
If we say, “Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” denotes Divine Ability in a certain form.”, it is one of the Names that have to do with Allah’s Divine Self. But if we say that it is a Divine Act that prevents others from doing what they desire, then, it is one of the Names that have to do with Allah’s Divine Acts.
Some scholars say that Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” (the Irresistible Subduer) means that He, All-Mighty, subdues non-existence, which is anything except Allah, All-Mighty. In other words, All things, except Allah, were non-existing, and it is Allah Who brought them all into existence. Furthermore, the existence of all things does not continue without Allah’s Divine Will and Power. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says, “Verily! Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places; and if they were to move away from their places, there is none that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, Oft-and-All-Forgiving.” [XXXV; 41]
In the above Verse the heavens and the earth refer to the whole universe, with its planets, stars and galaxies, which are all in constant motion, without which it would be one single mass of matter. This is because the power of gravitational pull that exists between all of the heavenly objects causes them to attract one another in positive proportion with their masses. By His Infinite Divine Wisdom Allah, All-Mighty, has put such gravitational pull, which is invisible to the human eye, between all the heavenly objects in order to keep them moving; otherwise the whole universe would become an immense mass of matter. This is because the bigger heavenly object would attract the smaller one, and so on and so forth. Centrifugal force, which is the outcome of motion and is equal to the power of gravitational pull, keeps all of the heavenly objects in constant motion and prevents them from becoming one solid block of matter.
The earth has been moving round the sun for millions of years; nevertheless, it has never been attracted to it. Once again, we repeat Allah’s Words mentioned above, “Verily! Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places; and if they were to move away from their places, there is none that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, Oft-and-All-Forgiving.” [XXXV; 41]
The words “lest they should move away from their places” mean that the One Who compelled the heavenly objects and kept them in orbit is Allah, All-Mighty. Thus, Allah, All-Mighty, is the One Who subdued non-existence and brought it into existence. All things that He created had been originally non-existing. Therefore, the origin of all things, except Allah, is non-existence and shall perish in the end. Also, all things that are preceded by non-existence and shall be made to perish are incidental and not self-existent, but Allah, Glory to Him, is Self-Existent. He has neither a beginning nor an end. He is the First with no beginning and the Last with no end.
The Lord, Allah, All-Mighty, is Al-Qahhar (the Subduer) of non-existence in the sense that by His Irresistible Divine Power and Will He, Glory to Him, brought all things into existence after they had been non-existing. They are made to maintain their existence only by His Divine Sustenance and Protection. At any moment, Allah is Able to cause any existing thing to perish and to become non-existing. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says, “Allah! There is no god but Him, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him does belong whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth…” [II; 255] In other words, existence of all things is in Allah’s Hand.
Therefore, one of the meanings of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Qahhar” is that He, All-Mighty, subdued all things and brought them into existence by His Irresistible Divine Power. To this effect, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “He (Pharaoh) said: ‘Who, then, O Moses, is the Lord of both of you (Moses and Aaron)?’ He (Moses) said: ‘Our Lord is He (Allah), Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.’” [XX; 49,50]
Before they were brought into existence by Allah’s Irresistible Will and Power, all existing things were non-existing. Therefore, non-existence is the original state of all things; and without Allah’s Irresistible Will and Power they would have never been brought into existence. It is Allah’s Word “Be!” and things are, and “Perish!” and things perish.
You, dear reader: Your existence and survival are both by Allah and under His Irresistible Divine Power and Will. Organs and systems of your body provide clear evidence of such fact: your brain, with its 140,000,000,000 cells, your perception and senses, your memory, your mental judgment, your imagination, your glands, …etc. have been bestowed on you by the Lord, Allah, All-Mighty, Most Gracious, and they will be made to perish upon death.
Compare an active living person, who is in full power and energy, moving, thinking, judging, acting, seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, feeling, taking attitudes, running businesses, and building up human civilization, to a motionless dead body! The difference between a dead body and a living person full of energy and power is simply such Divine Grace from Allah, Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer), Who compels non-living matter to become a living human being that thinks, sees, hears, smells, moves, makes decisions, gets angry, gets delighted, …etc. If a human being is weighed just a few moments before and after his death, it will be found out he loses nothing of his weight upon death. It is Allah’s Divine Power that grants him his soul, which is the secret of his life. Should his soul be taken away from him, he would be a mere dead mass of matter.
Some scholars say that Allah, All-Mighty, is Al-Qahhar (The Irresistible Subduer) in the sense that He, Alone, is the One Who subdues non-existence and turns it into existence, and then He subdues existence by His Irresistible Divine Power and Will.
The sun, for example, is 500,000,000 years old and seems to be an endless source of energy for us on earth, whose resources are too tiny compared to the sun. The tank of a car has to be refilled with fuel after running for a certain number of kilometers, and so has a fuel tank of a building’s heating system after a cold winter. All natural resources will certainly run out, even the sun, which seems to be an endless source of energy. Their existence and survival are both in Allah’s Hand and under His Irresistible Divine Power and Will. It is Allah, All-Mighty, that brings things into existence and makes them survive for a pre-decreed term.
Another meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Qahhar” is that all the heavenly objects, some of which are many times bigger than both the earth and the sun, are held and kept in orbit by Allah’s Irresistible Divine Power. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says, “Verily! Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places; and if they were to move away from their places, there is none that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, Oft-and-All-Forgiving.” [XXXV; 41]
Some scholars say: In life, there are four basic elements: water, air, fire, and soil. Such elements are non-congruent, but by His Irresistible Divine Power, Allah united them together in perfect harmony. Therefore, one of the meanings of Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” is that He, Most Gracious, unites incongruent things together in perfect harmony. In other words, you can not make the sea burn, but Allah, All-Mighty, can. In this context, He swears: “By the sea that will be set on fire!” How can water, which is used to put out fire, be made to burn? Water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen. Hydrogen is one of the most burning elements, and Oxygen is one of the most burn-augmenting elements. When you roast meat, why do you use a fan? In order to provide more Oxygen to the burning charcoal to augment fire. In other words, when Hydrogen, which is a burning element, combines with Oxygen, which helps augment burning, they both make water, which is used to put out fire. By His Irresistible Divine Power, Allah, All-Mighty, is Able to make the ocean burn. Therefore, one of the meanings of Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” is that He unites incongruent things together in perfect harmony. Water, air, fire, and soil are incongruent things, yet they are united in perfect harmony in creatures. This is the third meaning of Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar”.
Another thing: the soul is a weightless luminary non-material thing, while the human body is a massy material thing. Between them both there is a kind of incongruity, nevertheless, Allah, All-Mighty, by His Irresistible Divine Power has made the soul dwell in the body.
An example: If you have a metal that you want to stick to another, you are told that it cannot be welded except by using a special kind of weld. Aluminum can not be welded by the weld that we use for iron, because both metals are incongruent. Allah, All-Mighty, made the soul non-material luminary weightless and heavenly just as He made the body massy, material and earthly. Nevertheless, He, All-Mighty, united them both together in man. In other words, man is made up of both a body and a soul. Sometimes, his soul brightens, which appears clearly on his face. But sometimes, his soul darkens, which also appears clearly on his face. This means that man is a creature made up of a heavenly element and an earthly one; and quite often he clings himself heavily to the earth. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says, “O you who believe! What is the matter with you?! When you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah, you cling heavily to the earth! Are you pleased with life of this world rather than the Hereafter?! Little is the enjoyment of the life of this world compared to the Hereafter.” [IX; 38] In other words, you direct yourself towards the earth, you direct yourself towards the perishable pleasures and enjoyments of the present world.
The fourth meaning of Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” (the Irresistible Subduer) is that sometimes He, All-Mighty, humiliates tyrants and oppressors by diseases and illnesses. Quite often, you see a great king who loves his wife, but he is made barren and, therefore, has to pay lots and lots of his wealth to have a baby, but all goes in vain. Another king suffers from an incurable disease of which he would not be cured even if he spent all his wealth.
Another meaning of Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” is that He, All-Mighty, subdues all His slaves by death: Prophets, Messengers, the powerful, the weak, the rich, the poor, the healthy, the ill, kings, princes, common people, …etc, all human beings are inevitably made to pass away by Allah, All-Mighty. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says, “You will certainly be made to pass away, and they (all mankind) will certainly be made to pass away.” Even the Angel of Death himself will be made to pass away by Allah, Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Suduer). Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), also says, “Glorified is Allah! Verily, death has its own agonies.”
Yes, indeed! Allah, Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer) does humiliate tyrants and oppressors sometimes by diseases and illnesses, sometimes by disasters and eventually by death.
The fifth meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Name Al-Qahhar is that He subdues the human minds and prevents them from knowing the reality of His Holy Infinite Divine Self, which has neither a beginning nor an end. He, All-Mighty, prevents the human minds from encompassing the Glamour of His Divine Majesty. Beware of saying, “I realize how Great Allah is.”, for this would mean that you encompass Him in knowledge just as you do when you hold a small thing and know its dimensions and weight. Your mind leads you to Allah, His Existence, His Infinite Divine Might and Power, but it can by no means get to know the reality of His Divine Self. In other words, no one can ever know Allah, except Allah, Himself. To this effect, Allah, All-Mighty, says, “And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.” [XVII; 85], and, “And they encompass none of His Knowledge except that which He wills.” [II; 255]
Yes, indeed! Your mind can lead you to Him and helps you to know about Him only as much as He wills to allow you. This is because man’s mind is limited and can by no means know the reality of Allah’s Infinite Holy Divine Self. Therefore, a wise person does not aspire to answer all the questions about Allah, All-Mighty; and such lack of knowledge on his part does not mean that he is ignorant.
Someone asked another about the sea: “How many liters does it make?”. The latter looked at him saying, “That is very simple. It makes one million, seven hundred and sixty-six liters.” This answer is mere ignorance because it gives numbers. If someone asks you, “How big is an ocean?” but you do not have any means or standards whereby you can measure the size of the ocean, if you give a certain definite number, this means that you are ignorant, but if you say, “I do not know.”, this means you are knowledgeable. This is because in answer to such a question the words, “I do not know” reflect real knowledge, but the words, “I know” reflect mere ignorance. That is why it has been rightly said: “Claiming that one knows the reality of Allah’s Divine Self is mere ignorance. But admitting that one does not know the reality of Allah’s Divine Self is real knowledge.” In other words, if you say, “I know. I have answers to all of the questions. I know everything about Allah.”, this provides clear evidence that you know nothing, for no one can ever encompass in knowledge the reality of Allah’s Divine Self.
The sixth meaning of Allah’s Name Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer) is that He kept the knowledge of the secrets of a great many natural phenomena only for Himself. Therefore, whenever a certain natural phenomenon takes place, one should say, “Glorified and Praised is Allah! I do not know the wisdom behind such incident.”
A country was visited by an earthquake that claimed the lives of 90,000 people. There is wisdom underlying such a natural phenomenon, because my mind is unable to understand the wisdom behind it. Every time I see a natural disaster taking place before me, I am not supposed to give a simple explanation of it. This is because my explanation might be naïve. If I say, “They have been afflicted by such a natural disaster because of their sins and misdeeds.”, such an explanation is fairly acceptable, but sometimes, even true believers are inflected with disasters as a kind of trial and spiritual enhancement. Therefore, the ideal thing to do in this concern is to admit that you do not know everything and that you do not the secrets of such phenomenon. Another example, if you say that the AIDS is a kind of Divine Punishment for ethical deviation and illegal sexual relations. Such an explanation is fair enough, but there are other phenomena that are too hard to explain. For example, it is not easy to find an answer to the question: “Why is a certain nation or people poor?” However, it may be attributed to Allah’s Divine Wisdom.
The seventh and all-embracing meaning of Allah’s Divine Name Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer) is that He, All-Mighty, has subdued all His creatures to His Irresistible Divine Will. To this effect, He, All-Mighty, says, “And they encompass none of His Knowledge except that which He wills.” [II; 255]
An example: You have a hundred electrical appliances at home; and you have a special switch to work them all. If you turn the switch off, all of the appliances stop working: the fridge, the washing machine, …etc. All driving powers are in Allah’s Hand, i.e. no human being could ever move one single inch or do one single thing except by Allah’s Irresistible Divine Will and Leave. Therefore, Allah, All-Mighty, is Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer). Once again, we repeat Allah’s Words, “And they encompass none of His Knowledge except that which He wills.” [II; 255]
In short, all things other than Allah, All-Mighty, are subdued by His Infinite Divine Power and Might and are in bad humble need to His Infinite Divine Provision and Sustenance.
However, there are other meanings of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Qahhar”. For example, some scholars say: “Al-Qahir is He (Allah), Who subdued the selves of worshippers.” In interpretation of such meaning – and to Allah does belong the Supreme example – the following example can be put forward: A very beautiful young girl whose fiancé is up to his ears in love with her, so she has full power and command over him. The same thing applies to a powerful wealthy person who has full power and control over the poor and weak. That is why Allah, All-Mighty, says, “If only those who do wrong could see, when they will see the Torment, that all Power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment.” [II; 165]
Allah, All-Mighty, is the Source of all kinds of power: if you turn to Him with love, obedience and devotion, He bestows on you far more happiness and peace than whatever happiness and peace human beings can ever give you. If you turn to Allah, Most Gracious, with love, obedience and devotion, He grants you much more happiness and contentment than that which the wealthiest people can ever feel. If you turn to Allah, Most Merciful, with love, obedience and devotion, you feel far more powerful than those who affiliate themselves with the most powerful of all mankind. That is why it has been rightly said: “If you desire to be the most powerful of all mankind, put your trust in Allah; if you desire to be the richest of all mankind, be more confident in what is in Allah’s Hands than that which is in your own hands; and if you desire to be the noblest of all mankind, fear Allah and be dutiful to Him.”
Therefore, Al-Qahir is Allah, Who subdues, and has full command over, the selves of His worshippers so as to keep them committed and devoted to Him. In other words, those who turn to Allah, Most Gracious, are helped to get to know the real Truth and live in real happiness. That is why they keep showing faithful obedience and sincere devotion to Him. In other words, Allah, fascinates them with His Infinite Divine Beauty, Perfection and Compassion to an extent that makes them desire nothing of the perishable enjoyments and pleasures of the life of the present world.
Their ultimate goal is not the Gardens of Aden
Nor the Beautiful virgin Houris or Tents of Paradise.
They seek to The Most Beloved (Allah): such is their Utmost Goal,
And such is the desire of the noblest and most honorable.
A young man once fell in love with a young woman in Damascus. His parents were afraid that he would be fascinated by her, so they sent him to a distant foreign country to study at one of its universities. They gave him a lot of money, but he spent it all on phone-calls with his beloved girl in Damascus. In other words, his beloved girl fascinated him and subdued him by her beauty and love.
