Names of Allah: AL-MUGHNEE - ZAHIR
AL-MUGHNEE (The Enricher)
That it is He Who enriches and Who satisfies. (Surat an-Najm, 53:48)
Allah, the true Owner of all wealth, tests some people with wealth and others with poverty. In His capacity of al-Warith (the Inheritor), Allah is the sole inheritor of everything. When people die, they leave behind all of their possessions. As for those who take pride in their possessions and wealth and thus fail to remember Allah, the Qur’an relates the following:
Do they imagine that, in the wealth and children We extend to them, We are hastening to them with good things? No indeed, but they have no awareness! (Surat al-Mu’minun, 23:55-56)
Allah may reward whomever He wills with great wealth. The Qur’an calls attention to the great wealth granted to such Messengers as Prophet Ibrahim (as), Prophet Muhammad (saas), Prophet Dawud (as), and Prophet Yusuf (as). Prophet Sulayman (as), on the other hand, asked for unprecedented wealth, and Allah answered his prayer.
One point deserves special mention here: Allah’s Messengers used their wealth to attain His good pleasure by doing good deeds. However, unbelievers take pride in their wealth and forget its real owner.
The Qur’an gives a detailed account of the wealth that a few people, who deserve to earn Allah’s good pleasure and thereby attain Paradise, will enjoy in the Hereafter. This glory is depicted in the following verses:
So Allah has safeguarded them from the evil of that Day, has made them meet with radiance and pure joy, and will reward them for their steadfastness with a garden and with silk. Reclining in it on couches, they will experience neither burning sun nor bitter cold. Its shading branches will droop down over them, its ripe fruit hanging ready to be picked. Vessels of silver and goblets of pure crystal will be passed round among them, crystalline silver—they have measured them very exactly. They will be given a cup to drink mixed with the warmth of ginger. In it is a flowing spring called Salsabil. Ageless youths will circulate among them, serving them. Seeing them, you would think them scattered pearls. Seeing them, you see delight and a great kingdom. They will wear green garments of fine silk and rich brocade. They will be adorned with silver bracelets. And their Lord will give them a pure draught to drink. “This is your reward. Your striving is fully acknowledged.” (Surat al-Insan, 76:11-22)
AN-NASIR (The Helper; The Supporter)
We supported them, and so they were the victors. (Surat as-Saffat, 37:116)
Allah is our sole helper and guardian. In all difficulties and situations, believers ask for His help and He accepts their call. In order to establish justice, acquire property and recover from an illness so that they could pursue Allah’s good pleasure, the Prophets turned to Allah alone. In return, He answered their sincere calls and guided them at all times. Allah promises the following in His book:
Our Word was given before to Our servants, the Messengers, that they would certainly be helped. (Surat as-Saffat, 37:171-72)
In this way, We have assigned to every Prophet an enemy from among the evildoers. But your Lord is a sufficient guide and helper. (Surat al-Furqan, 25:31)
In “... it is Our duty to help the believers” (Surat ar-Rum, 30:47), Allah states that He will help His believing servants. However, among the most important prerequisites for earning Allah’s good pleasure is to help His religion, observe His limits meticulously, and strive for this cause. In return, He always helps them. As Allah promises, victory belongs only to those who believe in our Lord and struggle to attain His good pleasure and consent. One verse reads:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land, just as He made those before them successors; will firmly establish for them their religion, with which He is pleased; and will give them, in place of their fear, security. “They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.” Any who do not believe after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 24:55)
Allah does not leave believers alone and helpless in this world. Rather, He promises to help them both in this world and beyond. And, as He states, He keeps His promises:
We will certainly help Our Messengers and those who believe both in the life of the world and on the Day the witnesses appear. (Surah Ghafir, 40:51)
AN-NUR (The Light)
Allah is the Light of the heavens and Earth. The metaphor of His Light is that of a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon Light. Allah guides to His Light whoever He wills, makes metaphors for mankind, and has knowledge of all things. In houses that Allah has permitted to be built and in which His name is remembered, there are men who proclaim His glory morning and evening. (Surat an-Nur, 24:35-36)
Allah, the Light of the heavens and Earth, manifests this attribute upon people. As a blessing, He illuminates His servants who believe in Him, recognize and appreciate His greatness, turn to Islam (the only just religion), and live by its morality:
Is he whose breast is opened to Islam, and who is therefore illuminated by his Lord…? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah! Such people are clearly misguided. (Surat az-Zumar, 39:22)
For the unbelievers, however, there is not a single source of “illumination.” Moreover, they cannot find a way out of the darkness in which they exist. Allah describes this darkness in the following terms:
Or they are like the darkness of a fathomless sea that is covered by waves above, which are waves above which are clouds, layers of darkness, one upon the other. If he puts out his hand, he can scarcely see it. Those to whom Allah gives no light, they have no light. (Surat an-Nur, 24:40)
While Allah leaves unbelievers in this darkness, He guides His faithful servants to the light. The following verse reveals that these two groups are mirror opposites and believers are absolutely superior, for:
Is someone who was dead and whom We brought to life, supplying him with a light by which to walk among people, the same as someone who is in utter darkness, unable to emerge from it? That is how what they were doing is made to seem attractive to the unbelievers. (Surat al-An‘am, 6:122)
Allah sends down warnings to believers in order to guide them to the light. His Messengers and the just Books that they bring are all sources of “light.” Those who comply with the divine message attain the true path and are illuminated. The Qur’an proclaims:
O Prophet! We have sent you as a witness, a bringer of good news, a warner, a caller to Allah by His permission, and a light-giving lamp. (Surat al-Ahzab, 33:45-46)
He sends down Clear Signs to His servant to bring you out of the darkness to the light. Allah is All-Gentle with you, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:9)
O People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you much of the Book that you have kept concealed, and passing over a lot. A Light has come to you from Allah, and a Clear Book. By it, Allah guides those who follow what pleases Him to the ways of peace. He will bring them from the darkness to the light by His permission, and guide them to a straight path. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 5:15-16)
Allah’s true servants will live happily until they die, and will be recognized by their light. Unbelievers, on the other hand, will remain in infinite darkness in the Hereafter as well, and will ask believers for some of their light. As the Qur’an states:
On the Day you see the men and women of the believers, with their light streaming out in front of them, and to their right: “Good news for you today of gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, forever. That is the Great Victory.” That Day, the men and women of the hypocrites will say to those who believe: “Wait for us so that we can borrow some of your light.” They will be told: “Go back and look for light!” And a wall will be erected between them with a gate in it, on the inside of which there will be mercy but before whose exterior lies punishment. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:12-13)
Allah is the Protector of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness and into the light. But those who are unbelievers have false deities as protectors. They take them from the light into the darkness. Those are the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, forever. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:257)
He calls down blessing upon you, as do His angels, to bring you out of the darkness and into the light. He is Most Merciful to the believers. (Surat al-Ahzab, 33:43)
And Earth will shine with the Pure Light of its Lord, the Book will be put in place, the Prophets and witnesses will be brought, and it will be decided between them with the truth. They will not be wronged. (Surat az-Zumar, 39:69)
Those who believe in Allah and His Messengers—such people are the truly sincere—and the martyrs who are with their Lord will receive their wages and their light. But those who are unbelievers and deny Our Signs will be Companions of the Blazing Fire. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:19)
O You who believe! Have fear [and awareness] of Allah and faith in His Messenger. He will give you a double portion of His mercy, grant you a Light by which to walk, and forgive you. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:28)
Prophet Muhammad (saas) advises believers to say the following in their prayers:
“Allahumma: Put light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my sight, light in my hearing, light on my right, light on my left, light above me, light beneath me, light in front of me, and light behind me. Put light in my soul, and give me great light.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
RABB AL-`ALIMEEN (Lord of All the Worlds)
All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of Earth, Lord of all the worlds. All greatness belongs to Him in the heavens and Earth. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Jathiya, 45:36-37)
Our universe contains many other worlds of which humanity is utterly ignorant. For example, each plant and animal species contains numerous subspecies. Even such inanimate objects as winds and clouds have many different types. Just like people, all things might be said to live in universes of their own.
