(The Reducer)

Al-Khafid Meaning:

The Lowerer, The Reducer, The Abaser

Allah is Al-Khafid (in Arabic: ٱلْخَافِضُ), meaning the Abaser, The One who lowers whoever He willed by His destruction and (Ar-Rafi) The One who raises whoever He willed by His endowment.

Mentions of Al-Khafid:
From Quran & Hadith

Arabic Root:
From the root kha-fa-dad (خ ف ض), 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.

Among the disputed names:
Different scholars have different criteria for what qualifies as a name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. Of the 99 names, 81 are explicitly mentioned in the Qur'an. Therefore, there is not one agreed-upon list for the remaining 18 names. Al-Khaafid is one of those names which has been excluded by some scholars. This includes Ibn Uthaymeen, Ibn Hazm, and Ibn Hajar, among others. However, Al-Khafid is commonly recognized as an official name in most books of Asmaul Husna.

خَافِضَةٌۭ رَّافِعَةٌ

Khafidatur raafi’ah

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

The downfall of Firaun:
A well-known example of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ debasing someone is Firaun, the tyrannical dictator in the story of Musa (as). What was his fate despite having immense power and being the Pharaoh of Egypt? As the story goes, He sought after Musa (as) to kill or imprison him, and Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ protects Musa (as) by granting him entry through the sea by parting it. "Then We inspired to Moses, "Strike with your staff the sea," and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain." (Surah Ash-Shu'ara Ayat 63) Firaun was a witness to this but still decided to pursue and capture Musa (as) and the Israelites to prevent their escape. But the Qur'an mentions, "Then We drowned the others." (Surah Ash-Shu'ara Ayat 66)

Now, the Qur'an does not explicitly state Firaun's name but focuses on Musa's story (as) instead. Still, the best historical account of the Pharaoh during Prophet Musa (as) time is guessed to be King Ramses II. King Ramses Mummy has been preserved and is now open to the public for visitation in the Cairo Museum in Egypt. The Qur'an says about Firaun, "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)

The idea of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ being the reducer can be studied indirectly through referencing other verses from the Qur'an, which emphasize the quality. This will allow us to reflect more deeply on His greatness and wisdom.

لَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَٰنَ فِيٓ أَحۡسَنِ تَقۡوِيمٖ
ثُمَّ رَدَدۡنَٰهُ أَسۡفَلَ سَٰفِلِينَ
إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ فَلَهُمۡ أَجۡرٌ غَيۡرُ مَمۡنُونٖ

Laqad khalaqnal insaana fee ahsani taqweem Thumma ra dad naahu asfala saafileen Ill-lal lazeena aamanoo wa amilus saalihaati; falahum ajrun ghairu mamnoon

English Translation:
"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)

فَأَمَّا ٱلۡإِنسَٰنُ إِذَا مَا ٱبۡتَلَىٰهُ رَبُّهُۥ فَأَكۡرَمَهُۥ وَنَعَّمَهُۥ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّيٓ أَكۡرَمَنِ
وَأَمَّآ إِذَا مَا ٱبۡتَلَىٰهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيۡهِ رِزۡقَهُۥ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّيٓ أَهَٰنَنِ

Fa ammal insaanu izaa mab talaahu Rabbuhoo fa akramahoo wa na 'amahoo fa yaqoolu Rabbeee akraman Wa ammaaa izaa mabtalaahu faqadara 'alaihi rizqahoo fa yaqoolu Rabbeee ahaanan

English Translation:
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)

The Tafheem ul-Qur'an by Abul-Maududi explores an interesting perspective on the last ayah. If the believer's reaction when his or her financial situation worsens is, "My Lord has humiliated me," reveals a hidden message or wrongful thinking the person may have been blinded to. In this case, the person may be afraid to be seen as a failure. Their ego was preoccupied with attaining worldly success (which is not inherently problematic), but they may have identified with it too deeply. They fail to realize that having wealth is not a sign of Allah's approval and that a lack is not a sign of His displeasure. Rather both are tests for the believer. In wealth, the test is whether or not the person will forget his Lord or become arrogant and ingrateful. Or, as we've mentioned previously, in a position of power, will they become abusive, corrupt, and try to take advantage of people for personal gain?

In poverty, the test is different. It may be a test of patience, to find satisfaction or contentment in scarcity, or whether the person can remain grateful to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ for that which they still have. Or will his faith decrease, and his displeasure with Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ increase? Will they transgress Allah's commandments and become immoral to change their current circumstance?

We've mentioned this hadith in one of the other names of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ, but it is worth reiterating here for this name. 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 is enough; anything else Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ gives us is a gift.

[1] Hasan (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 4141

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