The two Names of Allah ta’ala, Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem, denote the vast mercy of our Rabb. These two Names of Allah have the same root which emphasizes that Allah is really The MOST Merciful and that there is no one else who is more merciful than Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
What exactly is the difference between these two Names? The scholars say that Ar-Rahmaan indicates the One who has extensive and great mercy and applies to all of Allah’s creation, including disbelievers. On the other hand, the Name Ar-Raheem is the One who has extensive and great mercy but He expresses it on the ones whom He chooses; this is Allah’s special mercy only for the believers.
So, how is it that one can receive this special Mercy from Ar-Raheem? Let’s look through the Qur’an and Sunnah:
- Obedience to Allah and His Messenger. “and obey Allah and His Messenger so that you all may receive Mercy.” [3:132]
- Following the Qur’an. “And this is a book, We have sent it down as one blessed, so follow it and fear Allah so that you all may receive Mercy.” [6:155]
- Taqwa of Allah ta’ala, fear and consciousness of Allah. “O you who believe! Fear Allah, and believe in His Messenger, He will give you a double portion of His mercy, and He will give you a light by which you shall walk (straight). And He will forgive you. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [57:28] Similarly, Allah says: “and My Mercy encompasses all things, so soon I will write it for those who have taqwa.” [7:156]
- Doing ihsaan (utmost good) towards Allah and the creation. “Indeed the Mercy of Allah is near to those who do utmost good.” [7:156]
- Praying four rak’aat before ‘Asr prayer. The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “May Allah have mercy on one who prays 4 raka’aat before the ‘Asr Prayer.” [Narrated by at-Tirmidhi no. 395 and he declared it a hassan, Al-Albany rated the Hadith as hassan in Sahih al-Jami’ No. 3493.]
- Listening to the Qur’an attentively and remaining silent. “And when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it with attention, that you may receive Mercy.” [7:204]
- Being merciful towards the creation of Allah. A hadith in Musnad Ahmad states, “Show mercy so that you may be shown mercy, forgive and Allah will forgive you.” When the son of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam passed away and he began to cry, one of the companions said to him “what is this?” (referring to his crying) and he replied: “This Is mercy which Allah has embedded in the hearts of whomever He wished of His slaves. And Allah does not bestow His mercy, except on the merciful among His slaves. [Bukhari] There is another hadith narrated in Sunan Abi Dawood that states, “The merciful will be give mercy by the Most Merciful. Have mercy to those on earth and the one in the heavens will have mercy upon you.” Also, Allah ta’ala says in the Qur’an, “Do you not love that Allah should forgive you?” [24:22] So if you want mercy, show mercy to others.
- Enjoining Good, Forbidding Evil, Praying and Giving Zakat. The believers, men and women, are close protecting friends of one another; they enjoin the good, and forbid from evil; they perform the prayer, and give the Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise. [9:71]
- Making Reconciliation between Brothers. The believers are nothing else than brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy. [49:10]
- Leniency in Business. Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “May Allah’s mercy be on him who is lenient in his buying, selling, and in demanding back his money.” [Bukhari]
Can anyone think of anymore verses and ahadith that tell us how to receive Allah’s Mercy?
May Allah ta’ala shower His mercy upon us, Ameen.