What’s in the Name: Quddoos



The word ‘quddoos’ comes from the base word ‘quds’ (qaf-dal-seen), the word quds holds the following meanings in the dictionary:

  1. to go far away in the countryside
  2. to be pure
  3. to hallow, sanctify, consecrate
  4. to declare God far removed from evil
  5. to bless, to be the blessed

This amazing name of Allah reveals upon us that Allah is so infinitely far removed from our physical universe that He is literally hallow, that although He is omnipresent, everywhere, all the time, that is by virtue of His knowledge and control, but as far as physical presence is concerned, He is far, far removed.

The physical realm is a realm of limitations and physical urges that have to be fed; but for one to be free of obligations, necessities, laws and rules, one has to be outside the system. Like the hermit who has gone to live in the jungle is free from the social constraints of sedentary life; Allah is pure of all constraints, as He is the creator and sustainer of all systems, and not a part of any of the systems He has created.

So He is pure, in terms of all virtues, all powers, all knowledge; He is absolutely full of all goodness and is the distributer of holiness in the universe.

The nonbelievers and the polytheists have always tended to relate God with the physical attributes that they themselves experience, but Allah repeatedly says to them in the Quran:

“… pure is He of all that they attribute onto Him…” (6:100)

In fact, He is so far removed and independent that He is hollow compared to our physically dimensioned world. But in His own realms, unimaginable realms, sophisticated and ultra-high-tech realms, He might be in any form of existence as He wishes goodly for Himself.

In the Quran the name Quddoos comes only twice, that too in combination with another name, ‘Al Malik’;

“… al-Malik al-Quddoos.” (5:23)

“…al-Malik al-Quddoos.” (62:1)

Meaning the sovereign king, the very sanctified, the hallowed; a combination that joins power with holiness; capability to do anything with hallow; and control with purity. And in another place in the Quran the word comes as a verb, when the angels say to Allah;

“…and we hallow ourselves for Thee.” (2:30)

Here, too, the angels mean to say that they move themselves from one realm of existence to a totally other one and keep repeating this practice, to hallow themselves and to experience, on a much lesser scale, what their Majestic Lord would be capable of to absolute degrees. Likewise, man can rightly ‘far remove’ himself from the meagerness of this earthly life, yet be in total control of his worldly affairs, too, only by observing the true balance laid down in the Quran and Sunnah.

This word not only holds beautiful meanings, but also has an amazing historical perspective; it seems like the words good and God have been derived from the word Quds:

The words ‘haMalech haKodesh’ and ‘Elohim Kedoshim’ are present in the Hebrew Bible; it comes in Jewish and Christian traditions that Jesus, son of Mary, the Christ, used to call Allah by the name ‘Malech Kodesh’ frequently in his last days. Also when he had to, he would quicken the dead, by Allah’s command, by calling them in the name of ‘alMalech alKodesh’. Apparently, when this revered name of the Almighty travelled with the Christian followers, from the Sematic language zone into the European language zone, it gradually changed from Kudus to Gudus; Goodes; Goods; Gods; God; and also Gott in German.

The same word, when travelled east became Khoda in Persia and Khuda in the subcontinent. The universal currency of this name proves not only that all the prophets were preaching the same Deen, but also that the name might have travelled from the time of Noah, Hud or Abraham into these diverse cultures. If not so early, it certainly did after Jesus and the spread of Christianity in Europe.

AlMalik AlQuddoos, in combination, draw a most pleasing scene of the kingdom of a King Who possesses everything, yet Who is the most noble, most hallow; not an arrogant king ready to use his power to inflict upon others, but a purely good King ready to disperse His goodness upon His subject. It gives a picture of serenity and solemnness, of the Kingdom of eternity and goodly providence, as hinted in the words of the Quran:

“And when you see it, you will see abundance and an amplified kingdom.” (76:20)

is a writer at PKKH.tv and can be contacted at aneela.pathfinder@gmail.com, she tweets @AneelaShahzad

Discussion1 Comment

  1. A very fine read indeed and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, in my humble opinion, ‘The King’ is not a suitable translation for ‘AlMalik’ and it should be translated as ‘The Sovereign’, The One that holds sovereignty over everything. Allah knows the best.

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