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One God Many Names | Al-Jabbār (The Ever Restorer)

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For every opportunity that slipped away, al-Jabbr is He who brings about another. For every case where the heart breaks in longing for what was lost or grieves for what was reaped, al-Jabbr is He who brings the pieces of such a heart together. For He is the One who restores losses, repairs the broken, carries the burdened and desires that humanity remedies their pains through Him.

So, who is al-Jabbr?

1: The linguistic meaning of the name al-Jabbr (The Ever Restorer)

The root of this divine name is al-Jabr; a word with several usages in the Arabic language. This is in contrast to what many assume when hearing this name; having limited its understanding to meanings of power and compulsion.

The numerous meanings of this word include:

A: الإكراه / Compulsion

Thus, the Arabs say, أجبرته / “I forced (“ajbartū”) him”. Accordingly, this meaning revolves around the concept of pressure and coercion, hence why Arabs term a tyrant ‘jabbr’, due to his coercion of his subjects. Moreover, the Qur’ān had used this term to denote this exact meaning, when Prophet Hūd reprimanded his people;

وَإِذَا بَطَشْتُم بَطَشْتُمْ جَبَّارِينَ

“And when you strike, you strike as tyrants (“jabbrīn”).”[1]

B:العلو والعز / Loftiness and might

This meaning revolves around the strength and might of something that is out of reach. Examples of how the Arabs use this word for this meaning include the phrase ‘nakhlatun jabbrah’ / a palm tree that is ‘Jabbrah’ / that is, a strong and tall date palm tree, with fruits that are distant from the hands of people.

Moreover, in the Qur’ān, when the children of Israel were told to enter the city of Jerusalem, they refused in fear, arguing:

إِنَّ فِيهَا قَوْمًا جَبَّارِينَ

“Within it is a people who are Jabbrīn.”[2] Meaning, people who are tall and powerful.

C: الإصلاح / Rectification

The third meaning refers to repairing that which is broken and the reforming of a concern. The Arabs say, جبرت الكسير / “I healed (“Jabartū”) the broken one”, or جبرت خاطره / (literally meaning) “I repaired (“Jabartū”) his broken heart”.

Therefore, this meaning revolves around the concept of giving strength to that which is weak and completing that which is incomplete, be it tangible such as bones or intangible, such as feelings. The act of doing so is called jabr. Interestingly, the term ‘algebra’ is derived from the same root; jabr, as you ‘fix’ the equation. Similarly, the word ‘jabīrah’ is also the term used to describe a cast which helps fix broken bones.

Thus, after considering the previous descriptions, who then is Allāh, al-Jabbr?

Al-Jabbār is He who can compel and govern His creation as He wishes. He who is High above His creation and cannot be reached. Moreover, it is He who repairs poverty with affluence, loss with success, injury with recovery, despair with hope, fear with security and He who heals broken hearts with imn and contentment and does so endlessly. Accordingly, there are two ways to translate this Majestic Name;

The Ever Compeller and the Ever Restorer.

The name al-Jabbr is of an intensified form of the name Jbir (“Restorer”), as is the case with Ghfir (“Forgiver”) and Ghaffr (“The Ever Forgiver”). Thus, al-Jabbr not only means “He who restores” and “He who compels” but “The Ever Restorer” and “The Ever Compeller”; one who does so over and over again. How precise was Imm al-Tabari’s explanation of the name al-Jabbr when he said,

الجبار يعني المصلح أمور خلقه، المصرفهم فيما فيه صلاحهم

Al-Jabbr is He who rectifies the affairs of His creation, controlling their affairs for their welfare.”[3]

The particular meaning given here is undoubtedly one of the miraculous natures of this name. Not only does it indicate a meaning of ultimate power, but it simultaneously defines sheer subtlety and gentleness.

