Knowing the Names of Allah (Online Class)

Knowing the Names of Allah

This is a program offered three times per week, for people who wish to  understand the meanings of the Divine Names.

Our discussions will draw on Sidi Muhamad al-Jamal’s book, The Meaning of the Names of Our Lord as well as other texts from traditional scholars for short discussions then end with some dhikr.

UPDATE: Due to continued voice issues classes are postponed until April 12th.

Please feel free to listen to previous recordings below.

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Class 1: Introduction to the Class – In this session, we discuss: the importance of learning & remembering the Divine Names of Allah (Exalted is He), the format of the class & books to be used.

Class 2: Introduction to the Text Part 1 – In this session, we discuss: the Introduction to Sidi’s text The Meanings of the Names of Our Lord; what is an essence, attribute/quality & action; the Presence (hadhrat) of Allah; distinguishing between the Divine Essence, Attributes, & Actions; the 6 Attributes of Divine Incomparability (tanzih): 1) Absolute/Necessary Existence; 2) Self-Subsistance; 3) Pre-Eternality; 4) Infiniteness; 5) Incomparability to creation; 6) Oneness.

Class 3: Introduction to the Text Part 2 In this session, we discuss: a review of yesterday; 7 Attributes of (Allegorical) Divine Immanence (tashbih): 1) Life, 2) Knowledge, 3) Will Power, 4) Power, 5) Hearing, 6) Seeing & 7) Speaking.

Class 4: Introduction to the Text Part 3 In this session, we discuss: Q&A on the Attributes of (Allegorical) Immanence (tashbih), & the Divine Action of creating creation.

Class 5: Introduction to the Text Part 4 In this session, we discuss: Wudud & mawjud; the nature of the Asma ul-Husna.

Class 6: Introduction to the Text Part 5 In this session, we discuss: various questions related to the the terms previously mentioned.

Class 7: Introduction to the Text Part 6 In this session, we discuss: the Divine Names as the bridge between Wujud & mawjud; 3 types of spiritual perception related to spiritual wayfaring & drawing near to Allah through the Names.

 

Class 8: The Name Allah, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the style of Sidi’s book The Meanings of the Names of Our Lord; the preeminance of the word Allah; the Qur’anic quotes relation to sincerity; the role of the Divine Names in relation to accepted dua’, the Sufi search for ‘The Supreme Name’, our Master Abul-Hassan Ash-Shadhuli’s search for The Supreme Name & ‘being’ the Supreme Name.

Class 9: The Name Allah, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: the 1st paragraph of page 3, the nature of the scholarly debate of regarding the Name being derived or revealed; a selection from Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari regarding those who say the Name is not derived from creation just as the One Who is described by the Name is not derived from the philosophies & conjectures of creation.

Class 10: The Name Allah, Part 3 In this session, we discuss: the other position of the scholarly debate regarding the Name being derived or revealed; the root word A-L-H; the meaning of laa ilaha illa llah; the meaning of an ilah; Q&A.

Class 11: The Name Allah, Part 4 In this session, we discuss: how each of the letters indicate Allah’s essence without losing any meaning when losing letters; a spiritual understanding of consonants & vowels.

Class 12: The Name Allah, Part 5 In this session, we discuss: how each of the letter contains secrets witnessed by the gnostics; ‘Alif  in the Name Allah, in relation to ‘ulfa (the ‘love” that was the impetus for creating) & ta’leef (the act of ‘reconciling love’ bringing the multitudes of creation in harmony with the One; letters & vowels as bodies & spirits; the names of the Names (al-asma’ ul-asma’); the subtle workings of created speech as reflection of Divine speech.

Class 13: The Name Allah, Part 6 In this session, we discuss: the secrets of the letter ‘Alif in the Name Allah, as described by Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari in the book The Pure Intention; Knowledge of the Unique Name

Class 14: The Name Allah, Part 7 In this session, we: finish the discussion on the secrets of the letter ‘Alif in the Name Allah, as described by Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari in the book The Pure Intention; Knowledge of the Unique Name.

