Using The Beautiful Names as Wazîfa
Reciting and meditating upon the Beautiful Names (Asmâ' ul-Husnâ) of Allâh can be a very powerful and productive practice. This practice may be used to promote the conscious emergence and continual awareness of these Divine Qualities in one's own life as a means of connecting to, and being a vehicle of, the Divine Presence.
...if a peaceful person comes into the room, someone might say, "It's wonderful to see a peaceful person." The dervish, however, would say instead, "Isn't it wonderful to see Divine Peace coming through this person?" What they mean by this is that the human personality has the potential to become the vehicle of the Universe's archetypes. This is the intention behind the practice of wazâ'if... to connect a specific quality in oneself to its source...
Awakening, by Pir Vilayat Khan
God is within you; you are His instrument, and through you He expresses Himself to the external world.
Bowl of Saki, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
You cannot reach the secret of this Love if you do not change every quality to be like that of your Beloved.
Meaning of the Names of Our Lord, Sidi Shaykh Muhammad
Ponder here and now on His qualities,
The Secret Rose Garden, Mahmud Shabistari
To Him we attribute no quality without ourselves having that quality.
The goal of wazîfa practice
is to develop an intimate connection to these Divine Qualities and
allow the Qualities to be reflected openly and freely in our lives.
Guide us on the path of Thine Own Goodness.
All meditation and contemplation are taught with this purpose: to harmonize one's innermost being with God, so that He is seeing, hearing, thinking through us, and our being is a ray of His light.
He who truly wants to become aware of the names of God should meditate upon His words "O people, it is you who are in need of Allah!". In reality there is nothing in existence but His names.
ibn 'Arabi (quote from Qur'an 35:15)
A common wazîfa practice is, for
example, to use the Beautiful Names as part of a daily spiritual
practice by choosing a couple of the Divine Qualities which seem
to be lacking or out of balance in one's life, and reciting each
of the chosen qualities, such as yâ-latîf,
yâ-bâtin, 33 or 99 times as an
invocation, while deeply and powerfully imagining and feeling the
successful expression of those Divine Qualities in one's own life
The advantage of reciting these phrases in a language which is foreign to most of us is that there is an opportunity for them to convey higher forms of meaning that lie out of range of our familiar language.
Awakening, by Pir Vilayat Khan
In this practice, depth is more important than quantity. The power of the words arises from the consciousness of one's intention. Without heart-felt intention and profound longing for success, mere repetition is pointless.
Each of the Names is a drop that contains the entire ocean. Insha'allah
(God willing) you will discover the One who lives in the heart of
every name. All of creation is an outward expression of the One
Penetrate the heart of just one drop of water,
The Mystic Rose Garden, Mahmûd Shabistarî
Do not say anything else, just repeat that word over and over, innumerable times. Finally it will lose all meaning, but take on an entirely new significance. God will open the doors and you will find yourself using that simple word to say everything that you wanted to say.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, from Warrior of the Light, by Paulo Coelho
The definitions of the Divine Names, as offered on these web pages, are simply a starting point. They are merely fragments, pieces of a puzzle, awaiting your loving attention. By meditating on the essence of the multiple meanings of the Arabic roots from which each Beautiful Name is derived, one may discover a deeply personal meaning, and thereby learn how to most appropriately acknowledge and appreciate that specific quality in one's own life and in all of creation in every moment.
On any journey, unfamiliar territory may be more easily traversed with the aid of an experienced guide, and similarly, an experienced guide can be an invaluable aid in the study and use of wazîfa.
The role of a spiritual guide is beautifully summarized in the Chandogya Upanishad (VI.14.1):
As a man from Gandhara, blindfolded, led away and left in a lonely place, turns to the east and west and north and south and shouts "I am left here and cannot see!" until someone removes his blindfold and says "There lies Gandhara; follow that path."
