- Allah‘ is the asl (original) Name, the default Name. We use the Name Allah first.
- Origin of all the other Names and Attributes. hu wallahu lathee‖ It is the main name.
- Allah‘ means all the Names and Attributes, the name Allah consists of all the other names. Allah means Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem etc.
- All the Names and Attributes stem from Allah. It has a profound meaning. This is the name that Allah has taken for Himself that no one can name themselves as.
- Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam heard a man making a du’a, He said, you have called upon Allah, by a Name that if you ask Him by He will grant you His request, by His Mightiest Name – Allah.
- The Name Allah is mentioned in the Qu’ran the most number of times; 2224 times.
- Allah chose to instil it in the kalimah of tawheed.
- Allah chose to describe His Messengers and prophets with the name Rasool Allah or Nabi Allah. He takes honour and pride when speaking about His Prophets and Messengers and this is shown in Him using the name Allah when describing them.
- Ilah, a deity or something that is worshipped.
- Added alif laam-―the‖ to make Al-Ilah -The deity. The hamza is wiped off so the laam is joined, So it becomes ALLAH. To show mightiness, honour of Allah’s Names, we prolong it at the end. The word Allah is unique, the Name which refers to the Being Himself as His personal Name and it encompasses all of the divine Names and Attributes of perfection.
- Ibn Qayyim said: Allah is the One who is deserving of complete and pure worship. People worship other deities but the Name Allah shows that He is the only one deserved to be worshipped. No matter how much worship we do, we will never do as much as He subhana wa ta’aala deserves. No one on the earth deserves to be worshipped but Him. He, Allah, is truly deserving.
The verb ‗abada – from the root ‗ayn-baa-daal– means to worship. But what is worship? Worship is a combination of love and obedience; love without obedience isn‘t worship and neither is obedience without love.
Who deserves mankind‘s utmost love and obedience? It is Allah, the One who created, in perfection, mankind, the seven heavens and the earth, and all they contain. Therefore no one but Allah has the right to be worshipped.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
1. Turn to Him. Allah describes the beautiful and direct relationship between Himself and the believer in a hadith qudsi:
O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me, and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds in the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I shall forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with an earthful of sins and were you then to face Me, without having associated anything with Me, I shall grant you an earthful of pardon. [At-Tirmidhi]
Turn to Him in times of ease and hardship and you will find happiness and tranquillity that cannot be found in anything other than Him.
2. Love Allah. It instils muhabba (love) in our hearts that takes precedence over the love of our self, the dunya and everything else that is instilled in our hearts. By Allah calling himself Allah, it shows that our purpose is to worship Him. All Names and Attributes come from this Name. Through Allah and His Name Allah, we have a Lord that has Rahma for us, that cares, that supports and helps us, that provides for us, etc.
3. Gives Him the right of worship. When Allah is mentioned amongst us we should feel different. It is the Name of the One who deserves all of our worship, the One who deserves our lives. When Allah is mentioned to the believers, they should feel fear, fear that they are not able to fulfil the ibadah that He deserves. Allah is the Name of worship.
4. Say Bismillah. The Prophet (saw) said: Any significant act that does not begin in the Name of Allah is severed (of blessings). [An-Nasaa‘i]
When you say the basmalah– the saying of bismillah– in the Name of Allah — or bismillaahir rahmaanir raheem it makes you conscious of Allah because you are invoking Him. When you say bismillah before beginning something, it means you are seeking Allah‘s blessings and help in what you are going to do next. Make it a habit and teach it to your children; if they say the basmalah throughout their lives and teach it to their offspring until the Day of Judgement, it will be an ongoing reward for you. This practice also helps you to refrain from sinful deeds, as how can you start something wrong in the Name of Allah? So say the basmalah when you eat, drink, undress, travel, etc., and make it your most productive habit.
By saying Allah, we know that we are talking about a Lord that possesses all His Names and Attributes. The Master of everything, the Creator, the One who will hold us to account, who will speak to us one by one and ask about our sins. When we say Allah, we are talking about the All Just. The Name Allah gives us both hope and fear.
2) Ar-Rahman 3) Ar-Raheem
The Name Ar-Rahman is mentioned 57 times in the Qur’an. For example Allah says:
The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, [al Faatihah, 1:3]
The Name Ar Raheem is mentioned 123 times. For example Allah says:
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [az Zumar 39:53]
Both Names come from the word Rahma– which means to have mercy. Ar Rahman means The One who possesses has mercy. Ar Raheem means The One who gives mercy. Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam said Allah says: I am Rahman and this is a womb (Rahem) I have taken from this womb, a Name for my Name. [At Tirmidhi]
The womb covers a baby when it‘s inside of it. It provides for the baby everything it needs. Similarly, we are surrounded by Allah’s mercy. Allah is telling us that Ar Rahman is like a womb we are all covered in His mercy. To further emphasise this, Allah chose this Name when affirming His rising above His throne, to show that everything below Him is covered with His Mercy. The throne, the angels, the sky, the stars, rivers and seas, animals we eat from, everything! He possesses perfect Mercy, without any form of deficiency. No one can be more merciful than Him. Ar-Raheem is the one who gives mercy, the one who forgives, grants you provision through His mercy, created the world through His mercy, the One who shows mercy. Ar Raheem is sifatul Fi’liyah – description of Allah in His actions (Fi’al) Ar Rahman is sifatul zaatiyaah – description of Allah’s self. Some Name combines both description of Himself and His action, e.g. Ar Razaaq. He is the provider and He provides.
