In the Name of Allah
It is of the greatest fortune for us, as believers, that God the Almighty has granted us the ninety-nine keys that open His ninety-nine doors of mercies. God said, “For Allah are the most excellent names, therefore call upon Him by them (…)” (Surah Al-A’raf). To open His door unto us, all we have to do is call Him by the name which is most relevant to our specific petition. Although there are universal names that are relevant to all situations, like Allah and Ar-Rahman, specific situations call for specific names. God said, “Say, call Allah or call Ar-Rahman, by whichever you call Him indeed the excellent names belong to Him” (Surah Isra). Thus, we need to carefully study the names of God and be thoroughly acquainted with their true meaning so that we can call Him and expect a timely response.
In view of the world’s current situation, it is imperative that each one of us knows where we stand and what we are supposed to do. Apathy is never a choice for a believer, for a believer never runs out of solutions. How so, when his Lord has all the solutions? Often, we measure our trials to our own strengths, causing them to loom large in our sight. But if we measure them to God’s strength, they completely vanish.
In this respect, our trials are of two kinds: (1) a trial that brings us closer to God, which is commendable; and (2) a trial that keeps us away from God, which is only trouble. The former refers to the trials affecting your worldly life, and the latter refers to the trials which affect your heart, your faith, and the hereafter.
Practically speaking, when we supplicate God with regards to any matter of concern we may expect two scenarios: (1) that God provides a solution without means (no cause-effect correlation); (2) that God guides us to the appropriate means of solving the problem, for example, guiding us to the cure for the Coronavirus. In both cases, God, and only God is the Healer: for the first instance He would provide the cure without means, and in the second he would show us how to do it; as He says, “He taught man what he knew not.” (Al-‘Alaq).
The two names of God, Al-Ḥafīẓ and Al-Ḥāfiẓ, are variants of the same name and carry the same meaning: to guard, to protect, to keep, to mind, etc. I suggest that everyone recites this name at least 70 to 100 times morning and evening, if not 700 to 1000 times a day. On the one hand, it will protect you from contracting the virus, but if you already have it, it will stop it from developing any further. This was the name that Jacob, peace be upon him, pronounced in favor of Joseph. It protected him in the well, in the palace, and in prison. It has been frequently mentioned in the Quran in the following surahs: Hijr verse 9, Yusuf verse 64; Saba, verse 21; Shura, verse 6; Tariq, verse 4; Nisa, verse 80; Yusuf, verse 55; Ra’d, verse 11; An’am, verse 104; Buruj, verse 22. In the sunnah, it is mentioned in the following narrations: “Oh Allah, protect me as you protect the infant” (Imam Ahmad) and from Ibn ‘Abbas: “My son, mind Allah, and he will mind you.” (Tirmidhi).
Three Anecdotes Relating to This Name
1. Al-Qusairi mentions that he has heard from his shaykh, Abu ‘Ali Al-Daqqaaq, may God have mercy on him, saying, “One of the righteous persons inherited a sum of 10 000 dirhams and said, ‘O my God, I am needy of these dirhams but I do not know how to take good care of them, so I am giving them to you in order that you give it back to me when I need them.’ So he gave it all away in charity.” He said (the sheikh), “That man was never needy for every time he wanted something, he would have help in the moment.”
2. It is reported about one of the righteous persons that one day his gaze fell on something prohibited and he said, “O my God, I want my sight only for your sake, now that it has become a means to offense, take it from me.” The narrator said, “He got blind. And the man used to pray at night, and one night the person who would help him with his necessities was absent. So the man said, ‘O my Lord, I told you to take my sight for your sake, tonight I need it for your sake, give it back to me.’ And God gave him back his sight after blindness.”
3. It is narrated that a burglar entered the home Rab’iah al ‘Adawiyyah while she was asleep and took her cloak, and thereupon lost sight of the room’s door. He then put down the cloak and saw the door, but as he picked it back up, again, he lost sight of the door. He continued doing this for several times until a voice called him saying, “Put down the cloak, we are guarding it for her and will not let it go while she is sleeping.”
Therefore, the wise and prudent person is the one who puts his life, health, wealth, and family in the hands of God to keep it for them. For God never errs, nor forgets. This is a time for people to pray, to practice remembrance, and to give charity. Do not wait until Ramadan, this is the best time to give, because charity is shield against misfortunes. In such times of high need the reward is multiplied.