Saturday 9 May 2020

99 Attributes of Allah: Al Qābiḍ - The Withholder

Al Qābiḍ " ٱلْقَابِضُ " The Withholder, the Restrainer and the Absolute Seizer. While His graciousness sees no bounds and gives away His countless blessings to every living being, it is His wisdom due to which He sometimes Withholds His blessings for reasons known to Him.

As already mentioned in our earlier post on the attribute of Al Bāsiṭ, the Extender and the Expandera of provisions (rizq), life and death, He sometimes withholds His bounties as Al Qābiḍ as has been mentioned in the following 245th verse of Surah ii Al Baqarah (The Cow):

مَنۡ ذَا الَّذِىۡ يُقۡرِضُ اللّٰهَ قَرۡضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضٰعِفَهٗ لَهٗۤ اَضۡعَافًا کَثِيۡرَةً  ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ يَقۡبِضُ وَيَبۡصُۜطُ وَ اِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُوۡنَ‏ 

Who of you will lend Allah a goodly loan which He will return after multiplying it for him manifold? For Allah has the power both to decrease and increase, and to Him will you be returned. 

In the verse above two attributes of Allah have been mentioned: Al Qābid (The Withholder) and Al Bāsiṭ (The Extender). These these two attributes are opposite to each other. Allah usually and most of the time is at the giving end in Extending His countless bounties to His servants. If we look around, we will fail to count the bounties and blessings of Allah there are which have been laid out and extended to us.

But there are times, when as a test or as a punishment Allah With Holds His blessings and men become helpless and falls at mercy of his Creator. These are times of extreme weather, famine, drought and extreme floods and Tsunamis which sweep away lands and vegetation leaving behind lifeless stretches, devolving man of His blessings. This the display of His wisdom 

The name Qābid is not specifically used as a Beautiful Name in the Qur'ān. However, linguistically, "al-Qābiḍ," is derived from its root verb: Qabd, which  denotes to decrease, to take, hold, seize, grip or catch,  and words meaning like these. It is the holding of something with the hand such as a sword's handle,

The underlying roots of Qābid give a sense of give and take, a movement back and forth, an underlying rhythm of ebb and flow, like the rhythmical folding and unfolding of a bird's wings in flight, or the rising and setting of the sun, or the endless cycles of life and death.

The Arabic lexicon and commentary Tāj al-'Arūs, as interpreted by E.W. Lane, says:
Qabd [Qābid] and Bast [Bāsit] are terms applied by the investigators of truth among the Sūfīs to the two contrary states of the heart, from both of which it is seldom or never free: the former being an affection of the heart withholding it from dilation and joy; whether the cause thereof be known, as the remembrance of a sin or an offense, or of an omission, or be not known...
Thus Al Qābid is the One who decides who is to be given when and who is not to be given. This means both giving and withholding act as test to men. One gets more richer by getting more is tested whether he still remains thankful to Allah and helps those not given like him. And for those whose sustenance means have been squeezed and given less are tested whether they still look towards Allah for ease or follow Satan and indulge in unfair means to increase their means of sustenance. To this effect, God says: 
"And if Allah were to enlarge provision for His slaves, they would surely rebel in the earth, but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily, He is, in respect of His slaves, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer (of things that benefit them)." [Surah Ash-Shura 42 :27]
Like wise it is His supreme wisdom that clouds come and go, somewhere they bring more rain, somewhere less and at places no rains, for Allah knows by which Measure He has to release His blessings.

There is yet another dimension to this attribute which Allah has infused into our minds. Dur to this ability given to us, we feel depressed and dispirited as soon as we wrong someone or commit a sinful deed, like lying to others, looking at indecent things etc.  We feel Al-Qabd only if your heart is still alive and you are sensitive.

This ability also tells us that there will be good times after we face debacles or setbacks. The Story of Prophet Yusuf  (Joseph, peace be upon him) is characterized by the ups and downs; from the well, to a palace, from prison to Minister, from separation to unity. He made the best of his situation and knew the relief was coming. Have this attitude and strength and you will succeed, no matter the situation!

This has lessons for us: We should too be always on the giving end and should seldom hold out our charities for we do not have enough wisdom as to when to give and when to withhold. To be blessing for others, we should always be on the giving end so as to help those who have less means of sustenance. Those who have adequate and still withhold their hands are those who are the losers in the end.

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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