Names of Allah

Posted on: Friday, September 28, 2007

A well known hadith concerning the names of Allah is the following: Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah, said, “Allah has ninety-nite names. He who ‘ahsaha’ [enumerates them, believes in them, ponders their meanings, worships Allah by them and supplicates with them, and acts by them according to one’s belief in them] will enter Paradise. He is God other than whom there is no god, the Compassionate, the Merciful, the King, the Holy, the Source of Peace, the Preserver of Security…” The hadith continues to list ninety-nine names of Allah.

This hadith was recorded by at-Tirmidhi and others. Ibn Majah also has recorded something similar to it. In English, it may be found in a number of works, including Mishkat al-Masabih.

This hadith is well-known among the scholars of hadith to be a weak hadith. Most of them consider the actual listing of the names as a later addition by one of the narrators of the hadith and some narrators mistakenly included it as part of the hadith. Among those scholars who reject this hadith as weak are at-Tirmidhi, al-Baihaqi, ibn Hazm, al-Dawudi, ibn Taymiya, ibn Katheer, ibn Hajr, al-Juwaini, ibn Baz, al-Albani, ibn Uthaimin and Abdul Qadir al-Arnaut.

However, it must be noted that there is an authentic hadith with the following wording, that does not include the listing of the names of Allah: Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. Whoever ahsaha will enter Paradise. (Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim)


A problem that results from the above hadith — which seems to be the basis for the posters that are made of the ninety-nine names of Allah — is that it contains some names which are not considered names of Allah. That is, ignoring this weak hadith, there is no authentic hadith or Quranic verse that offers evidence that those names are from the names of Allah. Since the names of Allah must be based on revelation from Allah (the Quran and Sunnah), if there is no authentic proof for specific names, they cannot be called one of the names of Allah. An example from the above hadith is the name al-Rasheed. There is no Quranic verse or authentic hadith that states this name. Hence, one cannot claim it as a name of Allah. Other commonly heard names that apparently are not from the names of Allah are al-Baqi, al-Sitaar and al-Naasir.

It should be noted that the hadith states that Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one, is not meant to be all inclusive. That is, it does not mean that Allah has ninety-nine and only ninety-nine names. Indeed, in going through the Quran and authentic hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) many scholars have been able to discover more than ninety-nine names of Allah. Furthermore, many scholars have concluded that Allah has an infinite number of names. This opinion is based on the following hadith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) made the following supplication, “[O Allah], I ask you of you by every name that You have named yourself or that You have revealed in Your book or that You have taught any of Your creation or that You have kept hidden, in the unseen knowledge, with Yourself.” (Recorded by Ahmad, According to al-Albani, it is sahih.)

For more information on Names of Allah and their meaning in English, please click here


4 Responses to "Names of Allah"

I also read thing a few months ago and was surprised to find out why it was not more well known.

Very interesting. that is why is very important for we muslims to use our brains as we are encouraged to do over and over in the Quran.
You know this abu huraira has over hundreds of thousands hadiths credited to him alone? comes to find out , most of them were fabricated. And were during the caliphate era when the house-holds , decendents of the Prophet (A.S.W) were been persecuted thorught out the muslim cummunity by the muslims. And this sheiks , well some of them stood by the kings and fabricated lots of lies as hadiths , thats suits these aggressors.

Jahandost … Its not well known maybe because Muslims today dont have time to know about/write/understand more about their religion 😦

Samail …. Thanks for your comment,I really appreciate that. I dint knew that there were some fabricated hadith too. Thanks for sharing that with us.
Looking forward to your visits and comments too 🙂

Nice Story !! Actually very nice !!

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