2: The usages of this name in the Qur’ān and Sunnah

As a name of Allāh, it has appeared once in the Qur’ān, where Allāh said:

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

“He is Allāh beside Whom none has the right to be worshipped but He. The King, the Pure, the One Free from all defects. The Giver of security, the Overseer, the All-Mighty, al-Jabbr/the Compeller, the Supreme. High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him.” [4]

The Name also appeared in the Sunnah, where Anas b. Mlik said when speaking about the Prophet’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) night journey to the heavens:

فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ فِيمَا أَوْحَى إِلَيْهِ: خَمْسِينَ صَلاَةً عَلَى أُمَّتِكَ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ، ثُمَّ هَبَطَ حَتَّى بَلَغَ مُوسَى، فَاحْتَبَسَهُ مُوسَى، فَقَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ، مَاذَا عَهِدَ إِلَيْكَ رَبُّكَ؟ قَالَ: عَهِدَ إِلَيَّ خَمْسِينَ صَلاَةً كُلَّ يَوْمٍ وَلَيْلَةٍ، قَالَ: إِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لاَ تَسْتَطِيعُ ذَلِكَ، فَارْجِعْ فَلْيُخَفِّفْ عَنْكَ رَبُّكَ وَعَنْهُمْ، فَالْتَفَتَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِلَى جِبْرِيلَ كَأَنَّهُ يَسْتَشِيرُهُ فِي ذَلِكَ، فَأَشَارَ إِلَيْهِ جِبْرِيلُ: أَنْ نَعَمْ إِنْ شِئْتَ، فَعَلاَ بِهِ إِلَى الجَبَّارِ

“Among the things which Allāh revealed to him was fifty daily prayers upon his followers. The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) then descended till he met Moses. Moses stopped him and asked, ‘O Muhammad, what did your Lord enjoin upon you?’ He replied, ‘To perform fifty prayers every day and night’. Moses said, ‘Your followers cannot do that; Go back so that your Lord may reduce it for you and them.’ So, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) turned to Gabriel as if to consult him, and so Gabriel said, ‘Yes if you wish.’ So Gabriel ascended with him back to al-Jabbr.[5]

And Ibnū ‘Umar stated:

رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، عَلَى الْمِنْبَرِ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ: «يَأْخُذُ الْجَبَّارُ، عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، سَمَاوَاتِهِ وَأَرَضِيهِ بِيَدَيْهِ»

“I saw Allāh‘s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) upon the pulpit, and he was saying, “Al-Jabbr will take hold of the Heavens and earths in His hands.” [6]

3 – The effects of believing in this name

To call upon Him using this name

– Is it regarding an accident that has broken your bones?

– Does it concern rumours and insults that have ripped apart your reputation?

– Is it an emotional complexity that has stripped down your confidence?

– Is it related to a fear that has broken your resolve to proceed?

– Does it involve a fraudster or a selfish business partner who has rendered you broke?

– Is it the never-ending demands of life that have shattered your peace of mind?

Having discovered al-Jabbr, the ordeal of a broken heart should no longer be a gruelling one. Rather, it should be laden with opportunities, and one of the most important opportunities should be the rediscovery of passionate du’ using this Majestic name. In reality, this was the Prophet Mohammad’s (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) daily port of call; Du’ to Allāh using His name al-Jabbr.

When sitting between the two prostrations of every prayer, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) would say:

اللَّهم اغفر لي وارحمني واجبرني وارفعني واهدني وعافني وارزقني

“O Allāh, forgive me, have mercy on me, repair my breakage (“ujburni”), raise me, guide me, bestow upon me wellbeing and provide for me.” [7]

As if to say that “I, by nature of my humanity, am made to break many times each day, and I am in need of your reparation – O Jabbr – that many times a day.”

To see the signs of al-Jabbr in the world.

The signs of al-Jabbr are unmissable; not just in every walk of life, but even in your reflection in the mirror. Did you choose your complexion, nationality, hair type, eye colour, height or skin texture? It was all chosen for you by compulsion.

Furthermore, does man have any say in the numerous simultaneous processes that take place in his body every second? The answer to both questions is an emphatic no. Thus, every human being, believer or otherwise, is under the compulsion of al-Jabbr.

