Wednesday 9 October 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: Al-Muhaymin - The Overall Guardian

Al Muhaymin " ٱلْمُهَيْمِنُ " The Overall Guardian, The Controller, the One Who has Absolute Authority Over All.

In the verse 23 of Surah 59 - Al-Hashr of the Holy Qur'an, this powerful attribute of Allah appears along with a few other attributes of Allah:

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ ۝

"He is Allah, besides Whom there is no god; the King " الْمَلِكُ ", the Holy " الْقُدُّوسُ ", the Giver of peace " السَّلَامُ ", the Granter of security " الْمُؤْمِنُ ", Guardian over allالْمُهَيْمِنُ " , the Mighty " الْعَزِيزُ ", the Supreme " الْجَبَّارُ ", the Possessor of every greatness " الْمُتَكَبِّرُ " Glory be to Allah from what they set up (with Him)."

Muhaymin comes from the root haa-meem-noon which points to three main meanings(1) The Guardian and Protector, (2) The Observer who sees what everyone does, and (3) The Being Who has taken up the responsibility to fulfill the needs and requirements of the people.

This root appears two times in the Quran in one derived form. Examples of this form are wamuhayminan (“and a guardian”) and al-muhayminu (“the Guardian”).

In the verse above, since the word Al-Muhaimin has been used absolutely, and no object has been mentioned of this subject, therefore, it by itself gives the implied meaning that He is guarding and protecting all creatures, is watching the acts and deeds of everyone, and has taken up the responsibility of sustaining and providing for every creature in the universe with its needs and requirements. Thus, "Al-Muhaimin" means that He is the One Who oversees His servants' actions, Who provides them with sustenance, and decrees their life-spans. It also becomes manifest by saving His creatures from dangers and protecting them.

Taken in the meaning of the One Being Watchful of His Creations,it is impossible for the His creations to be concealed from Allah. For, everything is under His observation. Nothing escapes Allah's observation.
“And He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah sees well all that ye do” (Surah 57 al-Hadid: 4)
In Surah 10. Yunus, verse 61 Allah tells His Prophet: 
"(O Prophet!) Whatever you may be engaged in, whether you recite any portion of the Qur'an, or whatever else all of you are doing, We are witnesses to whatever you may be occupied with. Not even an atom's weight escapes your Lord on the earth or in the heaven, nor is there anything smaller or bigger than that, except that it is on record in a Clear Book."
This clearly explains the attribute Al Muhaymin, the Overall Guardian the Watchful and the Witness, for unless a Creator has complete watch over His subjects, the affairs of the universe would go out of control, creating utter confusion and destruction. The smooth functioning and movement of countless galaxies, billions and millions of stars, all moving in  a precise timed direction is because Allah is All Watchful. Allah's watching over also means He knows what is harmful and what is beneficial for us. Allah covers us with His Mercy and Protection. Therefore, His criteria of good and bad have are to be followed.

Another meaning of al-Muhaymin is “the One Who is responsible for the care of something, the One Who has charge over it”. In Surah Ar-R`ad Ayah 33, He says, “Then is He who is a maintainer of every soul, [knowing] what it has earned, [like any other]?” 

“Seest thou not that Allah doth know (all) that is in the heavens and on earth? There is not a secret consultation between three, but He makes the fourth among― them nor between five but he is the sixth nor between fewer nor more, but He is with them, wheresoever they be.” (Surah 58 Al-Mujadila: 7)

While this attribute is exclusive for Allah, in verse 48 of Surah 5. Al-Maida, Quran is also being mentioned as "muhaymin":

وَاَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اِلَيۡكَ الۡكِتٰبَ بِالۡحَـقِّ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيۡنَ يَدَيۡهِ مِنَ الۡكِتٰبِ وَمُهَيۡمِنًا عَلَيۡهِ​ فَاحۡكُمۡ بَيۡنَهُمۡ بِمَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعۡ اَهۡوَآءَهُمۡ عَمَّا جَآءَكَ مِنَ الۡحَـقِّ

"Then We revealed the Book to you (O Muhammad!) with Truth, confirming whatever of the Book was revealed before,78 and protecting and guarding over it."

In Arabic, haymana, yuhayminu, hayamanah signify 'to protect, to witness, to keep trust, to back and to support'. The expression 'haymana al-rajul al-shay' means that the man protected and guarded the thing. Likewise, 'haymana al-ta'ir 'alafirdkhih' means that the bird took its young ones under the protection of its wings. Once 'Umar said to the people: 'Inni da'in fa hayminu' ('I am praying; support me by saying amen'). To say that the Qur'an is muhaymin of al-kitab means that it preserves all the true teachings of the earlier divine books; that it has secured them from loss. The Qur'an also confirms those Books in that the contents of the Qur'an testify to the truth of those parts which are indeed from God. The Qur'an is, further, a witness over those Books in the sense that, with its help, the elements which embody true revelations from God can be distinguished from the accretions which have corrupted them. Whatever in these Books accords with the Qur'an is from God, and whatever is not in conformity with it is from human beings. The Quran is muhaymin, trustworthy in highness, and a witness. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Verily, Allah elevates some people with this Quran and abases others. [Muslim] That is, those who fulfill the rights of the Quran will be raised high in this world and in the hereafter; those who leave it will be put down. Make the Quran a witness for you and not against you.

Related names:
  • Raqīb refers to the One who has the attribute of watchfulness.
  • Wakīl refers to the One who is the trusted administrator.
  • Hafīz refers to the One who protects and preserves.
  • Māni' - the One who protects and defends against harmful situations.
  • Muhaymin refers to the One who is the ever-watchful guardian and protector.
  • Mu'min - The One who grants security and freedom from fear.
So whenever in distress or in want of something, do not forget Allah, the Guardian - the Al Muhaymin: Call upon al-Muhaymin and seek His help and protection from harm or innate desires.

Also the mere fact that He is watching us, should keep us from committing sins, harming others or usurping others' rights. This would lead men to live a clean, honest and helpful life 

We should also seek guidance from Qur'an and live our life exactly as enunciated in the Divine Commandments as spelt out in the Quran and never ever deviate form the True Path that Quran shows us. May Allah help us to be true believers. Aameen.

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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