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Session One: Mercy and Forgiveness

October 6, 2008


Alhamdulillah, I’ve been blessed to take the Arabic 201 class with Bayyinah Institute for the second time and mashaAllah br Nouman has this sunnah of taking 10 minutes at the end of each session to share a literary gem of the Qur’an.

InshaAllah I will be posting all nine that he will share with us; one for each day of the class session.

Here is tonight’s gem:

In Surat Saba, ayah two, Allah azza wa jal says:

يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَنْزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا ۚ وَهُوَ الرَّحِيمُ الْغَفُورُ

He knows that which goes into the earth and that which comes forth from it, and that which descend from the heaven and that which ascends to it. And He is Ar Raheem, Al Ghafoor.

In the Qur’an, Allah ta’ala mentions more than 70 times that He is Al Ghafoorur Raheem. This ayah above is the only instance in the whole Qur’an that the order is reversed: Ar Raheemul Ghafoor.


Imam ibnul Qayyim states that if you study ‘ilm (knowledge) in the Qur’an, you’ll find that Allah ta’ala mentions rahmah (mercy) with it. Here are some examples:

رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْمًا

“Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge (40:7)

The duaa of those well-grounded in knowledge (ar-raasikhoon) is:

رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً

(They say): “Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.”

Allah ta’ala begins this ayah from surah Saba with يَعْلَمُ, He knows, which as we’ll see below, has a direct connection with why Raheem is mentioned first.

When we examine Ghafoor in the Qur’an, or maghfirah (forgiveness), we notice that it is paired with humans. Here is an example:

Nuh alayhi salaam to his disbelieving nation said:

فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّارًا

“I said (to them): Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving” (71:10)

In this ayah from surah Saba, do we see a direct address to humans? There is mention of the earth, what comes from the sky, what ascends…Humans are mentioned indirectly, and by examining this indirect address, we can see why Raheem is mentioned before Ghafoor.

How so?

يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِي الْأَرْضِ He knows that which goes into the earth: We place seeds into the earth, but furthermore, we will also go into the earth one day. We will need the rahmah (Mercy) of Ar Raheem when we go into the earth.

وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا And that which comes from it: The plant grows from the earth, but furthermore, we will one day be resurrected from the earth. We ask for and need the maghfirah (forgiveness) of Al Ghafoor when we come out of the earth.

وَمَا يَنْزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ and that which descends from the heavens: Rain is a rahmah (mercy) upon us, wahy (revelation) comes from the sky and is also a rahmah upon us, our rizq (provision) comes from the sky which is also a rahmah upon us.

وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا and that which ascends to it (the sky): What ascends to the sky? Our duaa, our souls, and deeds. What do we need in all three of these instances from Allah ta’ala? Maghfirah (forgiveness), for our duaas and deeds to be accepted, and our souls to be forgiven.

Then Allah ta’ala ends the ayah with the subject on this gem: وَهُوَ الرَّحِيمُ الْغَفُورُ And He is the The Especially Merciful, the Most Forgiving.

Each part of this ayah connects with these two Names of Allah, in the order that they appear.


The most common “criticsm” of the Qur’an is that the verses repeat too much and the ayaat are all the same in a lot of surahs. But when we pay attention to the Qur’an, when we truly ponder, then we see that there is actually little repitition. These are not ordinary words, they are Divine Words that have a profound wisdom.

In speech, there are two parts:

1- Content: what you say. The Qur’an has Divine content.

2-Style: how you say it. The Qur’an presents this content in a profound and miraculous style.

Humans are not capable of having both content and style constantly. Take for example the famous quotes we all know, “I have a dream” or “there is nothing to fear but fear itself”. These quotes came from speeches, but the only part we know or remember are those few words.

This Qur’an, these blessed words of Allah azza wa jal, constantly keeps both content and style and by pondering over these verses in a humble manner, we can taste a few drops of these wisdoms.

May Allah azza wa jal make us companions of this book, Ameen.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2008 4:19 am


    Excellent post. I’m really looking forward to these gems.

    I was wondering if you could possibly in the future some time as one of your projects write about the names of Allah(swt). I.e. in a similar way to how you explained the meanings of the hamd and tasbeeh.

    I have been searching for articles or books which explain each name of Allah(swt) in detail, but to no avail.

    It would be great to have the expounded literary meanings of the Asmaa ul Husna, so one is able to appreciate these verse ends such as Ar Raheemul Ghafoor abit more than one is able to with just the general translation.

    I would love to work on such a project, but i currently do not possess the arabic skills or the religious knowledge to carry out such a noble, yet
    difficult task.

    Please let me know what you think.


  2. October 7, 2008 8:42 am

    this was excellent barakallahu feek

  3. October 7, 2008 8:43 am

    wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah

    Alhamdulillah. I actually made a page yesterday for the Names of Allah but I deleted it, thinking it wouldn’t be beneficial.

    InshaAllah I will be adding two more pages soon:
    -Names of Allah ta’ala
    -I’jaazul Qur’an (Miraculous nature of the Qur’an)

    Also let me just say that I don’t have the knowledge to be doing this, but alhamdulillah I have covered in detail before in various classes the Names of Allah azza wa jal, so all i’m doing is sharing my notes! May Allah ta’ala bless my teachers, Ameen.

    Jazakum Allahu khayran for asking, very good idea.

    I have posts about Ismul Jalaalah (Allah) here.

    and Ar Rahmaan and Ar Raheem here.

    InshaAllah I will be posting more.

    EDIT: here is the Names of Allah page, with a few Names up already walhamdulillah.

    br ibnabeeomar: wa feek barak Allah! Wow an MM writer on my tiny blog! mashaAllah.

  4. October 8, 2008 5:38 pm

    theres also an effort going on here for the Names of Allah:

  5. October 8, 2008 5:40 pm

    well i saw the link since you linked to nouman’s page at MM 🙂 inshallah i’ll try to add a note on MM for people to come read these, i enjoy nouman’s “daily miracle” talks.

  6. October 8, 2008 10:50 pm

    That makes sense! I’m getting used to the technicalities of blogging, inshaAllah i’ll get it together soon. Barak Allahu feekum. If you like, you can post them up on MM inshaAllah.
    Jazakum Allahu khayran for the saheefah link. I have seen it before mashaAllah it’s a great resource for ‘aqeedah. InshaAllah I will add it to the media section as a must read.

  7. October 10, 2008 12:45 pm

    Sister Amatullah, would you be interested in transcribing lectures to be turned into a book eventually? Let me know insha Allah.

  8. mini permalink
    September 9, 2009 12:20 pm

    subhan Allah a very good reminder…indeed ilm is a mercy from our LORD…barakallahu feeki…jazakumAllah khair

  9. Saliha Ahmed permalink
    October 20, 2009 7:18 pm

    MashAllah, I am benefitting greatly from this, patiently await the remaining classes & book inshallah. Keep up the good work!

  10. April 17, 2010 12:53 pm

    Asalaam alaikum Warahmatulah Wabarakatuh

    I was wondering if you were compiling notes on the tafaseer of bro Nouman Ali talk’s? And if so, would you want to get involved in a project where we compile all his works on Qur’an Gems?

    Barak Allahu feeki.

  11. April 18, 2010 2:32 pm

    wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu akhi,

    mashaAllah wonderful blog.

    Unfortunately at the moment, I cannot assist with the project. InshaAllah when I do have some extra time I would love to help and will contact you through your blog.

  12. নিরব হাসি permalink
    December 1, 2010 1:15 pm

    MashaAllah wonderful blog.

  13. AbaMacha permalink
    March 14, 2012 8:59 pm

    Asalaam alaikum Warahmatulah Wabarakatuh

    May Allah keep you safe and reward you abundantly. Do you happen to have a PDF version for all the 10 Quran Gems.

  14. Walid Islam permalink
    May 19, 2012 2:09 pm

    Asalaamu alaikum wa Rahmatuhlahi wa Barakatu akhi. May Allah Subahanahu wa ta’ala reward you for your nobel efforts. I am a revert of 2 years and this is invaluable in my Islamic Education. As an American revert, it is difficult sometimes to find appropriate knowledge, we are so ignorant of the Deen to begin with and we must weed through volumes of material trying to find the straight path. Your efforts help me a great deal, as br. Nouman is my favorite speaker who I trust very much. Jazakallahu kahirain……br Walid Islam Ibn Hampton

    r who O have

  15. May 22, 2012 11:39 pm

    wa alaykum slam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

    I know we put one together because we kept getting requests but I cannot find it at the moment. I’m sorry.

  16. October 26, 2012 9:35 pm

    Reblogged this on zoyahaque.

  17. February 20, 2013 1:39 pm

    Reblogged this on Seeking Knowledge to know Allah.

  18. May 14, 2017 7:28 am

    The easyway to quit smoking with alan carr the stngarest feeling ever but have never smoked since years later.The easyway to quit smoking smoked whilst reading this book and when id finished was totally anti smoking smoked since years later.


  1. 10 Quranic Gems from Nouman Ali Khan |
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