Class 15: The Name Allah, Part 8 In this session, we discuss: the secrets of the letter lam in the Name Allah, as described by Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari in the book The Pure Intention; Knowledge of the Unique Name.

Class 16: The Name Allah, Part 9 In this session, we discuss: the secrets of the letter ha in the Name Allah, as described by Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari in the book The Pure Intention; Knowledge of the Unique Name.

Class 17: The Name Allah, Part 10 In this session, we discuss: the status of the Name Allah in relation the Essence, Attributes, Asma ul-Husna, Acts/creation, as well as the Divine Names in previous scriptures; also an exercise from Sidi to open the ‘eye of the heart’.

Class 18: The Name Allah, Part 11 In this session, we discuss: acting on knowledge of the Name through dhikr ‘Allah’; Qur’anic verses & ahadith explaining benefits of dhikr Allah & offering encouragement to practice.

Class 19: The Name Allah, Part 12 In this session, we discuss: what Sidi means by “unifying Allah” in the text by looking at Path to Allah, Most High pg 207-210, “The Station of Unity by the Elect & Elect of the Elect”.

Class 20: The Name Allah, Part 13 In this session, we discuss: what Sidi means by ‘unifying Allah’ through actions of the limbs; how the stations of the heart in Path to Allah Most High unify the actions of the heart & prepare our consciousness for the state of annihilation in the remembrance of “Allah”.

Class 21: Ar-Rahman Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the Name Ar-Rahman as a Name of the Divine Essence; the Arabic root R-H-M; different translations of the Name; the exalted nature of the mercy of Ar-Rahman

Class 22: Ar-Rahman Part 2 In this session, we discuss: Ar-Rahman in relationship to the Attributes of the Divine Essence; in relation to the Name Allah, & in relation to all the other Names as the well spring from which all other Names manifest & return to; also Q&A.

Class 23: Ar-Rahman Part 3 In this session, we discuss: a comparison of the nature of mercy, love, wisdom; the Nature of Ar-Rahman as the greater, universal Mercy vs Ar-Rahim as smaller, particular Mercy.

Class 24: Ar-Rahman Part 4 In this session, we discuss: Ar-Rahman in relation to creation; as the Name by which creation was gifted existence; the 2 blessings no being is without & the need for gratitude; the cosmology of the ‘nafas ar-Rahman’ (the breath of the Universally Merciful).

Class 25: Ar-Rahman Part 5 In this session, we discuss: “making mercy our banner”; mercy as the foundation of the entire spiritual way of life (din); the Divine Intent in sending our Master Muhammad (salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallim); & the implications for us as followers.

Class 26: Ar-Rahman Part 6 In this session, we discuss: embodying the Divine Name Ar-Rahman by becoming one of the “Slaves of the Most Merciful” (ibad ur-Rahman) mentioned in surah al-Furqan; listing 5 of 13 qualities that characterize this special class of slaves.

Class 27: Ar-Rahman Part 7 In this session, we discuss: attributes # 6-13 of the “Slaves of the Most Merciful” (ibad ur-Rahman); & the rewards of this special class of slaves.

Class 28: Ar-Rahim Part 1 In this session, we: compare & contrast the Divine Names Rahman (Universally Merciful, i.e. greater mercy) & Rahim (Particularly Merciful, i.e. lesser mercy); Ar-Rahim as the mercy we recognize through ourselves.

Class 29: Ar-Rahim Part 2 In this session, we: compare & contrast Ar-Rahman vs Ar-Rahim as the Originator of creation vs the Sustainer of creation; the role of Ar-Rahim as mercy in this world (dunya).

Class 30: Ar-Rahim Part 3 In this session, we discuss: the phrase ‘Ar-Rahim of the dunya (worldly life)’; Mercy as the all creation revolves around; Ar-Rahim as personal mercy/tailored to each creation; mercy in 100 parts; the vastness of Rahim’s mercy.

