Blessings can manifest themselves in many ways. We are blessed in our sustenance when Allah makes a meager portion yield great benefit.

{He is Allah, besides Whom there is no god; the King, the Holy One…} (59: 23)

{All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifies Allah, the King, the Holy One, the Mighty, the Wise.} (62: 1)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to say while bowing and prostrating in prayer: “Most Glorified, Most Holy, Lord of the angels and the Spirit.” (Muslim)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to glorify Allah in a number of ways. When he concluded his Witr prayer, he used to repeat it three times: “Glory be to the King, the Holy One,” raising his voice the third time he said it. (An-Nasa’i)

The Holy One is among Allah’s beautiful names. The Meaning of “Holy”

The Arabic word quddus is derived from a linguistic root that conveys the meaning of “purity”.

In the context of being one of Allah’s names, it conveys the meaning of being free from all imperfections, transcendent above any deficiency or dependency, or any other meaning that does not suit His divine perfection, which includes that of having a child, a companion, or a partner of any kind.

Some concepts are imperfections if considered in the context of divinity, though they would be considered part of what it means for a human being to be complete.

Take the concept of “sleep” for instance. This is a characteristic of created beings, and for them, it is an aspect of their wholeness and health. Imagine the state of a person suffering from insomnia. Such a person will seek medical treatment to get cured of that illness. At the same time, sleep would be a deficiency if attributed to Allah, for Allah transcends the need to sleep.

Another meaning of “the Holy One” is that Allah is characterized by attributes of perfection, for indeed Allah’s attributes do not resemble those of created beings in any way. Allah is the one whom we glorify. When we say: “Glory be to Allah”, we are asserting Allah’s transcendence above every deficiency and dependency while affirming for Him every attribute of perfection and beauty.

Another meaning of “the Holy One” is that Allah is the possessor of blessings and munificence. It may be from this connotation that the word conveys the meaning of that which is sanctified and blessed.

Allah talks about the Holy Land: {O my people! Go into the holy land which Allah has ordained for you.} (5: 21)

Here He means the land which is blessed because He has bestowed His blessings upon that land and its environs. For He says: {Glory be to (Allah) Who took His servant for a journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless.} (17: 1)

It is indeed Allah who is the possessor of all blessings: {Blessed is He for whom sovereignty is in His hand.} (67: 1) and {Blessed is He who revealed the Criterion unto His servant.} (25:1)

All blessings emanate from God and all blessedness returns to Him. He is the possessor of blessings which He bestows upon His worshippers by blessing their good works and their time. He bestows blessings as He pleases. No constraints can be placed upon His blessings, by which we mean all that is good.

Blessings can manifest themselves in many ways. We are blessed in our sustenance when Allah makes a meager portion yield great benefit.

Allah blesses us in our lifespans by making it easy for us to perform righteous deeds and produce great achievements we might never have thought we would be able to accomplish.

He blesses us with our wealth by making a little bit of wealth grow and bears fruits that are spent to achieve many good things.

By contrast, Allah can strip a person of blessings, so that a person, in spite of possessing ample wealth, a long life, and many opportunities, gets no benefit from it all. When Allah blesses a person’s wealth, work, knowledge, or lifespan, it will be more fruitful and it will yield forth greater and more blessed results.

Another meaning of “the Holy One” is that Allah is sanctified in the hearts and minds of His creatures, including human beings and angels.

Indeed, Allah extols His own sanctity and transcendence in numerous places in the Quran.

By Salman Al-Oadah