Knowing Allah through His beautiful names 5 – Al Mujeeb, Al Raouf, Al Ghafoor
As we continue to reflect on how knowing Allah through His attributes, we are also looking at how to develop these traits in our life. Here we will look at three attributes of Allah – the One who responds, the Merciful and the One who veils sins.
Al Mujeeb – The Responding One
The Arabic verb ajaaba yujeebu means to respond, so if someone is calling you, in Arabic ‘ajibu’ means ‘I respond’. Allah Almighty says in the Quran,
“Call upon Me and I will respond to you.” (40:60)
This shows that the first step has to come from our side. When we call upon Him, He has promised that He will respond. What if you didn’t call Him or you’re not bothered to call Him? It’s up to you, you’ve been left to yourself. Allah is Al Mujeeb liman da’aa The One who responds to whoever calls upon Him. If you do not call upon Him, then He won’t respond.
How to call on Allah
When you call upon Allah Almighty you should show your need to Him. One of the main elements of dua that lead to its acceptance is showing Allah Almighty that you need Him. A dua made without any emotion is mere lip service – it lacks attentiveness and humility and will not elicit a response. It’s robotic and lifeless. This is the likely reason many people complain that they called upon Allah Almighty for so long, but did not receive any response. We need to double check how we make our call to Him. The accepted dua is the one made with humility, expressing abject need, attentiveness and full focus, as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said Allah Almighty will not respond to a call that came out from an inattentive heart on autopilot:
“You should know that Allah does not answer the dua’a that comes from a heedless heart.” (Tirmidhi)
Unless you show Allah Almighty that you really need Him, you will not get the desired response. The response is conditional upon our action. If we call upon Allah Almighty, He has promised to respond, and He never breaks His promises. In the verses related t fasting, Allah Almighty mentioned:
وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا۟ لِى وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِى لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ ١٨٦
When My servants ask you ˹O Prophet˺ about Me: I am truly near. I respond to one’s prayer when they call upon Me. So let them respond ˹with obedience˺ to Me and believe in Me, perhaps they will be guided ˹to the Right Way˺. (2:186)
Call upon Allah Almighty when you are certain that He will respond to you. (Tirmidhi)
When you rely on Allah and put your trust in Him, He responds. Having this certainty (yaqeen) is key in any call. Whatever your situation, when you are sure that He will respond, He will deliver you from the calamity that has afflicted you, remove the obstacle you’re facing, grant you the opening you are desperate for, bestow the relief and cure (shifa) you are after.
If you doubt His response, are uncertain that He is listening and unsure He will respond you will find the response will match your expectations and not transpire.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“The (dua) of anyone of you maybe answered (by Allah) as long as he does not show impatience by saying, “I prayed to Allah but my prayers have not been answered.” (Bukhari)
Doubt kills your chances of receiving a response. Don’t be hasty or write off Allah’s response if you do not see it straightaway. People often say ‘I’ve been calling upon Allah Almighty for so many years and He didn’t respond.’ There are multiple such scenarios but the root of the issue maybe that the caller doubted the response in the first place. Or they were calling upon Allah Almighty with arrogance or half-heartedly.
For a dua to be accepted all the conditions need to filled. All the boxes have to be ticked. If they are and the answer still does not come, you need to show trust in Allah Almighty. He may be postponing His response because it’s not the right time for you to get what you want. He is timing the response according to His greater wisdom. It may be that you call upon Allah Almighty for a few days, a few weeks, or a couple of months, and then you receive what you wanted. Or it could take some years. However, we have to trust Him and rely on Him (show tawakkul in Him) and not doubt His wisdom.
Mankind is hasty by nature as Allah Almighty stated in the Quran on two occasions:
ۖ وَكَانَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ عَجُولࣰا
As it is, man [often] prays for things that are bad as if he were praying for something that is good: for man is prone to be hasty [in his judgments] (17:11)
خُلِقَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ مِنۡ عَجَلࣲۚ
And human is hasty (21:37)
Sometimes Allah Almighty does not give us something in this life, He reserves it for you in the akhirah, where He gives it to you multiplied manifold – 10,000, 50,000, 100,0000 fold. Yet, some might say they do not want to wait to get it in the akhirah, they want it now. This is not thought through properly, because it is comparing the incomparable to the comparable. You cannot compare the akhirah to the dunya. The akhirah is our real life. The dunya is just a temporal life. Everlasting bliss comes in the akhirah, not in the dunya. In the akhirah, you will wish many things many things that not been responded to in the dunya because the dunya did not last, it vanished whereas the akhirah will last forever. Which one would you rather have? The one which will last forever or the one which will not last.
Respond to Allah
How do we demonstrate Allah’s quality of responding to those who call on Him, in our lives?
