(The Incomparable Originator)

Al-Badi Meaning:

The Unequaled One, The Unique, The Matchless.

Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Badi (in Arabic: ٱلْبَدِيعُ), The One who created and formed the universe without any mold or preceding example. With His will, He invents all that exists without any prior material. His creation is made without any similarity to anything else that has ever existed.

Mentions of Al-Badi:
From Quran & Hadith

Arabic Root:
From the root ba-dal-ayn (ب د ع), which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to introduce, originate, start, innovate to do for the first time, and not after the similitude of anything pre-existing to cause to exist, to bring into existence to devise, to uniquely contrive to be amazing, outstanding, marvelous, superlative, incomparable.

One of One:
Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is original, one of one. There is no one similar to having attributes as He has. There is no one similar in His actions that can create the Heavens and the Earth from nothingness. Only He possesses the power to do things He's done. This encapsulates the meaning of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ name Al-Badi. He is said to be unique in essence and as the originator. He is incomparable, matchless, and unequaled as the creator of the entire universe.

As we've discussed in Al-Awwal (The First), there is nothing that predates Him. He is both the original and the originator. This name extends to the next name in the 99 Names of Allah series to Al-Baqi (The Everlasting). His original disposition never deteriorates or diminishes in any sense. In the Qur'an, there are two places where this name is mentioned.

بَدِيعُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۖ وَإِذَا قَضَىٰٓ أَمۡرٗا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ

Badeee’us samaawaati wal ardi wa izaa qadaaa amran fa innamaa yaqoolu lahoo kun fayakoon

English Translation:
"Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is." — (Qur'an 2:117)

بَدِيعُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۖ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لَهُۥ وَلَدٞ وَلَمۡ تَكُن لَّهُۥ صَٰحِبَةٞۖ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيۡءٖۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيۡءٍ عَلِيمٞ

Badee'us samaawaati wal ardi annnaa yakoonu lahoo waladunw wa lam takul lahoo saahibatunw wa khalaqa kulla shain'inw wa Huwa bikulli shai'in 'Aleem

English Translation:
"[He is] Originator of the heavens and the earth. How could He have a son when He does not have a companion and He created all things? And He is, of all things, Knowing." — (Qur'an 6:101)

Among the disputed names:
Here we see the Arabic word badeeʿu, meaning "originator." There is some disagreement as to whether this ayah can be used to classify the word as an official name or title of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. But as an attribute, there is no doubt it is befitting. Among the scholars who dispute this as a name are Ibn Hazm and Ibn Uthaymeen. Those that support the view of it being a name are Imam al-Ghazali and Ibn Arabi, among others.

The names of creating:
As for discussions regarding Allah's unique inventiveness and creativity we've touched on this topic in the three names, Al-Khaliq (The Creator), Al-Bari (The Maker), and Al-Musawwir (The Fashioner).

أَفَلَمۡ يَنظُرُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَوۡقَهُمۡ كَيۡفَ بَنَيۡنَٰهَا وَزَيَّنَّـٰهَا وَمَا لَهَا مِن فُرُوجٖ
وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ مَدَدۡنَٰهَا وَأَلۡقَيۡنَا فِيهَا رَوَٰسِيَ وَأَنۢبَتۡنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ زَوۡجِۭ بَهِيجٖ
تَبۡصِرَةٗ وَذِكۡرَىٰ لِكُلِّ عَبۡدٖ مُّنِيبٖ
وَنَزَّلۡنَا مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءٗ مُّبَٰرَكٗا فَأَنۢبَتۡنَا بِهِۦ جَنَّـٰتٖ وَحَبَّ ٱلۡحَصِيدِ
وَٱلنَّخۡلَ بَاسِقَٰتٖ لَّهَا طَلۡعٞ نَّضِيدٞ
رِّزۡقٗا لِّلۡعِبَادِۖ وَأَحۡيَيۡنَا بِهِۦ بَلۡدَةٗ مَّيۡتٗاۚ كَذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡخُرُوجُ

(6) Afalam yanzurooo ilas samaaa’i fawqahum kaifa banainaahaa wa zaiyannaahaa wa maa lahaa min furooj (7) Wal arda madadnaahaa wa alqainaa feehaa rawaasiya wa ambatnaa feehaa min kulli zawjim baheej (8) Tabsiratanw wa zikraa likulli ‘abdim muneeb (9) Wa nazzalnaa minas samaaa’i maaa’am mubaarakan fa ambatnaa bihee jannaatinw wa habbal haseed (10) Wannakhla baasiqaatil laha tal’un nadeed (11) Rizqal lil’ibaad, wa ahyainaa bihee baldatam maitaa; kazaalikal khurooj

English Translation:
"(6) Have they not looked at the heaven above them – how We structured it and adorned it and [how] it has no rifts? (7) And the earth – We spread it out and cast therein firmly set mountains and made grow therein [something] of every beautiful kind, (8) Giving insight and a reminder for every servant who turns [to Allah]. (9) And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest (10) And lofty palm trees having fruit arranged in layers – (11) As provision for the servants, and We have given life thereby to a dead land. Thus is the resurrection." — (Qur'an 50:6-11)

In realizing that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Badi, absolutely unique, we ask ourselves, who else is more deserving of praise and worship? We recognize it is Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ who has spoiled us with His blessings and all that is in the universe. In His uniqueness and perfection of attributes, everything is in harmonious balance. We may not see it this way if He's withheld something we desire, but we're surrounded by so many other blessings that they don't even register on our radar. We remain oblivious and unaware, which causes us to be unthankful. Whatever we focus on is what we will feel internally. But if we take the time to study and contemplate what it means for Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ to be Al-Badi, we can be increased in our shukr (thankfulness) towards Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ as many of His blessings will come to light.

Realizing your uniqueness:
You don't have to look further than to analyze the tip of your finger to be amazed. There are 7,753,000,000+ people on earth, and no two people share the same fingerprints. Not even identical twins. How can you not say, Subhanallah? Realize there will never be another you. No person walking this earth (past, present, or future) will look exactly like you and share the same experiences you've had, your personality, individual qualities, thoughts, or feelings. You are incomparable, a one-of-one but in a different sense.

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: "The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: 'The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, "if only I had done such and such," rather say "Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha'a fa'ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does)." For (saying) 'If' opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.'" [1]

Ask yourself, how can you further yourself and become a rare distinguished individual in the sight of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ? This can be increased in beneficial knowledge, temperance, in being a better husband or wife. Don't waste your effort on differentiating yourself in vain or superficial ways. This will be an endless chase and will not help to seek Allah's approval. Instead, you could become a unique individual in character. For example, who likes traffic? Only a rare person would find traffic amusing rather than frustrating. A time to sit, reflect and count the many blessings of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. The path many take is to get angry and impatient and feel justified in these emotions. All this is a deliberate decision to savor and enjoy all the experiences and possibilities of life. How many more unique perspectives like this are available to the mind to find and adopt? Each person's circumstance will be different and require deep reflection. But the outcome should bring about love for Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. Try changing the frequency of the radio your mind automatically tunes into. Find the alhamdulillah station.

[1] Sahih (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 79

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