When we supplicate Allah, the Most High, we use His beautiful names that suit our needs. There is a beautiful name of Allah, which, according to many narrations, is thought to be one of the greatest names by which Allah answers dua.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would supplicate with this name whenever a matter would distress him:
O Living, O Self-Sustaining Sustainer! In Your Mercy do I seek relief.
(Ya Ḥayyu ya Qayyum, bi-raḥmatika astaghith). (At-Tirmidhi)
We find this name, Al-Hayy Al Qayyum, combined together in many places in the Quran. This beautiful combination comes as a perfect description of God’s Names and actions.
When we closely ponder this name, and when we say it deep down, we feel contentment and tranquility in our inner heart even in the midst of our pains and woes. We feel reassured that our matters are in the hand of the Ever Living, the Sustainer, the One who is taking hold of our affairs, if we truly trust Him.
Let us look at some insights Dr. Yasir Qadhi presents in this video.
Allah is Al-Hay Al Qayyum.
Al Hay is the one who has perfect life. He is Al Hay because He has perfect life and He gives life.
None of us has perfect life and none of us can create and give life. All of our lives are deficient. Allah gives us our life, and then once we are alive, we need food, water, rest, sleep…
Every life is followed by death except for Al Hay. Al Hay doesn’t need anything. Al Hay is the one who is self-subsisting. He doesn’t get tired:
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. (2:255)
The perfection of Allah’s living is that He doesn’t even get tired, He doesn’t need to eat and drink. Allah says in the Quran that He doesn’t need any food from us:
Say, “Is it other than Allah I should take as a protector, Creator of the heavens and the earth, while it is He who feeds and is not fed?” (6:14)
He is the one who gives others all that they need. Al Hay goes back to Allah and Al qayyum goes back to the creation.
Al Hay can take care of Himself. Al Qayyum takes care of everything else.
Allah is Al Hay, He doesn’t need us and He is Al Qayyum, we need Him:
Then is He who is a maintainer of every soul, [knowing] what it has earned, [like any other]? (13:33)