Allah introduces himself in Surah Fatiha as Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem, both. Both of these names derive their meaning from the word mercy (rahmah). In classical Arabic, rahmah represents the mercy of a mother for her child. As the child grows, it causes the mother to be sick and weak; it eats nutrition from the mother; in the later trimesters, the child even stretches, punches, or kicks the mother’s ribs! But still, the mother cares for, takes care of, and protects the child.
- ALLAH IS AS HE DESCRIBES HIMSELF WITH NO ADDITIONS BEYOND WHICH WE DO NOT PONDER NOR PUT CONDITIONS Continuing in our explanation of the poem and our discussion of the branches tawheed, we now move into the second branch which is the oneness, uniqueness, and exclusiveness of Allah’s Names and Attributes (tawheed al-asma was-sifat). There are five points we will discuss; three points in this post and the remaining two in the next post.
- We take it for granted that Allah has infinite knowledge. But what does this mean? Let’s take a “tour,” if you like, of some of the things Allah knows. There are 6-8 billion people on the face of the earth. That’s 6 * 1000 * 1000 * 1000. That’s a lot of people! Can you imagine learning 6 names? Or 60? Or 6000? But Allah knows their names–all 6,000,000,000 of them.
- Bismillah. Ar-Rahman: The Entirely Merciful, Ar-Raheem: The Especially Merciful Both of the names Rahman and Raheem come from the root Ra-ha-meem (ر ح م), these names are similar so they require a parallel explanation. What is Rahmah? Rahmah is mercy. In the dictionary it means: compassion, kindness and gentleness. Also when a person is kind, compassionate and tenderhearted towards the other. So Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem: The One who has a lot of Rahmah, The One who shows a lot of rahmah, He expresses a lot of Rahmah.
- Bismillah. Ismul Jalaalah, The Grand Name: Allah الله. This is Allah’s Personal Name. His Identifying Name. This Name only belongs to Allah, no one else can have besides Allah. Allah is the Title, the Name, of the One True Ilaah. The Name of Allah, you cannot play around with: there is no plural, there is no feminine. The Name Allah appears over 3000 times in the Qur’an. When we mentioned the Name “Allah” linguistically, we don’t say “the word Allah” or “the Name Allah” because it is not appropriate.
- Bismillah We know that Allah ta’ala Name’s Ar-Raheem is specifically for the believers, so how is it that one can receive this special Mercy from ar Raheem? Obedience to Allah and His Messenger. “and obey Allah and His Messenger so that you all may receive Mercy.” [3:132] Taqwa of Allah ta’ala, fear and consciousness of Allah. “And this is a book, We have sent it down as one blessed, so follow it and fear Allah so that you all may receive Mercy.
- Having already discussed the unlimited number of Allah’s names and attributes, we turn now to an authentic hadith that seems to clash with what we said before. The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: إِنَّ لِلَّهِ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا مِائَةً إِلاّ وَاحِدًا مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ . Translation: Indeed, Allah has 99 names (one hundred minus one); whoever memorizes them will enter Jannah. [Saheeh Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim]
- Bismillah There are many words in Arabic that translate as “love” in English; two of them are hubb and wudd. What is the difference between hubb (حَبَّ) and wudd (وَدَّ)? Hubb, which is from ح ب ب ، means to love. It is a love that you have for someone or something that you keep inside of you–inner feelings of admiration and fondness. While wudd, from و د د، is a more intense form of hubb, a whole-hearted and deep love.
- Of Allah’s names, is Al-Haleem (الحليم). What does Al-Haleem mean? It’s a very very deep name—like all of Allah’s names, it’s very deep. It comes from the root hilm, and hilm means a wisdom and a forebearance that allows a person to control their anger. Hilm is an intelligence that, in our terms, allows someone to control their anger, even if their anger is justified. It allows you to, when you are justifiably angry, to control it and not manifest it.
- Of Allah’s greatest names is Al-Ghafuwr (الغَفُور). It’s one of the most common names mentioned in the Qur’an (91 times). The name itself is on the pattern that denotes a very powerful doer of an action. Linguistic Meaning: The root of Al-Ghaffuwr and Al-Ghaffar is the verb is ghafara (غَفَرَ), which does NOT mean “to forgive”; rather, it means to shield and protect and cover. Like a helmet, which, in Arabic, is called a “mighfaar.