Fruits and benefits of knowing the most beautiful Names of Allaah
Fatwa No: 31970

Question

Allaah The Almighty has ninety-nine Names. What are they? What are the benefits of learning these Names?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alyhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

We have previously explained the saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, that Allaah The Almighty has ninety-nine Names, whoever memorizes them, calls to Him using these Names and acts according to them will enter Paradise. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] At-Tirmithi also narrated this Hadeeth and mentioned, in addition, the Names themselves.

There are numerous benefits in learning these Names and they are very important. The following are some of these benefits:

─ Knowing Allaah The Almighty. Knowing the meanings of the Names of Allaah The Exalted and His supreme Attributes brings about true knowledge of the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Qiwaam As-Sunnah Al-Asfahaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him quoted some scholars as saying that the first obligation Allaah The Almighty imposed on His slaves is to know Him; when people know Him, they worship Him. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allaah.} [Quran 47:19] Muslims have to know the Names of Allaah The Almighty and their meanings so that they would glorify Him as He should be glorified. If a man wants to deal with someone, he will ask about his name and nickname, his father’s and grandfather’s names and will ask about everything concerning him; by the same token, Allaah The Almighty has created us and has given us provision, and we hope for His mercy and fear His punishment, and that is why we are more required to know His Names and their meanings.

Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him explained that a slave cannot have firm faith or knowledge until he believes in the Attributes of Allaah The Almighty and knows them so well that he is not ignorant of His Lord The Almighty. Believing in the Attributes and knowing them are the basis of Islam and the foundation of faith and the fruit of goodness.

─ Knowing Allaah The Almighty with His Names and Attributes is a means for man to deal with his Lord according to their benefits. These benefits are: fear, hope, reliance on Allaah The Almighty and all other spiritual acts of worship in addition to many other benefits, as explained by Al-‘Izz ibn ‘Abd As-Salaam  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him. He also stated that mentioning Allaah The Exalted by the Attribute of Beauty brings about mercy; by Attributes of Perfection brings about veneration; by the fact that He is the sole Creator of everything, brings about reliance on Him; by Vast Mercy brings about hope, by Severe Avenger brings about fear; and by the fact that He is the sole Provider of favors brings about thankfulness. That is why Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {O you who have believed, remember Allaah with much remembrance.} [Quran 33:41]

─ Acting in accordance with these Names. Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him quoted Ibn Battaal  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him as saying that acting in accordance with these Attributes means to follow the example of Allaah The Almighty in the Attributes man is allowed to be characterized by, such as the Name: the Most Merciful and the Generous. Allaah The Almighty likes to see these characteristics in His slaves. A slave should train himself on these Attributes that are suitable for him. However, for the Attributes that are exclusive to Allaah The Almighty such as the Compeller and the Most Great, a slave has to acknowledge and submit to them, but never try to be characterized by any of them. For the Names that carry the meaning of promise, we should derive only the meaning of hope and the desire for good. Also, for Names carrying the meaning of punishment, we should derive only the meaning of fear and awe.

─ Achieving monotheism and declaring oneself free of polytheism. There is a firm relationship between believing in the Names and the Attributes of Allaah The Almighty and acknowledging His Oneness. The more a slave realizes these Names and Attributes in theory and in practice, the more he is able to acknowledge the Oneness of Allaah The Almighty.

Conversely, there is a close relationship between polytheism and denying the Names or Attributes of Allaah The Almighty. To further explain this close relationship, Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him explains that the origin of any polytheism is either negating the Words of Allaah The Almighty or stripping them of their real Sharee’ah-related meanings (i.e., Ta‘teel - denying). Had there not been any Ta‘teel of the Words of Allaah The Almighty or for some of them, there would not have been any polytheism at all.

Ibraaheem (Abraham)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention said to his people as stated in the saying of Allaah The Almighty (what means): {Is it falsehood [as] gods other than Allaah you desire? Then what is your thought about the Lord of the worlds?"} [Quran 37:86-87] The verse means: what is your thought about Him concerning the recompense you would be given after you have worshiped other than Him? What is your thought about Him such that you associate others with Him? Did you think that Allaah The Almighty is in need of partners and assistants? Do you think that some of the affairs of His slaves are unknown to Him and that is why He - like kings - needs partners to inform Him about these affairs? Do you think that He alone is unable to manage their affairs and fulfill their needs? Do you think that He is so harsh that He needs intercessors to invoke His pity upon His slaves? In brief, Ta‘teel is the basis and the starting point of polytheism. The more a person denies the Names and/or the Attributes of Allaah The Almighty or strips them of their meaning, the more his polytheism increases.

─ Being patient in the face of calamities and trials that afflict man. Allaah The Almighty is Wise, Knowledgeable and is a fair Judge who never wrongs anyone. Whoever knows that His Lord has these characteristics will be satisfied with His Decree and Destiny. Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said that whoever correctly knows his Lord and understands His Names and Attributes knows for sure that the affliction, calamities and trials that befall him involve interests and benefits that neither his mind nor knowledge can realize. Moreover, often unknown to him, the interest of a slave occurs in that which he dislikes more than in that which he likes.

-        Having strong faith in Allaah The Almighty and having confidence in Him; knowing that He is the Powerful and the Wise who does whatever He wills entails that one has this faith in Allaah. Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said that most people think evil thoughts about Allaah The Almighty in that which concerns them and in what He does to others; no one is saved from this except a person who knows Allaah The Almighty, His Names and Attributes and His Wisdom and consequently thanks Him for that. If you investigate a person who is not satisfied with what happens to him, you will find him blaming Destiny even if he does so only within himself; he thinks that his Destiny should have been such and such. There are people who do that many times while others who do it only a few times. Therefore, try to assess your own self to see whether you are free of that or not.

─ Good morals and good behavior as well as being free from such illnesses like self-admiration, ostentation and envy. 

  Among religious innovators are those who think that a slave creates his own actions; they think that it is man who creates and brings about goodness and that Paradise is the inevitable price for his deeds. Of course all of this implants in them vanity and self-conceit. If a slave knows his Lord with the attributes of perfection and the attributes of grandeur, and knows that He is the Provider of all favors and blessings - including enabling man to do good deeds – then this slave will be thankful and humble and will never admire his own deeds. By the same token, if man knows his Lord with His Names and Attributes, he will never feel haughty and will never envy anyone for what Allaah The Almighty has given him because envy, in effect, is dissatisfaction with the Wisdom of Allaah The Almighty, and the favors He grants to a slave is a part of His Wisdom; the envier detests these favors bestowed and accorded by Allaah The Exalted in His Perfect Wisdom, and that is why he objects to His Wisdom in His Decree and Fate.

 ─   Keeping busy in supplicating to Allaah The Almighty. Supplication is one of the greatest and most important acts of worship; supplication is worship itself, as explained by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam, [Ahmad, Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi, An-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah.] Supplication is related to understanding and acknowledging the Names and Attributes of Allaah The Almighty. Ibn ‘Aqeel  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him indicated this by saying that Allaah The Exalted urged man to supplicate Him as this has many meanings:

1─ Existence: the nonexistent can never be supplicated to.

2 ─ Richness: the poor cannot be supplicated to.

3 ─ Hearing: the deaf cannot be supplicated to.

4 ─ Generosity: the miser cannot be supplicated to.

5 ─ Might: the disabled cannot be supplicated to.

In general, there are many benefits of learning the Most Beautiful Names and the Supreme Attributes of Allaah The Almighty. What we have mentioned is only a reminder of them. To mention them all in detail would require volumes.

Allaah Knows best.

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