03 Nov The All-Beautiful Names of God.Part3
If God Almighty had not introduced Himself to us with His All-Beautiful Names, we would never be able to comprehend the truth concerning these Names in what is going on in the universe or to know the All-Sacred Being Who is called by them. It is only through His making His Being, His Essential Characteristics, and His Attributes of Glory known that we are able to have knowledge of the truths that we know today, even though this is incomplete. It is our belief that the Names in question are the titles of His Being; as a result we try to acquire bits of knowledge about the truth of Divinity, voicing our requests at His door, which is open to all, and constantly observe these Names in hopeful expectation that our requests will certainly be answered, provided we submit to His judgments and commands. We believe that we can overcome our various troubles and ailments and be saved from our centuries-old problems by turning to Him, using these Names, each of Which has the effect of a different mysterious medication, as intercessors with Him.
We approach the All-Beautiful Names and understand them in accordance with whatever meaning they have in God’s sight and in the way the master of creation, upon him be the most perfect of blessings and peace, perceived and interpreted them. We regard opposing considerations as deviance in thought and belief. How can we think and act otherwise when the Qur’an tells us that the denial of the Names, whether explicitly or by way of misguided interpretations, or the attribution of them, with their meanings and contents that are unique to God, to others than God is heresy? Declaring,
God—there is no deity save Him; His are the All-Beautiful Names (20:8),
the Qur’an refers the whole of existence, including human kind and the universe with whatever occurs in it, to those All-Beautiful Names.
It is of great importance that every responsible person has recourse to the Divine Names so that they can have accurate knowledge of God and entreat Him properly and be able to establish a proper relationship with their Creator. We begin every good deed with His Names, and render every act of service under their supervision. We believe that any work done without having recourse to these will be fruitless. The Names Allah (God) and ar-Rahman (the All-Merciful) are of particular importance and have a special place in the Divine Being’s sight. They are the first door through which we enter the clime of prayers and entreaties.
Even though some philosophers and the theologians influenced by them have put forward certain differing views about the All-Beautiful Names, as they have done for the Attributes, the scholars of the Ahlu’s-Sunna have always acted with care, sensitivity, and self-possession. Without going into detail or useless interpretations, they have maintained that the Names can be identical to or separate from the Divine Essence. It has sometimes happened that they have asserted in a moderate style that the Names are neither identical to nor separate from the Divine Essence, thus preferring to distance themselves from further discussion.
Some others among the Sufis have opined that the All-Beautiful Names, Which we know and recite, are in fact the titles of the real Names, while the truth of Names lies beyond them. They have approached the matter of the Names, saying like Yunus Emre:
“There is Süleyman within Süleyman,”
and asserted that there is a relation between the Names we know and the real Divine Names that are behind existence which is similar to the relation between the corporeal heart and the spiritual heart and that which exists between the spirit and the body. They have stressed that the real Names can only be realized through a profound spiritual experience and the ecstasy of feeling God’s holy Presence.