Of Allah’s names, is Al-Haleem (الحليم). What does Al-Haleem mean?

It’s a very very deep name—like all of Allah’s names, it’s very deep. It comes from the root hilm, and hilm means a wisdom and a forebearance that allows a person to control their anger. Hilm is an intelligence that, in our terms, allows someone to control their anger, even if their anger is justified. It allows you to, when you are justifiably angry, to control it and not manifest it. It’s usually translated as “forbearing”, which murders the concept of hilm.

So Al-Haleem is the one who has characteristics:

  • of them, is knowledge, to know what happend
  • of them, is wisdom, to control that which makes you angry
  • of them, is that you must be justifiably angry; only a foolish person gets angry for no reason.
  • of them, is that the person who’s angry justifiably COULD TAKE REVENGE on you; but doesn’t. (For example, if a cop gives you a ticket, you can’t get angry at him, and you can’t take revenge.) Hilm is when you can SHOW your anger and get it out, but still hold it back.

The effects of this name—knowing Allah is Al-Haleem—we affirm that He overlooks the faults of His servants, even though He has the right to become angry at them. Still, He doesn’t call them to task, and delays accounting and punishing, wanting us to repent. We appreciate this, knowing Allah is FULLY AWARE of what we do, but doesn’t take us to task.

This name occurs 11 times in the Qur’an. 6 of those times, it’s in combination with Al-Ghafuwr. Once, it’s combined with Ash-Shakuwr. Once, it’s combined with Al-‘Aliym. Thrice, with Al-Ghaniy. When combined, the meaning is:

  • Combined with Al-Ghafuwr: not only does He overlook our actions and not get angry, He forgives and covers them up and protects us from the effects of them!
  • Combined with Ash-shakur: not only will your sins be overlooked, you will be rewarded with more then you deserve!
  • Combined with Al-‘Aliym: not only does He know what you’re doing, He’s still controlling His anger, he’s still controlling that anger, even though you deserve to be shown His anger.
  • Combined with Al-Ghaniy: He doesn’t need ANYTHING from you, yet He is controlling that anger and forgiving you.

So remember Al-Haleem and call unto Him in your du’as, and ask Him to forgive you–because only He can protect you from His anger (an anger that is justified)!