We say our names when we introduce ourselves to others. Names reveal who we are, which helps others to know us. Can we know Allah through His beautiful names?
Allah Wants Us to Know Him
Islamic scholars speak of the doctrine of Tanzib. It teaches that Allah is unknowable. Allah, the creator, is beyond our understanding and knowledge. Yet, He has made himself known by revealing to us many of His beautiful names [ʾasmāʾu llāhi l-ḥusnā]. Why would Allah reveal His magnificent names if He doesn’t want us to know Him?
Allah desires us to know Him. Do you believe Allah wants you to know Him? Let us know your opinion.
Allah’s Beautiful Names
Muslims agree that there are 99 names of Allah in the Quran and the Hadith. Muhammad said, “Allah has ninety-nine names” (Hadith, Al-Bukhari – 50:894; Quran, Surah 7:180). His names are the Merciful, the Beneficent, the Compassionate, the Holy, the Faithful, the Almighty, the Creator, the Forgiver, the Omniscient, the Generous, the Light, the Guide, etc.
More Than 99 Names Revealed
It is commonly said among Muslims that the 100th name of Allah is a secret and only the camel knows this name! What is the missing name of Allah?
The Taurat, Zabur and Injil also reveal the beautiful names of Allah. Some are the same as in the Quran and Hadith. There are other names that reveal more of the glorious character of Allah. Truly, Allah is so great that even 100 names are not enough to completely describe His character!
Allah is Love
One of Allah’s beautiful names revealed in the Injil is this: “Allah is love” (Injil, 1 John 4:8, 16). This ‘love’ is agapē in the original Greek language. This is not the love of a husband and wife or the love of brothers. Agapē is unconditional sacrificial love that is undeserved. “This is love [agapē]: not that we loved Allah, but that he loved us and sent his Son [Isa Al-Masih] as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (Injil, 1 John 4:10).
Allah Saves Us
Muslims and Christians are encouraged to call on Allah using His beautiful names. “The most beautiful names belong to Allah: so call on him by them” [Quran, Surah 7:180]. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Injil, Acts 2:21).
Dear reader, I encourage you to call on Allah as the Loving One. His greatest gift of love is Isa Al-Masih. He was given to save us from our sins. Thank Allah today for His sacrificial love. Tell us if you want to call on Allah – the Loving One.
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QUESTIONS FOR CONTEMPLATION
- Is it possible to know Allah personally? Why does He want us to know Him?
- What does it mean that Allah is love? How is it different than any other love?
- How do you know Allah is the Loving One?
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