Question: What are the meanings of ar-Rahmân and ar-Rahîm, which are the two Beautiful Names of Allahu ta’âlâ?
Ar-Rahman means the One who grants sustenance and countless blessings in this world to all His creatures without differentiating between His friends and His enemies, between the ones deserving them and not deserving them, and between Believers and unbelievers.
Ar-Rahîm means the One who shows mercy only to Muslims in the Hereafter. The purport of an âyah (verse) is as follows:
(O My slaves with many sins! Do not despair of Allah's mercy. Allah forgives all sins. He is the Forgiving and the Merciful.) [Sűrat-uz-Zumar, 53]
Although Allah’s mercy and compassion reaches everybody, Muslims and disbelievers alike, in this world, and He rewards everybody’s good deeds in the worldly life, there will not be a mote of mercy for the disbelievers in the Hereafter. (Endless Bliss)
Hadrat Imâm-i Rabbânî declares:
Wicked people and devilish genies deceive us by putting forth Allah’s forgiveness and compassion and drag us toward sinning. However, one should know well that this world is a place of examination. Therefore, the darlings and the enemies are put together here, and all of them are pitied. But on the Day of Resurrection the enemies will be separated from the darlings. On that day only the darlings will be pitied; there will not be any mercy for the enemies. Yes, all Muslims, all those with îmân as much as even a mote, will attain mercy in the end, even after staying in Hell for a long time. But, for attaining mercy, it is necessary to die with îmân. Nevertheless, when the heart darkens from sinning, when the commandments and prohibitions of Allahu ta’âlâ are slighted, how can the light of îmân be protected from going out during the final breath? Great men of the religion say, “Continuing venial sins causes grave sins. And continuing grave sins drifts one into becoming a disbeliever.” (First Volume, 96th Letter)