Both the names Rahman and Raheem comes from the root raheem which means mercy or rahmah.
Linguistically this means compassion, kindness and gentleness.
Thus Ar Rahman and Ar Raheem : The one who has ALOT of rahmah, the one who shows shows ALOT of rahmah, expresses ALOT of rahmah.
These two names of Allah emphasises that Allah is MOST merciful and no one else is more merciful that Allah.
Indicates the one who has extensive and great mercy
Ar Rahman extends to all of His creation including the disbelievers.
Allah’s mercy in this world is general: given to the believer and the disbeliever. He provides for them and gives them health and what they ask for.
Yusuf 12: 56
We bestow of Our Mercy on whom We will, and We make not to be lost the reward of Al-Muhsinûn
Ar Rahman 55: 1-5
The Most Gracious (Allâh)! (1) He has taught (you mankind) the Qur’ân (by His Mercy). (2) He created man. (3) He taught him eloquent speech. (4) The sun and the moon run on their fixed courses (exactly) calculated with measured out stages for each (for reckoning). (5)
He created mankind.And the mercy is not just for the believers but for everyone.
Ar Rahman appears many times in surah Maryam and Furqan. These surahs are the easrly surahs i.e. makee surahs. They were also the introduction of the deen. One of the first ways of Allah introdducing Himself is by the attribute of Rahmah.
Thus when people learn about Allah, they should not only learn that Allah will put them in Hellfire but more of Allah is ready to accept and forgive people. One of the best ways to introduce Allah in daawah is by His Mercy.
We should remember His Mercy then abstain from doing wrong action. When one knows that in the Hereafter Allah confines His Mercy to the believers (and deals with the unelievers with His justice), one will seek to worship Allah and come nearer to Him in order to deserve His Mercy in the Hereafter. Allah is Most Merciful, so kind towards you, why should we disobey Him?
The one who has extensive mercy but He expresses it to the one whom He chooses.
Al Baqarah 2: 163
Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (there is none who has the right to be worshipped but He), the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Ar Raheem is Allah’s special mercy only for the believers.
Al Ahzaab 33: 43
He it is Who sends Salât (His blessings) on you, and His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive you), that He may bring you out from darkness (of disbelief and polytheism) into light (of Belief and Islâmic Monotheism). And He is Ever Most Merciful to the believers. (43)
Al Baqarah 2: 37
Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful (37)
Allah is the Greatest Acceptor of Repentance. The Especially Merciful.
This mercy implies pity, patience and forgiveness all of which sinners need.
Az Zumar 39: 53
Say: “O ‘Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful
Combination of Ar Rahman and Ar Raheem
They often appear together for example in Basmallah and in the second verse of Al Fatehah. When they come together it expresses ALOT of mercy. Allah is the one Most Merciful.
Ar Raheem appears with other names too
At Tawaburr Raheem
Al Azeezur Raheem.
Hadith on Mercies
Muslim :: Book 37 : Hadith 6626
Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: When Allah created the creation as He was upon the Throne, He put down in His Book: Verily, My mercy predominates My wrath.
Bukhari :: Book 8 :: Volume 73 :: Hadith 29
Narrated Abu Huraira:
I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, Allah divided Mercy into one-hundred parts and He kept its ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down its one part on the earth, and because of that, its one single part, His creations are Merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it.”
Muslim :: Book 37 : Hadith 6631
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: There are one hundred (parts of) mercy for Allah and He has sent down out of these one part of mercy upon the jinn and human beings and the insects and it is because of this (one part) that they love one another, show kindness to one another and even the beast treats its young one with affection, and Allah has reserved ninetynine parts of mercy with which He would treat His servants on the Day of Resurrection.
Muslim :: Book 37 : Hadith 6632
Salman Farisi reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Verily, there are one hundred (parts of) mercy for Allah, and it is one part of this mercy by virtue of which there is mutual love between the people and ninety-nine reserved for the Day of Resurrection.
Muslim :: Book 37 : Hadith 6634
Salman reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: Verily, Allah created, on the same very day when He created the heavens and the earth, one hundred parts of mercy. Every part of mercy is coextensive with the space between the heavens. and the earth and He out of this mercy endowed one part to the earth and it is because of this that the mother shows affection to her child and even the beasts and birds show kindness to one another and when there would be the Day of Resurrection, Allah would make full (use of Mercy).
We learn from this hadith that kind and compassionate treatment is like by Allah and is in fact His blessings. This is the reason He has given part of it to His creatures, and a person who is so hard-hearted, that he is not even aware of it has a defect which is pleasing to Allah. Moreover it is a sign that such a person is deprived of divine blessing and mercy.
On the day of resurrection, Almighty Allah will bestow upon the believers hundred mercies. This news has great hopes and joy for His slaves.
Some hadith mentioning Allah’s mercy
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) saying, “When Allah created the creatures, He wrote in the Book, which is with Him over His Throne: `Verily, My Mercy prevailed over My Wrath”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
We had a wonderful discussion when S asked me, why Allah gives only 1 mercy to us? Why not give all of the mercy now? These are among my answers please correct me or add more. Jazakumullahhu Khayr for the sharing.
1. Allah creates us to test us. Allah will give the best of His rewards only for those who pass this tests.
2. The mercy that Allah is saving for later is way better than what already we perceive as good now (the 1 part of Allah’s mercy now). The best of mercy is what Allah saves only for the believers.
3. Allah gives so many things for His creation on earth now. Alla these things like wealth, mercy, water, intelligence are insignificant to Him. Thus He gives them to all whether one believes or not to Him. The mercy and the reward that He saves for later is the most important in the sight of Allah. And the best of this, is only f0r the believers. May we be among those who an receive them.
4. My friend posted this on her blog which I found so apt, “The slave does not deserve anything. Whatever is given to us is only by the generosity and mercy of our Master.” Which I think seals the discussion.
But it was a good question I think. We had a fruitful discussion, Alhamdulillah. May Allah bring us more knowledge for us to get closer to Him.
2. The Perfect Names of Allah – Dr Umar Al Ashqar
3. Islamic Education Grade 4 – Molvi Abdul Aziz (darussalam)