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  • Names of Prophet Muhammad

    Arabic

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    Names of Prophet Muhammad

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      The names of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Arabic: اسما ءالنبي; Asma un-Nabi or اسماء محمد; Asma Muhammad) are described throughout the Quran and in Prophetic literature (Hadiths and Sirah). The Arabs say that the more names a thing is given, the more noble it is. A number of scholars have compiled collections of the names of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to increase the appreciation of who he actually is. In some cases they collected 99 names, to match the 99 Names of Allah mentioned in a famous Hadith. In other cases, they collected far more.

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      Names of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in Masjid Nabawi
      The names of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ painted on the walls of Masjid Nabawi (bottom row)

      Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi relates in his commentary on Kitab al-shamail, the great Hadith compilation of Imam Tirmidhi describing the Prophet ﷺ, that some Sufis have said that the Prophet has a thousand names. Ibn al-Faris includes 2020 in his Tafsir Asma al-Rasul, while Abu al-Hasan al-Subki states that they number 4000. Qastallani relates just over 500 in his work al-Mawahib al-ladunniyya. Qadi Iyad, in al-Shifa, his classic treatise on the Prophet ﷺ, limits himself only to those names ascribed clearly to him; he also says that the Prophet ﷺ has 30 names which are also among the Names of Allah.

      Other authorities, such as Nawawi, Suyuti, and Sakhawi, derived his names not only from names clearly ascribed to him, but also from various actions attributed to him as well. Imam al-Jazuli collected 201 according to the collection of Abu Imran al-Zannati al-Fasi.

      Imam al-Ghazali relates that the learned are in agreement that it is not permissible to give the Prophet ﷺ a name unless either Allah has given it to him in the Quran or else it has come to us from previous scriptures, or from his father Abd Allah or his grandfather Abd al-Muttalib, or he gave it to himself.

      Any name we attribute to him must have been related through some valid source. Scholars consider it permissible to extrapolate names not only from rigorously authenticated or sound traditions but also from ‘weak’ ones, because they do not believe this to be one of the matters of tenets of faith (i’tiqad) which require definitive knowledge concerning which there is no doubt.

      We are not allowed to devise or invent names for the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, even if they allude to a perfection fitting for him. The reason why it is not permitted is that it is only fit for us to ascribe to him qualities which are fit for man. If we were to ascribe any perfection to him, beyond those that have come to us through the Qur’an and Hadith, we could unwittingly lapse by ascribing to him attributes which are only fit for Allah, and thus fall into the unlawful.

      Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Fasi in his commentary on Dalail al-Khayrat says about the benefits of knowing the names of the Prophet ﷺ:

      One of his many merits, Allah bless him and give him peace, is that mentioning his names enables one to visualise him and bring him to mind and to gain true knowledge of him, his names, his attributes and the glorious station he has with his Creator.

      Qadi Iyad says in al-Shifa: “One of the things Allah has made unique to him is that He has made it so that his names incorporate praise of him, and by remembering him one shows the gratitude that is his due. The purpose behind them is to gain greater knowledge of him. Knowing that his many names indicate his greatness brings about veneration for him and increases one’s love for him. Knowing each specific name also increases one’s respect and adoration for him and encourages one to invoke abundant blessings upon him.

      Many of these names are mentioned in the following chapters, which concern the way to invoke blessings upon him; but they are collected together here beforehand. This is in order that anyone reciting the blessings on him in the subsequent chapters will be aware of these qualities enumerated in regard to him, and know they are truly his names, Allah bless him and give him peace. Likewise, Sheikh Ibn al-Fakihani compiled a chapter dedicated to his names in his book al-Fajr al-munir, as did Abu al-Khayr al-Sakhawi in al-Qawl al-badi’; and Allah knows best the intention of them all (Matali al-masarrat [3], 89).

      Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani explains why some gatherings of the Dalail al-Khayrat include a recitation of the Prophetic names and titles in addition to the actual text of the Dalail itself by saying:

      The commentator said: The reason for the mentioning of his ﷺ names…is because his ﷺ names single him out and describe him, and by means of them one gains a complete understanding of him ﷺ his names, attributes and his great rank with his Creator…

      Then knowing that he has many names indicates to his greatness and by means of this his honouring is achieved; and love of him increases. Then knowledge of them in detail results in increase in the love of him and also honouring of him resulting in sending abundant salat upon him ﷺ.

