One of the most important things that every Muslim must have is the knowledge of Allah's names and attributes. However, there are still many misconceptions with regard to the names of Allah and their meanings, with many people learning the names of Allah based upon a weak hadeeth, which contains several mistakes. There is also a need for a concise and easy to understand explanation. We recently acquired the domain allahsnames.com, and have compiled a list of authentic names, as well as a list of names that are not authentic. The meaning of the authentic names is being added, and we hope to develop materials, such as posters, and high quality calligraphy for distribution.
The Need for This Project
In many homes, masaajid, and Islamic centres, we see posters displaying the 99 names of Allah. Almost all of these posters are based upon a weak narration in Jaami' at-Tirmidhi, which contains several names that are not from the names of Allah at all, and others about which there is considerable disagreement.
When it comes to understanding the names themselves, and applying them in our lives, there is very little information available. There are a few books available, but limited distribution, cost, and complexity are barriers to this knowledge becoming mainstream.
We are in need of a simple and easy to use resource that is widely available, easy to understand, and most importantly conveys the authenticity, meaning, and application of each name.
There are a number of aims for this project, in it's first phase:
- To produce a website comprising of the most common names that are associated with Allah, both true and false.
- To grade the authenticity of each name in a simple way that people can understand.
- To present a short and summarised meaning of the name, and a suggested English translation of the name based upon that meaning.
- To translate at least one detailed source Fiqh al-Asmaa' al-Ḥusnaa, by Shaykh 'Abdur-Razzāq al-Badr (may Allah preserve him), for each name.
- To commission high quality calligraphy of each authentic name, to be displayed online, and to act as a free resource for other people to use.
- To produce posters and a book of the names of Allah, and to distribute both for cost price, with an optional donation, as well as to allow donors to sponsor free copies.
- To do all of the above under a Creative Commons License, allowing free distribution.
This project doesn't cost us anything to develop the initial content, as work is done exclusively by volunteers. We would consider both professional and voluntary copy-editing, so this may incur a relatively small cost of around £1500.
We expect to have to pay for the high quality calligraphy, although we would consider talented volunteers. Through our collaboration with Kalemah in Dubai, we have found a renowned calligrapher to take the project forward. The cost of this is unknown as of yet, but we have budgeted £2500 (£18-£20 per name approximately).
In order for the project to be successful, with the permission of Allah, it is also important that we distribute as many free posters as possible. Although we would expect that the project will be continually producing posters and books, we would like to include an initial print run of large posters, for free distribution to Islamic centres. The graphic design is expected to be done by our in-house team of volunteers, so we have budgeted £1000 for the initial print run and distribution.
Finally, the website will have a server rental cost proportionate to the number of users, although it will be developed for free in-house, but the server rental is likely to be a very small cost in the initial stages, to be covered by general donations.
Taking all of this into account, we have set an initial target of £5,000. Anything raised beyond this amount will be used for the later phases of this project, including translations into other languages, mobile apps, and book printing and distribution, in shā' Allah. Information on making donations can be found here.
We aim to have the content translated and copy-editing complete by the end of Ramadan 2015, and the calligraphy, website, and poster design shortly after that, with the permission of Allah. This means that we hope to have the first phase of the project complete by the end of 2015.
Where Are We Now?
We have moved the content offline, in order to make use of our newly acquired professional translation software. We are currently waiting for one of the senior scholars to review the final list of names, and in the mean team, we are busy translating the content.