The Name of Allah – Al ‘Aleem العليم [Part 5]
Although majority of the Muslims know the meaning of the Name of Allah العليم, the impact of believing in it is very weak in our lives. This Name implies the Attribute of العلم (Knowledge).
Knowledge is a common attribute between the creation and Allah. How can we practice Tawheed with regards to it? To single Allah’s Knowledge out with Perfection. In order to do so, we need to compare our knowledge with Allah’s Knowledge.
The knowledge of humans is preceded with ignorance and is followed with forgetfulness. Allah’s knowledge is perfect; it is neither preceded with ignorance, nor followed with forgetfulness..
Allah’s Knowledge is vast, it comprehends everything, it surrounds everything. Nothing escapes from Allah’s Knowledge, no matter how min it may be. Allah therefore usually mentions “إحاطة علمه” with the plots of the disbelievers and hypocrites. Console your heart; no matter how much they are plotting, Allah is there for you. His knowledge encompasses everything and He will take them into account for it. This will prevent you from feeling fear.
Impacts of Believing in the Name of Allah العليم
3) Allah’s Knowledge encompasses the secrets, the open, the seen and the unseen.
a) Surah Ibrahim [14:38]
“O our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allah.”
Ibrahim asks Allah to Make Makkah a place of security and to keep him as a Muwwahid.
Then he justifies his request in the following verse:
“O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind. But whoso follows me, he verily is of me. And whoso disobeys me, – still You are indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [14:35]
“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka’bah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.” [14:36]
After Ibrahim عليه السلام asked for these requests, he said, as mentioned in Verse 38:
“O our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heaven is hidden from Allah.”
What is the connection between these verses? Why did Ibrahim عليه السلام conclude the du’a with this verse? When Ibrahim عليه السلام made his requests, he justified them. He said “I want this and this” because “this and this”.
So when Ibrahim عليه السلام concluded his supplication with the aforementioned verse, it was as if he was saying: You truly know exactly what I intended by these requests. You know what I conceal when I make du’a.
We may ask Allah for something because of such and such, whilst there is something else we want behind that request. It is as if Ibrahim عليه السلام is saying: You know my truthfulness, you know my state, you know what we show openly in our du’a and of our deeds, you know everything.
This means that the person who makes du’a should be truthful with Allah. He should not ask Allah for a request and say I am asking because of this and that, whilst he has something else in his heart. Allah Knows exactly why you are asking that supplication, and what exactly you need from Him. He knows our intentions.
Ibrahim عليه السلام left his offspring in Makkah, in a place where there was no cultivation nor people. Who would know them in that place, which was completely deserted? No one but Allah.
Also, notice that Ibrahim عليه السلام said, “و لا يخفى على الله من شيء” (And nothing from anything is hidden to Allah) not “و لا يخفى على الله شيء” (Nothing is hidden from Allah)
من = From
شيء = A thing
A شيء could be an ant for example. من indicates تبعيض, Allah even knows about that specific part or organ of that ant. This shows us the precision of Allah’s Knowledge.
Also notice, he said: “فجعل أفئدة من الناس” – He asked Allah to direct the heart of some people. If there was no من, the hearts of all people would be directed to them.
This shows you that the Qur’an is from Allah, the All-Knower. Even the word من has a meaning in the Qur’an, and we should not skip it. The meaning is far more deep in Arabic than when translated in English. It is always best to learn to read the Quran and understand it in Arabic.
The human soul is like an open page to Allah. He Knows everything in the human self, whether it is the intentions, wishes, struggles, ambitions, feelings, aims, self-discussions, of the person. Allah Knows the little movements of the hearts. He knows “من شيء”; He knows everything. Whoever Knows that Allah’s Knowledge encompasses the secrets, will purify his inner self, so that it complies with his outward appearance, the Shari’ah, and the truth. There would be no difference between his inner and outer self, nor his actions and statements with what is in his heart.
b) Surah Ghafir [40:19]
“Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.”