If you know Allah, Most Gracious, Most Beautiful, you will certainly be fascinated and subdued by His Infinite Divine Beauty and Perfection. Therefore, Allah, All-Mighty, is Al-Qahir, Who fascinates His worshippers and keeps them devoted to Him and Who subdues the hearts of those who seek Him by His Infinite Divine Kindness.
A believer’s share of Allah’s Name “Al-Qahhar” (the Irresistible Subduer):
A true believer who knows Allah, knows for sure that He, All-Mighty, is Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible Subduer). But when does this happen? When he knows the reality of his being a slave of Allah’s. This is because it has been rightly said that he who knows himself knows his Lord; and he who knows his Lord knows himself. Such words as, “I shall do so and so.” And “I shall give so and so.” Are never used by a true believer, because they clash with his Lord’s Name “Al-Qahhar” (the Irresistible Suduer).
Nevertheless, a true believer can be a “qahhar” (a subduer) in a special sense of the word, i.e. when he subdues his lusts and desires, which they are his worst enemies. If he so does, this means that he has full command over his own self. This is exactly the meaning of Allah’s Words, “But as for him who fears standing before his Lord and restrained himself from impure evil desires and lusts, verily, Paradise will be his abode.” [LXXIX; 40]
A human being who follows his evil lusts, caprices and desires commits countless sins and misdeeds that displeases the Lord, Allah, All-Mighty. He backbites and slanders other fellow humans, he transgresses against the rights of others, and all his actions and movements are away from Allah’s Divine Guidance and Religion. In other words, he follows his own evil desires and lusts and, hence, he fails to be “qahhar” over such desires and lusts, i.e. he fails to subdue his lusty desires and caprices but is rather subdued by them.
Therefore, as a true believer, you have to subdue your own lusts and desires, which are your worst enemies. If you so do, you achieve in yourself this great name “Al-Qahhar”, whereby you know your Lord and attain, by showing adequate obedience and devotion to Him, His Divine Love, Compassion and Pleasure.
Now, we move on to the eleventh of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver). O Allah! Give us from You Mercy that overwhelms us in this present world and the world to come. Verily You are “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver)!
First of all, man is made up of both a mind and a heart. With his mind, he gets to know Allah; and with his heart, he loves Him. As scholars see it, this Divine Name is related to love, but before we set out to explain the meaning of the Arabic word “Al-Wahhab”, I would like to give an example from our daily life. If a poor young man, who lives a poor miserable wretched life, is chosen by a wealthy person to be the husband of his dutiful, obedient, good mannered, chaste, believing, well-educated daughter, and if he is granted not only a house but also a shop and a car as well, isn’t the heart of this young man filled with love, praise, thankfulness and gratitude to the man who bestowed on him all such favors? This is the case of a human being towards another human being who does him a favor, so what would the case be if Allah, Lord of all worlds bestows on one of His slaves His Divine Favors?
In this context, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “O David! Remind My slaves of My Favors to them, for people are predisposed to love those who do them favors and hate those who do them disfavors.”
The purpose of knowing Allah’s Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) is to love Allah, Most Gracious, for love is the essence of faith. In fact, Islamic religion is not only facts to understand and learn but also feelings and emotions to live. A Muslim’s mind should believe not only in Allah’s existence, Might and Majesty but also in His Beautiful Divine Names and Attributes. At the same time, a Muslim’s heart should abound in love for Allah, Most Gracious. I would like to put forward the following fact before my dear readers: What motivates man is his love more than his mind. Driven by his love man sacrifices everything, but by using his mind, he may be convinced, he may believe, and he may be certain, but he does not move.
Therefore, preachers and callers for Allah have to address both people’s minds and hearts at the same time. If they effect in man mental convincement, they achieve only one half of success, but if, in addition to mental convincement, they make in him an attitude based on love, they achieve complete success. In other words, you are, above all, a human being with both a mind and a heart. If you use your mind to contemplate the universe, you get to know Allah, the Almighty. If you realize the Great Divine Favors that Allah, Most Gracious, bestows upon you, you love Him with all of your heart. Moreover, if you love Allah, this means that you are rightly guided. A human being is not a real human being unless he/she loves.
While we were at the university, a professor of psychology retired and his colleagues and students held a party in honor of the occasion. He delivered a speech that I shall never forget: “A person who does not feel desirous to love and be loved is not a human being.” In other words, you do not deserve to be called “a human being” if you are hard-hearted.
Therefore, love is indispensable for human life. The remarkable thing about the Prophet’s venerable Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, is that they did many feats. Why did they achieve the impossible? Why did they purchase themselves for the Cause of Allah? Why did they sacrifice everything? If the finger of one of us is wounded, he cries out, bandages it, excuses himself from meetings and even has a sick leave. Consider what the venerable Companion, Ja’far, may Allah be pleased with him, did! He received a blow of a sword that chopped off his right hand, so he held the flag with his left hand. Another blow came to chop off his left hand, so he managed to hold the flag with his upper arms and to keep holding it until he fell dead. What love could drive him to sacrifice his life?
Another example is Al-Khansa’. Before she embraced Islam, she filled the world with her wailing and lamentation when her brother Sakhr was murdered. However, after she embraced Islam, her four sons died as martyrs in the battle of Al-Qadisiyah. The only thing she did was that she said: “Praise to Allah, Who honored me by their martyrdom, and I beseech Allah to join me with them in the shade of His Mercy.”
A third example is the venerable Companion Khubaib bin ‘Udai, whom the infidels had seized and tied up to a tree in order to kill him. When Abu Sufian, the head of disbelievers, came to him, asking, “Would you like that Muhammad be in your place?” In this context, the words that common people usually say are: “Let a thousand mothers cry except mine.” Abu Sufian repeated his question, “Would you like that Muhammad be in your place?” Most bravely and confidently, Khubaib, may Allah be pleased with him, answered, “I swear by Allah! I would not like to be with my family and children, prosperous and healthy, while Muhammad be hurt with a prick.” What a great love! Read biographies of the venerable Companions, and you find incredible fabulous feats based on love, for they sincerely loved their Lord, Allah, Most Gracious, and His Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH).
I would like to tell all dear readers: Love does stand behind every sacrifice, commitment, obedience and surmounting hardships and difficulties. Similarly, love stands behind all kinds of happiness, for one is never happy unless one loves Allah, Most Merciful, Whose Door is constantly open.
The door of some human celebrities is open for some people but closed for others; they accept some people but reject others; and they are never pleased once they have been angered. However, Allah’s Door is constantly open to everyone… “If a disobedient slave turns to Allah, Most Gracious, with repentance, it is called out in the heavens and the earth, ‘Congratulate so and so, for he has become reconciled with Allah!”
If we look upon Allah’s Beautiful Name “Al-Wahhab” from the perspective of our original pure nature and disposition, our heart will be filled with love for our Maker, Allah, Most Gracious. As soon as our heart is filled with love for Allah, we find out our Lord’s Infinite Divine Care, Love, Help, and Guidance to us, and we feel ultimate success and prosperity.
In the light of the above-mentioned facts, we understand that love is the basis of Faith. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He who has no love has not Faith.” However, when does man’s heart get into a state of unrest? The answer is: It is the token of a true believer that when Allah is mentioned, his heart gets into a state of unrest. To this effect, Allah, Glory to Him, says, “The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts, and when His Verses are recited unto them, they increase them in Faith, and they put their trust in their Lord (Alone).” [VIII; 2]
Such is the token of the heart of someone who believes in his Lord, Allah, Exalted and Glorified. This is because man does not adorn or be courteous towards his own self nor does he flatter his own self. On the contrary, he constantly takes care of, and examines, his heart, asking himself the embarrassing question, “Whom do I really love?” This is because love is more easily claimed than proved true. To this purport, Allah, the Almighty, says, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘if you really love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’” [III; 31]
We are overwhelmed with Allah’s Innumerable Divine Favors. Notice what you do when someone pays for you the fare of a public means of transport. You thank him/her heartily and profoundly; and you may even invite them to your own home, just because they have paid for you the fare. Just notice yourself! If someone gives you a gift, you become very thankful and hurry to express your gratitude and love to him/her. You may invite him/her to your own home and even promise to pay him/her a visit. All of this is only because he/she has given you a gift! Such is man!
In a Divine Hadith, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “O David! Remind My slaves of My Favors that I bestow upon them, for humans are predisposed to love those who do Favors to them and to hate those who do disfavors to them.”
However, what is the difference between a believer and a disbeliever? A disbeliever is someone who lives with his Lord’s Divine Favors but does not remember Him, while a true believer is someone who is always thankful to the Lord for His Divine Favors that He, Most Bounteous, confers upon him. Is it polite or grateful of you, when someone invites you to a great banquet with different kinds of delicious food and drink, to leave before you express your due thanks to the host? When a fellow human gives you something valuable or does you a favor, you are very thankful to him/her! Then, why are you not thankful enough to the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious, when He confers His Innumerable Divine Favors upon you?
Allah, Most Gracious, says, “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes?” [XC; 8] You see your small child, you see your family, you see your brothers, you see forests, trees, and flowers, you see those whom you love, you see the nature around you, you see colors and people, you walk in the street comfortably and safely with things clearly seen around you, you read, you go sight-seeing. You should remember Allah’s Words, “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips?” [XC; 8,9]
Once, I went to see someone who was a furniture painter. When I spoke to him, he signaled to me to speak to his assistant, for he was deaf-mute. As soon as I spoke to the assistant, a kind of sign language began to take place between the painter and his assistant. I remembered Allah’s Divine Words, “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips, and shown him the two Ways (of virtue and of evil)?” [XC; 8,9,10]
You speak out, expressing your own feelings, emotions and ideas. You say, “Today, I have read an article in the newspaper.” You talk about the interpretation of a certain Quranic Verse or an interesting story. You sit with people and talk to your family and children. You should remember Allah’s Divine Words, “Have We not made for him a pair of eyes, a tongue and a pair of lips, and shown him the two Ways (of virtue and of evil)?” [XC; 8,9,10]
At the faculty of education of Damascus university, they taught us that when a baby is born, it has nothing to guarantee its survival except for a single reflex, namely that of sucking. Such is the Make of the Almighty Allah, Who has perfected the Make of all things! If someone touches the burning end of a cigarette, he immediately, and without thinking, pulls his hand off. The well-known scientist, Pavlov, called this “reflex action”. Anyway, without the suck-reflex, with which Allah, Most Merciful, endues the baby, it would have been impossible for humankind to survive. Most amazingly, as soon as the mother gives her breast to her newly born baby, the latter firmly fixes its lips to it and begins sucking, allowing no air to pass through its lips into its mouth, otherwise it would be impossible for it to suck. Without such reflex action, complex as it is, no baby could ever survive.
At this stage of growth, the baby has no other reflexes or knowledge whatsoever. A baby describes any man it sees as its father. Later, it begins to distinguish its own father from other men. How does a baby attain such knowledge? When someone says “a tree”, the baby conceives the meaning of a tree and not an orange or a nut. The formation of conceptions through perceptions is a marvelous human ability! How does man think? How does he make symbols and conceptions? It is a whole world of its own!
The function of 140 billion brown cells in the human brain is still unknown. In other words, the human brain is still unable to understand its own self. The difference between believers and disbelievers is that the former know the Benefactor through the Benefaction, while the latter, and similarly those who are profligate and irreligious, enjoy the Benefactions but are completely heedless of the Benefactor. Their heedlessness will certainly lead them to never ending chastisement in Hell-Fire. Believers contemplate Benefactions and their Originator. Every one of us goes home to find his wife, who has her own wisdom, feelings and emotions. He finds his meal ready and his home tidy. A true believer always remembers that these are Valuable Benefactions from the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious.
In time of heedlessness, one might say, “I have got married, worked hard, established this house and furnished it. I have collected enough money for the dowry and chosen my good wife.” He says all such things, forgetting the One Who bestowed upon him all such Favors. This is heedlessness of Allah, All Mighty. You should always remember that your good wife is given to you as a gift from the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious. Who has made your baby, who fills your life with happiness and delight, so beautiful and good tempered? Who has made it innocent and naïve? If it dealt with you like an adult, you would not love it. If it were like adults, one word from you would make it angry with you for a long time. You rebuke and reproach your baby, but soon afterwards, it comes to you and even kisses you. Who has endowed the baby with such nice lovable character? Who has endued the baby with such love for his mother and father? It is the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver)!
In the field of psychology, specialists carried out an experiment to prove that the brain is the essence of human psychic life. However, they found a baby with a liquid brain, which was very rare. The baby began crying, but when its mother came, it stopped crying. This means that in a human being there is a Self whose reality no one has ever been able to discover. A well-known book entitled “Man: That unknown Thing” confirms that man has been so far able to discover only too few things about the nature of is own body but nothing about his own Self, which is still very much of a mystery. In this context, Allah, All Mighty, says, “And they ask you concerning the Spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit is one of the things the knowledge of which is only with my Lord.” [XVII; 85]
The above-mentioned information was just an introduction by which I meant to show that when we speak about Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver), seeing all His Divine Favors that He, Most Gracious, bestows upon us, we must necessarily love Him; and obedience is the token of love. In this context, the verses go:
You disobey Allah, claiming that you love Him!
Such is, upon my life, a shameful fake claim!
Were your love true, you would obey Him!
Verily, a true lover obeys his beloved!
The Quranic Verses in which Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) are:
“Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and give us mercy from You. Truly, You are Al-Wahhab (the All-Giver).” [III; 8]
“To Allah does belong the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He gives female (offspring) to whomever He wills, and He gives male (offspring) to whomever He wills.” [XLII; 49]
“And verily, I fear my relatives after me, and my wife is barren. So give me from You an heir.” [XIX; 5]
“At that time, Zechariah invoked his Lord, saying, ‘O my Lord! Give me from You a good offspring! You are, indeed, the Hearer of invocation!” [III; 38]
In the above Quranic Verses, the use of the imperative “give” denotes invocation, since it is addressed by an inferior slave to the Superior Lord, Allah, All Mighty.
In Arabic, the imperative has different denotations. If someone of a certain status asks another of the same status to do something, this is a request. If a person of a higher status tells another of a lower status to do something, it is an order or command. The use of an imperative may give the meaning of permission as in Allah’s Words: “And eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of the night), then complete the fast till the nightfall.”[II; 187] If someone gets up before daybreak in the month of Ramadan but does not feel hungry and, therefore, he does not have As-Sohour (the last meal before daybreak during the month of Ramadan), is he disobedient? Scholars say he is not, because the use of the imperatives: “eat” and “drink” does not denote obligation but rather permission. The same thing applies to Allah’s Words, “But when you doff the Ihram (the state of ritual consecration of a Mecca pilgrim), hunt.” [IV; 2] The imperative “hunt” here denotes permission, i.e. it is permissible for you to hunt after you have doffed the Ihram.
