Allah’s Name: Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim
Source: An-Nahj Al-Asma Fii Sharh Asmaa’u Allahul-husna, by Shaikh Muhammad Al-Humoud Al-Najdi
“He is the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.” [Al-Hashr 59:22]
Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim are two of Allah’s mightiest Names. Both Names are derived from the word Rahmah which means mercy. Ar-Rahman is a more intensive and exaggerated form than Ar-Rahim.
Ar-Rahman, when attributed to Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala), means that Allah is the owner of a wide encompassing mercy that entails all of His creation in this life, and is a special gift for the believers in the Hereafter.
Ar-Rahman is one of the Names that none is allowed to be named with except Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) Alone.
The Name Ar-Rahim means the Most Merciful to the believers on the Day of Judgement, as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-Ahzab Verse 43:
“And He is Ever Most Merciful to the believers.”
One is allowed to be called Rahim as Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) attributed this characteristic to His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in Surat at-Tawbah, Verse 128:
“He (Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is anxious over you, for the believers. He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) is full of pity, kind, and merciful.”
The Impact of Belief in These Two Names:
- Whoever believes that Allah is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful, should believe also that Allah’s Mercy is so broad such that it embraces all things. It includes all that is in the heavens and on the earth, includes the righteous and the wicked, and the Muslim and the non-Muslim. There is none that exists without enjoying and engaging in Allah’s Mercy day and night. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-A’raaf (7:156): “And My Mercy embraces all things.” There is a special mercy for the believers in this life and in the Hereafter. However, for the unbelievers, there is no mercy in the Hereafter. Also the gates of His Mercy are opened for those who want to repent after having transgressed against themselves by committing sins.
- We have to believe that Allah’s Mercy overcomes His Anger. Narrated Abu Hurairah (Radhia-Allaahu ‘anhu) that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “When Allah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) completed the creation He wrote in His Book, which is with Him or on His Throne, “My Mercy has overcome My Anger.” Also in Surat al-An’am, Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) said, “Your Lord has written Mercy for Himself.”(6:54)
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ
- Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) divided mercy into one hundred parts, and each part fills what is between the heavens and the earth. He kept 99 parts with Him and He sent one part down to earth. Because of that one single part, His creatures are so merciful to each other that even the mare lifts its hoof away from its baby lest it should trample on it.” [Al-Bukhari]
- One should know that as long as man is close to Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) (i.e. obedient to Him) he becomes more deserving of Allah’s Mercy. Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) said in Surat Al-‘Imran (3:132), “And obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)) that you may obtain mercy.”
- Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) loves those who exhibit mercy and kindness. Also, Allah’s Mercy will be granted to the merciful ones among His slaves, as the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) bestows mercy on the merciful people amongst His slaves.” [Al-Bukhari]. Also Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “He, who is not merciful to others, will not be treated mercifully.” [Al-Bukhari]
- Our deeds by themselves, do not qualify us to go to Paradise. Narrated Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu), that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “The deeds of anyone of you will not save you [from the (Hell) Fire].” They said, “Even you (will not be saved by your deeds), O Allah’s Messenger?” He said, “No, even I (will not be saved) unless Allah protects me with His Grace and His Mercy. Therefore, do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and practice Al-Qasd (always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course) whereby you will reach your Al-Qasd i.e. target (Paradise).” [Al-Bukhari]
We must always ask for Allah’s Mercy and Grace, and call unto Him by these two Names, bearing in mind that Allah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) is more merciful to His servants than the mother is to her child.