Section 31 of the Miṣbāḥ of Taqī al-Dīn al-Kaf`āmī

المصباح للكفعمي

الفصل الحادي و الثلاثون في ما روي في ذكر الاسم الأعظم

Translation Dr. Stephen Lambden (UC-Merced), 2009.

Under constant revision and updating - Updated 07-03-17.

Last updated 07-12-2016

The Names of God and theories of His Mightiest Name (al-ism al-a`ẓam) with special reference to the Miṣbāḥ (Luminary) of Tāqī al-Dīn Kaf`amī (d. 900/1494-5) and Bābī-Bahā’ī theologies of the Eschatological Name.

In his extensive Arabic compilation entitled al-Miṣbāḥ fī’l-A’diyya wa’l-salawāt wa’l-Ziyarāt (The Luminary incorporating Supplications, Prayers and Visitation texts) of the (just pre-Safavid) Twelver Shī`ī thinker Shaykh Tāqī al-Dīn Ibrāhīm ibn `Alī ibn Ḥasan ibn Muhammad al-`Āmilī al-Kaf`amī (d. 900/1494-5) includes a section on the question of the al-ism al-a`ẓam (The Mightiest Name [of God]) followed, among other things,  by one on the ninety-nine al-asmā’ al-ḥusnā (The Most Beautiful Names of God’) (see Kaf`amī, Misbah 408-418; 419-482). Select texts from and a translation and consideration of this eleven or so page section is reproduced below. It includes sixty sections of varying length largely culled from Shī`ī traditions and devotional literatures which either refer to, indentify the nature of, or spell out some aspect of the (one or more) forms of the al-ism al-a`ẓam, the Mightiest Name of God.

In the first section on Allah as the Mightiest Name and elsewhere Kaf`ami refers to Ibn Fahd a  Shi`i thinker who was active during the 9th century AH =  15th-16th cent. CE. Ibn Fahd al-Hillī  is sometimes reckoned to be a possible teacher of Sayyid Muhammad al-Nurbaksh (d. 869/1464), founder of the Nurbakhshiyya, a Shi`i offshoot of the Kubrwaiyya Sufi order. Among his well-known works is the `Uddat al-Da`ī (“The Preparedness of the Supplicator”). This work is twice specifically referred in Kaf`ami's section of the Mightiest Name of God. After the final section sixty Kaf`amī cites Ibn Fahd in  noting many further (beyond sixty) references relating to the Mightiest Name (Misbah, 1424/2003 p. 417 ).

“Shaykh Aḥmad ibn [Muhammad ibn] Fahd [al-Hillī (fl. 9th cent AH =  15th-16th cent. CE) said in his `Uddat [al-Da`ī] (“The Preparedness of the Supplicator”)… At the end of this first section on Allāh (see below) as the Mightiest Name Kaf`amī  writes, 

“The author of the `Uddat [al-Da`ī] (“The Preparedness of the Supplicator”) states that “these sayings [about the Mightiest Name] are very close[ly related] (qarīb jidd an) though their ramifications of meaning are extensive (li’an al-wārid fī hadha ma`anī kathīr)” (Kaf`amī, Misbah, 408). 

The above volume contains some 1200 sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad and was recently utilized by Riad Aziz Kassis in his The book of Proverbs and Arabic proverbial works (Leiden:  Brill Academic, 1999). ....

Kaf`ami then seems to have cited or drawn extensively on parts of the the 500 page Arabic `Uddat al-Da`ī of Ibn Fahd in his identifying sixty passages or traditions about the Mightiest Name.

We may also note here that Muhammad ibn Salāma ibn Ja`far ibn `Alī al-Quḍā`ī al-Miṣrī (d. 454/1062)  was the author of a number of Arabic works including the volume Kitab Dastūr Mu`allim al-Ḥikam

  • Dustūr maʻālim al-ḥikam wa-ma'thūr makārim al-shiyam : min kalām Amīr al-Mu'minīn ʻAlī Ibn-Abī-Ṭālib. ed. Ḥasan al-Samāḥī Suwaidān,  Damascus : Dār al-Qalam,  2003.
  • (`The Shooting Star in Wisdom Sayings, Proverbs and Ethics’), ed. `Abu al-Wafā’ Muhammad al-Murāghī. Cairo: al-Majlis al-A`la li’l-Shu’ūwn al-Islāmiyya, Lajnat al-Tā’rīf bi’l-Islām, 1970.

....

      الفصل الحادي و الثلاثون

 في ما روي في ذكر الاسم الأعظم  

Section Thirty One of the Miṣbāḥ of Taqī al-Dīn al-Kaf`āmī (d. 900/1494-5) on what has been transmitted regarding الاسم الأعظم  al-ism al-a`ẓam (”The Mightiest Name [of God]”).

With full translation and occasional notes these sixty sections about the Mightiest Name are as follows:

Annotated translation occasional commentary.