In the verse where Allah Almighty promises to respond to those who call on him, He says fal yasta jeebuli, “Let them respond to Me”. This is a command. It means we have to respond to Allah Almighty’s call: when He says ‘aqeemas salah’ (establish the prayer), pray on time; when He says ‘don’t eat riba’, don’t pay or receive interest; when He says refrain from alcohol and gambling, avoid them, this is how we respond to His call.
For those who are doing Hajj or Umrah after putting on our ihram, we always repeat ‘Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk’. This is a call of response, it means ‘I’m here at your service O Allah.’ We need to do labbayk all the time, not only in Hajj or Umrah. We need to demonstrate ‘labbayk’ in our actions, and when we hear a command from Him, we have to respond quickly whether it is doing something or refraining from something.
Whether it’s salah or zakah or Hajj or fasting we need to respond to Allah Almighty. So the first response has to be to Allah Almighty, number 2 is for the servants for Allah Almighty if their call was in line with what pleases Allah Almighty then we have to respond. It’s a beautiful name and the reflection on that name is so beautiful, so this is as a summary if you want.
Respond to the needs of others
Imam Abdul Izz bin Abdus Salam said we show this quality of Allah in our lives by responding to the call of any one who asks us for help, if it will please Allah Almighty. If you are asked to contribute to a project which will be beneficial for the community, or poor people, or knowledge seekers, or orphans etc, don’t hesitate. Respond to the call. If someone is in a financial difficulty and you have the ability to help him and he called upon you, then respond. Sometimes a difficulty is not financial, but emotional or physical etc. If you can help then extend your support to them.
Al Majeed – the One who has the highest honour
The highest honour belongs to Allah Almighty for He has the perfect and the majestic attributes. Hence He is Al Majeed. The fruit of knowing this attribute or this name is developing reverence towards Allah Almighty. We have to clear ourselves from any unpleasant or even vile attributes or manners. I.e. we have a good character, we show kindness and goodness – this is how we reflect the name Al Majeed.
Again it’s a beautiful name from majid (veneration/ honour), wo we should act with honour and respect. This means avoiding meanness in one’s character, if we want to truly emulate the name Al Majeed of Allah Almighty.
Ar-Raouf – The Benign One and Ar-Raheem – The Most Merciful
Ar-Raouf goes with Ar-Raheem, because they are close in meaning. Allah Almighty is so merciful to His creation and when we reflect upon this name, we see that Allah Almighty is showering His mercy over all of His creation day and night. He grants us special occasions and seasons when He increases His mercy in abundance, as in Ramadan and even more in the last ten nights of Ramadan, when mercy rains down upon us. We have extra mercy in the last third of every night, and also at Jumu’ah, particularly just before Maghrib when it is the time of acceptance for duas. At these special days, special nights, special months, like the last 10 nights of Ramadan and in special places, like Makkah, Madinah, and Bayt al Maqdis, as well as inside mosques the mercy is super-boosted compared to other times and places.
Be merciful to others. And be merciful to yourself
Abdul Izz bin Abd al-Salam said we can emulate this quality in different ways, according to our ability. For instance by being merciful towards Allah Almighty’s creation as Allah Almighty shows mercy towards His creation – this includes being kind to animals, insects, birds, and plants.
Abdullah ibn Amr reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمْ الرَّحْمَنُ ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ
“The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth, and the One in the heavens will have mercy upon you.” [Tirmidhi]
There are many similar verses and narrations on mercy and the importance of mercy.
And one of the attributes of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was that he was merficul towards the believers, Allah Almighty says ‘bil mu’meena raof ar raheem’. We should emulate this from the heart with sincerity, not fake it. However we can train ourselves to become merciful. There may be times when feel we are a bit harsh we perhaps should not have said the words we said, but we can be merciful, without being weak. Don’t mix the two. Being merciful is not the same as being weak.
Allah Almighty mentioned mercy in every surah: Bismillahir Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. The mercy of Allah Almighty is right at the opening of the surahs. He introduced Himself to us as Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem, the Most Merciful. So we need to show mercy to others as well as ourselves. How can we do this? Sometimes we overburden ourselves with too many tasks and so we need to take a break, have rest or reassess what we are doing, what we have taken on and re-balance our lives. This is part of reflecting the name of Allah Almighty, Ar-Raheem, subhana wa ta’ala and Ar-Raoof.
Al Ghaffar – The Forgiver, The Most Forgiving
Among Allah Almighty’s names are Al Ghaffar and Al Ghafoor meaning the One who covers your mistakes or your faults and your sins with a veil (sitr). Many of our mistakes and sins are between us and Allah Almighty. Imagine, if Allah Almighty lifted this veil and everyone could see everyone’s mistakes. It would be humiliating for everyone. However, it is part of His mercy that He covered our sins, mistakes and shortcomings. The fruit of knowing this name is to hope that He will forgive our sins and veil our sins.
