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 | Part XXXVIII | Part XXXIX | Part XL| Part XLI | Part XLII | Part XLIII | Part XLIV | Part XLV | Part XLVI | Part XLVII
A sixteen-year-old boy was put in front of a fire. The fire was so huge that he had to be placed into a catapult in order to be thrown from a safe distance. This boy was the Prophet Abraham `alayhi as-salaam (peace be upon him), whose people wanted to burn him alive because he challenged their views on God and their way of life. Before he was thrown in, he said the following words with a heart full of conviction:
“Hasbuna Allah wa ni`m al-wakeel.”
“Sufficient is Allah for us, and He is the best Trustee.”
“Allah said, ‘O fire, be coolness and safety upon Abraham.’
And they intended for him harm, but We made them the greatest losers.”
We might have all had small—or great—moments, when we’ve faced something unbelievably difficult, and yet our hearts have been calm. That calmness came from knowing that Allah is there, no matter what. It came from knowing that the ultimate source of everything is Allah, and only He gives and takes away. And it came from knowing Allah is sufficient because everything is from Him.
The feeling of “I have Allah, and I have all I need.”
We might have been lucky enough to have felt the same conviction that Allah describes in this verse:
“Those to whom hypocrites said, ‘Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.’ But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, ‘Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.’” (Qur’an, 3:173)
In the verse above, we are told of those people who were told to fear because people had gathered against them. Instead of fearing, they said that Allah is sufficient for them and He is the best Disposer of Affairs. The next verse explains what happens:
“So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty, no harm having touched them. And they pursued the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.” (Qur’an, 3:174)
Those words, said by Abraham (as) and the believers described in the verse, are given to us to say every morning and evening. The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) said whoever says:
حسبي الله لا اله الا هو عليه توكلت وهو رب العرش العظيم
Hasby Allah, la ilaha ila huwa, `alayhi tawakalt wa huwa Rabb al-`arsh al-`adheem
‘Sufficient is Allah for me, in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the formidable throne’, seven times in the morning and evening, Allah will spare him what worries him. [Abu Dawud]
When explaining this statement, we usually focus on Allah’s Name al-Wakeel—the Trustee—and then we learn about tawakkul (relying on Allah). But that only accounts for the second half of the statement. The first half tells us that Allah is sufficient for us. Al-Haseeb is one of Allah’s Names. This Name comes from the root h-s-b (ح-س-ب). It means to count, calculate or to be sufficient.
As al-Ghazali says: “Al-Haseeb is the one who suffices, for He is all one needs who belongs to Him.” In another version: “He is of such a nature that when one has His blessing, one has everything.”
This Name reminds us where to place our trust and our hope. It reminds us that there is no scarcity with Him. It reminds us that if we have God, we have everything. `Umar bin al-Khattab radi allahu `anhu (may God be pleased with him) is reported to have said that when he was faced with a calamity, he would thank God that the calamity was not in his religion. He valued his relationship with God because he knew that with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) he could face whatever hardship came to him. Being with Allah meant that he could see beyond the hardship, and indeed even see the blessing within it.
Knowing that Allah is sufficient—that He is al-Haseeb—should empower us. But we should not misunderstand; it does not mean that we should not seek help from worldly means. If we are going through, for example, depression, we should find a trained therapist to help us. Knowing that Allah is al-Haseeb is knowing that these remedies are ultimately from Him and He has provided them for us. So if we feel better, we thank Allah (swt) and thank the therapist. We know that it is Allah who has created the means by which the therapist was able to help us. Remember that it is the Prophet ﷺ who taught us to:
“Make use of medical treatment, for Allah has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for it, with the exception of one disease, namely old age.” (Abu Dawud)
When we truly internalize that Allah is al-Haseeb, we are able to shed whatever internal shackles we have that are holding us back. We are able to act because we know that everything is in His Hands, and not in the hands of people. Allah suffices those who trust in Him, and in order for our trust to be true, we need to work with the means that we have. And if we are truly without any means, knowing that Allah is al-Haseeb is not despairing.
The Prophet ﷺ was the greatest embodiment of this. He planned everything to the minutest detail. We know that when he escaped Makkah, he left at night, and he let Ali bin Abi Taleb (may God be pleased with him) sleep in his bed as a decoy to buy time. He hid with Abu Bakr in the Cave of Thawr while the people of Qureish were fast on their heels. In those moments in the cave, Abu Bakr was worried that Qureish would find them. And the Prophet ﷺ said to him: “Do not be sad, Allah is with us.” That is one who knows that Allah is Sufficient.
He who Accounts for everything
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“And when you are greeted with a greeting, greet [in return] with one better than it or [at least] return it [in a like manner]. Indeed, Allah is ever, over all things, an Accountant (haseeba).” (Qur’an, 4:86)
Allah (swt) tells us that He also haseeb over everything, meaning He accounts for everything, even the tiniest of deeds. We sometimes make the mistake of belittling our deeds, whether good or bad. We belittle a sin because it is small, or think that doing a small good deed does not amount to anything. But Islam accounts for both the micro and the macro. Yes, we should try to do amazing great things and avoid the greatest sins. But we also do the small deeds that people might find insignificant, that are nonetheless appreciated and loved by Allah. And we try to avoid the so-called ‘minor’ sins, because as a scholar said, ‘Mountains are made up of small stones.’ Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an:
“So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Qur’an, 99:7-8)
Connecting to Allah with this Name
- Connect your intention to Him
Al-Ghazali states: “Indeed the religious fruit from this for a man is that God alone suffices for him, in connection with his intention and his will, so that he wants only God – great and glorious.”
- Remember that Allah is the source and trust in Him
Al-Ghazali also says: “Do not imagine that when you need food, drink, earth, sky, sun, or the like, that you need something other than Him, or that He is not all you need. He is the one who supplies all you need by creating food and drink, heaven and earth, so He is all you need.”
- Do not belittle what is seen as small
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother with a cheerful face,” [Muslim]. Those small things add up, and your intention can magnify the seemingly small deeds.
- Take yourself to account
Sheikh Abdulrazzaq al-Badr stated that knowing that Allah counts all of our deeds should inspire us to be vigilant over ourselves, and guard against the major and minor sins.