The ninety nine (99) names of Allah Ta’ala

Question

1) Can I have the reference for the ninety nine beautiful names of Allah Ta’ala,

2) And are there other names?

Answer:

1) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

‘Verily Allah Ta’ala has ninety nine names, whomsoever memorizes them, will enter Jannah’

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 2736 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 6750)

Although the above narration is authentic, the Muhaddithun have differed on the authenticity of those narrations which go on explicitly mentioning the ninety nine names.

Numerous Muhaddithun are of the opinion that the ninety nine names are not from the side of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), rather one of the narrators of the Hadith had added these names after searching in the Quran and Hadith.

(Refer: Sunan Tirmidhi, hadith: 3507, Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 1 pg. 16/17)

Despite this, one is still allowed to practice on it as will be explained further on. Especially since those who were of the above view, have not clearly mentioned any prohibition.

Many other Muhaddithun have accepted the narration which records the ninety nine names to be from Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa salaam) himself.

(Refer: Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 808 and Al Adhkar, Hadith: 309)

Hafiz ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has classified the chain of narrators found in Tirmidhi and Sahih Ibn Hibban as being ‘the closest chain to authenticity’.

(Fathul Bari, Hadith 6410)

Although there exists a difference of opinion, it appears as though majority of the ‘Ulama have accepted the ninety nine names as suitable for practice.

Many ‘Ulama, like Imam Ghazali, Fakhrud Din Ar Razi, Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyyah, Ahmad Zaruq and others (rahimahumullah) have written commentaries on the ninety nine names of Allah Ta’ala.

2) The commentators of Hadith are unanimous that Allah Ta’ala has numerous other names, not just ninety nine.

The above Hadith merely states whomsoever memorizes the ninety nine names will enter Jannah , not that Allah Ta’ala only has ninety nine names. This is proven in the following narration recorded by Imams Ahmad (vol. 1 pg. 391) and Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, (Hadith: 972) (rahimahumallah) which has the following words:

…. O Allah, I ask you through all your names, be it those names you have named yourself, or revealed in your Book, or taught some of your creation, or those names you have preferred to keep hidden in your knowledge….

(See: Al Minhaj, commentary of Sahih Muslim of ‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah), Hadith: 6750 and Fathul Bari, Hadith: 6410)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

Source

Do read the comments below by Ibn Suleman.

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3 thoughts on “The ninety nine (99) names of Allah Ta’ala

  1. Ibn Suleman Post author

    The status of the Hadith with the list of Allah’s Names :

    The hadith was collected by:
    Tirmidhi in his “Sunan” #3507, Ibn Khuzaimah in his “Saheeh” [See Futoohaat Rabbaniyah Vol.3 Pg.222 and Shan Dua Pg.98] Ibn Hibban in “Saheeh” #808, Tabarani in “Dua” #111, Khattabi in “Shan Dua” Pg.23-98, Hakim in “Mustadrak” Vol.1 Pg.16, Baihaqi in “Kabir” #19846, and Baghawi in “Sharhus Sunnah” #1257.

    The narrators are all reliable (ثقات) and the two accused of tadlees (تدليس) have explicitly mentioned tahdith (تحديث). [See Arnawut on Ibn Hibban Vol.3 Pg.89]

    Imam Nawawi classified the hadith as sound (حسن). [See Azkaar #269 Pg.166-7] Dr. Muhammad Saeed also classified the chain as sound in his research on Tabarani’s “Dua”. [#111 Pg.829]

    Shawkani states that Ibn Hibban and Haakim has authenticated this hadith. [Tuhfatuz Zakireen Pg.74]

    Imam Haakim states in “Mustadrak ala Saheehain”:
    “This Hadith has been narrated in both Saheehs (Bukhari and Muslim) with authentic chains, without the list of Names. The ellah (cause of weakness) in this hadith according to them is that Waleed ibn Muslim is alone in transmitting it at length with the list of Names, while no other narrator mentioned them. However, this is not an ellah, because I do not know of any difference of opinion between the Imams of Hadith concerning Waleed ibn Muslim being more reliable, having a better retention, being more knowledgeable and greater than Abul Yamaan, Bishr ibn Shuaib, Ali ibn Ayyash and their contemporaries from the students of Shuaib.” Zahabi concurs with him. Thereafter, Haakim mentions another supporting narration, which he graded authentic. However, Zahabi pointed out that it has a weak narrator. [Mustadrak Vol.1 Pg.16-17]

    Hafiz Ibn Hajr was of the opinion that the list was interpolated by a narrator of the hadith and that it was not actually listed by the Nabi (صلى الله عليه وسلم) himself. [See his Amali Mutlaqah Pg.227-248 and Fathul Bari under Hadith 6410]
    However, Allamah Shawkani refutes this in his “Tuhfatuz Zakireen”. He states:

    “It should not elude you that this list (of Allah’s Names) has been authenticated by two Imams and classified sound by a third. So to claim that a scholar compiled the list from the Quran is incorrect. And simply reaching one that such has occured, cannot rise up to contradict the narration. Ahadith are not rejected by such (claims). As for the hadith of Imam Ahmed (mentioned above in the original article) then the most that can be said is that the Asmaaul Husnaa are more than this number (99). However, that does not contradict this number being the one concerning which the encouragement of counting and memorising has been narrated. This is clear, open and obvious.” [Tufatuz Zakireen Pg.74]
    Sidduqe Hasan Bophali also concurs with Shawkani in his “Nuzulul Abrar” [Pg.133] and so does Shaikh Ubaidullah Mubarakpuri in his Sharh of Mishkat, “Miraatul Mafateeh” [Vol.7 Pg.436].

