Praise be to Allaah.
In order to make it clearer, we could word the question
differently and say:
Is it permissible to derive from the attributes and actions
of Allaah that He has confirmed for Himself names for Him by which He may be
called and by which His slaves may call upon Him, and which may be added to
the list of His names so as to attain the reward mentioned in the hadeeth of
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) “Allaah has
ninety-nine names. Whoever memorizes them will enter Paradise” Narrated by
al-Bukhaari (2736) and Muslim (2677), or are there guidelines concerning the
derivation of His names from His attributes and actions?
It is essential first of all to ascribe wisdom to Allaah, may
He be exalted, for He is absolutely perfect, and He is to be named and
described in a manner that is befitting to Him. People should be guided by
that which He has told them in His Book of His perfection, majesty and
might; to Him all things return and He has great wisdom.
But we shall try to understand His names and attributes based
on what is mentioned in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and ponder that so that we
might derive some guidelines for defining His most beautiful names.
The scholars differed concerning that which the brother asked
about, which let them to differ concerning the number of the beautiful names
of Allaah and definition of guidelines concerning them. Some of them
regarded it as the matter of worship only, in which there is no room for
ijtihaad and qiyaas (analogy), as was the view of Ibn Hazm. Some of them
were very lenient about this matter and allowed calling Allaah by names such
as al-Mutakallim (the Speaker), al-Mureed (the Willer) and every other word
by which Allaah is described in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. This was the view of
Ibn al-‘Arabi al-Maaliki and others.
Some scholars took a middle approach; they studied the
reports of the divine names and found that if an attribute implied a sense
of praise only and could not be taken as implying imperfection or fault in
any way, such as hearing and sight, then in the texts names were derived
from it, so Allaah called Himself al-Samee’ (the All-Hearing) and al-Baseer
But if an attribute could be taken as implying imperfection
in some way, such as speaking, for example, as speaking may include lying,
wrongdoing and other bad meanings, in which case it is a shortcoming and
silence is preferable to it, so we do not find a divine name that is derived
from this attribute, so we do not find that one of the names of Allaah is
al-Mutakallim (the Speaker).
This was the view of the great scholar Ibn Taymiyah and his
student Ibn al-Qayyim, and it is the view of most of our contemporary
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh
al-‘Aqeedah al-Isfahaaniyyah (1/19-20):
As for calling Allaah, may He be exalted, Mureed (Willer) and
These two names are not mentioned in the Qur'aan, or among
the well known divine names. Their meanings are true, but the well known
divine names are those by which Allaah may be called upon, and are mentioned
in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and which imply perfection and praise in and of
Knowledge, power, mercy and so on are in and of themselves
praiseworthy attributes, and the names which point to them are praiseworthy
As for speech and will, they may be divided into praiseworthy
types such as truthfulness and justice, and blameworthy types such as
wrongdoing and lying. Allaah can only be described in praiseworthy terms,
not blameworthy ones, hence His names do not include al-Mutakallim (the
Speaker) or al-Mureed (the Willer). End quote.
He also (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Bayaan
Talbees al-Jahamiyyah (2/10-11):
Allaah has the most beautiful names, by which He has called
Himself, and has revealed them in His Book and taught to whomever He willed
among His creation, such as al-Haqq (the Truth), al-‘Aleem (the
All-Knowing), al-Raheem (the Most Merciful), al-Hakeem (the Most Wise),
al-Awwaal (the First), al-Aakhir (the last), al-‘Aliy (the Most High),
al-‘Azeem (the Almighty), al-Kabeer (the Most Great) and so on.
All of these names are names of praise which indicate
praiseworthy meaning, and have no blameworthy meaning. To Allaah belong the
most beautiful names, and He is perfect in all ways. Names which are more
general in meaning and may be applied to both good and bad things are not
found among the beautiful names of Allaah. End quote.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
Mukhtasar al-Sawaa’iq (2/34):
The names of Allaah does not include al-Mureed (the Willer),
al-Mutakallim (the speaker), al-Faa’il (the Doer) or al-Saani’ (the
Manufacturer), because these names may apply to both good and bad. Rather He
is described by praiseworthy names such as al-Haleem (the Forbearing),
al-Hakeem (the Most Wise), al-‘Azeez (the Almighty), the One Who does what
He wills. End quote.
He also (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Madaarij
That which may carry meanings of both perfection and
imperfection is not included among the divine names, such as al-shay’
(thing) and ma’loom (known). Hence He is not called al-Mureed (the
Willer) or al-Mutakallim (the Speaker), because these names may carry good
and bad meanings. This is based on subtle understanding of the divine names
and attributes, so think about it. And Allaah is the Source of strength. End
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in
Sharh al-Waasitiyyah (1/86):
Hence Allaah did not call Himself al-Mutakallim (the
Speaker), although He speaks, because speech may be good or bad, and it may
be neither good nor bad. Evil cannot be attributed to Allaah, and idle
speech cannot be attributed to Him either, because it is foolishness; only
good can be attributed to Him. Hence He did not call Himself al-Mutakallim
(the Speaker), because the names are as Allaah has ascribed to Himself.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And (all) the Most
Beautiful Names belong to Allaah” [al-‘A’raaf 7:180]. They do not
include anything that suggests imperfection. End quote.
See also the answer to question no.
For more information please see the book Mu’taqad Ahl
al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah fi Asma’ Allaah al-Husna by Dr Muhammad ibn
Khaleefah al-Tameemi (50-59).
And Allaah knows best.