Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
سلسلة علّمني ديني
By: Shaykh Muhammad bin Umar Bāzmūl –hafidhahullah.
Translations and Annotations by Misbaah Olagunju (Abu Aamaal)
 My Religion Taught Me:
That the effort made at extracting ninety nine (99) names for Allah the mighty and sublime from the glorious Qur'an and the pure Sunnah, was made in hope and expectation that it serve a means for entering Al-Jannah (paradise), and the messenger of Allah —Allah raise his rank and grant him peace— has said:
إِنَ لِلَّهِ تِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ اسْمًا مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ
"Verily there are ninety nine (99) names of Allah which whoever enumerate them will enter paradise" - [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari: 6410, Saheeh Muslim: 2677]
And it is known that Allah's Names are numerous as was reported in the Hadith of Abdullah bin Mas'ud who said:
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : " مَا أَصَابَ أَحَدًا قَطُّ هَمٌّ، وَلَا حَزَنٌ، فَقَالَ : اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ، ابْنُ عَبْدِكَ، ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ، نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ، مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضَاؤُكَ، أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ ؛ سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ، أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ، أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُ فِي كِتَابِكَ، أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي، وَجِلَاءَ حُزْنِي، وَذَهَابَ هَمِّي إِلَّا أَذْهَبَ اللَّهُ هَمَّهُ وَحُزْنَهُ، وَأَبْدَلَهُ مَكَانَهُ فَرَحًا ". قَالَ : فَقِيلَ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَلَا نَتَعَلَّمُهَا ؟ فَقَالَ : " بَلَى، يَنْبَغِي لِمَنْ سَمِعَهَا أَنْ يَتَعَلَّمَهَا "
The messenger of Allah —Allah raise his rank and grant him peace— said: ""Nothing of distress or sadness afflicts a person then he says: "O Allah I am your slave the son of your slave, the son of your maidservant, my forelock is in your hand, your judgement upon me is forever executed and your decree over me is just, I ask you by all the names belonging to you which you have named yourself with or that which you taught to any of your creation, or that which you have revealed in your book or that which you have preserved in the hidden knowledge with you; that you make the Qur'an the life of my heart and the light of my breast and a disposer of my sorrow, and a remover of my anxiety", except that Allah takes away his grief and anxiety and replace it with happiness". He (Ibn Mas'ud) said: then it was said: "O messenger of Allah, shouldn't we learn it (memorise it)" and he replied: "of course it is incumbent upon whoever hears it to learn it (by heart)" - [Musnad Imam Ahmad: 3712, Ar-Risaalah: 2/246, As-Saheehah: 199]
Therefore on this, the intent (by the report on 99 names) is that it is upon the Muslim to strive in enumerating these 99 names so as to attain this copious benefit.
Here the Shaykh attempted to allay a misconception associated with the interpretation and understanding of the report on 99 names for Allah, in that majority has employed the report in restricting the names of Allah the sublime to a specific number (99). This is a misunderstanding of the report and from the principles regarding the names of Allah as mentioned by bin Al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah in "Al-Qawaa'idul Muthlaa'":
اسماء الله تعالىٰ غير محصورة بعد معين
"The names of Allah the exalted is not restricted to a specific number" - [the sixth(6th) principle from principles regarding the names of Allah]
He said under this principle, explaining the Hadith on 99names rahimahullah:
"As for the Hadith, then it does not evidence a restriction of the names of Allah to the mentioned number, if the intent was to restrict them then the expression would have been;
إن اسماء الله تسعة و تسعين اسماً من أحصاها دخل الجنة
"Verily the names of Allah are 99, whoever enumerate them will enter Al-Jannah"
Or something similar to that.
Therefore the correct meaning of the Hadith is: this number (99) in question (out of all his name's), whoever enumerate them will enter Al-Jannah, then based on this, his statement "whoever enumerate them will enter Al-Jannah" will be a complementary sentence to what preceded it, and not independent. And an analogy of this scenario is for you to say: "I have with me a hundred(100) dirham that I have set aside for alms", that doesn't hinder you from having other dirhams which you did not set aside for alms." End of quote - [Sharhu Al-Qawaa'idul Muthlaa': 60-61]
From the report it is understood that from the means of entering Al-Jannah is to enumerate 99 names of Allah, so it is important to understand the connotations of the word (أحصاها) as used in the Hadith, on this Shaykh bin Al-Uthaymeen once again explained in Al-Qawlul Mufeed:
أحصاء اسماء الله معنه
"What it means to enumerate the names of Allah:
1) Memorising and Understanding their phonations (pronounciations) and meanings
2) Calling Allah by them
3) Worshipping Allah by the implications of their meanings". End of quote - [Al-Qawlul Mufeed: 2/310-314]
The author brought the Hadith of Abdullah bin Mas'ud reported in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad, also reported by Al-Haakim and Ibn Hibaan, as proof to establish that Allah's names are numerous, far more than 99. The area of evidencing in this is that from the categories of Allah's names with which the Rasul beseeched his Lord are those names which He —the exalted— has preserved in the hidden knowledge with Him, it is not possible for anyone to know or comprehend those.
And from the additional benefits obtainable from this report is the guidance of the messenger of Allah in employing the names of Allah as viable means of at-tawassul (mean of expedition for prayer), we also learn a cure for a disease which afflicts all and sundry similarly every now and then in their lifetime, and for which orthodox medicine have absolutely no remedy; "sadness and anxiety", so in his covetousness of goodness for his followers he encouraged it to be taught to those who aren't present then, and that we all memorise it for our own benefits.
Therefore I implore us all to memorise this really beneficial du'a and employ it in times of grief and sadness. And to bring it closer to us, it is obtainable from our pocket companion Hisnul Muslim (Citadel of the believer), item number:34 (page:82 Arabic)
Once again my religion taught me that enumerating the names of Allah: to memorise and understand them, calling Allah by them and worshipping Allah by the implications of their meanings is a means from the means of entering paradise, and that Allah's names are numerous and not restricted to a certain number.
And that ends the eighth lesson
Watch out for more lessons from what my religion taught me...
Click here for the last edition.