Allāh said:

هُوَ الَّذِي يُصَوِّرُكُمْ فِي الْأَرْحَامِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ

“It is He who shapes you in the wombs however He wills.” [8]

Should al-Jabbr decree good health for a person, ill health for another, an accident for one, or prosperity for another, who can repel it other than Allāh, al-Jabbr? No-one can repel it as all matters are under His command and have submitted to His Majesty. The earth in its grandeur and the heavens in their might have both submitted to al-Jabbr. having remembered their conversation with Allāh as they came into existence billions of years ago;

ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ

“Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and the earth, “Come into being willingly or unwillingly” They said, “We have come willingly.”” [9]

The Milky Way, the galaxy that we are part of, contains an estimated 100 billion stars. Professor David Kornreich estimates that the observable universe contains approximately 10 trillion galaxies. Multiplying the two together gives us a very rough number of stars;

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars, or a 1 x 1024, although Korneich did state that this number is a gross underestimation.[10] The reason for mentioning these stars is that not a single one of the stars would dare move an inch without prior knowledge and permission from al-Jabbr, for Whom all things are under His compulsion.

Allāh said:

أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللَّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ

“Do they seek other than the religion of Allāh while to Him submits everything that is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him shall they return.”[11]

Al-Jabbār is He who legislated Islam, decreed its form, and did not consult another being in the process. He was also the One who commanded humanity to surrender their hearts, bodies, minds and souls to it because He chose to do so. He prohibited us from rejecting it because He chose to do so, while also offering a reward and punishment because He chose to do so.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَحْكُمُ مَا يُرِيدُ

Allāh orders as He desires.” [12]

Consider the following questions:

– Why did He choose Mecca over all the other cities of the world?

– Why were the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah designated the best days of the year?

– Why was Friday chosen as the best day of the week?

– Why was Jibrīl chosen for the task of delivering revelation?

– Why did He choose the prophets from amidst humanity?

– Why did He then choose the messengers from the prophets?

– Why did He then designate Nūh, Ibrahim, Musa, ‘Isa and Mohammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhum wa sallam) as the greatest five of the prophets and messengers?

– Why did He choose certain people for the gift of imn while depriving others?

The answers to these questions and their likes are, as Allāh said:

وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ

“And your Lord creates and chooses as He wills.[13]

He is al-Jabbr, The Compeller.

Moving onto the topic of human tyranny, the signs of al-Jabbr are, again, unconcealed. Consider the worst of them all, the Pharaoh of Egypt. A man whose authority over Egypt was so unchallenged that he found it within himself to recklessly announce, “I am your Lord most High”. He had forgotten that above him was a Lord who had named Himself al-Jabbr, and so the outcome was as Allāh said:

فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُ وَمَنْ مَعَهُ جَمِيعًا (103) وَقُلْنَا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اسْكُنُوا الْأَرْضَ

“So We drowned him and those with him all together. And We said to the children of Israel after him, “Live in the land.”[14]

The Pharaoh’s commanded that he and his people were to live in the land and that the children of Israel would be driven out. Allāhs wish, however, was that the Pharaoh would be driven into the sea, while the oppressed children of Israel would be told: “live in the land”. Al-Jabbr’s decree came to pass over the Pharaoh’s.

Consider how al-Jabbr has compelled man to sleep, even if he resists doing so. This was exemplified by an experiment on sleep deprivation that was carried out in the 1950s by Dr Harold Williams at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Approximately 25 volunteers came forward to participate in prolonged hours of wakefulness reaching almost 100 hours. The findings were very telling. As time elapsed, they began to experience confusion between their own thoughts and external events. Certain bodily sensations began to develop. A tightness around the head gave the impression that a hat was being worn. Many complained that their eyes burned or itched, and their vision was blurred.

Depth perception became difficult after 60 hours of sleeplessness. Small objects seemed to dart out of place, and chairs changed their apparent size. Commonly, lights seemed to wear a halo of fog, and even the floor seemed to undulate.

Vivid hallucinations set in for some at the 90 hours mark. For instance, one volunteer called for help to wash the cobwebs from his face and hands. Brief dreams would intrude and become confused with reality, and people found their sense of time distorted.

