Source:

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

The Name of Allah, As-Samee’, is mentioned in the Noble Qur’an fifty four times, such as Allah’s Statement in Surat al-Baqarah (2:127):

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.”

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) also said in Surat Luqman (31:28):

إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ

“Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.”

 

In Surat Saba’ (34:50), Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said:

إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيبٌ

“Truly, He is All-Hearer, Ever Near (to all things).”

In Surat al-Mujadalah (58:1), Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said:

 

وَاللَّهُ يَسْمَعُ تَحَاوُرَكُمَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ

“And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.”

 

The meaning of this Beautiful Name:

 

1- Ibn Jarir (Rahimahullaah) said: “In Allah’s Statement,

وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

“He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Ash-Shura 42:11)

Means that Allah, the Most Praiseworthy, describes Himself with the Attribute of Hearing, that He is All-Hearing of all what His creation utters of statements.” [Jamie’ ul-Bayan]

2- Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullaah) said: “He is All-Hearing of all the statements of His slaves.” [Ibn Kathir 2/82]

3- Shaikh as-Sa’di (Rahimahullaah) said: “He is the One Who hears all sounds and voices, in all of their (the slaves) different languages and all their many and various needs.”

4- Al-Khattabi (Rahimahullaah) said that As-Samee’ (the All-Hearer) implies the Attribute of Sam’a (Hearing). He Who hears the secrets and the whispers, whether uttered openly or silently. The hearing also could imply the acceptance and response,as in the statement of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) :

اللهم إنّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِن قَوْلٍ لا يُسْمَع وَعَمَلٍ لا يُرْفَع وَقَلْبٍ لا يَخْشَع وَعِلْمٌ لا يَنْفَع

“O Allah! I seek refuge in You from a statement which is not heard, a deed which is not raised, a heart which does not submit with humility (to You) and knowledge which does not benefit.” [Reported by Ahmad]

“A statement which is not heard,” means a prayer (Du’aa) that is not answered (or responded to).

Similarly, the statement of the worshipper who says in his Salat (prayer) while coming up from the ruku’ – bowing position:

سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَه

“Allah hears whosever praises and thanks Him.” [Al-Bukhari]

 Which means, “Allah has accepted the praise of him who praises Him.” [Sha’n ad-Du’aa]

 

5- Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullaah) said: “The action of hearing carries four meanings:

a) The hearing of the voices and sounds.

b) The understanding of the meaning.

c) The response and granting what one has asked for.

d) The acceptance and submission (without denying).

An example for the first kind of hearing is the following verse:

قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا

“Indeed, Allah has heard the statement of the one that disputes with you concerning her husband.” (Al-Mujadilah 58:1)

An example for the second kind of hearing:

سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا

“We hear, and we obey.” (Al-Baqarah 2:285)

What is meant here is not only hearing the words but understanding them.

The example for the third kind is:

سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَه

“Allah hears those who praise Him.”

And another Du’a says:

اللّهُمَّ اسْمَع

“O Allah! Hear.”

Which means, “O Allah! Respond and grant me what I asked You.”

An example for the fourth kind is Allah’s Statement:

 

سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ

“… Who listen much and eagerly to lies.” (Al-Ma’idah 5:41)

which means following and accepting without denying. Another example for this kind of hearing is the following verse:

وَفِيكُمْ سَمَّاعُونَ لَهُمْ

“And there are some among you who would have listened to them.” (At-Tawba 9:47)

 

That is to say, there are some among you who accept and follow them.” [Bada’ie al-Fawa’id 2/75 – 76]

 

The impact of believing in this Name:

1- Affirmation of the Attribute of Hearing to Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) as He described Himself.

  • · Az-Hari (Rahimahullaah) said: “Allah is All-Hearer, Who hears, without giving it a description, or resemblance to the hearing of His creation, nor His Seeing is like the seeing of His creation. We describe Allah as He described Himself without restriction or description.” [Al-Lisan 3/2096]

 

2- Allah’s Hearing is not like the hearing of anyone among His creation. Although the creation has hearing and a sense of seeing, as Allah  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Insan (76:2):

إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً

“Verily, We have created man from ‘Nutfah’ drops of mixed semen (discharge of man and woman), in order to try him, so We made him hearer, seer.”

But their hearing and seeing is not like the hearing and seeing of their Creator  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala). Allah  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) denied any resemblance to Him when He said:

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” (Ash-Shura 42:11)

 Allah’s Hearing and Seeing encompass all what is heard and seen. Nothing escapes from His Hearing, no matter how minute or hidden it is.

  • · Aisha (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha) said: “All praise be to Allah Whose Hearing comprehends (encompasses) all sounds. The Mujadilah came to the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) (disputing with him concerning her husband) and I was on the side of the house and did not hear what she was saying.” (source – or is it the same source as the next report?)

In another report, she said: “Blessed be He Whose Hearing encompasses everything.” [Ahmad, an-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah]

  • · Narrated Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) : “We were in the company of Allah’s Messenger  (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) (during Hajj). Whenever we went up a high place we used to say: ‘La ilaha illa-Allah wa Allahu Akbar (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Allah is the Most Great)’, and we used to raise our voices, so the Prophet  (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘O people! Be merciful to yourselves (i.e. don’t raise your voices), for you are not calling a deaf or an absent one, but One Who is with you, no doubt He is All-Hearer, Even Near (to all things).’” [Al-Bukhari]

The difference between the hearing of the Creator and the hearing of the creation:

Abul-Qasim al-Asbahani said: “Man is created small and does not hear, and when he starts to hear he does not understand what he hears. And when he starts to understand he distinguishes between the heard things and he responds with certain words to what he understands. Then he distinguishes between good and evil talk. His hearing is limited, if he extends beyond its limit, he fails to hear. If a group of people talk to him at one time, he fails to hear, listen and respond to them all at the same time.

