Al- Halim (The Forbearing)

When you commit a sin or when you see somebody commit a sin, Allah does not punish you or that person immediately; it is the manifestation of which name of Allah?

He has the power to punish the sinners and destroy all of them but He treats them leniently and postpones their punishment. Allah Almighty is al-Halim (the Forbearing) in this sense. He does not catch those who disobey Him at once. He gives them some time in case they repent. He has the power to punish all sinners at the same time but He does not punish and catch them at once. 

We want to attract attention to the following point: A person who has no power to punish cannot be called Halim (forbearing). There are so many weak people who would destroy people and towns if they had the power. They cannot be called halim when they do not punish because they have no power to punish. Halim means a person who does not punish though he can. Allah is al-Halim in this sense. Although He has the power and can turn the stars in the sky like a catapult stone with one order, He does not punish those who disobey Him and do not catch them at once. He gives them time to repent.

This name is indicated as follows in the Quran: “If Allah were to punish men according to what they deserve, He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term...” (Fatir 45)

The reality is as the verse points out. If Allah caught and punished everybody who sinned, there would not be anybody left in the world. However, He treats His slaves leniently and generously. He sends sustenance even to His enemies. On the one hand, He grants bounties to His beloved slaves; on the other hand, He sends bounties to the tables of Pharaohs. He does so though He sees the mistakes people make and the sins they commit and though He has the power to punish them all.

He is such Halim that He conceals mistakes, forgives sins and pardons those who repent. His forgiveness surpasses His torture and His mercy surpasses His wrath. He is the shelter for rebels, hope for those who fear and the savior of the sinners. He does not scold the criminals immediately. He covers ugly things. He does not tear the veil over sins. His forgiveness is big, His pardoning is vast, His mercy is large and his forbearing is nice.   

We should learn the following from this name of Allah:

First of all, we should know that the reason why we are not punished due to our sins at once is not because they are not known or that we are not seen. We are not punished for our sins immediately because of the manifestation of the name al-Halim on us. We should not think that Allah does not see us, does not get angry with us due to our disobedience that our sins are not recorded or that we will get away with our disobedience.  

Definitely not! God forbid… He knows us. He is closer to us than our jugular veins. However, He gives us some time; He does not catch us at once because He is Halim. It is of His glory to treat us with forbearance. However, when we lose our worthiness of this name, He will treat us with His names al-Aziz (the Mighty), al-Jalil (the Glorious) and al-Qahhar (the Subduer) instead of His name al-Halim.

O Lord! We take refuge in You from the manifestations of those names. We take refuge in Your consent from Your wrath, in Your forgiveness from Your torture and in You from You. Treat us with Your name al-Halim all the time. Forgive our sins; do not embarrass us; do not catch us due to our sins. Do not disgrace us due to our rebellion.  

We should also learn the following from this name: Allah Almighty is al-Halim; He treats us leniently. He does not catch us at once due to our sins; he does not embarrass us due to our disobedience. Therefore, we should be equipped with this good manner and treat people who make mistakes leniently. We should hide their mistakes, overlook their wrong deeds and give them some time; we should avoid conceitedness and arrogance. 

May Allah Almighty include us and you among those who act in accordance with His name al-Halim! May Allah treat us with this name both in this world and in the hereafter! Amin!

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