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.

AllahThe Greatest Name
Ar-Rahman1The All-Merciful
Ar-Rahim2The All-Beneficient
Al-Malik3The Absolute Ruler
Al-Quddus4The Pure One
As-Salam5The Source of Peace
Al-Mu’min6The Inspirer of Faith
Al-Muhaymin7The Guardian
Al-‘Aziz8The Victorious
Al-Jabbar9The Compeller
Al-Mutakabbir10The Greatest
Al-Khaliq11The Creator
Al-Bari’12The Maker of Order
Al-Musawwir13The Shaper of Beauty
Al-Ghaffar14The Forgiving
Al-Qahhar15The Subduer
Al-Wahhab16The Giver of All
Ar-Razzaq17The Sustainer
Al-Fattah18The Opener
Al-‘Alim19The Knower of All
Al-Qabid20The Constrictor
Al-Basit21The Reliever
Al-Khafid22The Abaser
Ar-Rafi’23The Exalter
Al-Mu’izz24The Bestower of Honors
Al-Mudhill25The Humiliator
As-Sami26The Hearer of All
Al-Basir27The Seer of All
Al-Hakam28The Judge
Al-‘Adl29The Just
Al-Latif30The Subtle One
Al-Khabir31The All-Aware
Al-Halim32The Forebearing
Al-‘Azim33The Magnificent
Al-Ghafur34The Forgiver and Hider of Faults
Ash-Shakur35The Rewarder of Thankfulness
Al-‘Ali36The Highest
Al-Kabir37The Greatest
Al-Hafiz38The Preserver
Al-Muqit39The Nourisher
Al-Hasib40The Accounter
Al-Jalil41The Mighty
Al-Karim42The Generous
Ar-Raqib43The Watchful One
Al-Mujib44The Responder to Prayer
Al-Wasi’45The All-Comprehending
Al-Hakim46The Perfectly Wise
Al-Wadud47The Loving One
Al-Majíd48The Majestic One
Al-Ba’ith49The Resurrector
Ash-Shahid50The Witness
Al-Haqq51The Truth
Al-Wakil52The Trustee
Al-Qawi53The Possessor of All Strength
Al-Matin54The Forceful One
Al-Wáli55The Governor
Al-Hamid56The Praised One
Al-Muhsi57The Appraiser
Al-Mubdi58The Originator
Al-Mu’id59The Restorer
Al-Muhyi60The Giver of Life
Al-Mumit61The Taker of Life
Al-Hayy62The Ever Living One
Al-Qayyum63The Self-Existing One
Al-Wajid64The Finder
Al-Májid65The Glorious
Al-Wahid66The Only One
Al-Ahad67The One
As-Samad68The Satisfier of All Needs
Al-Qadir69The All Powerful
Al-Muqtadir70The Creator of All Power
Al-Muqaddim71The Expediter
Al-Mu’akhkhir72The Delayer
Al-Awwal73The First
Al-Akhir74The Last
Az-Zahir75The Manifest One
Al-Batin76The Hidden One
Al-Walí77The Protecting Friend
Al-Muta’ali78The Supreme One
Al-Barr79The Doer of Good
At-Tawwab80The Guide to Repentance
Al-Muntaqim81The Avenger
Al-Afu82The Forgiver
Ar-Ra’uf83The Clement
Malik al-Mulk84The Owner of All
85The Lord of Majesty and Bounty
Al-Muqsit86The Equitable One
Al-Jami87The Gatherer
Al-Ghani88The Rich One
Al-Mughni89The Enricher
Al-Mani’90The Preventer of Harm
Ad-Darr91The Creator of The Harmful
An-Nafi92The Creator of Good
An-Nur93The Light
Al-Hadi94The Guide
Al-Badi95The Originator
Al-Baqi96The Everlasting One
Al-Warith97The Inheritor of All
Ar-Rashid98The Righteous Teacher
As-Sabur99The Patient One

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