(The Inheritor)

Al-Warith Meaning:

The Heir, The Inheritor of All.

Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Warith (in Arabic: ٱلْوَارِثُ), The One who remains after all has past. He is everlasting, and to whom all possessions will be returned.

Mentions of Al-Warith:
From Quran & Hadith

Arabic Root:
From the root waw-ra-tha (و ر ث), which has the following classical Arabic connotations: to inherit, to be an heir, survivor, to be the owner or sustainer after someone.

What does it means for Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ to inherit?
We begin by defining what it means to receive an inheritance. It usually refers to the passing down of money, property, or some material thing from one person to another upon their passing. This is typically a transfer from a parent or spouse down the family tree to preserve whatever wealth they had. Now, with respect to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ what does it mean to say he is Al-Warith, The Inheritor? As we discussed in the previous name Al-Baqi (The Everlasting) and Al-Akhir (The Last), He is the one who will exist after all possessors disappear. He is also the originator (Al-Badi) and the creator (Al-Khaliq), so naturally, all things belong to Him. So when all is said and done, when creation vanishes, all things will return to their rightful owner.

وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ نُحْىِۦ وَنُمِيتُ وَنَحْنُ ٱلْوَٰرِثُونَ

Wa innnaa la nahnu nuhyee wa numeetu wa nahnul waarisoon

English Translation:
"And indeed, it is We who give life and cause death, and We are the Inheritor." — (Qur'an 15:23)

وَزَكَرِيَّآ إِذۡ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُۥ رَبِّ لَا تَذَرۡنِي فَرۡدٗا وَأَنتَ خَيۡرُ ٱلۡوَٰرِثِينَ

Wa Zakariyyaaa iz naadaa Rabbahoo Rabbi laa tazarnee fardanw wa Anta khairul waariseen

English Translation:
"And [mention] Zechariah, when he called to his Lord, 'My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors.'" — (Qur'an 21:89)

Understanding that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Warith is also a testament to the person's belief in tawhid (oneness). We recognize Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ works alone, and so the claim to everything is for Him solely. He has no partners which whom the inheritance must be shared with.

يَوْمَ هُم بَـٰرِزُونَ ۖ لَا يَخْفَىٰ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ مِنْهُمْ شَىْءٌۭ ۚ لِّمَنِ ٱلْمُلْكُ ٱلْيَوْمَ ۖ لِلَّهِ ٱلْوَٰحِدِ ٱلْقَهَّارِ

Yawma hum baarizoona laa yakhfaa alal laahi minhum shai; limanil mulkul Yawma lillaahil Waahidil Qahaar

English Translation:
"The Day they come forth nothing concerning them will be concealed from Allah. To whom belongs [all] sovereignty this Day? To Allah, the One, the Prevailing." — (Qur'an 40:16)

The 80-year-old version of you:
The believer benefits from knowing that Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ is Al-Warith in many ways. There is a story of a very wealthy man who died. At his funeral, a colleague asked, "I wonder how much he left?" to which someone replied, "I believe he left it all."

The lesson is that we need to be wiser in our pursuits and how we spend our time. One of the foundational teachings of Islam is that all things return to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ. Nothing was ever ours to begin with. Imagine speaking with your 80-year-old self. What would the older you say to the you of today? Do you think he/she would be happy with how you're spending time? Perhaps you're too hard on yourself or sacrificed too much in the name of worldly pursuits. It's a useful way to think about decision-making; what would your eighty-year-old self think about the thing that's troubling the you of today?

As we mentioned previously, wanting financial security for your family's well-being is an honorable mission. When the only pursuit is money, that's a problem. Seeking enjoyment is fine. Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ does not say we are forbidden from seeking pleasure from things which He's allowed. The problems arise when you only live for pleasure and forget your duty towards Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ.


وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍۭ بَطِرَتْ مَعِيشَتَهَا ۖ فَتِلْكَ مَسَـٰكِنُهُمْ لَمْ تُسْكَن مِّنۢ بَعْدِهِمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًۭا ۖ وَكُنَّا نَحْنُ ٱلْوَٰرِثِينَ

Wa kam ahlaknaa min qaryatim batirat ma'eeshatahaa fatilka masaakinuhum lam tuskam mim ba'dihim illaa qaleelaa; wa kunnaa Nahnul waariseen

English Translation:
"And how many a city have We destroyed that was insolent in its [way of] living, and those are their dwellings which have not been inhabited after them except briefly. And it is We who were the inheritors." — (Qur'an 28:58)

This ayah reminds us that all things will inevitably perish, and the cities will be destroyed. It's not hard to imagine the ambition that drove the people who lived in the city while it was thriving. They played the game to hoard, not realizing, in the end, it belongs to Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ.

Islam encourages us not to focus on the material we leave behind but on the impact of our legacy. What good will your soul reap even long after you're gone? This is the concept behind Sadaqah jariyah (the continuing/perpetual charity). In this way, we can be the inheritors of whatever/whoever our unique touch reaches. Sahl bin Mu'adh bin Anas narrated from his father that: The Prophet said: "Whoever teaches some knowledge will have the reward of the one who acts upon it, without that detracting from his reward in the slightest." [1] Being a teacher or educator allows us to reap the same reward as the person who learns from it. Who can be a teacher? Just about everybody. This does not mean teaching as a profession. You can share your experience and invite others in to learn from your wisdom or mistakes. Sometimes we try to conceal our past from kids to "protect them," not realizing we're just protecting the image of ourselves. They can benefit from the knowledge of the good and the bad we've realized. It's an opportunity for redemption as we also receive the reward if it helps them do good and avoid evil.

Other examples of sadaqah jariyah, Narrated Sa'd ibn Ubadah: Sa'd asked: Messenger of Allah, Umm Sa'd has died; what form of sadaqah is best? He replied: Water (is best). He dug a well and said: It is for Umm Sa'd. [2]

"It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: 'When a man dies all his good deeds come to an end except three: Ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.'" [3] Seek ways in which your good deeds will multiply without your involvement. Having kids and raising them to be righteous will be one of the greatest future rewards to benefit you. All the love and energy you spend as a parent is stored inside your child. That kind of effort is not wasted. Like a bank, it's stored and will be inherited by the next generation and then the next. Your soul continues to live through them, and your account will reap whatever good they sow. Consider writing down your own principles on what it means to live a good life and pass it down. You don't need to be a best-selling author to get permission to say a few words on a page.

If we reframe our actions by thinking of the future impact we can create, it can inspire us to do great things. It doesn't have to be grandiose. It can be as simple as planting a tree. Allah سُبْحَٰنَهُۥ وَتَعَٰلَىٰ knows best and loves to multiply the rewards of the doers of good in His cause.

مَّثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنۢبَتَتۡ سَبۡعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنۢبُلَةٖ مِّاْئَةُ حَبَّةٖۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُضَٰعِفُ لِمَن يَشَآءُۚ وَٱللَّهُ وَٰسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Masalul lazeena yunfiqoona amwaalahum fee sabeelil laahi kamasali habbatin ambatat sab’a sanaabila fee kulli sumbulatim mi’atu habbah; wallaahu yudaa’ifu limai yashaaa; wallaahu Waasi’un ‘Aleem

English Translation:
"The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing." — (Qur'an 2:261)

[1] Hasan (Darussalam) Sunan Ibn Majah 240
[2] Hasan (Al-Albani) Sunan Abi Dawud 1681
[3] Sahih (Darussalam) Sunan an-Nasa'i 3651

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