90) Al Musta’aan
Allah calls Himself Al-Musta‘aan, The One whose help is sought, on two occasions in the Quran. Allah says:
And they brought upon his shirt false blood. [Jacob] said, Rather, your souls have enticed you to something, so patience is most fitting. And Allah is the one sought for help against that which you describe [Yusuf 12:18]
And Allah says:
[The Prophet] has said, My Lord, judge [between us] in truth. And our Lord is the Most Merciful, the one whose help is sought against that which you describe. [al Anbiya 21:112].
Musta‘aan comes from the root ayn-waaw-noon which points to two main meanings. The first main meaning is to seek or ask for help and assistance and the second is to aid, cooperate and help one another. Linguistically, isti‘aanah refers to the concept of seeking help. It comes from the same root as nasta‘een we seek help ta‘aawun – help one another and musta‘aan – the one whose help is sought.
Allah is Al-Musta‘aan, which means that not only He is the Helper (An-Naseer), but He is the only one whose help first and foremost should be sought. He is the One who knows, sees, hears and controls all affairs and therefore His help is perfect at all times. Al-Musta‘aan is the one whose assistance and support are sought and in whom refuge is taken. Any help the creation provides to each other, is through His help alone.
The meaning of seeking help from Allah
In Islamic context, isti‘aanah means to seek help from Allah ‗azza wa jall alone and it is an act of worship. In some circumstances seeking someone‘s help other than Allah is considered as shirk and in certain circumstances it is not. Firstly, in some issues you can only ask Allah and Allah alone and asking others in these circumstances is major shirk such as asking others for that which only Allah can give, for example to seek blessings, provisions, removal of a disease or giving security. Secondly, there are both worldly and religious matters that can be sought from the creation, however with certain conditions. An example is when you lose something and ask someone to help you look for it. Still you first turn to Allah and then ask the assistance of someone else in that matter. The one sought for help needs to meet three conditions: 1) they have to be alive 2) they have to be present 3) they have to be capable of doing what you have asked help for. We cannot ask the dead for help and we cannot ask those for help who are not present (the prophets could also not hear the calls for help from people who were not within their hearing). And we cannot seek that which others are not capable to give; like asking a shaykh to put you in Paradise, even if he is alive and you are with him. Only Allah azza wa jall is capable of doing so, and asking someone else in this matter would be shirk.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Say Allaahul Musta‘aan. Each prayer you say:
It is You we worship, and it You we ask for help [al Faatiha 1:5]
Do you really seek His help? Allaahul musta‘aan is a beautiful statement you can find twice in the Quran. In Surah Yuusuf, Yaqoob‘s alayhisalam sons clearly described something that had not taken place to him; no wolf ate Yusuf, but what could Yaqoob do? All he could do was turn to Allah and he said: Allaahul musta‘aan. We can learn to use this dhikr when falsehood is presented as truth which causes you or others difficulty. In surah Al-‗Anbiyaa the Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam used this statement himself when the disbelievers were disrespecting Allah.
[The Prophet] has said, My Lord, judge [between us] in truth. And our Lord is the Most Merciful, the one whose help is sought against that which you describe. [al Anbiya 21:112].
2. Seek Al-Musta‘aan first and foremost. Ibn Abbaas radiyallahu ‗anhu said:
One day, I was riding behind the Prophet when he said: “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice] : Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you (have need to) ask, ask of Allah; and if you seek help, seek help from Allah. Know that even if the Nation (or the whole community) were to gather together to benefit you with something, they would not benefit you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with something, they would not be able to harm you with anything except that which Allah has already recorded against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” [At-Tirmidhi] Focus less on people, don‘t fear the effect of anyone‘s decisions and know that even if people seem to benefit you, the true source is Al-Musta‘aan. Even though you are permitted to seek help from others; it is crucial you first call on Al-Musta‘aan to provide help and rely on Him alone and not on others. So next time you borrow money off a friend, or even ask a teacher to help you understand a lesson, first ask Allah to help and guide you and He will provide His help, sometimes by means of other people or even objects or animals (think of the birds who destroyed the army of Abraha described in Surah Al-Feel)
3. Help one another. Al-Musta‘aan says:
O you who have believed, do not violate the rites of Allah or [the sanctity of] the sacred month or [neglect the marking of] the sacrificial animals and garlanding [them] or [violate the safety of] those coming to the Sacred House seeking bounty from their Lord and [His] approval. But when you come out of ihram, then [you may] hunt. And do not let the hatred of a people for having obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram lead you to transgress. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty [al Maeda 5:2] Extend help in that which is good and halaal to others and never help others in doing that which Allah ‗azza wa jall forbade. For example helping someone to buy alcohol, commit zinaa, etc.
