An effort in f a c i l i t a t i o n

“Rahmah” in Surah al Kahf

Last Friday,  I was reading Surah al Kahf as usual. While reading a thought came to my mind about Rahmah – grace, compassion and mercy. As i was proceeding, i got slow in recitation because my mind was wonder struck at the word ‘Rahmah’ being frequently used in this Surah. Then i paused for a while and thought may be this is yet another miracle of this Surah. A thought came to my mind that Rahmah could even be the theme of this Surah.

I would like to share my thoughts here. May Allah help us all in reading and understanding His Book in a better way. Above all, May Allah give us the much needed guidance, help and assistance in following the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah in our life. Aameen.

Let us firstly understand the word Rahmah.

This word comes from the root  ر ح م  r-h-m, which means, according to the popular Dictionary of Qur’anic Usage, ‘womb, blood relatives; mercy, kindness, compassion, pity, sympathy, to show mercy, to show compassion, to let off, to be kind, forgiveness, bounty, good fortune, blessing.

“Rahmah” which means ‘Mercy, Grace’ comes six times in Surah al Kahf

“Ruhma”, a derivative of the root r-h-m, which means ‘mercy, kindness, compassion’ is used once in this Surah.

Allah introduces the significance of Grace and Mercy through the du’aa of those dedicated Muslim Youth who sought refuge in the Cave.

 “When those youth sought refuge in the Cave and said: “Our Lord! Grant us mercy from Yourself and provide for us rectitude in our affairs.” (18: 10)

Lesson: Without Mercy and Grace from Allah, a person or a group of believers cannot be safe from people’s mischief! With Rahmah, things become easy in the world for the believers to achieve.

As we proceed with the recitation, we notice the confidence level of these Muslim Youth. After they made the du’aa seeking Allah’s Mercy and Aid, they were so confident that one of them said:

“And now that you have dissociated yourselves from them and from whatever they worship beside Allah, go and seek refuge in the Cave. Your Lord will extend His mercy to you and will provide for you the means for the disposal of your affairs.” (18: 16)

‘Your Lord will extend His mercy to you and will provide for you the means for the disposal of your affairs’.

When the youth spoke ‘ your Lord will extend.., will provide…’ they were so firmly relying upon their Lord that they were sure that this is going to happen!  

The Surah further narrates that it did happen! Subhanallah!

Lesson: Trust and make du’aa. After making du’aa, again be so firm in belief that your Lord is Ever-Listening, and Ever-Providing. He is the Dispenser of Grace! We need to develop that confidence in our Lord, that unshakable belief drawing inspiration from the glorious Muslim Youth of Surah al Kahf.

As we proceed reading the Surah, we come across an amazing attribute of Allah:

Zur-Rahmah – Possessor of Mercy, Dispenser of Grace, Giver of Bounty, Bestower of Compassion, Infinitely Graceful.

 “Your Lord is All-Forgiving, full of mercy. Had He wished to take them to task for their doings, He would have hastened in sending His scourge upon them. But He has set for them a time-limit which they cannot evade”. (18: 58)

Only in two places in the Qur’an, Allah describes Himself as ‘Zur-Rahmah’. One here in Surah al Kahf and the other in Surah Al An’aam verse 133. Here it is ‘Wa Rabbukal Ghafooru Zur-Rahmah’, there it is ‘Wa Rabbukal Ghaniyyu Zur-Rahmah. Whereas in many places in the Qur’an, Allah describes Himself as ‘Zul Fadhl’, Owner of Mercy.

Lesson: We need to learn other attributes of Allah which are spread and mentioned in the Qur’an and Sunnah, not just be ‘satisfied’ with the popular 99 Names of Allah.

Reading further, we come across the famous story of Prophet Moosa and Al Khidr, in which Allah says that He bestowed His Rahmah upon his beloved servant, Al Khidr.

 “And they found a servant from among Our servants to whom we had given mercy from us and had taught him from Us a [certain] knowledge”. (18: 65)

Lesson: Wisdom, knowledge and understanding of affairs are part of Allah’s Grace and Mercy which He bestows upon whomsoever He wills. Knowledge, therefore, is Allah’s Rahmah.

As we proceed with our recitation, we learn that there are many aspects of Allah’s Rahmah depicted in Moosa-Al Khidr story.

When Al Khidr killed a boy, Moosa was shocked and couldn’t understand why he killed him. The wisdom that was hidden from Moosa was that Allah intended to give the Muslim parents (Abawaahu Mu’minayn) of the slain evil boy, another boy who was to be of upright character and tender-hearted.

