Monday, January 17, 2011

On the Divine Name al-Mu'min | The Solely Faithful, The Inspirer of Trust and Secured Faith

1.
Wali'Llahi al-asma ul-husna: fa odAAoo Hu bi ha.

To God belongs the most beautiful Names: so call on Hu by these..
- The Quran 7:180


2.
Man finds his existence in a reality in which the apparent (zahir) is comprised of forms and names. And such is the reality of forms and names that they act as vehicles for human consciousness to gain  access to even that which are formless and beyond names. The word "Love" can be an example to express something which is beyond words or names and can not be defined by form, yet when it comes to conscious access to that, we call it by a name, we use expression like "I love you" to transmit the reality carried with the word / name.

Similarly when it comes to accessing the realm of sacred knowledge, the knowledge of the Divinity Itself,  we start from Name, Names, or Consciousness of Name to reach the One Who is Named. John, who was a profound Mystic opens his Gospel thus pointing to this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" and Sufis speak of the reality of journey back from Name to the Named, from Word back to God, from Zahir to Batin.

In this journey the particular practice of the Path is accessed through the 99 Mystical Names of Allah. In Sacred Hebrew tradition there are also beautiful Names through which Consciousness of the Divine was invoked. From time immemorial the mystics, the seekers, the gnostics, the God-intoxicated lovers of the Divine used the Beautiful Names in every possible human language to invoke God and used it as sacred practice to call upon the Holy Essence as a child uses the name Mother to call upon its mother. In Islamic Spiritual Practice as embodied and lived in Sufi tradition, 99 Holy Names of God is revealed by the Messenger, upon him be peace. These Names are often used by Sufis, seekers and mystics to invoke certain Divine Consciousness and to invoke power from the Source of all Power.

99 Holy Names of Allah via www.namesofallah.com

3.
 I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You have Named Yourself with, or which You revealed in Your Revelation, or which You taught to any of Your creation, or which You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Revelation Quran the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.

- Prophet’s supplication, peace be upon him


4.
AL-MU'MIN

Among the 99 Revealed Names of Allah as transmitted by the Divine Informer Muhammad Mustafa, al-Mu'min is one (click for hear how its pronounced). The Name indicates to the truth of the Holy Essence which is the Source of Faith, Trust and Security. Al-Mu'min is the Name of God which introduces us to the Divine as the Guardian of Faith, as the Remover of Fear, the Giver of Tranquility. Allahu al-Mu'min: God is the Solely Faithful. Guardian of Faith, The One who witnessed for Itself that no one is god but the Holy Essence. And He witnessed for His believers that they are truthful in their belief that la ilaha illaHu

Various meanings of the Name al-Mu'min are:

The One who faithfully bestows the gifts of peace, safety and security.

The One who grants freedom from fear.

The One who illuminates the heart with faith. The One who is most trustworthy.


From the root â-m-n which has the following classical Arabic connotations:

    to be secure, safe, free from fear
    to be quiet, tranquil
    to grant protection, safeguard
    to be trusted, trustworthy
    to believe in

The word îmân, often simply translated simply as faith or belief, comes from this same â-m-n root.


5.
On belief and faith

We are able to do anything if we choose to make the effort. The difficulty is that often we do not choose to do so. And why not? Because we do not believe: what is generally lacking in man is belief…. What we obtain is what our belief allows us to obtain, whether of wealth or virtue, power or rank or spirituality. What our belief does not allow us to attain to we do not attain to; we cannot attain it….

How can one get belief? This is the most difficult question anyone can ask, for it cannot be learned, it cannot be taught; it is a grace of God. Belief is essentially the same thing as faith, but only when belief has become a conviction does it turn into faith. I remember my murshid (spiritual teacher) giving me, in blessing me, this wish: “May your faith be strengthened.” Being a young man, I thought, “Is that all he is saying to me, not, ‘May you be inspired,’ or ‘illuminated,’ or ‘prosperous,’ or something else?” But when I think of it now, I know that in that blessing there was all. When belief is strengthened, then there is everything: what we lack in life is mostly due to our lack of belief. But again, this is not something that one can learn or teach or that one can give to anybody; it comes from the grace of God.

