Ramadan: know your Lord (2)

He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him.

He is Allah , the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

Al Hashr, 22-24

And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.

Surah Al Raf, 180

Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.”

Surah Al Isra, 110


Narrated Abu Huraira in Sahih Bukhari:

Allah has ninety-nine Names, i.e., one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise; and Allah is witr (one) and loves ‘the witr’ (i.e., odd numbers).

The Threshold Society, a Sufi group, has a great website with exegesis of all 99 names... I’m not going to list them all off here, though I probably should. (They’re down at the bottom.) These names describe the beautiful attributes of our Lord, and give us mere mortals goals to reach for. For example: humans are merciful, but Allah is Ar Rahman, the Most Merciful; we can forgive, but Allah is Al Afu, The Forgiver; we witness His power and we witness things that others do, but Allah is Ash-Shahid, The Witness.

I’m very far from knowing all these names, or pondering on them much, and may Allah guide me to better. There was a time when I used to read through them regularly, but only as a sort of rote, droning, recitation. I’m not sure why I stopped: probably became preoccupied with some worldly thing. Astaghfirullah.

If we want to know our Lord in this life, these names are the best place to start and offer us the most direct line to Him, beyond prayer, of course. InshaAllah I’m going to spend a bit more time focusing on these Names, on crying out to Allah with these Names as situations warrant, and work on memorizing the Names and their Meanings.

May Allah guide us to remember Him by the best names we know, and His Names are the Best.

One more thing: we say that Allah azza wa jall has 99 names, but in reality He has far more names than that.

Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth and the sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people?

Al Haj, 18 (there is a Sajda on this verse)

And Abu Huraira narrated that

The Prophet said: “when you hear the crowing of the roosters, then ask Allah of His bounty, for verily they have seen an angel. When you hear the braying of a donkey, then seek refuge in Allah from Shaitan, [the rejected] for, verily, it has seen a Shaitan.”

So everything calls out to Allah with some name. How do the trees and pigeons outside my window call to God? How does the window itself call to God? What Names to they use? Allahu Alim, and perhaps they all have 99 names of their own.

And note in the Quranic verses above, there is no mention of 99 names… Allah only speaks of names in general. So while we have 99 names for Allah, in reality He has many many more. Allahu Akbar.

May Allah guide us to ponder the Names that we know, to call out to Him with the Best Names, and to act with the best character, expending and exuding what we can of mercy, beneficence, peace, order, beauty, forgiveness, generosity, knowledge, relief, and all of the other beautiful characteristics of our Lord to the best of our ability, and to know that He is the Most Merciful, Beneficent, the Owner of Peace and Beauty, the Forgiver, the Giver, the Knower, the Reliever, and so much more that we will never know in this life, and may He admit us to His Presence on the Last Day and grant us the highest levels of Heaven, Ameen.

I copied/pasted this list from The Threshold Society website mentioned above. The links below will take you directly to their site. InshaAllah this is of benefit.

Allah The Greatest Name
Ar-Rahman 1 The All-Merciful
Ar-Rahim 2 The All-Beneficient
Al-Malik 3 The Absolute Ruler
Al-Quddus 4 The Pure One
As-Salam 5 The Source of Peace
Al-Mu’min 6 The Inspirer of Faith
Al-Muhaymin 7 The Guardian
Al-‘Aziz 8 The Victorious
Al-Jabbar 9 The Compeller
Al-Mutakabbir 10 The Greatest
Al-Khaliq 11 The Creator
Al-Bari’ 12 The Maker of Order
Al-Musawwir 13 The Shaper of Beauty
Al-Ghaffar 14 The Forgiving
Al-Qahhar 15 The Subduer
Al-Wahhab 16 The Giver of All
Ar-Razzaq 17 The Sustainer
Al-Fattah 18 The Opener
Al-‘Alim 19 The Knower of All
Al-Qabid 20 The Constrictor
Al-Basit 21 The Reliever
Al-Khafid 22 The Abaser
Ar-Rafi’ 23 The Exalter
Al-Mu’izz 24 The Bestower of Honors
Al-Mudhill 25 The Humiliator
As-Sami 26 The Hearer of All
Al-Basir 27 The Seer of All
Al-Hakam 28 The Judge
Al-‘Adl 29 The Just
Al-Latif 30 The Subtle One
Al-Khabir 31 The All-Aware
Al-Halim 32 The Forebearing
Al-‘Azim 33 The Magnificent
Al-Ghafur 34 The Forgiver and Hider of Faults
Ash-Shakur 35 The Rewarder of Thankfulness
Al-‘Ali 36 The Highest
Al-Kabir 37 The Greatest
Al-Hafiz 38 The Preserver
Al-Muqit 39 The Nourisher
Al-Hasib 40 The Accounter
Al-Jalil 41 The Mighty
Al-Karim 42 The Generous
Ar-Raqib 43 The Watchful One
Al-Mujib 44 The Responder to Prayer
Al-Wasi’ 45 The All-Comprehending
Al-Hakim 46 The Perfectly Wise
Al-Wadud 47 The Loving One
Al-Majíd 48 The Majestic One
Al-Ba’ith 49 The Resurrector
Ash-Shahid 50 The Witness
Al-Haqq 51 The Truth
Al-Wakil 52 The Trustee
Al-Qawi 53 The Possessor of All Strength
Al-Matin 54 The Forceful One
Al-Wáli 55 The Governor
Al-Hamid 56 The Praised One
Al-Muhsi 57 The Appraiser
Al-Mubdi 58 The Originator
Al-Mu’id 59 The Restorer
Al-Muhyi 60 The Giver of Life
Al-Mumit 61 The Taker of Life
Al-Hayy 62 The Ever Living One
Al-Qayyum 63 The Self-Existing One
Al-Wajid 64 The Finder
Al-Májid 65 The Glorious
Al-Wahid 66 The Only One
Al-Ahad 67 The One
As-Samad 68 The Satisfier of All Needs
Al-Qadir 69 The All Powerful
Al-Muqtadir 70 The Creator of All Power
Al-Muqaddim 71 The Expediter
Al-Mu’akhkhir 72 The Delayer
Al-Awwal 73 The First
Al-Akhir 74 The Last
Az-Zahir 75 The Manifest One
Al-Batin 76 The Hidden One
Al-Walí 77 The Protecting Friend
Al-Muta’ali 78 The Supreme One
Al-Barr 79 The Doer of Good
At-Tawwab 80 The Guide to Repentance
Al-Muntaqim 81 The Avenger
Al-Afu 82 The Forgiver
Ar-Ra’uf 83 The Clement
Malik al-Mulk 84 The Owner of All
85 The Lord of Majesty and Bounty
Al-Muqsit 86 The Equitable One
Al-Jami 87 The Gatherer
Al-Ghani 88 The Rich One
Al-Mughni 89 The Enricher
Al-Mani’ 90 The Preventer of Harm
Ad-Darr 91 The Creator of The Harmful
An-Nafi 92 The Creator of Good
An-Nur 93 The Light
Al-Hadi 94 The Guide
Al-Badi 95 The Originator
Al-Baqi 96 The Everlasting One
Al-Warith 97 The Inheritor of All
Ar-Rashid 98 The Righteous Teacher
As-Sabur 99 The Patient One

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