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Sunday 25th of July 2021
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Ar-raḥmāni’r-raḥīm” [the All-beneficent, the All-merciful]

Ar-ramāni’r-raīm” [the All-beneficent, the All-merciful]

 Translating these two terms into Persian as “bakhshandeh-ye mehrabān” is not a perfect and expressive translation because according to ‘Allāmah Shahīd Mutahharī, “bakhshandeh-ye mehrabān” is the translation of the Arabic words jawād [generous] and ra’ūf [kind], and not ramān and raīm. And in principle, there have been no equivalent Persian terms for both these words.

Although both “رَّحْمٰن” “ramān” and ““رَّحيم”” raīm have been derived from the root-word “رَحْمَة” “ramah,” “ramān,” which encompasses the expansive beneficence of God, and is general and includes all human beings, however “raīm” is a mercy which will be showered only on those who are good as a reward for their good deeds. Thus, according to Imām a-ādiq (‘a) God is ramān in relation to all the creatures but He is raīm only to the believers. God has made mercy [ramah] incumbent upon Himself: ﴾ كَتَب عَلى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ ﴿ “He has made mercy incumbent upon Himself.”[1] Similarly, the Prophet and the
Book of Allah are also mercies for all of creation:

 

﴾ وَ مَا أَرْسلْنَٰكَ إِلا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَٰلَمِينَ ﴿

 

“We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations.”[2]

 

His nourishment and training are based on mercy and His punishment and requital are like the stick of a teacher which is necessary in training. Forgiveness of sins, acceptance of repentance, concealment of people’s faults, and giving respite to compensate for the past are all manifestations of His all-encompassing mercy.

In essence, creation is a manifestation of His mercy and whatever reaches every creature from Him is grace and mercy. Thus, all sūrahs of the Qur’an (with the exception of Sūrah at-Tawbah) begin with Bismillāhi’r-ramāni’r-raīm [In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful].

Ar-ramāni’r-raīm alongside rabb al-‘ālamīn means that the divine nourishment is based on grace and mercy. In the same manner, His teaching is also anchored on mercy and compassion: ﴾ عَلَّمَ الْقُرْءَانَ ٱلرَّحْمٰنُ٭ ﴿ “The All-beneficent has taught the Qur’an.”[3] And this is itself a lesson for us human beings that the teacher and trainer must be always benevolent and compassionate.

 

Māliki yawmi’d-dīn” [Master of the Day of Retribution]

God is the Master of the Day of Retribution. He is both the Master [mālik] and the Sovereign [malik]. The universe is an estate [milk] under His possession [mālikiyyah] as well as a dominion [mulk] under His sovereignty and rule. His possession is comprehensive, encompassing everything. Even the government is under his possession: ﴾ قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مٰلِك الْمُلْكِ ﴿ “Say, ‘O Allah, Master of all sovereignty!’”[4] In the same token, man, in relation to the limbs of his body, is the master as well as sovereign and commander.

The mastership of God is real, and not delegated and contractual. God is the Master of both the world and the hereafter. Yet, since man regards himself as the master of things and affairs in this world, he tends to become negligent of the Original Master. On that day when all causes will cease to exist, all relations will be abrogated and all tongues will be sealed, at that point, he will feel and discern the divine sovereignty well; for, he shall be addressed, thus: ﴾ لِّمَنِ الْمُلْك الْيَوْمَ ﴿ “To whom does the sovereignty belong today?”[5] When man would just open his eyes, he will say: ﴾ للَّهِ الْوَحِدِ الْقَهَّارِ ﴿ “To Allah, the One, the All-paramount.”[6]

The praying person who recites everyday, “God the Master of the Day of Retribution” always remembers the Day of Resurrection and Reckoning. Before doing whatever work he intends to do, he first thinks about the book of accounts on the Day of Retribution.



[1] Sūrah al-An‘ām 6:12.

[2] Sūrah al-Anbiyā 21:107.

[3] Sūrah ar-Ramān 55:1-2.

[4] Sūrah Āl ‘Imrān 3:26.

[5] Sūrah al-Ghāfir (or al-Mu’min) 40:16.

[6] Sūrah Ibrāhīm 14:48; Sūrah al-Ghāfir (or al-Mu’min) 40:16.

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