Children at the Masjid

I hear people (mainly men) complain about children playing in the masjid and that it is distracting. The kids are being loud and the mothers should just stay at home with them.
I’ve heard announcements on the speaker telling the women, in the other room, to stop the children from playing.
I’ve seen people tell children off for playing at the back of the masjid. They tell them to go home.
But why should they stay at home? They have the right to come to the masjid, just like you.
Maybe you should focus more on your salah and less on the kid whos playing in the other room.
Maybe if you made the masjid more accessible to women and children and provided facilities for the kids to play then they won’t “distract” you in the masjid.
Maybe you should follow the example of the Prophet (saw) who loved that children came to the masjid. His own grandchildren would jump on his back and he would prolong his sujood just to let them play. He would shorten the prayer if he heard a baby cry so that it would be easier for the mothers. He NEVER complained about children being in the masjid.
Maybe you should change how things work in the masjid instead of just preventing women and especially mothers, from coming to the masjid.
And remember that if you don’t build the love for coming to the masjid in your children when they’re young, they will refuse to come when they’re older. Then you will be the one crying that they don’t want to come and pray at the masjid.

Ramadan Reflection – Reflecting on the Quran

Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? Quran (4:82)

This are just one of the many times that Allah asks us if we have reflected on the Quran. Allah wants us to think about and reflect on what we are reading. He gives us so much to reflect on. He tells us so many signs. From the heavens and the earth to our children and spouses and so much more.
But how many of us take the time to reflect on the Quran. During this month we all want to finish reading the Quran. Yes there is much reward in reading the Quran in Arabic. But many of us don’t understand Arabic so we don’t know what Allah is telling us. So we don’t fully benefit from reading it.
We need to take the time to read the translation in a language we understand. They are easily available both as books and apps. This will help us understand the ayah we are reading. But don’t just read the translation like you read other books. Read and reflect on what you understood from these ayah. Make a note of ayah that stood out for you. Jot down what you think the ayah is speaking about. This way you can look back on what you reflected on.
Alongside this also read or listen to the tafsir of the Quran. There are many books that we can read, I like reading Tafsir ibn Kathir. If you’re not a reader there are many lecture series that are available that explain the Quran in an easy to understand way. I like listening to Ustadh Nouman Ali Khans tafsir series. By doing this we will gain a deeper understanding of what Allah is teaching us in the Quran.
As we learn more about what the Quran is teaching us, it will become easier for you to reflect and your reflections and critical thinking skills will improve over time. Your reflections will become deeper and you will be able to connect things you read in other parts of the Quran.
Another thing I find helps me to reflect is discussing an ayah with family or friends. Me and my husband sometimes discuss an ayah we read together and it’s really helpful to hear what someone else thinks about an ayah. You get different perspectives, things that you may not have thought about.
It’s so important for us to reflect on the Quran, by reflecting on the Quran we can truly benefit from reading the Quran. 

Ramadan Reflection – Allah never forgets

And never is your Lord forgetful. Quran (19:64)

Seriously this ayah is as pleasing as it is terrifying.

It simultaneously tells me that all the injustices done to me, Allah knows. But it also tells me that all injustices done by me, He also knows. It tells me that even if no one on this earth sees or remembers the good that I’ve done, Allah does. But it also tells me that even if no one sees or remembers the sins I’ve committed, Allah does.

This ayah is so powerful. Its such a strong reminder that we will never be left without our justice being given or rewarded for the good that we’ve done. But we will also be held accountable for the injustices we did and the sins we committed.

It reminds us to strive to be the best we can be and seek forgiveness daily. It reminds us that no matter how much we hurt, Allah will be there for us.

So we can seek solace in this knowledge that if we’ve been oppressed, slandered, beaten, or abused; Allah will never allow it to go unnoticed and He will give us our justice. Whether its in this life or the next.

But this ayah should also make us want to make amends and seek forgiveness from those we’ve oppressed, slandered or abused. We should not be too proud to say we’re sorry. We should turn to Allah and repent and then strive to become better people. Don’t leave it until it’s too late.

Know that even if your efforts aren’t appreciated by people it doesn’t go unnoticed by Allah.

And know that even if you think you have gotten away with it in this life, you won’t in the next.

Allah never forgets anything that we have done, the good and the bad.

Ramadan Reflection – They are a Clothing for you

They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them. Quran (2:187)

This ayah is so famous. Everyone knows it. We may not know where in the Quran it is but we have most likely heard it before.

But you know what I never realised that this is part of the ayah about being with your spouse in Ramadan. It actually is part of a long ayah but it never really hit me, the significance of it being in this particular place.

It comes in the section of ayah that speak about fasting during Ramadan. Before this ayah, Allah speaks about those who are exempt from fasting and then Allah tells us how He will answer us if we call Him. It speaks about dua and that He is near.

Straight after this Allah tells us He has made marital relations permissible in the night. Then says “they are clothing for you and you are clothing for them.”

This made me realise that there has to be a connection between increasing our taqwa and having a good husband and wife relationship.

As we spend this month fasting and in dhikr, praying and reading Quran we should see that reflect in our marriage. Our God consciousness should make us more conscious of how we treat our spouse. These acts of worship should help us improve our character and this should be most prevalent in how we speak and behave with our spouse.

These acts of worship shouldn’t be just a ritual we do but we should put it into action in our daily lives. So as we read the Quran and it tells us the characteristics of the believers implement them. It tells us about diseases of the heart try and remove it from within yourself.

Reflecting on this ayah alone tells us so much about how to be with our spouse. We should look for the good in them. We should cover their faults from others so that means we shouldn’t go round telling others things that annoy you about your spouse. Beautify your spouse.

It is such a blessed time to work on your marriage. There are no shayateen to whisper in your ear to cause disunity between you. As we are more God conscious, we are more aware that Allah is watching us, we should behave in such a way that we will happy to know that Allah is watching.

So use this month to also work on your marriage. As you improve your relationship with Allah also improve your relationship with your spouse.

Ramadan Reflection – Allah knows everything 

Sometimes me and my husband open the translation of the Quran on a random page and reflect on the ayah we come across. Last night we read this ayah;
Unquestionably, to God belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth. Already He knows that upon which you (stand) and (knows) the day when they will be returned to Him and He will inform them of what they have done. And God is Knowing of all things. Quran (24:64)
We discussed how in this ayah, Allah tells us that He knows where we stand. As in He knows what is in our hearts, the basis for our actions and what condition our souls are in. He knows whether we do something out of sincere faith or if theres hypocrisy in our hearts. So we can’t hide anything from Him.
Then Allah says when we will return to Him. Not if, when. So we will with certainty go back to Him. With whatever deeds we did, good or bad. And that Allah will tell us what we did in our lives. Every single thing we did.
He knows what is done sincerely, what we did to show off, what we did publically and what we did in private. For example someone could be diligent in their prayers when they are out in public and always tell people that they must pray on time. But in private they delay or miss their prayers. Even though no one else would know this about them. Allah will know. This person cannot hide it from Allah.
Just like someone in public may not seem practicing but in private they pray all their prayers sincerely and read Quran etc. No one knows this about them but Allah knows.
When we return to Allah, He will then tell us exactly what we did and whether we were sincere or not. Because as Allah says at the end of the ayah, He is knowing of all things.
He knows us better than anyone else in our lives, even better than we know our own selves. We cannot hide anything from Him. Like He says in another ayah, He is closer to us than our jugular vein. So how can we ever possibly imagine that we could hide anything from Him.
So we should take this as a warning and use our time to become better people and to try to be sincere in everything that we do.

An Explanation of Allahs Beautiful Names and Attributes part 23

76) Al Kareem
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an 3 times.
Indeed My Lord is free of need and generous [an Nahl 16:40]
 
O Mankind what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the generous [al Infitar 82:6]
 
So Exalted is Allah, the Soverign, the Truth; there is no diety except Him, Lord of the noble throne [al Muminoon 23:116]
In the Hafs qira’a, Kareem in this ayah becomes a siffat of the ‘arsh. But in other qira’aat. It is kareemu thereby refering to Allah as Al-Kareem. In a hadith Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam mentioned. Indeed your Lord is generous and shy, if His servant raises his hands towards Him [in supplication], He becomes shy to return them empty. [at Tirmidhi]
77) Al Akram
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an once. Allah says:
Recite, and your Lord is Most Generous [al Alaq 96:3]
 
