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الرَّحْمَنُ 1
¡ The Compassionate 1 The Compassionate translates al-Raḥmān, which is considered to denote that aspect of mercy and compassion that is unqualified, boundless, and prior to the created order. In this regard, al-Raḥmān has also been rendered “the Infinitely Good” and “the Loving.” It is said to be one of the Divine Names that can only apply to God, for it is one of the Names by which existence itself is made manifest, a universal blessing or mercy (raḥmah) that cannot be attributed to anyone other than God. In this regard, many Sufis say that all of creation is brought forth through “the Breath of the Compassionate.” It thus differs from the Merciful (al-Raḥīm), which is said to pertain to a more particular form of Divine Mercy and by which human beings may also be described. From this perspective, al-Raḥmān relates more directly to the Divine Essence, while al-Raḥīm can be seen as referring to the extension of God’s Mercy in all acts (see 1:3c). It is also the Compassionate who is said to assume the Throne of God in 20:5 (cf. 25:59).