Class 31: Ar-Rahim Part 4 In this session, we discuss: the phrase ‘Ar-Rahim of the dunya (worldly life)’; Ar-Rahim (specific mercy) tailored to what we seek/how we strive vs. Rahman (freely given mercy); the outcome of those who seek mercy within Allah’s guidance; the mercy for those who ignore or reject Allah’s guidance.

Class 32: Ar-Rahim Part 5  In this session, we discuss: Rahim/the Bestower of small mercies in the dunya that everyone gets in relations to the bigger mercies given to select few in the Hereafter by Rahim/the Bestower of Mercies.

Class 33: Ar-Rahim Part 6 In this session, we discuss: examples of Ar-Rahim’s mercy as the guide to taqwa (God Consciousness) & tawfiq (Divinely granted success), as well as the guide through mistakes to tawba & forgiveness.

Class 34: Ar-Rahim, Part 7 In this session, we discuss: Rahim of the Hereafter; with descriptions of Allah’s merciful forgiveness from ahadith about the Day of Resurrection.

Class 35: Ar-Rahim, Part 8 In this session, we discuss: the formula Bismillahi-Rahmani-Rahim; tying together previous discussions defining the Divine Names generally, as well as Allah, Rahman & Rahim specifically; also discuss some particular blessings achieved through using this formula in daily actions.

Class 36: Ar-Rabb, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the similarities/differences of the meanings of the Name Ar-Rabb in comparison/contrast to the Name Allah; looking at the linguistic root R-B-B; the relation of Jamali/Jalali meanings of the words; tarbiyya (fostering development); & universal vs. personal Godhood.

Class 37: Ar-Rabb, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: Ar-Rabb as One Who creates, sustains & nurtures creation step-by-step until it reaches completion; Rabbi-l-‘Alamin (Lord of All the Worlds of Creation); & the development of the worlds of Lahut, Jabarut, Malakut & Mulk.

Class 38: Ar-Rabb, Part 3 In this session, we discuss: Ar-Rabb as One Who creates, sustains & nurtures creation step-by-step until it reaches completion; Rabbi-n-nas (Lord of Humanity); the creating, sustaining & development of the body of Adam from clay & descent of the spirit.

Class 39: Ar-Rabb, Part 4 In this session, we discuss: Ar-Rabb as One Who creates, sustains & nurtures creation step-by-step until it reaches completion; the Rabb of each human being; the 5 “lives” or stages of life development each soul goes through in: a) the life before conception; b) the life of the dunya; c) life of the grave; d) life of Resurrection & e) life in the Hereafter.

Class 40: Al-Malik, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the meanings of the linguistic root M-L-K; the different translations of the word Malik; the wisdom of the Name Al-Malik in surah 114; the wisdom of the Name Al-Malik in surah 1; the relations of al-Malik to al-Malakut (the world of sovereignty/ command), al-Mulk (the world of dominion/possession) & the malaa’ika (angelic messengers who carry out His commands).

Class 41: Al-Malik, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: al-Malik as the Sovereign Who decrees; Mercy & Justice as the perogative of all Divine Decrees; decrees in the dunya: destiny & the sacred law; decrees of the next life: final judgment; Q&A related to the reading.

Class 43: Al-Malik, Part 4 In this session, we discuss: hajj as a metaphor for visiting the King; the meaning of being a slave of Al-Malik; witnessing the Kingship of al-Malik through His Subjects.

Class 44: Al-Quddus, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the meanings related to the word al-Quddus: holiness, purity, sacrosanctity & immaculacy; Allah’s Attribute of being “free from similarity”; meaning of perfection & the perfection of Allah al-Quddus in the 7 attributes of meaning.

Class 45: Al-Quddus, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: the 2nd & 3rd paragraphs of Sidi’s text; purity in relation to Allah & humanity; the Love of Allah attached to those who purify themselves.

