The Most Merciful, The Most Compassionate
The One who grants even more grace and
greater rewards in response to our good actions and high thoughts.
The One who greatly rewards those who use the
Divine bounties and beneficence in a good way.
The One who has mercy on the merciful.
From the root r-h-m which
has the following classical Arabic connotations:
to have tenderness, gentleness,
to have mercy, to have pity
to show favor and goodness
to have all that is required for beneficence
This name is used in the Qur'ān. For example, see 1:1
The root r-h-m also indicates
womb; meaning that which provides protection and nourishment, and that from
which all of creation is brought into being.
Rahmān conveys the idea of
fullness and extensiveness, indicating the great quality of love and mercy which
engulfs all of creation without any effort or request on our part, while Rahīm
conveys the idea of constant renewal and giving liberal reward to those who are
Al-Rahmān is the Beneficent One whose
endless outpouring of love and mercy are continually showered upon all of
creation, while al-Rahīm is the Merciful One whose love and mercy are
manifested as that which is received as the consequence of one's deeds.
According to Ibn Qayyum (1350 AD), Rahīm
expresses the continuous manifestation of the Grace in our lives and its effect
upon us as a result of our own activities.
In Muhammad Ali's translation of the Qur'ān, he
refers to classical sources (as indicated by the initials in parenthesis) who
Rahmān and Rahīm
are both derived from the root rahmat, signifying tenderness
requiring the exercise of beneficence [kindness] (R), and thus
comprising the ideas of love and mercy.
Al-Rahmān and al-Rahīm
are both active participle nouns of different measures denoting intensiveness
of significance, the former being of the measure of fa'lān and
indicating the greatest preponderance of the quality of mercy, and the later
being of the measure of fa'īl and being expressive of a constant repetition
and manifestation of the attribute (AH).
The Prophet is reported to have said: "Al-Rahmān
is the beneficent One whose love and mercy are manifested in the creation of
the world, and al-Rahīm is the merciful One whose love and
mercy are manifested in the state that comes after" (AH), i.e as a
consequence of the deeds of men. Thus the former is expressive of the utmost
degree of love and generosity, the latter of unbounded and constant favor
Lexicologists agree in holding that the former
includes both the believer and the unbeliever for its objects, while the
latter relates specifically to the believer (LL).
In the Dictionary of the Holy Qur'ān, Abdul Omar
quotes from classical resources:
Rahmān is an active participle
noun of the measure fa'lān which conveys the idea of fullness and
extensiveness and indicates the greatest preponderance of the quality of
love and mercy which comprehends the entire universe without regard to our
effort or asking, even before we are born. The creation of the sun, the
moon, air and water, etc are all there because of this attribute....
the term Rahmān
circumscribes the quality of abounding Grace inherent in and inseparable from
Rahīm is in the measure of fa'īl
and denotes the idea of constant repetition and giving of a liberal reward
to those who deserve it and seek it. The Manifestation of this attribute is
in response to and is a result of the action of the human being. That is,
indicates that which is extremely and continuously loving and merciful, and
who is the dispenser of grace and love as a result of our deeds and
supplications, and the One in whom the attribute is constantly and
(Also written as al-rahim, al-raheem, ar-rahim, ar-raheem, the
Most Merciful: ya rahim, ya raheem)