When Allah decreed the Creation He pledged Himself by writing in His book which is laid down with Him: My mercy prevails over my wrath.[Muslim]
He is a Lord of rahma, forgiving, love, hope. Allah says about Himself in the Qur‘an:
And when those come to you who believe in Our verses, say, “Peace be upon you.
Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy: that any of you who does wrong out of ignorance and then repents after that and corrects himself – indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Al An‘aam 6:54]
Signs of Allah’s Rahma
- That He described himself with Rahma.
- That he taught us the Qur’an. This is the greatest mercy to us. Al Qur’an is a sifaat of Allah, Allah spoke it. It is the greatest form of rahma. There is no better form of mercy than living life in Jannah, but this can only be obtained from knowing what leads us to Jannah and we can only know this by knowing and learning the Qur’an.
- Allah has also created rahma. He made Muhammad sallalahu alayhi wassallam a Prophet of mercy.
- Allah has made 100 forms of rahma and He has sent 1 out of 100 on Earth. Abu Hurairah (RadiyAllahu Anhu) reported: Messenger of Allah sallalahu alahyi wassalam said:
- “Allah has divided mercy into one hundred parts; and He retained with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent down to earth one part. Through this one part creatures deal with one another with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts its hoof over its young lest it should hurt it” [Al Bukhari, Muslim]
- From the portions of 99 that He saved for yawamal qiyyamah is that he made Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam more merciful on yawmal qiyyamah than in the world.
Allah has granted His slaves rahma.
- Rahma ‘aam (general) – to the whole of creation, kuffar, and mumin. Providing for everyone etc.
- Rahma khaasah (specific) – only for the people He loves. Granted them the ilm of Islam, made them Muslims, given them eemaan., allowed them to worship Allah. Forgiving them for their sins even if they didn’t make tawbah. This is specific for the ummah of Muhammad sallalahu alayhi wassallam.
- Narrated Abu Huraira: I heard the Prophet saying, “If somebody commits a sin and then says, ‘O my Lord! I have sinned, please forgive me!’ and his Lord says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sins).’ Then he remains without committing any sin for a while and then again commits another sin and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord who forgives sins and punishes for it, I therefore have forgiven my slave (his sin). Then he remains without committing any other sin for a while and then commits another sin (for the third time) and says, ‘O my Lord, I have committed another sin, please forgive me,’ and Allah says, ‘My slave has known that he has a Lord Who forgives sins and punishes for it I therefore have forgiven My slave (his sin), he can do whatever he likes.” [Al Bukhari]
He wipes away the sins, as if it doesn’t exist. Allah forgives them and wipes them away. He subhana wa ta’alaa becomes so happy when His slaves turn to Him in repentance. Al-Bara’ b. ‘Azib reported Allah’s Messenger sallalahu alayhi wassalam as saying that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said:
What is your opinion about the delight of a person whose camel loaded with the provisions of food and drink is lost and that moves about with its nose-string trailing upon the waterless desert in which there is neither food nor drink, and lie wanders about in search of that until he is completely exhausted and then accidentally it happens to pass by the trunk of a tree and its nosestring gets entangled in that and he finds it entangled therein? He (in response to the question of the Holy Prophet) said: Allah’s Messenger, he would feel highly delighted. Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said. By Allah, Allah is more delighted at the repentance of His servant than that person (as he finds his lost) camel. [Muslim]
Allah is happier than this man when someone turns back to Him and asks for forgiveness. Allah has someone to bestow Jannah to. He subhana ta alaa loves His slaves and is more merciful to His slaves than a mother to her child. Umar ibn Al-Khattab reported:
Some prisoners of war were brought in front of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and a woman was among them who was breast-feeding. Whenever she found a child among the prisoners, she would take it to her chest and nurse it. The Prophet said to us, Do you think this woman could throw her child in the fire? We said, No, not if she is able to stop it. The Prophet said, Allah is more merciful to His servants than a mother is to her child. [Al Bukhari]
O my believing slaves, who has transgressed against your own selves, do not despair of the mercy of your Lord. Indeed Allah forgives all sins, He is the most forgiving and most merciful. [az Zumar 39:53]
The merciful of the creation
Certain Names Allah azza wa jall uses only to describe Himself. He says:
Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [Name] you call – to Him belong the best Names.” And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way. [al Israa 17:110]
As for Allah‘s Name Ar-Raheem, Allah azza wa jall has described others by it:
There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.
[at Tawbah 9:128]
Allah many times mentions a Name alongside another Name. For example Huwal ghaffur ar raheem. He is oft forgiving and forgiving His slaves is from His mercy.
Ar Rahman and Ar Raheem and other Names
- He couples Ar-Rahman and Ar Raheem many times.