- Hazrat Inayat Khan, Allah bless him for his service, from Spiritual Dimensions of Psychology


6.
Ta’alluq, Takhalluq and Tahaqquq of the Name: al-Mu'min

The great Shaykh Ibn Ajiba, may Allah be pleased with him, in his large commentary on the Fatiha says: Know that Allah’s beautiful Names are all suitable for ta’alluq (attachment, relationship), takhalluq (adoption, appropriation, cultivation), and tahaqquq (realization).

Ta'alluq is seeking for the Name's meaning to happen. It is deepening the relationship of the Divine Attribute through seeking, being aware.

Takhalluq is striving in actions / deeds / works that bring about the meanings encapsulated in the Name. It is cultivation of the Divine Attribute in co-participating and asking Divine Permission to partake in the Name.

Tahaqquq is its unfolding and taking firm root in the heart so much so that it finds abode in the heart and raise the state to a more permanent station, Inshallah. It is realization of the Name.

And ta’alluq to al-Mu'min, according to the first meaning: To ask Him to give you belief and certainty of faith in Him, and in His promises and threats, and His prophets and messengers, and His awliya (saints, nearer friends).

And according to the second meaning: To ask from Him safety from His dissatisfaction by the achievement of true repentance, and correct manners, by conformity to the Sunnah (pattern of the Messnger), and the abandonment of blameworthy bidah.

And takhalluq according to it: is for your truthfulness to increase, for your faith to strength so that no doubts mix with it, or false beliefs, and that no worry or comes to it, and that all of creation feel safe from you, for his saying, peace be upon him, “I swear by Allah that he does not believe…he from whom his neighbor feels no security,” and to believe all those who want to give you advice and tell you that in which you will find your righteousness and right guidance.

And tahaqquq with it: that the light of certainty shines in your heart, so that the hereafter is too close to you for you to leave for it, and to see this world with the eclipse of perishing apparent on it, and that which was unseen to you becomes witnessed, and that which was to come becomes now, and that your sidq (honesty) is so great that you believe in what is normally impossible.

It has been related that the Noble Master Isa (Jesus) , upon him be peace and blessings, saw a man stealing, so he said, “you have stolen, oh so-and-so?”, so he said, “No, by Allah I did not steal, oh spirit of Allah”, so Isa peace be upon him said, “I believe in Allah and disbelieve in my eyes.”

So if your honesty is realized, and you are firmly established in it, you are written down with Allah as one of the siddiqeen (the verifiers), the muqarrabeen (those brought near), may Allah raise us among them (on the Day of Judgment), Amen. (credit)


7.
Further Commentary

Imam al-Ghazali, may Allah have mercy on him, said: al-Mu’min is the Absolute, so that all imagineable safety or security must come from Him.

And that [Absolute] is Allah Most High. It is clear that the blind man is scared of dying from something that he does not see, from which a seeing eye would give him safety; And the man whose arm has been cut off fears a harm that could only be protected from with an arm, and from which the arm gives safety; and so it is with all senses and limbs, and the Mu’min is the One who created them, fashioned them, and makes them work. And if we were to imagine a man alone, sought by his enemies, lying in a narrow straight, so weak that his limbs cannot move, and even if they could move, he has no weapon, and even if he had a weapon then he could not fight his enemies by himself, and even if he had soldiers he did not have the assurance (amn) that his army will not be defeated, and there is no fortress in which to seek refuge…. So then came someone who healed his weakness and gave him strength, gave him soldiers and weapons, and built around him a fortress, then he has given him amn and aman (safety and reassurance), then he should be called a mu’min (a source of amn) in his right.

And the servant [of Allah] is naturally weak, and is vulnerable to illness, hunger, and thirst from within, and to dangers that can cause drowning, burning, injury, and defeat from the outside. And only he gives him security from these fears who prepares for him medicine for his illnesses, foods that remove his hunger and drinks to quench his thirst, and bodily organs to keep away harm from his body, as well as the senses which act as spies, informing him of the mortal dangers that approach him. Then there is his greatest fear, that of doom in the Next World, from which only the statement of Tawhid shall protect him- and Allah is He who guides him to it, and makes him want to utter it, as He said [in the Hadith Qudsi], “La Ilaaha Illa Allah is My fortress, and he who enters it is safe from My punishment”. And so there is no safety in the world except that it has causes, and He alone creates these causes and guides to their use.

And the Abd al-Mu’min (the Servant of al-Mu’min) is he whom Allah has given safety from punishment; and he with whom people feel safe (and may entrust to them) their selves, their money, and their honor. And the servant’s share of this attribute is that all creation fear nothing from him, but instead, that all those who have fears wish to find in him refuge to protect them from any danger to their religious and worldly affairs, as he said, peace be upon him, “He who believes (yu’min) in Allah and the Last Day, let his neighbor be safe (yu’min) from him.”

And the most worthy of Allah’s servants of the name al-mu’min he who is a cause of the safety of creation from Allah’s punishment through guidance to the path of Allah and leading toward the way of salvation, and this is the craft of the Prophets and the Scholars, and that is why he said, peace be upon him, “You throw yourselves toward the Fire as do moths but I take you by the forelock (toward safety)”.

You might say that fear is in truth from Allah and that no one truly causes fear except Him, for He is the one who frightens his servants and He is the one who creates the things that cause their fears, so how can amn (safety from fear) be attributed to Him? Your answer is that fear is from Him and safety is from Him, and He is the creator of the causes of both safety and fear; and His being a frightener does not keep Him from being a mu’min, just as his being a Dishonorer (Mudhill) does not keep him from being an Honorer (Mu’izz), but He is the Honorer and the Dishonorer; and His being a Humbler/Lowerer (Khafid) does not keep him from being an Exalter/Raiser (Rafi’), but He is the Exalter and the Humbler. And so is He the Mu’min and the frightener, except that al-Mu’min has been chosen [by Allah] as a Name, but not “the frightener”.

And the unique benefit of this Name is to have safety, honesty, to be believed and seen as trustworthy by others, and strength of iman (faith) in general to the one who remembers, or repeats, this name. And from this uniqueness is that he who has fear should repeat it thirty six times, for he will feel safe about himself and his possessions, and it is increased to that according to one’s power or weakness.

(original text in Arabic and credit)


8.
Secret of the Name al-Mu'min

Meaning of the Name al-Mu'min which also conceals the meaning as Believer, One Who Trusts and some find it strange that God refers its Holy Essence as Mu'Min or Believer. Bewildering Secret revealed to His elect friends is this: Allah is al-Mu'min by His sacred Trust and believe in humanity.  Allah declares, "Man is my secret and I am his secret." Humanity and each individual human being are the Sacred Trust of God in whom God entrusted the trust to Truth Him. This is a tremendous responsibility that human heart carries and the Divine Name al-Mu'min is a reminder and Signpost that God is trusting us by entrusting His trust upon us to trust God alone. May Allah include us among those who trust in Him as He deserves to be trusted. Madad ya Shaykh, Madad ya Ali, Madad ya Rasul'Allah, Mada ya Allah.


9.
Fly from the name to the Named


O thou who long to become pure, rest not at the names;
Come learn Whose names they are!
To know the Named One, that’s the aim,
The only aim in attaining the names.

- Shaykh Abdul-Ahad al-Nuri, may Allah be pleased with him



# Reference Sources:
. Riyadat an-Nafs

# Resources:
. The Beautiful Names of Allah
. How to Pronounce al-Mu'min
. Advice on Reciting The 99 Names Under A Guide
. Al-Mu’min: a Du’a

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