99 names of Allah

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The Quran talks about "beautiful names of Allah" and the hadiths further specify that there is exactly 99 names. Muslims are supposed to learn these names of Allah, but there is a problem, because Muhammad didn't offer the full list of these names. Islamic scholars had to rely on ijtihad to find these names in the Quran and sunnah and different scholars came up with different lists. Out of the supposed 99 names of Allah, they together found at least 276 names.

The phrase "beautiful names of Allah" mentioned in the Quran

The Quran says that Allah has beautiful names (الأسماء الحسنى, al-asmaa' ul-husnaa), but doesn't specify what these names are and how many.

And to Allah belong the best names (الأسماء الحسنى), 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.
Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the best names (الأسماء الحسنى)." And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way.
Allah - there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names (الأسماء الحسنى).
He is Allah, the Creator, the Inventor, the Fashioner; to Him belong the best names (الأسماء الحسنى). Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Him. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

حسنى (husnaa) is translated as "beautiful", "best", "excellent" or "finest" [1]. The phrase "beaufiful names of Allah" and the word pig (خنزيير) were both mentioned exactly 4 times in the Quran - for more word count "miracles" click here.


There are many hadith claiming Allah has 99 names, this is one of them from Sahih Bukhari:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Allah 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.

Some apologetic sources (including Wikipedia) claim that according to the hadith, there are at least 99 names. But the hadith doesn't say "at least". It says simply ninety-nine (تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ) and even adds that it's one hundred minus one, which seems to emphasize, that it is exactly 99 and not 100 or more. And the hadith also says that who memorizes all these names would go to paradise - such a task would be hard in the time of Muhammad, considering that in that time the ummah was illiterate. And even today, as we'll see, it seems impossible to find the 99 names.

The popular list


The most popular list of 99 names of Allah among Muslims (which is also used on Wikipedia) seems to be a list from a weak (da'if) hadith from the collection of Tirmidhi.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Indeed, Allah has ninety-nine Names, one hundred less one, whoever counts them shall enter Paradise. He is Allah, the one whom there is none worthy of worship except for Him (Allāhu Lā Ilāha Illā Huwa), the Most Merciful (to the creation) (Ar-Raḥmān), the Most Beneficent (to the believers) (Ar-Raḥīm), the King (Al-Malik), the Free of Deficiencies (Al-Quddūs), the Granter of Safety (As-Salām), the Granter of Security (Al-Mu’min), the Watcher (Al-Muhaimin), the Mighty (Al-`Azīz), the Compeller (Al-Jabbār), the Supreme (Al-Mutakabbir), the Creator (Al-Khāliq), the Originator (Al-Bāri’), the Fashioner (Al-Muṣawwir), the Pardoner (Al-Ghaffār), the Overwhelming (Al-Qahhār), the Giving (Al-Wahhāb), the Provider (Ar-Razzāq), the Opener (Al-Fattāḥ), the Knowing (Al-`Alīm), the Taker (Al-Qābiḍ), the Giver (Al-Bāsiṭ), the Abaser (Al-Khāfiḍ), the Exalter (Ar-Rāfi`), the One who grants honor (Al-Mu`izz), the One who humiliates (Al-Mudhil), the Hearing (As-Samī`), the Seeing (Al-Baṣīr), the Judge (Al-Ḥakam), the Just (Al-`Adl), the Kind (Al-Laṭīf), the Aware (Al-Khabīr), the Forbearing (Al-Ḥalīm), the Magnificent (Al-`Aẓīm), the Oft-Forgiving (Al-Ghafūr), the Grateful (Ash-Shakūr), the Most High (Al-`Aliyy), the Great (Al-Kabīr), the Guardian (Al-Ḥafīẓ), the Powerful (Al-Muqīt), the Reckoner (Al-Ḥasīb), the Glorious (Al-Jalīl), the Generous (Al-Karīm), the Watcher (Ar-Raqīb), the Responder (Al-Mujīb), the Liberal Giver (Al-Wāsi`), the Wise (Al-Ḥakīm), the Loving (Al-Wadūd), the Majestic (Al-Majīd), the Reviver (Al-Bā`ith), the Witness (Ash-Shahīd), the Truth (Al-Ḥaqq), the Guarantor (Al-Wakīl), the Strong (Al-Qawiyy), the Firm (Al-Matīn), the One Who Aids (Al-Waliyy), the Praiseworthy (Al-Ḥamīd), the Encompasser (Al-Muḥṣi), the One Who Begins things (Al-Mubdi’), the One Who brings things back (Al-Mu`īd), the One Who gives life (Al-Muḥyi), the One Who causes death (Al-Mumīt), the Living (Al-Ḥayyu), the Self-Sufficient (Al-Qayyūm), the One Who brings into existence (Al-Wājid), the Illustrious (Al-Mājid), the One (Al-Wāḥid), the Master (Aṣ-Ṣamad), the Able (Al-Qādir), the Powerful (Al-Muqtadir), the One who hastens (Al-Muqaddim), the One who delays (Al-Mu’akhkhir), the First (Al-Awwal), the Last (Al-Ākhir), the Apparent (Aẓ-Ẓāhir), the Inner (Al-Bāṭin), the Owner (Al-Wāli), the Exalted (Al-Muta`āli), the Doer of Good (Al-Barr), the Acceptor of repentance (At-Tawwāb), the Avenger (Al-Muntaqim), the Pardoning (Al-`Afuww), the Kind (Ar-Ra’ūf), the Owner of Dominion (Mālikul-Mulk), the Possessor of Glory and Generosity (Dhul Jalāli wal Ikrām), the One who does justice (Al-Muqsiṭ), the Gatherer (Al-Jāmi`), the Rich (Al-Ghaniyy), the Enricher (Al-Mughni), the Preventer (Al-Māni`), the Harmer (Aḍ-Ḍār), the One who benefits (An-Nāfi`), the Light (An-Nūr), the Guide (Al-Hādi), the Originator (Al-Badī`), the Lasting (Al-Bāqi), the Inheritor (Al-Wārith), the Guide (Ar-Rashīd), the Tolerant (Aṣ-Ṣabūr).”

