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 | Part XLVIII | Part XLIX | Part L | Part LI | Part LII | Part LIII | Part LIV | Part LV | Part LVI | Part LVII| Part LVIII | Part LIX | Part LX | Part LXI
One pair of the Names mentioned in the famous hadith (narration) of the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) is al-Mubdi’, al-Mu`īd: the Beginner, the Restorer—although they are not specifically found in the Qur’an or other hadith. According to Sheikh Ratib an-Nabulsi, some Names must be paired together (such as al-ḍharr al-Nāfi`), and this is one of those pairs. He also states that some Names are not explicitly mentioned, but they are implied in the Qur’an:
“The Day when We will fold the heaven like the folding of a [written] sheet for the records. As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it.” (Qur’an, 21:104)
Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), also says:
“Indeed, it is He who originates [creation] and repeats.” (Qur’an, 85:13)
The apparent meaning of this Name is, as al-Ghazali says, that “God – may He be praised and exalted – initiated the creation of mankind and He is also the One who will restore them.”
It is a reminder for us that Allah (swt) began everything, and He can restore it after it is gone, and so we should be mindful of the fact that we will return to Him.
There is another aspect to His Name al-Mu`īd that is related to our hearts. Some of us may have gone through years of being on an “eman (faith) high.” Our acts of worship were improving and submission to Allah (swt) was easier.
But somewhere along the way, something was lost. Slowly, our faith chipped away; things that we would never dream of doing before became acceptable.
And the worst part? We went so far we couldn’t even imagine that we could go back.
If this is what is going through your mind, you are negating Allah’s power to bring up and restore—to bring you back. When Jonah `alayhi as-salaam (peace be upon him) left his people out of anger, Allah (swt) caused him to be swallowed by a whale.
Imagine this: from being an honored prophet, to the belly of a whale. How many of us have felt like we were in that dark place, like Jonah (as)?
Instead of turning away from Allah (swt), instead of believing that there was no hope for him, instead of believing that he could never be brought back, he turned to Allah (swt). In the midst of all the darkness he was in, he called out to God with these famous words:
“There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” (Qur’an, 21:87)
And Allah (swt) brought him back. But the way Allah brings back your heart is not that it will necessarily be the same as before; it can be even better. We are told: “And his Lord chose him and made him of the righteous,” (Qur’an, 68-50). What else happened? “And We sent him to [his people of] a hundred thousand or more. And they believed, so We gave them enjoyment [of life] for a time,” (Qur’an, 37:147-148).
1- Remember that the One who began everything will also bring it back again, so hold yourself accountable.
2- Don’t give up on yourself. We all mess up and sometimes it lasts for a while, but Allah (swt) can bring you back. The companion Hanḍala told the Prophet ﷺ that he felt like a hypocrite because he could not maintain his levels of faith when he was away from the Prophet ﷺ. But the Prophet ﷺ told him that that was normal, and fluctuations in faith do not make one a hypocrite. The important thing is to keep up our good deeds and stay away from the bad.
3- Like Prophet Jonah (as), take the practical steps that are within your control to make your situation better. If you feel like you do not connect to your prayers, then work on that first. If you find that life is too busy for you to reflect, make a commitment to have five minutes a day in which you reflect on Allah and reflect on your blessings; these small steps help. Remember that Allah does not reject those who seek Him.
4- Pray to Allah. Your du’as (supplications) are powerful. The Prophet ﷺ said, “Faith wears out in your heart as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” (Tabarani) If you can, make it a point to wake up before the fajr prayer, even if it is just for five minutes, and talk to Allah and ask Him. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Our Lord descends to the heaven on the last third of every night, and he says: Who is calling upon me that I may answer him? Who is asking from me that I may give him? Who is seeking my forgiveness that I may forgive him?” (Bukhari). If that is too difficult, then some prayers before you sleep or before you start your day.