The proper Name of Almighty God is Allah Who has other ninety nine attributive names which all have been mentioned in the Qur’an, the revealed book of Islam. The word Allah is the Arabic name of God and it consists of two words: “Al” and “Ilah”. The first one is the definite article, while the second one means “the being who is worshipped”. When these two words were joined the letter “i” at the beginning of the second word was dropped for easier pronunciation and thereby the two words became inseparable merging into one word “Allah”. Thus “Allah” means “The God”, i.e., “the supreme being who is worshipped by all creatures and to whom all turn and pray for fulfillment of their needs.”
The Ninety-Nine Attributive Names of Allah denote Attributes of the Almighty. For example, God’s Name Ar-Rahman means the most compassionate as in showing mercy God does not distinguish between pious and sinners. Al-Khaliq is another name of God which denotes the attribute of creation which basically belongs to God. Ar-Raziq means the ‘Provider’ and it denotes Allah’s attribute of providing sustenance to all His creatures. Thus each name of the Almighty highlights each or sometimes more of His attributes. Although memorizing all these Names of God is not discouraged but the greatest merit lies in that if the attributes contained in these names are followed instead of repeating the names on a rosary like a parrot. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have said: “Imbue thyself with divine attributes”. God is Ar-Rahim (the most Merciful), so a human being should also show mercy to his fellow beings. Similarly God is Ghafoor (the most forgiving) so a believer should also follow this divine attribute and forgive the faults of his fellows.
One of the Names of God is the greatest (called Ism-e-Azim) but nobody knows which it is and where to find it. There exists a great difference of opinion among the jurists and scholars about the greatest name of Allah. According to a tradition of the Prophet of Islam, the greatest name of Allah is in these two verses: verse no. 163 of the Qur’an’s chapter 2 and verse no 2 of its chapter 3.
Hafiz Ibn-e-Hajr Asqalani, great Muslim scholar and commentator of the Holy Qur’an, in his book Fathul-Bari, has statedly drawn up a list of the verses wherein all the names of Allah are found. Generally following verses are identified to contain the 99 Attributive names of God.
1 (1-3); 2(115, 126, 128, 158, 163, 255, 263); 3(2, 8, 62); 4(1, 43, 45, 85, 86); 6(14, 18, 65, 74, 102, 104, 115); 11(57, 61, 73); 12(21, 39, 64); 13(9, 23); 16(70, 91); 17(44, 65, 110); 18(110); 19(47); 20(14, 82); 21(112); 22(17); 24(20, 25, 35); 25(30, 31); 27 (9, 40); 28(58); 30(52); 32(22); 34(26); 36(81); 38(65); 39(36); 40(3, 15, 20, 22); 42(19, 28); 51(58); 52(28); 54(55); 57(3); 59(22, 24); 85(14); 87(1); 96(3); 112(1-2);
Following are 99 Attributive Names of the Almighty:
Following are some of the Verses of the Qur’an which contain Allah’s Names and also call upon the believers to invoke Allah with these names so that their prayers be accepted:
be to Allah, Lord of the World,
2. He is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things. ––2: Al–Baqarah: 29
3. Unto Allah belong the East and the West, and whithersoever ye turn, there is Allah’s countenance. Lo! Allah is All-Embracing, All-knowing. ––2: Al–Baqarah: 115
4. Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them. While they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous. ––2: Al–Baqarah: 255
There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal.
6. Lo! This verily Is the true narrative. There is no God save Allah, and lo! Allah is the Mighty, the Wise. ––3: Al–Imran: 62
7. He selecteth for His mercy whom He will. Allah is of infinite bounty. ––3: Al–Imran: 74
Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers.
9. Will they not rather turn unto Allah and seek forgiveness of Him? For Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. ––5: Al–Ma’idah: 74
10. He is the Omnipotent over His slaves, and He is the Wise, the Knower. ––6: Al–An’am: 18
11. Allah’s are the fairest names. Invoke Him by them. And leave the company of those who blaspheme His names. They will be requited for what they do. ––7: Al–A’raf: 180
12. Announce, (O Muhammad) unto My slaves that verily I am the Forgiving, the Merciful. ––15: Al–Hijr: 49
13. Say (unto mankind): Cry unto Allah, or cry unto the Beneficent, unto whichsoever ye cry (it is the same). His are the most beautiful names. And thou (Muhammad), be not loud voiced in thy worship not yet silent therein, but follow a way between. ––17: Bani Isra’il: 110
14. Say: Though the sea became ink for the Words of my Lord, verily the sea would be used un before the Words of my Lord were exhausted, even though We brought the like thereof to help. ––18: Al–Kahf: 109
15. Allah! There is no God save Him. His are the most beautiful names. ––20: Ta Ha: 8
16. Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The similitude of His light is as a niche wherein is a lamp. The lamp is in a glass. The glass is as it were a shining star. (This lamp is) kindled from a blessed tree, an olive neither of the East nor of the West, whose oil would almost glow forth (of itself) though no fire touched it. Light upon light. Allah guideth unto His light whom He will. And Allah speaketh to mankind in allegories, for Allah is knower of all things. ––24: An–Nur: 35
not unto any other god along with Allah. There is no God save Him.
Everything will perish save His countenance. His is the command, and
unto Him ye will be brought back.
all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea, with seven more
seas to help it, (were ink), the words of Allah could not be
exhausted. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise.
Our Lord will bring us all together, then He will judge between us
with truth. He is the All-knowing judge.
mankind! Ye are the poor in your relation to Allah. And Allah! He is
the Absolute, the Owner of Praise.
21. The Forgiver of sin, the Accepter of repentance, The Stern in punishment, The Bountiful. There is no God save Him. Unto Him is the journeying. ––40: Al–Mu’min: 3
22. Lo! Allah! He it is that giveth livelihood, the Lord of unbreakable might. ––51: Adh–Dhariyat: 2
be the name of thy Lord, Mighty and Glorious!
24. He is the First and the Last, and the Outward and the Inward; and He is Knower of all things. ––57: Al–Hadid: 3
Allah, than whom there is no other God, the knower of the invisible
and visible. He is the Beneficent, the Merciful. He is Allah, than
whom there is no other God, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace,
the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the
Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto
it is Who produceth, then reproduceth,
is Allah, the One!
Following are some of the Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which call upon the believers to count Allah’s Names and beseech Allah with His Names.
1. Abu Hurairah reported that the Apostle of Allah said: there are 99 names (one hundred but one) for Allah. Whoso counts them will enter Paradise. And in a narration: And He is one and loves what is single. (Bukhari, Muslim)
reported that the Apostle of Allah heard a man say: ‘O Allah! I
beseech Thee as Thou art Allah. There is no deity but Thou, the One,
Free from want, One who begets not nor was begotten, and there is no
equal like Him”. He said: He has beseeched Allah with His greatest
name. If He is implored with it, He gives; and if He is invoked with
it, He responds.
reported that the Apostle of Allah said: The greatest name of Allah is
in these two verses: “And your Lord is one God; there is no deity but
He; the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful” (2:163) and in the
opening of the Family of Imran – “Alif, Lam, Mim; He is Allah; there
is no deity but He, the Ever-living, the Eternal”
God has knowledge of everything, of whatsoever is in the heavens and in the earth. He knows what you hide in your breasts or reveal it. He knows that which is in the heavens and that which is in the earth. He knows what is in front of you and that which is behind you, while you encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. God knows your secrets and your utterances and He knows what you earn. It is only God who knows what is in the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but He knows it, not a grain amid the darkness of the night, naught of wet or dry but it is noted in a clear record. God is the Knower of the invisible and the visible and He knows which every female bears. Only He knows the secrets of the heavens and the earth and with Him are the keys of the invisible. According to the Qur’an, only God has the knowledge of the unseen. None of His creatures, no mortal nor even any messenger has knowledge of the unseen until and unless God gives him some of such knowledge. Only He knows when the doomsday would come, He knows which is in the wombs. No soul knows what it will earn and in what land it will die. He knows which goes down into the earth and that which comes forth from it, and that which descends from the heaven and that which ascends into it. No female bears or brings forth, save with His knowledge. No secret conference of three takes place but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of less than that or more but he is with them. In short, God’s knowledge of the seen and unseen, of visible and invisible, of past, present and future, of hidden and known, of everything in the earth or in the heavens, is perfect, total and absolute. Out of His grace, He makes part of His knowledge available to His servants.
Allah has granted man some knowledge ever since He intended to appoint man as vicegerent on earth. Man, however, allows himself to be dazzled by the limited knowledge which has been given to him and sometimes becomes so arrogant as to forget the existence of God who created the universe and bestowed many blessings on man.
The following verses of the Qur’an bring into focus God’s knowledge:
There is no God save Him, the Alive, The Eternal. Neither slumber nor
sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens
and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him
save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that
which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge
save what He will. His Throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and
He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the
2. Lo! nothing in the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah. ––3: Al–Imran: 5
3. Say, (O Muhammad): Whether ye hide that which is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knoweth it. Her knoweth that which is in the heavens and that which is in the earth, and Allah is Able to do all things. ––3: Al–Imran: 29
is Allah in the heavens and in the earth. He knoweth both your secret
and your utterance, and He knoweth what ye earn.
