God says, “He taught Adam all the names.” (Quran 2:31)
“The most Beautiful Names belong to God: use them to call on Him.” (Quran 7:180)
The Messenger of God said, “God has ninety-nine Names, one less than one hundred; whoever counts them, enters Paradise.”
The Divine Truths, commandments, attributes, His Beautiful Names, that have been given to humanity, number ninety-nine. Whoever realises these in himself enters Paradise. But one truth over and above the ninety-nine Names belongs to God, the Lord of Power alone, which is His greatest Name. This one Name is the master of all names. The universe, the whole of existence, is contained within these one hundred Names.
Hadrat Ibn ‘Arabi says that the whole universe revolves around four heavenly realms: the Highest Realm, the Evolving Realm, the Regenerating Realm and the Realm of Interrelated Worlds. Of the ninety-nine Names God taught man, twenty belong to the realities in the Highest Realm of the greater universe; twenty-five belong to the Evolving Realm; the Regenerating Realm has four; and the Realm of Interrelated Worlds contains ten. All these realities, truths and qualities exist also in the human being. The principal realities particular to the greater universe are another thirty-nine Names. All these are also included in the human being. Thus, the whole universe contains a total of ninety-eight attributes, while humanity holds one additional special attribute that connects us personally to our Lord, and is a secret between us. It is this which makes the human being worthy to be God’s deputy on earth.
“The Lord said to the angels, ‘Behold I will create a deputy on earth . . .” (Quran 2:30)
and He said to humanity,
“I have created everything for you, and you for Myself.” (Hadith Qudsi)
“I have not created jinn and man, but to know Me.” (Quran 51:56)
Some interpreters give the meaning of the word ‘li-ya’budun’ as “to worship Me” or “to serve Me”, but the greatest of commentators, Ibn Abbas, gives it the meaning of ‘li-ya’rifun’, “to know Me”.
And the Messenger of God says, “He who knows himself, knows his Lord.”
And God, in order to
“. . . teach humanity that which it does not know.” (Quran :95)
“. . . on the earth signs for people of assured faith and also in themselves; will you not then see?” (Quran 51:20-21)
From ‘The Name and the Named’ by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti.