Reflecting on the Names of Allah
From the author's introduction:
True love is not fleeting, nor is it temporary, but its permanence takes root in the heart. We might have felt this type of love for certain people in our lives, and we should be grateful for this love.
When it comes to Allah, we know that we should love Him. Muslims are taught this from a young age. God says in the Qur'an, 'those who believe are stronger in love for Allah' [2:165].
While we often put those we love before what we ourselves want, we might not always choose God in this way. Part of the reason is that true love is based on how much we know someone, our relationship with that person, and his or her presence in, and impact on, our lives... Allah, who created us and knows us more intimately than any human being, knows this about us, and indeed created this tendency in us. Thus, one of the most beautiful aspects of the revelation of His names and attributes is that they form the basis of our relationship with Him...
Indeed Allah's names tell us something about ourselves; when we know that He is the Giver of Peace, for example, it means that we will necessarily go though periods of anxiety, and the antidote is to go to Him for calm. Knowing that He is the Responder means that there is one who is asking; Him being the Forgiving means that we make mistakes...
With these names, God wants us to know him.