“خائنة” is derived from the words خان، يخون which means betrayal/treachery.
This means that the eyes may betray.
The eye looks and sees. “خائنة الأعين” is a type of look which no one on the surface of the earth can detect, except Allah. Another word is “استراق النظر” (Stealing Glances). The eyes steals when it looks at what it is not allowed to look at; something which is unlawful for you to see. And this happens in less than a second. It is a quick look of the eyes at something which is unlawful for that particular person to look at.
e.g. A man shows people that he lowers his gaze. But a woman passes by in front of him, and he steals a glance. No one felt or detected that look except Allah.
e.g. A person is visiting another person’s house. The houses have rooms which are closed. One door was opened, and this person stole a glance into that room. It is unlawful for him to look inside without permission. This look is خائنة الأعين and is against him.
e.g. Looking into your neighbour’s house. Some people do not even do خائنة الأعين, they look and watch, and this is even worse.
In Surah Ta-Ha [20:131]
“And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them (polytheists and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), the splendour of the life of this world that We may test them thereby. But the provision (good reward in the Hereafter) of your Lord is better and more lasting.”
Allah forbade the Prophet ﷺ and his followers from looking at what Allah granted the People of the Dunya as a Fitnah for them.
E.g. Your friend is wearing a new ring, necklace, watch. You see it, but you do not want to show her that you care or you do not want her to accuse you of Hasad. So as soon as she turns her face, you steal a glance at it.
Ali رضي الله عنه said, “The first look is for you, the second look is against you”
If you saw it the first time it is ok, but do not look again. Some Scholars said the second look is خائنة الأعين.
“و ما تخفي صدور” – “and all that the breasts conceal.”
We are accountable for this look. You may give excuses as to why you are looking, but Allah Knows why. And He Knows the sicknesses of your heart. Allah Knows why that man looked at that woman, even if he gives excuses.
In the next verse (Verse 20):
“And Allah judges with truth, while those to whom they invoke besides Him, cannot judge anything. Certainly, Allah! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.”
Allah Knows, and accordingly He will Judge.
Knowing about Allah’s Name العليم makes a person upright. The heart will be مستفيم when it is aware of Allah’s Knowledge. The person will take care of his eyes, ears, heart when his belief in the Name of Allah العليم is strong. This will encourage him to avoid sinning and comply with the command of Allah.
c) Surah Qaf [50:16]:
“And indeed We have created man, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge).”
This is not the Waswasa of the Shaytan, but the Waswasa of the self. This means that the self also whispers and suggests.
The bad ending of a person is based on a دسيسة in the heart.
دس = to hide. That is why gloves are called دسوس in Arabic, because you hide your hands in it.
دسيسة is an evil secret is hidden in the self of the person which will appear before or at the time of his death through his tongue, actions, or form.
The Prophet ﷺ said,
فَوَاللَّهِ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ ـ أَوِ الرَّجُلَ ـ يَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا غَيْرُ بَاعٍ أَوْ ذِرَاعٍ، فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ، فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ، فَيَدْخُلُهَا، وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ، حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا غَيْرُ ذِرَاعٍ أَوْ ذِرَاعَيْنِ، فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ، فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، فَيَدْخُلُهَا
“And by Allah, a person among you (or a man) may do deeds of the people of the Fire till there is only a cubit or an arm-breadth distance between him and the Fire, but then that writing (which Allah has ordered the angel to write) precedes, and he does the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters it; and a man may do the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is only a cubit or two between him and Paradise, and then that writing precedes and he does the deeds of the people of the Fire and enters it.” [Bukhari #6594]
What made that person, after doing apparent good deeds throughout his life, perform evil deeds a short period before his death, and end his life upon that – so that he becomes one of the people of Hell? Due to a دسيس in his heart; an evil secret which he neglected in his heart, and it appeared during that time.
