This recitation of the 99 revealed names of God in the Islamic tradition was placed at the beginning of this album as a practical expression of BismiLlah ar-Rahman as-Rahim, the oft repeated formulaic beginning of all chapters of the Qur’an, save one. The phrase is popularly translated into English as “In the name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful“, and has been devoutly repeated by Muslims throughout the ages and across the continents at the beginning of any undertaking.
This recitation is also the very first one that I had ever done in a formal gathering of dhikr, at the December 1997 Deen Intensive Program at a winter campsite 2 hours north of Toronto. It was a clear, cold night. The multitudinous stars of an Ontario country sky lit up the crisp foot-high snow all around us. We were in a large, log cabin with subdued lighting, in the company of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Shaykh Jamal Dhahabi, Shaykh Abdullah Al Kadi, and Shaykh Talal Ahdab. Also present were Sidi Nazim Baksh, Sidi Abdul-Rehman Malik, and many devoted students of sacred sciences and spiritual matters in the Islamic tradition. My recitation was followed by Shaykh Jamal’s recitation of the second chapter of the Burdah, and Shaykh Hamza’s moving commentary on it. It was a very special evening that remains vivid in the minds of all those present.
A recording of my performance from that session is still floating around somewhere on the internet.
He is God, besides Whom there’s no other god
The All Beneficent, The Most Merciful, The King, The Sovereign, The Most Holy, The Source of Peace, The Guarantor, The Guardian, The Almighty
The Powerful, The Tremendous, The Creator, The Maker
The Fashioner of Forms, The Ever Forgiving, The All Compelling Subduer, The Bestower, The Ever Providing
The Opener, The All Knowing, The Restrainer, The Expander, The Abaser, The Exalter, The Giver of Honor, The Giver of Dishonor, The All Hearing, The All Seeing, The Judge, The Supremely Just, The Subtly Kind
The All Aware, The Forbearing, The Magnificent, The All Forgiving, The Grateful, The Sublimely Exalted
The Great, The Preserver, The Nourisher, The Reckoner, The Majestic, the Generous, The Watchful, The Responsive
The All Encompassing, The Wise, The Loving, The All Glorious, The Raiser of the Dead, The Witness, The Real
The Trustee, The Strong
The Steadfast, The Protecting Friend, The All Praiseworthy, The Accounter
The Initiator of all, The Reinstater Who Brings Back All, The Giver of Life, The Bringer of Death, The Ever Living, The Self Subsisting Sustainer of All, The Perceiver, The Magnificent, The All Inclusive One, The Indivisible, The Self Sufficient
The All Powerful
The All Determiner, The Expediter, The Delayer, The First, The Last, The Manifest, The Hidden, The Patron, The Self Exalted
The Most Kind and Righteous, The Ever Relenting, The Avenger, The Pardoner, The Compassionate, The Owner of All Sovereignty, The Lord of Majesty and Generosity
The Equitable, The Gatherer, The All Rich, The Enricher, The Withholder, The Distressor, The Benefactor, The Light, The Guide, The Originator, The Ever Enduring, The Inheritor of All, The Infallible Teacher
The Timelessly Patient, Sublime be His Majesty.
Translation © Nader Khan 2008 All Rights Reserved
- Devotional Songs