The next two names we will be discussing and learning about are ‘Al-Qaabid’ – The Withholder, The Restrainer, The Constrictor – and ‘Al-Baasit’ – The Unfolder, The Expander, The Releaser.
Qaabid and Baasit are Opposites
Al-Qaabid is the One whose wisdom causes withholding, either physically or spiritually; the One whose wisdom decides when to withhold something, or make something scarce. The One whose wisdom may elect to withhold joy and expansion of the heart. The One in whose hand all hearts are held; the One whose hand collects all souls at the time of death.
Al-Baasit is the One who makes ample and plentiful all that is needed; the One who expands and amplifies all abundance. The One who makes the way wide and open; the One who stretches out a helping hand to mankind; the One whose open hand releases joy, comfort and abundance. The One who infuses the soul into body; the One who has filled the heart with spiritual abundance. The One whose glory and abundance fill and expand the heart.
The names Al-Qaabid and Al-Baasit are not specifically used as beautiful names in the Quran. The word ‘Qaabid’ comes from the root ‘qaa-baa-daad’, which refers to these meanings:
- To take in the hand, clutch, lay hold of
- To grasp, grip, seize, hold firmly
- To have absolute ownership of something (hold in the hand)
- To give and take (hand over and take in hand), barter
- To contract, shrink, draw together, collect together
- To draw in (as a bird contracting a wing)
- To withhold, make scanty, make scarce
- To contract the heart, i.e. distress, depression, lack of joy
The word ‘Baasit’ on the other hand comes from the root ‘baa-seen-taa’, which refers to these main meanings:
- To expand, enlarge, extend
- To grant abundance, to provide amply
- To spread, widen, to make spacious
- To extend a hand
So, how can we live by these names?
1) Know that after hardship comes ease
If you feel as though you are in a state of constriction, look forward to expansion and lightness. Understand it is from Allah ﷻ. The Story of Yusuf ‘alayhi sallam is characterised by the ups and downs; from the well, to a palace, from prison to Minister, from separation to unity. He made the best of his situation and knew the relief was coming. Have this attitude and strength and you will succeed, no matter the situation. Allah will never burden a soul with more than it can bear, there is always a greater wisdom behind everything He gives and takes from us and He will do what is best, regardless of whether we understand His reasoning. With every hardship He gives us, He will bring ease as well; everything He takes, He will replace with better. Place your faith in His mercy and wisdom and understand that Allah knows and does best. He will withhold when it is good and give when it is good.
2) Contemplate nature
Allah withholds the clouds from some people and provides them to others, and in some places the rain would be much heavier than in others. This means that Allah withholds rain from some and provides it to some. Allah is also the One who ‘withholds’ (conceals) daylight and then brings it back, He says ‘Then We withdraw it (daylight) to Us a gradual concealed withdrawal.’ [Quran, 25:46] Reflect on these types of qabd and bast every time you experience them. His signs are clear and all around us if we know where to look, let them be reminders and a means of reassurance. He will provide a way and give, always.
3) Reflect on life and death
Allah Al-Qaabid, Al-Baasit infuses souls into us (bast) and gives us life, and He also seizes souls and causes them to die (qabd). Allah says ‘Blessed is He in whose hand is dominion, and He is over all things competent – [He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed– and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.’ [Quran 67:1-2] Remember that from Him we came and to Him we will return. Allah gave us life, He has provided us with everything we could need, He has always taken care of us and been here guiding us every step of the way. He will also call us back to Him. Not a single one of us is promised our next breath, we could all pass away at any given moment; only He knows when our time will be. So live in a way where you are understanding of this fact, in a manner where you are forgiving and merciful towards others and do not hurt the heart of another, in a manner where you are constantly striving to stack good deeds and avoiding sin at any cost. Allah has created us, He will also call us back. Also remember that sleep is called a minor death. Allah withholds the souls of some and they will never wake up and He returns the souls of others and they do wake up. That’s why it’s very important to make your bedtime dua: ‘Allahumma bismika amootu wa ahyaa – O Allah in Your Name I die and live.’ but also make it a habit to recite the shahadah before you sleep as well.
4) Be a source of expansion to others
Be of those who offer relief to other people. Expand the hearts of others by reminding them of the blessings of Allah ﷻ and that after hardship comes ease. Be someone who reminds others of the mercy and love of Allah, of the way in which He takes care of us and guides our every step. A reminder will always benefit the believer but make sure you do so with the best and kindest of manners; teach people to love Allah through your love of Him and be careful to not let your words push them away. Be a source of light for others and be there for them in their times of need. Mark a balance between reassuring people of Allah’s mercy and warning them of His punishment; Allah is simultaneously Al-Qaabid and Al-Baasit, encourage them to obey and discourage disobeying Him. If you love or care for a person then you want to see them in Jannah, so remind your loved ones when they make mistakes. We all slip up at times, be there to help each other find their way back to obedience of Allah.
5) Remember the Day of Resurrection
Allah says about another example of His power of qabd: ‘They made no just esteem of Allah such as due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection, the whole of the earth will be in His Grasp, and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He and far Exalted is He above all that they associate as partners with Him.’ [Quran, 39:67] Remember our return to Allah, the fact that we will all be questioned about our every action in this world, we will be asked and held accountable for all we have done so be mindful of this at all times.
6) Ask Al-Qaabid, Al-Baasit to guide your heart
The Prophet ﷺ made this dua often: ‘Yaa muqallibal quloob, thabbit qalbee ‘alaa deenik’ (O Turner of the Hearts, keep my heart firm on Your Religion). Make it a habit to recite this dua and to ask Allah whenever your heart feels heavy. Know our happiness and sadness are both in His hands, turn to Him when things are both good and bad, in gratitude and in asking for joy. He is the turner of hearts, the One who can make us the happiest of people, turn to Him to ask for contentment and peace, both for ourselves and for those we love and care about. Sometimes our imaan feels low and this constriction of our hearts can bring us back to Allah if we take the step to strive. At other times our hearts feel spiritually expanded, our imaan, is strong, and we feel joy and strength to face the world. Ask Him to guide our hearts and fill them with peace and to keep our spiritual hearts attached to Him and all He loves.
Call upon Allah, Al-Qaabid, Al-Baasit, asking Him to lead us by His withholding and expanding to whatever is best for us in this life and the next. Ask Him to guide our hearts and grant us strong faith to believe that after hardship comes ease, to make us contemplate His perfect power by reflecting on nature and by remembering our life, death, and resurrection, and to favour us by being a source of expansion for others. Ask Him to make us contemplate ourselves and the creation around us, and assist us in accepting His decree at all times. May Allah shower His peace upon you all, answer your prayers and may He guide our every step. May He protect us and our loved ones and allow us to enter His kingdom of Jannah with them. May He purify our intentions and increase us in imaan. Ameen.
JazakAllah khayr for taking the time to read this, I pray it has benefitted you – please share this with anyone who you think may benefit as well and thank you all for reading this far. May Allah bless you all immensely and please keep the people of Palestine in your duas.
References: information in this post was collated from understandquran.com and the beautiful names of Allah series on wahiduddin.net.