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33 - الْحَلِيمُ

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الْحَلِيمُ  is translated as The Forbearing and The Calm-Abiding. 


This is a trait that human beings can share in as we can be forbearing and tolerant. 


Haleem is one who shows Hilm, (softness) and not punish and take revenge. Forgiving is part of Hilm (forbearance) and to forgive to such an extent that anger cannot exclude the softness i.e. even if angry, the gentleness is not lost. So it does not mean that a person cannot get angry, they can. Allah ta’ala does get angry. Humans who are Haleem do get angry but it does not remove or decrease the softness and gentleness. This is very important because anger is not something one can eliminate. It can be controlled and one way to control it (manage it) is to work on this trait of Hilm.


الْحَلِيمُ is that Being Who can see His servants rejecting and disobeying Him but still He does not punish them immediately even though He has the power to punish. He gives them opportunities to make Tawbah again and again and in fact hides their faults from people and forgives them. 


Allah ta’ala bestows many Ne’mat despite people’s sins and that is also a type of Hilm. The softness does not decrease despite the sins. 


In Surah Ahzaab (verse 51) Allah ta’ala says, 

وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَلِيمًا

Allah knows all that is in your hearts; for Allah is All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.


Here it is paired with عَلِيم as Allah ta’ala has complete knowledge of everything and He can punish people immediately but He has complete Hilm and He overlooks and forgives.


This is a very beautiful trait for which we should make Du’a for. 


Trait we can share in

This is a trait we can share in. Allah ta’ala shows so much Hilm despite our disobedience that we should also show Hilm to those who go against us. When we are forbearing, forgiving and we overlook things (i.e. someone with a big heart) then we are people of Hilm. We should inculcate it and show Hilm towards others as we would want Allah ta’ala to be Haleem towards us. We cannot expect Hilm from Allah ta’ala if we do not show it to others. 


In the Qur’an

It is mentioned 11 times in the Qur’an. In Surah Baqarah (part of verse 235), Allah ta’ala says, 

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٌ - Bear in mind that Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.


Allah ta’ala has knowledge of everything and despite that He is Haleem and we find out something small about someone and we are angry and hard hearted and we do not forgive them. 


Trait of Hilm beloved to Allah ta’ala

This trait is beloved to Allah ta’ala. In a Hadith the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhiw asallam said to someone,

إِنَّ فِيكَ خَصْلَتَيْنِ يُحِبُّهُمَا اللَّهُ الْحِلْمُ وَالْأَنَاةُ

“You have two characteristics beloved to Allah: forbearance and deliberation.” [Bukhari]


الْأَنَاةُ – to deliberate, not to be rash in decisions.


How can a person gain Hilm?

•    Be forgiving – to conscientiously think I want Allah ta’ala to forgive me and I will forgive others. After some time it becomes easy and part of one’s nature and personality.

•    To control anger – to hold / manage / control one’s emotions. There are many ahadith regarding anger:


“A man said to the Prophet, ‘Give me advice.’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘Do not get angry.’ The man asked repeatedly and the Prophet answered each time, ‘Do not get angry.’”[Bukhari & Muslim]


A person has to have Hilm and Tahammul (to be able to carry burden i.e. to forgive, overlook)



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