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Quranic Terminology: Rich/Independent

Quranic Terminology: Rich/Independent



Published in December 17, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy





Firstly: the Holy Name/Epithet (Al-)Ghaney:

 The Holy Name of the Lord God (Al-Ghaney), with the Arabic definite article, or (Ghaney), without the Arabic definite article, means Rich or Independent; it is found in several Quranic contexts. This Holy Epithet of the Lord God refers to the fact that He is Self-Sufficient; He does not need anyone in the worlds, whereas all His (non-)human creatures are always in need of Him and are dependent on Him; it also refers to how Rich the Lord God is since He is the Omnipotent Creator, Controller, and Owner of the universe. Both senses of the term are closely linked and they are inseparable and intertwined in the Quranic text.

1- In the sense of His being Independent of the worlds:

1/1: "O people! It is you who are the poor, in need of God; while God is the Rich, the Praiseworthy." (35:15). Thus, we, human beings, need Him while He does not need us; He is the Praised Lord of everything.

1/2: The same meaning is repeated here: "Here you are, being called to spend in the cause of God. Among you are those who withhold; but whoever withholds is withholding against his own soul. God is the Rich, while you are the needy...." (47:38).

2- The Lord God does not need the presence of disobedient believers; they are warned severely here by being replaced: 

2/1: "Here you are, being called to spend in the cause of God. Among you are those who withhold; but whoever withholds is withholding against his own soul. God is the Rich, while you are the needy. And if you turn away, He will replace you with another people, and they will not be like you." (47:38).

2/2: "Your Lord is the Rich Beyond Need, the Possessor of Mercy. If He wills, He can do away with you, and substitute whomever He wills in your place, just as He produced you from the descendants of another people." (6:133).

3- The Lord God the Creator is Independent of all His creatures since He owns the universe (i.e., in the Quranic terms: the heavens and the earth).

3/1: "To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. God is the Rich, the Praised." (22:64).

3/2: "To God belongs everything in the heavens and the earth. God is the Rich, the Praised." (31:26).

3/3: "And they said, “God has taken a son.” Be He glorified. He is the Independent. His is everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Do you have any proof for this? Or are you saying about God what you do not know?" (10:68).

4- The Lord God does not need acts of worship from believers; they need them to earn the Eternal Life: "Whoever strives, strives only for his soul. God is Independent of the worlds." (29:6).

5- This is why the souls who are thankful or ingrates; i.e., believers or disbelievers, are bearing the consequences of their choices later on.

5/1: "...Whoever is appreciative - is appreciative for the benefit of his own soul. And whoever is unappreciative - God is Independent and Praiseworthy." (31:12).

5/2: "...He who is grateful, his gratitude is to his own credit; but he who is ungrateful - my Lord is Independent and Generous.”" (27:40).

5/3: "If you disbelieve, God is Independent of you, yet He does not approve ingratitude on the part of His servants. And if you are thankful, He will approve that in you..." (39:7).

6- Thus, disbelief and ingratitude never harm the Lord God.

6/1: "Muhammad is no more than a messenger. Messengers have passed on before him. If he dies or gets killed, will you turn on your heels? He who turns on his heels will not harm God in any way. And God will reward the appreciative." (3:144).

6/2: "And do not be saddened by those who rush into disbelief. They will not harm God in the least..." (3:176).

6/3: "Those who exchange disbelief for faith will not harm God in the least. A painful torment awaits them." (3:177).

6/4: "Those who disbelieve, and hinder from the Path of God, and oppose the Messenger after guidance has become clear to them - they will not hurt God in the least, but He will nullify their deeds." (47:32).

7- Hence, the Lord God is Independent of the disbeliever; He does not need their faith/belief.

7/1: "...But if you disbelieve - to God belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. God is Independent, Praiseworthy." (4:131).

7/2: "And Moses said, “Even if you disbelieve together with everyone on earth - God is in no Independent, Worthy of Praise.”" (14:8).

7/3: "There is an excellent example in them for you - for anyone who seeks God and the Last Day. But whoever turns away - God is the Independent, the Most Praised." (60:6).

7/4: "That is because their messengers came to them with clear explanations, but they said, “Are human beings going to guide us?” So they disbelieved and turned away. But God is in no need. God is Independent and Praiseworthy." (64:6).

8- The Lord God does not need the money/wealth of any people.

8/1: This is about stingy people: "Those who are stingy, and induce people to be stingy. Whoever turns away - God is the Independent, the Praiseworthy." (57:24).

8/2: This is about those who donate charity/Zakat from ill-gotten money: " O you who believe! Give of the good things you have earned, and from what We have produced for you from the earth. And do not give away from ill-gotten wealth, when you yourselves would not accept it except with eyes closed. And know that God is Independent and Praiseworthy." (2:267).

8/3: Those who hurt and insult Zakat recipients: "Kind words and forgiveness are better than charity followed by insults. God is Independent and Clement." (2:263).

8/4: This is within the legislations of pilgrimage to Mecca: "...Pilgrimage to the House is a duty to God for all who can make the journey. But as for those who refuse - God is Independent of the worlds." (3:97).


Secondly: (rich/wealthy), in the Quranic text, describing human beings:

1- The tests imposed by the Lord God on human beings include being rich or poor.

1/1: "It is He who made you successors on the earth, and raised some of you in ranks over others, in order to test you through what He has given you..." (6:165).

1/2: "God has favored some of you over others in livelihood..." (16:71).

1/3: "...It is We who have allocated their livelihood in this life, and We elevated some of them in rank above others, that some of them would take others in service. But your Lord’s mercy is better than what they amass." (43:32).

2- Hence, rich persons and poor/needy ones have dealings among one another as we see in the following Quranic contexts.

