The Subtle One

Exalted and Glorious

No vision can grasp Him, but He grasps all vision.  He is Al-Latif, the Most Subtle and Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things. (6:103)

Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He wills.  (12:100)

Verily, Allah is Subtle (understands the finest mysteries), Well-Aware of its place.  (31:16)

And He is the Most Kind and Courteous to His slaves, All-Aware of everything.  (67:14)

It is not easy to define in words what this attribute of Allah implies.  If may imply fine subtlety, so fine and subtle as to be imperceptible to human sight, so pure as to be incomprehensible with sight, so perfect as to see and understand the finest subtleties and mysteries, so kind and extraordinarily gracious as to bestow gifts of the most refined kind.  He who has become poor and helpless, if he repeats this name 100 times after the two bows of the optional prayer, his desires will be fulfilled.

Al-Latif is the One Who is gentle with His creatures.  He gives them provision.  He makes them easy.  He is generous towards them and showers them with His gifts.  So be gentle with His slaves of Allah and be soft with them, and be gentle when you call them.

From: The Meanings of the Names of Our Lord, by Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i Head of the Higher Sufi Council in Jerusalem and the Holy Land Teacher at the Dome of the Rock (al-Aqsa)


He is the most delicate, fine, gentle, beautiful one.  He is the one who knows the finest details of beauty.  He is the maker of a delicate beauty and the bestower of beauty upon His servants, for He is All-Beautiful.  The finest of His beauties are hidden in the secrets of the beauties of the soul, the mind, wisdom, the divine light.  He contains the minutest details of a divine puzzle where all things fit into each other.  The fetus fits within the mother’s womb, the pearl within the oyster, the fine silk within the silkworm, the honey in the bee, and in the heart of the human being, the knowledge of Allah Himself.  But a heart that does not contain the beautiful light of knowing Allah, like a bee without honey, becomes a hornet with a poisonous stinger, stinging whoever comes close by.

Open the eyes of your heart and look hard to see the manifestation of al-Latif.  Sometimes it is a fine delicate mist of quietude within the turbulence of worldly activity.  Sometimes it is a gentle blessing within His harsh punishment.  Happy are those who can see, because for them there is no doubt, anxiety, or hopelessness.

‘Abd al-Latif is the one whose finer inner eye is opened to see the inner beauty in all.  Thus he receives beauty himself and relates to all creation beautifully, rendering it beautiful.  He points out to the believers the infinite blessings Allah pours upon His creation, and leads them to thankfulness.  He is gentle, beautiful in words and action.  His efforts are like the rain in spring: wherever they fall, things, flower.  Like the sunshine, he enlightens every corner of people’s lives.

To recite ya Latif 129 times may help if one is depressed and stressed.  If one made a habit to recite Allahu Latifun bi ‘ibadihi yarzuku man yasha’a wa huwal-Qawiyy ul-‘Aziz, “Allah is Gentle with His servants, He sustains whomsoever He wills, and He is the Strong, the Mighty” 9 times every day, it will lead to an easier and happier day, if Allah so willed.

From: The Name & the Named, by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti