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Knowing Allah through His Beautiful Names: Al Ba’ith

Knowing Allah through His Beautiful Names: Al Ba'ith

The name Al-Ba’ith is one of Allah Almighty’s names, although some scholars disagree, they are in a minority. The majority of scholars consider the name Al-Ba’ith as one of Allah Almighty’s names. Al-Ba’ith is the Resurrector, from the verb, “ba’atha”, “yabba’athu”, meaning to resurrect and raise from the dead or from sleep. The One who raises the people from death is Allah Almighty, so that is why He is Al-Ba’ith.

In the Quran, the verb “ba’atha” has been repeated in many surahs, probably around 40 times, in particular, we see it mentioned in the story of the People of the Cave. After they had slept for 300 years in the cave, Allah Almighty raised them again, as it is Allah Almighty who raises people from sleep or from death.

What is ba’ith?

Imam al-Ghazali states that Allah is the One who gives creatures life on the day of resurrection, raising up those in the grave as in the Quran which is their final and eternal birth. From a linguistic point of view, Imam Al-Qushayri, in his work At-Tahbeer, offers a linguistic explanation of the term “ba’ath”, saying  it can mean instigation. To illustrate this, he uses the example of a camel race. When a camel is held and then released to run at full speed, this act of releasing the camel is termed “ba’ath.” It denotes an action that provides energy, power, and impetus. Thus the two meanings are:

– The One who gives life after death, as per theological understanding.

– The One who instigates, energises, and gives power, drawing from the linguistic interpretation.

Accountability and regrets

Al-Qushayri also commented on this beautifully by saying that resurrection is a reality and a fact. No one can escape being resurrected and standing before Allah Almighty on the Day of Reckoning. And then you will have the reward for the good things you did in your life or you will receive punishment for the bad things, sins and transgressions you did. This is the concept of accountability, which should make us conscious that we are accountable and responsible for everything we do and say and make us more self-aware. Ultimately we will have to stand in front of Allah Almighty alone. If we do not want to have regrets on that Day, we have to avail the time we have left in this dunya to rectify what we did wrong. On that Day, the Books will be closed and we won’t be able to do anything. This is why Allah Almighty says in the Quran, in the last complete ayah that was revealed,

‘And fear a day when you will be returning to Allah and every soul will be fully recompensed for what it has earned and no one will be wronged.’  (2:281)

This was the final complete ayah that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The last part of an ayah to be revealed was, ‘This day I have perfected for you your deen’, (5:3) but that was not a full ayah. In Surat al Baqarah, Allah Almighty is saying that we should fear that day when we will return to our Maker, as we will have to present our deeds. People will be rewarded according to their deeds which have been recorded with complete precision.

Remembering Allah as Al-Ba’ith reminds us that Allah Almighty brings us back to life after death and also after sleep, which is a minor death. Who can guarantee that when he goes to sleeps that he will wake up again in this world?

Whoever longs to meet his Lord…

In Surat al-Kahf, Allah Almighty says in the last ayah:

فَمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

“Whoever longs to meet his Lord, let him do a righteous deed and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord.” (18:110)

In the famous authentic hadith, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

من أحب لقاء الله أحب الله لقاءه

“Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him.”

Upon hearing this, Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked:

“O Prophet of Allah, is it because of the dislike of death? For all of us dislike death.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) clarified:

“No, it is not so; but when a believer is given the glad tidings of Allah’s mercy, pleasure, and Paradise, he loves to meet Allah, and Allah loves to meet him. But when a disbeliever is given the news of Allah’s punishment and His wrath, he dislikes to meet Allah, and Allah dislikes to meet him.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Be prepared for the most important meeting of your life

This is the big question. Do we love Allah Almighty? If we really love to meet Allah Almighty, then we should be prepared for that. We would have plenty of regrets if we were to open our records, so let’s fix them, before we are resurrected and there will be no space, no time, no chance to sort anything out. You will not be able to add anything to your account. The account will be closed. So reflecting on the name Al-Ba’ith should motivate us to sort out our affairs before it is too late.

Stages in life and spirituality

Imam al Ghazali talks about different forms of ba’ath or the new stages that we enter in our life. Every stage is a new resurrection. When you come to this dunya, you are brought to life, then you enter your childhood, followed by your adulthood. When knowledge comes to you it is a spiritual awakening, which raises you to a special spiritual status that Allah Almighty confers on those who are dedicated and sincere. Nubuwwa (prophethood) is a form of ba’ath that Allah Almighty gives to the prophets and messengers. He imbues them with a new life and grants openings to His awliya, those who are righteous and chosen for their devotion to Him. Thus, Ghazali talks about different levels and different forms of ba’ath, which Allah Almighty gives to different people at different stages in this dunya and in the hereafter.

