AL-GHAZALI ON THE NINETY-NINE BEAUTIFUL NAMES OF GOD – Book Sample
INTRODUCTION – AL-GHAZALI ON THE NINETY-NINE BEAUTIFUL NAMES OF GOD
Muslims and students of it is common knowledge that the beads of the Muslim rosary ninety-nine in number and that individual adherent of the Islamic faith regularly uses them in his worship life.
As he fingers the individual bead, he quietly and reverently repeats the ninety-nine names of God that are particularly familiar to him. Perhaps it was in this manner that the non-Muslim world drew the conclusion that the names by the God of Islam is known are only ninety-nine in number thus commonly hears the expression, “The ninety-nine names of God.” But this is not really the full truth of the matter.
In the commentary entitled Tafsir al-jalalayn of the (The commentary of the two Writers the authors add to their mention of the expression “the beautiful names” the remark are ninety-nine in number.” Thus one can conclude that this particular number is not a European invention. However, further proves quite conclusively that the number ninety-nine is not a rigid one. The biographical dictionary of Muhamad ibn al-Nawawi an Arabic writer of malay origin who lived in Meca during the latter part of eight eighteenth century, one finds the following statement of the sects have asserted, ‘Unto God maybe magnified – (belong) a thousand names. A line beyond this one reads. “But as for the of God -may …
An absolute must read. What I liked most about Ghazali’s summary and meanings of the 99 names of God is that he relates each name’s relation to man.
For instance with the name “Al-Muhaymin (The Guardian)” means One who tends to His creatures with regard to their actions, their sustenance, and the time of their death. He tends to them by His cognizance, His possession, His protection and His perfection of Power over all.
Then he goes on to explain man’s share in this name “is being the guardian over his heart, and contemplating and reflecting on one’s true self so that he may take possession of his heart and reform it for the better. Once he cleanses his heart and reforms it, he becomes the ‘guardian’ in relation to his heart”
Also there are quite a few analogies and short stories, quotes from the wise of the past etc, that are mentioned throughout the book that really makes it one helluva page turner. I highly recommend this book.
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