This hadith is weak. Tirmidhi wrote about it:

"This (version of the) hadith is gharib [unusual, scarce]; 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."
Tirmidhi comment on the list

Ibn Taimiyya said:

"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."
Ibn Taimyya

The list

The list (which is based on a weak hadith) probably looks attractive, because it contains references to the Quran. However it gets less amazing when you find out that in some of these references the word is not actually present in the Arabic Quran. When there is more verses containing the name, only one exemplary verse is mentioned. But if there is more verses and none of them actually mentions the name, all of them are mentioned in the list with the addition "(it's not there)".

Num. In Arabic Transliteration Offical translation Actual translation Reference Notes
1 الرحمان ar-rahmaan The Most Gracious The Gracious Quran 1:1
2 الرحيم ar-raheem The Most Merciful The Merciful Quran 1:1
3 المالك al-maalik The King The Posessor [2] Quran 59:23 Some translations say "sovereign" [3]
4 القدوس al-quddoos The Holy The Holy Quran 59:23
5 السلام as-salaam The Peace Free from defect Quran 59:23 Ibn Kathir understands it as "free from defect" [4]
6 المؤمن al-mu'min The Granter of Security The Believer [5] Quran 59:23 Mu'min in all other verses means "believer" [6]
7 المهيمن al-muhaymin The Controller The Controller Quran 59:23
8 العزيز al-'azeez The Powerful The Honorable [7] Quran 3:6
9 الجبار al-jabbar The Strong The Forceful [8] Quran 59:23
10 المتكبر al-mutakabbir The Supreme The Arrogant/The Boaster [9] Quran 59:23
11 الخالق al-khaaliq The Creator The Creator Quran 6:102
12 البارئ al-baari The Maker The Maker Quran 59:24
13 المصور al-musawwir The Fashioner The Fashioner Quran 59:24
14 الغفار al-ghaffaar The Repeatedly Forgiving The Forgiving Quran 20:82
15 القهار al-qahhaar The Subduer The Despot / The Conqueror Quran 12:39
16 الوهاب al-wahhaab The Bestower The Provider [10] Quran 38:9 Also a name of the founder of Wahhabism.
17 الرزاق ar-razaaq The Provider The Provider Quran 51:58
18 الفتاح al-fattaah The Opener The Opener Quran 34:26 "fath" (opening) is a euphemism for Islamic conquests (futuhaat islamiyya, literally "islamic openings").
19 العليم al-'aleem The Knowing The Knowing Quran 2:158
20 القابض al-qaabid The Restrainer The Grabbing [11] Quran 2:245 (it's not there) قبضة qabda is fist
21 الباسط al-baasit The Extender The Extender Quran 2:245 (it's not there) It should be actually باصط.
22 الخافض al-khaafid The Humiliator The Lessener/Lowerer Quran 56:3 (it's not there)
23 الرافع ar-raafee The Exalter The Raiser Quran 56:3 (it's not there)
24 المعز al-muiz The Giver of Honor The Honored Quran 3:26 (it's not there) المعز also means "The Goat"
25 المذل al-mudhil The Giver of Dishonor The Humiliating [12] Quran 3:26 (it's not there)
26 السميع al-samii The Hearing The Hearing Quran 2:127
27 البصير al-baseer The All-Seeing The Seeing Quran 4:58
28 الحكم al-hakam The Judge The Judge Quran 22:69 (it's not there)
29 العدل al-adl The Just The Justice Quran 6:115 (it's not there)
30 اللطيف al-lateef The Subtly Kind The Kind Quran 22:63
31 الخبير ar-khabeer The All-aware The Informed [13] Quran 6:18
32 الحليم ar-haleem The Forbearing The Forbearing Quran 2:235
33 العظيم al-'azeem The Great The Great Quran 2:255
34 الغفور ar-ghafoor The Much Forgiving The Forgiving Quran 2:173 The list already contains Ghaffar, which means the same.
35 الشكور al-shakoor The Grateful The Thankful Quran 35:30
36 العلى al-aliyy The Sublime The Exalted Quran 4:34
37 الكبير ar-kabeer The Great The Great Quran 13:9 Not akbar (اكبر) - the Greatest??