4. Limit yourself in asking others. Allah‘s Messenger salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
Who will guarantee me that he will not ask mankind for anything, and I will guarantee for him Paradise (in return)? So Thawban said, ―I‖, and he added, ―And I would never ask anyone for anything.‖ [Abu Dawood] Even though in cases it is permissible to ask others, limiting yourself in seeking aid from others is a characteristic of the pious and takes courage and strength and truly reliance on Allah; the promise for those people is no less than Paradise. A dhikr you can use in this context is: Allah is sufficient for me. None has the right to be worshiped but He, in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne which is found in the last ayah of at Tawbah. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam used to say this seven times in the morning and evening. Revive this sunnah and live by it.
91) Al Ghaalib
This Name of Allah Al-Ghaalib The Victor, the Predominant appears in the Qur’an once. Allah says:
And the one from Egypt who bought him said to his wife, “Make his residence comfortable. Perhaps he will benefit us, or we will adopt him as a son.” And thus, We established Joseph in the land that We might teach him the interpretation of events. And Allah is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know. [Yusuf 12:21]
Ghaalib comes from the root ghalaba which points to two main meanings. The first meaning is to be victorious and to prevail. The second main meaning is to be predominant and overcome. This root appears 31 times in the Quran in five derived forms. Examples of these forms are yaghliboo (―they will overcome‖), ghaaliboona (―victorious‖), and maghloobun (―one overpowered‖). Linguistically ghaalib refers to the one possessing the attribute of victory and dominance, whereas ghalaba refers to the verb ―to overcome.‖ From the same root comes the word ghulb in the Quran, Allah says: wa hadaa‘iqa ghulba– and gardens of dense shrubbery [abasa 80:30], which points to a thick foliage of plants to be found in the earth and ―overcoming‖ the soil it is growing in.
Shar’ee meaning: Al-Ghaalib is the ultimate One to prevail, control, dominate, and overcome each being and situation with great ease and utmost wisdom— and whenever He pleases. Al-Ghaalib is the One who is victorious in every situation. He is the only One who decides and does as He wants with the creation and makes the believers prevail – Against all odds
Allah azza wa jall calls Himself Al-Ghaalib in Surah Yusuf. In the story of the prophet Yusuf alayhi salaam everything is intended one way and it goes the other way, a beautiful example of how everything is in the control of Al-Ghaalib. Yusuf‘s brothers want to get him out of the way so they can get the love of their father. They left him to die in the well, but he survived. Allah says in this surah: Wallahu ghaalibun ‗alaa amrih (And Allah is predominant over His affairs). What He wills will happen, even though everything indicates another way. Then Al-Azeez, the wealthy ruler, buys Yusuf and brings him into His palace, and Al-Azeez‘s wife, a powerful, beautiful woman, does everything she can to seduce this young, single man who is her slave. Every single aspect is tempting for zinaa– immorality– but Yusuf doesn‘t sway. He ends up descending from a palace into the darkest prison and from the prison back to a ruling position in Egypt where he is reunited with his beloved father, Yaqoob alayhi salaam. All the events of this story are a clear sign that the final decision is to Al-Ghaalib, ―against all odds.‖ And every human being is like Yuusuf ‗alayhi salaam in that in his affairs Allah is Al-Ghaalib.
Benefits we can learn from this Name:
1. Have strong belief. Never fear people and their decisions, never be deceived by the looks of a situation nor be scared of losing your possessions – know that Allah is Al-Ghaalib in Your affairs and He will decide what happens. Next time you feel tempted to care more about the acceptance of people or gaining belongings than trying to please Al-Ghaalib, remind yourself and live by this ayah:
If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome (ghaaliba) you; but if He should forsake you, who is there that can aid you after Him? And upon Allah let the believers rely [ale Imran 3:160]
2. Hold onto the truth. Allah says: Allah has written, I will surely overcome (la‘aghlibanna), I and My messengers. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might [al Mujaadila 58:21]
Know that if you stick to the truth and to your Islamic principals you will win; no matter how weak the believers might get, the truth will prevail. This is because Allah is Al-Ghaalib; the victory of those who follow Him and the messengers is His promise and when Allah promises, He delivers. Allah says:
And when Saul went forth with the soldiers, he said, “Indeed, Allah will be testing you with a river. So whoever drinks from it is not of me, and whoever does not taste it is indeed of me, excepting one who takes [from it] in the hollow of his hand.” But they drank from it, except a [very] few of them. Then when he had crossed it along with those who believed with him, they said, “There is no power for us today against Goliath and his soldiers.” But those who were certain that they would meet Allah said, How many a small company has overcome (ghalabat) a large company by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the patient [al Baqarah 2:249]
So hold on to the truth, no mater how weak it seems, have strong belief Allah is Al-Ghaalib, have patience and victory will be yours, whether in this life or the next.
And whoever is an ally of Allah and His Messenger and those who have believed – indeed, the party of Allah they will be the predominant (al-ghaaliboona). [al Maeda 5:56]
3. Take lessons from the past. Allah says:
And Pharaoh and his people were overcome (faghuliboo) right there and became debased. [al Aa’raaf 7:119] While you read the ayaat in the Quran of the former people and their fates, Allah observes if and how you apply these lessons in your daily life. Do you try to avoid the sins they committed? Look at the characteristics of the people who were defeated because of their transgression, disbelief and arrogance and strive to be better than them in shaa Allah.
Don‘t let sins overcome you. In the Hereafter there will be a heart-shaking scene: the people of the Hellfire will beg Allah to release them from the Fire.
They will say,―Our Lord, our wretchedness overcame (ghalabat) us, and we were a people astray. [al Muminoon 23:106] However:
He [Allah] will say, “Remain despised therein and do not speak to Me.
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.’
But you took them in mockery to the point that they made you forget My remembrance, and you used to laugh at them.
Indeed, I have rewarded them this Day for their patient endurance – that they are the attainers [of success].” [Al Muminoon 23: 108-111] Let this scene inspire you to not be overcome by sins in this life and end up like the people begging Allah for one more chance. Instead believe in this life and continuously ask Al-Ghaalib for forgiveness and mercy, as you will not get a second chance to return to this world.
4. Don‘t think you can prevail by yourself. Never attribute any victory or success to yourself, nor dominate others in an unjust way.
And [remember] when Satan made their deeds pleasing to them and said, No one can overcome (ghaaliba) you today from among the people, and indeed, I am your protector. [al Anfaal 8:48]
Some people think they can prevail by themselves or they attach their mind or trust to another human being or even object, but eventually they will be defeated. Allah is the only One that can grant a person victory. It is from Allah.
5. Don‘t be deceived. Allah says:
But, [on the contrary], We have provided good things for these [disbelievers] and their fathers until life was prolonged for them. Then do they not see that We set upon the land, reducing it from its borders? So it is they who will overcome? [al Anbiya 21:44]
Sometimes the wealth, success, beauty and even intelligence of those who disbelieve can be confusing and even tempting. Know that Al-Ghaalib only prolongs the lives of some people for them to increase in their transgression. Allah says:
Say to those who disbelieve, You will be overcome and gathered together to Hell, and wretched is the resting place. [ale Imran 3:12]
6. Call upon Al-Ghaalib. When all people turn against Him after years of calling to Allah, what does Nuh ‗alayhi salaam do? He doesn‘t ask others for help, he doesn‘t give up, but he turns to Al-Ghaalib and beautifully supplicates:
So he invoked his Lord, ―Indeed, I am overpowered, so help. [al Qamar 54:10]
Whenever you feel overpowered, call upon Al-Ghaalib with this Quranic dua and Allah will aid you and grant you victory in shaa Allah.
92) Al Muhsin
This Name of Allah does not appear in the Qur’an but is mentioned in narrations of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said: Surely Allah is Muhsin and He loves ihsaan in everything; if you kill, kill in a good way and if you slaughtered, slaughter in a good way . . . [part of the hadith- At-Tabaraani and Al-Albaani, Saheeh Al-Jami]
This root appears 194 times in the Quran in 12 derived forms. Examples of these forms are ahsana (―does good) , ahsanu (―is best), husnan (―good) and al-muhsineena (―the good doers).
Muhsin comes from the root haa-seen-noon, which points to four main meanings. The first meaning is to be and to do good and to pursue excellence The second main meaning is to be beautiful, and the third is to be kind. The fourth main meaning is to be suitable, proper, and fitting. Linguistically, hasana is the root for the words hasan (good), ahsan (better), and (al) husna (the best). The Islamic concept of ihsaan , or excellence, comes from the same root. A muhsin (male, plural muhsineen) and a muhsina (female, plural muhsinaat) are those who do good and who when saying someone did well, one can say: ahsant (-i or –a), which means ―well done‖ or ―excellent!‖
Al-Muhsin refers to the One who is perfectly good in His Essence and who does all His actions in the best possible manner, achieving excellence and reaching ultimate beauty and perfection. Al-Muhsin is the one who loves and inspires doing good in His slaves and who possesses the perfect good and excellence in all He makes happen. Islam, emaan, and ihsaan There are three degrees of Islam, which are Islam, eemaan, and ihsaan. Islam means submission, and when mentioned separately from emaan it refers to the religion as a whole, as Allah says:
Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam. And those who were given the Scripture did not differ except after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And whoever disbelieves in the verses of Allah , then indeed, Allah is swift in [taking] account. [ale Imran 3:19]
When Islam is used with the word eemaan (faith or belief) it refers to outward deeds and words, as Allah says:
The bedouins say, “We have believed.” Say, “You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], ‘We have submitted,’ for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [al Hujuraat 49:14]
The second degree is eeman, which means belief committed to submission and may mean one of two things. When it is used without the word ―Islam, it refers to the religion as a whole, as Allah ‗azza wa jall says:
Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light. And those who disbelieve – their allies are Taghut. They take them out of the light into darknesses. Those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein [al Baqarah 2:257]
Allah limited the word emaan to those who adhere to His religion in full, inwardly and outwardly, as He says:
The believers are only those who, when Allaah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses are recited unto them, they increase their Faith; and they put their trust in their Lord. [al Anfaal 8:2] When emaan is used with the word Islam it refers to inward beliefs, or the actions of the heart. Thus, when either emaan or Islam are used alone, there is no difference and they both refer to the entire religion. If there is any difference between them, Islam refers to outward physical actions and the word eemaan refers to inward actions of the heart. The third degree is ihsaan, which in Arabic means doing something well, perfectly, and sincerely. Islamically it may mean two things: when used alone and not with Islam or eemaan it refers to the religion as a whole.
When it is used with either or both Islam and eemaan the meaning is perfecting one‘s outward and inward deeds. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam beautifully explained the meaning of ihsaan: It means worshipping Allah as if you can see Him, and although you cannot see Him, He can see you. [Al-Bukhari, Muslim]
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Strive for ihsaan. Ihsaan is a complete way of life, so let this concept accompany you in all your actions. Strive for al-ihsaan in your relationship with Allah ‗azza wa jall as in being able to worship Him as if you saw Him and strive for al-ihsaan as good behaviour to others, like kindness to your parents, relatives, the poor etc. When you have guests, give them the best you have. When you are with your parents, show them the best of your manners. Also appreciate the ihsaan of others. Strive for al-ihsaan as an act of excellence and in your relationship with yourself, meaning in every deed you do, you try your best. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said:
Allah has prescribed al-ihsaan in every matter. [Muslim]
2. Study the Quran to find out what is good. On many occasions in the Quran the muhsineen, the good doers, are mentioned. The muhsineen are loved by Allah ‗azza wa jall and close to Him and Allah even describes actions characterising them, pay special attention to these ayaat. Allah says:
And whoever submits his face to Allah while he is a doer of good (muhsin) – then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold. And to Allah will be the outcome of [all] matters [Luqman 31:22] Make it your mission to find out what the Quran says about what are good deeds and what their reward is, so you can apply them and become of the muhsineen in shaa Allah.
