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In the Name of God بسم الله

Explain the 99 Names

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As salaamun aleikum brothers and sisters-

My question is regarding how to properly explain the 99 Names/Attributes of Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì to a Christian. The basic idea and common understanding  in Christianity is that

"God is love", to the exclusion of all the other attributes, or in the sense that "love" is the dominant attribute and all other attributs exist in a lesser sense...  To be honest, my understanding in this area is weak as well, and maybe thats to be expected considering that AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì is infinite, but how can AllahÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì be infinite in all this at the same time? But Allah ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì cant be numbered, broken into pieces, or limited by time or space, so...

Anyway, 

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Start with 6:103 (Yusef Ali translation) "no vision can grasp Him ÓÈÍÇäå æÊÚÇáì "

We also have revealed, inshallah, the "99 Attributes" (Names is a contextually weaker/poorer translation).

Each revealed Attribute is something we can understand.

The OT has the same. Most famously, in the 2nd Commandment: "Your God is a jealous god ... " because jealousy is something we can understand. Resentful of rivalry, Persistently watchful.

Edited by hasanhh
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  • 2 weeks later...
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On 13/02/2017 at 5:38 AM, shia farm girl said:

As salaamun aleikum brothers and sisters-

My question is regarding how to properly explain the 99 Names/Attributes of Allah

In my opinion Allah attributes are not 99. They are thousands. many of its attributes appear in quran are not included in 99. For example Al Sattar Al Rabb. 

Secondly 99 attributes can not be explained theoretically but they can be understood practically with riyazat. Without going into details i think its your interest and Gods will if he give you ability to understant such things.

Allama Khumaini said that A wali is one who understand all asma e elahiya except those who he want to be secret. 

Sorry about my poor knowledge about this . May Allah guide us 

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2 hours ago, Who_Am_I said:

In my opinion Allah attributes are not 99. They are thousands. many of its attributes appear in quran are not included in 99. For example Al Sattar Al Rabb. 

Secondly 99 attributes can not be explained theoretically but they can be understood practically with riyazat. Without going into details i think its your interest and Gods will if he give you ability to understant such things.

Allama Khumaini said that A wali is one who understand all asma e elahiya except those who he want to be secret. 

Sorry about my poor knowledge about this . May Allah guide us 

@Who_Am_I i think youve provided good points and what you said makes total sense considering the unfathomability of the concept of the Infinite. Definetly something to ponder on. May Allah guide us all, and provide us clear guidance in sha Allah:)

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@shia farm girl

7 hours ago, shia farm girl said:

i think youve provided good points and what you said makes total sense considering the unfathomability of the concept of the Infinite. Definetly something to ponder on. May Allah guide us all, and provide us clear guidance in sha Allah:)

Respected Sister, 

Just to share my poor thinking with you. The attributes of Allah can be completely defined only with reverse meaning. For example Allah is Aleem we can not explain Aleem because his Ilm has no limits. But we can define aleem in such a way that he do not have Jehal.. He is Ali so we can say he is not Past.

When we look at a wooden table then we can think of what attributes of Allah it contains. Like Someone has knowledge (Aleem) who creates the table. Someone is Mureed which do Irada to make the chair someone is qawi how use the power to create . someone uses khaliq who khalq it. Someone is Baari who invent it. similarly more. Allah the things are composition of Allah's Attributes. As Imam Ali my spirit and everything sacrifice on him. said in dua al-Kumail. 

And by Your Names, which have filled the foundations of all things;

وَبِأَسْمَائِكَ الَّتِي مَلأَتْ أَرْكَانَ كُلِّ شَيٍْء

This thinking is mine so Allah knows better I have very low level of knowledge to discuss such high level things. May Allah Guide us Allah and prepare ourselves for the appearance of beloved master of time a.s ameen

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@shia farm girl

7 hours ago, shia farm girl said:

i think youve provided good points and what you said makes total sense considering the unfathomability of the concept of the Infinite. Definetly something to ponder on. May Allah guide us all, and provide us clear guidance in sha Allah:)

Respected Sister, 

Just to share my poor thinking with you. The attributes of Allah can be completely defined only with reverse meaning. For example Allah is Aleem we can not explain Aleem because his Ilm has no limits. But we can define aleem in such a way that he do not have Jehal.. He is Ali so we can say he is not Past.

