Tuesday 16 April 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: Ar-Raafi' - the Exalter, the Exalted

All the 99 attributes of Allah speak of the greatness, uniqueness and exclusiveness of His Divine powers and blessings. Today in this post we will try to explain the meaning of the attribute الرافع , the one that exalts. The name Rāfi' is not specifically used as a Beautiful Name in the Qur'ān, but it has been taken to suit this particular ability of the Allah, Almighty.

Allah Almighty is Rāfi' . It is He alone who rises a man from rag tags to the thrones and rule kingdoms and it is He alone who takes away one's glory and crown and throws him in the dust. He abases and humiliates those whom He wishes and He raises and exalts those whom He wishes.  

وَتِلۡكَ حُجَّتُنَاۤ اٰتَيۡنٰهَاۤ اِبۡرٰهِيۡمَ عَلٰى قَوۡمِهٖ​ؕ نَرۡفَعُ دَرَجٰتٍ مَّنۡ نَّشَآءُ ​ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيۡمٌ عَلِيۡمٌ
That was Our argument which We gave to Abraham against his people. We raise in ranks whom We will. Truly your lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. [Surah Al An'am 6:83]

يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِذَا قِيۡلَ لَـكُمۡ تَفَسَّحُوۡا فِى الۡمَجٰلِسِ فَافۡسَحُوۡا يَفۡسَحِ اللّٰهُ لَـكُمۡ​ ۚ وَاِذَا قِيۡلَ انْشُزُوۡا فَانْشُزُوۡا يَرۡفَعِ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنۡكُمۡ ۙ وَالَّذِيۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡعِلۡمَ دَرَجٰتٍ ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِيۡرٌ‏ 
O you who have believed, when you are told, "Space yourselves" in assemblies, then make space; Allah will make space for you. And when you are told, "Arise," then arise; Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do. [Surah Al-Mujadila 58:11] 

No one else other than the Ar Rāfi' has the wisdom to choose the one from so many to be uplifted to the glory and highest of the ranks. The One who uplifts and elevates mankind above petty desires and selfishness. The One who makes it possible to rise above the differences and distinctions that divide mankind.

The attribute Rāfi' is from the root r-f-' which has the following classical Arabic connotations:
to exalt, make honorable, make eminentto raise or elevate somethingto uplift, to take it upto bring a thing nearto make high, lofty
Here it would appropriate to mention Qarun, a filthy rich proud  man in times of Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) of the people of the Israelite. It is said that he was so rich that only the keys of his fortunes and vaults were carried on seventy camels. But when Allah decided to punish him for his arrogance, he along with is wealth was engulfed by earth in seconds. 

Remember the once powerful Reza Shah Pehalvi, the king of Iran? He was once the mighty emperor of oil rich Iran and his nod was required for many critical decisions of the region. But then one day he flew away wityh no where to go when a revolution uprooted him from his throne and he fell from grace. No country was willing to welcome him. It was later Syria that allowed him in and there he died unceremoniously. Could he have ever imagined that his end be in disgrace? Perhaps never, but that is how Allah has His own way of giving honours and fall from grace.

it may be noted that Al Khāfid (humbler) is the opposite of Rāfi' (uplifter). Thus the names Khāfid and Rāfi' are often used together to acknowledge the way that balance and harmony are established and maintained though the interplay of cause and effect.

If we look around in our life in present and near past, many such examples exist where men rose and men crumbled in no time. The rise and fall of men is both as punishment, reward and as a test. One is not always harmed or lowered as a punishment but as a test and one is not necessarily elevated as a reward but as a test.

It is believed that any person who recites this attribute 100 times in the middle of the 14th night of every lunar month, Allah will grant him self sufficiency and independence of the entire creation. In sha Allah.

“Allah is the one that decrees upon his servants His provision and sustenance. And Allah is the one who decrees upon his servants their share in this world and if Allah didn't bless us and made us like Qarun, Allah would have destroyed us, and would have caused this earth to swallow us.” 
One of the 99 attributes of Allah is Mu'izz (honorer) which is similar to, but much more more intensive and glorious than, Rāfi' (uplifter). We will explain this attribute in our upcoming posts.

You may refer to our post "99 Attributes of Allah" for complete list of 99 attributes of Allah Almighty with meaning and explanation.

Author's Note: The data above has been collected from the references as given below. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

Photo | References: | Main Source:  Wikipedia | Other Sources : | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
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