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(1:1) Most Gracious, Most Merciful

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1:1


(In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.)


The Holy Quran also mentions in 51:56,


I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.


The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained this verse as follows:
It is related by Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (saw)
say: “The actions are but judged according to intentions; and to every man is due what
he intended. Thus, whosoever migrates for the sake of Allah and His Messenger [and
there is no other motive of his migration except compliance with the commands of Allah
and the Prophet and winning of their good pleasure], his migration is accounted for the
sake of Allah and His messenger [and, doubtlessly, he is a true Muhajir-Emigrant]-and
shall receive the recompense prescribed for Hijrat-Migration- towards Allah and His
Messenger]; and whosoever migrates for the sake of this world or to wed a woman [his
migration will not be for Allah and the Prophet], and it will be accounted only for the
purpose for which it is intented.” (Bukhari and Muslim) [taken from Maariful Hadith,
Noomani]


For details, see the following post: Actions are by Intentions (1)


The word ‘Allah’:
In the Arabic language, the proper name of the One Supreme God is Allah. This word
usually is taken to mean the One and Only God, but there is a deeper history to this
word. It is derived, according to the Arabist Fleisher Franz Delitzsch, from the ancient
Arabic root ilah or elah, which means “to be possessed of God.” A derivative from that
root term, aliha, means “to be filled with dread” and “anxious to seek refuge,” thus the
Qur’an’s call for believers to seek refuge with God from all that they fear. (See 7:200
and 16:98 for example.) The Old Testament Book of Genesis (verses 21:42 & 53) uses
the same term where God is called the “fear” or “dread” of Isaac – not in a negative
sense, mind you, but in the sense of utter and complete awe. The Hebrew word for
God, Eloah (or El), which occurs 3,350 times in the Old Testament, mostly in its plural
‘royal’ form of Elohim, is linguistically related to the Arabic root ilah. Adding the definite
article al (the) to ilah makes it al-ilah which is the progenitor of the name Allah, or, The
God. If it is remembered that Ishmael, the son of Abraham who dwelled in Arabia,
spoke the same ancient tongue as Isaac, whose descendants became the Hebrews,
then it is clear why Arabic and Hebrew both have the same linguistic name for God.

(2) the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


The following excerpt is taken from the “Study Quran” under the commentary of the
above verse:


This verse repeats the two Divine Names, the Compassionate (alRaḥmān) and the
Merciful (al-Raḥīm), that are recited in the basmalah at the opening of each sūrah,
except for Sūrah 9, “Repentance” (al-Tawbah). Both Names are intensifications of the
word raḥmah, meaning “Mercy” or “LovingMercy.” Al-Raḥmān, which is also the title of
Sūrah 55, is considered to be more emphatic, embracing, and encompassing than alRaḥīm (IK, Qu, Ṭ). It is one of the Divine Names that cannot be applied to anything
other than God, either literally or figuratively, since it connotes the Loving-Mercy by
which God brings forth existence. Al-Raḥīm indicates the blessing of nourishment (rizq)
by which God sustains each particular existent thing. Thus it may apply figuratively to
creatures, and the adjective raḥīm is in fact used to describe the Prophet in 9:128. As
al-Raḥmān is more encompassing, it is closer to the highest Name of God, Allāh; 17:110
enjoins the Prophet to say, Call upon God, or call upon the Compassionate. Whichever
you call upon, to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. The relationship between them
is thus presented as that of different levels or degrees of light: al-Raḥmān is like the
light of the sun that illuminates the whole sky, and al-Raḥīm is like the particular ray of
sunlight that touches a creature. In Islamic metaphysics and cosmology it is stated that
it was by God breathing “the Breath of the Compassionate” (Nafas al-Raḥmān) upon
the immutable essences (al-aʿyān al-thābitah), which are the archetypes of all things in
Divine Knowledge, that the world was brought into being. From this perspective, the
very existence of the world is in essence nothing but the breath of Divine Compassion.
Together these two Names refer to two aspects of the Divine Mercy (raḥmah): one
essential and universal, the other attributive and particular. The first is that by which
creation is brought forth, while the second is that by which God shows Mercy to those
whom He will, as in 33:43: And He is Merciful (raḥīm) unto the believers. The essential
and universal Mercy is that of the Compassionate, which God bestows upon all things
through their very existence and is the Divine aspect referred to in 20:5: The
Compassionate mounted the Throne; and 25:59: Then mounted the Throne, the
Compassionate [is He]. The particular Mercy is that of the Merciful, through which each
creature that exists is sustained and which varies in mode according to the manner in
which this Divine Name or Attribute has become manifest. It is evident that Divine
Names of beauty, such as “the Kind” (al-Laṭīf), “the Clement” (al-Ḥalīm), and “the
Beautiful” (al-Jamīl), are manifestations of Mercy. But in Divine Names of rigor, such as
“the Powerful” (al-Qādir), “the Avenger” (al-Muntaqim), and “the Abaser” (al-Mudhill),
the manifestation of Divine Mercy is veiled by the inseparability of God’s Kindness from
His Majesty and determinative power (qadar). God is thus said to be Compassionate
toward all of creation and Merciful toward the believers (Ṭb). Positioned between v. 2,
which alludes to God being the Sovereign over all dimensions of space, both seen and
unseen, and v. 4, which alludes to God being the Master of all time, since all things end
on the Day of Judgment, this verse indicates that God’s Mercy encompasses and
interpenetrates all time and all space, as in 7:156: My Mercy encompasses all things.
(3)


References:

  1. Noomani, Manzur (2012). Meaning and Message of the
    Traditions). http://www.islamibayanaat.com/MaarifulHadith.htm
  2. Emerick, Yahiya. The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an in Today’s English (p. 827).
    Unknown. Kindle Edition.
  3. Nasr, Hossein (2015). Study Quran. http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wpcontent/uploads/2020/04/TheStudyQuran.pdf

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