(The Responsive One)
The Responsive, The Answerer of Prayers, The Hearkener.
Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Mujeeb/Al-Mujib (in Arabic: ٱلْمُجِيبُ) meaning He is the one very close to His believers and readily available to hear and answer the supplications of those who ask. He is the responder to all needs, invitations, and prayers. Whoever needs help in difficulties, they should call upon this name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ.
From the root j-w-b which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to answer, reply, respond, accept to cut, pierce, penetrate, to have a dialog or conference, to comply with a desire when invited to do so.
The names al-Mujeeb (the responder) is mentioned in the Qur'an and is beautifully paired with the name al-Qareeb (the close one). It's because Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is near to us, He responds. Nearness does not have to mean in a literal physical sense. For example, if I asked who is the closest person to you, would you look to your immediate right? No, you would likely respond with your spouse, a parent, sibling, or a really good friend. This person is close to you in the sense they know you on a level most don't. They can be trusted and genuinely care for you and accept you. Simiarily Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Qareeb (near), and He is al-Mujeeb (the responsive) for whenever you may need Him.
Wa ilaa Samooda akhaahum Saalihaa; qaala yaa qawmi’ budul laaha maa lakum min ilaahim ghairuhoo Huwa ansha akum minal ardi wasta’ marakum feehaa fastaghfiroohu summa toobooo ilaih; inna Rabbee Qareebum Mujeeb
"And to Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih. He said, “O my people, worship Allah; you have no deity other than Him. He has produced you from the earth and settled you in it, so ask forgiveness of Him and then repent to Him. Indeed, my Lord is near and responsive." (Qur'an 11:61)
Although these next few verses don't mention the name al-Mujeeb they further emphasize this quality of being the responsive.
Wa qaala Rabbukumud ‘ooneee astajib lakum; innal lazeena yastakbiroona an ‘ibaadatee sa yadkhuloona jahannama daakhireen (Section 6)
"And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.” Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell [rendered] contemptible." (Qur'an 40:60)
Wa izaa sa alaka ‘ibaadee ‘annnee fa innee qareebun ujeebu da’wataddaa’i izaa da’aani falyastajeeboo lee wal yu’minoo bee la’allahum yarshudoon
"And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided." (Qur'an 2:186)
And from the hadith it was narrated by Anas:"The Prophet ﷺ said, "My Lord says, 'If My slave comes nearer to me for a span, I go nearer to him for a cubit; and if he comes nearer to Me for a cubit, I go nearer to him for the span of outstretched arms; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.'"
Addressing the concern of du'a not being responded:
The Prophets in Islam (may peace be upon them) were regular people like you and me, except we hold them to a higher standard as they were impeccable in character. Despite their respected status, they probably suffered much more than you and I ever will. Yet when we make du'a, and it's not immediately fulfilled, we grow impatient or falsely accept that we're not on good terms with our creator or that we're being punished. Yet in the Qur'an we are told Prophet Nuh (as) made du'as asking for the protection of his wife and son, yet when the tide came, it drowned his family because they were of the deniers (see 11:42-42) Prophet Yusuf (as) was an innocent child. Do you think he deserved to be thrown into a well by his own brothers and left to die? Prophet Yaqub (as), the father of Yusuf (as), was deeply hurt by the loss of his child. Don't you think he prayed to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ every day, asking for the safe return of his child? Allah tells us, "give good tidings to the patient" (2:155) We know Yaqub (as) du'a was answered as he was reunited with his son, but this was only after many, many years of what people would refer to as "unanswered prayers."
As humble servants, we turn to Allah, ask for his approval and seek His help and guidance. "If Allah should aid you, no one can overcome you; but if He should forsake you, who is there that can aid you after Him? And upon Allah let the believers rely." (Qur'an 3:160) Understand, sometimes things will not go as we hoped, but we must learn to say Alhamdulillah (all praise is due to Allah) in every circumstance because we don't know what lies on the other side of the door. A du'a not fulfilled does not mean it was not heard or responded to. We trust Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ knows what's best for us as we keep relentlessly marching forward.
Abu Hurairah narrated that: The Prophet said: "One of you will be responded to, so long as he is not hasty, saying: 'I supplicated, and I was not responded to.' Be persistent and do not lose hope. One of the beneficial remedies is persisting in your du'a. Umar Ibn Khattab (ra) said: "I do not concern myself with the response, but I concern myself with making supplication, for I know that the response will come with it!"
The believer benefits from knowing Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is "al-Mujeeb." Just as Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is responsive to us, we should be responsive to Him. He has asked us to uphold many values, i.e., of kinship, salah, spreading peace, helping community, and keeping the sawm. In the Qur'an it also tells us (if we're capable) to respond to the ones who asks for help, "and do not chide the one who asks for help;" (Qur'an 93:10) The Prophet ﷺ also never denied an invitation of a person who wanted to help Him even if it seemed unappealing or in this case unappetizing. "Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ﷺ said, "I shall accept the invitation even if I were invited to a meal of a sheep's trotter [feet of sheep], and I shall accept the gift even if it was an arm or a trotter of a sheep."