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21 & 22 - الْقَابِضُ الْبَاسِطُ

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الْقَابِضُ الْبَاسِطُ

 

 الْقَابِضُ andالْبَاسِطُ  will be discussed together. These are the names which have meanings which are opposite to each other. They work in tandem and that is why they are used together.

 

Translation

 

الْقَابِضُ  is translated as The Withholder and The Restrainer so The One Who restrains, constricts, contracts.

 

 الْبَاسِطُis translated as The Reliever, The Expander and The Unfolder. The One Who expands, unfolds, relieves.

 

الْقَابِضُ has the meaning of closing in or constricting and   الْبَاسِطُhas the meaning of opening up or expanding.

 

Scholars say whether it’s a person’s Akhlaaq/personality, or Rizq, or their bodies and their souls, if Allah ta’ala wants to expand them or constrict them then no one can stop Him. Therefore this expanding and constricting applies to everything.

 

Some say that الْقَابِضُ is The One Who takes the Rooh out of the body at the time of death and for life, الْبَاسِطُ  is The One Who spreads the Rooh throughout the body.

 

These words are often used in terms of going astray or being guided.الْقَابِضُ  would mean to be misguided or going astray andالْبَاسِطُ  means to be guided, expanded.

 

 

The State of Bast & Qabdh

 

It can also be used in terms of the heart and feelings of hope and fear i.e. feeling Allah ta’ala’s Majesty and Rahmah, feeling His beauty and kindness and having hope which would beالْبَاسِطُ  and this is an expansion. When a person feels fear and restricted in terms of the feelings of Allah ta’ala then that is الْقَابِضُ

 

Some Scholars take a spiritual take on this. We go through difficulties in life where we sometimes feel spiritually low and that is the state of Qabdh. It is a state of constriction where the heart is constricted and does not feel the closeness as much as it should. The state of Bast is when the heart opens up and one has a spiritual high and makes spiritual progress.

 

Everything is in the Hands of Allah ta’ala

 

Allah ta’ala can make a poor person a king or a king into a pauper. He can make a weak person strong or vice versa and this all is in the hands of Allah ta’ala. Many times Allah ta’ala shows us in the world. Two people start the same job, one of whom is very intelligent, educated, qualified, experienced, etc. and you think this person will attain success. The other person who is less educated, intelligent and experienced is expected to fail however it is for the less educated, less intelligent person that the job expands and he succeeds and Allah ta’ala is الْبَاسِطُFor the other person Alah ta’ala is الْقَابِضُ i.e. He is restraining/holding.

 

 

Story of Taaloot (Surah Baqarah, verse 246-252)

 

The Bani Isra’eel asked their Prophet to give them a king who would lead them against their enemy but they had their own concept of who the king should be. Allah ta’ala chose Taaloot who was of the Bani Isra’eel, a young and hardworking man however not regarded by the Bani Isra’eel as capable of being a king. Allah ta’ala says,

 

وَاللَّهُ يُؤْتِي مُلْكَهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Allah grants kingship to whom He pleases and Allah has boundless knowledge.

[last part of verse 247 of Surah Baqarah]

 

Sometimes a person may have the image of being a great leader but does not have the ability while a person who is not regarded as capable, can turn out to be a better leader. This is something in which Allah ta’ala is  الْبَاسِطُ and الْقَابِضُ

 

Wisdom of Expansion

 

What is the Hikmat behind Allah ta’ala being   الْبَاسِطُ and الْقَابِضُ?

 

Whenever Allah has put Bast (Expansion) in something there must be Khayr and Hikmat in it and if Allah ta’ala puts Qabdh (Restriction) in something there must be Khayr and Hikmat in it. This is mentioned in Surah Shura, verse 27,

 

وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَٰكِنْ يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ

 

Had Allah bestowed abundance upon His servants, they would have transgressed beyond bounds in the earth; that's why He sends down in due measure as He pleases; He is well aware and observant of His servants.

 

If Allah ta’ala had spread out Rizq to all His creation where it was easy and made open where everyone was well to do and everyone had a lot then Allah ta’ala says, there would have been Fasaad (Rebellion or excess) on earth and this is human nature that when people have wealth there will be Fasaad and no one can escape it i.e. no one can say it would not happen to me because when Allah ta’ala says something in the Qur’an, it means it applies to all human beings with maybe the Ambiyaa being excluded. When people have wealth it has an effect and the biggest effect is that the person is not dependant on or controlled by anyone and they feel important. Hirs (Desire for the world) also increases and the end result is that the person becomes aggressive about possessions. This verse shows Hikmat. Instead of giving everything to everyone, Allah ta’ala distributed Rizq (Wealth, looks, knowledge, happiness, wisdom, intelligence etc. as Rizq includes everything) according to His knowledge and Wisdom.

 

Sometimes you see people who outwardly have a perfect life but there will always be something they do not have. A couple who have everything they want may not have children and that is their struggle because if they had everything then it would be too perfect. Or sometimes people do have everything however soon it may get taken away or they may die early. Therefore even if everything is good we should realise that it is a test and it can get taken away.

 

Allah ta’ala has made a system where people are dependent on one another to some extent. If a person has a lot of wealth but no knowledge then they need someone to teach them. How can a person be generous if everyone had wealth and there was no poverty? So this dependency is not a bad thing.

 

We just look at our own personal wants and our fears are limited to our own life but Allah ta’ala gives and takes looking at the benefit of all of humanity. Saying this does not mean we should be complacent with poverty or injustice. We should still help others as this is part of our Deen.

 

وَجَعَلْنَا بَعْضَكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ فِتْنَةً أَتَصْبِرُونَ ۗ وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ بَصِيرًا

 

In fact, We test you by means of one another. Now, will you show patience, for your Rabb is Ever Observant.

[Last part of verse 20: Surah Furqaan]

 

Having differences in Rizq is all part of being tested, having Sabr when not having something and making Shukr when in good conditions.

 

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said,

“Look at those who are beneath you and do not look at those who are above you, for it is more suitable that you should not consider as less the blessing of Allah.” [Ibn Majah]

 

Use in Du’a

 

يا باسِطَ الْيَدَيْنِ بِاارَّحْمَةِ

 

O You who have opened Your hands for mercy!

 

This is part of a long Du’a (Not sure if it is authentic as there is a story attached to it) It means we spread out our hands knowing the Rahmah of Allah ta’ala. There are many Du’as which ask Allah t’ala to be Baasit – to open up, to give.

 

We should ask Allah ta’ala for His grace and to increase our love for Him.

 

Counsel

 

In terms of Aqeedah, to know Allah ta’ala controls all these levers in our lives and no one can increase or decrease in something except Allah ta’ala.

 

To make Du’a for ease in Rizq and also to put effort in it in a Halaal way.

 

A person should realise both states. When in a situation of Qabdh (Constriction), spiritually, physically, financial, health etc. then we should think of this as Allah ta’ala being just and make Sabr. We should know our reality and that we do not even deserve so many of the things. When we are in a situation of Bast (Expansion) then we should regard it as the Fadhl of Allah ta’ala that it is His generosity and make Shukr.

 

Hearts Constrict & Expand through speech

 

Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) says that there are people who can constrict and expand hearts through their speech and this is so true as we do have speakers and preachers who help and guide people. It is interesting to see this power which Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam referred to.

 

Two men came from the East and addressed the people who wondered at their eloquent speeches. On that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘layhi wasallam said, “Some eloquent speech is as effective as magic.” [Bukhari]

 

 

When speakers remind people of the blessings of Allah ta’ala the hearts expand and when they hear of the punishment of Allah ta’ala their hearts constrict in fear.

 

Allah ta’ala uses both in the Qur’an as encouragement and to expand and also to constrict when we read about Jahannam.

 

 

*~~*~~*

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