39) Al Lateef
This Name of Allah is mentioned in the Qur’an 7 times. Most often it is mentioned with the Name Al-Khabeer which is similar to Al-Aleem. For example Allah says:
Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted. [al An’aam 6:103]
Allah also says:
[And Luqman said],
“O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted. [Luqman 31:16]
And Allah says
Does He who created not know, while He is the Subtle, the Acquainted? [al Mulk 67:14]
1) Kind, gentle. To be kind and affectionate without one knowing that you are being so.
2) Something so small and hidden that it cannot be seen
3) To cover/hide and make sure that it cannot be found.
4) Diminish, close, shut, dignify, be hospitable towards.
Linguistically, the concept of lutf refers to being so kind to someone that they don‘t notice it as well as something that‘s too tiny or too subtle to be seen or felt. It also means to know secrets and minute details of things and to be able to do what others can‘t do.
Ibn Qayyim says: when Allah subhana wa ta’alaa is Al Lateef, He shows companionship to the one He’s about to show lutf towards, so He takes the person as a companion, as a close friend and shows all the signs of being gentle, affectionate and kind in such a manner that this person doesn’t realise that this Lutf is coming. It is so subtle and so hidden.
Allah being Lateef is of 2 types.
1) First type of Lutf is to His slaves without them knowing it.
2) Allah is Lateef of His slaves. He sends gentleness and affection in such a subtle way we don’t even know its Him. This was Allah bringing to us ease in times of distress. He shows lutf towards His awliyaa, those whom He loves, He takes them out of hardship, widens for them path of ease and strengthens them in times of weakness without them even knowing.
How is Allah Al Lateef?
· Allah grants Lutf, but further goes beyond that and provides further assistance to His awliyaa.
· Allah is Al Lateef by closing for us the path of sin and opening for us paths of good.
· Allah sometimes decrees things and sometimes we don’t like it and we think it‘s the worst of things, and He closes the door to that which we want.But He knows and we do not know.
· He allows a person to obtain good in this dunya. Allah gives him eemaan, hidayah, the light of Islam, and He continues to bless him to do good and to be able to worship Him.
· Allah has prepared a specific type of help for those whom He loves. He is the One who grants pure help to the ones He wants to help. This is also found on the battlefield, in Jihad where Allah helps His awliyaa in many different and miraculous ways, because of Allah being Al Lateef towards His companions of the believers.
Have you ever heard someone say something you just needed to hear, for no apparent reason? Have you ever attended a talk and the topic specifically addresses your problem? Have you ever had a class recommended to you from out of nowhere that brings you closer to Allah? Has anyone ever said that one word that lifts you up, reminding you of Allah azza wa jall while they don‘t even know what you‘re going through? You might think it‘s your friends comforting you, but it‘s Allah, Al Lateef who sends you such occurrences.
Have you ever loved something that was displeasing to Allah and slowly just got off it to the point where you didn‘t even know why you ever liked it in the first place? These are the ways of Al Lateef, helping and guiding you in your life. As Al Lateef Himself says:
Allah is Subtle with His servants; He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the Powerful, the Exalted in Might. [ash Shuraa 42:19]
Ibn Qayyim says: the greatest example of Allah being Lateef is in Surah Yusuf, which is known as Surah Lateef.
If we analyse this surah and all the trials Yusuf alayhis salam went through, we see how everything fell into the plans of Allah. It shows Allah being Lateef throughout Surah Yusuf.
· At the beginning when a caravan came and took Yusuf alayhi salaam out of the well, it was because of Al Lateef without him realising that it is Al Lateef helping him come out of this well.
· When Yusuf alayhis salaam was faced with the trial of zina, and then imprisoned – it was perceived to be a trial of difficulty but Al Lateef decreed him to be in prison, quietly concealing to save him from fitna of zina. Al Lateef knew Yusuf had a better time to be released, so He made the released companion of the prison forget to mention Yusuf alayhi salam to the king
· When there was a dire need from the king, that’s when Allah released Yusuf alayhis salaam, because Al Lateef knew that this was the right time. He is Al Khabeer so He was Al Lateef. And when Yusuf was released it wasn’t because of the companion of the prison or the king, but because of Al Lateef who used these people as excuses to conceal the fact that Allah released him.
