Why does Surah Ar-Rahman start with the divine attribute of "Ar-Rahman"?

Allah Light bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem

The following are brief extracts of the interpretation of the first few Quranic verses of Surah Ar-Rahman from Tafheem Al-Quran by Sayyid Abul A’la Moududi. It touches on the topic as to why Sura Ar-Rahman starts with the divine attribute of “Ar-Rahman”?

Surah Rahman Quran verses

Surah Rahman – Verse 2 – Interpretation of Surah Ar-Rahman (“He has taught (mankind) the Quran (by His mercy).”)


One meaning that can be deduced from this verse is that Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) himself is not its author, but Allah Almighty is the teacher. Furthermore, if the purpose was only to say that that teaching is from Allah, and not from the Prophet’s mind, then there was no need to use an attribute of Allah (such as Ar-Rahman) instead of His proper name (Allah), as for that purpose any attribute from among the Divine attributes could have been adopted. But when, instead of saying that Allah, or the Creator, has taught this, it was said: ‘The Merciful (Ar-Rahman) has taught this Qur’an. So, it gave the meaning that the revelation of the Qur’an for the guidance of mankind was nothing but Allah’s mercy and grace. As He is most kind and Merciful to His creation, He did not like that He should leave them wandering in darkness. Instead, His mercy demanded that He should send down this Quran to (give) them the knowledge on which depends their right guidance and conduct in the world and their success and well-being in the Hereafter.”

quran stories ibn kathir

Surah Rahman – Verse 3 interpretation of Surah Ar-Rahman (“He Created Man.”)

In other words, as Allah is the Creator of man, and it is the Creator’s responsibility to provide guidance to His creation and show it the way by following which it may fulfill the object of its creation. Who else would provide guidance to the creation if not the Creator? And if the Creator did not provide guidance, who else could? And what greater defect could there be for a creator that he should not teach his creation the method of fulfilling the object, for which it has been created?

Ar-Rahman Allah's name

Surah Rahman – Verse 4 interpretation of Surah Ar-Rahman (“He taught him eloquent speech”)

One meaning of the word ‘bayan’ is the expressing of one’s own mind, i e. speaking and expressing one’s thoughts and intentions. Its other meaning is to make distinction between things, which here signifies the distinction between good and evil, virtue and vice. About ‘bayan’, ibn Al-Kathir reported that Al-Hasan said: “Eloquent speech.” This refers to Allah teaching the Qur’an, that is, teaching the servants how to recite it by making it easy for them to speak and pronounce letters with the various parts of the mouth, such as the alveolar bridge, the tongue and the lips.

— End

Source: Extracts from the verse interpretations of Tafheem Al-Quran by Sayyid Abul A’la Moududi

dua book medicine islam

Related Islamic Articles

Rahman Allah's Name

See the video below for more reflections on Surah Ar-Rahman.

dua for problems

— End

 

islam and quran

Note: Click here to read more Islamic stories from the Quran and get access to best Dua books in these publications.


dua quran hadith

dua quran hadith islam


12 comments… add one
  • Sameena

    JazkAllah khair for sharing these verses from Surah Ar-Rahman. Alhamdolillah, our Creator Has certainly been kind to us, that He didn’t leave us to wander in the darkness and learn the truth about life and its purpose on our own. We are often so foolish that we ignore the wisdom of the Quran (or don’t bother to see it) and prefer to experiment with our own ideas not realising that it is Allah’s mercy and grace that has brought to us True guidance. Being the recipients of His (Subhana wa Ta’ala’s) mercy it is only natural that we should be thankful to Him and express our gratitude through obedience of His injunctions.

  • sayed reshma

    JazkAllah khair for sharing these verses from Surah Ar-Rahman. Alhamdolillah

  • Rauf Ahmed Khan

    It is always so inspiring and informative to read your posts, and are eagerly awaited. JazakALLAH khair.

  • JazakAllah khair for sharing these verses from surah Ar-Rahman. I have recieved additional knowledge. Alhamdulillah.

  • Ashfaque Hasan

    Simply wonderful. The All mighty Allah is Rahmanur Rahim

  • SIDIK MOHAMMED NURI LASKAYA

    Alhamdullah,truely it is only ALLAH who knows best.

  • Zakir Hussain

    It will be more knowledgable and eye openers if these type of hidden things are often published.Great work done.

  • HALIRU YA'U

    Jazakallahu khair, may the al-mghty Allah continue to give the wisdom and courage towards this wanderful contributions

  • SHANAZ

    Jazak Allahu Khair for adding quality to my practice.
    It is easy to read Quran but the most important part is understanding what is read and following it. Therefore this is one of the best site which help to practice what is read. I always read surah Rahman now I read with more love (emaan) towards Allah.

  • AIshatu

    Alhamdulillah,thanks for sharing the teachings of Islam with us,jazakallahu khairan.

  • Raunaque -Anna

    It is very essential that each one of us read Quran with Focus ,Full attention to the words expressed ,its meanings & use these in your daily gratitude ,Grace of Allah & His Mercy .if All who reads Quran with full of Love of God more than anything or anyone in the world ,we will be able to overcome any suffering ,as Allah is the only one who understands what each one is going through each day .Reading verses of Surah Rahman & Virtues /Names of Allah must be said as soon as you open your eyes .,,,And use his 99 virtues each day and see if you can achieve those virtues .Its hard but achievable with Sabar (Patience) .I cannot do anything without Praising ,Thanking ,asking Forgiveness as soon as I open my eyes in the morning & before closing my eyes at night .Praise be God’s Name ,the Merciful ,Generous & Loving God .Ameen .

  • Shamira

    Asalaam Aleikum Brothers and Sisters,

    Thank you for that lesson, but please find time to properly give a distinction between the two attributes; Ar-Rahman and Ar-Raheem.
    Which of the two really speaks of Allah’s Grace and the other Compassion…Please!!!!

Leave a Comment