The Meaning of al-Raḥmān in Sūrah al-Fātiḥah

Imām Ibn al-Qayyim

An explanation on the great name of Allāh, al-Raḥmān (the Most Merciful).
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Imām Ibn al-Qayyim (d. 751 AH) said: “The name [of Allāh] al-Raḥmān (the Most Merciful) [confirms prophethood as it comes in Sūrah al-Fātiḥah]. For verily, His mercy precludes that His servants be left purposeless, or that they should be unaware of that which would allow their true fulfilment. So, whoever gives the name al-Raḥmān its full appreciation knows that it delineates the raising of the Messengers, and the sending of the Books. This delineation is greater even than applying [the name of al-Raḥmān] to the sending down of productive rain, the growing of crops, or the bursting of seeds. That is because the application of mercy applies first and foremost to the life of the hearts and souls before its application to the physical form. However, the shielded ones [from the true meaning of al-Raḥmān] can only comprehend from this name what simple creatures and livestock would understand. The ones who have been given true understanding are able to appreciate this deeper and more profound meaning.”

Source: Al-Tafsīr al-Qayyim: 8
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: February 24, 2022
Edited: May 27, 2022

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