(The Flawless Shaper)

The One who forms His creatures in different pictures.

Allah is Al-Musawwir (in arabic: ٱلْمُصَوِّرُ) meaning He brings into existence whatever he wills and in whatever manner He wills it. He says, kun faya kun, “Be! and it is". He is the fashioner of every creation and has given it a special form whereby it is distinguished.

Mentions of al-Musawwir:
From Quran & Hadith

From the root s-w-r which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to make something incline, lean or bend towards, to form, fashion, sculpt, imagine or picture something, to have an inclination or desire towards something.

As we mentioned in the name al-Khaliq (the creator), he also has two similar names al-Bari (the producer or the maker), and al-Musawwir (the fashioner). This may seem confusing as they appear synonymous with Allah's ability to create. But they represent an order to His creation. First, you have al-Khaliq, the creator. He is the one produces something from nothing, He plans and creates. Secondly, He is al-Bari, the producer. He is the one who initiates and brings into existence. Lastly, He is al-Musawwir, the fashioner. He organizes and shapes the arrangement of the creation.

What's amazing is these names are followed in this exact sequence based on their meaning in Surah Hashr verse 24:

هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْخَـٰلِقُ ٱلْبَارِئُ ٱلْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ ٱلْأَسْمَآءُ ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ

Huwal Laahul Khaaliqul Baari ‘ul Musawwir; lahul Asmaaa’ul Husnaa; yusabbihu lahoo maa fis samaawaati wal ardi wa Huwal ‘Azeezul Hakeem

English Translation:
"He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise."

Imam al-Ghazali compares these three names to a builder of a house. You have the planner, the builder, and the designer who gives it its final form. Similarly, Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ takes on the three roles of being the creator, the producer, and the fashioner. Except that Allah is the creator of the entire universe and everything in it. He creates from nothingness, whereas we merely transform material from one form to another.

We've covered the only verse which explicitly mentions al-Musawwir establishing it as a name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. Other verses further exemplify the quality of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ being the fashioner:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ ٱلْكَرِيمِ
ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكَ فَسَوَّىٰكَ فَعَدَلَكَ
فِىٓ أَىِّ صُورَةٍۢ مَّا شَآءَ رَكَّبَكَ

Yaaa ayyuhal insaaanu maa gharraka bi Rabbikal kareem Allazee khalaqaka fasaw waaka fa’adalak Feee ayye sooratim maa shaaa’a rakkabak

English Translation:
"O mankind, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Generous, Who created you, proportioned you, and balanced you? In whatever form He willed has He assembled you." (Surah Infitar verse 6-8)

وَمِنْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ خَلْقُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱخْتِلَـٰفُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَٰنِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّلْعَـٰلِمِينَ

Wa min Aayaatihee khalqus samaawaati wal aardi wakhtilaafu alsinatikum wa alwaanikum; inna fee zaalika la Aayaatil lil’aalimeen

English Translation:
"And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge." (Surah ar-Rum verse 22)

وَٱللَّهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّنۢ بُطُونِ أُمَّهَـٰتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْـًۭٔا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْأَبْصَـٰرَ وَٱلْأَفْـِٔدَةَ ۙ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Wallaahu akhrajakum mim butooni ummahaatikum laa ta’lamoona shai’anw wa ja’ala lakumus sam’a wal absaara wal af’idata la’allakum tashkuroon

English Translation:
"And Allah has extracted you from the wombs of your mothers not knowing a thing, and He made for you hearing and vision and intellect that perhaps you would be grateful." (Surah Nahl verse 78)

These verses and Allah's names of creations are a reminder to us of how we should be grateful to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. You can read the benefits of knowing these names, as we already discussed in al-Khaliq and al-Bari. We can take with us a lesson from the life of Prophet Suleiman (as). Remember this as you read this next section, Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is the fashioner; he forms us unique and however, He pleases.

Prophet Suleiman (as) was given many unique abilities. In the Qur'an it says that he was given "the language of the birds." We also learn that he could hear when the ants spoke and that he could command the Jinn. Moreover, he was very intellgent, "And We had certainly given to David and Solomon knowledge" (27:15). He was also a wealthy King, ruling over the Israelites, loved by the people. Do you think he cultivated this ability on his own? No, of course not. These are the gifts that can only be bestowed by the creator. Prophet Suleiman (as) knew this himself, which is why he made the following du'a in from Surah Naml:

فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكًۭا مِّن قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِىٓ أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَٰلِدَىَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَـٰلِحًۭا تَرْضَىٰهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِى بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِى عِبَادِكَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ

Fatabassama daahikam min qawlihaa wa qaala Rabbi awzi’nee an ashkura ni’mata kal lateee an’amta ‘alaiya wa ‘alaa waalidaiya wa an a’mala saalihan tardaahu wa adkhilnee birahmatika fee ‘ibaadikas saaliheen

The complete du'a of Suleiman (as) starts with the word Rabbi meaning "My Lord". This has been highlighted for your reference.

English Translation:
"So [Solomon] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, 'My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.'" (Qur'an 27:19)

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