That is why true believers, when reciting the holy verse /bism-il-lah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim/, at the beginning of their affairs, detach their hearts from everything else and rely only upon Allah, and seek help only from Him, because He is the only One Whose Mercy is All-Encompassing' and no creature is deprived of it.
Another fact that can also be understood from / bism-il-lah / is that Allah's acts are based on Mercy, and, punishment has an exceptional aspect which will not be fulfilled unless there are some exact, clear reasons for it.
When we recite the supplication entitled, Jaushan Kabir ', Section 20 thus : " O'Lord, Whose Mercy surpasses His Wrath... " the above point becomes clear.
Human beings should attach importance to mercy and affection and behave accordingly in their daily lives and use violence and harshness only for those times when it is clearly warranted.
We conclude this discussion with a tradition, rich in meaning, from the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), who, when commenting on the many different kinds of His All-Encompassing Mercy, said : " Verily, there are one hundred mercies belonging to Allah, from which, He has sent down to the Earth only one and distributed that one among His creatures. All the mercy and affection they have, issue from it. He, the Merciful, withheld the other 99 for Himself to show mercy upon His servants on the Day of Resurrection ". (19)
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" (All) praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds " Commentary : The World is Full of His Mercy After reciting the phrase / bism-il-lah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim /, to begin the Sura, our first duty is to bring to mind the Great Creator and Cherisher of the world of being, and His endless bounties which have surrounded us thoroughly. In doing so, it is both a guide ' for us to observe the existence of Providence and a motive ' for showing our servitude and worship to Him.
It is a motive' because any man, after receiving a gift, wishes to know its giver at once, in order to show his gratitude and thankfulness to him. This quality is in man's innate disposition prompting him to manifest his acknowledgment of Him.
This same quality in man, in discussing the theological motives of the necessity of expressing thankfulness to the Bestower ', according to what man's nature and rationale leads him to, is considered one of those motives.
And it is a guide' to knowing the Lord and His bounties, because the best and the most direct way towards the acknowledgment of the Origin is the study of the secrets of creation, especially, the existence of the bounties of life as related to human beings.
Therefore, perhaps, it is for these two reasons that Sura Al-Fatihah, alongside /bism-il-lah/, begins thus: " (All) praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds ".
Or, in other words, the verse " (All) praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds " points to both the Unity of Divine Essence, and the Unity of Divine Attributes and Acts.
Originally, qualifying Allah (s.w.t.), here, with the phrase /rabb-il-alamin/ (the Lord of the Worlds) is, in fact, mentioning the reason after stating the claim. It seems that someone has asked why all praise is (only) Allah's, and the response is that it is for the reason that He is the Lord of the Worlds'.
This is one of the characteristics of Allah. In another occurrence, the Holy Qur'an says: " He Who has made every thing which He has created most good ...," (Sura As-Sajdah, No. 32, verse 7).
And again, in Sura Hud, No. 11, verse 6, it says: " There is no moving creature on the earth but its sustenance depends on Allah... ". It is, also, clearly understood from the word /al-hamd/, praise ', used in this verse, that Allah has created all these bounties and benefits, basically, by His Choice and His Will.
It is interesting to note that by stating the phrase, (All) praise is (only) Allah's ', it is not only helpful to use it for the commencement of affairs, but, as the Qur'an teaches us, it is also used as a conclusion, like in Sura Yunus, No. 10, verse 10, about the good-doers in Heaven, it says: "(This will be) their cry therein: Glory to Thee, O God! ' And peace' will be their greeting therein! And the close of their cry will be:
Surely, the Praise is Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds! ' ". Virtue of the Verse Concerning the virtue of this Holy verse, there is a narration from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) which says that in a tradition from the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), he has said: " When a believing servant says The Praise is (only) Allah's, the Lord of the Worlds ', such a praise that befits Him and His Rank, the angels are unable to record it.
They will be asked by Allah why they did not record the reward of the phrase which the believing servant stated. Then, in response to their not recording the reward, they will ask how it is that they could even understand and estimate the high standard of saying such a phrase which contains the praise befitting and deserving only to Him. Allah, the Exalted, will tell them that they should record the phrase and it would be for Him to endow the servant with the reward of the praise as befitting Him ". (20) The word /rabb/ originally means the owner of something who proceeds to train and improve it '.