We demonstrate this in our lives by covering our own sins and also other people’s faults. One of the disasters of the 21st century, because of technology and social media is that it is very easy for people to share their sins publicly. This is completely haram. If you have a sin, don’t tell people about it. This is exposing yourself and it is punishable. If you keep it to yourself and ask for forgiveness then Allah Almighty will forgive you, however the moment you publicise it, your history is online, you acquire a label and a reputation. You cannot escape it and it’s difficult to come back from this and shed your past, even for those who repent. Never expose your sins or your mistakes online.
Ask for forgiveness
Part of bringing Allah Almighty’s attribute of Al Ghaffar in your life is to ask Him for His forgiveness for everything you have done wrong – this can be both things you knew you did wrong, as well as what you did wrong unknowingly. There are probably many times we’ve done things wrong without realising or forgotten about them, so we need to ask for forgiveness for mistakes that we made and do not know about. It might have been accidental and unintentional, but it caused harm or hurt to someone. This is a sin for you, which you are unaware about. This is why Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) taught us the dua for inadvertent mistakes.
Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to supplicate:
O Allah, forgive me my faults, my ignorance, my immoderation in my concern. And you are better aware (of my affairs) than myself. O Allah, grant me forgiveness (of the faults which I committed) seriously or otherwise (and which I committed) inadvertently and deliberately. All these (failings) are in me. O Allah, grant me forgiveness from the faults, which I did in haste or deferred, which I committed in privacy or in public and you are better aware (of them) than myself. You are the First and the Last and over all things you are Omnipotent.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
In another hadith Farwa’ bin Naufal Ashja’i (may Allah be pleased with him) reported:
I asked ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) in what words did Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) supplicate Allah?
عَنْ فَرْوَةَ بْنِ نَوْفَلٍ، قَالَ قُلْتُ لِعَائِشَةَ حَدِّثِينِي بِشَىْءٍ، كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَدْعُو بِهِ فِي صَلاَتِهِ . فَقَالَتْ نَعَمْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ “ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَمِلْتُ وَمِنْ شَرِّ مَا لَمْ أَعْمَلْ ” . صحيح مسلم.
She said that he used to utter: “O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the evil of that which I have done, and the evil of that which I am yet to do.” (Muslim)
If somebody has wronged you, generally speaking, the general guideline is to forgive them. Of course there may be certain which need more explanation, but the general guideline is to forgive, forget and move on.
Don’t take other’s sins upon yourself
When you see somebody doing something wrong don’t take a video of it and post it. That is participating in haram and making the haram go viral. If anybody watches this, you’ll get the sin. Whether it’s your sin or somebody else’s sin, cover it and give sincere advice (naseeha) to that person. Tell them that it was haram, and advise them to seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty, repent and not to do it again. If you expose other people’s sins, Allah Almighty will expose yours, so be careful.
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“All (those of) my nation are forgiven for their sins except those who sin openly or disclose their sins to the people. An example of such disclosure is that a person commits a sin by night, and though Allah screened it from the people, he comes in the morning, and says, ‘O so-and-so, I did such-and-such (evil) deed last night,’ though he spent his night screened by his Lord (none knowing about his sin) and in the morning he removes Allah’s screen from himself.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Among the good traits of a Muslim is leaving that which does not concern him.” (Tirmidhi)
Abu Barzah Al-Aslami (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“O those who are Muslims by tongue whereas faith has not entered their hearts! Do not backbite Muslims or pursue their faults, for whoever pursues the faults of his Muslim brother, Allah will pursue his faults, and whoever of whom Allah pursues his faults, He will disgrace him even if he hides himself in his own home.” (Abu Dawood)
“Whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults” (Bukhari)
Sometimes people even boast about their sins – ‘You know what I did last night?!’ No one saw them except Allah Almighty, so why do then expose themselves? If Allah Almighty veiled your sins, don’t go and expose yourself. This is the shaytan’s trap. Some people are even willing in this day and age to do anything and everything just to be famous, even what is haram. If it brings an audience or make them celebrities, they will sell their souls. Don’t sell your akhirah and your dignity for very limited fame. You will be accountable for everybody who was influenced by your sins and your bad attributes and those who copied you. You will be responsible for all of them if you are the influencer.
Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah al-Bajali (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
‘Whoever starts a good thing and is followed by others, will have his own reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing and is followed by others, will bear the burden of his own sin and a burden equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their burden in any way.'” (Tirmidhi)
Don’t sell your deen and your dignity and your akhirah for silly games in the dunya. Don’t do that, even if it’s for money, even if it’s followers. They will not carry this responsibility on your behalf on the Day of Judgement. You will carry the responsibility of your own action and their own actions which they were influenced by you. This is why we need sincerity and ikhlas in our actions which we are doing. And we ask Allah Almighty to make our actions, and our deeds, purely for His sake, and in line with the Shariah and away from the influence of the shaytan and the evil around us.
We ask Allah Almighty to veil our sins, and to forgive our sins and to keep us away from sins and sinners, ameen.
Shaykh Haytham Tamim 2023 Transcribed by S Jawaid
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