The Able, The All Capable
Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Qaadir (in Arabic: الْقَادِرُ), the most powerful with the ability to measure out everything. Whenever He decrees a thing, it is. Nothing can interrupt or disturb the will of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ.
From the root q-d-r which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to measure something, to make manifest the measure of something, to distribute or apportion (as though by measure), measure-out to decree, to ordain, to decide a matter (as though measuring it to fit), to exercise thought in preparing something, to make use of reason (measuring out), to have the power, to accomplish, to be rendered able, capable, to be able, to prevail, to be empowered, to have control over.
This name of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is a beautiful name to inspire optimism and fill us with vibrant energy. The belief in this attribute also connects us to all the other names. Al-Qadir is the one who is able - this refers to His strength and ability to do as He pleases. Sometimes we see some goals as being too lofty, so we set the bar lower. We let other people's expectations of what's possible or let our self-doubt dictate what Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ can give. Other times we may want a thing, but as time goes on, we lose faith, it seems too distant or impossible, and we ask of Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ less and less.
The verses in the Qur'an which mention the name al-Qadir encourages us to keep asking Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ for al-Qadir is most able to assist you.
Qulil laahumma Maalikal Mulki tu’til mulka man tashaaa’u wa tanzi’ul mulka mimman tashhaaa’u wa tu’izzu man tashaaa’u wa tuzillu man tashaaa’u biyadikal khairu innaka ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer
"Say, 'O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.'" (Qur'an 3:26)
The Qur'an also provides a lesson from an unnamed Prophet. He stood looking at a fallen/abandoned town, and He asked out of curiosity (not doubt), "How will Allah restore life to this town that is now dead?" Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ then revealed to him His ability and what He's capable of. The Prophet, at the end of this, calls upon al-Qadir saying, "I know that Allah is over all things competent." Competent meaning knowledge, skill, or ability to do something successfully.
Aw kallazee marra ‘alaa qaryatinw wa hiya khaawiyatun ‘alaa ‘urooshihaa qaala annaa yuhyee haazihil laahu ba’da mawtihaa fa amaatahul laahu mi’ata ‘aamin summa ba’asahoo qaala kam labista qaala labistu yawman aw ba’da yawmin qaala bal labista mi’ata ‘aamin fanzur ilaa ta’aamika wa sharaabika lam yatasannah wanzur ilaa himaarika wa linaj’alaka Aayatal linnaasi wanzur ilal’izaami kaifa nunshizuhaa summa naksoohaa lahmaa; falammaa tabayyana lahoo qaala a’lamu annal laaha ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer
Or [consider such an example] as the one who passed by a township which had fallen into ruin. He said, “How will Allah bring this to life after its death?” So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years; then He revived him. He said, “How long have you remained?” The man said, “I have remained a day or part of a day.” He said, “Rather, you have remained one hundred years. Look at your food and your drink; it has not changed with time. And look at your donkey; and We will make you a sign for the people. And look at the bones [of this donkey] – how We raise them and then We cover them with flesh.” And when it became clear to him, he said, “I know that Allah is over all things competent.” (Qur'an 2:259)
Although this name is not mentioned in the story of Prophet Zakariya (as) and Maryam (May Allah be pleased with her), it perfectly illustrates the quality of how Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is al-Qadir. Zakariya (as) was Maryam (ra) sponsor and was married to her sister. He used to visit Maryam (ra) in her chambers quite often, and whenever He did, he was surprised by the provisions that seemed to multiply with each visit. Eventually, he just asked, "'O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?' She said, 'It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.'" (Qur'an 3:37). Right then Prophet Zakariya (as) made a du'a asking from Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ for a child. For whatever reason, this had not occurred to Zakariya (as). He was in his old age, and his wife was barren. But when Maryam (ra) reminded him of the truth that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ gives without measure and is able to overcome every obstacle, he must've made du'a with utmost conviction for it was fulfilled.
Hunaaalika da’aa Zakariyyaa Rabbahoo qaala Rabbi hab lee mil ladunka zurriyyatan taiyibatan innaka samee’ud du’aaa’
"At that, Zechariah called upon his Lord, saying, 'My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.'" (Qur'an 3:38)
The believer benefits from knowing Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is al-Qadir. Just as when you need help moving, you call on friends or family that are able to help. You don't call people who you know are not dependable or that may be overseas. al-Qadir is the all-powerful, the able, the one who can assist you no matter the circumstance. Don't be afraid that what you may be asking for is too big. Sometimes we say Insha-Allah but we don't believe it. We don't have enough conviction. Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ knows no limitations; but perhaps He limits us based on the ones we make. By setting the bar too low, He may fulfill our du'as and so we miss all the other gifts He could've offered us.
Awa lammaaa asaabatkum museebatun qad asabtum mislaihaa qultum annaa haazaa qul huwa min ‘indi anfusikum; innal laaha ‘alaa kulli shai’in Qadeer
"Why [is it that] when a [single] disaster struck you [on the day of Uhud], although you had struck [the enemy in the battle of Badr] with one twice as great, you said, “From where is this?” Say, “It is from yourselves.” Indeed, Allah is over all things competent." (Qur'an 3:165)
After the battle of Uhud, which was a great loss, the believers weaker in faith had begun questioning how they could lose when Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ and His Messenger ﷺ were on their side. They asked, "From where is this?" and Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ responded, "It is from yourselves." This reminds us that we must move towards certain things we've asked for. We have to take some responsibility in our du'a. Otherwise, we may fall victim to the same tragedy that occurred on the battlefield. The loss of Uhud was due to impatience. They were not disciplined and lured by material wealth, and abandoned their stations. And so, just as al-Qadir has the power to make them victorious, He also has the power to bring about their defeat. Just like if you make du'a for knowledge, Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ may give you the cognitive mental ability. He may reveal to you teachers and books, but if your pride or laziness prevents you from learning from them, then indeed, "It is from yourselves."