"Know that the statements (al-aqwāl) regarding this subject hare not been adequately encompassed in any authored book (kitāb muṣannaf) nor compiled by any author yet we shall [here] make mention of such statements (aqwāl an):

[1] Firstly: 

: the al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name) is Allāh (God) since it is the most well-known (ashhar) of His Names (asmā’) –exalted be He – and their most-elevated (a`lā), finding a place in remembrance (dhikr) and in supplication (al-du`ā). He gave it precedence relative to the rest of the Names.  He favored it through an utterance of faithfulness (kalimat al-ikhlāṣ) and rendered possible thereby the testimony [of faith] (al-shahāda). It was indeed honored (imtāz) over the rest of the Names (al-asmā’) with additional characteristics (khawāṣṣ ukhrā)…

[2] Secondly : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified]

“in a Muṣḥaf  (“book”, “volume”  “copy”- cf. Qur’ān ms. ) that is set apart (qat` an)”.

SL Note: A Muslim or Baha'i exegete here, might think of the 100th, Mightiest Name of God that is allegedly 'Hidden' (al-ghayb) supplementary to the well-known 99 Names of God of the Prophetic tradition related from Abu Hurayra and Imam `Ali. Alernatively, it might be viewed as hidden away in the celestial world in an unseen book or celestial scroll.

[3] Thirdly : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as

“Allāh al-Raḥman, “God, the All-Merciful”.

SL Note : This is the Qur’anic Arabic personal name of God with the attribute al-Raḥman (“the Merciful”) attached as it is in the (slightly abbreviated) Islamic basmala,"Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim, "The the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate" which prefixes all but one of the 114 suras of the Qur'an.

[4] Fourthly  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being

“among the al-asmā’ al-ḥusnā (“The Most-Beautiful Names”) which are ninety-nine distinct items (qat` an)”.

We have here a translation of the prophetic hadith realyed from "Abu Hurayra (al-Dawsi al-Yamani, d.c. 58/677) [who] reported God's messenger as saying,

"God, the Most High, has ninety-nine names. He who retains them in his memory will enter paradise. He is [1] God [Allāh] than whom there is no God, [2] the Compassionate (al-Rahman), [3] the Merciful (al-Raḥim), [4] the King (al-Mālik), [5] the Holy (al-Quddūs), [6] the source of Peace [the Flawless] (al-Salām), [7] the Preserver of security [the Faithful] (al-Mu'min), [8] the Protector [Guardian] (al-Muhaymin), [9] the Mighty (al-'Azīz), [10] the Overpowering [Compeller] (al-Jabbār), [11] the Great in Majesty (al-Mutakabbir), [12] the Creator (al-Khāliq), [13] the Maker (al-Bāri'), [14] the Fashioner (al-Musawwir), [15] the Forgiver (al-Ghaffar), [16] the Dominant (al-Qahhār), [17] the Bestower (al-Wahhāb), [18] the Provider (al-Razzāq), [19] the Decider [Opener] (al-Fattāḥ), [20] the Knower [Omniscient] (al-'Alīm), [21] the Withholder [He Who contracts] (al-Qābid), [22] the Plentiful Giver (al-Bāsit), [23] the Abaser (al-Khāfid), [24] the Exalter (al-Rāfi'), [25] the Honourer (al-Mu'izz), [26] the Humiliator (al-Muzill), [27] the Hearer (al-Sami), [28] the Seer (al-Baṣīr), [29] the Judge (al-Ḥakam), [30] the Just (al-'Adl), [31] the Gracious [the Benevolent] (al-Laṭīf), [32] the Informed (al-Khabīr), [33] the Clement [the Mild] (al-Ḥalīm), [34] the Incomparably Great (al-'Azīm), [35] the Forgiving (al-Ghafūr), [36] the Rewarder [Grateful] (al-Shakūr), [37] the Most High (al-'Alī), [38] the most Great (al-Kabīr), [39] the Preserver (al-Ḥafīẓ), [40] the Sustainer [Nourisher] (al-Muqīt), [41] the Reckoner (al-Ḥasīb), [42] the Majestic (al-Jalīl), [43] the Generous (al-Karīm), [44] the Watcher [All-Observant] (al-Raqīb), [45] the Answerer (al-Mujīb), [46] the Liberal [the Vast] (al-Wāsi'), [47] the Wise (al-Ḥakim), [48] the Loving (al-Wadūd), [49] the All-Glorious (al-Majīd), [50] the Raiser [the Resurrector] (al-Bā'ith), [51] the Witness (al-Shahīd), [52] the Real [the Truth] (al-Ḥaqq), [53] the Trustee (al-Wakīl), [54] the Strong (al-Qawī), [55] the Firm (al-Matīn), [56] the Patron (al-Walī), [57] the Praiseworthy (al-Ḥamīd), [58] the All-knowing (al-Muḥṣī), [59] the Originator (al-Mubdi'), [60] the Restorer to life (al-Mu'īd), [61] the Giver of life (al-Muḥyī), [62] the Giver of death (al-Mumīt), [63] the Living (al-Ḥayy), [64] the Eternal [Self-Subsusting] (al-Qayyūm), [65] the Self-Sufficient (al-Wājid), [66] the Grand [Magnificent] (al-Mājid), [67] the One (al-Wāḥid), [68] He to whom men repair [the Eternal] (al-Ṣamad), [69] the Powerful (al-Qādir), [70] the Prevailing (al-Muqtadir), [71] the Advancer [the Promoter] (al-Muqaddim), [72] the Delayer (al-Mu'akhkhir), [73] the First (al-Awwal), [74] the Last (al-Ākhir), [75] the Outward [Manifest] (al-Ẓāhir), [76] the Inward (al-Bāṭin), [77] the Governor [Ruler] (al-Wālī), [78] the Sublime (al-Muta'ālī), [79] the Ample Beneficent [Righteous] (al-Barr), [80] the Acceptor of Repentance (al-Tawwāb), [81] the Avenger (al-Muntaqim), [82] the Pardoner (al-'Afuw), [83] the Kindly (al-Ra'ūf), [84] the Ruler of Kingdom (Mālik al-Mulk), [85] the Lord of Majesty and Splendor (Dhu'l-Jalāl wa'l-Ikrām), [86] the Equitable (al-Muqsiṭ), [87] the Gatherer (al-Jāmi'), [88] the Independent [Rich] (al-Ghanī), [89] the Enricher (al-Mughnī), [90] The Depriver [Protector] (al-Māni'), [91] the Harmer [Punisher] (al-Ḍārr), [92] the Benefiter (al-Nāfi'), [93] the Light (al-Nur), [94] the Guide (al-Hādī), [95] the First Cause (al-Badī'), [96] the Enduring (al-Bāqī), [97] the Inheritor (al-Wārith), [98] the Director (al-Rashīd), [99] the Patient (al-Ṣabūr)."

