In the opinion of Islamic theologians, Allah has 100 names but only 99 of them are revealed in different verses of the Holy Qur'an. The 100th name of Allah is hidden. Those who come to know this name can perform miracles. (O Gudratov, N. Gudratov, Mohammad Peygambar: Hayati va Kalamlari. Baki, 1990, p. 18)
Srila Prabhupada: So what is this, Hare Krishna? Hare means the energy of the Lord, and Krishna means the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So, it is a prayer. There are three words only: Hare, Krishna and Rama. They have been arranged in sixteen words:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare
So our movement is that we request you to take up these sixteen words — not sixteen words, three words, Hare, Krishna and Rama. But these are arranged in such a way that there are sixteen words. So, anyone can take them by heart, these three words, and chant them. It is universal. And if you think that "Oh, Krishna is the name of a Hindu god," if you have got any objection, then you may not chant Krishna, but you must have a name for God.
Just like the Muslims call Him Allah, the Jews call Him Jehovah, or somebody calls Him something else. That doesn't matter. If you think that "Why should I chant the Indian name Krishna, Sanskrit name Krishna?" So, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that there are millions and billions of names of God. If you think that this Krishna name is not very suitable, you can accept any name. That doesn't matter. Our proposition is you chant God's name. That is our proposal. Therefore, it is universal. If you like, you can chant Jehovah or you can chant Allah, but we request you that you chant God's name. Is it very difficult? It is not at all difficult.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said that there are innumerable names of God according to different languages, different countries, different societies. And each and every one of them has the potency of God Himself. If there is a God, He must be Absolute. Therefore, there is no difference between His name and He Himself. Just like in the material world, in the world of duality, there is a difference between the name "water" and the substance water. The name "water" is different from the substance water. If you are thirsty and you simply chant, "Water, water, water, water," your thirst will, not be quenched. You require the substance water. That is material, but spiritually, the name Krishna or the name Allah or the name Jehovah is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Lecture, 15/06/68)
Srila Prabhupada: So I pleaded to the Muslim audience, "You can chant the name of Allah also. It's not necessary to have to chant the Krishna name, but any name indicating the Supreme Lord can be chanted." (Lecture, 20/03/75)
Srila Prabhupada: That's all right. Then our request is that you chant the name of God. So if Allah is the name of God, you chant Allah, don't chant Krishna. We say this. (Room conversation. Tehran, 14/03/75)
Srila Prabhupada: Just like Allah. If this name indicates God, then it is this word "Allah" which is as good as God. There is no difference. The Allah, the conception of Allah means the Great, is it not? So God is Great. So by chanting Allah, I am meaning God, the Supreme Person. So it is as good (as God). And actually in the Mosque, they chant Allah-u-Akbar, like that, so far as I've heard. So, that prayer, if it is not God's name, then what is the use of this prayer? That is God's name. Similarly, the Hindus may chant Hare Krishna, they're indicating to the same personality. It may be in a different language but it is as good as God because God is absolute. This name is authorised because Muhammad said, "You chant Allah." So it is authorised, because he is God's representative.
Therefore my request is, or our request is that you chant the name of Allah. We don't say that you have to chant Krishna. You chant the Holy name of God. If Allah is an approved name of God then you chant it. That is our request. We don't force you to chant the name of Krishna. No, we don't say that. If somebody says, "Jehovah is the name of God," that's all right, then you chant Jehovah. "Allah is the name of God," that's all right, you chant it We simply request that you chant the holy name of God. That's all. If you have got it, we don't force you to chant the name of Krishna. That is not our way. We accept, if Allah is God's name then it is as good as the name "Krishna." We are not so sophisticated that you have to chant this Krishna's name. No, we say: "Harer nama." That is the shastra (scripture). Harer noma means the name of the Lord. So, there are many thousands of names; that's a fact. So, we request you actually chant the name of God. Pick from millions of God's names. Whatever you like, you pick and chant. That is our propagation.
In this age of quarrel and disagreement, God realisation is very difficult. But if you chant the Holy name of God, then you'll gradually realise Him. This is our program. So, we don't force you to chant this name "Krishna," No. Shastra (scripture) says, harer nama — chant the holy name of God. That is our program.
Lady: Before your asked about something else. I want to ask, how could you meet the Supreme being by chanting...?
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. By chanting.
Lady: ...by chanting of a worldly name, tuned into a prayer... Srila Prabhupada: This is not a worldly name. Why do you make that mistake? God's name is not worldly. Lady: Because if you really know the tuning of God...
Srila Prabhupada: Do you think Allah is a worldly name?
Lady: We recognize it is before Krishna...
Srila Prabhupada: That's all right, you recognize it. Allah is not a worldly name. It is given by the authority, Muhammad. So you have to chant it, if you know God.
Lady: But he didn't really mean Allah is the name of God.
Srila Prabhupada: Why do you say that he didn't mean?
Srila Prabhupada: That is your say. Muhammad did not say, "What I say, I did not mean."
Lady: No, the name of God. He didn't mean Allah.
Srila Prabhupada: You say. Who cares for your word? Muhammad said this is the name of God. We have to accept, that's all.
Lady: So why...?
Srila Prabhupada: You cannot say, "He didn't mean." You are not a private secretary of Muhammad, (laughter)
Lady: So then how do they say that the name of God rests in God...
Srila Prabhupada: No, these things are not accepted.
Lady: Was before God...
Srila Prabhupada: Don't talk childish.
Lady: Was God.
Srila Prabhupada: (Whatever) Muhammad said that is authority. That we accept. We accept Muhammad as the representative of God. Whatever he says, we accept; that's all. What you mean, that is your business. But he is the authority; he said, "This is the name of God. You chant, you pray." Allah of God. That's all. That is authority. (Room conversation. Tehran, 14/03/75)
When the Holy Prophet Muhammad was asked about the most excellent Iman (faith), he answered: "To love him who loves God, and hate him who hates God, and to keep your tongue employed in repeating the name of Allah." (Abdullah al- Mamun al-Suhrawardy, The Sayings of Muhammad. London, 1905, p. 24)
Once the Holy Prophet said: "Pray to God morning and evening, and employ the day in your avocations." (Abdullah al-Mamun al-Suhrawardy, The Sayings of Muhammad. London, 1905, p. 2)