In Islam, God is utterly transcendent and other. In a sense, the believer gains access to the absolute otherness and sovereignty of the Divine through the beautiful names. Muslims always make it clear that God is beyond all characterization and all human categories. Nonetheless, the beautiful names of God provide the believer with an entrance into the ineffable and infinite mystery of the Godhead.
The purpose of reciting the beautiful names is not merely to count them off, but to give the believer access to the mystery of the Divine — an event that transforms the believer and cannot be articulated in human language.
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A Friar of the Atonement, Father Elias Mallon has a licentiate in theology in Old Testament studies and a doctorate in Near Eastern languages.
Tags: Christianity Islam Quran