The Exalted, Magnificent And Perfect Qualities Of The Names Of Allah (Al-Asma Ul-Husna)
B’ismi-Allah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim... Allah, who created me with His Names (exalted, magnificent, and perfect qualities), is Rahman and Rahim!
Let us heed the fact that a ‘name’ is only used as a reference to an object or quality. A name does not explain what it references in totality, but merely alludes to an identity, or an attribute of an identity. Sometimes, a name is used only to channel the attention to multiple qualities, without revealing anything about the identity.
In the case of the Names of Allah, let us contemplate the following: Are the Names of Allah a collection of fancy titles of a God beyond? Or, are they references made to the creational properties of Allah (which the senses and conditionings externalize!) with which the entire known cosmos and everything in it becomes manifest from nothingness into a shadow existence?
Once this reality is fully conceived and comprehended we may move on to the Names of Allah.
The Quran, which has been conveyed as a Dhikr, i.e. ‘the remembrance of man’s essential reality’, is actually a disclosure of the Names to expound ‘Uluhiyyah’. It is the Totality of the Names (all of the Names that have been imparted to us and that comprise our existence) that man has been endowed with and is invited to remember! Some of these have been disclosed in the Quran and some were revealed by the Rasul of Allah. One can never say that the names that refer to Allah are limited to only 99. Let us give an example... There are many names, such as Rabb, Mawla, Kareeb and Hallaq, that are mentioned in the Quran but are not included as part of the 99 Names. The name Mureed, which alludes to the attribute of ‘will’ (i.e. He does as He wishes) mentioned in the verse ‘yaf’alu ma yureed’, is also not included among the 99 Names. Contrarily, the names Jalil, Wajid and Majid are all included in the 99 Names but are not mentioned in the Quran. Thus, it would be a mistake to confine the Names of Allah to only 99, when the Dimension of the Names designates the infinite quantum potential, which involves the act of observing in Allah’s Knowledge. Man is provided with these Names as a reminder of their own true essence. Perhaps once one remembers and lives accordingly to their essential reality, many more Names will be disclosed to them. Also, we may say heaven alludes to this truth too, while we may not even be aware of the Names that pertain to and compose the universes within universes of infinite existence!
The enlightened ones (Ulul Albab) have used the phrase ‘the shadow existence’ to mean ‘the things we perceive do not exist in and by themselves but they are compositions of Names that manifest according to the perceiver’.
In fact, even the phrase ‘Name compositions’ is metaphorical; it is only to adapt the dual view to the One reality. Absolute reality is the observing of the ‘multidimensional single frame’ by the One who ‘manifests Himself every moment in yet another wondrous way’. (Quran 55:29) What we refer to as ‘Name compositions’ is only like one stroke of the paintbrush on this magnificent picture.
Due to having a name all perceivable things seemingly have a separate individual existence, whereas, because there is no God beyond, what is really perceived as an existent object is essentially none other than the materialized Names (qualities) of Allah.
This being said, the One denoted by the Names cannot be divided or fragmented into pieces, it is not composed of parts, it is even beyond concepts such as being ‘absolute One’, ‘illimitable’, ‘infinite’ and so on. It is ‘Ahad-us-Samad’ (the Absolute Self-Sufficient One) and only mentioned this way in the Quran once! Allah, HU, other than whom nothing exists! This knowledge cannot be comprehended by the human mind unless it is revealed or divinely inspired and observed in one’s consciousness! The mind, logic and judgment cannot survive here. He who attempts to intellectualize this reality will only be misguided. This reality is not open for debate! Any urge to do so will only reveal ignorance! This is the reality that pertains to Gabriel’s words: “If I take one more step I will burn”!
It must be realized that the Names of Allah point to the quality of His knowledge, not His mind, as this is inconceivable. The mind is a function of the brain designed to create the world of multiplicity. Essentially, even the phrases ‘the Universal Intellect’ (Aql-i kull) and ‘the First Intellect’ (Aql-i awwal) are relative concepts and are used metaphorically to denote the system by which the attribute of knowledge is disclosed.
The Universal Intellect refers to the dimension of knowledge that is present within the depths of all beings, within one’s essence. This is also the source of revelation.
The First Intellect, on the other hand, is a tailored phrase for the novice mind, to describe the dimension of knowledge present in the manifestation (sh’an) of the Names.
‘The dimension of Acts’ (af’al) is nothing but the disclosure of the Dimension of Names which ‘manifests itself every moment in yet another wondrous way’! The material world as we know it is this quantal plane, though differences of perception have led to the assumption that it is a different dimension.
The observing One, the one being observed, the observation, are all ONE! ‘The wine of paradise’ alludes to this experience. One who is caught up in the perception of multiplicity has no chance but to engage in the chatter of this knowledge, without any experience of its reality.
As for the Acts, activities, multiplicity and what we perceive as the corporeal world... Existence belongs only to that which is denoted as the Dimension of Names.
‘Observing knowledge in knowledge with knowledge’ designates that the very disclosure of the Names is the act of observing. In this respect, all forms are created and observed in knowledge. Hence it has been said ‘the worlds (or creation) have not even smelled the scent of existence yet’. Here, the part is the observer, and the whole is the observed one!
The force (kuwwa) pertaining to the Names is referred to as angels, which, in essence, constitute the reality of mankind. One who becomes aware of their reality is said to have ‘united with their Rabb’! Once this state is reached, if it doesn’t continue, the resulting pain has been narrated as an intense hellish suffering! This is the domain of Power (Qudrah) and the command Be! (Kun) originates from here; this is the dimension of knowledge, where the mind and its functions are completely obsolete! This is the essence of the land of wisdom (hikmah)! The mind can only watch the activities that take place in the land of wisdom, where only consciousness can actively participate!
The dimension of Acts (af’al) in comparison to this plane (the dimension of Power) is a totally holographic (shadow) state of existence. All the activities of the entire parallel and multiple universes and all their inhabitants, i.e. natural resources, plants, animals (humanoids) and the jinni, are governed by the Mala-i A’la (the Exalted Assembly of angels) in this plane, depending on the perception capability of the perceiver.
Rasuls and their successors, the saints, are like the vocal expressions of the Mala-i A’la, that is, the forces (potentials) of the Names, on earth! And all of this is part of the observation taking place in the dimension of Knowledge! The essence of man, in this sense, is angelic and he is invited to remember his angelic nature and to live accordingly. This is an in-depth and intricate topic... Those who are not acquainted with this knowledge may find my words regarding the observation taking place from various dimensions to be contradictory. However, the reality I experienced when I was 21 years of age in 1966, which I have penned in my book Revelations, has been verified time and time again throughout the 45 years that followed it, and I have shared it all without expecting any tangible or intangible return. The knowledge I share is not a pass-down to me, rather it is the direct blessing of Allah for which I am eternally grateful! As such, there is no contradiction in my words. If it appears that way, it is probably due to the inability to make the correct connections, resulting from an inadequate database.
So, if this is the reality as I have observed, how should the topic of the Names of Allah be approached?
The Names of Allah are initially expressed through pure consciousness (revelation) without the interference of one’s consciousness, which tries to evaluate them later. The Names are cosmic universal qualities (not in the galactic sense).
The Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah. The structural qualities they denote pertain to the Absolute Self-Sufficient One. The Names look to the quantum potential beyond time and place; the Names signify the point. As such, the Names and their meanings belong to Allah alone and are free from becoming conditioned by human concepts.
“Exalted (Subhan – beyond) is Allah what they attribute to Him.” (Quran 23:91)
“And to Allah belongs the most Beautiful Names, so turn to Him through the meanings of His names. And leave the company of those who practice deviation (fall into duality) concerning His Names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.” (Quran 7:180)
That is, leave the company of those who restrict the Names with their humanly values, and fail to recognize the reality of the Beautiful Names and who do not know Allah is respect of His Akbariyyah!
“And believes in (confirms) the Most Beautiful (Names) (to be his essential reality), we will ease him towards ease.” (Quran 92:6-7)
Even the consequence of good is related to the Names:
“For the doers of good (ihsan) is the Beautiful (Names) and more (pleasure). No darkness (egotism) will cover their faces (consciousness), nor derogation (which results from deviating from one’s essence). Those are companions of Paradise; they will abide therein eternally.” (Quran 10:26)
Allah’s Absolute Essence (dhat) cannot be likened to anything in existence. With His greatness (Akbariyyah) He is free from becoming limited or conditioned by His creation or the attributes denoted by His Names, which constitute one point amongst infinite others. In other words, what is referred to as the Dimension of Names is like a multidimensional holographic single frame. And, despite the fact that it is perceived as the realm of multiplicity, this realm of activity is essentially a unified field of existence created with the compositional qualities in His knowledge.
To summarize before going further...
The qualities and attributes that we have come to acquire through revelation as the Names of Allah (singular in nature) are the very structural compositions that manifest the totality of all the universal dimensions, from nothingness into this shadow (holographic) existence. This reality, of which earthly vicegerency aspires to become aware, is far beyond the reach of the cruel and ignorant.
The Dimension of Names is the ‘exalted, magnificent, and perfect attributes and qualities’ with all its sub-dimensions and inner-existence!
Let us now ponder on the world perceived by humanity... and then “raise our gaze to the heavens and observe” as the Quran states, without dogmatic views and bigotry, with the understanding of universality formed by proficient knowledge!
What value does a world based on our miniscule perception have in comparison to the magnificence, glory and perfection of the universe?
I hope, in the light of this understanding, we can approach the Names of Allah with the awareness that their revelation depends on the purging of the individual consciousness (based on its limited perception and conception of the Book of Knowledge) and that their effects pertain to the whole of the cosmos, constantly manifesting new meanings and expressions.
I would also like to take this opportunity to express one of my concerns. I do not feel the knowledge I shared through previous articles has been correctly understood. Let me restate that the meanings, qualities and attributes denoted by the Names of Allah are only one point among infinite others in the sight of Allah. Also, the quantum potential expressed as the Reality of Muhammad or the Angel named Spirit is not only pre- and post-eternal, but it is also the reality I refer to as the ‘multi-dimensional single frame’ picture! Because this has not been well understood, Allah is still perceived as the one God out there! Whereas the whole observation and all that has been articulated pertain only to a point: Allah is just Allah, Allah is Akbar! Subhanahu min tanzihiy (HU is beyond comparability)!
Please be aware that what I write and share with you can never be taken as the final conclusion; in fact, it can only be an introduction! It is not possible to openly disclose through publication matters that are deeper than this. Anyway, the people of this path will recognize that even what we have already shared are things that have never been shared in this much detail and this openly before. This is a very sensitive topic as the reader may very easily fall into the misconception of either an external God or worse, confine the reality to his Pharaoh-like ‘I’ness and animalistic bodily self!
I tried to shed some light on the topic of the Names (al-Asma). Let us now take a look at the qualities and attributes denoted by these exalted, magnificent and perfect Names (al-Husna)... As much as simple words allow of course...
THE TRIGGER SYSTEM
All of the qualities and attributes pertaining to the Names are entirely present at every point of existence! However, depending on the desired manifestation, some attributes gain precedence over others, like the channels in an equalizer, to make up the specific formation. Also, qualities denoted by certain Names naturally and automatically trigger the expressions of certain other Names, in order to generate a new manifestation. This system is known as ‘sunnatullah’ and entails the universal laws of Allah (or the laws of nature as those with limited perceptive ability would say) and the mechanics of His system.
This is a glorious mechanism beyond description; all beings from pre-eternity to post-eternity subsist with all their inter and inner dimensions and perceivable units within this system!
All thoughts and activities projecting from consciousness, whether through the universe or a single person’s world, are all formed within and according to this system.
In short, we may refer to this mechanism, where qualities of Names trigger one another, as the trigger system.
As I warned above, consider the entire universality of existence (which is ONE by essence) as the plane of manifestation of these Names. The trigger system applies to every instance of perception by a perceiver in every plane of existence within this universality. Since the entire sequence of certain qualities triggering other qualities is a known, it is said that the pre- and post-eternal knowledge of everything that has and will happen at all times is present in Allah’s knowledge!
The following verses and the Name Hasib allude to this trigger system:
“...Whether you show what is within your consciousness (your thoughts) or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it with the Name Hasib...” (Quran 2:284)
“Whoever does an iota’s weight of good will see it.” (Quran 99:7)
Evidently, the consequence of an action or thought is inevitably experienced within this system. This is why every thought or action of gratitude or ungratefulness we may have output in the past would have most definitely caught up with us, or is bound to in the future. If one seriously contemplates on this many doors will open and secrets will reveal themselves. The mystery of fate is also pertinent to this mechanism!
Let us now follow these signpost-like Names to discover the secret lands they point to:
ALLAH... Such a name... It points to Uluhiyyah!
Uluhiyyah encompasses two realities. HU which denotes Absolute Essence (dhat) and the realm of infinite points in which every single point is formed by the act of observing knowledge through knowledge. This act of observing is such that each point signifies an individual composition of Names.
By respect of His absolute essence, Allah is other than, but in terms of His Names, Allah is the same as the engendered existence (sh’ay) yet nevertheless far and beyond (Ghani) from the worlds and any similitude! This is why Allah, who created the engendered existence (sh’ay) and the acts with His Names, uses the plural pronoun ‘We’ in the Quran. For, in essence, the engendered existence (everything in creation) is none other than Allah! Please note that by engendered existence (sh’ay) we are referring to the Dimension of Names that constitute existence. One can ponder and contemplate the essence of creation and existence, but one cannot contemplate the Absolute Essence of Allah. It is inconceivable and inappropriate; indeed, it is absolutely impossible! This is because one that has been created with the expressions of Allah’s Names cannot fully comprehend the Absolute Essence of Allah! Even if this knowledge is revealed by divine inspiration – which is impossible – it is inconceivable. This is why it is said ‘the path of such pursuit ends in nothingness’.
HU’Allahulladhiy la ilaha illa HU!
Whether via revelation or through consciousness, HU is the inner essence of the reality of everything that is perceived... To such extent that, as the reflection of Akbariyyah, first awe then nothingness is experienced and, as such, the Reality of Hu can never be attained! Sight cannot reach HU! HU denotes absolute obscurity and incomprehension! As a matter of fact, all names, including Allah are mentioned in connection with HU in the Quran!
“HU ALLAH is AHAD.”
“HU is RAHMAN and RAHIM.”
“HU is AWWAL, AKHIR, ZAHIR and BATIN.”
“HU is ALIY and AZIM.”
“HU is SAMI and BASIR.”
And also the last three verses of Chapter al-Hashr...
It is also important to note that using HU as a prefix to other Names is first to establish incomparability (tanzih) and then to denote similarity (tashbih) in reference to the given Name. This should be remembered at all times.
Ar-Rahman signifies the materialization of the essence of every iota with Allah’s Names in His knowledge. In modern terms, it designates the quantum potential. It is the potential of the source of the entire creation. It is the name of the Dimension of Names! All things obtain their existence at the level of knowledge and will with the attributes denoted by this name.
As signified by the verses “ar-Rahmanu ala’l arsh’istiwa” (Quran 20:5) and “ar-Rahman Allamal Quran, Khalekal Insan, Allamul bayan” (Quran 55:1-4). Rahman is the reality that manifests in consciousness! The ‘mercy’ is in the act of ‘manifesting it into existence.’
The narration of Muhammad (saw) that ‘Allah created Adam in the image of Rahman’ means the knowledge aspect of man reflects the qualities of Rahman, i.e. the qualities of the Names.
The essence (dhat) of man is also related to the name Rahman. As such, the polytheists are not able to comprehend the notion of prostrating to Rahman (Quran 25:60) and Satan (the mind, illusion) rebels against Rahman (Quran 19:44). These verses indicate the manifestation of the essence of ‘Man’.
Ar-Rahim is the Name that brings the infinite qualities of ar-Rahman into engendered existence. In this sense, it is the ‘observation’ of the potential. Ar-Rahim observes itself through the forms of existence, by guiding the conscious beings to the awareness that their lives and their essential reality are comprised of and governed by the Names.
“...And is ever He, Rahim to those who believe in their essential reality” (Quran 33:43).
Ar-Rahim is the source of the plane of existence referred to as ‘heaven’.
Ar-Rahim is the producer of the angelic state.
The Sovereign One, who manifests His Names as he wishes and governs them in the world of acts as He pleases. The one who has providence over all things.
“Subhan is He in whose hand (governance) is the Malakut (the force of the Names) of all things, and to Him you will be returned (the illusory self – ego will come to an end and the Absolute Reality will be discerned). (Quran 36:83)
The Sovereign One who has no partners!
He who is blessed with this awareness will find himself only in absolute submission to al-Maleek! Objection and rebellion will cease. Al-Maleek is the foremost quality pertinent to the phenomenon known as its manifestations through a continuum (arsh-i istiwa).
“Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth glorify (tasbih, with their unique dispositions) Allah, the Maleek, the Quddus, the Aziz, the Hakim (to manifest whatever meanings He desires).” (Quran 62:1)
The One who is free and beyond being defined, conditioned and limited by His manifest qualities and concepts! Albeit the engendered existence is the disclosure of His Names, He is pure and beyond from becoming defined and limited by them!
One who enables a state of peace by emancipating individuals from the conditions of nature and bodily life and endows the experience of ‘certainty’ (yakeen). One who facilitates the comprehension of Islam for the believers, and enables the heavenly state of existence called ‘Dar’us-Salam’ (the explicit manifestation of our implicit potentials). (Quran 36:58)
This name is triggered by the name ar-Rahim:
“‘Salam,’ a word from a ‘Rahim’ Rabb shall reach them (they will experience the manifestation of the Name Salam) !”
The One who enables the awareness that He, by respect of His Names, is beyond what is perceived. This awareness reflects upon us as ‘faith’ (iman). All believers, including Rasuls and angels, have their faith rested upon this awareness, which frees the mind from the enslavement of illusion. While illusion can deter the mind, which uses comparison to operate, it becomes powerless and ineffective in the sight of faith.
