Al Mu’akhkhir is the Delayer, the One who postpones and puts off advancement. The One who holds something back in order to put it in its correct place. He delays the disobedient ones and grants His guidance to those who obey Him. He postpones the penalty of the oppressor because He is Compassionate and Merciful.
This attribute of Allah is a reminder to us to have faith in Allah that He is the best planner. If things happen to us that we do not understand, or if there is something we want but cannot seem to achieve, have faith that it will come in due time and that any delay has khair (good) in it. Often when we are struck with calamity, we want the ease to come straight away, not realising the reward there is in having sabr and understanding that only Allah knows when the time is right. This can be applied to getting a job, getting married, having a baby, loneliness in friendships or troubles at home. Perhaps getting that job when YOU wanted it would clash with something else and put you in a vulnerable situation. You wouldn’t realise this until later and think ‘ah, THAT’S why I was given the job now and not then’. You end up putting these things together afterwards. However, the reward is in having faith in Allah SWT’s qadr DURING your hardship. That is when you are tested at your lowest and show your true imaan. So know that your time for goodness will come and fully trust His timing.
This attribute of Allah also means that oppressors of this world will not necessarily be punished for their sins in this dunya. That perhaps the Delayer knows that their true punishment will be the hellfire and therefore, we must have trust in that. We must believe that all justice will be restored in due time and that terrible things happening in this life does not mean that Allah SWT has turned a blind eye to them. Surely He is Al Aleem – the All Knowing and so knows when to hold something back so that it can be given at the correct time, including both punishment and blessings.
It also refers to guiding those towards the right path. Often, those who are born into Islam, will reach a point in which they ‘re-discover’ Islam on their own terms and at their own pace. This enlightenment is also an act of the Delayer who chose the perfect point in your life for you to truly turn to Him. And the same goes for reverts. Why weren’t they born Muslim? Al Mu’akhkhir post poned the moment they said la ilaha illallah as He knows what the best time would be for them.
For us to learn from this attribute, we must practice when to hold back and say no to certain things in order to prevent greed, so we can obtain those things at a better time instead. It could be holding off buying a car so you can help your parents with the rent, or perhaps not getting married just yet as you have other duties to fulfil first, or dropping some extra curricular work to focus on your studies etc. Surely when we delay something for the right reasons, for the sake of Allah, there will be barakah in it and we will obtain it in better conditions if Allah wills that for us.