What are the meanings of Allaah’s names al-Muqaddim and Mu’akhkhir?
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah is the One Who gives precedence to whatever has to be given precedence with regard to rulings and the order of things, as and how He likes. Whatever He gives precedence to should be given precedence, and whatever He gives less priority to should be given less priority. He is the One Who puts back what has to be put back, and there is wisdom and goodness in whatever He does, even though the purpose of that wisdom and goodness may be hidden from us.
Allaah is the One Who sends down events, expediting or delaying them as He wills, in accordance with His decree which came before He created all things. He gives preference to those among His close friends (awliya’) whom He loves over others among His slaves; He raises some of His created beings above others in status; He brings forward those whom He wills to higher ranks and He keeps down those whom He wills; He postpones things from their expected times because in His wisdom He knows the consequences of the delay. None can bring forward what He puts back and none can put back what He brings forward.
Taqdeem (expediting, bringing forward) includes:
Al-taqdeem al-kawni (universal bringing forward): such as creating some created beings over others, making cause precede effect, conditions precede results, etc.
Al-taqdeem al-shar’i (preference in status): such as giving a higher status to some Prophets over others, and giving all Prophets a higher status than other people, and giving a higher status to some people than others, all in accordance with His Wisdom.
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
He is the Expediter and the Delayer, and these are two qualities of His deeds
As well as being attributes of His Essence.