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Allah is the Withholder, the Giver of Abundance

These two names – Al-Qābid (the Withholder) and al-Bāsit (the Giver of Abundance) – are opposites in their meaning. However, they come together as a complementary pair. 

For instance, during Prophet Muhammad's lifetime, there was a period of severe inflation. The Companions asked him if he would consider imposing price controls. The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: "Allah is the Creator. He is the One who Withholds and the Giver of Abundance. He is the Provider who gives things their value. I hope that when I meet Allah, no one will have a grievance against me that I did them an injustice in their lives or their property." [Sunan Abī Dāwūd (3451), Sunan al-Tirmidhī (1314) and Sunan Ibn Mājah (2200)]

The acts of withholding and giving in abundance are mentioned together and separately with respect to Allah on a number of occasions.

For instance, in the Qur'ān, we read: "Who is it that will lend unto Allah a goodly loan, so that He may multiply it many times? It is Allah who withholds and who gives in abundance. Unto Him you will return." [Sūrah al-Baqarah: 245]

The verse tells us that Allah withholds things from whomever He pleases and He gives in abundance what he deems to give to whomever He pleases, all in accordance with His wisdom.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) informs us that Allah grants forgiveness in abundance: "Allah extends His hand at night to give forgiveness to those who sinned during that day, and He extends His hand during the day to give forgiveness to those who sinned during the night." [Sahīh Muslim (2759)]

Allah will also hold back the Earth in His grasp on the Day of Judgment: "Allah will seize the Earth in His grasp on the Day of Resurrection and roll up the heavens in his right hand. Then he shall say: 'I am the King. Where are the kings of the world?'" [Sahīh al-Bukhārī (7382) and Sahīh Muslim (2787)]

Allah is the Giver of Abundance who extends His bounty widely among His creatures. He provides for them, enables them in many ways, and is generous towards them far in excess of their needs.

He is also the Withholder. He withholds the souls of the living at the time of death, which is a time appointed for all living things. At the same time, it is He who gives the soul to the body, thus enabling life.

Through the legislation of Zakāh – the mandatory poor-rate – Allah withholds a portion of the wealth of the rich and enables the poor to share in its abundance. Indeed, it is Allah who gives abundantly to whom He pleases, thus making some of His servants rich, as it is He who withholds from some of His servants, so that they are poor and entitled to receive Zakāh.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) summoned the Muslims to stand in ranks together to praise their Lord, and He beseeched Allah with these two qualities: "O Allah! All praise is Yours. O Allah! There is no one who can withhold what You choose to give, and no one to give what You choose to withhold." [Sunan al-Nasā'ī al-Kubrā (10445)]

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