Explanation of Allah’s Names: al-Hafeedh الحفيظ al-Haafidh الحافظ -Shaykh Abdur-Razzaaq

In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful

Explanation of Allah’s Names al-Hafeedh الحفيظ al-Haafidh الحافظ

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,

Allah, the Most High, said,

إِنَّ رَبِّى عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ حَفِيظٌ۬ 

“Surely, my Lord is Hafeedh [Guardian] over all things.” (Hud: 57)

وَرَبُّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ حَفِيظٌ۬

“And your Lord is a Hafeedh [Watchful] over everything.” (Saba: 21)

وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦۤ أَوۡلِيَآءَ ٱللَّهُ حَفِيظٌ عَلَيۡہِمۡ وَمَآ أَنتَ عَلَيۡہِم بِوَكِيلٍ۬ 

“And those who take as allies other than Him – Allah is yet a Hafeedh [Guardian] over them; and you, [O Muhammad], are not over them a manager” (ash-Shuraa: 6)

إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَزَّلۡنَا ٱلذِّكۡرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ ۥ لَحَـٰفِظُونَ

“Verily it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr [i.e. the Qur’an] and surely, We will guard it [from corruption]” (al-Hijr: 9)

al-Hafeedh and al-Haafidh are two magnificent Names of Allah that show His description of guarding/preserving. These descriptions entail two affairs:

The first: preservation/guardianship of His knowledge over all of what is known. There is nothing that is hidden from Him and He is not touched by forgetfulness. Indeed, Allah freed Himself from having any deficiency and affirmed that He possesses complete knowledge and guardianship over all things. Allah said,

وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّ۬ا

“…and your Lord is never forgetful” (Maryam: 64)

قَالَ عِلۡمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّى فِى كِتَـٰبٍ۬‌ۖ لَّا يَضِلُّ رَبِّى وَلَا يَنسَى

“[Musaa] said: ‘The knowledge thereof is with my Lord, in a Record. My Lord is neither unaware nor He forgets’” (Taha: 52)

 أَحۡصَٮٰهُ ٱللَّهُ وَنَسُوهُ‌

“Allah has kept account of it, while they have forgotten it.” (Mujaadilah: 6)

He, Glorified be He who is freed from all imperfections, preserves the deeds of His creation, keeps account of their statements, knows their intentions and what is contained in their breasts. There is nothing unseen or hidden from Him and He recorded everything in the Preserved Tablet. He, the Most High, said,

وَكُلُّ شَىۡءٍ۬ فَعَلُوهُ فِى ٱلزُّبُرِ وَكُلُّ صَغِيرٍ۬ وَكَبِيرٍ۬ مُّسۡتَطَرٌ

“And everything they have done is noted in [their] Records [of deeds]. And everything, small and big, is written down.” (al-Qamar:52-53)

Allah has also entrusted the noble Angels – who are scribes – to preserve the actions of the servants. Allah, the Most High, said,

إِن كُلُّ نَفۡسٍ۬ لَّمَّا عَلَيۡہَا حَافِظٌ۬

“There is no human being but has a protector over him [or her].” (at-Taariq: 4)

وَإِنَّ عَلَيۡكُمۡ لَحَـٰفِظِينَ  كِرَامً۬ا كَـٰتِبِينَ

“But verily, over you [are appointed Angels in charge of mankind] to watch you, Kiraaman [Honorable]  writing down [your deeds].” (al-Infitaar: 10-11)

And this is the meaning of Allah’s preservation; it necessitates that His knowledge encompasses all of the conditions of His servants – apparent and hidden, secret and known – and it has been recorded in the Preserved Tablet in the Suhuf [Pages] which are in the hands of the Angels. Allah’s knowledge encompasses what is within [the Preserved Tablet], the rewards and punishments and which servants will be recompensed with His bounty and justice.

The second: He is the Guardian over all of His creations in the heavens and earth – and what is between them both.

 وَلَا يَـُٔودُهُ ۥ حِفۡظُهُمَا‌

“and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them.” (al-Baqarah: 255)

Allah guards the sky from falling on the earth. He, the Most High, said,

يُمۡسِكُ ٱلسَّمَآءَ أَن تَقَعَ عَلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِ

“He withholds the heaven from falling on the earth except by His Leave.” (al-Hajj: 65)

وَجَعَلۡنَا ٱلسَّمَآءَ سَقۡفً۬ا مَّحۡفُوظً۬ا‌ۖ وَهُمۡ عَنۡ ءَايَـٰتِہَا مُعۡرِضُونَ 

“And We have made the heaven a roof, safe and well guarded. Yet they turn away from its signs [i.e. sun, moon, winds, clouds, etc.].” (al-Anbiyaa: 32)

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُمۡسِكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ أَن تَزُولَا

“Verily! Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places…” (Faatir: 41)

Allah delegated to Himself the responsibility of preserving His tremendous Book. He, the Most High, said,

إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَزَّلۡنَا ٱلذِّكۡرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ ۥ لَحَـٰفِظُونَ

“Verily it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr [i.e. the Qur’an] and surely, We will guard it [from corruption]” (al-Hijr: 9)

There has not been any addition to, subtraction from, or changing of one letter to the Qur’an throughout these numerous centuries – the Qur’an has remained the same as is and its verses have remained intact as revealed to the Prophet [peace be upon him].

From the meanings of al-Hafeedh and al-Haafidh is that Allah is the One who guards His servants from all of what they hate. His guardianship is of two types: general and specific.

General Guardianship: it is by facilitating for His servants food, drink, air, and guiding them to the beneficial necessities and needs.

It is also by protecting His servants from the [different] types of hated, harmful and evil affairs. This type of guardianship is for both the righteous and wicked – rather it is even for the animals and other than them. By Allah’s command He has entrusted the Angels to preserve the children of Adam [peace be upon him]. He, Glorified be He who is freed from all imperfections, said,

لَهُ ۥ مُعَقِّبَـٰتٌ۬ مِّنۢ بَيۡنِ يَدَيۡهِ وَمِنۡ خَلۡفِهِۦ يَحۡفَظُونَهُ ۥ مِنۡ أَمۡرِ ٱللَّهِ

“For him [each person], there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the Command of Allah…” (ar-Ra’d: 11)

Meaning, the Angels protect mankind from every harm that was aimed to harm him by the command of Allah.

Specific Guardianship: it is the type of preservation specifically for His Awliyaa [close pious allies] by preserving their faith from misguided doubts, over-whelming trials and destructive desires. Allah protects and aids His Awliyaa from their enemies of the Jinn and mankind and He spoils their plots just as He said,

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُدَٲفِعُ عَنِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا

“Truly, Allah defends those who believe.” (al-Hajj: 38)

Depending upon the amount of faith the servant possesses he will receive that much amount of protection.

For this, the Prophet [peace be upon him] advised Ibn Abbas [may Allah be pleased with him],

احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْك

“Preserve Allah and He will preserve you” (Muslim)

Meaning, preserve Allah’s commandments by abiding by them and leave off His prohibitions by distancing yourself away from them. Allah will preserve you in your soul, religion, wealth, children, and in everything Allah has given you from His bounties.

Allah has praised His servants who have preserved His rights and observed His limitations. He said,

 وَٱلۡحَـٰفِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ 

“…and those who observe the limits set by Allah. And give glad tidings to the believers.” (at-Tawbah: 112)

هَـٰذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِكُلِّ أَوَّابٍ حَفِيظٍ۬ مَّنۡ خَشِىَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنَ بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَجَآءَ بِقَلۡبٍ۬ مُّنِيبٍ 

“[It will be said]: ‘This is what you were promised, – [it is] for those oft-returning [to Allah] in sincere repentance, and those who preserve their covenant with Allah. Who feared the Most Gracious [Allah] in the Ghaib [unseen] and brought a heart turned in repentance.’” (Qaaf: 32-33)

His statement, “…and those who preserve their covenant with Allah” includes preserving one’s Tawheed from nullifiers and deficiencies – and this is the greatest of what requires to be preserved and protected. It includes preserving the signs of Islam – especially the prayer.

حَـٰفِظُواْ عَلَى ٱلصَّلَوَٲتِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ ٱلۡوُسۡطَىٰ وَقُومُواْ لِلَّهِ قَـٰنِتِينَ 

“Guard strictly the [obligatory] prayers especially the middle prayer [i.e. the best prayer – ‘Asr], and stand before Allah with obedience.” (al-Baqarah: 238)

Allah preserves the hearing, seeing and hearts:

وَٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ لِفُرُوجِهِمۡ حَـٰفِظُونَ إِلَّا عَلَىٰٓ أَزۡوَٲجِهِمۡ أَوۡ مَا مَلَكَتۡ أَيۡمَـٰنُہُمۡ فَإِنَّہُمۡ غَيۡرُ مَلُومِينَ فَمَنِ ٱبۡتَغَىٰ وَرَآءَ ذَٲلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡعَادُونَ

“And those who guard their chastity [i.e. private parts, from illegal sexual acts]. Except from their wives or [slaves] that their right hands possess, – for then, they are free from blame; But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.” (al-Mu’minoon: 5-7)

There are other instances in the Qur’an of Allah commanding His servants to preserve an affair, and as a reward, He preserves, defends and protects them from every evil and harmful affair.

And there is no guardian for the servant in his religion and worldly affairs, or in any affair, except Allah. He said,

فَٱللَّهُ خَيۡرٌ حَـٰفِظً۬ا‌ۖ وَهُوَ أَرۡحَمُ ٱلرَّٲحِمِينَ

“…But Allah is the Best to guard, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.” (Yusuf: 64)

How beautiful is it that Allah preserves His servants when they preserve His commandments!

Allah directs His servants to supplicate to Him for their well-being in the deen and worldly affairs and to preserve them from every evil and misfortune. In al-Musnad, as well as other collections, is a hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Umar [may Allah be pleased with them both] who said,

“The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not omit saying the following words in the morning and evening:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ‏.‏ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ، وَأَهْلِي وَمَالِي‏.‏ اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عَوْرَاتِي، وَآمِنْ رَوْعَاتِي‏.‏ اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيَّ وَمِنْ خَلْفِي، وَعَنْ يَمِينِي وَعَنْ شِمَالِي، وَمِنْ فَوْقِي، وَأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمَتِكَ مِنْ أَنْ أُغْتَالَ مِنْ تَحْتِي‏

‘O Allah, I ask you for well-being in this world and the Next. O Allah, I ask you for forgiveness and well-being in my deen and in this world and in my family and my property. O Allah, veil my faults and calm my fears. O Allah, give me protection in front of me and behind me, on my right and my left and above me. I seek refuge by Your might from being overwhelmed from under me.’” (al-Adab al-Mufrad: declared to be authentic by al-Albaani)

Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam

الفقير الى الله

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