3. Realise that Allah‘s ways are excellent. Allah is the only true Mushin. He is perfect in His Names, Attributes, and actions. Truly realise that everything Allah ‗azza wa jall gives and takes from you, is for your own good, and let this inspire you to complain less and start being more content. Allah‘s ihsaan is general with the whole creation; He created you in a perfect way without being asked and His ihsaan is specific. He rewards the good doers with the place of ultimate good; His Paradise.
4. Ask Al-Muhsin. Allah ‗azza wa jall says in a heart-melting ayah in Surah Ar-Rahmaan:
Is the reward for good [anything] but good? [ar Rahman 55:60] Each day ask Al-Mushin for ihsaan in all aspects of your life, in your inward and outward actions. Do you worship Allah as if you see him or at least knowing that he sees you? Ask Him to bless you with the highest degree of ihsaan: apart from being aware He sees you, worshipping Him as if you see Him.
5. Study the Names of Allah. The beautiful Names of Allah are called al asmaa ul husnaa. Study them and most importantly, live by them.
93) Al Hayyee
Allah‘s Name Al-Hayyee— The Shy One— is not mentioned in the Quran but occurs in a narration of the Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam who said: Verily Allah Mighty and Majestic is Haleem (Forebearing), Hayee (Shy), Sitteer (Covering). He loves modesty and shyness and covering. Therefore when any of you bathe let him cover himself (i.e. from the sight of people).
[Abu Dawud, An-Nasaa‘ee, al-Baihaqi, Ahmed, graded as saheeh]
Hayyee comes from the root haa-yaa-yaa, which points to four main meanings. The first meaning is to live. The second main meaning is to greet, and the third is to revive, vitalise and call into being. The fourth main meaning is to be shy or ashamed. This root appears 184 times in the Quran in 12 derived forms. Examples of these forms are yuhyee (―grants life‖), hayyan (―alive‖), and istihyaa‘in (‖ shyness‖). Linguistically, haya refers to the attribute of modesty, shyness, humility, and bashfulness.
Hayyee refers to the one who owns the perfect modesty and who controls the haya of creation, ashamed Himself to leave us empty-handed and so shy that He dislikes exposing the sins of His slaves. Al-Hayyee is the one who loves and inspires modesty and shyness in His slaves and who possesses the perfect modesty, so much so that He feels shy to leave those who ask Him empty-handed and doesn‘t like to expose the misdeeds of His slaves.
Modesty: a blessing from Allah
Haya refers to an uneasy feeling combined with embarrassment when someone is scared of being exposed for some unworthy behaviour. Islamically, haya can be of two kinds; the good haya is to be ashamed to commit a deed which Allah ‗azza wa jall forbade or discouraged and bad haya is to feel ashamed to do something that Allah ordered. Society often portrays shyness and modesty as weakness or lack of confidence; in reality these are among the most beloved characteristics by Allah. Having a deep sense of haya is a true blessing.
Five virtues of modesty
1. Allah ‗azza wa jall loves modesty and shyness. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said: Surely Allah (is One who) has haya and is the Protector. He loves haya and people who cover each others‘ faults. [Al-Bukhari].
