Friday, August 19, 2011

Some of the Names of Allaah and their meanings


can you give all the meanings of attributes
of allah, including its literal and technical meaning and where it is mentioned in the
quran or sunnah

Praise be to Allaah.

This is a question which needs a very long answer, but
we will summarize it as follows:

Firstly, the names of Allaah are not limited to any specific number. We
know some of them and do not know others, as is indicated by the hadeeth of
‘Abd-Allaah 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 no
one among you who, when he is stricken with distress and grief, says, “Allaahumma
inni ‘abduka wabnu ‘abdika wabnu amatika naasiyati bi yadika maadin fiyya
hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka. As’aluka bi kull ismin huwa laka sammayti
bihi nafsaka aw allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw
asta’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghayb ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aana
rabee’a qalbi wa noora sadri wa jilaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi [O Allaah, I
am Your slave, sone of Your slave and son of Your maidservant, my forelock is in Your
hand. Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You
by every name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or You taught to any of Your
creation, or revealed in Your Book, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen
with You, that You nmake 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
remove his distress and his grief, and will give him joy instead…” (Reported
by Imaam Ahmad, 3582; it is a saheeh hadeeth).

Secondly, The names of Allaah are all husnaa
[Most Beautiful], as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allaah, so call
on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech
against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.”

[al-A’raaf 7:180]

The meaning of al-husnaa implies the utmost beauty, and that
each name includes the quality of perfection.

Al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Naasir ibn Sa’di (may
Allaah have mercy on him) said: Many of the names of Allaah have been mentioned in the
Qur’aan, according to the context, but we also need to point out their broader
meanings, so we say:

The name Rabb (Lord, Cherisher) is repeated in many
aayaat. The Rabb is the One Who guides and cares for all of His slaves by managing their
affairs and bestowing different kinds of blessings. In a more specific sense, He cares for
and guides His friends (devoted slaves) by reforming and setting straight their hearts and
souls and attitudes. For this reason, many of their du’aa’s or prayers to Him
address Him by this glorious Name, because they are asking Him for this specific kind of

The name Allaah refers to the One Who is adored and
worshipped, the One Who possesses the attributes of divinity and to whom all His creation
is enslaved. The attributes of divinity with which He describes Himself are the attributes
of perfection.

Al-Malik (the Sovereign), al-Maalik (the
Possessor), Alladhi lahu’l-Mulk (the One to Whom Dominion belongs).
Allaah is the One Who is described with the attributes of sovereignty and dominion, which
are the qualities of might and pride, subjugation and control. He is the One Who is in
absolute control of creation, Who issues commands and Who rewards or punishes. The entire
Universe, high and low, belongs to Him. All of them are His servants and slaves, and are
utterly dependent on Him.

Al-Waahid (the One), al-Ahad (the Unique).
He is the One Who is uniquely and utterly and perfectly One, with no partners in His
Uniqueness. His slaves are obliged to believe in His Oneness, in belief and word and deed,
by recognizing that He is absolutely perfect and is unique in His oneness, and by
directing all kinds of worship to Him Alone.

Al-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures
need, He neither eats nor drinks). He is the One to Whom all of creation turns for all of
their needs, for He is in and of Himself absolutely perfect, in His Names and Attributes
and Deeds.

Al-‘Aleem (the All-Knowing), al-Khabeer
(the Aware). He is the One Whose Knowledge encompasses all things, seen and unseen, secret
and open, everything that is inevitable or impossible or possible, in heaven and on earth,
the past, the present and the future. Nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him.

Al-Hakeem (the Wise). He is the One Who has ultimate
wisdom, in His creation and in His commands. He is the One Who created everything well.

“… And who is better in judgement than Allaah for a people
who have firm Faith.” [al-Maa’idah 5:50 – interpretation of the meaning].

He does not create anything in vain, or legislate anything in jest. He
is the One Who has Dominion in this world and the next. His ruling applies in three major
spheres, in which none else has any share with Him: He judges between His slaves by means
of His Law, His decree and His reward/punishment.

Wisdom: He puts things in their rightful places and gives them their
rightful status.