When we look at a wooden table then we can think of what attributes of Allah it contains. Like Someone has knowledge (Aleem) who creates the table. Someone is Mureed which do Irada to make the chair someone is qawi how use the power to create . someone uses khaliq who khalq it. Someone is Baari who invent it. similarly more. Allah the things are composition of Allah's Attributes. As Imam Ali my spirit and everything sacrifice on him. said in dua al-Kumail. 

And by Your Names, which have filled the foundations of all things;

وَبِأَسْمَائِكَ الَّتِي مَلأَتْ أَرْكَانَ كُلِّ شَيٍْء

This thinking is mine so Allah knows better I have very low level of knowledge to discuss such high level things. May Allah Guide us Allah and prepare ourselves for the appearance of beloved master of time a.s ameen

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On 24/02/2017 at 0:30 PM, Who_Am_I said:

@shia farm girl

Respected Sister, 

Just to share my poor thinking with you. The attributes of Allah can be completely defined only with reverse meaning. For example Allah is Aleem we can not explain Aleem because his Ilm has no limits. But we can define aleem in such a way that he do not have Jehal.. He is Ali so we can say he is not Past.

When we look at a wooden table then we can think of what attributes of Allah it contains. Like Someone has knowledge (Aleem) who creates the table. Someone is Mureed which do Irada to make the chair someone is qawi how use the power to create . someone uses khaliq who khalq it. Someone is Baari who invent it. similarly more. Allah the things are composition of Allah's Attributes. As Imam Ali my spirit and everything sacrifice on him. said in dua al-Kumail. 

And by Your Names, which have filled the foundations of all things;

وَبِأَسْمَائِكَ الَّتِي مَلأَتْ أَرْكَانَ كُلِّ شَيٍْء

This thinking is mine so Allah knows better I have very low level of knowledge to discuss such high level things. May Allah Guide us Allah and prepare ourselves for the appearance of beloved master of time a.s ameen

Reading this post, made it worthwhile to join this forum. Jazak Allah Khair

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  • 4 years later...
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As salaamun aleikum,

Just wanted to add some book info here that really helped me with the 99Names/Attributes.

Name & the Named: The Divine Attributes of God

Al-Ghazali, Shaykh Tosun Bayraks

Work includes Imam al-Ghazali's Al-Maqsad al-Asna' fi Sharh Ma'ni Asma' Allah al-Husna

 

 “Qualify yourself with the qualities of God.” Compiled from classical Arabic and Turkish texts of Al-Ghazali, Ibn Arabi, Djili, and Abdul Qadir Jilani, among others, these are the divine attributes by which God manifests Himself in the world and by which He completes the spiritual life of man. In this volume, Tosun Bayrak, a shaykh of the Jerrahi order based in Istanbul, explains how to use these Names for the transformation of the soul–“to see that the human being is the microcosm of the macrocosm where God’s attributes are reflected.” 

In sha Allah this may be helpful to others.

Edited by PureExistence1
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On 2/13/2017 at 12:38 AM, PureExistence1 said:

The basic idea and common understanding  in Christianity is that "God is love", to the exclusion of all the other attributes, or in the sense that "love" is the dominant attribute and all other attributs exist in a lesser sense...

Hi There - This is a great question.  The names of God

17 hours ago, PureExistence1 said:

these are the divine attributes by which God manifests Himself in the world and by which He completes the spiritual life of man.

God has chosen in his mercy and grace to reveal something of himself to us.  One way he has done this is through his names.  I think both Islam and Christianity would suggest that God has many names (beyond 99) and each one helps us to understand something more of who he is and how he wants to relate to us.

