An-Nahjul-Asma fii Sharh Asma’u Allah-ul-Husna, by Shaikh Muhammad Al-Humoud Al-Najdi
The Name Al-Jabbar is mentioned in the Qur’an only once in Allah’s Statement in Surat Al-Hashr (59:23):
العَزِيزُ الجَبَّارُ المُتَكَبِّرُ
“The Almighty, the Compeller, the Supreme.”
At-Tabari (Rahimahullaah) said, “Al-Jabbar means the One Who disposes the affairs of His creation in the way that is the best for them.”
Qatadah (Rahimahullaah) said, “Al-Jabbar is the One Who compelled His creation upon whatever He wills of His Commandments.”
As-Sa’di (Rahimahullaah) said, “The Name Al-Jabbar includes the meaning of Al-’Alee and Al-A’laa (The Most High), the meaning of Al-Qahhar (the Irresistible), and the meaning of Ar-Ra’uf (Full of Kindness). The One Who strengthens the weak and powerless, the One Who protects and shelters those who resort to Him and seek refuge with Him.”
Accordingly Al-Jabbar means the following:
- The Most High over His creation.
- The One Who reforms and repairs (mends) the matters; this is derived from the word Jabar which means to set or repair, to mend the broken (bones), and to relieve the poor or help them by making them rich.
- The Compeller Who obliges or compels His creation upon whatever He wants of an order or prohibition. As Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said to His Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) in Surat Qaaf (50:45):
وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْهِم بِجَبَّارٍ
“And you (O Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) are not a Jabbar over them (to force them to belief).”
The impact of believing in this Name:
- Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) is Al-Jabbar to Whom belongs the Highness (Eminence) over His creation. He is High with His Being (above the seventh heaven), High in Attributes and High in compulsion. None of His creations can approach Him except with His Command, nor intercede or speak except for whom He permits. None can harm Him nor benefit Him.
- Nothing can prevent Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) from compelling His creation upon what He wants.
إِنَّمَا أمره إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئاً أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
“His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be” and it is.” (Yaseen 36:82)
In addition, Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Al-Imran (3:83):
أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَن فِى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ طَوْعاً وَكَرْهاً وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ
“Do they seek other than the Religion of Allah, while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly. And to Him shall they all be returned.”
Also Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Fussilat (41:11):
ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِىَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعاً أَوْ كَرْهاً قَالَتا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ
“Then He ‘Istawa’ (rose above) towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.” They both said: “We come, willingly.”
That is to say, Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said to the heaven and earth, “Respond to My Command willingly or unwillingly.”
3. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) has overpowered His creation with whatever He willed of a Command or a Prohibition, i.e. He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) has ordained for them the Religion that pleases Him. He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) has legislated for them the laws and has ordered them to follow them and He has forbidden them from rejecting them (the laws); for whoever obeys, is Paradise and for whoever disobeys, is Hell-Fire.He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) did not force any of His creation to believe or disbelieve, however, He left for them the free will to choose between belief and disbelief. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Al-Kahf (18:29):
وقل الحق من ربكم فمن شاء فليؤمن ومن شاء فليكفر
“And say: ‘The Truth is from your Lord.’ Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.” And that will be according to His Will.*
Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) could have guided all people without leaving them any choice as He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) stated in Surat Ar-Ra’d (13:31):
أفلم ييأس الذين آمنوا أن لو يشاء الله لهدى الناس جميعاً
“Have not then those who believe yet known that had Allah willed, He could have guided all mankind?”
And He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat As-Sajdah (32:13):
ولو شئنا لآتينا كل نفس هداها
“And if We had willed, surely! We would have given every person his guidance.”
4. Potency, Power and Might are with Allah Alone, and Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) praised Himself with this Name, while in the case of His creation, this name (or attribute) is considered non-praiseworthy. So, what is the difference?
- The difference is that Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) overpowers the tyrants and the arrogant with His Power and Might. All the rulers submit to Him and obey His Commands. He is the Commander and the Irresistible.
لا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يفعل وهم يُسْأَلُون
“He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned.” [Al-Anbiya (21:23)]
- With regards to the creation, they are attributed with deficiency and shortcoming, and are overpowered and compelled, they are harmed by a bug and are eaten by worms, and bothered by a fly, they feel hungry, etc..
Whoever is attributed with these, is not suited to be arrogant and proud.
- The Prophets forbade their people from being attributed with arrogance or tyranny in the land. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said regarding Hud (‘Alayhi As-Salaam) that he told his people:
وإِذا بَطَشْتُم بَطَشْتُم جَبَّارين. فاتَّقُوا اللهَ وأَطيعون
“And when you seize (somebody), seize you (him) as tyrants. So fear Allah (keep your duty to Him) and obey me.” [Ash-Shu’ra (26:130-131)]
Until he (‘Alayhi As-Salaam) said:
إِنِّي أَخافُ علَيْكُم عَذابَ يَوْمٍ عَظيمٍ
“Verily, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day.” [Ash-Shu’ra (26:135)]
But they opposed and followed the command of their tyrant leaders, so they were all destroyed. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Hud (11:59):
وتِلكَ عادٌ، جَحَدوا بِآياتِ رَبِّهم وعصَوْا رُسُلَهُ واتَّبَعوا أَمْرَ كُلِّ جَبَّارٍ عَنيد
“Such were ’Ad (people). They rejected the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, etc.) of their Lord and disobeyed His Messengers, and followed the command of every proud, obstinate (oppressor of the Truth, from their leaders).”
Thus, this tyranny and pride was the reason behind the sealing up of their hearts such that they did not know any good and never denied any evil. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said:
كَذلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللهُ علَى كُلِّ قَلْبِ مُتَكَبِّرٍ جَبَّار
“Thus does Allah seal up the heart of every arrogant, tyrant, (so they cannot guide themselves to the right path).” (Ghafir 40:35)
- Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) threatened the tyrants with torment, Hell-Fire and an evil abode. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Ibrahim (14:15-17):
وَلَنُسْكِنَنَّكُمُ الْأَرْضَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَافَ مَقَامِى وَخَافَ وَعِيدِ
وَاسْتَفْتَحُوا وَخَابَ كُلُّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ
“But they (the Messengers) sought victory and help [from their Lord (Allah)], and every obstinate, arrogant dictator (who refuses to believe in the Oneness of Allah) was brought to a complete loss and destruction. In front of him is Hell, and he will be made to drink boiling, festering water. He will sip it unwillingly, and he will find a great difficulty to swallow it down his throat, and death will come to him from every side, yet he will not die and in front of him, will be a great torment.”
Allah’s Messenger (Salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A neck will come out from the Hell-Fire on the Day of Judgment, it has two eyes with which it sees and two ears with which it hears and a tongue which speaks and says: ‘I am appointed to three (persons); every obstinate tyrant (arrogant), everyone who associates with Allah another god and with picture makers.” [Reported by Ahmed and At-Tirmidhi]
- Also Allah’s Messenger (Salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Paradise and Hell disputed, and Hell said, ‘I have been given the privilege of receiving the tyrants and the arrogant. Paradise said, ‘What is the matter with me? Why do only the weak and the humble among the people enter me?’ On that, Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) said to Paradise, ‘You are My Mercy which I bestow on whoever I wish of My slaves.’ Then Allah said to the (Hell) Fire, ‘You are My (means of) punishment by which I punish whoever I wish of My slaves. And each of you will have its fill.’” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
5. On the day of Resurrection, the whole (planet of) earth will be a bread in the Hand of Al-Jabbar (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala): Narrated Abu Sa’eid Al-Khudri (Radia Allaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (Salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The (planet of) earth will be a bread on the Day of Resurrection, and the Irresistible (Allah) will topple turn it with his Hand like anyone of you topple turns a bread with his hands while (preparing the bread) for a journey, and that bread will be the entertainment for the people of Paradise.” [Al-Bukhari]
6. Between the two Sajdah(prostrations), the Prophet (Salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to invoke with the following supplication:
اللهم اغْفِرْ لي وارْحَمْنِي واجْبُرْنِي وارْفَعْنِي واهْدِنِي وعافِنِي وارْزُقْنِي
“Allahumagh-firli warhamni, wajburni, warfa’ni, wahdini, wa ’Afini, warzuqni.”
“O Allah forgive me; have mercy on me; strengthen me; raise my rank, guide me, grant me well-being; sustain me.” [Reported by Abu Dawoud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]
The Prophet (Salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to invoke Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) with what His Name Al-Jabbar means and indicates.
Ibn Al-Athir (Rahimahullaah) said: “Wajburni means make me rich (or enrich me) and that is derived from consoling and comforting the afflicted person by returning to him (or substituting for him) what he has lost, originally derived from setting broken bones.”
Also he (Salla Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to magnify his Lord with this Name in the night prayer, in his Ruku’ and Sujud, saying:
سبحان ذي الجَبَرُوتِ والمَلَكُوتِ والكِبْرِياءِ والعَظَمَة
“Subhana dhil-Jabarooti wal-Malakooti wal-Kibriyaa’i wal-Adhamah.”
“How perfect is He, Who has all Power, Kingdom, Magnificence and Supremacy.” [Reported by Abu Dawoud and An-Nisaa’i, with a Sahih Isnad]
* The mislead Jabriyah sect (the determinists) denied that the slave has any choice. They said that the human being is like a dead person who has neither ability, nor action, like the tree which is moved by the wind, and the doer, in fact, is Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala)! This is the distorted meaning of Tawheed according to this sect!
- Al-Awwal (The First)
- Al-Wadood (The Most Loving)
- The Name of Allaah: Al-’Afuw (The Oft-Pardoning)
- Knowing Our Rabb (Part-2): Where is Allah?