Tuesday 22 October 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: Al Ḥasīb - The Ever Reckoner

Al Ḥasīb " ٱلْحَسِيبُ " (pronounced as Al Haseeb) The Bringer of Judgment, The Ever-Reckoner [the One Who Takes Account of All Matters]. This attribute of Allah is mentioned at so many places in the Quran as Al Ḥasīb (directly and indirectly), which when translated means The Bringer of Judgement / Justice - one of the dominating attribute and power of Allah.

وَاِذَا حُيِّيۡتُمۡ بِتَحِيَّةٍ فَحَيُّوۡا بِاَحۡسَنَ مِنۡهَاۤ اَوۡ رُدُّوۡهَا​ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ كَانَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ حَسِيۡبًا‏ 
"When you are greeted with a salutation then return it with a better one, or at least the same. Surely Allah takes good count of everything." [Surah 4. An-Nisaa: 86] 

In this fleeting world's chances Allah's providence and justice may not always appear plain to our eyes. But we are asked to believe that if we help and support a good cause, we share in all its credit and in its eventual victory. And conversely, we cannot support a bad cause without sharing in all its evil consequences. If appearances seem against this faith, let us not be deceived by appearances. For Allah has power over all things.

The verb "hasaba" means: counted, computed, calculated, and deducted a total, etc. "hisab" means: counting, computing, calculating, or accounting, and it is accomplished by adding, subtracting, and such related steps. The science of hisab is arithmetic from which more advanced sciences: algebra, mathematics, and calculus, are derived.

Likewise, Allah, the Al Ḥasīb has a count of all our actions, good or bad and based on the sum total of good or bad doings, He would make a judgment on the Day when all will be presented to Him for the final clearing of accounts. And verily, Al Ḥasīb is the best of the Reckoner and very merciful in His judgement.

َنَضَعُ الۡمَوَازِيۡنَ الۡقِسۡطَ لِيَوۡمِ الۡقِيٰمَةِ فَلَا تُظۡلَمُ نَـفۡسٌ شَيۡـئًـا​ ؕ وَاِنۡ كَانَ مِثۡقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنۡ خَرۡدَلٍ اَتَيۡنَا بِهَا​ ؕ وَكَفٰى بِنَا حٰسِبِيۡنَ‏ 

"We shall set up just scales on the Day of Resurrection so that none will be wronged in the least. (We shall bring forth the acts of everyone), even if it be the weight of a grain of mustard seed. We shall suffice as Reckoners." [Surah 21. Al-Anbiyaa:47]

For us, the humans, it is difficult for us to understand the exact nature of the balance. Anyhow, it is clear that the balance will weigh accurately all the human moral deeds instead of material things, and will help judge whether a man is virtuous or wicked and how much. The Quran has used this word to make mankind understand that every deed, good or bad, will be weighed and judged according to merit.

A similar verse in the Qur'an appears that states:
"So whoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it, And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant) shall see it." (Surah 99 Al-Zalzalah: 7-8)

“Al Ḥasīb” is the one who calls His slaves to account for their deeds. He calls the pious and rewards them for obeying Him, and calls the disobedient to account and punishes them for their disobedience, and He is the one who calls every human to account.

and His account is so accurate that none can doubt His measurements and calculations, nor anyone other than He has the ability to reverse His judgment: 

اَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡا اَنَّا نَاۡتِى الۡاَرۡضَ نَـنۡقُصُهَا مِنۡ اَطۡرَافِهَا ؕ​وَاللّٰهُ يَحۡكُمُ لَا مُعَقِّبَ لِحُكۡمِهٖ​ؕ وَهُوَ سَرِيۡعُ الۡحِسَابِ‏

"Do they not see that We are advancing in the land, diminishing it by its borders on all sides? Allah judges, and no one has the power to reverse His judgement. He is swift in reckoning." [Surah 13. Ar-Ra'd: 41]

Now a few words for those who are always looking for scientific explanations if every verse in the Qur'an. And they are not hard to convince for if we look around, we will find the acute tune of every movement of stars, trillions of them, well stacked in their orbits and galaxies, seldom colliding with each other, unless of course willed by Allah, the Al Ḥasīb. He is fine tuned the motion in a manner that humans or even super computers cannot calculate. Allah has pointed out in the text of the Holy Quran the calculation according to which the cosmos is arranged in accordance with places very well computed in their locations, orbits and speeds:
اِنَّا كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ خَلَقۡنٰهُ بِقَدَرٍ‏ 

"We have created everything in a determined measure." [Surah 54. Al-Qamar: 49]

That is, nothing in the world has been created at random but with a purpose and destiny. A thing comes into being at an appointed time, takes a particular form and shape, develops to its fullest extent, survives for a certain period, and then decays and dies at an appointed time. Even according to this universal principle this world too has a destiny in accordance with which it is functioning till an appointed time and will come to an end at an appointed tune. It will neither come to an end a moment earlier than its appointed time of end nor survive a moment longer; it has neither existed since eternity nor will exist till eternity, nor is it the plaything of a child which he may destroy as and when he likes.

In fact there is much emphasizes on measurement and calculated movements of Allah's signs and creations, specially the cosmos, the sun and the moon:
He has also said, but nay! I swear by the falling of the stars, and most surely it is a very great oath, if you only know... (56:75-76) the sun and the moon follow a reckoning. (55:5) (As for) the moon, We have ordained for it stages till it becomes again like an old dry palm branch. (36:39) ... and ordained for it mansions so that you may know the computation of years and the reckoning. (10:5) He causes the dawn to break, and he has made the night for (you to) rest, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. (6:96) Only the delivery of the message is (incumbent) on you, while calling (them) to account is ours. (13:40) So that Allah may repay each soul (according to) what it has earned; surely Allah is swift in reckoning. (14:51) ... so we called it to account severely and we chastised it with a stern chastisement. (65:8) surely to us is their return, and then surely upon us is the taking of their account. (88:25-26) ... surely Allah takes account of all things. (4:86)
One can go on and on explaining the hidden meanings attached to the attribute Al Ḥasīb. But we may contend with the notions that the One Who created us has also kept an over watch over us so that we should not go astray and make living of others intolerable and torturous. Imagine the chaos if the cosmos go out of the control and out of the measurement. The same way this world will be come an utter chaos if the fear of being judged and accounted for by Al Ḥasīb is taken out of our hearts.

Remember, we have been warned: "... and whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will call you to account according to it, then He will forgive whomsoever He pleases and chastise whomsoever He pleases, and Allah has power over all things" (Surah 2 Al Baqarah: 284).

Therefore, while always praying for the good rewards and asking protection of Allah's wrath and chastisement, we too be humble and ever forgiving others for we in our own so called elevation in the society may not err and commit a misjudgment which may annoy Allah. God's management of the affairs goes on forever and ever. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been quote as saying, "Call your own selves to account before you yourselves are called upon to account for them."

How can we live our lives by living up to this attribute of Allah? Follow just these simple rules: (1) Bring yourself to account, (2) Repent your sins as early as possible, (3) (3) Forgive others much too often (4) Be honest in your dealings and keeping your measures straight and unadulterated, (5) Be kind to others and return their greetings (rather be the first to greet). 

May Allah help us to save us from His wrath for we do not know how many times a day we err and sin.

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

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