1) Can I have the reference for the ninety nine beautiful names of Allah Ta’ala,
2) And are there other names?
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
Do read the comments below by Ibn Suleman.