This word is absolutely applied to Allah, alone, and if it is applied, in Arabic, for other than Him, it is certainly used in a possessive form, as / rabb-ud-dar / the owner of the house ', or / rabb-us-safinah / the owner of the ship '. In any case, the word, itself, conveys the meaning of training '.
There is another idea mentioned in Majma-ul-Bayan that says:
" /rabb/ means: an important person whose orders are obeyed '." However, it is probable that both meanings refer to the same origin. The term /alamin/ is the plural form of /alam/ the world' and we cite it, here, with the meaning of a collection of different creatures with common characteristics or a common time and place'.For example, we say: the world of Man, the world of animals, and the world of plants, or,we say:the world of the East and the world of the West, or: the world of today and the world of yesterday. Therefore, when /alam/, which has a plural sense by itself, is used in a plural form, it refers to the universe'.
The writer of the Al-Manar Commentary says that it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that he has said /alamin/ means peoples', only. Then, the writer adds that the term is used in the Qur'an with the same meaning; for example: "...That it may be an admonition to all peoples ", (Sura Al-Furqan, No. 25, verse 1).
(21) It is true that the term /alamin/ in many occurrences, in the Qur'an, is used with the meaning of peoples', but, sometimes, it is also used with a broader scope of meaning which envelops other creatures; for instance:" Then Praise be to Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth, ِLord and Cherisher of all the worlds! ", (Sura Al-Jathiyah, No. 45, verse 36). And, also,like: " Pharaoh said: And what is the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds ? ' (Moses) said: The Lord and Cherisher of the heavens and the earth, and all between them ...", (Sura Ash-Shuara, No. 26, verses 23,24).
It is interesting that in a narration from Hadrat Ali (a.s.), Saduq has cited in the book Uyun-ul-Akhbar', that he (a.s.), commenting on the verse, has said: " (The phrase) /rabb-il-alamin/ refers to all creatures whether they are inanimate or living ". (22) There is, of course, no contradiction between these traditions, because, although the meaning of the term /alamin/ is very vast, Man is the most significant being among all creatures of the world, so, he is sometimes especially considered the central point of them, and other creatures are dependent upon him and in his shadow.
Therefore, when, in the tradition of the Imam (a.s.), the term is rendered into peoples ', the reason is that the main purpose of creation, in this great gathering of beings, is Man.
This point is, also, interesting that some have introduced two forms of /alam/ the world': the great world' (macrocosm) and the lesser world' (microcosm) by which they refer to Man as the lesser world', because the entity of a person alone, is a collection of different powers which govern the great world'.
In fact,man' is a sample of the whole world. So Amir-ul-Mu'mineen Ali (a.s.) in one of his poems, addressing Man, says: " You think that you are a small body, while (you should know that) you contain the great world' (macrocosm) inside you."(23) One of the factors that causes us to emphasize the vast meaning of / alam / the world', is that the term has occurred after the phrase /al-hamd-u-lil-lah/, in which we devote all the praise to Allah, only, and, then, we reason our statement with /rabb-il-alamin/ The Lord of the Worlds '. We say the praise is only Allah's, because all perfections, all bounties and all blessings, in this world, belong to Him, the Lord, the Cherisher.
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" The Beneficent, The Merciful " Commentary : The meaning of /ar-rahman/ the Beneficent ' and /ar-rahim/ the Merciful ', together with their broad sense of meaning and the difference between them, was explained at length while commenting on /bism-il-lah/, the repetition of which is not required.
A point that should be added to the commentary, here, regarding ar-Rahman' and ar-Rahim', is that these two attributes, which are the most significant attributes of Allah, are repeated at least 30 times, every day, in our (5) daily prayers; (twice in Sura Al-Fatihah, and once in the Sura we recite after it). In this way, we praise Allah sixty times as being Mereiful ' each day.
This, indeed, is a lesson taught to all human beings more than anything else that they should try to acquire this attribute, and practice it in their daily lives and activities. Moreover, it points to the fact that if we count ourselves among the true, obedient servants of Allah, we should not follow or imitate the manner in which tyrant slave owners use against their servants when dealing with our servants.
The history of slavery indicates that the tyrant owners used to treat their slaves in horrifyingly cruel ways. For example, if a slave moved a little slow in performing services, he would receive harsh punishments: i.e. be whipped, put in chains or fetters, fastened to a mill-stone and forced to turn it, instructed to work in mines, imprisoned in deep, dark, wet holes and, if his faults were greater, he would be hanged. Another reference in the history of slavery also shows that condemned slaves were put in wild animal cages. If the slave succeeded in staying alive, another animal would be let in on him.
These are some examples of the conduct of some owners with their slaves. But, Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, has mentioned repeatedly, in the Holy Qur'an, that Allah is Oft-Forgiving and Most Merciful to the servants who are repentant of their disobedience to Him. For example: Sura Az-Zumar, No. 39, verse 53 says: " Say: O' My servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins, for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful' ".
Therefore, the terms ar-Rahman' (the Beneficent) and ar-Rahim' (the Merciful) used after the phrase /rabb-il-alamin/ the Lord of the Worlds' refer to the idea that, He, with the absolute Power He has, is yet Merciful to all His creatures. This quality, which Allah possesses, attracts His servants to Him and they eagerly say:
ar-Rahman-ir-Rahim', (the Beneficent, the Merciful).
It is here that one's attention is drawn to the fact that the behaviour of Allah, the Exalted, toward His creatures is, by far, different from that of masters toward their servants, in particular, during the horrible period of slavery. Therefore, belief in Allah ' is the first of the five principles of Islam.
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" Master of the Day of Judgement." Commentary : Faith in the Resurrection ', the Second Principle In this verse, attention is paid to the second important principle in Islam, i.e. Resurrection and the Hereafter when it says:
" Master of the Day of Judgement ".
Thus, the focus of the idea of the Origin and End, which is the main foundation of all ethical and social improvements in Man, reaches the peak of perfection.
It is noteworthy, here, that the mastership of Allah, or His Ownership, is pointed out, which illustrates His Sovereignty and Domination over everything and everyone on that Day, when all human beings will attend that Great Court for reckoning, before their real and genuine Master. They will see all their deeds and even their thoughts present without there being aught less than the original or anything forgotten.
They will even have to accept their share of responsibility for any customs for which they have merely been the founders of, not necessarily the doers of them.
Allah's Ownership, on that Day, is not similar to our imaginary ownership of that which belongs to us from the things of this world. His Ownership, regarding the world of existence, is the real ownership. It is the special dependence of creatures on the Lord and their being in need of Him. If the flow of His blessings ceased even for a single moment, it would cause them to perish altogether.
In other words, this ownership is the consequence of His Creatorship and Divinity. He, Who creates beings, gives them life every moment and cherishes them, protects them and guides them, is the real master of all creatures. As a matter of fact, He is the only Ruler of all powers in the world of existence. There is no doubt that Allah is The Lord of the Worlds '.
The question to be raised here is this : Is not Allah the Absolute Owner of this world ? ' versus our statement to this effect that He is the Master of the Day of Judgement '. The answer to this question lies in the fact that the Ownership of Allah ', though it comprises both worlds, enjoys further manifestation in the Hereafter.
This is because all material ties and imaginary ownerships are cut off (in the Hereafter), and no one has anything of his or her own on That Day. Even intercession, if ever achieved, is by Allah's command, as the Qur'an says about the Reckoning Day: " The Day on which no soul shall have aught for (another) soul, and the command That Day shall be (wholly) Allah's ", (Sura Al-Infitar, No. 82, verse 19).
In other words, occasions arise, in this world, when one helps another through his or her speech, money, power, advocates, plans, designs, and so on. On That Day (the Hereafter), however, certainly not a single trace of such affairs will exist. Therefore, when people are asked: " Whose will be the Domination This Day ?...", they answer: "... that of Allah, the One, the Almighty! ", (Sura Al-Mu'min, No. 40, verse 16). This is also an answer to those who reject the idea that when Allah is the Owner of everything why, then, He is called the Master of the Day of Judgement '.
Man, with no belief in the Hereafter and the Day of Reckoning, would have the potential to be the most immoral of beings, the biggest tyrant committing the worst and the most hideous crimes, for, in his view, there is not any one to question or punish him if he is clever enough not to get caught and, with such characteristics, sometimes, it would be so terrible or impossible for other fellow-creatures to continue their lives in this world. Therefore, faith in life after death and the Day of Judgement, which is an essential part of Islam, like prayer, is very helpful in controlling men against committing sins.