Rahman (Islamic term)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Rahman is an Arabic term that is commonly translated as The Compassionate or The Beneficent. In the Islamic context, Al-Rahman is synonymous with Allah. There is debate as to whether it was a Pre-Islamic deity, or simply an epithet for God, as Rahim (Merciful) most definitely is. The Quraish appeared to be confused as to why Muhammad used this term. 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 yā -llāh!) Furthermore, Suhail said, "As for 'Rahman,' by Allah, I do not know what it means." It is thus unlikely an elative of Raḥim, which is based on the triconsonantal root R-Ḥ-M.

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." Based on this, the name may also be translated as the Most-Powerful or the Almighty.

External links[edit]