Thursday 6 February 2020

99 Attributes of Allah: Al-Ḥayy - The Ever Living

Al-Ḥayy " ٱلْحَىُّ " - The Ever Living is one of the most powerful attributes of Allah. That is the One who has a continuous life with no beginning or end. 

Ayat ul Qursi, the most powerful verse of the Qur'an, begins with this equally very powerful attribute of Allah:

اللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الۡحَـىُّ الۡقَيُّوۡمُ  

"Allah, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting ... " - 2:255

This means that irrespective of the number of gods or objects of worship set up by ignorant people, the fact remains that godhead in its entirety, belongs exclusively to the Eternal Being, Who is indebted to no one for His existence. In fact, He is not only self-existent, but upon Him rests the entire order of the universe. He alone wields all sovereign authority over His dominion. None shares either His attributes or His power and might, and no one has the same claims against the creatures as He. Hence, if anywhere in the heavens or the earth someone sets up anything or anybody as an object of worship and service (ilah) either instead of or in addition to the One True God this amounts to declaring war on reality.

Allah is Alive and Deathless. That is the One Who is Everlasting. The One who animates all life and who makes each living thing different and distinct.

Al Hayy takes its root from haa-yaa-yaa, which points to four main meanings. The first meaning is to live. The second main meaning is to become apparent or distinct. The third is to revive, vitalize and call into being and the fourth main meaning is to be sound, or whole. This root appears 184 times in the Quran in 12 derived forms. Examples of these forms are yuhyee (“grants life”), hayyan (“alive”) and al hayaatu (” the life”).

وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْحَيِّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِهِ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا

"And rely on the ever-Living Who never dies..." (Quran, 25:58)

His Life with all His Attributes are perfect end there is no end to His existence. He was before all else, so shall He remain throughout endless time.

Allah calls Himself Al-Hayy on five occasions in the Quran. Here reference from second verse of Surah 3 Al i Imran not given as it is the same as 2:255 mentioned above. Herein under are the remaining two references from the Qur'an about this attribute of Allah:

وَعَنَتِ الۡوُجُوۡهُ لِلۡحَىِّ الۡقَيُّوۡمِ​ؕ وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَنۡ حَمَلَ ظُلۡمًا‏  

(Surah 20 Ta Ha:111) All faces shall be humbled before the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting Lord, and he who bears the burden of iniquity will have failed;

وَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى الۡحَـىِّ الَّذِىۡ لَا يَمُوۡتُ وَسَبِّحۡ بِحَمۡدِهٖ​ ؕ وَكَفٰى بِهٖ بِذُنُوۡبِ عِبَادِهٖ خَبِيۡرَ ا​ ۛۚ ۙ‏ 

(Surah 25 Al Furqan: 58) (O Muhammad), put your trust in Him Who is Ever-Living, Who will never die, and glorify Him with His praise. He suffices as the Knower of the sins of His servants.
Anas ibn Malik has said, "I was once sitting with the Messenger of Allah in our circle when a man was still performing his prayers. After having bowed down, prostrated and made the tashahhud, he supplicated to his Lord saying, `Lord! I plead to You by the very fact that to You is all Praise due; there is no god but You; You are the One Who gives without reminding the takers, Who created the heavens and the earth; O You Who has all the Honor and all the Glory! O ever-Living One, O Sustainer! I plead to You...' whereupon the Prophet said, `He surely has invoked Allah by His Greatest Attribute: He answers favorably when He is asked thereby, and He gives when invoked.'"
Abu Hurairah reported that whenever the Prophet, peace be upon him, was faced with a serious difficulty, he would raise his head to the sky and supplicate, "Subhan-Allah al-'Azim (glory be to Allah, the Mighty)." And when he implored seriously and strongly, he would say "Ya Hayyu, Ya Qayyum (O Ever-Living One, O Self-Existing One)."    (Hadith of Tirmidhi) 
Al-Hayy is most often combined with the Name Al-Qayyūm " ٱلْقَيُّومُ ", the Sustainer. This is a beautiful combination of the perfection of Allah’s Attributes and His Actions. Al-Hayy means the One who possesses the perfect living and so all His attributes are perfect: His hearing, His sight, His Beauty etc. Man’s life is imperfect from all sides: our hearing, sight, speech and actions are all imperfect. All the attributes of Allah are perfect, because any deficiency in attributes would come from weakness of life and His life is perfect!

The Al Hayy attributes is best expressed in verses 26-27 of Surah 55 Ar Rahman:

(55:26) All that is on earth will perish, (55:27) only the Person of your Lord, full of majesty and splendour, will endure.
And yet again in Surah 28 Al Qasas: 88: Everything will perish save His Face. 

Allah is thus ascribed with a life that is self-sustaining. It has no external source, unlike the lives of creatures that have been granted to them by the Creator. As He was, together with His attributes, before all else, so shall He remain throughout endless time. 

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

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran

Photo | References1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

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