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ASMA AL-SIFAT

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word sifa'a (pl. sifat) is not found in the Koran, but the verbal noun wasf does appear once in 6:139, and the imperfect of the first form of the verb occurs 13 times in the sense of "to ascribe or uphold a description or to attribute."

God has made Himself known to mankind by His Most Beautiful Names (asma al-husna), and it is through these that the believers seek knowledge of God. The Koran says: "And Allah's are the most excellent names, therefore call on Him thereby, and leave alone those who violate the sanctity of His names" (7:180), and "Say: call upon God or call upon al-Rahman, by whichever Name you call, to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names" (17:110). Hence, calling on God by His excellent names merely means that only those high attributes should be ascribed to Him which befit His dignity. The particular attributes of God mentioned in the Koran are:

1. al-Rahman (Beneficent), 2. al-Rahim (Merciful), 3. al-Malik (the King), 4. al-Quddus (the Holy), 5. al-Salam (the Author of peace), 6. al-Mu'min (the Granter of security), 7. al-Muhaimin (the Guardian over all), 8. al-Aziz (the Mighty), 9. al-Jabbar (Compeller), 10. al-Mutakabbir (the Possessor of greatness), 11. al-Khaliq (the Creator), 12. al-Bari (the Evplver), 13. al-Musawwir (the Fashioner), 14. al-Ghaffar (the Great Forgiver), 15. al-Qahhar (the Supreme), 16. al-Wahhab (the Bestower), 17. al-Razzaq (the Provider), 18. al-Fattah (the Greatest Judge), 19. al-Alim (the Knowing), 20. al-Sami (the Hearing), 21. al-Basir (the Seeing), 22. al-Latif (the Benignant), 23. al-Khabir (the Aware), 24. al-Halim (the Forbearing), 25. al-Azim (the Grand), 26. al-Ghaffur (All-Forgiving), 27. al-Shakur (the Multiplier of rewards), 28. al-Aliyy (the Exalted), 29. al-Kabir (the Great), 30. al-Hafiz (the Keeper), 31. al-Muqit (the Controller of all things), 32. al-Hasib (the Inflicter of retribution), 33. al-Karim (the Honoured), 34. al-Raqib (the Watcher), 35. al-Qarib (Nigh), 36. al-Mujib (Accepter of the prayers), 37. al-Wasi (the Ample-giving), 38. al-Hakim (the Wise), 39. al-Wadud (the Loving), 40. al-Majid (the Glorious), 41. al-Shahid (the Witness), 42. al-Haqq (the True), 43. al-Wakil (the Trustee), 44. al-Qawiyy (the Strong), 45. al-Matin (the Strong), 46. al-Waliyy (the Guardian), 47.al-Hamid (the Praiseworthy), 48. al-Hayy (the Ever-living), 49. al-Qayyum (the Self-subsisting), 50. al-Wahid (the One), 51. al-Ahad (the One) 52 al-Samad (on Whom all depend while He does not depend on any), 53. al-Qadir (the Able), 54. al-Muqtadir (Powerful), 55. al-Awwal (the First), 56. al-Akhir (the Last), 57. al-Zahir (the Manifest), 58. al-Batin (the Hidden), 59. al-Wali (One Who governs), 60. al-Muta'ali (the Most Exalted), 61. al-Barr (the Benign), 62. al-Tawwab (the Oft-returning to mercy), 63. al-Afuww (the Pardoner), 64. al-Ra'uf (the Affectionate), 65. al-Jami (the One Who gathers), 66. al-Ghani (the Self-sufficient), 67. al-Nur (the Light), 68. al-Hadi (the One Who guides), 69. al-Badi (the Originator), 70. Rabb (the Fosterer), 71. Mubin (the Manifest), 72. al-Qadir (the Mighty), 73. al-Hafiz (the Protector), 74. al-Kafil (the Surety), 75. ash-Shakir (the Appreciative), 76. al-Akram (the Most Bounteous), 77. al-A'ala (the Most High), 78. al-Khallaq (the Creator), 79. al-Mawla (the Master), 80. al-Nasir (the Helper), 81. al-ilah (the Creator), 82. al-Allam (the Omniscient), 83. al-Qahir (the Omnipotent), 84. al-Ghafir (the Forgiver), 85. al-Fatir (the Creator), 86. al-Malik (the Sovereign), 87. al-Hafiyy (the Gracious), 88. al-Muhit (All-Pervading), 89. al-Musta'an (One Who is called upon for help), 90. al-Rafi (the Exalter), 91. al-Kafi (the Sufficient One), 92. Ghalib (the Predominant), 93. al-Mannan (the Gracious), 94. al-Jalil (the Majestic), 95. al-Muhyi (the One Who gives life), 96. al-Mumit (the One Who causes death), 97. al-Warith (the One Who inherits everything), 98. al-Ba'ith (the One Who raises the dead to life) and 99. al-Baqi (the One Who endures for ever).

The other names which are taken from some act or attribute of God mentioned in the Koran are al-Qabida (the One Who straitens), al-Basit (the One Who amplifies), al-Mu'izz (the One Who gives honour), al-Mudhill (the One Who brings disgrace), al-Muhsi (the One Who records or numbers things), al-Mubdi (the One Who begins), al-Mu'id (the One Who reproduces), al-Mughni (the One Who enriches), al-Mu'ti (the One Who grants), al-Mani (the One Who withholds), al-Sabur (the Patient), al-Muqsit (the Equitable), al-Adl (the Just), al-Khafidz (the Abaser), al-Wajid (the Existing), al-Muqaddim (the One Who brings forward), al-Mu'akhbhir (the One Who puts off), al-Dzarr (the One Who brings distress) and al-Nafi (the One Who confers benefits)


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