Names of God in Islam

The Names of God in Islam is called asmāʾ allāh al-ḥusnā (Asma Ul Husna which in Arabic means ‘The Most Beautiful Names‘, أسماء الله الحسنى‎), are the Names of God (specifically, attributes) by which Muslims regard God 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.

Allah

Allah

Origin

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 that God has ninety-nine Names, i.e., one hundred minus one, and whoever believes in their meanings and acts accordingly, will enter Paradise; and God is witr (one) and loves ‘the witr’ (i.e., odd numbers).

— Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 8, Book 75, Hadith 419

There is another Sahih Muslim Hadith:

Allah’s Messenger () said, “God has ninety-nine Names, one-hundred less one; and he who memorized them all by heart will enter Paradise.” To count something means to know it by heart.

— Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 9, Book 93, Hadith 489

The Quran refers to God’s Most Beautiful Names (al-ʾasmāʾ al-ḥusná) in several Surahs. Gerhard Böwering refers to Surah 17 (17:110) as the locus classicus to which explicit lists of 99 names used to be attached in tafsir. A cluster of more than a dozen Divine epithets which are included in such lists is found in Surah 59. Sunni mystic Ibn Arabi surmised that the 99 names are “outward signs of the universe’s inner mysteries”.

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 Attributes of God as God’s “most beautiful Names” (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 q 59:22-4, which includes a cluster of more than a dozen Divine epithets.

The All-Beautiful Names of God

Main article: The All-Beautiful Names of God

Since the time of the Last Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, the All-Beautiful Names of God, exalted is His Majesty, have been a right-guiding source for knowing and recognizing the Divine Being in accordance with His Attributes of Majesty and Grace, and for protecting those who have been able to study and understand them correctly from straying, and for pouring forth true knowledge about the truth of Divinity to those who have been so protected. Everyone who has set off to acquire true knowledge of God has advanced toward deepening in belief in the bright light of the All-Beautiful Names and in their areas of manifestation. In pursuit of true knowledge and love of God Almighty and in pursuit of spiritual pleasures, they have giv­en these Names into the hands of their outer and inner faculties, like so many mysterious keys that will open the doors of knowing Him in accordance with His “true Nature or Identity;” thus they have advanced toward the horizon of “seeing,” knowing, and experiencing Him in the light of the truth that radiates through these doors.

Some verifying scholars have divided the Divine Names into the categories such as the Names indicating the Divine Essence, the Names originating in the Affirmative Divine Attributes, and the Names indicating the  Divine Acts. They have also regarded some Names as being the leaders or foundations of all the Names, and have made another categorization under the titles of the Names of Majesty and the Names of Grace. They have considered all the Names to be the foundation or source in which the truths of things originate or even these truths themselves, as well as being the means of all things being transferred from the Realm of the Unseen to the visible or manifest world through the Divine Knowledge, Wisdom, Will, and Power. Such scholars have stressed that these all-blessed Names are veils before the All-Sacred One Who is called by them. It is He alone Who knows the exact truth of everything, and what we must do is to believe in whatever He teaches us.

You will find below the most widely known Divine Names only with just brief definitions.