2. Secondly, haya is the character of Islam. The Prophet said: Every deen has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty. [Abu Dawood]
3. Thirdly; haya brings good to everything in which it‘s found. The Prophet said: Haya does not bring anything except good. [Al-Bukhari]
4. A fourth virtue is that one‘s level of haya is an indication of one‘s faith, as the Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said: Faith (emaan) consists of more than sixty branches (i.e. parts). And haya is a part of faith. [Al-Bukhari]
5. Fifthly, haya leads to Paradise! The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said: Haya comes from emaan; emaan leads to Paradise. Obscenity comes from antipathy; and antipathy leads to the fire. [Al-Bukhari]
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Don‘t be ashamed to be modest. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said: When lewdness is a part of anything, it becomes defective; and when haya is a part of anything it becomes beautiful. [At-Tirmidhi] Haya beautifies, realises it‘s not something to be ashamed of. Instead you should be concerned if you notice you do not have much sense of modesty and shame in your relationship with others, your way of thinking, your appearance, words, and deeds. Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar radiyallahu ‗anhu: The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam passed by a man who was admonishing his brother regarding haya and was saying: You are very shy, and I am afraid that might harm you. On that, the Prophet said: Leave him, for haya is (a part) of faith. [Al-Bukhaari].
So haya is not just something for women, it‘s an attribute men should have too and it‘s crucial to start cultivating a sense of haya in children!
2. Strive for haya with Allah. The greatest modesty you must have is with Allah ‗azza wa jall, which means you are shy and ashamed to do anything He dislikes and when you do so, you rush to repent. It is He who showers His blessings upon us, but we often use these very blessings to sin, even though modesty is the thing we need most. Know that Allah is Al-Hayy (the Ever-Living) and that every thought and act is witnessed by Him. Let this motivate you to increase in haya! Allah says:
And, [O Muhammad], you are not [engaged] in any matter or recite any of the Qur’an and you [people] do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom’s weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register. [Yunus 10:61]
3. Don‘t be embarrassed to tell the truth. Sometimes people are embarrassed to stand up for the truth and to forbid an evil or encourage good. You find people shy to defend Islamic concepts, like the hijaab, or even embarrassed to pray in their workplace. Haya means you feel most shyness for Allah ‗azza wa jall and never let shyness of people stand in the way of the orders of Al-Hayyee. Allah is the Shy one but not when it comes to setting forth parables of the truth: O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet except when you are permitted for a meal, without awaiting its readiness. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have eaten, disperse without seeking to remain for conversation. Indeed, that [behavior] was troubling the Prophet, and he is shy of [dismissing] you. But Allah is not shy of the truth. And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity. [al Ahzab 33:53]
4. Ask Al-Hayyee. The Messenger of Allah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam said: Indeed your Lord – tabaaraka wa ta‘ala – is The Shy One, The Generous, Allah is Shy from His slave if the slave raises his hands towards Him, that He would return them without anything. [Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah] Be amazed and inspired by this beautiful shyness and ask Him for your every need and turn to Him in good and bad times.
5. Revive the concept of gheerah. We live in times in which many men and women lost their sense of shame and modesty, are obsessed with appearances and attracting attention from non-mahrams and marriage is often seen as old-fashioned. Gheerah is an Islamic concept which means protectiveness or (a good type of) jealousy. The Prophet sallallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam had the most gheerah for his wives and all of the companions were known for their gheerah. The sahaabah were impressed by the strong gheerah of Sa‘d ibn ‗Ubaadah radiyallahu ‗anhu, and the Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa salalm said: Are you amazed by the gheerah of Sa‘d? I have more gheerah than him, and Allah has more gheerah than me. [al-Bukhari, Muslim] Also: There are three at whom Allaah will not look at (with Mercy) on the day of Resurrection: the one who disobeys his parents, the woman who imitates men, and the duyooth (a man who has no protective jealousy towards his womenfolk). [Saheeh Al-Jaami‘ As-Sagheer] Strive to revive your sense of gheerah and remember that honourable gheerah never leads to inappropriate actions according to Islam.
6.Take concealing your ‗awrah seriously. Study trustworthy Islamic texts to see what is considered ‗awrah (parts of the body which cannot be seen by non-mahrams) of both men and women, so you can conceal them. Allah says:
Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do.
