The Greatest Name and the 99 Names of God:
compiled by Larry D. Curtis
1. The Greatest Name, as rendered in Arabic calligraphy
Alláh-u-Abhá rendered in calligraphy
2. Compilation on the Greatest Name
compiled by Larry Curtis
"He also wishes me to inform you that the symbol of the Greatest Name represents an invocation which can be translated either as `O Glory of Glories' or `O Glory of the All-Glorious'. The word Glory used in this connection is a translation of the Arabic term `Bahá, the name of Bahá'u'lláh."
— Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p.33
Concerning the short obligatory Prayer: the Guardian does not wish to define these things at present; the time will come for it in future. The friends need not be too strict about it at present. The Greatest Name is Alláh-u-Abhá.
— Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p. 369
Recite the Greatest Name at every morn, and turn thou unto the Kingdom of Abhá, until thou mayest apprehend my mysteries.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 674
Concerning the Greatest Name; this term refers both to "Alláh-u-Abhá" and to "Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá". The first is a form of Bahá'í greeting and should be used, while the other is an invocation, meaning "O Thou Glory of Glories!" These two words are both referred to as the Greatest Name.
— Shoghi Effendi, Letters to Australia and New Zealand, p.16
"Nine-Pointed Star for Headstone: Approve star for graves."
(NOTE: The Guardian considered the Greatest Name too sacred for use on tombstones.)
— Shoghi Effendi, Citadel of Faith, p.132 [October 22, 1954]
. It should be made clear to every one reading those extracts that by the phrase "the Tongue of the Ancient" no one else is meant but God, and that the term “the Greatest Name” is an obvious reference to Bahá'u'lláh, and that "the Covenant" referred to is not the specific Covenant of which Bahá'u'lláh is the immediate Author and `Abdu'l-Bahá the Center but that general Covenant which, as inculcated by the Bahá'í teaching, God Himself invariably establishes with mankind when He inaugurates a new Dispensation. "The Tongue" that "gives," as stated in those extracts, the "glad-tidings" is none other than the Voice of God referring to Bahá'u'lláh, and not Bahá'u'lláh referring to `Abdu'l-Bahá.
— Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 137
Regarding the blessed word, the Greatest Name: Its writing or spelling is according to its pronunciation (i.e., it is spelled as it is pronounced) in the Persian language. Bahá is correct; Beha is incorrect. However this question must not cause inharmony and grief among the friends. This truth shall become manifest. Should ye attribute a mistake to a person, it will be a cause of offense and grief to him - how much greater would this be if it is attributed to a number of people! How often it hath occurred that a slight difference hath caused a great dissension and hath been made a reason for division. Now, you write Bahá'u'lláh, but do not object to any person. All will eventually follow the correct spelling.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 20-21
Regarding thy presence, at this time, in this Brilliant Spot — it is not in accord with the wisdom revealed in the Book. But I pray God to make thee a manifestation of His hidden favors, so that thou be with me in His Sublime Kingdom. We send for thee and thy revered wife, stones of the Greatest Name. [Ring Stones]
O thou who art advancing unto God!
Verily I pray to God to make thee and thy revered husband — under the shadow of His Greatest Name — confirmed in all conditions, aided in the service of the Cause of God with a confirmation on the part of the Merciful Lord.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 48
The nineteen-day fast is a duty to be observed by all. All should abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. This fast is conducive to the spiritual development of the individual. The Greatest Name should be read every day.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 57
O thou who art attracted to the Kingdom of God! ....
The giving .... the ring of the Greatest Name is very beautiful. The ring should be worn on the small finger of the right hand.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 178
As to the manifestation of the Greatest Name (Bahá'u'lláh): This was the Divine Manifestation which appeared upon the earthly world. This is He whom God promised in all His Books and Scriptures, such as the Bible, the gospels and the Koran. All of these Books indicate this fact, and the least doubt cannot possibly occur to the minds concerning this clear fact, as is recorded in detail in the heavenly Books, especially in the brilliant and holy Tablets. But notwithstanding this fact, if there is anyone who hesitates therein, do not dispute with him, nay rather prove this to him with all joy and fragrance, lest he may be obstinately compelled to rebellion.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 613-614
O maid-servants of God! Continue in healing hearts and bodies and seek healing for sick persons by turning unto the Supreme Kingdom and by setting the heart upon obtaining healing through the power of the Greatest Name and by the spirit of the love of God.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 629
O ye friends of God!
