Friday Focus | Latif: Shades of a Divine Attribute

Latif is a divine attribute, translated it means—Fine, Subtle and Incomprehensible, yet the Quranic idiom is so silken, as to make it impossible to encompass the meaning in a single word or even in multiplicity of words.

Latif is a divine attribute,  translated it means—Fine, Subtle and Incomprehensible, yet the Quranic idiom is so silken, as to make it impossible to encompass the meaning in a single word or even in multiplicity of words. Holy Verses in various Suras of Al-Quran relate different versions of 'Latif' as noted below:   

''No vision can grasp Him, but his grasp is over all vision; He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things'' [Al An'am: 103] 

Latiful-Khabiir—is the Quranic idiom for One who is fine, subtle so fine and subtle as to be incomprehensible to the physical eye, so fine as to be imperceptible to the senses; so pure as to be above mental or spiritual vision of ordinary men, yet is acquainted with all things or as deft a commentator as Abdullah Yusuf Ali notes–the active meaning should also be understood as, ''One who understands the finest mysteries.'' 

''One who understands the finest mysteries'' is noted in another Holy Verse:

''Seest not thou that Allah sends down rains from the sky, and forthwith the earth becomes clothed with green? For Allah is He Who understand the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted'' [Al Hajj: 63]    

In the Holy Verse noted above,  the attribute 'Latif' gets noted as Latifum Khabiir: Fine, Subtle, Who understand the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted, with sight so perfect as to see and understand the finest subtleties and mysteries, so kind and gracious as to bestow gifts of most refined kind, extraordinarily gracious and understanding. 

In yet another Holy Verse, another facet of 'Latif' is noted as: 

''Gracious is Allah to his Allah to His servants. He gives Sustenance to whom He pleases: and He has Power and can carry out His will'' [Al Shura: 19]  

Gracious is Allah to his Allah to His servant gets noted as–Latiifum-bi-ibaadihii, so kind, gracious, and understanding, as to bestow gifts, finely suited to the needs of the recipients 

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