Names of God in Islam

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Inna lillāhإِنا لله
Bismi-llāhبسم الله
In šāʾ Allāhإن شاء الله
Mā šāʾ Allāhما شاء الله
Astaghfirullāhأستغفر الله
Jazakallāhجزاك الله
’A‘ūdhu billāhأعوذ بالله
Fī sabīl Allāhفي سبيل الله
Yarḥamuk-Allāhيرحمك الله
 
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The 99 names of God in Islam (or the 99 names of Allah; Arabic: أسماء الله الحسنىʾasmāʾ allāh al-ḥusnā) are the names by which Muslims regard God (Allah). Among other places, they are described in the Qur'an and Sunnah.[1] There is, according to hadith, a special group of 99 names, but no enumeration of them. Thus the exact list is not agreed upon, and the names of God (as adjectives, word constructs, or otherwise) exceed a total of 99 in the Qur'an and Sunnah. According to a hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, some of the names of God have also been hidden from mankind.[2]

Origin[edit]

The 99 Names of God on the ceiling of the Grand Mosque in Kuwait.

According to Islamic tradition,[3] Muhammad is said to have invoked Allah by a number of names. A Sunni hadith, Sahih Muslim, states:

Abu Hurairah reported Allah's Messenger [Muhammad] (may peace be upon him) as saying: "There are ninety-nine names of Allah; he who commits them to memory would get into Paradise. Verily, Allah is Odd (He is one and it is an odd number) and He loves odd numbers. And in the narration of Ibn 'Umar [the words are]: "He who enumerated them"."

Over time, it became custom to recite a list of 99 names, compiled by al-Walid ibn Muslim,[citation needed] as an addendum to the hadith. In 2005, Mahmoud Abdel-Razek compiled an alternative list, endorsing only 69 from the al-Walid list.[5]

The Qur'an refers to the names of God as God's "most beautiful Names" (al-ʾasmāʾ al-ḥusnā).[6] According to Gerhard Böwering:

They are traditionally enumerated as 99 in number to which is added as the highest Name (al-ism al-ʾaʿẓam), the Supreme Name of God: Allāh. The locus classicus for listing the Divine Names in the literature of Qurʾānic commentary is 17:110, “Call upon God, or call upon The Merciful; whichsoever you call upon, to Him belong the most beautiful Names,” and also 59:22-24, which includes a cluster of more than a dozen Divine epithets.

List of names / attributes of God as found in the Qur'an[edit]