38 الحفيظ al-hafeez The Preserver The Preserver Quran 11:57
39 المقيت al-muqeet The Nourisher The Nourisher Quran 4:85
40 الحسيب al-haseeb The Bringer of Judgment The Accountant Quran 4:6 حساب hisaab means account
41 الجليل al-jaleel The Majestic The Majestic Quran 55:27 (it's not there), Quran 7:143 (it's not there)
42 الكريم al-kareem The Bountiful The Bountiful Quran 27:40
43 الرقيب ar-raqeeb The Watchful The Watchman Quran 4:1
44 المجيب al-mujeeb The Responsive The Responsive Quran 11:61
45 الواسع al-waasie The Vast The Vast Quran 2:268
46 الحكيم al-hakeem The Wise The Wise Quran 31:27
47 الودود al-wadood The Affectionate The Affectionate Quran 11:90
48 المجيد al-majeed The Glorious The Glorious Quran 11:73
49 الباعث al-baaith The Resurrector The Resurrector
50 الشهيد ash-shaheed The Witness The Witness Quran 4:166
51 الحق al-haqq The Truth The Truth Quran 22:6 Allah in the Quran claims that the Earth is flat.
52 الوكيل al-wakeel The Trustee The Trustee Quran 3:173
53 القوي al-qawee The Strong The Strong Quran 22:40
54 المتين al-mateen The Firm The Firm Quran 51:58
55 الولي al-walee The Friend The Friend Quran 4:45
56 الحميد al-hameed The All Praiseworthy The Praiseworthy Quran 14:8 Muhammad (محمد) is derived from the same root.
57 المحصى al-muhsee The Accounter The Accounter Quran 72:28 (it's not there), Quran 78:29 (it's not there) إحصىء means "statistics"
58 المبدئ al-mubdi The Initiator The Initiator Quran 10:34 (it's not there), Quran 27:64 (it's not there), Quran 29:19 (it's not there), Quran 85:13 (it's not there)
59 المعيد al-mueed The Restorer The Lecturer [14] Quran 10:34 (it's not there), Quran 27:64 (it's not there), Quran 29:19 (it's not there), Quran 85:13 (it's not there)
60 المحي al-muhee The Giver of Life The Giver of Life Quran 30:50
61 المميت al-mumeet The Bringer of Death The Deadly [15] Quran 3:156 (it's not there), Quran 7:158 (it's not there), Quran 15:23 (it's not there), Quran 57:2 (it's not there)
61 الحى al-hayy The Living The Living Quran 2:255
63 القيوم al-qayyum The Subsisting The Subsisting Quran 2:255
64 الواجد al-waajid The Perceiver The Angry [16] Quran 38:44 (it's not there)
65 الماجد al-maajid The Illustrious The Illustrious Quran 11:73
66 الواحد al-waahid The Single The Single Quran 13:16
67 الأحد al-ahad The One The One Quran 112:1
68 الصمد as-samad The Eternal The Eternal Quran 112:2
69 القادر al-qaadir The All-Powerful The Able Quran 6:65
70 المقتدر al-muqtadir The The Quran 1:1
71 المقدم al-muqaddim The The Quran 1:1
72 المؤخر al-muakhir The The Quran 1:1
73 الأول al-awwal The The Quran 1:1
74 الآخر al-aakhir The The Quran 1:1
75 الظاهر az-zaahir The The Quran 1:1
76 الباطن al-baatin The The Quran 1:1
77 الوالي al-waali The The Quran 1:1
78 المتعالي al-mutaali The The Quran 1:1
79 البر al-barr The The Quran 1:1
80 التواب at-tawwaab The The Quran 1:1
81 المنتقم al-muntaqim The The Quran 1:1
82 العفو al-'afuu The The Quran 1:1
83 الرؤف ar-rauf The The Quran 1:1
84 مالك الملك maalik ul-mulk The The Quran 1:1
85 ذو الجلال والإكرام dhul jalaal wal ikraam The The Quran 1:1
86 المقسط al-muqsit The The Quran 1:1
87 الجامع al-jaami The The Quran 1:1
88 الغني al-ghaani The The Quran 1:1
89 المغني al-mughni The The Quran 1:1
90 المانع al-maani The The Quran 1:1
91 الضار ad-daar The The Quran 1:1
92 النافع an-naafi The The Quran 1:1
93 النور an-noor The The Quran 1:1
94 الهادي al-haadi The The Quran 1:1
95 البديع al-badee The The Quran 1:1
96 الباقي al-baaqi The The Quran 1:1
97 الوارث al-waarith The The Quran 1:1
98 الرشيد ar-rasheed The The Quran 1:1
99 الصبور as-saboor The The Quran 1:1

