“Al-Rahman, Al-Rahim”

The next verse expresses a key qualities of the almighty; Al-Rahman (the all merciful) and Al-Rahim (the very merciful). It speaks about the divine mercy of Allah, they are both used together. First we have to understand these 2 words in order to be able to understand the verse which Imam Ghazali explains excellently; ‘These two names are derived from (mercy). (The concept of) mercy necessitates one who is an object of mercy, for no one is an object of mercy unless he is in is the one by means of whom the needs of the needy persons are satisfied in such a way that neither intent, volition nor solicitude are involved. The one in need is not called Furthermore, the one who intends the satisfaction of a need but does not in fact satisfy it, though he is able to do so, is not called compassionate. For if his intention had been perfect, he would have carried it out. On the other hand, the one who (for valid reasons) is unable (to carry his intention to fruition) may still be called a merciful one in view of the empathy that motivated In spite of this; however, he falls short (of his goal). Perfect is that which bestows good upon those in need. The willing of good for the needy is concern for them. All-inclusive mercy gives to both the worthy and unworthy. The mercy of God is perfect and all-inclusive. It is perfect in the sense that He not only wills the satisfaction of the needs of the needy but actually satisfies them. It is all-inclusive in that it includes the worthy the unworthy, this life and that which is to come and encompasses the essentials, needs and advantages which go beyond them. Thus He is in truth the Compassionate absolutely. An Detail: Mercy implies a pain-inducing empathy which lays hold of the compassionate one. This moves a merciful to satisfy the wants of the object of mercy. The Lord Most High is free of this. Perhaps you are of the opinion that this is an imperfection in respect of the meaning of mercy. On the contrary, however, this is perfection and not an imperfection (in respect of the meaning of this concept). As for its not being an imperfection, this is because the perfection of mercy lies in the perfection of its fruit. Whenever the needs of the needy one are perfectly satisfied, the object of mercy has no share in the empathy of the one showing mercy and his feeling of distress. On the contrary, the feeling of distress on the part of the one showing mercy is caused by his own weakness and imperfection and does not (at all) increase his weakness in respect of the aim of the needy one after his needs have been perfectly satisfied. That this is perfection in respect of the meaning of mercy lies in the fact that the compassionate one (whose mercy) originates from empathy and distress almost desires by his act to repel empathy from himself. Certainly that falls short of the perfect meaning of mercy. On the contrary, the perfection of mercy lies in the fact that he looks upon the one requiring mercy for the sake of this one requiring mercy and not for the sake of being relieved of the pain of empathy (in himself). A Lesson: is more specific than and therefore is applied to God, whereas be applied to one other than He. this respect it approximates the name “God ” which as a proper noun, even though is definitely derived from For this reason God the two He said, “Say (unto mankind): Cry unto God, or cry unto the Beneficent unto whichsoever ye cry (it is the same). His are the most beautiful 4 S. 17, 110 (A-3-4). Note that in this instance translates “the most beautiful whereas in S. 7, he translates “the fairest from this point of view we have synonymity of the names that are enumerated, it follows that a distinction should be made between the meanings of these two names. One would prefer that the basic meaning understood from be a kind of mercy is a quality quite beyond the reach of human potential. Rather is it related to the bliss life which is to come. The is the one favourably disposed towards man, firstly, by creating him; secondly, by guiding him to faith and the causes of happiness; thirdly, by making him happy in the life to come; and, fourthly, by bestowing upon him the vision of His gracious face. An Admonition: Man’s portion of the name is that he should have mercy upon the servants of God Most High who neglect Him. He should turn them from the way of negligence to God by public preaching and private counsel and do this gently, not harshly. He should look upon the sinners with eyes of mercy, not eyes of censure. This he should do in view of the fact that every act of disobedience occurring in the world is, as it were, his own disobedience. He must go to any length to remove it, to the fullest extent his ability permits, and do this out of mercy for that sinner, because he is now exposed to the anger of God and merits being removed from nearness to Him. Man’s portion of the name is that he does not leave the poverty of the needy person without satisfying it to the best of his ability. He will not abandon the poor person in his neighbourhood city until he has provided for that person’s maintenance and staved off his poverty. This he will do either by means of his own wealth, his influence in the area or the effort to intercede with a third party on behalf of the needy one. If he is unable to satisfy him, the merciful one will single out the needy person in his prayers. Furthermore, he will manifest his sorrow on account of the poor man’s need out of empathy and sympathy until he becomes, as it were, one who actually shares in and want.’

After understanding these 2 words the next thing that could be questioned is that “Why if Allah has so many qualities and attributes, were only these 2 almost the same qualities used?” well, as rightfully said in Maariful Quran ‘The reference to this particular attribute in this situation is perhaps intended to be a reminder of the fact that it is not through any external compulsion or inner need or any kind of necessity whatsoever that Allah has assumed the responsibility of nurturing the whole of His creation, but in response to the demand of His own quality of mercy. If this whole universe did not exist, He would suffer no loss; if it does exist, it is no burden to Him.’

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