(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 include promoting his servants to higher ranks providing rich rewards.

Mentions of Al-Muqaddim:
From Quran & Hadith

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, who is The Promoter, or the one who brings forth, and the other is al-Mu'akhkhir, The Postponer, or the one who pushes away.

For this section, we will focus on what it means to call Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ by the name called al-Muqaddim, and in the next, we'll cover in more detail al-Mu'akhkhir.

The first meaning is the promoter. This interpretation is similar 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.

The second interpretation is that al-Muqaddim is the one who expedites. He can make something (or rather anything) 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 our du'a and other actions which are beloved to Him, we can have not only have our rizq expedited but also increased. (We'll explore this topic more thoroughly as this notion brings about some obvious confusion.) But from Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ perspective, there has been no change in the prescribed tablet. Our total rizq was decreed just as corroborated in the ahadith and from the Qur'an.

Narrated 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)

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, "...with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him." 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 did that which was asked of Him. The outcome of $2,000,000 was originally written and known by Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ, but it was not known to anyone else. And so, the most productive outlook we can have in such matters is to approach 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 (as we'll provide the reference to the hadith shortly), then I can do nothing and let things unfold and manifest without action. 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. (We mention in the name ar-Razzaq that rizq is of many types, here, we have been referring to it in one sense of the material). This signifies the utmost importance of taking ownership and responsibility for taking action. This can not be understated. 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, so we make du'a so as to receive His blessings.

We've been told and shown many ways in the Qur'an how rizq has been distributed and ways in which we can be among those who receive. 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 righteous character of Prophet Zakariya (as).

Others ways include purifying our state by means of seekings 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]

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ ٱلْقُرَىٰٓ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَٱتَّقَوْا۟ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَـٰتٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَلَـٰكِن كَذَّبُوا۟ فَأَخَذْنَـٰهُم بِمَا كَانُوا۟ يَكْسِبُونَ

Qul inna Rabbee yabsutur rizqa limai yashaaa’u min ‘ibaadihee wa yaqdiru lah; wa maaa anfaqtum min shai’in fahuwa yukhlifuhoo wa Huwa khairur raaziqeen

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 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.

"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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