Lingustic meaning:
Both these Names come from the word Karama – which means someone or something that is excessively generous, giving, beneficent. Az Zujaaji says: it means to grant someone their request very quickly. Because Kareem is so generous, whenever He sees His slaves wanting and requesting something, He grants it very quickly. Az Zujaaji also says: Kareem means; jawaad – excessively generous, Al Azeez – powerful. As-safoo – forgiving. These are all found in the Arabic meaning of the word Kareem. Al Khattabi says: Kareem means al katheerun khair, a lot of good, excessive good. The arabs call something that benefits a lot or has so much good kareeman. It also means something excessively beautiful, gorgeous. Allah describes Himself as Kareem and also describes His ‘Arsh as Kareem.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Al Khattabi says: to whom all blessings originate from. He is al Kareem who bestows and spreads out His blessings, His good, His glory to the whole of creation. He forgives the sinner, removes the sins of the dhaalim, grants the requests of mankind. Al Ghazzali says: Al Kareem is the One, that when He is asked, He fulfils His promise. When He gives, He gives without limits, and He continues to give, even though His rights are taken. He never forgets or neglects anyone that asks. He removes their problems, and removes the veil of hardship, He bestows upon one who asks with His Name, ease, tranquility and peace. He is Al Kareem, Al Akram. Ibn Qayyim says: Al kareem is excessively beautiful, His Might is great and He can benefit greatly. Khairun adheem wa naf’a. He is more virtuous than anything. For He is Allah, One who describes Himself as Kareem. He is excessively generous and beautiful.
Ibn Qayyim also says: Al Akram is on the pattern of ‘af’al. No one who can be more generous and beautiful than Him. Al Akram means He is the highest in generosity and beauty. In Jannah, on the Day of Increase, when those who see the Face of Allah return back home, the people will say; You have become more beautiful than when you left. They will reply, By Allah even you have become more beautiful than when we left you. How is this so? Because they saw a face that saw the face of Allah, thus they increased in beauty.
Al Khattabi says: He is Most generous of all of those who are generous, the most beautiful of all of those who are beautiful. The word Kareem/Akram can also mean the one who is most powerful, always victorious. Ibn ‘Arabi al Maliki says: when Allah says He is Kareem/Akram, the believer should know that His Karm is katheer (abundant). And He is the One, that when He gives, He continues to give – even when His rights are taken. This can be seen in the case of the kuffar and mushrikoon, who are still provided by Allah even though they transgress upon His rights. Allah is the fastest in granting good. Whenever someone wants to obtain any good or benefit from Allah, Allah will respond to His request, faster than anything else. He is Al Kareem haqeeqi (literally). This shows that He is mighty and great as no one can continue to give without their kingdom decreasing except Allah. Allah gives and gives, without any part of His kingdom being taken away. He doesn’t have a limit so He is Infinite in His generosity and in His Kingdom. He will continue to give and this will never fade away and His kingdom will never decrease. He is Al- Waarith – He will inherit everything that He has given. He is al Kareem, He is Allah the one who grants with the Name Al Kareem, and gives, without a reason, the One to whom all blessings begin and all blessings will end. Akramul akrameen – the greatest of those who are generous. He takes people out from conditions that are difficult, He changes the ahwaal [states] of people just by saying kun fa ya kun.
 
Benefits we can learn from these Names
1. True muhabba for Allah. For He is the one, that has granted the creation the wonders of His blessings. He continues to bless us, and even though we haven’t granted Him His right to pure, perfect ‘ibaadah, yet He is al Kareem, He continues to give us. This deserves a muhabba that is sincere and real, for if He is the one that continuously bless us with His Ni’am (blessings) then what if He was to stop? Indeed mankind are in dire need of the generosity of Allah.
2. Have hayaa/shyness in displeasing and angering Allah, by the very blessing He’s given you by the Name Al Kareem. How can a man use these blessings, His eyes or any other limb that Allah has given Him through His Name al Kareem, to anger and upset Him?
3. Trust in Allah. Have Tawakkul upon the one who is generous and from who all blessings originate from. He is the One that gives and grant and He is the One that chooses the states of people. A person may fear for His rizq but any person who has a real tawakkul in Allah, and is truly reliant, Allah will feed His stomach just like the bird in the morning, allowing it to return to its nest full. How important it is to have tawakkul. Our hearts need to believe in this concept. We wouldn’t fear, worry or grieve over things like rizq if we know and believe that Allah is Al Kareem and Ar Razzaq. Have tawakkul upon Allah, Al Hayy, Al Azeez, Ar Raheem.
4. Reflect on the fact Allah has given provisions for our hearts and souls as well as for our bodies. From Him being Al Kareem, He has sent to us Al Qur’an and His Messenger sallalahau alayhi wassalam. He made us from the Ummah of Muhmmad sallalahu alayhi wassalam, the first Ummah that will enter jannah. Abu Umaamah is reported to have said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
My Lord promised me that seventy thousand of my ummah will enter Paradise without being brought to account or being punished; with each thousand of them will be another seventy thousand, plus three handfuls of the handfuls of my Lord, may He be glorified. [Ahmad, at Tirmidhi, ibn Maajah] So the final number is around 4.9 billion + 3 full handfuls from Allah’s hand. Umar started saying takbir upon hearing this. The ‘ulema say one handful of Allah is more than the 4.9 billion! Allahu akbar! Allah is Al Kareem, shows the generosity He has to this Ummah, like none other. If we stay away from major sins, we can enter Jannah without hisaab and ‘adhaab, by the Mercy of Allah.
We should look to our hearts and see why have we preferred the creation over the creator and why we the abuse blessings that He has given us. We should take ourselves to account because of this, and strive to always please the Creator above the creation and use His blessings in ways that will benefit us and please Al Kareem.
5. Be generous to be close to Al-Kareem. Allah‘s Names and Attributes are of two types: those that are attributed only to Him (e.g. Al-Khaaliq, The Creator) and those that can and should be strived for to be attributed to ourselves, one of them is Al-Kareem. Be generous with your belongings, time, and even your words. The prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said:
The generous one is close to Allah, close to people, far from the fire; a stingy person is far from Allah, far from people, far from Paradise; and the generous ignorant person is more beloved to Allah than a stingy worshipper. [At-Tirmidhi] Take upon yourself the siffat of karm – generosity. We need to take this siffat of Allah and profess it in ourselves and manifest it in the way we behave. Ibn Qayyim says: after studying the Names and Attributes of Allah, not only does your fear and hope increase but your relationship with Allah changes, and you become a better person by trying to take on characteristics from the characteristics of Allah. Allah is Al Kareem, therefore we should become generous. We should possess the siffat of karm, being generous, beautiful, helping others and giving them without them having to ask. Allah gives us provision and blessings even before we ask for them, so lend someone a hand when they are in need, even before they ask. Allah through His generosity will widen the graves of the righteous and will make the good deeds into a beautiful looking man who will be the companion of the righteous person in the grave, and Allah will open a window to jannah in the grave of the righteous person and a breeze of jannah will come in, that will remain until yawmal qiyyamah.
6. Allah mentions Akram after He says Iqra – read or recite. Therefore one of the greatest way of us showing generosity is by teaching people the deen of Allah. Sharing ‘ilm with other people and giving them the generosity of the heart.
7. Develop a relationship with the Quran al-Kareem. Allah‘s book, the Quran, is kareem because it is full of benefits and guidance, good things and blessings, it includes not a single error or contradiction. Open Al-Quran al-Kareem at least every single day; even if you read one ayah a day, understand it and let it transform your character, mind and heart and see how it will make you more kareem, insha‘Allah.
8. Study about Al-Kareem . Al-Kareem says: O man! What has made you careless about your Lord, Al-Kareem (the Generous). Study about Allah, learning about His Names and Attributes and what they mean to you. Do not be deceived by this world and by the Shaytaan.
9. Don‘t forget the fire. Indulging in all the blessings Al-Kareem gave you, don‘t forget about hellfire. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said,
The people will be thrown into Hell ( Fire) and it will keep on saying, ‗Is there any more?‘ till the Lord of the worlds puts His Foot over it, whereupon its different sides will come close to each other, and it will say, ‗Qad! Qad! (enough! enough!) By Your ‗Izzat (Honor and Power) and Your Karram (Generosity)!‘ Paradise will remain spacious enough to accommodate more people until Allah will create some more people and let them dwell in the superfluous space of Paradise. [Al-Bukhari]
 
Al Kareem and other Names
· Allah mentions Al Kareem with the Name Al Ghaniyy. Ibn Qayyim says: the reason why they are mentioned together is to show that when Allah is giving us blessings from His generosity, His richness never decreases. His richness is pure and perfect and infinite like all His other Attributes. This shows us that we don’t need to be rich to be Kareem. But on the contrary, when a person is Kareem, he becomes rich. Allah is rich and this is why He is generous. But Him being generous is the reason why He is rich. Advice to slaves of Allah. Want to become rich? Give in charity. Rasoolulllah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said:
Charity does not in any way decrease the wealth and the servant who forgives, Allah adds to his respect; and the one who shows humility, Allah elevates him in the estimation (of the people). [Muslim].
Allah says:
Say, “Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts [it] for him. But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.” [Saba 34:39]
· Al-Kareem is related to Al-Wahhaab (The Giver) and Ar-Razzaaq (The Provider) in the sense that He initiates favours to His slaves, beyond what we deserve. Al-Kareem brought you into existence even though He was not obliged to do so. Al-Kareem gives us the whole world, as He tells us:
It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth. Then He directed Himself to the heaven, [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens, and He is Knowing of all things. [al Baqarah 2:29]
· Our book, the Qu’ran, is not only an instruction but also a cure. Our prayers are not only rituals, but also treasure chests of multiple rewards. Our food is not just one kind, but an amazing variety of tastes, structures and flavours; this is the giving of Al-Kareem.
· Al-Kareem is related to Al-‗Afuw (The Pardoner) because even when you sin and forget about it, Allah deals with you generously and makes you live comfortably. It is He who covers your sins and when you turn to Him, out of His amazing generosity He doesn‘t just forgive but He completely erases your bad deeds and on top of this, He turns them into good deeds. He is At-Tawwaab. What a generous Lord!
· Al-Kareem is Related to Ash-Shakoor (The Appreciative), Al-Kareem rewards you generously when you only present to Him little sincere acts of worship. The ultimate example is Jannah: everlasting pleasure for a few years of worship in this life.
· Al-Kareem is also related to Al-Haleem (the Forbearing), whenever He gives He gives most generously and when Al-Kareem is disobeyed, He forgives most forbearingly, subhanaAllah. He has the most generous and gracious way of forgiving.
· Al-Kareem is related in meaning to Al-Wadood (The Loving); us being worthy of His divine love is truly a generosity we should recognise. Al-Kareem says:
Indeed, those who believe and work deeds of righteousness: the Most Merciful will appoint for them affection. [Maryam 19:96]
78) Ash Shakoor
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an 4 times. For example Allah says:
 
If you loan Allah a goodly loan, He will multiply it for you and forgive you. And Allah is Most Appreciative and Forbearing. [at Taghabun 64:17]
And He says:
 
That He may give them in full their rewards and increase for them of His bounty. Indeed, He is Forgiving and Appreciative [al Faatir 35:34]
79) Ash Shaakir
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an twice.
 
And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing. [al Baqarah 2:158]
 
What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And ever is Allah Appreciative and Knowing. [an Nisaa 4:147]
 
Linguistic meaning:
Comes from root word shakara. In lisaan al arab [Encyclopedia of the Arabic language] shukoor means to acknowledge goodness and to re-demonstrate goodness for the goodness that was acknowledged. It also means to be thankful, grateful, appreciative and to show actions of thankfulness and appreciation. Ibn Jarir At Tabbari says: shakoor means appreciative and thankful but more so appreciative for the goodness one receives. For example when a person turns towards Allah in repentance, Allah appreciates this, He doesn’t forget it. Him being Ash-Shaakir and Ash-Shakoor, Allah will multiply it with multiplications that we don’t understand and reward us with this . Regardless how small the deed is, it will be appreciated, and He will have a reward for it stored on yawmal qiyyamah and will give us the taste of the reward in this life to show that He hasn’t forgotten it.
Shaakir – appreciates an action, Shakoor is mubaalagha or exaggerated form of appreciation, appreciates all actions.
 
Shar’ee meaning;
Imam as Sa’di says: from the meanings of Allah being Ash Shaakir and Shakoor, He appreciates all actions, an appreciation unlike anyone else. He has stored a mighty reward for the action He has appreciated. He continues to appreciate this action, when the person continues in it, or prevents it from being nullified. Allah multiplies reward over and over again without there being a limit. He appreciate all actions, no matter how small. Side note: During a minor sin, if someone knows its a sin, and knows that it displeases Allah and knows and remembers that Allah is looking and watching Him, but still persists in doing it, then this becomes a major sin. Minor sins is when you forget Allah watches and looks at the person and it is done in forgetfulness. Difference between hamd (praise) and shukoor (thanks) – Hamd is done from heart and tongue. Shukoor is done from heart, tongue and body. A person affirms it in their heart verbalises it on the tongue and then acts it out by their limbs. Something that is usually forgotten when making du’a is thanking Allah. After praising and glorifying Him and sending peace and blessings upon Rasoolullah salallahu alayhi wassalam, we should then thank Allah, and then start with our requests. This shows the shukoor in limbs, by worshipping Allah and doing that which He loves.
Allah‘s Name Ash-Shakoor does not mean He has to be thankful for anything, because everything we have comes from Him. It means He is the One who is the most thankful, as He gratefully gives large rewards. Ash-Shakoor even appreciates our intention.
Ash Shakoor says:
 
Is the reward for good [anything] but good? [ar Rahman 55:60]
All the good which you come with, will be given good. Don’t think Allah will not appreciate your actions. He will appreciate it and multiply it in ways we can’t even understand. Surah Ar Rahman, shows how He will appreciate.
 
Benefits we can learn from these Names
1. Thank Allah for everything He’s given us. Be grateful and Ash-Shakoor will give you more. Recognising any of Allah‘s favours is in itself a favour. Ash-Shakoor bestows His blessings on us even though He doesn‘t need us. Show your shukr for all He has given you and He will give you even more. Ash-Shakoor says:
And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed , ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ “ [Ibrahim 14:7] Al-Ghazali said: The best way of manifesting thankfulness for the blessings of Allah Most High is to make use of these blessings in obeying Him and not disobeying Him.
2. Do good deeds no matter how small. Never be hesitant in doing a good deed, even if you think it‘s tiny compared to all your sins; think about the ability of the One who gives rewards. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said:
Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother with a cheerful face. [Muslim]. Say subhanAllah a hundred times and Ash-Shakoor grants you a thousand good deeds (Allah out of His mercy, grants 10 rewards for 1 good deed that is done).
3. Have muhabba for Allah, know that Allah accepts the smallest of deeds we do, and has prepared a mighty reward for these actions. Allah appreciates even the smallest of deeds, so we should Love Allah for this appreciation.
4. Have hayaa of Allah. He has multiplied reward for every good deed we do so how can we continue to displease Him? Be grateful to Allah for every blessing He has given you and use these blessings in doing only that which pleases Him.
5. Don‘t expect anything in return from others. We often yearn for recognition from others, and when we do good in secret we might wish they find out it was we who helped them. Sometimes you might wish people knew your good intentions even if you fail to do the action.
What would Allah do with your punishment if you are grateful and believe? And ever is Allah Appreciative and Knowing. [an Nisaa 4:147] But know that Allah knows, rewards, and appreciates what other people might not even know about. Go out of your way to help others, not expecting anything in return, and Ash-Shakoor will send someone to do the same for you and if other people do not appreciate it then know that Ash-Shakoor does so do it regardless.
6. Help others and Ash-Shakoor will help you. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
Whosoever relieves from a believer some grief pertaining to this world, Allah will relieve from him some grief pertaining to the Hereafter . . . Whosoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and the Hereafter. Allah will aid a servant (of His) so long as the servant aids his brother. [Muslim] Whether you relieve, help out, or just conceal the fault of another Muslim, Ash-Shakoor will help you. When thanking people always first say alhamdulillah and then thank someone, as the reality of thankfulness is to realise that everything comes from Allah. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam instructed us: The one who does not thank people had not thanked Allah. [Abu Dawood].
Allah says:
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 31:14] This ayah implements actions of being thankful to the creation.
7. Be patient and sincere and remember Paradise. Nothing we do is lost. Sometimes Ash-Shakoor delays the signs of His appreciation to see if you‘ll give up or not. So be sincere and do it for Allah, because you know He‘s Ash-Shakoor in this life and in the Hereafter. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
Allah says: I have prepared for My righteous slaves that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard and it has never crossed the mind of man. All of that is reserved, besides which all that you have known is as nothing.‘ Then he recited: ‗No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do‘ [al-Sajdah 32:17] Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3072) and Muslim (2824) The report narrated by Muslim adds: apart from that of which Allaah has informed you. Remember Paradise in all you do.
8. Call upon Ash-Shakoor, for example a Quranic dua with this Name is:
And they will say, Praise to Allah, who has removed from us [all] sorrow. Indeed, our Lord is Forgiving and Appreciative. [al Faatir 35:34] The Prophet sallaahu alayhi wa sallam said:
Allah records good and bad deeds in this way: If anyone intends to do a good deed, but does not do it, Allah still records it with Him as one full good deed. If he intends a good deed and then carries it out, Allah records it with Him as ten to seven hundred times in reward or even increases it many times more. If anyone intends to do a bad deed but does not actually do it, Allah records it with Him as one full good deed. If he intends to do a bad deed and does it, Allah records it with Him as only one bad deed. [Al Bukhaari]
This shows who Allah is. How He is Ash-shaakir and Ash-shakoor for good deeds. Good deeds are multiplied without limit. Ibn Qayyim says we should have this siffat of appreciation. We should appreciate the blessings Allah has given us. And to increase in our blessings from Allah, we should do a great amount of ibaadah to appreciate these blessing. Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi salam stood all night in prayer out of shukr to Allah, we should use the blessings Allah has given us, to worship Him, out of appreciation for giving us these blessings in the first place such as the blessing of hidayah, Islam, Tawheed, Eemaan, the blessing of sight, hearing, intellect etc.
 
Ibn Qayyim: how to show thankfulness.
1) Khudoo – the person who is thanking and appreciating, he submits himself to the one who is giving, i.e Allah.
2) Muhabba – the person has love for Allah
3) shukr – the person acknowledges the blessings Allah has given him
4) Hamd – the person praises Allah for these blessings.
5) Ibaadah – the person uses the blessings Allah gave him in worshipping Allah and staying away from everything He hates and dislikes.
 
Ash Shaakir wash Shukoor and other Names
· Ash-Shaakir comes with the Name Al Aleem. Al Aleem knows everything that happens. And Ash-Shaakir is appreciative for everything. So He knows everything to be appreciated towards.
· Ash-Shukoor comes with Al Haleem. Wallahu shakurun Al Haleem. Allah has given us time after every blessing, to see if we will thank Him and be appreciative or not.
· Allah pairs Ash Shakoor with Al Ghafoor. Allah is extremely appreciative to the one who turns to Allah in tawbah. He conceals the sin. He is the Oft-and-All Forgiving and the Most Appreciative; even if we commit sins we can return to Him for forgiveness and He being appreciative of our tawbah will grant us forgiveness and reward for the good we do.

Ramadan Reflection – Eat from the Good

O you who have believed, eat from the good (i.e. lawful) things which We have provided for you and be grateful to God if it is (indeed) Him you worship. Quran (2:172)
As I was reading this ayah, it made me reflect on so many things. Especially as I came across it during Ramadan a time in which we tend to feast daily.
Allah here tells us to eat from that which is good. But the arabic here isnt halal but tayub. We all know we can only eat halal but how many of us eat the “good” food within the halal? Eating deep fried food all the time is not eating good. Neither is eating junk or fast food. All of these however are halal to eat.
So not only is it important for us to eat halal food we should be eating good (tayub) food. But what is good food? Most people think of salad and fruit but I think its much deeper than that. We should eat ethical, organic food. So our fruit and veg and even our meat should be ethically sourced and organic as much as possibly. We should eat everything in moderation so having a samosa once in a while is okay! But having several daily is not good for us.
Then Allah says which We have provided for you. This again made me think. We all think that we earn the money, we buy and cook the food so we provided it to our family. But no, Allah is reminding us that He provides the food. We need to change our mindset even with what we eat and how we get this food.
Then Allah tells us to be grateful. Something that I’ve noticed that we generally are not good at. We criticize the food, we complain about whats been cooked. We hardly ever thank the person who probably spent hours making the food for us. Especially if its a family member thats made it for us. If we can’t be grateful to the people who have given us the food how will we be able to be grateful to Allah?
Allah connects being grateful to Him to worshipping Him. So if we aren’t grateful for what He has provided us then will we be able to truly worship Him in the way that He deserves?
I learnt so much from one ayah. That we should eat the good halal food that Allah has provided for us. That we should be grateful to Him and that gratitude is connected to worshipping Allah.