[5] Fifthly : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being

He [It] is Yā Ḥayy, Yā Qayyūm (O Living One! O Self-Subsisting!)  which in [Biblical] Hebrew (al-`ibrāniyya) is (in Arabic transliteration) آهيا  شرآهيا   (= Āhiyā Shara  Ahiyā ) [sic. for] Hebrew  אהיה   אהיה אשר   =  (in the AV or King James’ version) “I am that I am” (Exodus 3:14).

In various Shi`i Islamic sources the biblical `I am that I am’ is associated with the Mightiest Name of God. Moses on Sinai asked the Name of God and was given this phrase (causative H-stem? of the verb to be in Hebrew) of divine Self-identification closely related to the tetragrammation (=Y-H-W-H  cf. A-H-W-H =  “I AM”).  As the Arabic Qayyūm can be evocative of God’s existence through His own Self so the `I am that I am’ has similar implications.

It was perhaps during the reign of Rameses II (13th century B.C.E.) that Moses, a Hebrew with an Egyptian name, "fled from Pharoah and stayed in the land of Midian" (Exodus 2:15) where he married into the family and kept the flock of Jethro the "priest of Midian."  According to Exodus 3:1ff., it was while Moses was working as a shepherd that he encountered God and was called to "bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt":

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, "I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here am I." Then he said, "Do not come near; put off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." And he said, "I am the God ( `Elōhîm  Heb.  אלוהים) of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (Exodus 3:1-6).

While in Exodus 3:2, it is an "angel of the Lord" (mal'akh YHWH) or messenger of YHWH which appeared to Moses in a flame of fire of a burning bush, Exodus 3:4 implies that it was יהוה  YHWH ("the Lord") who spoke directly to Moses. As the narrative unfolds, the mysterious angel is seen to represent the God, (ha-) `elōhîm  Heb אלוהים) who subsequently identifies himself as YHWH (Exod.3:15.) This apparent confusion between God and his messengers has been thought to be expressive of the mystery of the divine transcendence. Moses had a visually real though indirect, encounter with his Lord indirectly perceived through His messenger in the ethereal formlessness of a flame of fire set in a burning bush which "was not consumed."

The text of Exodus 3:1-6, cited above is followed by an account of the commission of Moses (3:7-12) and by verses expressive of the revelation of the divine Name:

Then Moses said to God ('elohim),  "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them,  `The God ('elohim) of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?'"  God ('elohim) said to Moses, אהיה אשר אהיה (= 'ehyeh 'asher 'ehyeh)"  "I AM WHO I AM" And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, `I AM ('ehyeh) has sent me to you.'"

God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, `The LORD יהוה (YHWH) the God ('elohim) of your fathers, the God ('elohim) of Abraham, the God ('elohim) of Isaac and the God ('elohim) of Jacob, has sent me to you':  this is my name (lit. my memorial)  for ever and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations (lit.,  for generation of generation)" (Exodus 3:13-15)

Here Moses requests that God disclose His name to the end that his mission to the Israelites will be successful. From the burning bush, the God ('elohim) worshipped by Moses' ancestors first informs Moses that He is, אהיה אשר אהיה = 'ehyeh 'asher 'ehyeh   (trans. = ) "I AM WHO I AM"  or  perhaps,  "I AM THAT [IS WHO] I AM,"   "I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE" or "I CAUSE TO BE WHATEVER I CAUSE TO BE". 