ArabicTransliterationTranslationaQur'anic usage
About this sound 1الرحمنAr-RaḥmānThe Exceedingly Compassionate, The Exceedingly Beneficent, The Exceedingly Gracious (to all of humanity and all creatures)Beginning of every Surah (chapter) except one, and numerous other places. The first verse ('ayat) of Surah ar-Rahman (Surah 55) consists only of this Name.
About this sound 2الرحيمAr-RaḥīmThe Exceedingly MercifulBeginning of every Surah (chapter) except one, and numerous other places (there are a total of 114 Surahs in the Quran.)
About this sound 3الملكAl-MalikThe King, The Sovereign59:23, 20:114, 23:116
About this sound 4القدوسAl-QuddūsThe Holy, The Divine, The Pure, The Purifier59:23, 62:1
About this sound 5السلامAs-SalāmThe Peace, The Source of Peace and Safety59:23
About this sound 6المؤمنAl-MuʾminThe granter of security59:23
About this sound 7المهيمنAl-MuhayminThe Controller59:23
About this sound 8العزيزAl-ʿAzīzThe Almighty, The Invulnerable, The Honorable3:6, 4:158, 9:40, 48:7, 59:23
About this sound 9الجبارAl-JabbārThe Irresistible, The Compeller59:23
About this sound 10المتكبرAl-MutakabbirThe Majestic, The Supreme59:23
About this sound 11الخالقAl-KhāliqThe Creator6:102, 13:16, [7]36:81, 39:62, 40:62, 59:24
About this sound 12البارئAl-BāriʾThe Evolver, The maker59:24
About this sound 13المصورAl-MuṣawwirThe Fashioner, The Shaper, The Designer59:24
About this sound 14الغفارAl-GhaffārThe Repeatedly Forgiving20:82, 38:66, 39:5, 40:42, 71:10
About this sound 15القهارAl-QahhārThe Subduer12:39, 13:16, 14:48, 38:65, 39:4, 40:16
About this sound 16الوهابAl-WahhābThe Bestower3:8, 38:9, 38:35
About this sound 17الرزاقAr-RazzāqThe Provider51:58
About this sound 18الفتاحAl-FattāḥThe Opener, The Victory Giver34:26
About this sound 19العليمAl-ʿAlīmThe All-Knowing, Omniscient2:158, 3:92, 4:35, 24:41, 33:40
About this sound 20القابضAl-QābiḍThe Restrainer, The Straightener2:245
About this sound 21الباسطAl-BāsiṭThe Extender / Expander2:245
About this sound 22الخَافِضAl-KhāfiḍThe Abaser, The Humiliator, The Downgrader56:3
About this sound 23الرافعAr-RāfiʿThe Exalter, The Upgrader58:11, 6:83
About this sound 24المعزAl-MuʿizzThe Giver of Honor3:26
About this sound 25المذلAl-MuzillThe Giver of Dishonor3:26
About this sound 26السميعAs-SamīʿThe All-Hearing2:127, 2:256, 8:17, 49:1
About this sound 27البصيرAl-BaṣīrThe All-Seeing4:58, 17:1, 42:11, 42:27
About this sound 28الحكمAl-ḤakamThe Judge, The Arbitrator22:69
About this sound 29العدلAl-ʿAdlThe Utterly Just6:115
About this sound 30اللطيفAl-LaṭīfThe Gentle, The Subtly Kind6:103, 22:63, 31:16, 33:34
About this sound 31الخبيرAl-KhabīrThe All-Aware6:18, 17:30, 49:13, 59:18
About this sound 32الحليمAl-ḤalīmThe Forbearing, The Indulgent2:235, 17:44, 22:59, 35:41
About this sound 33العظيمAl-ʿAẓīmThe Magnificent2:255, 42:4, 56:96
About this sound 34الغفورAl-GhafūrThe Much-Forgiving2:173, 8:69, 16:110, 41:32
About this sound 35الشكورAsh-ShakūrThe Grateful35:30, 35:34, 42:23, 64:17
About this sound 36العليAl-ʿAlīyThe Sublime4:34, 31:30, 42:4, 42:51
37الكبيرAl-KabīrThe Great13:9, 22:62, 31:30
38الحفيظAl-ḤafīẓThe Preserver11:57, 34:21, 42:6
39المقيتAl-MuqītThe Nourisher4:85
40الحسيبAl-ḤasībThe Bringer of Judgment4:6, 4:86, 33:39
41الجليلAl-JalīlThe Majestic55:27, 39:14, 7:143
42الكريمAl-KarīmThe Bountiful, The Generous27:40, 82:6
43الرقيبAr-RaqībThe Watchful4:1, 5:117
44المجيبAl-MujībThe Responsive, The Answerer11:61
45الواسعAl-WāsiʿThe Vast, The All-Embracing, The Omnipresent, The Boundless2:268, 3:73, 5:54
46الحكيمAl-ḤakīmThe All-Wise31:27, 46:2, 57:1, 66:2
47الودودAl-WadūdThe Loving11:90, 85:14
48المجيدAl-MajīdThe All-Glorious, The Majestic11:73
49الباعثAl-BāʿithThe Resurrector22:7
50الشهيدAsh-ShahīdThe Witness4:166, 22:17, 41:53, 48:28
51الحقAl-ḤaqqThe Truth, The Reality6:62, 22:6, 23:116, 24:25
52الوكيلAl-WakīlThe Trustee, The Dependable, The Advocate3:173, 4:171, 28:28, 73:9
53القويAl-QawwīThe Strong22:40, 22:74, 42:19, 57:25
54المتينAl-MatīnThe Firm, The Steadfast51:58
55الوليAl-WalīThe Friend, Patron and Helper4:45, 7:196, 42:28, 45:19
56الحميدAl-ḤamīdThe All Praiseworthy14:8, 31:12, 31:26, 41:42
57المحصيAl-MuḥṣīThe Accounter, The Numberer of All72:28, 78:29, 82:10-12
58المبدئAl-MubdiʾThe Originator, The Producer, The Initiator10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13
59المعيدAl-MuʿīdThe Restorer, The Reinstater Who Brings Back All10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13
60المحييAl-MuḥyīThe Giver of Life7:158, 15:23, 30:50, 57:2
61المميتAl-MumītThe Bringer of Death3:156, 7:158, 15:23, 57:2
62الحيAl-ḤayyThe Living2:255, 3:2, 20:111, 25:58, 40:65
63القيومAl-QayyūmThe Subsisting, The Independent2:255, 3:2, 20:111
64الواجدAl-WājidThe Perceiver, The Finder, The Unfailing38:44
65الماجدAl-MājidThe Illustrious, The Magnificent85:15, 11:73,
66الواحدAl-WāḥidThe One, The Unique2:163, 5:73, 9:31, 18:110
About this sound 67الاحدAl-ʾAḥadThe Unity, The Indivisible112:1
68الصمدAṣ-ṢamadThe Eternal, The Absolute, The Self-Sufficient112:2
69القادرAl-QādirThe All-Powerful, He Who is able to do Everything6:65, 46:33, 75:40
70المقتدرAl-MuqtadirThe Determiner, The Dominant18:45, 54:42, 54:55
71المقدمAl-MuqaddimThe Expediter, He Who Brings Forward16:61, 17:34,
72المؤخرAl-MuʾakhkhirThe Delayer, He Who Puts Far Away71:4
73الأولAl-ʾAwwalThe First, The Beginning-less57:3
About this sound 74الأخرAl-ʾAkhirThe Last, The Endless57:3
75الظاهرAẓ-ẒāhirThe Manifest, The Evident, The Outer57:3
76الباطنAl-BāṭinThe Hidden, The Unmanifest, The Inner57:3
77الواليAl-WālīThe Patron, The Protecting Friend, The Friendly Lord13:11, 22:7
78المتعاليAl-MutaʿālīThe Supremely Exalted, The Most High13:9
79البرAl-BarrThe Good, The Beneficent52:28
80التوابAt-TawwābThe Ever-Returning, Ever-Relenting2:128, 4:64, 49:12, 110:3
81المنتقمAl-MuntaqimThe Avenger32:22, 43:41, 44:16
About this sound 82العفوAl-ʿAfūThe Pardoner, The Effacer, The Forgiver4:99, 4:149, 22:60
83الرؤوفAr-RaʾūfThe Kind, The Pitying3:30, 9:117, 57:9, 59:10
84مالك الملكMālik-ul-MulkOwner of all Sovereignty3:26
85
ذو الجلال والإكرام
Dhū-l-Jalāli
wa-l-ʾikrām
Lord of Majesty and Generosity55:27, 55:78
86المقسطAl-MuqsiṭThe Equitable, The Requiter7:29, 3:18
87الجامعAl-JāmiʿThe Gatherer, The Unifier3:9
88الغنيAl-GhanīThe Rich, The Independent3:97, 39:7, 47:38, 57:24
89المغنيAl-MughnīThe Enricher, The Emancipator9:28
90المانعAl-MāniʿThe Withholder, The Shielder, The Defender67:21
About this sound 91الضارAḍ-ḌārrThe Distressor, The Harmer, The Afflictor6:17
92النافعAn-NāfiʿThe Propitious, The Benefactor, The Source of Good30:37
93النورAn-NūrThe Light24:35
94الهاديAl-HādīThe Guide, The Way22:54
95البديعAl-BadīʿThe Incomparable, The Unattainable, The Beautiful2:117, 6:101
96الباقيAl-BāqīThe Immutable, The Infinite, The Everlasting55:27
97الوارثAl-WārithThe Heir, The Inheritor of All15:23, 57:10
98الرشيدAr-RashīdThe Guide to the Right Path2:256, 72:10
99الصبورAṣ-ṢabūrThe Timeless, The Patient2:153, 3:200, 103:3

