Explanation of Allah’s Name: al-Haleem الحليم -Shaykh Abdur-Razzaaq

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Explanation of Allah’s Names al-Haleem الحليم

By Shaykh Abdur-Razzaaq ibn Abdil-Muhsin al-Badr may Allah preserve him

The shaykh explains this beautiful Name in his book, “Fiqhul Asmaail Husnaa”. He says,

This is Name is often repeated in the Noble Qur’an in numerous places. Allah, the Most High, said:

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُمۡسِكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ أَن تَزُولَاۚ وَلَٮِٕن زَالَتَآ إِنۡ أَمۡسَكَهُمَا مِنۡ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنۢ بَعۡدِهِۚۦۤ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورً۬ا

“Verily! Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places, and if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Haleem [Most Forbearing], Ghafur [Oft-Forgiving].” (Faatir: 41)

وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا فِىٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ فَٱحۡذَرُوهُ‌ۚ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ۬

“And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allah is Ghafur [Oft-Forgiving], Haleem [Most-Forbearing].” (Baqarah: 235)

 وَٱللَّهُ يَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى قُلُوبِكُمۡۚ وَڪَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَلِيمً۬ا

 “Allah knows what is in your hearts. And Allah is Ever ‘Aleem [All-Knowing], Haleem [Most-Forbearing].” (Ahzaab: 51)

And the meaning of al-Haleem is: the One who does not hasten to punish His servants for theirs sins and disobedience.

Although there are among Allah’s servants those who disbelieve and disobey Him, He is still patient and delays their punishment to an appointed time [so that perhaps they may see their wrong and repent]. Allah does not hasten their punishment, rather He continues to bestow His favors upon them although they are disobedient, possess many sins and are persistent in disobedience.

Allah delays causing death to the disobedient while they are in their state of disobedience, because He grants them respite in order to repent. He does not hasten their punishment in order for them to return back to Him.

Allah’s patience, Glorified be He who is free from all imperfections, can be seen with those who disbelieve in Him and disobey Him. They disbelieve and disobey Allah while they know His power and is able to take them into account without any struggle. Allah said,

وَلَمۡ يَسِيرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَيَنظُرُواْ كَيۡفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ وَكَانُوٓاْ أَشَدَّ مِنۡہُمۡ قُوَّۚةً۬ وَمَا كَانَ ٱللَّهُ لِيُعۡجِزَهُ ۥ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَلَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ عَلِيمً۬ا قَدِيرً۬ا

“Have they not travelled in the land, and seen what was the end of those before them, though they were superior to them in power? Allah is not such that anything in the heavens or in the earth escapes Him. Verily, He is al-‘Aleem [All-Knowing], al-Qadeer [All-Omnipotent].” (Faatir: 44)

Allah has informed us regarding His patience with the people of sins, their disobedience and the different types of oppressions. If He would of taken them to account due to their sins, then there would not remain any living creature on the face of the earth.

وَلَوۡ يُؤَاخِذُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّاسَ بِظُلۡمِهِم مَّا تَرَكَ عَلَيۡہَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ۬ وَلَـٰكِن يُؤَخِّرُهُمۡ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى‌ۖ فَإِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمۡ لَا يَسۡتَـٔۡخِرُونَ سَاعَةً۬‌ۖ وَلَا يَسۡتَقۡدِمُونَ 

“And if Allah were to seize mankind for their wrong-doing, He would not leave on it [the earth] a single moving [living] creature, but He postpones them for an appointed term and when their term comes, neither can they delay nor can they advance it an hour [or a moment].” (Nahl: 61)

وَرَبُّكَ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ذُو ٱلرَّحۡمَةِ‌ لَوۡ يُؤَاخِذُهُم بِمَا ڪَسَبُواْ لَعَجَّلَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابَ‌ بَل لَّهُم مَّوۡعِدٌ۬ لَّن يَجِدُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦ مَوۡٮِٕلاً۬ 

“And your Lord is al-Ghafur [Most Forgiving], Dhur-Rahmah [Owner of Mercy]. Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment. But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.” (Kahf: 58)

Although mankind commits shirk, fall into affairs that angers Allah, are diligent in opposing Him and fighting against His religion, Allah is still patient with them.