The imperative may sometimes signify recommendation, as in Allah’s Words, “And marry those among you who are single and the righteous from among your slaves, male and female. If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing.” [XXIV; 32] By virtue of the above Verse, Allah, Most Gracious, recommends Muslims to marry those among them who are single and the righteous ones from among their slaves.
The imperative may even indicate obligation, as in Allah’s Words, “And perform Salat (Prayer), give Zakat (Alms), and obey the Messenger that you may receive mercy (from Allah).” [XXIV; 56] The above Verse means that Muslims are obliged to perform Prayer, give Alms, and obey Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH).
In certain cases, the imperative is used to stand for threat, as in Allah’s Words, “And say, ‘The truth is from you Lord.’ Then, whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, We have prepared for the wrong doers a Fire, whose walls will be surrounding them; and if they ask help, they will be given water like boiling oil that will scald their faces. Terrible is the drink and an evil resting place!” [XVIII; 29] The above Verse means that it is up to people to believe or not, providing that they bear consequences of their belief or disbelief.
In order to understand the meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver), we should ask ourselves: What has Allah, Most Gracious, given us?
The first thing that Allah, Most Gracious, has given us is our existence. In other words, each one of us has his/her existence that Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, has given him/her. Each one of us enjoys his/her existence, good health, food and drink, marriage, a dwelling, a job, a social status, …etc. Who has given you your existence? It is Allah, Glory to Him, Who has given you existence and provided you with sustenance and means of living.
For example, how can we deal with rock and iron? We desire to place a bolt into rock to fix a metal lock. If we make a hole in the rock and insert the bolt, it goes down but remains loose. Allah, All Mighty, has created for us a metal, lead, which melts at a low temperature. If we pour the molten lead into the hole and leave it to cool down, it expands and fixes the bolt into the rock, and the bolt becomes part of the rock.
Once, I noticed some workers trying to dismantle a metal fence of a garden. The fence was fixed to a rock basis, and the workers were trying to cut the metal fence with a saw. “Why don’t they uproot the fence instead of cutting it into pieces?” I thought. When I asked the workers, they said, “It is a thousand times easier to cut the fence into pieces than to uproot it, because it is fixed with lead.” If Allah, All Mighty, had not created lead, how would it be possible to fix such a metal fence into a rock basis?
A dentist puts a special lead fill into your tooth. The fill is firmly fixed in your tooth as soon as the lead expands when it cools down. Allah, Most Gracious, also created gypsum to help you fix a wedge into a wall. You insert a piece of wood together with some gypsum into a hole in a wall; the gypsum expands as soon as it cools down and firmly fixes the wedge into the wall. All things contract as their temperature goes down. Nevertheless, Allah, All Mighty, has made certain substances and metals, such as lead and gypsum, which expand as their temperature goes down.
Allah, All Mighty, has created water with no color, smell or taste. If water were pink, human life would be unbearable. If water were sweet, food and all things would be sweet. If water were sticky, how would man wash his body and things? Imagine how things would be if water were made sticky! However, Allah, Most Gracious, has made water fluid, colorless, odorless and tasteless. If water did not evaporate, except at 100° C., the floor of your room would remain wet forever if you spilt water thereon. However, water begins to evaporate at 14° C., and therefore, as soon as you spill some water on the floor of your room, it evaporates. In addition, water boils at 100° C. If it boiled at 500° C., as oil does, food would burn during cooking.
Who has given water its properties? It evaporates at 14° C. It has an amazing fluidity that enables it to flow through the narrowest pores. It has no color, taste or odor: “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
Shall we talk about the whole universe? Shall we talk about the eye or the ear? In a medical experiment, scientists poured some wax into the outer part of a person’s ear. Therefore, he lost the ability to determine direction of the sound-source. Allah, All Mighty, has endowed the outer part of the ear with the ability to receive sounds from all directions and reflect them into the ear’s interior.
Who has given you a sound-memory whereby you distinguish different sounds and voices even through the telephone? Who has made you get annoyed when you hear noise but get amused when you hear bird singing? Surely, it is Allah, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver): “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
Who has given the food a nice smell? If Allah, Most Gracious, made the good food smell bad while the bad food smell good, what would human life be like? As soon as food, such as meat for example, gets rotten, it smells horrible: “Verily, You are the All-Giver.” All things around you, your existence, your senses, and the substances and materials around you are all Divine Favors from the Lord, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver)!
Who has created the Sun for us? You pay hundreds of thousands of pounds more for a house that looks out on the Sun. The Sun, which has been burning more than five thousand million years, is the source of life on the Earth. It will remain ablaze for another five thousand million years. Who has given us the Sun? Surely, it is Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, (the All-Giver): “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
Who has made the Moon as a calendar in the heaven? It is He, Allah, Most Gracious, Who has made the Moon to help you know the number of years and the reckoning: “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
Who has made the wind blow in order to renew the air and refresh man? The weather changes due to its movement, which removes pollution, dust or bad smell. Undoubtedly, movement of the wind is one of Allah’s Great Favors. Moreover, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “And We send the winds fertilizing, then cause the water to descend from the sky, and We give it to you to drink, and it is not you who are the owners of its stores.” [XV; 22]
Once, we calculated the amount of water that a person needs for a whole year. We found out that he needs about 100 cubic meters. We should take into consideration that a reservoir of 100 cubic meters is equal to a flat in which one can dwell. Allah, Most Gracious, says, “…and it is not you who are the owners of its stores.”
Storage of water in springs is both remarkable and amazing. Who stores water in springs and wells? “Verily, You are the All-Giver.”
In Arabic the word “Wahhab” is derived from the verb “wahaba”, which means “to give someone something as a gift, i.e. without getting anything in return.”
If someone has a son that is dutiful, obedient, religious, righteous, polite, well behaved, and kind, is it correct to claim, “I have done my best to make my son as such!”? The answer is: No, of course not! It is clear that such father has forgotten Allah, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver), Who granted him such good righteous son. In this context, Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, says, “And We granted him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob, each of whom did We guide; and before him, We did guide Noah, and among his progeny, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good-doers.” [VI; 84] The verb “granted” in the above Quranic Verse means that Allah, Most Gracious, gave His Prophet Abraham, (PBUH), his sons Isaac and Jacob as a gift, i.e. without anything in return. In other words, if Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, gives you a son, it is a gift from Him. It is not up to you to make your son a good righteous person or not. It is all in Allah’s Hand. You might be the most powerful, influential and knowledgeable person in the whole world, but have a son who gets you in trouble and makes your life unbearable. A great many good righteous people have bad deviant disobedient children. I have heard, for example, that the son of the Imam of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina is an evil deviant irreligious person. Therefore, if Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, gives you a righteous dutiful obedient child, you should be most grateful to Him, Most Gracious. Do not attribute your child’s righteousness, dutifulness or obedience to your own intelligence and good upbringing. Do not say, “I am an intelligent person. I am a successful father. I always take care of my child and follow him/her step by step.” If he/she is a bad person, your care and upbringing are in vain. Hence, Allah’s Words “And We granted him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob” should be understood that the holy Prophets Isaac and Jacob, (PBUT), were both given to their father, Abraham, (PBUH), as a gift from the Lord, Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, and not anyone else.
In the light of the above-mentioned definition of the word “wahaba” (give or donate), is it correct to say that a human being gives another something as a gift, i.e. without getting anything in return? Is it believable that a human being, in the whole world, gives another something gratis? Even when a true believer gives anything gratis, he/she does so seeking good recompense from his Lord, Allah, “Al-Wahhab”. Does he/she give anything for nothing? Does he/she hasten to serve other people for nothing? Does he/she rescue a patient for nothing? Does he/she teach or preach for nothing? Does he/she serve Allah’s House for nothing? Is it believable that he/she seeks nothing in return?
If a wealthy person asked a teacher: “I’d like you to give my son private lessons, and I shall give you one million pounds for each lesson. But do not take any money from my son, because if you do, I shall give you nothing”, would it be wise of the teacher to take only one hundred pounds for each lesson from the son and, hence, lose the large amount of money that the father promised to give him?
A wise person is someone who does not seek recompense from people but rather from the Lord of people, Allah, All Mighty. Do you believe that a human being does anything for no reward or recompense? Utmost reward is to ask for Allah’s Good Pleasure, to ask for His Paradise, to ask for His Most Generous Recompense, to ask for His Help, because no human being could ever give you anything for nothing in return.
In the light of the above mentioned, it is only metaphorically correct to say that a human being gives anything for nothing in return. Sometimes, a person gives something in order to be praised and thanked. Such praise is the reward he looks for. Sometimes, someone gives generously to a charity seeking public gratitude. He boasts, “I have given such and such amount of money!” He desires to have his name inscribed on a marble plate showing his generous contribution. In other words, he desires to have a reward in return for his good deed. I reiterate: No human being gives anything for nothing in return; the only One Who gives for nothing in return is Allah, “Al-Wahhab”, Most Gracious.
Furthermore, if a human being gives you anything, who is the Real Donor? It is Allah, Most Generous, Who inspired him to give you what he has given you!
A venerable religious scholar lived in a rented house in Tripoli, Syria. The property owner wanted to send him out of the house. The law was on the owner’s side, therefore, he brought an action against the scholar and won the case. As a result, the scholar was about to be homeless. However, something very strange took place. One of the wealthy people of that town dreamed of Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH), telling him to buy a house for the scholar. The wealthy person looked for the scholar everywhere until he found him and bought him a good house, just for the sake of Allah, “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) and His Generous Reward and Recompense.
No human being could ever give anything unless Allah, Most Gracious, inspires him to do so. Sometimes an official gives you permission to do something. In fact, it is Allah, Who inspires him to do so. However, if Allah, All Mighty, desires to punish you, He creates thousands of obstacles before you. A businessperson once told me that 38 lorries loaded with goods were no allowed to cross the Syrian Customs because they had not been verified by the Syrian Embassy in the country of origin.
If someone offers you help or does you a favor, you should firmly believe that Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, has inspired him to do so.
At any rate, should I not thank the person who does me a favor? Of course, I should! If anyone offers you help or does you a favor, but you do not thank him/her, it would be ungrateful of you, because he does so willingly. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He who does not thank people does not thank Allah.”
Therefore, you must show adequate thankfulness and gratitude to a person who willingly offers to help you or does you a favor, although it is Allah, All Mighty, Who inspires him to do so. However, you should thank Allah first for inspiring people to help you or do you favors, and then you should offer thanks to people for helping you willingly. In this context, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “If someone seeks refuge with Allah, give him refuge. If someone asks you to give him something for the sake of Allah, give him (what he asks). If someone asks Allah for help, help him. If someone does you a favor, reward him (for his favor); but if you do not find (anything to reward him), invoke Allah for him until you make sure that you have duly rewarded him.”
In order to make things clear, I would like to say that in case someone does Muslims a favor, they usually say, “May Allah well reward you!” or “May Allah increase you in good!” Such sayings are not sufficient. If someone does you a favor, you should do him/her a favor in return. However, if you are unable to do so, it is acceptable of you to thank him by using the above sayings.
In this context, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), sets a perfect example of this in a situation with the venerable Companion Rabi’ah, may Allah be pleased with him. After Rabi’a had served Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), for some time, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), addressed him, “O Rabi’ah! Ask me anything you need.” I wondered, “Does not Allah’s Prophet and Messenger deserve to be served for nothing in return!” Nevertheless, due to his perfect noble human nature, He, (PBUH), felt indebted to Rabi’ah for serving him. In this context, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example.” [XXXIII; 21]
Beware of mentioning the favors that you do to others, but do not forget the favors that they do to you! If you do anyone a favor, it is perfect of you not to mention it and to forget all about it, since you have done so just for the sake of Allah, Most Gracious. Allah describes true believers who do favors to other fellow humans as saying, “We feed you seeking Allah’s Countenance only. We wish for no reward nor thanks from you.” [LXXVI; 9]
However, if anyone does you a favor, it would be most ungrateful of you to forget such favor. This is because if you do not show adequate gratitude to people, you do not show adequate gratitude to Allah, even though you believe that the favor that a fellow human does you is in fact from Allah, Most Gracious. First, He, Glory to Him, inspires him; second, He allows him; and third, He enables him. If He inspired him but did not allow him, he would simply say, “I am sorry! I can do nothing for you.” Sometimes, someone desires to help you, but he simply cannot. Although he is very desirous to help you, he apologizes to you, saying, “I simply can’t help you.” This is because Allah, All Mighty, has inspired him to help you, but He has not allowed him. I reiterate: If someone does you a favor, you should never forget it. In this context, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He who embraces Islam thanks to someone’s help, he should be loyal to him.”
If a human being gives you something or does you a favor, the effects of such thing or favor end by the end of life. However, if Allah, Most Gracious, grants you a Favor of His through some human being’s good offices, this means that the effects of such Favor will last forever. To this effect, Allah, Most Merciful, says, “That is (Paradise), of which Allah gives glad tidings to His slaves who believe and do righteous good deeds. Say (O Muhammad): ‘No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you.’ And whosoever does a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (the good deeds of those who are obedient to Him).” [XLII; 23]
If you drink water form a spring, beware of spitting therein, for that would be very ungrateful of you! To the same purport, the verses go:
I taught him shooting everyday,
But when he learned well enough, he shot me!
And I taught him to write poems;
But when he made a poem, he defamed me!
Undoubtedly, the One Who inspires other fellow humans to help you or do you favors is Allah, All-Mighty, Most Gracious; and the one who enables other fellow humans to help you or do you favors is Allah, Most Merciful. In other words, the Inspirer is Allah, and the Doer is Allah!
It is called out in the universe: “We do love him!”
And all that in the universe hear of Our Love!
Has not anyone done you a favor for no reason or former acquaintance? Have not you wondered why he/ she did you such favor? Has not anyone been lenient and tolerant to you? Has not anyone helped you and made things easy for you? Have you not had such experiences? The answer is, of course, “Yes!” Therefore, you should remember that Allah, Most Gracious, has inspired him to do so, for Allah, Glory to Him, is the One Who inspires, allows and enables. Hence, the proper thing to do is, first of all, to thank Allah, saying, “O Lord! All Thanks and Praises belong to You!”
