It is something I have always wanted to do. But, either I was too busy or just too lazy. The reality of it is, anyone can memorise these beautiful, flawless and timeless Names of Allah; the 99 Holy Names (Asma ul Husna أسماء الله الحسنى).
Allah (swt) has 99 names; each and every one of them with a unique definition, explanation and purpose. Every name has a perfect and deep meaning; that should be understood to the best of our abilities. As the number is 99, which seems big but if you ponder over them, there are some that sounds very similar, though they are indeed quite different once delved into.
There is significance behind understanding the 99 names of Allah (swt). It is recommended to use these names when calling on to Allah (swt) while making dua; because when we use a name that is relevant to our issue, we understand the weight of Allah’s (swt) power in His acceptance of our dua. His names are special and divine; and once we create a relationship with each and every one of them, we will have the means and key to growing closer to Allah (swt).
Allah (swt) mentions in the Qu'ran His beloved names and their ranks in their Supreme entirety - nothing can be compared to Him.
هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْخَـٰلِقُ ٱلْبَارِئُ ٱلْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُ ٱلْأَسْمَآءُ ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
He is Allah, the Creator, the Shaper out of naught, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifieth Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.
Qur'an Al-Hashr 59:24
هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْخَـٰلِقُ ٱلْبَارِئُ ٱلْمُصَوِّرُ ۖ لَهُوَلِلَّهِ ٱلْأَسْمَآءُ ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ فَٱدْعُوهُ بِهَا ۖ وَذَرُوا۟ ٱلَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِىٓ أَسْمَـٰٓئِهِۦ ۚ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ
Allah's are the fairest names. Invoke Him by them. And leave the company of those who blaspheme His names. They will be requited what they do.
Surat Al-A’raf 7:180
And of course, our Beloved Messenger (ﷺ) said, as narrated from the authority of Abu Huraira (ra):
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise."
Sahih al-Bukhari 2736
So, we know from the authentic references from the Glorious Quran and Hadith that the utmost importance is attached with the memorisation of these holy names of Allah Subhana-wa-ta’ala. The more one memorises them, the more one shall attain weight in their reward. A reward as high as admissibility to the Paradise has been stated by our Beloved Prophet (ﷺ) for whoever knows/learns them by heart. What an honour!
How to use this Guide
This guide has been prepared in similarity to the method used to Memorise the names. There is a last step at the end which is optional. Alongside this guide, I have created a video on my YouTube channel called "How to Memorise the 99 Names of Allah".
Once in the morning + once in the evening:
- Listen to the 99 Names of Allah (morning only, not evening)
- Recite the 99 Names of Allah yourself
- Memorise 2-3 names per day (getting better? stick with 5-7)
If you follow the simple method mentioned above, you shall be able to memorise the names within 4-6 weeks, Insha’Allah. I am going to break it down in points.
1. Listen to the 99 Names of Allah
I have created a playlist on my device called "99 Names". Inside the playlist, you will find two audio files from the infamous Qari Ayoub Essack from South Africa. I recommend his recitation as it is crystal clear and pretty catchy. He starts with the Hadith and then he starts the names. The audio loops a few times so you can listen on the move, in the car, in the mall, washing the dishes etc.
- Hadith on the 99 Names of Allah - download mp3.
- The 99 Names of Allah - download mp3.
- Recommend: Full Hadith + 99 Names of Allah (swt) - download mp3
Tip: Listening to the Hadith at least in the morning will give you some hidden barakah which I personally found and it will aid your memorisation goal too, Insha’Allah.
There are some other audios which you can find online but their order is not in the traditional manner. One of the most popular recitations on YouTube has someone reciting them without the Arabic Tajweed. It's not befitting in my own opinion and I find it quite displeasing. Say them correctly - listen to them with the correct Arabic. The audio files I've shared with you cannot go wrong, Insha’Allah!
2. Recite the 99 Names of Allah yourself
Recite them, when you wake up and recite them again before you sleep or after Maghrib. Recite all of the names in one sitting - it hardly takes 2 minutes. Surely, we can take out this much time for this memorization which has so much honour and reward attached to it, right? Just recite them with Arabic going along the list.
Pick a suitable time that you can stick too. Some tips I want to share:
- Mix & match the translation: Whilst reciting them as part of your daily ritual, have a peak at the meanings every now and then, as you get faster. It will allow you to see the names and appreciate the attributes of Allah (swt) at every step.
- Mix & match the recitation: You could say Ya Rahman, Ya Raheem, Ya Malik rather than Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem. I used to do this in my duas. It will also help you in memorisation as you become accustomed to beseeching to Allah (swt) in more than one way.
- Ask a scholar/someone you trust: Ask a person of knowledge to hear your recitation, if you feel you are not saying the names correctly. It's good for someone to hear your recitation as this will humble you and help rectify any mistakes.
Download the following images. There are 10 of them. Send them to yourself one by one via WhatsApp or save them in your gallery. That way you can quickly scroll through the names and browse them. I have my own WhatsApp Group called "Dua" and I pin it. Every day I open that app, click on the images and then browse through my Dua. This is the PDF with all names page by page.
Download the files below. (zip includes PDF)
Now place them into a WhatsApp Group or use them however you wish via Gallery or Photos. This is how mine are grouped. I simply click these images then scroll or swipe. You can check this quick video for further clarity:
3. Memorise 2-3 names per day
Look and recite Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem. Slowly and clearly 5 times. Try to look at the Arabic first and on the 4th time you can study their meaning. Then cover the names with your hand or close your eyes and picture the names and recite 3 times without looking Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem.
💡When memorising from the steps below take this note: Look and recite Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem. Slowly and clearly 5 times. Try to look at the Arabic first and on the 4th time you can study their meaning. Then cover the names with your hand or close your eyes and picture the names and recite 3 times without looking Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem
- Wake up
- Listen to all the Names from the audio
- Recite all the Names
- Recite the first two names: Look and recite Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem. Slowly, clearly 5 times. Try to look at the Arabic first and on the 4th time you can let your eyes wonder to the meaning. Then cover the names with your hand or close your eyes and picture the names and recite 3 times without looking Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem.
- Recite the names all day - mix and match
- Repeat steps 2-4 in the Evening
In the morning having listened (step 1) and recited the full names (step 2); repeat the above step by reciting and recalling yesterdays Names. You should be able to do so from memory now. So:
- Wake up
- Listen to all the Names from the audio
- Recite all the Names
- Recall yesterdays names (Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem)
- Start today with the next two names (Al-Malik, Al-Quddus) and repeat the same from Day 1.
- Repeat steps 2-5 in the Evening including your previous names
Do this until you have safely memorised 10 names. When you are confident to recite 10 days without looking then pick up the next names, say from 11-13 and repeat . Add more names only when you are confident that you are not making mistakes.
Confident? You can now skip the audio in the morning and evening.
Tips: Recite the names you are memorising throughout the day, every day. "Ya-Rahman, Ya-Raheem - Forgive me". "Ya Malik, Ya-Quddus - Guide me". "Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem - Help me". Include the names in your Duas and when you are running your daily errands (shopping, cleaning - typing away etc). This goes back with the mix and match I mentioned before. It will solidify your memory and keep you motivated. Eventually you will be reciting all of Allah (swt) names or selected ones, whenever you wish!
Mastery - Masterise the 99 Names of Allah (swt)
There is a last step at the end which is optional.
I believe in mastering things. That is why I have created the Masterise™ course. There is an additional bonus for those who are really committed. This extra step will help you actually know the translations of the words and will give you a great control over all aspects of your Duas. Note, for a complete, deeper meaning; I recommend watching this series from Sheikh Hasan Ali and of course buying this book - (Imam Ghazli).
So, this is how can you call Allah (swt) with His divine names and know the meanings along the way. You only need to be eager to learn with consistence, practice and flash cards. Suppose, you are stuck in a traffic jam and you are getting late to get to the masjid for salah; "Ya Fatah (The Opener), Ifta Shaareeya (Open the Road / Remove the Block) - يا فَتَّاح افتح شارع"
There are many examples like the one mentioned above which will solidify your duas and allow you to get closer to Allah (swt) and gain HIS (swt) Pleasure.
Use Quizlet Flash Cards
I have published the same in Quizlet here:
You can download it on your Android or iOS for free. Also, you can copy this set for free. You can then try the quiz, mix and match and also cover the names with ease. It tests you and slowly your statistics will show an increase.
Just launch the set and press revise or begin test. Then as you are starting the names, click on a name and it will reveal the English meaning as well (I included transliteration as a bonus).
JazakAllah Khairan for taking out the time to read this article and download the resources. Please share your comments and share this article and the related files with as many people as possible. It will become Sadqa-e-Jaariya both for you and for me, Insha’Allah. May Allah (swt) accept it from us.