Mullaa Ali Qaari Rahimahullaah has mentioned, “Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo Restricts and Expands in everything i.e. character, sustenance, outward forms and souls. When Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo wants to Restrict something, then no power can make it expand. When He wants to Expand, then nothing can prevent Him.” (Mirqaat)
والله يقبض و يبسط اى فى كل شيء من الاخلاق والأرزاق والاشباح والارواح اذا قبض فلا طاقة و اذا يبسط فلا فاقة
Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo states :
وَاللّهُ يَقْبِضُ وَ يَبْسُطُ
“And Allaah Restricts and Expands.
(Baqarah verse 245)
It is necessary to mention these two names together, to show that Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo has Full Power over opposing forces.
These two names encompass all existing things. A few examples :
1. Sustenance - Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo States, “Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo Restricts and Expands Sustenance for Whomsoever He Wishes.”
This is based on His Divine Wisdom and Planning. At times, Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo Loves a servant and knows that if he is granted more sustenance, it will lead to his destruction.
Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo states, “If Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo Expands sustenance for His Servants, they would have caused oppression in the land.” (Shoora verse 27)
All wealth and poverty lies in the Control of Al-Qaabidh and Al-Baasit and to Him, do we all have to return one day. Making a pauper a king, snatching away a kingdom from a king, making a strong person weak and a weak person strong, is all in the Control of Al-Qaabidh and Al-Baasit.
Imam Ahmad ibn Ishaaq ibn Yahyaa Raawandi Rahimahullaah has so aptly stated, “How many intelligent people are there on whom the means of sustenance are straitened. And how many ignorant people are there (unaware of any method of earning livelihood), whom you will see with an abundance of sustenance. This has left the minds of people dumbstruck, and it has made a knowledgeable skilled person a disbeliever.” (Mukhtasarul-Ma’aani)
That the Treasures of Sustenance are in the Control of that Being who is Al-Qaabidh and Al-Baasit, strengthens the heart of a weak believer.
The Qur’an explains this point to us in the incident of Hadhrat Taalut Rahimahullaah. When the Bani Israeel requested Hadhrat Shamuel Alayhis Salaam to appoint a king over them, with whom they could join and fight the enemy, then Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo made Hadhrat Taalut Rahimahullaah their leader.
He was a poor and hard-working man. In the eyes of the Bani Israeel, he was not fit for leadership. However, Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo Said :
وَاللهُ يُؤْتِى مُلْكَه مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَاللهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيْمٌ
“And Allaah Grants His Kingdom to Whomsoever He Wishes. And Allaah is Bountiful All-Knowing.”
Being affluent or not, is neither based on one’s level of intelligence nor on one’s skills and capabilities. This is solely the Grace of Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo, on whomsoever He Wishes, and in whichever condition He Keeps His Slaves.
2. Clouds – Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo Gathers water together to form clouds and then spreads them out.
اللَّهُ الَّذِي يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَابًا فَيَبْسُطُهُ فِي السَّمَاء كَيْفَ يَشَاء وَيَجْعَلُهُ كِسَفًا فَتَرَى الْوَدْقَ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ فَإِذَا أَصَابَ بِهِ مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ إِذَا هُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ
“Allah is He Who Sends the winds, so they raise clouds, and spread them along the sky as He Wills, and then break them into fragments, until you see rain drops come forth from their midst! Then when He has Made them fall on whom of His Slaves as He Wills, lo! they rejoice!
3. Light & Shade –Allaah Jalla Jalaalahoo Extends the shadow in the morning and then gathers it untll midday. Then He spreads it again till sunset.
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَيْفَ مَدَّ الظِّلَّ وَلَوْ شَاء لَجَعَلَهُ سَاكِنًا ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا الشَّمْسَ عَلَيْهِ دَلِيلًاثُمَّ قَبَضْنَاهُ إِلَيْنَا قَبْضًا يَسِيرًا
“Have you not seen how your Sustainer Spread the shadow. If He Willed, He Could have made it still. Then We have Made the sun its guide [i.e. after the sunrise, it (the shadow) squeezes and vanishes at noon and then appears again in the afternoon with the decline of the sun, and had there been no sunlight, there would have been no shadow]. Then We Withdraw it to Us a gradual concealed withdrawal.
4. Souls - Al-Qaabidh and Al-Baasit is that Being Who Seizes the soul from the person at the time of death and Who extend the soul in the body at the time of Giving life.
اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا فَيُمْسِكُ الَّتِي قَضَى عَلَيْهَا الْمَوْتَ وَيُرْسِلُ الْأُخْرَى إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“Allaah Takes away the lives when the time for their death arrives, and those that do not die, He Takes them away in their sleep. Then He Withholds those upon whom He Decreed death, and Conveys others until an appointed time. In this are signs for those who ponder.”
5. Heart - At times the heart is constricted for misguidance, or opened up for guidance; and at times this expansion and contraction is with regards to hope and fear.