- Allah mentions Ghafoor 75 times, and He couples it with Raheem. Him forgiving His slaves is a sign of His rahma.
- Allah couples Ar Raheem with Ar Rauf, means to be gentle/compassionate and His gentleness is from His rahama.
- It is mentioned 9 times in Qu’ran that He is Tawwabur Raheem. When the believers turn to Allah, He turns to them which is again a sign of his Rahma.
Benefits we can learn from these Names
1. These 2 Names are Names of mahabbah. When we recite Surah Faatihah, in the first 3 verses, Allah tells us how to gain hope, love and fear. We gain hope and love with Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem, love with Rabbul ‘alameen, and fear with Malik al yawm mideen. Believer has hope with these two Names.
2. To Him belongs all types of provision and security. We affirm that good characteristics will always go back to Allah. The gentleness and kindness we see around us or that we posses, are rahma from Allah. Rain, sun, light, darkness, everything has its share of rahma and comes from Allah. Shows the greatness of Allah’s Rahma.
3. Instils in us hayaa in front of Allah. The salaf used to say; Feel shy in disobeying the One, with the limbs of your body that He has given you. O believer of Allah, if you want to sin, sin without using a blessing of Allah, sin without being on the land of Allah. This isn’t possible so have haya in front of Allah from sinning.
4. Never despair. No matter how many sins you commit, He can have mercy on you if you just turn to Him, Ar-Rahman. Every mistake or sin is an opportunity and a sign that it‘s time to get closer to Him. Whenever you commit a sin, call Him by this Name to have mercy on you and remind yourself of one of the most optimistic ayaat in the Qur’an, as mentioned above from surah az Zumar.
5 Obey Ar-Raheem, hold onto the Quran. Allah says:
It is He who confers blessing upon you, and His angels [ask Him to do so] that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And ever is He, to the believers, Merciful. [al Ahzaab 33:43]
Allah ‗azza wa jall mentions ways for you in the Qur’an to receive His special mercy as a believer. He says:
And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain Mercy [ale Imran 3:132].
This mercy is only reserved for those who try their best to hold on to the guidelines, prohibitions, and commandments mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah.
And this [Qur’an] is a book, We have revealed [which is] blessed, so follow it and fear Allah so that you may receive Mercy [al An’aam 6:155].
6. Strive for taqwa. Allah says:
O you who have believed, have taqwa of Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful [al Hadid 57:28].
Taqwa can be described as consciousness which inspires you to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions which please Allah azza wa jall and to stay away from those actions which displease and anger him. Tips to increase your taqwa are: be alert to whatever may divert you from Allah, and be alert to your desires that may lead you to the forbidden. Ascribe each success, material or spiritual, to Allah only, and long for His pleasure in everything you do, big or small. Renew your emaan by reflecting on Ar-Raheem‘s creation and remember death by living each day with the knowledge it can happen anytime.
7. Pray four units of prayer before asr. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
May Allah have mercy on one who prays four raka‘aat before the asr Prayer [At-Tirmidhi].
8. Listen to the Qur’an attentively.
So when the Quran is recited, listen to it and pay attention, that you may receive mercy [al A’raaf 7:204].
Have you noticed the effect on your heart when you sit and listen to the Qur’an with your ears and heart, with no distractions around you? The more you respect and honour the Book of Allah, the more cure, guidance and mercy you will receive through it.
9. Turn to Ar-Raheem. Whenever Ar-Raheem gives you a trial, know that no one can
give you a way out but Him, so turn to Him as soon as hardship hits you.
And if Allah should touch you with adversity, there is no remover of it except Him; and if He intends for you good, then there is no repeller of His bounty. He causes it to reach whom He wills of His servants. And He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. [Yunus 10:107].
No matter what sin you commit, Allah azza wa jall forgives you if you repent from it. That‘s the beauty of Al-Ghafoor Ar-Raheem.
10. Ask Ar-Rahmaan for compassion. The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said:
He who is not merciful to our young (people) and who shows no respect to our elderly is not one of us. [At-Tirmidhi]
Ask Allah azza wa jall to bless you with a soft heart and to enable you to feel compassion towards your relatives, friends, and the whole Muslim nation. How many do not feel responsible or attached to the ummah?
The Prophet salallahu alayhi wa sallam said: The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever. [Muslim]
Being kind to others is a blessing.
Know that kind and compassionate treatment is liked by Ar-Raheem and is in fact His blessing from Him to you. A person who is hardhearted is deprived of this divine blessing and mercy.
Aishah radiyallahu anha reported that some Bedouins came to the Messenger of Allah salallahu alayhi wasallam and asked, Do you kiss your children?‘ He replied,Yes.‘ They then said: By Allah, we do not kiss them.‘ He then replied, I cannot help you if Allah has snatched kindness from your hearts.‘ [Al-Bukhari, Muslim]
So open up your heart to others and constantly warm your heart with the remembrance of Allah azza wa jall.
Side note: Du’a is speaking to Allah, having a conversation with Him. Once a person speaks like this, calling on Allah by His Names and Attributes, the thing he wanted and was going to supplicate for wouldn’t matter anymore, he just ends up wanting to speak to Allah.