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بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ الرَّ‌حِيمِ

The above verse mentions two names of Allah (SWT):

  1. الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ (Most Merciful)

  2. الرَّ‌حِيمِ (Most Kind)

My question is, why does Allah (SWT) have 99 names? Is this number significant in any way?

  • 1
    Is it three with the name Allah, instead of two? – mmdemirbas Jun 23 '12 at 10:53
5

You are referring to the hadith of the Prophet (Sal allahu 'alayhi wa sallam):

“Allaah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one; whoever memorizes them will enter Paradise.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

The word that was translated to "memorize" in Arabic is "أحصى": to enumerate. So the scholars say this reward is not just for memorization, but living by them, making supplication (du'a) according to them and so on.

The reality is that Allah does not have just 99 names. These are 99 special names that we do not know about. Although there is a hadith which mentions 99 specific names in the collection of al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, the scholars of hadith ruled that addition to be weak
(source: http://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/48/138 and http://sunnah.com/ibnmajah/34/35).

The reason we don't know about these names, is that we are encouraged to learn all of Allah's names and use them (make supplication with them, etc.) There are definitely more than 100 names in the Qur'an and Sunnah (I believe the figure is close to 150, I would have to double-check). In actuality Allah's names are infinite, according to this Hadith:

"There is no-one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says: 'O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant; my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety', but Allaah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.” He was asked: “O Messenger of Allaah, should we learn this?” He said: “Of course; everyone who hears it should learn it.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

So as you can see, there are names that we don't even know about ("You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You")

Now the scholars have defined some rules for what qualifies as a "Name" of Allah, which can be discussed in a different topic.

  • 2
    Something I would like to add regarding the belief. The Names of Allah we know from Qur'an and Sunnah are some hundred. However, the point is that we believe it is not restricted to that. Those are the only ones that is made known to us. There are other names that is known only to Allah. – Abdullah Jun 21 '12 at 19:42
2

Allah (SWT) has thousands of names and 1000 of them are mentioned in Dua Jowshan Kabir; (you may can find that dua here)

The 99 names are the Husna names according to this verse of Quran:

وَ لِلّهِ الأَسْماءُ الْحُسْنى فَادْعُوهُ بِها

and for Allah is the Good names so ask God with those names.

And there are many Hadith from prophet and Ahl Bayt said those names in this verse are 99 special names and who call God with those names his asking will be accepted. so those 99 names are special. and those 99 names are mentioned in Quran and exactly mentioned in Hadith.


Imam Sadiq (SA) after talking about above verse said those 99 especial names are:

وَ هِیَ اللّهُ، الإِلهُ، الْواحِدُ، الأَحَدُ، الصَّمَدُ، الأَوَّلُ، الآْخِرُ، السَّمِیعُ، الْبَصِیرُ، الْقَدِیرُ، الْقادِرُ، الْعَلِیُّ، الأَعْلى، الْباقِی، الْبَدِیعُ، الْبارِئُ، الأَکْرَمُ، الْباطِنُ، الْحَیُّ، الْحَکِیمُ، الْعَلِیمُ، الْحَلِیمُ، الْحَفِیظُ، الْحَقُّ، الْحَسِیبُ، الْحَمِیدُ، الْحَفِیُّ، الرَّبُّ، الرَّحْمانُ، الرَّحِیمُ، الذّارِئُ، الرّازِقُ، الرَّقِیبُ، الرَّءُوفُ، الرّائِی، السَّلامُ، الْمُؤْمِنُ، الْمُهَیْمِنُ، الْعَزِیزُ، الْجَبّارُ، الْمُتَکَبِّرُ، السَّیِّدُ، السُّبُّوحُ، الشَّهِیدُ، الصّادِقُ، الصّانِعُ، الظّاهِرُ، الْعَدْلُ، الْعَفُوُّ، الْغَفُورُ، الْغَنِیُّ، الْغِیاثُ، الْفاطِرُ، الْفَرْدُ، الْفَتّاحُ، الْفالِقُ، الْقَدِیمُ، الْمَلِکُ، الْقُدُّوسُ، الْقَوِیُّ، الْقَرِیبُ، الْقَیُّومُ، الْقابِضُ، الْباسِطُ، قاضِی الْحاجاتِ، الْمَجِیدُ، الْمَوْلى، الْمَنّانُ، الْمُحِیطُ، الْمُبِینُ، الْمُغِیثُ، الْمُصَوِّرُ، الْکَرِیمُ، الْکَبِیرُ، الْکافِی، کاشِفُ الضُّرِّ، الْوَتْرُ، النُّورُ، الْوَهّابُ، النّاصِرُ، الْواسِعُ، الْوَدُودُ، الْهادِی، الْوَفِیُّ، الْوَکِیلُ، الْوارِثُ، الْبَرُّ، الْباعِثُ، التَّوّابُ، الْجَلِیلُ، الْجَوادُ، الْخَبِیرُ، الْخالِقُ، خَیْرُ النّاصِرِینَ، الدَّیّانُ، الشَّکُورُ، الْعَظِیمُ، اللَّطِیفُ، الشّافِی.


Reference of Hadith: «بحار الانوار»، جلد 4، صفحه 186 و جلد 90، صفحه 273 (با تفاوت) ـ «توحید صدوق»، صفحه 194، انتشارات جامعه مدرسین، قم، 1398 هـ ق ـ «خصال صدوق»، جلد 2، صفحه 593، انتشارات جامعه مدرسین، قم، 1403 هـ ق.

Each name of Allah (SWT) is for one attribute and one law of Allah (SWT).

  • 1
    Is the source you have given me reliable? – Dynamic Jun 20 '12 at 12:55
  • There are more than 99 names in the Quran. The number 99 does not have to do with the Quran. – user73 Jun 20 '12 at 13:01
  • 3
    no there are 99 names in the Quran, the others you see are called attributes or Sifat. – مجاهد Jun 20 '12 at 13:08
  • Please make it clear in the answer that this corresponds with Shi'i belief. – Ansari Jun 20 '12 at 17:04
  • 3
    The content of your answer and the sources you cite are clearly Shi'a - please make that apparent. For example, Sunnis don't believe that 10,000 of Allah's Names are contained in that book. Nor is there a consensus on what those 99 names are (certain scholars have given their views though) and finally, I don't know of any Sunni scholar who definitively says each Name is for one Attribute and one Law. So please make it clear. – Ansari Jun 20 '12 at 17:54
0

Asalamu wa alaikum,

Only Allah knows how many names He has. There is significance in 99 names, the Prophet May peace and blessings be Upon Him said:

Allah is witr and He loves Witr

The known meaning here is odd numbers, so because of this I believe this is what the significance of 99 names.

0

Since there are good adjectives and bad adjectives and Allah is greater than ..."الله اکبر من ال..." this proves that Allah is superior -in every aspect of goodness which may contain thousands of good attributes- so there are unnumbered amount of "اسماء الحسنی" or "good names" for Allah .

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