Ansari Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order

The Beautiful Names of Allah

All creation consists of Allah’s own substance. The basic matter of all things is contained within His singular reality. Sufis call this spiritual/material substance the Ninety-Nine Names or the Beautiful Names of Allah. These names are Allah’s diverse attributes, all of which comprise His entire being. Allah’s essence holds all of these qualities as potential energy. In the act of creation, His potential energy becomes kinetic.

Most of Allah’s names are found in the Holy Qur’an, interspersed in its many suras [chapters]. Sufis see them as Allah’s way of describing Himself in the Qur’an, the Word of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). For Sufis, Allah’s names are the very stuff of creation, as well as the means by which Allah sustains it. The Beautiful Names, as compiled below, are understood by Sufis as a chart of universal elements, which supersedes the periodic table of chemical elements devised by scientists.

Beautiful Names of Allah art by Rosie Nur-Iman WhiteThe 99 Names of Allah

In a sacred tradition Allah told Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), “I was a secret treasure and I wished to be known, so I created creation.” Allah fashioned the universe or universes from His pure light. His energy existed in a formless state, and He willed the energy to take shape over time. In the act of creation Allah activated some of His inherent attributes, such as Al Khaliq, Al Bari, Al Musawwir. Allah began the creation with one word, “Be.” At that moment, the creation of the universe started.

The Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe corroborates the Sufi viewpoint. According to this theory, the universe came into being through a series of explosions. With each explosion a new chemical element was created. In Sufi terms, Allah’s light thus began taking shape in material form, and the interaction of Allah’s attributes produced variety and complexity. Waves, subatomic and atomic particles, molecules, cells, organisms, the development of all that exists began as energy and continues to exist as energy in various states of formation, from wave particles to the human being. For the Sufi, the universe has long been understood as a multilayered totality, light wrapped in sheaths of increasingly more dense matter.

Big Bang representation

Allah’s names are manifest in various combinations at each point of creation. The formula Allah used for each thing determines its unique character. This uniqueness itself is an expression of Allah’s name Al Ahad, The Unique. Because Allah’s intention was to be known, He created a being who could know Him intimately, as a living, conscious synthesis of all of His Beautiful Names. Allah designed only one creature to manifest all of His divine attributes. This fruit of the universe, the end product of the creation of the worlds, is the human being.

The Ninety-Nine Names of Allah Delineated

The Beautiful Names, which are Allah's attributes, fall within His Mercy and/or Power sides, as depicted in this illustrated chart. The center line symbolizes the Balance Names of Allah. The inner circle represents the Zat Names of Allah. The Power Names of Allah are on the left and the Mercy Names of Allah are on the right.

chart of the 99 names
  • Allah: God
  • Al Rahman: The One Who Acts with Mercy
  • Al Rahim: The Source of Mercy
  • Al Malik: The Ruler; The King; The Owner of the Dominion
  • Al Quddus: The Holy One
  • Al Salaam: The Peaceful One
  • Al Mu’min: The Accepter of the Truth; The One Who Acts With the Truth
  • Al Muhaymin: The Protector; The Guardian; The Giver of Security
  • Al Aziz: The Mighty with Benevolence; The Revered One
  • Al Jabbar: The Compeller
  • Al Mutakabbir: The Possessor of Greatness
  • Al Khaliq: The Creator
  • Al Bari: The Shaper
  • Al Musawwir: The Detailer
  • Al Ghaffar: The Oft-Forgiving One
  • Al Qahhar: The Overpowering One
  • Al Wahhab: The Bestower
  • Al Razzaq: The Provider
  • Al Fattah: The Opener; The Presider
  • Al Alim: The All-Knowing One
  • Al Qabid: The Constrictor
  • Al Basit: The Reliever; The Expander
  • Al Khafid: the Abaser
  • Al Rafi: The Exalter
  • Al Mu’izz: The Bestower of Honors
  • Al Mudhill: The Humiliator
  • Al Sami: The Hearer
  • Al Basir: The Seer
  • Al Hakam: The Judge
  • Al Adl: The Just One
  • Al Tawwab: The Accepter of Repentance
  • Al Latif: The Subtle and Kind One
  • Al Khabir: The All-Aware One
  • Al Halim: The Soft and Gentle One Who Gives Ease
  • Al Azim: The Magnificent One
  • Al Ghafur: The Purifying and Tolerant One Who Overlooks Sins
  • Al Shakur: The Source of Gratitude
  • Al Ali: The Exalted One
  • Al Kabir: The Incomparably Great One
  • Al Hafiz: The Preserver and Protector
  • Al Muqit: The Caretaker
  • Al Hasib: The One Who Keeps Accounts and Measures of All Things
  • Al Jalil: The Mighty One
  • Al Karim: The Generous One
  • Al Raqib: The Vigilant Supervisor
  • Al Mujib: The Responsive One
  • Al Wasi: The All-Encompassing One
  • Al Hakim: The Wise One
  • Al Wadud: The Loving One
  • Al Majid: The Glorious One
  • Al Ba'ith: The Resurrector
  • Al Shahid: The Witness
  • Al Haqq: The Truth
  • Al Wakil: The Trustee; The Representative; The Guardian
  • Al Qawi: The Strong One
  • Al Matin: The Enduring One
  • Al Wali: The Protecting Friend
  • Al Hamid: The One Who Deserves All Praise; The One Who is Glorified
  • Al Muhsi: The Doer of Good
  • Al Mubdi: The Originator
  • Al Mu’id: The Restorer
  • Al Muhyi: The One Who Is Able to Revive
  • Al Mumit: The Giver of Death
  • Al Hayy: The Alive, Continuously Existing One
  • Al Qayyum: The Caretaker
  • Al Wajid: The One Who Forms
  • Al Majid: The Glorious One
  • Al Wahid: The One and Only
  • Al Ahad: The Unique
  • Al Samad: the Receiver of Requests
  • Al Qadir: The One Who Is Able to Do All Things
  • Al Muqtadir: The Creator of All Power
  • Al Muqaddim: The One Who Puts His Creatures Ahead
  • Al Mu’akhkhir: The One Who Puts His Creatures Behind
  • Al Awwal: The Former
  • Al Akhir: The Latter
  • Al Zahir: The Outer
  • Al Batin: The Inner
  • Al Waali: The Governor
  • Al Muta’ali: The Highly Exalted One
  • Al Barr: The Pure One
  • Al Muntaqim: The Avenger
  • Al Afu: The Forgiver
  • Al Ra’uf: The Clement One; The One Full of Kindness
  • Malik al Mulk: Owner of All
  • Dhul-Jalali Wal-Ikram: The Lord of Majesty and Bounty
  • Al Muqsit: The Equitable One
  • Al Jami: The Gatherer
  • Al Ghani: The Self-Sufficient One
  • Al Mughni: The Enricher
  • Al Mani: The Preventer
  • Al Darr: The Creator of the Harmful
  • Al Nafi: The Creator of Good
  • Al Nur: The Light
  • Al Hadi: The Guide
  • Al Badi: The Originator
  • Al Baqi: The One Who Remains
  • Al Warith: The Inheritor
  • Al Rashid: The One Capable of Right Judgment
  • Al Sabur: The Patient One