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Islamic Ideology - Names of Allâh 1996 : Al-Lateef (The Subtle, the All-Kind, the Most Gentle)
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful  

Allâh’s Beautiful Name: Al-Lateef:

Now, we move on to the nineteenth of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names, “Al-Lateef” (the All-Kind), but before we start defining the Name it is necessary to have a short introduction. When someone intends to deal with a certain topic or study, he has to go back to the main goals of such study and points them out. For example, he has to mention the general and particular purposes of his study, simply because a researcher may sometimes deviate from the main purpose and get distracted by unnecessary details, and consequently, the reader may miss the main point of the topic. Moreover, our subject matter today is very important and delicate, and the purpose is noble and paramount. Therefore, by Allah’s Help, we shall not deviate from the main topic or indulge in unnecessary details.
Undoubtedly, honor of knowledge is derived from honor of its subject matter. This is a fact that I always like to reiterate in my book. In other words, if you study a trivial insignificant issue, all of your study and research will also be trivial and insignificant. Why? The answer is: simply because the topic in itself is trivial and insignificant; and the more honorable the subject matter is, the more honorable knowledge is.
Now, a constantly persistent question goes: Is the Creator comparable to the created? Is the One Who has no beginning or end by any means comparable to someone who has a beginning and end? Is the Perfect comparable to the imperfect? The answer is: Of course not! Therefore, when one gets to know Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names, he gets to know the Creator and Maker of the universe. However, someone might ask, “What do I have to do with Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names?” The answer is simply: Religion comes originally from knowing the Lord, Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious. In this context, Allah, Glory to Him, says

“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels, ‘Verily, I am going to place in the earth a vicegerent.”

[Al-Baqarah; 30]

You, as a human being, are Allah’s vicegerent in the earth; and you will never be Allah’s vicegerent in the earth unless you color yourself with His Divine Color. Hence, when we get to know one of Allah’s Beautiful Names, we should ask: what is a believer’s share of knowing such Name? What is his share of knowing Allah’s Name “Al-Aziz” (the One Exalted in Might and Honor)? The answer is: he should strive to be “aziz”, i.e. exalted in might and honor. In this context

Huthaifah quoted Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), as saying, “A believer should not humble himself.” They said, “And how does he humble himself?” He, (PBUH), said, “He puts himself to trial that he cannot bear.”

[At-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad]

Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), also says

“Seek to attain (your) needs with self-respect, as things run with Divine Decree.”

In the following pages, we will be dealing with Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef” (the All-Kind, the All-Subtle); and the fact that I would like everyone to understand clearly is that Allah, All Mighty, has subjected the whole universe for man for two main purposes: first, to help man know his Lord’s Infinite Divine Wisdom, Might and Power, among all of His other Divine Names and Attributes, and, second, to honor man by creating for him such great universe. When you drink a glass of water, you quench your thirst; but water has been created for another more sublime purpose than quenching thirst. It has been created to help you know Allah through it, wondering, “Who has made water as such: colorless, odorless and tasteless?” “Who has given it the quality of permeation?” “Who has made it evaporate at a very low temperature?” “Who has made it dissolve a lot of substances?” “Who has made it the essence of a living cell?”…etc?
If you know Allah by contemplating water, you achieve the major purpose of its creation. But if you drink a glass of water whereby you quench your thirst but fail to contemplate it, you achieve only the minor purpose of its creation. In other words, the major purpose of creating water is to help you know its Maker and Creator and not only make use of it. The same thing applies to the air, food, and all sh3er things around you. This is because you are supposed to know your Lord by contemplation on your own self, your child, and everything around you. Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad, (PBUH), made this fact clear whenever he saw the moon.

Qatadah narrated that whenever Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), saw the moon, he would say, “A moon of goodness and guidance! A moon of goodness and guidance! A moon of goodness and guidance! I believe in the One Who created you! I believe in the One Who created you! I believe in the One Who created you! Praised be Allah, Who took away the month of so and so and brought the month of so and so.”

[ Abu Dawood]

When you stand before a florist’s and contemplate Allah’s Divine Name “Al-Jameel” (the Most Beautiful) through the flowers and roses, their fragrance, colors, you know for sure that such flowers and roses have not been created to be eaten but rather to please your eyes and nose; and, therefore, you know how Generous and Kind your Lord, Allah, is and, hence, you turn to Him with glorification and gratitude.
When you read a book about honey and wonder at the marvelous creation of those tiny insects, bees, with their wonderful social relations and well-organized societies, which are far more advanced than those of human beings, and in which each and every citizen bee knows perfectly their duties and rights and sticks to them. Tell me: which human community is so well organized as that of a beehive? No human community is as socially advanced as that of bees or ants!
Yes, indeed! When you read a book about bees, you feel humble and submissive before the Creator, All Mighty, Most Wise, Who has perfected their creation. You may even cry in amazement at such wonderful sight as a beehive. By so doing, you achieve the major purpose of Allah’s creation of bees, even though you might not afford to buy any of their honey; while another person might be fed up with lots and lots of honey but fails to contemplate its Maker’s Divine Might and Generosity.
Therefore, let us all agree that the whole universe is but a substantiation and manifestation of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Names and Attributes. And since we are now dealing with Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef” (the All-Kind), do you see things in the universe that bespeak Allah’s being All-Kind? Yes, of course. Take, for example, the air, which surrounds us from all sides: we breathe it, and if we move it, we feel that it exists. It carries an airplane that weighs even 350 tons: 150 tons of the body of the airplane itself, 150 tons of fuel, and 150 tons of passengers and their luggage. The air is a really marvelous thing!
When a spaceship enters the earth’s atmosphere, it becomes a blazing mass of flames because of fraction with the air. However, on the surface of the earth, the air cannot be seen and is noiseless when it is calm. In other words, it is there as if it were not, for it does not eclipse vision and allows sound to travel through it. Hence, the air manifests Allah’s Beautiful Name “Al-Lateef” (the All-Kind). In this context, Allah, All-Kind, says

“Allah is Ever All-Kind to His slaves. He gives provision to whom He wills; and He is the All-Strong, the All Mighty.”

[Ash-Shura; 19]

“Should not He, Who has created, know? And He is the All-Kind, the All-Aware.”

[Al-Mulk; 14]

In Arabic, the word “Lateef” has a lot of meanings, one of which is “something that is too tiny or too subtle to feel.” For example, your radio set receives radio waves that you cannot see or feel. Such waves are weightless and have no smell. Therefore, a thing that is like a radio wave is said to be “Lateef”, i.e. too subtle to be seen, smelled, or felt. In order to make things clear, let us have some more examples.
Radio waves exist but in a subtle way; and the air also exists but in a subtle way. But if the air is made to move at a speed of 800 km/h, it destroys everything on the earth’s surface. I have read about a hurricane that took place in USA and destroyed a great many houses and buildings. After the hurricane, one of the people there found the engine of his big car 15 km’s away, but his house or car could not be found anywhere. Movement of the air caused such disastrous hurricane. But when calm, the air is too subtle to feel, hear, see or smell.
Therefore, linguistically speaking, the Arabic word “Lateef” means “something that is too tiny or too subtle to feel”. Another example is water. If you look at a tiny drop of water under a microscope, you see countless microscopic living creatures that are invisible to the unaided human eye. Such microscopic living creatures are “Lateefah” i.e. “too tiny to be seen or felt”.
Therefore, the air is “Lateef” in the sense that radio waves are as such, i.e. they cannot be smelled, heard, felt or seen. This is another meaning. Similarly, the microscopic living creatures in water are “Lateefah” in the sense that they are too tiny to be smelled, heard, felt or seen by the unaided human eye.
When we say that Allah is “Lateef” (Subtle) with His slaves, it means that He, All Mighty, is always with you. He hears your voice, and knows what is in your mind and heart of ideas, thoughts, ambitions, conflicts, opinions, beliefs, imaginations, and conceptions. He also knows what is in your heart of troubles, pains, worries, hardships, pressures, distresses, fears, …etc. Nevertheless, His being with you is not at all obvious or heavy. Imagine that someone keeps another company all the time. Whenever he sits, he sits just like him; whenever he walks, he walks just like him; whenever he enters his home, he enters with him; and whenever he eats, he eats with him. If this went on for only five or six days, it would be unbearable; and the former would address the latter, “Go away from me!”, “Get lost!”, even though the latter would not utter one single word or criticize or even object to any of the former’s deeds or ask him anything whatsoever. Such an inseparable companion is an unbearable nuisance. However, you, dear reader, know for sure that Allah is always with you, yet you do not feel that He is with you. In other words, Allah’s Being with you is not obvious or heavy. In this context, Allah, the Subtle, the All-Kind, says

“And He is with you wherever you may be; and Allah is the All-Seer of what you do.”

