The Name of Allaah, Ar-Ra’oof, is mentioned ten times in the Noble Qur’an; of these verses:

Surat al-Baqarah (2:143), Allaah (Ta’ala) says:

And Allaah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost. Truly, Allaah is Full of Kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind.

In Surat Aal-‘Imran (3:30), Allaah (Ta’ala) says:

And Allaah warns you against Himself (His Punishment) and Allaah is Full of Kindness to the (His) slaves.

In Surat an-Nahl (16:7), Allaah (Ta’ala) says:

Truly, your Lord is Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.”

In Surat al-Hadeed (57:9), Allaah (Ta’ala) says:

It is He Who sends down manifest Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) to His slave (Muhammad, Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that He may bring you out from darkness into light. And verily, Allaah is to you Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.

The meaning of the Name with regards to Allaah: 

Ibn Jarir (Rahimahullaah) said: “’Truly, Allaah is Full of Kindness, the Most Merciful’ [Al-Baqarah 2:143] means that Allaah is Compassionate with all His servants. Ra’fah is the highest meaning of Rahmah (mercy), and it is general for all the creation in this world and specific for some of them in the Hereafter.” [Jami’ul-Bayaan]

Al-Khattaabi (Rahimahullaah) said: “Ar-Ra’oof is the Merciful, Who leans towards His servants with His Compassion and Kindness.

Some of them (scholars) said: Ra’fah is most perfect and fine mercy.’ It is also said that Ra’fah is very specific and Rahmah is more general. Rahmah could be in disliked matters in which there is an interest, while Ra’fah is not in disliked matters. These are the differences between them.” [Sha’n ad-Du’aa]

Al-Haleemi (Rahimahullaah) said: “Ar-Ra’oof means: the One Who makes matters easy for His slaves. He does not overburden them with what is beyond their scope; rather, He makes them bear what is less than what they can bear by many degrees.

Despite that, He (Ta’ala) made His obligatory acts strict (upon His slaves) in times of strength and made them light (upon His slaves) in times of weakness and deficient strength. Such is the case of the one who is healthy and residing in his country; he performs the obligatory acts in a way different from the traveler and the sick person.

This is all Ra’fah (kindness) and Rahmah (mercy).” [Al-Minhaaj]

Al-Qurtubi said in al-Maqsad: “Ar-Ra’oof is the Compassionate. Ra’fah is the intensive mercy, i.e. it has the meaning of mercy with intensity.”

The difference between Ra’fah and Rahmah 

This is mentioned in the previous statements of Ibn Jarir, Al-Khattaabi and al-Haleemi.

Al-Qurtubi said in al-Asna: “Indeed, Ra’fah is an enjoyable blessing from all aspects, while Rahmah could be painful in some cases, but it ends with joy. Therefore, Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat an-Nur (24:2):

Let not Ra’fah (pity) withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allaah.

He (Ta’ala) did not say Rahmah (mercy), because punishing the disobedient ones (the rebellious) for their rebellion is a mercy for them and not Ra’fah (kindness). If the attribute of Ra’fah (kindness) descends upon a creature, no harm will inflict him. Therefore, you say about the one who is afflicted with a calamity in this world (for which there is good in the Hereafter), that Allaah has been merciful to him by this affliction. On the other hand, you say about the one who is enjoying the welfare, (well-being) in this world (which therein is good for him in the Hereafter, i.e. both the ‘Aafiah of this world and in the Hereafter – the apparent and the hidden are joined together) that Allaah has been Compassionate (Ra’oof) with him.

Al-Uqleeshi said: “If you contemplate the difference between the Ra’fah and Rahmah; you will know why they are mentioned together in the Noble Qur’an. Allaah (Ta’ala) says (interpretation of the meaning): “Truly, Allaah is Full of Kindness, the Most Merciful.”

Accordingly, Ra’fah (kindness, compassion) is more general than mercy. Whenever Allaah wills to confer His Mercy upon His slave, He (Ta’ala) does that after making him go through a calamity or trial or without that; and Ra’fah is contrary to that.” [Al-Kitaab al-Asna]

In Conclusion:

The difference between Ra’fah and Rahmah:

  • Ra’fah is the intense mercy and the most perfect kind of it.
  • Ra’fah is more general than mercy. Rahmah could be (attained) with a disliked matter or after being inflicted with a calamity while Ra’fah is good in all aspects.

The impact of belief in this Noble Name: 

1- Allaah (Ta’ala) is attributed with Ra’fah (compassion and kindness) which is intense mercy. Of the impact of this Ra’fah (kindness) is:

  •  He (Ta’ala) will not make the reward of any worship or obedience of any servant to be lost. He (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Baqarah (2:143):

And Allaah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost. Truly, Allaah is Full of Kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind.

This verse was revealed to clarify that: whoever prayed facing Bait al-Maqdis (in Jerusalem in Palestine) before changing the direction of the Qiblah (to al-Ka’bah in Makkah), as well as the Salaat (prayers) of those who died before the changing of the Qiblah, the reward of their previous prayers will not be lost (in vain).

  • Allaah (Ta’ala) warns us against His Noble Self and frightens us from His punishment and torment, and forbids us from disobedience to Him (in this worldly life) before we meet Him on the Day of Judgment; this is in order for us to prepare for the meeting with Him and to avoid His wrath and anger.

Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat Aal-‘Imran (3:30):

On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil. And Allaah warns you against Himself (His punishment) and Allaah is Full of Kindness to the (His) slaves.

He (Ta’ala) sent His Messengers and His Books which show His laws in order to save mankind from the darkness of Shirk and ignorance, and to guide them to the light of Tawheed (Monotheism).

He (Ta’ala) says in Surat al-Hadeed (57:9):

It is He Who sends down manifest Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) to His slave (Muhammad, Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that He may bring you out from darkness into light. And verily, Allaah is to you Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.

It is out of His Mercy and Kindness, that He (Ta’ala) did that.

  • He accepts the repentance of those who return to Him in repentance with remorse (regret). And He (Ta’ala) never turns away the disobedient ones from His gate if they are repentant, no matter how many sins and evil deeds they have or how grievous their misdeeds are.

Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat at-Tawbah (9:117):

“But He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.”

  • Allaah subjects whatsoever is in the heavens and earth for the interest of mankind and their benefit. An example is the creation of the cattle for man to ride on its back and carry him and his load to a land or place that they could not otherwise reach except with great trouble and hardship.

He (Ta’ala) says in Surat an-Nahl (16:7):

And they carry your loads to a land you could not have reached except with difficulty to yourselves. Indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful.

Contemplate the verses that follow this verse in which Allaah (Ta’ala) mentions the aspects of kindness of the One Who is Ra’oof (Full of Kindness) and Raheem (Most Merciful).

He (Ta’ala) says in verses (8-18):

And (He has created) horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and as an adornment. And He creates (other) things of which you have no knowledge.

And upon Allaah is the responsibility to explain the Straight Path [(i.e. Islamic Monotheism) (for Mankind, i.e. to show them legal, good and evil things, etc. so, whosoever accepts the guidance, it will be for his own benefit and whosoever goes astray, it will be for his own destruction)], but there are ways that turn aside (such as Paganism, Judaism, Christianity, etc.). And had He willed, He would have guided you all (mankind).

He it is Who sends down the water (rain) from the sky; from it you drink and from it (grows) the vegetation on which you send your cattle to pasture;

With it He causes to grow for you the crops, the olives, the date-palms, the grapes, and every kind of fruit. Verily! In this is indeed an evident proof and a manifest sign for people who give thought.

And has subjected to you the night and the day, the sun and the moon; and the stars are subjected by His Command. Surely, in this are proofs for people who understand.

And whatsoever He has created for you on this earth of varying colors [and qualities from vegetation and fruits, etc. (botanical life) and from animal (zoological life)]. Verily! In this is a sign for people who remember.

And He it is Who has subjected the sea (to you), that you eat thereof fresh tender meat (i.e. fish), and that you bring forth out of it, ornaments to wear. And you see the ships ploughing through it, that you may seek (thus) of His bounty (by transporting the goods from place to place) and that you may be grateful.

And He has affixed into the earth, mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you, and rivers and roads, that you may guide yourselves.

And landmarks (signposts, etc. during the day) and by the stars (during the night), they (mankind) guide themselves.

Is then He Who creates as one who creates not? Will you not then remember?

And if you would count the graces of Allaah, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

2- Allaah (Ta’ala) named His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with this name in His statement in Surat at-Tawbah (9:128):

Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad, Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad, Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to Allaah, and beg Him to pardon and forgive your sins in order that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of the Hell-Fire), for the believers (he, Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is full of pity, kind and merciful.

The meaning of: “It grieves (saddens) him that you should receive any injury or difficulty,” i.e. it is grievous (painful) to him (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) what you suffer (of hardship). “He is anxious over you,” i.e. he is concerned over you (i.e. your guidance to faith) and he (Salla-Allaahualayhi wa sallam) hates for you evil and exerts his utmost to cause you aversion to it. “To the believers (he is) full of pity, kind and merciful,” i.e. he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is very kind and merciful to them, even more than parents are to their children. Therefore, his (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) right precedes the rights of all creation, and it is obligatory upon the Ummah (the followers and his nation) to believe in him, honor him, respect him and support him. Of his (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) kindness with his Ummah (nation) is that wherever he was given the choice of one or two matters, he would choose the easier of the two, as long as it was not sinful to do so. But if it was sinful to do so, he would not approach it. He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) never took revenge for his own sake but (he did so) only when Allaah’s legal laws were outraged (wronged), in which case he would take revenge for Allaah’s Sake. [Reported by al-Bukhaari in the Book of Merits on the authority of ‘Aishah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anha)].

When he (Salla-Allaahualayhi wa sallam) stood for prayer intending to prolong it; if he heard the crying of a child, he would cut it short.

Abu Qataadah (Rahimahullaah) narrated that the Prophet (Salla-Allaahualayhi wa sallam) said: “When I stand for prayer, I intend to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child I cut it short, as I dislike to trouble the child’s mother.” [Reported by al-Bukhaari in the Book of Adhaan and Muslim in the Book of Salaat]

 

📚 Source: An-Nahjul Asmaa fee Sharh Asmaa’ Allaahul-Husnaa by Shaikh Muhammad An-Najdi

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