Names of God in Islam

Names of God in Islam

The 99 Names of God, (Arabic: أسماء الله الحسنىʾasmāʾ allāh al-ḥusnā), are the Names of God (specifically, attributes) by which Muslims regard God and which are described in the Qur'an, and Sunnah, amongst other places.[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 99 in the Qur'an and Sunnah. According to a hadith narrated by Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud some of the names of God have been hidden from mankind,[2] therefore there are not only 99 names of God but there are more.



According to Islamic tradition,[3] Muhammad is said to have invoked God by a number of Names. According to a Sunni hadith, Sahih Muslim:

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (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 number. 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 as an addendum to the hadith.

Mahmoud Abdel-Razek (2005) compiled an alternative list, endorsing only 69 from the list of al-Walid.[5]

The Qur'an refers to the Attributes of God as God's "most beautiful Names" (Arabic: al-ʾasmāʾ al-ḥusnā) (see the following sura, Al-A'raf 7:180, Al-Isra 17:110, Ta-Ha 20:8, Al-Hashr 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-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 q 59:22-4, which includes a cluster of more than a dozen Divine epithets.

The Islamic list of "99 Names of God" has similarities with the Zoroastrian 101 Names of God.[6] Parsi tradition expanded this to a list of "1001 names of God".[7]

List of 99 Names of God as found in the Qur'an

# Arabic Transliteration Translation (can vary based on context) Qur'anic usage
About this sound 1 الرحمن Ar-Raḥmān The Exceedingly Compassionate, The Exceedingly Beneficent, The Exceedingly Gracious Beginning of every chapter except one, and in numerous other places. Name frequently used in surah 55, Ar-Rahman
About this sound 2 الرحيم Ar-Raḥīm The Exceedingly Merciful Beginning of every chapter except one, and in numerous other places
About this sound 3 الملك Al-Malik The King 59:23, 20:114, 23:116
About this sound 4 القدوس Al-Quddūs The Holy, The Pure, The Perfect 59:23, 62:1
About this sound 5 السلام As-Salām The Peace, The Source of Peace and Safety, The Savior 59:23
About this sound 6 المؤمن Al-Mu'min The Guarantor, The Affirming 59:23
About this sound 7 المهيمن Al-Muhaymin The Guardian 59:23
About this sound 8 العزيز Al-‘Azīz The Almighty, The Invulnerable, The Honorable 3:6, 4:158, 9:40, 48:7, 59:23
About this sound 9 الجبار Al-Jabbār The Irresistible, The Compeller, The Lofty 59:23
About this sound 10 المتكبر Al-Mutakabbir The Majestic, The Supreme 59:23
About this sound 11 الخالق Al-Khāliq The Creator 6:102, 13:16, 39:62, 40:62, 59:24
About this sound 12 البارئ Al-Bāri' The Evolver, The Fashioner, The Designer 59:24
About this sound 13 المصور Al-Muṣawwir The Fashioner of Forms 59:24
About this sound 14 الغفار Al-Ghaffār The Repeatedly Forgiving 20:82, 38:66, 39:5, 40:42, 71:10
About this sound 15 القهار Al-Qahhār The Subduer 12:39, 13:16, 14:48, 38:65, 39:4, 40:16
About this sound 16 الوهاب Al-Wahhāb The Bestower 3:8, 38:9, 38:35
About this sound 17 الرزاق Ar-Razzāq The Provider 51:58
About this sound 18 الفتاح Al-Fattāḥ The Opener, The Victory Giver 34:26
About this sound 19 العليم Al-'Aleem The All Knowing, The Omniscient 2:158, 3:92, 4:35, 24:41, 33:40
About this sound 20 القابض Al-Qābiḍ The Restrainer, The Straightener 2:245
About this sound 21 الباسط Al-Bāsiṭ The Extender / Expander 2:245
About this sound 22 الخافض Al-Khāfiḍ The Abaser 95:5
About this sound 23 الرافع Ar-Rāfi' The Exalter 58:11, 6:83
About this sound 24 المعز Al-Mu'izz The Giver of Honour 3:26
About this sound 25 المذل Al-Mudhill The Giver of Dishonour 3:26
About this sound 26 السميع As-Samī' The All Hearing 2:127, 2:256, 8:17, 49:1
About this sound 27 البصير Al-Baṣīr The All Seeing 4:58, 17:1, 42:11, 42:27
About this sound 28 الحكم Al-Ḥakam The Judge, The Arbitrator 22:69
About this sound 29 العدل Al-'Adl The Utterly Just 6:115
About this sound 30 اللطيف Al-Laṭīf The Gentle, The Subtly Kind 6:103, 22:63, 31:16, 33:34
About this sound 31 الخبير Al-Khabeer The All Aware 6:18, 17:30, 49:13, 59:18
About this sound 32 الحليم Al Haleem The Forbearing, The Indulgent 2:235, 17:44, 22:59, 35:41
About this sound 33 العظيم Al-'Aẓeem The Magnificent 2:255, 42:4, 56:96
