الأول , الآخر, الظاهر, الباطن

Al-Awwal, Al-Aakhir, Al-Zaahir (pronounced as Az-Zaahir), Al-Baatin

 

Al-Awwal (The First )
Al-Aakhir (The Last )
Al-Zaahir pronounced as Az-Zaahir (The Manifest One, The Evident )
Al-Baatin (The Hidden One)

All of these four names came together in one aayah and that is the verse 3 of surah Al-Hadeed. Its English translation is:

Surah Al-Hadeed 3 (translation only):


(57:3) He is the First and the Last, and the Manifest and the Hidden,3 and He has knowledge of everything
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Exp.note 3 of the surah Al-Hadeed on tafheem.net:

3. That is, when there was nothing, He was, and when there will be nothing, He will be. He is the most Manifest of all the manifests, for whatever manifests itself in the world, does so only by His attributes and His works and His light. And He is the Most Hidden of all the hidden, for not only do the senses fail to perceive Him but the intellect and thought and imagination also cannot attain to His essence and reality. The best commentary in this regard is a supplication of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which Imam Ahmad, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Baihaqi have related on the authority of Abu Hurairah, and Hafiz Abu Yala Mosuli in his Musnad on the authority of Aishah rAa:

Antal Awwal, fa-laisa qablaka shaiin; wa Antal Akhir falaisa ba’ daka shaiin; wa Antal Zahir,fa-laisa fauqaka shai in; wa Antal Batin, fa laisa dunaka shaiin. You alone are the First; none is before You; You alone are the Last: none is after You; You alone are the Manifest; none is above You; You alone are the Hidden: none is more hidden than You.

Here, the question arises: How does this accord with the immortality and eternal life of the dwellers of Paradise and Hell mentioned in the Quran when Allah alone is the Last and Eternal? Its answer has been provided by the Quran itself: Everything is perishable except Allah Himself. (Surah Al-Qasas, Ayat 88). In other words no creature is immortal in its personal capacity; if a thing exists or continuous to exist, it does so because Allah keeps it so, and can exist only by His letting it exist; otherwise in its own capacity everything is perishable except Allah. Immortality in Heaven and Hell will not be bestowed upon somebody because he is immortal by himself, but because Allah will grant him eternal life. The same is true of the angels, they are not immortal by themselves. When Allah willed they came into existence, and will continue to exist only as long as He wills.

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Al-Qasas 88:


88. And do not invoke with Allah another deity. There is no deity except Him. Everything will be destroyed except His Face. His is the judgement, and to Him you will be returned.
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Also Allah said in the surah Al-Rahmaan (Ar-Rahmaan) verse 26 and 27:


26. Every one upon the earth will perish,

27. And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.

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In the comprehensive meaning of these names comes that The Rabb Tabaarak wa Ta’ala encompasses the whole creation and that encompassing is zammniyyah wa makaaniyyah i.e. space related and time related. So Allah was before everyone and everything and shall exist and remain after the end of everyone and everything. Allah has been present since ever and shall exist for ever. From the beginning to the end of the creation/ universe everything and everyone is in Allah’s control. That is the time related encompassing.

As for the space related encompassing Allah encompasses everything on its open side as well as its hidden aspects. So Allah is upon everything which is manifest and whatever is hidden Allah is more hidden than that. As the Prophet (Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “ wa anta Al- Zaahir fa lesa fawqaka she-in wa anta Al-Baatin fa lesa doonaka she-in. So in HIS Appearance Allah is Higher than all, HIS Throne is above the seven heavens and Allah is above the Thrown. At the same time Allah is so much hidden that none of the eyes can see HIM. Although Allah is so much High but is wonderfully near everything and every creature. Allah said in surah Qaaf verse 16:

Surah Qaaf verse 16 (English translation):


16. And indeed We have created man, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.
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As Allah is Al-Baatin (The Hidden) and is so near to each and every one, no secret of mankind can remain hidden from HIM. HE (Allah) is extremely near every being with HIS Knowledge and Power and knows every state, internal and external of each creature and controls it in the way HE likes!!!

Now when the Scientific developments have happened, some of the scientists dealing with the DNA and genes of mankind were struck with wonder because they found inside the cell nucleus numerous commands for the formation of different types of body proteins!!! They were in a state of fear due to the GREATNESS of the Creator, Who has given such wise Commands to the DNA for great functions like the manufacture of proteins. They admitted and declared that a Great Wise Creator exists and that Evolution theory is false and is without any scientific bases!!!

When a person gets the knowledge of these four names, then he/she must become very humble before the Almighty God (Allah) and must pay thanks to HIM. He /she must worship only Allah and at difficult times must call only Allah. Also he/she must trust Allah because only Allah can fulfill our needs, can help us in our difficult times, and can remove trouble from us; and also because we are on our way to return to Allah and to appear in HIS Court.

These four names of Allah collectively help us to get acquainted about Allah and Allah’s worship. These are also enough to suppress and crush the waswasa (bad ideas from Satans). According to a Hadeeth in the Sunan Abi Da’wood, narrated by Abi Zumeel Samaak bin Al-Waleed; he asked about a bad waswasa in his heart. Ibn Abbaas rAa told him that if he found something in his heart/mind, he should say:

هو الأول و الآخر و الظاهر والباطن, وهو بكل شىئ عليم

(Surah Al-Hadeed verse 3)

Its meaning is:

3. He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Hidden: and He has full knowledge of all things.
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Thus Ibn Abbaas told the solution for waswasa. Waswasah is suppressed and crushed by reciting this verse, we must trust Allah and get rid of waswasah.

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