However, Allah  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala), is As-Samee’ of the invocation of His creation and of their utterances when they call unto Him, together or separate and in their different languages. He knows what is in the heart of the person even before he utters it. Allah knows that and will give him even if the person does not ask about it, but keeps it in his heart.

The hearing of the created one is cancelled (removed) from him with his death, while Allah  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is Ever Living. After the perishing of His creation, no one except Him will remain and He will say:

لِمَنِ الْمُلْكُ الْيَوْمَ

“Whose is the Kingdom this Day?” (Ghafir 40:16)

 Allah Himself will reply to His question:

للهِ الواحِدِ القَهّار

“It is Allah’s, the One, the Irresistible.” (Ghafir 40:16)

لِمَنِ الْمُلْكُ الْيَوْمَ

“Whose is the Kingdom this Day?” (Ghafir 40:16)

The creations have a sense of hearing but this does not make them equal to the Creator in this attribute or any other attribute. The attributes of the created one suit his weakness, failure and creation, while the Attributes of the Creator suit His Majesty and Honor (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) .

3- Allah  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) refuted the polytheists who thought that Allah did not hear their secret counsels.

Imam Ahmed recorded that ’Abdullah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said:

“I was hiding beneath the covering of the Ka’bah, and three men came along – a man from the Quraysh and two of his brothers-in-law from Thaqif, or a man from Thaqif and two of his brothers-in-law from the Quraysh. Their bellies were very big, and they did not have much understanding. They said some words I could not hear, then one of them said, ‘Do you think that Allah can hear what we are saying now?’ The other said, ‘If we raise our voices, He will hear it, but if we do not raise our voices, He will not hear it.’ The other said, ‘If He can hear one thing from us, He can hear everything.’ I mentioned this to the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam), then Allah revealed the words:

وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَتِرُونَ أَنْ يَشْهَدَ عَلَيْكُمْ سَمْعُكُمْ وَلَا أَبْصَارُكُمْ وَلَا جُلُودُكُمْ وَلَكِن ظَنَنتُمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَعْلَمُ كَثِيراً مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

“And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you; but you thought that Allah knew not much of what you were doing. And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction.” (Fussilat 41:22, 23)

Also Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat az-Zukhruf (43:80):

أَمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّا لَا نَسْمَعُ سِرَّهُمْ وَنَجْوَاهُم بَلَى

“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel? Yes (We do).”

 

4-  This Name has come in conjunction with other Names such as:

سَميعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“All-Hearer, All-Knower.”

سميعٌ بَصيرٌ

“All-Hearer, All-Seer.”

سميعٌ قَريبٌ

“All-Hearer, Most Near.”

This indicates the encompassing of all the creatures and that Allah  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) surrounds them, nothing is missed by Him and nothing is hidden from Him. All are under His Hearing, Sight and Knowledge.

This is a reminder for the mindful person to watch himself and what he does and says, because nothing is hidden from his Creator and Lord. He (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) counts everything and then recompenses for it in the Hereafter: if it is good then the recompense will be good and if it is evil then the recompense will be evil too.

If the people believe in that and remember it, their state, for sure, will change to the best. And if they forget that or are heedless or unaware of it, then this is enough to make a great mischief and destruction in this life.

5- Allah is As-Samee’, He hears every secret counsel. He responds to the prayer at times of distress and removes the evil and accepts the acts of obedience.

The Prophets and the righteous people called unto their Lord  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) by this Name in order for Him  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) to accept their acts of obedience and respond to their invocation.

وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad  Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge), I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led a right.” (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

  • · The Prophets Ibrahim  (‘Alayhis-salaam)  and Isma’il (‘Alayhis-salaam) said, when they were raising the foundations of the House (the K’abah) at Makkah:

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Al-Baqarah 2:127)

  • · The wife of Imran pledged to Allah what was in her womb to be dedicated to His service, in Bait al-Maqdis, the place of worship. She said:

فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“So accept (this), from me. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knowing.” (Aal-Imran 3:35)

Then Allah  (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) informed her that He accepted that from her:

فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتاً حَسَناً

“So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner.” (Aal-Imran 3:37)

 

  • When Prophet Zachariah  (‘Alayhis-salaam) invoked his Lord to grant him righteous offspring, he said:

إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاء

“You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.” (Aal-Imran 3:38)

  • · Prophet Yusuf  (‘Alayhis-salaam) invoked his Lord to turn away from him the plot of the women:

فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ فَصَرَفَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

“So his Lord answered his invocation and turned away from him their plot. Verily! He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Yusuf 12:34)

  • · Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) ordered us to seek refuge in Him when the devils of humans and Jinns whisper evil suggestions. He (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said:

وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ نَزْغٌ فَاسْتَعِذْ بِاللّهِ إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“And if an evil whisper comes to you from Satan then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (Al-A’raaf 7:200)

  •  Ibn Kathir (Rahimahullaah) said: “Allah hears the ignorance that the fools subject you to, your seeking refuge with Him from the devil’s whispers, and the rest of the speech of His creation; none of it escapes His Knowledge. He knows what drives the lures of the devil away from you, as well as the rest of what His creatures do.” [Ibn Kathir 2/278]

 


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