اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“Know that Allāh is severe in penalty and that Allāh is Forgiving and Merciful.”
لِتَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا
“So you may know that Allāh is over all things Competent and that Allāh has Encompassed all things in knowledge.”
وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
“Know that Allāh is Knowing of all things.”
When we come across verses that end with the names of Allāh – and many a times the verse ends with a pair of names – we should not just simply read them and move on. Rather, we should stop and analyse them in order to understand why Allāh paired those specific two names together rather than providing a different combination. By doing this, we will be able to internalise the names of Allāh within our lives.
The names of Allāh are many, but in this article, I want to give you an example of only a single name: Al-’Azīz. This is translated in English as the Most Mighty, but it means much more than that. Allāh pairs this name with another common name that is oft-repeated throughout the Qur’ān: Al-Rahīm, which is translated to the Most Merciful. Allāh states in the Qur’ān:
وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى الْعَزِيزِ الرَّحِيمِ ﴿٢١٧﴾ الَّذِي يَرَاكَ حِينَ تَقُومُ
“Rely upon the Most Mighty, the Most Merciful, Who sees you when you arise.”
Why does Allāh pair these two names together here in this verse? In order to find the link, we need to first understand what the name Al-Rahīm refers to. Like Al-Rahīm, Al-Rahmān is also translated to the Most Merciful, so this ignites the question: is there a difference between Al-Rahmān and Al-Rahīm? Surely there must be a difference, because these are two different names that appear in the Qur’ān. If so, what is this difference?
Al-Rahmān is the mercy that Allāh has for all of His creation, that everyone benefits from; human beings, birds, animals, and even the Jinn! The Prophet (sall Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَلَقَ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ مِائَةَ رَحْمَةٍ كُلُّ رَحْمَةٍ طِبَاقَ مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالأَرْضِ فَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا فِي الأَرْضِ رَحْمَةً فَبِهَا تَعْطِفُ الْوَالِدَةُ عَلَى وَلَدِهَا وَالْوَحْشُ وَالطَّيْرُ بَعْضُهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ أَكْمَلَهَا بِهَذِهِ الرَّحْمَةِ
“Verily, Allāh created, on the same very day when He created the Heavens and the Earth, one hundred parts of mercy. Every part of mercy is coextensive with the space between the Heavens and the Earth, and He, out of this mercy, endowed one part to the Earth. It is because of this that the mother shows affection to her child, and even the beasts and birds show kindness to one another. When it is the Day of Resurrection, Allāh will make full use of this Mercy.”
The towering parent elephant does not step on its minuscule child. When a non-Muslim mother gives birth to her new-born baby, she will never dare to think of harming it. This is because of Allāh being Al-Rahmān.
However, the name Al-Rahīm refers to a specific mercy from Allāh assigned solely for the believers. Going back to the name Al-’Azīz, this name is not only limited to Allāh being the Most Mighty, but also means that all of might and honour belongs to Allāh, and that Allāh is capable of doing whatever He wishes. This is why Allāh pairs Al-’Azīz with Al-Rahīm in this verse: in order to invite the believers to place their reliance upon him.
Al-Rahīm is Allāh specifying a mercy solely for the believers, while Al-’Azīz means that Allāh can help you in achieving your dreams and objectives if you truly rely upon Him. You may not be able to achieve it yourself, or you may think your objective is far-fetched and unobtainable, but know that Allāh is Al-’Azīz and that nothing is impossible for Him.
The next time you have a goal but realise that it might be impossible to achieve; be it marriage, good health or even a job remember, the name Al-’Azīz and supplicate to Allāh using this name knowing that nothing is impossible for Allāh. For Allāh has doors that He can open for us that we do not even know of!
 Al-Qur’ān 5:98
 Al-Qur’ān 65:12
 Al-Qur’ān 2:231
 Al-Qur’ān 26:217-218
 Sahih Muslim No. 2753