Why Learn the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah (SWT)?

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Why Learn the Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allah (SWT)?

The Beautiful Attributes of Allah

Allah (SWT) is our Lord- the one who created us and sustains us. His blessed words in the Holy Quran are what teach us how to be the best believers we can be. We as Muslims believe we know and understand who Allah is and learn about the attributes of Allah. Unfortunately, the understanding we hold of Allah’s magnificent existence is often not as nuanced and detailed as it should be. 

We teach our children, and often have to train ourselves, to obey Allah and his commands. That is the way to make it to Jannah, and to be successful in both this world and the Hereafter. Yet, we find it difficult to completely obey Him in all He asks of us. Do you ever wonder why that is?

To truly obey Allah from your heart without question, you must first love and respect Him. To love and respect Him, you must first understand Him. To deeply understand Him, we have to embark on the journey of learning the beautiful attributes of Allah. 

Allah has 99 beautiful attributes. Each of these attributes teaches us about another remarkable characteristic of Allah’s existence. When we learn the significance of each of His exalted attributes, we can truly understand, and love, and wholeheartedly obey Allah. 

 

The Importance of Learning Allah’s Attributes

Three young boys sitting in a row and reading the Holy Quran

Children can learn the beauty of the attributes of Allah by reading the Holy Quran.

Let us put learning about Allah’s attributes in its proper context. The renowned scholar Ash-Shafi’ee said, “Whoever wants to achieve [success in] the worldly life must gain knowledge. And whoever wants [success in] the Hereafter, must gain knowledge. And whoever wants both the dunya and akhira, then it is upon him to seek knowledge.”

Islam places great emphasis on the importance of learning about Allah (SWT)’s marvelous creation around us. We have the choice of pursuing astronomy, human anatomy and physiology, the microscopic world of bacteria and viruses, psychology, or mechanics and the laws of physics. Ultimately, all that matters is that, by education, we serve humanity and become vicegerents (khalifa) on this Earth.    

The only obligatory form of knowledge for everyone is learning the pillars of Islam and the pillars of faith as well as how to correctly perform the acts of worship. Muslims must learn their own rights and their duties and responsibilities towards their spouse, parents, children, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and society at large.

One of the most noble and important elements of religious learning is to know Allah (SWT), and the best way to know Allah (SWT) is to learn about Allah’s attributes. An amazing resource for you and your children to learn about the Attributes of Allah is the Noor Kids’ “Who is Allah” video series. In each video, one attribute of Allah is explored and explained, making it not only easier but actually fun to learn His names and know Him. 

Another beautiful method of simultaneously learning Allah’s attributes whilst also obtaining reward is through reading the Quran. A study on the presence of Allah’s attributes in the Holy Quran shows us that Allah uses His exalted names and attributes in His book as a way of teaching us about His grace, painting the picture of Islam to be a religion of grace and justice. 

Many of us are so fervent and scrupulous when it comes to teaching our children about what they can and cannot do that we fail to tell them more about the One who ordained these commandments and just how gracious he truly is. The reality is that our children’s faith will not flourish and bloom if we restrict their understanding to only the halal and haram, and fail to take the beautiful journey of knowing Allah (SWT) with them. 

We ask Allah (SWT), the High and Great, to open for us the doors of understanding.

 

Allah SWT Means

A Qari helps two young Muslim boys read the Holy Quran whilst sitting on the floor.

Quran teachers can help young Muslims appreciate what Allah (SWT) means.

Of the 99 beautiful attributes of Allah (SWT), it is important to know what Allah (SWT) means. “SWT” stands for Subhanahu, “The Most Glorified”  wa ta’aala “and The Most High”. Whenever we mention Allah’s name, we are invoking two of his beautiful attributes. Saying that Allah (SWT) is the Most Glorified and Most High when uttering His name only elaborates on the idea that with the attributes of Allah, we understand that there is no one worthy of being glorified but Him, and that no one is higher in stature and greatness than Him. 

However, it is not enough to simply learn the meaning of Allah (SWT). The journey to knowing and loving Allah is by learning and understanding as many of His attributes as possible!

What are some of Allah’s most beautiful attributes?

5 Attributes of Allah with Their Meanings

5 of the most beautiful attributes of Allah are Al-Akbar, Al-Wadud, Al-Waliyy, Al-Mujib, and Al-Adl. 

  1. Al-Akbar- Allah is the Greatest

Al-Akbar means that Allah is the Greatest. When examining the use of this attribute, we learn that the Arabic word “Akbar” literally translates to “Greater”. So, this attribute of Allah explains that He is Greater than anything and everything else. 

In Usul al-Kafi, a man said in Imam Ṣādiq’s (as) presence: “Allāh-u Akbar (God is greater).”

The Imam (as) reportedly asked: “What is He greater than?” 

“He’s greater than everything [else],” the man stated. 

“You’ve limited Him,” the Imam (as) responded. 

“So what should I say?” the man asked. 

The Imam (as) told him: “Say: ‘God is greater than being able to be described.” 

