The more a person’s knowledge of Allah's Most Beautiful Names and Sublime Attributes is, the greater the faith in his heart, the greater his love and fear of Allah, and the greater his happiness in this world and the hereafter will be. Knowledge of Allah's Most Beautiful Names has versatile benefits and virtues, including: knowing Allah, the Almighty, asking and invoking Him by His Names and Attributes, deepening love for Allah, the Exalted, being polite in dealing with Him, mending the hearts, purifying the souls, and entering Paradise. Allah, the Exalted, says, "And to Allah belong the best names, so invoke Him by them." [Quran 7: 180] Ash-Shawkani stated, "This verse includes Allah's statement of His Names in general without delving into detail. The word Husna (most beautiful) is the feminine gender of the word Ahsan (the best). It means that these Names are the Most Beautiful Names because they refer to the Most Honorable One. Then, He ordered them to invoke Him by these Names when they are in need as invoking Him by His Most Beautiful Names is one of the causes of answering and fulfilling the supplications of the invoker.
Al-Asbahani said in explaining the importance of knowing these Names, "Some scholars stated, 'The first obligation that Allah imposed upon His creatures is knowing Him. Then, if they know Him, they will worship Him. Allah, the Almighty, says, 'So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah.' [Quran 47: 19] Muslims should know Allah's Names, and their meanings in order to glorify Him appropriately."
Ibn Al-Qayyim said in his book Tariq Al-Hijratain, "As for souls, there is no need greater than their need for knowing their Creator. There is no way to do this except by knowing His Attributes and Names. The more knowledgeable of them the servant is, the more knowledgeable he will be with respect to his Lord, the more he will be seeking to know Him, and the closer to Him he will be. Moreover, the more ignorant the person is about these Names and Attributes, the more ignorant, hateful, and remote from his Lord he will be. A servant's status in the sight of Allah will be as Allah's status in the soul of the servant. Thus, heeding to Allah through the path of His Names and Attributes is a wonderful affair and its blessings are marvelous. The followers of this path are granted happiness while they are lying on their beds not tired, exhausted, or expelled from their homelands."
Allah's Most Beautiful Names and Attributes are bound by religious texts from the Quran and the Sunnah and not amenable to reason or mental diligence. Thus, one should abide by what is stated in the Quran and authentic Hadiths in this regard. Ahlul-Sunnah acknowledge what Allah, the Almighty, describes Himself with or what His Messenger describes Him with in the Sunnah without distortion, or negation of either the meaning or function of His Names and Attributes. They also do not exercise descriptive designation or likening Allah's Attributes to those of His Creation. Moreover, they negate what Allah has negated from Himself in His Book or at the tongue of His Messenger as He, the Almighty, is the Most Knowledgeable of Himself and His Messenger is the most knowledgeable human being of his Lord. Abu Bakr Al-Isma`ili Al-Jurjani said, "Ahlul-Sunnah believe that Allah is named by His Most Beautiful Names and He is described with His Most Sublime Attributes by which He named and attributed Himself and by which His Messenger named and attributed Him." Sheikh Ibn `Uthaimin said, "Allah's Names are bound by legal texts and not amenable to reason. Nothing should be increased or decreased from them as mind cannot perceive the Names that Allah deserves. Thus, we should abide by texts in this regard. Moreover, naming Allah with other than what He gives or names Himself, or denying some of what He has named Himself is an aggression against Allah's rights. Thus, we should be polite in this regard and be bound with what is stated in texts." Al-Sa`di stated in his exegesis concerning Allah's saying, "There is nothing like unto Him," that nothing of Allah's creatures is similar to Him in His Essence, Names, Attributes, or Actions. This is because all His Names are Most Beautiful and all His Attributes are Sublime and Perfect.
The Most Generous is one of the Most Beautiful Names of Allah. One of its meanings is that He is the Most Generous Whose bestowal does not come to an end. He is the One Who gathers all types of goodness and virtues. The Most Generous is a name that gathers all praise-worthy attributes. It also means that He is the Most Beneficent to His servants. He is the One Who creates, sustains, forgives, and pardons sinners. He is the Most Generous and the All-Forgiver Who pardons enormously. Al-Ghazali stated in Al-Maqsid Al-Asna fi Sharh Ma`ani Asma' Allah Al-Husna, "The Most Generous is the One Who forgives when He is able, fulfils when He promises and gives more than is hoped from Him. He does not care how many He gives or to whom His bestowal reaches. If any need is asked from other than Him, He is not satisfied. If He is deserted, He blames mildly. He does not leave whoever resorts to Him and does not oblige him to means and intercessors. Thus, whoever is attributed by all these traits is the ever and absolute generous. This is only for Allah, the Almighty, alone." Al-Tabari stated, "He is the Most Generous Who gives those who deny His grace and bounties although they use them in what displeases Him." Al-Hulaimi said, "The Most Generous is the Most Beneficent." Al-Qurtubi said, "The Most Generous includes three meanings: the Most Bountiful, the All-Forgiving, and the Most Honorable. These three attributes are characteristics of Allah, the Exalted. He is still and will be Generous. Attributing Him with generosity requires denial of all deficiencies and describing Him with all types of praise."
