Al-Muhsi / Al-Muhsee

(The All-Enumerating)

Al-Muhsi Meaning:

The Counter, The Reckoner, The One who the count of things are known to him.

The One who considers all things in the universe and knows the details of every moment or change. He comprehends everything and possesses all knowledge. Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ knows every deed, and written details are recorded by His angels.

Mentions of Al-Muhsi:
From Quran & Hadith

From the root h-s-y which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to number, count, reckon, compute to collect in an aggregate by numbering to register or record something to take an account of something to comprehend or know altogether to possess full comprehension.

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, you won't find al-Muhsi recognized as an official name by certain scholars. This list includes Ibn Uthaymeen, 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.

What is meant by referring to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ as the all-enumerating, the numberer, or the counter is that He has knowledge of all things. He takes into account each individual separate item. He not only quantifies it but comprehends it and knows it through and through.

لِّيَعْلَمَ أَن قَدْ أَبْلَغُوا۟ رِسَـٰلَـٰتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَأَحَاطَ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ وَأَحْصَىٰ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ عَدَدًۢا

Liya’lama an qad ablaghoo risaalaati rabbihim wa ahaata bi maa ladaihim wa ahsaa kulla shai’in ‘adada

English Translation:
"That he may know that they have conveyed the messages of their Lord; and He has encompassed whatever is with them and has enumerated all things in number." (Qur'an 72:28)

وَكُلَّ شَىْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَـٰهُ كِتَـٰبًۭا

Wa kulla shai-in ahsai naahu kitaa ba

English Translation:
"But all things We have enumerated in writing." (Qur'an 78:29)

Counter of deeds:

وَوُضِعَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبُ فَتَرَى ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ مُشۡفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَٰوَيۡلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةٗ وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّآ أَحۡصَىٰهَاۚ وَوَجَدُواْ مَا عَمِلُواْ حَاضِرٗاۗ وَلَا يَظۡلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدٗا

Wa wudi’al kitaabu fataral mujrimeena mushfiqeena mimmaa feehi wa yaqooloona yaa wailatanaa maa lihaazal kitaabi laa yughaadiru saghee ratanw wa laa kabeeratan illaaa ahsaahaa; wa wajadoo maa ‘amiloo haadiraa; wa laa yazlimu Rabbuka ahadaa (Section 6)

English Translation:
"And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, “Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?” And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one." (Qur'an 18:49)

The knower and bestower blessings:

وَءَاتَىٰكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ ۚ وَإِن تَعُدُّوا۟ نِعْمَتَ ٱللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَآ ۗ إِنَّ ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ لَظَلُومٌۭ كَفَّارٌۭ

Wa aataakum min kulli maa sa altumooh; wa in ta’uddoo ni’matal laahi laa tuhsoohaa; innal insaana lazaloo mun kaffaar (section 5)

English Translation:
"And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful." (Qur'an 14:34)

From this verse we realize that we probably don't understand the extent of Allah's blessings. We are unable to count them all. If every reward or blessing required us to praise and exalt Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ we would fall short.

The knower of all people:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْىِ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا۟ وَءَاثَـٰرَهُمْ ۚ وَكُلَّ شَىْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَـٰهُ فِىٓ إِمَامٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ

Innaa Nahnu nuhyil mawtaa wa naktubu maa qaddamoo wa aasaarahum; wa kulla shai’in ahsainaahu feee Imaamim Mubeen

English Translation:
"Indeed, it is We who bring the dead to life and record what they have put forth and what they left behind, and all things We have enumerated in a clear register." (Qur'an 36:12)

لِّلَّهِ مَا فِي ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِۗ وَإِن تُبۡدُواْ مَا فِيٓ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَوۡ تُخۡفُوهُ يُحَاسِبۡكُم بِهِ ٱللَّهُۖ فَيَغۡفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٌ

Lillaahi maa fissamaawaati wa maa fil ard; wa in tubdoo maa feee anfusikum aw tukhfoohu yuhaasibkum bihil laa; fayaghfiru li mai yashaaa’u wa yu’azzibu mai yashaaa u;wallaahu ‘alaa kulli shai in qadeer

English Translation:
"To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it. Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent." (Qur'an 2:284)

This name reminds us that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ knows you and me. If you feel unheard, small, or not counted for, remember Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is and has always been watchful over you. We all matter to Him, and He has accounted for us and given us guidance to live a fruitful life. He has not forgotten anyone. He knows everyone that has walked this earth - past and present.

In explaining each name, we try to find a way to connect the knowledge of the name to our everyday life. This often includes providing a reflection to consider how we can live and exemplify the same beautiful attributes to try and better ourselves. However, for the name al-Muhsi, our access is limited. As a comparison to try and illustrate the scale at which Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ intimately knows every person, we examine our social networking abilities.

It was proposed by an anthropologist named Robert Dunbar that the number of meaningful relationships we could make was capped by the size of our brain's neocortex size - that there's a natural limit to the number of friendships we could actively manage. His proposed number is coined as "Dunbar's number" and suggests we could hold about ~150 relationships. Here a meaningful relationship is informally defined as the number of people you would not feel awkward about joining for a coffee or some get-together. Now, each relationship is not made equal. Of these 150, only 5-10 may be your core support clique. You frequently interact, share bad news, and know what's happening in each other's lives. Outside this 150+ boundary would be acquaintances - people you know but not really.

Now, this number is disputed by some researchers - social sciences are not hard science. But the proposed number remains small (i.e., less than 400-500). Now, imagine the vastness and capability of Allah's knowledge when he tells us, "And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record." (Qur'an 6:59) He not only knows each of us by name but remembers our prayers, our deeds, and what we conceal in our hearts. This is what is meant by referring to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ as al-Muhsi, the enumerator.

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