      Many of the mentioned names are scattered amongst books regarding the formulas of sending salat upon him ﷺ. They have been presented at the beginning so that the reciter of the faṣl al-kayfiyyah sending salat should know these attributes mentioned regarding the Prophet ﷺ and knows that they are his names ﷺ. This is how al-Fakihani authored a chapter in his book Fajr al-Munir regarding his names ﷺ; likewise Abul Khayr al-Sakhawi in Qawl al-Badi’, and Allah knows best all of their objectives.

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      List of Names and Titles

      Below is a list of 201 titles / names of Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ according to the collection of Imam al-Jazuli. It is numbered as 202, as the names Ra’uf and Rahim (187 and 188 on the list, respectively) are separate whereas Imam al-Jazuli considered Ra’uf and Rahim as a single name since they come together, without any conjunction, in the Quran.

      Arabic Name Meaning
      1
      مُحَمَّدٌ
      Muḥammad
      Oft-Praised
      2
      أَحْمَدٌ
      Aḥmad
      Greatest of Praisers
      3
      حَامِدٌ
      Ḥāmid
      Praiser
      4
      مَحْمُودٌ
      Maḥmūd
      Praised One
      5
      أَحِيْدُ
      Aḥīd
      Repeller
      6
      وَحِيْدٌ
      Waḥīd
      Unique
      7
      مَاحٍ
      Māḥī
      Effacer
      8
      حَاشِرٌ
      Ḥāshir
      Gatherer
      9
      عَاقِبٌ
      ʿĀqib
      Last in Succession
      10
      طَهَ
      Ṭāhā
      Taha
      11
      يَسٓ
      Yāsīn
      Yasin
      12
      طَاهِرٌ
      Ṭāhir
      Pure One
      13
      مُطَهَّرٌ
      Muṭahhar
      Purified
      14
      طَيِّبٌ
      Ṭayyib
      Fragrant
      15
      سَيِّدٌ
      Sayyīd
      Liegelord
      16
      رَسُولٌ
      Rasūl
      Emissary, or Messenger
      17
      نَبِيٌّ
      Nabiyy
      Prophet
      18
      رَسُولُ الرَّحْمَةِ
      Rasūlu r-Raḥmah
      Emissary of Mercy
      19
      قَيِّـمٌ
      Qayyim
      Upright
      20
      جَامِعٌ
      Jāmiʿ
      Embodier of all Virtues
      21
      مُـقْتَفٍ
      Muqtafī
      Successor to the Past Prophets
      22
      مُـقَـفِّى
      Muqaffī
      Surpasser
      23
      رَسُولُ الْمَلَاحِمِ
      Rasūlu l-Malāḥim
      Emissary who fought Battles
      24
      رَسُولُ الرَّاحَةِ
      Rasūlu r-Rāḥah
      Emissary of Comfort
      25
      كَامِلٌ
      Kāmil
      Complete
      26
      إِكْلِيْلٌ
      Iklīl
      Crown
      27
      مُـدَّثِّرٌ
      Muddaththir
      Enwrapped in His Robe
      28
      مُـزَّمِّلٌ
      Muzzammil
      Enwrapped in His Cloak
      29
      عَبْدُ اللهِ
      ʿAbdullāh
      Slave of Allah
      30
      حَبِيْبُ اللهِ
      Ḥabībullāh
      Beloved of Allah
      31
      صَفِيُّ اللهِ
      Ṣafiyyullāh
      One Solely Chosen by Allah
      32
      نَجِّيُّ اللهِ
      Najiyyullāh
      One who had Intimate Discourse with Allah
      33
      كَلِيْمُ اللهِ
      Kalīmullāh
      One Addressed by Allah
      34
      خَاتِمُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ
      Khatimu l-Anbiyā’
      Seal of the Prophets
      35
      خَاتِمُ الرُّسُلِ
      Khātimu r-Rusul
      Seal of the Emissaries
      36
      مُحْيٍ
      Muḥyī
      Reviver
      37
      مُنْجٍ
      Munjī
      Deliverer
      38
      مُذَكِّرٌ
      Mudhakkir
      One Who Reminds
      39
      نَاصِرٌ
      Nāṣir
      Bringer of Victory
      40
      مَنْصُورٌ
      Manṣūr
      One Granted Victory
      41
      نَبِيُّ الرَّحْمَةِ
      Nabiyyu r-Raḥmah
      Prophet of Mercy
      42
      نَبِيُّ التَّوْبَةِ
      Nabiyyu ṭ-Ṭawbah
      Prophet of Repentance
      43
      حَرِيْصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ
      Harīṣun ʿAlaykum
      Most Concerned for You
      44
      مَعْلُومٌ
      Maʿlūm
      Known One
      45
      شَهِيْرٌ
      Shahīr
      Renowned
      46
      شَاهِدٌ
      Shāhid
      Testifier
      47
      شَهِيْدٌ
      Shahīd
      Witness
      48
      مَشْهُودٌ
      Mashhūd
      One Witnessed to
      49
      بَشِيْرٌ
      Bashīr
      Bearer of Good Tidings
      50
      مُبَشِّرٌ
      Mubashshir
      Bringer of Good News
      51
      نَذِيْرٌ
      Nadhīr
      Warner
      52
      مُنْذِرٌ
      Mundhir
      Admonisher
      53
      نُورٌ
      Nūr
      Light
      54
      سِرَاجٌ
      Sirāj
      Lamp
      55
      مِصْبَاحٌ
      Miṣbāh
      Lantern
      56
      هُدَىً
      Hudā
      Guidance
      57
      مَهْدِيٌ
      Mahdiyy
      Guided
      58
      مُنِيْرٌ
      Munīr
      Giver of Light
      59
      دَاعٍ
      Dāʿī
      Caller
      60
      مَدْعُوٌّ
      Madʿuww
      Called Upon
      61
      مُجِيْبٌ
      Mujīb
      Answerer to the Call
      62
      مُجَابٌ
      Mujāb
      Answered
      63
      حَفِيٌّ
      Ḥafiyy
      Welcoming
      64
      عَفُوٌّ
      ʿAfuww
      Much-Pardoning
      65
      وَلِيٌّ
      Waliyy
      One Close to Allah
      66
      حَقٌ
      Ḥaqq
      Truth
      67
      قَوِيٌّ
      Qawiyy
      Mighty
      68
      أَمِيْنٌ
      Amīn
      Trustworthy
      69
      مَأمُونٌ
      Ma’mūn
      Trusted
      70
      كَرِيْمٌ
      Karīm
      Noble
      71
      مُكَرَّمٌ
      Mukarram
      Ennobled
      72
      مَكِيْنٌ
      Makīn
      Unshakeable
      73
      مَتِيْنٌ
      Matīn
      Firm
      74
      مُبِيْنٌ
      Mubīn
      Evident, Clarifier
      75
      مُؤَمِّلٌ
      Mu’ammil
      Hopeful
      76
      وَصُولٌ
      Waṣūl
      Maintainer of Ties
      77
      ذُو قُوَّةٍ
      Dhū Quwwah
      Possessor of Might
      78
      ذُو حُرْمَةٍ
      Dhū Ḥurmah
      Possessor of Sanctity
      79
      ذُو مَكَانَةٍ
      Dhū Makānah
      Possessor of a Mighty Station
      80
      ذُو عِزٍّ
      Dhū ʿIzz
      Possessor of Glory
      81
      ذُو فَضْلٍ
      Dhū Faḍl
      Possessor of Virtue
      82
      مُطَاعٌ
      Muṭāʿ
      Obeyed
      83
      مُطِيْعٌ
      Muṭīʿ
      Obedient
      84