The inherent quality of the Name al-Mu’min manifests itself directly from Awareness in one’s consciousness, thereby rendering obsolete the effect of illusion.
The One who maintains and protects the manifestations of His Names with His own system (al-Hafidhu war-Rakiybu ala kulli shay)!
Al-Muhaymin also designates the One who safeguards and protects (the trust).
The root word of al-Muhaymin is amanah (trust), mentioned in the Quran as the trust from which the heavens, the earth and the mountains refrained, but which ‘Man’ (the twin brother of the Quran) accepted. Essentially, it indicates the consciousness pertaining to the knowledge of the Names, symbolized as the angel ‘SPIRIT’, which is then passed on to Man, the vicegerent on earth. That is, the ‘trust’ signifies living with the awareness that your essence is comprised of the Names. This works in conjunction with the name al-Mu’min. The angel (force) named SPIRIT also possesses a form since it is also a manifestation, and as such, it is Hayy and Qayyum due to the perfection of its ‘faith’ in the infinite qualities of the Names.
The One who, with His unchallengeable might, disposes as He wishes. The One whose will to do as He likes, nothing can oppose. This name works in parallel with the name Rabb. The Rabb attribute carries out the demands of the Aziz attribute!
The One whose will is compelling. The corporeal worlds (engendered existence) are compelled to comply with His demands! There is no room for refusal. This ‘jabr’ (compelling) quality will inevitably express itself and apply its laws through the essence of beings.
The One to whom the word ‘I’ exclusively belongs. Absolute ‘I’ness belongs only to Him. Whoever, with the word ‘I’, accredits a portion of this Absolute ‘I’ness to himself, thereby concealing the ‘I’ness comprising his essence and fortifying his own relative ‘I’ness, will pay its consequence with ‘burning’ (suffering). Majesty (Absolute ‘I’ness) is His attribute alone.
The ONE Absolute Creator! The One who brings individuals into the existence from nothingness, with His Names! Everything al-Khaliq creates has a purpose to fulfill, and according to this unique purpose, possesses a natural predisposition and character. Hence it has been said:“characterize yourselves with the character of Allah” (Tahallaku biakhlakillah) to mean:Live in accordance with the awareness that you are comprised of the structural qualities of the Names of Allah!
The One who fashions all of creation (from micro to macro) with unique functions and designs yet all in conformity with the whole, like the harmonious functioning of all the different organs in the body!
The fashioner of forms. The One who exhibits ‘meanings’ as ‘forms’ and devises the mechanism in the perceiver to perceive them.
The One who, as requisites of divine power or wisdom, ‘conceals’ the inadequacies of those who recognize their shortcomings and wish to be freed from their consequences. The One who forgives.
The One who executes the effects of His Name ‘Wahid’ and renders invalid the seeming existence of the relative ‘I’ness.
The One who bestows and gives unrequitedly to those He wishes, oblivious of deservedness.
The One who provides all necessary nutrition for the survival of any unit of manifestation regardless of its plane of existence.
The One who generates expansion within individuals. The One who enables the recognition and observation of Reality, and hence, that there is no inadequacy, impairment, or mistake in the engendered existence. The One who expands one’s vision and activity, and enables their proper usage. The One who enables the recognition and use of the unrecognized (overseen).
The One who, with the quality of His knowledge, infinitely knows everything in every dimension with all its facets.
The One who exercises His verdict by retaining the essence of an individual’s Name reality. The One who restrains and enforces withdrawnness.
The One who opens and expands; the One who enables dimensional and in-depth sight.
The One who abases. The One who capacitates a state of existence which is far from reality. The creator of the ‘asfali safileen’ (the lower state of existence). The former of the vision of ‘multiplicity’ to conceal the reality.
The One who exalts. The one who elevates conscious beings to higher states of existence; to enable the realization and observation of their essential reality.
The Giver of Honor. The One who bestows honor to whom he wishes and holds them in esteem over others.
The One who exposes dishonor in some and degrades below others. The One who deprives from honorable qualities and compels to humiliation with the veil of ‘I’ness (ego).
The One who perceives His manifestations at every instance. The One who enables awareness and comprehension.
This name triggers the Name al-Basir.
The One who is constantly observing His manifestations and evaluating their outputs.
The Absolute Judge whose judgment (verdict) is irresistibly applied.
The One who provides each of His manifestations their due right in consonance with their creation program. The One who is absolutely free from unjustness or tyranny.
The One who is subtly present in the depths of every manifestation. The One whose favors are plentiful.
The One who is aware of the manifestations of His Names at all times. The One who allows his manifestations to discern the level of their comprehension via their outputs.
