Pearl of Wisdom
Look at the people of the Prophet's household. Adhere to their direction, follow their footsteps, because they will never remove you from guidance, and will never throw you into destruction. If they sit down [i.e. desist from revolting], you sit down, and if they rise up, you rise up.'
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Nahj al-Balagha, Sermon 97
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"... those who deliver the messages of Allah and fear Him and not fear anyone save Allah, and Allah suffices for taking account (of everything)" (Quran, 33:39).
Al-Haseeb is one of Allah's Attributes, and it is often explained as the One Who rewards. Its meaning may also be understood as the One Who provides sufficiently, Who grants whatever His servants need; He is the Master upon Whom all rely; there is no haseeb besides Him, and all His creation are in need of His help and support.
It is also said that al-haseeb is the One to whom everything honorable is referred, and with Him does every glory end. He calls His servants to account for their deeds, who tries those who obey Him and rewards them for such obedience, Who calls those who disobey Him to account and penalizes them for their disobedience; He, and only He, tries everyone. Things are connected to one another, and in the end they are connected to Allah Who has said, "O Prophet! Allah suffices you and the believers who follow you" (Quran, 8:64).
If we look at this great cosmos, which is fixed and unaffected by external effects since millions of years, we will conclude that there is a complex accounting system for it which is spontaneous. It makes cosmic criteria fixed in order to guarantee the preservation of human life on earth in the best way so that man may be able to perform the function for which Allah created him, that is, to worship Him. The number of computations required to run such a tremendous cosmos can never be conceived by any human mind; so, how can one imagine the spontaneous alterations of some while the rest remain the same?!
It is the Great al-haseeb, the computing One, the Great, the most swift of all those who compute. It truly is an Attribute which deserves a close look. If a thinking person were to remain thinking all life, he will never be able to compute except very, very little indeed. Yet I like through these simple statements to give the reader an idea that may provide him with a glimpse of the greatness of this miraculous Attribute:
The verb "hasaba" means: counted, computed, calculated, and deducted a total, etc. "hisab" means: counting, computing, calculating, or accounting, and it is accomplished by adding, subtracting, and such related steps. The science of hisab is arithmetic from which more advanced sciences: algebra, mathematics, and calculus, are derived. The Holy Quran contains references to al-haseeb and the derivatives of its root word in verses such as these:
... And though there may be the weight of a grain of mustard seed, we will (still) bring it, and sufficient are we to take account. (21:47) then are they sent back to Allah, their Master, and the True One; now surely His is the judgment, and He is the swiftest in taking account. (6:62) they shall have (their) portion of what they have earned, and Allah is swift in reckoning. (2:202) there is none to repeal His decree, and He is swift to take account. (13:41) ... there he finds Allah, so He pays him back his reckoning in full, and Allah is swift in reckoning. (24:39)
In order to be acquainted with the secret of Allah's Power as embedded in His Attribute "al-haseeb", as it manifests itself upon His creation, let us take a look at the chemical, physiological and astronomical balance existing in the cosmos. We will see that there is a high computing power too great to be conceived, one capable of conducting such computations and controlled by One Who is fully knowledgeable of the cosmos in its entirety, of the smallest atom in it up to the largest planet.
Had it not been so, its cosmic computations would not have remained fixed. In order to form an idea about the complexity of such computations, we have to provide an example:
Were we to think for one moment about the number of computations which take place inside our bodies, we will surely be unable to calculate them. So, how can man conceive the number of computations in the whole cosmos from the smallest atom to the largest planet in their various types, orbits, and environments? The mind, no matter how great, can never do so, and it will definitely recognize Allah and His Absolute Power, and that He is the only capable al-haseeb Who can make such computations; so, let us contemplate on this Attribute so that we may honor and thank Him. Allah has pointed out in the text of the Holy Quran the calculation according to which the cosmos is arranged in accordance with places very well computed in their locations, orbits and speeds:
"Surely we have created everything according to a measure. And our command is but one, as (swift as) the twinkling of an eye" (Quran, 54:49-50). He has also said, but nay! I swear by the falling of the stars, and most surely it is a very great oath, if you only know... (56:75-76) the sun and the moon follow a reckoning. (55:5) (As for) the moon, We have ordained for it stages till it becomes again like an old dry palm branch. (36:39) ... and ordained for it mansions so that you may know the computation of years and the reckoning. (10:5) He causes the dawn to break, and he has made the night for (you to) rest, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. (6:96)
As a matter of fact, there is hardly any verse which does not contain one indication or more about the computed system of the cosmos or of the human body, but the Holy Quran highlights a specific significance for a different type of calculations:
the calculations of the sustenance of Allah's servants according to the wisdom of Allah, some of which are according to a measure, and some coming from whence a servant of Allah does not know: "... and Allah gives means of subsistence to whomsoever He pleases without measure" (Quran, 2:212).
Such is usually the sustenance of the righteous whom Allah sustains from whence they do not know or expect: "... and whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah, He will make an outlet for him and give him sustenance from whence he does not expect" (Quran, 65:2-3).
Also, Allah's giving is great, so great that its true value can never be conceived or computed. There is still a greater calculation: the calculation of the deeds and the intentions behind them, their recording as well as the rewards for them in the life of this world or in the one to come, or in both, for the Almighty says the following in this regard:
Only the delivery of the message is (incumbent) on you, while calling (them) to account is ours. (13:40) So that Allah may repay each soul (according to) what it has earned; surely Allah is swift in reckoning. (14:51) ... so we called it to account severely and we chastised it with a stern chastisement. (65:8) surely to us is their return, and then surely upon us is the taking of their account. (88:25-26) ... surely Allah takes account of all things. (4:86)
"Whoever brings a good deed," says the Almighty in the Holy Quran as He refers to the Day of Judgment, "he shall have ten like it, and whoever brings an evil deed, he shall be recompensed only with the like thereof, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly" (Quran, 6:160).
People on the Day of Judgment will be simultaneously judged just as they are being judged in the life of this world. Their sustenance will be forwarded to them at once, and Allah is never diverted by anything from another: "So that Allah may repay each soul (according to) what it has earned; surely Allah is swift in reckoning" (Quran, 14:51).
Those who are endowed with understanding know the precision of the Divine computation from their own dealing with Him, for He has said, "... and whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will call you to account according to it, then He will forgive whomsoever He pleases and chastise whomsoever He pleases, and Allah has power over all things" (Quran, 2:284).
God's management of the affairs goes on forever and ever. Our master Muhammed has said, "Call your own selves to account before you yourselves are called upon to account for them."