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Names of God in Islam

Related subjects: Divinities

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The 99 names of God or 99 names of Allah (Arabic: أسماء الله الحسنىʾasmāʾ allāh al-ḥusnā), are the Names of God by which Muslims regard God (Allah) and which are described in the Qur'an, and Sunnah, amongst other places. There is, according to hadith, a special group of 99 names but no enumeration of them. Thus the exact list is not agreed upon, and the Names of God (as adjectives, word constructs, or otherwise) exceed 99 in the Qur'an and Sunnah. According to a hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud some of the names of God have been hidden from mankind, therefore there are not only 99 names of God but there are more.


According to Islamic tradition, Muhammad is said to have invoked Allah by a number of Names. According to a Sunni hadith, Sahih Muslim:

Abu Hurairah reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There are ninety-nine names of Allah; he who commits them to memory would get into Paradise. Verily, Allah is Odd (He is one, and it is an odd number) and He loves odd numbers. And in the narration of Ibn 'Umar (the words are): "He who enumerated them."
Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj Nishapuri, Sahih Muslim

Over time it became custom to recite a list of 99 Names, compiled by al-Walid ibn Muslim as an addendum to the hadith.

Mahmoud Abdel-Razek (2005) compiled an alternative list, endorsing only 69 from the list of al-Walid.

The Qur'an refers to the Names of God as God's "most beautiful Names" (Arabic: al-ʾasmāʾ al-ḥusnā) (see the following sura, Al-A'raf 7:180, Al-Isra 17:110, Ta-Ha 20:8, Al-Hashr 59:24). According to Gerhard Böwering,

They are traditionally enumerated as 99 in number to which is added as the highest Name (al-ism al-ʾaʿẓam), the Supreme Name of God, Allāh. The locus classicus for listing the Divine Names in the literature of Qurʾānic commentary is 17:110, “Call upon God, or call upon The Merciful; whichsoever you call upon, to Him belong the most beautiful Names,” and also 59:22-24, which includes a cluster of more than a dozen Divine epithets.