And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears thereof and to wrap [a portion of] their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed. [an Nur 25:30-31]
94) As Sitteer
This Name of Allah does not appear in the Qu’ran but is mentioned in a narration of the Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said: Verily Allah Mighty and Majestic is Haleem (Forebearing), Hayee (Shy), Sitteer (Covering). He loves modesty and shyness and covering. Therefore when any of you bathe let him cover himself (i.e. from the sight of people). [Abu Dawud, An-Nasaa‘ee, al-Baihaqi, Ahmed, graded as saheeh]
Sitteer comes from the root satara which points to two main meanings. The first main meaning is to conceal, hide, or cover. The second main meaning is to prevent or to keep away. Linguistically, sitr refers to the concept of concealing something . Sitteer is the emphasised form of the root, which points out to an intense quality and quantity of the root concept. It indicates extreme concealment.
As-Sitteer is the only one who can conceal a great deal for His slaves and covers them from disgrace and shields them from Hellfire. As-Sitteer is the one who covers and conceals according to His wisdom. He is the One who can conceal the biggest of sins, faults, and shortcomings whenever and for whomever He likes.
The forbearance and covering of Allah
Allah‘s Name As-Sitteer is related in meaning to Al-Haleem, the Forbearing. Imagine a humanity sinning openly against Him while highly dependent on Him, who would not even be able to move one limb in disobedience to their Lord if He did not give them the ability. Then see how Allah ‗azza wa jall, who is completely independent from the whole creation, is forbearing and covers His slaves out of His generosity and reluctance to disgrace them. He overlooks, covers, and conceals time and time again even though acts of disobedience rise up to Him continuously. Yet He calls mankind to a beautiful and simple act; the repentance of the slave is between that slave and Allah ‗azza wa jall and Him only, and is concealed from the people.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Keep your sins to yourself. How many people actually boast about their bad deeds, the bad places they visited, and the bad people whose company they shared? The Messenger of Allah salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said:
My entire nation is safe, except al-mujahirin (those who boast of their sins). Among the mujaharah is that a man commits an (evil) act, and wakes up in the morning while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret, he says: O so-and-so! Last night I did this and that. He goes to sleep while Allah has kept his (sin) a secret but he wakes up in the morning and uncovers what Allah has kept a secret! [Al-Bukhari] So keep your sins a secret and repent to As-Sitteer. Be inspired by this advice of Umar ibn Al-Khattaab radiyallahu anhu: Abdullah Ibn Masoud radiyallahu ‗anhu related that a man came to the Prophet and said: O Messenger of Allah! I have mingled with a woman in the far side of al-Medina, and I fulfilled my desire short of actually having sexual intercourse with her. So, here am I, judge me according to what you decide. Umar ibn al-Khattaab then said: Allah had kept your secret, why did not you keep your secret? [Muslim] Allah said: Indeed, those who like that immorality should be spread [or publicized] among those who have believed will have a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows and you do not know [an Nur 24:19]
2. Don‘t expose others‘ faults. Apart from covering your own sins, you should also keep away from exposing the sins of others when they did not commit their sins openly. A beautiful formula from the sunnah is: cover the faults of a Muslim and Allah azza wa jall will cover you in this life and the next. The Prophet sallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said:
He, who relieves a hardship of this world for a believer, Allah will relieve (from him) a hardship of the Day of Resurrection; he who makes easy an indebted person, Allah will make it easy for him in the world and the Hereafter; he who covers a Muslim (meaning his mistakes and shortcomings), Allah will cover him in the world and the Hereafter … [Muslim]
3. Call on As-Sitteer. There‘s a beautiful supplication from the sunnah in which the verb of satara is used . Part of the morning and evening adhkaar (remembrance) is that the Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam used to supplicate:
O Allah, I ask You for pardon and well-being in this life and the next. O Allah, I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religious and worldly affairs, and my family and my wealth. O Allah, veil my weaknesses (Allahumma-stur awraatee) and set at ease my dismay. O Allah, preserve me from the front and from behind and on my right and on my left and from above, and I take refuge with You lest I be swallowed up by the earth. [Ibn Maajah, saheeh]
Memorise this comprehensive dua‘, make it part of your daily routine, and get immensely rewarded for invoking As-Sitteer and reviving a sunnah of the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.