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Al-Jabbar- Mending the Broken Heart by Jinan Bastaki
Taken from Imam Suhaib Webb’s blog
In our journey to gain tranquility of the heart, we explored what we need to know when faced with difficult situations. We need to understand that Allah has told us we will be tested, that these tests are for a reason, and that there will be relief insha’Allah (God willing). When we are worried thinking about the future, we need to work hard but have full trust in Allah that He will not leave us, and we must always think well of Allah because that is what we will find.
Yet in certain circumstances we just feel… broken. Perhaps it is the death of someone close, perhaps a hurtful word, or perhaps a reason we can not pinpoint. Yet this feeling of brokenness can be an invitation to be better acquainted with al-Jabbar.
The root of al-Jabbar is ja-ba-ra and has a wide variety of meanings indicating Allah’s strength and majesty, which Sr. Amatullah explained to us in this excellent article. One of the basic meanings of this name is the One who compels and restores, and demonstrates Allah’s Majesty and Strength over His servants. This is a Name for the tyrants and oppressors to be aware of, because their misdeeds will not go unpunished.
Yet this Name has another dimension: al-Jabbar is the One who is able to restore and mend what is broken. Some of the great scholars would supplicate “Ya Jaabir kul kaseer” when they were faced with overwhelming difficulty, meaning “Oh You who mends everything that is broken.” The Arabic word for a splint that is used to help an arm heal when it is broken is “jibeera” from the same root ja-ba-ra. Thus, when we feel broken, we need to go to the only One who can mend our state–al-Jabbar. Sometimes when we get this broken feeling, shaytan (satan) tells us not to go to Allah because we are being hypocritical by only going to Allah when we are down. Yet this is untrue– Allah has named Himself al-Jabbar and given Himself this attribute; you cannot go to the One whose attribute is mending what is broken, and not be healed by Him.
The example of the Prophet ﷺ is a beautiful one. Imagine being 50 years old, having just lost both your wife of twenty-five years and your uncle who took care of you as a child. Imagine walking into a town in order to ask people for their protection, and instead have them throw stones at you until your feet bleed. How would you have felt? How exhausted, both spiritually and physically, would you have been? And yet, the Prophet ﷺ calls out to Allah in one of the most beautiful and heartfelt du`a’ (supplication):
“O Allah! To you alone I complain my weakness, my scarcity of resources, and the humiliation I have been subjected to by people. O Most Merciful of those who have mercy! You are the Lord of the weak, and You are My Lord too.
To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair?
But as long as You are not angry with me, I do no care, except that Your favor is a more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descend upon me.
Yours is the right to reproach until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.”
Read those words carefully. The du`a’ of the Prophet ﷺ was not “O Allah, please give me x and y.” It was literally the call of someone broken– complaining to Allah of his situation and expressing to Allah how he felt. What did Allah give him? A young boy by the name of Addaas saw the Prophet ﷺ, came to him with some grapes and kissed his bleeding feet. That is al-Jabbar. Imagine how the Prophet ﷺ must have felt after that, the relief he must have felt after the cruelty he was subjected to. And al-Jabbar healed the broken heart of the Prophet ﷺ in another way – He bestowed upon him the miraculous journey of al-Israa wal Mi’raaj (when the Prophet ﷺ traveled from Makkah to Jerusalem, and from Jerusalem to the Heavens in one night).
If we think about the journey, it did not accomplish a great victory nor did it help to convince the Quraysh that he was a rophet. Rather, Allah honored him after all the hardship he had gone through. Think of the resolve the Prophet ﷺ must have had in his heart and the tranquility he must have felt after such an experience.
Therefore, we have to always remind ourselves of this blessed name al-Jabbar; Allah will mend your broken heart. It may be through a kind word from someone that brightens your day or it may be a talk that you attend. It may even be something greater. But call on Allah like the Prophet ﷺ did, recognizing this attribute, and know that He will manifest this Name in your life.
Highly recommend reading “How to Achieve Tranquility of the Heart Series” on Imam Suhaib Webb’s blog.
Abu Musa Al-Ashari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family) said, “Say; There is no might or power other than Allah; because it is one of treasures of Paradise.” [Reported al-Bukhari, Muslim 4:2076]
Shaykh Muhammad then went on and advised:
Say La hawla wa la quwata illa billah’, there is no power, there is no capacity but by Allah. ‘Hawl means ‘capacity’, and ‘quwa’ means ‘power’- there is no capacity nor any power but from Allah and by Allah. So if you do dhikr ‘La hawla wa la quwata illa billah’, it is a form of dhikr, and it is repeated for those people who can’t handle their affairs. If you have done all your best and you can’t get out of the problem then say ‘La hawla wa la quwata illah billah’ because you’re doing it by your own means, you have to refer to the means of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. You think you can solve your problems? This is why your problems are not solved, leave them to Allah, Allah will solve them for you, provided you do what He commanded you to do –with the ibaadat together.
La hawla wa la quwata Illa billah – this sentence is a treasure ‘kanz’, was revealed to Rasulullah ṣallallahu ‘alaihi wa alihi wa ṣalam from Al Jannah.
”It is God’s Kindness to terrify you in order to lead you to safety.” – Mawlana Rumi
(The below anecdote is taken from the lecture entitled ‘Reliance on Allah’ which is currently available for purchase on the Apple iTunes Store and on www.meccacentric.com. I was hoping to upload the short excerpt where Shaykh AHM narrates the story, but for some reason it doesn’t allow me to upload it here, therefore I’ve transcribed (to the best of my ability) what Shaykh AHM said. It’s more or less word to word, but I refrained from using speech marks in case I’ve missed a few words out! Jazaka’llahu khayran to the very kind soul who emailed me the lecture details!)