Layers of wrongness

It is based on a weak hadith

Memorizing the list should make Muslims go to paradise, but since the hadith is unreliable, Muslims cannot rely on going to heaven for memorizing it.

Anybody can realize that it is not wise of Allah to offer Muslims a go to paradise and not to give them a list.

Some names are not actually beautiful

Some names are not actually mentioned in the Quran

One name is enough to raise a thousand questions and probably defeat Islam

The Qur'an terms Allah as the best of deceivers (khayru al-makireena). For obvious reasons, this name is not there in the above list.

Arabic: ومكروا ومكر الله والله خير الماكرين

Transliteration: Wamakaroo wamakara Allahu waAllahu khayru almakireena

Literal: And they cheated/deceived and Allah cheated/deceived, and Allah (is) the best (of) the cheaters/deceivers.[17]

It is quite likely that Allah has been always deceiving everybody including Muslims since this is a superlative ("best of deceivers"). More details here. The 13th sura in ayat 42 even goes ahead and states that all deception is by Allah.[18]

Most secular and rational scholars suspect Muhammad to have had a mental disorder and that may explain why he saw visions that none of his contemporaries saw viz. Angel Gabriel, Allah's revelations, Hellfire, Heaven, etc. If this is not true, it is likely that Muhammad was receiving verses from Satan instead of Allah. In Christianity, Satan is a well known deceiver and God cannot be a deceiver.[19] Besides, the Qur'an never told its readers properly how to identify Satan. We wonder why.