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Al Haleem

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Title: Al Haleem  
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Al Haleem

Al Haleem (Arabic: الحليم‎) is one of the Names of Allah. It is part of the 99 Names of God, by which Muslims regard God and which are traditionally maintained as described in the Qur'ān, and Sunnah, amongst other places.


  • Linguistic Meaning 1
  • Deeper Meaning 2
  • Occurrence in Quran 3
  • Occurrence in Hadith 4
  • Concept of Allah's Forgiveness 5
  • References 6

Linguistic Meaning

Haleem comes from the root "hilm", which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to be forbearing, mild, lenient, clement; to be forgiving, gentle, deliberate; to be leisurely in manner, not hasty; to be calm, serene; to manage one's temper; or to exhibit moderation. Having "hilm" can be understood to have a wisdom and a forebearance that allows a person to control their anger. Hilm is an intelligence that, in our terms, allows someone to control their anger, even if their anger is justified. It allows you to, when you are justifiably angry, control it and not manifest it.[1]

Deeper Meaning

Al-Haleem is the One Who has the following characteristics: Knowledge (to know what happened); Wisdom (to control that which makes you angry); the notion that you must be justifiably angry (only a foolish person gets angry for no reason); and finally the notion that the person who’s angry justifiably could take revenge on you but doesn’t.

In his book, "Al-Maqsad Al-Asna fi Sharah Asma' Allahu al-Husna" (aka The best means in explaining Allah's Beautiful Names), Imam Al Ghazali translates Al Haleem as "The Non-Precipitate and Forbearing One". He states that Al Haleem is "the One Who Witnesses the disobedience of the disobedient, the One Who Sees the violation of the command ('amr). But Anger does not rouse Him and Rage does not seize Him. He is not one Who is prompted by haste and recklessness to take Swift Vengeance, even though He has unlimited Power to do so." He then quotes verse 35:45 from the Quran: "And were Allah to punish men for what they earn, He would not leave on the back of it (surface of the earth) any creature..."

Ibn al-Qayyim said in al-Nooniyyah: "He is the Forbearing and does not hasten the punishment for His slave, (granting him respite) so that he may repent from his sin."[2]

Al-Sa’di said in his

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When contemplating how Allah deals with an individual's forgiveness, the root definition of each of these words help a great deal. In general, an individual has sins that he is aware of and sins that he is not aware of. Al Haleem has been explained to mean that Allah is Forbearing and Clement, where He gives an individual respite, or time to ask Him for forgiveness. Allah is not in haste to punish an individual for his sins. He even at times overlooks sins due to His Attribute of Haleem. Tawwab, the Acceptor of Repentance. Once Allah accepts the repentance of an individual through His Infinite Mercy, He can erase the sin altogether because of His Attribute, Affuw. It would be as though there is no sin at all. Since man is not perfect, he repetitively sins and asks for forgiveness and seeks repentance, so the cycle of Forgiveness can repeat from Allah.

When reading "one-word" translations of the Attributes or Names of Allah, one can wonder why there are certain Attributes that are very similar. For example,

Concept of Allah's Forgiveness

Imam al-Tabarani also narrated on the authority of Ali ibn Abi Talib that Muhammad taught him to say the following words at times of fear: "la illaha il allah al-Haleem al-Kareem, Subhan'Allah wa tabarak Allah rabb al-‘Arsh al-‘Adheem, wal Hamdulilahi Rabb al-‘Alameen" (There is no god but God, The Forbearing and Generous. Glory be to Allah and Blessed is Allah, The Lord of the Mighty Throne and all praise is due to Allah, The Lord of all the worlds).

It was narrated by Imam Ahmad, Imam Bukhari, and Imam Muslim, on the authority of Ibn Abbas that the Islamic prophet Muhammad, encouraged the saying of this supplication at the time of distress: La illaha il Allah al-Haleem al-Kareem, La Illaha Il Allah Rabb al-‘Arsh al-‘Adheem, La Illaha il Allah Rabb al-Samawat al-Sabi‘ wa Rabb al-‘Arsh al-Kareem (There is no god but God the Gentle and Generous. There is no god but God the Lord of the Great Throne. There is no god but God the Lord of the Seven Heavens and the Lord of the Generous Throne.)"

Occurrence in Hadith

Another pairing is with His Name As Shakur (The Appreciative). This pairing can mean that not only will the sins of believers be overlooked, they will be rewarded with more than they deserve.[7]

Another pairing is with His Name, Al Ghani (The Self Sufficient, Rich beyond any need). Some say this pairing means that He doesn't need anything from us and yet He is still forgiving us for our mistakes and sins.[6] This shows His Attribute of Clemency. It can be argued that when a judge or a police officer lets a person off the hook with a crime; maybe they chose that action because of some benefit towards them. Allah does not benefit in any way, shape or form from any of his creation. This can be greatly understood by Prophet Musa in his statement in verse 14:8 in the Quran: “If you were to be ungrateful, you and everyone on Earth, Allah is Rich Beyond Need, Praiseworthy."

It is also paired with the Attribute Al Aleem (The All-Knowing), which some say implies that despite His Knowledge of our actions, He’s still controlling His Anger, though we deserve to be shown His Anger.[5]

This is so because Al Ghaffur is said to come from the verb ghafara (غَفَرَ), which means to cover. [4] For example, it is paired with

Al Haleem is seen in various ayat in the Quran. For example, 2:235, 2:263, 4:12, 5:101, 17:44, 22:59, 33:51, 35:41, 64:17. It is interesting to note that Al Haleem is usually paired with various other Names of Allah in the Quran.

Occurrence in Quran


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