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.
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.
Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.”
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|
|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-Bari’||12||The Maker of Order|
|Al-Musawwir||13||The Shaper of Beauty|
|Al-Wahhab||16||The Giver of All|
|Al-‘Alim||19||The Knower of All|
|Al-Mu’izz||24||The Bestower of Honors|
|As-Sami||26||The Hearer of All|
|Al-Basir||27||The Seer of All|
|Al-Latif||30||The Subtle One|
|Al-Ghafur||34||The Forgiver and Hider of Faults|
|Ash-Shakur||35||The Rewarder of Thankfulness|
|Ar-Raqib||43||The Watchful One|
|Al-Mujib||44||The Responder to Prayer|
|Al-Hakim||46||The Perfectly Wise|
|Al-Wadud||47||The Loving One|
|Al-Majíd||48||The Majestic One|
|Al-Qawi||53||The Possessor of All Strength|
|Al-Matin||54||The Forceful One|
|Al-Hamid||56||The Praised One|
|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-Wahid||66||The Only One|
|As-Samad||68||The Satisfier of All Needs|
|Al-Qadir||69||The All Powerful|
|Al-Muqtadir||70||The Creator of All Power|
|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|
|Malik al-Mulk||84||The Owner of All|
|85||The Lord of Majesty and Bounty|
|Al-Muqsit||86||The Equitable One|
|Al-Ghani||88||The Rich One|
|Al-Mani’||90||The Preventer of Harm|
|Ad-Darr||91||The Creator of The Harmful|
|An-Nafi||92||The Creator of Good|
|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|