Meaning of Allah

“With the Name of Allah” meaning I start with every Name that belongs to Allah, the Exalted. This is because the word ‘name’ is singular and in the genitive form and therefore it includes all of the Beautiful Names. (as-Sadi)

“Allah” He is the Lord, the One who is worshipped, the One deserving of being singled out for worship due to the Perfect Godly Attributes that He is described with. (at-Tabari, vol 1, p82-83) Ibn Uthaymin states, “This is the name of His from which all other names follow on as occurs in His saying, “Alif Lam Ra. This is a Book which We sent down to you in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness into the light by the permission of their Lord, to the Path of the All-Mighty, the one worthy of all praise: Allah, to who belongs everything that is in the heavens and the earth.” (Ibrahim 14:1-2) So in this saying of Allah, the Most High, the noun which is the Name of the Majestic Lord, ‘Allah’ is not a descriptive attribute, rather it is a word which follows as an explanation and clarification of what has proceeded. (Ibn Uthaymin p36)

Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said, “This Noble Name has ten characteristics in its physical wording that are specific to it,” he mentioned them and then said, “as regards its specific characteristics with regards to meaning, the most knowledgeable of creation, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I cannot enumerate praise of You, You are as You have praised Yourself.” How is it possible to enumerate the specificities of a Name, the object of which has every single perfection without restriction, who deserves all commendation and praise, all lauding and veneration, who possesses all magnificence and perfection, and all nobility and beauty? Allah’s goodness, beneficence, generosity, grace and gifts belong to Him and come from Him. This Name is not mentioned over something paltry except that it becomes plentiful, nor at a time of fear except that it removes it, nor at a time of hardship except that it lifts it, nor at a time of distress and worry except that it alleviates it, nor at a time of constraint except that it liberates it. No weak creature depends upon it except that it grants him strength, nor one undergoing humiliation except that it leads him to richness, nor one who is left alone except that it grants him comfort, nor one who is overcome except that it aids him and supports him, nor one in a state of dire need except that it lifts his need, nor one who is run astray except that it draws him back. It is the Name through which hardship is removed, through which blessings descend, through with supplications are answered, through which the foot does not slip, through which evil is repressed and good is promoted. It is the Name through which the heavens and earth stand, because of which the heavenly scripture descended, the Messengers were sent, the legal laws legislated, the legal punishments established, and Jihad legislated. Through this Name is the creation divided into the felicitous and the wretched, and through it does the Undeniable Reality come to pass and the Final Convulsion occur. Because of it are the scales erected, the Path laid out, and the Paradise and Hell made easy. Through it is the Lord of the Worlds worshipped and praised, and to establish its rights were the Messengers sent. It is about it that the questions will be asked in the grave and on the Day of Resurrection. Because of it did the dispute arise and to it one goes for judgement. Love and hate are based on it. Felicitous is one who has come to know it and establish its right, wretched is one who is ignorant of it and leaves off its right. It is the core of the creation and the command and through it do both and become firm, and to it do they end… “Our Lord, You have not created this for nothing. Transcendent are You! Safeguard us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Ali-Imran 3:191) to the end of his words, may Allah, the Exalted, have mercy upon him. (Fath al-Majid p15)

The action that the servant intends to do has been omitted in the sentence in order to generalise the statement; hence no matter what the servant intends to do, the basmAllah is applicable to it. When the servant wishes to do an action and says this statement, that action he is about to do is implied in the sentence, and we understand that the action is to come at the end of the sentence for two vital reasons:

  1. To seek blessings by beginning with the name of Allah.
  2. To express the fact that the action is only for Allah.

Therefore it is as if the servant is saying, “I seek the help of Allah, with every Name of His, the All-Merciful, the Most-Merciful, in the particular action I am about to do.” (an-Nasafi, vol 1, p13)

The Spiritual Cure: An Explanation of Surah Al-Fatihah prepared and translated by Abu Rumaysah Pages 59-63

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