99 Names of Allah

“Indeed Allah has ninety-nine names. Whoever counts them will enter paradise.” [Al-Bukhari, vol. 9, p. 363, no. 489. Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1409, no. 6475. Narrated by Abu Hurayrah]. What does counting mean in this hadeeth?

The "counting" that is mentioned in the above Hadeeth, refers to the following:

1) Memorizing them.

2) Understanding their meanings.

3) Acting according to their implications. So if you knew that Allah is al-Ahad (the One), you would not associate partners with Him; if you knew that He is ar-Razzaq (the Provider), you would not seek sustenance from other than Him; etc.

4) Invoking by them, as Allah says:

"And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them."[1]

This is done by saying for example: "Ya Rahman, irhamni" (O Most Merciful, have mercy upon me); "Ya Ghafoor, ighfirli" (O All-Forgiving, forgive me); etc.[2]

References:

[1] [al-A'raf 7:180].

[2] [Adapted from the Fatawa of Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen]

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