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The Virtues of Memorising the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala.

The Virtues of Memorising the Ninety-nine Beautiful Names of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala.
  By Badrul Islam

Abu Hurayrah ( Radhiallahu 'anhu ) narrated - he said: "Allah has ninety-nine names - one hundred less one - no one memorises them except that he enters Paradise, and He (Allah) is [an] odd [number] and He loves odd [numbers].                                
                                                                  (Sahih al-Bukhari with Fath al-Bari, Hadith: 6410)

Abu Hurayrah ( Radhiallahu 'anhu ) narrated from the Prophet ( Sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam ) that he said: "Allah has ninety-nine names. Whosoever memorises them shall enter Paradise. And verily Allah is [an] odd [number] and He loves odd [numbers].
                                         (Sahih Muslim with Sharh al-Imam al-Nawawi, Hadith: 2677)


The great scholar, the Shaykh al-Islam, al-Hafidh Ahmad Ibn 'Ali Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani al-Shafi'i ( 773 A.H  - 852 A.H ) has written a very detailed commentary on this Hadith in his monumental work Fath al-Bari. He says: [The scholars] have held different opinions regarding this number. [Does this Hadith mean that] the Beautiful Names [of Allah] are limited to this number [of ninety-nine] or [does it mean that] they are more than this but these [ninety-nine names] are special in that whosoever commits them to memory  shall enter Paradise? The majority of the scholars held the second opinion.

Al-Nawawi ( 631 A.H - 676 A.H ) has reported the consensus of the scholars. He says:
'There is not in the Hadith any limitation of the Beautiful Names of Allah.It does not mean that He does not have any other names except these ninety-nine. [In fact] the meaning of the Hadith is that whosoever commits these names to memory shall enter Paradise. This is substantiated by the Hadith of Ibn Mas'ud [Radhiallahu 'anhu], which has been reported by Imam Ahmad and                  authenticated by Ibn Hibban: [The Prophet said:] "I ask You [O Allah] by every name with which You have named Yourself, or which You have revealed in Your Book, or which You have taught anyone from amongst Your creation, or the knowledge of which You have kept specifically to Yourself” 

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