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41 - الْكَرِيمُ

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الْكَرِيمُ is translated as The Most Generous and The Bountiful. Ibn Arabi (Rahimahullah) has mentioned sixteen different meanings of this name. 


It is The One Who forgives and fulfills promises even though He is so powerful. His generosity overlooks shortcomings. His generosity exceeds the limits one could hope for when he gives. الْكَرِيمُ gives more than a person hopes for, giving without asking, happy when giving and angry when it is asked for from someone else.


Only Allah ta’ala can be The True كَرِيم. The utmost level of “Karam” – generosity, is with Allah ta’ala. 


There is another Sifat called being “Sakhee” which means being generous and giving however it may not be out of good character and the generosity may be out of affectation.


In the Qur’an


يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنْسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ 

O man! What has lured you away from your gracious Rabb [Surah Infitaar: 6]


The weakness of man is that he has no sense of loyalty and is not faithful to Allah. Despite the innumerable bounties that Allah ta’ala bestows on man, man is still ungrateful and disobeys Him. This is self-delusion. Man thinks he has everything due to his effort and forgets the generosity of Allah ta’ala. 


وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ

But whoever is ungrateful, surely my Lord is Self-Sufficient, Most Generous.” [Suarh Naml: 40]


Even though people are ungrateful, Allah ta’ala does not decrease in His generosity. 


فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْكَرِيمِ

Now Allah be exalted, the True King! There is no God save Him, the Lord of the Throne of Grace. [Surah Mu’minoon:116]


Despite being The Soveriegn and The Lord of the Throne He is still Kareem. 


Kareem used for Honour 

Kareem is high level beautific adjective for Allah ta’ala, Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and other noble things like the Qur’an (Qur’an Kareem) and a noble reward (Arjun kareem) and a noble provision (Rizqun kareem) etc. Thus honourable things are mentioned with the word Kareem. 


Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an, 

وَمَنْ يُهِنِ اللَّهُ فَمَا لَهُ مِنْ مُكْرِمٍ ۚ

He who is humbled by Allah has none who can raise him to honor [Surah Hajj:18]


Allah ta’ala is generous in not just materialistic, tangible things but also the intangible. 



Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) says, “Man may endeavour to acquire these qualities, but only in some things and with a sort of affectation. In this way he may be characterized as generous, yet he remains deficient by comparison with the absolutely generous. How can he not be so characterized when the messenger of God — may God's mercy and peace be upon him — said: ‘Do not call the grapevine generous; it is the Muslim who is generous’


Now it is said that the grapevine is described as generous because it is a compliant shrub, with delicious fruit that is easy to pick, within reach, and free from thorns and other causes of harm — unlike the date palm. 



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