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We believe that a true and comprehensive understanding of Islam would not be possible without careful recognition of the Prophetic Tradition and the Prophet's Household. And Allah is the Source of Strength.

He Named Us Muslims

Human language is one of the unique gifts to mankind which has enabled man not only to communicate cross culturally, but has allowed our generations to build onto the works and progresses of our fore fathers.

The way our tongue (and in Imam Ali's words, a piece of flesh) makes unique sounds which are interpreted as meaningful information by our brain is nothing short of a wonder of this world.

But Shakespeare argued differently. He said that if we call a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. What is in a name then?

The first line of the Quran lays down the basic beginning for all believers, that everything good should begin in the powerful name of Allah ;

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Quran [1:1]

The creator of the universe has cautioned us against the sanctity of his names that he has chosen for himself;

And Allah's are the best names, therefore call on Him thereby, and leave alone those who violate the sanctity of His names; they shall be recompensed for what they did.
Quran [7:180]

The Quran has been very strict when it comes down to the angels;

Most surely they who do not believe in the hereafter name the angels with female

Quran [53:27]

Mentioning the name of Allah is one of the highest acts of remembrance and zikr;

And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with (exclusive)
Quran [73:8]

Therefore glorify the name of your Lord, the Great
Quran [56:74]

Making fun of names is something that the creator himself dislikes;

O you who believe! let not (one) people laugh at (another) people perchance they
may be better than they, nor let women (laugh) at (other) women, perchance they may be
better than they; and do not find fault with your own people nor call one another by
nicknames; evil is a bad name after faith
, and whoever does not turn, these it is that are
the unjust.
Quran [49:11]

Eating something which has been invoked by a name other than that of Allah is a poison for believers;

He has only forbidden you what dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and
that over which any other (name) than (that of) Allah has been invoked;
but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring, nor exceeding the limit, no sin shall be upon him; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Quran [2:173]

One of the first things taught to the first ever creation, by the creator, was names;

And He taught Adam all the names, then presented them to the angels; then He
said: Tell me the names of those if you are right.
Quran [2:31]

And dare we ask what is in a name?

We want to name our children with beautiful names, some even research to make sure that the meaning is correct, positive and rising. Our memory of things is reflected and shared with another by naming it.

We can use just one name to describe a million sets of variables to another person. I can describe a ship black in color, 800 feet long, with 4 hulls, weighing 52 thousand tons and having 29 coal powered furnaces, having 150 feet of funnels rising above the boilers each waying 60 tons, with 10,000 light bulbs and 10 decks, 3 propellers, and a wireless reach of 1200 miles. Or i can just name Titanic for the other person to visualize and correlate all the facts and variables associated with that name.

A name is such a powerful tool that when your name is called for the stage in a crowd awaiting their result, your emotional peak is incomparable.

We all claim to love and follow Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his Ahlulbayt (AS), but little do we know about their names, and the importance of their names. The prophets and the Imams were given Laqabs, Kunyats, Titles, Agnomens, names, and had those agnomens be of no importance or significance, they would not have been given to beings of such stature. We can see today how far are we from the traits of those who we (claim to) follow and who we expect to intercede for us Inshallah.

Following is a list of handpicked names which are worth a few minutes.

al-Mutawakkil (The One who Puts his Trust (in God))
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was orphaned before his birth. He (SAW) was raised and protected by his uncle Hz Abu Talib (AS) post demise of his (SAW) mother and Grandfather (AS) before he (SAW) reached 10 years of age. He (SAW) took on the powerful and pagan tribes of Mecca, risked his life and left his home town to Medina. He (SAW) faced opposition from his companions on some of his decisions.

Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him
is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is)
compassionate, But if they turn back, say: Allah is sufficient for me, there is no god but He; on Him do I rely, and He is the Lord of mighty power.
Quran [9:128-129]

He (SAW) risked his life for the cause. He (SAW) participated in 17 Ghazwas, most of them undermanned and underarmed.

al-Kareem (The Noble and Generous One)

Most surely, it is the Word brought by the (Rasool e Kareem)
Quran [69:40]

Today if some one is given a promotion in his corporate organization, or power in the government, or money, they become arrogant, cruel, insensitive to the needy. They think that they are special and previledged and are above all the rest. Prophet (SAW) is the Habib e Khuda, his most complete, exalted and preferred creation. He (SAW) not only conveyed the message of Allah, but went to the highest part of the horizon during Mairaj and was as close to Allah as 02 bows. This king of kings (SAW) who was given what no man was ever given, nor will ever get, was called Noble and Generous by the creator himself.

