Pearl of Wisdom
'I sought after comfort of my heart and I found it in having little wealth.'
Imam Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq [as]
Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, v. 12, p. 174, no. 13810
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"... whither you turn, there is Allah's purpose; surely Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing" (Quran, 2:115).
"Al-Wasi`" is one of Allah's Attributes, and its root word is derived from si`a, spaciousness, expanse, capacity, abundance, plentitude, etc.
One may have an abundance of knowledge if he is acquainted with a good deal of it, or he may have an abundance of means. In his book Al-Nihaya, Ibn al-Atheer, who discusses Allah's Attributes, says that al-Wasi` can enrich everyone who is indigent, whose mercy encompasses everything. His authority never ends; His benevolence is unlimited; His domain is endless. He never stops giving; He is never distracted by knowing something from knowing another, nor by one issue from taking care of another. His knowledge encompasses everything.
His knowledge encompasses everything; His might suffice everything. His mercy is spacious; He is independent; His authority is above everything; His knowledge, might, and benevolence are the greatest. He is the One for the meanings of Whose Attributes there can be no limit, Whose knowledge is spacious, and so are His mercy and forgiveness; His domain is tremendous. The Absolute al-Wasi` is Allah, Glorified and exalted is He. There is no shore for the spacious ocean of His knowledge. Had the seas been ink, they would have been consumed before His words can ever be exhausted. There is no end for what He is capable of giving and blessing.
The Holy Quran has indicated that Allah's knowledge is vast and endless; in Surat al-Ana`m, the Almighty says, "And his people disputed with him. He said: Do you dispute with me regarding Allah, and He has, indeed, guided me? And I do not fear in any way those that you set up with Him unless my Lord pleases; my Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge; will you not then mind" (Quran, 6:80).
The Holy Quran has described Allah's mercy as vast; in Surat al-A`raf it is stated that, "And ordain for us good in this world's life and in the life hereafter, for surely we turn to you. He said: (As for) my chastisement, I will afflict with it whomsoever I please, and my mercy encompasses all things; so I will ordain it (especially) for those who guard (themselves against evil) and pay the zakat and those who believe in our signs" (Quran, 7:156).
In Surat Taha, His knowledge is described as vast: "Your only God is Allah; there is no god but He; He comprehends all things in (His) knowledge" (Quran, 20:98).
Other references to the vastness of His knowledge, to His mercy and might, are as follows:
Our Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge; in Allah do we trust: Lord! Decide between us and our people with the truth, and you are the best of those who decide. (7:89) those who bear the Throne and those around Him celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask protection for those who believe (saying): Lord! You encompass all things in mercy and knowledge; therefore, grant protection to those who turn (to you) and follow your way, and save them from the punishment of hell. (40:7) and the heavens we raised high with power, and most surely we make things ample. (51:47)
We ought to ponder on Allah's vast knowledge; for He is the Absolute al-Wasi` Whose Grace has encompassed everything in existence, in fact, even prior to their existence, and even before the existence of time itself, since He has always been for all eternity. His knowledge encompasses everything. Nothing He knows distracts Him from knowing something else. His might overwhelms everything; no issue distracts Him from another.
His Hearing encompasses everything; no person's supplication can distract Him from hearing the supplication of another. His benevolence includes all His creation; His helping one particular needy person does not prohibit Him from helping another.
One of the ways for learning a code of ethics derived from this Attribute, "al-Wasi`," is that you should include all servants of Allah in your good treatment and kindness at all times; be gracious to all people. Help them when they seek your help, and treat all of them with the best treatment. A servant of Allah ought to remember and seek wisdom from the conduct of the Messenger of Allah who was saying his prayers once when he overheard a Bedouin supplicating to his Lord saying, "O Allah! Have mercy on me and on Muhammed, and do not be merciful to anyone else besides us." The Prophet said to him, "You have prayed Him to limit what is limitless," meaning the mercy of Allah. The Messenger of Allah has also said, "If Allah grants you an increase [of His blessings], do give your own self an increase."