As they continued to deteriorate, the experiment was stopped at 98 hours. Protracting the sleep-loss beyond 100 or 200 hours would only serve to intensify the symptoms until they begin to resemble psychosis.[15]

No matter how triumphant he may feel by day, from the minute the sun sets, man begins to appreciate the might of Allāh. For that nightly experience is a reminder of al-Jabbr.

On the other hand, there was the previous mention of other meanings of the name, al-Jabbr that relate to restoration and repair. Once again, this is yet another reality that unfolds before the eyes of man every single second of the day, not just in the world around him but within his very body.

Consider what happens to, for example, a car that is damaged; either through tyre punctures, smashed windows or an engine blowing up. Without intervention, the car remains in its damaged state. Compare this to the human body with its self-restorative systems that have been divinely designed and installed by al-Jabbr (The Ever Restorer) within man.

Most of us take wound healing for granted. If you get a small cut, you may clean it, cover it with a bandage, and move on with your life. Yet within that wound, the body orchestrates a complex cascade of events designed by al-Jabbr to heal wounds big and small in the most miraculous of ways. The steps taken include:

 1: Stopping the bleeding (haemostasis)

A cut, scrape or puncture to the skin usually results in bleeding. Within minutes or even seconds, blood cells start to clump together and clot, protecting the wound and preventing further blood loss. The clots turn into scabs as they dry; with the clots being created by a type of blood cell termed a platelet. The clot also contains a protein called fibrin, which forms a net that holds the clot in place. Moreover, the body also initiates vasoconstriction; a process that causes the blood vessels to close tight, similar to turning a leaky valve off a level upstream to stop it leaking.

2: Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s way of alerting you of an injury. It also helps dictate where the next barrage of healthy cells should be headed, and so it is key in the wound care process.

Once a clot closes off a wound, the blood vessels can start to open up slightly to allow fresh nutrients and oxygen into the wound for healing. Blood-borne oxygen is needed for healing. The right balance of oxygen is also crucial — too much or too little, and the wound will not heal correctly. Another type of blood cell, a white blood cell called a macrophage, takes on the role of wound protector. Macrophages fight off infection and oversee the repair process. A clear fluid may be seen on or around the cut at this time. The fluid helps clean out the wound. Macrophages also produce chemical messengers, called growth factors, which help repair the wound.

3: Growth and rebuilding

Once the bleeding is under control, blood cells, including oxygen-rich red blood cells, arrive at the scene to help rebuild new tissue. The damaged veins and arteries are replaced by the body’s cells by either creating new sections or adding onto existing portions. It is a decidedly complex endeavour, with many chemicals activated to facilitate these all-new veins. Chemical signals tell the cells to create collagen, which is a type of scaffolding. Occasionally, the result of this process can be identified as a scar that starts out red and eventually dulls.

4: Strengthening

Over time, the new tissue gets stronger. One may observe stretching, itching, and even puckering of the wound as the changes take place. The wound gains strength quickly over the first 6 weeks of healing, and by about the 3 months mark, the wound is 80% as strong in its repair as it was before the injury.

Even if, in the example of the car given above, no damage was caused to it, nevertheless the simple wear and tear that comes with time will impact a car. Thus, no part of the car can revitalise itself without external intervention. As for human beings, the matter is altogether different.

A red blood cell lives for approximately 3 months before it gets old and signals for the immune system to eat it. The process does not stop there. Red blood cells die at a rate of 2 million cells per second, which is balanced by the rate at which new blood cells are born; again, a staggering 2 million cells per second. Who is behind this majestic creation and miraculous renewal?

He is al-Jabbr (The Ever Restorer).

Other examples include the human being’s ability to live with one lung, although al-Jabbr provided two. Similarly, one can live with only half a kidney, but al-Jabbr has again provided two. Moreover, even if as little as 51% of the original liver mass remained, it can regenerate back to its full original size. Are these not clear signs of al-Jabbr (The Ever Restorer)?

To lower one’s self for people

Allāh loves that man acts upon the traits found within His Names, however, the characteristic of compulsion is exclusive to Allāh, being a praiseworthy trait in His respect but blameworthy in ours. Accordingly, it can be deduced that man is to act upon this name by doing the opposite; lowering himself to the believers. 

When Isa (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) spoke from the cradle, he said:

وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِي جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا

“And He has not made me a wretched tyrant (“Jabbr”).”[16]

When talking of Allāh, being a Jabbr (compeller) is a trait of strength, might and perfection, because His compulsion is one of justice and wisdom. It is a trait that coerces the tyrants and forces the wrongdoers to their knees. While for humans, it is a trait of deficiency, injustice and tyranny. For this reason, Allāh has praised Himself for being al-Jabbr whilst condemning those who try acting upon this meaning, saying:

كَذَلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ قَلْبِ مُتَكَبِّرٍ جَبَّارٍ

“Thus, Allāh seals over every heart of an arrogant Jabbr.”[17]

And Allāh said to Prophet Mohammad (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam),

وَمَا أَنْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ بِجَبَّارٍ

“And you are not a Jabbr over them.” [18] I.e. you are not to compel people.

Appreciating al-Jabbr and His supremacy is to recognise one’s self and its feebleness. Who is man to behave haughtily, to deem himself important, to reject apologies, to belittle employees, or to demand his rights in full? Who is he beside al-Jabbr but one who is harmed by a fly, killed by a germ, knocked unconscious by sleep and brought to his knees by hunger and thirst?

Believing in al-Jabbr involves eradicating every iota of self-admiration ever, and it is finding true humbleness. This is because knowing al-Jabbr causes every potential door for self-admiration to be slammed shut. One just has to think about it.

For instance, if what is feeding your self-admiration is your alleged knowledge, then remember how there was a time in your life when you did not know, and if you live long enough, again, al-Jabbr may compel you with senility till you no longer know. Furthermore, have you ever considered how much you do not know and will never know? No matter how high the ladder of knowledge one climbs, he remains – in reality – compelled by ignorance.

وَمَا أُوتِيتُمْ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

“And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.” [19]

If you are feeling self-impressed because of your position of authority, your standing within the community and position of influence, then ask yourself, ‘If I was on the verge of dying from thirst, would I not surrender all of these positions for a sip of water?’ If the answer is yes, then how worthless is an authority which, in reality, is not even worth a cup of water.

If it is your wealth that is causing you self-admiration, then realise that this is one of the worst reasons for pride, for some of the vilest of humans to have ever walked the earth were richer than you. How then can you accept this as criteria of greatness for yourself? Furthermore, the eventual outcome of wealth is one of two; (1) voluntary distribution via charity or (2) forceful distribution via the compulsion of death. On what basis, then, can wealth give birth to self-admiration if it must bid you farewell sooner or later?

If your self-admiration is born of your strength and physique, then realise that animals – including donkeys, cows, bulls, amongst others – are far stronger than you and can carry greater weights. How, then, can an intelligent being become self-impressed by qualities that are found in greater quantities in unintelligent creatures?

Finally, if it is your picturesque beauty and spellbinding appearance that is causing you self-admiration, then take a moment to consider how you looked when you emerged from the womb of your mother, and think how you shall look post-death. No matter how much your family may dislike the idea of burying you, al-Jabbr has compelled your corpse to travel in one direction;

After the first 24-72 hours, the internal organs decompose. After 3-5 days, the body starts to bloat and blood-containing foam leaks from the mouth and nose. After 8-10 days, the body turns from green to red signifying the blood decomposing and the organs in the abdomen accumulating gas. Following the passage of several weeks, the nails and teeth fall out, and after one month, the body starts to liquefy.

Embracing al-Jabbr is to evict your air of self-importance. Lower yourself to the believers, accept their apology, receive advice with genuine happiness, and, as your body prostrates to al-Jabbr, ensure that your pride does so as well.

To fear al-Jabbr

Whether it is a line of Allāh’s which he is on the verge of crossing, a tyrannical tendency towards spouse, children or subordinates that he is about to act upon, man is instantly stopped in his tracks in fear of al-Jabbr. Man remembers that His dominance over man is far greater than man’s over others.

