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What is the Difference Between the Names of Allah al-‘Aziz and al-Qawi?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Can you explain the differences in Al-Aziz and Al-Qawi?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and spirits, insha’Allah.

In short, the Names of Allah Most High, al-Qawi and al-`Aziz, overlap in their meaning. They both relate to Allah’s Power, but the latter has a sense of Transcendence.

Allah Most High says, “It is your Lord who is the Strong, the Mighty One.” [Qur’an, 11.66]

Biqa`i explains that al-Qawi is the one who overcomes everything, and al-`Aziz is the one is able to prevent all other. [Biqa`i, Nazm al-Durar]

The Strong One (al-Qawi)

Ghazali writes in relation to the Name of Allah Most High, al-Qawi: Strength (quwwat) is indicative of perfect power. Inasmuch as Allah Most High has the utmost of power and is perfect therein, He is strong. [Ghazali, al-Maqsad al-Asna]

The Mighty One (al-`Aziz)

And with regards to the Name of Allah Most High, al-`Aziz, the scholars have noted a number of potential meanings. But they ultimately return to the two previously mentioned matters: Power and Transcendence. Qushayri brings up four possible meanings of al-`Aziz. He is the one who is Overwhelming, and cannot be overcome; the one who has no similar or equal; the one who is All-Powerful and Strong; or the one who gives Power or Might. [Qushayri, al-Tahbir fi al-Tadhkir]

I’d highly advise taking the following course: The 99 Beautiful Names of Allah

See also: An Introduction to the Significance of Allah’s Beautiful Names

and: llah’s Names Explained: Al-Aziz – Shaykh Faraz Rabbani with Dr. Umar Abd-Allah

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani