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R-Ḥ-M (Arabic: ر ح م‎, Hebrew: רחם‎) is the triconsonantal root of many Arabic and Hebrew words, and many of those words are used as names. It indicates mercy and sympathy.

  • raḥ'mah (Arabic: رحمة‎), raḥamim Hebrew: רחמים‎): "caring; cares, mercy".


Arabic verbal stems:

  • raḥima: "be mild, care, have mercy"
  • raḥḥama: "care for, feel sympathy for"
  • istirḥama: "beg for mercy"

Raḥmān is an Arabic term that is commonly translated as "compassionate" or "beneficent". In the Islamic context; definite Al-Rahman is a name of God in Islam. There is debate as to whether this is also the name of a pre-Islamic Arabian deity, or if it simply an epithet of God as Al-Rahim "the Merciful" definitely is. As the terms "Raḥmān" ("the merciful," a divine epithet), "the God of Israel", and the "Lord of Judah", can also be seen in 6th and 7th centuries inscriptions of Jewish Yemeni Himyarite Kingdom.[1] The Quraish appeared to be confused as to why Muhammad used this term.[citation needed] The pagan, Suhail ibn Amr, asked Muhammad to replace his insignia, "By the Name of God, Al-Rahman, the most Merciful," (b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi) with "By Your Name O Allah!" (b-ismika allahum!) Furthermore, Suhail said, "As for 'Rahman,' by Allah, I do not know what it means." It is thus unlikely an elative of Raḥim.[citation needed]

Surah 19 is the Surah in which the name Al-Rahman is mentioned most frequently (16 times). In verse 18 of this Sura, Maryam (Mary) says: "I seek refuge in Al-Rahman, that you may be righteous." Mary asks for protection from Al-Rahman against one whom she perceives as a man entering her private chambers, but who in fact is the Archangel Jibrāʾīl (Gabriel). In 19:45, Abraham says to his father, a disbeliever and idol-worshipper: "I fear you could be struck with the wrath of Al-Rahman, then become an ally of the devil."

Given names[edit]

See also[edit]



  • raḥam, raḥamim: "care, be mild, have mercy, have tender affection, have compassion"
  • raḥum: "mildhearted, softhearted, compassionate"
  • raḥmani: "mild, meek, careful, merciful, compassionate"
  • raḥmanos: "pity, mercy, empathy" (usage: to have raḥmanos for someone)
  • raḥum v'ḥanun: compassionate and gracious/merciful. Two of the thirteen attributes of God's mercy in Judaism, from Exodus 34


  1. ^ "The Jewish Kingdom of Himyar (Yemen): Its Rise and Fall," by Jacob Adler, Midstream, May/June 2000 Volume XXXXVI No. 4