With the beautiful names of God, there are names that must always be mentioned together.
And the name “Al-Mu`ti” (The Giver) is no exception as God is “The Giver – The Preventer”, Who prohibits in order to give, takes in order to give and lowers in order to raise.
“As life is temporary, Allah created this world as an abode of affliction: “For sure We are ever putting (men) to the test.” (Al-Mu`minun 23; 30)
The difference is very clear between someone who appoints an employee and puts him six months under probation. The employer’s mission is to count the employee’s mistakes, and mercilessly, if they are too many, he will cancel the contract. But if that employee is his son, he will watch him, stop him at every mistake and guide him. Because the father’s mercy requires follow up, and because God is merciful with His creatures; God drives us to His door, and that is one of His graces; being The Giver and Preventer.
God gives endless graces; health and intelligence, money and power, to many of His creation; but tranquility is given, in portions, to His chosen ones of believers. If He gives you, who can prevent Him? And if He prohibits who will give you?
What Does God Give?
1- Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “Whosoever Allah means goodness for is educated in religion, and Allah is The Giver and I am the divider, and from this nation, there will still be some people who are conspicuous for those against them until Allah’s order is manifested while they are conspicuous” (Al-Bukhari)
“Thus, the dignity of knowledge is the greatest gift from God: “And He taught you that which you knew not. And ever great is the Grace of Allah unto you (O Muhammad).” (Al-Nisa’ 4; 113)
Because God created a power of perception in man, unless man seeks knowledge, he will be degraded from his level of humanity to a level that does not suit him. Therefore, if you want the world, you must seek knowledge, and if you want the afterlife, you must seek knowledge as well:
“Are those who know equal to those who know not?” (Az-Zumar 39; 9)
“…Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe and those who have been granted knowledge.” (Al-Mujadilah 58; 11)
In the Qur’an Allah adopted work and knowledge as two favorite values among His creation. Such knowledge includes that of Allah, of His creation and of His orders and seeking knowledge is what raises man to the level of his humanity, and to a level that suits him.
2- Water is another gift from Allah; we put it in tankers, lead it to houses by pipes, distribute it in bottles, these are secondary jobs which are not considered from the core of water. We have become skilled in presenting it, in wrapping, canning, and delivering it, but the primary thing is that Allah is The Giver.
3- From God’s rewards is the grace of existence;
“Has there not been over man a period of time when he was not a thing worth mentioning?” (Al-Insan 76; 1)
You exist, you have entity and a name, you enjoy life, you have a wife, children, a home, a status, and convictions. Therefore, the first grace is the bliss of existence. Sometimes when I read a book I look at the date it was written, if that date was before I was born, I reflect where was I on that date? I had no name in the whole earth.
4- God granted us the bliss of supply; He gave you a respiratory system, but there is air, a digestive system, but there is water, food, meat, vegetables, and crops. You need a partner, so He created a woman for you and created you for her. He gave you the second half, so she gave birth to children who filled your house with joy. After He had granted you the bliss of existence and the bliss of supply, He granted you the bliss of right guidance and wisdom. Sometimes, the road is paved, a while later signs are placed; a slippery slope, a dangerous crossroads, a narrow road … etc, those signs are guidance to drivers.
5- Subjecting the universe as acquaintance and honoring is another from Allah’s Gifts; the universe, the greatest stable thing in belief, was subjected to man, with a script in the Qur’an, as acquaintance and honoring.
“And He has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favor and kindness from Him.” (Al-Jathiyah 45; 13)
As all that is in the universe is subjected to man, to Allah, man is more honorable than the universe. That is a first fact; man is the first creature, the creature in charge to whom God gave this universe and subjected it to him as acquaintance and honoring.
