Chapter On the Coming into the Existence of the Names of Allah

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Salih ibn abu Hammad from al-Husayn ibn Yazid from al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn abu Hamzah from Ibrahim ibn 'Umar from abu 'Abdallah (a.s.), who has said the following.

"Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, created a name with letters that had no sound. He created it with the word that would not be spoken. He created it with a personality that had no body. It had a similarity that is not described. He created it with color that is colorless. Diameters were negated from it. Limitations were distanced away from it. The feel of all Mutawahhim (intuitive sense) is curtained from it.

It is hidden but not covered. He placed it to be a perfect word consisting of four parts together. No one of them is before the other. From these He made public only three names because people desperately needed them. One of them is kept out of public sight. This is the protected and treasured name.

The names that became public is Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. He, the Most Glorious, for each of these made four subservient key elements that formed twelve key elements. Then for each key element He created thirty key elements to indicate an action ascribed to the four key elements.

He, therefore, is Al-Rahman (The All compassionate); al-Rahim (The All merciful); al-Malik (The King); al-Quddus (The Holy); al-Khaliq (The Creator); al-Bari' (The Maker); al- Musawwir (The Fashioner); al-Hayy (The Ever living); al-Qayyum (The Self-subsistent).

Neither slumber nor sleep seizes Him. Al-'Alim (The All-knowing); al-Khabir (The Allaware); as-Sami' (The All-hearing); al-Basir (The All-seeing); al-Hakim (The All-wise); al-'Aziz (The All-Majestic); al-Jabbar (The All-compeller); al-Mutakabbir (The Allsublime); al-'Aliyy (The Most High); al-'Azim (The All-Great); al-Muqtadir (The All- Dominant); al-Qadir (The All-capable); 

Al-Salam (The All peaceable); al-Mu'min (The Allprotector); al-Muhaymin (The All-preserver); al-Munshi' (The All-inventor) al-Badi' (The All-originator); al-Rafi' (The Exalter); al-Jalil (The Majestic); al-Karim (The Generous); al- Raziq (The All-provider); al-Muhyi (The Bestower of Life); al-Mumit (The Inflictor of death); al-Ba'ith (The Resurrector); al-Warith (The Inheriter).

These names in addition to the (Asma' al-Husna) beautiful names make them three hundred sixty names. Such is the ratio of these three names. These three names are key element names. Only one name is kept out of public sight, protected and treasured with these three names. Thus, Allah has said, "Say, call Allah or al-Rahman. Call whichever you call. For Him there are beautiful names. (17:110) 

from each were . I by letter, nor expressed by word, nor manifested by baby, nor indicated by similitude, nor emblazoned by colour. Negated from Annit are all dimensions, removed from it all limits, inaccessible is it to the sensations of every sensate being, and veiled is it without any veil. Allah made it one all comprehensive Word, with four constituents contiguous, immediate, without one being after the other.

Three out of the four were made manifest, since creation was most in need of them, and one has been concealed, the ineffable, the occult Name. Of the (three) Names that have been made manifest, their manifestation is Allah'-the Hallowed, the Exalted. To each one of these (three) Names, Allah, the Exalted, subordinated four 'Supports'. Thus, they have all become twelve 'supports' in number.

Then Allah created thirty Names in respect of every support according to (His different) actions. These names are: Al-Rahman (The All-compassionate); ar-Rahim (The All-merciful); al-Malik (The Lord); al-Quddus (The All-holy); al-Khiliq (The Creator); al-B&ri' ( The Maker); al-Musawwir (The Fashioner); 

al-.Hayy (The Ever living); al-Qayyam (The Selfsubsistent); 'Whom slumber seize Him not, neither sleep'; al- !41im ( The All-knowing); al-Khabur ( The All-aware); as- Sami ' ( The Allhearing); al-Basir (The All-seeing); al-Hakim (The All-wise); al->lziz (The All-mighty); al-Jabbar (The All-compeller); al-Mutakabbir (The All-sublime); al-Aliyy (The All-high); al-!Azim (The All-glorious); al-Muqtadir ( The All-omnipotent); al-Qddir ( The All-powerful); as-Saldm (The All-peaceable); 

al-Mu'min (The All-faithful); al-Muhaymin (The All-preserver); al-Munshi' (The All-evolver) al-Badi' (The All-originator);ar-Rafi' (The Exalter);al-Jalil (The Majestic);al-Karim (The Generous); ar-R§ziq (The All-sustainer); al- MuRyi (The Bestower of Life); al-Mumit (The Inflictor of death); al-Ba'ith (The Resurrector); al-W6rith (The Inheriter).

