67. Ar Raoof………………………………….3
68. Al Wadood……………………………..10
69. Al Barr …………………………………..16
70. Al Haleem……………………………….21
71. Al Ghaafir………………………………..25
72. Al Ghafoor……………………………….25
73. Al Ghaffaar………………………………26
74. Al ‘Afuww………………………………..34
75. Al Tawwaab…………………………….38
These beautiful Names of Allah are to do with His forgiveness.
68) Ar Raoof
This Name of Allah appears in the Qu’ran 10 times. For example Allah says:
And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. [al Baqarah 2:143]
Do you not see that Allah has subjected to you whatever is on the earth and the ships which run through the sea by His command? And He restrains the sky from falling upon the earth, unless by His permission. Indeed Allah , to the people, is Kind and Merciful.
[al Hajj 22:65]
From the 10 times the Name Ar Ra’oof is mentioned, 8 of these times Allah mentions it with the Name Ar Raheem. One time it is Raoofun bil ‘ibaad and one time it is Raoof by itself.
Lingustic meaning: Rafa means compassion. It is a greater from of mercy than Rahma. Rafa ash shaddu rahma. The term Ra’oof means tender affection, the highest mercy and compassion, the upper limit of ar-Raheem. The meaning is similar to Ar-Raheem, but focuses on the utmost tenderness, kindness and affection, which accompanies the outpouring of mercy and compassion. Linguistically, ra’fa refers to the tenderness, kindness, and affection with which Allah ‘azza wa jall bestows mercy on us.
Al Qurtabi mentions that when a person is stoned to death or lashed for a sin, this is a rahma for him not a rafa because it still brings him pain and hurt, but its a means for forgiveness. Ra’fa is that which would not bring with it pain or hardship Ra’fa is a means of attaining forgiveness of Allah, without one feeling any difficulty or hardship. This is why they say ra’fah is greater then rahma.
Shar’ee meaning: Ibn Jarir at-Tabbari says: Allah has the greatest form of ra’fa (compassion), more greater and higher and mightier than rahma. Ra’fa is a type of mercy and compassion that Allah sends to dunya and saved in the aaikrah for all the people He loves and He compassionately waters them with His mercy, without them being hurt, or upset or disliking anything.
Al-Ghazali mentioned that Ar-Raoof has pity, and that pity is the intensification of mercy. It has the same meaning as Raheem though in a more intense form. Ar-Raoof is the One who bestows pity and mercy on us in many different forms, including warnings and withholding, for us to be guided to success in this world and the next.
Al Khattabi says: it could be that rahma is obtained for a benefit with some hardship. e.g. if someone has the huddod applied to him for any sin committed, even though it will be painful and hard, it is a rahma and the benefit is that they will not be punished in the aakirah for that sin. As for Ra’fa, it can never be obtained through hardship or difficulty.
How can we understand the concept of ra’fa and the concept of rahma (mercy)? After a calamity hits us, Ar-Raheem has mercy on us. Ra’fa refers to Allah ‘azza wa jall taking
care of us and warning us so that we can protect ourselves from His own punishment.
The Day every soul will be find what it has done of [present] before it and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allah warns you of Himself and Allah is kind to (His) slaves [ale Imran 3:30]
How merciful is this? Ar-Raoof warns us how to avoid His punishment out of pure kindness and affection, by sending us prophets and messengers for advice, by sending us the Quran and guiding our hearts when we turn to Him.
Benefits we can learn from this Name
- When Allah decreed to change the qiblah from Masjid Al Aqsa to Masjid Al Haraam – Al Ka’bah, the sahabah were worried if all their previous ibaadah would still be counted or not. So they asked Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam concerning this and Allah revealed the ayah from al Baqarah which is mentioned above. At the end of it Allah says; And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. So whenever a person does an action for the sake of Allah, trying his best to get closer to Allah, and to follow the sunnah of Rasoolullah, even though he might make some mistakes or fall short in something, but Allah from the Name Ar-Raoof, Allah will accept that action as though it was done perfectly. For example it is better for a person who is travelling to not pray the sunnah of rawatib (except the 2 before fajr as Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam didn’t leave these even whilst travelling) even though one may not want to miss it, it is upon them to take the concession Allah has given them as it is a for of mercy in itself. But if you are someone who prays the Sunnah of rawatib regularly,Allah being Ar Raoof, if you will make it count as if you had prayed them. So not only do you get the reward for not praying them whilst travel (as its from the sunnah to leave them during travel) but you also get the reward as if you had prayed them. Another example is of a person who embraced Islam later on in life.
