The most excellent Names belong to God. Use them to call on Him; and keep away from those who abuse them– they will be revenged for what they do. (Quran 7:180)
In our communication with God, it is crucial to call on Him by the names that He has given Himself. God chose His names and He instructed us to use them to call His attention to our needs and desires.
Using His names when we worship and supplicate to is a characteristic that God admires. When we use His names correctly, we are pondering both His nature and His Magnificence.
The name we are discussing here is Al Adheem, the Magnificent.
Al Adheem – The Magnificent
God is the Magnificent. His name, Al Adheem, is one of the names that denotes His Greatness. Al Kabir, the One whose essence is Great; and Al Mutakabbir, the One who actively uses His Great rights, privileges and attributes.
This name comprises of all the attributes of magnificence, greatness, and majesty. Thus, God is great, tremendous, the possessor of total power, and the one who possesses all sovereignty, strength, and grandeur.
The Magnificent is the owner of all power, might, and strength; and everything else by comparison is small and insignificant.
Adheem comes from the Arabic root “Ayn, Dha, Mim”; it has many meanings including to be magnificent, great, large, vast, huge, enormous, and tremendous. Also, imposing, powerful, superior, and above any imperfection.
The Magnificent is the One whose greatness cannot be grasped or fully understood. It is far above the limit of understanding of the human being.
Linguistically, Adheem derives from the noun idham, which covers greatness, magnanimity, and honor. For example, it can be used in yu’adheem (honor); adheemun (great); and ‘itheeman (bones, specifically the strength of bone).
Heavy on the Scales
We use the word Al Adheem, the Magnificent, every time we bow down in our prayers. God invites us to contemplate His Greatness and His Strength in every prayer.
When we say ‘Subhana Rabbiyal Adheem’, we are submitting to His greatness and strength; we acknowledge His vast superiority, while also testifying to His grandeur. It is a small word that will be heavy on the scales of Judgement.
Prophet Muhammad said:
There are two statements that are light on the tongue and easy to remember, yet they are heavy on the Scales and dear to the Most Merciful. SubhanAllahu wa bihamdih, and SubhanAllahu Adheem. Glory and Praise to Allah, and Glory be to Allah, the Greatest, the Magnificent. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
There is a verse that is sometimes referred to as the greatest verse in the Quran; and it known as Ayat ul Kursi, the verse of the footstool. It is Chapter two, The Cow, verse 255. This verse, that is known to have many benefits, finishes with the sentence:
And he is the Most High and the Most Great. (Wa Huwa-l Aliyul Adheem).
Prophet Muhammad said:
Everything has its magnificence, and the magnificence of the Quran is chapter Two. In it is the greatest verse in the Quran: Ayat ul Kursi. (At-Tirmidhi)
Uses of This Name of God
Pondering the Magnificence of God reminds us to call on Him by the names He has made knowable and accessible to us. The name, the Magnificent, should not be used solely in our prayers; it can be used to call for the type of help that requires strength and might.
The names of God should also be used to praise and glorify God. This way, we demonstrate and strengthen our connection to Him.
When using God’s names with knowledge and understanding, we begin to realize that perfection and greatness are attributes that belong to God alone. If we encounter these attributes in the world, they are only a reflection of God. For instance, the magnificent mountains are only in our world for us to enjoy because God gave us a tiny glimpse of His magnificence.
If we describe a person as great, we do so because God, the source of greatness, is reflected in the greatness we see in some human beings. The greatness of the most learned scholar is not comparable to the greatness of God or the greatness of His knowledge.
Therefore, nobody or anything should be worshiped or glorified except God. He is the One who deserves all praise and all thanks. God’s names should be used to exalt and elevate Him. And Quran reminds us of this frequently, and it prompts us to remember His Magnificence.
And exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great (Al Adheem, the Magnificent). (Quran, 56:74)
To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth; and He is the Most High, the Most Great. (Al Adheem, the Magnificent). (Quran, 42:4)
God is the Most Magnificent; and when we praise Him, we acknowledge all the aspects of magnificence and greatness. He is the One who is of the greatest importance; He is the most revered; and He is the quintessential expression of, and source of all greatness and magnificence. The greatness and magnificence we see in the world originates and flows from Him. God, Al Adheem, the Magnificent.
Note – Names Related to Al Adheem
Al Kabir, the One whose essence is the greatest. Kabir comes from the Arabic root “Kaaf, Ba, Ra”. It means to be great in rank, nobility, and great in size. It can also mean to be great in age, learning, or knowledge, and to have rights above all others.
Al-Mutakabbir is the One who possesses and uses Greatness. He is above being harmed. He is too great to be deficient in anything or in need for anyone or anything. And He is the One Who is above having the characteristics of His creatures.
God has all the attributes of greatness, perfection, and glory.
(From Discovering Islam archive)