Al Hakam | The Judge

al-hakam

And to Allah belongs the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them [TMQ 7:180]

A very popular hadith reported by the scholars regarding the names of Allah (swt) that Abu Hurayrah radi Allahu anhu reported that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said:

Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. Whoever ‘ahsaaha’ will enter Jannah. [Bukhari and Muslim]

The most important thing for us to remember is that the hadeeth says “man ahsaahaa” , which is most commonly mistaken as “to memorise”. However ‘man ahsaahaa’ actually implies whoever enumerates them, believes in them, ponders their meanings, worships Allah by them and supplicates with them, and acts by them according to one’s belief in them. So it’s not just about memorizing the names of Allah ta’ala, we must strive to ‘ahsaaha‘. The names of Allah swt defines certain attributes of him from which he should be identified. In the modern era , when a certain section of the society is hell bent on becoming its own master , it has become increasingly important to ponder on the names of Allah swt and remind ourselves that it is only he who possesses these magnificent qualities and nothing in this world can match him in this regard.
With this intention , we’l be discussing the name Al Hakam. The word comes from the root حکم (h-k-m) which has the following classical Arabic connotations:

  • to be wise, knowing the true nature of things
  • to pass judgment, to decide, pass a verdict
  • to judge and pass sentence
  • to prevent or restrain from wrongdoing or corruption
  • to turn someone back from wrongdoing or ignorance

This root appears 210 times in the Quran in 13 derived forms. Examples of these forms are hakama (to judge), al-hukm (the command, wisdom, judgement), hikmah (wisdom), and Ahkamu (Most Just).The words hakam and hakīm both arise from the same h-k-m root, but hakam, is what we call in Arabic ,a verbal noun which emphasizes the delivery of justice, while hakīm is a noun which indicates the essential nature of the possessor of wisdom. Hence Al Hakam describes The One who is the supreme arbitrating magistrate. The One who is the only true judge. The One who delivers justice (adl) in every situation. The One who makes the final decision of the nature of all matters. The One who arbitrates all disputes. The One who needs no evidence, consultation, advice, but is aware of all matters (Al-Aleem). The One who has absolute authority to reward or punishAl-Hakam refers to the totality of Allah’s power to judge and arbitrate with perfect justice and immense mercy, which cannot be compared with the judging and arbitrating of any other created being.
Today’s concepts are based on the ideology of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” where right and wrong is decided by peoples’ desires. However, the very definition of adl is the Will of Allah. Any affair settled disregarding Allah’s Will is zulm (oppression, injustice). The rulings of Allah are binding to all and independent of time and space and all proofs will be given to the person under trial on Judgement Day.
Allah (swt) perfectly sums up the essence of Al Hakam , when he says :

[Say] “Then is it other than Allah I should seek as judge while it is He who has revealed to you the Book explained in detail?” [TMQ 6:114]

So the question remains that how should we ponder on Al Hakam. Or in other words how should we live our lives so as to be a witness of the fact that Allah is the true judge. Tawhid is the Unity of Al-Hakam and includes:

  • To be content and to seek judgment from Allah alone
    Take comfort in the fact that even if people are unjust, we will get justice from Al-Hakam. Al-Hakam says: Follow what has been revealed to you, and be steadfast until Allah’s judgment comes. He is the Best of Judges. [TMQ, 10:109]
  • Never object to or hold an opinion against the decree of Allah
    Whenever Al-Hakam decrees something, He does so with perfect wisdom. Never object to the decree of Al-Hakam by complaining about your fate or questioning Him.
  • To single out ‘Hukm’ for Allah, i.e., judge our society’s affairs by what Allah has revealed to His Messenger: Quran and Sunnah
    We should make the Quran and sunnah the criterion between right and wrong in everything we do, to guide us in our personal life, our community, our society, our interactions with others, our business, etc.
  • To establish ‘hukm’ of Allah, submitting individually and collectively
    Remind ourself that we will stand before Allah one day to be judged by Him. Make this our motivation to mind our actions in this world, instruct others to do the same and aspire to establish His Will on Earth.
  • Always be fair and equal in judging others
    Al-Hakam says: Behold, Allah bids you to deliver all that you have been entrusted with unto those who are entitled thereto and whenever you judge between people, to judge with justice. [TMQ 4:58]
  • Ask Al-Hakam for protection and guidance
    Ask Allah Al-Hakam to protect us from injustice at the hands of others and ask Him to make us just toward others.

May Allah swt instill in us the true guidance of Al hakam and make us follow the right path.

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