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Why Muslims Love Islamic Wall Art of The 99 Names of Allah? | Al Asma Ul Husna and its Virtues

Why Muslims Love Islamic Wall Art of The 99 Names of Allah? | Al Asma Ul Husna and its Virtues

Muslims are closely attached to the 99 names of Allah and love to hang Islamic wall art of the 99 names of Allah and decorate their homes with Islamic decor containing Al Asma Ul Husna, to help them memorize and be reminded about the 99 names of Allah. Also when gifting a Muslim friend with Islamic canvas and Islamic wall decor, the 99 names of Allah is the perfect Islamic gift that comes in mind for Eid gifts, Ramadan gifts and housewarming gifts . This article will discuss the 99 names of Allah and its virtues, as well as the importance of learning Al Asma Ul Husna for every Muslim. 

Islamic wall art of 99 names of Allah on a wall

The image above shows the Islamic wall art of 99 names of Allah in shades of grey and beige (click here to view product)

The 99 Names of Allah in Quran:

In surah Al-A'raf, Allah SWT said that,

وَلِلَّهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا ۖ وَذَرُوا الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَائِهِ ۚ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

Meaning: And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing. - (Surah Al-A'raf 7:180).

The first part of this verse is placed in the top center of Islamic wall art designed my Modern Islamic Arts in a unique design displaying the 99 names of Allah.

Islamic wall art of 99 names of Allah in shades of green and beige

The image above shows the Islamic wall art of 99 names of Allah in shades of green and beige (click here to view product)

We are ordered to call Allah by those names, the names which denote the highest level of perfection of qualities. Needless to say, the highest level of any quality or attribute beyond which there can be no other level is reserved for the Almighty Lord Allah SWT alone.

The first pillar of Imaan (faith) is to believe that Allah is the only Creator, Sustainer, King, and Planner of everything in existence. Also believing in the names and attributes of Allah.

One of the three types of Tawheed is to recognize Allah as one and unique in terms of names and attributes. There are three types of Tawhid – Tawhidur Rububiyyah (Oneness of Lordship), Tawhidul Uluhyyah (Oneness of Worship), Tawhidul Asma-Was-Sifat (Oneness of Names and Attributes). The importance of Asma-Was-Sifat is immense.

In Surah Al-Hashr (59: 20, 21, 22, 23) Allah Says:

( 21 )   لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَىٰ جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

( 21 )   If We had sent down this Qur'an upon a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and coming apart from fear of Allah. And these examples We present to the people that perhaps they will give thought.

( 22 )   هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ ۖ هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ

( 22 )   He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the witnessed. He is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

( 23 )   هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

( 23 )   He is Allah, other than whom there is no deity, the Sovereign, the Pure, the Perfection, the Bestower of Faith, the Overseer, the Exalted in Might, the Compeller, the Superior. Exalted is Allah above whatever they associate with Him

( 24 )   هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

( 24 )   He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names. Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

From the above verses and their sequence, Allah SWT emphasizes the greatness of the Quran, then giving an example to assert this greatness by a mountain that is huge and solid humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allah, then what about humans? Then Glorifying Allah SWT by mentioning His Names and Attributes.

Humans are constantly faced with various problems, troubles, worries and complex issues. Then they will take refuge in the shadow of Allah's mercy, that shadow lies in the meaning of Allah's Attributes.

Proper knowledge of Allah’s Names and Attributes in Islam enables us to be a better believer and worship Allah fully and adequately as a Muslim.

It should also be noted that the Prophet Muhammad PBUH used Al Asma Ul Husna in dua, for example:

 حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيٌّ بْنِ خَلَفِ بْنِ خَلِيفَةَ قَالَ‏:‏ حَدَّثَنِي حَفْصُ ابْنُ أَخِي أَنَسٍ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ‏:‏ كُنْتُ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَدَعَا رَجُلٌ فَقَالَ‏:‏ يَا بَدِيعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ، يَا حَيُّ يَا قَيُّومُ، إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ‏.‏ فَقَالَ‏:‏ أَتَدْرُونَ بِمَا دَعَا‏؟‏ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، دَعَا اللَّهَ بِاسْمِهِ الَّذِي إِذَا دُعِيَ بِهِ أَجَابَ‏.‏

Anas said, "I was with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a man made supplication, saying, 'O Originator of the heavens! O Living, Self-Subsistent! I ask of You.' He said, 'Do you know by what he has made supplication? By the One in whose hand my soul is, he has asked Allah by the Name that He answers when He is asked by it." (Reference : Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 705 - Grade: Sahih Al-Albani)


Virtues of memorizing the 99 names of Allah

Islamic wall art of 99 names of Allah in shades of brown

The image above shows the Islamic wall art of 99 names of Allah in shades of brown (click here to view product)

In the hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA), the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

إِنَّ لِلَّهِ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمَا مِائَةً إِلاَّ وَاحِدًا مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ

Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said, "Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise." (Sahih al-Bukhari 2736)

When speaking about this Hadith, An-Nawawi says:

مَنْ حَفِظَهَا وَقِيلَ أَحْصَاهَا عَدَّهَا فِي الدُّعَاءِ بِهَا وَقِيلَ أَطَاقَهَا أَيْ أَحْسَنَ الْمُرَاعَاةَ لَهَا وَالْمُحَافَظَةَ عَلَى مَا تَقْتَضِيهِ وَصَدَّقَ بِمَعَانِيهَا وَقِيلَ مَعْنَاهُ الْعَمَلُ بِهَا وَالطَّاعَةُ بِكُلِّ اسْمِهَا

Meaning: According to one definition, to preserve them is to list and include them in one's supplication. It is said it means to persevere in them, to respect them in the best manner, to guard what they require, and to affirm their meanings. According to this, the intention is to follow them and submit to Allah in accordance with the connotations of each name. (Sahih Muslim 2677)

Counting the names of Allah is knowing their meanings, acting on what they require, and adopting them, by asking the soul to be characterized by mercy, love, forgiveness and other attributes that a believer can describe, and to be humbled and submit to names and attributes that can only described Allah SWT such as Al-Quddus, Al-Mutakabbir, Al-Bari’ and others.

Myths and Bid'ah (Innovation) Weaved Around the 99 Names of Allah:

 Islamic wall art of the 99 names of Allah in fall colors

The image above shows the Islamic wall art of 99 names of Allah in shades of brown (click here to view product)

Bid'ah (or innovation in religion) is defined as any practice or belief not supported by Qur'an or Sunnah. In worldly matters, such as science, medicine and technology, innovations are acceptable and encouraged. However, Bid‘ah within the religion is considered a sin as per Qur'an and hadith. For example:

عَنْ جَابِرِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ فِي خُطْبَتِهِ يَحْمَدُ اللَّهَ وَيُثْنِي عَلَيْهِ بِمَا هُوَ أَهْلُهُ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللَّهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْهُ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ إِنَّ أَصْدَقَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ وَأَحْسَنَ الْهَدْيِ هَدْيُ مُحَمَّدٍ وَشَرُّ الْأُمُورِ مُحْدَثَاتُهَا وَكُلُّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ وَكُلُّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ وَكُلُّ ضَلَالَةٍ فِي النَّارِ

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would praise Allah in his sermon, as He deserves to be praised, and then he would say, “Whomever Allah guides, no one can lead him astray. Whomever Allah sends astray, no one can guide him. The truest word is the Book of Allah and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil matters in religion are those that are newly invented, for every newly invented matter is an innovation, every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.(Source: Sunan al-Nasai 1578 - Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani).

Over time, specially in communities where illiteracy and poverty are widespread, some individuals started to innovate some bid'ah and myths around the 99 names of Allah and devised a "use" for each name with specific "dosage" and instructions to seem more credible. Such as "If a barren woman fasts for seven days and breaks her fast with water and recites (Al Bari'ul Musa'wiroo) twenty one times, she will conceive a child" note the specific names chosen, and the number of repetition that puts the public under the impression that this is a credible treatments, however this is totally baseless and has no support from Qur'an and Sunnah. In fact it's haram to believe in such things or spreading such wrong information according to the above hadith and in compliance with several Qur'an verses.   