2/1: "Whatever God restored to His messenger from the inhabitants of the villages belongs to God, and to the Messenger, and to the relatives, and to the orphans, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer; so that it may not circulate solely between the wealthy among you..." (59:7).

2/2: "Test the orphans until they reach the age of marriage. If you find them to be mature enough, hand over their properties to them. And do not consume it extravagantly or hastily before they grow up. The rich shall not charge any wage, but the poor may charge fairly. When you hand over their properties to them, have it witnessed for them. God suffices as a Judge." (4:6).

2/3: "It is for the poor; those who are restrained in the way of God, and unable to travel in the land. The unaware would think them rich, due to their dignity..." (2:273).

2/4: "O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God takes care of both..." (4:135).

2/5: This is about rich hypocrites who were too reluctant to participate in the military self-defense endeavors in the Yathreb city-state: "But blame is on those who ask you for exemption, although they are rich..." (9:93).

2/6: These are word of some disbelievers among the People of the Book: "God has heard the statement of those who said, “God is poor, and we are rich.”..." (3:181).


Thirdly: about the Rich Lord God's making some people wealthy/rich:

1- "And that it is He who enriches and impoverishes." (53:48).

2- "And found you in need, and enriched you." (93:8).

3- "...They were rebellious only after God and His messenger have enriched them out of His Bounty..." (9:74).

4- "...And if you fear poverty, God will enrich you from His Bounty, if He wills..." (9:28).

5- "And let those who do not find the means to marry abstain, until God enriches them from His Bounty..." (24:33).


Fourthly: the derivations of (Ghaney) in the sense of being useful/beneficial or to avail:

1- On the Last Day, the wealth and offspring of the disbelievers will be of no avail to them.

1/1: "As for those who disbelieve, neither their wealth nor their children will avail them anything against God. These will be fuel for the Fire." (3:10).

1/2: "As for those who disbelieve, neither their wealth nor their children will avail them anything against God. These are the inhabitants of the Fire, abiding therein forever." (3:116).

1/3: "All they had acquired was of no avail to them." (15:84).

1/4: "Of what avail to them will be their past enjoyments?" (26:207).

1/5: "Those before them said it, but what they had earned did not avail them." (39:50).

1/6: "Have they not journeyed through the land, and seen the outcome for those before them? They were more numerous than they, and had greater power and influence in the land. But what they had achieved availed them nothing." (40:82).

1/7: " Neither their wealth nor their children will avail them anything against God. These are the inhabitants of the Fire, dwelling therein forever." (58:17).

1/8: "My money cannot avail me." (69:28).

1/9: "And his money will not avail him when he plummets." (92:11).

1/10: "His wealth did not avail him, nor did what he acquired." (111:2).

1/11: "...Your hoardings did not avail you, nor did your arrogance." (7:48).

1/12: "...and your troops, however numerous, will not benefit you. God is with the believers." (8:19).

2- On the Last Day, the false gods of the disbelievers will be of no avail to them.

1/1: "The Day when no friend will avail a friend in any way, and they will not be helped." (44:41).

1/2: This is about Abraham addressing his disbelieving father: "...“O my father, why do you worship what can neither hear, nor see, nor benefit you in any way?" (19:42).

3- On the Last Day, the false gods and money of the disbelievers will be of no avail to them: "Beyond them lies Hell. What they have earned will not benefit them at all, nor will those they adopted as allies instead of God. They will have a terrible torment." (45:10).

4- Their polytheistic notions, which are against the Quranic Truth, will avail them nothing.

4/1: "Most of them follow nothing but assumptions; and assumptions avail nothing against the Truth..." (10:36).

4/2: "They have no knowledge of that. They only follow assumptions, and assumptions avail nothing against the Truth." (53:28).

5- The polytheistic disbelievers never benefited from warnings and signs.

5/1: "Say, “Look at what is in the heavens and the earth.” But signs and warnings are of no avail for people who do not believe." (10:101).

5/2: "...But neither their hearing, nor their sight, nor their minds availed them in any way. That is because they disregarded the Verses of God; and so they became surrounded by what they used to ridicule." (46:26).

6- Their schemes are of no avail to them: "The Day when their ploys will avail them nothing; and they will not be helped." (52:46).

7- Their myths about human intercessors will be of no use to them; intercession, by the Lord God's permission, is by angels who carry good deeds of pious souls.

7/1: "How many an angel is there in the heavens whose intercession avails nothing, except after God gives permission to whomever He wills, and approves?" (53:26).

7/2: "God illustrates an example of those who disbelieve: the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of Our righteous servants, but they betrayed them. They availed them nothing against God, and it was said, “Enter the Fire with those who are entering.”" (66:10).

8- Jacob availed his sons nothing in this situation as they were about to travel to Egypt's Potiphar without knowing he was Joseph: "And he said, “O my sons, do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates. I cannot avail you anything against God. The decision rests only with God. On Him I rely, and on Him let the reliant rely.”And when they entered as their father had instructed them, it did not avail them anything against God; it was just a need in the soul of Jacob, which he carried out..." (12:67-68).


Fifthly: to avail means to protect:

 This is about the Hell dwellers: "Offering no shade, and unavailing against the flames." (77:31); "They will have no food except thorns.That neither nourishes, nor keeps off hunger." (88:6-7).


Sixthly: to be enough or sufficient/indifferent:

1- This is about rebuking Muhammad: "But as for him who was indifferent. You gave him your attention." (80:5-6).

2- Polytheistic disbeliever are content with their notions of disbelief and they avoid the Truth: "But as for him who is stingy and self-sufficient. And denies goodness. We will ease his way towards difficulty." (92:8-10); "In fact, man oversteps all bounds. When he considers himself sufficient." (96:6-7).


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