Limitless

Bismillah.

One of the beautiful names of Allah Almighty that fills me with hope and sort of inflates my heart with a good feeling is Al-Wasi’.

الواسع

When I checked the translation in the Quran, it means All-Encompassing. And I must say I was disappointed. The whole feel is changed when you use All-Encompassing instead of Al-Wasi’. The real name in Arabic brings you the feeling of something wide and spacious, basically limitless. So when we say Allah is All-Encompassing, it means He encompasses the limitlessness too.

Let me explain the point by a verse in the Quran,

وَلِلَّـهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. [Al-Baqarah 115]

If we humans face someone, we would have our back to someone else definitely. We cannot face everyone and everything at the same time. But that is not so with Allah. Wherever we turn, His Face is there. How? That we do not know as there is nothing like Him and no one has seen Him.

Now doesn’t the above make the horizons of your mind open up? He can simultaneously see all of us, listen to all of us and grant all needs of each one of us. Amazing! SubhanAllah!

We humans are very limited. We start putting effort in one thing and the other is ignored. We listen to one person and shut the other one out. We’re also very narrow-minded. We try to attain one thing and list down the pros and cons and then that’s it, we just stick to it. We don’t even think that there could be another way out, that the Creator is above our limited approach of achievement. For Him, these apparent means have no meaning. Duh! He created them. Not only does this change the way we make our supplications to Allah but it also makes us more daring in the actions that we undertake (shariah-compliant, of course) as we know our options are not limited. We stop trying to place our trust in minute details of the apparent ‘what ifs’, we start trusting the unseen.

فسبحان واسع العلم.. واسع الرحمة.. واسع المغفرة.. واسع الفضل.. واسع العطاء. الذي خلقه كلهم يتقلبون فيما لا يحصى من النعم.. فهو الذي يعطي ويمنع.. ويخفض ويرفع.. ويعز ويذل.. ويهدي ويضل.. بعلمه الذي وسع كل شيء.. وقدرته التي قهرت كل شيء.. ورحمته التي وسعت كل شيء.. وحكمته التي بلغت كل شيء

وسبحان واسع العظمة والملك والسلطان الذي  وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ ۖ وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ 

[Roughly translated:] And glorified is He who is vast in knowledge, vast in mercy, vast in forgiveness, vast in favours, vast in bestowal. He whose creation, all of them, are moving to and fro in countless blessings. So He is the One who gives and prevents, and lowers and raises, and honours and humiliates, and guides and leaves astray, with His knowledge that extends over all things, and His power that predominates all things, and His mercy that encompasses all things, and His wisdom that reaches all things. 

And glorified is He who is of vast greatness and dominion and authority, His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great. [Al-Baqarah 255]

Here’s an old post from this blog that is relevant to today’s post, it shows that Allah is indeed All-Encompassing, give it a read: Why Worry?

Wassalam.

Sea

The Bond of Affection

Bismillah.

In the last post we discussed that how each one of us is loved by Allah, Al-Wadood. But the interesting thing is that most of us also claim to love Allah in return. No matter how righteous or sinful a person you come across, usually they’ll say yes, I love Allah. But then why are their lifestyles so different?

The truth is that each one of us is innately programmed to love our Creator, Al-Wadood. Where then does the problem lie?

وحب الله ورسوله يقوى بقوة العلم الشرعي، وكمال المعرفة بالله وآلائه، وكلما كان العبد عالماً بدين الله وأحكامه وشرعه عاملاً به، كان حبه لله أقوى من غيره من الجاهلين، وإن كانت محبة الله موجودة في الفطر، ولكنها تقوى بالذكر والعلم الشرعي، وتضعف بالجهل والغفلة، والشبهات والشهوات

[Roughly translated:] And love of Allah and His Prophet is strengthened by

  • strength of the lawful knowledge (of Quran and sunnah),
  • and by perfection of knowing Allah and His favours

And whenever a slave is knowledgeable of

  • Allah’s religion
  • and His commands
  • and His law
  • and acts according to it,

his love of Allah is stronger than those others who are ignorant. And indeed love of Allah exists innately.

But it is strengthened by

  • remembrance
  • and lawful knowledge (of Quran and sunnah),

and it is weakened by

  • ignorance
  • and negligence
  • and doubts
  • and desires

So the basic love of Allah is there but it’s not a constant phenomenon, it is up to us whether we turn our backs on it or embrace it by our actions against or in Allah’s way.

love of Allah

Wassalam.

Earning Love

Bismillah.

Dear reader, do you want that someone loves you more than anything in the world? Definitely, right? I don’t think any person would respond to this question in the negative. It’s a topic that no one ever tires of; love. Every single human in this world, not only humans but every creature, wants to be loved. Well do you know that the Creator of this universe Himself loves you? Imagine the whole universe and then the Master and Owner of that, He loves me?

Yes, He is Al-Wadood.

الودود

But His love doesn’t mean that whatever you do, He’ll keep on loving and forgiving you. You have to do some things too to earn His love more and more.

وهو سبحانه الودود، الذي يحب من أطاعه، ويبغض من عصاه، يحب التوابين ويحب المتطهرين، ويحب المؤمنين والمتقين، ويحب الصابرين والصادقين، ويحب المحسنين والمتوكلين

[Roughly translated:] And He, the Almighty, is the Affectionate. He loves the one who obeys Him, and He hates the one who disobeys Him. He loves those who are constantly repentant, and He loves those who purify themselves, and He loves the believers and those who fear Him, and He loves those who are patient and those who are truthful, and He loves those who are the doers of good and those who rely upon Him.

From the above excerpt we find that Allah does not only love but He hates too. Isn’t this scary? None of us wants Him to hate us, we all want His love, so to earn that let’s try to instil the qualities mentioned above. Let’s start with one. For example, we can start to be honest and truthful in whatever we do. It’ll definitely have its benefits in our daily life as well, as our heart will be at peace knowing there is no pretence anywhere. But we’ll do it with the intention that He loves us. InshaAllah. Are you in?

I would appreciate if you share your experiences, in the comments section below, after adopting one of the above qualities so that others are motivated too and they too get His love. <3

love

Wassalam.

Nurtured for Life

Bismillah.

Each one of you commonly observes the way a mother brings up her kids. We all see many mothers around us, taking care of their children from the time of their birth till at least they become responsible adults, get married or move away. The pride that a mother feels in her well brought up children can be commonly seen as well. In return, she wants her children to respect her. And yes, indeed she does deserve it, as Allah reminds us more than once in the Quran and hadith.

And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. [Luqman 14]

But do you know what is interesting? The things that our mother provides us with, they too originally are provided by Allah, Our Creator. The mother does carry the child for 9 months but inside the womb who takes care of the food, water, organ formation, comfort, nurturing of the child? Once the child is born, who puts the child’s nourishment in the mother’s body? Who puts the love in the mother’s heart due to which she takes care of the child? However much the mother worries, she cannot make her child take the first step or make it speak the first word. Who teaches that to the infant? Who cares for the child’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual growth? And not just when he is a child, but not only before it is born but till the time he dies.

Yes, it is

 الرب

It is Ar-Rabb who takes cares of every single need of ours, who does not become negligent of us even for a microsecond. How many times have you seen mothers lamenting the pains that come with the bringing up of a child? They say we’ve had enough, we’re too tired. But what if Ar-Rabb grew inattentive of us even for a moment? Our heart, our breathing, our body systems; they’d stop working. We’d die, body and soul.

Allah

But it doesn’t stop at that, our body is not the only thing that He is taking care of. Ar-Rabb means the One who is the Creator, the Owner, the One who arranges each matter, from the point that we started existing till the very end. However much our parents love us, they can’t arrange all our matters.

والله سبحانه هو الرب الكريم، الذي يربي خلقه بالنعم المادية كما قال سبحانه

فَلِلَّـهِ الْحَمْدُ رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَرَبِّ الْأَرْضِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

[Roughly translated:] And Allah, the Almighty, He is the Rabb, the Kareem (Generous). He nurtures His creation with material favours, as the Almighty said: Then, to Allah belongs [all] praise – Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth, Lord of the worlds. [Al-Jaathiya 36]

ويربي سبحانه عباده بالنعم الروحية التي تزكي قلوبهم وجوارحهم كما قال سبحانه

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ

[Roughly translated:] And He, the Almighty, nurtures his slaves with spiritual favours which purify their hearts and bodies, as the Almighty said: It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error – [Al-Jumu'a 2]

فلله الحمد والشكر على هذه.. وهذه، وهو المستحق للحمد وحده دون سواه كما قال سبحانه

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ – الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ - مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

[Roughly translated:] Then to Allah belongs all praise and thankfulness over these (material favours) and these (spiritual favours). And He is worthy of praise alone, and no other deserves it. As the Almighty said: [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds - The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. [Al-Faatiha 2-4]

After reading through and pondering over all of the above, I have just one question for you:

Doesn’t the Rabb deserve our respect the most? Isn’t His right the greatest that He be obeyed and worshipped alone?

