Ar- Rahman
The All Merciful

In the Name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. (1:1)

The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.  (1:3), (2:163)

They disbelieve in the Most Gracious. (13:30)

Invoke Allah or invoke the Most Gracious, by whatever name you invoke Him, it is the same for to Him belong the Best Names. (17:110)

Verily! I seek refuge with the Most Gracious from you. (19:18)

I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious, so I shall not speak to any human being this day.  (19:26)

Oh, my father!  Worship not Satan: Verily Satan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious. (19:44)

Oh, my father!  Verily I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you so that you become a companion of Satan.  (19:45)

Whenever the verses of the Most Gracious were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping. (19:58)

Then indeed We shall drag out from every sect all those who were worst in obstinate rebellion against the Most Gracious.  (19:69)

The connotation of this name is wide enough to cover the qualities of love, compassion, benevolence, and generosity.  It means the overflowing being with the quality of mercy and always ready to pour it out upon His creation.  Allah is Gracious because He gives blessings and prosperity to all beings without any disparity.

Allah bestows good, blessing, and happiness on all creatures with no dispersion.

He who mentions this name 100 times after the dawn prayer, Allah will bestow on him a good memory, a keen conscience, and relieve him of heavy grief.

Ar-Rahman means the One with Much Mercy. It is a name that is particular to Allah and no one else can be given this name.  This is because His mercy encompasses all things, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.  So let us make mercy our banner, so that we may be immersed in the mercy of Allah which encompasses everything.

From: “The Meanings of the Names of Our Lord”, by Shaykh Muhammad Sa’id al-Jamal ar-Rifa’i Head of the Higher Sufi Council in Jerusalem and the Holy Land Teacher at the Dome of the Rock (al-Aqsa)


Ar- Rahman

He is the one who wills mercy and good for all creation, at all times, without any distinction between the good and the bad, the faithful and the rebel, the beloved and the hated.  He pours out upon all creation infinite bounties. The proof is in the Qur’an:

My Mercy encompasses everything (Surah A’raf 156)

The ones who know have interpreted the meaning of Rahman as the divine will toward the total good, Al-Iradat Al-Khayr, and say that Rahman, like Allah, is a proper name of the Creator, and cannot be attributed to others.  Allah says: Call upon Allah or call upon The Compassionate (ar-Rahman): by whatever name you call upon Him, to Him belong the most beautiful names (Surah Isra’ 110)

The meaning of mercy begins with a fineness of feeling, pain, and concern felt when one knows that someone is in distress.  The pressure of this pain moves us to help the one in distress.  But the feeling of pity is not sufficient.  Real compassion is in force when one is able to alleviate the pain and distress that the pitied one is suffering.  Allah is beyond all these conditions, yet He opted for compassion rather than punishment before He ever created creation.  He has created all creation with His mercy.  Everything which has come to be since the beginning is blessed with mercy.  He has created all creation, including His supreme creation, the human being, without defect and pure.  He has blessed His creation with infinite bounty. In His mercy, He has shown the dangers of loss and perdition.  He has given humanity and only humanity the freedom of choice between good and bad.

Find in yourself the light of Rahman by using your freedom of choice for the good of yourself and of others.  Feel the pain of the misguided one as well as the unfortunate one, not with condemnation, but with pity and assistance, and find hope in Allah’s promise that His compassion far surpasses His wrath.

Abu Hurayrah reports that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, “Allah Most High has one hundred portions of mercy.  He has sent only one portion upon the universe and divided it among His creation.  The feeling of mercy and compassion that His creatures feel among themselves is out of that share.  The other 99 portions He has saved for the Day of Judgment when He will bestow upon them the faithful.”

Another hadith reflecting the will and wish of Allah to offer His compassion and beneficence to the creation is: “If someone does not need and ask of Allah [for His compassion and beneficence], Allah will direct his anger toward him.”

‘Abd ar-Rahman is the one in whom Allah expresses His mercy upon the universe.  Every son and daughter of Hadrat Adam takes his or her share of mercy from the Merciful in accordance with their potential.  None are excluded from this expression of the Merciful, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), Allah’s mercy upon the universe, says in a tradition: “Allah has created the human being in the form of His mercy”.

From: The Name & the Named”, by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti