The Greatest

Exalted and Glorious

The Knower of the unseen and the seen, the Greatest, the Highest (13:9)

And what they invoke besides Him, is falsehood.  And verily, Allah – he is the Highest, the Greatest.  (22:62)

That is because Allah, He is the Truth, and that which they invoke besides Him is falsehood, and that Allah, He is the Highest, the Greatest.  (31:30)

Intercession with Him profits not except for him whom He permits.  So much so that when fear is banished from their hearts, they say, “What is it that your Lord has said?”  They say, “The Truth.  And He is the Highest, the Greatest.”  (34:23)

This name means greatness, pride, and dignity.  He is the Creator and Sustainer of the whole creation, of all the worlds, the heavens and the earth, and of all the places between the heavens and the earth which were shown to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.  Allah is pure and free of all evils, vices, and defects.

He who repeats this name 100 times daily will become honorable and respectable in the eyes of people. Al-Kabir is the Great, the Exalted in His attributes and actions. He has no need for anything, and nothing is beyond His reach.  Nothing is like Him, so remember the greatness of your Lord at all times by honoring His commands and His prohibitions.

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, whose greatness stretches from before the beginning until the end.  The greatness of all conceivable greatness from the beginning to the end is only His creation and is proof of His own greatness.

We use the term “infinite” in relation to the heavens and time.  We only attribute infinity to created things because a proper conception of them will not fit into our understanding.  If we had a vehicle as fast as our thoughts and our imagination, and if we were carried in it in a straight line, in one direction, into the depths of the heavens, across immeasurable distances passing millions of suns in every second, and if we had a life of billions of centuries, we would travel through only a very little of the created universe and created time.

All this which cannot fit into our comprehension was created with a single word and with His will.  If He so wills, He could do it again and again, and more and more, without losing any of His strength. There is no difference for Him between the creation of an atom and the creation of the infinite-seeming universe.  This is His grandeur as much as we can understand it.  He is greater than that.

The realization of His grandeur should raise in us the fear and love for Him, and the wish to be nothing but His servants.  Fear of Him is not the fear of a tyrannical strength that could crush us, whether rightfully, in vengeance or arbitrarily.  He is the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Wise, the Just, the Generous, and the Loving.  The fear of Allah is a fear that is an outcome of loving Him, wishing to be loved by Him, and fearing to lose His love, to face His disappointment in you.  The greatest loss for a human being is to receive Allah’s disappointment and anger, and the greatest gain for a human being is to be the beloved of Allah.

How much effort do we spend for the approval and love that we hope to receive from those whom we consider great?  What a loss of effort to seek the servant’s love instead of the Master’s!  ‘Abd al-Kabir grows and is perfected by the hand of Allah alone, without any effort on his own or support from others.

If people have lost their jobs or been demoted unjustly, or have debts which they cannot pay if they fast for seven days and each night at fast-break recite 1000 times, ya Kabiru anta lladhi la tahdil-‘uqulu li wasfi ‘azamatihi (“Oh Greatest, you are the one whose magnificence intellects are unable to describe’)  they will have their positions back and be able to pay their debts, if Allah wills. Recite ya Kabir 232 times over some food and feeding it to a couple who are having marital troubles may help to solve their problems.

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