Do ye know in what cycle ye are created and in what age ye exist? This is the age of the Blessed Perfection and this is the time of the Greatest Name! This is the century of the Manifestation, the age of the Sun of the Horizons and the beautiful springtime of His Holiness the Eternal One!
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 641
Be thou a breath of life, a banner of salvation and a manifest sign in this great world, so that thou mayest become a lamp of reconciliation and peace, a banner of love and attraction, a star of guidance among mankind, (and be thou) humble, meek and a servant to the maid-servants of the Merciful One. Unfurl the sail of spirit on the ship of guidance and hoist the banner of piety in those regions, so that the everlasting light may shine forth upon all parts.
Verily, I am cognizant of the sincerity of thine intention and the purity of thine heart. Therefore, I address thee with this great address, so that thou mayest impart the "Greatest Name" to whomsoever thou findest prepared for entering the Kingdom of God.
We have sent letters for the names which were written in thy letter. We have also sent [stones of the] Greatest Name and roses which express the redness of my blood which I beg of God to be shed in the path of God.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 712
Verily existence is a parched ground and the bounty of the Kingdom is a copious rain. The ground of existence shall surely be developed into myrtles of the wisdom of God, for the fragrances of holiness have encompassed the earth, east and west, the glad-tidings of God have successively come from the Kingdom of heaven and the Sun of Truth hath shone forth to all regions with the greatest effulgence. Impart thou the Greatest Name to the ears, so that all may call out among nations: "O Thou Bahá of the world! O Thou Sun of Pre-existence!" Truly, I say unto thee, this blessed Name is the spirit of life, the deliverer from death, the word of salvation and of manifest signs! Thou shalt surely hear from all parts the cry, "Ya Bahá El-Abhá!" reaching to the Supreme Concourse.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 713
The House of Justice calls upon the members of the community of the Greatest Name, young and old, men and women alike, to strive to develop and offer to humanity a new model of scholarly activity along the lines set out in this compilation, animated by the spirit of inquiry into the limitless meaning of the Divine Teachings. This scholarly endeavour should be characterized by the welcome it offers to all who wish to be involved in it, each in his or her own way, by mutual encouragement and cöoperation among its participants, and by the respect accorded to distinguished accomplishment and outstanding achievement. The spirit and approach should be far removed from the arrogance, contention, and exclusiveness which have too often sullied the name of scholarship in the wider society, and which have created barriers to the sound development of this worthy pursuit.
Compilation on Scholarship, p. Opening letter from The Universal House of Justice
`Abdu'l-Bahá: Yes! This is the day of Bahá'u'lláh, the age of the Blessed Perfection, the cycle of the Greatest Name. If you do not smile now, for what time will you await and what greater happiness could you expect? This is the springtime of manifestation. The vernal shower has descended from the cloud of divine mercy; the life-giving breeze of the Holy Spirit is wafting the perfume of blossoms. From field and meadow rises a fragrant breath of thanksgiving like pure incense ascending to the throne of God. The world has become a new world; souls are quickened, spirits renewed, refreshed. Truly it is a time for happiness.
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.210
Know that the attributes of perfection, the splendor of the divine bounties, and the lights of inspiration are visible and evident in all the Holy Manifestations; but the glorious Word of God, Christ, and the Greatest Name, Bahá'u'lláh, are manifestations and evidences which are beyond imagination, for They possess all the perfections of the former Manifestations; and more than that, They possess some perfections which make the other Manifestations dependent upon Them. So all the Prophets of Israel were centers of inspiration; Christ also was a receiver of inspiration, but what a difference between the inspiration of the Word of God and the revelations of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Elijah!
— `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 149-150
In these and other ways the community of the Greatest Name will endeavour to blazon the Name of Bahá'u'lláh across the globe, to make it a known eminence in the consciousness of peoples everywhere.
— The Universal House of Justice, Ridván 1991
37. We rejoiced greatly to learn of the unity among the friends, their staunchness, their ardour, and the fact that they have established a Spiritual Assembly. It is clear that the stronger grow the bonds of yearning love among the believers, and the fiercer its fire, the more will they find themselves embraced by the bounties of the Ancient of Days, and receiving the continuous confirmations of the Greatest Name. Thus will the Assemblies of the friends become reflections of the gardens of the Concourse on High, mirroring forth the radiance of the Abhá Kingdom.
— Bahá'í World Centre, Bahíyyih Khánum, p. 143-144
From the forward of Ninety-Nine Names of Alláh
by Shems Friedlander (Harper & Row, Publishers Inc., 1978):
He is Alláh, there is no God but Him,
Alláh has said ask from Me through mentioning My names. (Hadith Qudsi)
Religious scholars have related that Alláh has three thousand Names.
- One thousand are only known by angels,
- 1,000 known only by prophets,
- 300 are in the Torah (Old Testament),
- 300 are in Zabur (Psalms of David),
- 300 are in the New Testament,
- and 99 are in the Qur'an.
- This makes 2,999 Names.
- One Name which has been hidden by Alláh is called Ism Alláh al–a'zam: The Greatest Name of Alláh.
All of Alláh's Names are great, but since He has hidden this particular Name it is referred to as The Greatest Name. The Name is mentioned in the Qur'an as this Hadith states:
Whoever reads the Qur'an will have read the Greatest Name probably without knowing it.
Some of the companions of the Prophet (Muhammad), may the peace and blessings of Alláh be upon him, knew the Name. Ali KarramAlláhu Wachah (the fourth caliph), may Alláh exalt him, was one who knew.
Alláh has hidden certain things out of His mercy. He has hidden the most righteous people in His eyes (Avliya). so people should respect one another indiscriminately. He has hidden the night of Kadir (the holy night in which (the) Qur'an began to be revealed), and the sura of Kadir (97th chapter) mentions that the night of Kadir is better than 1,000 months. According to Hadis, this night is usually regarded as being the 27th night of Ramadhan. It is hidden so people should act properly and obey His orders throughout Ramadhan.
He has hidden His consent so people will always do good deeds. He has hidden His Greatest Name in the Qur'an so people will read the entire Qur'an.
One should memorize the 99 Names for one's own benefit. However, learning the Names by heart is not the aim. The aim is to find the One who is Named.
The Names of Alláh are connected with the life of man. All aspects of life can be seen in the Names.
When a man is given a Name which relates to one of the 99 Names of Alláh it should always be preceded by Abd (servant of).
— Friedlander, 99 Names of Alláh,
3. The 99 Names of God
compiled by Arjen Bolhuis
||The Sovereign Lord|
||The Source of Peace|
||The Guardian of Faith|
||The Most High|
||The Most Great|
||The Sublime One|
||The Generous One|
||The Most Glorious|
||The Protecting Friend|
||The Giver of Life|
||The Creator of Death|
||The Most Exalted|
||The Source of all Goodness|
||The Acceptor of Repentance|
||The Possessor of Sovereignty|
||The Lord of Majesty and Bounty|
||The Supreme Inheritor|
||The Guide to the Right Path|
4. The 99 Names of God (Alláh), with commentary
compiled by Rachel Myra Butson
- Ar-Rahman — The Most Merciful
The One who has plenty of mercy for the believers and the blasphemers in this world and especially for the believers in the hereafter.
- Ar-Ráhím — The most Compassionate
The One who has plenty of mercy for the believers.
- Al-Malík — The King, the Monarch
The One with the complete Dominion, the One Whose Dominion is clear from imperfection.
- Al-Quddús — The Holy one
The One who is pure from any imperfection and clear from children and adversaries.
- As-Salám — The Peace, The Tranquility
The One who is free from every imperfection.
- Al-Mu'min — The One with Faith — The Faithful, The Trusted
The One who witnessed for Himself that no one is God but Him.
And He witnessed for His believers that they are truthful in their belief that no one is God but Him.
- Al-Muhaymin — The Protector — The vigilant, the controller
The One who witnesses the saying and deeds of His creatures.
- Al-'Aziz — The Mighty — The Almighty, the powerful
The Defeater who is not defeated.
- Al-Jabbar — The oppressor, the all Compelling
The One that nothing happens in His Dominion except that which He willed.
- Al-Mutakabbir — The Haughty, the Majestic — The Imperious
The One who is clear from the attributes of the creatures and from resembling them.
- Al-Khaliq — The Creator, the Maker
The One who brings everything from non-existence to existence.
- Al-Bari' — The Artificer, the Creator
The Creator who has the Power to turn the entities.
- Al-Musawwir — The Fashioner — The Organiser the Designer
The One who forms His creatures in different pictures.
- Al-Ghaffar — The Forgiving, the Forgiver
The One who forgives the sins of His slaves time and time again.
- Al-Qahhar — The Almighty, the Dominant
The Subduer who has the perfect Power and is not unable over anything.
- Al-Wahhab — The Donor, the Bestower
The One who is Generous in giving plenty without any return. He is everything that benefits whether Halal or Haram.