Al-Rahman (the Most Gracious), al-Raheem
(the Most Merciful), al-Barr (the Source of Goodness), al-Kareem
(the Most Generous), al-Jawaad (the Generous), al-Ra’oof
(the Compassionate), al-Wahhaab (the Bestower). These names are all close in
meaning, and they all indicate that the Rabb is characterized by mercy, goodness, and
generosity. They testify to the vastness of His mercy and other attributes, with which He
encompasses all of His creation to the extent that His wisdom decrees, although the
greater share is bestowed upon the believers in particular. Allaah says (interpretation of
the meaning):

“… My Mercy encompasses all things. That (Mercy) I shall
ordain for those who are the Muttaqoon (pious)…”

[al-A’raaf 7:156]

Blessings and goodness are all traces of His Mercy and Generosity. The
good things of this world and the next are all traces of His Mercy.

Al-Samee’ (the All-Hearing). He hears all voices, in
all the different languages, no matter how many and how varied, when they call on Him for
their needs.

Al-Baseer (the All-Seeing) Who has insight into all
things, not matter how small. He can see a black ant walking across the face of a rock on
the darkest night. He can see what is below the seven levels of the earth and what is
above the seven heavens. He is the All-Hearing and All-Seeing, Who knows who is deserving
of reward or punishment according to His Wisdom.

Al-Hameed (the Praiseworthy), Who is inherently deserving
of praise, by His Names, Attributes and deeds. He has the Most Beautiful Names, the most
perfect attributes and the most perfect and beautiful deeds. His actions always revolve
around munificence and justice.

Al-Majeed (the Most Glorious), al-Kabeer
(the Most Great), al-‘Azeem (the Most Great), al-Jaleel
(the Sublime One). These Names describe Allaah with attributes of glory, pride, greatness
and majesty. He is greater than everything, more mighty, more majestic and more exalted.
To Him belong glorification and exaltation in the hearts of His close friends and devoted
slaves, whose hearts are filled with veneration of His might and humble submission to His

Al-‘Afuw (the Pardoner), al-‘Ghafoor
(the Forgiver), al-Ghaffaar (the All-Forgiving), Who has always been and
will always be known for His pardon and forgiveness towards His slaves. Everyone is in
need of His pardon and forgiveness, as they are in need of His mercy and generosity. He
has promised to forgive and pardon whoever follows the appropriate means. Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning):

“And verily, I am indeed Forgiving to him who repents, believes
(in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and
then remains constant in doing them (till his death).”

[Ta-Ha 20:82]

Al-Tawwaab (the Acceptor of Repentance). He always
accepts the repentance of those who repent and forgives the sins of those who commit sin.
Allaah accepts the repentance of everyone who repents to Him sincerely. He is the One Who
forgives those who repent, firstly by helping them to repent and causing their hearts to
turn towards Him. After they repent, He turns to them and accepts their repentance,
pardoning their sins.

Al-Quddoos (the Holy) and al-Salaam (the
One Free from all defects). Allaah is far above any attribute of imperfection, and He is
above being likened to any of His creation.

“… There is nothing like unto Him…”

[al-Shoora 42:11]

“And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”

[al-Ikhlaas 112:4]

“… Do you know of any who is similar to Him?…”

[Maryam 19:65]

“… Then do not set up rivals unto Allaah (in

[al-Baqarah 2:22]

The names al-Quddoos and al-Salaam reject the idea that He could be
lacking in any way, and they imply that He is absolutely perfect in all aspects, because
once the idea of imperfection is rejected, this is proof of total perfection.

Al-‘Aliyy (the Exalted), al-A’laa
(the Most High). He is the One Who is completely exalted in all aspects, in His essence,
in His status, in His attributes and in His dominion. He is the One Who rose over the
Throne and Who dominates all things. In all the attributes of might, pride, glory and
beauty that are ascribed to Him, He reaches the ultimate level.

Al-‘Azeez (the Almighty), to whom belong all might
and power, the power of strength, the power of dominion, the power of invincibility. None
of His creatures can harm Him. He has subjugated all that exists, and the whole of
creation is under His control and is subject to His might.

Al-Qawiy (the Most Strong), al-Mateen (the
Firm One). The meanings of these Names are similar to the meaning of al-‘Azeez.

Al-Jabbaar (the Compeller). This Names includes the
meanings of al-‘Aliyy, al-A’laa and al-Qahhaar.

Al-Ra’oof (the Compassionate) means the One Who
consoles broken hearts and supports the weak and those who seek His help and turn to Him.

