Allah calls Himself Al-Kaafi— The Sufficient— on one occasion in the Quran. Al-Kaafi is the One who is sufficient for His servants. He is the only one who suffices all the needs of the ones who believe and trust in Him, and no one is in need of anything else but Him!
The Sufficient— the one who suffices for all needs
Kaafi comes from the root kaaf-faa-yaa, which points to two main meanings. The first meaning is to be sufficient and to be enough. The second main meaning is to be able to protect, shield and save something perfectly.
This root appears 33 times in the Quran in two derived forms. Examples of these forms are
wa kafaa (“and sufficient”) and yakfihim (“sufficient for them”).
Linguistically kaafi refers to the one possessing the attribute of sufficiency, whereas kafaa refers to the verb “to suffice.” Al-Kaafi is the ultimate one to suffice each and every need with great ease and whenever He pleases for His believing and devoted servants.
Al-Kaafi Himself says: Is not Allah sufficient for His Servant [Prophet Muhammad]? And [yet], they threaten you with those [they worship] other than Him. And whoever Allah leaves astray – for him there is no guide [Quran, 39:36] and Indeed, We are sufficient for you against the mockers. [Quran, 15:95]
Al-Kaafi and other names
In the ayaat in which the root kafaa is mentioned, we often find the words wa kafaa bil-laahi (“and sufficient is Allah as . . .”) followed by a beautiful name of Allah.
We find this combination most often with the names Al-Wakeel (The Disposer of Affairs), Al-Haseeb (The Accountant, or Reckoner) and Ash-Shaheed (The Witness).
Al-Kaafi says: . . . And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs [wakeela] [Quran, 33:48]. And: [Allah praises] those who convey the messages of Allah and fear Him and do not fear anyone but Allah. And sufficient is Allah as Accountant [haseeba] [33:39] and: And sufficient is Allah as Witness [shaheeda] [Quran, 4:166]
Most related in meaning is the beautiful name Al-Wakeel. Abu Alsood said: “tawakkal alallah” means to leave everything up to Allah ‘azza wa jall and “kafa allah wakeela” means Allah ‘azza wa jall is sufficient as protector as the one and only whom you leave everything up to [fragment of tafseer of Surah Al-Ahzab by Sheikh Ahmad Musa Jibril]
How Can You Live By This Name?
1. Have firm belief.
You might claim you believe Allah ‘azza wa jall can suffice all your needs, but do you live by this knowledge? Firm belief in Al-Kaafi and His perfect ability to suffice all your needs means you are not afraid of people and their decisions, nor are you worried about losing worldly possessions. Even when you feel you cannot defend yourself against people’s accusations, know Al-Kaafi will suffice you as a helper: Indeed, We are sufficient for you against the mockers [Quran, 15:95] And Allah is most knowing of your enemies; and sufficient is Allah as an ally, and sufficient is Allah as a helper [Quran, 4:45].So next time you feel anxious or stressed about people or belongings, remind yourself thta Allah is Al-Kaafi; He is the only one to suffice all your needs.
2. Remember the day you will be sufficient as an accountant.
[It will be said], Read your record. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as accountant [Quran, 17:14]. This means that you have not been treated unjustly and nothing has been recorded against you except what you have done, because you remember everything that you have done, and no one will forget anything that he did. Everyone will be able to read his Book, whether he is literate or illiterate. [Tafseer ibn Katheer] So remember that one day you will be confronted with each deed you do, every step you take and every word you utter. Use this as a motivation to present a book full of good deeds in shaa’Allah.
3. Learn from the past.
As a believer you have an extremely important task: to take lessons from the past and specifically from the stories of the former people in the Quran. And how many have We destroyed from the generations after Noah. And sufficient is your Lord, concerning the sins of His servants, as Acquainted and Seeing. [Quran, 17:17] Allah ‘azza wa jall observes how you respond to these stories; do you study them, look at the characteristics of these former groups and their sins so you know what to avoid or do you treat them as “stories from the past” without acting upon them? Kafaa bil-laahi shaheeda– Allah is sufficient as a witness!
4. Be someone who strives to fulfil others’ needs.
Even though only Allah is perfect in sufficing each and every need, you can take inspiration from this beautiful attribute by doing your best to fulfil other person’s needs as much as you can. The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: Allah will aid a servant (of His) so long as the servant aids his brother. [Muslim]
5. Do dhikr with this name.
At the end of the day, before you go to sleep say:
Alhamdu lillaahil-lathee ‘at’amanaa wa saqaanaa, wa kafaanaa, wa ‘aawaanaa, fakam mimman laa kaafiya lahu wa laa mu’wiya. Which means: Praise is to Allah Who has provided us with food and with drink , sufficed us and gave us an abode for how many are there with no provision and no home. [Muslim]
Wallahu ta’alaa ‘alem.
O Allah, Al-Kaafi, we know that You are sufficient for us. Make us of those who have firm belief in you, trust in You and turn to You with all our affairs, big or small. Make us realize You suffice all our needs, aid us in sending forward good deeds to You and help us to fulfil the needs of others, ameen!
The Understand Quran Academy Team
Thank you so much for the explanation about the name of my Lord Al-kaafi!