(The Reducer)

Al-Khafid Meaning:

The lowerer, the reducer, the abaser. He lowers the status of people as a means to make them humble.

Allah is al-Khafid (in Arabic: ٱلْخَافِضُ) meaning the Abaser, The One who lowers whoever He willed by His Destruction and raises whoever He willed by His Endowment.

Mentions of Al-Khafid:
From Quran & Hadith

From the root, kh-f-d which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to lower, weaken, depress to make humble, abase to relax, diminish, subdue, to make gentle, tranquil, easy to deal with, to soften, make easy, facilitate.

This attribute describes how Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ abases the proud, the oppressors, and rebels. He chooses the ones to be humbled, softened or made gentle. He decides to raise or weaken people, to give them honor or to take it away.

Different scholars have different criteria for what qualifies as a name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. You won't find al-Khaafid recognized as an official name by certain scholars. This includes Ibn Uthaymeen, Ibn Hazm, and Ibn Hajar among others. As a rule of thumb, if the name includes the prefix alif lam then that's a clear indication of a name of Allah. In this case there's only one mention of Kahfid in the Qur'an and you can see it does not take this form.

خَافِضَةٌۭ رَّافِعَةٌ

English Translation:
"It will bring down [some] and raise up [others]." (Qur'an 56:3)

A well known example of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ debasing someone is Firaun, the tyrannical dictator in the story of Musa (as). Despite having power and being the Pharaoh of Egypt what was his fate? He chased after Musa (as) and Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ caused the split sea to collapse and drowned him. Now, in the Qur'an it does not explicity state Firaun's name, but rather focuses on the story of Musa (as). But the best candidate by historians account is that the Pharaoh during Musa (as) time was King Ramses II. King Ramses Mummy has been preserved and is now open to the public for visitation in the Cairo Museum. In the Qur'an it says, "So today We will save you in body that you may be to those who succeed you a sign. And indeed, many among the people, of Our signs, are heedless" (Qur'an 10:92)

There are other verses in the Qur'an which help emphasize the notion that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is the reducer.

"We have certainly created man in the best of stature; Then We return him to the lowest of the low, Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they will have a reward uninterrupted." (Quran 95:4-6)

And as for man, when his Lord tries him and [thus] is generous to him and favors him, he says, “My Lord has honored me.” But when He tries him and restricts his provision, he says, “My Lord has humiliated me.” (Quran 89:15-16)

In the tafseer of Abul-Maududi it brings about an interesting commentary on the last verse. If a person says, "My Lord has humiliated me" what is it revealing about that person? Many people, including myself, are guilty of this but we would be embarassed. We're afraid to be seen as "failure". This way of seeing the world is finding validation in worldly sense. It doesn't mean failure from Allah's perspective, yet we're distraught. We crave it, but there is more to life than wealth and power. Perhaps being humbled is a reminder of this. We've mentioned this hadith in one of the other names of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ but it is worth reiterating.

It was narrated from Salamah bin 'Ubaidullah bin Mihsan Al-Ansari that his father said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: 'Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within himself with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world.'” [1] We need to remind ourselves that sometimes this enough, anything else Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ gives us is extra.

[1] Hasan (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 4141

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