Al-Mutakabbir (the Majestic) is the One Who is above all
bad qualities, shortcomings and faults, because of His might and pride.

Al-Khaaliq (the Creator), al-Baari’
(the Inventor of all things), al-Musawwir (the Bestower of forms). He is the
One Who has created from nothing all that exists, and formed it by His wisdom, praise be
to Him. He has always been and will always be known by this mighty attribute.

Al-Mu’min (the Guardian of Faith), Who is praised
for His own sake by His perfect attributes, and by the perfection of His majesty and
beauty. He sent His Messengers and revealed His Books with signs and proofs, and confirmed
His Messengers with signs and proofs, to confirm the truth of the message they brought.

Al-Muhaymin (the Watcher over His creatures) Who is aware
of everything that is hidden and concealed, and Whose knowledge encompasses all things.

Al-Qadeer (the Powerful), Whose power is perfect. By His
power He created all things that exist, by His power He is controlling all things and by
His power He formed them and perfected them. By His power He gives life and death, and
will resurrect His slaves to receive their reward or punishment, so that those who have
done well will be rewarded with good, and those who have done evil will be punished. When
Allaah wills a thing, He merely says “Be!” and it is. By His power He controls
people’s hearts, and He directs them as He wills.

Al-Lateef (the Most Subtle and Courteous), Whose
knowledge encompasses everything that is hidden and concealed. He knows everything that is
secret and understands the most subtle things. He is Kind to His believing slaves and
takes care of their interests by His benevolence and grace, in many ways that they are not
even aware of. This Name also shares the meanings of al-Khabeer and al-Ra’oof.

Al-Haseeb (the One Who takes account). He is the One Who
is All-Knowing about His slaves. He is Sufficient for those who put their trust in Him,
and He rewards or punishes His slaves for good and evil, according to His wisdom. He knows
about all their deeds, major and minor.

Al-Raqeeb (the Watchful). He is the One Who watches what
is hidden in people’s hearts. “… He Who takes charge of every person and
knows all that he has earned” [al-Ra’d 13:33 – interpretation of the
meaning]. He protected His creation and set it in motion, running according to the
most perfect system and controls.

Al-Hafeez (the Preserver). He is the One Who protects
what He has created and encompasses it with His knowledge. He protects His close friends
from falling into sin and destruction, and gently protects them when they are active and
when they are at rest. He counts the deeds of His slaves and rewards or punishes them

Al-Muheet (the Encompasser). He is the One Who
encompasses all things with His knowledge, power, mercy and dominion.

Al-Qahhaar (the Subduer). He is the Subduer of all
things, to Whom all of creation submits because of His power and strength and the
perfection of His Might.

Al-Muqeet (the Provider of sustenance). He gives
provision to everything that exists and directs the affairs of all as He wills.

Al-Wakeel (the Trustee). He is the One Who is in a
position to run the affairs of His creation, by His knowledge and the perfection of His
power and His encompassing wisdom. He is the One Who is taking care of His close friends,
making the right way easy for them and causing them to steer clear of the wrong way. He is
taking care of all their affairs, and whoever puts his trust in Him will find that He is
Sufficient for him.

“Allaah is the Walee (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe.
He brings them out from darkness into light…” [al-Baqarah 2:257 –
interpretation of the meaning].

Dhoo’l-Jalaali wa’l-Ikraam (Possessor of
Majesty and Honour), i.e., the Possessor of Might and Pride, the Possessor of Mercy and
Generosity, Who is kind to everyone and to specific individuals. He honours His close
friends and devoted worshippers who glorify Him, extol His greatness and love Him.

Al-Wudood (the Loving). He loves His Prophets and
Messengers and their followers, and they love Him. He is dearer to them than everything
else. He has filled their hearts with love for Him and their tongues utter words of praise
to Him. Their hearts are drawn to Him in love and sincerity and they turn in repentance to
Him at all times.

Al-Fattaah (the Opener). He judges between His slaves
according to His laws, His decrees and His decisions concerning reward and punishment. By
His Grace He opens the eyes of those who are sincere, and opens their hearts to know Him,
love Him and turn to Him in repentance. He opens the door to all kinds of mercy and
provision for His slaves, and generates the causes by means of which they can earn good
things in this world and the next.

