Saturday 24 August 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: Ar Raqib - The All-Observing, The Watchful

Ar-Raqīb - ( الرقيب ) The Watchful, The Overwatching is one of the powerful attributes of Allah. Being the sole Creator and Handler of the affairs of the universe, Ar-Raqīb is always All Observing the affairs and is never absent from any event that is taking place anywhere in the entire universe.

In Arabic language, "raqeeb" is usually used for a vigilant watchman who stands at guard. In the army, the raqeeb is the one in the vanguard. When it is used as an attribute of Allah, Ar-Raqīb means Allah Who is ever watchful and observing safeguards everyone and everything. The One who is the ever vigilant witness.

The attribute thus means that nothing is ever hidden from Allah, Who is witness to all thoughts and feelings, whether revealed or hidden. He keeps an eye on every movement or action that is going astray or watching people disbelieving in Him and His authority and creating disturbances among His creations.

يٰۤـاَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوۡا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِىۡ خَلَقَكُمۡ مِّنۡ نَّفۡسٍ وَّاحِدَةٍ وَّخَلَقَ مِنۡهَا زَوۡجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنۡهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيۡرًا وَّنِسَآءً​ ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ الَّذِىۡ تَسَآءَلُوۡنَ بِهٖ وَالۡاَرۡحَامَ​ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ رَقِيۡبًا‏ 

O men! Fear your Lord Who created you from a single being and out of it created its mate; and out of the two spread many men and women.1 Fear Allah in Whose name you plead for rights, and heed the ties of kinship. Surely, Allah is ever watchful over you. [Surah An Nisaa 4:1]

The overwathing means knowing everything that takes place anywhere in the Universe, even deep under the seas:

وَعِنۡدَهٗ مَفَاتِحُ الۡغَيۡبِ لَا يَعۡلَمُهَاۤ اِلَّا هُوَ​ؕ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى الۡبَرِّ وَالۡبَحۡرِ​ؕ وَمَا تَسۡقُطُ مِنۡ وَّرَقَةٍ اِلَّا يَعۡلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِىۡ ظُلُمٰتِ الۡاَرۡضِ وَلَا رَطۡبٍ وَّلَا يَابِسٍ اِلَّا فِىۡ كِتٰبٍ مُّبِيۡنٍ‏  

"He has the keys to the realm that lies beyond the reach of human perception; none knows them but He. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea; there is not a leaf which falls that He does not know about and there is not a grain in the darkness of the earth or anything green or dry which has not been recorded in a Clear Book." [Surah Al-An'am, 6:59] 

And Allah listens to our faintest whispers, our heartbeats and is so close to us that our jugular vein:

وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا الۡاِنۡسَانَ وَنَعۡلَمُ مَا تُوَسۡوِسُ بِهٖ نَفۡسُهٗ ۖۚ وَنَحۡنُ اَقۡرَبُ اِلَيۡهِ مِنۡ حَبۡلِ الۡوَرِيۡدِ‏ 

Surely We have created man, and We know the promptings of his heart, and We are nearer to him than even his jugular vein. [Surah Qaf, 50:16]

مَا يَلۡفِظُ مِنۡ قَوۡلٍ اِلَّا لَدَيۡهِ رَقِيۡبٌ عَتِيۡدٌ‏ 

"He utters not a word, but there is a vigilant watcher at hand." [Surah Qaf 50:18]

That is, on the one hand, We directly know man’s actions and movements, even his hidden thoughts; on the other hand, every man has two angels appointed over him, who are recording whatever he does and says; none of his actions or words is left unrecorded. This means that when man is produced in the court of Allah, Allah at that time Himself will also be knowing what each person has done in the world. Besides, there will also be two witnesses who will produce documentary evidence of the person’s actions and deeds.

So those who sin, deceive and hoodwink others, must be warned for Allah is all Watchful and Vigilant and Witness to our deeds. If someone thinks that he will escape being overwatched, and later not accounted for his actions, is sadly mistaken. One should also understand that in the court of the Hereafter, Allah will not punish anybody only on the basis of His own knowledge, but will punish him after fulfilling all the requirements of justice. That is why an exhaustive record is being prepared of every person’s words and deeds in the world so that a complete proof with undeniable evidence becomes available of everyone’s life work and activity.

It is narrated that a man once passed by a young slave tending sheep and pointed to a ewe and said, "Sell me this ewe, young shepherd!" The young slave told him that it was not his; therefore, he could not sell it, whereupon the man said, "Where is your brilliance?! Can't you tell its owner that a wolf ate one of his sheep?" He answered him by saying, "Then where is Allah?!" The man was very impressed by his answer, so he bought the young slave and set him free, and then he bought the herd and gave it to him as a gift. Since then, that man kept repeating "Then where is Allah?!" quite often.

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:

Author's Note: The data for this post 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: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 
Photo | For more Q&A about understanding Islam click here
If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More