19 February 2014 CE | 17 Rabbi al-Thanni 1435 AH

Hadith Explanation

Allah’s Name: Al-Hakeem

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. Whoever ‘ahsaaha’ [enumerates them, believes in them, ponders their meanings, supplicates with them, and acts according to one's belief in them] will enter Paradise.” [Saheeh Muslim]

Ibn Jareer (rahimahullah) defines Al-Hakeem as “that entity whose plans are solid, without fault and which none can interfere with.” [An-Nahj ul-Asma]

Ibn Katheer (rahimahullah) says: “Al-Hakeem is that entity who is most wise in all His sayings and doings in such a way that by His knowledge, wisdom and justice He puts everything in its proper place.” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

There was once a pious elderly man who lived in a jungle with his wife. They had a donkey which would carry their loads for them. They had a dog which guarded their house and a rooster which would wake them up in the morning with its crow.

Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) so willed that one day a fox came and took their rooster away. The man’s wife began to cry over this loss, but he said, “Don’t cry. This is for our own good.” Then a wolf came and killed their donkey. The wife became sad again but the man said, “There is good for us in this, it is not something to cry over.” Then their dog suddenly died and the wife became sad at the loss of all three of their animals in a single day. The pious man again said, “Don’t grieve. This was better for us.”

When morning dawned forces of the enemy attacked. They looted all the homes they could locate in the jungle and took the men, women and children away as slaves. The only people who were left undetected were the old man and his wife. This was since all their animals had died, there was no crow of a rooster to give them away, no braying of a donkey to alert the enemy to their existence, and no barking of a dog to pinpoint the location of their house.

The old man said to his wife, “See how their animals caused the ruin of these people. It was such a blessing from Allah that all our animals died yesterday, otherwise we too would have been enslaved today.” [“Sharh Asma-e-Husna,” by Muhammad Haneef Abdul-Majeed]

Allah’s name Al-Hakeem comes in the Quran 94 times, usually in combination with another name, e.g. “Wallahu azeezun hakeem.” [Surah al-Baqarah: Ayat 228] This combination reminds us that not only is Allah Most Wise (Al-Hakeem) but also Most Powerful (Al-Azeez); thus, He is not helpless in implementing His wisdom.

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