by clicking on the rose above you can access an index of the ninety-nine names
or qualities of God, derived from the holy Qur'an. This will be familiar to most
muslims. There is no absolute consensus on the exact list, or indeed the actual
number of names - but that given below is widely accepted. They are taken from
the book of Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib "The 99 Most Beautiful Names of Allah"
which is available in Dutch as "De 99 Schone Namen van Allah" the English
version of which is shortly to be published in New Delhi. I have incorporated the
Arabic script from the hand of an unknown calligrapher, and at least one Qur'anic
source. To this I have added comments made by Al-Ghazali probably the most
authoritative source in this field. I have further added related thoughts from a
variety of sources, including suggestions of my own.
The effects of appropriate recitation are given but I have not specified the
particular method - this is available in the book by Dr Sharib.
Al-Ghazali quotes an hadith 'You should be characterised by the characteristics of
God Most High' and Dr Sharib follows him in elaborating on what is required to
emulate the specified quality. He points out that these names, though interrelated
in meaning, are not synonymous, since names are not intended for their letters or
external differences, but rather for their implication.
The list does not include the name of Allah (the Essence) in the numbering -
treating it separately.
Dr Sharib says :
"Allah is the name of the Essence and the 99 most beautiful names are the
attributes or the qualities of Allah....According to some scholars "Allah" is the
"al-ism al-azam", the greatest name."
As regarding the effect of the names Shah Wali Ullah of Delhi says this:
"The divine names.... assume the form of luminous bodies in the Similitudinary
World, and there the angels obey them. When the Changer (God) turns them by
some kind of personal intention towards itself and pulls them to the desired object,
they incline towards it and the angels who are the servants of the divine names
yield to them."
Lamha 27. Sufism and the Islamic Tradition Trans: Jalbani. Octagon Press. 1980
Dr Sharib says:
"According to the Sufis, one name of Allah manifests, dominates and exercises
sovereign control at (all) times. The name of Allah rules and governs the universe.
The name manifests His kingdom. When the period of the rule and manifestation
of one name comes to an end, then the turn comes for the rule and manifestation
of another name. The Qur'an says:
"Everyday He is upon some task." (Qur'an 5:29.)
To the Sufis this refers to the manifestation of one name."
8.5 The Culture of the Sufis by Dr Zahurul Hassan Sharib Sharib Press. 1999.
On the occasion of the 'Urs of Khawaja Muinuddin Hasan Chishti we respectfully
seek the blessings of the august servants of Allah on this work praying that they
will overlook its numerous faults and cause it to be of benefit to sincere seekers of
We humbly dedicate our labours to Dr Zahurul Hasan Sharib of Ajmer, whose
affectionate look and approval we earnestly seek, and to Nuri Baba of Konya to
whose inspired guidance we are also eternally indebted.
God! There is no god
But He! To Him belong
The Most Beautiful Names.
(Qur'an 20:8 )
Jamiluddin Morris Zahuri
Southampton. August 27th 2002
This none profit-making, on-line version of the 99 Beautiful Names owes gratitude to the
various sources quoted and those who have laboured in making translations, and we ask the
One and Only Owner of the Names to reward those sources according to His Wisdom.
We gladly acknowledge the fastidious work of Mohammed Siraj Elschot in processing the
original manuscript of Dr Sharib's work, but take on ourselves the blame for any faults found
within this expanded version with its various additions.