 Mardhiah (The one who pleases God)

The daughter of Prophet (SAW), the Kausar, through who the lineage of Prophet (SAW) still exists today, as an answer to those who made fun of the Prophet (SAW) and called him (SAW) Abtar (someone who shall remain cut off and be without posterity), Janab Zahra (AS), was called the Mardhiah (AS). In a life where we spend our resources pleasing the people around us for personal gains, Janab Batool (AS) through her actions of chasteness, nobility, knowledge, piety, hard work, intelligence, devoutness, respect, intrinsicness, gentleness, pleased Allah. A woman (AS) who gave the world children like Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS) and Janab Zainab (AS) can only be the leader of women of paradise.

Amir Ul Momineen and Imamul Muttaqeen (Leader of the Believers and the Pious)

Allah has created everything in this world, but no two things are equal. Man is superior to jinns, but there are men who excel others. Prophets are superior to a common man, but then no two prophets are equal, and some of them are exalted by many degrees of rank

We have made some of these messengers to excel the others among them are they
to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many degrees of) rank;........
Quran [2:253]

As all of Allah's systems have a very clear hierarchy in place; there are prophets and then there is the Chief of all Prophets (SAW), there are devils and then there is the arch deceiver Iblis (the cursed), there are angels and then there is the angel (Jibrael (AS)) enmity against who is enmity with Allah himself.  It is the system of Allah, that there will always be leadership, and that the best amongst the rest must always be endowed with it. As Talut (AS) was granted kingship over the people as he had possessed knowledge and physique not comparable with the others. Similarly, all prophets of their time were the best amongst all the people of that time, in terms of piety, knowledge and conviction in Allah.

However the question is, that if there are prophets and there is their chief, there are devils and there is their chief, there are angels and there is their chief, there are also believers and there must be their chief, or Imam ul Mutaqeen (leader of the pious). Rasool (SAW) was to give the flag at Khayber on whose hands Allah would bestow victory, the flag bearer must have been the best in his love for Allah and his Rasool (SAW), and must have also excelled in receiving the love of Allah and his Rasool (SAW).

Mawla Ali (AS) is not the imam of all people (Shias or sunnis), but only of the pious ones.

Taqwa is to act equitable to all the people beyond our biases, and to be cognizant and concious to Allah and willfully shun for his pleasure whatever he has forbidden.

O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not
hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety
, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do.
Quran [5:8]

Abu Turab (Father Of the Dust)

Bu Turab means someone who has achieved control over the 'dust' part of human nature. That is, the dust represents base qualities and wordly desires etc, and Ali(as) has conquered it.

As Allama Iqbal said; Ali, the Lion of God, subdued the body's clay. And transmuted this dark earth to gold. Murtaza, by whose sword the splendour of Truth was revealed, Is named Bu Turab from his conquest of the body.

Abul Masakeen (Father of the Needy)

Quoting Al Maaref, a researcher who examines the life of the Holy Prophet�s grandson, Imam Hassan and his brother, Imam Hussein (as),can�t help drawing the conclusion that they enjoyed a high level of education and spiritual and ideological upbringing, which no other person had won next to their grandfather (pbuh),mother and father (as). The imprints of the revelation and Divine care marked their characters, in all its aspects, ingredients and angles.

The Dastarkhwaan or the Dining spread of Imam Hassan (AS) for the needy was famous during his time. Imam Hassan's (AS) special attention and care for the needy was such that the Imam (AS) used to answer the call of a needy before he could fully tell their needs to the imam (AS) for the fear of disgracing the needy by asking him to expresses his needs.

