The most recited Quranic verse that the Muslims recite by night and day is the following Quranic verse:
“In the name of Allah the compassionate and the Merciful”
The common meaning of this verse among all Muslims, with the exception of few, is that a Muslim should start any statement or an act in the name of His majesty, “Allah” In other words; a Muslim expected to evoke the name of God “Allah” and to say “in the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful.” This common understanding is not wrong, but certainly, it does not reflect the true mystic dimension of this important statement of the Divine Writ of God’s last communication to Mankind.
Now lets discuss the above verse and explore the beautiful dimension of it. Let’s begin with word “Allah.” It is commonly known among Muslims that the word “Allah” is an indicative noun for the Almighty God. The question I ask now is if the name of the Almighty creator is “Allah” as commonly known, it means that in essence we are saying “in name of the name” because “Allah-God” is the name. For example, when we know that Zaid’s father is Mahmoud and we wanted to do a project and commit it to Zaid’s father, we can say that the project is committed “in the name of Zaid’s father.” It is wrong to say the project is committed “in the name of Mahmoud” because “Mahmoud” is the name. Now I believe the key to appreciate the verse “in the name of God the compassionate and Merciful” we must have a second look at the word “bi-sim” from epistemological standpoint. We must establish the true meaning of the word “bi-sm”; does it mean “in the name of ” as commonly known or what is the other possible more profound meaning, hopefully I will succeed in doing so.
According to the Arab linguists as referred to by the early classical Muslim commentators, they state that the word “bi-sim” consist of two parts;
1- The first part is the Arabic letter “bi-or ba” ,which literally means “in the, in the care of, in the attention of, by the,etc..”
2- And the second part is the word “sim” which consists of two letters; “seen and meem.” and pronounced as “sim”, its meanings is shown below.
Early Arab linguists state that the word “sim” originate from two different sources of verbs. These linguists agree on the fact that the letter “bi or ba-in the” is not part of the word “sim” but they differ about the meaning of the term “sim” They state that the term “sim “ is derived from two root words as follows:
1- “The first origin: It is derived from the word “al-simah” literally means “al-‘alama-the sign-attribute”.(according to the Arab linguist Al-Farra’.)
2- The second origin is that the word “sim” is derived from word “al-simou” which literally means “highness, Majesty” by which the thing is elevated to be distinguished from other things. (according to Al-Zzajaj and al-khalil-early Arab linguists)
I believe that the first opinion offered that is the word “sim” from “bi-sim” is derived from the word “simah-sign or attribute” is more inclusive and it includes the second meaning that is from “simou-highness” by necessity.
Accordingly, now we focus on the first meaning that the word “sim” derived from “al-simah-the attribute” or “’sifa-attribute”; an attribute of something defines the essence of a thing, and it differentiates it from other things. I see this meaning in harmony with the meaning of the phrase commonly rendered as, “In the name of God the Most Gracious the Most Merciful.” Hence, I see the verse 1:1, in essence says that Man should begin any saying or any act, in the care or honor of two of God’s attributes, namely, “the Compassionate, the Merciful.” In other words, the verse 1:1 “bi-sm Allah alrahaman alaraheem” can be rendered as follows:
“In the attribute of Allah, the Compassionate the Mercifull” or,
“In the care of Allah’s attribute, the Compassionate the Mercifull” or,
“In the honor of the attribute of Allah, the Compassionate the Mercifull” or,
“For the attention of Allah’s attribute, the Compassionate the Mercifull”
These above various renditions should allude to the deeper dimension of this famous verse which is the most recited Quranic verse by all Muslims. I must point out here that the reason I feel strongly in adopting this meaning is simply because the verse loudly and clearly refers to it. Look closely at this verse we see that the name of the Almighty God, “Allah” is immediately followed by two of His (sw) attributes, namely, “Al-Rahman, Al-Raheem”. This fact alone indicate to the more likely meaning of the word “sim” which is to mean as “attribute” as suppose to mean as “name”. If we were to assume that the two words “al-Rahman and Al-Raheem” are two names of Allah then the common adopted meaning for the word “sim” as to mean “name” is correct and makes sense. But in reality it is establish that the two words “al-Rahman, Al-Raheem” are names of attributes of Allah and not names of the creator, like the word “Allah” is the name of the creator. Hence, I believe that my above rendition of the verse is more appropriate than the common rendition and it allows us to appreciate the deeper meaning of it.
Mystic dimension of verse 1:1
The important point here is that we see the verse has singled out two profound attributes of God specifically “al-Rahman-the compassionate” and “al-Rahim-the Merciful.” We also know that it is common in the Arabic literature when referring to two things or attributes they are joined by the conjunction particle “waw-and” This common rule was not employed in this verse under consideration, as well as other Gods attributes when they are mentioned in the Quran. We see that there is no conjunction particle “waw-and” connecting the two attributes “al-Rahamn, al-Rahim”. I believe that the combination of these two attributes coupled without the conventional conjunction particle “waw-and” is not coincidence or by virtue of eloquence of words, rather it is done by the Most Expert and the Most Wise, the Almighty God. I believe that these two divine attributes represent a wonderful sublime concept of dualism of divine attributes. Accordingly, this verse in essence is alluding to a very important notion and that is, let Man know that if he or she wants to say any good word or do a good act should be fully aware that such statement or act is to be executed and committed in the care or in the honor of the combined attributes of “the Compassionate-the Merciful”. Then if so, such words and acts inevitably projected within the divine vicinity of those dual realities of the sublime attributes, “al-Rahman, al- Rahim”. This follows that the attribute of “al-Rahman-the Beneficent” is the origin of existence and all that exists is issued forth through this attribute, “al-Rahman” and is encompassed by the attribute “al-Merciful-al-Raheem”. This inevitable reality, of the saying and acts of Man, which would, merits the honor and care of the “al-Raman-al-Raheem” simultaneously, is conditional to the free will of Man. In other words, if Man is fully conscious of the Truthfulness of this “dual sublime Realities” of “al-Raman, al-Raheem” and that he or she willingly and consciously pursue his words and acts, in the physical realm of existence, in the honor and care of the “dual Realities of al-Raman, al-Raheem” then those words and acts will inevitably be granted the blessing of “al-Rahman-al-Raheem”, and consequently will be projected in the oasis of the Divine Ocean of the Absolute, and be connected to the “Dual Majestic Realities of Allah sw; “al-Rahamn:al-Raheem.” We can see such profound effects of the “al-Rahman-al-Raheem” in respect to Man’s acts and sayings, as explained, and its manifestation in all fields of life in the real world. The positive impact of good words on the hearts of people and everlasting impact of good acts on the progress of human cause.
On the other hands, if a person wants to utter bad words and do evil acts, then those words and acts will be in the honor and care of the dual Satanic planes and that is “al-Shaitan-alRajeem, or the accursed Satan” even if he or she utters the words “In the name of God the compassionate the Merciful.”
Allah knows best
copy right is reserves.