When Allah, Most Gracious, sent down Quranic Verses that declared ‘A’ishah, the Prophet’s wife, may Allah be pleased with her, innocent of accusations made against her, her father bade her, “Go to Allah’s Messenger (in order to thank him)!” She replied, “No! (I swear) by Allah, I shall thank none but Allah!” That was because she believed that Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), did not do or say anything for her, but it was Allah, All Mighty, Who revealed her acquittal. After she paid tribute to Allah, Most Gracious, for her acquittal, she went to Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH). In the same context, a man once addressed Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), “As Allah and you (both) will.” Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), angrily said, “Do you make me equal to Allah? Say, ‘As Allah, Alone, wills!’”
Some scholars say: Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) is the Benefactor, Who is Bounty Abounding and Most Generous, Who grants Favors without measure, Who is Most Kind, Who gives without being asked, and Who never withholds His Favors from His slaves.
“Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) is He Who gives you with no means and bestows His Favors upon you with no reason or cause.
“Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) is He Who gives for nothing in return and causes to die for no purpose.
We are all Allah’s slaves, and all the good things that we have or enjoy are from Allah, Most Gracious. Therefore, we should know for sure that every Blessing or Favor is from Allah, Most Generous.
However, gratitude is of three ranks. The first rank is to recognize that blessings and favors are all from Allah, Most Gracious. The second rank is that your heart should abound in gratitude to Him. The third rank is to hasten to help and serve Allah’s slaves, other fellow humans. Undoubtedly, the third rank is the best, for Allah, Most Generous, says, “Is there any reward for good other than good?” [LV; 60] In this Quranic Verse, Allah addresses every human being: “O My salve! If you stick to My Commands, serve My slaves, guide them to Me, act in good faith towards them, offer them adequate help, and be generous to them. If you do this, you do well to My slaves. Is it reasonable that I do you evil in return? Is there any reward for your good doing other than My good doing to you?” This is because Allah is the Most Thankful.
If a believer fails to recognize that Allah’s Good Treatment to him is a kind of Divine Honor that Allah confers upon him and wrongly thinks that such Good Treatment is due to his own honesty, devotion or good righteous work, this reflects weakness of faith. This is because the token of true faith is to believe that all blessings and favors that you enjoy bespeak Allah’s Divine Grace to you. If you hasten to offer adequate help to other fellow humans, who are also Allah’s slaves, Allah provides you with His Divine Help, for Allah helps a slave as long as the slave helps his fellow slave.
There is another Quranic Verse: “For him (each person) there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by Allah’s Command. Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people unless they change their state themselves. But if Allah wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning back of it, and they will find against Him no protector.” [XIII; 11]
In fact, examples of Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver) are plentiful in all places and times. However, what happened to one of our good brothers, who worked in a shop where he earned only three thousand pounds. One of his brothers, who had lost his job and become penniless, came to him complaining. Without the least hesitation, he told him, “Come and work with me, and I shall give you half of my income.” As I have just said, the man’s income was only three thousand pounds. He swore to me truthfully that in the following month, his income increased ten folds. Yes, indeed, his income increased ten folds! “Verily, You are Al-Wahhab (the All-Giver)!”
In this context, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), bade the venerable Companion, Bilal, may Allah be pleased with him, “O Bilal! Expend and do not fear narrowness (of provision) from the Owner of the Throne!”
However, beware of unlawful expenditure! Do not neglect Allah’s Commands concerning expenditure for the sake of other human beings, for none should be given preference to Allah and His Religion.
A scholar called Ash-Shibli asked a companion of Abi ‘Ali Ath-Thaqafi’s: “Which of Allah’s Divine Names do you remember and mention most?” He replied, “Al-Wahhab (the All-Giver), for the First of Allah’s Divine Favors that He bestows upon you is that He has brought you into existence.”
To wrap up, a person’s share of this Divine Name is that he should give generously for Allah and His Cause, out of that which Allah has given him: his knowledge, experience, time, power, effort, and social status. Such is a person’s share of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Wahhab” (the All-Giver)!
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds and blessings upon his messenger Mohammad the true in his promise, the honest. Oh Allah, No knowledge we acquire but the knowledge you taught us, you are the most Knowing, the wisest. Oh Allah, teach us what benefits us and benefit us with what you taught us and broaden our knowledge. Oh Allah, show us the truth in its essentials and bestow upon us to follow it; show us the untrue as faulty and bestow upon us to avoid it and make us among those who hear the speech and follow the best of it. With your mercy, make us amongst your righteous people.
With the fourth lesson of Allah’s names, dear brothers: It’s not enough to believe in the existence of Allah the Great and Almighty. Believing in the existence of Allah the Great and Almighty is not enough, it means you have done nothing, since Satan himself said when he talked to Allah: “God, By your Grace”. This speech of Satan means that he believed in God. Nevertheless, he’s the head of all atheism. So, it is essential to learn Allah’s names, Godliness, his best qualities and His greatness. Believing in Allah only as a creator is not enough either, Allah to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty said :
“Wala’en sa’altahum man khalaqa ssamaawaati wal’arda wasakhkhara shshamsa walqamara layaqoolunna llaahu fa’anna yu’fakoon”
“And if you indeed ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to His law), they will certainly reply,” Allah” How are they then deluded away (from the truth)?”
soorat al’ankaboot (the spider): aaya (61)
Then, knowing Allah’s names is a requirement of belief and a must to believers. That means, sometimes knowing that someone is your neighbor is not enough, you would like to know some details about him; his education, his ethics, his deeds, his excelling. That is among people, knowledge is not correct unless you know the names and qualities. That is why knowing Allah’s names and qualities is a requirement of good belief.
In the previous lesson about the name (A-SSalam), “the most Peaceful”, I showed you some areas that surfaces the greatness of this name and I asked you to think of this particular name and bring proofs that lead to the name “The most Peaceful”: Either from the creation of man, other creatures, plants or other natural elements, do you have something of the kind?
God made the brain in a bony box to achieve its safety. What would happen if it was made as a connected ball? The skull would be broken at the first shock. Whereas, the skull was made of several pieces connected to each other by movable fixed joints no more than half a millimeter. Any shock on the head is absorbed by these tiny joints, and the brain is saved.
If God made the brain directly in the skull, all the shocks would be transmitted to it!! What did Allah the Great and Almighty make to accomplish the name ‘the most peaceful’ (assalaam)? He made a fluid between the skull and the brain which absorbs the shock on the one hand and spreads it to the whole surface of the brain on the other hand. As a result, the brain is not hurt. This is the name Assalaam, the truth is; All the universe is an embodiment and clearing of Gods names, All God’s names appear to you through the universe. Allah the Great and Almighty himself cannot be realized, for Allah the Great and Almighty’s saying:
(laa tudrikuhu l’absaaru wahuwa yudrikul ’absaara wahuwa llateeful khabeer).
“ No vision can grasp Him, but He grasps all vision. He is Al-lateef, subtle and well aware.”
Soorat Al-an’aam(the cattle), aayah (103)
To see Allah is impossible, but you can recognize His essence through His creation. The universe denotes the creator, a system denotes its maker, impelling denotes the impeller, water denotes the stream, feet denote walking, dung denotes the camel, so don’t a heaven with towers and an earth full of gaps denote the specialist and the wise?
Dear brothers, why should we know Allah? In order to worship Him, why worship Him? In order to be happy near Him in this life and in the after life. Since Allah to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty created us originally to make us happy, and we are not happy except with Him, and we can’t approach Him unless we are happy, and we aren’t happy unless we make good deeds, our deeds won’t be good unless we realize His greatness, that’s why Allah the Great and Almighty said in describing some of the people of hell:
(innahu kaana laa yu’minu billaahi l’atheem)
“This was he that would not believe in Allah the Great”
Soorat el ћaaqqah (The Inevitable),aayah (33)
That is, you should recognize Allah’s greatness. Not knowing that, you must surpass His boundaries and break some of His orders. Otherwise, when you recognize Allah’s greatness, and I used to present many examples such as: You received a written order signed by a corporal, your respect to that person is connected with rank, the higher the rank, the more respect is, so what if the commander of the troupe gave you an order?
The whole story is that you must know who Allah is in order to obey Him, approach Him, hope for what he has got and fear His threat. You won’t fear His threat, hope for what he’s got, approach Him, pursue Him, surrender to His fate and accept His judgment unless you know Him. If you know Him, you will accept His fate, gain wisdom like you have never experienced, and realize science, kindness, compassion and justice. The more you know Him, the more you surrender to Him, approach Him, subdue to Him, obey His orders and avoid His prohibitions, the more you go forward to worshipping Him and serving humanity. We should know Allah,
Saying Allah is the creator of the universe is not enough to prevent you from committing the forbidden. This knowledge doesn’t make you obey Allah. You say Allah is the creator of the universe and you commit a lot of misdemeanors, you say Allah is the creator of the universe and you deviate a lot from what is right, you say Allah is the creator of the universe and you have a lot of worldly ambitions. But if you know who Allah is, and that is the aim of this lesson, and you broaden your knowledge of Allah, you will increase your submission, obedience, fear, approach, surrender, satisfaction, redemption, sacrifice and loyalty. That means the size of your deed equals the size of your knowledge, the size of your happiness equals the size of your deed. That means religion can be squeezed into three words; knowledge, obedience, happiness. The degree of your knowledge of Allah, the degree you obey Him and the degree of your obedience decides your happiness.
Therefore, it’s not enough to know the 99 attributes of God and their accurate definitions, but we should have tens, say hundreds, say thousands of pieces of evidence originated from the universe on these attributes. That is why talking for hours about the attributes of Allah is considered an indication of your knowledge of Allah the Great and Almighty. Talk about the name ‘The most kind’ (allateef), or ‘The most Merciful’ (arraћeem), or ‘ the one and only’ (almalik), or ‘the Most Holy’ (alquddoos), or ‘the most peaceful’, (assalaam). What I hope and wish for form Allah that one of you would make a self study and wander around the universe to discover the clear proofs on the 99 attributes of Allah. It’s worthier to ponder each time or a while with one of the attributes of Allah. Dear brothers: From the creation of man, there are some indications of the name ‘the most peaceful (assalaam) such as; the existene of the brain in this bony box, the bone marrow in the spinal column, the red cells factories in the bone marrow, the heart in the thoracic cavity, the eye in the eye socket, the uterus in the woman’s pelvis, the skin, the arteries inside the muscles and veins outside them, the first , second, and third electric generators in the heart_ if the first one malfunctions, the second one operates, and if the second one malfunctions, the third one operates_ whenever a blockage in an artery occurs, another artery opens, the healing of bones after long sleep, the healing of cuts. There are other indications to the name ‘assalaam’ from the world of plants; If water is cut off from the tree, it consumes the water in the leaves, then the water in the branches, then the water in the twigs, then the water in the trunk, and finally the water in the root. There are also indications to Allah’s name ‘assalaam’ from the animals world; Each animal has got something to protect it against heat and cold, the wool of the lamb is an example on that. I hope you would wander in this universe until you achieve deep knowledge or more knowledge of the attributes of Allah,
If another one spoke about the name “the most peaceful (assalaam), and mentioned Moses story as one of Allah’s deeds about the name ‘assalaam’, Allah the Great and Almighty said about the name ‘assalaam’:,
(wa’awћayna ila ummi mousa ‘an ardi’eehi fa’ida khifti ‘alayhi fa’alqeehi fil yammi wala takhaafi wala taћzani innaa raaddoohu ilayki waja’iloohu minal mursaleen)
“So we inspired Moses’ mother to suckle him, but when thou hast fears about him, cast him into the river, but fear not nor grieve. Verily, we shall bring him back to you and make him one of our messengers”.
Soorat al qasas (The Narration), aayah (7)
Then this person would be right and alerting to others.
And here is another quranic verse which emphasizes the name ‘assalaam’ directed to our Master Ibrahim, Allah Almighty said:
(Lahu mu’aqqibaatun min bayni yadayhi wamin khalfihi yaћfathoonahu min amrillaah inna llaaha laa yughayyiru maa biqawmin ћatta yughayyiru maa bi’anfusihim wa’itha araada llaahu biqawmin soo’an falaa maradda lahu wamaa lahum min doonihi min waal)
“For him (each person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him guarding him by Allah’s command. Verily Allah will never change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allah). But when Allah wills a people’s punishment, there will be no turning back of it, and they will find besides Him no protector”
Soorat er ra’d,(the thunder) aayah (11)
This preservation is from the name (assalaam), “the Most Peaceful”
Now, let’s move to another name from the attributes of ‘Allah, that is “The Believer”, (Al-Mu’min)
No king would allow anyone from his pasture to be named after him although he is human, he eats, drinks, and sleeps as we do. He has a body, he gets thirsty, hungry, mad, sick and he dies. There is no difference between him and any of his followers, nevertheless, his pride and dignity refuse to let anyone to be named after him. But, Allah, the Great and Almighty called us, after we had known Him and obeyed his order, “believers”, ( mu’mineen). It is the plural form of the word “believer”, (mu’min), that is by Allah’s saying:
(huwa llaahu llathi laa ilaha illa huwa lmaliku lquddoosu ssalaamu lmu’minu lmuhayminu l’azeezu ljabbaru lmuutakabbiru subћaana llaahi ‘amma yushrikoon)
“He is Allaah beside Whom La ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the King, the Holy, the One Free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All-Mighty, the Compeller, the Supreme. Glory be to Allah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him”
Soorat El ћashr,(the gathering) , aayah (23)
But this name needs a moment of thinking, Allah the Great and Almighty is a believer, believer in what? We believe in Allah, his messenger, the day of judgement, but what does Allah the Great and Almighty believe in? It was said “believer” (almu’min) is an agentive derived from the verb “to become safe”, (amina, ya’manu, amnan, and amaanan). The verb “to become safe” has two meanings; the first one is believeing. When the imaam reads “ alfaatiha” and when he finishes, all the people in the mosque say “Amen” (aameen), which means God, we believe what this imaam said and we are with him, so the verb “to become safe” (amina) means believe on the one hand, and there is a verse which emphasizes this, Allah the Great and Almighty said:
(qaaloo yaa abaana inna thahabna nastabiqu watarakna yoosufa ‘inda mataa’iina fa;akalahu thi’bu wamaa anta bimu’minin lana walaw kunna saadiqeen)
“They said: “O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Yousuf (Joseph) by our belongings and a wolf devoured him, but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth.”
Soorat Yousuf(Prophet) Joseph, aayah (17)
On the other hand it means ‘being safe’, Allah the Great and Almighty said:
(Allathi at’amahum min joo’in wa’aamanahum min khawf)
“(He) Who has fed them against hunger, and has made them safe from fear”
Soorat Quraish, aayah (4)
Allah the Great and Almighty’s name “the believer” (almu’min) taken from believing or being safe? How do you understand this name with the first meaning?
