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
Allah’s subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) attributes are awe-inspiring. What we have described in the previous articles are simply glimpses of His Names and their manifestations in our lives. After understanding some ways that Allah’s Names manifest, we gain greater clarity into our own lives and we realize that Allah is always with us—He is always giving us peace and tranquility (as-Salaam), mending our broken hearts (al-Jabbar), responding to our du`a’s (al-Mujeeb), giving us subtle and gentle signs (al-Lateef), opening up doors we never knew existed (al-Fattah) and in many other ways.
Bringing Things Together
If we open our senses, we cannot help but be amazed at the way that Allah (swt) has brought things together: the way our bodies contain blood, water, and other substances and how perfectly they work together; the way that Allah has also brought opposites together, such as hot and cold in one being (we can be feeling cold on the outside but our insides are warm); and how things that are similar yet dissimilar are brought together on this earth, such as different kinds of trees, animals and landscapes. Allah illustrates this when He says:
“And indeed, for you in grazing livestock is a lesson. We give you drink from what is in their bellies – between excretion and blood – pure milk, palatable to drinkers.” [Qur’an, 16:66]
This is one of the ways that Allah al-Jaami` manifests His Name to us.
Linguistically, jam` (the root of al-Jaami`) means to bring something together, as opposed to dividing or taking something apart: yajma`uh (he brings it together), jam`an (a congregation), jamma`ah (he collected them together) and so on. So Friday, for example, is youm al-jumu`ah: the day that brings people together or the day that people come together on. When we talk about scholarly consensus in Islam, the word for that is i’jmaa`.
So in what ways can we see that Allah is al-Jaami`? Al-Ghazali stated that one of the meanings of al-Jaami` is the One “who combines similar things, dissimilar things, and opposites.” In addition to this, Allah brings together people on the Day of Judgment, and He also brings together the hearts.
The Day of Judgment
Allah (swt) mentions His attribute of jam` (bringing together) many times in the Qur’an, most frequently with the Day of Judgment. When we think of bringing things together, what we have mentioned previously can be seen or felt or experienced. We can see the different trees, flowers and plants in this world—so this affirms Allah’s attribute in a tangible sense. Yet what we do not see is how Allah can bring everyone, from the beginning of time until the end of time, together in one place at one time. This is one of the reasons why this Name is so great, and this is why His ‘bringing together’ is divine and different to any way that we bring things together. A human being can claim to bring together different things (although these things have been provided by Allah), yet no one can claim to bring together everyone in the manner that we will be brought together on the Day of Judgment. Allah (swt) tells us in the Qur’an:
“This is the Day of Judgment; We will have assembled you (jama`naakum) and the former peoples.” [Qur’an, 77:38]
He also says:
“Allah – there is no deity except Him. He will surely assemble [layajma`annakum] you for [account on] the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt. And who is more truthful than Allah in statement.” [Qur’an, 4:87]
This should inspire in us some serious reflection. We are going to be brought together after we are dead, after our bones have disintegrated and after the world has forgotten us. So who do we want to be brought together with? The Pharoahs of the past, present and future, or the righteous and beloved to Allah (swt)?
Bringing the Hearts Together
“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together [jamee`an] and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.” [Qur’an, 3:103]
In the verse above, Allah (swt) tells the Muslims to support one another, and hence Allah tells the Muslims to hold firmly to the rope of Allah “all together” [jamee`an]. This way the hearts are strengthened. Sometimes trying to improve ourselves is a lonely and difficult process. Just like a predator can more easily attack the lone sheep, Satan can make things seem a lot more difficult than they are if we are simply trying to rely on ourselves. But when Muslims support each other and hold onto the rope of Allah together, the hearts are more easily able to be firm. Even if we have our differences, we can still hold each other up.
Another way Allah (swt) brings together on a spiritual, internal level is by bringing the hearts together. A different word is used: allafa. Allafa connotes a gentleness and love. When the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) migrated to Madina, the two main tribes at the time, al-Aws and al-Khazraj, were enemies. Their history was one of blood and vendettas, and Allah brought their hearts together. Those two tribes, from absolutely hating each other, became brothers. Allah (swt) tells us in another verse:
“And brought together their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together. Indeed, He is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Qur’an, 8:63]
And Allah reminds the Prophet ﷺ and us that, were we to spend everything on earth, we would not have been able to bring their hearts together. Yet Allah united them upon guidance. There were, at times, instances full of tensions, but those instances teach us patience and perseverance – and the end result is unity.
When we feel that our hearts are divided sometimes, we should know that Allah is al-Jaami`. Just like He brought the hearts of the companions together, Allah can bring our hearts together too if we truly work at being sincere. So, for example, if we feel that there is tension between us and a family member, we should ask Allah to soften our hearts and unite us At the very least, we should consciously work to minimize any external divisions.
Coming Alive with Allah’s Name
Reflect on how Allah brings everything together in this world, and reflect how He will bring us all together in the next.
On the one hand, reflecting on how Allah (swt) brings things together should inspire in us a sense of awe. Reflecting is a process of taking it in slowly, opening our senses and really contemplating the world around us.
On the other hand, the biggest ‘bringing together’ is on the Day of Judgment. It is real, and we need to be prepared. When Allah will bring all the human beings in one place, where do we want to be? We are told in the Qur’an:
“Our Lord, surely You will gather (innaka jaami`) the people for a Day about which there is no doubt. Indeed, Allah does not fail in His promise.” [Qur’an, 3:9]
Allah (swt) tells us that on this day, there are 7 categories of people who are given shade under His shade when there is no shade but His shade:
“… a just ruler; a youth who grew up in the worship of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic; a person whose heart is attached to the mosques; two people who love each other for Allah’s sake, meeting for that and parting upon that; a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear Allah’, a person who gives in charity and hides it, such that his left hand does not know what his right hand gives in charity; and a person who remembered Allah in private and so his eyes shed tears.” [Bukhari]
This is a reminder—have certainty that you will be brought together with everyone else, and therefore think of which group you want to be a part of. Who do we want to be brought together with? Those whom Allah shades or those outside of His shade?
Be a person that brings together what is in his heart and what is on his limbs.
Following on from whom we want to be resurrected with, one way of being resurrected and brought together with the righteous is by uniting our hearts and limbs. Al-Ghazali states, “among men the one who unites is one who integrates the external behavior of his limbs with the inner realities of his heart”. Be a person who prays at night and also has mercy with people. Be a person who polishes his heart from the diseases and is also active with the community. Be a person who avoids suspicion and negative assumptions in his heart and also speaks well and brings benefit with his words.
Be a person that brings people together.
The Prophet ﷺ tells us “Allah’s Hand is with the jama`a (congregation)” [Tirmidhi], meaning that Allah’s care and protection is with people who stick together or are united. Sometimes it can be tempting to constantly want to be alone and away from others, yet Allah’s blessing comes with the bringing together of people. There is more reward in praying in congregation. Mending between two people who are in conflict is better than praying voluntary prayers and giving extra charity. Allah loves the congregation, and as we have seen, He hates division and discord. To clarify, unity does not mean that there are no differences. For the most part, the companions radi Allahu `anhum (may Allah be pleased with them) were united in their hearts even though they sometimes differed in strategy, opinion and manner. So the lessons for us are two-fold: first, bring people together. Whether it is for prayers, support, or even a family gathering, be a person that brings people together for good. Secondly, do not be a person of petty arguments and discord. You may disagree with someone, but there is no need to get nasty. You can still maintain love and respect, even if a person tests your patience. As Allah says:
“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [Qur’an 8:46]
Finally, don’t lose hope. When we say that Allah is al-Jaami`, it implies that things were divided or scattered, and so Allah is bringing together what was separate and divided to begin with, and uniting it. When you lose something, remember that it is Allah who can bring it back and unite you with it. As Allah says,
“And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them.” [Qur’an, 7:180]