Allah is al-Mutakabbir (the Supreme)

The greatest strength that human beings can attain is to place their reliance in Allah and seek His support. The highest level of greatness they can attain is to show humility to their Lord and defer to His honor.

  • Categories: Names and Attributes -


We find the name al-Mutakabbir (the Supreme) in the verse: “He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, Al-Mutakabbir (the Supreme).” [Al-Hashr 59:23]

{هُوَ اللَّـهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ...}الحشر: 23
Transliteration: Huwa Allahu allathee la ilaha illa huwa almaliku alquddoosu alssalamu almuminu almuhayminu alAAazeezu aljabbaru almutakabbiru

This name is also found in the following sermon of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
The Prophet, standing at the pulpit, recited the verse: “They have not appraised Allah with true appraisal, while the earth entirely will be [within] His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right hand.” [Al-Zumur 39:67]

{وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّـهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ وَالْأَرْضُ جَمِيعًا قَبْضَتُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَالسَّمَاوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ...} الزمر: 67
Transliteration: Wama qadaroo Allaha haqqa qadrihi waalardu jameeAAan qabdatuhu yawma alqiyamati waalssamawatu matwiyyatun biyameenihi

Then he said: “Allah glorifies Himself, saying: ‘I am the Compeller. I am the Supreme. I am the King. I am the Most High.’” Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) then kept repeating this until the pulpit started to shudder with it. We thought that the pulpit was going to split apart. [Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah and authenticated by Al-Albani in Alselsela Asahiha (7/596)]

‹‹أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قرأ هذه الآيات يوما على المنبر { وما قدروا الله حق قدره والأرض جميعا قبضته يوم القيامة والسماوات مطويات بيمينه } الآية ، ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : هكذا بأصابعه يحركها يمجد الرب نفسه أنا الجبار أنا المتكبر، أنا الملك، أنا العزيز، أنا الكريم، فرجف رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم المنبر حتى قلنا ليخرن به›› رواه ابن خزيمة وصححه الألباني

The name al-Kabīr (the Great) appears six times in the Qur’an. For instance, we find: “The Most High, the Grand.” [Al-Hajj 22:62]

{... الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ} الحج: 62

Transliteration: alAAaliyyu alkabeeru

And: “Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.” [Al-Nisaa’ 4:34]

...إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرًا} النساء: 62

Transliteration: inna Allaha kana AAaliyyan kabeeran

Allah’s greatness encompassed all things. He is great in His essence, His attributes, His names, and His actions. This is why a Muslim proclaims in prayer Allahu akbar! – Allah is the Greatest.

Once a desert dweller came to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and said: “Teach me something that I can recite.”

The Prophet instructed him to say: “There is no God besides Allah alone, without partner. Allah is truly the Greatest and most bountiful is His praise.” [Sahih Muslim (2696)]

‹‹جاء أعرابي إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم . فقال : علمني كلاما أقوله . قال " قل : لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، الله أكبر كبيرا والحمد لله كثيرا...›› رواه مسلم

Allah is the possessor of greatness and grandeur: “And to Him belongs [all] grandeur within the heavens and the earth,” [Al-Jāthiyah 45:37]

{وَلَهُ الْكِبْرِيَاءُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ...} الجاثية: 37

Transliteration: Walahu alkibriyao fee alssamawati waalardi

Allah is Supreme; transcendent above every limitation and deficiency that is inherent in created beings. He is exalted in glory, to whom every overbearing tyrant on Earth must ultimately bow.

Allah alone is possessed of such greatness. His is the glory. Any created being who presumes to aspire to it is arrogant and blameworthy. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) tells us that Allah says: “Grandeur is my cloak and greatness is my robe. Whoever seeks to rival me in either I shall consign to the Fire.” [Sahīh Muslim (2620)]

‹‹العز إزاره . والكبرياء رداؤه . فمن ينازعني ، عذبته›› رواه مسلم

Allah teaches His devotees to be humble and prohibits them from domineering, tyrannical and aggressive behavior. Allah alone has the divine right to rule over His creation. His alone is all grandeur and greatness. He alone possesses omnipotent and irresistible power. Humanity’s place is one of humble submission.

The greatest strength that human beings can attain is to place their reliance in Allah and seek His support. The highest level of greatness they can attain is to show humility to their Lord and defer to His honor.

The transgression that people perpetrate against their fellow human beings, the powerful preying on the week and coercing them with their might occurs at the hands of tyrants whose hearts are bereft of faith in Allah. Likewise, those who are downtrodden on Earth, when they lose faith in Allah, willingly submit to the oppression and injustices of their overlords.

The artifacts left behind by the civilizations of the Pharaohs, Caesars, and others like them attest to this fact. This is why Moses (peace be upon him) said: “Indeed, I have sought refuge in my Lord and your Lord from every arrogant one who does not believe in the Day of Account.” [Ghafir 40:27]

{وَقَالَ مُوسَىٰ إِنِّي عُذْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُم مِّن كُلِّ مُتَكَبِّرٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُ بِيَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ} غافر: 27
Transliteration: Waqala moosa innee AAuthtu birabbee warabbikum min kulli mutakabbirin la yuminu biyawmi alhisabi

We should consider Prophet Muhammad’s words: “No one shall enter Paradise whose heart contains an atom’s weight of arrogance.” [Narrated by Muslim]

‹‹...ولا يدخل الجنة أحد في قلبه مثقال حبة خردل من كبرياء›› رواه مسلم

This is a forcefully clear call to be humble and to show respect to others, though they may possess less knowledge, wealth, fame, or prestige. Humility is the opposite of arrogance. Prophet Muhammad was quite willing to roll up his sleeves, put on his boots, and engage in manual work. He did his own chores carried his own provisions. He treated everyone with respect. This is a lesson in humility for all those who profess to follow his example.