The One who refrains from giving sudden (impulsive) reactions to events, but rather evaluates all situations in respect of their purpose of manifestation.
The magnificent glory beyond any manifestation’s capacity of comprehension.
The One who’s Mercy should never be doubted or given up on. The One who enables necessary cleansing and triggers the name Rahim to bestow blessings.
The One who allows the proper use of His bestowals in order that He may increase them. The One who enables the due evaluation of resources such that more can be attained. This name triggers the name al-Karim. If this name is not activated in one’s life, one will be obstructed from a connection with Allah and not able to duly use his resources, turning his attention to other things and hence becoming veiled from the blessings of Allah. This leads to ‘ungratefulness’, which is defined as the inability to adequately evaluate and use blessings. Eventually this results in total deprivation.
The Highest (or the Sublime). The sublime One who observes existence from the point of reality (essence).
The magnitude of the worlds He created with His Names are incomprehensible.
The One who provides all requirements to preserve and maintain existence.
The One who facilitates the expression of the Name al-Hafiz by providing the necessary material and spiritual platform for it.
The One who maintains individuality by holding them to account of their behavioral output through the mechanics of ‘consequence’
In doing so, an indefinite flow of formation is established.
The One who, with His magnificent comprehensiveness and perfection, is the sultan of the world of acts.
The exceedingly generous and bountiful One who bestows His bounties even upon those who deny His existence. The ability to READ (iqra) is only possible through the activation of this Name, which lies dormant within the essence of every individual.
The One who watches over and keeps under control the manifestations of His Names, with His names, at all times.
The One who unequivocally responds to all who turn towards Him (in prayer and invocation) and provides their needs.
The All-embracing. The One who embraces the whole of existence with the expressions of His Names.
The One whose power of knowledge appears under the guise of ‘causes’, hence creating causality and leading to the perception of multiplicity.
The creator of attraction. The creator of unconditional and unrequited love. The essence within every beloved!
The One whose majestic glory is evident through His magnificent manifestations!
The One who constantly transforms new dimensions of existence. As a requisite of the mechanism denoted by the verse “Everything in the heavens and earth asks from Him; at every instance HU (the Absolute Essence of Existence) manifests Himself in yet another way! ”(Quran 55:29), al-Baith continually creates new experiences.
The expression of this name in respect to humanity is depicted in ‘amantu’(Comprises the six fundamentals of belief in Islam. It consists of belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His Rasuls, Doomsday [life after death] and destiny [qadar], that all good and evil are from Allah.) as ‘to believe in life (resurrection) after death’ (bath’u badal mawt) and the verse “That you will certainly change dimensions and transform into bodies befitting those dimensions!”.(Quran 84:19)
We said ba’th (resurrection) is to taste death and to commence a new state of life after death... However, resurrection is also possible here on earth in this plane of existence. Like the resurrections of wilayah (sainthood), nubuwwah (prophethood), and risalah (the personification of Allah’s knowledge)! As all of these stations comprise new states of life.
To give an example, we may say ba’th is like the germination of a seed to sprout its plant, or ‘give shoot to new life’. Similarly, life emerges from death (dormant inactive potential). In relation to the new state of existence, the previous state is considered as a ‘grave’ (qabir).
“That Hour (death) will definitely come – there is no doubt about it. And Allah will definitely resurrect the beings (individual forms of consciousness) in their graves (bodies) (to continue their lives through new bodies)!” (Quran 22:7)
The One who witnesses His existence through His own existence. The One who observes the disclosure of His Names and witnesses His manifestations! The enforcer of the reality that there is no other observer but Himself.
The absolute and unequivocal reality! The source and essence of every function in manifestation!
The One who provides the means for self-actualization. The One who advocates and protects those who place their trust in Him, providing them with the most auspicious outcomes. He who believes in the potential of the name al-Wakil in his own essence, will have confirmed his faith in all the Names (all his potentials). The source of the mystery of vicegerency lies in this Name!
The One who transforms His power into the enabling potential for the manifestation of existence (hence comprising the force of the whole of existence).
The One who forms the angelic state.
The One who sustains the world of acts, the steadfast, the creator of robustness and stability, the provider of strength and resistance!
The One who guides and enables an individual to discover their reality and to live their life in accordance to their essence. It is the source of risalah (personification of Allah’s knowledge) and nubuwwah (prophethood), which comprise the pinnacle states of sainthood (wilayah). It is the dispatcher of the perfected qualities comprising the highest point of sainthood, risalah, and the state one beneath that, nubuwwah. While the expression of nubuwwah is indefinitely functional, the expression of nubuwwah applies only to earthly life. A Nabi continues to live at the same state of perfection after death, but his explicit role as a Nabi is no longer active. On the other hand, due to its inherent saintly qualities, risalah continues infinitely (as it does with saints).