This aside, Allah created the invisible world of atoms, cells with glorious systems that form our body, and hundreds of other microscopic living beings. He is the Lord of a coral colony in the depths of the ocean, just as He controls the infinite number of micro-universes of invisible organisms, to the macro-universes of celestial bodies. He feeds all of their inhabitants and causes them to survive. The Qur’an, which proclaims that Allah is the Lord of all the worlds, states:
Allah made Earth a stable home for you and the sky a dome; formed you, giving you the best of forms; and provided you with good and wholesome things. That is Allah, your Lord. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. He is the Living—there is no deity but Him—so call on Him, making your religion sincerely His. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. (Surah Ghafir, 40:64-65)
People who ponder over the oceans and its inhabitants, their lives and food, the symbiosis they experience, the delicate balance, their reproduction and continued existence, appreciate Allah’s infinite power.
Allah, the Lord of the universes as well as of the jinn and angels that exist in an utterly different time and space, created all of these beings and made them submit to Him. These universes, all works of His artistry and infinite power, are far beyond our wisdom and imagination. Faced with this greatness, we are obliged to turn to Allah, as Prophet Ibrahim (as) did. When Allah called him to submit, he said: “... I am a Muslim who has submitted to the Lord of all the worlds.” (Surat al-Baqara, 2:131)
After that, we should strive to devote our lives to earning His good pleasure, for:
Say: “My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds.” (Surat al-An‘am, 6:162)
So the last remnant of the people who did wrong was cut off. Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds! (Surat al-An‘am, 6:45) Your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and Earth in six days and then settled Himself firmly on the Throne. He covers the day with the night, each pursuing the other urgently; and the Sun and the Moon and stars are subservient to His command. Both creation and command belong to Him. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. (Surat al-A‘raf, 7:54)
AR-RAFI‘ (The Exalter; The Raiser)
Mention Idris in the Book. He was a true man and a Prophet. We raised him up to a high place. (Surah Maryam, 19:56-57)
People who are ignorant of religion lead a life that is far from Allah. Therefore, they neither observe His commands and prohibitions nor appreciate the countless blessings He grants out of His favor. Unable to think or exercise spiritual intelligence, they cannot appreciate Allah’s glory.
Throughout history, Allah has sent Messengers to all societies to convey His commands, prohibitions, and recommendations. In this way, He calls upon people who are far from religion to abandon their ignorance and lack of knowledge and then grants them another opportunity to follow the straight path. These Messengers were members of the nations to which they were sent, and were known for their moral excellence, wisdom, and superior conscience. As the Qur’an states many times, Messengers are people chosen by Allah to warn their people. They are distinguished from their fellows by being the first to notice Allah’s existence and greatness, and the nearness of the Hereafter. These features reveal their superiority.
After being granted prophethood, the Messengers called their people to the right path and warned them of the punishment of Hell. The difficulties that they faced, the hardships that the insolent unbelievers placed in their paths, and even the attempts on their lives never diverted them from the right path. On the contrary, such events deepened their faith. At times, Messengers met people who said: “We are Muslims submitted to our Lord,” but then suddenly deserted them when they encountered some difficulty. But they persevered, for these chosen servants of Allah were “on a sure footing with the Lord” (Surah Yunus, 10:2) and wholly submitted to Him.
In return for their sincerity and trust, Allah made them distinguished both in this world and in the Hereafter. The related verses read:
This is the argument We gave to Ibrahim against his people. We raise in rank anyone We will. Your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. We gave him Ishaq and Ya‘qub, each of whom We guided. And before him We had guided Nuh. And among his descendants were Dawud and Sulayman, and Ayyub, Yusuf, Musa, and Harun. That is how We recompense the good-doers. And Zakariyya, Yahya, ‘Isa, and Ilyas. All of them were among the righteous. And Isma‘il, al-Yasa‘, Yunus, and Lut. All of them We favored over all beings. (Surat al-An‘am, 6:83-85)
AR-RAHMAN AR-RAHEEM (The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful)
He is Allah—there is no deity but Him. He is the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible. He is the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:22)
Allah, the Most Gracious, manifests His infinite mercy and favor upon whatever He wills. We can survive only through this influx of visible and invisible blessings, all of which are submissive to Allah.
Allah encompasses His creation every day through His blessings. He causes millions of seeds to sprout, covers the earth's core with a temperature of 4,500° Celsius (8,132° Fahrenheit) with this fertile earth, pours down tons of clear water upon Earth’s surface, simultaneously feeds countless living beings all over the world, creates the oxygen that circulates in our lungs, and sends countless other blessings that give life.
Allah creates every one of the 100 trillion cells that make up the human body and then teaches every one of them their individual tasks; places DNA, which comprises information that would fill a million pages, in the cell; makes this system operate through protein, fat, and water molecules that He puts in a cube far smaller than 1 millimeter (0.03 inch); and gives each person a soul and keeps them alive until He wills otherwise.
From their birth to their death, each person receives and lives with Allah’s blessings. Some see these blessings, grasp the purpose of their existence, and thereby devote themselves to Allah. Others do not, and so remain ungrateful and reject serving Him. Despite this, however, Allah manifests His graciousness upon all people, regardless of whether they are unbelievers, hypocrites, or polytheists. For example, He provides all people with air to breathe, water to drink, houses to live in, children, health, beauty, and many other blessings. This manifests His name “the Most Gracious.”