· Now Yusuf has the highest authority in Egypt. Al Lateef still had a plan, through being Al Khabeer – to reunite him with his brothers and father. The incident with Binyameen took place so that Yusuf can meet his father. Al Lateef decreed Yaqoob to get His sight back again at this point, at smelling the fragrance of Yusuf from his shirt. The brothers of Yusuf took Yaqoob back with them to bring Binyameen, them not knowing Yusuf was also there and this is when Yusuf was reunited with His family. Yusuf alayhi salaam, after seeing and living through all this said;
And he raised his parents upon the throne, and they bowed to him in prostration. And he said, “O my father, this is the explanation of my vision of before. My Lord has made it reality. And He was certainly good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you [here] from bedouin life after Satan had induced [estrangement] between me and my brothers. Indeed, my Lord is Subtle in what He wills. Indeed, it is He who is the Knowing, the Wise. [Yusuf 12:100]
Al Lateef and other Names
Allah Mentioned Al Lateef with Al Khabeer – someone who knows about everything, a specialist in every field. Allah knows everything, and knows what will help you, which trial will strengthen you, He does this with lutf.
Why mention Al Qawiyy al Azeez after Al Lateef [42:19]? Allah reminds us that He is Lateef, but for us not to forget that this gentleness isn’t a naqs (deficiency) for Him but that it is perfection and for us not to forget that He is still Al Qawiyy and Al- Azeez, the strong, the victorious.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. If Allah praises Himself for being Al Lateef, by concealing this, then know that there is great reward in doing the same, in granting charity, being affectionate and kind kind. We should take upon us this characteristic of lutf. Let every single person have one action that He does, that no one knows except Him and Allah. And this is when we show true sincerity. Do these secret deeds which is between you and Allah.
2. Reflect on yourself and your surroundings. For example radio waves: they can‘t be seen, but they bring about much benefit for us. The subtle air, which is not heavy to breathe, the change of the seasons, ripening fruits, the day flowing over into the night, the body and mind of a child developing in perfect milestones, people coming onto your path, an uplifting word at the right time, and events occurring out of nothing but with perfect wisdom – the ways of Al Lateef can be found all around you. Take them all as opportunities to actively remember Him.
3. Grow your love and amazement for Al Lateef. Love Him and be grateful to Him, for He‘s been kind to you in ways you don‘t even realise. Al Lateef may put you through things that you dislike, but be patient, and when He gives you what you love, be thankful for it. Say a lot of alhamdulillah in your daily life, even for the things you don‘t notice but that benefit you greatly. Say subhanAllah at any spare moment for His perfect ways to guide you through life.
4. Have the right intention in all you do. Al-Lateef knows all you do, every minute detail, every thought, every desire, and every intention, so take account of yourself. Before you do anything, ask yourself: Am I really doing this for Allah or for something else?
5. Make dua for lutf. Make dua to Al Lateef, asking Him for His kindness and to aid you to be kind to others. Ask Al Lateef for His blessings for your loved ones.
40) Al Hameed
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an 10 times. For example Allah says:
And they had been guided [in worldly life] to good speech, and they were guided to the path of the Praiseworthy. [al Hajj 22:24]
Allah also says:
O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy. [al Faatir 35:15]
Someone who is praised, a praise that is deserved and perfect, opposite of defamed. Hamd – ascribe praise to one who is perfect and deserves it, with mahabah (love) and ta’dheem (honour). It implies admiration and gratitude towards the one who is praised (mahmood).
Allah is Perfect in every single regard, deserving of praise because He is perfect. He is always deserving of praise regardless if He is being praised or not. He is also the One who praises, as Allah Praises Himself. Hamd fills up the scale on Yawmal Qiyamah. If it is said having met the 2 conditions of having love and honour. We praise Allah when He gives something and even when He doesn’t give something which makes it different to shukur which is praising/thanking upon receiving something.
How is Allah Al Hameed?
He is Al Hameed. He is praised for His Rahma, for His anger, for His rizq for everything. Every Name and attribute of Allah is perfect in the most perfect sense. Ibn Kathir says Allah is Al Mahmood in all of His actions and statements, in His shari’ah in His ability to be able to do things, and there is nothing Like Him. The phrase alhamdulillah occurs 38 times in the Quran and it is the praise Allah azza wa jal praised Himself with. Some suwar (chapters) of the Quran begin with hamd, which announces that all praise and thanks belong to Allah azza wa jall, instructs that when we begin something we should begin with praise (like in a sermon or when making dua‘) and shows us how to praise Allah by saying alhamdulillah. Allah begins the Qur’an with Al Hamd – the first word of the first surah of the Qu’ran and plus in many other suwar, He begins with Al Hamd. This goes against many of Sunnan of acst of Ibadah. The general pattern is to begin with Bismillah and close with Hamd. But the very first verse is Al Hamdulillah Why? When a person opens the kitab of Allah, Allah has given the person the blessing of going to the kitab, looking at it, reading it and this phrase fills scales on Yawmal Qiyamah. This phrase is said at all times and places. Everything in the heavens and earth is praising Allah, in every single place, every single form of creation, from the beginning of time till the end of time. He was praised before He created time, before Allah created creation and He will continue to be praised at the end of time when everything perishes, Allah will still be praised, by Himself.
The praise of Allah is of 2 types
1) Everything from the creation is praising Allah, with the statement Alhamdulillah.
2) Praise is due to Allah being perfect. Praising Allah in al Aakhirah will be forever and it will be as natural as breathing. Allah says in the Qur‘an that the people of Parradise will say:
And We will have removed whatever is within their breasts of resentment, [while] flowing beneath them are rivers. And they will say, “Praise to Allah, who has guided us to this; and we would never have been guided if Allah had not guided us. Certainly the messengers of our Lord had come with the truth.” And they will be called, “This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what you used to do.” [al ‗A‘raaf 7:43]
The One who deserves praise is the One who has guided us to Islam.
Virtues of praising Allah
1. A means to fill your scales on Yawmal Qiyamah.
The statement Alhamdulillah fills up your scales. [Muslim]
2. The most perfect manner of making du’a and an extremely powerful du’a is when a person starts with hamd of Allah and then sends peace and blessings on Prophet and then talks to Allah about what he wants and desires.
3. Rasooullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said:
Whoever says subhanaAllahi wa bihamdi, his sins will be forgiven even if they are like the foam of ocean. [Tirmidhi]. Here the hadith is pertaining to minor sins, except if you intend that you want it to be tawbah for major sins, allahu’alam. This shows what an intention can do, it can change a small deed into a big deed.
Al Hameed and other Names
· Allah mentioned Hameed with Hakeem. “Has been revealed to you by Hameed and Hakeem.” Everything Allah has prescribed there is a reason for it, wisdom. Every act of ibadah, there is a reason and wisdom behind it, even if we don’t know of it. Allah’s wisdom is so great and perfect and He deserves praise because of His wisdom.
· Allah also mentions Hameed with Majeed, Allah is praising His izzah. His strength will never die and Allah will forever be strong and powerful. He is Hameed in His strength, and His Hamd is powerful.
· Allah Mentions Hameed with Al Waliy – guardian, protector. Wa huwal waliyul hameed. There is no greater wali, protector, shield, friend other than Allah. When Allah decrees that Allah wants to protect someone, nothing can break that barrier, that protection. Al Hamd for this protection. When a person adorns his tongue with hamd, Allah will make him a wali of Allah. Allah will become a wali and friend to the one who praises Him constantly.
As mentioned in the Hadith Qudsi
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah (mighty and sublime be He) said: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]
Through praising Allah constantly our eyes will only see what Allah wants us to see, our ears will only see that which Allah wants, so ears will only hear good, and tongue will utter only that which is good. Allah will become our wali in dunya and aakhirah. To the extent we can only do good. Allah tests a person when He loves them and also tests as a punishment.
How to differentiate?
1) Both types of tests are signs that Allah loves you, because even the test that is a punishment, is a means for you to be forgiven. Punishment in dunya is better than punishment in aakhirah.
2) A test of love often comes directly after an act of worship. A bad test often comes after deed of disobedient.
3) Test of punishment will make naqs in ibaadah. A person won’t be able to do an ibaadah anymore. A Dunya test, e.g. Family member dying is a good test.
