The Names of Allah: Ar-Rahmaan, Ar-Raheem – 5th January, 2014
The month of Rabi Al Awwal is six months before Ramadan. The Salaf used to start invoking Allah to make them reach the month of Ramadan, enable them to fast and establish its nights with Eeman and Ihtisaab. We have to follow their way if we hope to reach the month of Ramadan and be helped by Allah. Not everyone who reaches Ramadan will fast it the way Allah is pleased with. We have to prepare for this month with Eemaan. We need to increase our faith from now so that it will help us fast Ramadan.
One of the most important means of increasing one’s faith is knowing Allah. Your knowledge of Allah will help you abstain from committing sins during that month.
It is not by our might and strength, but Allah is the one who makes it easy to learn about Him. The noblest obligation on the Muslims is to know about Allah, if we know Him, we will worship Him.
The names of Allah are categorized under three main names:
These are the three names which Surah Al Fatihah started with. Each name of Allah goes under any one of these three names.
The names of Allah indicating His Love, Kindness, Subtlity etc go under ‘ArRahmaan’, the names indicating His Qayoomiyah (Self Subsistence) go under the name ‘ArRabb’ while the names indicating His Might and Power go under the name ‘Allah’.
Knowing these three main names is of great importance. It will take years to go through each verse containing the name Ar-Rahman, this shows the greatness of the name.
Allah’s mercy is shown in everything, it is shown in his creation, commands, laws and decrees. Only the ‘Ullool Albaab’ (People of understanding) see this, they are those who realise the mercy of Allah.
There is no blessing that we enjoy except by the virtue of His mercy and there is no evil that is driven away from us except by His mercy. He is Most Merciful of the merciful ارحم الراحمين
Although Allah’s mercy is shown clearly to everyone there are some people who do not see it. They accept whatever goes along with their desire and detest whatever goes against it, while everything that happens is good and is from the mercy of Allah
Lets take the weather for example, when it’s cold people complain, when its hot people complain. Some people mock the weather and don’t know whom they are mocking.
Allah says in Surah al-Baqarah Verse 164:
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنْفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ مَاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
“Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ships that sail at sea with profit to men, and the water that Allah sends down from the sky —with which He revives the earth after its death, and scatters therein every kind of animal— and the changing of the winds, and the clouds disposed between the sky and the earth, are surely signs for a people who apply reason.”
1) Verse 1 – 15
Zakariya (‘Alayhissalam) had sincerity when he invoked Allah secretly. He asked for a child in order to continue calling the people to Allah’s way. Allah shows him His ability by granting him a son Yahya.
Yahya (‘Alayhissalam) held fast tot he book (the Qur’an) by believing, understanding its wordings and acting upon it. He had compassion, purification in his heart. He was pious, durtiful to his parents and not arrogant. This is the reason why Allah showed Mercy to them.
2) Verse 16 – 40 (Story of Maryam)
We will come back to Story of Maryam in coming classes
3) Verse 41 – 50
What was Allah’s mercy with Ibrahim (‘Alayhissalam)?
He was صديق (Truthful with Allah, himself and the people and believed in everything). His truthfulness was shown in his da’wah to his father. Since he was young he made da’wah to his people and father, until he became old. This indicates his sincerity and truthfulness, he was persistent. A truthful person, inspite of receiving harm will still continue.
Ibrahim (‘Alayhissalam) used wisdom in his Da’wah:
a) He first raised Questions to make his Father think.
b) When his father didn’t respond he told him that knowledge had come to him
c) When he didn’t respond he forbade him from following the Shaytan
d) When his father didn’t respond he warned him of a punishment from Allah
He was so gentle, and this is shown when he said “Ya Abati” (O my Father)
Allah is showing this person sign after sign, but he kept rejecting arrogantly until he died. So after his death he will receive a punishment from Ar-Rahman.
7) Idris was truthful and believing slave.
We have to be sincere in our actions and deeds.
What is the indication of our sincerity? Look at yourself, What motivated you to take that action? What motivated you to come out of your house and learn? What motivated you to teach? What motivated you to give dawah?
If what is behind this motivation is to only seek the pleasure of Allah and nothing else then you are sincere. Every time you take an action ask yourself what motivated you. If even 1% of your intention is for other than Allah then the deed won’t be accepted.
This sincerity should accompany you throughout your action because shaytan may divert your heart to the people. Sincerity is a very important action to help you attain the mercy of Allah. Also, we have to be truthful and give dawah generally to everyone and specifically to our close family members.
In this way we will be able to attain Paradise, which Allah ArRahmaan prepared for his believing slaves.
6) Verse 66-95
In these verses, Allah by His mercy is refuting the doubts of the disbelievers.
There are people who deny that there is a resurrection. Allah refutes their claim in verse 67.
- Judging according to the materialistic perspective
They think that those who are rich are better than the poor. Allah refuted their claim in Verses 74-75.
- Arrogance and self-conceit
- They take false deities in order to get power and honour
According to these meanings, the Shaytan is whispering so strongly to them that they cannot hear the sound of the truth, he is tempting them, mixing with them and is with them every step of the way and is filling their hearts with doubts and whispers.
This is why they are turning away from the truth.
- Those who ascribe a child to Allah
Allah mentioned His name ArRahmaan about 4 times in this context. This is because even though they attribute a son to Allah He is still bestowing blessings upon them lest they repent and become believers one day. He is not hastening the punishment for them. There is no one more patient than Allah.
Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:“None is more patient in the face of offense than God. People say He has a son, but He continues to protect them and provide for them.” (Bukhari)
Allah refuted their claim in Verse 93
Everyone in the heavens and the earth is a slave subdued and submitting to Allah willingly and unwillingly. No one can escape the dominion of Allah, all the people are slaves, even the disbelievers.
The scholars said, “Allah mentioned the heavens and earth to indicate His greatness”
Allah created the heavens and earth without the need of a partner or a son. He created it alone with His ability, so how can you say Allah has a son!? They say to forgive our sins, can’t Allah forgive our sins without having a son? Allah is able to forgive sins and this is easy for Him because one of His attributes is forgiveness. When you say Allah has a son you have resembled Him with His creation, and when you resemble him with His creation then it is as if you say that He doesn’t deserve to be called ArRahmaan ArRaheem. The creation cannot drive evil away from himself. The Christians claim Jesus died for three days, how could he be divine if he couldn’t drive this evil away from him?!
No One is like Allah, every blessing is from Allah, every evil that is driven away is from Allah. These false gods are in need of drink, food and sleep. They are underestimating Allah. If they knew that every blessing they have is from ArRahmaan ArRaheem they will never attribute a son to Allah.
7) Verse 96-98
These verses talk about the Impact of Allah’s mercy on His believing Slaves.
Allah will put their love in the hearts of the people. The people will love them and this one of the impacts of Allah’s mercy.
They believed in Allah, His names and attributes and did righteous actions so they attained this mercy.
Allah then mentions another impact of His mercy:
He made the Qur’an easy on the tongue of the Prophet (salla Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and this for two reasons:
1) To give glad tidings to the Muttaqeen (the pious)
2) To warn the people who are obstinate and arrogant
At the end of the Surah there is an inquiry. Whoever turns away from the Qur’aan, Tadabbur and truth then Allah will do the same to him as he did to the previous nations.
Now we go back to Verses 16 – 40, which is the story of Maryam (‘Alayhassallam)
The repeated words in the story of Maryam:
3) انتبذت – This word has a very important meaning.
It is derived from the word نبذ which means to reject, discard or throw away. It is as if there is something hated so you throw it away.
It is mentioned in verse 16:
وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ مَرْيَمَ إِذِ انْتَبَذَتْ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا مَكَانًا شَرْقِيًّا
And mention in the Book Mary, when she withdrew from her family to an easterly place.
Allah commanded to mention her story to the people. The first thing she did was withdrew herself away from her family towards the east because the people of the scripture’s qiblah was towards the east.
She withdrew herself from her family as if they are unwanted and she doesn’t like them. She went far away from them and made a screen between herself and her people. Shaykh Sa’di said “in order to worship Allah with submission, humility and sincerity”
Allah then sent to her Jibreel in the form of a man, perfect in all aspects. Immediately she became afraid because she didn’t know he was an angel. She saw a very handsome man entering her place and was afraid, this indicates her chastity. She was afraid she might be tempted by him or that he will do harm to her, so the first Ibadah she did was إستعاذه
Why did she use Allah’s name ArRahmaan?
1) She sought refuge in Allah to drive this evil away because no evil can be driven away from her except by Him.
2) To remind the man to be merciful to her because she is weak and alone.
3) In order for Allah to show her mercy.
She sought the rahma(mercy) and security (from the fear that was in her heart) with the mercy of Allah.
She also reminded him: إن كنت تقيا (If you are God-fearing ). She knows that if he fears Allah he wouldn’t touch her with harm or do wrong. She used a noun, reminding him that his piety should not make him do evil to her. This indicates her perfect chastity and it is a lesson for us to guard our chastity while the means of temptations are existent.
She was alone, single and a perfect man was in front of her. What she did is a very high and noble deed in Allah’s sight this is why He praised her in Surah Tahrim Verse 12:
يَا يَحْيَىٰ خُذِ الْكِتَابَ بِقُوَّةٍ ۖ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا
“‘O John!’ [We said,] ‘Hold on with power to the Book!’ And We gave him judgement while still a child,”
And in Surah Anbiya 21:91
وَالَّتِي أَحْصَنَتْ فَرْجَهَا فَنَفَخْنَا فِيهَا مِنْ رُوحِنَا وَجَعَلْنَاهَا وَابْنَهَا آيَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ
And her who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her Our spirit, and made her and her son a sign for all the nations.
Allah is praising her for being a chaste, pure woman.
The first thing Maryam did was إستعاذه It is seeking refuge in the protection of Allah. This act of worship should be practiced when the slave fears anything. Nowadays most psychological sicknesses which people suffer from is sourced from the whisper of Shaytan which is casting fear in the hearts of the people. Most of the people are afraid nowadays.
There are true fears and illusive fears. True fear is fear of the punishment of Allah, the hellfire, the grave, bad end, our hearts being turned into disbelief, any calamity in the religion etc.
Illusive fear are fears of the future, losing a job, losing beauty, fear of your children forsaking you when you become old, etc
This fears are not real. This indicates that the person doesn’t know he has a lord, ArRaheem taking care and providing for him. He is submitting to the whispers of the Shaytan,
We continue more on the Story of Maryam in the next class in sha Allah…