An Explanation of Allahs Beautiful Names and Attributes part 22

71) Al Ghaafir
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Ghaafir. Allah says:
The forgiver of sin, acceptor of repentance, severe in punishment, owner of abundance. There is no deity except Him; to Him is the destination. [al Ghaafir 40:3]
 
72) Al Ghafoor 
This Name of Allah Appears in the Qur’an 91 times. The majority of the time it is mentioned with Ar Raheem. For example Allah says:
 
[O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful. [al Hijr 12:49]
Allah also says:
 
The heavens almost break from above them, and the angels exalt [ Allah ] with praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on earth. Unquestionably, it is Allah who is the Forgiving, the Merciful. [ash Shuraa 42:5]
Allah Mentions the Name Al Ghafoor with the Name Al-‘Afuw.
 
For those it is expected that Allah will pardon them, and Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.[an Nisaa 4:99]
Allah also Mentions Al Ghafoor with the Name Al-Azeez
 
And among people and moving creatures and grazing livestock are various colors similarly. Only those fear Allah , from among His servants, who have knowledge. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Forgiving. [al Faatir 35:28]
 
73) Al Ghaffaar
This Name of Allah appears in the Qu’ran five times. For example Allah says:
 
He created the heavens and earth in truth. He wraps the night over the day and wraps the day over the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. Unquestionably, He is the Exalted in Might, the Perpetual Forgiver [az Zumar 39:5]
Linguistic meaning:
All these Names come from the root word gha-fa-ra which means something that covers, veil, conceal, hide and something that shields. Also to pardon, forgive, set aright.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Al Khattabi says: they are Names by which Allah forgives His slaves for the sins they have committed. But in particular, Allah through these Names conceals the sins. The believer will not be able to see it, neither will anyone of the creation. On Yawmal qiyyamah Allah will conceal the sins so it will not be able to be seen on our scrolls. -Ghaafir is the Name that is given to the One that conceals one sin -Ghaffaar is the exaggerated form, One that covers many sins -Ghafoor has the meaning of conceal and has the meaning of removing completely because Allah mentions Al-‘Afuw with Al-Ghafoor. Al ‘Afuw means to remove completely.
Az Zujaji says: the meaning of the gha-far of Allah, is that He covers the sins of His slaves, so they are not frightened or upset or hurt when they see their sins.
Both ghafoor and ghaffaar refer to the concept of maghfirah. Al-Ghaffaar refers to the fact that Allah forgives repeatedly (the quantity) whereas the Name Al-Ghafoor points to the extent of His forgiveness (the quality). Allah‘s Name Al-Ghafoor does not just mean that He forgives us; He also protects and shields us from the consequences of our own actions. He does maghfirah— He covers our sins while being fully aware of what they are. His perfect forgiveness is truly a sign of His ultimate mercy for us. Our scrolls of deeds and our own self will be placed on the scales on yawmal qiyyamah to be weighed.
 
Benefits we can learn from these Names
 
1. Seek forgiveness to increase your blessings. Allah says:
And [Nuh] said, ‗Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver.‘ [Nuh 71:10]
What will happen if you ask for forgiveness? Al-Ghaffaar will increase your blessings.
He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers.
And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. [Nuh 71:11-12] So next time you want something, increase in seeking forgiveness (or istighfaar).
2. Allah being Al-Ghafoor, Al-Ghaffar and Al-Ghaafir, He has concealed the sins of the believers so a person will not be able to see them. If a person makes sincere repentance to Allah, Alah will conceal His sins, shielding it from the eyes of creation so it will be as if you don’t have the sin. When the scrolls are released, you will not be able to see that sin on your scrolls. It will have been covered by Al-Ghafoor.
 
3. A person can repent for a sin, and follow it up with good deeds. Allah says:
And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember. [al Hud 11: 114] Have taqwa of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people.” [At-Tirmidhi].
4. A Muslim will not despair from the mercy of Allah. Knowing that He has a Lord that is forgiving. So he should ask forgiveness in this life, before death. After that the doors of repentance shuts. Allah has promised forgiveness for the one who asks for it in the dunya. Allah doesn’t forgive shirk if a person dies on it, but if one repents after committing it in his lifetime, then Allah will forgive him. A characteristic of a true believer is that he or she never despairs. We don‘t despair in the help of Allah azza wa jall and we don‘t despair in His mercy and forgiveness. This means that whenever we commit a bad deed– and because we are humans, we will sin– we don‘t let it get us down but rather fight back by turning to Al-Ghafoor straight away and following up our sin with a good deed.
No sin is too great for Allah’s forgiveness. A believer should know that His Lord is a Forgiving One. He is Haleem, He is Afuw, He is Ghafoor. Call upon Al-Ghafoor when you do wrong to others or even to yourself, no matter how big or small the sin is. You can start your dua‘ with this beautiful Name. Always ask Him to do maghfirah on you (to cover up and forgive your bad deeds) and never give up asking. At the same time, never think of how big or little a sin is, think about the greatness of the One you are disobeying.
5. Train yourself to be forgiving. Think of the forgiveness of Al-Ghafoor and be inspired to adopt a habit of being forgiving in your daily life. Always try to go to sleep with a heart clean of grudges. Hamdun al-Qassar, one of the great early Muslims, said: If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves. [Bayhaqee] Always give others the benefit of the doubt, making excuses for them and never hunting for others‘ mistakes.
6. Cover the faults of others. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
Allah will cover up on the Day of Resurrection the defects (faults) of the one who covers up the faults of the others in this world [Muslim]. Do you know what Allah Al-Ghafoor will give you for covering up the faults and shortcomings of others in this world? He loves this quality so much that He‘ll forgive your sins and not call you to account for your sins. If at all He will do so, He will not do it publicly so that you‘re not embarrassed before others.
 
7. Don‘t expose yourself. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
Every one of my followers will be forgiven except those who expose (openly) their wrongdoings. An example of this is that of a man who commits a sin at night which Allah has covered for him, and in the morning, he would say (to people): I committed such and such sin last night, while Allah had kept it a secret. During the night Allah has covered it up but in the morning he tears up the cover provided by Allah Himself. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
We should never like to express our sins and sin openly. Never talk to others about your sins.
8. Give thanks. Reflect on the fact that Al-Ghaffaar veils your sins and bad deeds for others again and again, and thank Him for this blessing.
9. Follow the examples in the Quran and Sunnah. Look for the Quranic supplications for forgiveness Al-Ghaffaar blessed you with and use them when you ask for His maghfirah, for example:
Indeed there was a party of My servants who said; Our Lord, we have believed, so forgive us and have mercy upon us, and You are the best of the merciful. [al Muminoon 23:109] Study the ways the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam used to seek forgiveness by using the morning and evening adhkaar (remembrance) to be found in the book of supplications Hisnul Muslim (Fortress of the Muslim). Examples are daily invocations like: ghufraanaka when you exit the toilet, saying astaghfirullah wa atoobu ilayk more than 70 times a day. Our beloved Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam used to seek Allah’s forgiveness more than 70 times a day (in another narration 100 times), and he had all his sins forgiven by Allah, so what is the state of ourselves? We should be seeking forgiveness from Allah countless times a day! The following hadith shows the mercy of Allah and the vastness of His forgiveness. How can we not seek Allah’s forgiveness when we are in need of it, as we fall into sin day and night?
Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard the Prophet saying, “If somebody commits a sin and then says, ‘O my Lord! I have sinned, please forgive me!’ and his Lord says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sins).’ Then he remains without committing any sin for a while and then again commits another sin and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sin). Then he remains without committing any other sin for a while and then commits another sin (for the third time) and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for it I therefore have forgiven My slave (his sin), he can do whatever he likes.” [Al Bukhari]
 
Al Ghafoor, wal Ghaffaar and other Names
· Allah has mentioned Ghaffaar with Azeez. Why does He say Azeezur Ghafaar? He is so powerful (Azeez) that He can forgive all sins. There is nothing that He can’t forgive and Him being Al Ghafoor is a sign of Him being Azeez. Characteristic of Him being merciful and forgiving is a sign of His Power.
· Allah also mentions Al Ghafoor with Ash Shakoor. The benefit here is that the believers should thank Allah for the ability He has given us to turn back to Him and ask for His forgiveness and they should be thankful for Allah concealing their sins.
· Allah mentions Al Ghafoor with Al Haleem. He has delayed the time for punishment out of Him being Haleem (forbearing and tolerant) so we can ask for forgiveness, and Him being Ghafoor, He will forgive us if we repent to Him.
· Allah mentions Al Ghafoor with Al Wadood. These Names are mentioned together because Allah loves to forgive and He hopes to forgive His slaves.
· One of the most common pairs is Allah‘s Name Al-Ghafoor combined with Ar-Raheem, which is repeated 72 times in the Qur’an, demonstrating that He covers our sins because He is so merciful to us. An example of this beautiful combination is in one of the most hope-giving, heart-comforting ayaat in the Quran. Al-Ghafoor Himself says:
Say, O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful. [az Zumar 39:53]
Look and reflect! Instead of saying: O, you sinners! look at how gently Al-Ghafoor addresses us by saying yaa ‘eebaadee, O My servants….Alhamdulillah; we have a Lord who is intensely forgiving and merciful to us who doesn’t forsake us even when we are drowning in sin. Side note: A minor sin can become a major one, when a person no longer feels remorse when doing it. Fear minor sins over major as when a person commits a major sin, it is usually acknowledged to be a major sin and hence one can seek forgiveness for it and repent. But as for minor sins, because a person may view it as something trivial, there is the fear that they will keep on doing it.
74) Al ‘Afuww
This Name of Allah I mentioned in the Qu’ran 5 times. For exmaple Allah says:
O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving. [an Nisaa 4:43]
Allah also says:
 
