Combining the “qualities of protection and watchfulness,” Raqib integrates the ideas of watching “the stars until the dawn comes, and
to watch a baby while it is sleeping” (Meyer et al. 54). Underlying these two ideas is the notion of giving one’s full attention, loving attention as well as possessing “the inner quietude that makes real concentration possible” (54). Related to this, the 43rd Divine Name is the word muraaqabah, which, not unlike the Buddhist practice of developing Right Concentration, “begins with…merging with the rising and falling of the breath” (334) in order to develop a one-pointed mind which is “attained by patient, loving attention to the present moment” resulting “in a liberating unity of consciousness” (334). And again, not unlike Buddhist practice, this unity of consciousness involves “a pure, passive, loving observation, without any clinging” which then “allows you to be interested in whatever is arising” (334).
“Call to me and I will answer you,” says the Qur’an. Mujib is that Divine Quality “who answers all prayers” (55). Jaaba, a term derived from the M-J-B root, “means to bore a hole in a rock to get water” and another term related to both Mujib and jaaba, ‘itijaaba, “means to dig a well” (272). Other related terms mean: the light of the moon penetrating the darkness of night, “rendering clear what has been hidden” (272), and “to become clear, open, and unobstructed,” a shield and “to be shielded or protected” (272).
So how do such terms relate to the notion of answering prayers and why “we should ask anything of God if God already knows what we are asking?” (272).
Prayer, the act of asking, “is like shining a light that penetrates our inner darkness of confusion…and allows us to know what we really want and what we are really asking for” (273). Hence the meaning of digging a hole to find water and light penetrating the darkness. Moreover, one prays “because the act of gratitude transforms our condition and opens us to God” (273).
Additional forms of the root mean “to answer” as well as “to listen” (273). This suggests, according to Yusuf Ali in his commentary on the Qur’an that “‘Only those who listen with their hearts will hear God’s answers. As for those whose hearts are dead, Allah will raise them from the dead,” that is, God revives dead hearts so they will be open and thus able to “listen to the answers” (273).
Psychologically, Mujib “directly addresses the tendency…to blame and complain” (274) and is particularly poignant considering issues of abandonment as Mujib is “the one who will always respond, who will always answer” (274).
Stated quite simply, Wasi’ is “the infinite, all-surrounding, embracing presence of God” as stated in the Qur’an 2: 115: “Wherever you turn, there is the Face of God” (55). The term face can also be translated as essence (55). We may look for God, we may wonder where God is in our lives. We may feel a lack of connection, lost. According to the Qur’an, God’s essence is always present, as suggested also in another passage: “The compassionate presence of God surrounds all things” (55).
Expansive and embracing without “constraining, narrowing, or limiting,” Wasi’ “transcends all opposites and reveals the full potential of the one and only being” (55). Furthermore, Wasi’ dissolves old boundaries and can mean, variously, “ease, opportunity, capacity, spacious, and pleasant” (163).
The womb is a physical image related to the name Wasi’ (163) which couples the notions of embracing and expanding. It embraces as it expands, hence Wasi’ neither constrains nor limits. In a previous post I discussed the names Qabid and Basit, names concerning the processes of contraction and expansion one experiences while on a spiritual path, the aim of which, variously defined, is to reach the state of “the transcendent reality that includes both expansion and contraction” as this is what “allows you to move toward balance and being to surrender your attachment and aversion to the expanded and contracted states” (123). This transcendent reality, of course, is Wasi’.