The One who observes and evaluates His universal perfection on worldly forms manifested by His Name al-Waliyy.
Hamd belongs only to Him.
The creator of the ‘forms’ (micro to macro) comprising the seeming multiplicities, each equipped with unique qualities and attributes, within UNITY.
The One who originates the whole of creation in the corporeal worlds, all with exclusive and unique qualities.
The One who restores life to those who turn back to their essence.
The One who enlivens and enlightens! The One who enables the continuation of the individual’s life through the application of knowledge and the observation of one’s essential reality.
The One who enables a ‘taste’ (experience) of death. The One who allows a transition between one state of existence to another.
The source of names! The One who gives life to the Names and manifests them. The source of universal energy, the essence of energy!
The One who renders Himself existent with His own attributes, without the need of anything. Everything in existence subsists with al-Qayyum.
The One whose qualities and attributes are unfailingly abundant. The manifest One. The One, from which nothing lessens, despite the abundance of His manifestations.
The magnificent and glorious One with unrestricted, infinite generosity and endowment (benevolence).
The One and only! ‘ONE’ness far beyond any concept of multiplicity. The ONE, that isn’t composed of (or can be broken into) parts (as in pantheism). The ‘ONE’ness that renders duality obsolete! The ‘ONE’ness that no mind or intellect can fully comprehend!
The Pure Whole One! Free from the concept of multiplicity! Not formed of adjoining parts. Far from conceptualization and limitation. The self-sufficient One, in need of nothing!
An authentic hadith narrates: “As-Samad is such that it bears no space or emptiness within it (all, whole, one).”
The One who creates (discloses, manifests) and observes His knowledge with His power without depending on causality. The One who is absolutely boundless!
The Determiner. The absolute possessor of all power pertaining to creation, governance, and disposition.
The One who expedites (or prioritizes) the manifestation of Names according to their purpose of creation.
The One who delays manifestation in consonance with His name al-Hakim.
The first and initial state of existence, the essential Name.
The infinitely subsequent One, to all creation.
The self-evident One, the explicit, unequivocal and perceivable manifestation.
The unperceivable reality within the perceivable manifestation! The source of the unknown (Awwal, Akhir, Zahir, Batin, HU!)
The One who governs according to His own verdict.
The limitless, boundless Supreme One, whose supremacy encompasses everything! The One whose reality can never be duly reflected by any engendered, conceptualized existence. The One who is beyond being limited by any mind or intellect.
The One who eases the actualization of individual temperaments and natural dispositions.
The One who guides individuals to their essence by enabling them to perceive and comprehend the reality. The One who allows individuals to repent, that is, to abandon their misdoings and to compensate for any harm that may have been caused. The activation of this Name triggers the name Rahim, and thus benevolence and beauty is experienced.
The One who makes individuals live the consequences of their actions that impede in the realization of their essence. To ‘avenge’ (zuntiqam) is to make one ‘pay the price’ i.e. face the consequence of their doings without exception or pity. Allah is beyond being bound by concepts such as revenge. When used in conjunction with ‘severe in retribution’ (Shadid al-Iqab) (Quran 59:4), al-Muntaqim denotes the force that most severely avenges individuals for failing to recognize their essence, by making them live out the consequences of their own obstructive actions in a most severe and intense way.
The One who forgives all offences except for ‘duality’ (shirq); the failure to recognize the reality of non-duality prevents the activation of the name al-Afuw. Note that to forgive an offence does not mean to compensate the losses of the past, for in the system of sunnatullah there is no compensation of the past!
The compassionate and pitying One who protects individuals who turn to Him from all kinds of behavior which may cause harm or trouble to them.
The One who governs His Sovereignty as He wishes without having to give account to any individual.
“Say, ‘Allah, the sovereign of all sovereignty... You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom you will. You honor whom You will and You abase whom You will. In Your hand is all good. Certainly, you are Qadir over all things.’” (Quran 3:26)
The One who makes individuals experience their ‘nothingness’ by enabling them to comprehend the reality that they were created from ‘naught’ and then bestowing them ‘Eternity’ by allowing them to observe the manifestations of the Names comprising their essence.
The One who applies justice, as the requirement of His Uluhiyya, by endowing every individual their due, based on their unique creation purpose.
The One who observes the whole of existence as a multi-dimensional single frame in His Knowledge. The One who gathers creation according to the purpose and function of their creation.
The One who is beyond being labeled and limited by the manifestations of His Names, as He is Great (Akbar) and beyond all concepts. The One who is infinitely abundant with His Names.
