The meaning of the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

 The Most Merciful, the Most Gracious is an essential part of Albasmala (bism ellahi ar-rahman ar-rahim), in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, and it has been written at the head of every Surah of the Holy Quran except Surat Altawbah, but instead of that, it has been mentioned twice in Surat An-naml; at the head of Surat An-naml and it is a verse of it's verses. Thus Albasmala is written 114 times in the Holy Quran and it has been placed at the head of every Surah to distinguish each Surah from another.

 The Most Gracious and the Most Merciful are attributes of Allah Azza wa Galla, and they signifies the mercy of Allah Almighty. But the Most Gracious (Ar-rahman) is employed only when we are referring to Allah, it has the same attribute of the word Allah, and the two words Allah and Ar-rahman altogether has been mentioned in Surat Alesraa Aya:110 where Allah said: "say, invoke Allah, or invoke Ar-rahman (the Most Gracious), by whatever name you invoke, to Him belongs the most beautiful names

 Here Allah says call upon him by the name Allah or the name Ar-rahman, whichsoever name you like all names belongs to the One (God). Among all beautiful names of Allah only the word Allah and the word Ar-rahman are exclusive to the One, and it is not permissible to qualify any one besides Allah by the two attributes.   

 Allah revealed call upon him by Allah or Ar-rahman to His prophet Muhammad peace be upon Him because the infidels of Mecca said: what is this the Most Gracious, when it is said to them prostrate to the Most Gracious. Also on the day of  Alhudaybiyya's treaty, when the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to the scribe: write (bism ellahi ar-rahman ar-rahim), in the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful they said we don not know Ar-rahman or Ar-rahim, write what you used to write: Bismika Allahumma (in your name, O Allah). 

 In addition to that, there is a full Surah of the Holy Quran is called Surat Ar-rahman (the Most Gracious), and it started with the word Ar-rahman, then Allah describes Ar-rahman by saying: He taught the Quran, He created the human being, and He taught him distinct speech (how to express himself), then Allah recounted his favor and his bounties all over the Surah, and after each bounty Allah asked them: so which of the favor (bounties) of your lord would you deny?. 

 Although the word Ar-rahman (the Most Gracious) is exclusive to Allah, Almighty, but the word Ar-rahim (the Most Merciful) not the same for Allah has described his Messenger with the attribute Ar-rahim when he said in Surat Altawba Aya:128: certainly, has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves (whom you know well), hard on whom is your suffering, He is concerned over you, and for the believers He is very kind and merciful (rahim).

 The attribute Ar-rahim conveys a glad tidings of the mercy of Allah Azza wa Galla to the believers, when He said: it is He who sends His blessing upon you and his angels, so that He may bring you out of utter darkness into the light, and He is Merciful to the believer.

 Thus, there is a broader scope of the attribute the Most Gracious (Ar-rahman) than the attribute the Most Merciful (Ar-rahim); Ar-rahman shows Allah's mercy with his creations, and the attribute Ar-rahim (Most Merciful) is exclusive to the believers. Allah described Him self and His Messenger with mercy to the believers, and Allah's Mercy not only in the worldly life by showing them the right path and bringing them out of the darkness to the light, but it is also in the hereafter by saving them on the day of resurrection






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