An-Nahj al-Asma Fii Sharh Asma Allahu al-Husna by Shaikh Muhammad an-Najdi
This Noble Name is mentioned five times in the Qur’an.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Baqarah (2:255):
“Allaah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped except He), the Ever-Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him.”
He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) also says in Surat Aal-‘Imran (3:1-2):
“Alif-Laam-Meem. Allaah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped except He), the Ever–Living, the Sustainer of (all) existence.”
He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat Ta-Ha (20:111):
“And (all) faces shall be humbled before (Allaah), the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. And he who carried injustice (i.e. committed sin or wrong doing towards Allaah or any of His creation) will be indeed a complete failure.”
In Surat al-Furqan (25:58), Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:
“And put your trust (O Muhammad Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) in the Ever-Living, the One Who dies not, and glorify His Praises, and Sufficient is He as the All-Knower of the sins of His slaves.“
In Surat Ghafir (40:65), Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:
“He is the Ever-Living, “La ilaha illa Huwa” (none has the right to be worshipped but He), so invoke Him making your worship purely for Him Alone (by worshipping Him A lone and none else, by doing righteous deeds sincerely for His Sake, and by not showing off or setting up rivals with Him in worship). All the praises and thanks be to Allaah, the Lord of the Alameen (mankind, Jinns and all that exists).”
The Meaning of the Name as regards Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala)
At-Tabari (Rahimahullaah) said: “Al-Hayy is the One to Whom belongs the eternity, the continuous life and existence, which has no beginning to be limited to, nor an end to be reached. The life of everything and everyone other than Him, even though it is alive, is bounded i.e., has a beginning and an end; its life cuts off when it reaches its due term.” [Jami’ul-Bayan]
At-Tabari also said concerning the verse in Surat Aal-‘Imran: “Others have said ‘Al-Hayy means He to Whom belongs the continuous life, which is one of His Attributes that He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) is attributed with since forever and continuously. Others said ‘Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) attributed Himself with life because He has life, just as He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) attributed Himself with Knowledge and Ability.’ Accordingly, the meaning is that Allaah attributed Himself with eternal life, which never ends nor gets cut off, and He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) negated from His life what occurs to the lives of the creation of ending or cutting off when the due term is reached.
Therefore, Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) informs His servants about His life to draw their attention that He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) deserves to be worshipped Alone and none else.
Al-Hayy is the One Who never dies nor perishes as is the case of other lords that are worshipped besides Him. Everyone who claims to be a deity other than Him will perish. Therefore, he does not deserve to be worshipped as the real deity is the Eternal One Who never dies nor perishes and that is Allaah, La ilaha illa Huwa, none has the right to be worshipped except He.” [Jami’ul-Bayan]
Az-Zajjaj said: “Al-Hayy is opposite to death. Allaah (Azza wa jall) is Al-Hayy, the Ever-Living Who never dies. Neither death nor termination overtakes Him. Far is He above that. This is the only meaning that the Arabs know about Al-Hayy (the Ever-Living) and life.” [Ishtiqaq al-Asmaa’]
Al-Khattabi said: “Al-Hayy is one of Allaah’s Attributes; He Who is eternally existing and attributed with life. His life is never preceded with death (non-existence) nor does death overtake Him after life. However, all the living creatures are overtaken by death or non-existence in the beginning and at the end of their lives. “Everything will perish save His Face.” [Al-Qasas 28:88] [Sha’n ad-Duaa]
Al-Baihaqi (Rahimahullaah) added to the statement of al-Khattabi saying: “Life is an Attribute of His Essence.” [Al-I’tiqad]
Ibn Katheer (Rahimahullaah) said: “Al-Hayyul-Qayyum is the Ever-Living Who never dies. He is the One Who sustains everyone and everything. All creation stands in need of Allaah and totally relies on Him, while He is Most Rich, Who stands in need of nothing created.”
The impact of believing in this Name:
- Allaah, the Blessed the Most High, is Hayy (Living) with a life which is an Attribute for Him. He is Ever-Living, He never dies, while the Jinn and mankind die, as well as everything on the earth, as He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat ar-Rahman (55:26-27):
“Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish. And the Face of your Lord full of Majesty and Honor will abide forever.”
This Name affirms the Attribute of life to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala). It is one of the Attributes that is related to the Essence of Allaah. [Sifah Dhatiyyah]
His Life, Glory be to Him, is the most perfect life and this belief requires that every perfection be affirmed, which contradicts any negation of perfect life.
2. His Life (Jalla wa a’laa), Glory be to Him, is free from any resemblance to the life of the creation, as no death or demise happens to it, neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him.
As-Sinah is the drowsiness that precedes the sleep and therefore negates the Perfect Life and Ability because sleep subdues the living one from among us and stops one’s senses, ability and knowledge. Therefore, it is not right to attribute Allaah with that. How would one imagine that sleep over takes Him, knowing that the heavens and the earth cannot stand without Him? He Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat Faatir (35:41):
“Indeed, Allaah holds the heavens and the earth, lest they cease (move away). And if they should cease (move away), no one could hold them (in place) after Him. Indeed, He is Forbearing and Oft-Forgiving.”
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said: “Verily, Allaah the Exalted does not sleep, and it does not befit Him to sleep. He lowers the scale and lifts it. The deeds in the night are taken up to Him before the deeds of the day, and the deeds of the day before the deeds of the night.” [Muslim]
3. Allaah, the Exalted, is the One Who grants the eternal life to the people of Paradise; a life that never ends. Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Ankabut (29:64):
“And indeed, the home of the Hereafter – that is the (eternal) life.”
Allaah is the One Who made their lives eternal, not because eternity or continuity is an attribute of their lives by itself, contrary to the life of the Lord (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) as well as the rest of His Attributes. The Attributes of the Creator befit Him and the attributes of the creation befit them.
4. The Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) use to say the following supplication using this name:
“اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ, وَبكَ آمَنْتُ, وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكّلْتُ, وإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْتُ, وَبكَ خَاصَمْتُ, اللَّهُمَّ إِنّي أَعُوذُ بِعِزَّتِكَ لا إله إِلاَّ أَنْتَ أَنْ تُضِلَّني, أَنْتَ الحَيُّ الذي لا يَمُوتُ, والجِنُّ وَالإِنْسُ يموتون.” [متفق عليه]
Allaahumma laka aslamtu, wa bika aamantu, wa alayka tawakkultu, wa ilyaka anabtu, wa bika khaasamtu, Allaahumma innee a’oudhu bi-‘Ezzatika laa ilaha illa Anta an tudillanee, Antal-Hayyu al-ladhee laa yamootu, wal-jinnu wal-Insu yamootoon.”
“O Allaah! I submit myself to You, and I believe in You, and I depend on You, and I repent to You, and return to You, and to You I leave the judgment (for those who refuse my message). I seek refuge (with You) by Your ‘Ezzah (Honor, Power and Glory), Laa ilaha illa Anta (none has the right to be worshipped but You) against Your misguidance, You are the Ever-Living Who does not die while the jinn and human beings die.” [Agreed upon]
- The Name of Allaah: Dhul-Jalaali wal-Ikraam (Owner of Majesty and Honor)
- Ash-Shaheed (The Witness)
- The Name of Allaah: Al-Muheet (The Encompassing)
- Al-Majeed (The Glorious)