(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. 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 IbnHajar, among others. However, al-Khafid is commonly recognized as an official name in most books of Asmaul Husna. As a general rule of thumb, if the name includes the prefix alif lam, then that's a clear indication of being a name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ.

خَافِضَةٌۭ رَّافِعَةٌ

Khafidatur raafi’ah

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). What was his fate despite having power and being the Pharaoh of Egypt? He chased after Musa (as), and Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ caused the split sea to collapse and drowned him. Now, the Qur'an does not explicitly state Firaun's name but focuses on Musa's story (as). Still, the best candidate by historians' account is that the Pharaoh was King Ramses II during Musa (as) time. 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)

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 Tafheem ul-Qur'an by Abul-Maududi, it brings about 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," it reveals a hidden message 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, become arrogant, and be ingrateful. Or that in a position of power, will he become abusive, corrupt, and try to take advantage of people for personal gain? In poverty, will He show patience, find satisfaction, and be grateful to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ for that which He still has? 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. 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 extra.

[1] Hasan (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 4141

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