Allah’s name Al-‘Adheem— The Magnificent, The Supreme Glory, the Greatest — on eleven occasions in the Quran. He is the One whose might and grandeur are contained within Himself. All His actions are perfect, and only He deserves to be exalted by creation. Al-‘Adheem is the owner of all power, might, and strength. Everything besides Him is small and insignificant!
Enormous, Superior, and Above Imperfection
‘Adheem comes from the root ayn-Dhaa-meem, which points to four main meanings. The first is to be great, large, vast, huge, and enormous and also to be great in rank. The second main meaning is to be imposing, powerful, superior, and honoured, and the fourth is to be above any imperfection.
This root appears 128 times in the Quran in five derived forms. Examples of these forms are yu’adhim (honour), adheemun (great), and ‘idhaaman (bones).
Linguistically, ‘adheem is a superlative derived from the noun `idham, which encompasses greatness, magnanimity, and honour. Al-‘Adheem, is the One whose greatness can’t be grasped by sight; it’s beyond all limits, and no human intellect can ever absorb it.
Al-‘Adheem Himself says: He is the most High, the Greatest. [Quran, 2:255] . . . To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great. [Quran, 42:4] So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great. [Quran, 56:74]
The ‘adheem of creation and Al-‘Adheem
In the Arabic language the word ‘adheem is used to point out to different concepts of greatness, for example a punishment ‘adheem is a great punishment, or a man ‘adheem is a great man.
However, the magnificence of Allah Al-‘Adheem is beyond our imagination, even though we see part of His actions in the world we live in. Each attribute or action of any created being, even though it seems great, is insignificant looking at Al-‘Adheem. For example the knowledge of the most learned scholar cannot even be compared to the perfect knowledge of Al-‘Adheem, not in the slightest.
Your prayer with Al-‘Adheem
‘Adhm means bone; it refers to strength. Al-‘Adheem is the greatest and the strongest and He chose us to contemplate His greatness and strength each time we bow down and say ‘Subhaana Rabbiyal ‘Adheem’ in our prayer.
In His ultimate wisdom He chose this name of all His names to be repeated a minimum of three times in each prayer. We say it while we are bowing down, submitting to His greatness and strength. When we bow in rukoo’ we should focus all of our body and mind on how inferior we are in comparison with Al-‘Adheem. Bowing is admitting, testifying to the grandeur and the might of Allah ‘azza wa jall!
How Can You Live by This Name?
1. Fill up your scales of deeds by remembering Al-‘Adheem
Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: The Messenger of Allah salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: ‘There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-‘Adheem [Glory be to Allah and His is the praise, (and) Allah, the Greatest is free from imperfection).’ [Al-Bukharee and Muslim] Make it a habit to say this any spare moment, while working, cooking, waiting, travelling, etcetera.
2. Ask Al-‘Adheem for help in all situations.
He is the owner of all strength; each hardship, challenge, or problem you face is insignificant compared to what He was able to create. Al-‘Adheem created the beautiful sky and the strong and huge mountains— don’t you think He will be able to solve all your problems? So ask Al-‘Adheem to help you in all situations and call on Him whenever you feel you need strength to carry on in life.
3. Fear no one but Al-‘Adheem.
O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and do not die except in the state of Islam. [Quran, 3:102] Even the strongest man in this world is absolutely nothing compared to the greatness and strength of Al-‘Adheem, so fear no one and nothing except Him.
4. Make it a habit to recite ayatul kursi.
Allah ‘azza wa jall concludes ayatul kursi with His name Al-‘Adheem and it is called the greatest—‘adham— aya of the Quran and in it the most great (‘adham) name of Allah is mentioned. Make it a habit to recite it after each fard (obligatory) prayer and before sleeping.
`Ubayy bin Ka`b said that the Prophet asked him about the greatest ayah in the Book of Allah, and `Ubayy answered, Allah and His Messenger know better. When the Prophet repeated his question several times, `Ubayy said, ayatul-Kursi. The Prophet commented, Congratulations for having knowledge, O Abu Al-Mundhir! By He in Whose Hand is my soul, this ayah has a tongue and two lips with which she praises the King (Allah) next to the leg of the Throne. [Ahmad]
5. Increase your dhikr when you bow.
To feel your rukoo’ increase your adhkaar (rememberance) in it. A dhikr from the sunnah including this name is:
سُبْحَانَ ذِي الْجَبَرُوتِ، وَالْمَلَكُوتِ، وَالْكِبْرِيَاءِ، وَالْعَظَمَةِ
How perfect He is, The Possessor of total power, sovereignty, magnificence and grandeur [Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’ee, Ahmad].
O Allah Al-‘Adheem, we know You are the magnificent and Your strength and greatness are beyond our comprehension. Make us glorify You and turn to You in hardship and ease, aid us to fear no one and nothing but You, guide us to be of the those who are always in a state of awarenss of Your might and grandeur, and make our scales heavy by remembering You and living by Your beautiful names, ameen!
And Allah knows best.
The Understand Quran Academy Team
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