Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim

Maulana Abul Kalam AzadThe Tarjuman al-Qur’an1968

The terms Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim are derived from Rahmat. The term Rahmat in Arabic is used to denote the type of tenderness which stimulates in one the urge to show kindness to others. Its connotation is wide enough to cover the qualities of love, compassion, benevolence and generosity.

The two terms Al-Rahman and Al-Rahim, though both are derived from the same root of Rahmat, denote two separate aspects of it. Al-Rahman means the being who possessess Rahmat; and Al-Rahim means the being who not merely possesses Rahmat but gives perennial expression to it, and from whom everything in the universe derives goodness every moment.

The purpose of the Qur’an in bringing to mind the two aspects together is to emphasize the all-embracing character of the Rahmat of God.

“And my Rahmat encompasseth everything in the universe.”

Surah: Al-A’raf (The Heights) – Chapter: 7 – Verse: 156