 

2. Al-Wadud – Allah is the Loving

Al-Wadud means that Allah is the Loving. It is critical to understand Allah’s love for us, as it will help us to love Him truly. The Arabic language has two words that can be used for love, hubb and wudd. Hubb is a kind of love that prevents one from paying attention to themselves, thus devoting all of their time and energy to their beloved. 

On the other hand, the root word of Wadud, wudd, is about what one’s nature is inclined towards and desiring good for yourself. Allah’s love is inclined towards us because He believes that we, His believers, are attached to Him in that whatever is in our best interest is His priority. 

Once we understand Allah’s love for us, we can begin to truly love Him as we should. 

 

3. Al-Waliyy – The Friend

Al-Waliyy means that Allah is the Friend. He is our friend because He is close to us, and He wants only good for us, and is there to guide us when we don’t know which way to turn. 

The attribute Al-Waliyy is mentioned in the Quran in many instances, usually in saying that Allah is the waliyy of the believers-

Oppressors are the awliyā’ of each other, and God is the waliyy of the pious (45:19). 

God is the waliyy of the believers (3:68).

Understanding that Allah is our friend and ally teaches us that we can rely on Him, that he understands us, and that we can rely on and trust Him. 

 

4. Al-Mujib – The One Who Responds

Al-Mujib means the One Who Responds. This means that Allah not only hears us and listens to us, but He responds to us when we call on Him. He answers our Duas, and fulfills our every need. 

Learning that Allah responds to our every dua teaches us—and our children—to make dua for everything. If we know that He will respond to us no matter what, we will not hesitate in asking Him for every want, need, and desire we may have. In this way, we become closer to Allah, and learn to love Him even more. 

When we believe that Allah is Al-Mujib, we are encouraged to pray to Allah even more. Not only do we receive rewards from Allah and the surety of our prayers being answered, but studies have shown that prayer is critical in mind/body healing. Prayer is therapeutic to heal the mind and the body’s physical ailments, just as it is a call to our Lord to answer us. 

 

5. Al-Adl – The Just

Al-Adl means “the Just”. In Arabic, adl means justice. Allah is the Just because He puts everything in its rightful place, and provides equality and balance in His creation. The system that Allah has placed in this world is balanced and just; there is no unfairness in the way things are. 

In the Quran, Allah refers to His justice as follows:

God does not do even an atom’s worth of injustice (ẓulm), and if you do a good deed, He will increase it and give you a great reward that comes from Him (2:40). 

Allah is described as never committing even the smallest injustice. His justice is found in how he rewards us for doing good. In the same way, Allah is just in his punishment for those who do wrong and are sinful. 

 

Teaching our children about Allah’s attributes can be made fun with Noor Kids’ Who is Allah book bundle. The books in this bundle include relatable and engaging stories that help children learn to love Allah (SWT) through his beautiful attributes!

Only when we learn all of the 99 attributes of Allah and their meaning can we know and understand just how magnificent Allah (SWT) is and learn to love and obey Him as righteous, pious Muslims. 

A great resource to learn the 99 names of Allah in one convenient place is 99namesofAllah.name. On this page, you can see all the attributes of Allah in Arabic with their translations in one convenient location for easy reference!

 

Learning the Attributes of Allah

A young girl faces back towards the camera smiling as two girlS read the Quran in front of her.

Learning the attributes of Allah can be fun for Muslim children!

One of the simplest ways to start learning the Attributes of Allah is through the use of tools like the Beautiful Names of Allah flashcards and memory game from Faithful Kids.

Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur’an,

“And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them.” (Holy Qur’an 7:180)

and,

“Allah – there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names.” (Holy Qur’an 20:8)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has reportedly said,

“Allah has 99 names, and whoever preserves them will enter Paradise.” (Sahih Muslim, 2677)

To preserve the Names of Allah (SWT), as mentioned in the hadith, means to memorize them and understand their meanings. It also means that the worshiper uses the Beautiful Names of Allah (SWT) when supplicating to Allah (SWT), our Lord. These Glorious Names of Allah (SWT) should have an impact on the believer’s heart, conduct, and worship. The ultimate goal of learning the Names and Attributes of Allah (SWT) is to connect to Allah (SWT) and to strive to perfect our own character.

When you learn that Allah (SWT) is Ar-Raheem, The All-Merciful, you remember to be merciful to the weak and defenseless that Allah (SWT) has placed under your care. Your heart overflows with mercy for others as you learn more and more about the vast mercy of Allah (SWT).

The more you learn about Allah (SWT)’s Names and Attributes, the nearer you draw to Him, and the more you love Him. When that love is alive in your heart, your obedience and worship of Allah (SWT) will transform into that of a devout and pious worshiper.

By sharing with our children this knowledge and teaching them of Allah (SWT)’s Names and what they mean, we are building a strong foundation for unwavering faith in Allah (SWT).

What is your favorite Name of Allah (SWT)? Let us know in the comments below!

Amin Aaser

Amin is a visionary educator and "storytelling ninja." As the founder and executive director of Noor Kids, a Harvard-supported educational institute, Amin strives to give young Muslims the confidence and foundation they need to embrace their religious identity.

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