List of Names and attributes of God as found in the Qur'an

# Arabic Transliteration Translation (can vary based on context) Qur'anic usage
1 الرحمن Ar-Raḥmān The Exceedingly Compassionate, The Exceedingly Beneficent, The Exceedingly Gracious Beginning of every chapter except one, and in numerous other places. Name frequently used in surah 55, Ar-Rahman [57 times in surah]
2 الرحيم Ar- Raḥīm The Exceedingly Merciful Beginning of every chapter except one, and in numerous other places [114 times in surah]
3 الملك Al-Malik The King, The Owner 59:23, 20:114, 23:116
4 القدوس Al-Quddūs The Holy, The Divine 59:23, 62:1
5 السلام As- Salām The Peace, The Source of Peace and Safety 59:23
6 المؤمن Al- Muʾmin The Guarantor, The Affirming 59:23
7 المهيمن Al-Muhaymin The Guardian 59:23
8 العزيز Al- ʿAzīz The Almighty, The Invulnerable, The Honorable 3:6, 4:158, 9:40, 48:7, 59:23
9 الجبار Al-Jabbār The Irresistible, The Compeller 59:23
10 المتكبر Al-Mutakabbir The Majestic, The Supreme 59:23
11 الخالق Al-Khāliq The Creator 6:102, 13:16, 39:62, 40:62, 59:24
12 البارئ Al-Bāriʾ The Evolver, The Developer 59:24
13 المصور Al-Muṣawwir The Fashioner, The Shaper, The Designer 59:24
14 الغفار Al-Ġaffār The Repeatedly Forgiving 20:82, 38:66, 39:5, 40:42, 71:10
15 القهار Al-Qahhār The Subduer 12:39, 13:16, 14:48, 38:65, 39:4, 40:16
16 الوهاب Al-Wahhāb The Bestower 3:8, 38:9, 38:35
17 الرزاق Ar-Razzāq The Provider 51:58
18 الفتاح Al-Fattāḥ The Opener, The Victory Giver 34:26
19 العليم Al-ʿAlīm The Knowing 2:158, 3:92, 4:35, 24:41, 33:40
20 القابض Al-Qābiḍ The Restrainer, The Straightener 2:245
21 الباسط Al-Bāsiṭ The Extender / Expander 2:245
22 الخَافِض Al-Khāfiḍ The Abaser 56:3
23 الرافع Ar-Rāfiʿ The Exalter 58:11, 6:83
24 المعز Al-Muʿizz The Giver of Honour 3:26
25 المذل Al-Muḏill The Giver of Dishonour 3:26
26 السميع As-Samīʿ The All Hearing 2:127, 2:256, 8:17, 49:1
27 البصير Al-Baṣīr The All Seeing 4:58, 17:1, 42:11, 42:27
28 الحكم Al-Ḥakam The Judge, The Arbitrator 22:69
29 العدل Al-ʿAdl The Utterly Just 6:115
30 اللطيف Al-Laṭīf The Gentle, The Subtly Kind 6:103, 22:63, 31:16, 33:34
31 الخبير Al-Khabīr The All Aware 6:18, 17:30, 49:13, 59:18
32 الحليم Al-Ḥalīm The Forbearing, The Indulgent 2:235, 17:44, 22:59, 35:41
33 العظيم Al-ʿAẓīm The Magnificent 2:255, 42:4, 56:96
34 الغفور Al-Ġafūr The Much-Forgiving 2:173, 8:69, 16:110, 41:32
35 الشكور Aš-Šakūr The Grateful 35:30, 35:34, 42:23, 64:17
36 العلي Al-ʿAlī The Sublime 4:34, 31:30, 42:4, 42:51
37 الكبير Al-Kabīr The Great 13:9, 22:62, 31:30
38 الحفيظ Al-Ḥafīẓ The Preserver 11:57, 34:21, 42:6
39 المقيت Al-Muqīt The Nourisher 4:85
40 الحسيب Al-Ḥasīb The Bringer of Judgment 4:6, 4:86, 33:39
41 الجليل Al-Ğalīl The Majestic 55:27, 39:14, 7:143 This is a Questionable name.
42 الكريم Al-Karīm The Bountiful, The Generous 27:40, 82:6
43 الرقيب Ar-Raqīb The Watchful 4:1, 5:117
44 المجيب Al-Muğīb The Responsive, The Answer 11:61
45 الواسع Al-Wāsiʿ The Vast, The All-Embracing, The Omnipresent, The Boundless 2:268, 3:73, 5:54
46 الحكيم Al-Ḥakīm The Wise 31:27, 46:2, 57:1, 66:2
47 الودود Al-Wadūd The Loving 11:90, 85:14
48 المجيد Al-Mağīd All-Glorious, The Majestic 11:73
49 الباعث Al-Bāʿiṯ The Resurrecter 22:7 This is a Questionable name.
50 الشهيد Aš-Šahīd The Witness 4:166, 22:17, 41:53, 48:28
51 الحق Al- Ḥaqq The Truth, The Reality 6:62, 22:6, 23:116, 24:25
52 الوكيل Al-Wakīl The Trustee, The Dependable, The Advocate 3:173, 4:171, 28:28, 73:9
53 القوي Al-Qawwī The Strong 22:40, 22:74, 42:19, 57:25
54 المتين Al-Matīn The Firm, The Steadfast 51:58
55 الولي Al-Walī The Friend, Patron and Helper 4:45, 7:196, 42:28, 45:19
56 الحميد Al-Ḥamīd The All Praiseworthy 14:8, 31:12, 31:26, 41:42
57 المحصي Al-Muḥṣī The Accounter, The Numberer of All 72:28, 78:29, 82:10-12
58 المبدئ Al-Mubdiʾ The Originator, The Producer, The Initiator 10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13
59 المعيد Al-Muʿīd The Restorer, The Reinstater Who Brings Back All 10:34, 27:64, 29:19, 85:13
60 المحيي Al-Muḥyī The Giver of Life 7:158, 15:23, 30:50, 57:2
61 المميت Al-Mumīt The Destroyer, The Bringer of Death 3:156, 7:158, 15:23, 57:2
62 الحي Al-Ḥayy The Living 2:255, 3:2, 25:58, 40:65
63 القيوم Al-Qayyūm The Subsisting, The Guardian 2:255, 3:2, 20:111
64 الواجد Al-Wāğid The Perceiver, The Finder, The Unfailing 38:44
65 الماجد Al-Māğid The Illustrious, The Magnificent 85:15, 11:73,
66 الواحد Al-Wāḥid The One, The Unique 2:163, 5:73, 9:31, 18:110
67 الاحد Al-ʾAḥad The Unity, The Indivisible 112:1
68 الصمد Aṣ-Ṣamad The Eternal, The Absolute, The Self-Sufficient 112:2
69 القادر Al-Qādir The Able 6:65, 36:81, 46:33, 75:40
70 المقتدر Al-Muqtadir The Determiner, The Dominant 18:45, 54:42, 54:55 This is a Questionable name.
71 المقدم Al-Muqaddim The Expediter, He Who Brings Forward 16:61, 17:34,
72 المؤخر Al-Muʾakhkhir The Delayer, He Who Puts Far Away 71:4
73 الأول Al-ʾAwwal The First, The Beginning-less 57:3
74 الأخر Al-ʾAkḫir The Last, The Endless 57:3
75 الظاهر Aẓ-Ẓāhir The Manifest, The Evident, The Outer 57:3
76 الباطن Al-Bāṭin The Hidden, The Unmanifest, The Inner 57:3
77 الوالي Al-Wālī The Patron, The Protecting Friend, The Friendly Lord 13:11, 22:7
78 المتعالي Al-Mutaʿālī The Supremely Exalted, The Most High 13:9
79 البر Al-Barr The Good, The Beneficent 52:28
80 التواب At-Tawwāb The Ever Returning, Ever Relenting 2:128, 4:64, 49:12, 110:3
81 المنتقم Al-Muntaqim The Avenger 32:22, 43:41, 44:16 This is not a name of Allaah: It is an attribute.
82 العفو Al-ʿAfū The Pardoner, The Effacer, The Forgiver 4:99, 4:149, 22:60
83 الرؤوف Ar-Raʾūf The Kind, The Pitying 3:30, 9:117, 57:9, 59:10
84 مالك الملك Mālik-ul-Mulk The Owner of all Sovereignty 3:26
85 ذو الجلال والإكرام Dhū-l-Ğalāli
The Lord of Majesty and Generosity 55:27, 55:78
86 المقسط Al-Muqsiṭ The Equitable, The Requiter 7:29, 3:18
87 الجامع Al-Ğāmiʿ The Gatherer, The Unifier 3:9
88 الغني Al-Ġanī The Rich, The Independent 3:97, 39:7, 47:38, 57:24
89 المغني Al-Muġnī The Enricher, The Emancipator 9:28
90 المانع Al-Māniʿ The Withholder, The Shielder, The Defender 67:21
91 الضار Aḍ-Ḍārr The Distressor, The Harmer, The Afflictor 6:17
92 النافع An-Nāfiʿ The Propitious, The Benefactor, The Source of Good 30:37
93 النور An-Nūr The Light 24:35 This is an attribute of Allaah.
94 الهادي Al-Hādī The Guide, The Way 22:54
95 البديع Al-Badīʿ The Incomparable, The Unattainable 2:117, 6:101
96 الباقي Al-Bāqī The Immutable, The Infinite, The Everlasting 55:27
97 الوارث Al-Wāriṯ The Heir, The Inheritor of All 15:23, 57:10
98 الرشيد Ar-Rašīd The Guide to the Right Path 2:256, 72:10
99 الصبور Aṣ-Ṣabūr The Timeless, The Patient 2:153, 3:200, 103:3 This is a Questionable name.