6- God created man a perfect stature; He gave us the perfect form and nature:
“Verily, We created man in the best stature (mold).” (At-Tin 95; 4)
“Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.”(Taha 20; 50)
“Have We not made for him a pair of eyes?” (Al-Balad 90; 8)
Part of belief is to think deeply in the creation of the heavens and the earth. If man thinks of his five senses, his systems, the circulatory system, the heart, the nervous system, the digestive system, he will find great evidence to the greatness of Allah:
“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth.” (Al `Imran 3; 190, 191)
The Reality of Giving
1- God gives us two kinds of graces: worldly graces; such as health, power, money and beauty, and spiritual graces; such as tranquility, security, pleasure, and happiness. But the worldly graces end up with the end of the world:
“As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honor and bounties, then he says (in exultation): “My Lord has honored me. But when He tries him by straitening his means of life, he says: “My Lord has humiliated me!” (Al-Fajr 89; 15, 16)
The answer came with prohibition: “Nay” (Al-Fajr 89; 17) Acceptance of both the gifts and the prohibitions is acceptance of the fate and preordainment that’s why He tells us “O my slaves! My worldly gifts are not honoring, and my prohibitions are not deprivation; my gifts are afflictions and my preventions are cure.”
Therefore, Allah grants health, intelligence, power, beauty, and money to many of His creatures, but He gives tranquility in considerable amounts to His true believers, He grants you spiritual graces and pleasure so you are pleased with Him and with yourself. That is; you have accepted God’s fate and preordainment, you are pleased with the hardship inflicted on you for your absolute belief that there is a great wisdom behind it.
2- Be with God and you will find Him with you, leave everybody and beware of your greed; this is a monotheistic meaning in giving. In this way, monotheism interferes with the meaning of giving, because no one can prohibit what you have granted, and no one can give what you have prohibited, your relationship is with Him The Raiser, The Degrader, The Honoring, The Humiliating, The Preventer, The Giver.
“Do you not see that Allah has subjected to your (use) all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, (both) seen and unseen? Yet there are among men those who dispute about Allah, without knowledge, and without guidance, and without a Book to enlighten them!” (Luqman 31; 20)
3- Natural disasters, deprivation, and hardships are hidden graces because Allah says:
“Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him” (An-Nisa’ 4; 147)
When man believes and thanks, all treatments end because he achieved the goal of his existence. Sometimes calamity inflicts and becomes a reason for guidance when you discover its wisdom; you will melt like a candle for love of Allah:
“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah, We belong, and to Him is our return”. They are those on whom (descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance.” (Al-Baqarah 2; 155-157)
4- Prohibition is a Gift From The Most Wise: If God uncovers to you the wisdom of prohibition, it will become the core of giving, and sometimes a punishment for your misdeeds:
“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” (Ash-Shura 42; 30 )
Yourself a Giver
Giving is a quality of prophets and messengers; the powerful people took and never gave, the prophets gave and never took. A believer builds his life on giving:
“As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah. And (in all sincerity) testifies to the best.” (Al-Layl 92; 5, 6)
“But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, and disbelieves in goodness, we will make smooth for him the path for evil. And what will his wealth avail him when he goes down (in destruction)?” (Al-Layl 92; 8-11)
This is a profound quality; he gives from his time, money, experience, and strength for the sake of Allah:
“Who is he that will lend to Allah goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times?” (Al-Baqarah 2; 145)
Thus, whosoever loves, deplores, gives, and prohibits for the sake of Allah has complete faith.
This article is a summarized version of the article (Al-Mu`ti) by the author, published at his website www.nabulsi.com.
Dr. Muhammad Ratib An-Nabulsi is a Muslim Syrian preacher and writer. He has written a number of Islamic books, most remarkable of which are: “Encyclopedia of the Beautiful Names of Allah”, “Encyclopedia of Scientific Miracles of the Holy Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah,” “Outlooks on Islam” and “Contemplations on Islam”. He delivers a number of lessons, orations, symposiums and chat programs broadcasted on the Syrian, Arab, and Islamic radios and Televisions.