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44 - الْوَاسِعُ

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الْوَاسِعُ is translated as The All-Embracing and The All-Pervading. It comes from the root word وُسْعَتْ which means to be expansive, vast. Allah ta’ala is vast in His Dhaat and Sifaat.In the Qur’an it is always linked with other names i.e. knowledge, generosity etc. It means it is an expansiveness that extends as far as possible. 



What does it mean to be وَاسِعُ? Some Scholars have looked at it in terms of generosity that He is that Being Who is so generous that His generosity is enough for His dependant slaves. His provisions are so all-encompassing that they are enough for all of creation. 


الْوَاسِعُ is also that Being in Whose possession is all power and all knowledge of everything and His Rahmah covers everything. In the Qur’an there is a famous verse, 


وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ - yet My mercy encompasses everything [Surah A’raaf:156]

Therefore, Allah ta’ala’s mercy envelopes, encompasses, covers everything, all of humanity and all of creation. Some Scholars say Allah ta’ala’s Rahmah is the most vast and comprehensive Sifat, and some say this verse is of the Mutashaabihaat i.e. not understood by the intellect similar to when Allah ta’ala says about the Arsh encompassing everything so His Rahmah is surrounding, enveloping, encompassing the circumference of the whole universe and is وَاسِع and in this name Allah ta’ala Himself is being regarded as الْوَاسِعُ. 


Poets and Spiritual people like Mawlana Rumi (Rahimahullah) have written poetry regarding this. It comes in Surah Luqman, verse 27,


وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلَامٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ مَا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمَاتُ اللَّهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

If all the trees on earth were pens, and the ocean were ink, replenished by seven more oceans, the writing of Allah's Words (His wonderful signs and creations) would not be exhausted; surely Allah is Mighty Wise.


Therefore Allah ta’ala is  وَاسِع  in terms of His knowledge, generosity, Rizq etc. and His vastness is also in His praise which never ends and the bounties He gives humanity are limitless and inexhaustible. Everything in the world and even the Angles who are described as huge, have limits. Every creation has limits but Allah ta’ala has no limits. 

In the Qur’an

It is used 9 times in the Qur’an and always paired with another name. It comes 7 times with الْعَلِيمُ and once with الْحَكِيمُ and once with مَغْفِرَة. 


وَلِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

To Allah belong the East and the West; whichever direction you turn your face there is the presence of Allah. Surely Allah is All-Embracing and All-Knowing. [Surah Baqarah: 115]


وَكَانَ اللَّهُ وَاسِعًا حَكِيمًا -  other out of His own limitless resources, Allah is Amplegiving, Wise. [Surah Nisaa’: 130]


إِنَّ رَبَّكَ وَاسِعُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ - surely for them your Rabb will have abundant forgiveness [Surah Najm:32]



Regarding وُسْعَتْ

The commentary in one of the books mentions science and the universe a lot. The oceans are regarded as vast and deep and people are still exploring them. It is said that we know more about the moon than the bottom of the oceans in some places. They are vast and a mystery. The space is vast and still being explored. It is said to be expanding all the time and Allah ta’ala is الْوَاسِعُ, vaster than  the oceans and space.


In answer to people who do not understand God and why He does certain things, how can He be fully understood when His creation like the space, oceans, black holes etc., cannot be understood?


Allah ta’ala is الْوَاسِعُ – it means to make something vast or expand. One of the ways to feel it is to look at the stars and the ocean in darkness and one will realize that out there is a huge universe and Allah ta’ala pervades all of it and He is beyond space and time. 


The theological and philosophical point that comes out is that Allah ta’ala is so vast in so many of His characteristics that it is beyond our understanding even though He is so close to us.. 


The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam taught two Du’a for وُسْعَتْ, one for وُسْعَتْ in Akhlaaq (Internal) and one for the home (External.)


Du’a for an expansive character
O Allah! Forgive my sins, give expansion to my character, make lawful my earnings, give me contentment in whatever You provided me and do not make me quest something which You turned away from me. (taken from Munaajat-e-Maqbool). 


What does it mean to have Wasi’ Akhlaaq? It means that a person in terms of his character and deeds is open-hearted. He gives, helps and shares with others. Everyone is nice to friends. The test is to have Wasi’ Akhlaaq with someone we do not like or there is no expectation of anything from them. We should ask Allah ta’ala to make our character expansive so that we can imbibe and take part in this name. 


Du’a for expansion in the home
Allaahummagh fir lee Dhambi wa wassi’ lee fee daari wa baarik lee fee rizqee

O Allah! Forgive my sins and give expansion in my home and grant blessings in my Rizq.


Mufti Taqi Uthmani Sahib explains that there are two ways to understand وُسْعَتْ in the home,

•    It refers to space i.e. a home big enough for the people to live in so that it is not too small or claustrophobic.

•    It has a metaphorical meaning. We are asking Allah ta’ala to make the people of the house have وُسْعَتْ in their hearts so that it is a place of peace and not a place where hearts feel constricted and where there is conflict. 



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