This elusive Hebrew phrase אהיה אשר אהיה may anticipate and throws light on the meaning of the subsequently disclosed name יהיה = YHWH. The three occurences of אהיה  "I AM" here and the most sacred name  יהיה = YHWH   most likely derive from the same Hebrew verbal root (perhaps H-W-Y [H-W-H]  הוה meaning "to be/come to pass"), although there is no consensus exists about this matter. The etymological verbal form in this connection may not be the simple form (qal) but the Hebrew causitive hiphil = "H-Stem".  On the basis of diverse etymologies the implication of  the  אהיה אשר אהיה  may thus be that God is One who acts in sovereign freedom, One Who is Self-Existent, One who makes Himself known in whatever way He chooses or, among other possibilities, One Who sustains existence, or Who cannot be properly known or adequately named.

A Note on the Tetragrammaton, Heb. יהיה = YHWH.

Occurring more than 6,000 times in the HB the tetragrammaton יהיה = YHWH is the personal Name which the Deity  אלוהים  (`elōhîm  x 2,570 sing. + pl.) "the God" of the Israelite forefathers disclosed to Moses on Sinai. The God ('elohim) worshipped by the patriarchs also gives a more direct reply to Moses' question about His name. He declares Himself to be  יהיה = YHWH the tetragrammaton (Greek, "having four letters"). The four Hebrew consonants that make up the name of God YHWH (yhwh) remain of uncertain pronunciation and meaning. Its exact meaning continues to be debated among biblical scholars and its accepted pronunciation was lost hundreds of years ago, during the Middle Ages.

According to Freedman's article YHWH in the 5th volume of  TDOT "The problems associated with the Tetragrammaton are manifold and all somewhat technical" (Freeman, TDOT V:500). Such technical matters cannot be discussed in detail here though it can be noted that pronunciations of the tetragrammaton proposed by modern scholars include, YeH H , YeHôáH, YaHôH, and YaHúH  as well of course as the now quite well-known yaHWeH = Yahweh, commonly used,  for example, in the Jerusalem Bible. (Ecole BibliqueJerusalem,1 vol ed.1951; Eng. 1972; rev. 1966, 73+ [NJB Eng.]1985).

A basically erroneous vocalization of  YHWH  is expressed by the artificial and impossible hybrid transliteration YeōWāH which becomes "Jehovah" in English.   This word was the  invention of  Renaissance Christians who ignored or misunderstood the Masoretic convention of combining of the consonants of YHWH with the vowels of the substitute reading 'adônai (Hebrew, "Lord"), hence  XXXX (also אלוהים `elōhîm). During the past century or more Biblical and other scholars have striven to recover the pronunciation of YHWH. Today the form yahweh  is most widely accepted. For 2,000 years or more, however, the very attempt to pronounce the tetragrammaton was something widely viewed, at least in "orthodox" Jewish circles, as something sacrilegious or spiritually dangerous.

At some stage after the Babylonian exile, from the late Second Temple period (6thcent BCE – Zerubbabel-> 70 CE), Jews held back from publicly uttering this holy name. The name יהיה = YHWH came to be regarded as "unspeakably holy and therefore unsuitable for use in public reading, although it continued to be used privately" (Freeman, TDOT V: 500). Ancient mss.  of the Hebrew Bible or texts therein, including certain of the Dead Sea Scrolls, sometimes refrain from registering the 4 Hebrew Letters constituting יהיה  the tetragrammaton by  abbreviating it or obscuring  its  pronunciation by writing its 4 unvoweled letters in the archaic Hebrew script (cf. 4Q139);  

This reading of the divine name is probably much older than the MT. In some (though by no means all) of the Dead Sea scrolls, the use of the archaic script to write the name may indicate a special pronunciation. In 4Q139, two dots before the name YHWH may serve the same function

It is important to note in this connection that in a talismanic Prayer attributed to the 5th Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir in which the   אהיה אשר אהיה  is transliterated into Arabic:

O Living One (al-hayy), O Self-Subsisting (qayyum), O Judge (dayyan), O Judge (dayyan)!

O Ihya ashar Ihya (= Ehyeh ashar Ehyeh = אהיה    = אהיה אשר   "I am that I am") 

I, in very truth, supplicate Thee through these Names, those Pure, Purifying, that Thou should repudiate whatsover [might be] against [its] bearer.

There exists an important scriptural Tablet of Baha'-Allah to a certain Jinab-i Khalil on the Prophetic Commission of Moses expounding the Greatest Name in the light of Biblical texts such as those cited above.

"When the Divine Call was ended and the Mighty, Hidden Letters came to be in the threefold form in the quadratic Temple [= `Ali + Husayn] and the Innermost Mystery and Secreted Treasure was made manifest and eight Illumined Letters bore up the Heavenly Throne then was the Temple of the Greatest Name perfected and sealed with a sacred, guarded Seal. Blessed be he who gazes upon the Seal of the Beloved One and becomes aware of that which bath been decreed in it of the Mysteries deposited in the treasuries of the Books of old on the part of One All-Knowing, All-Wise. "

For details see further on the Website : 

[6] Sixthly   : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being

Yā Dhā’l-Jalāl wa’l-Ikrām (“O Lord of Majesty and Generosity [Honor]!”).

See Q. and 99 Names No. 85 Ghazālī, Ninety-Nine, 1992: 140. ADD.

[7] Seventhly : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [The phrase]

“O Our God  (Yā ilāh-nā) and God of everything ( wa-āllāha kulli shay’ in), a God Single-Unique (ilāh an wāhid an), No God is there save Thee! (lā ilāha ilā anta).” These four statements are mentioned by al-Tabrīzī [Tabarsī ]in his Majma` al-Bayān.

ADD

[8] Eightly  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [The phrase]

“He, verily, is God, [and] the Living One, [and] the Self-Subsisting” See Q.

[9] Ninthly : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] [by Imam Ja`far] al-Ṣādiq

“as being the basmala”.

[10] Tenthly  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [The phrases],

 Yā Badī` al-samawāt wa’l-arḍ ( O Generator of the heavns and of the earth!), Yā Dhā’l-Jalāl wa’l-Ikrām (“O Lord of Majesty and Generosity [Honor]!”).

(cf. prefixed to No. 6 above which is the second half here only).

[11] Eleventh :  [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] by the Prophet [Muhammad] as being,

“within three verses that occur towards the end of the Sūrat al-ḥashr (“The Surah of the Assembling” Q. 59 : 22-24)”.

The last three verses of this Sūrat al-ashr read as follows:

Q. 59:22 =

 

 

 

"He is God Who, no God is there except Him. He is aware of what is Hidden (al-ghayb) and what is Manifest (al-shahada). He is the Merciful (al-rahman), the Compassionate (al-rahim)."

Q. 59:23 = 

 

 

 

"He is God Who, no God is there except Him. The King (al-Malik), the Sanctified (al-quddus), the  Stabilizer  (al-salam), the Faithful  (al-mu`min), the Help in Peril (al-muhaymīn), the Mighty (al-`Aziz) the All-Compelling (al-jabbar), the Magnificent (al-mutakabir). Praise be God above whatsoever they falsely supopose."

Q. 59:24 =   

"He is God , The Creator (al-khāliq), the Originator (al-bāri') Who, no God is there except Him. The King (al-Malik), the Fashioner (al-musawwir),  unto Him belong the Most Beautiful Names (al-asma' al-husna) the  Stabilizer  (al-salam), the Faithful  (al-mu`min), the Help in Peril (al-muhaymīn). All render Him glorification whether they are in the heavens or upon the earth. And He is the Mighty (al-`Aziz) the Wise (al-hakim)."

Within these 3 verses there are  perhaps twenty-two (four + ten + eight = 22 ) possibile choices for the Mightiest Name of God, ranging from the personal name of God =Allah to various divine attributes such as the Wise (al-hakim). The eight of so occurences of هُوَ  huwa    in these three verses should also be noted.

[12] Twelfth  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] by the Prophet [Muhammad] as being

“in the verse of Sovereignty [Dominion] (āyat al-mulk)”.

قل اللهم مالك الملك تؤتي الملك من تشاء وتنزع الملك ممن تشاء

"Say: O my God! Ruler of the Kingdom [Possessor of Sovereignty] (mālik al-mulk)! Thou bestowest al-mulk (sovereignty) upon whomsoever Thou willeth and Thou removeth al-mulk (sovereignty) from whomsoever Thou desireth" (Q. 3:26a).

The word al-Mulk = `The Kingdom'; `Dominion'; `Sovereignty' ; `Rule...' occurs about 67 times in the Qur'an and is accounted one of the al-asma' al-husna (Most Beautiful Names of God) in the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad as transmitted by Abu Huraya as Number [XX]. Note also that Qur'an 67 is the Sūrat al-Mulk which commences as follows:

 

 

See further Notes on the (1) Sūrat al-Mulk (The Sura of the Dominion"), Qayyum al-asma' 1.

[13] Thirteen  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] by the Prophet [Muhammad] as being

 “in three sūrahs [of the Qur’ān] :

  • [1] in Sūrat al-baqara (`The Sūrah of the Cow, = Q.2 ), the āyat al-kursī (“the Throne Verse” = Q. 2:255[6]) [ =
  • [2] in the [Surat] Āl `Imrān (“The Family of Imrān” = Q. 3) “God, no God is there except Him, al-Ḥayy = “the  Living One, al-Qayyūm = “the Self-Subsisting”) [See Q. 3: 2).
  • And [3] in [Sūrat] Ṭā’-Hā’  (“T”-“H” Q. 20)  “[On that Day.. v. 108] Faces shall turn away [ be humbled]  from al-Ḥayy = (“the  Living One), al-Qayyūm (“the Self-Subsisting”) [See Q. 20: 111].

The well-known Sunnī Qur’ān commentator Qaḍī ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿUmar Nāṣir al-Dīn  al-Bayḍāwī, (d. c. 700/1300) in his widely known and respected Sunnī Qur’ān commentary entitled Anwār al-tanzīl wa-asrār al-ta`wīl  ("The Lights of the Revelation and the mysteries of the Exegesis") states in the course of commentating on Q. 3: XX that

[14] Fourteen  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is mentioned by Muhammad [ibn Ismā’īl] al-Bukhārī [d. 256/870] in his Kitāb al-tadhyīl (“Book of the Appendix”) [relayed] from him [The Prophet Muhammad] that it is in His [God’s] saying (exalted be He), “    (Q. ? 163) and His saying, “God, no God is there save Him, al-Ḥayy (the Living), the Qayyūm (“the Self-Subsisting”)” (Q. 3:2?).

[15] Fifteen  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being

“Thou art God! No God is there except Him, the Merciful, the Compassionate  (al-Raḥman al-Rahīm)’.

[16] Sixteen : The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name) is

“[He is] Our Lord” (rabbunā). Such was transmitted by [The sixth Imam Ja`far] al-Ṣādiq (d. c. 148/765).

See Fn.

[17] Seventeen  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is mentioned by [Muhammad ibn Salama ibn Ja`far ibn `Alī] al-Quḍā`ī [al-Miṣrī] (d. 454/1062) in his book, Kitab Dustūr ma`alim al-ḥikam [wa-ma'thūr makārim al-shiyam : min kalām Amīr al-Mu'minīn ʻAlī Ibn-Abī-Ṭālib] [relayed] from [Imam] `Alī (d. 40/661) – peace be upon him— [stating that] `It is at the beginning of the Sūrat al-Ḥadīd (“Surah of Iron”, Q. 57) unto where He [God] said [in the Qur’ān], “And He is aware of the thoughts in the breasts [of humankind]” (wa huwa alīm bi-dhāt al-ṣudūr) (= Q. 57:6b)

Note : al-Quḍā`ī = Muhammad ibn Salāma ibn Ja`far ibn `Alī al-Quḍā`ī al-Miṣrī (d. 454/1062)  was the author of a number of Arabic works including:

  • [Kitab] Dustūr maʻālim al-ḥikam wa-ma'thūr makārim al-shiyam : min kalām Amīr al-Mu'minīn ʻAlī Ibn-Abī-Ṭālib. ed. Ḥasan al-Samāḥī Suwaidān,  Damascus : Dār al-Qalam,  2003.

Surat al- Ḥadīd  (Q. 57) verses 1-6.

[Q. 57:1]

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمـٰنِ الرَّحِيم

“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.”

[Q. 57:2]  

   سَبَّحَ لِلّٰهِ مَا فِىْ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضِ‌ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيْزُ الْحَكِيْمُ

“Whatever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah; and He is the Mighty, the Wise.”

[Q. 57:3] 

لَهٗ مُلْكُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضِ‌ يُحْىٖ وَيُمِيْتُ‌ وَهُوَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيْرٌ ‏

His is the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth. He gives life and He causes death. And He has power over all things.”

 [Q. 57:4]

 

هُوَ الْاَوَّلُ وَالْاٰخِرُ وَالظَّاهِرُ وَالْبَاطِنُ‌  وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيْمٌ‏

“He is the First (al-awwāl) and the Last (al-akhir), and the Manifest (al-ẓāhir) and the Hidden (al-bāṭin), and He knows all things”.

[Q. 57:5]

 

 هُوَ الَّذِىْ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضَ فِىْ سِتَّةِ اَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوٰى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِىْ الْاَرْضِ وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَنْزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيْهَاؕ وَهُوَ مَعَكُمْ اَيْنَ مَا كُنْتُمْ‌ؕ وَاللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ بَصِيْرٌ‏

“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then He settled Himself upon the Throne. He knows what enters into the earth and what emerges from it, and what descends from heaven and what goes up into it. And He is with you wherever you may be. And God sees all that you do.”

[Q. 57:6] 

لَهٗ مُلْكُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالْاَرْضِ‌ؕ وَاِلَى اللّٰهِ تُرْجَعُ الْاُمُوْرُ

“Unto Him belongs the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth and unto God all affairs do return”. 

[the Mightiest Name of God is also found]  at the end of the سورة الحشر‎ Sūrat al-Ḥashr (Surah of the Assembling / Rounding Up, Q. 59)  from where He says, “If We sent down this Recitation [Qur’ān]” (Q. 59: 21a) [and the rest of] the Surah [al- Ḥashr] (=Q. 29: 21-24) :

Surat al- Ḥashr  (Q. 59) verses 21-24.:

لَوْ أَنزَلْنَا هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ عَلَى جَبَلٍ لَّرَأَيْتَهُ خَاشِعًا مُّتَصَدِّعًا مِّنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ وَتِلْكَ الأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

  • [21]. Had We sent down this recitation [Qur'an] on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rending asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ

  • [22]. He is God, there is no God except Him (La ilāha ila huwa), the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen (open). He is the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي لا إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ السَّلامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

  • [23]. He is God (Allāh) [MBN 1]. No God is there save Him (Lā ilāha illā Huwa), the King (al-Mālik [MBN 4], the Holy One (al-Quddūs) [MBN 5], the Flawless (al-Salām) [MBN 6], the Faithful (al-Mu`min) [MBN 7], the Help in Peril (al-Muhaymin) [MBN 8] the Mighty (al-`Azīz) [MBN 9], Omnipotent (al-Jabbār) [MBN 10], the Supreme (al-Mutakabbīr) [MBN 11]. Glory  be to God! above whatsoever they associate with Him (subḥān Allāh `ammā yushrikūn).