Abū Mas’ūd said:

كُنْتُ أضْرِبُ غُلامًا لِي بالسَّوْطِ، فَسَمِعْتُ صَوْتًا مِنْ خَلْفِي: «اعْلَمْ أَبَا مَسْعُودٍ» فَلَمْ أفْهَمِ الصَّوْتِ مِنَ الغَضَبِ، فَلَمَّا دَنَا مِنِّي إِذَا هُوَ رسولُ الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم )وَفِي روايةٍ: فَسَقَطَ السَّوْطُ مِنْ يَدِي مِنْ هَيْبَتِهِ( فإذا هُوَ يَقُولُ: «اعْلَمْ أَبَا مَسْعُودٍ أنَّ اللهَ أقْدَرُ عَلَيْكَ مِنْكَ عَلَى هَذَا الغُلامِ»

“I was beating my slave with a whip when I heard a voice behind me, saying: ‘Realise, O Abū Mas’ūd’ but I failed to recognise what was being said due to my rage. As he came nearer, I realised it was the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam). The whip fell out of my hand due to my awe of him. He was saying: ‘Realise, O Abū Mas’ūd, that Allāh’s power over you is greater than your power is over your slave.’ So, I said:

لا أضْرِبُ مَمْلُوكًا بَعْدَهُ أَبَدًا

“I will never hit a slave ever again.”

In another narration, Abū Mas’ūd then said:

يَا رسولَ الله، هُوَ حُرٌّ لِوَجْهِ اللهِ تَعَالَى، فَقَالَ: «أمَا لَوْ لَمْ تَفْعَلْ، لَلَفَحَتْكَ النَّارُ، أَوْ لَمَسَّتْكَ النَّارُ»

“O Messenger of Allāh, he is now free for the sake of Allāh.” The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “Had you not done that, the fire of hell would have touched you.”[20]

Similarly, Abū Huraira once came across a woman in public smelling of perfume. He said to her,

يا أمة الجبار , تريدين المسجد ؟

“O servant of al-Jabbr! Are you going to the Masjid?”

She said, “Yes”. He said, “And have you perfumed yourself for the Masjid?” She replied, “Yes,” He said, “Then go back, for I have heard the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) say,

ما من امرأة تخرج إلى المسجد فتعصف ريحها فيقبل الله منها صلاة حتى ترجع فتغتسل

‘Any woman who makes her way to the Masjid while smelling of perfume will not have her prayer accepted till she goes back and washes it off.’” [21]

In advising her, Abū Huraira chose – from all of Allāh’s names – the Majestic Name al-Jabbr, as it serves the purpose of warning that he intended, for a Lord with such a name is not to be tested.

The love of al-Jabbr

Human hearts have been naturally formed to love those who do well by them. When considering this point, think of the countless manifestations of repair that are exhibited by al-Jabbr within the universe on a second by second basis.

Consider the sheer number of children who were raised in the midst of a fractured home, an abusive family, and an environment of extreme stress. Despite the odds, such children grew up to become well-mannered adults, successful in their education, happy in their marriages and grounded in their religion. Who was the one who repaired their breakage?

He was al-Jabbr.

Consider how many were told that they were failures and that they would never amount to anything worthwhile, yet the opposite came to pass. Whether we speak of Thomas Edison who was told that he was “too stupid to learn anything” but went onto becoming one of the greatest inventors of all time. An inventor with more than 1,000 patents held in his name in the U.S alone and one who revolutionised everyday life with inventions such as the light bulb. Alternatively, if we discuss James Dyson, who was told “you must be mad” when proposing vacuum technology without bags and filters. A man who went onto form his own company which is currently worth over $10 billion.[22] Perhaps we may discuss Steve Jobs who was told “hey, we do not need you. You have not got through college yet”, not knowing that they had just dismissed the future co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc.[23] Who was the one who repaired their breakage?

He was al-Jabbr.

Consider how many bereaved ones had wept profusely at the demise of a loved one, arguing that they would never recover, never move on and never be happy again. But noting that they did recover, move on and happiness did find its way back to them. Who was the one who repaired their breakage?

He was al-Jabbr.

