Having ended my last post regarding the 99 Names of Allah with Qawwiy, the 53rd name, a name concerning God’s overpowering strength, today I pick up with Matin, another name of strength, and will proceed to discuss the next two names, Waliyy and Hamid, names which embody traits of dependability and friendship respectively.
As Qawiyy is “overpowering strength,” Matin is the “kind of strength that makes one consistent and dependable” (Meyer et al. 59). It is the “strength to keep on keeping on” through which one becomes stable, “like a rock or a mountain” enabling one to “handle both success and failure” (59).
The presence of rhythm in daily life indicates the quality of Matin in one’s life as this rhythm is “a kind of balance, harmony, and wholeness” which enables one to harmonize one’s “individual needs with the needs of the group” (59).
Have you ever stopped practicing something you have begun? Or do you bounce from one thing to another? Matin is the divine quality that helps one maintain consistency to the point of mastery, “another word for al-Matin” (148). Without consistency, doubt often creeps in and one becomes “susceptible to moods, mood swings, and changes of heart” (148). Such a situation is opposite Matin.
Matin helps one not only maintain balance, but to get up after a fall and as much as Matin aids in establishing a rhythmic existence, it also aids those who “have lost spontaneity, or to those who easily get stuck,” for in getting stuck balance is undone.
Waliyy is the embodiment of a friend, a true friend, a friend with whom “one realizes a deep, intimate, and loving relationship with everything and everyone without distinction” (59). This friend, of course, is God and Waliyy is “the most intimate expression of divine love that is possible” (59).
Stemming from waliha, the Name’s root offers a stark image: “intimacy with an ecstatic passion that is beyond rationality” (59). Has someone ever asked you why you love him or her? And you can’t quite put your finger on in? Can’t quite put words to it? It’s because that love you feel for that person in non-rational. Not irrational, but non-rational. Beyond rationality and there are no words for that which transcends the rational.
God is the fullest embodiment of this “ecstatic love, total passion” and thus “God is the most intimate friend” (167). Perhaps that is a reason why so many fear to enter a relationship with God. If God is the most intimate and the closest, it is no wonder why many might be hesitant for to be that close to someone (even God) makes us vulnerable to, among other things, rejection.
Waliyy addresses an individual’s “deep sense of loneliness, alienation, disconnectedness,” feelings often expressed “by the habit of unleashing…in an aggressive way” (168). However, in opening up there can arise “a kind of spaciousness, a field through which sheer intimacy is experienced” (168). That is Waliyy.
Hamid “is contained within the often-repeated Name Alhamdulillah, which means that all gratitude and praise return to Allah” (59). Hamd, or gratitude, moreover, has its source in God (60) and “Each individual thing, and everything as a whole, returns that hamd to the source” (60). The Qur’an itself says, in reference to a line of birds, each knows its own mode of gratitude. Something about this perspective warms my heart and makes me smile: to think that every thing, in this case every bird’s unique song, is a way of expressing gratitude. According to Meyer et al., “Every single atom of the universe is saying Alhamdulillah in its own way” (60).
The root of Hamid forms words that “express intense flaming fire and a day of fierce heat” (60). As such, Hamid manifests “into each and every thing in creation like a burning heart or a burning love” (ibid).
The gratitude that is Hamid is a means by which to deal with that “part of our self that constantly complains about everything” (239). How often do we feel nothing is right? Nothing is going right? How often do we find fault in ourselves, in others, in the world? Such an attitude “blinds the soul from perceiving the great abundance and richness of what is present” and one is therefore “incapable of appreciating reality, God, or” oneself (239).
Such a being in the world often constellates “around a wound caused by not being seen for who you are” (240). As such, we can be deeply wounded in the heart. The ego structure develops around this wound and those travelling along the spiritual path may
“come to realize how much they always are complaining, and also how much this complaining colors reality. Then a kind of remorse opens up, a sorrow, because they understand that they have blinded themselves. Such remorse leads to repentance, or inner turning” (240).
This turn is ultimately beneficial, in this turning there is an awakening, for in realizing that “you yourself are your own obstacle” one recognizes that “Nothing else but the stubborn condition of your ego is between you and the experience of divine abundance” (241). Divine abundance which naturally gives way to Hamid, or divine gratitude.