Al Hayy, Al-Qayyoum: Two of Allaah’s names which comprise the perfection of Attributes and Actions – Shaykh Uthaymeen | Dr. Saleh as-Saleh


The following is excerpted from the Shaykh Uthaymeen’s explanation of Aayatul-Kursi, Translated by Dr. Saleh as-Saleh rahimahullaah

Regarding Allaah’s Saying:

{ الحَيُّ القَيُّومُ }
Al Hayy (The Ever living), Al-Qayyoum
[Qur’aan, Aayatul-Kursi , Surah Al-Baqarah 2:255]

These are two of Allaah’s names which comprise the perfection of Attributes and Actions.

The name: { الـحَيُّ } comprises the perfection of Attributes, and { القَيُّوم } the perfection of Actions. The meaning of { الحَيُّ} is the one who possesses the perfect living. This is inferred from the [34] { ال } in { الـحَيُّ} which is grammatically used to denote [amongst other things] [35]  the combination of all perfection [in properties and (or) applications in the term that it accompanies (al-istighraaq)].

This is also indicated in as far as existence and none-existence, and perfection and imperfection are concerned. In fact, if we consider man’s life, we find it imperfect because it originates in adam (none-existence) and ends in ‘adam. [36]

It is also imperfect as far as his attributes and actions are concerned. For his hearing, sight, sayings, and actions are all imperfect. As such, man’s life is imperfect from all angles: in existence and ‘adam , and with regard to the inseparable attributes of life itself. However, with respect to Allaah, Most Mighty and Majestic, His life is perfect,  neither preceded by ‘adam nor coming to naught. Allaah, Most High, says:

[ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْحَيِّ الَّذِي لَا يَمُوتُ ]

And put your trust and reliance upon the One who is Ever Living, who does not die. [Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Furqaan (25:58)].

He  also said:

كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ
وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ

Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish, and the Face of Your Rabb , full of Majesty and Honour, will abide forever. [Qur’aan, Soorat Ar-Rahmaan (55:26-27)].

That is why some of the salaf said: “The person should make a connection and not pause [when he recites the word perish in the above verse] because this signifies the right manner of  perfection.” The true aspect of Allaah’s perfection lies not only in the fact that creation will perish but also in the baqaa’ (endless existence) of Allaah, the Most Mighty and Most Majestic.

In addition, Allaah’s hayaat (Life) is one which is neither accompanied by annihilation nor by ‘adam :

[ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ ]
Everything will perish save His Face. 

[Qur’aan, Soorat al-Qasas (28:88)].

Indeed, to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, belongs the eternally- perfect Life.

Furthermore Allaah’s hayaat is characterized by the perfection of Attributes: hearing, sight, knowledge, ability, might and all qualities of perfection. That is why the particle { ال } which denotes al-istighraaq with regard to baqaa’ (endless existence) and al-kamaal (perfection) was introduced.

Regarding [Allaah’s] Saying: { القَيُّوم }: al-Qayyoum , its origin is the word al-qiyaam, and the measure of { القَيُّوم } is fayy’ool and it is a form of intensiveness. The name al-Qayyoum means the One Who is established on His Own, Self-subsisting, by Whom all things subsist. [37]

Allaah, the Most High, said:

[ أَفَمَنْ هُوَ قَائِمٌ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ ]

Is He (Allaah) Who takes charge (guards, maintains, provides, etc.) of every person and know all that he has earned (like any other deities who know nothing)? [Qur’aan, Soorat Ar-Ra’d (13:33)].

Allaah is established on His Own (qaa’im bi-nafsihi ) as He, the Most High, says:

[ وَّاسْتَغْنَى اللَّهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَنِيٌّ حَمِيدٌ ]

And Allaah is the Rich (Free of all wants), worthy of all praise. 
[Qur’aan, Soorat At-Taghaabun (64:6)].

So, Allaah is absolutely free of any need from all creation. He is Self-subsisting. He needs not food nor drink, for He is the One Who feeds but is not fed. He needs not a supporter, nor a helper, nor a deputy, nor an advisor. He is established in perfection by Himself.

If someone says, “How do we reconcile the above meaning of al-Qayyoum with the saying of Allaah, the Most High:

إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ ]
O you who believe! If you “help Allaah,” He will help you. 

[Qur’aan, Soorat Muhammad (47:7)],

and His saying:

[ وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ ]
Verily Allaah will help those who “help Him”? 

[Qur’aan, Soorat Al-Hajj (22:40)].

What is meant by His affirmation that He “is being helped”? The answer is that the intended meaning is help in the cause of Allaah’s deen , for He is the One Who is in full charge of all things. So, everything other than Allaah is dependent upon Him in existence, preparation of affairs, and sustenance.


[34] {ال}, “al”is a particle of determination and specification.
[35] See Lane, E.W., Arabic-English Lexicon (Cambridge, England: Islaamic Texts Society, 1984), vol. 1, p. 74.
[36] In the present world, otherwise man will end up in an eternal life in the Hereafter.
[37] He sustains, protects, prepares, and runs the affairs of all things as He wills in accordance with His Knowledge, Wisdom, and Justice.

Source : From the eBook: Tafseer Ayatul-Kursi – By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-’Uthaymeen (rahimahullah). With Related Points of Benefit From the Shaykh’s Commentary on Imaam ibn Taymeeyah’s Sharhul ’Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah, Prepared by Dr. Saleh As-Saleh (rahimahullah)

 الحَيّ Al-Hayy (the Everliving), the Everliving Who always remains without any beginning and any end with perfect and everlasting life Who never dies nor passes away.

 القَيُّوم  Al-Qayyoom (the Self-Subsisting One), upon Whom everything depends, the One Who sustains everything that exists, the One Who has no need whatever of anything but rather everything in existence has total need of Him.

[SourceThe Ninety-Nine Names of Allaah – Dawud Burbank [Audio|En] & Transcribed PDF]

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