About this sound 34 الغفور Al Ghafūr The Much-Forgiving 2:173, 8:69, 16:110, 41:32
About this sound 35 الشكور Ash-Shakūr The Grateful 35:30, 35:34, 42:23, 64:17
About this sound 36 العلي Al-'Alīy The Sublime 4:34, 31:30, 42:4, 42:51
37 الكبير Al-Kabīr The Great 13:9, 22:62, 31:30
38 الحفيظ Al-Ḥafeeẓ The Preserver 11:57, 34:21, 42:6
39 المقيت Al-Muqeet The Nourisher 4:85
40 الحسيب Al-Ḥaseeb The Bringer of Judgment 4:6, 4:86, 33:39
41 الجليل Al-Jalīl The Majestic 55:27, 39:14, 7:143
42 الكريم Al-Karīm The Bountiful, The Generous 27:40, 82:6
43 الرقيب Ar-Raqīb The Watchful 4:1, 5:117
44 المجيب Al-Mujīb The Responsive, The Answer 11:61
45 الواسع Al-Wāsi' The Vast, The All-Embracing, The Omnipresent, The Boundless 2:268, 3:73, 5:54
46 الحكيم Al-Ḥakīm The Wise 31:27, 46:2, 57:1, 66:2
47 الودود Al-Wadūd The Loving 11:90, 85:14
48 المجيد Al-Majīd All-Glorious, The Majestic 11:73
49 الباعث Al-Bā'ith The Resurrecter 22:7
50 الشهيد Ash-Shahīd The Witness 4:166, 22:17, 41:53, 48:28
51 الحق Al-Ḥaqq The Truth, The Reality 6:62, 22:6, 23:116, 24:25
52 الوكيل Al-Wakīl The Trustee, The Dependable, The Advocate 3:173, 4:171, 28:28, 73:9
53 القوي Al-Qawwīy The Strong 22:40, 22:74, 42:19, 57:25
54 المتين Al-Matīn The Firm, The Steadfast 51:58
55 الولي Al-Walīy The Friend, Patron and Helper 4:45, 7:196, 42:28, 45:19
56 الحميد Al-Ḥamīd The All Praiseworthy 14:8, 31:12, 31:26, 41:42
57 المحصي Al-Muḥṣīy The Accounter, The Numberer of All 72:28, 78:29, 82:10-12
58 المبدئ Al-Mubdi' The Originator, The Producer, The Initiator 10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13
59 المعيد Al-Mu'īd The Restorer, The Reinstater Who Brings Back All 10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13
60 المحيي Al-Muḥyīy The Giver of Life 7:158, 15:23, 30:50, 57:2
61 المميت Al-Mumīt The Destroyer, The Bringer of Death 3:156, 7:158, 15:23, 57:2
62 الحي Al-Ḥayy The Living 2:255, 3:2, 25:58, 40:65
63 القيوم Al-Qayyūm The Subsisting, The Guardian 2:255, 3:2, 20:111
64 الواجد Al-Wājid The Perceiver, The Finder, The Unfailing 38:44
65 الماجد Al-Mājid The Illustrious, The Magnificent 85:15, 11:73,
66 الواحد Al-Wāḥid The One, The Unique 2:163, 5:73, 9:31, 18:110
About this sound 67 الاحد Al-'Aḥad The Unity, The Indivisible 112:1
68 الصمد Aṣ-Ṣamad The Eternal, The Absolute, The Self-Sufficient 112:2
69 القادر Al-Qādir The Omnipotent, The All Able 6:65, 36:81, 46:33, 75:40
70 المقتدر Al-Muqtadir The Determiner, The Dominant 18:45, 54:42, 54:55
71 المقدم Al-Muqaddim The Expediter, He Who Brings Forward 16:61, 17:34,
72 المؤخر Al-Mu'akhkhir The Delayer, He Who Puts Far Away 71:4
73 الأول Al-'Awwal The First, The Beginning-less 57:3
About this sound 74 الأخر Al-'Akhir The Last, The Endless 57:3
75 الظاهر Aẓ-Ẓāhir The Manifest, The Evident, The Outer 57:3
76 الباطن Al-Bāṭin The Hidden, The Unmanifest, The Inner 57:3
77 الوالي Al-Wālīy The Patron, The Protecting Friend, The Friendly Lord 13:11, 22:7
78 المتعالي Al-Muta'ālīy The Supremely Exalted, The Most High 13:9
79 البر Al-Barr The Good, The Beneficent 52:28
80 التواب At-Tawwāb The Ever Returning, Ever Relenting 2:128, 4:64, 49:12, 110:3
81 المنتقم Al-Muntaqim The Avenger 32:22, 43:41, 44:16
About this sound 82 العفو Al-'Afūw The Pardoner, The Effacer, The Forgiver 4:99, 4:149, 22:60
83 الرؤوف Ar-Ra'ūf The Kind, The Pitying 3:30, 9:117, 57:9, 59:10
84 مالك الملك Mālik-ul-Mulk The Owner of all Sovereignty 3:26
85 ذو الجلال والإكرام Dhū-l-Jalāli
The Lord of Majesty and Generosity 55:27, 55:78
86 المقسط Al-Muqsiţ The Equitable, The Requiter 7:29, 3:18
87 الجامع Al-Jāmi' The Gatherer, The Unifier 3:9
88 الغني Al-Ghanīy The Rich, The Independent 3:97, 39:7, 47:38, 57:24
89 المغني Al-Mughnīy The Enricher, The Emancipator 9:28
90 المانع Al-Māni' The Withholder, The Shielder, The Defender 67:21
About this sound 91 الضار Aḍ-Ḍārr The Distressor, The Harmer, The Afflictor 6:17
92 النافع An-Nāfi' The Propitious, The Benefactor, The Source of Good 30:37
93 النور An-Nūr The Light 24:35
94 الهادي Al-Hādīy The Guide, The Way 22:54
95 البديع Al-Badī' The Incomparable, The Unattainable 2:117, 6:101
96 الباقي Al-Bāqīy The Immutable, The Infinite, The Everlasting 55:27
97 الوارث Al-Wārith The Heir, The Inheritor of All 15:23
98 الرشيد Ar-Rashīd The Guide to the Right Path 2:256
99 الصبور Aṣ-Ṣabūr The Timeless, The Patient 2:153, 3:200, 103:3

The greatest name

The 99 names point to the inherent unity of the all-embracing Greatest Name.[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

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.

However the names/attributes 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

Bábí and Bahá'í view

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'.[11][12] The Báb wrote a noted pentagram-shaped tablet with 360 derivatives of the word "Bahá'" used in it.[11]

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.[11] In the first verse of the Du'ay-i-Sahar, a dawn prayer for the Ramadan, the name "Bahá" appears four times: "Allahumma inni as 'aluka min Bahá' ika bi Abháh va kulla Bahá' ika Bahí".[13]

See also


  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 1903682150. 
  3. ^ Ibn Majah, Book of Du`a;[citation needed] and by Imam Malik in his Muwatta', Kitab al-Shi`r[citation needed]
  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. ^ Edalji Kersâspji Antiâ, Pazend texts, Bombay 1909, pp. 335-337
  7. ^ Antonio Panainom, The lists of names of Ahura Mazdā (Yašt I) and Vayu (Yašt XV), 2002, p. 20.
  8. ^ Schimmel, Annemarie (1993). The Mystery of Numbers. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. p. 271. ISBN 0195089197. 
  9. ^ Momen, Moojan (2000). Islam and the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. pp. 241. ISBN 0853984468.  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. ^ Are there any names which it is forbidden to use? If so, what are they?
  11. ^ a b c Lambden, Stephen (1993). "The Word Bahá': Quintessence of the Greatest Name". Bahá'í Studies Review 3 (1). 
  12. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "greatest name". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 167–8. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  13. ^ Khadem, Dhikru'llah (March 1976). "Bahá'u'lláh and His Most Holy Shrine". Bahá'í News (540): pp. 4–5. 

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