    As for the issue of idhtirab (difference/contradiction) in the wordings, then the teacher of Hafiz Munziri, Hafiz Abul Hasan Ibnul Hassar and others state that this is removed by the fact that, the other narrations are weak and this one of Tirmithi (and Ibn Hibban etc.) is strong. This is why Imam Tirmithi, who is an authority in elalul hadith, prefered this narration over the others. Therefeore no contradiction remains. [See Qurtubi’s Asnaa fee Sharh Asmaail Husnaa Pg.55-58]

  2. Ibn Suleman Post author

    Memorising the list of Allah’s Names from Tirmithi’s narration and using them in invocations and oaths:

    The teacher of Hafiz Munziri, Allamah Abul Hasan Ibnul Hassar (رحمهما الله) said:
    “This hadith -according to me- is evidence and it is necessary (wajib) to accept it, practise on it and refer to it.” [See Qurtubi’s Asnaa fee Sharh Asmaail Husnaa Pg.58]

    It is an established law that we are only allowed to swear and take an oath on Allah or any of His Beautiful Names. The great muhaddith and faqeeh, Imam Baihaqi mentions this “hadith with the list of Names” under the chapter of taking oaths with Allah’s Names. [See his “Sunan Kabir” Vol.20 Pg.51-57]
    From this he is proving that it is permissible to memorise these Names and use them in supplications and oaths.

    Even though Imam Baghawi mentions the possibilty of interpolation he still states that one may use the list mentioned in the Tirmithi’s narration. He says in “Sharh Sunnah”:

    “It is a possibility that these names were listed by a narrator (of the hadith). All these names are found in the Book of Allah and in the Ahadith of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) explicitly or implicitly.
    Allah (عزوجل) has other names which are mentioned in the Book and Sunnah. Some of which are:
    الرَّبُّ ، وَالْمَوْلَى ، وَالنَّصِيرُ ، وَالْفَاطِرُ ، وَالْمُحِيطُ ، وَالْجَمِيلُ ، وَالصَّادِقُ ، وَالْقَدِيمُ ، وَالْوِتْرُ ، وَالْحَنَّانُ ، وَالْمَنَّانُ ، وَالشَّافِي ، وَالْكَفِيلُ ، وَذُو الطَّوْلِ ، وَذُو الْفَضْلِ ، وَذُو الْعَرْشِ ، وَذُو الْمَعَارِجِand others.
    Mentioning some (in the hadith) and leaving out others is due to these being the most famous Names.
    The meaning of “whoever memorises them” is whoever memorises any ninety-nine names of Allah will enter Jannah, regardless of if one memorises the ones mentioned in the hadith of Waleed ibn Muslim (collected by Tirmithi #3507, Ibn Hibban 808 and others) or from all those indicated to in the Book and Sunnah. Shaikh Ahmed Baihaqi has commented in this manner.” [Sharh Sunnah Vol.5 Pg.35 and Asmaa was Sifaat by Baihaqi]

  3. Ibn Suleman Post author

    A list of some of the ulama who consider this hadith to be strong enough to practise on:
    1. Tirmidhi (d.279) in his “Sunan”
    2. Ibn Hibban (d.354) in his “Saheeh”
    3. Tabarani (d.360) in “Dua” [#111]
    4. Khattabi (d.388) in “Shan Dua” He explains the meaning of all 99 names from Pg.30 till Pg.98
    5. Hakim (d.405) in his “Mustadrak”
    6. Baihaqi (d.458) in “Sunan Kabir”
    7. Baghawi (d.516) in “Sharhus Sunnah”
    8. Nawawi (d.676) in “Azkaar”
    9. Ibnul Jazari (d.833) in “Hisnul Haseen” [Pg.42-43]
    10. Suyuti (d.911) in “Jameus Sagheer” (See Faidhul Qadir Vol.2 Pg.483-488]
    11. Mulla Ali Qari (d.1014) in “Mirqaat” [Vol.5 Pg.201] and “Hizbul Azam”.
    12. Munawi (d.1031) in “Faidhul Qadeer”
    13. Ibn Allan (d.1057) in “Futoohaat Rabbaniyah” [Vol.3 Pg.221]
    14. Siddique Hasan Bophali (d.1307) in “Nuzulul Abrar” [Pg.134]
    15. Mubarakpuri in Mir’aatul Mafatih” [Vol.7 Pg.436]

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