Editor's Note: This Ramadan we are exploring various names and attributes of Allah (S) in a series, which are being featured throughout the holy month.
As Ramadan slowly comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on my own journey this month and have been struggling with what I wanted to give to Allah (S) versus what I was able to actually do by way of ibadah (worship). The other day in a meeting with some of my Haute Hijab team members, we were doing a Ramadan check-in, and I mentioned that I felt so disappointed in myself because I’ve been perpetually exhausted (mom of two littles here!) and haven’t been able to really do a lot of extra ibadah.
I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
We reminded each other that Allah (S) knows what we go through, what our responsibilities are and what our intentions are. He sees all our sacrifices, and He just wants us to turn to Him, and keep the connection alive with him in whatever way possible. Melanie reminded us that maybe us feeling this way is a sign from Allah (S) to go easier on ourselves, and practice more self love: Allah (S) doesn’t expect for the full time mom/caretaker to have the same stamina to stay up all night praying the way a single college student on break or retired elder would, for example.
Fulfilling your responsibilities is also your ibadah. I reminded myself of Allah’s (S) mercy and wisdom.
He puts me where I need to be, He knows my circumstances and my heart, and He loves me, regardless of how or what I think of myself.
This isn’t to say that because God is all-knowing and doesn’t need our worship that we don’t put an effort. It just means that when we’re doing our best, we shouldn’t be coming down so hard on ourselves. And, deep down we know what we are capable of and what our best is. The important thing is to always keep our connection alive with Allah (S) – in whatever that means for us at different seasons of our lives.
Image source: Shutterstock and Twitter
To reflect upon some of His names and attributes, as we’ve done so in this brief Ramadan blog series, is a beautiful reminder of how wonderful, forgiving, merciful, wise (and so many other things) that Allah (S) is to us and for us. These names of Allah (S) are guideposts to how we should tread in our lives.
This series has really helped me – and I hope you as well – put things into perspective. Together we’ve covered eight of Allah’s (S) names: Al-Rahman Al-Rahim, Al-Wadud, Al-Hakim, Al-Ghaffar, Al-Ghafoor, Al-Ghafir and Al-Afw. We went in-depth into each of these names, what they mean, and how understanding each one can impact your faith in Him.
Out of all of Allah’s (S) 99 names, these two names are the ones attributed to Allah (S) the most – which should tell you all you need to know. Al-Rahman Al-Rahim
means the ever merciful – past, present and future. Allah (S) wants us to know Him by His mercy. In fact, in a hadith Qudsi, Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
"When Allah decreed the Creation He pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with Him: My mercy prevails over my wrath." [Related by Muslim, also by al-Bukhari, an-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah]
Image source: Pexels
The Affectionate and The Most Loving is He, Al-Wadud
. While worldly love is almost always conditional( one way or the other), Allah’s (S) love for His creation (and yes, that includes you!!) is everlasting, unwavering and unconditional. His love for us is manifested in all facets of our lives, even when we don’t realize it. So when things get rough, know and trust that He loves you unconditionally, and that He has knowledge of what we do not. Everything He does is for the best – even if it does not feel like it. We do not know what He knows.
This name means the All-Wise – and it points to Allah’s (S) infinite wisdom in all things
– that everything He does is done with absolute wisdom, knowledge, and perfection. Of Allah’s (S) 99 names, understanding the meaning of Al-Hakim can help put so many things into perspective and deepen and strengthen your faith by shaping your tawakkul
, or trust, in Him. It’s easier to hold on to faith and trust in many of His rules and teachings when you truly understand and appreciate Allah’s (S) ultimate wisdom and knowledge, which of course is tied to His benevolence and mercy.
Al-Ghaffar, Al-Ghafoor, Al-Ghafir, Al-Afw
These names (plus some more that I don’t mention) all point towards Allah’s (S) generously forgiving nature
– how He will always forgive us so long as we turn to Him in [sincere] repentance, no matter how big or small the sins. Moreover, He doesn’t just forgive, but He LOVES to forgive us and loves when we turn back to Him after we transgress. Why? Because He created us as human beings with all our flaws and imperfections. We are not expected to be perfect, but are perfected to pursue our path to Allah (S), even as we make mistakes along the way.
Image source: Instagram
The impetus behind this series was to help us better understand who Allah (S) is so that it becomes easier to submit to Him and have a relationship with Him. When we learn about Islam, oftentimes we come across the do’s and don’t’s … what’s halal and what’s haram. Depending on where you are in your faith journey, it can be easy or hard (or in between) to follow said rules and guidelines, especially if you don’t know why they exist, or if they’re imposed upon you by someone else. This often can build resentment towards others, and worse, towards your religion and Lord.
But, to know someone is to love them, and to know Allah (S) is to love Him and understand (as much as He’ll allow) Him. And when you love Allah (S), submitting to His will, especially when times get tough, becomes easier. And isn’t that what we all want? To be able to easily turn back to Him no matter what is happening in our lives, and to understand that He always has our backs, no matter what?
If you took nothing else from this Ramadan, I want you to take this: Allah (S) loves YOU. He wants YOU to turn to Him, regardless of your past and even when you aren’t “feeling it.” Actually, especially when you aren’t “feeling it” or feeling close to Him, because you’re still submitting to Him, and He will open the way for you. Learn about Allah (S), fall in love with your Creator, and devote yourself to Him.
In addition to our series on Allah’s (S) 99 names, we’ve also held halaqas
every week this month, which I highly recommend you watch. They’re over on IGTV for you to reference any time! We discussed Allah’s (S) mercy
, purification of the soul
and the vulnerability of submission
, together with some amazing speakers, Masha’Allah
May Allah (S) accept our Ramadan and allow us to live to see the next, Insha’Allah. Remember, even if you’re disappointed with yourself for how your Ramadan has been going, you still have a few days left. All it takes is one moment of connection with Him, Insha’Allah, to revive your heart and spirituality. Turn to Him, be vulnerable with Him, and talk to Him about everything. He is the everlasting, the All-Merciful, the All-Loving, the All-Wise, the All-Forgiving and so much more.
You will not be let down, Insha’Allah.