5. And with Him are the keys of the invisible. None but He knoweth them. And He knoweth what is in the land and the sea. Not a leaf falleth but He knoweth it, not a grain amid the darkness of the earth, naught of wet or dry but (it is noted) in a clear record. ––6: Al–An’am: 59
Knoweth that which every female beareth and that which the wombs
absorb and that which they grow.
7. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): He Who knoweth the secret of the heavens and the earth hath revealed it. Lo. He ever is Forgiving, Merciful. ––25: Al–Furqan: 6
8. O my dear son! Lo! though it be but the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Lo Allah is Subtile, Aware. ––31: Luqman: 16
Lo! Allah with Him is knowledge of the
Hour. He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth that which is in the
wombs. No soul Knoweth what it will earn to-morrow, and no soul
knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.
10. He Knoweth that which goeth down into the earth and that which cometh forth from it, and that which descendeth from the heaven and that which ascendeth into it. He is the Merciful, the Forgiving. ––34: Saba: 2
11. Allah created you from dust, then from a little fluid then He made you pairs (the male and female). No female beareth or bringeth forth save with His knowledge. And no one groweth old who groweth old, nor is aught lessened of his life, but it is recorded in a Book. Lo! that is easy for Allah. ––35: Al-Fatir: 11
Lo! Allah is the Knower of the Unseen of
the Heavens and the earth. Lo He is Aware of the secret of (men’s)
13. Unto Him is referred (all) knowledge of the Hour. And no fruits burst forth from their sheaths, and no female carrieth or bringeth forth but with His knowledge. And on the day when He calleth unto them: Where are now My partners? They will say: We confess unto Thee, not one of us is a witness (for them). ––41: Ha Mim As-Sajdah: 47
14. Hast thou not seen that Allah knoweth all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. There is no secret conference of three but He is their fourth, nor of five but He is their sixth, nor of less than that or more but He is with them wheresoever they may be; and afterward, on the Day of Resurrection, He will inform them of what they did. Lo! Allah is Knower of all things. ––58: Al-Mujadilah: 7
15. He is the Knower of the unseen, and He revealth unto none His secret, save unto every messenger whom He hath chosen, and then He maketh a guard to go before him and a guard behind him. ––72: Al–Jinn: 26-27
According to the Qur’an, God is Ever–Living or Alive and Eternal. Eternal life is a life which neither starts nor ends at any point in time. Such life is absolutely above the concept of time which is always attached to the lives of creatures. Lives of creatures run for limited periods starting at one point in time and coming to end at other point in time. God is only one Who can be described as Eternal or Ever-living as no start or end in terms of time can be attributed to His life. The concept of Eternal life also refers to a self-sustaining life which is not derived from any outside source, and this concept also applies only to Allah as lives of creatures are not eternal because those are given to them by the creator. According to the Qur’an, everything will perish and pass away except the Countenance of the Almighty Allah. Thus speaks the Qur’an about this attribute of God:
According to the Qur’an, Allah is the Protector and He is the best of helpers. He is Protecting Friend of those who believe and He brings them out of darkness into light. If God is your helper, none can overcome you. But if He withdraws His help, then none can help you. Indeed Allah is the best Protecting Friend, a blessed Patron and blessed Helper. The Holy Qur’an says:
The Qur’an tells us that God is the Beneficent and the Most Merciful. God is the most Merciful of all who show mercy. He has prescribed for Himself mercy. Who does evil and then repents and starts doing right, God forgives him and shows him His mercy. God is merciful to individuals as well as to nations. According to traditions of Prophet Muhammad, God has written in a record that His mercy surpasses His wrath. God has one hundred mercies out of which He kept ninety-nine with Him and distributed only one among Jinn, men and all animals. God is more affectionate to His servant than a mother is for her child.
The Holy Qur’an says:
About God’s Mercy, the Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are:
God is Forgiving, Merciful. According to the Qur’an, God may forgive every sin other than that of polytheism. He may not forgive those who are disbelievers in Him and who associate partners unto Him. Whoso commits a sin and then seeks pardon of God sincerely, God shows His clemency and pardons him so much so if a person is forced by necessity and eats a forbidden (Haram) thing like swineflesh, God forgives him. Although God is strong in punishing yet He is rich in pardon for mankind despite their wrong doing. Were God to take mankind to task for their wrong doing, He would not have left on land any living creature. Those who repent, and believe and do good works, God may change their evil deeds to good deeds instead of pardoning them only. According to traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), when a sinner beseeches God, He forgives his sins even if they are as numerous as to reach the clouds of heaven or there are earthful of sins provided the sinner does not set up partners with God. So the believers have been advised by the Prophet to seek forgiveness of God at least hundred times a day.
Following Verses of the Qur’an highlight God’s attribute of forgiveness:
Traditions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) about God’s Attribute of forgiving sins of His servants are: