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Divine Quality of Rahimiyyat

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

February 09th, 2007

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

“And if you try to count the favours of Allah, you will not be able to number them. Surely Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.” Surah Al Nahl (16:19).

Huzur gave a discourse on the Divine quality of Rahimiyyat in his Friday Sermon today. Huzur cited the above verse and said that as we all know the quality of Rahimiyyat is the third Divine attribute as described in Surah Al Fatihah.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) explained: ‘The third excellence of Allah the Exalted, which is His beneficence in the third degree, is Rahimiyyat, by virtue of which God has been named Rahim in Surah Al Fatihah. In the idiom of the Holy Qur’an God is called Rahim when accepting the prayers and supplications and righteous actions of people. He safeguards them against calamities, misfortunes and waste of effort.”

Huzur said that although the Promised Messiah’s (on whom be peace) elucidation does not leave the requirement for any other endorsement still he would relate some of the explanations of earlier commentators. Imam Raghib wrote that Ar Rahim (Ever Merciful) is One Whose mercy is profuse. The quality of Ar Rahim is with reference to the believers, just as the Holy Qur’an mentions in Surah Al Ahzab (33:44). It is also by virtue of this quality that God is displeased when man does not seek from Him, as a Hadith relates that Allah’s wrath befalls one who does not pray to Him and does not seek from Him. Imam Razi said that the name Rahman is exclusive to Allah whereas Rahim is used for Allah and otherwise as well. He explained that if one does not go further than remembering the Divine quality of Rahman then one limits oneself from seeking everyday requirements from Allah, i.e. it is through His quality of Rahimiyyat that we may seek something as minor as a shoe lace and the salt for our food from Him.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that each person of sound mind who develops a sense of humility and supplicates to Allah and does good deeds benefits from the grace of Rahimiyyat.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that it is the Divine attribute of Rahim through which God rewards all good deeds in an excellent way and does not let any hard work go to waste.

To attain this grace it is essential to shun all passions of the self, purify oneself and maintain purification of the heart. Until such time that a person takes on a death-like state for Allah’s pleasure this grace cannot be achieved. This attribute takes human nature to its excellence. Indeed the Quranic verse ‘guide us in the straight path’ derives benefit from Rahimiyyat, for it is Rahimiyyat that takes one to the refined stage. The Holy Qur’an beautifully depicts people who attain this level in verse 70 of Surah Al Nisa (4:70). Huzur said the fundamental requisite is to completely obey Allah and his Prophet in conjunction with the requirement that one does not harbour any egotistical characteristic. Huzur said it is not easy to suppress one’s self-serving passions, however, without crushing one’s egotistical emotions one cannot fully partake of Allah’s grace. If one cannot arrive at this stage it is not correct to maintain that it is to Allah alone that one turns to. A Jihad is needed to achieve this level, only then would Allah include us in the group as explained in 4:70.

Huzur explained that this necessitates that we engage in Istaghfar and reform our practices. It is then that we could partake of Rahimiyyat and be among Allah’s servants. It is indeed a great favour of Allah that in this age He has granted us the capacity to accept the Mahdi and the Messiah while others have rejected him. In the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Allah has blessed us with a luminary who derives his light from the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) yet others flock to the pseudo holy men and confuse what is bogus with the real source of light.

Ahmadis should have the awareness that it is by virtue of God’s Rahmaniyyat that they are born in an Ahmadi family as well as the newcomers whose prayers Allah accepted and brought them to the Truth. This grace of Allah requires that we practice absolute obedience and do good deeds and are always mindful of all the worldly and spiritual blessings that He has bestowed on us. In addition He has also shown us the way to continually seek His forgiveness, which is of course essential to stay firm on good and for spiritual development.

Therefore, Huzur remarked, Istaghfar is essential or else many a great pious have come tumbling down, having fallen victim to their arrogance.

Further explaining the significance of Istaghfar, Huzur said the Holy Qur’an mentions the attribute of Rahim (Ever Merciful) in conjunction with the attribute of Ghaffur (the Forgiving).

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote that another quality of the grace of Rahimiyyat is to cover the faults of others. God’s mercy necessitates that faults and weaknesses are covered. However, one must also be actively working towards reformation and should not persist with wrongdoing and whenever one slips one must engage in Istaghfar. To further highlight God’s mercy Huzur cited verse 55 of Surah Al Anam (6:55) and expounded that to derive utmost beneficence from the grace of Rahimiyyat one must turn to Allah in repentance and do good deeds.

Expounding the mercy and compassion of Allah the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used the metaphor of a nursing mother whose breast-milk is stimulated by the screams and cries of her hungry baby. He explained that a baby has no concept of prayer and merely screams; likewise would Allah’s mercy not be stimulated by our sincere beseeching and supplication to Him? It is man’s task to ask and it is God’s attribute to grant acceptance.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) wrote: “This beneficence is described as special grace and is confined to human beings. Other things have not been bestowed the faculty of prayer and supplication and righteous action, but man has been bestowed this faculty. Man is an articulate animal and can be the recipient of Divine grace through the exercise of his faculty of speech….Man derives grace from the Divine attribute of Rahimiyyat as he derives from the attributes of Rububiyyat and Rahmaniyyat; the only difference is that Rububiyyat and Rahmaniyyat do not demand supplication as they are not confined to man.” The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that the fact of the matter is that supplication certainly draws grace and it is this grace that is called Rahimiyyat.

Huzur concluded on prayer that may Allah grant us the correct perception and insight of the attribute of Rahimiyyat so that we may inculcate it on our lives and be the recipient of His blessing and grace and be included in the group of Mu’nam alaih (those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings).