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Memorizing God’s 99 Names: A Free Ticket to Paradise?

02 February, 2022
Q There is a hadith in Sahih Bukhari which says the following: Allah's Messenger said, Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one, and he who memorized them all by heart, will enter paradise.Now, if a person memorizes all these and does things that aren't good or recommended in Islam, will that person still be submitted to Paradise?

Answer

Short Answer: 

  • When the Prophet mentioned learning God’s names by heart, he did not mean just the repetition of these names by the tongue.
  • Rather he meant living by these names and embracing them in our lives so that the names have the best impact on our behavior in society. 

………….

Salam dear questioner, 

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Thank you for your question.

Allah’s 99 Names

Muslims believe that God (Allah) has divine names and attributes. Muslims believe that God’s Attributes and Names are those qualities that give a correct understanding of what God truly is. 

Muslims also believe that it is not right to ascribe qualities to God that He did not describe Himself as having, or qualities that are incompatible with His Majesty and Perfection.

Muslims believe that these names are unique. No one has similar names and attributes in any way.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,

“Allah has ninety-nine Names, one-hundred less one; and he who memorized them all by heart will enter Paradise.” (Al-Bukhari)

Meaning of Learning Divine Names by Heart

Scholars have different views as to the meaning of memorizing God’s Names by heart. Some scholars maintain that the divine names should be literally memorized by heart.

Some other scholars view that the divine names should be correctly understood. 

A third group holds the view that we should act in accordance with the meanings of the divine names. Therefore, one of the names of God is the One, so we must not associate partners with God. One of the names of God is the Provider, so we must not seek provision from anyone else.

One final view is that Muslims should call upon God by these names. We read in the Quran what means:

*{And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them. And leave [the company of] those who practice deviation concerning His names. They will be recompensed for what they have been doing.}* (Quran 7/180)

99 Names or More?

The majority of scholars maintain that God’s Names are not limited to the 99 names referred to in the above-quoted narration.

In a long supplication reported from the Prophet, he is reported as saying “…

I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You…” 

The phrase “or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You” indicates that there are beautiful names of Allah that He has kept with Him in the knowledge of the Unseen, and which none of His creation has come to know. This indicates that there are more than ninety-nine Names. 

Benefits of Belief in God’s Names

When we believe in God’s names, we get close to Him as this belief increases our knowledge of Allah, and thus our faith increases. When we praise Allah by these names, we are doing the best form of dhikr. We read in the Quran what means:

O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance. (Quran 30:41)

Memorizing God’s 99 Names: A Free Ticket to Paradise?

According to the above-mentioned hadith, one who memorizes the 99 names of Allah will enter Paradise

However, memorizing the divine names is not the only reason for admitting us to Paradise. Good deeds are a tool that gets us close to God. Above all, people enter Paradise by the mercy of Allah. 

We cannot guarantee who will go to heaven or hell. I mean, we do not guarantee salvation. It is Allah who decides what he wants. 

Memorizing God’s beautiful names should be an incentive to all Muslims to do good deeds as this is part of applying the Prophet’s statement about learning God’s names by heart.

Knowing that Allah is aware of everything, all-knowing of everything and that He has the power to do anything will push us to do what pleases Him and avoid what displeases Him. 

One of the characteristics of the believers is that they remember Allah a lot. So remembering Allah helps Muslims do good deeds to receive His satisfaction.

When the Prophet mentioned learning God’s names by heart, he did not mean just the repetition of these names by the tongue. Rather he meant living by these names and embracing them in our lives so that the names have the best impact on our behavior in society. 

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archive)

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