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July 20, 2012

An Introduction to the Lord of the Worlds – Day 19

by Umm Muawiyah

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Assalamu Alaikum.

[Here’s Day 18. That’s where I stopped last year. I’ll just continue using the same numbering system.]

Note: Last year I forgot to mention some of the sources that I’m using for this series. I’m using this book compiled from Tafsir As-Saadi, Shaikh ibn Uthaimeen’s explanation of Aqeedah Al-Waasitiyyah as well as my teacher Ustadh Aziz Farhan’s explanation of it (these are class notes so they are not publicly available), Fiqh Al-Asmaa was-Sifaat by Shaikh Abdur Razzaq Al-Abbaad, Sharh Asma Allah Al-Husna by Shaikh Saeed ibn Wahf Al-Qahtani (the author of the Fortress of the Muslim) as well as some other sources depending on the Names being discussed.

11. He is As-Samee (The All-Hearer), Al-Qareeb (the One who is close) and Al-Mujeeb (the One who answers). He is the One who has commanded us to supplicate to Him alone and loves that we do so.

As usual, let’s take this step by step:

1) He is As-Samee (the All-Hearer), whose Hearing is Perfect and encompasses all sounds and languages.

Allah says:

مَّن كَانَ يُرِ‌يدُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللَّـهِ ثَوَابُ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَ‌ةِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّـهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرً‌ا

“Whoever desires a reward in this life of the world, then with Allah (Alone and none else) is the reward of this worldly life and of the Hereafter. And Allah is Ever All­-Hearer, All­-Seer.” [Surah An-Nisaa (4) : 134]

فَإِنْ آمَنُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنتُم بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَوا ۖ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ ۖ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللَّـهُ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 137]

Ponder deeply over the last part of this ayah (verse). An oppressed person should feel a great sense of comfort knowing this.

فَاطِرُ‌ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ ۚ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَمِنَ الْأَنْعَامِ أَزْوَاجًا ۖ يَذْرَ‌ؤُكُمْ فِيهِ ۚ لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

“The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you (in the wombs). There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 11]‌

[If you notice, this Name (As-Samee) appears very frequently with Al-Baseer (the All Seer) and Al-Aleem (the All Knower). I’ll discuss those names in a future post, insha-Allah.]

Allah’s Hearing, unlike creation’s hearing, is Perfect and it encompasses all sounds (whether loud or soft) and all languages.

سَوَاءٌ مِّنكُم مَّنْ أَسَرَّ‌ الْقَوْلَ وَمَن جَهَرَ‌ بِهِ وَمَنْ هُوَ مُسْتَخْفٍ بِاللَّيْلِ وَسَارِ‌بٌ بِالنَّهَارِ

“It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceal his speech or declare it openly, whether he be hid by night or go forth freely by day.” [Surah Raad (13) : 10)]

كنا مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في سفر ، فكنا إذا علونا كبرنا ، فقال : ( اربعوا على أنفسكم ، فإنكم لا تدعون أصم ولا غائبا ، تدعون سميعا بصيرا قريبا

Narrated by Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu)” We were with the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) on a journey, and whenever we ascended a high place, we used to say, “Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greater).” The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Don’t trouble yourselves too much! You are not calling a deaf or an absent person, but you are calling One Who Hears, Sees, and is very near.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 9, Hadeeth No. 484]

The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) advised them not to exert themselves because Allah can hear them even if they speak in a low voice.

يا عبادي ! لو أن أولكم وآخركم . وإنسكم وجنكم . قاموا في صعيد واحد فسألوني . فأعطيت كل إنسان مسألته . ما نقص ذلك مما عندي إلا كما ينقص المخيط إذا أدخل البحر

 “O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, and the humans of you and the jinn of you, were all to stand together in one place and ask of Me, and I were to give everyone what he requested, then that would not decrease what I Possess, except what is decreased of the ocean when a needle is dipped into it.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6246]

[The full narration was mentioned on Day 3.]

Shaikh Abdur Razzaq points out in his book that this hadeeth shows that Allah Hears everything clearly, and that the different sounds, languages and needs are not mixed up.

2) Allah’s Hearing is divided into two categories:

1) The first category is the Hearing that deals with hearing sounds.

