Exalted and Glorious
He is the First (nothing is before Him) and the Last (nothing is after Him), the Manifest (adh-dhahir), and the concealed (al-batin), and He is the All-Knower of every thing. (57:3)
One of His 99 names is Allah, the Hidden One, or the Concealed One, or He Who Knows Hidden Things.
Allah’s signs are everywhere evident in the whole universe. This pair of seemingly opposite qualities, the First and the Last, the Evident and the Immanent, are referred here to reveal the contrast without human frailty.
He who repeats this name 3 times every day will be able to see the truth in things.
Al-Batin is the Hidden One. He is the Knower in His hiddenness, in His orders, and in His secret, Who appears in the material world and shows you His influences. So let your remembrance of Him in the hidden be in the overwhelming of your self, and in being aware of your incapacity for which you must purify your inner being.
From: The Meanings of the Names of Our Lord by Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i Head of the Higher Sufi Council in Jerusalem and the Holy Land Teacher at the Dome of the Rock (al-Aqsa)
Allah is the Hidden One. His existence is both manifest and hidden. He is apparent because the signs of His existence are visible even to the blind, but His essence remains hidden from us. If there is an artwork, there is certainly a Creator. If you exist, He exists. But to truly know the Creator is not possible for the creature because the knowledge, the mind, the understanding of the created one are limited. Therefore their comprehension has only a limited range. Allah Most High is eternal, infinite, without a beginning or an end, inexhaustible in His knowledge, and power. To expect a temporal, limited existence to understand and encompass an eternal and infinite concept is absurd. Is it possible to fit an ocean into a bucket? Yet although a bucketful of water from the ocean is not the ocean, it is from the ocean. The manifestation of Allah’s attributes in His creation is like that bucket of water: not He, but from Him. His hidden essence is like the ocean whose depth and breadth are infinite, unfathomable.
To know the essence of anything, no matter how small- to know it in totality, outwardly and inwardly, to penetrate all its secrets is practically impossible in every case. Science in its advanced state today, and in what we imagine it will become tomorrow, always ends and always will end in impotence and awe. Of everything in creation, we are closest to ourselves. Has humanity been able to know and understand itself?
That is why the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) ordered us to contemplate Allah in His attributes and forbade us to speculate further than that. Only Allah knows His own essence: we have no power to conceive of it. Those who have pushed their minds to go further have either lost their wits or fallen into the chasm of disbelief, faithlessness, and attributing partners to Allah.
To open one’s heart to receive the manifestation of this divine Name, a believer’s inner state and outer appearance should be the same. One should avoid sinning whether the sin is visible to others or not, and one should at the same time avoid trying to discover the sins of other people.
The hypocrite is like a used chamber pot. The outside of it looks clean but the inside is foul. The Messenger of Allah says: “Allah does not judge you by your appearance: He looks into your hidden deeds and into your hearts.”
‘Abd al-Batin is the good servant upon whom Allah bestows the knowledge of the heart, whose inner self is purified, in whom spirituality surpasses material being. For such people the veils part, the secret becomes manifest, the future is known. They become instruments inviting people to cleanse their inner world with the divine light, encouraging them to reach spiritual perfection. Allah the Hidden One manifested His attribute al-Batin in the prophet Adam (pbuh) and taught him not only the manifestation of His attributes but their inner meanings. Until Adam, even the angels knew Allah only through the manifestation of His attributes. That is the difference between Adam and the angels in the degree of perfection of faith. It is why Allah ordered the angels to prostrate themselves in front of Adam, and why Adam became the teacher of the angels.
If believers made a habit of reciting this Name 33 times a day, their inner world would become enlightened, the eyes of their hearts would open, they would start seeing the real Reality and understanding the meaning of things, by Allah’s will. They would find peace, their words would become sweet and effective. They would be loved and appreciated by others.
From: The Name & the Named by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti