The Name of Allah – Al ‘Aleem العليم [Part 8]
The Meaning of the Name العليم
Sheikh Abdur-Razzaq Al-Badr حفظه الله said:
- Allah mentioned the Vastness of His Knowledge ذكر سبحانه سعة علمه:
For example, in Surah Ta-Ha [20:98]:
“Your Ilah (God) is only Allah, the One (La ilaha illa Huwa) (none has the right to be worshipped but He). He has full knowledge of all things.”
- Allah’s Knowledge Encompasses Everything; Nothing escapes His Knowledge ذكر سبحانه إحاطة علمه بكل شيء
For example, in Surah Aal-Imran [3:120]:
“If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqun, not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.”
- Allah’s Knowledge encompasses the Secret and Open, the Unseen and Witnessed Matters. ذكر تبارك و تعالى إحاطة علمه بالسرائر و المعلنات و الغيب و الشهادة
- Allah Knows all that is in the Heavens and Earth ذكر سبحانه علمه بما في السماوات و الأرض
- Allah Knows the The Keys of the Unseen, and none knows it except Him ذكر سبحانه اختصاصه بمفاتح الغيب، فلا يعلمها إلا هو
The Impact of this Name on our Faith
“And Belief in this Great Name has blessed impacts on the Slave. It is one of the biggest restrainers and greatest admonitory
“Sheikh Muhammad Amin Al-Shinqitee (رحمه الله) said: All the Scholars are in consensus that the Name العليم is the biggest restrainer and greatest admonitory that has been revealed from the heavens to the earth. And they put forward for that an example, and to Allah belongs the highest example;- supposedly, in this empty space of land was a tyrant King, who killed men if they violated any of his prohibitions. He is powerful and mighty, and surrounded by his forces. And around him are his daughters.”
Do you think any of these soldiers dare to look at his daughters, knowing that he will immediately punish them? And if it was said to the people of the city that the leader of the town knows everything they do of vile actions at night, they would become well-mannered (and disciplined).
“And this is the Creator of the Heavens and Earth; The King, The Compeller, who informs them in the verses of His Book. It is not possible to turn a single page in the Qur’an without finding this great admonition and restrainer mentioned”
In Surah An-Nahl [16:19]: “And Allah knows what you conceal and what you reveal.”
In Surah Al-An’am [6:59]: “And with Him are the keys of the Gha’ib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.”
In Surah Al-Baqarah [2:235]: “And there is no sin on you if you make a hint of betrothal or conceal it in yourself, Allah knows that you will remember them, but do not make a promise of contract with them in secret except that you speak an honourable saying according to the Islamic law (e.g. you can say to her, “If one finds a wife like you, he will be happy”). And do not consummate the marriage until the term prescribed is fulfilled. And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.”
“Ibn Rajab رحمه الله said: A man seduced a woman and commanded her to close the doors. He said, “Are the any doors which have not been closed?” She said, “Yes, the door which is between us and Allah”. So he did not commit the act with her.” And some people saw a man talking to a woman and said, “Allah sees you, may Allah conceal you and us”
Allah’s Knowledge of you should prevent you from violating His prohibitions, out of shyness of Him.
“Ibn Katheer said regarding the meaning of the following verse in Surah Ghafir [40:19]: “Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.” Allah tells us about His complete knowledge, which encompasses all things, great and small, major and minor, so that people will take note that He knows about them, and they will have the proper sense of shyness before Allah. They will pay attention to the fact that He can see them, for He knows the fraud of the eyes, even if the eyes look innocent, and He knows what the hearts conceal”
We should feel shy of committing a sin whilst we are in the dominion of Allah, using His blessings to commit sins while He sees us.
Ash-Shawkani said, “خائنة الأعين means looking stealthily at that which is not lawful for one to look at.” The eyes and the heart are connected. Ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه said, “Allah knows when the eye looks at something, whether it wants to commit an act of betrayal or not” [At-Tabari]. It is to that extent that Allah’s Knowledge is deep. We have to be concerned over the movement of our hearts and eyes. When we look at people, what is in our hearts when we are looking at them?
In the next verse, 40:20: “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.”
Ibn Kathir رحمه الله said, “means, He judges with justice. Al-A’mash narrated from Sai’d ibn Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه that this verse means, ‘He is able to reward those who do good with good and those who do evil with evil.”
Allah knows what your heart is concealing, so His judgement will be perfect and with Justice; He will not wrong you at all.
The Impacts of this Name from the Explanation of Ibn Katheer:
1) It make the believers show shyness to Allah.
2) It makes them have Taqwa of Allah.
3) It makes a person observant of Allah. He knows everything and sees everything and hears everything.
4) It reforms and purifies one’s inner self.
5) It Correct ones Tawheed.
“And you will mostly find the Name of Allah العليم mentioned in the context of deeds and their recompense, in order to awaken the hearts and inform the slaves of the importance of perfecting and reforming them, and in order to encourage and intimidate them.”
When you know Allah is looking at your deeds you will perfect them, because Allah loves المحسنين (Al-Muhsineen). Allah thus mentions His Name العليم to encourage the believers to perfect their deeds, even if they are alone and no one else sees them.
The Name العليم in the context of encouraging us to spend
1- Surah Al-Baqarah [2:215]:
“They ask you (O Muhammad) what they should spend. Say: Whatever you spend of good must be for parents and kindred and orphans and Al-Masakin (the poor) and the wayfarers, and whatever you do of good deeds, truly, Allah knows it well.”
2- Surah Al-Baqarah [2:270]:
“And whatever you spend for spendings (e.g., in Sadaqah – charity, etc. for Allah’s Cause) or whatever vow you make, be sure Allah knows it all. And for the Zalimun (wrong-doers, etc.) there are no helpers.”
Other examples in the Qur’an can be seen in Surat Al-Baqarah, Verses 273, 261 and Surah Aal-Imran, Verse 92.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
اتَّقُوا النَّارَ ”. ثُمَّ أَعْرَضَ وَأَشَاحَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ ” اتَّقُوا النَّارَ ”. ثُمَّ أَعْرَضَ وَأَشَاحَ ثَلاَثًا، حَتَّى ظَنَنَّا أَنَّهُ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهَا، ثُمَّ قَالَ ” اتَّقُوا النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ، فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَبِكَلِمَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ “
“Protect yourself from the Fire.” He then turned his face aside (as if he were looking at it) and said again, “Protect yourself from the Fire,” and then turned his face aside (as if he were looking at it), and he said so for the third time till we thought he was looking at it. He then said, “Protect yourselves from the Fire, even if with one half of a date and he who hasn’t got even this, (should do so) by (saying) a good, pleasant word.’ [Bukhari #6540]
In another Hadith:
مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلاَّ وَسَيُكَلِّمُهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، لَيْسَ بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَبَيْنَهُ تُرْجُمَانٌ، ثُمَّ يَنْظُرُ فَلاَ يَرَى شَيْئًا قُدَّامَهُ، ثُمَّ يَنْظُرُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ فَتَسْتَقْبِلُهُ النَّارُ، فَمَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يَتَّقِيَ النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ
There will be none among you but will be talked to by Allah on the Day of Resurrection, without there being an interpreter between him and Him (Allah) . He will look and see nothing ahead of him, and then he will look (again for the second time) in front of him, and the (Hell) Fire will confront him. So, whoever among you can save himself from the Fire, should do so even with one half of a date (to give in charity). [Bukhari #6539]
This indicates that Allah knows the intention we gave the half a date in charity in. We humans look at the apparent and belittle what can half a date do.
The believer gives half a date, and believes that if given with sincerity, it will reach the Hand of Allah before the hand of the poor person, and Allah will increase it like how one of us brings up a baby horse until it becomes big;- Allah will multiply that charity until it becomes mountains on the Day of Judgement. A half date to mountains – because the person was sincere.
Charity is not limited to humans, it can be given to the animals and birds. If you have leftover food, you can give it to the animals. If given sincerely for Allah, it will be considered a charity from you, and you don’t know how it will benefit you on the Day of Judgement.
The Prophet ﷺ said:
فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَبِكَلِمَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ ”
“and he who hasn’t got even this, (should do so) by (saying) a good, pleasant word”
-and the good word is a charity. Because women are very clever when it comes to talking, they should use this ability to come closer to Allah.
But is just any good word considered charity?
There are at least 4 conditions to be fulfilled for your word to be good and accepted by Allah, and a means to protect you from the Hellfire:
1) The word should be good in its wording (بلفظها)
2) It should have a good meaning
3) You should choose the right time to say it and say it in the right way.
4) You should have a good intention
The word may be good in its wording, meaning, and you may have said it at the right time with good manners, but what is your intention behind it? If the intention is good, it is considered a كلمة طيبة (good word). If the intention was just out of habit- custom, then your good word will not be rewarded. Your intention should be to say this good word as a means of protection from the Hellfire. And Allah knows about your intention; He will accordingly reward and multiply that good deed you do. Allah is the All-Knower of the intentions of the people.
The Name العليم in the context of Voluntary Acts
In Surah Al-Baqarah [2:158]:
“Verily! As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who perform Hajj or ‘Umrah (pilgrimage) of the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) to perform the going (Tawaf) between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwah). And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allah is All-Recogniser, All-Knower.”
تطوع = voluntarily
Allah knows why you are doing this voluntary action; what is in your heart which motivates you to do it voluntarily. This Name also encourages us to do voluntary acts, not for people, but because Allah Knows.
The Name العليم in the context of Jihad
In Surah Al-Baqarah [2:244]: “And fight in the Way of Allah and know that Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.”
The Name العليم in the context of Repentance (التوبة)
In Surah At-Tawbah [9:15]: “And remove the anger of their (believers’) hearts. Allah accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
In Surah An-Nisa [4:17]: “Allah accepts only the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.”
The Name العليم in the context of encouraging us to perform Righteous Deeds
In Surah Al-Mu’minoon [23:51]:
“O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Taiyibat [all kinds of Halal (legal) foods which Allah has made legal (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables, fruits, etc.], and do righteous deeds. Verily! I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.”
Never wait for any recompense or appreciation from the people. The believer does not wait for any word of gratitude, because it is sufficient for him that Allah knows what he is doing.
In Surah Al-Baqarah [2:127]:
“And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) and (his son) Isma’il (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah), (saying), “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.”
This is what Ibraheem and Isma’eel عليهما السلام said after building the Ka’bah. This great deed they did was not for the sake of people; they asked Allah to accept it from them.
If you believe that Allah is العليم in detail and with certainty, it will affect your heart and actions.
Posted on March 24, 2017, in Allah's Names and Attributes, The Name of Allaah Al-'Aleem and tagged Al Aleem, Allaah, Allaah's Names, Allah, knowledge, Knowledge of Allaah, Name of Allaah, Name of Allah, The Most Knowledgeable. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.