Prophet Muhammad (saas) says in a hadith:
“Allah is more merciful to His servants than a mother is to her child.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)
In this life, Allah also grants blessings so that people may turn to religion, think, use their intellect, and thank Him. Those who turn away have only a short time, as short as the blink of an eye, to take advantage of these blessings. In the Hereafter, however, all blessings belong to believers who strove to draw near to Allah and earn His good pleasure while in this arena of testing. They give thanks to our Lord, for Allah is the Most Gracious and gives the good news of Paradise only to His faithful servants.
Gardens of Eden, which the All-Merciful has promised to His servants in the Unseen. His promise is always kept. (Surah Maryam, 19:61)
The All-Compassionate, the Most Merciful. (Surat al-Fatiha, 1:2)
Say: “Call upon Allah or call on the All-Merciful; whichever you call upon, the Most Beautiful Names are His.” Do not be too loud in your prayer or too quiet in it, but try to find a way between the two. (Surat al-Isra’, 17:110)
On that day they will follow the summoner, who has no crookedness in him at all. Voices will be humbled before the All-Merciful, and nothing but a whisper will be heard. (Surah Ta Ha, 20:108)
Say: “Lord, judge with truth! Our Lord is the All-Merciful, the One Whose help is sought in the face of what you describe.” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 21:112)
On the Day when the Spirit and the angels stand in ranks, no one will speak, except for him who is authorized by the All-Merciful and says what is right. (Surat an-Naba, 78:38)
AR-RAQEEB (The Watchful)
O mankind! Have fear [and awareness] of your Lord, Who created you from a single self, created its mate from it, and then disseminated many men and women from the two of them. Heed Allah, in Whose name you make demands on one another and also in respect of your families. Allah watches over you continually. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:1)
Allah protects and watches all beings; controls, watches, witnesses, and supervises everything from the stars and solar systems to atmospheric events and to the societies and plants covering this planet, and from the human body’s complex and complicated systems to the micro- and macro-universes that are invisible to the naked eye.
People may think that they are not responsible to anyone, and thus may live without a purpose. But regardless of what they are doing, Allah sees them, for nothing can be hidden from His Sight. Allah repays anything done with justice, for He has comprehensive knowledge. Many people think that Allah created the universe and then left it to its own devices. Yet this is only a delusion and an assumption.
Allah knows every invisible cell down to its minute details. While functioning in perfect harmony with the trillions of other cells in the body, one day a cell can no longer control its replication and thus causes cancer. We have no control over such developments, but Allah knows all of this and controls every phase. Just as a person cannot take a step without Allah’s will, that cell cannot function without His will. Given that He is the Creator, Allah knows everything and is the sole source of all knowledge. No being can do anything without Him knowing it. One verse reads:
... Allah is watchful over all things. (Surat al-Ahzab, 33:52)
AR-RA‘UF (The Gentle)
In this way, We have made you a middlemost community so that you may act as witnesses against mankind, and the Messenger [may act] as a witness against you. We only appointed the direction you used to face in order to distinguish those who follow the Messenger from those who turn back on their heels. Though in truth it is a very hard thing—except for those Allah has guided. Allah would never let your faith go to waste. Allah is All-Gentle, Most Merciful to mankind. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:143)
All beings owe their existence to Allah’s superior creation and the ensuing complex structures. This is one sign of our Lord’s mercy and compassion, since no living being is responsible for its own survival but must submit to Allah’s Will. Allah has already given every being whatever it needs. For instance, all living beings have various means of self-defense, such as a startling appearance, poisonous or flammable gasses, high levels of alertness and the ability to outrun their enemies, strong shields, camouflage, or the ability to play dead.
Living beings did not acquire these features coincidentally or by themselves. Allah, Who creates everything flawlessly and with great knowledge, reveals His compassion by endowing them with attributes that enable them to lead their lives comfortably.
Aside from these attributes, one notices that whatever has been created to serve humanity is also superior. Indeed, people who ponder over the material and spiritual attributes they enjoy readily notice that they live in a world that was created especially for them. The fact that our survival is assured is one of the greatest signs of Allah’s mercy. However, apart from our five senses, Allah has enabled us to think, an ability that makes us superior to all other living beings. Allah relates His attribute of ar-Rauf in the verses below, as follows:
On the Day that each self finds the good it did and the evil it did present in front of it, it will wish that there were an age between it and them. Allah advises you to beware of Him. Allah is Ever-Gentle with His servants. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:30)
Do you not see that Allah has made everything on Earth subservient to you, and the ships running upon the sea by His command? He holds back the heaven, preventing it from falling to the ground—except by His permission. Allah is All-Compassionate to mankind, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hajj, 22:65)
He sends down Clear Signs to His servant to bring you out of the darkness and into to the light. Allah is All-Gentle with you, Most Merciful. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:9)
AR-RAZZAQ (The All-Provider)
Truly, Allah is the Provider, the Possessor of Strength, the Sure. (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 51:58)
Imagine that you open your eyes in a world without mountains or oceans; with black, very dry and barren land; without animals or food for human beings, except for grass; and with infertile soil and water located hundreds of kilometers away. In order to survive, you would eat only that bitter grass and walk hundreds of kilometers to drink water. And, after a life of hardship, you would die. Interestingly, you would never ask: “Why can’t we grow juicy, delicious fruits, vegetables, and various other crops in this land?” because you would not even be aware that the land could yield such crops.
Allah, Who is very compassionate and merciful toward His servants, places people on fertile lands that yield countless blessings. Indeed, even without tilling them, lands yield green crops and clusters of flowers. Yellow, red, green, and orange fruits and vegetables come out of the soil, and the blue oceans abound with tasty fish. These aside, Allah places the meat of most animals and birds at our service, and gives them pure milk and honey. All of these are all blessings from Allah.
As Allah informs us in “Who is there who could provide for you if He withholds His provision? Yet still they obstinately persist in insolence and evasion” (Surat al-Mulk, 67:21), if He wills, lands do not yield crops, rain does not fall, and soil turns barren. But since Allah is Most Gracious, Most Merciful, it is impossible to number His blessings. He commands in the Qur’an, as follows:
O mankind! Remember Allah’s blessing to you. Is there any creator other than Allah providing for you from heaven and earth? There is no deity but Him. So how have you been deluded? (Surah Fatir, 35:3)
These blessings, which are granted in this world, have perfect counterparts in the Hereafter, as the Qur’an tells us:
No self knows the delight that is hidden away for it in recompense for what it used to do. (Surat as-Sajda, 32:17)
The inhabitants of Hell, on the other hand, will have nothing to eat and drink but the tree of az-Zaqqum, boiling water, and bitter thorny bush for all eternity.