      قَدَمُ صِدْقٍ
      Qadamu Ṣidq
      Sure Forerunner
      85
      رَحْمَةٌ
      Raḥmah
      Mercy
      86
      بُشْرَى
      Bushrā
      Glad Tidings
      87
      غُوثٌ
      Ghawth
      Aid
      88
      غَيْثٌ
      Ghayth
      Relief
      89
      غِيَاثٌ
      Ghiyāth
      Succour
      90
      نِعْمَةُ اللهِ
      Niʿmatullāh
      Allah’s Blessing
      91
      هَدِيَّةُ اللهِ
      Hadiyyatullāh
      Allah’s Gift
      92
      عُرْوَةٌ وُثْقَى
      ʿUrwatun Wuthqā
      Most Trusty Hold
      93
      صِرَاطُ اللهِ
      Ṣirāṭullāh
      Path to Allah
      94
      صِرَاطٌ مُسْتَقِيْمٌ
      Ṣirāṭun Mustaqīm
      Straight Path
      95
      ذِكْرُ اللهِ
      Dhikrullāh
      Remembrance of Allah
      96
      سَيْفُ اللهِ
      Sayfullāh
      Sword of Allah
      97
      حِزْبُ اللهِ
      Ḥizbullāh
      Party of Allah
      98
      النَّجْمُ الثَّاقِبُ
      An-Najmu th-thāqib
      Shining Star
      99
      مُصْطفَى
      Muṣṭafā
      Chosen
      100
      مُجْتَبَى
      Mujtabā
      Selected
      101
      مُنْتَقَى
      Muntaqā
      Elect
      102
      أُمِّيٌ
      Ummiyy
      Unlettered
      103
      مُخْتَارٌ
      Mukhtār
      Preferred One
      104
      أَجِيْرٌ
      Ajīr
      Protector
      105
      جَبَّارٌ
      Jabbār
      Rectifier
      106
      أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ
      Abu l-Qāsim
      Father of Qasim
      107
      أَبُو الطَّاهِرِ
      Abu ṭ-Ṭāhir
      Father of Tahir
      108
      أَبُو الطَّيِّبِ
      Abu ṭ-Ṭayyib
      Father of Tayyib
      109
      أَبُو إِبْرَاهِيْمَ
      Abū Ibrāhīm
      Father of Ibrahim
      110
      مُشَفَّعٌ
      Mushaffaʿ
      One Permitted to Intercede
      111
      شَفِيْعٌ
      Shafīʿ
      Intercessor
      112
      صَالِحٌ
      Ṣāliḥ
      Righteous
      113
      مُصْلِحٌ
      Muṣliḥ
      Rectifier
      114
      مُهَيْمِنٌ
      Muhaymin
      Guardian
      115
      صَادِقٌ
      Ṣādiq
      Truthful
      116
      مُصَدَّقٌ
      Muṣaddaq
      Confirmed
      117
      صِدْقٌ
      Ṣidq
      Truthfulness
      118
      سَيِّدُ المُرْسَلِيْنَ
      Sayyidu l-Mursalīn
      Master of the Emissaries
      119
      إِمَامُ الْمُتَّقِيْنَ
      Imāmu l-Muttaqīn
      Leader of the God-fearing
      120
      قَائِدُ الْغُرِّ المُحَجَّلِيْنَ
      Qā’idu l-Ghurri l-Muḥajjalīn
      Leader of the Brightly Shining Ones
      121
      خَلِيْلُ الرَّحمنِ
      Khalīlu r-Raḥmān
      Intimate Friend of the All-Merciful
      122
      بَرٌّ
      Barr
      Dutiful
      123
      مَبَرٌّ
      Mabarr
      Fulfiller of Oaths
      124
      وَجِيْهٌ
      Wajīh
      Eminent
      125
      نَصِيْحٌ
      Naṣīḥ
      Sincere Well-Wisher
      126
      نَاصِحٌ
      Nāṣiḥ
      Sincere Advisor
      127
      وَكِيْلٌ
      Wakīl
      Entrusted
      128
      مُتَوَكِّلٌ
      Mutawwakil
      Wholly Reliant on Allah
      129
      كَفِيْلٌ
      Kafīl
      Guarantor
      130
      شَفِيْقٌ
      Shafīq
