The Name of Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala), Al-Lateef, is mentioned seven times in the Noble Qur’an.

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-An’aam (6:103):

لاَّ تُدْرِكُهُ الأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

“No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle and Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things.”

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) also said in Surat Yusuf (12:100):

إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٌ لِّمَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ

“Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He wills. Indeed, it is He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) said in Surat Luqman (31:16):

يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُن فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ

“O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allaah will bring it forth, verily Allaah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place).”

Allaah (‘Azza wa Jall) also said in Surat al-Mulk (67:14):

أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

“Should He not know what He created? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All-Aware (of everything).”

 

The meaning of this Beautiful Name:

Ibn Jarir (Rahimahullaah) said: “He is Subtle and Kind with His slaves, All-Acquainted with them and with their deeds.” [Jami’e ul-Bayan]

Al-Khattabi (Rahimahullaah) said: “Al-Lateef is the Most Subtle, Kind, Courteous and Generous with His slaves. He is Kind with them in a way they perceive not and makes easy for them their affairs from sources they never could imagine, as He (Subhana wa Ta’ala) said in Surat ash-Shura’ (42:19):

اللَّهُ لَطِيفٌ بِعِبَادِهِ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْقَوِيُّ العَزِيزُ

“Allaah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is All-Strong, All-Mighty.”

Abu Umar (Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahid bin Abi Hashim) said that Ibn al-A’raabi said: “Al-Lateef is the One Who fulfills your need in a kind way. When it is said that Allaah has been Lateef with you, it means that He (Subhana wa Ta’ala) brought for you what you like with kindness.”

It is also said, “Al-Lutf means gentleness and mystery. And when it is used in describing the body, it means small. This meaning doesn’t suit Allaah’s Majesty.” [Sha’n and Du’aa]

Ash-Shawkani (Rahimahullaah) said: “Allaah is Lateef, nothing is hidden from Him. His Knowledge reaches and encompasses everything, even the hidden.” [Fath-al-Qadeer]

Shaikh as-Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) said: “Al-Lateef is the One Whose Knowledge encompasses all the secret and hidden matters, Who is Aware of all that is hidden (in the deepest depths of the heavens and the earth) and is Aware of everything down to the most minute and finest details. He is the One Who is Kind to his believing servants, guiding them to that which would benefit them, and He aids them via means that they are not aware of, this by His Kindness and Beneficence. It also carries the meaning of al-Khabeer [Well-Acquainted with all things] and ar-Ra’oof [Full of Kindness].” [Tayseer al-Kareem]

Accordingly, Al-Lateef means:

1-  He, Whom nothing is hidden from, no matter how small or minute it is. He, Whose Knowledge comprehends all the secrets.

2-  He is Kind and Courteous to His slaves and provides them from sources of which they are not aware.

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) said in Surat at-Talaq (65:2-3):

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاً وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ

“And whosoever fears Allaah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.”

 

The impact of believing in this Name:

1-  Nothing is missed by the Knowledge of Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) no matter how small or minute it is or whether it is hidden in a deep place.

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) said in Surat al-An’aam (6:59):

وَعِندَهُ مَفَاتِحُ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْلَمُهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الأَرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

“And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever is on the earth or in the sea; not a leaf falls but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.”

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) described  Luqman in Surat Luqman (31:16), when he said to his son:

يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ فَتَكُن فِي صَخْرَةٍ أَوْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ أَوْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَأْتِ بِهَا اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ

“O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allaah will bring it forth. Verily, Allaah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place).”

Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullaah) said: “If a wrong action or a sin be equal to the size of a grain of a mustard-seed, Allaah will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, when it is placed on the scale of justice, and everyone will be rewarded or punished for his actions – if they are good, he will be rewarded, and if they are bad, he will be punished.

This is like the verse in Surat al-Zalzalah (99:7-8):

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْراً يَرَهُ وَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرّاً يَرَهُ

“So, whosoever does good equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it.”

Even if this tiny thing were to be hidden inside a solid rock or anywhere in the heavens or the earth, Allaah will bring it forth, because nothing is hidden from Him, not even the weight of a speck of dust in the heavens or on the earth. Allaah says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ

“Verily, Allaah is Subtle, Well-Aware,”

meaning, His Knowledge is subtle, for nothing is hidden from Him, no matter how small, subtle and minute. He is Well-Aware even of the footsteps of an ant in the darkest night.”

2-  When the slave knows that the Knowledge of his Lord is so comprehensive and precise (exact), and His Knowledge surrounds everything small and big, then he will take account of himself, and he will watch his actions and utterances, because in every state and moment he is in the presence of the Most Subtle, the All-Aware of everything:

أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

“Should He not know what He created? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All-Aware (of everything).” (Al-Mulk 67:14)

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) will recompense the people for their deeds on the Day of Judgment. If their deeds are good, they will be rewarded, and if they were bad, they will be punished. Nothing will be lost from the good deeds of the good-doer even if it is equal to the weight of speck of dust, and nothing will be lost from the evil deeds of the wrong-doer even if it is equal to the weight of a speck of dust.

