Numerology in Islam- the miracle of the 99 Divine Names and the Ka’ba

We recently looked at Surat An-Naml (the Chapter of the Ant) and some of the numerological signs manifested there especially around the number 19 which represents the Alpha and the Omega (Al-Awl wa Al-Ahkir in Arabic) and we can recall the Quranic verse “…And He [Allah] …has numerated all things by numbers” (72:28). Now we will look at some of the numerological miracles manifested in the 99 Divine Names of Allah and the Ka’ba.

The Quran informs us that “Allah, who there is no deity except He, has the most beautiful names” (20:8) and we are informed by hadith (Prophetic narration) that “Verily Allah has 99 names, one hundred minus one. He who enumerates them enters the heavenly paradise.” Imam Ahmed bin Ali Al-Boni (d. 622 Hijri) was among the first to organize the 99 names into a square with the name of the Prophet Mohammed added to finalize the square (10×10). If the names are put in a specific order the first miracle becomes apparent; each individual row, column and two 45 degree columns have a total abjad (gematria) value of 3394, meaning adding the abjad value for each name in the segment together (see the table above). All 22 of the 10 name segments add up to the same value. Now if we examine this number, we find that the total value of the individual numbers (3+3+9+4) equals 19, the sacred number.

Further investigation of the names at the corner of the square (Ka’ba) and the associated acts of the pilgrimages (Haj and ‘Umra) reveal more miracles. It is documented in the Sira (Prophetic biography) that once the Ka’ba was being repaired and the different tribes could not agree on who would place the Black Stone back in the Ka’ba so they agreed to wait for the next man they saw, and then the Prophet came (though this was five years before his prophethood began), and he replaced the stone to satisfy all the conflicting tribes. This corner (the Black Stone) is that of Mohammed (bottom left corner of the table). During the Tawaf, or circumnavigation of the Ka’ba, the touching or pointing toward the black stone is a symbol of the renewal of loyalty, obedience, love and surrender to Allah and His Prophet. Likewise, the relation is further portrayed in the Quranic verse “Verily those who pledge allegiance to you pledge allegiance to Allah” (38:48) and the hadith “The Black Stone is the right hand of Allah on Earth.” The Prophet also described himself as the final prophet who was the “Cornerstone of the building.” The Prophet magnified Allah at this station and it is recommended to supplicate here “In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest, verily I am believing in You, believing in Your Book, honoring Your Contract and following the way of Your Prophet Mohammed may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.”

So far we have only discussed the corner of the Black Stone, however as we discuss the other corners and their related acts of pilgrimage, it will become more apparent why this corner is symbolizing the Black Stone apart from what was already mentioned. The corner that is associated with the name Al-Ghafaar (the Forgiver) represents the Yemeni corner of the Ka’ba. It is at this corner during the pilgrimage that pilgrims read the Quranic supplication “Our Lord, give of the best of this world, the best of the next world, and save us from the punishment of the fire [of hell]” (2:201). This supplication is suitable for the Divine Name of this corner and it is read starting from this corner moving toward the Black Stone where one touches or points to it as previously discussed.

What’s interesting is that there are no supplications to be read at the other two corners which according to the table are Allah and Al-Qadir. Allah is the greatest name of His names and encompasses all meaning of the other names. It can also refer to Himself as in His essence as He says in the Quran “And Allah warns you regarding Himself” (3:28) so it is not possible for a direct link and hence it is not suitable to supplicate here. Similarly the last corner, that of Al-Qadir meaning the Destiny Maker, has a meaning that is not suitable for supplication as it emphasizes the trait of divine power which creation has no power over.

Finally the last amazing point regarding the table of Divine Names and the Ka’ba is its shape. Most people assume the word Ka’ba means square or cube and even in Arabic the root has been incorrectly utilized to make the word muka’b meaning cubed. However the meaning of ka’aba which is the root of the word Ka’ba actually refers to a pointy triangle shape which is apparent from the Quranic verse 78.33. Now if you remove the name of the Prophet Mohammed from the table you are only three corners remaining forming a triangle shape.

Our examination of numerology and the related miracles in the Divine Names and the Ka’ba will conclude here. Those who are interested may want to read some of the works of Sheikh Abdul-Baqi Miftah Al-Jaza’ir (in Arabic) and hopefully we will have additional postings on numerology in the Quran.

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10 thoughts on “Numerology in Islam- the miracle of the 99 Divine Names and the Ka’ba”

  1. Assalam alaikum, happy to find your article Jazakallah khairan I hope you keep posting information about abjad and ilm al Huruf

    I have a question, you mentioned that Allah the name of the Essence, the Infinite to call it somehow, we do not make duaa in this corner of Kaaba, is that the treason why instead of saying ya Allah, we say allahumma in the prophetic duaas? And if so what would be the real meaning of Allahumma? Does adding the meem م we balance that energy to make it more accessible by us here on earth?

    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wa ‘aliekum assalaamu wa rahmatullah

      Thanks for your comment and interest.

      Regarding the meaning of “Allahumma” (ٱللَّهُمَّ), Imams of Tafseer like a-Nafasi and Ibn Juzay mention that it is a word derived from “Allah” and the “meem” letter has the meaning of calling out (for a reply). The language scholars of Basra considered the letter “meem” as actually having that meaning, but that use of the letter “meem” for that purpose is specific for the Divine name, and likewise that is why you don’t combine “Allahumma” with “ya” (also denoting calling) as in “Ya Allahumma” but you can say “Ya Allah.” Whereas the language scholars of Kufa believed the “meem” was actually a shortened version of “يَا أَللَّهُ أُمَّنَا بِخَيْرٍ” meaning “Oh Allah, take us to goodness.” Regardless of difference in opinion of the linguistic structure of the word, that structure is not considered a Divine name. You will not see it compiled in lists of the Divine names. Likewise from a fiqh (jurisprudence) perspective, our scholars have narrated that we raise/point with our finger when we read the Lafdh al-Jalaala (Allah) during the tashahud in prayer but we don’t point when we say “Allahumma” (as it’s not considered a Divine name) and Allah knows best.

      I will try to make more similar posts in sha Allah, but they need some time as they require translation.

      Like

  2. Assalam alaikum, happy to find your article Jazakallah khairan I hope you keep posting information about abjad and ilm al Huruf

    I have a question, you mentioned that Allah the name of the Essence, the Infinite to call it somehow, we do not make duaa in this corner of Kaaba, is that the reason why instead of saying ya Allah, we say allahumma in the prophetic duaas? And if so what would be the real meaning of Allahumma? Does adding the meem م we balance that energy to make it more accessible by us here on earth?
    M

    Like

  3. Salam wa rahma,
    Thank you for this article!
    May I ask if ou have the reference of this magic square in AL Buni’s work?
    Thank you in advance,
    Salaam,
    Philipp.

    Like

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