[Al-Hadid; 4]

He, Glory to Him, also says

“There is no secret counsel of three but He (Allah) is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of fewer than that or more but He is with them wherever they may be. And afterwards, on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.”

[Al-Mujadilah; 7]

The word “Lateef” here means that Allah, All Mighty, is too Subtle to be heard or seen although we feel that He is always with us. In the same context

Abu Hurairah, the venerable Companion, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), was, one day, out with some people when (the holy Angel) Gabriel came to him asking, “What is Faith?” He, (PBUH), answered, “Faith is to believe in Allah and His angels, Books, the Encounter with Him, His Messengers and the Resurrection.” He (Gabriel) asked, ”What is Islam?” Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), said, “Islam is to worship Allah, Alone, and associate none with Him, to perform prayer, to give the ordained Zakat (alms) and to fast (during the whole month of) Ramadan.” Gabriel asked, “What is good (perfect) work?” He, (PBUH), answered, “It is to worship Allah as if you saw Him, for even if you do not see Him, He sees you.”

“O Allah! Make us fear You as if we saw you!”

Therefore, the first meaning of the Arabic word “Lateef” is “something that is too tiny or subtle to be seen or felt”. And since Allah, All Mighty is far Exalted above any physical incarnation or anthropomorphic elements or qualities, since nothing is the like of Him, since it is impossible to have Him confined in a certain place or time, because He is the One Who created both place and time, and since Allah is Free from all qualities and properties of His creatures, where is Allah? He, All Mighty, Most Subtle, is everywhere with all things, but not like a thing in a thing. He encompasses in knowledge all things. He is with all things, above all things, beside all things. But He cannot be confined in a certain place, direction or volume. But what does the word “volume” here mean? This glass of water, for example, occupies a certain space and has a certain weight, height, and diameter. It occupies a certain space on the table or anywhere else. Our Lord, Allah, All Mighty, does not occupy a space, and cannot be confined by a certain direction, place or time or anything else. Therefore, when we read Allah’s Words

“And your Lord comes with the angels in rows”

[Al-Fajr; 22]

