The scholars have mentioned different types of profaning the names of Allah, may He be exalted, all of which involve distorting the meaning in a way other than the way it should be understood. There are several types:
Denying any of His names or the attribute to which a name refers. For example: those who deny that the name ar-Rahmaan (the Most Gracious) is one of the names of Allah, may He be exalted, as the people of the Jaahiliyyah did.
Or they may affirm the name but deny the attribute to which it refers, as some of the innovators said that Allah, may He be exalted, is Merciful without mercy, All-Hearing without hearing.
Calling Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, by a name by which He did not call Himself.
The reason why this is profanation is that the names of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, are limited to what is mentioned in the texts of the Qur'an and Sunnah, and it is not permissible for anyone to call Allah, may He be exalted, by a name by which He did not call Himself. This comes under the heading of speaking about Allah without knowledge, and transgressing against the rights of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. This is what some of the philosophers did, when they called God the primary cause, and as the Christians did when they called Allah, may He be exalted, the Father, and so on.
Believing that these names refer to attributes of created beings, and hence thinking that this points to likening Allah to His creation.
The reason why this is profanation is that the one who believes that the names of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, point to likening Allah to His creation has misinterpreted them and distorted them from the correct meaning. He has understood the words of Allah and the words of His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) as pointing to kufr (disbelief), because likening Allah to His creation is kufr, as it is a rejection of the words (interpretation of the meaning): There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer [ash-Shoora 42:11] and Do you know of any who is similar to Him? [Maryam 19:65]. Naeem ibn Hammaad al-Khuzaai, the shaykh of al-Bukhaari (may Allah have mercy on them both) said: The one who likens Allah to His creation has committed an act of kufr, and the one who denies any attribute that Allah has ascribed to Himself has committed an act of kufr; there is nothing in the attributes that Allah has ascribed to himself that is similar to the attributes of His creation.
Deriving names of idols from the names of Allah, may He be exalted, such as deriving the name al-Laat from al-Ilaah (the God), and al-Uzza from al-Azeez (the Almighty) and Manaat from al-Mannaan (the Benefactor). End quote.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him)
Reproduced from Islam QA