Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
We know that Allah swt has many beautiful names and attributes, and some of us even memorize His 99 names in order to attain paradise. In reality, how much do we know about these names, and how do they affect our lives? Just memorizing a bunch of words is no use if they don’t really have any impact in our lives. So let us look at some of Allah’s beautiful names and how they influence us if we really grasp their meaning.
Ar Rafeeq – The Gentle
The Prophet (saws) said to his beloved wife Ayisha (ra),
Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness. He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness and He does not reward anything else like it. [Muslim]
Oftentimes we become so zealous with regards to our Islam that we become downright harsh with others whom we deem as going astray. That is not at all the way of the Prophet. He was always gentle in calling others to the truth. He was gentle even with a Bedouin who urinated in his masjid.
Remembering Ar Rafeeq will have the effect of making us gentle and kind to others all the time, hoping that Allah will deal with us gently and not harshly despite our sins.
Ar Raqeeb – The Ever Watchful
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. [4:1]
Remembering Ar Raqeeb will instill in us the fear of Allah. We will become aware of Allah and the fact that He is watching whatever we’re doing, making us abandon doing things that displease Him.
قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتَنزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّن تَشَاءُ وَتُعِزُّ مَن تَشَاءُ وَتُذِلُّ مَن تَشَاءُ ۖ بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرُ ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Say, “O Allah , Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent. [3:26]
Remembering Al Maalik will make us aware of the fact that our belongings don’t really belong to us. It will prevent us from being a ‘my’ person – my room, my car, my house, my clothes etc. It will prevent us from being over possessive and greedy, and instill in us a generous, open personality.
To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth. And indeed, Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy. [22:64]
The Prophet (saws) said,
خَابَ عَبْدٌ وَخَسِرَ مَنْ لَمْ يَجْعَلِ اللَّهُ فِي قَلْبِهِ رَحْمَةً لِلْبَشَرِ
A servant has failed and lost if Allah has not placed mercy in his heart toward people. [Tareekh Dimashq, graded Hasan by Suyuti]
ارْحَمُوا تُرْحَمُوا وَاغْفِرُوا يَغْفِرْ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَيْلٌ لِأَقْمَاعِ الْقَوْلِ وَيْلٌ لِلْمُصِرِّينَ الَّذِينَ يُصِرُّونَ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُوا وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you. Woe to the ears that catch words. Woe to those who persistently commit wrong while they know. [Ahmad]
Remembering Ar Rahman will make us patient, content, happy and hopeful despite troubles in our lives. We will know that no matter what happens, Allah is there protecting us all the time just like a baby is protected inside its mother’s womb (called rahm in Arabic). It will also make us merciful towards others, hoping that Allah will show mercy to us.
In a hadith Qudsi (the Prophet paraphrasing Allah), Allah said,
الْكِبْرِيَاءُ رِدَائِي وَالْعَظَمَةُ إِزَارِي فَمَنْ نَازَعَنِي وَاحِدًا مِنْهُمَا قَذَفْتُهُ فِي النَّارِ
Pride is My cloak and greatness is My garment, so whoever competes with Me regarding these two will be thrown into the Hellfire. [Abu Dawud]
Allah is al Mutakabbir. He is the only one to whom greatness belongs. Therefore, he calls the arrogant people mutakabbir in the Quran:
فَادْخُلُوا أَبْوَابَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۖ فَلَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ
So enter the gates of Hell to abide eternally therein, and how wretched is the residence of the arrogant. [16:29]
Anyone else who claims kibriyah is in reality trying to compete with Allah, which is impossible to accomplish ever. Therefore, remembering al Mutakabbir reminds us of our lowliness and humbleness in front of Allah. It also reminds us that all human beings are the same in status. No one is greater or smaller than any other human being. We are all equal, except in taqwa.
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