Death is a new life

Ghazali says that death is not the end of life. Death is a gateway to a new form of life in a new realm, in a new dimension. The grave, in Arabic, is called barzakh. Although the body no longer functions, the soul experiences joy or sadness depending on their situation in the grave. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned in the hadith that the grave is part of the gardens of Jannah or part of the hell. So, it means there’s a genuine reward and punishment in the grave.

“The grave is either one of the gardens of Paradise, or one of the pits of Hell.” (Tirmidhi)

Moreover Ghazali says ignorance is the greatest death, which is very heavy; whereas knowledge is a life of honour. So if you want a life of honour, then be among people of knowledge. This is how Allah Almighty elevates you in the dunya and elevates you in the akhirah, when you have the right intention and the right etiquettes.

Be the one who helps others

Then Ghazali commented beautifully that you can implement the name, Al-Ba’ith in your life by helping others extricate themselves from ignorance by enlightening them, thereby giving them a new life. It’s a resurrection for that person. So educate people and guide them to the right path, help them make the right decisions. Not everyone can benefit others. There are some whom people avoid because of their attitude or their arrogance. While others put people at ease and whose company makes them feel comfortable and tranquil. If you are one of these people whom people like to be around, then you should benefit others. Educate them, and supplicate for them, because Ghazali said this is part of reviving them. Knowledge is a revivalist agent if you want that helps bring goodness to the community. Indeed this is the station and the position of the prophets and those who are the heirs of the prophets i.e. the scholars. As per the hadith, ‘Scholars are the true heirs of the prophets’.

By infusing knowledge and guidance and goodness and kindness and mercy in people and in our community, we bring new life to people and help them to come out of the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

Imam al Qushayri commented that Al-Ba’ith is the One who inspires you with good ideas, with good projects, with good initiatives. It’s not your muscles. You wake up one day and you have a new idea. Who gave you this? Allah Almighty. He’ll inspire you with new ideas, He’ll inspire you to do good actions, inspire you to increase your worship, to be more obedient, to do more dhikr of Allah Almighty etc. Al-Ba’ith is the One who gave you this in the first place.

Allah Almighty will resurrect us and we will have to read our book. In Surat al-Kahf, Allah says, the book will be opened before them and the sinners will say this book has left nothing small or big things, but recorded it.  And then Allah Almighty says – iqra kitabak – read your book. ‘And they will find whatever they have done present before their eyes.’ It means no one will be able to deny what they did. Allah Almighty will give everyone the opportunity to answer the question, asking, ‘Have My angels treated you with fairness in what they have written, or they have missed something or made any mistake?’ After they read their book, they will verify that it is indeed correct and accurate. They will not be able to lie anymore. And of course in the akhirah there will be many different stages and many events. There will be a public hearing for criminals, oppressors and public leaders, so everyone will know about what they did. And there will be a private hearing for others, between them and Allah.

If you did something in private, you will have a private hearing between you and Allah Almighty. And then Allah Almighty will tell the angels to give you your book. They will highlight all your minor sins – and if you lived between 50 years to 80 years, imagine how long your book would be. When you have a big document and you whizz through it, some sins of pages will be highlighted and the servant will read the book and every time he reads the small sins, he will say, ‘I’m doomed, I’m doomed, I’m doomed– these are the small sins. When he has finished reading, Allah Almighty will say to him, ‘Do you object to anything? He will say, ‘No’. Then Allah Almighty will say to him and the angels, ‘Replace his bad deeds with good deeds. And the servant will stay silent about the major sins.  Then, only then, he will speak. The servant will say he can’t see the big sins. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was smiling when he was narrating this, noticing how greedy the servant was to have his bad deeds replaced by good deeds!

Al-Ba’ith is a reminder of our presence before Allah Almighty, who described that moment when ‘There is none of you, but Allah will speak to him on the Day of Judgement.’ There is no translator between you and Allah. Of course we are not perfect, but we should do our best. The name Al-Ba’ith is a reminder for us that no matter how long we live, we will all die and Allah Almighty will resurrect us. If we’ve wronged somebody here, we will be accountable for everything we have done so let’s finish our business before we die. Let’s finish the unfinished business, let’s rectify the mistakes and stuff which we have done, we try our best because without doubt we will meet Allah Almighty. On a practical level if we can be the influence for a new life for some people, guidance for people, educators for people, opening gates of goodness for people then this will be like the name Al-Ba’ith, the One who gives a new life, new opportunity, new goodness to people inshallah ta’ala.  So we ask Allah Almighty to enable all of us to be among those who are really concerned about meeting Allah Almighty and among those who really love to meet Allah Almighty and be prepared for this very meeting, ameen.

Delivered to the Convert Club on 6th Feb 2024

Transcribed by S Jawaid

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.