      Tenderhearted
      131
      مُقيْمُ السُنّةِ
      Muqīmu s-Sunnah
      Upholder of the Sunnah
      132
      مُقدَّسٌ
      Muqaddas
      Pure and Inviolate
      133
      رُوحُ الْقُدُسِ
      Rūḥu l-Qudus
      Pure Spirit
      134
      رُوحُ الْحَقِّ
      Rūḥu l-Ḥaqq
      Spirit of Truth
      135
      رُوحُ الْقِسْطِ
      Rūḥu l-Qisṭ
      Spirit of Justice
      136
      كَافٍ
      Kāfī
      Sufficer
      137
      مُكْتَفٍ
      Muktafī
      Contented
      138
      بَالِغٌ
      Bāligh
      Accomplished
      139
      مُبَلِّغٌ
      Muballigh
      Conveyor
      140
      شَافٍ
      Shāfī
      Healer
      141
      وَاصِلٌ
      Wāṣil
      Attainer
      142
      مَوْصُولٌ
      Mawṣūl
      Connected
      143
      سَابِقٌ
      Sābiq
      Forerunner
      144
      سَائِقٌ
      Sā’iq
      Driver
      145
      هَادٍ
      Hādī
      Guide
      146
      مُهْدٍ
      Muhdi
      Guider
      147
      مُقَدَّمٌ
      Muqaddam
      Foremost
      148
      عَزِيْزٌ
      ʿAzīz
      Mighty
      149
      فَاضِلٌ
      Fāḍil
      Outstanding
      150
      مُفَضَّلٌ
      Mufaḍḍal
      Favoured
      151
      فَاتِحٌ
      Fātiḥ
      Conqueror
      152
      مِفْتَاحٌ
      Miftāḥ
      Key
      153
      مِفْتَاحُ الرَّحْمَةِ
      Miftāḥu r-Raḥmah
      Key to Mercy
      154
      مِفْتَاحُ الْجَنَّةِ
      Miftāḥu l-Jannah
      Key to the Garden
      155
      عَلَمُ الإِيْمَانِ
      ʿAlamu l-Īmān
      Sign of Faith
      156
      عَلَمُ الْيَقِيْنِ
      ʿAlamu l-Yaqīn
      Sign of Certainty
      157
      دَلِيْلُ الْخَيْرَاتِ
      Dalīlu l-Khayrāt
      Guide to Benefits
      158
      مُصَحِّحُ الْحَسَنَاتِ
      Musaḥḥihu l-Ḥasanāt
      Verifier of Good Deeds
      159
      مُقِيْلُ الْعَثَرَاتِ
      Muqīlu l-ʿAtharāt
      Pardoner of Errors
      160
      صَفُوحٌ عَنِ الزَّلَّاتِ
      Ṣafūḥun ʿani z-Zallāt
      Overlooker of Lapses
      161
      صَاحِبُ الشَّفَاعَةِ
      Ṣaḥību sh-Shafāʿah
      Possessor of Intercession
      162
      صَاحِبُ الْمَقَامِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Maqām
      Possessor of the Lofty Station
      163
      صَاحِبُ الْقَدَمِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Qadam
      Possessor of Precedence
      164
      مَخْصُوصٌ بِالْعِزِّ
      Makhṣūṣ bi-l ʿIzz
      One Singled out for Glory
      165
      مَخْصُوصٌ بِالْمَجْدِ
      Makhṣūṣ bi-l-Majd
      One Distinguished by Splendour
      166
      مَخْصُوصٌ بِالشَّرَفِ
      Makhṣūṣ bi-sh-Sharaf
      One Distinguished by Nobility
      167
      صَاحِبُ الْوَسِيْلَةِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Wasīlah
      Possessor of Privileged Access
      168
      صَاحِبُ السَّيْفِ
      Ṣāḥibu s-Sayf
      Possessor of the Sword
      169
      صَاحِبُ الْفَضِيْلَةِ
      Ṣāḥību l-Faḍīlah
      Possessor of Virtue
      170
      صَاحِبُ الإِزَارِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Izār
      Wearer of the Sarong
      171
