Showing posts with label The Possessor of All Powers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Possessor of All Powers. Show all posts

Tuesday 29 October 2019

99 Attributes of Allah: Al Jabbar - The Overpowering

Allah is Al-Jabbār " ٱلْجَبَّارُ " The Overpowering, The Possessor of All Powers, The Ever Strong. 

The word ‘Jabbār’ appears 10 times in the Qur’an, but only once for Allah. This word is used nine times for people who are strong, oppressive, or commit injustice, who compel and force others. In the verse below from Surah 59 Al Hashr, a number of attributes of Allah have been spelt out none other than Allah Himself. We have already made a mention of some of these in our earlier posts. Today we will concentrate exclusively on the attribute Al-Jabbār.

هُوَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِىۡ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ​ۚ اَلۡمَلِكُ الۡقُدُّوۡسُ السَّلٰمُ الۡمُؤۡمِنُ الۡمُهَيۡمِنُ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡجَـبَّارُ الۡمُتَكَبِّرُ​ؕ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰهِ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُوۡنَ
(59:23) "He is Allah: there is no god but He: the King,36 the Holy, the All-Peace, the Giver of security,38 the Overseer, the Most Mighty, the Overpowering, the All-Great. Exalted be He from whatever they associate with Him."

The word Al-Jabbār as used in the original is derived from jabr (ج ب ر or جبر), the opposite of breaking. It suggests the forceful mending of something broken, fractured, shattered, crushed. Thus Jabbār means setting something right by use of power, reforming something by force. Allah has been called Al-Jabbār in the sense that He sets the system of His universe right by the use of power and enforces His will, which is entirely based on wisdom. Moreover, the word Jabber also contains the meaning of greatness and glory. 

Thus, a palm-tree which is too tall for the people to pluck its fruit is called jabber in Arabic.  ‘Nakhlatun Jabbaarah’ is used to describe a tall date palm tree that is very strong and gives a lot of fruit. Likewise, an act which is grand and glorious is called amal jabbar.

The essence of the root j-b-r is the irresistible restoration of something, and the name al-Jabbār describes the nature of the One who is the ultimate restorer of the soundness, wholeness and righteousness of all things. For a human being, any claim to such irresistible power would be false pride and arrogance, but for Allāh it is simply the truth. [4]

The word Jabbār has been used in the Quran for its varying shades of meanings:
It is used in the meaning ‘to pressurize, to compel and force someone to do something.’ From this, it is understood to mean ‘to tyrannize someone and be tyrannical.’  وَإِذَا بَطَشْتُم بَطَشْتُمْ جَبَّارِينَ “And when you strike, you strike as tyrants.” (Qur’an, 26:130). 
Jabr means ‘to be strong, tall and great.’ In the Qur’an, when Bani Isra’eel (the children of the tribe of Isra’eel) were told to enter the city of Jerusalem, they said: إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْمًا جَبَّارِينَ “Indeed within it is a people of tyrannical strength.” (Qur’an, 5:22)
Al Jabbār is someone or something that is gigantic and too high to reach. When we describe a camel as being Jabbarah, this means that it is too hard to mount or ride. In the same context, Allah, All-Mighty, says in His Holy Quran: 
قَالُوۡا يٰمُوۡسٰٓى اِنَّ فِيۡهَا قَوۡمًا جَبَّارِيۡنَ ​ۖ  وَاِنَّا لَنۡ نَّدۡخُلَهَا حَتّٰى يَخۡرُجُوۡا مِنۡهَا​ ۚ فَاِنۡ يَّخۡرُجُوۡا مِنۡهَا فَاِنَّا دَاخِلُوۡنَ‏ 
They answered: 'Moses, therein live a ferocious people: we will not enter unless they depart from it; but if they do depart from it then we will surely enter it. (Surah 5. Al-Maida: 22)
Thus the word Jabbāreen in the above Verse means: “too strong to be defeated, relentless and merciless.” 
One of the derivatives of Jabbār is jabaroot, supremacy or greatness. According to one tradition, the Messenger of Allah has supplicated thus, "Glory to the One Who has all the jabaroot and the entire domain."

There is a different connotation of the word Jabbār when it is used for ordinary men. When we say that so and so is Jabbār, this means that he is too haughty and too arrogant, that he is by no means moderate or considerate. And make no mistake about it! Those who describe themselves as being  Jabbāreen or behave as being Jabbareen, i.e. arrogant, tyrannical and unjust, do not listen to anyone, are never moderate and are disobedient and rebellious. And Allah does not like men to be tyrant fro they do not know how to use their powers justly and most of the time they use their powers unjustly to harm others. And history is replete with examples when the tyrants were destroyed when the wrath of Allah befell on them. [5]

That is why every now and then, you hear of such and such a tyrant has been destroyed by Allah, All-Mighty, and has been made a deterrent example for those who are prepared to get admonished. This is because Pride is one of Allah’s Divine Attributes, and so are Might and Majesty; therefore, if a human being, any human being, tries to compete with Allah concerning such Great Divine Attributes, Allah will certainly destroy him and cause him to perish. 

It is said that "Al-Jabbār" conveys the same meaning conveyed by the Attribute "Al-Mutakabbir ٱلْمُتَكَبِّرُ," the Proud or the Supreme One. Pride and Supremacy are commendable Attributes only when applied to Allah. If applied to anyone else, on the other hand, they become abominable qualities. It is also said that the meaning of "Al-Jabbār" connotes: the One Who forces His will on others. Nothing can happen in His domain except whatever He pleases, whether His beings like it or not. Or it may mean the One Who repairs, improves, or reforms, as is the analogy with one who mends, say, a broken limb. [3]

To sum this attribute of Allah, Al-Jabbār is the Compeller, whatever He wills is what happens. He is the One who is Exalted, High above His creation and He is the One who Reforms, the One who fixes the situation for His creation.

Let us all humans be humble and beneficent to others, rather than trying to be Jabbār, an attribute only attributed to Allah alone, lest our ignorant actions invite wrath of Allah, the true Al Al-Jabbār.

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

Photo | References| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
For more Q&A about Understanding Islam click here
If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More