The truth is that man may or may not understand his self. If he didn’t know his self and got involved in something beyond his level, he would have a great loss. We would say:” If you had known what you have had, you wouldn’t have got involved”. He who does something beyond his level doesn’t know the essence of what he has or what his capabilities are. That person doesn’t know his self. On the other side there is a an who knows his self quite well, all his deeds are compatible with what he has. That example clarified some facts to you, the first meaning of “the believer” that Allah to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty knows his self, his name and everything he has got, that is the first meaning.
The second meaning: Allah the Great and Almighty believes His messengers. He sent Mohammad, Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH) as a messenger, He believed him; that is He made people believe him through a miracle. He sent Moses as a prophet and believed him; that is He made people believe him through a miracle. He sent Jesus as a messenger and gave him a miracle to make people believe him, so the second meaning is “believing”. This means that Allah keeps His promises by His deeds, keeping Allah’s promises is a confirmation of His promises. He promised you the good life. If you have the good life, it means that He kept His promise. Keeping the promise is an evidence to the truthfulness of His prophets. That is He gives them the proofs that make people believe them. He gives the believers proofs. Dear brother, you read the qur’an, What makes you cling to it and be attached to it? Because all the events you are living are confirmation of this qur’an. If you buy and sell honestly, you will have great comfort and Allah will provide you with good income and draw people to you. If you are honest, Allah will lift your name among people. So if you apply what you are asked to do, all the events come to confirm this promise or show you that this promise is true. It is one of the meanings of “the believer” that is; making His prophets as believers supported by miracles makes His qur’an believable, that is if you believe in it and make good deeds, you will be granted a good life. What made you believe His words? This good life or the wretched life? If you are rightly guided by Allah the Great and Almighty in all your aspects of life, you will see that all the events confirm what came in the Holy qur’an. Therefore, Allah the Great and Almighty is a “believer”, that is He made his servants as believers, since all Allah’s deeds are confirmation of His promises and threats, Allah To whom all be ascribed all perfection and majesty said:
(inna llaaha yudaafi’u an illatheena aamanu inna llaaha laa yuħibbu kulla khawwaanin kafoor)
“Truly, Allah defends those who believe. Verily, Allaah likes not any treacherous ingrate to Allaah [those who disobey Allaah but obey shaitaan (satan)]
Soorat El ћaj (pilgrimage) aayah (38)
You must have felt in many incidents where Allah inspires someone you don’t know to defend you, when Allah the Great and Almighty says:
(qaala ihbitaa minha jamee’an ba’dukum liba’din aduwwun fa’imma ya’tiyyannakum minni hudan faman ittaba’a hudaaya falaa yadillu walaa yashqa)
“He (Allaah) said: “Get you down (from Paradise to the earth, both of you, together, some of you are enemies to some others. Then if there comes to you guidance from Me then whoever follows My guidance he shall neither go astray, nor shall be distressed”
Soorat taaha, aayah (123)
You feel you are rightly guided, and have right vision, clear insight and your interpretation of events is right because you followed Allah’s order. Eventually, the events came as confirmation to what Allah the Great and Almighty said.
That was one of the meanings of “The Believer”. The fact is, as I mentioned earlier, that the most spectacular thing about religion is that it gives you explanation to the universe, life and man. No matter how long you live, how the circumstances change, how new criteria arise, how much new events arise, all these match Allah the Great and Almighty’s interpretation of this universe, life and man. When you read the holy qur’an, you won’t be surprised by an incident you have not come across in the qur’an. For example, if you give an explanation to a phenomenon, you may be astonished after a while that an incident cancelled your theory. Science came up with a lot of theories then incidents came and cancelled them. But if you read the holy qur’an, and it is from Allah the Great and Almighty, you won’t come across any incident that falsifies what you have read. This is a very delicate point. The qur’an came fourteen centuries ago and science has developed a lot. The facts of the qur’an are true and fixed from the beginning of mankind to fifty years ago on the one hand and fifty years ago to the present on the other hand. With all the scientific development there is no fact in science that contradicts the qur’an.
That means if you read the qur’an you will be relieved. All the movements of everything, the incidents of the universe, the galaxies, the rain, animals and human beings are indications to Allah the Great and Almighty’s words. Allah is a “believer”, that means that His words make you believe Him because His deeds are indications of His words. That is one meaning of the meanings of “The Believer”
Here is another meaning of: that is Allah to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty grants man security, how? This is the exact meaning. If steel was hard once and soft another time, you would construct the building feeling frightened, for this steel could be soft again and the construction would collapse. Allah made steel with fixed features. If you put this steel with cement and make your building, you will sleep peacefully even in the ninth storey, what made you feel peaceful? The stability of the features of steel made this, if the features of steel changed, the building would collapse
We could say: the fixed features of things give people peace; the stability of the earth’s movement, that mosque was built many years ago. If there was an earthquake during the revolving of the earth, all these buildings would collapse and fall down. The earth moves with the speed of 30 kilometers per second, and there is great tranquility. For you to know the importance of the stability of the earth’s movement, earthquakes take place in a city, and it is turned upside down in a few seconds. So the earth’s movement with its stability and tranquility are indications of Allah Almighty’s saying;
(amman ja’ala l’arda qaraaran waja’ala khilaalaha anhaaran waja’ala lahaa rawaasiya waja’ala bayna lbaћrayni ћaajizan a’ilaahun ma’a llaahi bal aktharuhum laa ya’lamoon)
“Is not He (better than your gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier between the two seas (of salt and sweet water)? Is there any ilaah (god) with Allaah? Little is that you remember!”
Soorat ennaml (The ants), aayah (61)
He gave you security, you bought an apartment on the tenth floor. You know that it is a stable house, but if there was a shaking, all the security would disappear. And also if you bought some seeds that produce a kind of plants, life wouldn’t be proper if there was no stability, if you grew watermelon and you harvested tomatoes, things would be confused and life would corrupt. The stability of seeds, since every seed has its characteristics, is a blessing, favor and security. Another thing besides stability, there are thousands of kinds for each plant; this kind is long, another kind is short, another is artificial, this one is for consumption, another one for the table, another resists certain diseases, even the seed has features, and the features are fixed. What gives you security while you are planting? The stability of seeds.
Then we can say that stability of materials’ characteristics gives man security. The sun always rises from the east, there are no surprises, there is no sunrise supplication (du’aa); “Allah the sun has not risen today, Please, make it rise!” He comforted you, the sun always rises and sets, the earth always revolves. It is enough for you to take a paper from the calendar and read: dawn at 5:18, sunrise at 6:30, how long has this been? Five, sixty years, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand years to come, until the end of earth, an extreme accuracy to the level of seconds and minutes.
A whole earth revolves around the sun. Famous watches in the world are tuned to certain stars. One would say he tuned it on “Big Ben”, how are these famous watches tuned? If the watches in our hands are tuned to this famous watch, how is this famous watch tuned? According to the movement of one of these stars.
So the stability of the revolving, the stability of speed, of movement, of corners; all these things give man the stable system with security. So, it could be said: The characteristics of objects made of steel are fixed. A person bought a gold bracelet for twenty thousand liras (about $400), later on this metal would change to tin. This is a problem, gold is gold, tin is tin, steel is steel, silver is silver, aluminum is aluminum. The stability of the metals provides us with bless we don’t recognize because it is familiar and taken for granted. They say: the intensity of closeness is a veil because this bless is very familiar as it has never been although it is a great bless. “The Believer” is one of Allah’s attributes, so He is a believer. If you read His book, all the incidents will be as confirmation to His words, and He is a believer who grants man security through the stability of the characteristics of materials.
The stability of systems, the law of movement is fixed, expansions are fixed, the laws of the body are also fixed. You would also find a doctor at the end of the world making a drug that is used in another part of the world. This drug affects the body, what does that mean? It means all sons of Adam are made the same, there is peace and security. Take the heart for instance; you can find a doctor who has been to America to study about the heart, if he had gone to Africa, to Asia, to Australia, to Europe or any other part of the world and he opened a heart, he would find all the arteries, nerves, and electric centers in exact accuracy. This stability makes it enough to anatomize one human being. Each person you treat will have the same build, nerves, veins, arteries and muscles according to that model. Also, with the stability of systems, comes the stability of the characteristics of materials. Sometimes Allah the Great and Almighty gives opposites to things, Fire is burning and water extinguishes fire; that is He gave for each dangerous thing another thing to get rid of it. Drugs! A vegetarian epidemic, there are drugs that can get rid of this spider or that fungus or this insect. “The believer” is one of Allah the Great and Almighty’s attributes, that is, He gives man security which scientists call as early alarm.
When your tooth is partially damaged, you have great pain, you go to the dentist to fix that tooth. Should there not be a nerve, there would be no protection to the tooth, so, pain is one of the early alarm systems. For each danger of the world, Allah the Great and Almighty made prevention.
If man asked Allah’s help, he will be protected against the slips of sins for Allah’s saying:
“iyyaka na’budu wa’iyyaka nasta’een”
“You (alone) we worship, and You (alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).”
Soorat el faatiћa (the opening).aayah (5)
For that Al –Imam Ashaafi’I said: “I swear by Allah if the sky were made of copper and the earth of lead and all creatures were my children, I wouldn’t fear poverty”. The fact is if you want to recognize the core difference between the life of believers and that of the non believers, you will find out that security is the main characteristic, Allah the Great and Almighty said:
( wakayfa akhaafu maa ashraktum walaa takhaafoona annakum, ashraktum billaahi maa lam yunazzil bihi sultaanan fa’ayyu lfareeqayni aћaqqu bil’amni in kuntum ta’lamoon)
“And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit nor harm), while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any authority. (So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? If you but know.”
Soorat el an’aam (the cattle) aayah (81)
You find the hearts of worldly people empty, susceptible to fears, to worries, to fright, and to unforeseen catastrophes. But if you believe in our God the Great and Almighty, He will fill your heart with stability, acceptance to fate, knowledge of His perfection. All these things are from the name, “the believer”
And there is another thing: How can you secure yourself against Allah’s torture in the after life? He gave you the universe and the mind, the instinct and desire, choice and power. All these are elements of survival in the afterlife. Sometimes you feel that if you approach Allah the Great and Almighty, you will secure yourself against worries, sickness, distress, fatigue, and fear. Allah to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty is a source of peace and security for mankind. Some areas may worry you, but Allah’s name “the believer” (Al-Mo’min), that is, if you accompany Him and follow His orders, you will have security and peace. This name suits Allah the Great and almighty concerning “the believer”, He knows His self.
There might be a person who does not know his capabilities exactly, this person might do something then regret it, he would say he didn’t know, but Allah the Great and Almighty’s attributes (names) are all kind, His characteristics are gracious, He knows them all, that is the first meaning. The way you believe in Him, He believes in His self the same way.
People are types; Someone who knows and knows that he knows; this is a scholar, follow him, another type is someone who knows and doesn’t know that he knows; this is mindless, alert him, another type is someone who doesn’t know and doesn’t know that he doesn’t know; this is Satan, beware of him, and the last type is someone who doesn’t know and knows that he doesn’t know; this is an ignorant, so teach him.
I want the one who knows and knows that he knows, Allah the Great and Almighty is a “believer”. The second meaning of believing anything Allah the Great and Almighty promised you in the qur’an. Vanishing the universe is easier to Allah than having the events opposed to what He promised you. He promised you with victory, and victory is an absolute fact, He promised to defend you, to keep you, to bestow you, to assure you. He promised you with security and enabling. He promised you with strengthening your religion and succession, promised to be with you. I said in an earlier lesson I hope from Allah the Great and Almighty that you would derive the verses which are the fruits of belief in the world. Whenever you read a verse, you can see that incidents came to make it come true. Therefore, Allah’s words are right; all deeds are indications to Allah the Great and Almighty’s words; that is the second meaning.
The third meaning is that he provides security. Simply, we mention the eye. If you drive your vehicle at daytime, you will feel safe because the vision is distant, but at night you are dazzled with lights and you feel worried. Driving at night is associated with worry and surprises since the light in the vehicle does not reveal everything and it is limited. The longer the sight, the more security there is. Then He gave you the eye in order to see your way, gave you the ear in order to discover movements during the night. Therefore, sensitive hearing is one way of security; the eye is a mean of security, smell is another mean of security, if the food smells bad, it means that it is rotten. He made the nose above the mouth to give you nutritional security. He gave you a hand to draw back damage, a foot to move from one way to another, all these to provide you with security, and this is another meaning of “the believer”.
The fact is in each lesson we ask ourselves this question: “Dear God, you are a believer, what is my relationship with this name? You are a believer; that fact that all deeds and incidents are indications to your qur’an is assuring on the one hand, and on the other hand You gave me senses, systems, stability of materials and systems. Two days ago a doctor told me if a human being’s heart is on the right, and another person’s one on the left, another one’s somewhere else, what would happen?. That doctor studied the heart on the left in America, and what would happen if he operated on someone with a heart on the right?, he didn’t study that! One structure for all humans even on the level of tiny nerves, and that gives a lot of security. As I mentioned earlier, Allah gave stability to the earth’s revolving around itself, to sunrise and sunset. But He made the rain unstable, He made it changeable. This is in order to make us pray for Him, in order to repent from our sins. Our God the Great and Almighty fixed things and moved others; He fixed the earth’s revolving around itself and around the sun, He fixed sunrise and sunset, the moon, the systems, the seeds, the characteristics, the structures and made our living in His hand, so as to go back to Him, approach Him and repent to Him, that is one meaning.
The new question is: What ethics of Allah’s should the believer adopt?