There are eight (or nine including Allāh [MBN 1] consecutive Names among the al-asmā’ al-ḥusnā (`Most Beautiful Names’ found in this verse (Nos. 4-11).

هُوَ اللَّهُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ لَهُ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

  • [24]. He is Allah, the Creator (al-Bārī) [MBN 13], the Fashioner (al-Muṣawwar) [= MBN 14].  To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names (al-asmā’ al-ḥusnā). All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. And He is the Mighty (al-`Azīz) [=MBN 9], the Wise (al-Ḥakīm) [MBN 47].

Then raise up your hand(s) and say: `Yā man Huwa (O Thou who art He!). Wherefore do I, supplicate Thee by the truth of these Names that Thou bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad   and  

[18] Eighteen  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [the phrase]

Yā arḥam al-raḥimīn  (“O Most Merciful of the Merciful ones!”).  

[19] Nineteen  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being

“He, verily, no God is there except Thee! Praised be unto Thee! I myself am among the evildoers [tyrannical] (al-ẓālimīn)”. 

These lines are non-qur’anic though they are made up of qur’anic phrases drawn from various Qur’ān texts and vocabulary. This identification might in part be rooted in an attempt to dissuade such as desire to use the power of the Mightiest Name for destructive reasons (see also No. 20 below).

[20] Twenty  : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by the words]

“He is indeed the best of the Inheritors (al-wārithīn)” (=?? Qur’ān 21: 89). Wārith is one of the Divine Attributes reflected once in the plural in Q. 21: 89. This identification might be rooted in an attempt to dissuade such as desire to use the power of the Mightiest Name to acquire things which are best viewed as belonging to God, the “Best of Inheritors”.

[21] Twenty one : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by the words]

“Sufficient for us is God and [He is] the best Trustee [Guardian] (al-wakīl)” (= Q. 3:173b).

The occurrence of the word Allāh here would seem to be equated with the Mightiest Name.

[22] Twenty two : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by Name-Attribute]

 

“The Near One” (al-Qarīb).

 [23] Twenty three : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by the Name-Attribute],

“The  Loving” (al-Wahhāb).

 [24] Twenty four : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by Name-Attribute],

“The Forgiver” (al-Ghaffār).

 [25] Twenty five : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by the words],

“The Hearer of the Supplication” (samī` al-du`ā’).

 [26] Twenty six : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by the words],

 

The Hearer (al-samī`), the All-Knowing (al-`alīm).

 

[27] Twenty seven : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by the words],

 

“The  Loving” (al-wadūd) Possessor of the Glorioius Throne (dhū al-`arsh al-majīd), the One Who Acts according to whatsoever He desires.

 

[28] Twenty eight : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed by the words],

 

“Put thy trust in the Living One (al-ayy), the Undying [Who dieth not].”

This identification is an exact citation of the initial, opening half of Q. 25: 58a (50a). The imperative  of the vth form of the root w-k-l, tawakkal (to put one’s trust in [God], occurs ten further times in the Qur’ān (Kassis, Concordance, 1273). The above qur’ānic citation is closely paralleled at Q. 26: 217 though two different Divine Attributes are used, “Put thy trust in the All-Mighty (al-`Azīz), the All-Compassionate (al-Raḥīm)”.

 [29] Twenty nine : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being  

 

It lies between the two Jalāls in the [Surat]  al-An`ām (“The Surah of Cattle” = Q. 4).

 [30] Thirty: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being  

 

“Within  the a-wa -Mīm Surahs”. These Sūrahs are

[31] Thirty one : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

Yā-Sin.

These two isolated letters are prefixed to  Q.

[32] Thirty two : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

“In what is between the Ḥā-Mīm [Surahs] and the Yā-Sin [Surah]”.

 [33] Thirty three : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

This identification continues to read:

“It is indicated in the spelled out [isolated Arabic] letters [of the alphabet] (urūf al-tahjī) at the openings of the Surahs of the Qur’ān. These [isolated letters] are assembled together in your [human] speech when you correctly, repeatedly pronounce them in an appropriate manner (irat al-aqq). We reckon them and number them [the qur’ānic isolated letters] as having a total [abjad value] of six hundred and ninety three”.  

 A tradition ascribed to Imam `Alī reads as follows,

 “Everything has an attribute [token-sign] (ifat) and the attribute of the Qur’ān is the [isolated Arabic] letters [of the alphabet] (ḥurūf al-tahjī) [at the openings of the Surahs of the Qur’ān]. Sha`bī [then] stated, ‘In every [sacred] Book God there is a mystery [secret] (sirr). His mystery in the Qur’ān is the [isolated Arabic] letters [of the alphabet] (ḥurūf al-tahjī) [at the openings of the Surahs of the Qur’ān]. And from Sa`īd ibn Jabīr [it is related], `They are the Most Beautiful Names [of God] (asma’ Allāh al-usna) when separated [isolated things] (`cut off’, maqṭū`at). If the people knew their Author [`Composer’, `Originator’] (tā`līf) [= God] they would know the `Mightiest Name’ (al-ism al-a`am). He says, “A-L-R” :  -M” : “N”  which is [spells out] al-Raman (the Compassionate) except that we are conscious of the fact that we have connected them [the isolated letters]. Thus whoso is aware that the collection [of letters] is linked up is aware of the `Mightiest Name’ (al-ism al-a`am) which, when God is supplicated therewith will Him to respond. Thus says [Shaykh] al-abarsī  [=Tabrīzī] in his Majma` [al-Bayān]” (cited in Kaf`amī, al-Mibāḥ,  1424/2003, p. 411 fn. 1).

