Ar-Rahmaan: The Most Beneficent!

Suuratul -Rahmaan Verse 1

ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ ﴿١﴾ عَلَّمَ ٱلْقُرْءَانَ ﴿٢﴾ خَلَقَ ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ ﴿٣﴾عَلَّمَهُ ٱلْبَيَانَ ﴿٤

1. The Most Beneficent (Allah)! 2. Has taught the Qur’an.

3. He created man. 4. He taught him eloquent speech.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

From `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

«قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالى: أَنَا الرَّحْمنُ خَلَقْتُ الرَّحِمَ وَشَقَقْتُ لَهَا اسْمًا مِنِ اسْمِي، فَمَنْ وَصَلَهَا وَصَلْتُهُ وَمَنْ قَطَعَها قَطَعْتُهُ»

Allah the Exalted said, ‘I Am Ar-Rahman. I created the Raham (womb, i.e. family relations) and derived a name for it from My Name. Hence, whoever keeps it, I will keep ties to him, and whoever severs it, I will sever ties with him.’

Al-Qurtubi said, “It was said that both Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim have the same meaning as Abu `Ubayd has stated. Abu `Ali Al-Farisi said, `Ar-Rahman, which is exclusively for Allah, is a name that encompasses every type of mercy that Allah has. Ar-Rahim is what effects the believers, for Allah said,

﴿وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيماً﴾

And He is ever Rahim (merciful) to the believers.’ (33:43)

Also, Ibn `Abbas said – about Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, `They are two soft names, one of them is softer than the other (meaning it carries more implications of mercy).”’

Ibn Jarir said; As-Surri bin Yahya At-Tamimi narrated to me that `Uthman bin Zufar related that Al-`Azrami said about Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, “He is Ar-Rahman with all creation and Ar-Rahim with the believers.” Hence. Allah’s statement,

﴿الرَّحْمَـنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى ﴾

(Ar-Rahman (Allah) rose over (Istawa) the (Mighty) Throne (in a manner that suits His majesty).) (20:5)

Allah thus mentioned the Istawa – rising over the Throne – along with His Name Ar-Rahman, to indicate that His mercy encompasses all of His creation. Allah also said,

﴿وَكَانَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيماً﴾

(And He is ever Rahim (merciful) to the believers),

thus encompassing the believers with His Name Ar-Rahim. They said, “This testifies to the fact that Ar-Rahman carries a broader scope of meanings pertaining to the mercy of Allah with His creation in both lives. Meanwhile, Ar-Rahim is exclusively for the believers.” Yet, we should mention that there is a supplication that reads,

«رَحْمنَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ وَرَحِيمَهُمَا»

(The Rahman and the Rahim of this life and the Hereafter)

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