13/11/12 Knowing Allah through His 99 names.
Tickets of jannah 13/11/12
Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “Allah has ninety-nine names; whoever memorizes them will enter Paradise.”
[Sahih Muslim, Book 35, Number 6476]
The way we know Allah is through his attributes and qualities. His subhan wa ta’ala names are representative of this. As Muslims if we really want to know Allah, we should know and understand His names.
Also, accepting the names of Allah is part of tahweed, or the oneness of Allah, which is the first pillar of imaan.
The pillars of imaan come from the Hadith jibreel.
Some people say Tahweed is split in to 3 parts, demonstrated by the Opening of the Quran, Surah Fatihah.
All praise is to Allah [alone] the Lord of every thing that exists.” [This is tawhid of Allah’s lordship]
“The Most Gracious, The Merciful. Master of the Day of Recompense” [Tawhid of Allah’s names and attributes]
“You alone we worship and You alone we beseech for assistance” [Tawhid of Allah’s worship]
The tawheed of Allah’s names and attributes is referred to as:
Tawheed al-Asma was-Sifaat
Tawheed al-Asma was-Sifaat is to believe and affirm all the Names and Attributes of Allah found in the Qur’aan and the Ahaadeeth of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). The Names and Attributes of Allah should be accepted without any alteration, whether in words or meaning. They should be understood in the absolute sense and free from human deficiencies because the similarity between the Attributes of Allah and mankind is only of name and not in degree. “There is nothing like unto Him.” (wa lam yakulahu kufuwan ahad)
Acts of worship only become real and valid with the feeling and awareness of their Object. Knowing the names of Allah helps us with this feeling.
the Names of Allah all describe who he is, they are not mere names just for the sake of being there, rather they tell us who Allah is. When Allah is called Al-Alim, the All Knowing, it allows us to know that Allah is perfect in knowledge. When Allah is called As-Sami it means he is the all hearing, he hears the invocations and calls of his followers, and he hears everything, whether in open, or secret. When Allah is called Al-Ghafur the All Forgiving it means he is the forgiving one, the one who has perfect forgiveness, and the one who forgives those who come calling to him in repentance. So each Name is an attribute, and each Name tells us about Allah, and allows us to know about Allah.
Allah is not like us.
He is without need. We all need, Everything else is dependant.
He is out of His creation. Time and space are his creation. He has no direction, no physical location, He is separate from time. When we say He knows what will happen before it occurs, but for Him there is no before and after. He has no beginning and no end.
This means his attributes are also endless and beginingless, they existed before creation. He was the creator before he created, He was Rabb with no subjects, he is reviver of the dead before the revival. His attributes are not acquired, he is forever characterised by His attributes.
The universe did not exist, Allah brought it in to existence, not THEN as Allah not subject to time and Allah does not change,
“verily Allah does not stand in need of anything in all the worlds” Quran 29.6.
He is without need. He has a throne but we cannot say he sits on it, as when we sit we need something to hold our weight and support us.
Also part of tawheed is to accept Allah’s attributes belong to him only. For example, amongst the Attributes of Allah is that He is the Knower of the ghayb, and He alone knows what the heart conceals.
Allah says: “Say, ‘None in the Heavens and the earth know the Ghayb (Unseen) except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.”
Therefore, to consider someone other than Allah to have the knowledge of the past, future or the Unseen is Shirk.
All the names and attributes that belong to Allah (swt) are told to us by Allah (swt) in the Quran. Barely there is a Surat or even a single page of Quran that does not include a mention of Allah’s names and Attributes
sometimes a human may be named with a name of Allah, but without the definite article, for instance Allah is Al-Alim, the All Knowing, and as you can see there is the definite article of AL, which accompanies the Alim, now for a human he will be called alim, a knowledgeable and smart person, but without the definite article preceding it.
Although the names of Allah use qualities which are similar to human qualities, this is just a tool to help us understand, creatures do not resemble him.
When one reads the Quran and the hadith literature one will find that Allah is described with several names and attributes:
(Allah) said: “O Iblis! What prevents thee from prostrating thyself to one whom I have created with my hands? Art thou haughty? Or art thou one of the high (and mighty) ones?” (38:75)
The Beneficent One, Who rose over the Throne. (20:5)
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah’s Apostle (p.b.u.h) said, “Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: “Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him?” (Bukhari)
There are two main interpretations of the attributes of God, ;
-metaphorical, for instance the hands of God refer to his power, the eyes refer to his knowledge and so forth, so everything is interpreted in a metaphorical way.
-you leave the attributes as they are, without adding more to them, or trying to explain how they are, you basically leave it as it is,
So for instance when the verse says Allah has hands, I simply say yes he has hands, however so I do not imagine that his hands are anything like a human hand, I do not even delve into what his hands actually are, I simply leave it as it is and affirm that he has hands. The Quran makes it very clear that there is nothing like God:
And there is none like unto Him. (112:4)
when you affirm that Allah has a hand, an eye, a foot, a shin, and so forth you do not in no way believe or interpret any of these attributes to be anything human like, you simply leave it as it is.
Also part of tawheed is to accept Allah’s attributes belong to him only. “Shirk in Tawheed al-Asma wa-Sifaat is to give other than Allah, the qualities (Attributes), which are specific of Allah Alone. For example, amongst the Attributes of Allah is that He is the Knower of the Unseen and He alone knows what the heart conceals.
Therefore, to consider someone other than Allah to have the knowledge of the past, future or the Unseen is Shirk (associating partners with Allah).
So how many names of Allah can we think of?