      صَاحِبُ الْحُجَّةِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Ḥujjah
      Possessor of Proof
      172
      صَاحِبُ السُّلْطَانِ
      Ṣāḥibu s-Sulṭān
      Possessor of Authority
      173
      صَاحِبُ الرِّدَاءِ
      Ṣāḥibu r-Ridā’
      Wearer of the Mantle
      174
      صَاحِبُ الدَّرَجَةِ الرَّفِيْعَةِ
      Ṣāḥibu d-Darajati r-Rafīʿah
      Possessor of Exalted Rank
      175
      صَاحِبُ التَّاجِ
      Ṣāḥibu t-Tāj
      Wearer of the Crown or Turban
      176
      صَاحِبُ الْمِغْفَرِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Mighfar
      Wearer of the Helmet
      177
      صَاحِبُ اللِّوَاءِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Liwā’
      Possessor of the Banner
      178
      صَاحِبُ الْمِعْرَاجِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Miʿrāj
      Possessor of the Ascension
      179
      صَاحِبُ الْقَضِيْبِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Qaḍīb
      Possessor of the Staff
      180
      صَاحِبُ الْبُرَاقِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Burāq
      Rider of the Buraq
      181
      صَاحِبُ الْخَاتَمِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Khātam
      Possessor of the Seal of Prophethood
      182
      صَاحِبُ الْعَلَامَةِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-ʿAlāmah
      Possessor of the Mark
      183
      صَاحِبُ الْبُرْهَانِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Burhān
      Possessor of Proof
      184
      صَاحِبُ الْبَيَانِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Bayān
      Possessor of Elucidation
      185
      فَصِيْحُ اللِّسَانِ
      Faṣīḥu l-Lisān
      Eloquent of Tongue
      186
      مُطَهَّرُ الْجَنَانِ
      Muṭahharu l-Janān
      Purified of Soul
      187
      رَؤُوفٌ
      Raūf
      Gentle or Kindly
      188
      رَحِيْمٌ
      Raḥīm
      Merciful
      189
      اُذُنُ خَيْرٍ
      Udhunu Khayr
      Hearer of Good
      190
      صَحِيْحُ الإِسْلَامِ
      Ṣaḥīḥu l-Islām
      Sound in Islam
      191
      سَيِّدُ الْكَوْنَيْنِ
      Sayyidu l-Kawnayn
      Master of Both Worlds
      192
      عَيْنُ النَّعِيْمِ
      ʿAynu n-Naʿīm
      Source of Bliss
      193
      عَيْنُ الْغُرِّ
      ʿAynu l-Ghurr
      Superior of the Enlightened Ones
      194
      سَعْدُ اللهِ
      Saʿdullāh
      Allah’s Felicity for Creation
      195
      سَعْدُ الْخَلْقِ
      Saʿdu l-Khalq
      Felicity of Creation
      196
      خَطِيْبُ الأُمَمِ
      Khaṭību l-Umam
      Speaker Addressing All Nations
      197
      عَلَمُ الْهُدَى
      ʿAlamu l-Hudā
      Banner of Guidance
      198
      كَاشِفُ الْكُرَبِ
      Kāshifu l-Kurab
      Dispeller of Fears
      199
      رَافِعُ الرُّتَبِ
      Rāfiʿu r-Rutab
      Raiser of Ranks
      200
      عِزُّ الْعَرَبِ
      ʿIzzu l-ʿArab
      Glory of the Arabs
      201
      صَاحِبُ الْفَرَجِ
      Ṣāḥibu l-Faraj
      Bringer of Relief
      202
      كَرِيْمُ الْمَخْرَجِ
      Karīmu l-Makhraj
      Most Noble in Lineage

