Allah calls Himself Az-Zhaahir— The Apparent, The Manifest, The Evident— once in the Quran. Az-Zhaahir is the One who is above, yet manifest in all of the creation. His Existence and Oneness is apparent through all of the signs in the universe, yet He is not to be perceived by our senses in this world!
The Manifest and High, The One Who Overcomes
Zaahir comes from the root zhaa-haa-raa, which points to five main meanings. The first meaning is to be visible, manifest and distinct, the second is to open or to come out. The third meaning is to ascend and have a higher status. The fourth meaning is to subdue and overcome and the fifth is to help and support others.
This root appears 59 times in the Quran in ten derived forms. Examples of these forms are zhahara (“is apparant”), yazhaahiroo (they have supported”), liyuzhhirahu (“to make it prevail”) and zhahrihi (“its, his back”).
Az-Zhaahir is the most Manifest as everything other than Him is only manifested by His Attributes. He is high above His creation, the One who subdues everything and everyone and He is the true Helper, while others can only provide help and support through His aid.
Az-Zhaahir Himself says: . . . He is the First and the Last, the Ascendant and the Intimate, and He is, of all things, Knowing. [Quran, 57:3]
A Thought-provoking Discussion
Suratul Waaqi’ah contains an extremely powerful set of questions and answers forming a mind-blowing discussion by the Creator to His creation: We have created you, so why do you not believe? Have you seen that which you emit? Is it you who creates it, or are We the Creator? We have decreed death among you, and We are not to be outdone. In that We will change your likenesses and produce you in that [form] which you do not know. And you have already known the first creation, so will you not remember? And have you seen that [seed] which you sow? Is it you who makes it grow, or are We the grower? If We willed, We could make it [dry] debris, and you would remain in wonder, [Saying], “Indeed, we are [now] in debt; Rather, we have been deprived.” And have you seen the water that you drink? Is it you who brought it down from the clouds, or is it We who bring it down? If We willed, We could make it bitter, so why are you not grateful? And have you seen the fire that you ignite? Is it you who produced its tree, or are We the producer? We have made it a reminder and provision for the travellers. So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great [Quran, 56: 57-64]
How Can You Live By This Name?
1. Look after your outward and inward.
Not only nourish your body with food and drink and satisfying your senses, but also nourish your soul by the remembrance of Allah. Eg some spend the majority of time on beautifying themselves while hardly reading the Quran. Never feign certain traits or abilities in public and never exaggerate or lie while being with others. Use this beautiful supplication in your daily life: O Allah! Make my inward better than my outward, and make my outward good [Abdullah ibn Umar radiyallaahu ‘anhu]
2. Be comforted by Az-Zhaahir
Know that He knows everything you do and what others do to you, even if no one else knows and that you will be dealt with justly by Az-Zhaahir. Let this hadith increase your love and awe of Az-Zhaahir: The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ’alayhi wa sallam said that Allah, the Glorious, said: “Verily, Allah has ordered that the good and the bad deeds be written down. Then He explained it clearly how (to write): He who intends to do a good deed but he does not do it, then Allah records it for him as a full good deed, but if he carries out his intention, then Allah the Exalted, writes it down for him as from ten to seven hundred folds, and even more. But if he intends to do an evil act and has not done it, then Allah writes it down with Him as a full good deed, but if he intends it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed” [Al-Bukharee, Muslim]
3. Check your intention.
Everything is apparent to Az-Zhaahir, whether you make it public or not. The Prophet sallallahu ’alayhi wa sallam said: The deeds are considered by the intentions, and a person will get the reward according to his intention.. [Al-Bukharee, Muslim]. Keep checking your intention, are you doing that deed truly for Allah? Regularly renew your intentions when you are working on the path of Allah. Remind yourself: on the Day of Judgement the smallest deeds can become big and the biggest deeds worthless depending of the intention behind them!
4. Look around to increase your praise of Az-Zhaahir
Look around you, at the plants, animals and your own self and realize it is all manifested through Him only. In times when your emaan decreases, let these signs in your enviroment revive your faith and awe for the Manifest One and let them make you more grateful and humble. Every day take time to look outside, reflect and praise Az-Zhaahir.
5. Ask Az-Zhaahir.
Even though His existence is manifest in all of the creation, we can not see Az-Zhaahir in this world. Ask Him to be able to gaze at His countenance in the Hereafter. The Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam made this beautiful dua’:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ لَذَّةَ النَّظَرِ إِلَى وَجْهِكَ وَالشَّوْقَ إِلَى لِقَائِكَ
O Allah, I ask You for the delight of gazing at Your Countenance and the eagerness of meeting You [An-Nasaa’i] Commit this supplication to memory and use it as much as you can from the bottom of your heart as you are asking for the greatest delight!
Wallahu ta’alaa ‘alem.
O Allah, Az-Zhaahir we know that You are the Manifest and High. Make both our inward and outward good, guide us in reflecting on Your signs around us in a productive way. Bless us with sincerity and make us of those who are able to gaze at Your Countenance in the Hereafter, ameen!
The Understand Quran Academy Team
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