Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah has many
names, all of which are indicative of His Greatness, Perfection and Majesty, may He be
glorified and exalted. He has told us some of these Names in His Book and through the
Sunnah of His Messenger
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him); He also has other
Names which are known only to Him, as is indicated in the hadeeth of 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ood
(may Allaah be pleased with him), who said:
"The Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 'There is
nobody who is afflicted with distress or grief and who says: "Allaahumma inni 'abduka
wa ibn 'abdika wa ibn amatika, naasiyati bi yadika maadin fiyya hukmuka 'adlun fiyya
qadaa'uka, as'aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw 'allamtahu ahadan
min khalqika aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw asta'tharta bihi fi 'ilmi al-ghaybi 'indaka an
taj'al al-Qur'aana rabee'a qalbi wa noor sadri wa jilaa'a huzni wa dhihaaba hammi (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 ever 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 ease.' He was asked, 'O
Messenger of Allaah, should we not learn it?' He said, 'Of course, whoever hears it should
learn it.'" (Reported by Imaam Ahmad; this is a saheeh hadeeth).
The Names of Allaah mentioned in the Qur'aan and Sunnah number over one hundred, as
several scholars have agreed (see Al-Qawaa'id al-Muthlaa fi Sifaat
Allaahi wa Asmaa'ihi by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih ibn 'Uthaymeen).
Among these are ninety-nine
names which, if one learns them and acts in accordance with them, will bring a great
reward, as is indicated in the hadeeth narrated by Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased
with him), in which the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: "Allaah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one; whoever learns them will
enter Paradise." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, no. 2736)
The learning referred to in the hadeeth includes the following:
Understanding their meanings.
Acting upon them: so if a person learns
that Allaah is al-Ahad (the One and Only), he will not associate anything else with Him;
if he learns that He is al-Razzaaq (the Provider), he will not seek provision from anyone
else; if he learns that He is al-Raheem (the Most Merciful), he will not despair of His
Mercy, and so on.
Calling upon Allaah by these Names, as He
says (interpretation of the meaning): "And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong
to Allaah, so call on Him by them
" [al-A'raaf 7:180] - so one might say
"Yaa Rahmaan arhamni (O Most Merciful, have mercy on me)," "Yaa Ghafoor
ighfir li (O All-Forgiving, forgive me)," "Yaa Tawwaab, tubb 'alayya (O Accepter
of Repentance, turn towards me in forgiveness)," and so on.
If you pay attention to the
endings of many aayaat, you will find many of the names of Allah mentioned there. And
Allaah knows best.