Sometimes things happen to us in our lives, and we do not know how to read events. We may suddenly lose all our money, and the first thing that we think of is, “What did I do to deserve this? I was a good Muslim, I tried so hard, why did Allah punish me?” Or perhaps something amazing happens to us, and our reactions range from “Alhumdulilah!” to “I just got lucky”.
Our reactions say a lot about us and about our knowledge of and relationship with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. If our best friend does something, because we know them, we know how to read their actions and their dealings with us. Unfortunately, we do not know nearly as much about Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, even though He is the closest to us.
We need to know Him, in order to worship Him better. One of the scholars said, “If one knows the commander, the commands are easy to follow.”
Think of the last time someone gave you a gift—how did you feel? A feeling of joy, love, of being special to the person from whom you received the gift, and sometimes a bit of shame if you feel you didn’t deserve it. Because, in essence, a gift isn’t given in return of anything.
One of Allah’s beautiful Names is Al-Wahaab.
The word Wahaab comes from the root letters wāu hā bā (و ه ب) and it has the following classical Arabic connotations:
– to give for no compensation,
– to give as a gift, to donate, to offer as a present, bestow,
– to give liberally and freely,
– to grant, endow,
– to cause something to be
Al-Wahaab does not give us gift once or twice but He is the constant Bestower of gifts. How does one know when Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has given us a gift? Hiba is a gift that was not conditioned upon your efforts. When you get a phone call from someone you love, that you felt you missed—that is hiba. When without planning, you are fortunate enough to be able to go on `Umrah that is hiba. When Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala brings an amazing person into your life and you are able to improve because of them, that is hiba.
The Connection between Gifts and Love
It is stated in the traditions:
“O Daw`oud, remind people of my favors upon them, because the hearts are inclined to love those that do good to it and detest those that do bad to it.”
Who do you give gifts to? In general, you give gifts to someone you are thinking about and someone that you love. Sometimes we give gifts to endear people to us. So think about what that means when Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala gives you a gift.
Some of us may be thinking, “But I am so far from Allah. Why would He give me gifts out of love?” Subhan Allah —our Lord is greater than we imagine. He gives us gifts so that we know that we have a God who does not forget about His creation—even when they fall astray. He gives us gifts as a reminder so that we can come close to Him.
Do you want to be a recipient of al-Wahaab?
Living by Allah’s Name: Al-Wahaab
Every Blessing is a Gift of Al-Wahaab. We are all recipients of the many gifts of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. Out of the six billion people in this world, He chose you to be of the Ummah of His Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam. That in itself is a gift that we cannot thank Him enough for. If we all reflect on the many personal blessings in our lives, we cannot help but feel special to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. Every little gift and every huge blessing was because al-Wahaab wanted to give ‘you, and you specifically,’ something.
Acknowledge His Gifts. If you want to be a companion of al-Wahaab, then remember to acknowledge His gifts, even if they seem to be minute, and to thank Him. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says, “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe,” (Qur’an, 14:7). The more we are conscious of Allah’s gifts to us, the more we are able to increase our love for Him, and recognize how blessed we are.
If a human being gives you anything, who is the Real Donor? It is Allah, Most Generous, Who inspired him to give you what he has given you!
Use His Gifts in His Way. Moreover, we should use His gifts in His way and in His cause. No one likes for their gifts to be cheapened. If Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has given you a gift, do not use it for what He dislikes. If we do that, the gift in question becomes a test that we will be held accountable for.
Seek Reward from Al-Wahaab Alone. If a wealthy person asked a teacher, “I’d like you to give my son private lessons, and I shall give you one million pounds for each lesson. But do not take any money from my son, because if you do, I shall give you nothing”, would it be wise of the teacher to take only one hundred pounds for each lesson from the son and, hence, lose the large amount of money that the father promised to give him?
A wise person is someone who does not seek recompense from people but rather from the Lord of people, Allah, All Mighty. Do you believe that a human being does anything for no reward or recompense? Utmost reward is to ask for Allah’s Good Pleasure, to ask for His Paradise, to ask for His Most Generous Recompense, to ask for His Help, because no human being could ever give you anything for nothing in return.
Give Gifts. Finally, be a gift giver yourself. The Prophet salAllahu `alayhi wa sallam said, “Give gifts, for this will increase your mutual love.” [Muslim]
So who is Al-Wahaab?
Al-Wahaab is the Benefactor, Who is the Most Generous, Who grants favors without measure, Who is Most Kind, Who gives without being asked, and Who never withholds His favors from His slaves.
Al-Wahaab is He Who gives you with no means and bestows His favors upon you with no reason or cause.
Al-Wahhab is He Who gives for nothing in return and causes to die for no purpose.
We are all Allah’s slaves, and all the good things that we have or enjoy are from Allah, Most Gracious. Therefore, we should know for sure that every blessing or favor is from Allah, Most Generous.
O Al-Wahaab, allow us to be grateful servants to You and bestow us with the gift of Your love in our hearts that encourages us to do good and becomes a barrier in doing the wrong, aameen.