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The Beautiful Names of Allah "Al-Barr" and "Ar-Rahim"


The Kindly and Gracious Benefactor,  The Righteous,  The Source of All Goodness

This Beautiful name is derived from the Arabic word "Barra" which depicts the following connotations:

To be devoted, affectionate, gentle; to be just and proper, honest, truthful; to have regard for the circumstances of another; to be beneficent, to bestow bountiful gifts; to reward for service, recompense; to behave courteously, to do good; to be benign, gracious, kindly; to be pious, virtuous, righteous; to be ample, extensive…

All the above mentioned combined make up the meaning of this word "Al-Barr". It tells us that Allah is The One who is Kind, Gentle and Ample in goodness; The One who is the doer of good in all its ramification. A fact why the prophet (PBUH) used to say in glorifying Allah: "All good are from You and evil is not from You."

This tells us that Allah is the actual ultimate possessor of the above qualities and only from Him they originate. So many subtle meanings and qualities, as could be seen above, are embedded in this attribute of Allah. Qualities as true devotion, fineness and gentility, just, truthfulness, honesty, graciousness, being good, etc are all part of the encompassed meanings of this Name.

Therefore, when calling on Allah, this Name is one that could be used, for its extensive encompassing connotations . One is to bear these in mind and see Allah being worthy of invoking and be assured that the One Who has all these beautiful qualities in this Name will surely grant him out of them.

Furthermore, this Name is was accompanied by another where it came in the Qur'an. Allah said:

ﯨ  ﯩ  ﯪ  ﯫ   ﯬ  ﯮ   ﯯ  ﯰ    ﯱ

{Verily, we used to invoke Him (Alone and none else) before. Verily, He is Al-Barr (the Most Subtle, Kind, Courteous, and Generous), the Most Merciful} [at-Tur: 28]


The Beautiful Name of Allah 'Ar-Rahim"

The Most Merciful,  The Most Compassionate

The perfect name of Allah, Ar-Rahim, is an exaggerated derivative from the verb root Ra-hi-ma which denotes the following connotations:

to be tender, gentle, kind; to love; to have mercy, to have pity; to show favor and goodness; to have all that is required for beneficence.

The derivative Ar-Rahim depicts depth and lengthiness or persistence. This shows that Allah is not just a Being Who possesses all the above meanings of the verb root, rather He possesses then in the best way they exist and persistently infinitum.

So when one is convinced and know very well these meanings of the Name Ar-Rahim, he should know that the One who grants even more grace and greater rewards in recompense for our good actions and high thoughts or prayers, the Almighty Allah Ar-Rahim, has unlimited favour and benediction. Therefore, one should not lose hope or get bored of invoking Him. He will always answer and He also knows the best for us.

It is also necessary to note that when we obey Allah by utilizing whatever He has blessed us with in accordance to His directives, for good, He is also the One who greatly rewards those who use the Divine bounties and beneficence in a good way. Therefore, for more blessings and bounties, one has to be grateful to Allah and use His favours upon him in good things.

Ar-Rahman is also The One who has mercy on the merciful. Be merciful onto what is on earth and you shall be granted the mercy of That Who is in the heaven. Mercy is a very important  character required for a well and peaceful living in this world. One who has in him the characteristics of mercy would easily forgive, pardon, pity and readily give a helping hand to a needy. In same way, the All-Merciful Allah will also grant such a person what he granted in form of reward, either in this world or the world to come.

Worth noting at this point is the distinction between Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim. Ar-Rahman is the Beneficent One whose endless outpouring of love and mercy are continually showered upon all of creation without  restrictions to only the believers or a group, while al-Rahim is the Merciful One whose love and mercy are infinitive unending. The former is like broad in nature to encompass all the creation, while the later is narrow and everlasting. That is why some scholars interpret the former as the Merciful and Benevolent One in this world (i.e. for everything He created, be it inanimate or animate, murderer or kind, disbeliever or most pious) and the later to be The Merciful and Benevolent One in the hereafter (i.e. for only the believers and those who did well and passed) without end.

According to Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ar-Rahim expresses the continuous manifestation of the Grace in our lives and its effect upon us as a result of our own activities.

Therefore, it is overtly understood from the words of that great scholar that Ar-Rahman expresses the encompassing manifestation of the Grace in our lives and its effect upon us as a result of His Own Decree and Personal Oath to cater and care for all He created, so that there will be no excuse whatsoever for any f them for not believing in Him.

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