An-Nahj Al-Asmaa fee Sharh Asmaa-Allaah Al-Husna Fat-h Dhil Jalaali Wal-Ikraam fi-Sharh Bulugh al-Maraam by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaimeen

The Name Al-Qayyoom is mentioned three times in the Noble Qur’an:

Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Baqarah (2:255):

اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ

Allaah – there is no deity who deserves to be worshipped except Him, the Ever-Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep.”

Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) also says in Surat Aal-‘Imran (3:2):

اللّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ

“Allaah – there is no deity who deserves to be worshipped except Him, the Ever-Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists.”

In Surat Ta-Ha (20:111), Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) says:

وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَيِّ الْقَيُّومِ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ حَمَلَ ظُلْما

And (all) faces shall be humbled before (Allaah), the Ever-Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. And he who carried (a burden of) wrongdoing (i.e. he who disbelieved in Allaah, ascribed partners to Him, and did deeds of His disobedience), became indeed a complete failure (on that Day).”

The Meaning of the Name:

Abu Ubaidah said: “Al-Qaa’im is the One Who is Eternal and never perishes.” [Majaaz al-Qur’an]

Ibn Jarir said: “Al-Qayyoom has all the following meanings: He is the One Who sustains and protects everything, and disposes it as He wills and loves, He changes it by increasing or decreasing.” Others said: “He is the Eternal Who never perishes and Allaah negated for Himself, any changes that could happen to the humans and other creation.”

Ibn Jarir preponderated the first meaning, namely that Al-Qayyoom is the One standing in charge of the affairs of every creation by sustaining, protecting and disposing his affairs. Accordingly, Al-Qayyoom is the One standing in charge of His creation.” [Jami’ul-Bayaan]

Az-Zajjaji said: “Al-Qayyoom is the One Who maintains every soul, Who knows what it has earned, recompenses it and takes it to account.” [Ishtiqaq al-Asmaa’]  Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) says in Surat ar-Ra’d (13:33):

أَفَمَنْ هُوَ قَآئِمٌ عَلَى كُلِّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ

Is then He (Allaah) Who takes charge (guards, maintains, provides, etc.) of every person and knows all that it has earned (like any other deities who know nothing)?”

Al-Khattabi said: “Al-Qayyoom is the One Who is Self-Subsisting, the Eternal, Who never perishes. It is an exaggerated form (description) to indicate excessiveness in standing in charge of everything,

It is said: He is the curator (guardian, warden, keeper) over everything Who takes care of everything.” [Sha’n ad-Du’aa]

Al-Baihaqi said: “Al-Qayyoom is the One Who stands in charge of disposing the affairs of all what He has created.” [at-Tafseer]

Shaikh as-Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) said: “Al-Hayyul-Qayyoom is the One Who has perfect life, existing in and of Himself and not dependent upon anyone else, the Sustainer of the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, the One Who regulates (manages) their affairs and provisions. The Living includes all of the Attributes of His Self and the Self-Subsisting includes all the Attributes of His Actions.” [Tayseer al-Kareem]

The Impact Of Believing In This Name:

1-    Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) the Exalted has attributed Himself with being Self-Subsisting, Who needs no one in His standing and eternity. He is the One Who feeds and is not fed. How would He need any of His creation if His creation is not able to stand and live without His help and subsistence.

He is Self-Subsisting by Himself and that is not except for Him (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala).

2-    Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) has attributed Himself with being the One Who disposes and manages the affairs of the whole creation in the heavens and the earth, because the creation is unable to stand and live by itself. Rather it needs the Ever-Living, the One Who sustains, protects, gives it life and reforms it.

Undoubtedly, whoever knows this attribute of his Lord, surely he would rely on Him and put his trust in Him and will distance/remove his heart from the creation, because they are all in need – like him – of their Creator in their living and existence and in their life after death, and in their religion and worldly affairs. Then how come one hopes for something from the creation after knowing this?