we should understand that Allah does not come in Himself; but what comes is His Divine Command and Punishment. Sometimes, someone is profligate and deviant, yet his days are as usual: Every morning, he gets up in good health and has his normal food and drink. He still enjoys his high social rank, power, affluence and tyranny. But suddenly, he is inflicted with a serious incurable disease, or suffers great pains in his chest or any other part of his body. Here we say, “Your Lord has come”, i.e. “Your Lord’s Command or Punishment has come.”
Therefore, when we say that Allah is “Lateef” (Subtle), this means that He does not occupy a certain space and cannot be confined by a certain direction, place or time. He cannot be incarnated in a certain physical body or image, nor is He divisible or confined by anything.
Since Allah, All Mighty, is far Exalted above being incarnated or confined, He is described in Arabic as being “Lateef” in the sense that He is too subtle to be felt or seen.
Hence, Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef” is one of the de-anthropomorphic Names in the sense that Allah is with you all the time, but you do not see or feel Him, because He is too Subtle to be seen or felt.
Sometimes, you do something that displeases Allah, and are, therefore, soon punished for it. This means that He sees you. Sometimes, you intend to do something that displeases Allah, and you find that He soon punishes you. This means that He knows your intentions. He is so Subtle that you do not feel His Existence, because His Existence is not heavy on you although He exists and even stands between man and his own heart and knows all secrets and what lurks behind such secrets. He knows what was, what is, what will be, and what is not: if it were, how it would be. He knows all about you, while you do not feel or see Him. This is because He is Subtle and knows your innermost feelings, emotions, ambitions, intentions, conflicts, and sorrows. Yes, indeed! He knows all about you while you do not feel or see Him.
As long as a true believer worships Allah and believes that He sees him in all places and times, he is well behaved even when he is by himself. He does not see Allah with his eyes, but he sees Him with his mind. True believers always watch their steps with their Lord, Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, simply because they believe that He is constantly watching them.
The stronger your faith in Allah is, the more conscious of Him you are. In this context, Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, addressed Moses in a Divine Hadith, “O Moses! Do you like me to be your Sitter?” Moses, (PBUH), asked, “O Lord! How can this be?” Allah, Most Gracious, said, “Don’t you know that I sit with those who remember Me and that wherever My slave seeks Me, he finds Me.”
Now, while performing prayer Muslims say, “Allah hears whosoever extols praises to Him”. But do they know what this sentence means? It means that the Lord addresses you, “O My slave! I hear you! So extol praises to Me!” But where is Allah?! Therefore, whenever you stand to perform prayer, you should know that you stand before Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious. In this context, ‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), would be speaking to us, and we would be speaking to him, he would be sitting with us, and we would be sitting with him; but when it was time for prayer, it would be as if he had never known us and we had never known him.” This is how a true Muslim should be!
A person usually takes great care of his apparel when he is invited to meet and official or an important one, who is a human being just like him: he gets hungry, gets thirsty, gets tired, gets angry, and even dies. What should he do when he stands to perform prayer before the Almighty Lord, Allah, the One, the Judge?! He should know that Allah is “Lateef” (Subtle): He is there, but He is Subtle. His non-material Divine Existence cannot be perceived by senses. Such is the first meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef”.
The second meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef” is that He, All Mighty, knows secrets and minute details of all things. The word “Lateef” can also be used to describe someone who is proficient and skillful in his job, and can do what sh3er cannot do. In this sense, when we say that Allah is “Lateef”, it means that He is Omniscient or All-Knower of all things.
You may understand something only from outside, but fail to understand its deep secrets or the hidden intentions lurking behind it. In fact, the more knowledgeable and experienced you are, the more you understand secrets of things and intentions behind them.
In this context, I would like to give an example of an irreligious man. In winter, one of his wife’s female friends came to visit her. He invited both his wife and her friend to come and sit with him in the living room where it was warmer, as he claimed. In fact, he desired to introduce himself to his wife’s friend and make friends with her. Now, who knows the real intention behind the man’s invitation? It is, indeed, Allah, All Mighty, Who knows secrets of all things, including the real intentions of this man!
In this sense, Allah is “Lateef”, i.e. He knows the real motives lurking behind your deeds and intentions. It is He Who knows all secrets and realities of all things, including people’s innermost ambitions and intentions, which other fellow human do not know.
Therefore, it is Allah, Alone, Who knows all secrets and realities of all things as well as their causes and effects. This is the second meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef”, i.e. “the One Who knows everything about all things”.
The third meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef” is that He is Ever All-Kind to His slaves. He is infinitely Kind to them although they do not feel or know that. He disposes of their affairs in the most beneficial way while they are heedless. For example, in hot summer days, while people are completely unconscious, He makes fruits ripe for them. He alternates conditions and circumstances for the benefits of His slaves while they are completely heedless and unconscious. In this context, Allah, Most Gracious, says

“Allah is Ever All-Kind to His slaves. He gives provision to whom He wills; and He is the All-Strong, the All Mighty.”

This is the third meaning of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef”, i.e. He, All Mighty, Most Gracious, is Ever All-Kind to His slaves.

The fourth and greatest meaning of this Divine Name is that proposed by Imam Al-Gjazali: Allah, Most Gracious, is “Lateef” in the sense that He, Glory to Him, knows minute details of things and takes his slave from one condition to another most gently.

A small child has to have new teeth instead of first deciduous ones, for if it had permanent teeth from the beginning and while its mouth were still too small, its apparel would be unacceptable, and its teeth would be too big for its small mouth. If it had teeth while still suckling milk from its mother’s breasts, it would harm her thereby. Therefore, in its first year, an infant has no teeth, but then it develops primary deciduous teeth that are afterwards changed into permanent ones. But this change goes on most easily and smoothly. In other words, Allah, Most Gentle, causes an infant’s milk teeth to change into permanent ones most gently and painlessly. No dentist in the whole world can take out a tooth for a small infant without making it cry. Even an anesthetic injection causes a lot of pain that makes an infant cry pitifully. But our Lord, Allah, the Most Kind, causes an infant’s milk teeth to melt away little by little while the infant feels no pain at all. Therefore, as Imm Al-Ghazali says, “Al-Lateef (the All-Kind and Subtle) is He Who knows realities and secrets of interests and grants them to those who deserve them gently, without any violence.”