 [34] Thirty four : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

“the amplification (al-mutakabbir) of its [alphabetical] substance (kūn) in line with the collective numerical value of the bases of all of the luminous letters (al-urūf al-nurāniyya) relative to their isolatedness (al-muqaṭṭa`a) which we have already mentioned as having a [collective abjad numerical] value of six hundred and ninety three” (see No. 33 above).

 

[35] Thirty five : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] from Imam [Ja`far] al-Ṣādiq (d. XXX/740) as being [expressed in], his statement to some of his companions when they asked `Have I not taught  you the al-ism al-a`am (Mightiest Name [ of God])?’. They said, `Yes indeed!’. He said, `[Then] Recite the amd [Q.1] and the Tawḥīd [= `There is no God save God’] and the `Throne verse’ (āyat al-kursī) [=Q. 2:256] and of the Qadar (Destiny) [?] Then face the Qibla [in Mecca] and supplicate according to what you desire’ Thus mentioned Muhammad ibn al-Ḥasan ibn Farrūkh al-Ṣaffār [Add Here]  in his book Faḍl al-Du`ā (“The Bounty of Supplication”).

 [36] Thirty six : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

From [Imam Ja`far] al-Ṣādiq (d. c. XXX/740) “It is in the Fātia (Opening Sūrah) of the Book (Q.1). If you recite this over the dead seventy times, then you will thereby have restored the soul (al-rūḥ)! Such is not such an astonishing thing (`ajab an).  This was mentioned by  Shaykh al-Mufi  ( ADD) his book al-Tabṣira  (ADD)

ADD

[37] Thirty seven : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in the tradition] transmitted by [Imam `Alī] al-Riḍā’ (d. XXX/XXXX) [or in another mss. from Imam Ja`far al-Ṣādiq, stating that]

“Whomsoever [recites] the basmala (Bismala al-Rahman al-Raḥīm) and the awlaqa  (= lā awla wa lā qūwata ilā bi-llāh ‘There is neither strength nor power save in God’) 100 times after the Dawn Prayer (alat al-Fajr) would be closer to the Mightiest Name of God (ism Allāh al-a`am) than the black of the eye is to its white. There within it the Mightiest Name of God (ism Allāh al-a`am).

 [38] Thirty eight : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],  “in this Du`ā (Supplication] :

“O My God! Thou art God. No God is there except Thou! O Source [Master] of Night Ascents and Power (yā dā al-ma`ārij wa’l-quwa). I ask Thee by Bismillāh al-Raman al-Raḥīm and by that which Thou sent down on the Night of Destiny [Power] (laylat al-qadr) that Thou establish for me by Thy command release from suffering [repose comfort] (faraj an) and freedom from difficulty (makhraj an). And I ask Thee that Thou bestow blessing upon Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad and that Thou forgive me my sins and accept my repentance O Most Merciful of the Merciful Ones (aram al-raḥimīn).

 This is mentioned by the author of the book al-Fawā’id al-Jaliyya

 [39] Thirty nine : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in], “the Kitāb al-Nahy  (“ Book of Proscription) specifiying `Supplications of the Prophet [Muhammad]’ as relayed by Abī Muhammad aramī from the Prophet. [More specifically ] It is contained in this supplication:

“O My God! I do indeed supplicate Thee by virtue of the fact that With Thee is the Praise! No God is there save Thee. O Bountiful One (mannān)! O  Regenerator (badī`) of the heavens and of the earth! O  Possessor of Glory and Nobility (dhā’l-jalāl wa’l-ikrām)!

[40] Forty : [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

“From the Kitāb al-Taḥṣīl [ ADD] as related from the Prophet [Muhammad] it [the Mightiest Name] is in this Supplication (al-du`ā):

“O my God! I beseech Thee since Thou verily art Thou Who art God! No God is there except Thee, the One (al-aad) All-Enduring [Perpetual] (al-amad)!

“He begetteth not; neither is He begotten” [=Q. 112:X].

For Him there is no one [who is] equal (kufū an  aad)

 [41] Forty one: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 

 [42] Forty two: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [43] Forty three: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [44] Forty four: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [45] Forty five: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [46] Forty six: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [47] Forty seven: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [48] Forty eight [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [49] Forty nine: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [50] Fifty: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 

 [51] Fifty one: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [52] Fifty twoe: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [53] Fifty three: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [54] Fifty four: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [55] Fifty  five: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [56] Fifty six: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [57] Fifty seven: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [58] Fifty eight: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [59] Fifty nine: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 

 [601] Sixty one: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 

 

 

 [61] Sixty one: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in],

 

 [62] Sixtytwo: [The al-ism al-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name)] is [specified] as being [expressed in] ...