The Great

Exalted and Glorious

Allah! La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Ever-Living.  Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him.  To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth.  Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission?  He knows what happens to them in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter.  And they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills.  His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them.  And He is the Highest, the Greatest.  (Ayat-ul-Kursi 2:255)

This name is above everything in divinity and He is the One and the Only Being Who will remain forever.  There is no god save Him, the Ever Living, the Eternal.  He is the Creator of the great heavens, the Most Bounteous, the Greatest of all.  His Footstool spreads over the heavens and the earth.  He is the Savior of all beings from all trials and tribulations.   He gives honor and power to whom He likes.  He has bestowed the Holy Qur’an on His servants for their guidance and salvation.  He who repeats this name many times will be respected by others.

The Prophet, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, said, “He who learns, teaches what he knows, and acts upon his knowledge is called ‘Abdul ‘Azhim in heaven”.

Al-‘Azhim is the One Whose greatness has no beginning, and His Majesty has no end.  Nothing is like unto Him, so be in awe of His Majesty, and be satisfied with what he allots to you.

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 Greatest on the earth and in the heavens above, in realms where our sight cannot reach and of which our minds cannot conceive.  His is the absolute and perfect greatness.  All the greatness we know is relative, and all of it is a witness to His being the Greatest.  No greatness can be compared to His.  The greatest thing we are able to know still has needs.  How could the absolute Greatest have needs?  Allah al-‘Azim has none.  He is the satisfier of all needs.

We call some among us great: human greatness depends upon one’s work and one’s achievement.  We call some of our great ones “greatest:” They are the ones whose work is greatest.  But the greatest work of the greatest of these is nothing in comparison to the billions of much greater works of Allah al-‘Azim.  The greatest man is one of Allah’s works.  The greatest work that he has done is one of Allah’s works.  A blade of grass with its pulsating cells transforming the earth, the water, the air, and the light of the sun into life, color, and sustenance for Allah’s creatures within it is a factory containing mysteries that no botanist could venture to imagine.  Yet it is one of Allah’s humblest works!  For seeing the greatness of the Greatest, that blade of grass is a witness vast enough to surpass our comprehension.  You who cannot even understand the mystery in the creation of that blade of grass must compare it to countless other things visible and invisible, reachable with all our telescopes and microscopes, unknowable in your wildest imagination, to see His greatness.

In your minuteness and awe, you must prostrate and glorify Him, and pray to be included among those servants who meet His pleasure and are accepted by Him.

‘Abd al-‘Azim is he to whom Allah appears in His perfect greatness.  And from the power generated by the right, he sees the condemnation of those who oppose the right and rewards those who support the right.  He appears above others in magnificence and strength as his inner greatness is reflected in his outer appearance.  Our master the Prophet, (s.a.w.s.) said, “He who learns, teaches what he knows, and acts upon his knowledge is called “Abd al-‘Azim in the Heaven”.

According to a tradition of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), if you recite subhanallahi wa bi-hamdihi subhanallah il-‘azimi astaghfirullah 100 times between daybreak and sunrise, it will help you to avoid chasing after success in this world, because the successes of this world will chase after you.

If you fear harm from a powerful enemy and recite ya ‘Azimu dha thana’ il-fakhri wal-‘izzi wal-majidi wal-kibriya’I fa-la yadhilla ‘izzuhu (“O Greatest One who possesses of the praise of honor and might, glory and eminence; and His might is not humbled”) 12 times and blow upon yourself each time, you may become impervious to the harm your enemy wants to inflict upon you.

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