The Names of Allah: Ar-Rahmaan, Ar-Raheem – Part 3 – Sunday 14th Muharram,1435 ( 17th November, 2013)
Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala), by His Mercy, had created the entire creation and didn’t leave them without guidance.
Allaah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surah Rahman Verse 1-2:
The Most Beneficent (Allah)!
Has taught (you mankind) the Quran (by His Mercy).
The first thing He said after His name Ar-Rahman is that He is the One, who out of His Mercy, taught His slaves the Qur’aan.
When the slave of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) reads and understands the Qur’aan he would know His creator by His names and attributes then He would love Him which would result in worshiping Him. Allah wants us to worship Him, this is why He made the Qur’aan easy for us.
Every name of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) implies an attribute. Ar-Rahman- Ar-Raheem implies the attribute of Rahma, mercy. Al-‘Aleem implies the attribute of knowledge, and so on. We live under the shade of the impacts of the names and attributes of Allah. He deals with us daily with His names and attributes such that when we are given provision we will say Allah is Ar-Razzaq, when He relieves us from distress we will say he is Ar-Rahman- Ar-Raheem and when He conceals our defects we will say He is As-Sitteer.
Allah is showing us the impact of His names to increase our knowledge of Him.
In Surah Baqarah Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) wants to emphasize that if we want to correct our belief in the oneness of Allah, such that our hearts attach to Him and no one else, then we must learn the names of Allah and attributes implied by these names.
In Verses 163 & 164 of Surat Al-Baqarah:
وَإِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ ۖ لَّا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ الرَّحِيمُ
And your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – Allah), La ilaha illa Huwa (there is none who has the right to be worshiped but He), the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.
Allah then tells us the impact of His Mercy. By His Mercy He sent down the rain, made the ships sail. In this way you will believe in the name Ar-Rahman- Ar-Raheem.
After Allah mentioned the impact of His Mercy He said in Verse 165 of Surat Al-Baqarah:
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَندَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلَّهِ ۗ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ
And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else). If only those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah and that Allah is Severe in punishment.
Why did Allah mention this verse after He mentioned the impact of His Mercy?
Although Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) shows us signs for our hearts to be attached to Him and love Him alone, there are some hearts that are attached to other than Allah.
The believers love Allah. Their entire heart is for Allah Alone because they know He is Ar-Rahman- Ar-Raheem.
This is how the verses are linked together. It is important to know the meaning of the name Ar-Rahman- Ar-Raheem.
Ar-Rahman is the one whose Mercy encompasses everything; whereas, Ar-Raheem is the One whose Mercy reaches and extends to whomever Allah wills.
صفة ذاتية Sifat Dhatiyah (Allah’s Intrinsic and Essential Attributes): The scholars say Ar-Rahman implies the attribute of Rahma that never stops. From the beginning until the end, Allah is merciful.
صفة فعليه Sifat Fi`liyah (These are the Attributes, which describe the actions of Allah and are connected to His Mashi’ah (Will) in relation to the variable nature of His Creation): Ar-Raheem is to whomever He wills, according to His knowledge and wisdom, for whoever takes the means. Therefore, Ar-Raheem implies a practical attribute (Whenever Allah wills, He will show mercy to that person). [Bada’i al-Fawaa’id and Asmaa Allaah al-Husna, Ibn Uthaimeen in sharh al-Mumti’ and Lam’at al-Itiqaad, Muhammad Khalil Harras in sharh al-Aqeedah al Wasitiyyah.]
Bear in mind that we are unable to live for even a blink of an eye without the Mercy of Allah. We are always in need of the Mercy of Allah; without it we can’t live.
The impact of the Mercy of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) in Surah Fatihah.
In Verse 2 of Surat Al-Fātiĥah:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Aalamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
You are praising the One who is Perfect in His attributes.
Allah – Dhul Uloohiyah wa Dhul Uboodiya ‘ala Khalqihi Ajmaeen – Allah is the One who deserves to be worshiped and no one else because He is the only one whose attributes are perfect. He is the only one who deserves to be worshiped with love and magnification.
Evidence that Allah is the only one who deserves to be worshiped and no one else in Surah Fatihah
Allah is the Rabb Al-Alameen.
Ar-Rabb is the:
1) The Reformer
2) The Owner,
3) The Nurturer. His nurturing is of two kinds:
a) General – For all of creation. Allah is the One who created the whole world, the upper world and the lower world. He made all the essential means available for us, made it easy for us, guided us .
b) Special – For His believing slaves. Bear in mind that when Allah is nurturing us, He is nurturing us with His Mercy, because He is Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem.
The first description for Rabb Al-Alameen is:
The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Allah is nurturing us generally and specially. In both cases it is with His Mercy.
How does Allah nurture us with His mercy? Allah generally nurtures the whole creation and guides the humans, jinn, animals, to what benefits them in their life in this world and in the next. Allah even guides the disbelievers among the Jinn and Men, presenting to them, daily, the means for their guidance. But whoever opens his eyes and heart and responds, then Allah will nurture him specially. He will teach them something about Himself, show them signs.