All the bad actions that they done before accepting Islam, Allah forgives them, and changes their bad deeds into good deeds, Allahu akbar! Allah says:
And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty.
Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated -
Except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [al Furqaan 25: 68-70]
SubhanaAllah, if you see in the aforementioned ayat, Allah states three grave sins of shirk, murder and zina but says that He will accept the repentance of the one who repents from these sins and would change their evil deeds into good. Then what about for one who repents from sins that do not reach the level of shirk? Allah is truly Ar-Raoof to His slaves.
- Every command has a reward attached to it. Every bad deed a person commits, and hasn’t made tawbah for and commits them without having any regret then he will lose the corresponding reward Allah has prepared for that bad deed. For example Allah has prohibited alcohol so for the one who stays away from it, Allah will give him a river of wine. The one who drinks it without regret, this person will lose out of this reward and will also be punished with the drinks of hellfire such as boiling water and oil. In Surah An Nur Allah begins by speaking about zina, then adultery, then He mentions the commandment of lowering the gaze and directly after that He says Allahu noorus-samaawaati wal ardh – Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. Ibn Qayyim says; the reward on yawmal qiyyamah for those who lowered their gazes, is that after Allah has thrown the munafiqeen in the hellfire, He will bring those who used to lower their gazes and tell them to raise their gaze, and they will lift their gaze and see the face of Allah. This is reward of the one who lowers their gaze. One who gazes on that which is unlawful, will lose out the reward of the one who lowers their gaze.
Allah from His Name being Ar Raoof, He has sent down the Qur’an and He has taken people out of darkness into the light of Islam. Allah says:
It is He who sends down upon His Servant [Muhammad] verses of clear evidence that He may bring you out from darknesses into the light. And indeed, Allah is to you Kind and Merciful. [al Hadeed 57: 9]
This is from the greatest compassion and greatest mercy that Allah has given us. Ask Allah to make your heart tender to His reminder, the Qur’an.
- Embody the characteristic of rafa yourself. Allah being Ar Raoof forgives sins, He is compassionate to the believers. We should also learn about the compassion of Rasoolullah sallalahu alayhi wassalam and we should embody this characteristic of rafa in ourselves and show compassion to others. Ar-Raoof described the Prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as ra’oofun raheem:
There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.
[at Tawbah, 9:128]
Study the seerah to learn how the prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam dealt with His companions, family, and even his enemies.
- Increase your heart in mercy. Be kind to others and handle people’s feelings with tenderness. Sometimes you are so busy with your own life and your own family and friends that you forget about others. The connection you feel with the Muslim ummah is a mirror for your emaan. Read about the situation of your fellow brothers and sisters around the world and think of ways of how to support them. For example make sure you remember the ummah in your dua.
Be proactive. Someone once said: All that time I was waiting for someone to do something about it. Then I realised that someone was me. Ar-Raoof has pity on us and He even warns us on how to avoid His punishment. If you see your brother or sister low in emaan or even going astray, feel concerned for them and advise them with kindness and care. Forbidding evil and enjoining good is a duty upon you; how seriously do you take it?
You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil and believe in Allah. If only the people of the scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers but most of them are defiantly disobedient. [ale Imran 3:110]
Be inspired by the ra’fa of Allah ‘azza wa jall to help warn and guide others as much as you can.
- Allah is Raoof throughout all times. Reflect on His ra’fa and rahman. He is compassionate to His slaves on all occasions, in all moments. This shows the believers that throughout the whole time that Allah has allowed him to continue living, know that Allah is the One who is compassionate, despite falling back into sin over and over again, Allah is still Ar Raoof, and He has Ra’fa that is greater than His Rahma.
Ask Ar-Raoof. Ar-Raoof mentions a beautiful supplication in the Qur’an, using this Name:
And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful. [al Hashr 59:10]