Thus informed, able to see for himself, the man inquires
from village to village and reaches his homeland at last. -
Just so, my son, one who finds an illuminated teacher attains
to spiritual wisdom...
Jalaluddin Rumi said:
A friend is needed; travel not the road alone,
Yet it is possible for the seeker to make the journey without a guide:
Many ask, 'Can one not take the direct road to God, without the help of a Teacher?' I say, 'There is nothing impossible. A ladder is only a means to go from the ground floor to the upper floor; but if one can climb without a ladder, it is not impossible.' As the ladder is a convenience, so the teacher takes the same place in the spiritual path.
Sangatha II, Riyazat, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
When one knows the destination, then the most suitable path may be rather obvious. However, since few people truly understand the destination, and are unlikely to stumble upon the destination by taking random steps, most people will get better results with a guide.
The real essence of the entire guidance issue is well summarized by the great Sufi teacher Abu Sa'id Khair who was asked about the steps required to reach the goal, and he simply replied:
So, if you see how to accomplish that one step, then you don't need a guide. If you don't see how to do that, then a guide will be very useful.
Fortunately, there is a teacher available in every moment, if one is awake enough to perceive the teaching. The Almighty One has sent to us many helpers, including the angels, prophets, saints and masters... yet we must learn to hear, learn to see, learn to feel, and we must learn to overcome old habits so that we too are free to walk in harmony with the Divine Will.
Allah is the Guide of those who believe to the Straight Way.
To those who expect the Teacher to be a man, a man will bring the message; to those who expect the Teacher to be a woman, a woman must deliver it. To those who call on God, God comes. To those who knock at the door of Satan, Satan answers. There is an answer to every call. To a Sufi the Teacher is never absent, whether he comes in one form or in a thousand forms, he is always one to him, and the same One he recognizes to be in all, and all Teachers he sees in his one Teacher alone.
For a Sufi, the self within, the self without, the kingdom of the earth, the kingdom of heaven, the whole being is his teacher, and his every moment is engaged in acquiring knowledge. For some, the Teacher has already come and gone, for others the Teacher may still come, but for a Sufi the Teacher has always been and will remain with him forever.
There are many possible paths... great progress may be made at the feet of a magnificent soul who has come to lead the way as a guide, one who has already overcome all greed, hate, anger and lust, one who brings calm, understanding and loving-kindness to every situation. If one cannot find such a guide, then another possible guide is the sincere spiritual seeker who has been treading the path, with favorable results, for many years. And if one cannot find such a guide, then yet another source of guidance will be found in the oral and written traditions of the great prophets, saints and teachers. There truly is no shortage of ways to make progress... the Divine teachings are everywhere.
Light upon Light! Allah doth guide whom He will to His Light.
Yet, as useful as a guide may be, the spiritual journey is ultimately
a personal journey, a journey of direct personal experience of the
Divine. Guides, signposts and maps are useful, but they can only
lead one to the threshold of discovery. Beyond that threshold, one
must go alone.
The Sufi teacher never wants his pupil to be come an occultist or a great psychic or a man with great power. This does not mean that he will not become powerful, but the responsibility of the teacher is to develop the personality of the mureed, that it may reflect God, that it may show God's qualities; and when that is done then the responsibility of the teacher is over....
... What Christ taught was, "Make your personality as it ought to be, that you may no more be the slave of the nature which you have brought with you, nor of the character which you have made in your life; but that you may show in your life the divine personality, that you may fulfill on this earth the purpose for which you have come."
On the spiritual journey, the matter of greatest importance
is the direct personal experience of the Divine Presence through
which one may selflessly express the Divine... and these wazîfa
practices, done with the utmost sincerity, devotion, perseverance
and loving-kindness can be valuable and powerful steps toward that
... The task of the Sufi teacher is not to force a belief on a mureed, but to train him so that he may become illuminated enough to receive revelations himself.
It must be understood that the path of discipleship, the path of initiation, is not such that the teacher gives some knowledge to his pupil, tells him something new which he has not heard before, or shows him some miracle; if he does he is not a true teacher. Man is really his own teacher; in himself is the secret of his being. The teacher's word is only to help him to find himself.
All that is left to us by tradition
Origins of Beautiful Names
The following list of Beautiful Names is one of the most common lists of Beautiful Names. There are, however, a variety of different lists of 99 Beautiful Names, each of which has been handed down as a matter of tradition. This particular list is said to have been given by the Prophet Muhammad. For more details on the origins of this particular list of Beautiful Names, see the "origins" page.
Throughout recorded history, Beautiful Names have been revealed to the prophets of various cultures. In accordance with such traditions, the Hebrew Names, Aramaic Names or other such Divine Names are also useful in wazîfa practices.
The key to these practices is not found in the origin of the
list, but rather in the devotion, sincerity and perseverance with
which the seeker pursues the practices and approaches the threshold
of discovery.... one must be empty in order to be filled.
It is not the solid wood that can become a flute, it is the empty reed.
Click on any of the underlined numbers in following list
of 99 Beautiful Names to see the detailed definitions which
more fully describe each of the Beautiful Names.... or use the
menu on the left side of this page to select the desired page.
For guidance in Arabic pronunciation, each of the names has an audio sample that is chanted using an inspirational melody in the traditional Qur'ânic style, as indicated by the sound icon: .
Also, there is also a brief pronunciation guide available.
Please keep in mind that Arabic, much like English, is pronounced somewhat differently in different countries.
Alphabetically Sorted Index
|'Adl||The Just, The Equitable||29|
|'Afûw||The Forgiver, The Effacing||82|
|Ahad||The One, The Only One||67|
|âkhir||The Last, The End and Ultimate||74|
|'Alî||The Highest, The Exalted||36|
|'Alîm||The All-Knowing, The Omniscient||19|
|Awwal||The First, The Pre-Existing||73|
|'Azîm||The Supreme Glory, The Most Grand||33|
|'Azîz||The Mighty, The Eminent||8|
|Badî'||The Wonderful Originator, The Awesome Inventor||95|
|Bâ'ith||The Awakener, The Resurrector||49|
|Bâqî||The Everlasting, The Ever-Present||96|
|Bâri'||The Maker from Nothing, The Evolver||12|
|Barr||The Gracious Benefactor, The Source of Goodness||79|
|Basîr||The All-Seeing, The All-Perceiving||27|
|Bâsit||The Expander, The Unfolder||21|
|Bâtin||The Hidden, The Inner||76|
|Dârr||The Corrector, The Distresser||91|
|Dhû-l-Jalâli wal-Ikrâm||The Lord of Majesty and Generosity||85|
|Fattâh||The Opener, The Revealer||18|
|Ghaffâr||The All-Forgiving, The Absolver||14|
|Ghafûr||The Forgiving, The Pardoner||34|
|Ghanî||The Self-Sufficient, The Independent||88|
|Hâdî||The Guide, The Leader on the Right Path||94|
|Hafîz||The Preserver, The Protector||38|
|Hakam||The Judge, The Arbitrator||28|
|Hakîm||The Perfectly Wise, The Most Judicious||46|
|Halîm||The Forbearing, The Calm-Abiding||32|
|Hamîd||The Praiseworthy, The Laudable||56|
|Haqq||The Truth, The Only Reality||51|
|Hasîb||The Accounter, The Reckoner||40|
|Hayy||The Ever-Living, The Alive||62|
|Jabbâr||The Restorer, The Repairer||9|
|Jalîl||The Majestic, The Glorious||41|
|Jâmi'||The Gatherer, The Uniter||87|
|Kabîr||The Greatest, The Most Great||37|
|Karîm||The Generous, The Bountiful||42|
|Khabîr||The Inner-Aware, The Reality-Knower||31|
|Khâfid||The Humbler, The One who Softens||22|
|Khâliq||The Creator, The Planner||11|
|Latîf||The Subtle, The Gracious, The Refined||30|
|Majîd||The All-Glorious, The Majestic||48|
|Mâjid||The Noble, The Generous||65|
|Mâlik al-Mulk||The Master of the Kingdom||84|
|Malik||The Ruler, The King||3|
|Mâni'||The Preventer, The Defender||90|
|Matîn||The Firm, The Steadfast||54|
|Mu'akhkhir||The Delayer, The Postponer||72|
|Mubdi'||The Starter, The Beginner, The Originator||58|
|Mudhill||The Disgracer, The Dishonorer||25|
|Mughnî||The Bestower of Wealth, The Fulfiller of Needs||89|
|Muhaimin||The Protector, The Bestower of Security||7|
|Muhsî||The Reckoner, The Appraiser||57|
|Muhyî||The Giver of Life, The Reviver||60|
|Mu'îd||The Restorer, The Renewer||59|
|Mu'izz||The Bestower of Honor, The Strengthener||24|
|Mujîb||The Fulfiller of Prayers, The Responsive||44|
|Mu'min||The Remover of Fear, The Giver of Tranquility||6|
|Mumît||The Creator of Death, The Life-Taker||61|
|Muntaqim||The Avenger, The Inflictor of Retribution||81|
|Muqaddim||The Expediter, The Promoter||71|
|Muqît||The Nourisher, The Sustainer||39|
|Muqsit||The Equitable, The Just||86|
|Muqtadir||The All-Determining, The Prevailing||70|
|Musawwir||The Fashioner, The Bestower of Forms||13|
|Muta'âli||The Supremely Exalted, The Most High||78|
|Mutakabbir||The Supremely Great, The Perfection of Greatness||10|
|Nâfi'||The Creator of Good, The Auspicious||92|
|Nûr||The Light, The Illuminator, The Enlightenment||93|
|Qâbid||The Withholder, The Restrainer||20|
|Qâdir||The Able, The Empowered, The Capable||69|
|Qahhâr||The Ever-Dominant, The Conqueror||15|
|Qawî||The Inexhaustible Strength, The Supremely Strong||53|
|Qayyûm||The Self-Existing, The Self-Subsisting||63|
|Quddûs||The Holiest, The Most Pure||4|
|Râfi'||The Exalter, The Uplifter||23|
|Rahîm||The Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate||2|
|Rahmân||The Lovingly Beneficent, Most Kind and Gracious||1|
|Raqîb||The Watchful, The All-Observing||43|
|Rashîd||The Appointer to the Right Path, The Director||98|
|Ra'ûf||The Kind, The Tenderly Merciful and Consoling||83|
|Razzâq||The Supplier, The Provider||17|
|Sabûr||The Most Patient, The Patiently-Enduring||99|
|Salâm||The Source of Peace, The Flawless||5|
|Samad||The Satisfier of All Needs, The Eternal||68|
|Samî'||The All-Hearing, The Ever-Listening||26|
|Shahîd||The Witness, The Testifier||50|
|Shakûr||The Most Grateful, The Most Appreciative||35|
|Tawwâb||The Acceptor of Repentance, The Oft-Forgiving||80|
|Wadûd||The Loving-Kindness, The Most Affectionate||47|
|Wahhâb||The Liberal Bestower, The Giver of Gifts||16|
|Wâhid||The One, The Manifestation of Unity||66|
|Wâjid||The Finder, The Resourceful||64|
|Wakîl||The Trustee, The Advocate||52|
|Wâlî||The Sole Governor, The Friendly Lord||77|
|Walî||The Protecting Friend, The Nearby Guardian||55|
|Wârith||The Inheritor of All, The Supreme Heir||97|
|Wâsi'||The All-Embracing, The All-Pervading||45|
|Zâhir||The Manifest, The Evident||75|
Wishing you love, harmony and beauty,
last updated 27-May-2010