If [instead] you show [some] good or conceal it or pardon an offence – indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Competent. [an Nisaa 4:149]
 
Linguistic meaning:
It has 3 meanings
1) To forgive and pardon.
2) to efface and remove, to wipe away.
3) To give something an abundant growth, give willingly and more than it is due.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
At Tabbari says: Allah removes and wipes away the sins and He wipes away and removes all consequences for that sin in this dunya and aakirah so that a person doesn’t have that deed at all. It doesn’t exist anymore. Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said:
Regret is repentance and the one who repents is like one who did not sin [Saheeh Jaami’ as Sagheer]
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The one who repents from sin is like one who did not sin, and if the sin is removed, then the punishment and consequences are also removed. End quote from Sharh al-‗Umdah (4/39)
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Allah, may He be exalted, makes the one who repents from sin like the one who did not sin. So whoever meets Him having repented sincerely, He will not punish him for that from which he has repented. End quote from I‗laam al-Muwaqqi‗een (3/115)
He also said: Allah, may He be glorified, has guaranteed to the one who repents from shirk (associating others with Allah), murder and zina (fornication or adultery) that He will turn his bad deeds into good deeds. This is a general ruling which applies to everyone who repents from sin. He also said: As the one who repents from sin is like the one who did not sin, and the effect of sin is erased by repentance, then it becomes as if it never happened.
By the Name Afuww, if you make tawbah then it will be as if you never sinned. For example Allah will make someone pure again after commiting zina if they repent to Allah. Allah Wipes away the sin, the consequences of the sin and the punishment of that sin. He is the One who can make any sin or mistake disappear. Al-Afuww not only forgives but can also remove wrong actions, errors, and faults, leaving no trace of them. He can eliminate them completely.
Afuww also means abundant growth. Ibn Qayyim says: as for afuwun regarding abundant growth, afuww doesn’t just mean to remove or wipe away, but it also means to multiple, to give a great growth. This means for example, on one side of a scale is placed a person’s bad deeds and on the other side is placed a person’s good deeds. If the good deeds are held back by the weight of the bad deeds, once these sins are completely removed and taken away, the good deeds become stronger and weighs heavier on the scales. By Allah being Al Afuww, He gets the bad deeds and after a person makes tawbah for them, He removes them and then puts them on the other side of the scale. So his good deeds become even stronger, multiplied and abundant. Now it has both the weight of the good deeds and the bad deeds that were turned into good deeds. This is the meaning of Afuww. When a person turns to Allah with this Name, Allah forgives him a great type of forgiveness whereby He doesn’t just conceal but He removes the sins entirely and then changes the evil deeds to good deeds.
 
Al ‘Afuww and other Names:
· The Name Afuww comes with the Name Al Ghafoor. The benefit here is, due to Allah’s immense rahma and Him being Ar Ra’oof, He conceals the removing of the sin. So the slave doesn’t feel upset or feel the pain of seeing his sin. So on Yawmal qiyyamah, the sin won’t even be there.
· The Name Afuww has been mentioned with Qadeer. Qadeer is the One who decrees, so Allah mentioned Afuww with Qadeer because one of the ways the Qadr is preserved is by the angels writing down everything. The reason why Allah mentions Afuww with Qadeera is because, that which Allah does when He is Afuww is He removes the sin, so now He tells the angels to wipe off the sin off the record, as if the sin never happened. The angels are made to write it on the good deeds.
Difference between forgiving and pardoning.
Of the five times, Allah‘s Name Al-‗Afuww is mentioned, four times it is with His Name Al-Ghafoor (The Forgiving) in the Quran. Allah azza wa jall might forgive some people and pardon others. Forgiving means that Allah azza wa jall conceals our sins and mistakes and we will not be punished for them on the Day of Judgement. However, they are still there in our book of deeds. When Allah pardons the sins of people, the sins are completely erased from their book of deeds; He will not even remind them of their sins, nor question them, simply because their sins have been removed. Pardon is greater than forgiveness.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Pardon others. The people who suppress anger and pardon others are the people of Paradise. Al-Afuww says:
Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good [ale Imran 3:134]
Ibn Katheer mentions: They forgive those who treat them with injustice. Therefore, they do not hold any ill feelings about anyone in their hearts, and this is the most excellent conduct in this regard. Strive to pardon others so that Allah azza wa jall may pardon you.
2. Don‘t remind others of their mistakes. Al-Afuww is the One who pardons with no reproach. After overlooking other people‘s mistakes or wrong actions towards you, try not to remind them of these bad deeds afterwards. Allah azza wa jall is the One who pardons and never mentions your sins again.
3. Increase your love for Allah. Imagine Allah azza wa jall pardoned all your past sins; not a single sin would be recorded in our book of deeds. This shows how much we should love Al-‗Afuww.
4. Say this dua from your heart. A beautiful dua with this Name is the one the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam taught Aishah radiyallahu anhaa, when she asked him: O Messenger of Allah! If I find the Night of Al-Qadr what should I say? He sallallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam replied, say: O Allah! Verily You are the Oft-Pardoning, You love to pardon, so pardon me [Ahmad, At-Tirmidhee, An-Nasaa‘i, Ibn Majah]. Memorise this dua and beg Al-Afuww with is sincerely. Recognise your sins, be humble and then aim high, not only asking your Lord for forgiveness, but for Him to pardon each and every sin you committed.
75) At Tawwaab 
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qu’ran 11 times. 9 of these times it is mentioned with Ar Raheem, once with Al Hakeem and once by itself. Allah says:
Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. [al Baqarah 2:37]
 
And if not for the favour of Allah upon you and His mercy… and because Allah is Accepting of repentance and Wise. [an Nur 24:10]
 
Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. Indeed, He is ever Accepting of repentance. [an Nasr 110:3]
 
Lingustic Meaning: 
The ta, waw and ba mean to turn back, to return. When a person makes tawbah for a sin it means he has returned back to Allah.
 
Shar’ee Meaning:
At Tabbari says: At Tawwaab is the One who turns to the one who turns to Allah. When a person seeks forgiveness from Allah by turning to Him – realises that he has committed a sin and that he no longer wants to do so anymore. Allah through His Name At Tawwaab turns to His slave and He forgives the sin. Allah then goes back to giving him the provisions for his heart, for his eemaan and the provisions that he is now preparing for him in the aakirah. When a person has repented to Allah, and has thrown away the weight of sin by meeting the conditons of tawbah, when this person came back to Allah, Allah came back to him. Allah shows His ‘Afw to him, removes his sin and puts it on the side of good. He changed the darkness in the person’s heart that was caused from the sin, to the light of Islam. Allah turns towards His slaves, when they turn towards Him.
Conditions of tawbah – all of these must be met for tawbah to be valid
1) Feel regret and remorse for committing the sin.
2) Make tawbah to Allah by asking for forgiveness.
3) To prevent any possible way to fall into the same sin again.
4) If the sin included taking the rights of another Muslim, you must return their right to them.
Al-Qaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It should be understood that if repentance meets all the required conditions, then it will undoubtedly be accepted and result in forgiveness, because Allah, may He be exalted, says:
And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons misdeeds, and He knows what you do. [ash-Shuraa 42:25]. And it is not possible for Him to break His promise. End quote from Mirqaat al-Mafaateeh (4/1337). A sign that Allah has accepted a person’s tawbah is that after making tawbah, the person follows it up with a good deed. Also generally if a good deed is followed up with another good deed, it is a sign that the deed has been accepted.
 
Benefits we can take from this Name
1. To have Muhabbah of Allah. We turn back to Allah and have hope in Allah’s mercy.
And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah ? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know. [ale Imran 3: 135]
 
2. Have Hayaa of Allah, being shy, feeling ashamed and embarrassed to sin in front of a Lord who is so compassionate and merciful. Allah has given us so many blessings which we can’t even enumerate, He is forbearing and tolerant; but we still sin. So the benefit of knowing the Names of Allah that are to do with forgiveness and mercy, is to have hayaa with regards to sinning. Rasooluallah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said:
From the words of the previous Prophets that people still find is if you feel no shame then do as you wish. [Bukhari]. When a person acknowledges the blessings of Allah upon us such as sight, hearing, tongue, etc then they would be shy and ashamed to sin using that very blessing.
3. To increase in repentance. Always turn back to At Tawwaab after sinning. Hasten to repent after committing a sin, major or minor and know that no sin is too great for Allah to forgive. Allah is greater than everything. Allah forgives the one who repents after committing the most gravest of sins which is shirk. Allah says:
O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him. Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, “Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.” [at Tahrim 66:8]
4. Practice the sunnah of salatul tawbah.
Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and prays two rak‘ahs, then asks Allaah for forgiveness, but Allaah will forgive him. Then he recited this verse: And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allaah and ask forgiveness for their sins; and none can forgive sins but Allaah and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know‘ [Aal ‗Imraan 3:135]. [Abu Dawood] Abu‘l-Darda‘ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say:The one who does wudoo‘ and does it well, then stands and prays two rak‘ahs or four (one of the narrators was uncertain), in which he remembers Allaah and focuses well, then asks Allaah for forgiveness, He will forgive him. [Ahmad] So next time you sin, perform wudu and stand up in salah, in sincere repentance to Allah.
 
