Jump to content

74 & 75 - الظَّاهِرُ الْبَاطِنُ

Bint e Aisha

Recommended Posts

الظَّاهِرُ الْبَاطِنُ

الظَّاهِرُ and الْبَاطِنُ will be discussed together.



الظَّاهِرُ is translated as The Manifest One and The Evident.

الْبَاطِنُ is translated as The Hidden One and The Inner.



ظاهِر is something that can be seen. It is something external and بَاطِن  is something internal. We see again two traits which seem contradictory.


How is Allah ta’ala ظاهِر and بَاطِن?

He is ظاهِر (Manifest) as there are clear proofs through which He can be manifested i.e. His creation, the universe, nature etc. and He is بَاطِن (Hidden from creation) as He cannot be seen like other worldly things which we can see, feel, touch, smell or imagine and we cannot communicate with Him as we would with other human beings with our ears and tongues. Therefore He is both ظاهِر and بَاطِن.


Allah ta’ala is ظاهِر due to His actions i.e. He manifests Himself through His actions (His creation) and due to His Sifat of being ظاهِر, there is no possible way to reject Him. No one can say there is no God and if someone rejects Allah ta’ala then His signs cannot be rejected as His perfect power is apparent through the universe. Therefore everything that is manifest in this world is a manifestation of Allah ta’ala and if Allah ta’ala was not there, there would be nothing.


Allah ta’ala is بَاطِن as He is not only hidden from our sight, hearing etc. but He cannot even be imagined or felt with our senses. He is veiled and as a Being, He is beyond our comprehension. We cannot understand Him directly or intellectually even though we can see his creation and signs.


The realization of Allah ta’ala’s existence can be obtained through His actions which is how He is ظاهِر and His being behind a veil and beyond our comprehension and imagination, is how He is بَاطِن. Whatever we know about Allah ta’ala in terms if His Dhaat is through what he chose to reveal of Himself in the Qur’an and the Hadith Qudsee. There are many verses in the Qur’an telling us to look at His signs because it is through His signs that we will find Him. 


Connection between the two names

In a way it is through the ظاهِر that you realize He is بَاطِن and so this is the beautiful connection between the two names. 


Looking at the Apparent to find the Hidden

It is through looking at the beautiful creation of Allah ta’ala like the sunset and sunrise in which one can revel and wonder at the beauty of its Creator that connects you to the بَاطِن. 


Commentators spend a lot of time talking about this and mention the Ambiyaa who would ponder on Allah ta’ala and the most famous of them was Ibraheem AS. 


إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

For sure, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men of understanding. [Surah Aali ‘Imraa: 190]


أُولِي الْأَلْبَاب is translated as “Men of understanding” and it has the connotation of people of intellect but it is not in terms of being educated people with degrees as intellect is more than this. It is people who look beyond the apparent and then find the hidden. We cannot imagine the reality but we can realise it’s there through the signs. 


الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Those who remember Allah while standing, sitting, and lying on their sides, and meditate on the creation of the heavens and the earth. Then cry out:" Our Rabb! You have not created this in vain. Glory to You! Save us from the punishment of Fire. [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 191]


Everything in the world is a manifestation of the Attributes of Allah ta’ala

When we get Rizq from Allah ta’ala, it becomes apparent that He is الرَّزَّاقُ and when we see the creation of Allah ta’ala we realize that He is الْخَالِقُ and when we see the mercy of humans and creatures, we realize He is الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ and when we see the power of Allah ta’ala we realize it is a manifestation of الْكَبِيرُ. 


Therefore all the names of Allah ta’ala are a manifestation of something in this world that we are seeing or experiencing. One of the beauties of Asmaa ul Husnaa is how to connect the things we see and the experiences of this life to the manifestations of the traits of Allah ta’ala. 


In the Qur’an

Both names are used together in verse 3 of Surah Hadeed. 

هُوَ الْأَوَّلُ وَالْآخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ



It is mentioned in the Tafseer of ibn Katheer (Rahimahullah) that ‘Abdullah ibn Abbaas RA who was a Mufassir, said that if a person has Waswasah in the heart regarding Allah ta’ala and Deen then to recite verse 3 of Surah Hadeed.


Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) writes that being الأَوَّلُ, He is the most manifest and being الآخِرُ, He is the most hidden, and this is the biggest paradox. He is the most manifest and the most hidden. His proofs are manifested throughout the universe but He is also the most بَاطِن. So it is a strange paradox that people want to talk to Him and know Him but He is hidden and in a way He is closest to us, He is there , He is with us. 


Another thing Imam Ghazali (Rahimahullah) writes is that it is the last stage of Ma’rifat when a person is trying to get to know Allah ta’ala and goes through different stages of knowing and understanding Him (even in our weak, Naaqis way) and this is the last stage of knowing Allah ta’ala, to realize that He is ظاهِر and بَاطِن. 



We should know that every Ni’mat of this world is a manifestation of Allah ta’ala. 


Everyone has a ظاهِر (the outer which the world can see) and a بَاطِن (the inner which no one can see) forms and to know them and to work on both the outer actions and the Tazkiyah of the heart and to follow the Sunnah in both. 


To know that Allah ta’ala is aware of our ظاهِر and بَاطِن, how we act in front of others and how we really are in private.


To stay away from both type of sins as Allah ta’ala mentions in the Qur’an, 


وَذَرُوا ظَاهِرَ الْإِثْمِ وَبَاطِنَهُ ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْسِبُونَ الْإِثْمَ سَيُجْزَوْنَ بِمَا كَانُوا يَقْتَرِفُونَ

Forsake the outwardness of sin and the inwardness thereof. Lo! those who garner sin will be awarded that which they have earned. [Surah An’aam: 120]


Therefore refrain from open sins and secret sins. The inner sins are having bad or negative feelings in the heart like envy, jealousy, pride etc. These are diseases of the heart and we should try and purify the heart while making Du’a for the purification of the heart.  


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...