Friday 30 August 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: Al-Mujib - The Answerer of Prayers

Al-Mujīb (ٱلْمُجِيبُ) is one of the attributes of Allah, meaning The Answerer of Prayers, The Fulfiller of Prayers,  The Responsive One, The Acceptor of Invocation.

Allah has created this entire universe and all living creatures and living beings. And it is His sole responsibility to keep the demands of his creations addressed all the time. And it is for this reason that when man is in distress, he looks up to Allah for it is only He Alone who can listen to our prayers, requests when invoked for He is the best Acceptor of Invocation.

The attribute Al Mujib appears at number of places in the Holy Qur'an:

وَإِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا ۚ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ ۖ هُوَ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ وَاسْتَعْمَرَكُمْ فِيهَا فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي قَرِيبٌ مُّجِيبٌ ۝

"And to Thamud (We sent) their brother Salih. He said: O my people! Worship Allah; you have no other god besides Him; He brought you into being from the earth and made you dwell in it; therefore, ask forgiveness of Him, then turn to Him; surely my Lord is near; responsive to prayers" (Quran, Surah Hud 11:61).

The "nearness of Allah" is something we must believe in and be assured of. Even though we can neither see Allah nor subject Him to any other form of sense perception this should not make us feel that Allah, the Al-Mujīb, is remote from any of us. On the contrary, He is so close to each and every person that whenever any person so wishes he can communicate with Him. So much so that Al-Mujīb hears and responds even to the prayers which remain within the innermost recesses of the heart. 

People exhaust themselves by approaching false and powerless beings whom they foolishly fancy to be their deities but who have neither the power to hear nor to grant their prayers. But God, the omnipotent Lord and the absolute Master of this vast universe, Who wields all power and authority, is so close to human beings that they can always approach Him without the intercession of any intermediaries, and can put to Him their prayers and requests.

Allah answered the prayers of Job, peace be upon him: 
"(Remember) Job, when He cried to his Lord, ‘Truly distress has seized me, but You are the Most Merciful of those who are merciful.’ Then We heard his prayer and removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his people to him, and doubled their number, a mercy from Us and a reminder to the worshipers." (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 83-84)
The words of the prayer are note-worthy. Prophet Job mentions his distress but does not say anything more to his Lord except: You are the most Merciful. And Allah understood His servant and cured him of his ailment.

And when Prophet Noah found him among disbelievers who would not listen to him despite being among them for hundreds of years, he cried out for help and Allah responded:
Then he (Noah) called upon His Lord: “Verily I am vanquished; so come You to my aid.” [Surah Al-Qamar, 54:10]
"Noah had called upon Us (earlier). See, how excellent We were in answering him!" [Surah As Saffat 37:75]
Let us also quote here the helplessness of Prophet Zechariah, whose wife could not have children. And when he at a age when no one expects to be blessed with a child cried out to Allah:
“And [mention] Zechariah, when he called to his Lord, ‘My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the Best of Inheritors.’ So We responded to him, and We gave to him John, and amended for him his wife. Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.” (Qur’an, Surah Al Anbiyaa 21:89-90)
Here it would also not be out of place to mention the cry for forgiveness of Prophet Younis (Jonah, peace be upon him) which he made from the darkness of the belly of the big fish. And Allah listened to his distress and forgave him. [Surah Al-Anbiyaa 21:87-88]
[21:87]  “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” 
[21:88] “So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from evil and work righteousness.)” 
Although the above stated references are attributed to the prophets, this does not mean that the invocation and prayers of ordinaries are not answered. In fact it is this attribute of Allah, Al-Mujīb, because of which Allah, responds to the plea of those who plead to Him with utmost sincerity and with the firm belief that their prayers will be answered. Allah helps those who supplicate to Him. Sometimes we get hasty in not receiving a response from Allah but we do not know that He even knows the need of those who are in need before they pray Him. And His help comes at an opportune moment best for us that we do not know or are unaware of. 
"(O Muhammad), when My servants ask you about Me, tell them I am quite near; I hear and answer the call of the caller whenever he calls Me. Let them listen to My call and believe in Me; perhaps they will be guided aright" [Surah Al Baqarah 2: 186]
The name Al-Mujīb is related in meaning to Al-‘Aleem (The All-Knowing), As-Samee’ (The All-Hearing), Al-Baseer (The All-Seeing), Al-Wahhaab (The Giver of Gifts) and Al-Kareem (The Generous, The Bountiful). He responds to our requests in a way that displays His ultimate wisdom and knowledge. While we call out to Him He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing and He often gives us more than we deserve or even ask. He is the Most Generous.

And even if one doesn't ask Him, He knows how much He has to give to whom and why. And in most cases, man is blessed more than he deserves. Prophet of Allah has been reported as saying:
“Verily your Lord is Generous and Shy. If His servant raises his hands to Him (in supplication) He becomes shy to return them empty.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)

"Plead to Allah, being convinced of His answer to your pleas, and be advised that Allah does not respond to the pleas of one who is inattentive, indifferent." [Tirmidhi 
So always call upon to your Lord when in distress and seek His help, for those who do so are awarded and rewarded. Those who are too proud to invoke mercy of Allah shall be in great loss:
"And your Lord says: Call upon Me, I will answer you; surely those who are too proud to worship me shall soon enter hell abased." (Al Qur'an, Surah Al-Mu'min 40:60) 
While we seek help from Allah, we at our end should also endeavour our best to respond to the plight of those in need for whatever we have been blessed with is not wholly for ourselves but a part of it shall always be shared with those who are blessed less or in need.

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

Please watch the video below by Professor Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a Pakistani Muslim theologian, Quran scholar, Islamic modernist, exegete and educationist, on the subject. The video is in Urdu, but has English subtitles for those who cannot understand Urdu:

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 |
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