As it was reported in the Hadeeth:
(“takhallaqu bi’akhlaaq illaah) “Adopt Allah’s ethics”
It was said that, as a believer, the first thing you should do is make your deeds as indications of your words. As a believer, when there is duality; your inside is different from your outside, you believe something and say something else, Allah the Great and Almighty said:
(watharoo thaahira l’ithmi wabaatinah inna llatheena yaksiboona l’ithma sayujzawna bimaa kaanoo yaqtarifoon)
“Leave (O mankind, all kinds of) sin, open and secret. Verily, those who commit sin will get due recompense for that which they used to commit”
Soorat el ana’aam (the cattle) aayah (120)
Your appearance from outside: you are straight; prayer, fasting, pilgrimage, alms tax(zakaa), but your inside is sometimes; envy, gossip, arrogance, backbiting, lying, grudge, and hatred. These are the insides of sin. You are a believer, so your deeds must be indications of your words exactly, you must be unified, there is no inside and outside, private and public, announced and non announced situations. If you want to adopt Allah’s ethics, and if you want to be in a high level, all your deeds must be indications of your sayings, that is one thing, the other thing is that people should trust you:
Narrated by Abi Shurayh: Prophet Mohammad PBUH said: “I swear by Allah he doesn’t believe, I swear by Allah he doesn’t believe, I swear by Allah he doesn’t believe, People asked, Who, prophet of Allah? He said: He whose neighbors are not safe of his calamities”
Reported: Sahih El- Bukhari
There are scary people. If you say a word, you won’t sleep the night fearing the consequence of it. Someone may be called a bastard. A believer is a source of security- you can never have any damage, hurt, conspiracy, deception, or shooting, never. He is a source of security, you sleep with a peaceful mind and conscience even if your tongue slipped and said improper word in his presence, he won’t take an attitude against you, and in the divine Hadith:
“A human being hurts me”, how does a human being hurt Him? He hurts me when he curses eternity, “and I turn eternity as I wish”, however, you find that people disobey Him openly and He protects them, man forgets and my God does not, they disobey Him openly, and He protects them, provides for them, and keep them. This is Allah’s way with man. As a believer, the first characteristic you should have is to make your deeds indications of your words, and to cancel duality in your life; the inside and the outside, public and private. You should be one whether around people or when you are alone. That is the second meaning, all people should feel secure from your side. For instance, If you married your daughter to a believer, you wouldn’t fear that he would starve her, oppress her, disgrace her, or hit her. All that comes from a believer’s side is good. If you became a partner to a believer, you will be secure, you won’t fear that he messes with the accounts, or he makes private side account, or makes a deal behind your back. If you take an instrument to a believer, you won’t fear that he will cheat you and replace a good piece with a faulty one without your knowledge. A believer is secure in his work, deeds, talk, job, craftsmanship, marriage, and partnership; this is how a believer is secure to be around.
Reported by Abi Hurairah: “Allaah’s messenger Mohammad(PBUH) said: The muslim is the one whom muslims are secured from his tongue and his hand, and the believer is the one whom muslims trust with their blood and money”
You wouldn’t fear being denied your money and it would never occur to your mind. You wouldn’t fear that he would tell you that you have nothing with him even if you don’t have a receipt. He is very honest and he fears Allah the Great and Almighty. So you believe in Allah Almighty’s saying:
(huwa llaahu llathi laa’ilaaha illa huwa lmaliku lquddoosu ssalaamu lmu’minu lmuhayminu l’azeezu ljabbaaru lmutakabbiru subћaana llaahi ‘amma yushrikoon)
“He is Allah beside Whom Laa ilaaha illa Huwa(none has the right to be worshipped but He), the King, the Holy, the One free from all defects, the Giver of security, the Watcher over His creatures, the All- Mighty, the Compellor, the Supreme. Glory be to Allaah! (High is He) above all that they associate as partners with Him”
Soorat el ћashr (the gathering), aayah 23
Therefore Allaah is a source of security to human beings either by His words or by what He prepared for them in the after life, Allah the Great and All mighty said:
(laa yamassuhum feeha nasabun wamaa hum minha bimukhrajeen)
“ No sense of fatigue shall touch them, not shall they ever be asked to leave it.”
Soorat el ћijr (the rocky tract), aayah 48
You are a believer if you were told that this is hell. You avoid it by contemplation in the universe and Allah’s obedience and approach, in serving human beings, in giving, sacrifice, carrying on your prayers and fasting Ramadan. He made you ways to avoid the torture of hell. In the same way, a believer is trustworthy, your neighbor has confidence in you, a client trusts you. You give him advice without cheat or deceit. Would you sell him something expired by forging the date? No, you are trustworthy. Prophets are trusted with the message of heaven. The believer is faithful for what he is given, your daughter, your wife, your children are all like a trust with you. What I wish for, is that you ask people to Allah the Great and Almighty’s way so as to avoid His torture in the day of judgment, where it was said: This is the prophets’ deeds, that is the greatest security. Suppose you protected a scared person, who would scare him?
You said to him: leave that person to me, that means that you defended him. A scared person doesn’t have money for his surgical operation, and you tell him that you would pay for it, be assured. Nice thing, you may give him security in life. But what would happen if he was not straight and went to hell? The best thing to do is to rescue him from the torture of hell. That is, you make him recognize Allah the Great and Almighty. If he responded, became straight and made good deeds, he would go to Paradise. So the best thing you could do is to advise people to follow Allah’s path and obey Him in order to avoid hell’s torture. The worldly torture is very hard, but what if this torture led to a paradise as wide as the earth and heavens? It is accepted. The hardest thing is to fall in hell, so the greatest thing to do, and that is the job of prophets, is to be a reason for rescuing people from hell. Allah the Great and Almighty is the believer, and He called the obeying humans as believers, Allah to whom is ascribed all grace and almighty said:
(yaa ayyuha llatheena aamano in tutee’o fareeqan mina llatheena ooto lkitaaba yaroddokum ba’da eemaanikum kaafireen)
“O you who believe! If you obey a group of those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians), they would (indeed) render you after you have believed!”
Soorat aal imraan (Imran’s family), aayah (100)
He is the king of all kings, and yet He allowed you to call yourself a believer. He is a believer himself firstly, and secondly all His deeds are indications of his words. If you read the qur’an, you won’t fear surprises, you won’t fear that events would contradict the qur’an and yet you are exposed in front of people. No, you won’t if you believe in what Allah the Great and Almighty said, that in the future, no scientific fact would oppose what’s in the qur’an. God forbid, this is impossible because Allah the Great and Almighty is a believer, His deeds are indications of His words. The third meaning is providing you with security: either in your senses, your systems, your organs, or in your food and drink or in the air.
The precious thing is available, either in the stability of materials, the way of plants, the structure of things or the way they work. I repeat that you are a believer, your actions are indications of your words. People must trust you. You are trustworthy, there are no surprises from your side, no deceit, no cheat, no traps, and nothing behind people’s back, Muslims are on their conditions.
We hear thousands of stories about people’s deceit to each other every day. We hear hundreds of stories about partners deceiving each other, about husbands and wives deceiving each other, unbelievable things, pranks, deceit, or traps. These are not the morals of a believer, because the believer is trustworthy.
Reported by AbiShuraiћ: Prophet Mohammad PBUH said:
“I swear by Allah he doesn’t believe, I swear by Allah he doesn’t believe, I swear by Allah he doesn’t believe, he was asked: Who, Allah’s prophet? He said: he whose neighbor is not secure from his calamities.”
(Saћeeћ el Bukhari)
Now another thing, how can we match between the name “believer” and that Allah the Great and Almighty creates fear in people’s hearts. He is a source of security as well as a source of fear. Allah the Great and Almighty said:
(fakharaja minha khaa’ifan yataraqqabu qaala rabbi najjini mina lqawmi thaalimeen)
“So he escaped from there, looking about in a state of fear. He said:” My Lord! Save me from the people who are polytheists and wrong-doers!”
Soorat el qasas, (the Narration), aayah 21
Here the question is very accurate. If man were safe, he would feel secure about life, forget Allah the Great and Almighty and indulge in life. He would admire his money, power, status and his home. He would feel that life is long and that he is in a strong position; this is a worldly security. What is his cure? That Allah cast him with fear. If that person fears Allah and pursues Him, he will be secure. Allah scares you in order to secure you, impoverish you in order to enrich you, prevents you in order to give you, hurts you in order to benefit you, and humiliate you in order to treasure you.
Allah the Great and Almighty has dual names, scientists said: They should not be mentioned except in pairs. Allah the Great and Almighty said: Narrated by Abi Hurairah: Allah’s messenger (Mohammad) PBUH said:
“On the day of judgement, Allaah the Great and Almighty says: Son of Adam, I got sick and you never visited me, he answers: My Lord, how do I visit you and you are Lord of the worlds, He said: didn’t you know that my servant was sick and you hadn’t visited him, didn’t you know that you would have found me there if you had visited him, …”
If He takes a little of your health, He will compensate you with some of his mercy. When you visit a patient, you find that he has a pure soul and a bright face, he is close to Allah the Great and Almighty. He takes in order to give, afflicts in order to award, hurts in order to benefit, humiliate in order to cherish, lowers in order to raise, prevents in order to give, frightens in order to secure. He frightens you, if man drifts away, and he becomes misguided from Allah’s way, his heart will be filled with fear, and fear is the motive that sends him back to Allah. You are scared, but when you get near His shadow, you will be secure. So we want from you dear brothers to get some pieces of evidence or proofs from the universe, from the creation of man, animal, and plant., something that gives peace of mind.
One of Allah’s deeds is creating peace in His servants’ hearts. The 99 attributes of Allah are a small topic considering their definitions. But as proofs from the universe, they are a big topic, a topic that has endless, wide horizon, since the whole universe assures the 99 attributes of Allah. The more you train your mind to wander around in this universe, the more its abilities and capabilities grow. For instance, if we ask you now to bring evidence from the human creation on the name, “the most Kind” (allateef). The way a child’s tooth falls down is greatly kind. The air carries a 350 ton plane with three hundred passengers, the air around us does not block vision, nor movement, you can’t feel its weight. The air is kind, nevertheless it has great weight. The proof to that is that it can carry heavy objects.
A 350 ton plane rises in the air, so the air is something kind and powerful at the same time. If you get into a vehicle and draw your hand outside its window, you will feel the strength of the air, even though the air is kind, it emphasizes the name “the most Kind”. Water is transparent with no color, no taste, or no smell with a power to evaporate in small amounts to help you with all your needs, that emphasizes the name “the most Kind”
We must have many proofs, indications, observations, pieces of evidence, and marks for each name. The more we walk in this road, the wider our horizon becomes, the Greater Allah is in our eyes, the more reverence and submission to Allah we have, and that is the secret of belief. Belief is something that is settled in the heart, uttered by the tongue, and confirmed by deeds. Belief has three aspects: content in the heart, admission by the tongue, and work with the elements. A believer is well-mannered, pure, truthful, honest, merciful, promise keeping, clean, and not arrogant. A believer’s qualities are obvious regarding behavior, but if you look into his heart, you will find peace of mind, security and peace, and submission to Allah and acceptance to Allah’s fate and dependence on Allah the Great and Almighty. He always praises Allah, assures people, gives them facts and shows them Allah’s way, that’s why the name “the believer” is Allah whom there is no Allah but Him, king of kings, most holy, the most peaceful, the believer. Three meanings
He knows his self, His deeds are indications to His words. If you believe in Allah and read his book, you won’t be surprised by events that contradict what is in His book. The stable thing grants you security through His creation and His doings. As a believer, you should have two qualities; Firstly, that your deeds are indications of your words, and secondly, that you are trustworthy. If you found the opposite of security, that is fear, it would be in order to frighten you, in order to secure you, He takes from you in order to give you, humiliate you in order to cherish you, … etc.
All Praise be to Allah Lord of the Worlds
[The opener(Of The gates of profit and
In this lecture we will be dealing with the thirteenth of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names, “Al-Fattah”, an emphatic Epithet of Allah, Glory to Him, which means that Allah, All Mighty, is the One Who opens all of the gates that no one but Him can open. The emphasis that this Name denotes can be both qualitative and quantitative, i.e. He opens all of the gates of profit and sustenance for His slaves no matter how difficult to open, or how numerable, such gates might be.
Someone may suddenly suffer from an incurable disease. All doctors may determine that such disease is incurable, that there is no remedy or hope whatsoever, and that the patient will inevitably die in a few days. No surgical operation is helpful even if carried out in the most advanced countries in the world. All doctors say there is no hope for recovery. No medicament could avail him anything.
A friend of mine had a baby, whose birth was so difficult that it was pulled out of its mother’s womb by a special machine that caused a great injury to the brain. Every now and then, the baby gave certain convulsive movements, as its brain was seriously injured. A doctor said that it would certainly suffer from blindness, mental retardation, or paralysis. The baby was taken to another more experienced doctor who gave the same diagnosis. Two or three more doctors were consulted for the same purpose, but they were of the same opinion. The baby was taken to hospital for more accurate examination. However, all of the diagnoses carried out showed that the baby suffered from a serious incurable damage to the brain. In fact, the damage was untreatable because cells of the brain do not grow, nor do nerve cells.
In this context, it should be noticed that if nerve cells were to grow, man would die of pain. But due to Allah’s Mercy upon humans, particularly those who suffer from such damage to their brain, nerve cells do not grow. Anyway, all doctors confirmed that the baby would grow up to be mentally retarded, paralyzed or blind. And believe me! His father really wished that his baby had died, because the baby’s death was far better than its growth that way. Later, the baby was taken to another doctor who was a true believer and had good faith in Allah, Most Gracious. In the hope that Allah, Most Merciful, would heal the baby, this doctor made a scanning of the brain and gave it some medicament. Six months later, the baby was restored to health and became like other normal healthy babies. The baby is now 12 years old, and he not only moves and plays but excels other students at school as well. Is there a secret in such issue? Yes, there is. The One Who opened the gate for this baby’s recovery is Allah, “Al-Fattah”, the Opener of the gates of recovery. Yes, indeed! After all doctors had despaired of the baby’s recovery, Allah, “Al-Fattah”, opened for it the gate of recovery.
The simple meaning of this Divine Name of Allah is that He opens all gates: if He so wills, He opens to you the gate of provision and sustenance, He opens to you the gate of work, He opens to you the gate of marriage, He opens to you the gate of tranquility and peace of mind, He opens to you the gate of success, He opens to you the gate of righteous work, He opens to you the gate of the Call for Him and His Religion. He also opens the gates that no one else, but Him, can open. To this effect, Allah, Al-Fattah (the Opener), says, “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can loose after Him. And He is the All Mighty, the All-Wise.” [XXXV; 2]
If Allah so wills, He, Glory to Him, opens the door of His Mercy; but if He so wills, He withholds it. If He withholds His Divine Mercy, no one else can grant it after Him. If He withholds His Divine Mercy, no power in the whole world could ever award it. If He opens the gate of His Divine Mercy, no force or power in the whole world could ever withhold it. If all forces and powers in the whole universe unite together to open what Allah closes or to close what Allah opens, they will never be able to do so. Allah, All Mighty, “Al-Fattah” (the Opener of the Gates of profit and sustenance) says, “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can loose after Him. And He is the All Mighty, the All-Wise.” [XXXV; 2]
Therefore, the whole matter is in Allah’s Hand and under His Divine Control. If you believe that the whole matter is only in Allah’s Hand, you must necessarily turn to Him, Alone, and no one else. In fact, this Quranic Verse has a very good impact on true believers. Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold. All of your relationships are confined by your relationship with Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious. All other things than Allah are mere illusions and can do nothing for you. Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), who is the first and foremost human being, who is the one most beloved by Allah, All Mighty, who is Allah’s Prophet and Messenger, who received Divine Revelation from Allah, and who is the most honorable creature with Allah, was commanded by Allah, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘I possess no power over benefit or harm to myself except as Allah wills,” [VII; 188] If Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), possesses no power over benefit or harm to himself, then, it is more proper that he has no power over benefit or harm to others! Yes, indeed, Allah is “Al-Fattah” (the Opener of the gates of profit and sustenance)!
