This is the most well known name of Allah and brings to mind His most beautiful attribute which is His boundless mercy, incomparable compassion and immense affection for His creation.
If we think about it we can see that the most basic and the most crucial need of any living being is to be loved and cared for. And that is why Allah places a new born into the arms of that one person who can love and care for him like no other human being and that is the mother. And that is why when we try to imagine the mercy of Allah we have the famous Hadith which says that Allah loves us more than our mothers.
We know that our purpose of existence is to worship Allah but we cannot truly worship without loving and fearing Allah simultaneously. In the Quran Allah tells us that one big sign of true believers is that they are most intense in their love for Allah. But how can we love Him if we don’t know or realize that His mercy has encompassed the whole universe… He is so merciful to even those who don’t give Him his right of worship, so how much merciful he must be for those who live in complete submission to His commands? This is such a thought which fills us with the true desire to worship Him because it makes us so sure of His appreciation and reciprocation for even our tiny little efforts that do sincerely out of love and adoration and submission to Him.
Worship with love is entirely different because it becomes something that you love doing and not just a burden that has been thrown upon you. That is why Allah reminds us again and again of His name Al-Rahman. Which can never be translated to express its exact meaning… except that we can taste a glimpse of it by understanding that it is the most superlative degree of love, mercy and compassion… a mercy that is so vast and so great that we cannot even begin to imagine… A mercy that has enveloped the whole universe…
And you will be mesmerised by the intensity of Allah’s Rahmah when you consider that this entire mercy which fills the whole universe like air which leaves no space unfilled… is actually only one part out of the hundred parts of Allah’s complete mercy. In a Hadith the Prophet (s.a.w) tells us that Allah has only sent one part of His mercy to this world and kept ninety nine for the believers in the hereafter. And it is only just one percent mercy which he has spread all over His kingdom and due to which human beings are kind and merciful to one another and even the wild animals are merciful to their offsprings…
So now that we know that Allah is Al-Rahman, what then should be our response to it?
How should the knowledge and consciousness of this name affect our hearts and consequently our life?
First of all we should realize that if Rahmah or kindness is His topmost attribute then this must be his most beloved quality. And if we want to enter the group of His beloved people then we should develop this quality in our characters. Not just in outward gestures but also deep within the hidden chambers of our heart and soul we must feel kindness and mercy for all those around us. And when someone is being unpleasant and we don’t feel like being kind to that person then we should remember that Allah’s mercy is unconditional so we must also be unconditionally good to people as far as we can. Because Allah’s rahmah is for those who are compassionate to others.
Secondly we must pray to Al-Rahman to bless us with His mercy because everything in this universe is due to His mercy… all resources become available to us because of His mercy. So if we feel stuck in any situation or feel deprived and lost then we should call Him by this beautiful name and beg Him to send his mercy and solve our problems.
Third and most important thing is that we should try and understand that His mercy is not just expressed when he gives us the blessings of life but also when he tests us with problems. His mercy never ends… He doesn’t stop caring for us. That is why you will notice that even in the midst of the most terrible calamities he is caring for us in a million ways… but we fail to see… because the moment a slight unpleasant thing comes our way we react negatively and this negative reaction closes our intellect and opens the door of our heart for shaitan to come and deprive us of our faith and our tranquillity.
So we need to build our faith in Al-Rahman by constantly pondering on the signs of His mercy… both in our own bodies and also outside of us in the universe… there is no end to it… it is all so obvious but we just need to see it and believe it. And when the heart will truly be attached to Al-Rahman only then will it find the peace, happiness and tranquillity that it keeps yearning for… and this too shall happen only by the mercy of Allah… who is Al-Rahman.