(The Expediter)

Al-Muqaddim Meaning:

The Promoter, The Expediter, The One who Brings Forward.

Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Muqaddim (in Arabic: ٱلْمُقَدِّمُ), The One who promotes or brings forward. This includes promoting His servants to higher ranks.

Mentions of Al-Muqaddim:
From Quran & Hadith

Arabic Root:
From the root qaf-dal-mim (ق د م), which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to precede, to come before, to head, to lead, to offer, to bring forward, to make foremost, to put at the front, to advance, to promote, to exist without beginning.

The next two names in this series are closely connected and should be mentioned together for full comprehension. Al-Muqqadim is The Promoter, or the one who brings forth, and the other is Al-Mu'akhkhir, The Postponer, or the one who pushes away.

In this section, we will focus on what it means to refer to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ by the name called Al-Muqaddim, and in the next, we'll cover in more detail the name Al-Mu'akhkhir. But note they should not be separated and mentioned in pairs like Al-Qabid and Al-Basit.

First Interpretation - The Promoter:
The first meaning is the promoter. This interpretation is likened to the name Ar-Rafi (The Exalter, The Elevator). Imam al-Ghazali mentions that the one who is brought close to Him is promoted. They have been given guidance and shown mercy. This includes the angels, prophets, friends, and scholars. And so Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ 'brings forth' some through worship and seeking His approval and guidance.

Second Interpretation - A discussion on free will:
The second interpretation is that Al-Muqaddim is the one who expedites. This discussion leads us down the path of free will and fate, which understandably can be confusing, and we'll try our best to clarify.

As the name pertains, He can make something happen sooner and be accomplished more quickly. For example, we know Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ has proportioned our rizq for us as "(inscribed) in Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet)" (Qur'an 85:22). But from our perspective, through du'a and other actions which are beloved to Him, we can have our rizq expedited and increased. But from Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ perspective, there has been no change in the prescribed tablet. Our total rizq was decreed just as the du'a we made was known to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ before we made it. But from our vantage point, it seems as though it was expedited. Remember Allah's سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ existence is not linear. He is not bounded by time like we are.

Narrated by Abdullah bin Mus'ud: Allah's Messenger ﷺ, the true and truly inspired said, "(The matter of the creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his (i.e. the new creature's) deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him. So, a man amongst you may do (good deeds till there is only a cubit between him and Paradise and then what has been written for him decides his behavior and he starts doing (evil) deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire. And similarly a man amongst you may do (evil) deeds till there is only a cubit between him and the (Hell) Fire, and then what has been written for him decides his behavior, and he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise."[1]

Abdullah b. Amr b. al-'As reported: I heard Allah's Messenger ﷺ as saying: Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, as His Throne was upon water. [2]

وَعِندَهُۥ مَفَاتِحُ ٱلْغَيْبِ لَا يَعْلَمُهَآ إِلَّا هُوَ ۚ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلْبَرِّ وَٱلْبَحْرِ ۚ وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعْلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍۢ فِى ظُلُمَـٰتِ ٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَا رَطْبٍۢ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلَّا فِى كِتَـٰبٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ

Wa indahoo mafaatihul ghaibi laa ya'lamuhaaa illaa Hoo; wa ya'lamu maa fil barri walbahr; wa maa tasqutu minw waraqatin illaa ya'lamuhaa wa laa habbatin fee zulumaatil ardi wa laa ratbinw wa laa yaabisin illaa fee Kitaabim Mubeen

English Translation:
"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 6:50)

Is your rizq decreed?
The question arises, if rizq is decreed, then there can be no increase? Yes, and no. The problem which plagues us is awareness or consciousness. We fail to recognize or accept that our knowledge may be deficient/limited. So for all practical purposes, it is best to view qadr from our perspective as infinite possibilities. From Allah's perspective, there is only one since He has complete knowledge and knows the ending of all things, "...with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him."

A simple illustrative example, He may have decreed to the angels at birth to write for us $1,000,000, but at the end of our lifetime, it could have increased to $2,000,000 since His believer was devout and spread a lot of good into this world. The outcome of $2,000,000 was originally written and known by Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ, but it was not known to anyone else. As an analogy, a person watching a movie with a friend who hasn't seen the film knows all the plot twists and turns. And so, the most productive outlook we can have in such matters is approaching each day with our best foot forward. To try and go to bed a little wiser and to have some more good deeds under your belt than from when you first woke up. We need not complicate matters any further by thinking if my provision was decreed and it was guaranteed, then I can't do anything and should let things unfold and manifest. This is foolish thinking.

