بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Here’s Day 24.]
These two attributes (i.e. withholding and giving lavishly) are also mentioned in various ayaat (verses):
مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّـهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
“Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return.” [Surah Al-Baqarah (2) : 245]
لَهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
“To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth, He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills). Verily! He is the All-Knower of everything.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 12]
Interestingly enough, this Surah (i.e. Ash-Shura) mentions the giving of provision two more times (the attribute of giving lavishly (or enlarging) is mentioned in the second ayah):
اللَّـهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۖ وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ الْعَزِيزُ
“Allah is Lateef (very Gracious and Kind) to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 19]
وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّـهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَـٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ
“And if Allah were to enlarge the provision for His slaves, they would surely rebel in the earth, but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily! He is in respect of His slaves, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer (of things that benefit them).” [Surah Ash-Shura (42) : 27]
The second ayah (verse) shows that it is from Allah’s Perfection and complete ability that He can both withhold and extend provisions. This is why these two attributes, although opposites, are always mentioned together.
اللَّـهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ وَفَرِحُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا مَتَاعٌ
“Allah increases the provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills), and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment.” [Surah Ar-Raad (13) : 26]
وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَىٰ حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلَا تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا
إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوا إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُورًا
وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ تَرْجُوهَا فَقُل لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُورًا
وَلَا تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَىٰ عُنُقِكَ وَلَا تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُورًا
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا
وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا
“And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskeen (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.
Verily, spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayateen (devils), and the Shaytaan (Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.
And if you (O Muhammad) turn away from them (kindred, poor, wayfarer, etc. whom We have ordered you to give their rights, but if you have no money at the time they ask you for it) and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft kind word (i.e. Allah will give me and I shall give you).
And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.
Truly, your Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.
And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.”
[Surah Al-Israa (17) : 26-31]
In the above ayaat (verses), Allah first orders us to give in charity and then informs us not to be spendthrifts (i.e. be moderate in spending). After this, we are informed that He enlarges and withholds provision out of His Knowledge. Then He commands us not to kill our children due to poverty as He will provide for us and them.
Ponder over the order of these ayaat. It’s very interesting.
The last ayah should also be a reply to those who say that they don’t want children or want only one or two because they “can’t afford the expenses”.
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَا إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلْتُم بِهِ كَافِرُونَ
وَقَالُوا نَحْنُ أَكْثَرُ أَمْوَالًا وَأَوْلَادًا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ
قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
وَمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَلَا أَوْلَادُكُم بِالَّتِي تُقَرِّبُكُمْ عِندَنَا زُلْفَىٰ إِلَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَأُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ جَزَاءُ الضِّعْفِ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَهُمْ فِي الْغُرُفَاتِ آمِنُونَ
وَالَّذِينَ يَسْعَوْنَ فِي آيَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ أُولَـٰئِكَ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُحْضَرُونَ
قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا أَنفَقْتُم مِّن شَيْءٍ فَهُوَ يُخْلِفُهُ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
“And We did not send a warner to a township, but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them said: “We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent.
And they say: “We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.”
Say (O Muhammad): “Verily, my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most men know not.”
And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us (i.e. pleases Allah), but only he (will please Us) who believes (in the Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds; as for such, there will be twofold reward for what they did, and they will reside in the high dwellings (Paradise) in peace and security.
And those who strive against Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), to frustrate them, will be brought to the torment.
Say: “Truly, my Lord enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves, and (also) restricts (it) for him, and whatsoever you spend of anything (in Allah’s Cause), He will replace it. And He is the Best of providers.””
[Surah Saba (34) : 34-39]
In the above ayaat, the fact that Allah enlarges and straitens provision is mentioned TWICE.
وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّـهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ ۚ غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُوا بِمَا قَالُوا ۘ بَلْ يَدَاهُ مَبْسُوطَتَانِ يُنفِقُ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ
“The Jews say: “Allah’s Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty).” Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for what they uttered. Nay, both His Hands are widely outstretched. He spends (of His Bounty) as He wills.” [Surah Al-Maaidah (5) : 64]
Al-Qaabidh is the One who takes the provisions (i.e. withholds them) and the souls. Al-Baasit is the One who freely gives provisions and gives life to the hearts.
So, the first Name should cause us to increase in fear and the second Name should cause us to increase in hope.
Al-Baasit also gives people a chance to repent for the sins that they committed during the day:
إن الله عز وجل يبسط يده بالليل ، ليتوب مسيء النهار . ويبسط يده بالنهار ، ليتوب مسيء الليل . حتى تطلع الشمس من مغربها
Abu Musa (radiallahu anhu) reported Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as saying that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, Stretches out His Hand during the night so that the people repent for the fault committed from dawn till dusk and He stretches out His Hand during the day so that the people may repent for the fault committed from dusk to dawn. (He would accept repentance) before the sun rises in the west. [Sahih Muslim, Hadeeth No. 6644]
So, we should rush to take advantage of this by repenting from our sins. [And no, this hadeeth does not mean that we can sin and then repent as we wish!]
Want Al-Baasit to grant you more provision? Well, here’s what you have to do:
من أحب أن يبسط له في رزقه ، وينسأ له في أثره ، فليصل رحمه
Narrated by Anas bin Malik (radiallahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Whoever loves that he be granted more wealth and that his lease of life be prolonged then he should keep good relations with his Kith and kin.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume No. 8, Hadeeth No. 15]
[Visiting inquisitive elderly aunts doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?]
There is a lot more to these two Names. I’ve just summarised it and pointed out the aspects which relate to what we’ve already covered like giving and rizq (provision).
What we also learn from these Names is that WE should generously to others.
Insha-Allah, this will be the last post for this Ramadan (I mentioned earlier that I was only going to be blogging for 7 days).
[I had mentioned earlier that I was going to cover dawah (calling to Islam) in this series during Ramadan but I wasn’t able to get to it. I’ll cover that in future, insha-Allah.]
I would like to remind myself and all of you to study the Names and Attributes of Allah, because without it, we won’t be able to know who Allah is. And if we don’t know who He is, we won’t worship Him the way that we’re supposed to.
I would also like to remind everyone to apply this knowledge in their daily lives. This is not just theoretical information. We can’t say “Oh yeah, I know the Names of Allah because I read a few blog posts on this topic.”
We need to keep learning them until we understand them.
Let me give you an example related to Ramadan:
Here we are in Ramadan, the Month of Rectification and these are some of the search terms that people used to reach my blog:
– “Is it okay not to fast in Ramadan?” [They got this post.]
– “Is it haram to masturbate whilst fasting?” [They got this post.]
-“Is it haram to listen to music whilst fasting?” [They got this post.]
These have been the top search terms for the past week now.
Subhan Allah, these people don’t realise that Allah is the All-Seer, the All-Hearer and the All-Knower. If they had known, this would have been a reason for them to try to overcome these problems rather than trying to google a way out.
Also, if they had realised that He was Samee As-Dua (the Hearer of supplications), they would have asked Him to aid them in worshipping Him and fighting their weaknesses
So, let’s remember His Names during this month as that will help us to improve (and yes, all of us need to improve).
A final reminder: I read this article by Shaikh Saleh Al-Fawzan recently and the following part caught my eye:
“Slaves of Allah, Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)would strive hard in this month more than he would strive in other months; and he, upon him be prayers and peace, would be serious in al-‘Ibaadah during all of its times. He would remove himself in this month from most distractions which are in actuality worship, but he would remove himself from the virtuous acts for that which was more virtuous than it. And the Salafus-Saalih would follow his example in that and would particularize this month with an abundance of importance and they would dedicate themselves therein to righteous actions. They would spend its night in Tahajjud and its day in fasting, remembrance and recitation of the Qur’aan. They would spend time in the masaajid with that; so let us compare our affair to their affair and what is the extent of our knowledge with this month. And let us know that just as the good deeds are multiplied therein, the sins committed therein are likewise and their punishment is increased. So let us fear Allah the Glorified and honor His sacred things: “And whoever honors the sacred things of Allah that is better for him with his Lord.” (Al-Hajj 22:30)”
So, I advise myself and you to take heed of this advice and fill up this month with the most virtuous acts of worship, including itikaf (retreat in the masjid) during the last ten days.
There are lots of resources on this blog for all the topics mentioned for those who are interested in learning more (the search function really, really does help).
Insha-Allah, I’ll resume this blog after Hajj season as I want to focus on my Hajj blogs (the links are on the right hand corner of the site) after Ramadan.
May Allah accept our fasts, prayers and all our good deeds in this blessed month.