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
They say that one of the signs of a good friend is the ability to listen to you. We all appreciate those amazing people in our lives who we can call up at almost any time and just talk to them. A close loved one who is there, does not interrupt and just hears what we need to say. And it is even better if that person has witnessed what we are experiencing, because we know that they understand.
Ever thought of Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), in that way?
To emphasize that He hears and sees everything, Allah (swt) reveals the following verse in an incident where a woman named Khawla bint Tha’laba, radi Allahu `anha (may God be pleased with her), went to the Prophet ﷺ (peace be unto him) to complain about her husband.
“Certainly has Allah heard the speech of the one who argues with you, [O Muhammad], concerning her husband and directs her complaint to Allah . And Allah hears your dialogue; indeed, Allah is Hearing and Seeing.” (Qur’an, 58:1)
When this verse was revealed, Aisha (ra) the wife of the Prophet ﷺ was shocked:
“Praise be to Allah Whose hearing encompasses all voices. Khawlah came to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ complaining about her husband, I was in the other room but I could not hear what she said. Then Allah (swt) revealed [these verses]!” (Bukhari)
What message is Allah (swt) sending to us? Allah is al-Samee` al-Basir—the All-Hearing and the All-Seeing. He is telling us that He hears us—and when Allah (swt) hears us, it is not a passive act. When we pray, we say, “Allah (swt) hears those who praise Him.” Now, it does not mean that Allah (swt) does not hear those who do not praise Him. But the type of hearing implies both awareness as well as action: it is listening. It means that because you have praised Allah (swt)—and that means you know you have a Lord that has all the attributes of praise—He is listening to you and will respond to you. And we are also told that He sees everything. He is not oblivious to anything that is happening to you.
Ibn al-Qayyim (ra) says that Allah (swt) is all-Hearing such that He hears all of the prayers to Him in all languages, and listening to one person does not distract Him from listening to another; and All-Seeing such that He sees the crawling black ant under a hard rock in the darkest of the night. When you talk to Allah (swt), it is a one-on-one even if you are in a crowded room full of people. You are the focus of His attention. Do not ever belittle yourself to think that Allah (swt) would not listen to you. Al-Ghazali (ra) also said beautifully that Allah (swt) “hears secrets as well as whispers, and even what is subtler and more concealed than these.” Allah (swt) even hears the thoughts that go through your mind that you have not even articulated. And Al-Basir—the All-Seeing—is the “one who witnesses in such a way that nothing is remote from Him, even what is under the earth.”
Allah (swt) has many, many attributes. Some are hidden and some are revealed. So why does Allah (swt) reveal to us that He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing?
The first is to let us know that He is aware and also to reassure us. When Musa, `alayhi as-salaam (peace be unto him), and Harun (as) were told to speak to Pharoah, they were understandably afraid. They said to Allah (swt):
“Our Lord, indeed we are afraid that he will hasten [punishment] against us or that he will transgress.”
And Allah (swt) responded to them to reassure them:
“Fear not. Indeed, I am with you both; I hear and I see,” (Qur’an, 20:45-46)
So when you are feeling lonely or in difficulty, call out to the One who hears everything and sees everything. Talk to the One who revealed this attribute to you so that you know that He is there for you. He is the close One that listens to your words when they are spoken and when they are trapped in your heart and you cannot express them. Rest assured that the difficulty that you are going through has not gone unnoticed.
You are never alone. He is with you – hearing and seeing.
And because He is al-Kareem (the Most Generous), when He hears those thoughts and hopes that remained trapped in your mind or in your heart, He still responds without you asking. How many of us have had unexpected gifts given to us—the exact thing we were hoping for without asking for it—knowing that no one heard these hopes except Allah?
Secondly, knowing that Allah (swt) is All-Hearing and All-Seeing should make us aware. There are certain things we would not say in front of someone we respect. Knowing that Allah (swt) hears and sees everything should make us vigilant over our speech and actions.
Finally, Sheikh Abulrazzaq al-Badr (ra) stated that the reason why as-Samee` comes before other attributes when they are paired is that, for us, Allah’s hearing of our calls and our du`a’ (supplications) is more important. It is reassuring to know that Allah (swt) hears us.
What does it mean for us?
1- Talk to Allah (swt)
You know that He can hear you, and that He understands your language. So speak to Him and tell Allah (swt) what is in your heart. It does not necessarily mean that you have to be asking for something. You could just be talking to Allah (swt).
2- Guard your speech and actions
Remember that Allah (swt) can see and hear and everything, so guard yourself against evil speech and evil actions.
3- Accustom yourself to hearing and seeing what is beneficial
Allah (swt) gave many of us the ability to hear and see, so we should be grateful for these gifts by using them in beneficial ways.