ALLAH’S NAMES GLORIFIED IN ART

Allah’s can best be definedby His unparalleled traits. In Islam, Allah (God) has ‘99 Names’ or ’99 Beautiful Names’, which are together referred to as ‘Al Asma Al Husna’ in Arabic where ‘asma’ means ‘names’ and ‘husna’ means ‘beautiful’. Each Nameindicates a divine attribute or trait. For instance, the Name ‘Al-Khaaliq’ means ‘The Creator’, as Allah has created the entire Universe, the Heavens, the Earth and all that is in between. He is ‘Al Ghafoor’, or the ‘All-Forgiving’ as He forgives a sincerely repentant sinner. He is ‘Al-Adl’, or ‘The Utterly Just’, as He is the Best Judge of all our affairs and deeds. In order to remindthemselves of the Beautiful Names of Allah as well as to glorify them, many Muslims display on the walls of their homes Al Asma Al Husna wall art or 99 Names of Allah wall frames.

The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘To God belongs 99 names, 100 minus 1, anyone who memorizes them will enter Paradise; He (God) is odd (odd number, he is the Only One), and He loves odd numbers (such as 99).’ This sahih hadith inspires many Muslims to memorise the Names of Allah.

Allah says in the Holy Quran (20:8): ‘Allah! There is no god but He! To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.’

In Chapter 7, Verse 180 of the Holy Quran, Allah says, ‘And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.’

Many ayats in the Quran mention the Names of Allah, often in pairs. The first ayatof the Holy Book, which is also the foremost verse of all surahs except one, mentions two Names of Allah: ‘Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem’ or ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.’ ‘Rahman’ is Arabic for ‘Most Gracious’, and ‘Raheem’is ‘Most Merciful’.Both are Attributes of Allah.

Ayat Al Kursi, or the Throne Verse, starts and ends with Allah’s Names. It starts with ‘Allahula ilahaillaHuwalHayyul Qayyum’ which means ‘Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence.’ Al-Hayyu is Arabic for ‘Ever-living’ and ‘Al Qayyum’ is ‘Arabic for Sustainer of (all) existence’. The ayatends with ‘Wa-HuwalAliyyul Azeem’ which means ‘And He is the Most High, the Most Great.’ ‘Aliy’ is Arabic for ‘Most High’ and ‘Azeem’ is Arabic for ‘Most Great’.

Even as many people display the walls of their homes with Al Asma Al Husna wall art or 99 Names of Allah wall frames, some of them also look for wall hangings with just a fewNames painted or printed in a calligraphic font – one, two, three or more in a single frame, or spread across different small frames that can be arranged together. Certainly, this is anaesthetic way to spruce up your spaces as these frames not only enhance the appearance of your homes but also serve as frequent, spiritual reminders.

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