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101. Rules regarding Allaah’s Names

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1. All of Allaah’s Names are Beautiful

This is because all of them contain the perfect attributes of Allaah, free from any deficiency in any respect.

[Quran Chapter al-A‘raaf 7: 180)

“All the Beautiful names belong to Allaah.”

2. Allaah’s Beautiful Names are not limited to any specific number

There is a common belief that Allah has only 99 names. The below hadeeths contradict that

“O Allaah, I ask you by every name belonging to You with which You named Yourself, or You revealed in Your scripture, or You taught one of Your creatures, or You kept with Yourself exclusively in the hidden knowledge.” [Musnad Ahmad, vol. 1, Saheeh Ibn Hibbaan]

Also, in a hadeeth describing the Prophet’s intercession on the Day of Judgment, the Prophet (peace be upon him) foretells that he will prostrate beneath the Throne, and then Allah will reveal to him words of praise that had never before been taught to anyone. [Saheeh al-Bukharee (7410) and Saheeh Muslim (193)]

People often quote the hadeeth “Indeed Allaah has ninety-nine names. Whoever comprehends them will enter paradise.” [Sahîh al-Bukharee (2737) and Saheeh Muslim (2677)]

Shaikh Uthaymeen/Dr. Bilal: These hadeeths may be harmonized by explaining the last hadeeth as indicating that one who memorizes any ninety-nine of Allaah’s names will enter paradise. This is similar to saying; “I have 100 dirhams which I have prepared for charity”: it does not contradict the fact that I have more dirhams prepared for something else

Shaikh Salman al-Oadah: As for the ninety-nine names mentioned in the hadîth, these are merely a fraction of His names which have a special significance attached to them. Among what is special about them is that “whoever comprehends them all will enter Paradise.”

3. Allaah’s names are not to be decided upon by reason but by revelation

They are fixed (tawqeefee) by what has come in the sharee‘ah and should neither be added to nor reduced, because the human mind is not able to grasp what names are due to Allaah. Consequently, limiting the names to what has been revealed is obligatory, because naming Him by what He has not named Himself, or denying what He has named Himself, is a sin regarding Allaah’s right

For example, Al-Qadeem was a name invented by reason. Allah didn’t call Himself by that. Who are we to create names for the creator?

4. Every one of Allaah’s names refers to Allaah’s essence, to the attribute it contains and to the effect resulting from it if it is transitive

Faith in Allaah’s names is not complete without affirming all of this. For example, the transitive name “the Most Merciful” (ar-Rahmaan): complete faith in it depends on affirming it as one of Allaah’s names, its containing the attribute of “mercy” (ar-Rahmah) and its effect which is that Allaah shows mercy to whomever He wishes

Source: Introduction to Lum‘atul-I‘tiqaad by Shaykh Al-‘Uthaymeen

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Written by S Ibrahim

Jul 5, 2010 at 11:31 pm

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