Thoughts in the heart are of four kinds:
1) خاطرة – Passing Thoughts
This is a passing thought which does not settle in the heart. It passes for seconds in the heart and you do not think of it after.
2) حديث النفس – Thoughts which you discuss within yourself
You discuss and think about the passing thought for some time, but then it passes and you forget about it. You do not take any action.
3) الهم – A Concern / Intention
This is a thought you have discussed with yourself, and now you intend to take an action on. This is an intention, which if you get the chance to do, you may do.
4) العزم – Resolution / Strong Will
This is a thought which you discuss with yourself, then intend to take an action on, then plan and have a firm resolve to do it. You only need the morning to appear in order to take the action.
Which category does دسيسة fall under?
In الهم and العزم. This is something you are thinking about all the time, you are just waiting to get the chance to do it. We are not accountable for خاطرة and حديث النفس, whether evil or good. We are however accountable for الهم and العزم, because the thought has now settled into an intention.
e.g. A person intends to commit suicide or murder. This thought first passes the mind. If that thought passes without the person thinking further about it, he is not accountable. If the thought reoccurs and he starts mentally planning for it and intending to it, it will reach the state of العزم.
The self whispers: Do this, harm her the same way she harmed you, etc.
If you see yourself thinking and cannot get rid of this thought, know that you have reached the state of الهم and العزم. In this stage, immediately seek refuge in Allah. Ask Allah’s protection from the evil of yourself and the Shaytan. Ask Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Allah; because you are now accountable for this stage. And you will be rewarded for this Jihad An-Nafs.
If you accepted and discussed a bad thought, you gave it a chance to settle. So plucking it out of your heart will be even more difficult, and will require more Jihad.
Sometimes you may enjoy that evil thought. Like some people have sexual thoughts. These thoughts come from the Shaytan. If the person repels it with Isti’aadhah and makes Istighfar, it will not harm him. But there are some people who enjoy that thought, until it settles, affects them, and makes them take wrong actions. They do not know that what they are doing, even if it is hidden from the people, it is Haraam, and they will be accountable for it. They need to make a lot of Jihad An-Nafs, hate themselves for doing that, and Allah will help them overcome the Waswaas.
دسيسة very dangerous for your faith, because it may take it away. It starts with a simple thought, but because it is sinful, it may lead to the diminishing of faith of the person. A person may have a دسيسة in his heart which remains until the end of his life, until he dies committing the sin.
e.g. Having doubt regarding the religion. If this doubt is not cleared, it may appear on the tongue at the time of death.
The evidence that we are accountable for the latter two types of thoughts?
Their reward is the same, although the second and fourth person just wished. He just had a همّ – he was concerned, thought about it a lot, and wanted to do it, so he will be recompensed for that. They are same in reward / same in sin, although the second and fourth people did not take any action. They only had a هم and resolution; so if they got the chance, they would do it.
We are responsible for our هموم (concerns). Look at what you are concerned about, because you will be accountable for it. Your concerns will either be a means of your good end or a means of a bad end, depending what type of concerns you have in your heart. Good thoughts and concerns are an indication of the piety of a person.
Remedy for evil thoughts:
1- إستعاذة – Seeking Refuge with Allah
2- إستغفار – Asking Allah to Forgive you
3- Making دعاء
4- Holding Fast to Knowledge and Practicing Taqwa of Allah.
If you do not have knowledge, these bad thoughts will come, and you will believe that they are just merely thoughts, and as long as you do not take an action, you will not be accountable. We need knowledge and Taqwa of Allah to struggle against these bad thoughts.
Posted on February 18, 2017, in Allah's Names and Attributes, The Name of Allaah Al-'Aleem and tagged accountability, Al Aleem, Allaah, Allah, Allah's names, Hearts, Judgement Day, Knowledge of Allah, movement of the eyes, Names of Allah, secrets in Islam, The Most Knowledgeable, Thoughts, thoughts in Islam. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.