Mission Provision

Bismillah.

Do you know that one of the names of Allah is Al-Muqeet?

المقيت

Though Al-Muqeet has many meanings, and all of them are such as would put us in awe, but the one that will be discussed here means the One Who provides sustenance. When we hear the word ‘sustenance’, what comes to our mind? Our food, houses, cars, clothes etc. Because we human beings tend to think of only ourselves. But have you ever given a deep thought to the millions and millions of creatures that live in this world and our provided with sustenance by their Creator, Al-Muqeet?

larvae1

In 2011, it was reported that the natural world contains about 8.7 million species, according to a new estimate described by scientists as the most accurate ever. (reference)

  • Animals: 7.77 million (12% described)
  • Fungi: 0.61 million (7% described)
  • Plants: 0.30 million (70% described)
  • Protozoa: 0.04 million (22% described)
  • Chromists: 0.03 million (50% described)

8.7 million are only the eukaryote species which means bacteria and other simple organisms were excluded from the count.

A-bee-feeding-on-nectar-007

Note that for this consensus, to complete the count of life on Earth, scientists didn’t go from door to door or crevice to cave as the case maybe. They used a statistical technique to extrapolate from patterns in branches of the taxonomic classification system started 253 years ago by Carl Linnaeus. (reference)

There is one thing that I want to draw your attention towards; 8.7 million is only the number of species, it is not the total number of creatures that live on this earth. You can take species to mean type so this is only the number of types of creatures found in our world. But think about how many creatures will be in each type? Mind boggling, right?

For example, there is that small house-fly that we commonly see in our houses. It is one species. But how many total house-flies are in the world? We can’t even begin to count them!

38

Let me also make you wonder at the uniqueness and diversity of these creatures. For example, in 2011, two creatures received their scientific names who were newly discovered by science. One of them was a bat the size of a raspberry that lives in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. The other is a nematode worm that dwells only in the lungs of the changeable lizard, in Singapore. (reference)

The reason that I’m going into so much detail is so that you come to realize how many living things are provided with sustenance by Allah, Al-Muqeet! He doesn’t have any difficult in locating where that little creature is hidden in the world and what food to give him and how to give it to him.

carpenter-ants-eating (1)

الله تبارك وتعالى هو المقيت، الذي خلق الأقوات كلها، وأوصل إلى كل مخلوق ما يقتات به، وأوصل إلى الكائنات أرزاقها، وصرَّفها بين هذه المخلوقات العظيمة كيف شاء بحمده وحكمته، وعلمه ورحمته

وهو سبحانه القائم على جميع المخلوقات بالتدبير والتصريف، الوهاب الرزاق، الذي يعطي كل إنسان وطير وحيوان قوته على ممر الأوقات

[Rough translation:] Allah, Blessed and Exalted, He is Al-Muqeet (the One Who provides sustenance). He created all livelihoods, and brought to every creation on what it feeds, and brought to the universe its sustenance, and dispensed with it among the great creatures however He wanted with His praise, His wisdom, His knowledge and His mercy.  

And He, the Almighty, is Maintainer over all the creatures with His planning and direction. He is the Bestower, the Provider. He gives every human, bird, and animal its sustenance over the passage of time. 

Giraffe Eating Acacia Leaves

I tried to search a bit on various foods that different animals eat and how they obtain it. But there were so many creatures and so diverse were their food types that I started feeling dizzy. I’ll share some titbits as examples. The ants and bees have their colony system and they divide work and find food, ants leave a chemical trail for their peers to find food while bees have some ‘waggly’ movements. The big animals of the forest have combined hunting campaigns. Then some animals not only eat food, but they also store it in their strange little habitats; like squirrels store acorns and nuts. There are those snakes that swallow whole animals in one go. Some animals eat parts of other living creatures.

crocodile-eating-piranah-fish

Moreover, they all know what do they have to eat. Those that eat only grass and leaves, do not eat meat, no matter how much you tempt them. Some eat only dead creatures, some only nuts and berries. They get their food wherever they live, whether they live underground, in the mountains, caves, forests, trees, in the water, in the desert; their food is provided for them there. True, they have to search for it, but they have been taught how to find it and it is always accessible to them.

