Home / Pillars / Lessons from Surah Ar-Rahman – Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan
"If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah will cause him to travel on one of the roads of paradise" [Abu Dawood]

Lessons from Surah Ar-Rahman – Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
“My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”


1. First few ayaat are very emotional and every muslim should have an emotional connection with these ayaat (U.NAK will be discussing only first few ayaat).
2. The best way to remember talks and gems about suwar (pl. of surah) is to memorize them.
3. There are 3 ingredients of effective communication
a) Content – What are you going to say? (Something meaningful/true/beneficial and purposeful).
b) Style – How do you say it?
c) Know who you are talking to – Talking to ones child and ones father is different.

“THE QUR’AN” the speech of Allah is “THE PERFECT SPEECH”. It is the best communication in existence. Nobody communicates better than Allah. As a consequence 3 things result – Allah has the best content, the best style and He swt is always considerate of his audience.

4. Allah has different ways of addressing specific people in the qur’an :
a) Christians
b) Jews
c) Mushrikoon 1st year of seerah
d) Mushrikoon 10th year of seerah, etc,.

5. MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION – Who is Allah talking to in Surah Ar Rahman? Difference of opinion – most say late Mecci and some say early Madani. In late Meccan period surah was addressed to stubborn arabs who were fed up of the message of Islam being repeated to them for nearly 10 yrs now and hence the refrain “fabiyyi ayyi aala ee rabbikum tukadhibaan”. Because when someone is irritated and angry you need to repeat things to them hoping it will strike or come under their notice atleast once. The refrain and style is rightfully so to address the “stubborn uninterested arabs”.

6.  5 Main subjects of Surat Al Waqiah
~ 1. As sabiqoon – The forerunners
~ 2. Ashabul Yameen – People of the Right Hand (got book of deeds in their R.H)
~ 3. Ashabul shimaal – People of the Left Hand (got book of deeds in their L.H)
~ 4. Allah’s Creation – A list of things that only Allah can do and we cannot do – “germination of seeds”,”rain”, etc,.
~ 5. The Greatness of Qur’an – Entire passage dedicated to describing greatness of qur’an in the end of surat al waqi’ah.

7. The order of Surat Al Waqi’ah is reversed in Surat Ar Rahman
~ 1. The Great of Qur’an – Allamal Qur’an
~ 2. Allah’s Creation – Ash shamsu wal qamaru
~ 3. The Criminals who will end up in hell fire on the DOJ
~ 4. A beautiful Jannah for a group of people (Jannah Regular lol)
~ 5. A much better Jannah (Jannah Delux package lol)

8. This is how Allah teaches us things in the qur’an if you remember the order of surah waqiah there is noway you will forget whats happening in surah ar rahman.

9. This surah is special for many reasons but one of the reasons is that this surah starts with just one word “Ar Rahman” which is a verse in itself and is not a mutashabihat “Alif laam meen”.

10. Ar rahman allamal qur’an is actually one sentence linguistically but Allah broke it up. It is because Allah wants us to reflect and think just about AR-RAHMAN. You should not think about “Allalamal Qur’an” until you stop and reflect just about ar-rahman.

11. Ar Rahman is different from Mercy. Ar Rahman comes from Ar Raham. When a women is pregnant her stomach is called raham – because that baby is taken care of in EVERYWAY!
Points for reflection
( subhanAllah 😥 )
a) Does the child have love for mother? Does the mother have love for her child?
b) Does the child know the mother? Does the mother already know the child?
c) Mother is taking care of the child in everyway.
d) Mother is extra cautious about her stomach – keeps it away from pointed corners – away from narrow lanes.
This entire thing is related to rahma. Mercy is used in english usually when you “spare” someone.
Ex. I was gonna beat you up but I showed you mercy.

12. Rahma HAS NOTHING TO DO with punishment. The thought should not even cross your mind. Rahma is someone who wants to be
a) Compassionate.
b) Soft.
c) Easy.
d) Wants to make things easy for you.
e) They understand you should be handled with care.
f) To show love.

When Allah says He is Ar Rahman he means He loves you, He cares for you, He understands that you must be handled with care. He is not going to leave you. He is not going to adandon you. A mother will never abandon her child.
“Walillahil mathalul-ala – And for Allah is the highest attribute”
(Surah An Nahl 16:60) 

13. Ar Rahman is called “Sigatul Mubâlaghah” in Arabic Language. What that means is something that is “excessive and unusual”. This is the absolute extreme of being merciful. Some scholars say Ar rahman means “Allah is being merciful RIGHT NOW!”.

Sometimes we feel, ALLAH DOESNT CARE ABOUT ME! Why do I have all these problems? It means you have not thought about Ar Rahman enough. You dont have to wait for His care to come, its already there.

14. The last ayah of this surah Allah says: Tabaraka ismu rabbika theealjalali wal-ikram Blessed is the name of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor. (Ar Rahman 55:78) Allah is saying the name of Allah is full of barakah. Allah is telling us Ar Rahman -the name I (meaning Allah) began this surah with is full of barakah. You don’t use dhul jalal for anyone other than Allah.

15. WHAT IS BARAKAH? They say in arabic “Al barakatu an nama’oo waz-ziyada”. Barakah first of all means growth, something that rises, progress, an increase, above and beyond, above expectation. Barakah is something like an overly high lego tower (which ofcourse will be unstable) but is as stable as a camel sunk in the sand. *subhanAllah*
Ex. You put 1 seed in the ground how many seeds do you expect? 1 – but if 10 pop out thats what you call barakah.

Barakah will not go away its not unstable increase. Allah says His name is full of barakah – what does that really mean? When we say Ar Rahman and do something with Allah’s name calling on the barakah of Allah’s name – whatever we do will produce good but it will produce good more than expected and the growth will continue and not disappear.

16. Because of this one ayah every muslim should be an optimist we can never be pessimists. The barakah of doing one good deed cannot be seen. When you begin something with bismillah hir rahman nir rahmeen the barakah & the results you cannot calculate and they will grow and grow beyond human expectation. You cannot encompass it. 

17. Personal Story of Barakah (Time 46:57 – 49:33). DONT UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF THE THINGS THAT YOU DO.

18. 2nd Ayah – Allamal Qur’an. Ayah 2 and 3 together are explained first. In Surah A’la Allah says in these ayaat – He talks about Himself and then He says He created and then He talked about guidance. screen-shot-2013-11-19-at-8-22-17-pm

19. Again in another surah – Allah is the one who created me and then he guides me. Again the same pattern creation is mentioned first and then guidance.
{Surat Ash-Shu`arā’ 26: Verse 78}.

20. Whereas in Surah Ar rahman there is a difference. Allah mentions guidance first and then creation. It is unusual because the order of things is Allah created us and then He guided us. I will not answer than question right now – keep thinking about it – Ustadh Nouman.

21. Please pay attention to this part – Rasool Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) was the best teacher there ever was and even in the future there will never be a teacher like rasool Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). And in education you need excellent teacher and excellent curriculum and you will never find a better curriculum than the qur’an! You have the best teacher you have the best curriculum and the students were quraish and the lessons were easy.

22. If someone asked me to summarize Meccan qur’an in 5 minutes, I would say I dont need 5 minutes – 1 minute is enough.
What is Meccan Qur’an
a) Allah is One.
b) Dont be like previous nations who dint believe in Allah.
c) Believe in His messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).
d) Believe in Akhira.
e) Be a servant and slave to Allah.

23. Rasool Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught the quraish these simple lessons for 12 years again and again in their very own language. They kept rejecting the best message there ever will be in their very own language! Does Allah have a right to be angry? Yes, any normal teacher would be angry. The quraish are stubborn they are making fun of the ayaat and fun of the teacher. Does Allah have a right to be angry? Yes! And when Allah gets angry what does He have the power to do? SUBHAN ALLAH! (He has the power to punish and perish everything which He has done to previous nations)

24. The most offensive things that the quraish came up with in the end is they asked rasool Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to hurry up and bring the punishment and the day of judgement. They said we have been listening to it for 10 years now. If you dont have something to show me dont waste my time. I will believe it when I see it. The beginning of this surah is the answer to this problem.

25. Malaysia has a traffic problem yeah? If the radio tells you 2kms away from where you are an accident took place and there is a huge traffic, if you can take an exit take it. Thats what the radio tells you. Do you see the accident? No – But do you take the exit?? Yes. Why? because news came to you from a reliable source, the reporter sees something you don’t see. You dont say arh these radio people I will believe it when I see it”.

26. Allah created human beings. They are able to understand things even if they have not seen it. Animals are not like that. Animal behaves only when he sees, a human being behaves when he/she understands. If humans say “I will believe it when I see it” then you are acting like a goat or an animal.

27. A teacher has the right to get angry but Allah called himself Ar Rahman first 😥

Allah is the teacher who has the kind of love, care and concern and “MERCY!” on top of all of that even for the people who hate His messenger. He taught them the qur’an even when they insulted the messenger. He taught the qur’an even when they tried to kill the messenger. He taught the qur’an when they killed innocent people infront of him ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). When they made fun of the ayaat when they rejected one surah He revealed another and another and another and another and because He kept on revealing it’s a proof that He is AR RAHMAN! Because if He was not Ar Rahman this would not have happened. 

What we are learning in this surah from the very begining is that qur’an came down from Allah as an act of love. You want to know the love and care of Allah? STUDY THE QUR’AN. Learn the qur’an and you will get to know something you dint know before.

28. My Message to you tonight : You have to build a personal relationship with the qur’an. If you want to experience what Ar Rahman means then you have to become the student of the qur’an.

29. Allama means to deliver knowledge over a long period of time. There is no rush. Learn small bits at a time but continuously. The best student of the qur’an in history is rasool Allah himself ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him).

Rasool Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) is the best student as well as the best teacher. And as a student Allah taught him for how long? 23 YEARS! Dont feel initimated by qur’an.

30. A little bit of qur’an at a time is all what Allah is asking of us. Specially for young people when you have a daily relationship with qur’an with understanding it will change the way you think. It will change the kind of friends you have. It will change what you want to do with your spare time. It will make you people of vision. We need young muslims who will be people of vision.

We have to reconnect with the book, this is a very serious obligation we have in the ummah to help the people come closer to this book. And not scare people from this book and push them away from this book. You don’t have to be a faqeeh or alim to be a da’ee. Share something of the book of Allah with others.


31. Allah did not close the invitation even to the worst kuffar how can we close the invitation from our fellow muslim brothers and sisters. How can sisters who wear hijab look at those who dont wear hijab with hateful eyes?

32. Khalaqal Insaan – Ibn Faris argues that Insaan can either be from nasiya which means forgetful or ether from oons which means which means human beings are very loving.
So there are 2 meanings to human beings/Insaan
a) That we are forgetful.
b) That we have love.

33. Allah choose this message perfectly for people who are forgetful and for those who love. And what does a forgetful person need? Reminders! And one of the names of qur’an is reminder. Insaan/forgetful -> needs -> qur’an/reminders.

Allah is saying I taught the qur’an because you are insaan. You forget so that is why I gave you reminder. Second meaning of Insaan is someone who has alot of love. If you have a hole in your heart that needs to be filled this word of Allah will fill it.

34. The word of Allah is the highest there is nothing higher than the word of Allah.

Wakalimatu Allahi hiyaalAAulya The word of Allah – that is the highest
{Surat At Tawbah 9: Verse 40}


35. When you begin your learning with Ar Rahman there will be barakah in your learning and you will learn like you have never learned before. Be students of arabic don’t be intimated by it. 

Notes by Shamsiya Noorul Quloob
Edited by Ibtihal Minhaj

Prophet Muhammad - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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