Sometimes, you love something that is improper or dangerous for you. Therefore, Allah, All Mighty, Most Gracious, imposes on you a certain solution gradually, in a period of five years, for instance. He afflicts you with some troubles whereby He removes 5% of His Love, and after a couple of weeks, He afflicts you with some other troubles whereby He removes 10% and then, after another couple of weeks, 15%, …etc. After two or three months, you say, “That’s enough! I can’t stand that any more!” In other words, there is something improper that you love, but Allah removes from you your love for it most gently and gradually.

This is how wine was first prohibited in Islam. The Arabs loved wine and were strongly attached to it. If Allah had bidden Muslims to give up wine altogether by one Quranic Command, some, or perhaps, half of them would have rejected Islam. But Allah is Most Gentle and Kind! He, Most Gracious, sent down, an indirect reference to wine, saying

“And from the fruits of date-palms and grapes: you derive strong drink and a goodly provision. Verily, in that is indeed a Sign for people who have wisdom.”

[An-Nahl; 67]

In this Verse, Allah, Most Kind, gives an indirect reference to the fact that although wine may be a kind of provision, and although some people might think that it is goodly provision, it is by no means good, because it is an intoxicant. This is the first reference, but then AllAll-WiseWise, says

“O you who believe! Approach not the prayer when you are in a drunken state, until you know what you utter, nor when you are in a state of major ritual impurity – except when traveling on the road – until you wash your whole body.”

[An-Nisa'; 43]

This means that if they desired to drink wine, it was okay, but they had to avoid it when they stood up to perform prayer. Later on, Allah, Most Gracious, sent down:

“They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say, ‘In both of them is a great sin and (some) benefits for men; but the sin of them is greater than their benefit. And they ask you (O Muhammad) concerning what they should spend. Say, ‘That which is beyond your needs.’ Thus Allah makes clear to you His Laws in order that you may give thought.”

[Al-Baqarah; 219]

The above Quranic Verse shows clearly that benefits of wine are only for those who deal in it and earn their living from it. Afterwards, Allah, Most Kind, prohibited wine altogether, saying

“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-Ansab (animals that are sacrificed for idols), and Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Satan’s work, so avoid it in order that you may be successful.”

[Al-Ma'idah; 90]

Therefore, the gradual and most wise way in which Allah, Glory to Him, prohibited wine shows clearly that He is Most Kind and Most Gentle. Another example is when a young man goes to the mosque to attend a religious lecture or preaching. He thinks, “It is a really nice lecture, and I would like to attend more other lectures!”, although he might be sinful in many ways. However, due to His Infinite Divine Kindness, our Lord, Allah, does not cause him to remember his numerable former sins all at once. Every now and then, Allah, Most Kind, reminds him of one of his former sins and misdeeds. He causes him to think, “Such a thing is unlawful. I feel most regretful. I was so ignorant.” This helps him give up his sins and misdeeds. If he were given an immediate list of all of his sins and misdeeds, he would reject the whole religious affair altogether. However, Allah, Most Kind, gradually reminds him of his former sins and helps him quit such sins one by one. After six or eight months of gradual treatment, he gives up all his sins. Allah, Most Gentle, may also cause another human being to remind him kindly, saying, “Dear brother! Such a deed is unlawful! You should not do such a thing! You should not attend such a meeting! You should not sell such illegal merchandise! Do you sell backgammon? Listen to Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), who says

“He who plays backgammon is like someone who dips his hand the flesh and blood of a pig.”

[Muslim, Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad]

Allah, All Mighty, manages all things in a smooth gradual way, for He is Most Gentle in dealing with His slaves. Someone might be more hopeful than fearful, and therefore, Allah, Most Kind, frightens him; and someone else might be more fearful than hopeful, therefore, Allah, Most Kind, reassures him and makes him more hopeful.
“Accurate knowledge combined with gradual work”: this is the most accurate and most comprehensive meaning of the word “Lateef”; and the one who deserves to be described by this word is someone who knows the realities and secrets of interests and then, once he has got such knowledge, he conveys such interests to those who deserve them gently and smoothly without any violence. For example, if a father’s son commits a religious or moral misdeed, he may punish him severely and violently, but it is better for the father to observe his son step-by-step, and to direct him by constant but compassionate punishment and encouragement, and sometimes even by turning away from him. After two or three months, the son willingly and freely returns to the straight path. In this way the father takes his son from the state of sinfulness to that of reform and repentance but all in a smooth gentle way that does not destroy him, hurt his feels or cause him great pain. Hence, a believing educator is “Lateef” in the sense that he teaches and brings up people from one condition to another most tenderly and gently.
An Arabian once entered the mosque while Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), and his venerable Companions were performing prayer, and because he desired to hurry up and catch up with them in prayer, he made a lot of noise and disturbance. When prayer was over, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), turned to the man, saying gently

“May Allah increase you in care! But do not do this again.”