If fact, He even sends different types of good pure things their way, provides for and pardons them. It has been mentioned in the Saheeh [of Bukhari] from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah [may Allah be pleased with him] on the authority of the Prophet [peace be upon him] who narrated from His Lord that He said,

شَتَمَنِي ابْنُ آدَمَ وَمَا يَنْبَغِي لَهُ أَنْ يَشْتِمَنِي، وَتَكَذَّبَنِي وَمَا يَنْبَغِي لَهُ، أَمَّا شَتْمُهُ فَقَوْلُهُ إِنَّ لِي وَلَدًا‏.‏ وَأَمَّا تَكْذِيبُهُ فَقَوْلُهُ لَيْسَ يُعِيدُنِي كَمَا بَدَأَنِي

“The son of Adam reviles Me and he has no right to do so, and he belies Me and he has no right to do so. As for Him reviling me then it is his statement that I have a son. As for his denying Me, it is his saying that I will not remake me as He made me at the first [initial] time.”

In the Saheehayn [Bukhari and Muslim] from the hadith of Abu Musaa al-Ash’aaree [may Allah be pleased with him] that the Prophet [peace be upon him] said,

لَيْسَ أَحَدٌ ـ أَوْ لَيْسَ شَىْءٌ ـ أَصْبَرَ عَلَى أَذًى سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّهُمْ لَيَدْعُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا، وَإِنَّهُ لَيُعَافِيهِمْ وَيَرْزُقُهُمْ

“None is more patient than Allah against the harmful saying. He hears from the people they ascribe children to Him, yet He gives them health and [supplies them with] provision.”

Ibn al-Qayyim [may Allah have mercy on him] said,

“And although Allah is being reviled and belied He still continues to provide for those who reviled and lie upon Him. He protects, defends them [from the punishment of the fire by giving them chances to repent], invites them to His paradise, accepts their repentance when they repent, replaces their bad deeds with good ones and is gentle with them in all of their conditions. He sends to them messengers and orders the messengers to be gentle with them and to have soft speech.” (Shafaa al-‘Aleel 2/653)

An example of Allah’s forbearance was with Fir’awn and his sternness, transgressions, haughtiness in the earth and his corruption with the creation. Allah the Most High said,

ٱذۡهَبَآ إِلَىٰ فِرۡعَوۡنَ إِنَّهُ ۥ طَغَىٰ  فَقُولَا لَهُ ۥ قَوۡلاً۬ لَّيِّنً۬ا لَّعَلَّهُ ۥ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوۡ يَخۡشَىٰ

“‘Go, both of you, to Fir’awn, verily, he has transgressed [all bounds in disbelief and disobedience and behaved as an arrogant and as a tyrant]. And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear [Allah].” (Taha: 43-44)

And His forbearance with those who ascribed to Him a son and He invited them to repent [and return].

لَّقَدۡ ڪَفَرَ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَـٰثَةٍ۬‌ وَمَا مِنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ إِلَّآ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬‌ و إِن لَّمۡ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنۡهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ  أَفَلَا يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَيَسۡتَغۡفِرُونَهُ ۥ‌ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ 

“Surely, disbelievers are those who said: ‘Allah is the third of the three [in a Trinity].’ But there is no ilaah [god that has the right to be worshipped] but One ilaah [Allah]. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them. Will they not turn with repentance to Allah and ask His Forgiveness? For Allah is Ghafur [Oft-Forgiving], Rahim [Most Merciful].” (Maa’idah: 73-74)

And Allah’s forbearance with the Companions of the Trench. The Companions of the Trench were a nation of disbelievers with believers among them. The disbelievers tested and prevented the believers from entering their religion. They built a trench and ignited fire within it, then they tested the believers by showing them the fire. Whoever responded to them [i.e gave up their religion] was saved and whoever persisted [in their belief] was thrown into the fire. This is considered to be at war with Allah and His believing awliyaa – and Allah still gave them the opportunity to repent. He, the Most High, said,

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ فَتَنُواْ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَـٰتِ ثُمَّ لَمۡ يَتُوبُواْ فَلَهُمۡ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابُ ٱلۡحَرِيقِ

“Verily, those who put into trial the believing men and believing women [by torturing them and burning them], and then do not turn in repentance, [to Allah], then they will have the torment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the burning Fire.” (Buruj: 10)

al-Hasan al-Basree [may Allah have mercy on him] said,

“Look to [Allah’s] generosity and bounty. The disbelievers killed His awliyaa and He still invited them to repent and seek His forgiveness.” (Tafsir ibn Kathir: 8/393)

From Allah’s forbearance is His patience with the abundant sins of the Son of Adam. He grasps the heavens from falling on the earth and He grasps the heavens and earth from moving away from their places [and crushing mankind].

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُمۡسِكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ أَن تَزُولَاۚ وَلَٮِٕن زَالَتَآ إِنۡ أَمۡسَكَهُمَا مِنۡ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنۢ بَعۡدِهِۚۦۤ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورً۬ا

“Verily! Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places, and if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Haleem [Ever Most Forbearing], Ghafur [Oft-Forgiving].” (Faatir: 41)

Ibn as-Sa’dee [may Allah have mercy on him] said,

“He, the Most High, informs us about the completeness of His ability, perfection of His mercy, expansiveness of His forbearance and forgiveness, that it is He who grasps the heavens and earth from moving away from their places. For surely, if they were to move – or cease – then there is none who is able to grasp them because of the creation’s weakness and inability over them.

However, He the Most High, ordained the heavens and earth to remain the same as they were brought into existence in order for mankind to find tranquility in [by looking at their beauty] and to benefit and take lessons from them. Also for mankind to know the greatness of Allah’s authority and strength of His ability – this will fill their hearts with high esteem, awe, love and honor for Him.

For mankind to realize the completeness of His forbearance, forgiveness, how He grants respite for those who commit sins [so they can repent], how He is not hasty is taking the disobedient into account, even though He is able to command the sky to rain down storms of rocks upon them and permit the earth to swallow them whole. However, He is still forgiving, patient and generous to them:

إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورً۬ا

‘Truly, He is Ever Haleem [Most Forbearing], Ghafur [Oft-Forgiving].’ (Faatir: 41)” (Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan pg. 812)

Allah has connected His Name, al-Haleem, with al-‘Aleem [the All-Knowing] in His statement,

لَيُدۡخِلَنَّهُم مُّدۡخَلاً۬ يَرۡضَوۡنَهُ  وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَعَلِيمٌ حَلِيمٌ۬

“Truly, He will make them enter an entrance with which they shall be well-pleased, and verily, Allah indeed is ‘Aleem, Haleem [All-Knowing, Most Forbearing].” (Hajj: 59)

And He has connected al-Haleem with His Name al-Ghanee [Rich – Free of all Needs] in His statement,

قَوۡلٌ۬ مَّعۡرُوفٌ۬ وَمَغۡفِرَةٌ خَيۡرٌ۬ مِّن صَدَقَةٍ۬ يَتۡبَعُهَآ أَذً۬ى‌ وَٱللَّهُ غَنِىٌّ حَلِيمٌ۬

“Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than Sadaqah [charity] followed by injury. And Allah is Ghanee [Rich – Free of all Needs] and He is Haleem [Most-Forbearing].” (Baqarah: 263)

And He has connected al-Haleem with His Name ash-Shakur [the Most Appreciative] in His statement,

إِن تُقۡرِضُواْ ٱللَّهَ قَرۡضًا حَسَنً۬ا يُضَـٰعِفۡهُ لَكُمۡ وَيَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ شَكُورٌ حَلِيمٌ

“If you lend Allah a goodly loan [i.e. spend in Allah’s Cause] He will double it for you, and will forgive you. And Allah is Shakur [Most Ready to appreciate and to reward], Haleem [Most Forbearing].” (Taghaabun: 17)

And He has connected al-Haleem with His Name al-Ghafur [the Oft-Forgiving] in His statement,

وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا فِىٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ فَٱحۡذَرُوهُ‌ۚ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ۬

“And know that Allah knows what is in your minds, so fear Him. And know that Allah is Ghafur [Oft-Forgiving], Haleem [Most Forbearing].” (Baqarah: 235)

These verses show that Allah’s forbearance is expansive with His servants and their actions. Regarding Allah’s richness/self-sufficiency, then no one benefits Allah by worshiping Him and no one harms Allah by disobeying Him. Regarding being grateful, then whenever one is a little thankful Allah grants them tremendous rewards. Regarding His forgiveness, then He forgives the repenting returning one no matter how tremendous the sin or big the crime.

So how great is Allah’s forbearance, how vast are His bounties, and how generous are His gifts and presents?! Therefore, all praises and thanks are due to Him, with Him are blessings and bounties – just as He Loves and is Pleased with.

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

 

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