Re-ordering the 99 Names of Allah in a poetic form

Posted on Mon 23 August 2021 in Islam

بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The 99 Names of Allah are amazing in many ways to me. What I find a bit difficult is committing them to memory. The reason for memorizing them is mentioned from a portion of the Hadith linked above:

“Indeed, Allah has ninety-nine Names, one hundred less one, whoever counts them shall enter Paradise..."

I thought of devising a way to memorize these Blessed Names by re-ordering the Names in a poetic form so that they can be 'sung' in a manner that makes them easier to memorize.

(when I speak of singing here, I refer to it in the capacity of singing a nasheed)

Disrepancy on what the 99 Blessed Names are

While there is unanimous agreement that Allah does not have only 99 Names, there is a minor disagreement among different scholars regarding what the 99 Names of Allah are.

I will not discuss this matter as I am not a Hadith scholar. The references can be read here:

Hadith Answers - The ninety nine names of Allah Ta’ala

99 Names of Allah أسماء الحسنى (authentic list with references and resources)

I will proceed with the Names listed in the Hadith from at-Tirmidhi. If I am incorrect, may Allah Forgive me.

Is this permissible

A sense of caution was observed when considering this idea. I feared that I may be indulging in bid'ah(innovation) with this re-ordering. After consulting with a scholar, he specified that this is not a bid'ah and is perfectly fine to do.

May Allah Protect him and Protect me.

The current order

The structure of the 99 Names currently is:

الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ المَلِكُ القُدُّوسُ السَّلَامُ المُؤْمِنُ المُهَيْمِنُ العَزِيزُ الجَبَّارُ المُتَكَبِّرُ الخَالِقُ البَارِئُ المُصَوِّرُ الغَفَّارُ القَهَّارُ الوَهَّابُ الرَّزَّاقُ الفَتَّاحُ العَلِيمُ القَابِضُ البَاسِطُ الخَافِضُ الرَّافِعُ المُعِزُّ المُذِلُّ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ الحَكَمُ العَدْلُ اللَّطِيفُ الخَبِيرُ الحَلِيمُ العَظِيمُ الغَفُورُ الشَّكُورُ العَلِيُّ الكَبِيرُ الحَفِيظُ المُقِيتُ الحَسِيبُ الجَلِيلُ الكَرِيمُ الرَّقِيبُ المُجِيبُ الوَاسِعُ الحَكِيمُ الوَدُودُ المَجِيدُ البَاعِثُ الشَّهِيدُ الحَقُّ الوَكِيلُ القَوِيُّ المَتِينُ الوَلِيُّ الحَمِيدُ المُحْصِي المُبْدِئُ المُعِيدُ المُحْيِي المُمِيتُ الحَيُّ القَيُّومُ الوَاجِدُ المَاجِدُ الوَاحِدُ الصَّمَدُ القَادِرُ المُقْتَدِرُ المُقَدِّمُ المُؤَخِّرُ الأَوَّلُ الآخِرُ الظَّاهِرُ البَاطِنُ الوَالِيَ المُتَعَالِي البَرُّ التَّوَّابُ المُنْتَقِمُ العَفُوُّ الرَّءُوفُ مَالِكُ المُلْكِ ذُو الجَلَالِ وَالإِكْرَامِ، المُقْسِطُ الجَامِعُ الغَنِيُّ المُغْنِي المَانِعُ الضَّارُّ النَّافِعُ النُّورُ الهَادِي البَدِيعُ البَاقِي الوَارِثُ الرَّشِيدُ الصَّبُورُ

Poetic re-ordering considerations

The first consideration for a poetic structure is Names that use the same vowel(like a kasra) on their middle root and end in the same letter. Examples here:

الرَّحِيمُ العَلِيمُ الحَلِيمُ العَظِيمُ

A second consideration would be Names that have the same vowel on their first or middle root letter. The volume of Names that begin with مُ makes this a great example:

المُعِزُّ المُذِلُّ المُحْصِي المُبْدِئُ المُحْيِي المُقْسِطُ المُغْنِي

These can then be followed by the longer kasra + yaa words like:

المُقِيتُ المُعِيدُ المُمِيتُ

And so forth.

Another inclusion in the ordering is putting Names next to each other that share similar letters. So if a word ends in a 'ق', then looking for a Name that starts with a 'ق'. If no start/end letters match, then looking for similar letters within each Name and putting them after each other. I have also made sure to not add similar sounding letters in the different words next to each other. Example: البَصِيرُ البَدِيعُ السَّمِيعُ where the 'صِ' and 'سَّ' sound similar.

The goal for this further improvement is to add flow to the recital.

My structured re-ordering: The 99 Beautiful Names of Allah

Below is the structure of words that rhyme with each other. I have included stops at appropriate places so that the memorization is easier. Each line end should be considered a stop as well.

الرَّحْمَنُ السَّلَامُ

الجَبَّارُ الفَتَّاحُ الغَفَّارُ الرَّزَّاقُ القَهَّارُ الوَهَّابُ

الأَوَّلُ الخَالِقُ الخَافِضُ القَادِرُ القَابِضُ. الضَّارُّ الظَّاهِرُ الرَّافِعُ

البَرُّ البَارِئُ البَاقِي البَاسِطُ البَاطِنُ البَاعِثُ. الوَارِثُ الوَاسِعُ الوَالِيَ الوَاحِدُ الوَاجِدُ المَاجِدُ. الجَامِعُ المَانِعُ النَّافِعُ. التَّوَّابُ الهَادِي الآخِرُ

الحَيُّ القَيُّومُ الرَّءُوفُ الشَّكُورُ الغَفُورُ العَفُوُّ الوَدُودُ الصَّبُورُ

المَلِكُ الكَرِيمُ الرَّحِيمُ الحَكِيمُ الحَلِيمُ العَلِيمُ العَظِيمُ (49)

العَزِيزُ العَلِيُّ القَوِيُّ الوَلِيُّ الوَكِيلُ اللَّطِيفُ. الجَلِيلُ المَجِيدُ المَتِينُ الشَّهِيدُ الرَّشِيدُ الرَّقِيبُ. البَصِيرُ البَدِيعُ السَّمِيعُ الحَمِيدُ الحَسِيبُ الحَفِيظُ الخَبِيرُ الكَبِيرُ

المُتَكَبِّرُ المُصَوِّرُ المُؤَخِّرُ المُهَيْمِنُ المُنْتَقِمُ. المُتَعَالِي المُقْتَدِرُ المُقَدِّمُ

المُؤْمِنُ المُقْسِطُ المُعِزُّ المُذِلُّ. المُحْصِي المُحْيِي المُبْدِئُ المُغْنِي(stop or not)

المُجِيبُ المُقِيتُ المُمِيتُ المُعِيدُ

العَدْلُ الصَّمَدُ الحَقُّ الحَكَمُ الغَنِيُّ

النُّورُ القُدُّوسُ

مَالِكُ المُلْكِ ذُو الجَلَالِ وَالإِكْرَامِ،

The eye of the keen reader should pick up how the structure starts short, gets lengthier towards the middle and culminates in shortness at the end. I take this as inspiration from Allah that it ended up in this structure.

Memorization technique

Alhamdullilah. I was able to memorize the Names quickly using this new structure.

My method of learning was outlined above with the stops, but I also learned it line by line and using a singing-type technique as found in the recital of nasheeds or Urdu poems.

The reader is most welcome to shift the Names within each line to suit their own comforts. I recommend avoiding the shift of the Names into different lines, as this ordering was based on "closest-fit" according to my criteria outlined above.

Sharing and possible audio

If you find this re-ordering beneficial and your own Sheikh says it is okay to use it, please consider memorizing it and sharing it. Through His Grace and Mercy, we shall all derive rewards for this effort.

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