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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.
And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?
The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.
The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.
Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” Sura 97 (Al-Qadr)
Imam al-Razi stated:
“Allah (subhanahu wa ta`ala – exalted is He) concealed this night like He did with many things: He concealed His pleasure with acts of obedience so one will strive towards them all, the answer to supplications so one will work towards making every supplication matter, His greatest name so people will magnify all of His names, His acceptance of repentance so one will repent for every sin, the time of one’s death so one will use his entire life for worship and He hid this night so people will worship Him every night [from the last 10 nights of Ramadan].” [Tafsir al-Kabir] (taken from Imam Suhaib Webb’s blog)
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and sincerity, shall have all their past sins forgiven.” [Bukhari and Muslim, from Abu Hurayra (Allah be pleased with him)]
Please keep me and my loved ones in your most cherished duas!
May we all be blessed with His gaze on the first night of this month, may He forgive all of our sins, accept all of our fasts and worship, and may this month be a means of gaining nearness to Him and His beloved salla’Allahu ‘alayhi wasalam. Amin ya Rabb! Please keep me and my loved ones in your blessed prayers.
(Picture by Peter Gould)
Some very useful and beneficial links about Ramadan below:
The Moon sighting papers from Zaytuna. Very important as it teaches one the basics of usul al-fiqh (legal methodology).
Inner Dimensions of Fasting by Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, trans. from the Ihya’ by Mukhtar Holland
Ramadan Mubarak! A Message From Imam Zaid
Ramadan Address by Habib Ali Jifri
Approaching Ramadan By Imam Zaid Shakir
Seeking His gaze in Ramadan by Shaykh Abdulkarim Yahya
Pre-Ramadan reminder :: Sheikh Ibrahim Osi-Efa(You need a Facebook account to access these notes by sister Fadhila Bux)
Maliki Fiqh on Ramadan (click on the relevant links)
Ramadan advice by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
What do we do in Ramadan Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller
Ramadan by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad
Imam Al-Haddad On Fasting By Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ahmed.
Khutba: Ramadan: The Month of Seeking Closeness to Allah by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ramadan Advice – Where is Your Heart? by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Ramadan lectures by Shaykh Faisal Abdur-Razak
Ramadan and Charity by Imam Zaid Shakir
The Fast of Ramadan & the Furious Shaitan by Imam Zaid Shakir
Ramadan Resolutions by Imam Suhaib Webb
Many thanks to A.Tariq, S.Aslam and S. AlMuslim for their assistance in helping me collate the list above. May Allah reward them in abundance. Please keep them and their families in your blessed du’as also in this month.
Yours in peace,