Names of God (Allah) in Islam

The Names Indicating the Divine Essence

  • Allah: God, the Proper Name of the Divine Being
  • (Ar-)Rabb: The Lord (God as the Creator, Provider, Trainer, Upbringer, and Director of all creatures)
  • (Al-)Malik: The All-Sovereign, the Owner and Master of everything
  • (Al-)Quddūs: The All-Holy and All-Pure (Who is absolutely free of any defect)
  • (As-)Salam: The Supreme Author of peace and salvation
  • (Al-)Mu’min: The Supreme Author of safety and security
  • (Al-)Muhaymin: The All-Watchful Guardian
  • (Al-)‘Aziz: The All-Glorious with irresistible might
  • (Al-)Jabbar: The One Who manifests His Will and Grandeur
  • (Al-)Fard: The All-Independent, Single One (free from having any equals or likes in His Essence and Attributes)
  • (Al-)Mutakabbir: The One Who has exclusive right to all greatness and manifests it
  • (Al-)‘Aliyy: The All-Exalted
  • (Az-)Zahir: The All-Outward, Whose existence is the most manifest
  • (Al-)Batin: The All-Inward, Whose Essence cannot be comprehended
  • (Al-)Kabir: The All-Great
  • (Al-)Jalil: The All-Majestic and All-Supreme
  • (Al-)Majid: The All-Sublime, the All-Illustrious
  • (Al-)Haqq: The Ultimate Truth and Ever-Constant
  • (Al-)Matin: The All-Forceful and All-Able
  • (Al-)Wajid: The Ever-Present and All-Finding
  • (As-)Samad: The Eternally All-Besought, Himself being needy of nothing
  • (Al-)Awwal: The First Whom there is none that precedes
  • (Al-)Akhir: The Last Whom there is none that will outlive
  • (Al-)Muta‘ali: The All-Transcending
  • (Al-)Ghaniyy: The All-Wealthy and Self-Sufficient
  • (An-)Nur: The All-Light, Who is the unique source of all illumination
  • (Al-)Warith: The One Who survives all beings and inherits them
  • Dhu’l-Jalal wa’l-ikram: The One of absolute Majesty and Grace
  • (Ar-)Raqib: The All-Watchful
  • (Al-)Baqi: The Eternally All-Permanent
  • (Al-)Hamid: The All-Praiseworthy
  • (Al-)Wahid: The One of absolute Unity (Who is absolutely indivisible and having no partners and equals)
  • (Al-)Ahad: The All-Unique of Absolute Oneness (Who is beyond all kinds of human conceptions and absolutely free from having any partners, likes, parents, sons or daughters)

The Names Originating in Divine Attributes of Glory

  • (Al-)Hayy: The All-Living
  • (Ash-)Shakur: The All-Responsive (to the good and gratitude of His creatures)
  • (Al-)Qahhar: The All-Overwhelming (with absolute sway over all that exists)
  • (Al-)Qahir: The All-Overpowering, Who crushes those who deserve crushing
  • (Al-)Muqtadir: The All-Omnipotent
  • (Al-)Qawiyy: The All-Strong
  • (Al-)Murid: The All-Willing
  • (Al-)Qadir: The All-Powerful
  • (Ar-)Rahman: The All-Merciful (Who has mercy on the whole of existence and provides for all of them)
  • (Ar-)Rahim: The All-Compassionate (Who has particular compassion for each of His creatures in their maintenance, and for His believing servants especially in the other world)
  • (As-)Subhan: The All-Glorified
  • (As-)Sultan: The Absolute, Eternal Authority
  • (Al-)Karim: The All-Munificent
  • (Al-)Ghaffar: The Ever All-Forgiver
  • (Al-)Ghafur: The All-Forgiving
  • (Al-)Wadud: The All-Loving and All-Beloved
  • (Ar-)Rauf: The All-Pitying
  • (Al-)Halim: The All-Clement (showing no haste to punish the errors of His servants)
  • (Al-)Barr: The All-Benign
  • (As-)Sabur: The All-Patient (Whom no haste induces to rush into an action)
  • (Al-)‘Alim: The All-Knowing
  • (Al-)Khabir: The All-Aware
  • (Al-)Muhsi: The All-Counting and Recording
  • (Al-)Hakim: The One Who does everything properly, the All-Wise
  • (Ash-)Shahid: The All-Witnessing
  • (As-)Sami‘: The All-Hearing
  • (Al-)Basir: The All-Seeing
  • (Al-)‘Afuww: The All-Pardoning (Who overlooks the faults of His servants and grants remission)