Say: “Who provides for you out of heaven and earth? Who controls hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? Who directs the whole affair?” They will say: “Allah.” Say: “So will you not guard against evil?” (Surah Yunus, 10:31)
So that Allah can reward them for the best of what they did and give them more from His unbounded favor. Allah provides for anyone He wills without reckoning. (Surat an-Nur, 24:38)
AS-SAMAD (The Everlasting Refuge and Sustainer)
Allah, the Everlasting Sustainer of all. (Surat al-Ikhlas, 112:2)
In the entire universe, all power belongs to Allah, the only One Who can remove a person’s troubles and difficulties, and meet his needs. Sometimes people forget our Lord and take other guardians for themselves, who they believe can provide them with power, honor, and help. But this is a delusion, for there is no other deity other than Allah. Unless He wills otherwise, no one can help or harm anyone else. This fact is related in the Qur’an, as follows:
Do those who take the hypocrites as protectors, rather than the believers, hope to find power and strength with them? Power and strength belong entirely to Allah. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:139)
Our only refuge from distress is Allah, the Lord of power and honor, for He answers all of His servants’ prayers and eases, or fully removes, what is causing them hardship. Allah describes this, as follows:
He Who responds to the oppressed when they call upon Him and removes their distress, and has appointed you as inheritors of the land. Is there another deity besides Allah? How little you pay heed! (Surat an-Naml, 27:62)
This verse states that some people fail to recognize or forget Allah’s compassion and mercy and become ungrateful. However, as Allah states in “Say: ‘Allah rescues you from it, and from every plight’…” (Surat al-An‘am, 6:64), only He saves us from every distress. In return, He expects us to notice this answer, ponder over its importance, submit to Him, and become His grateful servant.
The Prophet (saas) advises believers to take refuge only in Allah:
"When you ask, ask from Allah; when you seek help, seek it of Allah.” (Hadith at-Tirmidhi)
AS-SADIQ (The True; The Keeper of His Word)
That is Allah’s promise. Allah does not break His promise. But most people do not know it. (Surat ar-Rum, 30:6)
Allah created humanity and sent Messengers to enjoin good and forbid evil. He also sent Books to guide humanity to the straight path. The Qur’an, the last of these just Books, guides us from the darkness to the light, to the right path.
In the Qur’an, Allah makes promises to both believers and unbelievers. Unless He wills otherwise, unbelievers are promised a stressful life in this world and an eternal punishment in Hell. But because they have no faith in this promise, they assume that they will never be punished. Allah addresses these deluded people in the following terms:
They ask you to hasten the punishment. Allah will not break His promise… (Surat al-Hajj, 22:47)
Meanwhile, Allah promises believers a blissful life both in this world and in the next, as the following verses state:
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land, just as He made those before them successors; will firmly establish for them their religion, with which He is pleased; and give them, in place of their fear, security. “They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.” Any who do not believe after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 24:55)
But as for those who believe and do right actions, We will admit them into gardens with rivers flowing under them, remaining in them timelessly, for ever and ever. Allah’s promise is true. Whose speech could be truer than Allah’s? (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:122)
The Words of your Lord are perfect in truthfulness and justice. No one can change His Words. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surat al-An‘am, 6:115)
Say: “Allah speaks the truth, so follow the religion of Ibrahim, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:95)
AS-SA’IQ (The Driver; He Who Drives to Hell)
But We will drive the evildoers to Hell, like cattle to a watering hole. (Surah Maryam, 19:86)
Humanity was created to serve Allah and has been placed here to be tested. Allah meets all of our needs and has granted us various blessings. Despite this, however, some people forget the purpose of their existence, become ungrateful, and rebel against Allah. Such rebellion has to be punished, for Allah is infinitely just. In the Qur’an, He reveals the end of those who grow arrogant, as follows:
As was the case with the people of Pharaoh and those before them. They denied Our Signs, so Allah seized them for their wrong actions. Allah is fierce in retribution. Say to those who are unbelievers: “You will be overwhelmed and crowded into Hell. What an evil resting-place!” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:11-12)
Although granted countless opportunities and given many warnings to turn to the straight path, they insisted upon turning away and becoming arrogant. Thus, on the Day of Judgment,
...You will see the wrongdoers saying, when they see the punishment: “Is there no way back?” You will see them as they are exposed to it, abject in their abasement, glancing around them furtively. Those who believe will say: “Truly the losers are those who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Rising.” The wrongdoers are in an everlasting punishment. (Surah ash-Shura, 42:44-45)
This situation manifests Allah’s infinite justice. In one verse, Allah relates that every person will receive whatever he or she deserves, as follows:
Allah does not wrong anyone by so much as the smallest speck. And if there is a good deed, Allah will multiply it and pay out an immense reward direct from Him. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:40)
As a requisite of this superior justice, Allah will host believers in infinite gardens abounding in unprecedented blessings. Allah gives this good news to believers who devote their lives to our Lord:
Give the good news to those who believe and do right actions that they will have gardens with rivers flowing under them. When they are given fruit as provision, they will say: “This is what we were given before.” But they were only given a simulation of it. They will have spouses of perfect purity and will remain there timelessly, forever. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:25)
AS-SANI‘ (The Artificer; The Maker)
You will see the mountains you reckoned to be solid going past like clouds—the handiwork of Allah Who gives to everything its solidity. He is aware of what you do. (Surat an-Naml, 27:88)
Every being, whether living or non-living, teems with signs of a superior wisdom and an infinite knowledge. No doubt, these manifest Allah’s attribute of al-‘Aleem. They also have another very important feature: a very delicate artistry. This attribute manifests itself in the form of an extraordinary appearance, flawlessness, a delicate and unique artistry, harmony, and design.
For instance, we can see the human body’s flawless design. All organs are placed in the most appropriate place. For instance, the places of the eyes and the heart, the latter of which is protected by the sternum, are entrusted with many divine purposes. The body’s symmetry, which is designed according to the “golden ratio” used by painters, is also strikingly beautiful. Indeed, each person’s eyes, nose, and mouth are put into their individual places with great delicacy.
In many living beings, Allah created certain details to manifest His attribute of as-Sani‘. As a result, every living being is unique. A tropical bird’s wings or a flower’s petals are dominated by phosphorous colors, whereas a butterfly’s wings contain several colors. Similarly, a reptile, a bird, and a marine animal are totally different from each other.
This infinite artistry is also visible in the plant world. As “And also the things of varying colors He has created for you in the land. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who pay heed” (Surat an-Nahl, 16:13) tells us, Allah created millions of different plants and flowers with various odors, smell, colors, and symmetry. For example, an orchid has hundreds of different appearances and colors. Similarly, a rose has many colors of varying tones. Such uniqueness is a clear sign of His artistry.
Allah manifests this attribute by presenting all of these aesthetic living beings to humanity. He could have created just one type of every living being. But by creating many species, He has displayed an amazing artistry that mere words cannot describe with full justice. Moreover, the examples of His artistry are wherever we look and are perfect.