4) A person will be able to tell by themselves what a test is due to because of an action that he has done either of good or bad.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Knowing the virtues of the phrase Alhamdulillah. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
Verily, your Lord likes Al-Hamd [An-Nasaa‘i] He salallahu alayhi wa sallam mentioned: The best dhikr (remembering Allah) is laa ilaaha illallah and the best supplication is alhamdulillah [At-Tirmidhi] And: The phrase alhamdulillah fills the scale. [Muslim]. Realise the virtues of alhamdulillah.
2. Increase in saying alhamdulillah and feel it. Increase in saying this beautiful praise in your daily life. And say it out of deep love, honour, and with humility and gratitude to your Lord. Remember Paradise when you say alhamdulillah, and ask Allah azza wa jall to make you of those who say:
Their call therein will be, Exalted are You, O Allah,‘ and their greeting therein will be, Peace.‘ And the last of their call will be, Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds.‘ [Yunus 10:10]
3. Say it when you are blessed. The Prophet salallahu ‗alayhi wa sallam said:
No servant is blessed by Allah and says, alhamdulillah except that what he was given is better than that which he has himself acquired. [Ibn Maajah]
4. Know that everything happens for good. For the believers there is always a win-win situation. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
The affair of the believer is amazing. The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him. [Muslim]. Deeply reflect on this hadith and say: alhamdulillah alaa kulli haal alhamdulillah in every case or situation.
41) Al Majeed
This Name of Allah appears in the Qur’an twice. Allah says:
They said, “Are you amazed at the decree of Allah ? May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy and Honourable.” [Hud 11:73]
And Allah says:
Honourable owner of the Throne [al Burooj 85:15]
Honourable, dignified, glorified. Something that has so much sharf (honour). Majd refers to a complete authority (sultan) and sovereignty (adhamah). This root includes the meanings of being glorious, dignified, majestic and exceedingly generous.
One who has vast blessings, glory, honour, dignity. Someone who possesses glory (majd) and dignity and honour. Allah specified Qur’an as majeed – something that allows person to achieve honour and glory.
Qaaf. By the Honoured Qur’an… [Qaaf 50:1] The number of ayat there are in Qur’an, will equate the number of levels that there will be in Jannah. The Qur’an gives us honour in both dunya and aakhirah.
The Name Al Majeed is related in meaning to the combination of three other Beautiful Names, Al Jaleel (the Majestic), Al Kareem (The Generous) and Al Wahhaab (The Bestower). Al Majeed is majestic and beautiful in both His qualities and actions. He treats His slaves most generously and gives them gifts beyond any expectations. This is a demonstration of His Greatness which deserves all praise.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Having Mahabbah – Allah is the most glorious. From His glory He sends us mercy, and He only does things that befit His majesty. Knowing this increases our love for Al Majeed.
2. Follow His book. Know that you are a slave of One Who is Perfect so follow His Book, submit to His commands and stay away from His prohibitions. Learn to recite, understand and live by the Qur’an to increase yourself in dignity and honour.
3. Praise Al Majeed continuously. Show Him you are grateful for His favours upon you and praise Him for His perfection. Abu Hamzah Al Baghdady said: It‘s impossible for you to claim you love Allah and not praise him continuously, and it‘s impossible that you praise Allah continuously and not see the sweetness of that in this life; and its impossible you see the sweetness of praising Allah and then be preoccupied with other than him. Not praising Al Majeed continuously is even a sign of a hypocrite. Allah azza wajal said:
Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little [an Nisaa 4:142]
There is no excuse to not be engaged in the dhikr (remembrance) of Al Majeed:
And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times. [an Nisaa 4:103]
4. Treat others with respect. Let the attribute of majd open your heart and treat others with forgiveness and patience. Speak kindly to others, smile to them and help others reconcile. Spend your blessings of wealth to help the less fortunate and apart from your spending, be humble and kind to them.
5. Reflect on the creation of Al Majeed. The signs of Allah‘s majd can be seen all around us, the whole universe and all it contains for our benefit is a demonstration of the vast Greatness and Generosity of Al Majeed. When you go through difficulties and trials, look around you and realise it is Al Majeed Who just says Be and it is.
And you see the mountains, thinking them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds. [It is] the work of Allah, who perfected all things. Indeed, He is Acquainted with that which you do.[an Naml 27:88]
As He made everything around you and inside you, He can surely give you a way out of your problems.