The greatest name

The 99 names point to the inherent unity of the all-embracing Greatest Name(Ismi Azam). In Islamic traditions, it is stated "The Greatest Name of Allah is the one which if He [Allah] is called (prayed to) by it, He will Answer."

Personal names

According to Islamic tradition, a Muslim may not be given any of the 99 names of Allah in exactly the same form. For example, nobody may be named al-Malik (The King), but may be named Malik (King). This is because of the belief that Allah is almighty, and no human being is the equivalent of Allah, and no human being will ever be the equivalent of Allah. Muslims are allowed to use the 99 names of Allah for themselves but should not put 'Al' at the front of them.

However the names of Allah can be combined with the word " ‘Abd-" which means "servant/Worshiper" (of Allah) and are commonly used as personal names among Muslims. For example ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ("Servant of the Most Compassionate/the Beneficent"). The two parts of the name may be written separately (as above) or combined as one transliterated name; in such a case, the vowel transcribed after ‘Abd is often written as u when the two words are transcribed as one: e.g., Abdurrahman, Abdul'aziz, " Abdul Jabbar", or even Abdullah ("Servant of Allah"). (This has to do with Arabic case vowels, the final u vowel showing the normal "quote" nominative/vocative case form: ‘abd-u.)

Some Muslim people have names resembling those 99. Examples include:

  • Rahmaan, seperti Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais.
  • Salaam, such as Salam Fayyad.
  • Jabbaar, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
  • Hakeem, such as Sherman "Abdul Hakim" Jackson.
  • Ra'oof, such as Ra'ouf Mus'ad.
  • Malik

Views of other religions

Bábí and Bahá'í view

Bahá'í sources state that the 100th name was revealed as " Bahá’" (an Arabic word بهاء meaning "glory, splendor" etc.), which is the root word for Bahá'u'lláh and Bahá'í. They also believe that it is the 'Greatest Name'. The Báb wrote a noted pentagram-shaped tablet with 360 derivatives of the word "Bahá'" used in it.

According to Bahá'í scholar ‘Abdu’l-Hamíd Ishráq-Khávari, Baha' ad-Din al-`Amili adopted the pen name ( takhallus) 'Baha' after being inspired by words of Shi'a Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (the fifth Imam) and Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (the sixth Imam), who had stated that the Greatest Name of God was included in either Du'ay-i-Sahar or A`amaal Ummi Dawud. In the first verse of the Du'ay-i-Sahar, a dawn prayer for Ramadan, the name "Bahá" appears four times: "Allahumma inni as 'aluka min Bahá' ika bi Abháh va kulla Bahá' ika Bahí".

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