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72 & 73 - الأَوَّلُ الآخِرُ

Bint e Aisha

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الأَوَّلُ الآخِرُ

الأَوَّلُ and الآخِرُ will be discussed together. 



الأَوَّلُ is translated as The First and The Pre-existing.

الآخِرُ is translated as The Last and The End & Ultimate.

Allah ta’ala is The First and The Last. Again the two names seem contradicting but they are both attributes of Allah ta’ala. 



الأَوَّلُ – He is the first of all things. This does not mean He is the first of things which are created because Allah ta’ala is The Creator Himself. It means the first of everything that happened in the universe i.e. He is the first that led to the creation of everything else. Everything came from Him and so He is the first in time.


It is that Being Who was the beginning for everything and there was no-one before Him. 


الآخِرُ – Scholars have said that everything is “Faanee ” which means it is temporary and can be erased i.e. the possibility of it not existing is there. Even in the Aakhirah there is possibility that Allah ta’ala can end that eternal life. Whereas Allah ta’ala is “Baaqee” and He cannot be erased and in that way الآخِرُ means He is The Last. 


Another way to understand these two names is that Allah ta’ala has no beginning and no end or limit. Therefore الأَوَّلُ and الآخِرُ covers the whole spectrum i.e. pre-existing and always existing. Even theoretically all of creation can end but Allah ta’ala is always there. 


In the Qur’an

In Surah Hadeed (Verse 3) all four names (The previous two and these two) are together.


هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent, and He has the knowledge of all things.


The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam had a habit of reciting Surahs at bedtime which began with, “Sabbah or Yusabbih” which are called the “Musabbihaat” and then he would say, “Verily in these Surah is a verse which is better than a thousand verses” and that verse is the one mentioned above. 


In Du’a

In a Du’a the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam taught us to say:


اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الأَوَّلُ فَلَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الْآخِرُ فَلَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ فَلَيْسَ فَوْقَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الْبَاطِنُ فَلَيْسَ دُونَكَ شَيْءٌ

Allahumma antal awwalu falaysa qablaka shay. Wa antal akhiru falaysa badaka shay. Wa antaz zahiru falaysa fawqaka shayun, wa antal batinu falaysa dunaka shay.


“Oh Allah you are the first and so there is nothing before you. And you are the last, and so nothing is after you. And you are the manifest, the apparent, so nothing is above you. But at the same time, you are the hidden so nothing is beyond you.”


Another Du’a the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam made when going to bed within which these names and the next two names are mentioned was,


اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ السَّمَوَاتِ وَرَبَّ الأَرْضِ وَرَبَّ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ فَالِقَ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى مُنْزِلَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنْجِيلِ وَالْقُرْآنِ الْعَظِيمِ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ أَنْتَ آخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهَا أَنْتَ الأَوَّلُ فَلَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَىْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الآخِرُ فَلَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَىْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ فَلَيْسَ فَوْقَكَ شَىْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الْبَاطِنُ فَلَيْسَ دُونَكَ شَىْءٌ اقْضِ عَنِّي الدَّيْنَ وَأَغْنِنِي مِنَ الْفَقْرِ ‏


O Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth and Lord of all things, Cleaver of the seed and the kernel, Revealer of the Tawrah, the Injil and the Magnificent Qur'an, I seek refuge with You from the evil of every creature You seize by the forelock. You are the First and there is nothing before You; You are the Last and there is nothing after You; You are the Most High (Az-Zahir) and there is nothing above You, and You are the Most Near (Al-Batin) and there is nothing nearer than You. Settle my debt for me and spare me from poverty.


Advice Regarding Masnoon Du’a

There are many Masnoon Du’a and we cannot read all of them so it would be good to read each at least once in our lifetime the way the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam did at a particular time or occasion. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam did not make all these Du’a all the time and he made the Du’a because of the feelings in his heart. For the Ambiyaa and the Muqarraboon, Du’a are what they talk to Allah ta’ala through. It gives us an idea of where they used those words of Du’a. Making Du’a stickers and learning all of them is not the point. It is to make all the Du’a at some stage and use the variety of Du’a to approach Allah ta’ala. 



To have certainty that everything will end and Allah ta’ala is الأَوَّلُ and الآخِرُ and we are insignificant and temporary beings passing through this universe. We see through the names of Allah ta’ala the constant feeling of human beings being insignificant and Allah ta’ala is اكْبر in His Sifaat and his Af’aal.



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