[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Say: "Call upon Allah, or call upon Al Rahman: by whatever name ye call upon Him, (it is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Neither speak thy Prayer aloud, nor speak it in a low tone, but seek a middle course between."
[ Saheeh International ]
Say, "Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call - to Him belong the best names." And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way.
2321 Cf. 7:180. Rahman describes one of the attributes of Allah-His Grace and Mercy which come to the sinner even before he feels conscious of the need of itthe preventive Grace which saves Allah's servants from sin. See n. 19 to 1:1. Allah can be invoked, either by His simple name, which includes all attributes, or by one of the names implying the attributes by which we try to explain His nature to our limited understanding. The attribute of Mercy in Rahman was particularly repugnant to the Pagan Arabs (sec 25:60, and 21:36): that is why special stress is laid on it in the Qur'an. (R).
2322 Cf. 20:8. These Beautiful Names of Allah are many. The Hadith related by Tirmidhi, accepted by some as authentic, mentions 99 names of Allah. Qadi Muhammad Sulaiman has published an Urdu monograph on the subject, published by the Daftar Rahmatun-lil-AIamin, Patiala , India , 1930. Those who wish to see a poetic Commentary on the names in the form of stories in English may consult Sir Edwin Arnold's Pearls of the Faith. Sir Edwin's stories are of unequal merit, but a fine example is furnished by No. 4, al-Malik, "The King". (R).
2323 Cf, 7:205. All prayer should be pronounced with earnestness and humility, whether it is congregational prayer or the private outpouring of one's own soul. Such an attitude is not consistent with an over-loud pronunciation of the words, though in public prayers the standard of permissible loudness is naturally higher than in the case of private prayer. In public prayers, of course, the adhan or call to prayer will be in a loud voice to be heard near and far, but the chants from the Sacred Book should be neither so loud as to attract the hostile notice of those who do not believe nor so low in tone as not to be heard by the whole congregation.