In the Hebrew Scriptures there are three fundamental names of God: Elohim, Jehovah and Adonai.  Elohim refers to God as the Omnipotent Creator.  Jehovah unveils God as the Self Existent Lord who reveals himself. Adonai reveals God as Master and Head.  In addition to this there are 7 special names linked to Jehovah

1 - Jehovah Rohi – The Lord my shepherd - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want - Psalm 23:1

2 - Jehovah Jireh – The Lord my provider - Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.’ - Genesis 22:14

3 - Jehovah Rapha – The Lord my healer - ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’ - Exodus 15:26

4 - Jehovah Shalom - The Lord my peace - The Lord said to him, ‘Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.’ So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. Judges 6:23&24

5 - Jehovah Nissi – The Lord my banner - Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, ‘Because hands were lifted up in prayer to the throne of the Lord -  Exodus 17:15

6 - Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord my righteousness - In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jeremiah 23:6

7 - Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is there for me - It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. Ezekiel 48:35

When we look at the New Testament again there are many names for God.  The phrase "God is love" comes from a letter Jesus the Messiah's friend John wrote to followers of Jesus in the first century after Jesus.  1 John chapter 4 verse 8 God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

This verse isn't saying that love is a name of God - or an atribute as if it is one among many, or even as @PureExistence1 says the dominant atribute.  It is rather stating that love is the very essence of God.  Everything he does or is eminates from love.  As this quote states God showed his love ultimately in Jesus the Messiah.  Who delivers, not those who love God, but those who don't.  The prime mover is not people but it is God in love reaching out to each person.  I am so thankful that his love has transformed me and that Jesus the Messiah has put his love in my heart so I can love God and others in all I do and am.

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4 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

Hi There - This is a great question.  The names of God

God has chosen in his mercy and grace to reveal something of himself to us.  One way he has done this is through his names.  I think both Islam and Christianity would suggest that God has many names (beyond 99) and each one helps us to understand something more of who he is and how he wants to relate to us.

In the Hebrew Scriptures there are three fundamental names of God: Elohim, Jehovah and Adonai.  Elohim refers to God as the Omnipotent Creator.  Jehovah unveils God as the Self Existent Lord who reveals himself. Adonai reveals God as Master and Head.  In addition to this there are 7 special names linked to Jehovah

1 - Jehovah Rohi – The Lord my shepherd - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want - Psalm 23:1

2 - Jehovah Jireh – The Lord my provider - Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.’ - Genesis 22:14

3 - Jehovah Rapha – The Lord my healer - ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.’ - Exodus 15:26

4 - Jehovah Shalom - The Lord my peace - The Lord said to him, ‘Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.’ So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. Judges 6:23&24

5 - Jehovah Nissi – The Lord my banner - Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, ‘Because hands were lifted up in prayer to the throne of the Lord -  Exodus 17:15

6 - Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord my righteousness - In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jeremiah 23:6

7 - Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is there for me - It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. Ezekiel 48:35

When we look at the New Testament again there are many names for God.  The phrase "God is love" comes from a letter Jesus the Messiah's friend John wrote to followers of Jesus in the first century after Jesus.  1 John chapter 4 verse 8 God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

This verse isn't saying that love is a name of God - or an atribute as if it is one among many, or even as @PureExistence1 says the dominant atribute.  It is rather stating that love is the very essence of God.  Everything he does or is eminates from love.  As this quote states God showed his love ultimately in Jesus the Messiah.  Who delivers, not those who love God, but those who don't.  The prime mover is not people but it is God in love reaching out to each person.  I am so thankful that his love has transformed me and that Jesus the Messiah has put his love in my heart so I can love God and others in all I do and am.

Thanks for what you have shared, brother Dave.

it's nice to see some of the Names / Attributes from the other books mentioned here and in such an organized manner.

Sometimes seeing things this way helps people understand that this is the same God, and that there are not different deities.

While we who have been here on Shia Chat for awhile know what we're talking about, there may be people in the future who peruse this particular thread and are still under the impression that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship  different gods. That's patently false, so it's nice to see information coming from the other books being posted here to show the Oneness of revealed and divine scripture.

And yes, you're absolutely right! The amount of attributes is innumerable!

Thank you for contributing!

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