Wednesday, 9 April 2014
The Multiple Names of the Tijaniyyah
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is adapted from an extract of the Rimah of Shaykh ‘Umar Futi Thal (r.a.).
We should know that the full name of our spiritual path comprises several adjectival names arranged in this order al-Ahmadiyyah al-Muhammadiyyah al-Ibrahimiyyah al-Hanifiyyah Tijaniyyah. If one wishes, he may call it, Thariqat al-Ahmadiyyah, or Thariqat al-Muhammadiyyah, or Thariqat al-Ibrahimiyyh al-Hanifiyyah, or Thariqat at-Tijaniyyah.
In Bahjat an-Nufus, Imam ibn Abi Jamrah (r.a.) said, “Suppose a question is raised about giving it several names while other spiritual Paths have single name, my answer will be, ‘It has been given many names because it is endorsed with excellent merits and special qualities, with which others are not endowed, and the multiplicity of names is indicative of the superiority of the object named.’”
As we are told in Siraj al-Munir, Surah al-Ikhlasw has many names and the multiplicity of names shows the honour of the object named. Also, the reason why Surah al-Fatihah has many names by which it is called is the fact that it is Endowed with excellent merits and special qualities with which others are not endowed and the multiplicity of names shows the superiority of the object named either absolutely or generically.
That is why the Prophet (s.a.w.) is called by five special names. He is also referred to in the Qur'an with other different varieties of names. Some scholars say the Prophet (s.a.w.) has several hundred names while the other prophets have one name each. That is because the Prophet (s.a.w.) is Swahib al-Liwa al-Ma’qud wa al-Maqam al-Mahmud, the Companion of the Banner of Might and the Station of Praise. The multiplicity of his name is due to the magnitude of his worth. The same applies to Allah’s (s.w.t.) Names, for there is nothing like Him, so nothing resembles His Names, because of their multiplicity and magnitude. And Allah (s.a.w.) Knows best.