The Ninety-Nine Names of God


Suhaib Hassan, in his An Introduction to the Science of Hadith, writes of the sources that refer to the ninety-nine names of God. He states,

The following is the sahih hadith of al- Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ibn 'Asakir: "Verily, Allah has Ninety-Nine Names which if a person safeguards them, he will enter the Garden." In some narrations of this hadith found in al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim and others, the names are listed at the end; however, at least three different listings are given, e.g. one list being, "He is Allah, besides whom there is no other deity, the Merciful, the Compassionate, ..., the Forbearing" while another is "Allah, the Unique, the Absolute, ..., the One who has nothing like unto Him." It is agreed that these latter narrations are da'if, and this is why al-Bukhari and Muslim did not include them in their Sahihs.

Al-Tirmidhi says in his Sunan, "This (version of the) hadith is gharib; it has been narrated from various routes on the authority of Abu Hurairah, but we do not know of the mention of the Names in the numerous narrations, except this one."

Ibn Taimiyyah says, "Al-Walid (one of the narrators of the hadith) related the Names from (the saying of) one of his Syrian teachers ... specific mention of the Names is not from the words of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), by the agreement of those familiar with Hadith. (Fatawa Ibn Taimiyyah, 6:379-382.).

Ibn Kathir says in his Tafsir, under verse 180 of Surah al- A'raf, that these narrations are mudraj. Ibn Hajar takes a similar view in his commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari. Various scholars have given different lists of 99 Names from their study of the Qur'an and Sunnah, including Ja'far al- Sadiq, Sufyan b. 'Uyainah, Ibn Hazm, al-Qurtubi, Ibn Hajar and Salih b. 'Uthaimin.

One list and explanation of the meanings of some of the 99 Names of God is given by the Muslim Students' Association at the University of Southern California. (Link fixed July 22, 2000.)

The Ninety Nine Attributes of Allah an article by the Muslim scholar, Yasin T. al-Jibouri. (Added March 18, 2001.)

Here is another list with brief translations of the Divine Names. (Fixed March 18, 2001.)

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