He, (PBUH), showed utmost tenderness to the man and counseled him gently. This is because Allah is Gentle, and He loves those who are gentle. To this effect, Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), says

“Verily Allah grants (in return) for gentleness that which He does not grant (in return) for violence. Teach and do not reproach, for someone who teaches is better than someone who reproaches.”


Of Allah’s Gentleness and Kindness to His slaves is that He, Most Generous, gives them more than what they need and imposes on them things that are within their abilities. For example, He imposed on them five prayers a day, each prayer takes about only 20 minutes. This means that all prayers take only one hour forty minutes a day. If He imposed on you to perform fifty prayers a day instead of five, you would not be able to be committed to them. Similarly, He enjoins on you the fast for the whole month of Ramadan every year. If He enjoined on you to fast for six continuous months, you would not be able to fast for that long period of time.
Allah is Most Kind in His Divine Commands and Creation. If you needed special sophisticated equipment to eat an apple, for example, it would be too hard to eat. But you need only a small knife, or even nothing, to eat it. If you needed a special key to open an egg, and if you had to look for the key, which you may not find, life would be unbearable. All you have to do is simply to hit it at a hard thing, like the side of a plate, peel it, and then eat it.
Allah’s Divine Kindness makes a peach, an orange, or a bunch of grapes so easy for you to pick and eat. Each fruit has it own different taste, shape, composition and stature. If an apple were as hard as a rock, how would you eat it? You would need a special stone-mill in order to eat an apple or make some apple juice. But due to His Infinite Divine Kindness, Allah has made an apple so easily eaten.
He Who disposes of all things is the Most Wise; He Who brings them into existence is the Most Generous; He Who gives them their forms and statures is the Most Wise Shaper; He Who puts all things in their proper places is the Most Just; He Who knows everything about all things is “Al-Lateef” (the Subtle); “Al-Lateef” (the All-Kind) is He Who gives His slaves more than they need and less than they can bear; “Al-Lateef” (the Most Gentle) is He Who makes hard things easy, helps His slaves to do good things and accepts such good things from them; and “Al-Lateef” is He Who has full power over His slaves, yet He does not disclose their secret sins and misdeeds, Who gives His slaves and suffices them, Who bestows His Favors in abundance upon His slaves, and Whose Knowledge bespeaks His Perfection.
As for man’s share of Allah’s Beautiful Divine Name “Al-Lateef”, it is to be kind to other fellow humans and to be gentle with them when calling them to Allah, Most Gracious. In this context, Allah, Most Kind, addressed his two holy brother Prophets, Moses and Aaron, (PBUT)

“Go, both of you, to Pharaoh! Verily, he has transgressed. And speak to him mildly perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allah). They said, ‘Our Lord! Verily, we fear lest he should hasten to punish us or lest he should transgress.’ He (Allah) said, ‘Fear not! Verily, I am with you both, hearing and seeing.’”

[Ta-Ha; 43-46]


It happened once that a man entered upon a king, saying, “I shall admonish you harshly.” The king said, “Why harshly, brother? Verily, Allah sent someone who was better than you to another who was worse than I am. He sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh, and commanded them: ‘Speak to him mildly.’”
Therefore, if you know anything bad about your fellow humans, try to veil it and be kind to them. If you intend to do anything, try to be kind and gentle. If you desire to have someone do something, try to make such thing easy and achievable. Allah’s Messenger, (PBUH), was once in the midst of devoted prayer to the Lord, All Mighty, with some of his venerable Companions when he suddenly heard a baby cry. Therefore, he hurriedly finished his most enjoyable prayer for the sake of the baby, whose mother was among the worshippers. When you call other fellow humans to Allah, try to be kind, gentle, and merciful. Religious scholars say that knowledgeable preachers should invite people to good things gently and kindly, not violently or harshly, simply because they are enlightened by Allah’s Divine Light.
To wrap up, since Allah is Subtle and Most Kind in His Knowledge, Existence and Acts, you, as a true believer, should assume such great qualities for your own self.

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