Don’t the disbelievers see the sun, moon, sky and earth daily? But why don’t they see that there is a creator behind this, who deserves to be worshipped and loved. If they used their Fitrah and intellect, with these signs they would be guided to worship Allah alone. Their hearts are sealed and they are busy with their lives this is why they don’t see the impacts of Allah’s Mercy.
Allah nurtures all of the creation.
What is the special nurturing of Allah?
1) Allah nurtures them by:
a) Guiding them to attain the Eeman (whether it is through someone or something).
b) Perfecting that Eeman in their hearts.
He will not leave the person with low faith; He will take him up gradually. This is by making him go through trials and incidents, to show him the impact of His Mercy, Ability etc., until his faith increases. This is the meaning of nurturing; bringing up the believer until he becomes suitable to His nearness in Paradise.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) mentioned the description of the Ibadur-Rahman in Surah Furqan. In Verse 63:
وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا
And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.
Allah attributed them to His name, Ar-Rahman. Shaikh As-Sa’di said, “Because these slaves of Allah didn’t attain that state of servitude except by His Mercy” [Tayseer al Kareem]
Because Allah was merciful to them when He gradually nurtured them, they responded positively and thus they reached that state.
What will their reward be?
In Verse 75 of Surah Furqan:
أُولَٰئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا
Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect
This is the highest place in Paradise, with lofty homes. On the Day of Judgement the people of those rooms will be looked at how we look at the stars.
When Allah nurtured them by His mercy gradually, little by little, they responded to Him and reached to that state with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala).
c) He removes all the obstacles that come between them and Allah. Anything that comes between him and his faith, Allah will remove it from his life. It could be a relative, a friend, a neighbour or a job.
Allah is nurturing him specially, if he doesn’t understand Allah’s special nurturing he will grieve.
The reality of this guidance includes all that is good and protection from all evil, but only for those who know who Ar-Rabb, Al Alameen.
Shaykh As’Sa’di (Rahimahullaah) said: Ar-Rabb is the one who manages their affairs by bestowing on them various blessings. The most specific nurturing of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) for His chosen, believing slaves is reforming their hearts, their souls and their manners” [Tayseer al Kareem]
d) Allah reforms their hearts, souls and actions. This is why the Prophets and Messengers (‘Alayhumus-salaam) use the name of Allah, Ar-Rabb, because they ask for the special nurturing of Allah.
Many people don’t feel the mercy in Allah’s nurturing due to lack of faith and certainty. They may believe that Allah is Rahman and Raheem but this knowledge doesn’t reach the state of certainty and firm faith.
Certainty (‘ayn al-Yaqeen)– only those whose faith is high can see Allah’s Mercy. You cannot attain high faith unless you have more knowledge.
The true believer knows that behind every unpleasant Qadr (decree of Allah) there is something good because Allah is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem. He knows what is good for you so He will give you; He knows what is not good for you and He will remove it.
There is a mercy which we don’t know, Allah wants to elevate you in ranks. This nurturing of Allah is happening gradually, in a very subtle way. Can we feel the alternation of the Day and the Night? Allah nurtures us in the same way. Later in life, when you look back at how you were, you will realize that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is Ar-Rahman- Ar-Raheem.
Allah is being merciful to His slaves with kindness. Drastic change will harm us.
Allah is Al ‘Aleem, Al Khabeer. He knows and is all aware. He knows the hidden secrets of our hearts. According to what is established in our hearts, Allah nurtures us.
a) Allah knows that being rich is not good for a person, so Allah keeps her poor.
b) Allah knows that having a high position is harmful to ones faith, so he is not given a high position. Allah knows what is suitable for Him.
c) A woman is trying to get a husband and Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) is not giving her one because it will be an affliction to her religion. Allah knows what suits everyone.
Allah wants to reform our Eeman, to grant us high Eeman. Allah wants a high position for us and we want something low. Instead of accepting the Mercy of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala), we are fighting it, out of our ignorance.
Examples from our Daily Life:
Allah knows what is in our hearts and wants to purify us from the sicknesses.
Ex1. When we do any good deed there are two intentions established in our heart:
One is apparent, which is the good intention and the other is hidden, and it is the intention behind that good one. Sometimes we know it but ignore it, forgetting that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) knows it as He is Al-Khabeer.
Sometimes we have money that we want to give it in charity, so you decide to give it to your helper because you know Allah loves the Muhsineen. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said in a hadith that the Sadaqah for those under your guardianship is more rewarding. So you are justifying why you are giving it. Then there may be another intention such as wanting your helper to stay in your service, serve you more, etc.
Bear in mind, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) knows our intentions and secrets. Because this ill intention is established in our heart, He may make us go through a decree in order to make us fail, to disgrace us, to show us the real intention. After you give the charity, you discover that the helper escaped or decides to travel. What will you say? If you are truthful and did it for Allah’s sake then you would feel alright; if you are not you will regret giving her.
Allah knows about our intentions. In Surat Al-`Ankabūt Verses 2-3:
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.
وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ
And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test).
Allah tells us why He tests us:He already knows but He wants to show us our reality. Allah is showing us if we are truthful or liars. For example: A teacher in the Da’wah field might say “I don’t mind if I have hundred or three students, I will come and teach them. I am doing this for Allah.” As soon as she is offered a class or a course and only three attends, then she says” I can’t leave my house for three”. The events come to disclose your truthfulness. You can deceive the people but you can’t deceive Allah.
How will you be truthful with yourself? Check your intention. Do we have one intention or do we have another one hidden. We need to check our heart and be truthful with ourselves, and then we will be truthful with Allah. We will only be seeking Allah’s countenance.
Shaikh As-Sa’di (Rahimahullaah) had many students. One by one they left him for other Shuyookh to study with until He was left with only one student who remained with Him until the end. That student was Shaikh bin Uthaymeen. Most of the ones who give Da’wah now are the students of Shaikh bin Uthaymeen (Rahimahullaah). Allah put the Barakah in that one student. If you are truthful Allah will put Barakah in that particular deed.
Purification of Manners: The person may have the trait of Pride in her heart. But she says she is a humble person. She greets the helpers, eats and jokes with the helpers, etc. As soon as one of the helpers will refuse her demand, all the bad manners will come out. The problem is that she may not realize she has this pride, but Allah is showing her. She may stay the whole night thinking who saw her doing that. She doesn’t want to spoil her image in front of the people. It is to that extent we care about the people, but we don’t care if Allah is pleased with us or not.
In Verse 11 of Surah Al-`Ankabut:
وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ
Verily, Allah knows those who believe, and verily, He knows the hypocrites [i.e. Allah will test the people with good and hard days to discriminate the good from the wicked (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test)].
Those who are believers are truthful and the liars are the hypocrites.
The truthful person always does two things:
1) He is always concerned about his position with Allah, not with the people. He doesn’t want the people to praise Him.
2) Everyday Allah is making us go through trials. Check your heart every time.
In Verse 3 of Surah Al-Ankabut:
وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ
And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test).
We may say I believe Allah is Al Razzaq. Your belief in Al Razzaq means you believe that Allah is the only one who provides, our rizq has been written for us before we were creation. Rizq can be knowledge, job, children, health, food, money, etc. In order to test us, Allah will create in ourselves the need for a rizq. For example we need a house which is a rizq.
You don’t know whether its written for you or not and you say Allah is Ar- Razzaq. What is your attitude if you are truthful?
It’s easy to say I believe, but the tests you go through show the reality of what is established in your heart.
You need to be truthful with yourself. Why did this happen? If the means you took were unlawful then you have to correct yourself and check your heart. The liar will accuse people for not getting what she wants. They don’t understand that Allah didn’t write that for them. They don’t understand how to explain the Qadr of Allah.
Before taking an action ask yourself why you are doing it. Bear in mind: As soon as you admit your mistake and sin to yourself that affliction will be removed.
What is the purpose behind that affliction? To show you your reality. As soon as you accept, admit and repent, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) will relieve you from that matter.
Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) tests our repentance. The place of the repentance is in the heart. Allah nurtures us by reforming our hearts, removing the sicknesses and ill intentions.
Someone used to commit a sin in the past, then she left it.
A person may work at an unlawful bank and she quits and repents. As soon as she repents the test will come, Allah will make her go through a situation where she is in need of money. She is in a financial crisis, she has no one around her to help her and give her. At the same time her previous job calls her. If she is truthful in her repentance she will not go back, if she says I have no means and have to accept the job giving excuses she may go back. She failed the test. Either you will succeed the test or you will fail.
She used to listen to music and she repented. She goes to shopping malls which have music. She entered a shop and they played that music she used to listen to and she loved it and it reminded her of the past. If she seeks refuge in Allah she passed the test, but if she says I miss these days, she failed the test.
This is Qadr. Think of these small little things as tests, why did Allah make her go to that shop, on this day while the music was on? You have to ask yourself why, Allah is testing our truthfulness, if we were sincere in our repentance or not.
1) If one falls into a sin again don’t despair of Allah’s mercy; renew your repentance because the gate of repentance does not close until our death.
2) Not everyone who claims something and is tested will realize it is a test. Many people don’t realize it is a test from Allah.
3) If you always think of yourself and the Day when you stand in front of Allah then Allah will guide you in the tests.
4) Of Allah’s mercy is that He will not leave you having these sicknesses in your heart without removing it or showing you these sicknesses. Allah’s attribute is Rabb-Al’Alameen, Ar Rahman-Ar-Raheem, He will never leave you with these sicknesses until the end, He will make you go through trials until he purifies you from sins, because He wants to elevate you in ranks.
If you do good to your neighbour and one day she offends you what will you say and do in this situation?
You may be offended, but you have to ask yourself why am I angry? Didn’t you help her for the sake of Allah? Or did you help her because you want her to help you take care of the kids? The anger will go away from your heart, and you will give excuses for her.
Be truthful with yourself so you can be truthful to Allah and then you can be truthful to the people.