Names of God in the Qur'an

The 99 Names of Allah, also known as The 99 Most Beautiful Names of God (ArB|أسماء الله الحسنى ArTranslit|Asma’ Allah al-Ḥusná), are the names of God (specifically, attributes) by which Muslims regard God and which are traditionally maintained as described in the Qur'an, and Sunnah, amongst other places. [cite book | year = 2004 | title = Religious Studies for AQA; Thinking About God and Morality | id = ISBN 0-435-30713-4 | publisher = Heinemann Educational Publishers | location = Oxford | first = Marrianne |last = Fleming | coauthors = Worden, David] 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 99 in the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Origin

In one Islamic tradition, the Islamic prophet Muhammad used to call God by all His Names:Quote|اللهم إني ادعوك بأسمائك الحسنى كلها "O God, I invoke You with all of Your Beautiful Names." [Narrated by Ibn Majah, book of Du`a; and by Imam Malik in his Muwatta', Kitab al-Shi`r] Muhammad is also reported to have said in a famous hadith:Of note is that this hadith does not say that there are "only" 99 names, but 99 names that are better than the others. This caused people to search them out in the Qur'an and Sunnah, and a list was compiled. Over time it became custom to recite the list in its entirety. While some Muslims believe that this list is mentioned by Muhammad himself, the specialist Muslim scholars argue strongly that the list was just compiled by a Muslim scholar as an addendum to the actual hadith (al-Waleed ibn Muslim). If it was only an attempt of a scholar, they are not necessarily the names proper, and other attempts may still be made. A recent scholar, Dr. Mahmoud Abdel-Razek, made an attempt of this kind and explained in detail why he differs in opinion with al-Waleed about enlisting some of the names. [http://www.asmaullah.com/]

However, reciting the traditional names has developed into a ritual by some Muslims (a bit like a Catholic litany of Saints) as an attempt to enumerate them, while most other Muslims believe that the "enumeration" is not just the act of recitation, but applying the attributes that the names suggest.

List of Names

The Qur'an refers to the attributes of God as God's “most beautiful names” (Arabic: al-asmāʾ al-ḥusnā) (see Quran-usc|7|180, Quran-usc|17|110, Quran-usc|20|8, Quran-usc|59|24)). According to Gerhard Böwering,Quote|They are traditionally enumerated as 99 in number to which is added as the highest name (al-ism al-aʿẓam), the supreme name of God, Allāh. The locus classicus for listing the divine names in the literature of qurʾānic commentary is Quran-usc|17|110, “Call upon God, or call upon the merciful; whichsoever you call upon, to him belong the most beautiful names,” and also Quran-usc-range|59|22|24 q 59:22-4, which includes a cluster of more than a dozen divine epithets. Böwering, Gerhard. "God and his Attributes ." Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān.] Islamic theology makes a distinction between the attributes of God and the divine essence.

Below is a list of the 99 Names of God according to the tradition of Islam.

100th name

ufism

In Sufism, the idea of the 100th name is most prominent. It has become the elusive object of mystic devotion, the symbol of God's transcendent beingFact|date=April 2007. Sufis often describe their discipline as the quest to know the one-hundredth name of God and thus to merge their consciousness with the divine reality. Fact|date=April 2007 [http://www.coloradocollege.edu/Dept/RE/people/weddle/IntroRel01/Islam.htm]

Mahdi

Other such hadiths, which vary according to different Shi'a sects of Islam, suggest that the 100th Name will be revealed by the Mahdi.

Bábi and Bahá'í

The Bahá'í Faith claims that the Báb fulfills the prophecy of the Mahdi, and the 100th name was revealed as "Bahá’" (an Arabic word بهاء meaning "glory, splendor" etc.), and is the root word for Bahá'u'lláh and Bahá'í.cite journal | journal = Bahá'í Studies Review | volume = 3 | issue = 1 | year = 1993 | first = Stephen | last = Lambden | title = The Word Bahá': Quintessence of the Greatest Name | url = http://bahai-library.com/?file=lambden_quintessence_greatest_name] The Báb wrote a noted pentagram-shaped tablet with 360 derivatives of the word "Bahá'" used in it. While the Bahá'í Faith has roots in Islam and the monotheistic traditions, it is considered to be an independent religion, and its followers are not considered Muslims.

Personal Names

According to Islamic tradition, a Muslim may not be given any of the 99 names of God in the exact same form. For example, nobody may be named "al-Malik" (The King), but may be named "Malik" (King).

However the names/attributes of God can be combined with the word "‘Abd -" which means servant (of God) and are commonly used as personal names among Muslims. For example "‘Abd ar-Rahman" ("servant of the Most Compassionate/the Beneficent").

Some Muslim people have names resembling those 99.Examples include

* Ra'ouf, such as Ra'ouf Mus'ad.
* Salam, such as Salam Fayyad.

ee also

*Arabic theophoric names
*Names of God
*Names of God in Judaism
*Names of God in Hinduism
*"The Nine Billion Names of God", a short story by Arthur C. Clarke.

Notes

External links

* [http://www.sufism.org/society/asma/index.html The Most Beautiful Names of Allah] Gives a list of the names in English and Arabic as well as the verses in which they are found in the Qur'an.
* [http://wahiduddin.net/words/wazifa.htm The Beautiful Names of Allah] A site containing the derivation and meanings of the 99 names. Also has audio of someone saying each one.
* [http://breatheislam.blogsome.com/99-names-of-allah-index/ 99 Names of Allah] The names of Allah in Arabic with English meaning and benefit virtues of reciting each Ism.
* [http://www.islamicpath.org/names.html The Most Beautiful Names of Allah] The most beautiful names of Allah in Arabic with English transliteration and meaning.
* [http://www.islamicpath.org/dua_names.html Benefits of reciting The Most Beautiful Names of Allah] The benefits of reciting the most beautiful names of Allah.
* [http://www.luvu4luv.com/99names.html 99 Names of Allah] With meanings and benefits of recitation.
* [http://www.artislamic.com/esma/01.html 99 Excellent Names of Allah] with references to verses where the name appears in the Holy Qur'an.
* [http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/99names.htm The Most Beautiful Names of Allah] with references to verses where the name appears in the Qur'an.
* [http://www.islamicinvitationcentre.com/articles/Comparative_Religion/God/Allah_attributes.html The 99 Names and Attributes of Allah] , numbered list of names and meanings.
* [http://www.theinevitabledossier.com/us/content/view/169/2/ The 99 names of God] - A different interpretation.
* [http://www.ezsoftech.com/islamic/iqlas5.asp The beautiful names of Allah] 99 names written clearly in Arabic
* [http://www.arthafez.com/Gallery/99_Names_of_Allah/Thumbnails/01.htm 99 Names of God] , oil paintings of all the 99 names.
* [http://islamvoice.freehostia.com/99-name-of-allah.html 99 Names of Allah Almighty] 99 names of almighty God with a brief description of each name.


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