AS-SALAM (The All-Peace)
He is Allah—there is no deity but Him. He is the King, the Most Pure, the Perfect Peace, the Trustworthy, the Safeguarder, the Almighty, the Compeller, the Supremely Great. Glory be to Allah above all they associate with Him. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:23)
Allah gave the good news of an eternal Paradise to His believing servants. Yet one point is often missed here: These servants are rewarded with a beautiful life not only in the Hereafter but in this world as well, as the following verse reveals:
What is with you runs out, but what is with Allah goes on forever. Those who were steadfast will be recompensed according to the best of what they did. Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a believer, We will give them a good life and will recompense them according to the best of what they did. (Surat an-Nahl, 16:96-97)
No doubt, the blissful life in both worlds manifests Allah’s attribute of as-Salam upon His faithful servants. A believer who is devoted to Allah and does good deeds to attain His good pleasure will return to His Lord “...well pleasing and well pleased” (Surat al-Fajr, 89:28). Allah describes what such servants will find in the Hereafter, as follows:
And the garden will be brought close to the pious not far away: “This is what you were promised. It is for every careful penitent: those who fear the All-Merciful in the Unseen and come with a contrite heart. Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Timeless Eternity.” They will have there everything they want, and with Us there is still more. (Surah Qaf, 50:31-35)
Allah’s attribute of as-Salam is also His greeting to those who enter Paradise. In Surah Ya Sin 36:58 Allah states: “‘Peace!’ A word from a Merciful Lord.” This greeting is the greatest reward that believers will ever receive, for:
Such people will be repaid for their steadfastness with the Highest Paradise, where they will meet with welcome and with “Peace.” (Surat al-Furqan, 25:75)
AS-SAMEE‘ (The All-Hearing)
Certainly those who argue about the Signs of Allah without any authority having come to them have nothing in their hearts except pride, which they will never be able to vindicate. Therefore seek refuge with Allah. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. (Surah Ghafir, 40:56)
As well as seeing everything, Allah, Who is closer to us than our jugular veins, hears every noise in the universe. For example, He hears each noise made by all of the galaxies, planets, and celestial bodies; those made by the billions of invisible living beings living in the micro-universe, for He created them; and the noise made by a splitting seed, a flash of lightening, or a flying bird’s wings. This fact is related in the following verse:
Say: “My Lord knows what is said in heaven and Earth. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 21:4)
One sign of Allah’s greatness and power is His hearing every noise made by all living and non-living beings. He hears—and answers—the prayers of all people who secretly turn to Him and call upon Him. Indeed, in another verse Allah states: “If My servants ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls upon Me...” (Surat al-Baqara, 2:186). This is quite easy for Allah, for He is everywhere at the same moment.
In addition, Allah also hears the rebels’ most delicate plots, for He encompasses all things in His knowledge. No person has ever uttered a single word without Him knowing it. They will be confronted by all of their words in the Hereafter, as the Qur’an reveals:
Say: “Do you worship, besides Allah, something that has no power to harm or help you when Allah is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing?” (Surat al-Ma’ida, 5:76)
His Lord replied to him and turned away from him their female guile and deviousness. He is the One Who Hears, the One Who Knows. (Surah Yusuf, 12:34)
ASH-SHAFEE (The Affectionate; The Healer)
And when I am ill, it is He Who heals me. (Surat ash-Shu‘ara’, 26:80)
Allah uses illness to force people to realize just how feeble they are and how much help they really need. Thus, the hundreds of diseases in our world are created for both bodily and spiritual purposes. For example, they are signs of a purposeful and superior creation and of His power, for how else can one explain the existence of microscopic viruses?
Only Allah can remove an illness, for He is the One Who created it. As a manifestation of ash-Shafee, Allah removes a disease whenever He wills. If He does not will this, no doctor, advanced technology, or innovative medication can help or cure the patient, for all medicine is only means of recovery. Each illness is sent so that we may ponder upon it, eventually see our Lord’s infinite power next to our own feebleness, and seek His help whenever we are in distress. Believers have to be aware that Allah is their only guardian and helper.
The Qur’an praises Prophet Ayyub (as) for his submission to Allah. The moral excellence, patience, and trust he displayed in the face of devastating distress has become an example for all believers. The related verse is as follows:
And Ayyub, when he called out to his Lord: “Great harm has afflicted me, and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 21:83)
Allah answered his call and removed his distress, and Prophet Ayyub (as) earned the rewards of being patient and turning solely to Allah.
ASH-SHAFI‘ (The Intercessor)
Or have they adopted intercessors besides Allah? Say: “Even though they do not control a thing and have no awareness?” Say: “Intercession is entirely Allah’s affair. The kingdom of the heavens and Earth is His. Then you will be returned to Him.” (Surat az-Zumar, 39:43-44)
Those who have faith in Allah and yet associate partners with Him assume that these partners will intercede for them on the Day of Judgment. According to their belief, such “guardians” will take responsibility for their followers or purify them. And so they undertake strenuous efforts to earn their approval and constantly think of them. But this is no more than a huge delusion, for Allah states that He will be the only Protector on the Day of Judgment, as follows:
Abandon those who have turned their religion into a game and a diversion, who have been deluded by the life of the world. Remind [them] by it [the Qur’an], lest a person is delivered up to destruction for what he has earned with no protector or intercessor besides Allah. Were he to offer every kind of compensation, it would not be accepted from him... (Surat al-An‘am, 6:70)
On that Day, no one will befriend another or bear someone’s sins. As Allah informs us, only those who please Him will be allowed to intercede, and this person will surely say the truth. Unbelievers will find no guardian or intercessor on that Day, and no support, protection, or intercession, for Allah is the only Guardian and Intercessor:
Allah created the heavens and Earth and everything between them in six days, and then established Himself firmly upon the Throne. You have no protector or intercessor apart from Him. So will you not pay heed? (Surat as-Sajda, 32:4)
ASH-SHARIH (The Opener)
Is he whose breast is opened to Islam, and who is therefore illuminated by his Lord…? Woe to those whose hearts are hardened against the remembrance of Allah! Such people are clearly misguided. (Surat az-Zumar, 39:22)
The existence of Allah and the Hereafter is obvious. Despite this, however, the majority of people have no faith. A person attains true faith only when Allah “opens one’s breast to Islam.” This acquisition of faith is the greatest blessing from Allah, for if Allah had no mercy and favor upon His sincere servants, none of them would attain salvation. While creating humanity, Allah gave every soul a lower self that would tempt each man and woman toward evil. However, He also ensured that His sincere servants could attain the straight path by both overcoming and avoiding such temptations.