3-    From His complete and perfect Qayyoomiyyah “Self-Subsistence” is that He (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) never sleeps. He is particularized with this Attribute that neither slumber nor sleep overtake Him while His creation sleeps.

4-    The Name Al-Qayyoom is joined with the Name Al-Hayy in three verses in the Qur’an, and this indicates His Perfect Attributes and indicates the eternity and continuity of His Attributes and negation of the deficiency or end of them forever. Therefore, the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said about Ayatul-Kursiyy (2:255), that it is the greatest verse in the Qur’an.

All the Beautiful Names of Allaah are based on these two Noble Names and to them both their meanings are referred.

Life is a requirement for all the Perfect Attributes. Since His Life is perfect and complete, this confirms every perfection to Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala). Any imperfection indicates weakness in life (living) and Allaah’s life is perfect.

Al-Qayyoom implies complete richness and Ability. He is Self-Subsisting, and does not need others in any aspect. He is the One Who sustains others. No one can do without His Help.

Accordingly, these two Names indicate the Perfect Attributes of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala).

1-    The Sunnah confirms the greatness of these two Names, and supplicating with them both. Some scholars even considered them the greatest Name of Allaah, the Blessed the Most High.

Anas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated: “I was sitting in the mosque with the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and a man was praying. The man said:

اللهم إني أسْألُك بأنَّ لَكَ الحمد لا إله إلا أنت الحنَّان المنَّان، بديعُ السماواتِ والأرض، يا ذا الجلالِ والإكرام، يا حيُّ يا قيُّوم.      

 “O Allaah! Indeed, I ask of You, by the fact that to You belongs all praise; there is no (true) deity who deserves to be worshipped except You, the Bestower of favors; O Originator of Majesty and Honor; O Living One, O Eternal One.”  The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: He has invoked Allaah by His Greatest Name, with which if He is called, He would respond and with which if He is asked, He would give.” [Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawoud, An- Nasa’i and al-Haakim]

It has been previously explained that the most correct point of view is that the greatest Name of Allaah is “Allaah” (Azza wa Jall).

Nevertheless, calling unto Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala) by these two Names is a matter of carrying out His Command in Surat al-A’raaf (7:180)

وَلِلّهِ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا

“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call on Him by them.”

1-    Anas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to invoke Allaah saying:

ياَحي ُّيا قَيُّوم

“O Ever Living, O Eternal.[Reported by an-Nasa’i]

2-    Anas (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said to Fatimah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha): “Listen to what I advise you with! Say in the morning and evening (the following supplication):

يا حَيُّ يا قَيُّوم بِرَحْمَتِك أستَغيثُ، أصْلِحْ ليَ شَأْني كلّه ولا تَكِلْني إلى نَفْسي طرْفَةَ عَيْن

 “O Ever-Living, O Self-Subsisting and Supporter of all, by Your Mercy I seek assistance, rectify for me all of my affairs and do not leave me to myself even for the blink of an eye.[Reported by an-Nasa’i]

3-    Ibn Masood (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “If anyone supplicates:

أسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ الذي لا إله إلهَ إلاَّ هُوَ الحَيُّ القَيُّوم وأتوبُ إلَيْهِ

Astagh-firullaah alladhee laa ilaaha illa Huwa, al-Hayyul-Qayyoomu wa atoobu ilaihi

          ‘I seek the forgiveness of Allaah, none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance,’

          His sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allaah.)” [Abu Dawoud, at-Tirmidhi and al-Haakim (on conditions of al-Bukhaari and Muslim for accepting Hadeeth)]

          Abu Na’iem al-Asbahaani said: “This indicates that some major sins are forgiven by performing righteous good deeds as long as the doer of these sins is not condemned with a crime related to a human soul or wealth. This is concluded from the statement “even if he should run away from the battlefield,” because running away from the battlefield is one of the major sins. This signifies that whosoever is like this person or lesser than him will be forgiven as long as he is not committing a crime related to a human soul or his wealth.” [Al-Fat-h]


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