At Tawwaab and other Names
Allah mentions the Name At Tawwaab with Ar Raheem. The reason for the coupling of these Names is because it is from Allah’s rahma that He allows us to turn back to Him in repentance. If Allah didn’t have mercy on us and if He didn’t give us the ability and the desire to repent to Him, we would not have been able to do so. It is from the mercy of Allah that we can turn back to Him subhana wa ta’alaa.
 
All the Names of forgiveness and mercy are interlinked.
Allah is Ar Raoof – ash shaddur rahma – the One who is severe in His rahma. Raoof is linked to something that is eternally merciful and peaceful whereas rahma could be linked to something we dislike and which can cause us hardship or pain. When a slave turns to Allah and raises his hands making du’a and repenting, he has come to Allah at a time which Allah has given him through the Name Al Haleem, because Allah allows him time to make tawbah after his sin. He is calling upon Ar Raoof – the One who is compassionate more compassionate and has greater mercy than the Name Ar Raheem. Therefore when a person makes tawbah and turns to Allah for forgiveness:
· Allah by being Al Haleem, gives him that opportunity and time to return back to Him.
· The slave turns to Allah so At Tawwaab turns to him and begins to accept his repentance.
· Then Allah further blesses him with the Name Al Barr, allowing him to continue in the goodness such as continue making tawbah more sincerely and following it up with good deeds.
· Allah then turns to him with the Name Al Ghafoor; He hides the sin so that no one can see it. He conceals it in dunya and aakirah.
· Then through His Name Al Afuww, He eliminates/destroys the sin thereby removing it completely. Affuwan qadeer – Al Afuww takes the sin and removes it from the qadar, so that it no longer exists on the scrolls.
· Allah by being Al Afuww gives abundant growth by removing the sin and turning it into a good deed, thus growing the side of good deeds.
· Then when the slave turns to Allah even more, Allah by the Name At Tawwaab turns to him once more by showing the siffat of Al Wadood, He begins to love him – Indeed Allah loves those who turn to Him in repentance. And Allah hopes to reward him with jannah, and to meet him in jannah, just as we hope to see Allah in Jannah.

Ramadan Reflection

Last night after iftar I literally passed out from my migraine. To wake up an hour later thinking I need to clear up the kitchen, only to find that my husband has cleared everything so that I can rest. He stayed home instead of going taraweeh and prayed at home so he could look after me as I had double vision (aren’t migraines amazing!).
It was at this moment I truly understood what true love is. I understood the ayah that speak about marriage and the husband wife relationship on a whole new level.
It isn’t about the fancy gifts we give each other or the holidays we go on or the restaurants we go to. It’s about being there for each other when we are at our weakest. It’s about caring for each other when we need them most. It’s supporting each other when we feel like nothing will get better.
Today I truly understood what the ayah means when Allah says they will be the coolness of our eyes. When Allah says that we are garments for one another. That we should live in tranquility with one another. That He has put love and mercy between our hearts.
Because at that moment I felt the peace and tranquility when I looked at him. I saw how he cared for me. How he covered me and looked after me. I saw that it was his love and mercy for me that he did all this for me. I truly felt that coolness when I looked at him. And I realised that the most important moments of our marriage are times like this. At this moment I truly felt thankful for the amazing husband I was given. Alhamdulillah.
And through this I felt closer to Allah. I felt a connection with Allah. That I was able to truly be thankful to Him for my husband. And then I realised that this is why Allah tells us that these are signs for those who reflect. Because our marriage and especially these moments in our marriage are signs to lead us to Him.

An Explanation of Allahs Beautiful Names and Attributes part 21

68) Ar Raoof
This Name of Allah appears in the Qu’ran 10 times. For example Allah says:
And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. [al Baqarah 2:143]
Do you not see that Allah has subjected to you whatever is on the earth and the ships which run through the sea by His command? And He restrains the sky from falling upon the earth, unless by His permission. Indeed Allah , to the people, is Kind and Merciful.
[al Hajj 22:65]
From the 10 times the Name Ar Ra’oof is mentioned, 8 of these times Allah mentions it with the Name Ar Raheem. One time it is Raoofun bil ‘ibaad and one time it is Raoof by itself.
Lingustic meaning:
Rafa means compassion. It is a greater from of mercy than Rahma. Rafa ash shaddu rahma. The term Ra‘oof means tender affection, the highest mercy and compassion, the upper limit of ar-Raheem. The meaning is similar to Ar-Raheem, but focuses on the utmost tenderness, kindness and affection, which accompanies the outpouring of mercy and compassion.
Linguistically, ra‘fa refers to the tenderness, kindness, and affection with which Allah azza wa jall bestows mercy on us.
Al Qurtabi mentions that when a person is stoned to death or lashed for a sin, this is a rahma for him not a rafa because it still brings him pain and hurt, but its a means for forgiveness. Ra‘fa is that which would not bring with it pain or hardship Ra’fa is a means of attaining forgiveness of Allah, without one feeling any difficulty or hardship. This is why they say ra’fah is greater then rahma.
Shar’ee meaning:
Ibn Jarir at-Tabbari says: Allah has the greatest form of ra‘fa (compassion), more greater and higher and mightier than rahma. Ra‘fa is a type of mercy and compassion that Allah sends to dunya and saved in the aaikrah for all the people He loves and He compassionately waters them with His mercy, without them being hurt, or upset or disliking anything.
Al-Ghazali mentioned that Ar-Raoof has pity, and that pity is the intensification of mercy. It has the same meaning as Raheem though in a more intense form. Ar-Raoof is the One who bestows pity and mercy on us in many different forms, including warnings and withholding, for us to be guided to success in this world and the next.
Al Khattabi says: it could be that rahma is obtained for a benefit with some hardship. e.g. if someone has the huddod applied to him for any sin committed, even though it will be painful and hard, it is a rahma and the benefit is that they will not be punished in the aakirah for that sin. As for Ra’fa, it can never be obtained through hardship or difficulty.
How can we understand the concept of ra‘fa and the concept of rahma (mercy)? After a calamity hits us, Ar-Raheem has mercy on us. Ra‘fa refers to Allah azza wa jall taking care of us and warning us so that we can protect ourselves from His own punishment. Ar-Raoof says:
The Day every soul will be find what it has done of [present] before it and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself and Allah is kind to (His) slaves [ale Imran 3:30]
How merciful is this? Ar-Raoof warns us how to avoid His punishment out of pure kindness and affection, by sending us prophets and messengers for advice, by sending us the Quran and guiding our hearts when we turn to Him.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. When Allah decreed to change the qiblah from Masjid Al Aqsa to Masjid Al Haraam – Al Ka’bah, the sahabah were worried if all their previous ibaadah would still be counted or not. So they asked Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam concerning this and Allah revealed the ayah from al Baqarah which is mentioned above. At the end of it Allah says; And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. So whenever a person does an action for the sake of Allah, trying his best to get closer to Allah, and to follow the sunnah of Rasoolullah, even though he might make some mistakes or fall short in something, but Allah from the Name Ar-Raoof, Allah will accept that action as though it was done perfectly. For example it is better for a person who is travelling to not pray the sunnah of rawatib (except the 2 before fajr as Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam didn’t leave these even whilst travelling) even though one may not want to miss it, it is upon them to take the concession Allah has given them as it is a for of mercy in itself. But if you are someone who prays the Sunnah of rawatib regularly,Allah being Ar Raoof, if you will make it count as if you had prayed them. So not only do you get the reward for not praying them whilst travel (as its from the sunnah to leave them during travel) but you also get the reward as if you had prayed them. Another example is of a person who embraced Islam later on in life. All the bad actions that they done before accepting Islam, Allah forgives them, and changes their bad deeds into good deeds, Allahu akbar! Allah says:
And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated – Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [al Furqaan 25: 68-70]
SubhanaAllah, if you see in the aforementioned ayat, Allah states three grave sins of shirk, murder and zina but says that He will accept the repentance of the one who repents from these sins and would change their evil deeds into good. Then what about for one who repents from sins that do not reach the level of shirk? Allah is truly Ar-Raoof to His slaves.
2. Every command has a reward attached to it. Every bad deed a person commits, and hasn’t made tawbah for and commits them without having any regret then he will lose the corresponding reward Allah has prepared for that bad deed. For example Allah has prohibited alcohol so for the one who stays away from it, Allah will give him a river of wine. The one who drinks it without regret, this person will lose out of this reward and will also be punished with the drinks of hellfire such as boiling water and oil. In Surah An Nur Allah begins by speaking about zina, then adultery, then He mentions the commandment of lowering the gaze and directly after that He says Allahu noorus-samaawaati wal ardh – Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. Ibn Qayyim says; the reward on yawmal qiyyamah for those who lowered their gazes, is that after Allah has thrown the munafiqeen in the hellfire, He will bring those who used to lower their gazes and tell them to raise their gaze, and they will lift their gaze and see the face of Allah. This is reward of the one who lowers their gaze. One who gazes on that which is unlawful, will lose out the reward of the one who lowers their gaze.
3. Allah from His Name being Ar Raoof, He has sent down the Qur’an and He has taken people out of darkness into the light of Islam. Allah says:
It is He who sends down upon His Servant [Muhammad] verses of clear evidence that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And indeed, Allah is to you Kind and Merciful. [al Hadeed 57: 9]
This is from the greatest compassion and greatest mercy that Allah has given us. Ask Allah to make your heart tender to His reminder, the Qur’an.
4. Embody the characteristic of rafa yourself. Allah being Ar Raoof forgives sins, He is compassionate to the believers. We should also learn about the compassion of Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam and we should embody this characteristic of rafa in ourselves and show compassion to others. Ar-Raoof described the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam as ra‘oofun raheem:
There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful. [at Tawbah, 9:128]
Study the s eerah to learn how the prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam dealt with His companions, family, and even his enemies.
5. Increase your heart in mercy. Be kind to others and handle people‘s feelings with tenderness. Sometimes you are so busy with your own life and your own family and friends that you forget about others. The connection you feel with the Muslim ummah is a mirror for your emaan. Read about the situation of your fellow brothers and sisters around the world and think of ways of how to support them. For example make sure you remember the ummah in your dua.
6. Be proactive. Someone once said: All that time I was waiting for someone to do something about it. Then I realised that someone was me. Ar-Raoof has pity on us and He even warns us on how to avoid His punishment. If you see your brother or sister low in emaan or even going astray, feel concerned for them and advise them with kindness and care. Forbidding evil and enjoining good is a duty upon you; how seriously do you take it?
You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil and believe in Allah. If only the people of the scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers but most of them are defiantly disobedient. [ale Imran 3:110] Be inspired by the ra‘fa of Allah azza wa jall to help warn and guide others as much as you can.
7. Allah is Raoof throughout all times. Reflect on His ra‘fa and rahman. He is compassionate to His slaves on all occasions, in all moments. This shows the believers that throughout the whole time that Allah has allowed him to continue living, know that Allah is the One who is compassionate, despite falling back into sin over and over again, Allah is still Ar Raoof, and He has Ra‘fa that is greater than His Rahma.
8. Ask Ar-Raoof. Ar-Raoof mentions a beautiful supplication in the Qur’an, using this Name:
And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful. [al Hashr 59:10]
68) Al Wadood
This Name of Allah appears in the Qu’ran twice. Allah says:
And ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is Merciful and Affectionate.[Hud 11:90]
Allah also says:
 