 

The 99 Names of Allah and Their Meanings:

 Islamic wall art of the 99 names of Allah in navy watercolor design

The image above shows the Islamic wall art of 99 names of Allah in navy watercolor design (click here to view product)

According to hadith, memorizing the 99 names of Allah, as well as understanding and believing them, and using them for dua is the way to heaven. And the purpose of this article is to demonstrate the facts about the 99 names of Allah, and clarify some misconceptions and bid'as to avoid its widespread.
At the end, we listed here the 99 names of Allah along with their meaning to help memorizing and benefit to ummah inshallah.
We also encourage you to share this article widely to increase the awareness.

  1. Allah (الله)
  2. Ar-Rahman (الرحمن) – The Most Merciful
  3. Ar-Rahim (الرحيم) – The most Compassionate
  4. Al-Malik (الملك) – The Monarch, the King
  5. Al-Quddus (القدوس) – The One who is pure from any imperfection and clear from children and adversaries
  6. As-Salam (السلام) – The One who is free from every imperfection, The Peace, The Tranquility
  7. Al-Mu’min (المؤمن) – The One who witnessed for Himself that no one is God but Him
  8. Al-Muhaymin (المهيمن) – The vigilant, the controller
  9. Al-‘Aziz (العزيز) – The Defeater who is not defeated.| The Mighty | The Almighty, the powerful
  10. Al-Jabbar (العزيز) – The One that nothing happens in His Dominion except that which He willed. The all Compelling
  11. Al-Mutakabbir (المتكبر) – The One who is clear from the attributes of the creatures and from resembling them | The Haughty, the Majestic | The Imperious
  12. Al-Khaliq (الخالق) – The One who brings everything from non-existence to existence. | The Creator, the Maker
  13. Al-Bari’ (البارئ) – The Creator, the Artificer
  14. Al-Musawwir (المصور) – The Organizer, the Designer
  15. Al-Ghaffar (الغفار) – The One who forgives the sins of His slaves time and time again.
  16. Al-Qahhar (القهار) – The Subduer who has the perfect Power and is not unable over anything.
  17. Al-Wahhab (الوهاب) – The One who is Generous in giving plenty without any return.
  18. Ar-Razzaq (الرزاق) – The Provider, the Sustainer
  19. Al-Fattah (الفتاح) – The One who opens for His slaves the closed worldly and religious matters.
  20. Al-‘Alim (العليم) – The all Knowing, the Omniscient
  21. Al-Qabid (القابض) – The Contractor, The Restrainer, the Recipient.
  22. Al-Basit (الباسط) – The Expander, He who expands
  23. Al-Khafid (الخافض) – The Abaser, the Humbler
  24. Ar-Rafi’ (الرافع) – The Raiser, the Exalter
  25. Al-Mu’iz (المعز) – The Honorer, the Exalter
  26. Al-Muzil (المذل) – The Abaser, the Degrader, the Subduer
  27. As-Sami’ (السميع) – The Hearer, The All hearing, all knowing.
  28. Al-Basir (البصير) – The Seer, The Discerning, the All seeing.
  29. Al-Hakam (الحكم) – The Arbitrator, the Judge
  30. Al-‘Adl (العدل) – The Just.
  31. Al-Latif (اللطيف) – The One who is kind
  32. Al-Khabir (الخبير) – The Sagacious, One who is aware.
  33. Al-Halim (الحليم) – The Gentle. The most patient, the Clement
  34. Al-‘Azim (العظيم) – The Great, Mighty
  35. Ash-Ghafour (الغفور) – The Forgiving, the Pardoner.
  36. Ash-Shakur (الشكور) – The Grateful, the Thankful
  37. Al-‘Ali (العلي) – The most high, the exalted.
  38. Al-Qabir (الكبير) – The great, the big.
  39. Al-Hafiz (الحفيظ) – The Guardian, the preserver.
  40. Al-Muqit (المقيت)  – The maintainer, The Nourisher
  41. Al-Hasib (الحسيب) – The noble, The Reckoner
  42. Aj-Jalil (الجليل) – The Majestic. The honorable, the exalted.
  43. Al-Karim (الكريم) – The most generous, the Bountiful.
  44. Ar-Raqib (الرقيب) – The Guardian, the watchful.
  45. Al-Mujib (المجيب) – The respondent, one who answers.
  46. Al-Wasi (الواسع) – The Englober. The enricher, the Omnipresent, the Knowledgeable.
  47. Al-Hakim (الحكيم) – The most Wise, the Judicious.
  48. Al-Wadud (الودود) – The Affectionate, the Loving.
  49. Al-Majid (المجيد) – The Glorious, the Exalted.
  50. Al-Ba’ith (الباعث) – The Resurrector, the Raiser from death.
  51. Ash-Shahid (الشهيد) – The Witness
  52. Al-Haqq (الحق) – The Truth, the Just.
  53. Al-Wakil (الوكيل) – The Guardian, the Trustee
  54. 54.Al-Qawee (القوي) – The powerful, the Almighty, The Strong
  55. Al-Matin (المتين) – The Strong, the Firm
  56. Al-Walee (الولي) – The Supporter, the Friend, the Defender, the Master.
  57. Al-Hamid (الحميد) – The Praiseworthy , the Commendable
  58. Al-Muhsi (المحصي) – The Counter
  59. Al-Mubdi’ (المبدئ) – The Beginner, the Creator, The Originator
  60. Al-Mu’eed’ (المعيد) – The Restorer, the Resurrector.
  61. Al-Muhyee (المحيي) – The Bestower, the Life Giver.
  62. Al-Mumeet (المميت) – The Death Giver.
  63. Al-Hayy (الحي) – The Living. The Alive, the ever living.
  64. Al-Qayyum (القيوم) – The Self-Subsistent, The Eternal, the Self Sustaining.
  65. Al-Wajid (الواجد) – The all perceiving, the Opulent, the Finder.
  66. Al-Maajid (المحيط) – The Illustrious, the Magnificent
  67. Al-Wahid (الواحد) – The One, the Unique.
  68. Al-Samad (الصمد) – The Perfect, the Eternal.
  69. Al-Qadir (القادر) – the Omnipotent.
  70. Al-Muqtadir (المقتدر) – The all Powerful
  71. Al-Muqaddim (المقدم) – The Presenter, The Advancer, The Expediter
  72. Al-Mu’akhkhir (المؤخر) – The Fulfiller, the keeper behind, The Deferrer
  73. Al-‘Awwal (الأول) – The First
  74. Al-‘Akhir (الأخر) – The Last
  75. Az-Zahir (الظاهر) – The Apparent, the Exterior, The Manifest
  76. Al-Batin (الباطن) – The Hidden, the Interior, the Latent
  77. Al-Wali (الوالي) – The Governor, The Ruler, The Master
  78. Al-Muta’ali (المتعالي) – The Exalted, The most high, one above reproach.
  79. Al-Barr (البر) – The Benefactor, The Beneficent, the Pious.
  80. At-Tawwab (التواب) – The Acceptor of Repentance, The Forgiver, the Relenting.
  81. Al-Muntaqim (المنتقم) – One who destroys them.
  82. Al-‘Afuww (العفو) – The Forgiver,  the Pardoner, the effacer
  83. Ar-Ra’uf (الرؤوف) – The merciful, the Ever Indulgent.
  84. Malik Al-Mulk (مالك الملك) – The Ruler of the Kingdom, king of the Universe
  85. Zul-Jalal-wal-Ikram(ذو الجلال والإكرام) – Lord of Majesty and Generosity
  86. Al-Muqsit (المقسط) – The Just, the Equitable
  87. Aj-Jami’ (الجامع) – Gatherer
  88. Al-Ghanee (الغني) – Self-Sufficient
  89. Al-Mughnee (المغني) – the bestower.
  90. Al-Mani’ (المانع) – the defender.
  91. Ad-Darr (الضار) – the bringer of Adversity.
  92. An-Nafi’ ( ٱلْنَّافِعُ) – Benefactor
  93. An-Nur (ٱلْنُّورُ) – The Light
  94. Al-Hadi (ٱلْهَادِي) – The Guide
  95. Al-Badi (ٱلْبَدِيعُ) – Incomparable
  96. Al-Baqi (ٱلْبَاقِي) – the eternal
  97. Al-Warith (لْوَارِثُ) – The Heir
  98. Ar-Rashid (ٱلْرَّشِيدُ) – the Guide
  99. As-Sabur(ٱلْصَّبُورُ) – the Enduring.