Another interesting aspect is that Allah provides food over a passage of time. He doesn’t tell you that this is the amount of food that has been written for you over your lifetime so take it all together and keep it safe with you. Imagine where would we have saved so much food? And then it could have been stolen or gone stale. Rather we get food according to our needs and this way we always get it fresh and delicious.

eagle-eating-a-fish

All this makes me wonder at people who feel hopeless about their livelihood. Do they really think it is them who provide food to their families? Can’t the Al-Muqeet, who provides to billions on this earth, provide for a mere 5 or 10 people in your family? Yes, you need to strive for it and also make dua for it BUT you do not have to ruin your lives in trying to gather more and more, you have to trust Him in the end and know that you’ll get what has been written for you and try to focus on other things, like worshipping Allah and being good to His slaves and learning and teaching His beautiful deen to other people so that their lives also light up and they also know Who to trust!

squirrel

Wassalam.

Allah is Watching – Fear Him!

 والله عزَّ وجلَّ هو الرقيب على عباده، الذي يراقب أقوالهم وأفعالهم، وحركاتهم وسكناتهم، وما يجول في قلوبهم وخواطرهم كما قال سبحانه

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُ ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

[Roughly translated]: And Allah ‘azza wajal is watchful over His slaves, the One who watches over their words and their deeds, and their movement and their stillness, and what goes through their hearts and their thoughts, as He (swt) said: “And know that Allah knows what is within yourselves, so beware of Him. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing. (Al-Baqarah:235)

Ponder this ayah, with the preceding idea. This ayah talks about Allah knowing our thoughts. So ask yourself: can the Rabb who can see into our thoughts – something that no man nor machine has yet managed to do – not see our spoken words and our actions, including our most carefully hidden sins?

That is not new information, however. Which Muslim does not know that Allah knows every single thought that goes through our heads, every second? But ponder over the ayah some more.

Allah tells us to not only know that He knows, but take the next logical step and fear Him because of it. Now, that does not seem to be rocket science — but for some reason we tend to ignore the fear part. And so in private, we commit the filthiest of sins that we are ashamed to expose to even our closest friends. What is that if not lack of fear?

So here’s a thought that shook me up. Allah is Ar-Raqeeb – the Watchful – and what He sees goes into an immutable record. No, I am not talking about the register of our deeds. I am talking about something much closer to home. I am talking about our memories.

Think about it: when you commit a sin, even one that no one ever finds out about, where does it get preserved first of all? Even the angels give you time to repent before they write it down – but before that, your own brains records it. And once a memory enters the brain, can you remove it? Try all you want, do what you will, but your brain preserves each memory, whether or not you can consciously recall it.

I find this terrifying – our access to our own memory is restricted: we can read some of it, but we can neither change nor erase it at will. And so we are entirely helpless when it comes to removing the evidence carried by our own bodies against our own selves!

Yes, Allah, the ever watchful, is also the most forgiving, and the most loving. He can forgive our sins. But has He guaranteed that He will? “He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills” (Al-Baqarah:284) – and this is so that we may maintain His fear.

Allah sees all we do – and He remembers. He may forgive, but He may not forgive – so fear Him!

Color Me Obedient

Bismillah.

This is from Sub-Chapter 7 [Fiqh-u Asmaa’i-l-laahi-l-HusnaaFiqh of the Beautiful Names of Allah] of Chapter 1 of the book.

فمن أراد العز في الدنيا والآخرة فليطلبه من رب العزة تبارك وتعالى، مالك الدنيا والآخرة، وذلك يحصل بكمال الإيمان والتقوى، ولزوم طاعة الله عزَّ وجلَّ
 مَن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعِزَّةَ فَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْفَعُهُ 

[Roughly translated:] “So whoever desires honor in this world and the Hereafter should seek it from the Lord of honor, Exalted be He, Owner of this world and the Hereafter; and that [honor] is acquired with the perfection of faith and taqwa (God-consciousness), and with unfailing obedience of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic.
“Whoever desires honor [through power] – then to Allah belongs all honor. To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it.” [Surah Faatir: 10]

I’ll make it simple, honor/respect comes from Allah. He’ll give it to you if you fulfill these conditions: Imaan, taqwa and obedience.

I have a question. A confusion, rather. When we want ice-cream, do we go to the freezer or the water-cooler? Or when we need clothes, do we go to the shop that sells clothes or the one that sells batteries? Obvious answers, right? Similarly, when we want respect and honor for ourselves, we should go to Allah because He’s the only One who has it. People don’t. Allah is the LORD OF HONOR, the only source. Don’t waste your time running after people, they’re fickle.

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. [Ali-Imran: 26]

Most High!

Bismillah.

Do you know that Allah is the Most High?

:الله تبارك وتعالى هو العلي الأعلى، الذي له العلو المطلق من جميع الوجوه
له علو الذات.. وعلو الصفات.. وعلو القدر.. وعلو القهر

[Rough translation:] Allah, Blessed and Exalted, He is the Most High, for Him is absolute elevation in all aspects: for Him is elevation in Self, and elevation in attributes, and elevation in status/degree, and elevation in subjugation. 

I kept thinking of words to explain Allah’s elevation, and then it suddenly struck me… it just can’t be explained! Isn’t it enough that He is High in every possible aspect?

Think about those little kids, who can hardly speak properly, clutching miniatures of Superman and Batman in their hands (and whatever new superheroes are now in the market that I don’t know of), feeling awed by the fact that they fly above humans and then they keep acting like those heroes of theirs, jumping down from beds and sofas, pretending they’re flying. For them that is the height of coolness!

And yet, those characters are fiction. Even if they weren’t, they would have been incomparable to the Most High. Because,

فهو سبحانه ذو العلو والارتفاع على خلقه.. وهو العلي عن النظير والمثيل

[Rough translation:] He, the Almighty, is the One with elevation and highness over His creation, and He is the Most High without match and parallel. 

Now isn’t this that makes one really feel awed? Shouldn’t we tell children and even adults about this name of Allah? So they know who is really high and so they revere 

العلي

Most High

.وهو سبحانه الأعلى.. ووجهه الأعلى.. وكلامه الأعلى.. وسمعه الأعلى.. وبصره الأعلى.. وعلمه الأعلى.. وخلقه الأعلى. ودينه الأعلى.. وحكمه الأعلى

[Rough translation:] He, the Almighty, is the Most High, and His Face is Most High, and His Speech is Most High, and His Hearing is Most High, and His Sight is Most High, and His knowledge is Most High, and His creation is Most High, and His religion is Most High, and His rule is Most High. 

Veiled Secrets

Bismillah.

While going through Allah’s name,

اللطيف

there came a sentence which caught my attention and kept me wondering…

الله تبارك وتعالى هو اللطيف، الذي أحاط علمه بالسرائر والخفايا، وأدرك الخبايا والبواطن، الذي لا تخفى عليه خافية، ووصل علمه إلى كل خفي

[Rough translation:] Allah, Blessed and Exalted, He is Al-Lateef (the Subtle), His knowledge encompasses the secrets and private things, and He is aware of concealments and hidden things, on Whom hidden things are not hidden, and His knowledge reaches every hidden thing.

In this excerpt, four different words have been used for secrets. I wanted to know why was that, surely there must be some difference among these words. Specially since Arabic is not like any other language in which synonyms mean exactly the same. After searching here and there, this is the basic difference that I got to know:

السرائر

It means all kinds of hidden acts and secrets. So whatever is concealed from Allah, whether big or small, in heavens or earth, between a few people or more, in the subconscious minds or thoughts, Allah knows it!

الخفايا

It is something that is relatively secret. For example, it could be something that you know of and you haven’t told anyone else so they don’t know. But Allah knows it!

الخبايا

These are concealed things that are negative, not good. There might be some hidden crime or wrongdoing on someone’s part, Allah knows that as well!

البواطن

It means the innate concealed acts. For example, someone might be very generous and does a lot of charity that no one knows about, but it is in Allah’s knowledge!

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No matter what kind of hidden thing it is that you think no one would ever know, it is not hidden from Allah! The point I want to establish is that we all have many bad habits and do various bad deeds day and night. If we start thinking about all the bad that is in us, we might start hating ourselves. We do not want anyone to know of our wrongs. If ever anyone gets to know of something bad that we did, we feel embarrassed to face them that now they know.

But Allah, who knows the worst in us more than us, still loves us and forgives us and cares for us. What height of love is that? And we, obstinate as we are, knowing that He knows all the vices in us, still don’t feel embarrassed in front of Him. What height of impudence is that? :(