Connecting To The Divine: Allaah Called Me Again! Al-Qaabid and Al-Baasit

Allaah called me again!  A journey with AL-QABID and AL-BASIT

By Maryam Akram

Whether Muslim, non-Muslim or newly Muslim we have all seen the ebb and flow of abundance in our lives, and though we may not have connected this to Allaah’s names because we may have felt that Allaah’s names are a rather overwhelming abstract list of 99 attributes that we must study in a class on belief, I hope that in this modest piece I can share a journey with you and show you how Allaah, Al-Qaabid and Al-Baasit manifested Himself in my life. I hope it enables you deeply connect to these two attributes of Allaah, to feel their presence, submit to them and rely on them to create positive change for yourself.

In basic translation, Al-Baasit means : The expander, the releaser, the one who stretches out; and Al-Qaabid means The constricter, the withholder, the restrainer.

The journey:

It’s only been one year but what a journey you’ve had, and what a path you’ve travelled!  Your chest feels tight and your heart feels sad, and yet within the tightness there is an openness too that’s difficult to explain. You’re going through the same motions once again but the time is different, the people are different and more than anything else, you are completely different. None of it expected and far from what you may have ever predicted; you lost your marriage, you lost friends, you lost love and respect, you lost the support you held on to, you lost wealth and most importantly, you lost yourself.

You’ve been constricted and trapped. You’ve been broken, torn and tattered like you never imagined. You’ve been laid bare to the bones. You’ve seen your ugly self like you never saw it before. You’ve tasted the pain of your follies and sins. Your world as you knew it has been violently stripped away and everything you took for granted has been withheld by your Rabb, Al-Qaabid. Your heart feels bruised, the wounds are deep and the cuts and gashes so raw and red. The grief engulfs you.

And then there’s all the disappointment you feel in yourself. What did you do and become? Were you for real or were you bewitched? In fact, you realise you were indeed bewitched by that accursed devil in disguise; that evil one of many seductive forms, who is forever deviously planning his next attack. In the name of self-righteousness and self-importance he takes you down the wrong track. Blindly you follow, your ego pushing you ahead. And then when you reach the edge of the cliff and fall so hard that your bones break and your soul is bruised like never before, the cunning plotter runs and leaves you there to deal with the results. You’re deep in the cleft of a valley, truly constricted and utterly trapped. The walls feel so high. You wonder, how will you ever get back up? How will you ever climb this steep cliff edge? How will you ever find space to breathe? You can barely see the light and the cursed one, the one who bewitched you, he sits at the top and laughs. He tells you, you were always useless and this is what you deserved. With those words he leaves you in your misery and goes looking for his next victim to attack. You feel constricted, you feel tight and you feel the power of Al-Qaabid who is testing you by withholding from you everything you ever knew.

You contemplate upon:

{Indeed, your Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.} Quran 17:30

Suddenly it dawns upon you, where you’ve ended up. Without that accursed one pumping your ego any more, it finally hits you how trapped you are and how astray you have gone. Now you see the fake masks you were wearing – the self-righteousness, the people pleasing kindness, the retaliating arrogance – now you see them for what they are. You desperately search for space, for expansion and for a path leading out of the darkness but it is so tiny and it seems so far, so impossible to reach.

So you pray hard:

{O my Lord! Open for me my chest, and ease my task for me; and remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say}

Quran; 20:25-28

Then, by some miracle Al- Baasit through His kindness stretches out the little tiny droplet of courage within you and allows you to follow the path of light. And then, as you take those baby steps, He stretches the path before you and expands the distance you travel with each step. He expands your faith and He expands all the means that help you escape.

And you hear Al-Baasit in your heart. He tells you: My servant, come –  just move a handspan towards me and I will come a cubit towards you. Come to me walking and I will come running towards you. I am AL-Baasit, I will stretch out the way before you. Even if I, Al-Qaabid withhold the whole world from you, I will always be here for you to lean on. Even if your sins reach the mountains and you feel utterly trapped and constricted, when you turn to me I will pardon you and I, Al-Baasit, will expand your chest again. Not only that, do good and I will expand your good deeds and remove your bad deeds by them.

From that dark constricted place it was hard to see clearly and you only saw the power of Al-Qaabid, but when Al-Baasit expanded the way before you and stretched your sight further, you saw the path more clearly and that is how you started taking some baby steps, slowly but surely, out into the vast expanse of your Rabb’s mercy. You slowly carry on and right now you find you’re a few steps away from that blinding darkness. You thank ALLAH because even though you’re not where you’d like to be and you still can’t see the space ahead completely, you are getting closer and the good news is, you’re still alive. You’re still breathing and while you’re in the process of taking those tiny steps and breathing in the new found air Al-Baasit has given you, you catch your breath: 12 months have gone and it’s Ramadan again.

And by His miracle once again, before you’ve even fully reached the joyful and expansive state you so wish for, you are embarking on a journey to His House. You repented last time but this feels different. You feel the entrapment of sin in your bones. You’ve experienced loss that you never thought possible and this time round this is the state in which you’re appearing before your Lord; constricted and trapped, reaching out for His ability to expand and stretch your heart and everything that you need to create the change you want.

This time you appreciate what a nothing you are. You feel honoured that after all that your hands, feet, ears, eyes and heart have earned, He still stretched out the way for you again. He, with His Glory, invited you; a clump of dust, a weak being and an ultimate sinner and expanded all the means for you to visit HIS house once again. You feel humbled and in awe.

You realise everything you have is by the grace of Al-Baasit, and you truly know how He in any moment also has the power of constricting and withholding it all from you too. You appreciate how the loss was really a gain that helped you understand HIM better.

And this time you really know it was never you, it was always Him and always will be. Even the little space you’ve now found was only possible by His aid. Had He not stretched out the way before you, you would still be constricted in a cloud of self-deception. You realise that even the smallest of means and the tiniest of courage, can lead to the greatest change because of the expansion of Al-Baasit. And your little heart, it can’t help but feel overwhelmed. So many emotions are floating around it; the bitterness of loss and the sweetness of your Rabb’s expansion. The sadness over so much lost and quiet happiness over so much gained.

It was the same journey a year ago, yet things are so different now and all you can do is let out a deep sigh of thanks. You let the tears roll, you let the emotions flow, you feel the gratitude and you dare to ask Al-Baasit yet again. May He continue to expand the way before you, may He expand the little means that you have and may He outstretch His mercy for you, Ameen.

Indeed ‘ALLAH called me again’ and maybe it was by the prayers I made on that umrah that He once again expanded my provision and replaced all that I had lost with better. Indeed He showed me that He is Al-Qaabid and Al-Baasit.

How have you experienced these two attributes in your life?

About the author:

Maryam Akram: A deficient servant, mother, wife, daughter, sister, writer, creative, doctor, life and business coach striving to please my LORD.

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