The Names Indicating Divine Acts

  • (Al-)Mubdi: The All-Initiating
  • (Al-)Wakil: The One to rely on and to Whom affairs should be entrusted
  • (Al-)Baith: The One Who restores life to the dead
  • (Al-)Mujib: The All-Answering (of prayers) and Meeting (of needs)
  • (Al-)Wasi‘: The All-Embracing (in His Knowledge and Mercy)
  • (Al-)Hasib: The All-Sufficing as One Who reckons and settles the accounts (of His servants)
  • (Al-)Mughis: The One Who gives extra help
  • (Al-)Hafiz: The All-Preserving and Keeper of records, the All-Protecting
  • (Al-)Khaliq: The Creator (Who determines measure for everything and makes things and beings exist out of nothing)
  • (as-)Sani‘: The Maker
  • (Al-)Bari: The All-Holy Creator (Who is absolutely free from having any partners and Who creates without imitating anything)
  • (Al-)Musawwir: The All-Fashioning
  • (Ar-)Razzaq: The All-Providing
  • (Al-)Wahhab: The All-Bestowing
  • (As-)Sattar: The All-Veiling (of His servants’ shortcomings and sins)
  • (Al-)Fatir: The AllOriginating (with a unique individuality)
  • (Al-)Fattah: The One Who opens the door of good
  • (An-)Nasir: The All-Helping and Giver of victory
  • (Al-)Kafi: The All-Sufficing
  • (Al-)Qabid: The All-Constricting; the One Who takes the souls of living beings
  • (Al-)Basit: The All-Expanding
  • (Al-)Hafid: The One Who lowers and humiliates whom He wills
  • (Ar-)Rafi‘: The All-Elevating
  • (Al-)Mu‘izz: The All-Exalting and Honoring
  • (Al-)Mudhill: The All-Abasing
  • (Al-)Hakam: The All-Judging (Who settles the matters between people)
  • (Al-)‘Adl: The All-Just
  • (Al-)Latif: The All-Subtle (penetrating into the minutest dimensions of all things and providing for all)
  • (Al-)Mu‘id: The All-Returning and Restoring (the One Who causes to die after life and returns the dead to life)
  • (Al-)Muhyi: The Giver of life and All-Reviving
  • (Al-)Mumit: The One Who causes to die; the All-Dealing of death
  • (Al-)Waliyy: The Guardian, the Protecting Friend (to rely on)
  • (At-)Tawwab: The One Who guides to repentance, accepts repentance, and returns it with liberal forgiveness and additional reward
  • (Al-)Muntaqim: The Ever-Able to requite
  • (Al-)Muqsit: The All-Dealing of justice
  • (Al-)Jami‘: The One having all excellences to the infinite degree; the All-Gathering
  • (Al-)Mughni: The All-Enriching
  • (Al-)Mani‘: The All-Preventing and Withdrawing; the One Who does not give whatever He does not will to give
  • (Ad-)Darr: The Creator of evil and harm
  • (An-)Nafi‘: The All-Favoring and Giver of benefits
  • (Al-)Hadi: The All-Guiding
  • (Al-)Badi‘: The One Who originates in unique fashion and with nothing preceding Him to imitate
  • (Ar-)Rashid: The All-Guide to what is correct
  • (Al-)Qayyūm: The Self-Subsisting (by Whom all subsist)
  • Maliku’l-mulk: The absolute Master of all dominion
  • (Al-)Mu‘akhkhir: The One Who leaves behind
  • (Al-)Muqaddim: The One Who causes to advance, Who moves things forward
  • (Al-)Muqit: The All-Aiding and Sustaining
  • (al-)Wali: The All-Governing

The Foundational Names

  • (Al-)Hayy: The All-Living
  • (Al-)‘Alim: The All-Knowing
  • (Al-)Murid: The All-Willing
  • (Al-)Mutakallim: The All-Speaking
  • (Al-)Qadir: The All-Powerful
  • (Al-)Jawad: The All-Generous
  • (Al-)Muqsit: The All-Dealing of justice

The Names of Majesty

  • (Al-)Kabir: The All-Great
  • (Al-)‘Aziz: The All-Glorious with irresistible might
  • (Al-)‘Alim: The All-Knowing
  • (Al-)Jalil: The All-Majestic and All-Supreme
  • (Ad-)Dayyan: The Supreme Ruler and All-Requiting (of good and evil)
  • (Al-)Majid: The All-Sublime, the All-Illustrious
  • (Al-)Mumit: The One Who causes to die; the All-Dealing of death
  • (Ad-)Darr: The Creator of evil and harm
  • (Al-)Muntaqim: The All-Requiting

The Names of Grace

  • (Ar-)Rahim: The All-Compassionate (Who has particular compassion for each of His creatures in their maintenance, and for His believing servants especially in the other world)
  • (Al-)Jamil: The All-Gracious and All-Beautiful
  • (As-)Salam: The Supreme Author of peace and salvation
  • (Al-)Muhyi: The Giver of life and All-Reviving
  • (Al-)Mu’min: The Supreme Author of safety and security
  • (Al-)Latif: The All-Subtle (penetrating into the minutest dimensions of all things and providing for all)
  • (Ar-)Razzaq: The All-Providing
  • (Al-)Khallaq: The Supreme Creator
  • (Al-)Awwal: The First (Whom there is none that precedes)
  • (Al-)Akhir: The Last (Whom there is none that will outlive)
  • (Az-)Zahir: The All-Outward, Whose existence is the most manifest
  • (Al-)Batin: The All-Inward, Whose Essence cannot be comprehended
  • (Al-)Qarib: The All-Near

Lists of God’s names

Main article: God’s 99 Names in Islam

List of 99 Names of God as found in the Qur’an

# Arabic Transliteration Translation (can vary based on context) Qur’anic usage
1 الله ʾAllāh The God Everywhere
2 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
3 الرحيم Ar-Raḥīm The Exceedingly Merciful Beginning of every chapter except one, and in numerous other places
4 الملك Al-Malik The King 59:23, 20:114, 23:116
5 القدوس Al-Quddūs The Holy, The Pure, The Perfect 59:23, 62:1
6 السلام As-Salām The Peace, The Source of Peace and Safety, The Savior 59:23
7 المؤمن Al-Muʾmin The Guarantor, The Affirming 59:23
8 المهيمن Al-Muhaymin The Guardian 59:23
9 العزيز Al-ʿAzīz The Almighty, The Invulnerable, The Honorable 3:6, 4:158, 9:40, 48:7, 59:23
10 الجبار Al-Ğabbār The Irresistible, The Compeller, The Lofty 59:23
11 المتكبر Al-Mutakabbir The Majestic, The Supreme 59:23
12 الخالق Al-Ḫāliq The Creator 6:102, 13:16, 39:62, 40:62, 59:24
13 البارئ Al-Bāriʾ The Evolver, The Fashioner, The Designer 59:24
14 المصور Al-Muṣawwir The Fashioner of Forms 59:24
15 الغفار Al-Ġaffār The Repeatedly Forgiving 20:82, 38:66, 39:5, 40:42, 71:10
16 القهار Al-Qahhār The Subduer 12:39, 13:16, 14:48, 38:65, 39:4, 40:16
17 الوهاب Al-Wahhāb The Bestower 3:8, 38:9, 38:35
18 الرزاق Ar-Razzāq The Provider 51:58
19 الفتاح Al-Fattāḥ The Opener, The Victory Giver 34:26
20 العليم Al-ʿAlīm The All Knowing, The Omniscient 2:158, 3:92, 4:35, 24:41, 33:40
21 القابض Al-Qābiḍ The Restrainer, The Straightener 2:245
22 الباسط Al-Bāsiṭ The Extender / Expander 2:245
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-Ḫabīr 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
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
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 Omnipotent, The All Able 6:65, 36:81, 46:33, 75:40
70 المقتدر Al-Muqtadir The Determiner, The Dominant 18:45, 54:42, 54:55
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-ʾAḫir 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
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
wa-l-ʾikrām
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
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