Al-Sa`di stated, "The Most Generous is the One Whose bounties are plenty and include those who are thankful and those who are ungrateful. However, thanking His Favors is a means for their increase and denying His bounties is a cause for their elimination." Ibn Al-Qayyim said, "Each of His Names, Attributes, and Actions refer to Him. He is the Most Beloved and the Ever-Praised for all His Actions and Commands. Nothing of His Actions or Commands is in vain; they are based on wisdom, realizing interests, justice, virtue and mercy. Each of these aspects requires praise, extolment, and love. All His Words manifest truth and justice. His recompence represents favor and justice. Thus, when He gives, He gives out of His Benevolence, Mercy and Grace, and if He deprives, or punishes, it will be out of His Justice and Wisdom."
Servants have no necessary rights upon Him,
All their deeds and actions will not be in vain.
If they are punished, it will be out of His Justice.
If they are granted happiness, it will be out of His Benevolence.
He is the Most Gracious and All Encompassing."
The Most Gracious is one of the Most Beautiful Names stated in the Glorious Quran and the prophetic Hadiths:
1- Allah, the Almighty, says, "So exalted is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth; there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Noble Throne." [Quran 23: 116] Al-Tabari stated, "It means, 'Exalted is Allah, the Sovereign, the Truth, the Lord of the Noble Throne; there is no deity except Him."
2- Allah, the Almighty, says, "And whoever is grateful - his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful - then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous." [Quran 27: 40] Ibn Kathir stated, "His saying, 'Free of need', means that He does not need His servants or their worship. His saying, 'Generous' means that He is Generous in Himself even if none worships Him as His Glory is not in need for anyone. It was reported by Muslim in his Sahih, "Allah, the Exalted, says, 'O My servants, even if the first amongst you, the last amongst you, the whole of human race of yours, and that of Jinn become (equal in) God-conscious like the heart of a single person amongst you, nothing would add to My Kingdom. O My servants, even, if the first amongst you, the last amongst you, the whole human race of yours and that of the Jinn too in unison become the most wicked (all beating) like the heart of a single person, it would cause no loss to My Kingdom.'" Al-Baghawi stated, "Whoever is grateful, the benefit of his gratitude will be in his benefit as doing so requires perfection and perpetuation of Allah's bounties upon him. Moreover, offering thanks to Allah and gratitude to Him maintain the bounties that one enjoys and bring the graces that he does not have. Whoever is ungrateful, then indeed, my Lord is Free of need of his gratitude and He is Generous even for those who are ungrateful."
3- Allah, the Almighty, says, "O mankind, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Generous." [Quran 82: 6] Al-Tabari stated, "He is Benevolent for those who are ungrateful for His bounties." Ibn Kathir said, "This verse means that: o son of Adam, what has deceived you concerning your Lord, the Most Generous, the Greatest until you disobeyed Him and did what should not be done? He mentioned His Name "the Most Generous" to denote that the Most Generous should not be encountered with ugly and bad deeds." Ibn `Ashur said, "The Attribute of the Most Generous was mentioned to remind people with Allah's Bounties and Favors. The Most Generous is the Worthiest one of being thanked and worshipped."