The One who enriches individuals and raises them above others in wealth and emancipates them. The One who enriches with His own riches. The One who grants the beauty of infinity (baqa) which results from ‘fakr’ (nothingness).
“And did We not find you poor (faqr, in nothingness) and made you rich (with infinity – baqa, i.e.)? (Did we not make you a servant of the Ghani? Did we not enrich and emancipate you?)” (Quran 93:8)
“And indeed, it is HU who enriches and deprives.” (Quran 53:48)
The One who prevents those from attaining things they do not deserve!
The One who afflicts individuals with various distressing situations (sickness, suffering, trouble) in order to make them turn to Himself!
The One who prompts individuals to engage in good thoughts and actions to aid them towards beneficent and auspicious outcomes.
The Knowledge that is the source and essence of everything! The essence of everything is Nur; everything is comprised of knowledge. Life subsists with knowledge. Those with knowledge are the ever-living ones (Hayy), while those who lack knowledge are like living dead.
The guide to the truth. The One who allows individuals to live according to their reality. The articulator of the truth. The guide to reality.
The incomparable beauty and the originator of beautiful manifestation! The One who originates innumerable manifestations, all with unique and exclusive qualities, and without any example, pattern, specimen etc.
The Everlasting. The One who exists beyond the concept of time.
The One who manifests under various names and forms in order to inherit and protect the possessions of those who abandon all their belongings to undergo true transformation. When one form is exhausted, He continues His existence with another form.
The guider to the right path. The One who allows individuals, who recognize their essential reality, to experience the maturity of this recognition!
“And if Allah were to hold responsible the people for their wrongdoings and enforce the consequences upon them at once, He would not have left upon the earth any creature (DABBAH, i.e. earthling, in human ‘form’ – not human), but He defers them until a specified time. And when their time comes, they can neither fall behind it nor precede it by even an hour.” (Quran 16:61)
The One who waits for each individual to execute his creation program before rendering effective the consequences of their actions. Allowing the tyranny of the tyrant to take place, i.e. activating the Name as-Sabur, is so that both the oppressor and the oppressed can duly carry out their functions before facing the consequences in full effect. Greater calamity forces the creation of increased cruelty.
A FINAL REMINDER
Obviously the meanings of the Names of Allah cannot be confined to such a narrow scope. This is why I refrained from going into this topic for many years. For I know it is impossible to duly cover the comprehensiveness of this topic. However, my own experience of the reflections of this knowledge has compelled me to cover this topic to some extent. I ask Allah’s forgiveness. Many books have been written in this field. I only touched upon it based on my understanding today and in a way that is easy to remember. Perhaps I have unveiled only the tip of the iceberg!
SubhanAllahu amma yasifun! (Quran 23:91)
I feel I need to reiterate the importance of the following point before concluding this topic:
Everything that I have shared with you here must be observed and experienced within one’s consciousness, after becoming cleansed from the restraints of the illusory identity (‘I’ness) and the density of the bodily state of existence. If this cleansing involves the automated repetitions of certain words and phrases without experiential confirmation, the results will be no different from a computer running a program, and hence, ineffective. Sufism is a way of life! Those who narrate and repeat the words of others (hence gossip!) squander their lives, finding solace in Satan’s adorned and embellished games!
The evidence of having attained the reality of this knowledge is the end of suffering! That is, if you are no longer bothered or troubled by anything or anyone, if no situation or person can upset you anymore, it means this knowledge has become your reality! As long as one is bound by value judgments attached to conditionings and lives his life centered around emotions and behaviors resulting from these, his life will continue and mature as an ‘earthling’ (not a human) and be subject to ‘causality’, both here and in the afterlife.
Knowledge is for application. So, let us begin with the application of: ‘knowledge that is not applied is a weight on one’s shoulders!’
Let us ask ourselves at the end of each day:
“Am I ready to embark on a ‘one-way’ journey tonight in my sleep?”
“Are worldly matters still bothering me and causing me to suffer? Or am I living my servitude in peace and happiness?”
If your answer is ‘Yes’, glad tidings to you my friend! If it is ‘No’, then many tasks await you tomorrow! In this case, when you wake up in the morning, ask yourself “What must I do today in order to go to bed in total peace and happiness tonight?”
Glory be to the One who allows us to live our days with the awareness that everything we own will perish...
A special thank you to the honorable imam of Istanbul Kanlica Mosque, Hasan Guler Hodja, a venerable scholar and an exemplary man of knowledge, for sharing his valuable insight with me and for assisting me with ‘Decoding The Quran’.
03 February 2009
North Carolina, USA