The Supreme Name

This has been one of the most obscure topics among the acquainted…

The Supreme Name (Ismi Azam) is a concept introduced to us by the Rasul of Allah (saw):

“Allah has such a name if one prays with it his prayers will definitely be accepted.”[1]

However, he does not provide detailed information, only gives certain hints…

These hints and signs are linked to some verses in the Quran. We are told, for example, that this name is contained in such and such a verse, etc.

For centuries the learned have come together and worked on these verses in attempt to decipher this sublime name of Allah…

Another such hadith, narrated by Burayda (ra), is:

“O Allah, I ask with Your name that is Ahad and Samad, who begets not, nor was begotten, and to whom nothing is equivalent…”

Upon this, the Rasul of Allah (saw) said, “Indeed, this man has prayed with Allah’s Supreme Name, the name with which when one makes a request from Allah, He gives it and when one calls upon Him with it He responds…”[2]

Man, with his infinite wants and endless impotence, surely needs to seek refuge in Allah and ask from Him…

Based on many studies, the names that are found to have the highest probability of being the Ismi Azam are:

1.    Allah

2.    La ilaha illa Allah

3.    Ar-Rahman’ur-Rahim

4.    Al hayyul qayyum

5.    Allahu rahman’ur Rahim

6.    Allahu la ilaha illa hu al hayyul qayyum

7.    La ilaha illa hu al hayyul qayyum

8.    Rabb

9.    Allahu la ilaha illa hu al ahad’us samad’ulladhee lam yalid walam yulad wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad

10.  Al hannan’ul mannanu badi’us samawati wal’ardhi dhul jalali wal ikram


There are also strong signs as to the possibility of the following two prayers being the Isim Azam.


أَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّى أَسْأَلُكَ بِأَ نِّى أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ أَنْتَ ﷲُ الَّذِى لآَاِلٰهَ اِلَّا أَنْتَ الْوَاحِدُ الْأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِى لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا اَحَدٌ


Allahumma innee as-aluka bi anni ashhadu innaka anta l-Llahulladhee la ilaha illa anta l-waahadu l-ahadu s-samadu l-ladhee lam ya lid wa lam yulad wa lam yakun lahu kufuwwan ahad


لآَاِلٰهَ اِلَّا أَنْتَ يَا حَنَّانُ يَا مَنَّانُ يَا بَدِيعَ السَّمٰوَاتِ وَالاَرْضِ يَا ذَا الْجَلاَلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ


La ilaha illa anta yaa hanaanu yaa manaanu yaa badee`a s-samawaati wa l-ardi yaa dhaa l-jalali wa l-ikram


These two prayers also meet the criteria set by the Rasul of Allah (saw) in regards to the Supreme Name. We’re told if one recites these during prayer, the chances of it being accepted are higher.

On examining all of these signs, if we take the common elements, two names attract attention:


2. HU

In essence, these names aren’t separate, many saints and intimates of the reality consider these names as one…

Abdulqadir al-Jilani, a pinnacle in the area of divine Oneness and Unity and the author of The Perfect Man says:

“The letter H at the end of the name ALLAH points to the Absolute Essence, which is also known as the name HU and is referenced as the name HU.”

Our master, Hadhrat Ali (ra), also makes a lot of reference to the name HU and mentions this name especially in the form:

Ya HU ya man HU la ilaha illa HU”

To understand and believe the Supreme Name is the name HU one must be allowed by Allah to observe certain deeper realities.

One day the Rasul of Allah (saw) is asked:

“Where was our Rabb before he created the heavens and the earth?”

He answered:

“In the nothingness over and under which there is no air!”[3]

This hadith points to the Absolute Essence (dhat) of Allah…

The name Allah is an encompassing name; it embodies both the Absolute Essence (dhat) and all His infinite qualities and attributes…

Real belief in Allah begins after recognizing the Oneness of Allah and certainty (yakeen) takes place, for this is the end of imitation and the beginning of the reality… Otherwise, one will only be believing in the ‘name’ Allah and this is the station of the imitators… As for those who have reached the reality, they are referred to as ‘mufarridoon’ or the ‘muqarriboon’; they are those who have annihilated themselves not in the name Allah, but in the Oneness of Allah; the meaning of ‘Allah is Baqi’ has become an experiential reality for them…

They are those who have reached the secret of the Supreme Name; they live with the consciousness of the One who says ‘HU’ with every breath…

When they make a prayer and say, “O Allah… O Hu…” as per the Hadith Qudsi, “It will be me who talks through their tongue” it will be He who requests through their tongue, and thus His request will not be left unanswered.

As for us, in light of what the Rasul (saw) says, we say: He who wants a response to his prayers should perform two rakats of salat and recite the chapter Ikhlas 21 times in each rakat after the Fatiha and read the following prayer during the final prostration and repeat this seven times, as Allah loves those who persevere.

[1] Ibn Majah.

[2] Ibn Majah.

[3] Ibn Majah.

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