4- Sahl ibn Sa`d Al-Sa`idi (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet () said, "Verily, Allah is Generous and loves those who are generous. Allah is Bountiful and loves those who are bountiful." [Reported by Al-Hakim]
Abu Bakr ibn Al-Arabi mentioned sixteen sayings concerning the meaning of Allah's Name; the Most Generous. We will mention some of them in short. First: He is the One Who gives for free. If we say that the generous one is he who gives for free, it will be Allah Alone. Second: the one who gives without a reason is Allah Alone, because He initiated graces for His creatures, and their conditions are engulfed with His graces. Thus, graces and their causes are from Him. Moreover, causes and graces are from Him without reasons. Third: He gives without need for invocation. Those who are generous vary. Some of them give instinctively. Others give because they take into account the right of an intermediator. The Creator gives without invocation. Allah, the Almighty, says, "But Allah confers favor upon whom He wills of His servants." [Quran 14: 11] Fourth: He is the One Who does not care whom He gives or to whom He offers benevolence, whether he is a believer or disbeliever, grateful or ungrateful. Had it not been for His generosity, He would not have given a disbeliever a drink of water. Fifth: The One Who rejoices and is pleased by the acceptance of His gifts. Sixth: He is the One Who gives and praises as He does to His true servants. He endeared faith to them and made them hate disbelief, immorality and disobedience. Then, He says, "Those are the [rightly] guided. [It is] as bounty from Allah and favor. And Allah is Knowing and Wise." [Quran 49: 7, 8]. Seventh: He is the One Whose Benevolence includes those who are in need and those who are not. Eighth: He is the One Who gives before being asked. Ninth: He is the One Who fulfills when He promises. Tenth: He is the One Who forgives while possessing might. Eleventh: He is the One Who is asked for every senior and minor requests. Twelfth: He is the One Who does not abandon those who invoke Him, or leave those who resort to Him.
Servants live day and night in Allah's blessings and benevolence. No generosity, blessings, and benevolence are greater than or equal to His Generosity, Blessings, and Benevolence. All graces in the universe are signs and witnesses of His Generosity and Benevolence. He is the One Who gives without counting and bestows bounties even for people who are ungrateful. How many blessings he bestowed upon His creature before they asked for them! He created them in the best form, gave them abundant sustenance, concealed their faults, and guided them. How Generous He is! Allah, the Almighty, says, "And if you should count the favors of Allah, you could not enumerate them." [Quran 16: 18] Ibn Al-Qayyim stated in his book Tariq Al-Hijratain, "Allah, the Exalted, is the Rich, Praiseworthy, Most Generous, Most Merciful. He is Benevolent to His servant even though He is free of any need to him. He wills him goodness and removes harm from him, with no intention to bring benefit to Him, the Exalted, or ward off harm. However, He, the Almighty, does so out of mere mercy, benevolence and generosity. He is Merciful, Benevolent, Bountiful, and Generous by Himself. He is also Rich, Powerful, and Living by Himself. Thus, His Benevolence, Bountifulness, Beneficence, and Mercy are requirements of His Essence. Moreover, His Might and Richness are the requirements of His Essence. Nothing more than that. As for the servants, they are not supposed to be beneficent except only for achieving their interests."
One of the effects of believing in Allah's Names and Attributes is that they implant in the servants' hearts respect and modesty in dealing with their Lord. Thus, whoever is certain that his Lord, the Almighty, sees him will be shy that his Lord sees him while he is committing a sin. Whoever is certain that his Lord is the All-Hearer will strive hard not to pronounce a word that may enrage his Lord. Moreover, whoever knows that one of his Lord's Names is the Most Generous, his hope and expectations from his Lord will be great and He will frequently invoke and supplicate Him. He, the Exalted, is the Most Generous, who is attributed with all traits of generosity and kindness, Who is High to the extent that He shall not deprive His servants or reject their invocations, even if these servants are unworthy of such benevolence or forgiveness. This is because He, the Exalted, is not pleased with the deprivation of His servant, who rises and stretches out his hands to Him, begging Him, and waiting for His bounty. Salman Al-Farisi reported that the Prophet () said, "Your Lord is Munificent and Generous, and is ashamed to turn away empty the hands of His servant when he raises them to Him." [Reported by Ibn Majah] Whoever knows that his Lord, the Exalted, is the Most Generous, will do a lot of righteous deeds and adopt righteous manners. Allah, the Almighty, is the Most Generous Who loves generosity and good manners. It was reported on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa`d Al-Sa`idi (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet () said, "Indeed Allah is Generous and loves those who are kind, Bountiful and loves those who are bountiful. He loves high noble morals and hates lowly characters." [Reported by Al-Hakim] Ibn Al-Qayyim stated in his book Al-Jawab Al-Kafi, "Whoever has an attribute that complies with one of Allah's Attributes, that attribute will lead him to Allah, bring him to his Lord, and drive him closer to Him and to His Mercy, and make him beloved to Him. He, the Almighty, is the Most Merciful and loves those who are merciful, and Generous who loves those who are generous."