And He is the Forgiving, the Affectionate, [al Buruj 85:14]
 
Lingustic Meaning:
It consist of 2 meanings
1) Al Habb – to love
2) Tamana – to hope/yearn for, wishful thinking
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Ibn Jarir at Tabbari says; He is the One that possesses love, for the one that turns to Him, He loves Him a great love, a pure, perfect love.
The concept of love in the Arabic language is described by different words, hubb and wudd are examples of them. Hubb is the inner-feeling of love for someone, whereas Wudd is an intense, consistent affection as it is expressed in actions and conduct.
Wadood is from the fa‘ool pattern which in Arabic grammar points to intensity and continuity. Allah is Al-Wadood; His love is intense, continuous and translates into the blessings, favours, mercy, guidance and forgiveness He gives to His slaves.
Ibn Qayyim says Allah being Al-Wadood is of 2 types.
1) He is the One who loves and shows the siffat of love.
2) He is the One who is Loved – Mahboob.
Imam Sa’di says: He is the One that loves His ambiya and loves those that came after them, He loves them a great love, He also loves the pious. Allah also fills the hearts with the love of Him until He makes people love Him, makes the tongues praise Him and makes the actions worship Him. He loves those that love Him. The hope of Allah wanting to see the righteous slaves of Allah, is professed in the Name Al Wadood. Allah doesn’t want to punish us, He has written for Himself rahma, He has opened the doors of rahma, He has a number of Names that are associated with rahma. The reason why He does this is so that He can give us the reward that He has prepared. He hopes to gives us Jannah, He hopes to give us an eternal life of bliss, He hopes to give us palaces under which rivers flow. He wants to meet His righteous slave, He wants to meet ahlul Jannah. Why does Allah say Al-Ghafoor Al-Wadood? Sometimes a person may forgive someone he dislikes but there is nothing like Allah when He forgives, He Loves you as if you had not committed the sin.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. To have muhabba of Allah instilled in our hearts, a love that is haqeeqi/real a love that is embodied in wanting to worship Allah. When a person loves Allah, how can this be tested? See how close He is to the by doing the actions that Allah loves and staying away from the actions Allah hates. Narrated Anas bin Malik (RadhiAllahu ‘anhu), The Prophet sallalahu alayhi wassalam said: “Whoever possesses the following three qualities will taste the sweetness of faith: The one to whom Allah and His Apostle become dearer than anything else, The one who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake. The one who hates to revert to disbelief (Atheism) after Allah has brought (saved) him out from it, as he hates to be thrown in fire.” [Al Bukhari]
Love Al-Wadood above everything and anyone. Al-Wadood says:
Say, [O Muhammad], If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people. [at Tawbah 9:24] This ayah is a great reminder pinpointing all the things we tend to love over Allah and His messenger and in how doing so, can leave us open to the punishment and wrath of Allah. We seek refuge in Allah from that.
2. We have extremely strong hope in the mercy of Allah. If Allah describes Himself as somebody that has a hope to see us and save us from hellfire and to give us Jannah, then we are talking about a Lord that is filled with mercy, a Lord that is compassionate, a Lord that takes care of His slaves. This gives us really strong hope and a mighty thought. Believers should have husn al dhann – good thought/thinking of Allah.
3. Our hearts are filled with tranquillity in remembering a Lord who possesses the siffat of Love. He loves those who worship Him. Let everyone have an action, that no one knows about except you and Allah. This type of action will be done with pure sincerity, purely for the love of Allah and there will be no room for riyaa.
4. Knowing that the sunnah is something that makes Allah love us. Follow Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam. Prove your love for Al-Wadood by sticking to the sunnah of His messenger. The reward: Allah will love and forgive you your sins.
Say: If you love Allah then follow me. Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. [ale Imran 3:31]
How do we get closer to Allah and attain His love? Allah says in a Hadith Qudsi: ―Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. [al-Bukhari].
Allah mentions many actions and qualities in the Qur’an which He loves. For example Allah says:
And how many a prophet [fought and] with him fought many religious scholars. But they never lost assurance due to what afflicted them in the cause of Allah, nor did they weaken or submit. And Allah loves the steadfast [ale Imran 3:146]
But yes, whoever fulfils his commitment and fears Allah – then indeed, Allah loves those who fear Him. [ale Imran 3:76]
And spend in the way of Allah and do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction [by refraining]. And do good; indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.
[al Baqara 2:195]
Do not stand [for prayer] within it – ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves . [at Tawbah 9:108] There are also some actions and qualities mentioned in ahadith. For example Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said; Allah loves kindness in all matters. [Bukhaari] And: Allah loves the believer who is pious and rich, but does not show off. [Muslim] If we want to be loved by Allah, then we should be of those who do these actions and have these qualities which Allah loves. How to attain the love of Allah? (Ibn Qayyim) 1) Recitation of Qur’an with contemplation and understanding the meaning that Allah has intended. 2) nawafil actions after the compulsory actions. 3) Adhkaar – remembering Allah in every situation, with the tongue, heart, action and mind.
5. Let your love be for the sake of Al-Wadood. Ask yourself for what reasons do you love people? Love people for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta‘ala so Al-Wadood, His angels and the people of the earth love you! What an amazing deal. The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
When Allah loves a slave, calls out Jibril and says: `I love so-and-so; so love him‘. Then Jibril loves him. After that he (Jibril) announces to the inhabitants of heavens that Allah loves so-and-so; so love him; and the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him and then make people on earth love him. [Al-Bukhari, Muslim] So mind who you love and love those who fear Allah, love Him and who strive for the good and forbid evil. This is the most beautiful kind of love you can have for another human being, even if you don‘t know them.
69) Al Barr
This Name of Allah appears in the Qu’ran once in regards to being the Name of Allah, however, Allah talks about birr from a characteristic perspective many times. Allah says:
 
Indeed, we used to supplicate Him before. Indeed, it is He who is the Beneficent, the Merciful.” [at Tur 52:28]
 
Lingustic meaning:
Can mean; truthfulness, to make something good, ‘afuw, or lutf, same meaning as lateef, to be dutiful, carry out the rights for example birrul walidayn – goodness/dutiful to parents. Al Birr entails all acts of righteousness and good conduct. [Ibn Hajar al Haytami]
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Ibn Jarir at-Tabbari says: Al Barr means the One who is Lateef to His slaves, the One who helps His slaves, without them knowing who is helping them. Az Zujaji says: Allah is the One who perfects the way for His slaves, and He corrects their affairs and He guides them to the right way. Al Khattabi says: He is the One who is Lateef to His slaves, He perfects for them their ways, and He corrects for them all their affairs. This Name has a similar meaning to Al Lateef and Ar Rauf. Al Barr has all these meanings. Kind, gentle, compassionate, merciful, source of all goodness and kindness Al-Barr is the source of all righteousness, the One from whom every good deed comes. Al-al Qurtabi says: Barr is the One who does not stop His ihsaan because of the sins and disobedience of His slaves.
Ar Raazi says: He is the One who is kind to the wrongdoers, pardons transgression, forgives the sinner, turns to the one who repents to Him, accepts the plea of those who ask Him. He has turned to His slaves with praiseworthy actions and good expectations, while He is the most deserving of them.
Al-Birr versus al-‘ithm
In the sunnah we find a beautiful explanation of what al-birr is and it‘s opposite: al-ithm.
 
