The Attributes of Allah- Part X
Wa lillaahil Asma’ul Husna, fad’uhu biha’.
The most beautiful names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them. (Al-Arraf 7: 181)
Asma’ul Husna, means the most beautiful names, and the most beautiful names indeed belong to Allah (twa).
In a Hadith compiled by Imam Bukhari (ra), it has been narrated that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“There are 99 names that are Allah’s alone, one hundred less one. Whoever (learns, understand, and) enumerates them, enters Paradise.”
The 99 Asma’ul Husna as we know it are :
The Proper Name of Almighty God, the One without any associate – He is Allah, the One whom there is none worthy of worship except for Him....
The listing of the attributes of Allah which I have just recited before you is found in the book of Imam Tirmidhi with the addition of the attribute “Al-Ahad” along with “Al-Waahid” [Al-Waahid’ul Ahad] as both names of Allah have the same meaning. Allah is “Waahid” and “Ahad” as well, the One, Unique, Unequalled God. And all these actually form the very 99 Asma’ul Husna of Allah as we know it.
So these 99 names we base them on the ‘Daliil’, i.e. proof from Quran and Sunnah, on the Hadith that Imam Tirmidhi (ra) who is one of the widely accepted ‘Sittah’, i.e. the six unanimously approved compilers of Hadith, collected in his Sunnan Tirmidhi. He related on the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
“Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. He who ‘ahsaha’ [حْصَاهَا] - i.e. enumerates them, believes in them, ponders over their meanings, worships Allah by them and supplicates with them, and acts by them according to one’s belief in them - will enter Paradise.” [Tirmidhi]
This Hadith is mentioned in the Hadiths compilations of Imam Bukhari and Muslim, by both Abu Hurairah (ra) and Ibn Umar (ra), with a little variation. In the version of Muslim, by Ibn Umar (ra), the word ‘ahsaha’ is used.
The problem that occurs when considering the list of the 99 attributes of Allah as we know it from the posters and booklets available is that it contains some names which are not considered names of Allah by some, for e.g. Al-Rasheed and Al-Baqi for they are not found in the Holy Quran. But these attributes of Allah are mentioned in the Compilation of Imam Tirmidhi with Abu Hurairah being the narrator. There is not a consensus on the actual 99 Asma’ul Husna of Allah. It should be noted that the Hadith states that Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. This is not meant to be all inclusive. That is, it does not mean that Allah has ninety-nine and only ninety-nine names. Indeed in going through the Quran and authentic Hadiths of the Prophet (pbuh) many scholars have been able to discover more than ninety-nine names of Allah.
Further, many scholars have concluded that Allah has an infinite number of names. This opinion is based on the following Hadith. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) made the following supplication: “(O Allah) I ask You of You by every name that you have revealed in Your Book or that You have taught any of Your creation or that You have kept hidden, in the unseen knowledge, with Yourself.” (Recorded by Ahmad, according to Al-Albani, it is Sahih).
So, this does not mean Allah has only 99 names. There are further names attributed to Allah which He has revealed to His choice creation. Some say that Allah has three thousand names: One thousand He revealed to His angels, one thousand He has revealed to His prophets – three hundred in Zabur, i.e. the Psalms of David (as), three hundred in Tawraat, i.e. Torah, the Book of Moses (as), three hundred in Injeel, i.e. the Gospels of Jesus (as), and some lot less than that are in the Holy Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Some also say one, the name of His essence “Isme Azam” [the Exalted Name of Allah], He has kept for Himself and hidden in the Quran.
Since the undisputed champion is the authority of the Holy Quran, and the Sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we will Insha-Allah continue to study the 99 beautiful names of Allah in our study-circles and like it is our habit, to recite them on a daily basis.
Therefore, we must remember and draw near to Allah by reciting His name or His attributes. His name is His proper name “ALLAH” and His attributes are innumerable. The beautiful names of Allah are proof of the existence and oneness of Allah.
O you who are burdened and troubled with weight and suffering of the material world, may Allah make His beautiful names a soothing balm for your wounded hearts. Learn, understand, and recite Allah’s beautiful names. Seek the traces of Allah’s attributes in the skies above, on the earth below, and in what is beautiful in your being. You will find blessings in it to the extent of your sincerity. With the permission of Allah, the doubter will find security, the ignorant will find wisdom, the denier will confirm himself on the truth. The stingy will become generous, the tyrant will bow his head, and the fire in the hearts of the envious will be extinguished.
So my dear brothers and sisters, qualify yourselves with the qualities of God. This does not mean, however, that there are only these 99 names mentioned in Quran and Sunnah. Remember that there are more names mentioned in Quran and Sunnah not accounted for in the Hadiths of Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi like we have just seen. This can be explained to clear up the proper approach when we utilize a verse and a Hadith from the Quran and Sunnah. That is, some people have a tendency to take a Hadith or one verse and then based on that one text, they will make some conclusion that this is the only ordered instruction. But, actually, we should all realise that all of the Quran and Hadith complement each other and explain one another. To find the correct position on any one question, one must bring together all of the related verses and Hadiths and see what the true Islamic position is of that question. Thus, this also applies to the lesson learnt today. The Hadith of Tirmidhi does mention, and it is a strong well-respected Hadith, the 99 beautiful names of Allah, and it is safe to assume that Allah should be invoked - made duahs to - with the 99 Asma’ul Husna. However, other names mentioned in the Quran and Hadiths can also be called upon as long as the Hadiths are of authentic sources.
So I end my sermon on the subject here for today and I pray Allah (swt) give me the Tawfiq to continue on the same subject next Friday, Insha-Allah.
[Yesterday] Thursday 25 June 2020 at 3:25 pm I received some revelations which I would like to share with you:
There are words in Arabic that have been revealed with their meanings:
• Kiraaman – honourable
• Kaatibin – writing down
• Al-Abraar – pious believers
• Al-Fujjar – the wicked
The Message is as follows:
“When Allah raises someone, he becomes an honourable person [Kiraaman]. One who bonds with His Messenger 100% [completely] and who fully believes when he receives the divine revelation in writing [Kaatibin], and when he gives the message; then whoever believes in his writings and words of the revealed messages, including the seekers of truths, they become the pious believers [Al-Abraar] and when a person becomes a pious believer and remains in constant contact with the honourable one [i.e. the Elect of Allah], then Allah (swt) showers His special Ilm [divine knowledge], whereby that pious believer [all those pious believers] receive/s the ability to shut the mouth of the wicked disbelievers [Al-Fujjar] - the so-called scholars. So he acquires the power of the pen [and that of the tongue as well].”
Blessed [Happy] are those who reach this stage/ position of “Al-Abraar” whereby they are not just pious but Allah qualifies them as “Al-Abraar” [pious believers] and who get special blessings because of their connection and belief in His honourable one [His Messenger] and the messages he receives from Allah.
So to conclude: May Allah bless all my sincere disciples with the knowledge of using the Asma’ul Husna in the best way in their lives, so that these beautiful names of Allah enable them to deal with their everyday lives with Taqwa, justice and courage. May Allah remove all your problems, open your path to spiritual as well as to worldly success for the benefit of the progress of truth and your own individual spiritual knowledge and growth, in this life and the life to come. Ameen.
----Friday Sermon of 26 June 2020 ~04 Dhul-Qaddah 1441 AH delivered by Hazrat Khalifatullah Munir A. Azim (aba) of Mauritius.