Al-Kāfi - Volume 1 > Chapter On the Coming into the Existence of the Names of Allah
Hadith #1

1ـ عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ صَالِحِ بْنِ أَبِي حَمَّادٍ عَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي حَمْزَةَ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ عُمَرَ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ الله (عَلَيْهِ السَّلام) قَالَ إِنَّ الله تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى خَلَقَ اسْماً بِالْحُرُوفِ غَيْرَ مُتَصَوَّتٍ وَبِاللَّفْظِ غَيْرَ مُنْطَقٍ وَبِالشَّخْصِ غَيْرَ مُجَسَّدٍ وَبِالتَّشْبِيهِ غَيْرَ مَوْصُوفٍ وَبِاللَّوْنِ غَيْرَ مَصْبُوغٍ مَنْفِيٌّ عَنْهُ الاقْطَارُ مُبَعَّدٌ عَنْهُ الْحُدُودُ مَحْجُوبٌ عَنْهُ حِسُّ كُلِّ مُتَوَهِّمٍ مُسْتَتِرٌ غَيْرُ مَسْتُورٍ فَجَعَلَهُ كَلِمَةً تَامَّةً عَلَى أَرْبَعَةِ أَجْزَاءٍ مَعاً لَيْسَ مِنْهَا وَاحِدٌ قَبْلَ الاخَرِ فَأَظْهَرَ مِنْهَا ثَلاثَةَ أَسْمَاءٍ لِفَاقَةِ الْخَلْقِ إِلَيْهَا وَحَجَبَ مِنْهَا وَاحِداً وَهُوَ الاسْمُ الْمَكْنُونُ الْمَخْزُونُ فَهَذِهِ الاسْمَاءُ الَّتِي ظَهَرَتْ فَالظَّاهِرُ هُوَ الله تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى وَسَخَّرَ سُبْحَانَهُ لِكُلِّ اسْمٍ مِنْ هَذِهِ الاسْمَاءِ أَرْبَعَةَ أَرْكَانٍ فَذَلِكَ اثْنَا عَشَرَ رُكْناً ثُمَّ خَلَقَ لِكُلِّ رُكْنٍ مِنْهَا ثَلاثِينَ اسْماً فِعْلاً مَنْسُوباً إِلَيْهَا فَهُوَ الرَّحْمَنُ الرَّحِيمُ الْمَلِكُ الْقُدُّوسُ الْخَالِقُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُصَوِّرُ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلا نَوْمٌ الْعَلِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ الْحَكِيمُ الْعَزِيزُ الْجَبَّارُ الْمُتَكَبِّرُ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ الْمُقْتَدِرُ الْقَادِرُ السَّلامُ الْمُؤْمِنُ الْمُهَيْمِنُ الْبَارِئُ الْمُنْشِئُ الْبَدِيعُ الرَّفِيعُ الْجَلِيلُ الْكَرِيمُ الرَّازِقُ الْمُحْيِي الْمُمِيتُ الْبَاعِثُ الْوَارِثُ فَهَذِهِ الاسْمَاءُ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الاسْمَاءِ الْحُسْنَى حَتَّى تَتِمَّ ثَلاثَ مِائَةٍ وَسِتِّينَ اسْماً فَهِيَ نِسْبَةٌ لِهَذِهِ الاسْمَاءِ الثَّلاثَةِ وَهَذِهِ الاسْمَاءُ الثَّلاثَةُ أَرْكَانٌ وَحَجَبَ الاسْمَ الْوَاحِدَ الْمَكْنُونَ الْمَخْزُونَ بِهَذِهِ الاسْمَاءِ الثَّلاثَةِ وَذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُ تَعَالَى قُلِ ادْعُوا الله أَوِ ادْعُوا الرَّحْمنَ أَيًّا ما تَدْعُوا فَلَهُ الاسْماءُ الْحُسْنى‏.

1. Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from Salih ibn abu Hammad from al-Husayn ibn Yazid from al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn abu Hamzah from Ibrahim ibn ‘Umar from abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.), who has said the following. “Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, created a name with letters that had no sound. He created it with the word that would not be spoken. He created it with a personality that had no body. It had a similarity that is not described. He created it with color that is colorless. Diameters were negated from it. Limitations were distanced away from it. The feel of all Mutawahhim (intuitive sense) is curtained from it. It is hidden but not covered. He placed it to be a perfect word consisting of four parts together. No one of them is before the other. From these He made public only three names because people desperately needed them. One of them is kept out of public sight. This is the protected and treasured name. The names that became public is Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High. He, the Most Glorious, for each of these made four subservient key elements that formed twelve key elements. Then for each key element He created thirty key elements to indicate an action ascribed to the four key elements. He, therefore, is Al-Rahman (The All compassionate); al-Rahim (The All merciful); al-Malik (The King); al-Quddus (The Holy); al-Khaliq (The Creator); al-Bari’ (The Maker); al-Musawwir (The Fashioner); al-Hayy (The Ever living); al-Qayyum (The Self-subsistent). Neither slumber nor sleep seizes Him. Al-’Alim (The All-knowing); al-Khabir (The All-aware); as-Sami‘ (The All-hearing); al-Basir (The All-seeing); al-Hakim (The All-wise); al-‘Aziz (The All-Majestic); al-Jabbar (The All-compeller); al-Mutakabbir (The All- sublime); al-‘Aliyy (The Most High); al-‘Azim (The All-Great); al-Muqtadir (The All-Dominant); al-Qadir (The All-capable); Al-Salam (The All peaceable); al-Mu’min (The All-protector); al-Muhaymin (The All-preserver); al-Munshi’ (The All-inventor) al-Badi‘ (The All-originator); al-Rafi‘ (The Exalter); al-Jalil (The Majestic); al-Karim (The Generous); al-Raziq (The All-provider); al-Muhyi (The Bestower of Life); al-Mumit (The Inflictor of death); al-Ba‘ith (The Resurrector); al-Warith (The Inheriter). These names in addition to the (Asma’ al-Husna) beautiful names make them three hundred sixty names. Such is the ratio of these three names. These three names are key element names. Only one name is kept out of public sight, protected and treasured with these three names. Thus, Allah has said, “Say, call Allah or al-Rahman. Call whichever you call. For Him there are beautiful names. (17:110) from each were I by letter, nor expressed by word, nor manifested by baby, nor indicated by similitude, nor emblazoned by colour. Negated from Annit are all dimensions, removed from it all limits, inaccessible is it to the sensations of every sensate being, and veiled is it without any veil. Allah made it one all comprehensive Word, with four constituents contiguous, immediate, without one being after the other. Three out of the four were made manifest, since creation was most in need of them, and one has been concealed, the ineffable, the occult Name. Of the (three) Names that have been made manifest, their manifestation is Allah’—the Hallowed, the Exalted. To each one of these (three) Names, Allah, the Exalted, subordinated four ’Supports’. Thus, they have all become twelve ’supports’ in number. Then Allah created thirty Names in respect of every support according to (His different) actions. These names are: Al-Rahman (The All-compassionate); ar-Rahim (The All-merciful); al-Malik (The Lord); al-Quddus (The All-holy); al-Khiliq (The Creator); al-B&ri’ ( The Maker); al-Musawwir (The Fashioner); al-.Hayy (The Ever living); al-Qayyam (The Selfsubsistent); ’Whom slumber seize Him not, neither sleep’; al- !41im ( The All-knowing); al-Khabur ( The All-aware); as-Sami ’ ( The Allhearing); al-Basir (The All-seeing); al-Hakim (The All-wise); al->lziz (The All-mighty); al-Jabbar (The All-compeller); al-Mutakabbir (The All-sublime); al-Aliyy (The All-high); al-!Azim (The All-glorious); al-Muqtadir ( The All-omnipotent); al-Qddir ( The All-powerful); as-Saldm (The All-peaceable); al-Mu’min (The All-faithful); al-Muhaymin (The All-preserver); al-Munshi’ (The All-evolver) al-Badi’ (The All-originator);ar-Rafi’ (The Exalter);al-Jalil (The Majestic);al-Karim (The Generous); ar-R§ziq (The All-sustainer); al-MuRyi (The Bestower of Life); al-Mumit (The Inflictor of death); al-Ba’ith (The Resurrector); al-W6rith (The Inheriter). “These names along with the other Beautiful and Good Names come to a total of three hundred and sixty names. They all branch forth from the original three which are the three supports. And that one ineffable occult name became concealed through these three names. This is what Allah, the Sublime, has said, ’Say, call upon Allah, or call upon ’ar-Rahmdn’ (the Compassionate); whichsoever you call upon, to Him (alone) belongs the name most Beautiful. ’ (al-Isrd’, 17: 110)” Al-‘Allamah al-Majlisi has said the following about the above Hadith, “Among its narrators, there are unknown people. The Hadith itself is not clear. Its meaning is an indefinable secret. No one knows its interpretation except Allah and those firmly rooted in knowledge. Therefore, to remain silent in its interpretation and to confess failure in understanding its meaning is most righteous, worthwhile and suitable to precaution. (Mir’at al-‘uqul, vol.2, p.24)