An-Nahj al-Asma Fii Sharh Asma Allahu al-Husna by Shaikh Muhammad an-Najdi
The Name of Allah, Al-Waasi’, has been mentioned nine times in the Noble Qur’an, such as:
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Baqarah (2:115):
فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“So wherever you (might) turn, there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne). Indeed, Allah is the Vast (All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs) and All- Knowing.”
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) also said in Surat al–Baqarah (2:247):
وَاللَّهُ يُؤْتِي مُلْكَهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“And Allah gives His Sovereignty to whom He wills. And Allah is the Vast (All-Sufficient) [in favor] and All-Knowing.”
And He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Baqarah (2:268):
وَاللَّهُ يَعِدُكُمْ مَغْفِرَةً مِنْهُ وَفَضْلًا وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
“(…) while Allah promises you Forgiveness from Him and Bounty. And Allah is the Vast (All-Sufficient) and All- Knowing.”
In Surat an-Nisa’ (4:130), He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said:
وَإِنْ يَتَفَرَّقَا يُغْنِ اللَّهُ كُلًّا مِنْ سَعَتِهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ وَاسِعًا حَكِيمًا
“But if they separate, Allah will provide abundance for everyone of them from His Bounty. And Allah is the Vast (Ever All- Sufficient for His creatures’ needs), All-Wise.”
The meaning of the Name:
Abu Ubaidah Ma’mar bin al-Muthanna said: “Surely, Allah is Vast (All-Sufficient), All-Knowing, which means that He is Generous and suffices for whatever He is asked,” [Majaz al- Qur’an]
Ibn Jarir said: “Verily, Allah is Vast and All-Knowing”, Waasi’ means He Whose sufficiency for His creation’s need is Vast, and Whose favors are ample for them,” [Jami’ul- Qur’an], and he (Ibn Jarir) added: “Allah is Vast (All-Sufficient) and All-Knowing,” He is Vast in His Grace and He bestows it upon whom He loves and when He wills. He is ‘Aleem, All-Knowing about whoever deserves to be granted from His Kingdom (sovereignty) and His Grace.
He grants His Grace it to whom He knows is worthy, either to reform through him or to make him benefit of from it.” [Jami ul-Bayan]
Al-Khattabi said: “Al-Waasi’ is the Rich, Whose richness encompasses and suffices the needs of His slaves, and Whose Rizq (provision) suffices all His creation. Si’ah (vastness) in Arabic means richness. It is said that Allah gives due to His Vastness.” [Sha’n ad-Du’a]
Al-Haleemi said: “Al-Waasi’ means Whose Capabilities and Knowledge are vast and abundant and Whose Grace and Mercy are wide. This sanctifies Him from deficiency and defect, and acknowledges for Him that nothing can make Him fail. Also nothing is hidden from Him, and His Mercy encompasses all things.” [Al-Minhaj]
In al-Maqsad it says: “Al-Waasi’ is derived from Si’ah (i.e. vastness or wideness). Vastness is attributed to knowledge when it becomes wide and encompasses (gathers) abundant information. Sometimes, vastness is added (attributed) to benevolence and wideness of blessings; however He decrees whereupon it descends.
The absolute Waasi’ is Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala), because if one looks at His Knowledge, there is no limit for the sea of His Knowledge; the seas would finish if they were ink with which to write His Words. When one looks at His Benevolence and Blessings, there is no end to His Ability. The vastness of anything created (no matter how great it is) will come to an end or has a limit, while Allah’s vastness is endless and never stops at a limit.” [Al-Maqsad]
Al-Asbahani said: “One of the Names of Allah is Al-Waasi’. His Mercy suffices all His creation. It is also said that His provision suffices all creation. You find no one but who eats from His provision, and is not able to eat except what he is sustained with.” [Al-Hujja]
Al-Qurtubi said: “He widens (opens widely) upon His slaves their religion, and does not burden them except with what is within their capacity.” [At-Tafseer]
Shaikh as-Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) said: “He is the One Who is Vast with respect to His Attributes and Qualities and those things related to them – this is from the point of view that none can enumerate His praise as He deserves, rather He is as He has praised Himself. He is Vast in grandeur, authority and dominion, Vast in bestowing grace and good and Vast in Generosity and Nobility.” [Tayseer al-Kareem]
The impact of belief in this Noble Name:
1- Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) is Vast in His Knowledge and Wisdom. If the water of the sea were ink with which to write the Words of Allah, His Wisdom, His Ayaat (verses, signs, proofs, etc.), His Knowledge, His Laws and Decrees, then the water of the sea would be exhausted before finishing that what is with Allah of knowledge, wisdom and verses, even if we added to its supply another sea like it, as Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Kahf (18:109):
قُلْ لَوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّي لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ
قَبْلَ أَنْ تَنْفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّي وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ مَدَدًا
“Say (O Muhammad (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) to mankind),’If the sea were ink (with which to write) the words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be exhausted, even if we brought (another sea) like it for its aid.’”
And He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat Luqman (31:27):
وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلَامٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ مَا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمَاتُ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
“And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink where with to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”
2- Al-Haleemi (Rahimahullaah) said that Al-Waasi’ means He Who is Vast in His Capabilities and Knowledge. The Name Al-Waasi’ is joined with the Name Al-‘Aleem in seven verses in the Noble Book, which indicates that Allah(Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala)is Vast in His giving, and Bountiful upon His creation; all the creation enjoys His Mercy and Grace, and He grants and prevents whomever He wills, He elevates and lowers whomever He wills and that is by His Knowledge and Wisdom which encompasses everything.
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) mentioned in Surat al-Baqarah (2:247) about the objection of the children of Israel when their Prophet said to them:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ بَعَثَ لَكُمْ طَالُوتَ مَلِكًا قَالُوا أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ عَلَيْنَا وَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِالْمُلْكِ مِنْهُ وَلَمْ يُؤْتَ سَعَةً مِنَ الْمَالِ
“’Indeed, Allah has appointed Talut (Saul) as a king over you.’ They said, ‘How can he be a king over us when we are better fitted than him for the kingdom and he has not been given enough wealth.’”
This means, how can he be a king for us and he was not a descendent from the house of kings among them, nor was he a descendant of the Prophets. We are fitter than him for the kingdom; and he was also poor and didn’t have the wealth that justifies him being king. The Jews thus disputed with their Prophet while they were supposed to obey Allah and his Prophet, and to say good words to him.
Their Prophet replied to them that Allah had chosen him over them while having better knowledge about Him. Further, Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) had increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature, i.e. he had more knowledge and was stronger than them and these two characteristics are better than kingdom and wealth. Then their Prophet reminded them that, “Allah grants His Kingdom to whom He wills. And Allah is All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knowing.” (2:247)
Ibn Jarir said that the kingdom belongs to Allah Alone and it is in His Hand, He grants it to whomever He wills, He puts it and particularizes it for whomever He wills among His creation. Therefore, O Israelites! Do not deny or object to Allah sending Talut as a king over you even if he was not from the descendants of the kings; the kingdom/kingship is not an inheritance which can be inherited from the forefathers, rather it is in the Hand of Allah; He grants it to whomever He wills from among His creation, so do not choose for Allah.
“And Allah is Vast, All-Sufficient (for His creatures’ needs) All-Knowing,” means that His favor is encompassing and He grants His Mercy to whom He wills. He also knows those who deserve to be kings and those who do not deserve it and when He grants it (i.e. the kingdom) to who deserves it, it is either to benefit himself (the king) with it or to benefit and reform others with it. [Jami ul-Bayan]
3- Al-Qurtubi said regarding the meaning of Al-Waasi’ that He is the One Who widens (broadens) and makes easy for His slaves their religion and does not burden them with what is beyond their scope.
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Baqarah (2:185):
يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ
“Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.”
Also Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Baqarah (2:233):
لَا تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
“No person shall have burden laid on him greater than he can bear.”
He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Baqarah (2:286):
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ
“Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope, he gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.”
In Surat an-Nisa’ (4:28), He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said:
يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَنْ يُخَفِّفَ عَنْكُمْ وَخُلِقَ الْإِنْسَانُ ضَعِيفًا
“Allah wishes to lighten (the burden) for you; and man was created weak.”
In Surat al-Ma’idah (5:6), Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said:
مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَكِنْ يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهِّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
“Allah does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favor upon you that you may be thankful.”
The Messenger of Allah (salla Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by offering the prayers in the mornings, afternoons and during the last hours of the nights.” [Al-Bukhari and an-Nasa’i]
This Hadith indicates that all matters of the religion are easy: its acts of worship, laws, and transactions. There is no difficulty, nor overburdening beyond the ability of the person. The Hadith does not mean abandoning the obligations of the religion and committing what Allah has forbidden, claiming that the religion is easy. This is one of the misconceptions widely spread among the Muslims.
All what Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) obliged His slaves with of acts of worship, laws and duties are what the human selves can bear. He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) lightened obligations upon the sick and the traveler, the elderly and the poor, the women and the young and others who have legal excuses, as a way of lightening and broadening (widening) matters for the slaves, and as a means of removal of constrictions and difficulty from them.
A good example of this is what we hear nowadays of the new western trend towards legalizing and allowing the divorce after they had forbidden it upon themselves for a long time, and they constricted upon themselves what Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) had widened for them.
Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat an-Nisa’ (4:130) about the spouses (couples):
وَإِنْ يَتَفَرَّقَا يُغْنِ اللَّهُ كُلًّا مِنْ سَعَتِهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ وَاسِعًا حَكِيمًا
“But if they separate, Allah will provide abundance for everyone of them from His Bounty.”
Ibn Jarir said: “Allah will enrich the husband and the divorced woman from His wide and abundant Grace. He will grant the woman with a husband that is better for her than her first husband or He will provide her with a broad provision. Similarly, He grants the man with a vast provision and a wife who is better for him than the first one. And Allah is Waasi’, which means that Allah broadened for them their provision as well as for the rest of His creation. He is All-Wise in decreeing the separation between them by divorce.” [Jami’ul-Bayan]
Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullaah) said something similar to this: “Allah states that if the spouses separate by divorce, then Allah will suffice them by giving him a better wife and her a better husband. ‘And Allah is Ever All-Sufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Wise,’ means, His favor is tremendous, His bounty is enormous and He is All-Wise in all His Actions, Decisions and Commandments.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
1- Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) is of Vast Forgiveness. From His Vast Forgiveness is that He forgives everyone who returns to Him in repentance, no matter to what extent his sins and wrong-doings reach.
He (Subhanaahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat az-Zumar (39:53):
قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
“Say, ‘O My slaves, who have transgressed against themselves! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
The bearers of the Throne say about their Lord, the Blessed, the Most High:
رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَحْمَةً وَعِلْمًا فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ
“Our Lord! You comprehend all things in Mercy and Knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the torment of blazing Fire!” (Ghafir 40:7)
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