a Can vary based on context.

The Greatest Name[edit]

The 99 names point to the inherent unity of the all-embracing Greatest Name (Ismi Azam).[8] In Islamic traditions, it is stated "The Greatest Name of Allah is the one which if He [Allah] is called (prayed to) by it, He will Answer."[9]

Personal names[edit]

According to Islamic tradition,[10] a Muslim may not be given any of the 99 names of Allah in exactly the same form. For example, nobody may be named al-Malik (The King), but may be named Malik (King). This is because of the belief that Allah is almighty, and no human being is the equivalent of Allah, and no human being will ever be the equivalent of Allah. Muslims are allowed to use the 99 names of Allah for themselves but should not put 'Al' at the front of them.[11]

However the names of Allah can be combined with the word "‘Abd-" which means "servant/Worshiper" (of Allah) and are commonly used as personal names among Muslims. For example ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ("Servant of the Most Compassionate/the Beneficent"). The two parts of the name may be written separately (as above) or combined as one transliterated name; in such a case, the vowel transcribed after ‘Abd is often written as u when the two words are transcribed as one: e.g., Abdurrahman, Abdul'aziz, "Abdul Jabbar", or even Abdullah ("Servant of Allah"). (This has to do with Arabic case vowels, the final u vowel showing the normal "quote" nominative/vocative case form: ‘abd-u.)

Some Muslim people have names resembling those 99. Examples include:

Views of other religions[edit]

Bábí and Bahá'í view[edit]

Bahá'í sources state that the 100th name was revealed as "Bahá’" (an Arabic word بهاء meaning "glory, splendor" etc.), which is the root word for Bahá'u'lláh and Bahá'í. They also believe that it is the 'Greatest Name'.[12][13] The Báb wrote a noted pentagram-shaped tablet with 360 derivatives of the word "Bahá'" used in it.[12]

According to Bahá'í scholar ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd Ishráq-Khávari, Baha' ad-Din al-`Amili adopted the pen name (takhallus) 'Baha' after being inspired by words of Shi'a Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (the fifth Imam) and Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (the sixth Imam), who had stated that the Greatest Name of God was included in either Du'ay-i-Sahar or A`amaal Ummi Dawud.[12] In the first verse of the Du'ay-i-Sahar, a dawn prayer for Ramadan, the name "Bahá" appears four times: "Allahumma inni as 'aluka min Bahá' ika bi Abháh va kulla Bahá' ika Bahí".[14]

Zoroastrianism[edit]

Some names of Allah are similar to 101 names of Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism.[15]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Fleming, Marrianne; Worden, David (2004). Religious Studies for AQA; Thinking About God and Morality. Oxford: Heinemann Educational Publishers. ISBN 0-435-30713-4. 
  2. ^ Taymiyya, Ibn. The Goodly Word: al-Kalim al-Ṭayyib. Islamic Texts Society. p. 72. ISBN 1-903682-15-0. 
  3. ^ Ibn Majah, Book of Du`a;[citation needed] Imam Malik, Muwatta', Kitab al-Shi`r.
  4. ^ Sahih Muslim, 35:6475
  5. ^ Mahmoud Abdul Razek Al Radwany, "Of the 99 Names Of Allah That We Repeat: Only 69 Are Authentic" published in the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, on Nov 18, 2005. His objections are mostly grammatical in that a 'name' in Arabic must be a noun: "only 69 of those Names are authenticated from the Quran and Sunnah, while 29 are not authentic in that 22 are verbs or adjectives, and 7 are 'modafa' or 'added to.'" Islamic Forum
  6. ^ See the suras "Al-A'raf" (7:180), "Al-Isra" (17:110), "Ta-Ha" (20:8) and "Al-Hashr" (59:24).
  7. ^ http://al-quran.info/#36:81
  8. ^ Schimmel, Annemarie (1993). The Mystery of Numbers. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. p. 271. ISBN 0-19-508919-7. 
  9. ^ Momen, Moojan (2000). Islam and the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. p. 241. ISBN 0-85398-446-8.  The endnote states: "Ibn Májah, Sunan, 34. (Kitáb ad-Du'á), ch. 9, no. 3856, vol. 2, p. 1267. See also: Ad-Dárimí, Sunan, 23 (Fada'il al-Qur'án), ch. 15, no. 3296, vol. 2, pp. 324-5. Similar statements in Shi'i Traditions include: Majlisí, Bihár al-Anwár, vol. 26. p. 7."
  10. ^ Islam-QA website Are there any names which it is forbidden to use? If so, what are they?
  11. ^ Prohibited Muslim Names.
  12. ^ a b c Lambden, Stephen (1993). "The Word Bahá': Quintessence of the Greatest Name". Bahá'í Studies Review 3 (1). 
  13. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "greatest name". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 167–8. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  14. ^ Khadem, Dhikru'llah (March 1976). "Bahá'u'lláh and His Most Holy Shrine". Bahá'í News (540): 4–5. 
  15. ^ http://www.avesta.org/ka/101names.htm

External links[edit]