A man came asking the Messenger of Allah salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam about righteousness and sin. So the Prophet said: Righteousness (al-birr) is good behaviour, and sin (al-ithm) is what fluctuates in your chest, and you would hate that the people discovered it about you [At-Tirmidhi]
From the siffat of the Barr of Allah and the ways we can see this siffat of Allah, is looking at all the benefits which are apparent and the benefits which are hidden as Allah is taking care of all the affairs. He is compassionate towards everything and everyone and from His mercy He is correcting the problems of all His slaves.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name;
All the benefits we learn from the Names Ar Raheem, Ar Rauf and Al Lateef are also applicable to the Name Al Barr.
1. Love Allah and reflect on the blessings He has given us. Love Allah. Allah deserves love that is real, for He is the One that is looking after all of our affairs, correcting our problems and our hardships. He is also showing us lutf, ra’fa and rahma. Allah is Al Barr to His slaves, being Lateef to them, He is correcting them, subtly taking care of all their affairs. of dunya and aakirah and those that are apparent and those that are concealed. Ibn Qayyim says: Allah is Al Barr in the dunya, He takes care of the well being, the strength, the money, the property, the children, He helps them, He takes them out of their problems.
And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favour of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful. [al Ibraheem 14:34]
Everything we have in dunya is from Allah being Al-Barr. He is the one taking care of us. As for the deen, Allah through His Name Al-Barr has granted us, as Mumineen eeman – belief in Him and the tawfeeq to carry out the actions of obedience. From the Name of Al-Barr, Allah being kind and gentle, He rewards us and multiplies our deeds and rewards. Treat your parents and children well. Ibn Umar said: Allah has called them the dutiful‘ (al-Abrar) because they are dutiful (birr) to their parents and children. Just as you have a duty which you owe your parent, so you have a duty which you owe your child. [Al-Bukhari] Make an effort to be a good child to your parents and a good parent to your child.
 
2. Don‘t be hasty.
On the day of `Arafat, the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam heard a great hue and cry and the beating of camels behind him. So he beckoned to the people with his lash, O people! Be quiet. Hastening is not a sign of righteousness. [Al-Bukhari]
Try to do your daily life activities in a modest manner, for example don‘t walk loudly and hasty on the street in a way you are causing others inconvenience!
3. Ask Al-Barr to guide you to al-birr. A supplication of the sunnah asking for al-birr, is the dua for travelling; make sure you apply it each time you travel!
4. Strive for goodness. Allah being Al Barr, He loves Birr – goodness. Allah says:
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah , the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy, the traveler, those who ask [for help], and for freeing slaves; [and who] establishes prayer and gives zakah; [those who] fulfill their promise when they promise; and [those who] are patient in poverty and hardship and during battle. Those are the ones who have been true, and it is those who are the righteous. [al Baqarah 2:177] In the above mentioned ayah, Allah defines what Birr is. It is to:
· Take care of your emaan. The first thing mentioned in the ayah is to have faith and believe in Allah Al-Barr, in the Day He will recompense you according to your good and bad deeds and in the Angels He sends of which some to write down your actions of righteousness and sin. Al-Barr revealed His message to mankind through His books and the prophets, in order to guide you on the path of al-Birr Make sure you study the arkaan ul emaan (the pillars of faith).
· Spend on charity. Straight after emaan Al-Birr mentions spending your money on family and those in need for it. Money sometimes gets dearer to us than anything else, Al-Barr reminds you that spending in His cause is the way to gain al-birr.
· Purify yourself through prayer and zakah. Let your prayer purify you spiritually by learning the meanings of what you say and concentrating on your salah, taking every moment to ask Al-Barr for goodness and righteousness. Give zakah to purify your wealth.
· Keep your promises and speak and act upon the truth. Keep your promises, no matter how big or small, even if it‘s a promise to your sibling to help with homework or promising a sweet to your child. The prophet sallallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam also said:
Truthfulness leads to Al-Birr and Al-Birr leads to Paradise. And a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a Siddiq (truthful person). Falsehood leads to Al-Fujur (i.e., wickedness, evil-doing, etc.), and Al-Fujur leads to the (Hell) Fire, and a man keeps on telling lies till he is written as a liar before Allah [Bukhari] Don‘t accept any lies from yourself, not even ―white lies‖ or lying while joking.
· Have sabr. The last thing mentioned in the ayah is to have patiece . Practising patience in hard times is your best training to cultivate al-birr. Next time you go through a test, tell yourself: it‘s all part of a bigger plan. Your vehicle is sabr, on the road of al-birr, leading you to Jannah in shaa Allah.
Ibn Qayyim says on taking from the siffat of Allah’s Name: Allah loves birr. He is the One being Haakim, Al Haakimeen, Al Qaadir – He defines what is good and what is evil. He is the Creator, and He knows exactly what He created and He has taught us what is birr.
70) Al Haleem
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an 11 times. For example Allah says:
 
Allah does not impose blame upon you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He imposes blame upon you for what your hearts have earned. And Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing. [al Baqarah 2:225]
Allah also says:
 
Indeed, those of you who turned back on the day the two armies met, it was Satan who caused them to slip because of some [blame] they had earned. But Allah has already forgiven them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing. [ale Imran 3:155]
 
Lingustic meaning:
The first meaning is to be forbearing, lenient, tolerant. The second meaning is to be calm and serene and the third meaning is to not be hasty and to exhibit moderation.
 
Shar’ee meaning:
Ibn Jarir at Tabbari says: Haleem means the One who has patience, the One who is forbearing, the One who is lenient. He doesn’t punish His slaves immediately after committing a sin. Al Khattabi says: Al Haleem is the One who delays and postpones His anger for a deed that is deserving of punishment.
Al Ghazali says: Al Haleem observes disobedience to Him, yet anger does not incite Him, nor does wrath seize Him, nor does haste and recklessness move Him to rush to take vengeance even though He is utterly capable of doing so. Imam S’adi says: The reason as to why we don’t find the punishment of Allah happening directly after a person commits a sin is because Allah through the Name Haleem, He grants the sinner, the transgressor a time to repent and He grants him the opportunity to turn back to Allah. He delays his anger and punishment until He decides on a time, not to delay it any longer. Ibn Qayyim says: that Haleem is the Name of Allah, and from the characteristic we find sabr. When a person disobeys Him or angers Him, He is patient. He allows him the time to repent.
Al-Haleem Himself says:
And if Allah were to punish people for what they have earned, He would not leave upon the earth any creature. But He gives them respite for a specified term. [al Faatir 35:45]
Al-Haleem can delay a punishment to give you time to return to Him, seek His forgiveness, and change your ways, because He is forbearing. He can even cancel your punishment altogether.
 
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Be grateful for the forbearance of Allah. Allah grants us as Muslims a life after sin. Rasooluallah sallalahu alahyi wassalam said:
Indeed all the children of Adam sin, and the best of those are those who turn back to Allah. [at Tirmidhi]
Through the Name Al Haleem He has given us this time of respite. Ibn Qayyim says this is a benefit we can all take from this Name of Allah. If we live by this Name, whenever someone transgresses us or takes away our rights, we shouldn’t retaliate with anger. We should be tolerant and forbearing. Be forbearing to others: contemplate and practice. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said to Ashajj ‗Abdu‘l-Qays: You have two qualities which Allah loves: forbearance and steadiness. [Muslim]
2. Don‘t take advantage of the hilm of Allah. Al-Haleem says to the people who inherited a garden but didn‘t let the poor benefit from it:
Such is the punishment [of this world]. And the punishment of the Hereafter is greater, if they only knew. [al Qalam 68:33] This punishment was a wake-up call for them and a mercy, because they realised their mistake. If Allah had allowed them to do as they wanted, their punishment in the Hereafter would be unforeseen. So know that Al-Haleem has set rules out for you and never take advantage of His forbearance. Therefore it is a Name of hope; that Allah time after time, allows us to turn back to Him. but is is also Name of fear, the fear that the punishment will come to pass if we don’t repent and turn back to Him. Angels write down our good deeds immediately after its done, but the angel on the left shoulder who records the bad deeds waits for a time before writing the bad deeds. Rasoolullah salallahu alayhi wassalam said: The angel on the left does not write down anything until six hours have passed after a Muslim does a bad deed. If he regrets it and asks Allah for forgiveness, he casts it aside [does not write it down], otherwise he writes down one (sayyiah/bad deed). [al-Tabaraani]
3. Show a good example to a sinful person. Never be arrogant to a sinning person and try to advise him gently and by showing a good example. Think to yourself: such a sinful person may, one day, turn to Al-Haleem with sincere repentance and become better and dearer to Allah than I am.
4. Be grateful for the hilm of Allah. Just like you would be grateful to anyone who overlooks your faults and mistakes, recognise the extreme and intense forbearance of Al-Haleem towards you and return to Him after you sin. And as a way of being thankful to al-Haleem for His forbearance, remember to train yourself to be forbearing.
5. Make dua for hilm. Make dua to Al-Haleem, asking Him for His forbearance for yourself and your loved ones. And ask Him to forgive you, because only He can protect you from His justified anger.
6. Allah deserves love. This is yet another Name of Allah that shows His mercy. He has given us an opportunity to turn back to Him after sinning. Everyday we have another opportunity to repent and turn back to Allah. Love Allah for this forbearance He shows you. And hasten to repent to Him everyday for all your sins, big or small.
 
Al Haleem and other Names
· Al Haleem Comes with the Name Al Aleem – by Allah being Al Aleem He knows who has done what and knows who to be forbearing and tolerant to. He knows who has sinned, so knows who deserves the anger, but through the Name Al Haleem, He postpones that anger.
· Al Haleem also comes with the Name Al Ghafoor because He has allowed a sinner to ask for forgiveness and Al Ghafoor is the One who conceals and covers sins.
· Allah also mentions Al Haleem with Al Shakoor. How many of us are thankful to Allah? Ibn Qayyim says: from the best ways of thanking Allah is to thank Him from the heart, the tongue and the limbs. Affirm it in our heart, say it in du’a and show it in our limbs. We should be thankful to Allah for showing us forbearance and allowing us a grace period where we can turn back to Him. Imagine what state we would be in if Allah had punished us immediately for all the sins we commit. Be shy of this hilm Allah shows, and refrain from sinning.