Ramadan is a chance for us to grow spiritually. One way we can do so is to contemplate on our Lord, learn about Him, and develop our personalities in accordance with what pleases Him. An excellent way to do this is to contemplate on Allah’s names and attributes.
Of course, Allah has names and attributes are infinite, as Allah’s nature transcends human comprehension. There are innumerable names He has not informed us of. He has reserved knowledge of them for Himself.
This is why Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to say while supplicating his Lord: "I beseech You by every name You have, by which You have named Yourself, or have revealed in Your Book, or taught any of Your creatures, or preserved in the knowledge of the unseen that is with You…" [Musnad Ahmad (3712, 4318), Sahīh Ibn Hibbān (972) and Mustadrak al-Hākim (1/507)]
At the same time, Allah has taught us many of His names. They are to be found in the Qur’an and in the words of the Prophet. It behooves us as believers to dedicate these names to memory and learn their meanings.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one, whoever comprehends them all will enter Paradise.” [Sahīh al-Bukhārī (2737) and Sahīh Muslim (2677)]
To comprehend these names means not only to memorize them and understand their meanings, but also to believe in them with our hearts and invoke them in our prayers and supplications and when we extol the praises of our Lord. It also means to have an awareness of their meanings with respect to the various activities of our lives. To the extent that we know and understand Allah’s names, our lives become blessed and our deeds become endowed with righteousness.
A true appreciation of Allah’s names should lead us to living more ethical lives. It should inspire us to show kindness to others, and behave towards them with genuine good will and respect. It should help us to be sincere in our devotion to Allah and to express this sincerity in our daily lives as members of society. Such is the closest possible approximation to harmony on Earth, with the promise always before us of attaining Paradise in the Hereafter. This is for those who know their Lord and seek nearness to Him; those who turn to Him in times of distress and seek His forgiveness at all times.
Therefore, we should commit these names to our hearts and teach them to our children, paying attention to the relevance that their meanings have for our lives. Our home libraries should contain at least one book explaining the meanings of Allah’s names, and such books should be made available at our mosques, Islamic schools, and social venues, to ensure that the blessings of such knowledge is widely available for the benefit of our hearts and minds.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. And may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.