(Surat al-‘Araaf: 180)
The most beautiful names belong to Allah: so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they do, they will soon be requited.
This article was written by Shehzada Dr Aziz bhaisaheb Qutbuddin in 2016.
As we publish the 99th issue of Sijill we take the opportunity to present a calligraphic presentation of the 99 names of Allah Ta’ala as per our Mawali Tahereen SA, with English translation.
The Quranic Ayat quoted above directs us to pray and call out to Allah Ta’ala using his pure names (Asmaa’ husna) and to stay away from those who deviate in the recognition of His names. Rasulullah SA said, “Allah Ta’ala has 99 names. He who counts them (tasbih) enters Jannat.” As per the instruction of this Ayat and Rasulullah’s Hadith, our Hudaat Kiraam have guided us to count and utter the 99 names of Allah Ta’ala during Bihori after the two rak’ats of Istiftah Namaaz. Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA instructed mumineen to use a tasbih during this doa and move one bead with the recitation of each name. Syedna Taher Saifuddin explained that Rasulullah specifically instructed us “to count” the divine names and therefore instructed mumineen to use a tasbih while doing so.
Syedna al-Mu’ayyad al-Shirazi explains that a name is how we recognize an individual - and we recognize Allah Ta’ala through His Imams. In this sense, our Imams are the True Living Names of Allah Ta’ala through whom we recognize Allah Ta’ala. We follow the Imams and stay away from those who deviate from them. Similarly, in the time of the Imam’s seclusion, the Du’aat are the True Living Names of the Imams, and through them we recognize the Imams.
It is in this sense that the Tasbih of the names of the Imams is our precious daily task, our wazifa, “wazaifuna tasbihu asmaa’ikum aya * banil Mustafa daaban wa ne’mal wazaa’ifu.” It is also in this vein that Syedna Qutbuddin TUS wrote in remembrance of Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, “tasbih kare che mumineen, raakhi wazifa ma yaqeen, shamsud du’aatil mutlaqeen, Syedna Taher Saifuddin.”
The depth of meaning in the 99 divine names of Allah Ta’ala is great. The 100th name is “Allah”, the greatest name (ismullahil a’zam). We count them while recognizing the True and Living Names, our Imams, and in their seclusion, their Dais. Counting Allah Ta’ala’s names with this recognition, and counting the names of our Imams and their Du’aat, we know that we are indeed one of those for whom Rasulullah’s Hadith holds true, “Allah Ta’ala has 99 names. He who counts them (tasbih) enters Jannat.”