Class 46: Al-Quddus, Part 3 In this session, we discuss: the spiritual path of purification; Imam Ghazali’ls 4 degrees of purity: a) physical purity in substances; b) ritual purity of acts; c) purity of the limbs & heart from misdeeds; & d) purity from ‘other than Allah’.

Class 47: As-Salaam, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the linguistic meaning of the Divine Name As-Salaam in translation; root meanings & contrasting the creation’s state of peace with Divine Peace.

Class 48: As-Salaam, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: the text’s opening verses; the meaning of greeting with Peace, the origin & etiquettes around giving the greetings of Peace.

Class 49: As-Salaam, Part 3 In this session, we discuss: the meaning of din (way of life/religion); islam as the din of Allah; the Qur’an’s four levels of meaning of islam; & a description of the 1st & 2nd levels of meaning.

Class 50: As-Salaam, Part 4 In this session, we discuss: the last 2 ways Allah (glorious & exalted is He) uses the word islam in the Qur’an: the name of the whole way of life inspired to Prophet Muhammad (blessings & peace be upon him) & the 1st of 3 dimensions within that din.

Class 51: Al-Mu’min, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the linguistic meanings of the Divine Name al-Mu’min; translations, root meanings & ideas related to ‘faith’, ‘faithfulness’, confidence in one’s loyalty, to help us understand al-Mu’min as “The Remover of Fear”, “Giver of Tranquility” & “The Faithful One”.

Class 52: Al-Mu’min, Part 2  In this session, we discuss: ideas related to ‘faith’ as belief; epistemology of how we know what we know, Sidi’s explanation of Sufi epistemology; iman as belief that corresponds to Reality; the role of the intellec (‘aql) & Islamic science of theology (‘aqidah) in confirming iman as true belief synonymous with islam.

Class 53: Al-Mu’min, Part 3 In this session, we discuss: al-Mu’min the giver of iman as a station that is distinct from the station of islam; the distinguishing benchmark of sincerity between the two.

Class 54: Al-Mu’min, Part 4 In this session, we discuss: al-Mu’min as The Giver of Iman; the station of isman as a station that is distinct from the station of islam; the epistemological sources of knowledge of common people; the benchmark of sincerity; going on to discuss knowledge of the specifically elect; knowledge through signs; & iman in realtion to benchmarks of love.

 

Class 55: Al-Muhaymin, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: linguistic aspects of the Name al-Muhaymin such as different tranlations the root words A-M-N and H-Y-M-N and their meanings; & how all of these relate to the station of ihsan (spiritual excellence/beauty/witnessing).

Class 56: Al-Muhaymin, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: the relationship of al-Muyahmin & ihsan; the nature of ihsan; al-Muhaymin’s protection of the friends of Allah outwardly & inwardly; & al-Muhaymin’s protection of the essential secret (sirr).

Class 57: Al-Muhaymin, Part 3 In this session, we discuss: how Names as-Salam, al-Mu’min & al-Muhaymin manifest the lights of islam, iman & ihsan; the benchmarks of love in each of these stations (hawa, hubb, ‘ishq & wudd) in relation to the protection of Allah; also benchmarks of inspiration: different types of inspirations; Divine inspirations (waaridat) & 3 types of light.

Class 58: Al-Muhaymin, Part 4 In this session, we discuss: al-Muhaymin in relation to protecting Allah’s signs (Glorious & Exalted is He) in The Qur’an & his people; we discuss the 3 light sources (waaridat) that protect from differing degrees of darkness.

Class 59: Al- ‘Aziz, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the linguistic aspect of the Divine Name al- ‘Aziz, the different translations & root meanings; as well as reading from supplementary texts to show us the relationship of power, nobility & sweetness this Divine Name implies.

Class 60: Al-‘Aziz, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: the relationship of al-‘Aziz 3 qualities related to qualtity of dignity & nobility associated with al-Aziz; strategies for unifying through this Name.

Class 61: Al-Jabbar, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the linguistic aspect of the Divine Name al-Jabbar, i.e. different translations, root meanings & related words; the compulsary force of al-Jabbar in relation to oppression & tyranny.

