The Originator, The Starter, The Initiator.
Allah is Al-Mubdi, the originator of all creation. He is the beginner of all things, and nothing could have existed without His willing it to be. He is The One who initiates all things.
From the root ba-dal-hamza (ب د أ), which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to begin, create, make something new, to make something be first, have precedence, to contrive a new thing, to invent, to do first, to commence, start, be at the beginning.
As we've mentioned in previous 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 isn't one agreed-upon list for the remaining 18 names. Al-Mubdi is one of those names which is not included by certain scholars. This list includes Ibn Mandah, Ibn Hazm, and Ibn Hajar, among others. However, others, such as Ibn Arabi, Imam al-Bayhaqi, and al-Ghazali, have included this name in their lists.
All things have a beginning, except Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. Allah is Al-Mubdi, the initiator. He is the one from which all things begin. This name is often mentioned in pairs, Al-Mubdi and Al-Mu'id (the restorer). The connection between the two names is the first creation represents the beginning, Al-Mubdi. There is nothing like it. It is unique and original. Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ creation is made from nothingness and without any model. When we build something, we're often taking inspiration or building on top of something that came before, that is said to be a restoration. The meaning of Al-Mu'id is the same, taking something prior and revitalizing it. Except for Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ can restore a thing from non-living back to life. We'll expand on the name Al-Mu'id in greater detail in the next section of the guide.
Though the name Al-Mubdi is not mentioned in the Qur'an, many verses describe this quality of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. Instead, the Qur'an often mentions the two names in the verb form, yub'di-u (He originates) and yu'idu (regenerates).
Awa lam yaraw kaifa yubdi’ul laahul khalqa summa yu’eeduh; inna zaalika ‘alal laahi yaseer
"Have they not considered how Allah begins creation and then repeats it? Indeed that, for Allah, is easy." — (Qur'an 29:19)
Fa aqim wajhaka liddeeni Haneefaa; fitratal laahil latee fataran naasa ‘alaihaa; laa taabdeela likhalqil laah; zaalikad deenul qaiyimu wa laakinna aksaran naasi laa ya’lamoon
Dr. Ghali Translation:
"So set your face upright to the religion, unswervingly upright; (this religion is) the original disposition from Allah upon which He originated (Literally: constituted) mankind. There is no exchange for the creation of Allah. That is the most upright religion, but most of mankind do not know." — (Qur'an 30:30)
Qul hal min shurakaaa ‘ikum mai yabda’ul khalqa thumma yu’eeduh; qulil laahu yabda’ul khalqa thumma yu’eeduhoo fa annaa tu’fakoon
"Say, “Are there of your ‘partners’ any who begins creation and then repeats it?” Say, 'Allah begins creation and then repeats it, so how are you deluded?'" — (Qur'an 10:34)
Ammany yabda’ul khalqa thumma yu’eeduhoo wa many-yarzuqukum minas sammaaa’i wal ard; ‘a-ilaahun ma’allah; qul haatoo burhaanakum in kuntum saadiqeen
"Is He [not best] who begins creation and then repeats it and who provides for you from the heaven and earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Say, 'Produce your proof, if you should be truthful.'" — (Qur'an 27:64)
Innahoo Huwa yubdi’u wa yu’eed
"Indeed, it is He who originates [creation] and repeats." — (Qur'an 85:13)
The believer benefits from knowing that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Mubdi. It is a reminder to the one who began everything. It is really easy to pass the time by being busy and going, going, going that we miss seeing the bigger picture. We see Allah's creation through the lens of permanence. We don't think about the fragility of life, and when we do, it's misinformed. We think He's created us on this planet, and when we die, we return to Him, the work of Al-Mubdi and Al-Mu'id. But in reality, in every moment, who is giving us existence? Do you drink from a magical elixir every morning that sustains you? The lifespan of a single skin cell. Its existence is short, lasting only two to four weeks. Every day we shed 50 million dead skin cells, which goes unnoticed. It is an illusion that these attributes of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ only serve us twice, at birth and on the day of qiyamah. But the truth is in every moment, we are being originated and returning to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. This is the nature of Al-Mubdi and Al-Mu'id, who is continuously working.
It's important to give ourselves some space, a much-needed break to pause and reflect. Technology is supposed to serve, not enslave. We don't need to distract ourselves every moment; let boredom and silence fill some time. See the beauty in Allah's creation - there is much entertainment there.
Respect the gift of this moment given to you by Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. The choice is yours to squander it or make the deliberate effort to take the most from it - regardless of what is happening or has happened. Insha-Allah, when Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ restores us, we'll be able to say, look at all the good I've done, all the smiles on people's faces I left, the adherence to the guidance you've taught. That is what the "good life" looks like.