The proof for this is the saying of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in the
"I ask you by every Name that you have named Yourself
with, or which You revealed in Your Book, or which you taught to anyone from
amongst Your creation, OR WHICH YOU KEPT TO YOURSELF IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE
UNSEEN" [Ahmad, Ibn Hibbaan and it is saheeh]
So whatever Allaah has kept to Himself of His Names, it is not
possible for anyone to count their exact number.
As for the hadeeth, "To Allaah belong 99 Names, whoever
enumerates them will enter Paradise", then this is not a proof that Allaah
only has 99 names. The hadeeth says that there are 99 specific Names of Allaah
which if enumerated, memorised acted upon etc.. will cause a person to enter
Paradise. It did not say; "The Names of Allaah are 99, whoever enumerates
them will enter Paradise."
To illustrate this, If I said: "I have 100 pounds which I
have kept aside for charity." This does not prevent the fact that I also
have other pounds which I did not keep aside for charity.
It is not established either from the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that he
listed the 99 names mentioned in the above hadeeth. In fact all the hadeeths
which have the above wording, but then go on to list the names are all
da’eef, as explained by Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmoo ul-Fataawaa (vol 6).
THE SIXTH PRINCIPLE: That we do not do Ilhaad (deviate) in the
matter of Allaah’s Names
"And to Allaah belong the most-beautiful of Names,
therefore call upon Him by them, and leave alone those who deviate in
Allaah’s Names. They will soon be recompensed for what they used to
Deviating can take place in a number of different ways:
1. To reject anything that the Names of Allaah indicate or
give evidence to, such as the Attributes or Qualities behind them, as the
Jahmees do, and the Ash’arees and other straying innovators.
2. To claim that the Names of Allaah give evidence to
attributes which are similar to the creation. (This is Tashbeeh that we
covered in Lesson 2)
3. To call Allaah by a name that He did not call Himself
such as ‘Father’ as the Christians do or ‘The First
Cause’ as the philosophers and the People of Kalaam do.
4. To derive other names from the Names of Allaah and then
to name idols with them. For example al-Uzzaa, one of the gods of the pagans
in the time of the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was derived from Allaah’s Name,
al-Azeez. Likewise, al-Laat was taken from Allaah. However, these names are
unique for Allaah and no one else deserves them, just as He is unique in
deserving the worship of the whole of creation.
1. Why is the topic of Allaah’s Names important?
2. Quote the verse in the Qur;’an in which reference
is given to Allaah’s Names and give the reference.
3. Answer the following objections:
A. There are some names that are common between
Allaah and the creation and if we affirm them for Him aren’t
we likening Him to the creation/
B. If we affirm all these names for Allaah and the
qualities behind them aren’t we creating lots of different
3. Give some examples to illustrate how the Names of Allaah
consist of two things: the Name, and the quality or characterstic behind
4. What is the difference between Allaah being called by
something and the creation being called by something? (Hint, end of Second
5. Explain what is a transitive verb and a non-transitive
6. Give examples of Allaah’s Names which are
transitive and which are non-transitive.
7. What do we have to affirm for:
A. a Name that is transitive?
B. a Name that is non-transitive?
8. Quote two verses to prove that we cannot speak about
Allaah without knowledge, learn them and memorise their references.
9. Is there is a limit to Allaah’s names and do we
know the exact number? Answer this question with proof from the
Qur’aan or the Sunnah.
10. Give some examples of how a person can deviate in the issue of Allaah’s Names (there is some link here to Lesson 2, on the Attributes of Allaah).
14th December 1997