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) then, out of His Grace and Generosity, will increase and multiply the rewards of the righteous people as He wills, and pardon and forgive the sins of whomever He wills among His slaves by His Kindness and Courteousness, and He punishes whomever He wills among His slaves because of their (major) sins, from His Justice. Verily, He is indeed All-Aware and All-Seeing of His slaves.

3-  Allaah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves.

Al-Haleemi said in regards the meaning of Al-Lateef, that He is the One Who wants the good and ease for His slaves, and guides them to that, which would benefit them, and aids them via means that is good and reforms them. It is out of His Kindness with His slaves, that He brings to them their provisions and everything they need in their lives.

Al-Qurtubi said, when interpreting the following verse in Surat Luqman (31:16):

يَا بُنَيَّ إِنَّهَا إِن تَكُ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ

“O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard-seed….”

That it means that Luqman wanted to inform his son about the Ability of Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala), because the weight of a mustard-seed cannot be detected by the human sense, nor does it make the scale heavy.

That is to say: if a provision is written for a man equal to a weight of a grain of mustard seed, though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allaah will bring it forth and give it to him. Therefore, don’t worry about your provision such that it distracts you from performing your obligations and duties towards Allaah.” [Al-Jamie’ Li Ahkaam al-Qur’an]

Al-Ghazali said: “The One Who deserves this Name is He Who knows the small details and the secrets of the beneficial matters and the interests, then He conveys it to the one who deserves it in a kind way. If kindness in action and subtlety in knowledge are joined together, then the meaning of Al-Lutf (courteousness and subtlety) is fulfilled, and that cannot be except for Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala).

Of Allaah’s Lutf (courteousness and subtlety) is His creating the embryo in the womb of the mother in three veils of darkness, protecting him and nourishing him through the umbilical cord, until he separates from the womb of the mother. Then He inspires him to suck the milk from the breast of his mother without having seen this or been taught, just as He inspires the chick to pick the grains as soon as it emerges from the cracked egg.

By Allaah’s Subtlety, the formation of the teeth is delayed until the time they are needed when substituting the milk with solid food. Teeth are divided into molars and premolars to chew various foods.

No one is able to perfectly explain about Allaah’s Subtlety and Courteousness.” [Al-Maqsad As-Surni]

4-  Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullaah) interpreted the verse in Surat al-An’aam (6:103) as follows:

لاَّ تُدْرِكُهُ الأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

“No vision can grasp Him, but His Grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle, and Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things.”

Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala) said, ‘No vision can grasp Him,’ in this life. The vision will be able to look at Allaah in the Hereafter, as affirmed and attested to by the numerous Hadiths from the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) through authentic chains of narration. As for this life, Masruq narrated that Aisha (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha) said, “Whoever claims that Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has seen his Lord, will have uttered a lie against Allaah, for Allaah the Most Honored, says, “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision.” [Fath-al-Bari and Muslim]

In Sahih Muslim, it is recorded that Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated from the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), “Verily, Allaah does not sleep and it does not befit His Majesty that He should sleep. He lowers the scale (of everything) and raises it. The deeds of the day ascend to Him before the night, and the deeds of the night before the day. His Veil is the Light or Fire and if He removes it (the Veil), the Light of His Face will burn every created thing that His Sight reaches.”

What happened when Musa (‘Alayhis-Salaam) requested to see Allaah (Subhana wa Ta’ala)?

Allaah (‘Azza wa Jall) said in Surat al-Araf (7:143):

فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكّاً وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقاً فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“So when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust, and Musa fell down unconscious. Then, when he recovered his senses, he said: ‘Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers.'”

These verses, ahadith and statements do not negate the fact that Allaah will be seen on the Day of Resurrection by His believing slaves, in the manner that He decides, all the while preserving His Might and Grace as they are. The Mother of the Faithful, Aisha (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha) used to affirm that Allaah will be seen in the Hereafter, but denied that it could occur in this life.

“But His grasp is over all vision,” means, He encompasses all vision and He has full knowledge of them, for He created them all.

It is also possible that ‘all vision’ refers to those who have the vision. As-Suddi said that Allaah’s statement, ‘No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision,’ means, “Nothing sees Him (in this life), but He sees all creation.”

وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

“He is the Most Subtle, Well-Acquainted (with all things).”

Means, “He is the Most Subtle, bringing forth all things, Well-Acquainted with their position and place.” Allaah knows best. [Tafseer Ibn Kathir]

Source:

 📚 An-Nahj Al-Asma Fii Sharh Asma’u-Allaahul-Husna, by Shaikh Muhammad Al-Humoud Al-Najdi.

 

🌿 

 


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