- Ar-Razzaq — The Provider, the Sustainer
- Al-Fattah — The Opener, the Revealer
The One who opens for His slaves the closed worldy and religious matters.
- Al-'Alim — The all Knowing, the Omniscient
The Knowledgeable; The One nothing is absent from His knowledge.
- Al-Qabid — The Contractor, The Restrainer, the Recipient.
The One who constricts the sustenance.
- Al-Basit — The Expander, He who expands
The One who expands and widens.
- Al-Khafid —
The One who lowers whoever He willed by His Destruction.
The Abaser, the Humbler
- Ar-Rafi' —
The One who raises whoever He willed by His Endowment.
The Raiser, the Exalter
- Al-Mu'iz —
He gives esteem to whoever He willed, hence there is no one to degrade Him;
The Honorer, the Exalter
- Al-Muzil —
Degrades whoever he willed, hence there is no one to give him esteem.
The Abaser, the Degrader, the Subduer
- As-Sami' —
The One who Hears all things that are heard by His Eternal Hearing without an ear, instrument or organ.
The Hearer, The All hearing, all knowing.
- Al-Basir —
The One who Sees all things that are seen by His Eternal Seeing
without a pupil or any other instrument.
The Seer, The discerning, the All seeing.
- Al-Hakam —
He is the Ruler and His judgment is His Word.
The arbitrator, the Judge
- Al-'Adl —
The One who is entitled to do what He does.
The justice, the equitable. The Just.
- Al-Latif —
The Most Gentle, the Gracious.
The One who is kind
- Al-Khabir —
The One who knows the truth of things.
The Aware. The Sagacious, one is who is aware.
- Al-Halim —
The One who delays the punishment for those who deserve it and
then He might forgive them.
The Gentle. The most patient, the Clement.
- Al-'Azim —
The One deserving the attributes of Exaltment, Glory,
Extolement,and Purity from all imperfection.
The Great, Mighty
- Al-Ghafoor —
The One who forgives a lot.
The Forgiving, the Pardoner.
- Ash-Shakur —
The One who gives a lot of reward for a little obedience.
The Grateful, the Thankful
- Al-'Ali —
The One who is clear from the attributes of the creatures.
The most high, the exhalted.
- Al-Kabir —
The One who is greater than everything in status.
The great, the big.
- Al-Hafiz —
The One who protects whatever and whoever He willed to protect.
The Guardian, the preserver.
- Al-Muqit —
The One who has the Power.
The maintainer, The Nourisher
- Al-Hasib —
The One who gives the satisfaction.
The noble, The Reckoner
- Aj-Jalil —
The One who is attributed with greatness of Power and Glory of
The Majestic. The honorable, the exalted.
- Al-Karim —
The One who is clear from abjectness.
The most generous, the Bountiful.
- Ar-Raqib —
The One that nothing is absent from Him. Hence it's meaning is
related to the attribute of Knowledge.
The Guardian, the watchful. Watcher.
- Al-Mujib —
The One who answers the one in need if he asks Him and rescues
the yearner if he calls upon Him.
The Responder. The respondent, one who answers.
- Al-Wasi' —
The Englober. The enricher, the Omnipresent, the Knowledgeable.
- Al-Hakim —
The One who is correct in His doings.
The most Wise, the Judicious.
- Al-Wadud —
The Affectionate, the Loving.
- Al-Majid —
The One who is with perfect Power, High Status, Compassion,
Generosity and Kindness.
The Glorious, the exalted.
- Al-Ba'ith —
The One who resurrects for reward and/or punishment.
The Resurrector, the Raiser from death.
- Ash-Shahid —
The One who nothing is absent from Him.
- Al-Haqq —
The One who truly exists.
The Truth, the Just.
- Al-Wakil —
The One who gives the satisfaction and is relied upon.
The Guardian, the Trustee
- Al-Qawee —
The One with the complete Power.
The powerful, the Almighty, The Strong
- Al-Matin —
The One with extreme Power which is un-interrupted and He does
not get tired.
The Strong, the Firm
- Al-Walee —
The Supporter, the Friend, the Defender the master.
- Al-Hamid —
The praised One who deserves to be praised.
The Praiseworthy , the Commendable
- Al-Muhsi —
The One who the count of things are known to him.
- Al-Mubdi' —
The One who started the human being. That is, He created him.
The Beginner, the Creator, The Originator
- Al-Mu'eed —
The One who brings back the creatures after death.
The Restorer, the Resurrector.
- Al-Muhyee —
The One who took out a living human from semen that does not have
a soul. He gives life by giving the souls back to the worn out bodies
on the resurrection day and He makes the hearts alive by the light of
The Bestower, the Life Giver.
- Al-Mumeet —
The One who renders the living dead.
The Bringer of Death. The Death Giver.
- Al-Hayy —
The One attributed with a life that is unlike our life and is not
that of a combination of soul, flesh or blood.
The Living. The Alive, the ever living.
- Al-Qayyum —
The One who remains and does not end.
The Self-Subsistent, The Eternal, the Self Sustaining.
- Al-Wajid —
The Rich who is never poor. Al-Wajd is Richness.
The all perceiving, the Opulent, the Finder.
- Al-Wahid —
The One without a partner.
The One, the Unique.
- Al-Majid —
The One who is Majid.
The Noble, the illustrious.
- Al-Ahad —
The only, the Unique.
- As-Samad —
The Master who is relied upon in matters and reverted to in ones
The Perfect, the Eternal.
- Al-Qadir —
The One attributed with Power.
The Able, the Capable, the Omnipotent.
- Al-Muqtadir —
The One with the perfect Power that nothing is withheld from Him.
The Capable, The all Powerful
- Al-Muqaddim —
He makes ahead what He wills.
The Presenter, The Advancer, The Expediter
- Al-Mu'akhkhir —
The One who delays what He wills.
The Fulfiller, the keeper behind, The Deferrer
- Al-'Awwal —
The One whose Existence is without a beginning.
- Al-'Akhir —
The One whose Existence is without an end.
- Az-Zahir —
The Apparent, the Exterior, The Manifest
The One that nothing is above Him and nothing is underneath Him, hence He exists without a place.
- Al-Batin —
The Hidden, the Interior, the Latent
- Al-Wali —
The One who owns things and manages them.
The Governor, The Ruler, The Master
- Al-Muta'ali —
The One who is clear from the attributes of the creation.
The Exalted, The most high, one above reproach.
- Al-Barr —
The One who is kind to His creatures, who covered them with His
sustenance and specified whoever He willed among them by His support,
protection, and special mercy.
The Benefactor, The Beneficent, the Pious.
- At-Tawwab —
The One who grants repentance to whoever He willed among His
creatures and accepts his repentance.
The Acceptor of Repentance, The Forgiver, the Relenting.
- Al-Muntaqim —
The One who victoriously prevails over His enemies and punishes
them for their sins. It may mean the One who destroys them.
- Al-'Afuww —
The One with wide forgiveness.
The Forgiver, the effacer, the Pardoner
- Ar-Ra'uf —
The One with extreme Mercy. The Mercy of Alláh is His will to
endow upon whoever He willed among His creatures.
The merciful, the Ever Indulgent.
- Al-Muqsit —
The One who is Just in His judgment.
The Just the Equitable
- Aj-Jami' —
The One who gathers the creatures on a day that there is no doubt
about, that is the Day of Judgment.
The Collector, the comprehensive, Gatherer
- Al-Ghanee —
The One who does not need the creation.
The rich, the all sufficing, Self-Sufficient
- Al-Mughnee —
The One who satisfies the necessities of the creatures.
The Enricher, sufficer, the bestower.
- Al-Mani' —
The Supporter who protects and gives victory to His pious
The Preventer, the prohibiter, the defender.
- Ad-Darr —
The One who makes harm reach to whoever He willed.
The Distresser , The afflictor, the bringer of Adversity.
- An-Nafi' —
The One who gives benefits to whoever He wills.
The Beneficialm Benefactor
- An-Nur —
The One who guides.
- Al-Hadi —
The One whom with His Guidance His believers were guided, and with
His Guidance the living beings have been guided to what is beneficial
or them and protected from what is harmful to them.
- Al-Badi' —
The One who created the creation and formed it without any
The Wonderful, the maker, Incomparable
- Al-Baqi —
The One that the state of non-existence is impossible for Him.
The Enduring, the Everlasting, the eternal
- Al-Warith —
The One whose Existence remains.
The Inheritor, The Heir
- Ar-Rashid —
The One who guides.
The Rightly Guided, The Conscious, the Guide
- As-Sabur —
The One who does not quickly punish the sinners.
The most Patient, the Enduring.
- Malik Al-Mulk —
The One who controls the Dominion and gives dominion to whoever
The Ruler of the Kingdom, king of the Universe
- Zul-l-Jalal wal-Ikram —
The One who deserves to be Exalted and not denied.
Lord of Majesty and Generosity