This right path, which is attained by following one’s conscience, is a blessing granted to sincere believers. As Allah informs us:
... However, Allah has given you love of faith and made it pleasing to your hearts, and has made disbelief, deviance, and disobedience hateful to you. People such as these are rightly guided. It is a great favor from Allah and a blessing. (Surat al-Hujurat, 49:7-8)
Those who forget how they were created and insist on unbelief, despite all of the signs surrounding them, who follow the dictates of their lower selves and do not exercise their conscience, will experience the following:
As for those who are unbelievers, it makes no difference to them whether you warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. Allah has sealed up their hearts and hearing, and over their eyes is a blindfold. They will have a terrible punishment. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:6-7)
Have you seen him who takes his whims and desires to be his deity—whom Allah has misguided knowingly, sealing up his hearing and his heart and placing a blindfold over his eyes? Who, then, will guide him after Allah? So will you not pay heed? (Surat al-Jathiya, 45:23)
ASH-SHAHEED (The Witness)
Say: “Allah is a sufficient witness between me and you. He is certainly aware of and sees His servants.” (Surat al-Isra’, 17:96)
Allah has no beginning and no end, is the sole absolute Being, and is not bound by such human concepts as time or space. Therefore, everything that ever happens, regardless of whether it happened in the past, the present, or the future, are the same in—and are fully known to—His Sight.
He knows everything, whether it is done in secret or in public, in darkness or in light, while alone or while in a crowd. Being ignorant, people assume that what they do at night might conceal their sins and hide them as well. But such hopes are futile, for the Qur’an states:
Do you not see that Allah knows what is in the heavens and on Earth? Three men cannot confer together secretly without Him being the fourth, or five without Him being the sixth, or fewer than that or more without Him being with them wherever they are. Then He will inform them on the Day of Rising of what they did. Allah has knowledge of all things. (Surat al-Mujadala, 58:7)
Allah is fully knowledgeable of everyone’s intentions, thoughts, and deeds at every one moment. Each of us will be called to account for all of these on the Day of Judgment. People who deny these truths will understand their mistake on the Day of Judgment. As “On the Day Allah raises up all of them together, He will inform them of what they did. Allah has recorded it while they have forgotten it. Allah is a Witness of all things” (Surat al-Mujadala, 58:6) maintains, in the Hereafter we will be repaid for each one of our deeds:
You do not engage in any matter, recite any of the Qur’an, or do any action without Our witnessing you while you are occupied with it. Not even the smallest speck eludes your Lord, either on Earth or in heaven. Nor is there anything smaller than that, or larger, which is not in a Clear Book. (Surah Yunus, 10:61)
But Allah bears witness to what He has sent down to you. He has sent it down with His knowledge. The angels bear witness as well. And Allah suffices as a Witness. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:166)
Whether We show you something of what We have promised them or take you back to Us, they will still return to Us. Then Allah will be witness against what they are doing. (Surah Yunus, 10:46)
We will show them Our Signs on the horizon and within themselves until it is clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not enough for your Lord that He is a witness of everything? (Surah Fussilat, 41:53)
ASH-SHAKUR (The Appreciative; He Who Is Responsive to Gratitude)
If you make a generous loan to Allah He will multiply it for you and forgive you. Allah is most Ready to appreciate [service], Most Clement. (Surat at-Taghabun, 64:17)
Allah gives countless blessings to us and only asks each of us to be a grateful servant. Allah draws our attention to the importance of being grateful in Surah Ibrahim 14:7: "...And when your Lord announced: 'If you are grateful, I will certainly give you increase; but if you are ungrateful, My punishment is severe.'”
One who does not give thanks for all of these blessings will be repaid in the Hereafter, for Allah’s infinite justice requires this. However, Allah is very compassionate toward His servants, as the Qur’an states:
Allah does not wrong anyone by so much as the smallest speck. And if there is a good deed, Allah will multiply it and pay out an immense reward direct from Him. (Surat an-Nisa,’ 4:40)
Whoever does a good deed for Allah’s cause will be rewarded with what is better on the Day of Judgment.
That is the good news that Allah gives to His servants who believe and do right actions. Say: “I do not ask you for any wage for this—except for you to love your near of kin. If anyone does a good action, We will increase the good of it for him. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful.” (Surat ash-Shura, 42:23)
That He will pay them their wages in full and give them more from His unbounded favor. He is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful. (Surah Fatir, 35:30)
They will say: “Praise be to Allah, Who has removed all sadness from us. Truly our Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Ever-Thankful.” (Surah Fatir, 35:34)
AT-TAWWAB (The Acceptor of Repentance)
Except for those who repent, put things right, and make things clear. I turn toward them. I am the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:160)
As stated earlier, humanity was created ignorant and ungrateful, and therefore is vulnerable to sins, mistakes, and weaknesses. This aside, Satan constantly tempts people and strives to plant vain desires and deviance in them. Yet, no matter how great one's mistakes and sins are, there is always a way out: sincere repentance and His ensuing forgiveness. For this reason, we should never lose hope, regardless of what we have done. In the Qur’an, Allah states:
Say: “My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” (Surat az-Zumar, 39:53)
Meanwhile, there is a very important point we need to keep in mind:
Allah only accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and then quickly repent after doing it. Allah turns toward such people. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. There is no repentance for people who persist in doing evil until death comes to them and who then say: “Now I repent,” nor for people who die as unbelievers. We have prepared for them a painful punishment. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:17-18)
Clearly, Allah accepts the repentance of His sincere servants, for their regret and commitment to abandon their sinful behavior is real. Even clearer is the fact that the death-bed repentance of an unbeliever is meaningless. The Qur’an gives the example of the Pharaoh’s insincere repentance:
We brought the tribe of Israel across the sea, and Pharaoh and his troops pursued them out of tyranny and enmity. Then, when he was on the point of drowning, he said: “I believe that there is no deity but Him in whom the tribe of Israel believe. I am one of the Muslims.” What, now! When previously you rebelled and were one of the corrupters? (Surah Yunus, 10:90-91)
And also toward the three who were left behind, so that when the land became narrow for them, for all its great breadth, and their own selves became constricted for them and they realized that there was no refuge from Allah except in Him, He turned to them so that they might turn to Him. Allah is the Ever-Returning, the Most Merciful. (Surat at-Tawba, 9:118)
Were it not for Allah's favor to you and His mercy … and that Allah is Ever-Returning, All-Wise. (Surat an-Nur, 24:10)
AL-WAHID (The One)
Your God is One God. There is no god but Him, the All-Merciful, the Most Merciful. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:163)
For centuries, people who have failed to grasp Allah’s greatness have worshipped what they considered to be “superior” and “powerful” beings, such as the Sun or stars. Furthermore, despite all their feebleness, some people even dared to declare themselves as deities. In the Qur’an, Allah gives the example of a man who argued with Prophet Ibrahim (as) about Allah’s unity and power. Prophet Ibrahim (as) responded in the following terms:
What about the one who argued with Ibrahim about his Lord, on the basis that Allah had given him sovereignty? Ibrahim said: “My Lord gives life and causes to die.” He said: “I too give life and cause to die.” Ibrahim said; “Allah makes the Sun come from the East. Make it come from the West.” And the one who was an unbeliever was dumbfounded. Allah does not guide wrongdoing people. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:258)
Setting up any other deity with Allah is not unique to previous peoples, for we see it even in our own time. While modern people do not worship the Sun, particular stars, or similar items, they worship people who are just as helpless as themselves or such concepts as beauty, wealth, and power. They devote their lives to acquiring wealth and never once wonder if Allah is pleased with them. They consider people, other beings, or particular objects as equal to Allah and so clearly associate partners with Him.