Jabir reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Were the son of Adam to flee from his provision as he flees from death, his provision would surely reach him just as death will reach him." [3]

Umar bin Al-Khattab narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "If you were to rely upon Allah with the required reliance, then He would provide for you just as a bird is provided for, it goes out in the morning empty, and returns full." [4]

The hadith clearly mentions that the birds have to go out in the morning, each and every day, in search of their rizq. This signifies the importance of not neglecting your duty in taking action. (Make note we mention in the name Ar-Razzaq that rizq is of many types. Here we have been referring to it in the sense of the material). The hadith also does not neglect the role of seeking Allah's trust that He knows what's best for us. And so we turn to Him because we need Him. He is the source for which all things come forth, so we make du'a so to receive His blessings.

We've been given many examples in the Qur'an of how rizq has been distributed and the ways in which it is received and deserved. For example, in the name Al-Qadir, we mentioned how Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ gave Prophet Zakariya (as) a child, despite His old age and His wife is barren. This is the qadr of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ but was only made a reality because of du'a, good deeds, and the righteous character of Prophet Zakariya (as). The Qur'an explicitly mentions, "So We responded to him, and We gave him John, and amended for him his wife. Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.” (Qur'an 21:90)."

Other ways include purifying our state by means of seeking His forgiveness, "And said, 'Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers." (Qur'an 71:10-12) Also, Narrated Anas bin Malik: I heard Allah's Messenger ﷺ saying, "whoever desires an expansion in his sustenance and age, should keep good relations with his Kith and kin."[5]

وَلَوۡ أَنَّ أَهۡلَ ٱلۡقُرَىٰٓ ءَامَنُواْ وَٱتَّقَوۡاْ لَفَتَحۡنَا عَلَيۡهِم بَرَكَٰتٖ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَٰكِن كَذَّبُواْ فَأَخَذۡنَٰهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ

Wa law anna ahlal quraaa aamanoo wattaqaw lafatahnaa ‘alaihim barakaatim minas samaaa'i wal ardi wa laakin kazzaboo fa akhaznaahum bimaa kaanoo yaksiboon

English Translation:
"And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning." — (Qur'an 7:96)

So in many ways, the believer benefits from knowing that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Muqaddim. He has the power to bring forth many sweetnesses in our life. It could be that marriage you're searching for, the job that pays well and enables your family to be supported, or a beautiful, healthy child which you desire. Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ provides for all. Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet ﷺ said, "Allah says: 'I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e., I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me.[6]

With regards to supplications which include the names Al-Muqaddim and Al-Mu'akhkhir, there are two mentioned in the hadith. We will mention one here and leave the other in the next section of Al-Mu'akhkhir.

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي خَطِيئَتِي وَجَهْلِي وَإِسْرَافِي فِي أَمْرِي وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي جِدِّي وَهَزْلِي وَخَطَئِي وَعَمْدِي وَكُلُّ ذَلِكَ عِنْدِي اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي أَنْتَ الْمُقَدِّمُ وَأَنْتَ الْمُؤَخِّرُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Allahummaghfirli Khati 'ati wa jahli wa israfi fi `Amri kullihi, wa ma anta a'lamu bihi minni. Allahumma ighfirli khatayaya wa 'amdi, wa jahli wa jiddi, wa kullu dhalika'indi. Allahumma ighrifli ma qaddamtu wa ma akhartu wa ma asrartu wa ma a'lantu. Anta-l-muqaddimu wa anta-l-mu'akh-khiru, wa anta 'ala kulli shai'in qadir.

English Translation:
"O Allah, forgive me my faults, my ignorance, my immoderation in my concerns. And Thou art better aware (of my affairs) than myself. O Allah, grant me forgiveness (of the faults which I committed) seriously or otherwise (and which I committed inadvertently and de- liberately. All these (failings) are in me. O Allah, grant me forgiveness from the fault which I did in haste or deferred, which I committed in privacy or in public and Thou art better aware of (them) than myself. Thou art the First and the Last and over all things Thou art Omnipotent." [7]

[1] Sahih al-Bukhari 3208 & Sahih Muslim 2643a
[2] Sahih (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 2144
[3] Hasan (fair) according to Al-Albani Hilyat al-Awliya' 7/90
[4] Hasan (Darussalam) Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2344
[5] Sahih al-Bukhari 2067
[6] Sahih al-Bukhari 7405
[7] Sahih Muslim 2719a & Sahih al-Bukhari 6398

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