A god-wish that our righteous ancestors used quite often to say to someone who was energetic, open-minded, or enthusiastic was, “May Allah open to you as He does to the knowledgeable!” Such god-wish has various connotations: may Allah open to you the gate of sustenance, may Allah open to you the gate of being near and intimate to Him, may Allah open to you the gate of moral exaltation, …etc. This is because Allah is “Al-Fattah”, Who opens the gates of all good things.
In this context, the first and foremost Quranic Verse is, “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can loose after Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [XXXV; 2]
Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Fattah” has another meaning derived from the Quranic Verse, “We should have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion after Allah rescued us from it. And it is not for us to return to it unless Allah, our Lord, should will. Our Lord comprehends all things in His Kingdom. In Allah (Alone) we put our trust. Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment.” [VII; 89]
Things might get confused, forces might clash, someone might claim that he/she is on the right side of a conflict, someone might heap charges against others or vice versa, someone might speak badly of another, someone might fight against another, someone might say that a certain Sheikh (religious scholar) is the most holy man ever, someone else might say that the same Sheikh is the most evil disbelieving human ever, and so on the so forth. Who is the judge? Who has the just judgment? Who knows reality of people? It is Allah, “Al-Fattah”, i.e. the Just Judge. To this effect, the Quranic Verse goes, “Our Lord! Judge between us and our people.”
Everyone claims that he/she is right, everyone heaps accusations against others, everyone believes that he/she is a true believer while others are not, he/she is honest and trustworthy while others are not, he/she is so near to Allah, All-Mighty, and so intimate to Him while others are not. This happens among adherents of the same religion, but what would the case be among adherents of different religions? Everyone accuses other religions as being forged and not god-sent, or deviant and not rightly guided. The irreligious accuse the religious of folly, foolish talk, falsehood, and weakness, while the religious accuse the irreligious of profligacy and immorality. But who is the judge? Who has the decisive word? Who is the one who determines whether this or that party is right or wrong? It is Allah, “Al-Fattah” (the Just Judge). This is the second meaning of Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Fattah” (the Just Judge), which is derived from the Quranic Verse, “Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment.”
However, what should your attitude towards this Divine Name of Allah be? If you are on the right side, do not be afraid, because Allah is ‘Al-Fattah” (the Just Judge). People may speak badly about you, and they may heap false accusations against you. If you are right, do not be afraid, do not forget Allah’s Words, “So put your trust in Allah; surely, you are on manifest truth.” [XXVII; 79] and “Say, ‘Allah (sent it down).’ Then leave them to play in their vain discussions.” [VI; 91]
If you believe that Allah is “Al-Fattah”, the Just Judge, the One Who exalts and debases, the One Who unveils all facts and brings all things to light, the One Who removes all misunderstandings and misconceptions, and the One in Whose Divine Hand is the Absolute Good, if you believe that Allah is the Just Judge, you should never worry or be anxious even if people misunderstand you or think badly of you or even heap false accusations against you for trivial reasons, do not be afraid, because he who knows himself is not harmed by what people say about him.
But what worries man these days? In fact, what causes man great anxiety nowadays is that he does not know where to go or whom to please. Just imagine, for example, an employee in a company or factory that has ten partnership owners. Different controversial orders might come from such ten partners; and the employee does not know whom to obey or please. A partner orders him to come, another to go a third to travel, a fourth to come in the afternoon, a fifth to leave early, …etc. Life would be unbearable or even impossible under such different controversial orders coming from several masters, who might, or might not, be in harmony with one another.
The same thing applies to a polytheist, a disbeliever or someone whose faith is weak. He/she does not know whom to obey or to please. His life is totally confused and even disrupted. Shall he obey or please his boss or subordinate? Shall he obey his wife? If he obeys his employers, his wife would be angry with him; and if he pleases his wife, his partners would be displeased with him. If he pleases his neighbors, he displeases Allah, All Mighty. If he does not attend a certain meeting or party, his relatives or friends would be angry with him. His life is unbearable. He is torn up and confused. He does not know whom to please or obey! A true believer, however, knows that “Al-Fattah”, the Just Judge is Allah, All Mighty. In other words, he is happy and comfortable because he strives to please only one Lord, Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious. Do not forget Allah’s Words, “So call not upon another god with Allah, lest you should be one of those that are chastised.” [XXVI; 213]
One of the most grievous kinds of tortures is to be a polytheist, i.e. to call upon other gods with Allah. However, to call upon other gods with Allah does not mean to say that someone is a god besides Allah, but rather to obey him just as you obey Allah, to deal with him just as you deal with Allah, to put your trust in him just as you do with Allah, to rely on him or hope for him just as you do with Allah, to obey him and disobey Allah for him. Such is the meaning of polytheism. This is the third meaning.
The first meaning is: “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind”: the closed gates are innumerable. You might be told that all of the gates are closed and that all of the ways are blocked. Wherever you go, doors might be closed in your face, as common people usually say. But who is “Al-Fattah”? It is He, Allah, Who opens all of the closed gates, no matter how numerous or hard to open such gates might be. Yes, indeed! It is Allah, “Al-Fattah”, Who opens all gates. Once you purify yourself, once you have a pure sacred soul, and once you deserve Allah’s Divine Honor, the whole world is made to come to you. This is because the Lord, All Mighty, has commanded the world: “He who serves Me, serve him; and he who serves you, enslave him.” In another Divine Hadith, He, Glory to Him, addresses man, “O My slave! I created for you the heavens and the earth; and creating them did not tire me. Does a loaf of bread tire me to send you every now and then? You owe me an obligation and I undertake to grant you provision. If you fail to fulfill the obligation that you owe Me, I shall not withhold My provision to you. (I swear) by My Divine Might and Majesty! If you are not contented with that Which I allot to you, I shall give power to the present world over you: you run therein as brute animals run in the wild, but you get not from it except that which I have allotted to you, and I do not care, and you will be worthy of dispraise in My Sight!”
If you are in a noble condition that makes you worthy of Allah’s Divine Honor and Mercy, the whole world is forced to come to you.
I shall never forget the following Prophetic Hadith, in which Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He whose care is for this present world, Allah makes (all) his matters hard for him and makes his poverty right before his eyes; and he gets nothing from this world except that which has been decreed for him. And he whose intention is the Hereafter, Allah makes (all) his matters easy for him and makes his richness in his heart; and the whole world is forced to come to him.”
Once a person is overwhelmed with love for this present world, he is afflicted with three things: labor that is constantly toilsome, hope that is unattainable, and poverty that never ends. However, a true believer is included in Allah’s Words, “And seek forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him in repentance that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace. But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day.” [XI; 3]
A true believer’s mundane enjoyment is rightly guided. He is overwhelmed with complete psychological comfort, and he hopes for his Lord’s Garden of Paradise, whose width is as great as the heavens and the earth. But a disbeliever’s worldly enjoyment is full of worry and discomfort. He is constantly afraid of an unknown future, deadly afraid of something unknown, particularly death that lurks in ambush for him. In this context, Allah, Glory to Him, says, “And remember when Abraham said, ‘My Lord! Make this city (Mecca) a place of security, and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.’ He (Allah) answered, ‘As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that end.” [II; 126] When He heard Abraham’s invocation, Allah, Most Gracious, said, “As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that end.”
Then, what is the difference between the worldly enjoyment of a true believer and that of a disbeliever? The worldly enjoyment of a true believer is filled with comfort and peace of mind mixed with a laudable feeling that Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, keeps for him great enjoyment in the Hereafter, whereas a disbeliever, while being in utmost worldly enjoyment, is filled with worry and discomfort mixed with fear of something unknown coming, namely death, which puts an end to all his worldly pleasures and enjoyments. That is why I always like to invoke the Lord, Allah, Most Merciful, “O Allah! We take refuge with You from an incurable disease, from the enemies malicious joy, and from deprivation after donation!” It is indeed something that breaks the back if you are deprived of something that Allah, Most Gracious, has given you. Because He likes to honor a true believer, Allah, Most Gracious, makes the best part of his life its end. He tires him at the beginning of his life but makes him comfortable and contented at its end. As for those who love this present world, He grants them honor at the beginning of their lives but then they are afflicted with punishment, debasement, disgrace, humiliation, and poverty. That is why Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), used to invoke, “O Allah! Make the best (part) of our life its end and the best (day) of our days the day on which we encounter You while You are well pleased with us.” Similar Quranic invocations go, “Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those who give judgment”, “Whatsoever mercy Allah opens to mankind, none can withhold; and whatsoever He withholds, none can loose after Him. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”, and, “And with Him (Allah) are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.” [VI; 59]
Now, what is your relationship with this Divine Name of Allah? A true believer should understand the above Verse properly, just as Allah desires. If Allah said “And the keys of the Unseen are with Him”, instead of “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen”, would the meaning be different? Yes, of course. It would mean that the keys of the Unseen could be with another one besides Allah, All Mighty. However, the way the Verse is composed shows that the keys of the Unseen are only with Allah, Alone, and not with anyone else. In other words, no one knows the Unseen or how to get to the Unseen except Allah, Alone. That is why it is commonly said, “What is with Allah is not with any of His slaves.” Some time ago, it did not rain for quite a long time. Therefore, people said in despair, “There will be no more rain! There will be permanent drought.” But then suddenly, it began to rain so heavily that rivers and streams flooded with water. That is because “With Him (Allah) are the keys of the Unseen”. If a doctor tells you, “There is no more hope for recovery”, don not believe him, but say,
A doctor has knowledge whereby he helps people
So long as there is a respite in their lives.
But as soon as one’s life trip is over,
The doctor is baffled and his medicines betray him!
It depends on man’s lifetime decreed by the Lord, All Mighty. As soon as man’s lifetime is over, and the doctor says, “There is no more hope for recovery”, this means hat the doctor is right. But if there is still a respite in man’s lifetime, it is wrong for the doctor to say that there is no more hope for recovery.
I remember a doctor who told one of his patients that his life would end in only four hours. The patient’s people bought special mourning clothes and had death announcements published. But then, suddenly, Allah, Most Gracious, cured the patient, who lived for thirty more years. The funny thing is that the patient outlived the doctor, who passed away after only twenty years. This is because “With Him (Allah) are the keys of the Unseen”. I do not want to belie doctors but rather to confirm that doctors speak according to their knowledge. But no one except Allah, All Mighty, Alone, knows both the Unseen and the future. For example, a country in the Far East was in complete security and peace: prosperity, wealth, oil, …etc. No one ever thought that a terrible war would break out to destroy the whole country!
In the year 1974, Lebanon was a real Paradise on the earth: peace, security, prosperity, luxury, extravagance, …etc. All good things in the world existed in that beautiful country. No one ever thought that in a few years of civil war, it would be completely ruined.
“With Him are the keys of the Unseen” There are always Divinely interpretations although people understand only the earthly interpretations: conflicts, civil wars, troubles, problems, …etc. But there is always a religious interpretation. Allah, All-High, says, “And Allah puts forward the example of a township that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it denied the Favors of Allah. Therefore, Allah made it taste extreme of hunger and fear because of that which they used to do.” [XVI; 112]
As for myself, I always adopt the Quranic interpretation of events although there is always a certain earthly one: Arabic, foreign, international, political, economic, …etc. Always, the right thing to do is to adopt the Quranic interpretation. Once again I repeat Allah’s words, “And Allah puts forward the example of a township that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it denied the Favors of Allah. Therefore, Allah made it taste extreme of hunger and fear because of that which they used to do.”
Lebanon and other countries in the east, west, north, and south: “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.” If you understand this Quranic Verse properly, you never believe swindlers, imposters, fortunetellers, diviners, soothsayers, magicians, sorcerers, witches, astrologers, or liars. In our modern age, you hear that even in developed countries, there are astrologers, fortunetellers and diviners who are consulted by remarkable personalities, concerning, for example, their financial, economic, administrative, or political future. If such officials read this Quranic Verse, they would never believe such fortunetellers or astrologers: “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.”
Everything is quite clear: Once you consult a diviner or astrologer to ask him about the Unseen, this means that you do not know Allah, All Mighty. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “He who consults a diviner and believes him is a disbeliever in that which was sent down to Muhammad.” You turn away from Allah’s Book, the Holy Quran, with all its truthfulness, clarity, and right guidance, while Allah, Glory to Him, says, “Say (O Muhammad), ‘I do not tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor that I know the Unseen; neither do I tell you that I am an angel. I only follow what is revealed to me.’ Say (O Muhammad), ‘Are the blind and those who can see equal?’ Will you not then take thought?’” [VI; 50], “Say (O Muhammad), ‘I possess no power over benefit or hurt to myself except as Allah wills. If I had the knowledge of the Unseen, I would have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil would have touched me. I am but a man who brings warnings and glad tidings to people who believe.’” [VII; 188], “Say (O Muhammad), ‘I know not whether (the punishment) which you are promised is near or whether my Lord will appoint for it a distant term. (He is) the (only) One Who knows the Unseen; and He reveals to none His Unseen, except to a Messenger whom He has chosen, and then He makes a band of watching guards (angels) to march before him and behind him.’” [LXXII; 25-27], and, “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.” Such is a true believer’s attitude. This Quranic Verse is very important, because quite often, you read an article in which a journalist or thinker writes about what will happen in the next year or years. Such articles should never be read because, “And with Him (Allah) are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He.” Unless such predictions are not meant to be definitive but mere expectations based on present phenomena or scientific data, they should be rejected, simply because all keys of the Unseen are with Allah, Alone. Such an idea helps you feel secure and comfortable.