Given that Allah is the Creator, no one can make the Sun rise from the West, stop the universe from expanding, hold the heavens and Earth, or create a human being from nothing. Allah is the only God, for nothing that exists can be equal to the Creator. The Qur’an describes the weakness of those who associate partners with Allah, as follows:
O mankind! An example has been made, so listen carefully. Those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create a single fly, even if they were to join together to do it. And if a fly steals something from them, they cannot get it back. How feeble are both the seeker and the sought! (Surat al-Hajj, 22:73)
... Or have they assigned partners to Allah who create as He creates, so that all creating seems the same to them? Say: “Allah is the Creator of everything. He is the One, the All-Conquering.”(Surat ar-Ra‘d, 13:16)
... The Messiah, ‘Isa son of Maryam, was only the Messenger of Allah and His Word, which He cast into Maryam, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in Allah and His Messengers. Do not say: “Three.” It is better that you stop. Allah is only One God. He is too Glorious to have a son! Everything in the heavens and in Earth belongs to Him. Allah suffices as a Guardian. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:171)
AL-WARITH (The Inheritor)
How many cities We have destroyed that lived in insolent ingratitude! There are their houses, never again inhabited after them, except a little. It was We Who were their Heir. (Surat al-Qasas, 28:58)
Throughout their lives, such people strive to accumulate more wealth. Some people are so committed to this end that this goal takes over their lives and leaves them no time to wonder why they exist. However, there is one fact these people disregard:
Say: “Shall I inform you of the greatest losers in their actions? People whose efforts in the life of the world are misguided while they suppose that they are doing good.” (Surat al-Kahf, 18:103-04)
Indeed, until their last breath, they strive for a vain purpose. Yet one day, at a totally unexpected moment, they will face the angels of death. Wrapped in a simple shroud, these people, who were widely admired because of their wealth, will be buried in the ground and thus leave everything behind. All they can take with them into their graves is their naked body, their fear, and their closeness to Allah.
Allah is the sole Inheritor of Earth, and His sincere servants are made wealthy by His favor. As we mentioned above, all wealth, status, and respect enjoyed in this world is temporary. Allah, Who grants all of these blessings, takes each person’s soul whenever He wills. The Qur’an reveals how each person will be brought before Allah’s presence:
We give life and cause to die, and We are the Inheritor. (Surat al-Hijr, 15:23)
And Zakariyya, when he called out to his Lord: “My Lord, do not leave me on my own, though You are the Best of Inheritors.” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 21:89)
AL-WASI‘ (The All-Embracing; The Boundless)
O You who believe! If any of you renounce your religion, Allah will bring forward a people whom He loves and who love Him, humble to the believers, fierce to the unbelievers, who strive in the Way of Allah and do not fear the blame of any censurer. That is the unbounded favor of Allah, which He gives to whoever He wills. Allah is Boundless, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Ma’ida, 5:54)
Allah encompasses all universes. As the Creator of everything Who is not bound by place, He is above all places. In many societies, people commonly believe that Allah resides in the heavens. Thus, while calling upon him, they turn their faces to the heavens. The fact is, however, that “Both East and West belong to Allah, so wherever you turn, the Face of Allah is there. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing.”(Surat al-Baqara, 2:115)
Allah informs us that He is the Lord of the heavens and Earth. Given this, He clearly settled Himself everywhere and owns everything that exists. His blessings never end, His mercy is boundless, His forgiveness is vast, and His mercy and compassion are infinite. Allah’s attribute of al-Wasi manifests itself especially on believers. As His mercy and compassion are vast, He encompasses His faithful servants with His mercy and protects them. For instance, some unbelievers seek to harm religion by imposing hardships, such as by saying, “... Do not spend on those who are with the Messenger of Allah, so that they may go away...” (Surat al-Munafiqun, 63:7). But all of these efforts are futile, for Allah gives His unbounded mercy and wealth to whomever He wills, for He owns the treasures of the heavens and Earth. One verse mentions that He is All-Encompassing:
[A group of the People of the Book say,] “Do not trust anyone, except for those who follow your religion.” Say: “Allah’s guidance is true guidance. But you think it is impossible for anyone to be given the same as you were given, or to argue with you before your Lord.” Say: “All favor is in Allah’s Hand, and He gives it to whoever He wills. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:73)
AL-WADUD (The Loving)
He is the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Loving. (Surat al-Buruj, 85:14)
Those people who understand that Allah created humanity to serve Him remain sincere to Him until they die, while others deny His existence. Allah is very close to His loyal servants. He hears and answers their prayers, is with them whenever they encounter a difficulty, and supports them at every stage of their lives.
One of the greatest blessings that people may attain in this life is Allah’s love and friendship. Allah’s beloved servants lead honorable and distinguished lives, and their moral perfection always earns great admiration and appreciation. He admits His beloved servants into His mercy and lets them enter Paradise. Prophets and sincere believers are very valuable people who have earned Allah’s love, love Allah, and lead their lives only to earn His good pleasure.
Ask your Lord for forgiveness, and then repent to Him. My Lord is Most Merciful, Most Loving. (Surah Hud, 11:90)
AL-WAHHAB (The All-Giving)
Or do they possess the treasuries of your Lord’s mercy, the Almighty, the Ever-Giving? (Surah Sad, 38:9)
Allah promised a life of infinite happiness in Paradise, which starts here in this world, for He also promised a beautiful life in this world. This is why sincere believers see no limits when asking their Lord to meet their needs. They can ask their Lord for anything that will draw them nearer to Him. Allah answers these calls as He wills, and His answer is always the best. One example is Prophet Sulayman’s (as) prayer: “Truly do I love the love of good, with a view to the glory of my Lord” (Surah Sad, 38:32) and continued:
He said: “My Lord, forgive me and give me a kingdom the like of which will never be granted to anyone after me. Truly You are the Ever-Giving.” (Surah Sad, 38:35)
Prophet Sulayman (as) prayed for such a kingdom because he knew that Allah rewards His sincere servants both in this world and in the Hereafter. One verse reads:
Our Lord, do not make our hearts swerve aside after You have guided us. And give us mercy from You. You are the Ever-Giving. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:8)
AL-WAKEEL (The Guardian)
They have the word “obedience” on their tongues, but when they leave your presence, a group of them spend the night plotting to do other than what you say. Allah is recording their nocturnal plotting. So let them be and put your trust in Allah. Allah suffices as a Guardian. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:81)
Allah wants His sincere and faithful servants to trust Him in every circumstance. Indeed, all Prophets encountered many difficulties and much enmity while spreading Allah’s message within their unbelieving communities. And yet they always maintained their brave and resolute attitude for, seeking only Allah’s good pleasure, they took refuge in Allah.
