024 Knowing Allah (swt) with His beautiful names
One of the ways of knowing The Great Creator as our Islamic jurisprudence scientists stated is learning His beautiful names. As you can remember I wrote in one of my previous articles "Knowing an existence is achieved by understanding its characteristics, qualities and attributes. The more we know about the characteristics of an existence, the more we know and are familiar with it". Many outstanding characteristics and attributes of our Allah (swt) became names for Him and He introduced Himself to us with these names in His book, Qur'an, which is a divine grace for us. Therefore, knowing and understanding these names are one of the best methods for knowing Allah (swt) without doubt.
It is ordered in Qur'an that:
"To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names" [Hashr, 24]
"The most beautiful names belong to Allah: so call on him by them; but shun such men as distort His names: for what they do, they will soon be requited." [Araf, 180]
In Hadith, it is also ordered that:
"Allah has 99 beautiful names. Whoever memorizes them (believes and knows by heart) goes to Paradise" [Bukhari, Muslim]
“The names of Allah cannot be changed. In other words, only names that are mentioned and allowed to be said about Allah (swt) in verses of Qur'an and hadiths can be used. No random names can be added. (Annotation of Testament of Birgivi)
The beautiful name Allah is the real name of Him. Therefore, it includes all of the beautiful qualities and divine attributes that the other names express. The other names express only their own meanings. Therefore, no other name can replace the name Allah.
The name Allah, which is a name peculiar to Almighty Allah only, has not been used for any being other than Him even metaphorically. That name cannot be given to anybody except Allah.”
There is no drawback to giving other names to beings other than Allah; like giving the names Qadir, Jalal, etc. to people. However, it is better to add the word “abd”, which means slave, before those names when they are given to people; like Abdulqadir, Abdulkarim...
"The names of Allah are not composed of only 99 names. In verses of Qur'an and hadiths, other names are attributed to Allah apart from these 99 names.
Some of the names attributed to Allah are as follows:
Al-Ehad instead of Al-Vahid; Al-Kahir instead of Al-Kahhar; Ash Shekűr instead of Ash-Shâkir; Al-Kafi, Ad-Daim, Al-Munewwer, As-Sýddýk, Al-Muhît, Al-Karîb, Al-Vitr, Al-Fâtýr, Al-Allâm, Al-Ekrem, Al-Mudebbir, Ar-Refî', Zittavl, Zulmeâric, Zulfadl, Al-Hallâk, Al-Mevlâ, An-Nasîr, Al-Gâlib, Al-Hannân, Al-Mennân...
The name Allah was mentioned in Qur'an 2800 times. The name Rab was mentioned the most after Allah. It is mentioned 960 times. Rahman, Rahim and Malik are the most mentioned names in Qur'an after Rab. Those four names mentioned after Allah are named as Rububiyat Attributes of Allah (swt) in Surat Al-Fatiha.
The real meaning of Rab which contains meanings of nurturing, growing and raising is: The one who guards something until it reaches to its goal by raising it level by level.".
99 names which were written in the Hadiths are as follows:
Allah, ar-Rahman, ar-Rahim, al-Malik, al-Quddus, as-Salam, al-Mu’min, al-Muhaymin, al-Aziz, al-Jabbar, al-Mutakabbir, al-Khaliq, al-Bari’, al-Musawwir, al-Ghaffar, al-Qahhar, al-Wahhab, ar-Razzaq, al-Fattah, al-Alim, al-Qabid, al-Basit, al-Hafid, ar-Rafi, al-Muiz, al-Mudhill, al-Basir, as-Sami’, al-Hakam, al-Adl, al-Latif, al-Khabir, al-Halim, al-Azim, al-Ghafur, ash-Shakur, al-Aliyy, al-Kabir, al-Hafiz, al-Muqit, al-Hasib, al-Jalil, al-Karim, ar-Raqib, al-Mujib, al-Wasi’, al-Hakim, al-Wadud, al-Majid, al-Baith, ash-Shahid, al-Haqq, al-Wakil, al-Qawiyy, al-Matin, al-Waliyy, al-Hamid, al-Muhsi, al-Mubdi, al-Muid, al-Muhyi, al-Mumit, al-Hayy, al-Qayyum, al-Wajid, al-Majid, al-Wahid, as-Samad, al-Qadir, al-Muqtadir, al-Muqaddim, al-Muakhkhir, al-Awwal, al-Akhir, az-Zahir, al-Batin, al-Wali, al-Mutaali, al-Barr, at-Tawwab, al-Muntaqim, al-Afuww, ar-Rauf, Maliku’l-Mulk, Dhu’l-Jalali wa’l-Ikram, al-Muqsit, al-Jami’, al-Ghaniyy, al-Mughni, al-Mani’, ad-Darr, an-Nafi’, an-Nur, al-Hadi, al-Badi’, al-Baqi, al-Warith, ar-Rashid, as-Sabur.
The meanings of some them are as follows:
He Who wills goodness and mercy for all His creatures in the pre-eternity; He Who gives innumerable bounties to all creatures that He created without making any discrimination between the ones He likes and those that He does not; He Who gives them all of the sustenance necessary for their lives…
He Who shows excessive mercy; He Who rewards those who use the bounties He gives in a good way by giving them greater and endless bounties... It is understood from the name Ar-Rahman that Allah wanted goodness and mercy in the pre-eternity for all of the creatures that He created. As for the name Ar-Rahim, it expresses the manifestation of a special mercy for His creatures that have a will, especially for believers.
The real owner and absolute ruler of all of the creatures... One Who is free, by virtue of His Own merits and characteristics; from depending on anything in existence, while everything in existence depends on Him. He is the real owner and the absolute ruler of the universe.
He Who is free from all errors, ignorance, weaknesses, all kinds of imperfection and Who is very pure... Allah is free and away from all kinds of qualities that senses can understand and imagination can design. He is the one who is away from negligence, failure and any kind of deficiency and who is pure. He deserves all kinds of praise. The reality of cleanness that is present naturally in the universe is the manifestation of the name al-Quddus of Almighty God."
Each beautiful name of Allah (swt) written in Qur'an is a symbol of the deep meaning of one of His special attribute that covers all worlds. Accordingly, the one who knows those names with their meanings also knows His Allah (swt). Therefore, Rasulullah heralded the Paradise for the ones who can recite them. May Allah (swt) grant us being wise servants of Him who knows Allah in the best way.
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus