According to Dr Sharib:
'Al-Qabid is the One Who stops the sustenance of whomsoever He wishes.'
To emulate the name one should take to patience in hard times and in
straitened circumstances, and invoke the help of Allah to avert the crisis in life
treating every hardship as a test.
Appropriate invocation helps one not to feel the pain of wounds.
see 'The 99 Most Beautiful Names of Allah' by Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib
Some other references:
Al-Ghazali refers to Al-Qabid (the Constrictor) and Al-Basit (The Expander)
together as two complementary names. According to him God contracts hearts
and constricts them by what he discloses to them of His exaltation and majesty
and His lack of concern.
Amongst men the one who contracts and expands is the one who by his wise
'At times he expands the hearts of men by reminding them of the blessings of
God..and at other times he contracts them by warning them of the majesty of
God and His greatness, and the varieties of His punishments, His scourge and
(Al-Ghazali - The Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of God. Trans. Burrel/Daher: ITS: 1992.)
*(A close look at the techniques employed by Dr Sharib in his series of lectures for the Society of Mystics
will show that he employed a technique that can be inferred from these comments of Al-Ghazali. At times
he points out the dreadful state of the world and at times he inspires with the possibility and potential of
In the spiritual life the seeker has at times feelings of spiritual elation and at
times feelings of 'contraction of the heart'. Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi has
pointed out that it is during the periods of contraction that the seeker is able to
earn the 'spiritual wealth' that he spends so freely during periods of expansion.
Most people will recognise a parallel to this in their everyday lives. The person
works hard to build or make or study something - at the end that discomfort
and inconvenience is rewarded with pleasurable feelings of satisfaction.
However to labour and endure contraction to fulfil worldly ambitions or lusts is
not the same thing.
One may say that joy rides on the back our labours of love and also of our
As the Qur'an passage quoted seems to imply, it is the same in regard to our
whole life - during which we are separated from God - it is when we return to
God that the trials and tribulations we have born well, are transmuted into
'gold'. Thus it is our life that we 'loan' to God, Who has no needs.
Hazrat Shah Wali Ullah of Delhi says that it is those seekers who do not need
the added stimulus of experiencing the states of expansion that are the most
highly regarded amongst the sufis - their faith being so strong that they
continue to labour in the way of God without the need of transient states of
expansion to renew their purpose.
Thus it is sound long term spiritual economics to bear well the trials and
tribulations of life and to labour on in service - in fact to take advantage of the
periods of contraction. But see also Al-Basit for the complementary value of
expansion, with the implied wisdom of achieving a balanced 'economy'. In the
end we may say that it is He alone who expands and contracts.
A phrase, often quoted by Dr Sharib springs to mind. 'Absent thee from felicity
awhile.' Though the literal meaning is perhaps that of absenting oneself from
the pursuit of pleasure it can also be taken to imply the merit of even absenting
oneself from spiritual expansion.
With regard to material wealth it is advisable to accept that Al-Qabid and
Al-Basit imply that God distributes material wealth as He sees fit for His purpose
- to accept this and to concentrate on the proper use of whatever material
resources are available to one to the benefit of all.
|Bismillah ir Rehman ir Rahim
|The Constrictor, The Seizer, The One Who
Withholds, The Restrainer
(a derived Name)
Who is he
That will loan to Allah
A beautiful loan, which Allah
Will double unto His credit
And multiply many times?
It is Allah that giveth (you)
Want or Plenty.
And to Him shall be
fa-yuzaa-'ifa-huu lahuu 'az
yaqbizu wa yab-sut. Wa
'ilayhi turja -'uun.