Monday 17 August 2020

99 Attributes of Allāh: Al-Muhyi - The Bestower of Life

Al-Muhyi " ٱلْمُحْيِي " - pronounced Al-Muhyee or classically written as Al-Muḥ·yi, means the Bestower of Life. Al-Muhyi creates life and grants it to whomsoever He pleases. He creates man from nothing, then He brings them back to life when the Day of Judgment approaches after their death.

وَمِنۡ اٰيٰتِهٖۤ اَنَّكَ تَرَى الۡاَرۡضَ خَاشِعَةً فَاِذَاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَا عَلَيۡهَا الۡمَآءَ اهۡتَزَّتۡ وَرَبَتۡ​ؕ اِنَّ الَّذِىۡۤ اَحۡيَاهَا لَمُحۡىِ الۡمَوۡتٰى ؕ اِنَّهٗ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرٌ‏ 

And of His Signs is that you see the earth withered, then We send down water upon it, and lo! it quivers and swells. Surely He Who gives life to the dead earth will also give life to the dead. Surely He has power over everything. (Surah 41 Ha Meem: 39) 

Explaining the above quoted verse, Yusuf Ali contends:
Evil makes of the souls of men what drought makes of land: it kills life, beauty, and fruitfulness. Allah's Word in the spiritual world has the same wonderful effect as rain has on barren land: it gives life, beauty, and fruitfulness. And the effect of Allah's Word is also seen through the lives of men who repel evil with what is better. They also convert dead souls (which harbour spite and hatred) into living souls, which come into the main current of spiritual life, and help in carrying out Allah's beneficent Purpose. Why should we wonder then at the potency of Allah's Word, whether in our probationary lives here, or in the eternal life of the Hereafter.
Al-Muhyi " ٱلْمُحْيِي " is from the root h-y-y which in classical Arabic means (1) to live, to be living, (2) to become apparent, distinct, (3) to animate, to revive, (4) to vitalize, to call into being to be whole, sound, (4) to call, summon, invite, hasten. The attribute Al-Hayyٱلْحَىُّ(ever-living) is also from this same h-y-y root.
Allah, the Al-Muhyi, has created the entire universe and the seven Heavens and it is He alone Who decides who to give life to and from whom to take it away. Allah mentions this attribute of Him at various places in the Qur'an:

يُخۡرِجُ الۡحَـىَّ مِنَ الۡمَيِّتِ وَيُخۡرِجُ الۡمَيِّتَ مِنَ الۡحَـىِّ وَيُحۡىِ الۡاَرۡضَ بَعۡدَ مَوۡتِهَا ​ؕ وَكَذٰلِكَ تُخۡرَجُوۡنَ‏ 

He brings forth the living from the dead and brings forth the dead from the living, and revives the earth after it is dead. Likewise will you be raised to life (after you die). (Surah 30 Ar-Rum: 19) 

That is, how can that Allah Who is doing all this perpetually in front of your eyes, be helpless in raising man to life after death? He is causing absolutely dead matter to be discharged from living man and animals. He is ever bringing into existence countless animals and human beings by breathing life into dead matter, whereas the substances themselves which make up the bodies of the living beings are absolutely without life. He is making you witness the phenomenon that wherever water becomes available, lands previously lying barren start blooming and blossoming with animal and vegetable life. In spite of witnessing all this if a person thinks that the God Who is sustaining the universe will be helpless to raise man back to life after death, he is fully devoid of the common sense. His heart does not see the clear realities gleaming from the manifestations which his eyes see.

As so often in the Qur'an, a reference to the spiritual life engendered by divine revelation is followed in verse 65 of Surah 16 An Nahl by a reference to the miracle of organic life as another indication of God's creative activity:

وَاللّٰهُ اَنۡزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَاَحۡيَا بِهِ الۡاَرۡضَ بَعۡدَ مَوۡتِهَا​ؕ اِنَّ فِىۡ ذٰ لِكَ لَاٰيَةً لِّقَوۡمٍ يَّسۡمَعُوۡنَ

Allah sends down water from the heaven, and thereby He instantly revives the earth after it lay dead. Verily there is a sign in it for those who listen (meaning those who understand the words and their meanings).

Yusuf Ali explains this verse:
When the earth with all its vegetation is well-nigh dead, parched and shriveled up, a vivifying shower of rain from above gives it new life. This natural phenomenon is a sign of Allah's infinite power, especially of His power to resurrect the dead, and thereafter muster them for judgment.

Allah gives life to the sperm and to the leech-like clot. He causes rain to pour out of the clouds in order to bring life thereby to a dead land. References to Allah bringing life back to the dead are numerous throughout the Holy Quran; here are some of them:
  • So We said: Strike him (the dead corpse) with part of it (the sacrificed cow); thus does Allah bring the dead to life, and He shows you His signs so that you may understand. (2:73) 
  • Allah gives life and causes death, and Allah sees whatever you do. (3:156) 
  • Say: O people! Surely I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, [the Messenger] of Him to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs; there is no god but He; He brings (beings/things) to life and causes death; therefore, believe in Allah and in His Messenger, the ummi Prophet who believes in Allah and in His words, and follow him, so that you may walk in the right way" (Quran, 7:158).
  • He gives life and causes to die, and you will be returned to Him. (10:56)
  • And indeed, it is We who give life and cause death, and We are the Inheritor.(15:23)
  • So observe the effects of the mercy of Allah - how He gives life to the earth after its lifelessness. Indeed, that [same one] will give life to the dead, and He is over all things competent.(30:50)
  • He Who made them in the first place will bring them back to life. He has total knowledge of each created thing.” (36:79)
  • His is the dominion of the heavens and earth. He gives life and causes death, and He is over all things competent. (57.2)
The creation of human from a sperm and an egg is an excellent example of creation of Allah. Allah makes a sperm unite an ovum, both of which are invisible to the naked eye. As soon as the sperm destined to fertilize the egg enters the ovum, a membrane covers the egg and a new life begins. Allah divides this tiny cell first into two and then into four. This process proceeds rapidly, and the end result is a miraculous life starting in the mother's womb. After some time, these cells change in order to form the embryo's brain, nervous system, bones, and cartilage. This way, within only nine months, Allah creates from nothing a human being who sees, hears, speaks, and uses his or her intelligence. He then grants life. Obviously, an egg and a sperm cannot accomplish these series of miraculous events, for only Allah causes them to unite and then protects the embryo within the mother's womb for nine months. This is the first creation and the first bringing to life.

So Which of the wonders of your Lord's power will you twain – you men and jinn – then deny?

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

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