Syed Ul Ahrar (Leader of the Free (Minded)

Syed Us Shuhda, Imam Hussain (AS) has won over the hearts of the believers through his sacrifice and resolve at Kerbala. But one of Imam's (AS) lesser known title or name, is Syed Ul Ahraar. The Imam (AS) is truly the leader of the free. Allah created all of us free from ignorance, impurity, biasness, carnal desires, irrationality. We were created free and not enslaved to a tyrant, to our desires, to money, to our stereotypes.

During the night of 9th Muharram, Imam Hussain (AS) dampened the candle and advised all of his 72 supporters to leave Kerbala in the middle of the night to save their lives as the fight was not with them but with the Imam (AS). Imam (AS) also took the responsibility of interceeding on their behalf on the day of ressurection before his (AS) mother Janab Zahra (AS) and Grandfather Prophet (SAW). The 72 were under no compulsion to stay with the Imam (AS) and be killed the next day. But they chose to do so as free men, men who controlled their decisions and lived a life on facts, moral and ethical values and intellectual intelligence. Those were the free men.

Zain Al Abideen, Syed Sajjad (Crown Jewel of the Worshippers, Leader of the Worshippers)

Imam Ali Ibn Hussain (AS), was the only male adult survivor of the family of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in 61 AH. He saw his brothers and father martyred and his women arrested and marched to the courtyard of yazid, a memory that the Imam (AS) did not forget as long as he lived and a fact which he mourned till he was martyred. The Imam (AS) used to answer people questioning his mourning with the loss to that of Yaqub (AS), who lost one son, yet he mourned so much that prophet Yaqub (AS) lost his eyesight;

And he turned away from them, and said: O my sorrow for Yusuf! and his eyes
became white on account of the grief, and he was a repressor (of grief).
  They said: By Allah! you will not cease to remember Yusuf until you are a prey to constant disease or (until) you are of those who perish. He said: I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah, and I know from Allah what you do not know.
Quran [12:84-86]

Take this my shirt and cast it on my father's face, he will (again) be able to see, and come to me with all your families.
Quran [12:93]

Despite the hardships, trials and tragedy the Imam (AS) witnessed during his 20s such that his hair turned grey, the Imam (AS) was known for his gratitude to Allah and his worship, such that he was called the crown jewel of worshippers.

Baqir (The Revealer (of knowledge))

Imam Muhammad Baqir (AS) was revered at his time by the shias and the non shias on account of how the Imam (AS) split open the knowledge. The ummayads were distracted with multiple political movements and uncertainty within their ranks which allowed the Imam (AS) to establish his authority in the realm of knowledge and pave way for his son.

Imam Jaffar (AS) was called As Sadiq (The honest). Imam Musa (AS) was called the Kazim (The Calm one, the suppressor of anger). Imam Ali (AS) ibn Musa Kazim (AS) was called Reza (The pleasing one). Imam Muhammad (AS) ibn Imam Ali Raza (AS) was called Taqi, Jawad (God Fearing & Generous). Imam Ali (AS) ibn Imam Muhammad Taqi (AS) was called Hadi, Naqi (The guide, the pure). Imam Hassan Askari (AS) ibn Imam Ali Naqi (AS) was called Al Khalis (Pure). Imam Mahdi (AS) ibn Imam Hassan Askari (AS) is called the Qaim (he who arises for truth).

Ar-Raaziyato bil Qadre wal Qaza (The One Satisfied with Divine Decree and Destiny)

Jaman Zainab (AS), courage, oratory and eloquence which was visible in the courtyard of Yazid prompted Imam Sajjad (AS) to call her the Scholar without a Teacher (Aalematun Ghairo Mualemah). She (AS) sacrificed both her sons (Aun AS and Muhammad AS) and hence her entire prosterity at Kerbala, never looking back or mourning for her sons over her brother Imam Hussain (AS). She was satisfied with whatever Allah had willed for her (AS) and her blessed household.

And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving a is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you an hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this, that the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper!
Quran [22:78]

Allah named us Muslims. A name which should describe a million set of variables to another person irrespective of our set or school of thought; Honesty, transparency, chivalry, knowledge, intellectual maturity, ethics, trust in Allah, , generosity, helpers, fairness, good manners, piety, self control!

What is in a name? Everything.

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