Islamic mysticism

There is a tradition in Sufism to the effect the 99 names of God point to a mystical “Most Supreme and Superior Name” (ismu l-ʾAʿẓam (ٱلْإِسْمُ ٱلْأَعْظَم). This “Greatest Name of God” is said to be “the one which if He is called (prayed to) by it, He will answer.”

According to a hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Masud, some of the names of God have also been hidden from mankind. More than 1000 names of God are listed in the Jawshan Kabir (جَوْشَنُ ٱلْكَبِير – literally “the Great Cuirass or The Big Shield“) invocations.

Theophoric given names

Isma_allah_zat-new

Allah as having been written on the disciple’s heart according to Sarwari Qadri Order

The Arabic names of God are used to form theophoric given names commonly used in Muslim cultures throughout the world, including non-Arabic speaking societies.

Because the names of God themselves are reserved to God and their use as a person’s given name is considered religiously inappropriate, theophoric names are formed by prefixing the term ˁabd (عَبْدُ – “slave/servant of”) to the name in the case of male names; in the case of female names, the prefix amat is used in place of ˁabd.

This distinction is established out of respect for the sanctity of Divine names, which denote attributes (of love, kindness, mercy, compassion, justice, power, etc.) that are believed to be possessed in a full and absolute sense only by God, while human beings, being limited creatures, are viewed by Muslims as being endowed with the Divine attributes only in a limited and relative capacity. The prefixing of the definite article would indicate that the bearer possesses the corresponding attribute in an exclusive sense, a trait reserved to God.

Quranic verse 3:26 is cited as evidence against the validity of using Divine names for persons, with the example of Mālik ul-Mulk (مَـٰلِكُ ٱلْمُلْكُ – “Lord of Power” or “Owner of all Sovereignty”):

“Say: “O God! Lord of Power, You give power to whom You please, and You strip off power from whom You please. You endue with honour whom You please, and You bring low whom You please. In Your hand is all Good.” Verily, over all things You have power.” [Qur’an 3:26]

The two parts of the name starting with ˁabd may be written separately (as in the previous example) or combined as one in the transliterated form; in such a case, the vowel transcribed after ˁabdu is often written as u when the two words are transcribed as one: e.g., Abdur-RahmanAbdul-AzizAbdul-Jabbar, or even Abdullah (عَبْدُ ٱللّٰه – “Servant of God”). (This has to do with Arabic case vowels, the final u vowel showing the normal “quote” nominative/vocative case form.)

Examples of Muslim theophoric names include:

  • Rahmān, such as Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais (عَبْدُ ٱلْرَّحْمَان ٱلْسُّدَيْس) – Imam of the Grand Mosque of Makkah, KSA
  • Salām, such as Salam Fayyad (سَلَام فَيَّاض) – Palestinian politician
  • Jabbār, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (كَرِيم عَبْدُ ٱلْجَبَّار) – American basketball player
  • Hakīm, such as Sherman “Abdul Hakim” Jackson (عَبْدُ ٱلْحَكِيم – ˁabdu ʼl-Ḥakiym) – American Islamic Studies scholar
  • Ra’ūf, such as Ra’ouf Mus’ad (رَؤُوف مُسَعد) – Egyptian-Sudanese novelist
  • Mālik, such as Mālik bin ʼAnas (مَـٰلِك بِن أَنَس) – classical Sunni Muslim scholars after whom the Maliki school of fiqh was named
  • Abdul Muqtedar as in Muhammad Abdul Muqtedar Khan (مُحَمَّد عَبْدُ ٱلمُقْتَدِر خَان) – Indian-American academic

See also

References

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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