Monthly Archives: January 2013

99 Names (#2)

Work on the shawl continues – actual knitting, now! In a different post, I’ll give a few examples of the charts I’ve made for each name, but right now, I have a ring of names:

This is a simple center increase with five names in the first ring. These names are ar-Rahman (The Compassionate), ar-Rahim (The Merciful), al-Malik (The King), al-Quddus (The Holy), as-Salam (The Peace). Ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim occur the most often in the Qu’ran of any of the other attributes. The names are drawn from the list compiled by al-Walid ibn Muslim. There are several similar lists and some of the later names vary by list; this list is by no means official.

The attributes or names all point to the unity of the Greatest Name, the name of God Himself. It will take all 99 names to make this shawl into something greater than the little beaded doily above.

99 Names of God

I’ve always admired circular shawls, particularly the Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi Shawls. The math, combined with the delicate lace, make for a gorgeous and geeky knit. I’ve always planned on knitting one, and I think it’s about time.

If I’m going to knit something this geeky, however… I’m going to do it EXTRA geeky. In that effort, I’m pulling out something I haven’t used in years. My Arabic.

In Islamic tradition, there are 99 names or attributes of God. Those used most in the Qu’ran are Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate) and Ar-Rahim (The Merciful), and there are certainly more than 99 attributes given to God throughout Islamic texts. One such list sits on my mantle.

  I’ve decided to do something that might qualify as a bit insane. Using the methodology blogged by my friend (gannet on Ravelry), I’ve decided to chart out 99 names of God using Abjad numerals (assigning a numeric value to each Arabic letter), and bead the names of God into a shawl.

First I need to design a central mandala, though. Something including Allah in its Abjad form (1, 30, 30, 5), either beaded or in the number of stitches or rows in the pattern or or or…

This might be insane. It will definitely be geeky. And by golly, it will be FUN.