An-Nahj al-Asma Fii Sharh Asma Allahu al-Husna by Shaikh Muhammad an-Najdi
The Name of Allaah, Al-Qawiyy, is mentioned nine times in the noble Qur’an.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Anfaal (8:52):
“Their behavior is similar to the behavior of the people of Pharaoh, and of those before them; they rejected the Ayaat (proofs, signs, evidences, etc.) of Allaah, so Allaah punished them for their sins. Verily, Allaah is All-Strong, Severe in punishment.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat Hud (11:66):
“So when Our Commandment came, We saved Saalih and those who believed with him by a Mercy from Us, and from the disgrace of that Day. Verily, your Lord, He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) also says in Surat al-Hajj (22:40):
“Verily, Allaah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allaah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat Al-Hajj (22:74):
“They have not estimated Allaah His Rightful Estimate, verily; Allaah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.”
In Surat ash-Shura (42:19), Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:
“Allaah is very Gracious and Kind to His slaves. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the All-Mighty.”
In Surat al-Mujadalah (58:21), Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:
“Allaah has decreed: “Verily! It is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious”. Verily, Allaah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty.”
The Name of Allaah, Al-Mateen, is mentioned only once in Surat adh-Dhariyat (51:58):
“Verily, Allaah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong.”
The Meaning of the two Names:
Ibn Jarir said regarding Allaah’s Statement, “Verily, Allaah is All-Strong, severe in punishment,” that Allaah is All-Strong; no one can overpower Him, nor can His Command be rejected. He executes His Command and His Decree is fulfilled on His creatures, severe in His punishment for whomsoever disbelieves in His Ayaat (signs, verses, proofs, etc.) and denies His proofs.” [Jami’ul-Bayaan]
Ibn Jarir also said regarding Allaah’s Statement, “Verily your Lord, He is the All-Strong, All-Mighty,” that indeed, your Lord is All-Strong in His Grasp (seizure); if He seized (grasped) anything, He would destroy it as He destroyed Thamud. [Jami’ul Bayaan]
Az-Zajjaj said: “Al-Qawiyy is the One Who is perfect in His Ability over everything. (For example) you say: ‘He is Able to carry it;’ if you want to increase in describing Him with this Attribute, you say: ‘He is All-Strong in carrying it.’
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) attributed Himself with strength, saying: “Verily, Allaah is the All-Provider, Owner of Power, the Most Strong.” [51:58] [Tafseer al-Asmaa’]
Al-Khattabi said: “Al-Qawiyy implies two meanings:
(1) All-Able, and Whoever has the power to do something, then He is Able to do it.
(2) One Who is perfect in strength; incapacity never overcomes Him in any state, whereas in the case of the creature, if he is attributed with strength, his strength is deficient (i.e. he does not have the strength to do certain matters.)” [Sha’n ad-Du’a]
Ibn Katheer (Rahimahullaah) said in his interpretation of Allaah’s Statement, “Verily Allaah is All-Strong, Severe in Punishment,” that none can resist Him or escape His Grasp. [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]
Shaikh as-Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) said: “Al-Qawiyy and Al-Mateen fall under the meaning of Al-Azeez (the All-Mighty). He is the One to Whom belongs might/ honor in its entirety, the might/honor of strength, the might/honor of conquest and the might/honor of preventing. So He has prevented any of His creation from encompassing and grasping Him. He is Omnipotent over everything that is in existence; the whole of creation is subjected and indebted to Him and yielding before His Greatness.” [Tayseer al-Kareem]
The meaning of Al-Mateen:
Ibn Qutaibah said: “Al-Mateen is Most Strong.” [Ghareeb al-Hadeeth]
Az-Zajjaj said: “The One Whose Strength and Ability have reached the extremity.” [Tafseer al-Asmaa’]
Al-Khattabi said: “Al-Mateen is the All-Strong, Whose strength never cuts off, nor does any difficulty overtake His actions, nor does any fatigue touch Him.” [Sha’n ad-Du’a]
Strength indicates perfect ability and Mataanah indicates the extreme or intense strength of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala).
The impact of believing in these two Names:
- Indeed, all the power and strength belong to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) Alone without associates. Nothing can return His ordainment, there is no adjuster of His decision (none is able to put back Allaah’s judgment), there is none dominant over His Command (i.e. His Command is executive), He honors whomever He wills and disgraces whomever He wills, He gives victory and support to whomever He wills and forsakes whomever He wills. The honored is the one whom Allaah has honored, the humiliated is the one whom Allaah has humiliated, the triumphant is the one whom Allaah gives the triumph and the disgraced is the one whom Allaah has disgraced.
- Allaah is praised for being the Supporter of His Messengers (peace be upon them all), He is the One Who honors His party of Monotheists because they support His religion with their hearts, utterances and actions. Therefore, they deserved the triumph from their Lord and His truthful promise. Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat al-Hajj (22:40):
“Surely, Allaah will help those who help Him (His Cause). Truly, Allaah is All-Strong, All-Mighty.”
And Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat as-Saffat (37:171-172):
“And verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our slaves, the Messengers, that they verily would be made triumphant.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) also says in Surat al-Mujadalah (58:21):
“Allaah has decreed: ‘Verily! It is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious. ‘Verily, Allaah is All-Powerful, All-Mighty.'”
Look, for example, at the support of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) for His Messenger Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his Companions in the Battle of the Trench (the Battle of the Confederates), in which all the disbelievers had gathered from different sides to fight the believers (who were reckoned weak) in Madinah.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) made His believing slaves triumphant, honored His soldiers and defeated the confederates Alone with His power without associates. Their power availed them not in anything. Had it not been for Allaah’s supporting them and driving back the disbelievers, the believers would not have attained any good.
In Surat al-Ahzaab (33:9-11) Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) confers His favors upon the believers saying:
“O you who believe! Remember Allaah’s Favor to you, when there came against you hosts, and We sent against them a wind and forces that you saw not [i.e. troops of angels during the battle of Al-Ahzaab (the Confederates)]. And Allaah is Ever All-Seer of what you do. When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes grew wild and the hearts reached to the throats, and you were harboring doubts about Allaah. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.“
Until Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in verse (33:25):
“And Allaah drove back those who disbelieved in their rage, they gained no advantage (booty, etc.). Allaah sufficed for the believers in the fighting (by sending against the disbelievers a severe wind and troops of angels). And Allaah is Ever All-Strong, All-Mighty.”
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) drove back those who disbelieved, disappointed and frustrated, and the ordinance (i.e. victory) of Allaah became manifest though they hated it. All Glory be to Allaah, to Whom belongs all the power and majesty.
3. Many times man forgets himself, his weakness and his need and he stands as an opponent to Allaah, associates with Him that which he has no knowledge of, supports others against Him, makes mischief in the land and shows pride without just right, especially when Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) bestows upon him a blessing such as kingship, nobility, wealth or children.
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) has mentioned in His Book about nations (populations) which revolted against the Command of their Lord and His Messenger, so Allaah called them to a severe account (torment in this life) and a terrible torment (in the Hereafter).
Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat Ghafir (40: 21-22):
” Have they not travelled in the land and seen what was the end of those who were before them? They were superior to them in strength, and in the traces (which they left) in the land. But Allaah seized them with punishment for their sins. And none had they to protect them from Allaah. That was because there came to them their Messengers with clear evidences, proofs and signs but they disbelieved (in them). So Allaah seized them with punishment. Verily, He is All-Strong, Severe in punishment.”
From among them are the people of Hud (Alayihi’musalam), about whom Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says in Surat Fussilat (41: 15-16):
“As for ‘Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right, and they said: “Who is mightier than us in strength?” See they not that Allaah, Who created them, was mightier in strength than them, And they used to deny Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.)!”
This was the end of their matter:
“So We sent upon them furious wind in days of evil omen (for them) that We might give them a taste of disgracing torment in this present worldly life, but surely the torment of the Hereafter will be more disgracing, and they will never be helped.”
They were deceived by the strength of their bodies and big statures, and their great mischief in the land; it did not avail them in the least against the torment of Allaah:
“So they became such that nothing could be seen except their dwellings! Thus do We recompense the people who are Mujrimun (polytheists, disbelievers, etc.)” [Al-Ahqaf 46: 25]
Many other nations about whom Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) told us in His Book, when warners had come to them; however, they met them with denial. Accordingly, the All-Mighty, the All-Able took them with punishment and their abode will be blazing Fire.
4.The slave has no strength in obeying and worshipping Allaah except with Allaah’s power and guidance.
He (the slave) has no power in avoiding the sins and driving back the evil of the self except by Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala).
The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) has emphasized this matter to his Ummah (nation), by saying to ‘Abdullah ibn Qais (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu): “O ‘Abdullah ibn Qais, shall I teach you a word which is one of the treasures of Paradise: It is “La hawla wala quwwata illa billaah.” [Al-Bukhaari]
An-Nawawi (Rahimahullaah) said: “The scholars said that the reason behind this word being one of treasures of Paradise, is because it is a word of submission and complete authorization to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala), it is a word of confession in Him and that there is no Creator other than Him and none can turn back His Command and the slave owns nothing of the matter.
The linguists said: ‘Al-Hawl means movement and plotting, i.e. there is no movement or ability or plan except with His Will.’
It is also said that it means: ‘One has no power in driving away the evil, nor any power in attaining the good except by Allaah.’
It is also said: ‘Laa Hawla means one has no power in protecting oneself from sinning and disobedience to Allaah except by holding fast to His protection and guardianship, nor does one have power in obeying Him except with His help, as it is mentioned by Ibn Masood (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu).’ All these meanings are close to each other.” [Sharh an-Nawawi]
- Ad-Dayyan (The One Who Recompenses)
- Al-Quddoos (The Holy)
- Al-Qayyoom (The Self-Subsisting, the Eternal)
- Al-Wahhab (The Bestower)