This category is further divided into three categories:

a) That which is intended to demonstrate the all-encompassing knowledge of Allah (i.e. it shows that He Hears and Knows everything):

قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّـهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِي إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَاللَّـهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَ‌كُمَا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ

“Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her (Khaulah bint Thalabah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-­Saamit), and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.” [Surah Al-Mujaadilah (58) : 1]

الحمد لله الذي وسع سمعه الأصوات . لقد جاءت المجادلة إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، وأنا في ناحية البيت ، تشكو زوجها . وما أسمع ما تقول . فأنزل الله : { قد سمع الله قول التي تجادلك في زوجها}

It was narrated from Aishah (radialalhu anha): “Praise be to Allah Whose hearing encompasses all voices. The woman who disputed with her husband came to the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) when I was (sitting) in a corner of the house and she complained about her husband, but I did not hear what she said. Then Allah revealed:

قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّـهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا

“Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her (Khaulah bint Thalabah) that disputes with you (O Muhammad) concerning her husband (Aus bin As-­Saamit) [Surah Al-Mujaadilah (58) : 1]

 [Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 188. Graded ‘sahih’ by Al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadeeth No. 188.]

Subhan Allah, in this ayah, is hope for all those who keep thinking “Who will help us? Who will hear our pleas for help?”

The answer is: Allah.

It should also make us realise that we cannot hide ANYTHING from Allah.

وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَتِرُ‌ونَ أَن يَشْهَدَ عَلَيْكُمْ سَمْعُكُمْ وَلَا أَبْصَارُ‌كُمْ وَلَا جُلُودُكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن ظَنَنتُمْ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَعْلَمُ كَثِيرً‌ا مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

وَذَٰلِكُمْ ظَنُّكُمُ الَّذِي ظَنَنتُم بِرَ‌بِّكُمْ أَرْ‌دَاكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِ‌ينَ

“And you have not been hiding against yourselves, lest your ears, and your eyes, and your skins testify against you, but you thought that Allah knew not much of what you were doing.  And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction, and you have become (this Day) of those utterly lost!” [Surah Fussilat (41) : 22-23]

Some foolish individuals actually wonder if Allah can hear everything:

اجتمع عند البيت قرشيان وثقفي ، أو ثقفيان وقرشي ، كثيرة شحم بطونهم قليلة فقه قلوبهم ، فقال أحدهم : أترون أن الله يسمع ما نقول ؟ قال الآخر : يسمع إن جهرنا ، ولا يسمع إن أخفينا . وقال الآخر : إن كان يسمع إذا جهرنا فإنه يسمع إذا أخفينا ، 

Narrated by Abdullah (radiallahu anhu): There gathered near the House (i.e. the Kaabah) two Quraishi persons and a person from Thaqif (or two persons from Thaqif and one from Quraish), and all of them with very fat bellies but very little intelligence. One of them said, “Do you think that Allah hears what we say?” Another said, “He hears us when we talk in a loud voice, but He doesn’t hear us when we talk in a low tone.” The third said, “If He can hear when we talk in a loud tone, then He can also hear when we speak in a low tone.”

فأنزل الله عز وجل

Then Allah, the Honorable, the Majestic revealed:

وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَتِرُ‌ونَ أَن يَشْهَدَ عَلَيْكُمْ سَمْعُكُمْ وَلَا أَبْصَارُ‌كُمْ وَلَا جُلُودُكُمْ

“And you have not been hiding against yourselves, lest your ears, and your eyes, and your skins testify against you,….”[Surah Fussilat (41) : 22-23]

[Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 6, Hadeeth No. 341]

Well, they got their answer, didn’t they?

b) That which is intended to threaten:

أَمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّا لَا نَسْمَعُ سِرَّ‌هُمْ وَنَجْوَاهُم ۚ بَلَىٰ وَرُ‌سُلُنَا لَدَيْهِمْ يَكْتُبُونَ

“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel? (Yes We do) and Our Messengers (appointed angels in charge of mankind) are by them, to record.” [Surah Az-Zukhruf (43) : 80]

لَّقَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّـهُ قَوْلَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّـهَ فَقِيرٌ‌ وَنَحْنُ أَغْنِيَاءُ ۘ سَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَالُوا وَقَتْلَهُمُ الْأَنبِيَاءَ بِغَيْرِ‌ حَقٍّ وَنَقُولُ ذُوقُوا عَذَابَ الْحَرِ‌يقِ

“Indeed, Allah has heard the statement of those (Jews) who say: “Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich!” We shall record what they have said and their killing of the Prophets unjustly, and We shall say: “Taste you the torment of the burning (Fire).”” [Surah Aal- Imran (3) : 181]

I’ve noticed that a lot of people landed on my site by googling “Is it haram to listen to music in Ramadan?” Perhaps they should ponder over this Name and realise that Allah Hears everything that they do and that these acts will be recorded against them!

