Meaning of “Ahsa” in the hadith related to memorizing the 99 Names of Allaah

Merits of memorizing Allah’s Names

Q: What is meant by the word “Ahsa'” in the Hadith that is related to the Messenger of Allah on the Names of Allah “Anyone who enumerates (Ahsa’) them will be admitted to Paradise.” ?

A: Ihsa’ means to memorize, contemplate, understand and act according to them.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Truly, Allahhas Ninety-nine Names. Anyone who enumerates them will be admitted to Paradise.” and in another wording: “Anyone who memorizes them by heart, will be admitted to Paradise.”

This means to memorize these Names by heart and understand their meaning as this entails goodness and useful knowledge. It also leads to the uprightness of the heart and the more a person will fear Allah and fulfill His Rights.

Q: Your Eminence Shaykh! Some people may count on such Hadiths and think that memorizing the Most Beautiful Names of Allah without effort is sufficient to be admitted to Paradise?

A: This is a misunderstanding as such a Hadith urges Muslims to act according to what the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prescribed and called for such as: “Anyone who memorizes them by heart, they will be admitted to Paradise.” with regard to the MostBeautiful Names of Allah, and: “Fasting the Day of `Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah) expiates the sins of two years: past one and coming one.” Fasting on the Day of `Ashura’ (10th of Muharram) atones for the sins committed in the preceding year. All these Hadiths urge the Muslims to obey Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He). It is one of the reasons of forgiveness.

When a Muslim pursues the means of forgiveness and does not insist on comitting major sins, this will be a reason for his forgiveness. If a Muslim does not avoid committing major sins, these will not take effect.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The Five Obligatory Daily Prayers and from Friday Prayer to Friday Prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan, are expiations for what happened between them, provided the major sins were avoided.” And in another wording: “unless major sins are committed.”

The Jumhur (dominant majority of scholars) holds the view that the promise of forgiveness that is stated in Hadith on the merits of such and such, such as the favor of Salah (Prayer) and how they erase one’s sins, or the favor of Wudu’ (ablution), fasting on the Day of `Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah), fasting on the Day of `Ashura’ (10th of Muharram) or Ihsa’ the Most Beautiful Names of Allah, etc., is conditional upon avoiding major sins and uprightness. These acts are reasons for having one’s sins forgiven in addition to the other reasons which Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) had legislated and avoiding major sins which prevent forgiveness.Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says, And those who, when they have committed Fâhishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allâh and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allâh – and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know. One of the reasons for having sins not forgiven is insisting on committing sins and not repenting, there is neither might nor power except with Allah!

To sum up: The Promise of Allah to admit anyone who memorizes the Beautiful Names of Allah to Paradise, anyone who fasts on the Day of `Ashura’ to atone the sins committed in the preceding year, and fasting on the Day of `Arafah are all conditional upon abandoning major sins. This is also mentioned in a Hadith related to Tawhid (monotheism) such as: “Give the good news of entering Paradise to anyone who honestly testifies that there is no god but Allah.” This is conditional upon abandoning sins. If a person insists on doing sins, they are left to the Will of Allah; He may forgive him or He may throw them into Hell-Fire because of their sins and because they did not repent. When a person is purified of their sins, they will come out of Hell-Fire and will be admitted to Paradise.

Every Muslim should not rely on the Hadiths encouraging and promising good and refrain from the Hadiths and Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) of threatening. They should act according to both and beware of the things which Allah prohibited.They should remember the Hadiths and Ayahs that threaten those who transgress the limits set by Allah and disobey His Commands and at the same time they should anticipate good from Allah, hope for His Mercy and remember His Promise to forgive anyone who performs good deeds. A person should combine between Khawf (fear) and Raja’ (hope). A Muslim should not despair or feel secure. This is the way of the scholars and the believers. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) says about His prophets: Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear , i.e., hope and fear and used to humble themselves before Us. And Those whom they call upon [like ‘Isâ (Jesus) – son of Maryam (Mary), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angel] desire (for themselves) means of access to their Lord (Allâh), as to which of them should be the nearest; and they [‘Isâ (Jesus), ‘Uzair (Ezra), angels and others] hope for His Mercy and fear His Torment. This is the path of the believers who follow the Messengers. They believe in Allah Alone, fear Him, perform His obligatory acts, refrain from the things which He has prohibited, put their hopes in Him, and fear His Punishment.

Source : alifta.com – Fatwas of Ibn Baaz