Aqeedah (Belief) Islamic Studies Qur'an With the Divine

All Praise is to Him: Al-Hameed

Names of Allah Series:  Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV | Part XXVI | Part XXVII | Part XXVIII | Part XXIXPart XXX |Part XXXI | Part XXXII | Part XXXIII | Part XXXIV | Part XXXV | Part XXXVI | Part XXXVII | Part XXXVIII | Part XXXIX | Part XXXX | Part XXXXI | Part XXXXII | Part XXXXIII 

“Thank you so so much! I really appreciate it,” I wrote to a stranger I had never met. I was so grateful to that man. In my first visit to New York, I had lost my phone in a cab. This phone had all my numbers in it, pictures, saved messages… everything. As silly as it felt to be making du`a’ (supplication) for something seemingly so trivial, I asked Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He), to return my phone. I tried to have conviction that, because I had said the remembrances that day, I had not lost my phone.

Photo: Lucas ()

Indeed, the next morning, I received an email from the man who had found my phone. A few arrangements were made, and I was reunited with my phone shortly after. As I thanked that man, I turned to Allah (swt) in my heart and said, AlhamduliLah – all praise is due to Allah.

Al-Hameed: the Praiseworthy

It is befitting to learn about Allah’s Name al-Hameed after having studied His Name al-Ghani, as these two Names come together in the Qur’an. Al-Hameed comes from the three-letter root ha-meem-dal (ح-م-د), which is the opposite of the word al-thamm, which means to condemn. Something that is complete and perfect deserves hamd,while something that has faults or is incomplete receives thamm. This praise is accompanied with feelings of adoration, gratitude and submission. Al-Ghazali states:

“God – great and glorious – is the Praised by virtue of His praise for Himself from eternity, and by virtue of His servants’ praise for Him forever. But this comes down to the attributes of majesty, of exaltation, and of perfection, as they are linked to the repetition of those who continually remember Him, for praise involves recalling the attributes of perfection insofar as they are perfect.”

This Name is closely associated with shukr, meaningful thankfulness. But hamd is much more encompassing than shukr. Thankfulness is expressed to someone for a particular deed or favor, whereas hamd is praise and gratitude not simply for overt favors, but for the inherent qualities the praiseworthy possesses. Thus it is said that hamd (praise) is the pinnacle of shukr (thankfulness). Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:


“To Him belongs what is in the heavens and what is on the earth. And indeed, Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy (al Hameed)” (Qur’an, 22:64).

Thus Allah al-Hameed is the One we go to with gratitude and humility, praising Him not just for those favors we feel thankful for, but for His very essence and all His decrees. Sheikh Ratib an-Nabulsi has said that al-Hameed is the only One deserving of true praise, which is why we repeat in every prayer:

الحمدلله رب العالمين

All-Praise is due to God, the Lord of the Worlds

The importance of this Name is that Allah (swt) teaches us not to be attached simply to His blessings, but to His essence. Yes, He gives us, and we thank and praise Him for what He gives. But when we think of al-Hameed, it ceases to be solely about the blessing. We are reminded of His inherent attributes, of al-Hameed Himself, and thus we praise Him when things are good or seemingly bad, because they all come from Him. When we realize that good came out of the calamity we were facing, or on the Day of Judgment when we see how we are rewarded not only for our gratitude for the good but for our patience with the hardships, do we embody the spirit of praise, and say wholeheartedly: al-hamduliLah!

And thus His Name: the Praiseworthy, the Praised.

The Prophet and Praising Allah
The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) praised Allah throughout his life, whether he was in hardship or receiving many beautiful gifts from Allah. In a famous hadith (narration), Aisha, radi Allahu `anha (may God be pleased with her), saw the Prophet ﷺ praying for so long that his feet became swollen. So she asked him:

“O Messenger of Allah, why do you undergo so much hardship despite the fact that Allah has pardoned for you your earlier and later sins?”

He ﷺ responded: “Afala akuna abdan shakura? – Should I not be a thankful servant?” (Bukhari)

And what did the Prophet ﷺ say as he was praying in the night? Ibn `Abbas relates that the Prophet ﷺ used to say when he stood for the tahajjud (late night) prayer:
“O Allah! Yours is the praise. You are the sustainer of the heavens and the Earth and all that they contain. And Yours is the praise. Yours is the dominion of the heavens and the Earth and all that they contain. And Yours is the praise. You are the light of the heavens and the Earth and all that they contain. And Yours is the praise. You are the king of the heavens and the Earth. And Yours is the praise. You are the Truth. Your promise is true. The meeting with You is true. Your word is true. Paradise is true and the Fire is true. The prophets are true. Muhammad (peace be upon him) is true. The Hour is true…” (Bukhari, Muslim).

The Prophet ﷺ, throughout his hardships, reflected on the nature of this world. And he saw the majesty of Allah’s attributes in all of creation, and in everything that happened. And with awe, humility and gratitude, he makes that du`a’ we see above from all of His heart.

Paired Names
We know that Allah pairs many of His Names and attributes in the Qur’an. One of the reasons is to show us how these Names relate to each other. Al-Hameed is paired with a few Names in the Qur’an: al-Ghani, al-Wali, al-Majeed, and al-Hakeem.

1—Allah says: “O mankind, you are those in need of Allah, while Allah is the Free of need (al-Ghani), the Praiseworthy (al-Hameed),” (Qur’an, 35:15).

If a human being is seen as self-sufficient, that usually causes him to withdraw from people. Since this person does not need people, he may not see any reason to help or to give or to be nice—and he is certainly not perfect in his essence. But truly glory is that Allah (swt) does not need anyone, yet He still gives people, and acts with ultimate wisdom, and is praised.
2—”And it is He who sends down the rain after they had despaired and spreads His mercy. And He is the Protective Friend (al-Wali), the Praiseworthy (al-Hameed),” (Qur’an, 42:48).

You might assign someone to be your lawyer, entrusting him to protect you. But if this lawyer is careless, and loses your case, he would not be praised, neither for his action nor for his essence. But when Allah is your Wali, you cannot help but praise Allah, who defends and protects His intimate friends.
3—”They said, “Are you amazed at the decree of Allah? May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy (al-Hameed) and Honorable (al-Majeed),” (Qur’an, 11:73).

Al-Majeed, according to al-Ghazali, is “one who is noble in essence, beautiful in actions, and bountiful in gifts and in favors.” Thus while Allah is the Lord and commands that come from Him do not need to be explained, out of His nobility and bounty He explains many things in the Qur’an. So He is praised for that.
4- “Falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it; [it is] a revelation from a [Lord who is] Wise (Hakeem) and Praiseworthy (Hameed)” (Qur’an, 41:42).

Here Allah (swt) is pointing out to us that if we reflected on His decree, we would praise Him for His wisdom. Because while Allah does as He pleases, He is also the Most-Wise and thus there is always the best wisdom behind His actions.
Connecting to Al-Hameed

  • Praise Allah through the good and the bad

The Prophet ﷺ tells us that “AlhamduliLah fills the scales,” (Muslim). One way of retaining blessings is thanking and praising Allah (swt) for them. And through the bad, we should remember that ultimately whatever occurs is out of Allah’s wisdom, He is both Hakeem (all-Wise) and Hameed (Praiseworthy), and therefore we should remember to humble ourselves and praise Him.

  • Write down Allah’s Name al-Hameed and then write down all of Allah’s blessings upon you

We know the verse in the Qur’an where Allah states: “And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful” (Qur’an, 14:34).

Interestingly, Allah uses the word “favor”—ni`ma—in the singular, as though saying: even trying to enumerate the blessings of one single favor is impossible! To reflect deeply upon just one favor, and to ponder over its impacts, can fill us with so much awe for al-Hameed.

  • Speak well to people

Allah says in the Qur’an, “And they had been guided [in worldly life] to good speech, and they were guided to the path of the Praiseworthy (Al-Hameed)” (Qur’an, 22:24).

In a beautiful reflection, Sheikh Ratib an-Nabulsi says that it is as though the path to Allah al-Hameed is through good speech, as Allah also says: “[…] And speak to people good [words][…]” (Qur’an, 2:83).

A beautiful hadith of the Prophet ﷺ states that: “A person’s faith is not upright until his heart is upright, and his heart will not be upright until his tongue is upright” (Ahmad).

  • Praise Allah by using His gifts in His service

The highest form of praise is to use those gifts He has bestowed upon us in His service and therefore in good. But do not be like those who Allah says about them:

“And whoever exchanges the favor of Allah [for disbelief] after it has come to him – then indeed, Allah is severe in penalty,” (Qur’an, 2:211).

Belief is a blessing, but this can apply to other favors as well. If we use those gifts in ways that are unbecoming, then this is the opposite of hamd. The result is that our favors could be taken away, or perhaps worse, we cannot find the joy or sweetness in those favors. If we look at the story of Qarun in the Qur’an, he was given many blessings. He was from the people of Moses `alayhi as-salaam (peace be upon him). And Allah says, “We gave him of treasures whose keys would burden a band of strong men…” (Qur’an, 28:76). Yet Qarun tyrannized his own people, and had the gall to say, “I was only given it because of knowledge I have.” He did not attribute His gifts to Allah AND he used them for corruption. And what was the result?
“And We caused the earth to swallow him and his home. And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor was he of those who [could] defend themselves” (Qur’an, 28:81).

May Allah protect us.

“Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – their Lord will guide them because of their faith. Beneath them rivers will flow in the Gardens of Pleasure. Their call therein will be, ‘Exalted are You, O Allah,’ and their greeting therein will be, ‘Peace.’ And the last of their call will be, ‘Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!’” (Qur’an, 10:9-10)

About the author

Jinan Yousef

Jinan's main interests within the field of Islamic Studies are the Names of Allah, the life and character of the Prophet ﷺ, tazkiya and Muslim personalities.


