What is the greatest name of Allah SWT?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
To answer the above question, the scholars have differing opinions in stating the greatest name of Allah SWT. For that, this Irsyad al-Hadith will try to answer the above question.
Matn (Text) of Hadith
It is narrated by Abi Umamah RA that the Prophet PBUH said:
اسْمُ اللَّهِ الأَعْظَمُ الَّذِي إِذَا دُعِيَ بِهِ أَجَابَ فِي سُوَرٍ ثَلاَثٍ الْبَقَرَةِ وَآلِ عِمْرَانَ وَطَهَ
The Greatest Name of Allah, if He is called by which He will respond, is in three Surah: Al-Baqarah, Al 'Imran and Ta-Ha
Sunan Ibn Majah (3846) [This hadith is evaluated as hassan by al-Albani]
The Scholars’ Opinions in Stating the Greatest Name of Allah SWT
There are differing opinions among scholars in stating the greatest names of Allah into 14 opinions. This is mentioned by al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani in his book. [See: Fath al-Bari, 11/224, 225]
- الله الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيْم
- الرَّحْمَن الرَّحِيْم الحَيُّ القَيُّوْم
- الحَيُّ القَيُّوْم
- الحَنَّان المَنَّان بَدِيْع السَمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْض ذُوْ الجَلَالِ وَالإِكْرَام الحَيُّ القَيُّوْم
- بَدِيْع السَمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْض ذُوْ الجَلَالِ وَالإِكْرَام
- ذُوْ الجَلَالِ وَالإِكْرَام
- الله لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُو الأَحَد الصَّمَد الَّذِيْ لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُوْلَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُوا أَحَد
- رَبِّ رَبِّ
- لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّيْ كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِيْنَ
- هُوَ الله الله الله الَّذِيْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ رَبّ العَرْشِ العَظِيْمِ
- هُوَ مَخْفِي فِيْ الأَسْمَاءِ الحُسْنَى (Ia tersembunyi di dalam al-Asma’ al-Husna)
- لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا الله
Tarjih and the Fatwa of Imam al-Nawawi RA
After we analyse the opinions of the scholars in this matter, we are inclined to the same opinion as Imam al-Nawawi RA in this issue. Imam al-Nawawi RA said in his fatwa on the greatest names of Allah SWT:
“There are many hadiths on this matter. The example is in Sunan Ibn Majah and other than that. Among them is as narrated by Abi Umamah RA. Some past imams said that what is meant with the greatest names of Allah in those three surahs are “هُوْ الحَيُّ القَيُّوْمُ” because the verse is in Surah al-Baqarah which is the ayat ul-Kursi, the early verses of Surah Ali Imran and verse no 111 in Surah Taha which is the saying of Allah SWT: “وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَيِّ الْقَيُّومِ”. This is an istinbat which is good”. [See: Fatwa Imam al-Nawawi, 279]
Hikmah (Wisdom) on Supplicating by Allah SWT’s Names
The greatest names of Allah SWT is one way for Allah to grant a du’a. By invoking Allah by these greatest names of Him, any du’a and request of a servant will not be rejected. In addition, this is highly commanded by Allah SWT as His saying:
وَلِلَّـهِ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا
And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them
Surah al-A’raf (180)
However, what is important is for us to preserve the ethics during, before and after making du’a. Among the ethics are for us to tawajjuh (facing Allah SWT) as well as asking from Him with solemn heart. Besides, we also should consider the ruling of asbab because it is one of the forms of du’a as well as having strategy and tawakkal to Allah SWT in supplicating.
In conclusion, Allah SWT has virtuous and greatest names and there is no difference among the names as stated by some scholars. Lastly, let us frequently make du’a to Allah SWT especially in this month of blessing and honor. Besides, do not forget to include the names of Allah SWT in our every du’a so that it will be granted by Allah SWT. Ameen.