Class 62: Al-Jabbar, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: the mercy behind the power of al-Jabbar; the power of mending fractures into the Whole; the nature of the World of Omnipotence (‘Alam al-Jabarut) as it binds the opposite worlds of Mulk & Malakut (Seen & Unseen) in Unity; as well as the worlds of creation in Unity with the World of Allah (‘alam al-Lahut).

Class 63: Al-Mutakabbir, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the translations of al-Mutakabbir; the root word K-B-R’s meanings; the act of takbir & al-Mutakabbir who places the signs of His Greatness in all of creation’s existence, attributes & actions; also the impossibility of assigning this Name to anything in creation.

Class 64: Al-Mutakabbir, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: the second set of root word meanings; the first instance of creation behaving with kibr by Iblis (we seek refuge in Allah from him); those who follow his pattern; & the outcome of kibr in this world & the next.

Class 65: Al-Mutakabbir, Part 3 In this session, we review: the meanings of kibr, takbir, Allah’s Name al-Mutakabbir & the consequences of creation claiming greatness, then discuss: how to draw near to al-Mutakabbir through recognizing arrogance within ourselves, & understandings of how to rid our selves from it through the writings of Imam al-Ghazali & the aphorisms of Ibn Ata’illah.

Class 66: Al-Khaaliq, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the translations & root word meanings associated with the Divine Name al-Khaaliq; the different Names indicating Allah’s being The Creator; al-Khaaliq as the One Who creates from nothing; & this Name’s relationship to the Existence (wujud), Life (hayya), Will (irada) & Power (qudra) of Allah.

Class 67: Al-Khaaliq, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: al-Khaaliq as the One Who creates in a pattern; the nature of khalq (outward character traits) & khuluq (inward character traits); Ghazali’s definition of character in relation to state of being, consciousness, quality (quwwa) & action.

Class 68: Al-Khaaliq, Part 3 In this session, we discuss: unifying through the Divine Name al-Khaaliq; al-Khaaliq as the creator of the means & results; implications for spiritual healing brought by our guide, Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal; & refining our khuluq (inner character traits) to resemble the perfect human being as al-Khaaliq manifested him (salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallim).

Class 69: Al-Baari’, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the linguistic meaning of al-Baari’ by looking at the meanings of the translations and Arabic root word B-R-’; how the Names of Creatorship are synonymous when viewed individually; how they have differences of meaning when viewed in relationship to each other; how the Name al-Baari’ produces creations that are ‘free & clear’ from other creations; as well as ‘free & clear’ from any imperfection; connecting with this Name through reflection and relenquishing self-calculation (tadhbir).

Class 70: Al-Musawwir, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the translations; meanings of the root word S-W-R & related words; the relationship of al-Musawwir to previous Names al-Khaaliq & al-Baari’; the role of al-Musawwir in fashioning the forms of all creation; and connecting with this name through reflection (muraqaba) on the forms of things & the wisdoms of those forms until contemplative witnessing (mushahada) opens up.

Class 71: Al-Ghaffar, Part 1 In this session, we discuss: the translations, meanings of the root Gh-F-R and related words; forgiveness in relation to the Essential Attributes of Allah; al-Ghaffar in relation to the other Divine Names of forgiveness.

Class 72: Al-Ghaffar, Part 2 In this session, we discuss: the Divine Name al-Ghaffar in relation to the Divine Names al-Ghaafir, al-Ghafur, Qualities al-‘Aziz and al-Hakim.

Class 73: Al-Ghaffar, Part 3 In this session, we discuss: the meaning, types & effect of sin, the meaning & effect of maghfirah (forgiveness); the Divine Name al-Ghaffar in relationship to al-Halim; & the vastness of Allah’s forbearance & forgiveness.

Class 74: Al-Ghaffar, Part 4 In this session, we discuss: unifying with Allah through the Name al-Ghaffar through the practices of seeking forgiveness (istighfar), repentance (tawba), & reflection on the Hikam of Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari.