Allah calls Himself Muheet— All-Encompassing, The All-Pervading— on seven occasions in the Quran. Al-Muheet encompasses the whole creation. His knowledge, power, mercy, and dominion encompass all things, and all beings are under His control. There is no hiding or escaping from His encompassing attributes and essence!
The All-Encompassing, Surrounding, and All-Pervading
Muheet comes from the root Haa-waw-Taa, which carries three main meanings. The first meaning is that of surrounding and the second of pervading and comprehending. The third main meaning is to encompass and envelop.
This root appears 28 times in the Quran in three derived forms. Examples of these forms are ahaata (“has encompassed, will surround”), muheetun (“encompassing”) and lamuheetatun (“will surely encompass, surround”).
Linguistically, muheet and waasi’ are related in meaning, and both include vastness, encompassing, and comprehension. Both attributes of Allah represented in Al-Muheet and Al-Waasi’ imply that there is nothing beyond Him, nothing is hidden from Him and His knowledge and power are all-encompassing.
Al-Muheet Himself says: . . . Indeed, Allah is encompassing of what they do.[Quran, 3:120] . . . And ever is Allah , of what they do, encompassing. [Quran, 4:108] . . . And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And ever is Allah , of all things, encompassing. [Quran, 4:126]
The Encompassing Fire of Hell
On most occasions in the Quran Allah ‘azza wa jall uses the root hawata in the context of encompassing knowledge, specifically how Allah encompasses both the seen and unseen in His infinite knowledge and how the creation encompasses only that which He allows.
Allah ‘azza wa jall also uses this root multiple times as an attribute of one of His creations: the Hellfire. Allah says: They urge you to hasten the punishment. And indeed, Hell will be encompassing of the disbelievers. [Quran, 29:54] And: . . . And among them is he who says, “Permit me [to remain at home] and do not put me to trial.” Unquestionably, into trial they have fallen. And indeed, Hell will encompass the disbelievers. [Quran, 9:49]
This choice of words shows us how overwhelming and terrifying the Hellfire is and how it will close in completely on its inhabitants. And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them . . .[Quran, 18:29] May Al-Muheet save us from this terrible fate, ameen!
How Can We Live By This Name?
1. Be both comforted and alerted by Al-Muheet.
Realize that Allah controls all beings and that whenever people wrong you, this is encompassed in the knowledge of Al-Muheet and He will deal with them accordingly. Also be alerted by the fact that nothing escapes nor is hidden from Al-Muheet, let this inspire you to purify your heart, your behaviour and your wealth and be just in dealing with others, regardless your position.
2. Realize your knowledge is limited.
Living in an era when knowledge seems to be very easily accessible through the internet and rapidly developing know-how of technology, we tend to forget that our true knowledge is very limited. On many occasions in the Quran Al-Muheet mentions His attribute of complete encompassing knowledge and power as opposed to our very limited and dependant knowledge.
In Ayatul Kursee, an ayah we should read according to the sunnah daily after each obligatory prayer and before going to sleep, Allah reminds us of this fact: . . . and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills . . .[Quran, 2:255] Next time you read this ayah remind yourself your knowledge is completely dependant on Allah, get rid of any arrogance and submit fully to Him.
3. Don’t let your sins encompass you.
As human beings we sin and if we wouldn’t sin and turn to Allah seeking His forgiveness, Al-Muheet would replace us with another people who would sin and ask Him for forgiveness so that He would forgive them.
However, always strive to not be encompassed by your sins and let your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds. Yes, whoever earns evil and his sin has encompassed him – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.[Quran, 2:81]
A great tip is to follow up a bad deed with a good deed straight away, for example when you have gossiped, ask Allah’s forgiveness and straight away make dua for that person.
4. Don’t be anxious about the future.
The majority of our worries are based on future concepts and expectations, which often turn out to not even occur! Allah knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, but they do not encompass it in knowledge. [Quran, 20:110] Don’t worry about the unknown, accept that Al-Muheet revealed exactly the knowledge to you, you need to navigate through this life successfully and don’t be anxious about the future as you will never know what will happen tomorrow.
To study Allah’s name Al-Waasi’, click here.
Wallahu ta’alaa ‘alem.
O Allah, Al-Muheet, we know that You encompass all things. Make us realize and act upon our knowledge that all our deeds, both good and bad, are encompassed in Your knowledge. Don’t let our sins encompass us, envelop us in Your mercy and save us from being surrounded by the walls of the Hellfire, ameen!