Let’s remember this category, not just in Ramadan but during the rest of the year, especially when we decide we want to go on a gheebah (backbiting) fest. We should instead try to say good words so that the All-Hearer can reward us for them.

c) That which shows aid and support:

This is what Allah said to Musa and Haroon (alaihimissalam) when they went to call Pharoah to the truth:

قَالَ لَا تَخَافَا ۖ إِنَّنِي مَعَكُمَا أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَ‌ىٰ

“He (Allah) said: “Fear not, verily! I am with you both, hearing and seeing.” [Surah Ta-Ha (20) : 46]

This category is only for the believers, because Allah does not aid the disbelievers.

What should this do for us? Well, we need to strive to be obedient to Allah and we need to realise that He is there to support His righteous servants.

Who cares if nobody is there to aid us? In reality, we only need the Help of Allah.

2) The second category is the Hearing which means response.

This refers to the fact that Allah responds to the ones that call upon Him i.e. Allah is the One who hears the supplications.

Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen points out in his book, that in this case, it doesn’t merely refer to hearing because there would be no benefit in this. The benefit is in Allah responding to the supplication so that is what it means in this case.

There are numerous example of this in the Quran. In fact, this Name has been used many times to call upon Allah:

[I discussed the issue of calling upon Allah through His Names on Day 9.]

قَالَ رَ‌بِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَصْرِ‌فْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ رَ‌بُّهُ فَصَرَ‌فَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“He said:”O my Lord! Prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them and be one (of those who commit sin and deserve blame or those who do deeds) of the ignorants.” So his Lord answered his invocation and turned away from him their plot. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Yusuf (12) : 33-34]

وَإِذْ يَرْ‌فَعُ إِبْرَ‌اهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَ‌بَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“And (remember) when Ibrahim and (his son) Ismail were raising the foundations of the House (the Kabah at Makkah), (saying), “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 127]

إِذْ قَالَتِ امْرَ‌أَتُ عِمْرَ‌انَ رَ‌بِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْ‌تُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّ‌رً‌ا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“(Remember) when the wife of Imran said: “O my Lord! I have vowed to You what (the child that) is in my womb to be dedicated for Your services (free from all worldly work; to serve Your Place of worship), so accept this, from me. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.”” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 35]

Allah has also been referred to as “Samee Ad-Dua” (the All-Hearer of Invocations):

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ الَّذِي وَهَبَ لِي عَلَى الْكِبَرِ‌ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ ۚ إِنَّ رَ‌بِّي لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

“All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has given me in old age Ismail and Ishaaq. Verily! My Lord is indeed the All-Hearer of invocations. [Surah Ibrahim (14) : 39]

هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِ‌يَّا رَ‌بَّهُ ۖ قَالَ رَ‌بِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّ‌يَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

“At that time Zakariya invoked his Lord, saying: “O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.“” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) : 38]

So, we should remember to use this Name at the time of dua (supplication) just like the great people before us did. And as this is the Month of Dua, we really should be using it a lot!

Allah has told us to seek refuge in Him from Shaytan (the devil) because He is the All-Hearer:

وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللَّـهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“And if an evil whisper from Shaitan (Satan) tries to turn you away (O Muhammad) (from doing good, etc.), then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Surah Fussilat (41) : 36]

Istiadhah (seeking refuge in Allah) is a type of dua.

This category of hearing (meaning responds) can also be found in the adhkar (remembrances) for prayer:

إذا قال الإمام : سمع الله لمن حمده ، فقولوا : ربنا لك الحمد ، فإنه من وافق قوله قول الملائكة ، غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

Narrated by Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “When the Imam says, “Sami Allahu liman hamida (Allah hears the one who praises Him)” you should say, “Allahumma Rabbana lakal-hamd. (O Allah, Our Lord, for You is all praise)” And if the saying of any one of you coincides with that of the angels, all his past sins will be forgiven.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 1, Hadeeth No. 762]

 So here, “heard” means “responds”.

And what is the dhikr (remembrance) after that? Well, we are required to praise Allah! So we are being encouraged to praise Allah, as He responds to that praise.

In addition to that, if our praise coincides with the praise of the angels, our previous sins (the minor ones) will be forgiven. Apart from this, there are some more adhkar that can be recited at this time and they too have a lot of virtue.

And as this is the Month of Taraweeh, let’s make sure we take advantage of this offer!

[Teensie weensie fiqh (jurisprudence) point: A group of scholars used this hadeeth to prove that the one praying behind an Imam doesn’t need to say “Sami Allahu liman hamida”. That is only obligatory for the Imam and for the one praying alone.]

To be continued…

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