As-Sami’ (The All-Hearing)

As-Sami means the one that hears. Allah Almighty is Sami. He hears all sounds. The lowest sounds and the most secret whispers cannot be excluded from His hearing. Nothing can prevent Him from hearing. 

He is the one that hears the prayer of a seed uttered by the tongue of ability to become a flower and answers its prayer by making it a flower. 

He is the one that hears the prayer of a butterfly to have wings and answers its prayer by giving it wings.

He is the one that hears the prayer of a leaf that is about to dry uttered by the tongue of need and answers its prayer with an army of clouds.

He is the one that hears everything from the most secret sound felt by a heart to the footsteps of an ant in the dark.

Allah Almighty is equipped with all of the perfect attributes; He is away and free from all faults and deficiencies. Not to hear is a fault and deficiency. Allah Almighty is away and free from this fault; that is, He is Sami. The attribute of hearing is a divine attribute of Allah Almighty; it is not possible for us to understand the real nature of this attribute. We can understand the magnificence of this attribute a bit through the following example:

The voice of how many people can you hear simultaneously and understand? Two people? Three people? Or four people? The voice of how many people can man hear simultaneously and understand? Yes, it is not possible for man to listen to two people simultaneously and understand. 

Now, let us have a look at the magnificence of Allah's attribute of hearing. This universe has a composition of music full of various sounds and different songs from the movements of galaxies to the buzzes of flies, from the songs of winds to the exclamations of clouds, from the waves of seas to the songs of rain.

Allah Almighty hears all of those sounds simultaneously. He hears the sounds of all beings, from the fish at the bottom of the sea to the stars in the sky and from humans to angels. No sound can prevent another sound. Let alone sounds, He hears even what the hearts feel. It is definitely impossible for our minds to understand such hearing.

The Quran teaches us this name through the following verses:

When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them); I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me. (al-Baqara 186)

(They (Moses and Aaron) said: "Our Lord! we fear lest He hasten with insolence against us, or lest he transgress all bounds." He said: "Fear not: for I am with you: I hear and see (everything).” (Taha 45-46)

And if (at any time) an incitement to discord is made to thee by the Evil One, seek refuge in Allah. He is the One Who hears and knows all things. (Fussilat 36)

Our Prophet (pbuh) praises Allah as follows with His name Sami:

O He who hears sounds!

O He who answers prayers!

O He who hears complaints!

O He whose hearing is superior to all hearers!

O He who hears the most secret sounds and desires!

O He who hears the screams and laments of the hopeless people!

O He who is not distracted by one thing from hearing another!

What we need to learn from this name is as follows: Since Allah is Sami and hears everything, we need to pray to Him by begging and make Him hear our supplication. Since He is Sami and hears everything, and even what we feel in our hearts, we need to control our tongues and hearts; we must not let our Lord hear what He does not want to hear from us.

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