Consider the countless stories of those who were diagnosed with, at times, multiple life-threatening illnesses. Illnesses that consumed their wellbeing and shattered their morale. Those individuals would then go on to survive, make a full recovery and live a long life of prosperity. Who was it that repaired their breakage?

It was al-Jabbr.

Al-Jabbār, therefore, is not only the Ever Compeller but also the Ever Restorer. It is He who restores by compelling and compels to restore. Is a Lord of such attributes not worthy of being adored?

One of our contemporaries narrates a story that he witnessed; of a wealthy member of his community who is known for his successful businesses. An engineer approached him and requested the hand of his daughter in marriage. The engineer was a righteous man with an average income. The businessman, however, rejected the proposal as the engineer was not rich enough. Moreover, he rejected him in the most insolent of ways.

Years later, a law was passed which severely affected the business of the businessman, rendering him bankrupt and unable to make ends meet. The ex-businessman requested that members of his community intervene in speaking to the engineer whose marriage proposal he had turned down. Their efforts succeeded, and the engineer did marry her.

By this time, the engineer had become highly successful and, in a miraculous turn of events, offered work to his father in law. His father in law accepted the job offer and was now an employee of the one whom he had ridiculed just a few years back for not being rich enough.[24] Who was the One who compelled the circumstances to produce this outcome, bringing back the smile to the face of the humiliated engineer and sealing the pieces of his broken heart together?

He is al-Jabbr.

The same narrator of this incident speaks of another case of which, once again, he has personally witnessed. He narrates the case of a married couple who were enjoying a meal together one evening when they heard a knock on the door. The wife went to see who it was and found a beggar at the door requesting food. She was about to give him something when her husband shouted from the living room, saying: “Send him away! Do not give him anything!”

The days passed, and the couple eventually parted ways following a divorce. She ended up marrying a wealthy individual, and one evening as they were enjoying a meal together in their home, they heard a knock on their door. The wife opened the door and fell into shock, unable to believe what she was seeing. Her husband asked her, “What is the matter?” She said, “Do you know who this is? This is my ex-husband who told me to send you away all those years ago.” [25]

Who was the compeller of events and the repairer of broken hearts? He was al-Jabbr. One who compels oppressors to restore dignity for the oppressed, and compels illnesses to leave ailing bodies and restores health. It is He who compels despair into victory to restore hope in the lives of the defeated and – at times – compels the fixed laws of the universe to restore the value of justice on land.

So long as man lives, he will continue to hear stories of power being reduced to weakness, weakness being restored to power. Stories of riches that were decimated into scarcity, and scarcity that was restored to wealth till man submits to the reality that there is no true Jabbr but Allāh and that this Jabbr is the only One deserving of unconditional love.



[1] Al-Qur’ān, 26:130

[2] Al-Qur’ān, 5:22

[3] Tafsīr al-Tabari

[4] Al-Qur’ān, 59:23

[5] Bukhari

[6] Muslim

[7] Al-Tirmidhi

[8] Al-Qur’ān, 3:6

[9] Al-Qur’ān, 41:11


[11] Al-Qur’ān, 3:83

[12] Al-Qur’ān, 5:1

[13] Al-Qur’ān, 28:68

[14] Al-Qur’ān, 17:103-104


[16] Al-Qur’ān, 19:32

[17] Al-Qur’ān, 50:35

[18] Al-Qur’ān, 50:45

[19] Al-Qur’ān, 17:85

[20] Muslim

[21] Sahih Ibnū Khuzayma



[24] Muhammad Rtib al-Nbulsi

[25] Ibid

About Shaikh Ali Hammuda

Shaikh Ali Ihsan Hammuda is a UK national of Palestinian origin. He gained bachelors and masters’ degrees in Architecture & Planning from the University of the West of England, before achieving a BA in Shari'ah from al-Azhar University in Egypt. He is currently based in Wales and is a visiting Imām at Al-Manar Centre in Cardiff, and also a senior researcher and lecturer for the Muslim Research & Development Foundation in London. Ustādh Ali is the author of several books including 'The Daily Revivals' and 'The Ten Lanterns", and continues to deliver sermons, lectures and regular classes across the country.

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