Wednesday 10 June 2020

99 Attributes of Allāh: Al Khāfiḍ - The Abaser, The Humilator

Allāh is Al Khāfiḍ " ٱلْخَافِضُ " - The Abaser, the Humilator, the Lowerer and The Downgrader.
Allah, the Creator of this universe, gives out His countless bounties in the form of money, health, family, honour, and healthy environment for the sustenance of His servants with complete disregard to caste and creed, colour or even to those unfaithful who do not believe in Him. Thus we see many a tyrants rising to power like the Pharaoh, Nimrod, and in present times many a dictator whose tyranny cost millions of innocent lives.

But there is a limit to Allah's tolerance for He is always watchful for those who transgress despite His many bounties bestowed upon them. It is then Allāh, the Al Khāfiḍ, strikes and humiliates those who are exceeding limits. For such people Allah says in the 3rd verse of Surah 56. Al-Waqi'a:

خَافِضَةٌ رَّافِعَةٌ ۙ‏ 
(a calamitous Event) that shall turn things upside down
This small but very meaningful verse literally means: That which causes something or somebody to rise and to fall. Its one meaning can be that it will upset every order and it will turn things upside-down. Another meaning can also be that it will exalt the lowly and bring low the high and mighty; that is, on its advent the decision as to who is noble and who is ignoble among the people will be made on quite a different basis. Those who posed as honorable people in the world would become contemptible and those who were considered contemptible would become honorable.

In the verse above, the attributes Al Khāfiḍ comes with another attribute of Allah: Al Rāfi' (uplifter), which is the opposite of Al Khāfiḍ (humbler). That is while Allah uplifts His servants from rags to riches, He nonetheless ensures downfall and humiliation from the power corridors and those possessing riches of the world like Karun as mentioned in the Qur'an.

Allah mentions Karun in Sürah 28. Al Qasas  [verse 79]:
Indeed, Karun was from the people of Moses, but he tyrannized them. And We gave him of treasures whose keys would burden a band of strong men; thereupon his people said to him, “Do not exult. Indeed, Allah does not like the exultant.
and Sürah 40. Mu'min  v[verse 24]:
And [We destroyed] Karun and Pharaoh and Haman. And Moses had already come to them with clear evidences, and they were arrogant in the land, but they were not outrunners [of Our punishment].
as can be seen from the verse above, Al Khāfiḍ has not been specifically mentioned as an attribute, but it is been drawn from the implied meaning of the word " خَافِضَةٌ  ", which is from the root kh-f-d which in classical Arabic means: (1) to lower, weaken, depress, (2) to make humble, abase, (3) to relax, diminish, subdue.

Al Khāfiḍ is the One that abases and humiliates the tyrants and the proud. He humiliates them both in the world and in the hereafter. This attribute strikes not only individuals but mighty empires as well.  History is replete with the mention of downfall of great nations and empires, like the Ad, Thamud, the Roman, Byzantine and Persian Empires - the once mighty Empires were so humiliated that there remains their mention in history books only or their might can be seen crumbled in the archaeological wastes around the world.

Although, this attribute of Allah is mostly related to the abasement of the oppressors, this may also be applicable to some believers as well who transgress their limits or even as a test to judge their faithfulness and patience. 

Allah may also test His servants by stripping them of their honour or taking away from them their wealth to see whether they still stand firm. and there are many a incident in history to quote. 

Our Prophet (peace be upon him) attracts attention to the name Al Khāfiḍ:
Hz. Anas (ra) narrated: Adba, the camel of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), was very fast in races and it was almost impossible to surpass it in speed. There came a Bedouin riding a camel of his, and that camel outstripped it in the race. That result was hard on the Muslims. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "It is the law of Allah that nothing is raised high in this world except what He lowers or puts down.”
We must therefore guard ourselves against our vanity and pride and be always be humble for what has been bestowed upon us and should never be lamenting if something dear from us has been taken away from us. Remember, whatever we have is a from Allah Who possesses everything in the universe and everything thus belongs to Him. He may give us a bounty forever or for a time period. We should be thankful in both cases, lest we draw wrath of Al Khāfiḍ.

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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