Al Asma Al Husna - Names of Allah

As-Sami’ [the All-Hearing], Al-Baseer [the All-Seeing]

As-Sami Al-Baseer

The word Sami’ comes from the seen meem ʿayn (س م ع) and has the following classical Arabic connotations:

– to hear, to listen
– to accept, to receive, to be told
– to pay attention to, pay regard to
– to understand the meaning

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala hears all sounds. He hears everything we say, no matter how privately we speak. Our most secretive speech is an open declaration before Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. Indeed, He hears even our innermost thoughts. Everything is evident to Him, since He is its Creator and He is the one who enables and sustains all that unfolds.

The One Who Answers Prayers

The fact that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala hears every sound and every utterance is the most obvious connotation of His name “the All-Hearing”, but this noble name also conveys the meaning that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala hears and answers our prayers.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala answers the prayers of those who beseech Him humbly with firm faith and who perform righteous deeds. This is why Prophet Muhammad, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to seek refuge with Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala from “a prayer that goes unheard”. The Prophet did not mean that he feared Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala would not hear the prayer itself, but rather that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala would leave the prayer unanswered.

It is the same when we say after bowing in prayer: “Allah hears the one who praises Him.” We mean that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala answers those who praise Him and beseech Him in prayer.

We have many opportunities in our formal prayer to beseech Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. We can do so after the first takbeer, and on some occasions before bowing, also while bowing, when we rise from bowing, during our prostrations, between the two prostrations, and at the very end of the prayer before we say our salaam. These are seven places where we beseech Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala with supplications during our formal prayers.

When we know that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala hears every word we utter, it should make us fearful of uttering false or evil speech.

Allah is Al-Baseer, the All-Seeing

The word Baseer comes from the root ba ṣad ra (ب ص ر) which has the following classical Arabic connotations:

– to see, behold, notice
– to understand, to know
– to perceive, to have insight
– to be acutely aware

Everything in existence is under Allah’s purview. His sight not only compasses the visible, but also every state of existence and every circumstance. Whenever Allah creates something, grants something, brings something to life, causes death, guides someone, or allows someone to stray, it is in accordance with His wisdom, His perfect knowledge, and His complete vision that nothing can escape.

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,

In whatever business you may be, and whatever portion you may be reciting from the Qur’an, and whatever deed you may be doing, We are witness to what you are engaged in.” [Surah Yunus: 61]

Comfort to the Heart

For the believers, knowledge that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sees and hears all things is a reassurance and comfort as Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,

“And put your trust in the Mighty, the Merciful, who sees you when you stand up (to pray) and your bowing in prostration with those who bow down.” [Surah ash-Shu’ara’: 217-219]

It comforts the heart to know that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sees and hears us when we beseech Him. It strengthens our resolve and fortitude in the face of all obstacles and sorrows. When Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sent Musa and Haroon, ‘alayhi salaam, to confront Pharaoh, He comforted them with the words,

“Indeed, I am with you, hearing and seeing.” [Surah Ta-Ha: 46]

Likewise, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala reassures in the Qur’an by saying,

So wait patiently for your Lord’s decree, for surely you are in Our sight.” [Surah at-Tur: 48]

When we know that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sees and hears everything we do, it encourages us to be more devoted in our worship, more righteous in our deeds, and kinder to others. This is why Prophet Muhammad said, “Excellence in faith is to worship your Lord as if you see Him, and though you do not see Him, know that He sees you.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Allah is Watching Us

The more aware we are that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala sees us, the greater our efforts will be in our worship. An employee will work harder, more productively, and more conscientiously under a manager’s watchful eye. How much greater is the effect when we know we are being watched by our Creator who sees and hears everything that we do? This consciousness will help us in our humility and our devotion in every act of worship that we perform and inspire us to do righteous deeds so we can please our Lord.

Likewise, when we engage in our worldly affairs, like our jobs or our commerce, we will be conscious that there is much more at stake than the supervision of the human authorities appointed over us. We will know that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is watching us and taking account of our deeds, and nothing escapes His notice. We will engage in our work with honesty and integrity. This is why the Prophet said, “Allah loves it when any of you engages in some work, that he does it well.” [Musnad Abu Ya`la, Shu’ab Al-Iman, As-Silsilah as-Sahihah]

This provides the greatest “quality assurance” for a believer’s worldly efforts, not just for matters of worship. This is because a believer remains conscious of the fact that nothing we do, however small, escapes Allah’s attention. This is coupled with the awareness that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala loves for us to do our best and to be proficient and conscientious in our work, and that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala will recompense us in the Hereafter far beyond whatever worldly profit we might earn.

Knowing that Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is All-Hearing and All-Seeing protects the believer from committing sins. Since Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is taking account of everything we do, there is no escape from Him except to seek refuge with Him.

[SOURCE: Dr.Salman Al-Oadah, OnIslam.net]

2 thoughts on “As-Sami’ [the All-Hearing], Al-Baseer [the All-Seeing]

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