“Whatever of mercy (i.e., good) Allaah may grant to mankind,
none can withhold it, and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it
thereafter…” Faatir 35:2 – interpretation of the meaning]

Al-Razzaaq (the Provider), Who provides for all His
slaves. There is no living creature on earth, but Allaah provides for it.

His provision for His slaves is of two types:

General provision, which include the righteous and immoral, the first
and the last. This is the provision of physical needs.

Specific provision, which is provision for the heart which is nourished
with knowledge and faith, and the halaal provision which helps a person to adhere to
religion. This provision is specifically for the believers, and is given to varying
degrees according to His wisdom and mercy.

Al-Hakam (the Judge), al-‘Adl (the
Just). He judges between His slaves in this world and the next, with His justice and
fairness. He does not oppress anyone in the slightest, and no one is made to bear the
burden of another person’s sin. He does not punish a person more than he deserves for
his sin, he restores to people their rights and does not leave anyone without restoring
what is his right. He is just in His running of the universe and in His decision making.

“… Verily, My Lord is on a Straight Path (the

[Hood 11:56 – interpretation of the meaning].

Jaami’ al-Naas (Gatherer of the People). He will
gather all of mankind on the Day concerning which there is no doubt. He has comprehensive
knowledge of their deeds and their provision, and there is nothing, major or minor, that
He is not aware of. He will gather every particle of their bodies that has disappeared or
been changed into something else, of all the people who have died from the earliest times
until the latest times, by the perfection of His power and the vastness of His knowledge.

Al-Hayy (the Ever-Living), al-Qayyoom (the
Self-Sustaining). He is completely alive and sustains Himself, and He sustains and cares
for the people of heaven and earth. He controls their affairs and provides for them. The
name al-Hayy encompasses all the qualities of His essence and the name al-Qayyoom
encompasses all the qualities of His deeds.

Al-Noor (the Light). He is the Light of the heavens and
of the earth, who enlightens the hearts of the ‘aarifeen (those who have proper
knowledge of Him) with knowledge of Him and fills their hearts with the light of His
guidance. He is the One Who illuminates the heavens and the earth with the lights that He
has placed therein. His veil is Light and if it were to be removed, everything of His
creation as far as He can see would be burnt, may He be glorified.

Badee’ al-Samawaati wa’l-Ard (Originator of the
heavens and the earth). He is the One Who created them and formed them with the utmost
beauty and with the most magnificent system of organization.

Al-Qaabid (the Constrictor), al-Baasit (the
Expander). He is the One Who takes people’s souls, and Who provides them with ample
provision and expands their hearts. All of this is in accordance with His Wisdom and

Al-Mu’ti (the Giver), al-Maani’
(the Withholder). No-one can withhold what He gives, and no one can give what He
withholds. All interests and benefits are sought from Him, and the needs of all are
addressed to Him. He is the One Who gives them to whomever He wills and withholds them
from whomever He wills, by His Wisdom and Mercy.

Al-Shaheed (the Witness). He is the One Who watches over
all things and hears all voices, loud and soft. He sees all that exists, great and small
alike. His knowledge encompasses all things, and He is the Witness Who sees all the deeds
of His slaves, good and bad alike.

Al-Mubdi’ (the Originator), al-Mu’eed
(the Restorer). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And it is He Who originates the creation, then will repeat
(after it has perished)…”

[al-Room 30:27]

He initiated their creation, in order to test them as to which of
them would be best in deeds, then He will re-create them in order to reward with good
those who did well, and punish those who did evil.

He is the One Who initiated His creation in stages, and Who is
constantly renewing it.

Al-Fa’’aal lima yureed (the One Who does
whatever He wants). This has to do with the perfection of His power and the strength of
His will and ability. Everything He wants, He does, with nothing to stop Him and no one to
oppose Him, and with no support or help, no matter what it is. If He wants something, all
he has to do is say “Be!” and it is. Although He can do whatever He wants, His
will operates in conjunction with His Wisdom, may He be praised, so He is described as
being completely Able and being Strong of will, but also as being completely Wise in all
that He has done and will do.

Al-Ghaniy (the Self-Sufficient), al-Mughni
(the Enricher). He is independent in and of Himself, and is completely Independent in all
aspects, because of His perfection and the perfection of His attributes. Nothing can
undermine His perfection and make Him imperfect in any way whatsoever. He cannot be
anything but Self-Sufficient, because this self-sufficiency is one of His essential
qualities, just as He cannot be anything but the Creator, the Able, the Provider, the
Kind, Who does not need anyone else at all.

He is the Self-Sufficient in Whose hands are the treasures of the
heavens and the earth, the treasures of this world and of the Hereafter. He gives His
creation enough in general terms so that they do not have to seek help of anyone else, and
He gives to specific people of the divine knowledge and realities of faith with which He
has filled their hearts.

Al-Haleem (the Forbearing One). He is the One Who showers
His creation with blessings both apparent and hidden, in spite of their sins and many
mistakes. He is Forbearing and does not punish sinners straight away for their sins. He
rebukes them so that they will repent, and gives them time to turn to Him in repentance.

Al-Shaakir (the Grateful), al-Shakoor (the
Appreciative). He is the One Who appreciates the smallest deed, and forgives the greatest
mistakes. He multiplies beyond measure the deeds of those who are sincere; He appreciates
those who give thanks to Him, and He remembers those who remember Him. Whoever draws near
to Him with something of righteous deeds, He draws near to him by more than that.

Al-Qareeb (the Ever-Near), al-Mujeeb (the
Responsive). Allaah, may He be glorified, is near to everyone, and His nearness is of two

His nearness to everyone in a general sense, through His knowledge,
watching, awareness and witnessing, which encompass all things.

His nearness in a specific sense, to His slaves, those who ask help of
Him and those who love Him. The true nature of this closeness cannot be understood, but
its effects may be seen in His kindness towards His slave, and His care, support and help
of him. Another of its effects is His response to those who call on Him and His acceptance
of the repentance of those who worship Him. He is also the One Who responds in a specific
way to those who respond to Him and follow His religion. He also responds to those who are
in need and to those who no longer have any hope in any of His creation, and who put their
trust in Him, hoping for His pleasure and fearing His wrath.

Al-Kaafi (the Sufficient). He is the One Who gives His
slaves all that they need. More specifically, He is Sufficient for the one who believes in
Him and puts his trust in Him and asks Him for all that he needs in worldly and spiritual

Al-Awwal (the First), al-Aakhir (the Last);
al-Zaahir (the Manifest), al-Baatin (the Hidden). The Prophet

(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained this in a clear and comprehensive
fashion when he said, addressing his Lord: “You are the First, and there is nothing
before You; You are the Last, and there is nothing after You. You are the Manifest and
there is nothing above You; You are the Hidden and there is nothing beneath You.”

Al-Waasi’ (the All-Encompassing). His attributes and
qualities, and everything that has to do with Him, are all-encompassing in such a way that
no one can praise Him as He deserves, but He is as He praised Himself, vast in power,
might and dominion, and vast in grace and kindness, and vast in generosity and

Al-Haadi (the Guide), al-Rasheed (the Guide
to the Right Path). He is the One Who guides His slaves and shows them the way to all that
will benefit them, and protects them from all that will harm them. He teaches them what
they do not know, and guides them to the true guidance which will help them and set them
straight. He fills them with taqwa (piety) and causes their hearts to turn to Him, in
response to His command.

The name al-Rasheed has a meaning akin to that of al-Hakeem: He is Wise
in word and deed, and all His laws are good and wise. His creation testifies to His

Al-Haqq (the Truth). He is true in and of Himself and in
His attributes. His existence is undeniable, and His attributes are perfect. His existence
is one of His essential qualities (He cannot but exist), and nothing else can exist except
through Him. He is the One Who has always been and will always be described with
attributes of majesty, beauty and perfection. He has always been and will always be known
for His Kindness. His words are truth; the meeting with Him is truth; His Messengers are
truth; His Books are truth; His religion is the Truth; the worship of Him Alone, with no
partners or associates, is the Truth; everything that has to do with Him is truth. Allaah
is the Truth and whatever else they claim to be divine besides Him is false. Allaah is the
Most High, the Most Great, as He says (interpretation of the meanings):

“And say: ‘The Truth is from your Lord.’ Then
whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve…”

[al-Isra’ 18:29].

“… So, after the truth, what else can there be, save

[Yoonus 10:32]

“And say: ‘Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Surely,
falsehood is ever bound to vanish.’”[al-Isra’ 17:81]

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