  • Slight tangent; you said

    “I tried to have conviction that, because I had said the remembrances that day, I had not lost my phone.”

    Any advice on what rememberances are best on a daily basis for this? Also which remembrances of Dhikr are best?


    • Salaam,

      I usually go through the remembrances of the mornings and evenings, as collected in An-Nawawi’s book. The title escapes me at the moment, but I think he has one book on remembrances.

      Hope this helps!


  • This article made me reflect on a number of things I was already stirring to consider – what impedes me from being better at connecting to Allah al-Hameed – and what I could do differently to overcome them next year.

    I think living primarily an urban life, in an urban job, alongside others who also do so and expect to do so for their lifetimes, makes you a little blinkered about how many different ways of living and being there are in the world, aside from this norm. And any long period of time in one reality makes you start to compare yourself to each other, makes you start to compete against each other, and this makes it hard to be grateful for everything, and focus on blessings, because you are always seeing what you’re lacking. I don’t know if it makes it harder or easier, when you are no longer even particularly interested anymore in the things that occupy most of your peer group.

    So I think next year I will try to take more time for myself and go to places closer to Allah’s natural creation and connect with people closer to it, to get a better perspective and remind myself of the incredible nature that Allah provided that underpins the artificial reality we have built which then occupies so much of our effort and time.

    And then also make a point to go to varied and diverse places and people, however I can, and remind myself of the different priorities and paradigms that exist in people’s lives in the world, and it may help stop me comparing myself to others since there’s no real point in the concept of comparing (and ‘losing out’) when there are so many different realities people live with – I need reminding that different things are valued or not in different conditions, and some things that seem to matter someplace pale in significance when you would simply change the setting.

    I reflected on this as well: “…we cannot find the joy or sweetness in those favors.” Indeed, ironically many people who are especially gifted in something or another find themselves burdened by those natural talents, regarding it as more a curse than a blessing. Anything that differentiates you too much can cease to become an advantage and cross over to being a means of alienation. And yet the gifted personalities in Islamic history were not tortured souls but were joyful in the exercise of their talents. I suppose the secret was that they employed them in the service of God. Perhaps I should try to do more of the things and be with people that make me happy in the possession of my talents, and simply do far less of whatever else that clearly does not give me that value.

    Maybe all this while my habits make it a lot harder for me to be happier in my lot.

    • Kirana,such honesty as yours is admirable,& it think it augurs well for this website’s new format.I too have been following the ‘Names of Allah ‘ series of articles in so much as if one understands His attributes one stands a better chance of understanding His will & The Prophet’s{pbuh} revelations therefrom. In my part of Northern England I can tell the truthful following tale(reflection even).As a younger man I worked on the farms of N.Cheshire,a rural area to the south of the town of Stockport.One thing we looked after as well as the pastures & the soil & the livestocks were the fresh water ponds there which as you can imagine were of high value.Butterflies,fish, frogs,source of livestock drinking,& more besides..Were Allah not to cause the seeds to germinate with the seasonal warmth & the moisture from rain how would anyone even eat?In more modern times some of those small farms threatened by wide new roads,cheaper milk elsewhere(hypermarkets&quotas from govt agencies that thought big all the time ) fell into disrepair & then more latterly disuse & then total abandon.What a shame,but for years I kept up environmental care of some of the ponds…one in particular where even the migrating wildgeese were visitors.How they honked on take off!But along came people bent on leisure or convenient dumping of rubbish & the work grew even harder just to maintain what holiness& blessing had created. What can one then do as one approaches one’s senior years.?
      Not throw in the towel to use a sports analogy?Pray for assistance in a worthy cause because of what one’s faith teaches?Worry that the Prime Minister may rarely speak on invisible little issues?We had a field drain that passed under a lane & served a smaller pond from which the sheep in the pasture would drink.I can hardly begin to describe to you the ‘insults’ this drain suffered.Its metal cover stolen,its consequent concrete cover smashed & deposited in the 4′ deep manhole,even large dead carp tossed in there& left to rot.
      Myself thus despondant & yet you tell of the faithful of old not allowing themselves to be removed from their joy of praising God. A paraphrase I’ve had to use because I know so little Arabic qualifications.What I know is ‘Bismillah,A’rahman,A’rahim’ & this I would say if distressed & I’d work on& take the volumes of detritus away in my ’89 VW van.
      I did have a young press photographer accompany me on one occasion & he did go ahead & put photos on an Environmental blog & his idea was to gain wider support for the work.One hopes the outcome will consequently be improoved, but the tide of
      the consumer society is a high one in terms of what is dumped willy-nilly & thrown away.If only the meaning of Al-Hameed were understood by more than the faithful the green areas would fare better I believe.Brian Cokayne/Stockport/ Eng;and

  • […] Names of Allah Series:  Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV | Part XXVI | Part XXVII | Part XXVIII | Part XXIX | Part XXX |Part XXXI | Part XXXII | Part XXXIII | Part XXXIV | Part XXXV | Part XXXVI | Part XXXVII […]

Leave a Comment