"These names along with the other Beautiful and Good Names come to a total of three hundred and sixty names. They all branch forth from the original three which are the three supports. And that one ineffable occult name became concealed through these three names.

This is what Allah, the Sublime, has said, 'Say, call upon Allah, or call upon 'ar-Rahmdn' (the Compassionate); whichsoever you call upon, to Him (alone) belongs the name most Beautiful. ' (al-Isrd', 17: 110)"

Al-'Allamah al-Majlisi has said the following about the above Hadith, "Among its narrators, there are unknown people. The Hadith itself is not clear. Its meaning is an indefinable secret. No one knows its interpretation except Allah and those firmly rooted in knowledge.

Therefore, to remain silent in its interpretation and to confess failure in understanding its meaning is most righteous, worthwhile and suitable to precaution. (Mir'at al-'uqul, vol.2, p.24) 

H 306, Ch. 15, h 2

Ahmad ibn Idris has narrated from al-Husayn ibn 'Abdallah from Muhammad ibn 'Abdallah and Musa ibn 'Umar and al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn 'Uthman from ibn Sinan who has said the following. "I asked abu al-Hassan al-Rida (a.s.), 'Did Allah, the Majestic, the Glorious, know Himself before He created the creation?'" 

The Imam (a.s.) replied, "Yes, He knew Himself." I further asked, "Did He see and hear His Own Self?" The Imam replied, "Allah did not need such things because He did not ask or demand it. He is His Own self and His Own self is He. His power is dominant and He does not need to name His Own self. He chose His Own name for the sake of others so they can call Him.

Until one is not called by means of his names he is not recognized. The fist name He chose for His Own self was al-'Ali al-'Azim (the Most High, the Great) because He is above all things. It then means that Allah and His name al-'Ali al-'Azim is His. The Most High, He is above all things.

H 307, Ch. 15, h 3

It is narrated through the same chain of narrators (as in the above Hadith) from Muhammad ibn Sinan who has said the following.

"I asked the Imam, (perhaps abu al-Hassan al-Rida) about the name (of Allah), 'What is it?' The Imam replied, "It is an attribute of the attributes of (Allah)."

H 308, Ch. 15, h 4
Muhammad ibn abu 'Abdallah has narrated from Muhammad ibn Isma'il from some of his people from Bakr ibn Salih from Ali ibn Salih from al-Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid ibn Yazid from 'Abd al-A'la from abu 'Abdallah (a.s.), who has said the following.

"The name of Allah is something other than Allah Himself. Every thing that is called a thing is created except Allah. Whatever is expressed by the tongue or is worked out by hands are all created. The word Allah is one example of names and an end for naming. The end is different from the thing for which it is. The end is describable is created.

The Maker of things is not describable by the limits of the fact behind the name. He did not become, so His becoming a being would have been recognized through the making of what is other than Him. He did not end up where there was another's end. Do not ever move away from understanding this rule. This is the true and pure believe in the Oneness of Allah. Observe it, acknowledge it and understand it by the permission of Allah.

Those who think they understand Allah by means of covering, form or examples they become polytheists because his covering, form and example are not Him. He is only One and One alone. How can one form a belief in His Oneness by thinking that one may know Him through things other than Him. 

One comes to know Allah only by Allah His Own self. One who can not know Him by His Own self he has not known Him. He only comes to know some thing else. There is nothing between the Creator and the created. All is the Creator of things but not from a thing that was there already. Allah's names are His names but He is different from His Own names and the names are other than Him."