Allah informs us that He helps those who help His religion. There will always be people who fight believers and follow Satan. They may hatch plots to harm believers and strive to break their zeal with offensive words and slanders. Yet they can never attain their goals, for their plans are feeble next to Allah’s infinite power and wisdom. Allah, Who knows and sees all the details of every plot, helps the patient and resolute believers who befriend Him and enables them to attain the best. This metaphysical phenomenon is incomprehensible to unbelievers. In this way, believers who trust in Allah attain great spiritual and physical strength. Allah mentions this in the following verses:
Those who submit themselves completely to Allah and do good have grasped the Firmest Handhold. The end result of all affairs is with Allah. (Surah Luqman, 31:22)
Those to whom people said: “The people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But that merely increased their faith, and they said: “Allah is enough for us and the Best of Guardians.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:173)
Taking Allah as their guardian has always resulted in their victory. The related verses read: So they returned with blessings and bounty from Allah, and no evil touched them. They pursued the pleasure of Allah. Allah’s favor is indeed immense. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:174)
Lord of the East and West—there is no deity but Him—so take Him as your Guardian. (Surat al-Muzzammil, 73:9)
Say: “Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.” (Surat at-Tawba, 9:51)
AL-WALEE (The Protector)
Allah is the Protector of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness and into the light. But those who do not believe have false deities as protectors. They take them from the light into the darkness. Those are the Companions of the Fire remaining in it timelessly, forever. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:257)
Both in this world and in the next, people have only one real friend. This friend never abandons them, is next to them, and helps them in the face of every difficulty. From the day they are born until they die, He is always with them and protects them against their enemies. He is more reliable than anyone else, and always rewards them without expecting anything in return. This friend, of course, is our Lord, the believers’ most intimate friend, Who purifies all those who place their trust in Him and promise them a distinguished life here and eternal wealth in the Hereafter.
Throughout their lives, people seek someone more powerful or wealthier upon whom they can rely in all circumstances. Yet while seeking such people, they totally forget our All-Mighty Lord, Who created them and meets all of their needs. They take Satan, who only leads them toward sin and hinders them from attaining Paradise, as their friend. This is the beginning of a gloomy world.
People who have faith and sincere faith in Allah, on the other hand, enjoy a good and honorable life. In this life, there is no room for failure, because Allah grants victory to believers as long as they remain committed to their religion and their words. Meanwhile, the actual reward is waiting for them in the Hereafter. Allah is the sole real protector of believers both in this world and beyond. His attribute of al-Walee is described in the following verses:
Allah knows best who your enemies are. Allah suffices as a Protector; Allah suffices as a Helper. (Surat an-Nisa’, 4:45)
And remember when two of your clans were on the point of losing heart and Allah was their Protector. Let the believers put their trust in Allah. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:122)
It is He Who sends down abundant rain, after they have lost all hope, and unfolds His mercy. He is the Protector, the Praiseworthy. (Surat ash-Shura, 42:28)
DHU AL-JALAL WA AL-IKRAM (Master of Majesty and Generosity)
Blessed be the name of your Lord, Master of Majesty and Generosity. (Surat ar-Rahman, 55:78)
People enjoy countless blessings, for Allah has adorned this world with many details that are pleasing to His servants. However, Allah will show His infinite generosity in Paradise.
One of the most telling attributes of the Paradise is that believers will have all that their hearts desire, without any limit. There will be gardens with rivers flowing underneath and cool, refreshing shade. By the grace of Allah, devout believers will be amid shaded gardens with spreading branched, flowing springs, and whatever kind of fruit and meat they desire. In addition, they will have high-ceilinged halls with rivers flowing underneath, where they will recline on couches ranged in rows and take pleasure from the surrounding beauty. Circulating among them will be youths like hidden pearls, passing among them vessels of silver and goblets of pure crystal. Meanwhile, “... they will be adorned with gold bracelets and pearls, and where their clothing will be of silk.” (Surat al-Hajj, 22:23)
No doubt, the Qur’an’s descriptions of Paradise are far more elaborate than what we could convey above. The verses below give a detailed description of Allah’s infinite generosity in Paradise:
… they will have there all that their hearts desire and their eyes find delight in. You will remain in it timelessly, forever. (Surat az-Zukhruf, 43:71) Seeing them, you see delight and a great kingdom. (Surat al-Insan, 76:20)
AZ-ZAHIR (The Evident; The Outward)
He is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward. He has knowledge of all things. (Surat al-Hadid, 57:3)
The signs of Allah’s existence, which are spread throughout the universe, are evident for all people of understanding. Grasping Allah’s existence demands no more than a careful scrutiny into one’s surroundings, for the universe abounds with signs of creation. From the simplest to the most complex ones, all systems reveal a network of miracles that present even more mysteries as one makes an in-depth analysis. In the Qur’an, Allah gives the following examples of these miracles:
Have they not looked at the sky above them: how We structured it and made it beautiful, and how there are no fissures in it? And Earth: how We stretched it out and cast firmly embedded mountains onto it and caused luxuriant plants of every kind to grow in it? (Surah Qaf, 50:6-7)
Have they not looked at the birds above them, with wings outspread and folded back? Nothing holds them up but the All-Merciful. He sees all things. (Surat al-Mulk, 67:19)
Allah splits the seed and kernel. He brings forth the living from the dead, and produces the dead out of the living. That is Allah, so how are you deluded? He splits the sky at dawn, and appoints the night as a time of stillness and the Sun and the Moon as a means of reckoning. That is what the Almighty, the All-Knowing has ordained. He has appointed the stars for you so you might be guided by them in the darkness of the land and sea. We have made the Signs clear for people who have knowledge. (Surat al-An‘am, 6:95-97)
No doubt, these are just a few examples. Elsewhere, Allah reminds His servants of His existence through many examples. One of their most telling attributes is that they ponder over everything they see and gradually comprehend Allah’s existence and greatness. As we mentioned above, each detail in our universe makes us feel that we were created.
People of intelligence who recognize Allah’s greatness and power surely feel an inner awe toward our Creator, Who will call each one of them to account for their deeds in the Hereafter. Therefore, they spend their lives striving to earn His good pleasure. In one verse, Allah says the following:
Those who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and Earth: “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Glory be to You! So safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Surah Al ‘Imran, 3:191)