“So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and more inclined to show mercy (lit. nearer to mercy)”. (18: 81)

Lesson 1: Good children are part of Allah’s grace and Mercy which He bestows to whomsoever He wills. Good Children, therefore, are Allah’s Rahmah.

Lesson 2: We must always make du’aa to Allah to bless us with good children, and also take all care to their upbringing by providing good education so that they, in turn, become a cause of goodness to the society.

As we continue to read the story of Moosa and al Khidr, we come across the next act of Al Khidr which again surprised Prophet Moosa. That of Al Khidr setting right the dilapidated wall and making it strong and longer lasting.

 “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.” (18: 82)

The wall that Al Khidr saved from falling down had a treasure beneath and it belonged to two orphan boys whose father had been religious and righteous. It was a part of Allah’s Mercy and Grace that the treasure should go to the orphan boys when they come of age.

Lesson 1: The wealth of the orphans was protected due to the righteousness of their father. Therefore we should not worry about our wealth’s safety. Even after our death it is safeguarded (even the kids have not grown to use the wealth) but Allah protects because it is earned by a RIGHTEOUS FATHER: A pure halal earnings. Hence our matter of concern should be: ARE WE RIGHTEOUS? 

Lesson 2: Treasure (Kanz in Arabic, Khazana in Urdu) is from Allah’s Mercy and Grace which He gives to whomsoever He wills. Whoever is blessed with a treasure from unimaginable source is indeed fortunate to be blessed magnanimously by Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala.

Is there any harm in making this du’aa? ‘O Allah! bless me with a treasure from your side, for the treasure is indeed a part of Your Mercy’. I always make this du’aa.

Lesson 3: Islam is not against economic prosperity! It is all about how you earn and how you spend.

Back to recitation. We finally come across the story of Zul Qarnain, the great.

Allah had blessed Zul Qarnain with everything at his command, and he was so humble in spite of being such a powerful man. He attributed all his power and capabilities to the Rahmah of His Lord:

“He (that is, Zul Qarnain) said: “This is a mercy from my Lord: but when the time of my Lord’s promise shall come, He will level the rampart with the ground. My Lord’s promise always comes true.” (18: 98)

When I read this I am amazed at the choice of words used by Zul Qarnain. ‘Haza Rahmatum Mir Rab-bee’.

We Muslims know this Islamic phrase very well: Haza min Fadhli Rab-bee, right?

But here in Surah al Kahf, another aspect of a believer’s connection with his Lord is revealed. Subhanallah!

Lesson: All my success, power, status and grandeur is due to the Mercy showered upon me by my Lord! Without His Rahmah, I am zero for sure!

There are many more aspects of Rahmah evident in this lovely Surah. Inshaa’Allah let’s learn in the next post.

Jazakumullah Khayr for taking time to read this post. May Allah accept our sincere work and guide us on the Straight Path. Aameen.

Download as pdf file

PS: I would be happy to learn and write a post on the difference between Fadhl and Rahmah and do some research, Inshaa’Allah. If anyone can supply input, I would be grateful indeed. Vassalam.

Part 2: Exploring Rahmah

July 8, 2012 - Posted by | Reflections, Surah al Kahf | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Jazak Allah Br. Muqith. Pondering on verses while reciting is an Ibadah. Conveying the same adds addtional value. I would like to give a viewpoint on verse 18:82.

    The wealth of the orphans are protected due to the righteousness of the father. Therefore we should not worry about our wealth’s safety. Even after our death it is safeguarded (even the kids have not grown to use the wealth) but Allah protects because it is earned by a RIGHTEOUS FATHER. A pure halal earnings. Hence our matter of cocern should be: ARE WE RIGHTEOUS?

    May Allah make us Righteous by HIS RAHMAH.

    Comment by Ataullah | July 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Wa iyyaaka, brother. Aameen to your du’aa.
      Thank you for sharing an important viewpoint.
      I will add this point in the post itself.
      Jazakallah Khayra!

      Comment by MuQeet | July 8, 2012 | Reply

  2. Subhan’Allah Brother!
    indeed an important message from the Quran, you have shared! 🙂 May Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala bless you with great reward in this world and the hereafter for spreading His word..ameen!

    Comment by Ayesha | July 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Jazakillah Khayr sister.
      May Allah accept your du’aa and always keep you high in Islamic spirit. Aameen.

      Comment by MuQeet | July 8, 2012 | Reply

      • suma ameen! wa iyyakum 🙂

        Comment by Ayesha | July 10, 2012 | Reply

  3. Salam Br. Muqeet,

    An Interesting article. The article kindled the thoughts of my first encounter with the Quran through Surah Ar-Rahman.
    Alhamdhulillah, All praise to Him.


    Comment by Faqrudeen | July 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Wa alaikumus salam, dear Br.Faqruddeen
      Jazakallah Khayr for sharing your experience with the Qur’an.
      And also thank you for taking time to send your comment 🙂

      Comment by MuQeet | July 8, 2012 | Reply

  4. Alhumdulillah! Jazakallah for enlightening with a different angle. It is refreshing and pleasing. It is indeed the Rahmah of Allah that He made you to search His rahmah in Surah Kahf. Wassalam
    T Azeez Luthfullah

    Comment by T Azeez Luthfullah | July 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Wa iyyaaka, dear brother.
      Thank you for your comment.
      Alhamdulillah, Haza Rahmatun Mir Rabbee

      Comment by MuQeet | July 8, 2012 | Reply

  5. MashaAllah…I learn a lot when i visit your blog and read,you have an amzing good way of explaining so its easy to understand…Allah bless the work you do…its so very helpful.

    Comment by IslamicChamper | July 8, 2012 | Reply

    • Alhamdulillah and thank you so much for your words of appreciation.
      Dear sister, all that I could say is this: ‘Haza Rahmatum Mir Rabbee’ and ‘Haza Min Fadhi Rabbee’.
      Jazakillah Khayr.

      Comment by MuQeet | July 8, 2012 | Reply

  6. Incidentally the succeeding Surah,ie Surah Mariyam has the word Rahman more often than other words. Check it out

    Comment by T Azeez Luthfullah | July 9, 2012 | Reply

    • Inshaa’Allah I will explore. Jazakallah Khayr.

      Comment by MuQeet | July 9, 2012 | Reply

  7. It clearly explains that there is no limit to our Lord’s Mercy!
    JazakAllah Khayr brother. May Allah bless you abundantly, Aameen.

    Comment by OutspokenHijabi | July 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Wa iyyaaki, sister. May Allah accept your du’aa. Aameen.

      Comment by MuQeet | July 10, 2012 | Reply

  8. Subhan Allah. A very nice article. No doubt the more one ponders on Al Qur’an the more one learns. Very interesting article. This is one of my favorite Surah. The word Rahma will remind me of what you have pointed out in this article whenever I will read the Surah from now on. May Allah shower His rehma on you and all of us. Ameen.

    Comment by Ismat | July 15, 2012 | Reply

    • Barakallah Feek. Thank you for your du’aa and kind words. Jazakillah Khayr.
      May Allah accept your du’aa, bless you and your family with His exclusive Rahmah. Aameen.
      Vassalamu Alaikum.

      Comment by MuQeet | July 15, 2012 | Reply

  9. SubhanAllah, very different explanation. Though I speedily read it every Friday, this explanation has given a new meaning to it.

    May Allah bless you and all of us with his Rahma! Ameen
    Jazaakumullahu Khair.

    Comment by Nasim Ejaz | August 12, 2012 | Reply

    • Barakallahu Feeki, dear sister.

      Comment by MuQeet | August 12, 2012 | Reply

  10. SubhanAllah, an amazing explanation and wonderful article. MashaAllah I really wish you were teaching us this year in school too. I just want to thank you for telling me about your Quran blog.

    Comment by Fatima Shahzad | January 14, 2013 | Reply

    • It is nice to see your comment here, dear Fatima.
      Jazakallah Khayr for your appreciation.
      Everyone adopts different methods while teaching and at the end of the day it is the interest and inspiration that helps achieve good result.
      If you like this Quran blog, then please do spread the word among your friends and relatives, Inshaa’Allah.

      Comment by MuQeet | January 14, 2013 | Reply

  11. […] Part 1 our focus was on the word Rahmah as such being used in Surah al […]

    Pingback by Exploring ‘Rahmah” in Surah al Kahf, Part 2 « YasSarNal QuR'aN | July 26, 2015 | Reply

  12. Excellent post

    Comment by Lebukk | December 3, 2017 | Reply

    • Baarakallaah

      Comment by MuQeet | December 3, 2017 | Reply

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