How does one define Allah? By His unmatchable attributes. According to scholarly consensus, Allah has ‘99 Names’ or ’99 Beautiful Names’. In Arabic, they are collectively called ‘Al Asma Al Husna’. ‘Asma’ means ‘names’ while ‘Husna’ stands for ‘beautiful’. Each Divine Name defines an attribute of Allah. For example, He is‘Al-Ameen’ or ‘the All-Knowing’ as He Knows the past, the present, the future, the hidden and the open, the unseen, the unheard and the unknown. He is ‘Al-Hakeem’ or ‘The Wisest’ as He has Infinite Wisdom, The One Who Can Best Judge All Things. It is to be reminded of such Beautiful Divine Attributes that people decorate their homes with Names of Allah wall hangings. They look up Al Asma Al Husna wall art on the web in order to decorate their home with this kind of spiritual art.
The Prophet (SAW) said: ‘To God belongs 99 names, 100 minus 1, anyone who memorizes them will enter Paradise; He (God) is odd (odd number, he is the Only One), and He loves odd numbers (such as 99).’
Allah says in Surah Al Taha, Verse 8: ‘Allah! There is no god but He! To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.’
In Surah Al-Ar’af, Verse 180 of the Quran, Allah says, ‘And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie or deny (or utter impious speech against) His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.’
Many verses in the Glorious Quran mention the Names of Allah, usually in pairs. For example, Al-Ghafoor and Al-Haleem are two of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah
Al Ghafoor is The One who Forgives Greatly, The One Who Accepts our repentance, Forgives us completely and covers our faults.
Al Haleem is The Most Forbearing. The One who gives respite and does not hasten to punish the one who disobeys Him or goes against His command.
Al-Ghafoor and Al Haleem are two Attributes of Allah that complement each other. It is because Allah is Al Haleem (Most Forbearing) that He forgives our faults (Al Ghafoor).
The two Names appear as a pair in Surah Al Baqarah:
“Allah does not impose blame upon you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He imposes blame upon you for what your hearts have earned. And Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.” (Quran 2:225)
“There is no blame upon you for that to which you [indirectly] allude concerning a proposal to women or for what you conceal within yourselves. Allah knows that you will have them in mind. But do not promise them secretly except for saying a proper saying. And do not determine to undertake a marriage contract until the decreed period reaches its end. And know that Allah knows what is within yourselves, so beware of Him. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing.” (Quran 2:235)
Even as many Muslims decorate their homes with a Names of Allah wall hanging or Names of Allah wall art frames, some also look up frames with only some displayed in calligraphy – one, two, three or more in a single frame, or spread across different frames that can be displayed together.