There is a story which Sayyidina Jalaluddin Rumi tells of an ant that’s creeping across the carpet in a mosque, and the ant complains to God saying: “what is this, these bumps, and strange colours, and patterns, this must have been created just as a meaningless obstacle course, what a futile thing to have made.” But of course the carpet maker, looking at it from above can see the patterns and the purpose of it, and can see that the whole thing is perfect and is good. And Allah is often like that. We often can’t make sense of the misfortunes because we are two dimensional, we are at ground level, we can’t see what it all means, but the khalifa of Allah subhanahu wa’tala knows even if he can’t always see that this is a manifestation of Allah’s will which is always good and always perfect and always beautiful. ~ Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad
I found this anecdote truly amazing. Life takes us through so many unexpected hurdles and obstacles, difficult and painful situations and experiences, all of which we often cannot decipher why these things are happening, or have happened to us. Just like the ant in the story, I guess, we are only tiny ‘beings’ in this big world where our vision and understanding is very limited. We do not have the full view like Allah does; He knows what has happened, what is happening and what is yet to come; He can see how everything fits together and what the ultimate result shall be. ONLY HE KNOWS!!
May He grant us true reliance and trust in Him alone, with whom no trust or reliance is lost. Allahumma amin!
Divine narrative: (hadith qudsi)
“I am with those whose hearts are broken for My sake.” (At haf 6/290)
The heart of a man receives shocks in many ways, e.g. anxieties, troubles, accidents, casualties, thus the heart is broken, but why? Just to make it a target for Allah’s mercy and bounty.
Dr Iqbal’s Poem:
The heart is like a mirror. Do not prevent it from being broken. It’s breakage is more dearer in the sight of its maker (i.e Allah), than its safety. Almighty Allah being indeed the Maker.
Dr Abdul Hayi Sahab used to say, when Allah breaks the heart of any of His servants, He desires to lift them to greater heights. These shocks, anxieties and sorrows which come to men are forced exertions in deen (faith) by which the servants progress in leaps and bounds to higher degrees and this is not possible in normal circumstances. He used to recite a couplet:
“The potter threw down the pot to break it, saying that after breaking it, he would reshape it (in a better form).”
“The moon like beloved ones take up their residence in deserted houses. They reside in the hearts of those who they ruin.”
The divine light penetrates into the broken hearts, so do not be afraid of occasions of sorrow and shocks. If you truly and firmly believe in Allah, then this broken heart, these rising sighs and these tears will take you to greater heights of spiritual achievement.
“The Valley of love is too far off, but some time a hundred years long journey is covered with one sigh, in the twinkling of an eye. Man should not therefore, get dejected and disappointed with these shocks and anxieties.”
Spiritual discourse By Mufti Taqi Uthmani
(Taken from Salams blog, with permission from the blogger to share it here. )
Ibn Rajab and others gave an account of a worshiper who ran out of resources while he was in Makkah. He became extremely hungry and was about to die from lack of nourishment. One day, as he was wandering in the precincts of Makkah, he found an expensive necklace. He put it into his sleeves and headed for the Masjid. On his way he came across a man announcing that he had lost a necklace. The poor man later said, ” I asked him to describe it to me, and he did so, perfectly, leaving no room for doubt. I gave him the necklace without taking reward from him. I said,: ” O Allah, I have given it for You, so compensate me with what is better.”
He went to the ocean and began a journey in a small boat. Only a brief period of time passed before a storm came with heavy winds crashing into the boat. The boat smashed into pieces and the man was forced to cling to a piece of wood. The winds were violent, propelling him to the left and to the right. Finally, he was washed ashore onto an island. He found there a Masjid filled with people who were praying, so he joined them. He found papers with parts of the Qur’an written on them and he began to recite from them. The people of the island asked him, “Do you read Qur’an?” He answered in the affirmative. They said, ” Teach our children Qur’an.” So he began to teach them and he took a salary for his services.
One day, they saw him writing and they asked, ” Will you teach our children to write?” Again he answered in the affirmative and began teaching them for a salary. A short time later, they said to him, ” There is an orphaned girl with us whose father was a good man. Will you marry her?” He agreed to the marriage and later related, “I married her and found that she was wearing the exact same necklace. She said that her father lost it in Makkah and a man found it and returned to him. She said that her father would always supplicate while prostrating, for her daughter to become blessed with a husband similar to the honest man. I then informed her that I was that man.”
“O Allah, I have given it for You, so compensate me with what is better.” Abandoning something for the sake and Pleasure of Allah- Allah will definitely compensate with something that is better, either sooner or later, in this world or Hereafter.
Source: Don’t be Sad – Shaykh Aaidh ibn Abdullah Al-Qarni
A great sermon by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad which is well worth the listen (as are all his lectures mashaAllah!)
“In this sermon, Sheikh Abdal Hakim discusses the difference between having patience (sabr) during the struggles of life, and taking pleasure or having contentment (rida’) in them. By Allah’s Mercy, accepting what He decrees with patience for us is a route to salvation, but it is a higher degree for us to embrace and love that decree. By another inspiring aspect of Allah’s guidance, the latter is initially harder but actually makes the path toward Him easier. Instead of religion just being a set of duties or things we have to put up with, it becomes an on-going source of wonder and contentment. May Allah grant us the state of being contented with His Decree.”
May Allah increase and bless Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, and may we continue to benefit from his teachings. Amin.