It has been rightly said, “What has passed belongs to the past, what is hoped for belongs to the Unseen, but you own only the hour in which you are now.” In other words, you own nothing but your present time, wherein you can turn to the Lord, Most Gracious, with faithful repentance and sincere devotion. Some sixteen years ago, a dear sister who used to attend these lectures, in An-Nabulsi Mosque, had a son-in-law who was far from being religious and even denied the existence of Allah, All Mighty, altogether. She bade her daughter to invite her husband to attend even one, only one, of these lectures; and the daughter kept inviting her husband for more than two years, but it was all in vain. Once, the mother was very pleased when her daughter told her that her husband accompanied her to attend one of the lectures. However, the husband attended only two lectures, but then he had a sudden heart attack and was taken to hospital. While on the stretcher, he addressed his children, “All the things that I have told you about are not true. The truth is that which is in Allah’s Book, the Holy Quran.” Soon later, he passed away. I shall never forget the words that he told to his children just before his death. He had brought up his children to be just like him, atheists who did not believe in the existence of Allah. He attended only two lectures in our mosque and then passed away. While on his deathbed, he addressed his children, one of whom was an engineer, “All the things that I have told you about are not true. The truth is that which is in Allah’s Book, the Holy Quran.” We pray to Allah, Most Gracious, to forgive him. “And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea: no leaf falls down without His knowledge thereof, and no grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry is but written in a Clear Record.”
Yes, indeed! What has passed belongs to the past, what is hoped for belongs to the Unseen, and you own only the present hour in which you are now. Why did scholars say that a Muslim should perform the Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) as soon as possible? They said so simply because man does not know when he will die. Since the Hajj is a religious obligation enjoined on those who are able to perform it, you should perform the Hajj the moment you are able to do so, simply because your life is not in your hand. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says, “Make haste to perform the Hajj, as the one of you does not know what happens to him.” In other words, he might suddenly be ill, he might have a problem that prevents him from performing the Hajj, and he might even pass away.
Allah, All Mighty, says, “Say (O Muhammad), ‘Our Lord will assemble us all together (on the Day of Judgment), then, He will judge between us with the truth. And He is the Just Judge, the All-Knowing.” [XXXIV; 26]
In Arabic, the word “Fataha” means, “to open something closed”. Your relationship with Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Fattah” (the Opener of the gates of profit and sustenance) is that whenever a gate is closed in your face, you should remember this Divine Name of Allah and ask Him to open it for you. This avails under all circumstances, whether serious or insignificant: even if your key-holder, wallet, or anything else, valuable or not, is lost.
A brother once told me that he was going to the seaport of Lattakia to remove a shipment of expensive goods; and he had a lot of documents that he was supposed to submit to the authorities there. When he got to the bus station, he suddenly found out that he had left such indispensable documents in the taxi. As he did not know the taxi’s plate-number, he turned pale and desperate: goods worth millions could not be removed from the Customs without those documents. He stood helpless for more than an hour invoking the Lord, “O Al-Fattah, Who opens the gates of all things! Help me find my bag!” He kept invoking the Lord most faithfully and sincerely. All of a sudden, he saw the same taxi coming towards him. It stopped and the driver asked him, “Aren’t you the man who was in my car an hour ago? It seems you’ve left your bag in the car. Here it is!” Thanks to the man’s sincere invocation to the Lord, Most Gracious, his bag was returned to him. He just could not remember the plate-number of the car or the car itself. But the driver was in Allah’s Divine Hand; and since Allah wanted the driver to return, in due time, to bring back the man’s bag, He, All Mighty, Most Gracious, cast kindness in the driver’s heart, or perhaps fear of Him, and inspired him to bring back the bag to the man. Most happily and gratefully, the man got back his bag, which brought him back to life.
Therefore, the Arabic word “fataha” means, “to open something closed”, and hence, Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Fattah” means that He, All Mighty, Most Gracious, opens all the gates of mercy, profit and sustenance to His slaves. The gate of the solution of every difficulty can be easily opened by the Lord, Allah, Most Merciful. In this context, Allah, Glory and Praise belong to Him, says, “So We opened the gates of the heaven with water pouring forth.” [LIV; 1] This means that the gates of the heaven were closed and then Allah opened them. The weather forecast may or may not come true, i.e. the gates of the heaven are opened with rain only when Allah, the Opener of all gates, opens them: “So We opened the gates of the heaven with water pouring forth.” In other words, the heaven is closed and its gates are in Allah’s Hands. In wars, conquest comes when Allah, All Mighty, opens the gates for it. The countries conquered by Muslims were strongly closed and fortified with armies and forces, but when Allah, All Mighty, opened the gates of victory to Muslims, such countries became Muslim countries. The Romans had occupied them before Allah opened them to Muslims.
Another meaning of Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Fattah” is that He is the Just Judge, Who judges among His human slaves, i.e. every time a dispute arises among them, He opens the gates for its solution and settlement.
Also, another meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Fattah” is that He, Most Gracious, opens the gates of His Mercy to true believers and casts His Divine Light into their hearts and knowledge into their minds. This is what scholars usually call “Al-Kashf” (Unveiling), i.e. Allah unveils their insight whereby they see the truth as it really is and falsehood as it really is. Other scholars call it “Ira’ah” (Showing). In this context, Allah, Most Gracious, says, “Thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty.” [VI; 75]
Sometimes, you feel that you see nothing, but then, suddenly, you find yourself able to see, I mean in your mind’s eye. Sometimes, a salesperson sees that if he lies to customers concerning his goods, he will sell more, and earn more. Such a salesperson has no good sight unless he sees that honesty is the only way to safety and unless he sees that honesty is the best policy. Some people tell lies, cheat and play tricks on other fellow humans. They wrongly think that this is clever of them. They are, indeed, blind and can not see the truth. What does Allah’s Name “Al-Fattah” mean in this context? It simply means that Allah, Most Gracious, opens your sight to the truth. In other words, He, Glory to Him, unveils the truth to your mind and helps you see good things as they really are and evil things as they really are.
Therefore, some scholars say, “ ‘Al-Fattah’, is He, Allah, Who opens the hearts of true believers by His Divine Knowledge, Who opens the gates of His Forgiveness to the disobedient and wrong-doers. If one is disobedient, Allah not only opens the door for him/her to repent but also accepts his/her repentance; and if one is a true believer, Allah opens for him/her the door of His Knowledge.”
You should compare your present condition with that some five years ago. You should ask yourself whether your emotions now are the same as they were five years ago, or whether you have now a new vision, a deeper insight, a more mature understanding, and more firmly established values? If you have changed to the better, this means that Allah, Most Gracious, has opened to you the gate of development and knowledge. He, Glory to Him, has unveiled to you some strategic facts about the universe and your own self. He has opened to you the gate to obeying Him and being dutiful to Him.
In fact, believers differ in view of their wakefulness or heedlessness. Some of them are most of the time heedless, i.e. they believe in Allah, but are heedless and careless. Other better ones are constantly conscious of Allah and are always in a state of full wakefulness, praying to Allah, beseeching Him, invoking Him, seeking His Divine Guidance, and committing themselves to His Religion. On His Part, Allah, Most Gracious, confers His Blessings upon such devoted believers and casts His Divine Light into their hearts and Knowledge into their minds. This is another meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name, “Al-Fattah”. And this is real opening.
Religious scholars quite often use the word “Al-Fatih” in the above meaning. They usually say, “May Allah open to you (i.e. gates of Good).” They also say, “So and so has received an Opening [(of Good) from the Lord]. In the same context, Allah addresses His Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH), “When there comes (to you) the Help of Allah and the Opening (i.e. of victory and conquest over disbelievers), …” [CX; 1]
The strange, yet funny, thing in this context is that a lot of common people, when they start a new business or a shop, they, in the hope of success and profit, have certain Quranic Verses posted on their walls, such as, “Verily, We have given you a manifest Opening (of the gate of success and profit),” [XLVIII; 1] although the things that they deal in might be indecent or irreligious, and although they themselves, or their employees, might be deeply involved in sins and misdeeds.
Is such kind of business an Opening by Allah?! Is it an Opening to sell indecent things to indecent women, for example, and to have impolite talk to them?! Is it a manifest Opening of the gates of Good to them?! Such ignorant businesspeople purchase Allah’s Quranic Verses for a low price!
Such ignorant salespeople do not know that Allah, All Mighty, revealed the above Quranic Verse to His Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH), when He opened to him the gate of victory over disbelievers of Mecca and made people come in groups to Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), to announce their conversion to the religion of Islam. Such is real Opening!
Therefore, Al-Fattah is Allah, Who opens the hearts of true believers to His Divine Knowledge, and opens the Gates of His Forgiveness to the disobedient. Also, Al-Fattah is Allah, Who helps you in distress and grants you His Divine Favors and Blessings. In case of hardship, He, Praise belongs to Him, helps you; and in case of ease, He, Glory to Him, grants you more and more. Hence, He is All-Fattah, the Opener of the gates of profit and sustenance.
Some religious scholars say that Al-Fattah is Allah, Who opens the gates of Good to His human slaves and makes difficult things easy for them. Such Opening might sometimes be in religious affairs. In other words, someone might tell you, “I have a book to read, but I understand nothing of it. It is too difficult to understand.” But after some time, Allah, Most Gracious, opens the gates of understanding to his mind, and he reads and understands, reads and goes deeper, reads and enjoys, reads and contemplates, reads and commits to memory, and reads and speaks out. Allah, Most Gracious, causes wisdom to run on his tongue, after he helps him follow the way of learning and acquisition of knowledge. First, he says, “I can not understand this book. It is as though I were digging in a rock!” “What is this book?” “I read the Holy Quran, but I do not understand a thing of it!” and “I read a Prophetic Hadith, but I do not understand it.” But after some time, he begins to understand, he begins to go deep and ask questions, he begins to seek answers, he begins to commit to memory, he begins to enjoy, and he begins to preach.
Therefore, Allah is Al-Fattah: He opens to you the gates of knowledge, He opens to you the gates of wisdom and makes it run on your tongue. If you are truthful and sincere to Allah, He makes wisdom run on your tongue. The first kind of Opening is that Allah opens to you religious knowledge. Then, He opens to you gates of worldly affairs: you are poor, but He enriches you; you are weak, but He empowers you; you are oppressed or defeated, but He grants you victory over your enemies; you are depressed, but He removes depression from you and replaces it with happiness and delight. Therefore, if man turns away from Allah, he can never attain happiness. To this effect, Allah, All Mighty, says, “But whosoever turns away from My Reminder: verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up, on the Day of Resurrection, blind.” [XX; 124]
Yes, it is depression! Ask those who cleave to the life of this present world, ask those who have millions or thousands of millions of pounds, ask those who have super powers, ask the richest people in the world, ask them all, dear reader! They will probably say, “We are the most miserable of all.” Once again, I repeat Allah’s Words, “But whosoever turns away from My Reminder: verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up, on the Day of Resurrection, blind.”
What does Allah’s Name “Al-Fattah” also mean? It means that Allah, Most Gracious, opens to you the gate to be intimate to Him; He opens to you the gate to turn to Him with love and devotion; He opens to you the gate to His Good Pleasure; He opens to you the gate to contentment, whereby you are contented to live even in a single room in the basement, saying, “Praise belongs to Allah.” Sometimes, you enter a flat 500 square meters big, which is worth 30,000,000 Pounds, yet its owner tells you in great discontentment that the marked is stagnant, that losses are so heavy this year, and that profits went down greatly. Although he has such great amounts of money that suffice his children and grandchildren, he is always discontented and unhappy. However, Allah, Most Gracious, may open to a poor person the gate to contentment, thankfulness, and peace of mind. In full gratitude to the Lord, Most Gracious, he says, “Praise belongs to Allah. I am very well. I am very happy.” A person who does not know Allah, is always unhappy and discontented even if he were the richest person in the world.
Allah opens to you the gate to His Religion by opening to you the gate to knowledge. If you are poor, He opens to you the gate of riches. If you are weak, He opens to you the gate of strength and power. If you are ill, He opens to you the gate to good health. If you are depressed, He opens to you the gate to happiness. Some poets invoked the Lord, Allah, Most Gracious:
O Allah, Who opens to me every closed gate!
I seek Your Forgiveness to my sins!
So bestow on me that which brings me happiness!
Allah, All Mighty, opens all closed gates. He also opens to His slaves the gates to success and Divine Help. To this effect, the Quranic Verse goes, “And my guidance (and success) cannot come except from Allah. In Him I trust, and unto Him I repent.” [XI; 88]
Some scholars said: “Nothing can ever happen in the whole universe except by Allah’s Divine Help and Leave.” In the West, they wanted to build a spacecraft, which they called “Challenger”, in order to carry out a unique experiment. They sent seven men and a woman out into space so that the woman get pregnant and give birth in outer space. They prepared everything perfectly and made for each apparatus or machine two other control ones to guarantee complete success. All apparatuses and machines were checked most accurately. They called the spacecraft “Challenger”. However, seventy seconds after it had been launched, it turned into a big mass of blazing matter. In other words, Allah, Al-Fattah, did not open to them, i.e. He closed to them, the gate to success. Therefore, “And my guidance (and success) cannot come except from Allah.”
If you open a new shop, or establish a factory or school, if you want to get married, or if you desire to do anything, you should ask Allah, Al-Fattah, for help and success. You should deny yourself. Do not say, “I have a great experience and talent. I am an expert, and I shall make use of all of my expertise. I shall consult other experts. I shall consult a lawyer.”
I knew a man who was always discontented and dissatisfied. After a great deal of thinking and calculation, he thought that if he sold his enormous wealth, which consisted of a big factory, a huge store and a luxurious home, which were all very expensive, and that if he invested his great wealth in a bank in Europe, at an interest of 18%, he would live there, in Europe, like a king. After long consideration and calculation, he put his plan into action. He sold all his possessions in Syria and traveled to Sweden, one of the most developed and comfortable countries in the world, thinking that he would buy a luxurious house and a big car, and then deposit all his money in the bank and live, happily and extravagantly, on the high interests that he would get on his money. But what happened? Being unable to provide the bank with the necessary documents, as the amount was so large, he had to deposit the money under someone else’s name, maybe a friend or a relative residing there, until he provided such documents. The very next day after he had deposited all his money under the other person’s name, he went to him to reclaim his money. The other person denied the whole matter and claimed hat he owed him nothing. Thus, in only a few hours, all his wealth was completely lost. What intelligence!
Keep this in mind: In your relationship with Allah, no intelligence or smartness on your part can ever avail you anything. That is why it is wisely said, “No care could ever avail against something Divinely decreed.” However, prayer and invocation to Him do avail, “And my guidance (and success) cannot come except from Allah”. Nothing can avail except by Allah’s Leave!
To sum up, your attitude towards Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name, Al-Fattah, should be to strive sincerely so that Allah, Most Gracious, may open to you the gate of knowledge. Also, you should open to other fellow humans the gates of your own good work and benefaction in the best moderation and wisdom.
Taken from Al-Nabulsi Encyclopedia for islamic Sciences Website