      Meaning of the Name of Muhammad

      Muhammad is the name by which the Prophet is best known. The Prophet ﷺ said:

      إِنَّ لِي أَسْمَاءً أَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ وَأَنَا أَحْمَدُ وَأَنَا الْمَاحِي الَّذِي يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِيَ الْكُفْرَ وَأَنَا الْحَاشِرُ الَّذِي يُحْشَرُ النَّاسُ عَلَى قَدَمَىَّ وَأَنَا الْعَاقِبُ
      I have many names: I am Muhammad; I am Ahmad (the Greatest of Praisers); I am Mahi (the Dispeller) through whom Allah dispels disbelief; I am Hashir (the Gatherer) at whose feet mankind will be mustered; and I am Aqib (the Last in Succession). (Bukhari and Muslim)

      The name Muhammad is derived from the root ḥa-mīm-dāl (ح-م-د), which means ‘to praise’; this, being the passive participle of the second form, signifies ‘One who is praised continuously and copiously.’ He is so called because his name is forever being mentioned on the tongues of the denizens of the heavens and the earth at every moment in time, and also in their hearts. In fact, he is remembered and brought to mind upon seeing and recognising every beautiful and noble quality and through every knowledge learnt, understood and absorbed since he is the source and epitome of all noble qualities manifested in creation. Not only is he praised abundantly in this world, owing to the guidance and wisdom that he brought: he will also be praised in the next life , thanks to his intercession for the whole of creation after the Resurrection. His name alludes not only to his being much praised but also to the fact that his qualities and virtues are endless and we can never encompass them. The more we discover, the more Allah reveals to us so that we may continue to praise him until the end of time and beyond.

      According to a Hadith cited by Abu Nuaym al-Isfahani, it was his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, who named him Muhammad. When asked why he had done so – the name being unknown amongst his forefathers — he answered, “It is my hope that the denizens of all the heavens and the earth will sing his praises.” It was said that he named him so because of a dream in which he saw as if a chain of silver was emanating from his back; one edge of it was in the firmament and the other was in the lands, one side of it pointed towards the east and the other in the west. Then it turned into the form of a tree, with light on every one of its leaves, to which all mankind in the east and west were holding fast. He saw the Arabs and non-Arabs all bowing and people from amongst the Quraysh holding fast to it. Then a group of people came and tried to cut the tree down; but when they drew close, a young lad whose beauty and fragrance Abd al-Muttalib had never seen or smelt the like of, appeared and broke their backs and gouged out their eyes. Abd al-Muttalib tried to reach out to take hold of the tree but he could not reach it. He was told, “You will have a share of it — but through the people who are holding fast to it.” Upon waking up, he related this dream to one of the divines of Quraysh and they interpreted it as meaning that a child would emerge from his progeny to whom all the people in the east and west would hold fast and whose praises would be sung by the denizens of the heavens and earth. (Rawd al-unuf)

      It is also related by Ibn Hisham and Ibn Sad that the Prophet’s mother Amina heard a voice speak to her, informing her that she had given birth to the leader of his nation and that she should name him Muhammad. Scholars say, combining these two narratives, that she mentioned this to Abd al-Muttalib and so he named him Muhammad, since her experience confirmed what he himself had seen.

      No one had been known by this name until shortly before his birth, according to Qadi Iyad. Zarqani in his commentary on al-Mawahib al-ladunniyya agrees that this is the position of the majority of scholars and is the soundest. Since the Jews and Christians were aware of his impending arrival, about fifteen boys, according to Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani’s commentary on Bukhari, were named Muhammad in the hope that they would be blessed with prophethood in their household. Yet none of them claimed prophethood, and all passed away before the spread of Islam except Muhammad ibn Adi, who by some accounts accepted the religion at the hand of the Prophet ﷺ.

      Honorifics

      In central and south Asian countries such as Pakistan and Turkey, the Prophet ﷺ is often referred to with the honorific title Hazrat (Arabic: حضرت) and is called Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ denoting his majesty and holiness. Elsewhere in the Muslim world, the title Sayyiduna (Arabic: سیدنا), meaning “our master” is often said before the name of Muhammad ﷺ.

      There is also a strong emphasis on sending prayers upon the Prophet ﷺ after his name is mentioned, orally or written. It is related from Ali who said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: ‘The miser is the one who, when I am mentioned in his presence, does not send prayers upon me.’”(Tirmidhi)

      The most common prayer after the mention of the name of Muhammad ﷺ is ﷺ / صلى الله عليه وسلم (sallAllahu alaihi wasallam), meaning “Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him”. This is sometimes abbreviated to “SAW” or “PBUH” (peace be upon him)  when written in English. Abbreviations are however discouraged and there is a strong emphasis on writing out the prayer fully upon the mention of the name of Muhammad ﷺ.

      References

      • Heavenly Guide to the Beacon of Pure Light – Idris Watts.

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