E-Group Letter #11

Published Categorised as Articles, E-Group Letters


Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim!
In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Most Merciful!



27 Dhul Hijjah 1426/28 January 2006
From the United States of America

Dr. Pasha

(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It —
And which One Does Not?)


  1. “Revisiting” Al-Asmaa’ Al-Husnaa
  2. Divine vs. Human Speech
  3. Not Even A Comma?
  4. Doing the Numbers
  5. A Merciful, Loving, Doting God!
  6. The Most Forgiving One: God Describes Himself in His Own Words
  7. What Is the Source of the Claim? Who Is the Author of the Assertion?
  8. In Islam, It Is Not People Making a Claim of Love and Mercy on Behalf of God, But it Is God Himself Making the Claim in His Own Words
  9. Comparing Apples and Oranges, As We Say it in America
  10. The Bible: ”Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me!”
  11. Awwal Kalima-e Tauheed: Laa Ilaaha Illallah!
  12. The Bible: ”Thou Shalt Not Make Unto Thee Any Graven Image!”
  13. Where in the Bible Does it Exist?
  14. Pope Benedict on Love
  15. Pope’s Two Kinds of Love: Including One Outside Marriage?
  16. Spinoza, the Other Benedict: A 17th Century Philosopher-Scientist’s Intellectual Love of God
  17. Love in the Bible: Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians
  18. Is It Love or Charity: What Did Paul Really Say?
  19. Looking for Truth: Is Truth the Missing Link in Our Discourse?
  20. Muslims and the Concept of Love
  21. Allah, The Most Forgiving One: A Quick Count
  22. It Is Not Just Ghafoor, But Also Ghaffaar
  23. Once again, the Missing Wau”: The Miracle of Conjunction without a Conjunction
  24. Instant and Blanket Amnesty for Wrongdoers
  25. So, It Is Not Just Ghafoor and Ghaffaar, But Also Tawwaab and Afuw
  26. How Like a Doting Parent!
  27. Feel Free to Share the Good News
  28. Write Back
  29. Nothing but Drafts
  30. Don’t Forget Us in Your Du’as!


Assalamu Alaikum!

I trust you are well.

Another E-Letter — quick on the heels of the last one. I guess this is # 11 in the series. The idea is to get them out to you while we can — as Allah makes it possible and as he makes it happen. Who knows what tomorrow will bring!

May Allah allow us to continue to do his work — as he sees fit — in the best possible way, using the best possible means.

“Revisiting” Al-Asmaa’ Al-Husnaa

Revisiting Allah’s beautiful names? Is that what I said?

Revisiting? Allahu Akbar!


May Allah forgive my use of the language!

“Revisit” Al-Asmaa’ Al-Husnaa?

My thought is: How dare we take our eyes off them in the first place? How dare we absent ourselves from their universal glow and presence even for the blink of an eye?

A good question to ask may be just where were we when we were not basking in the glory and radiance of Allah’s beautiful names — when we took our eyes off that light? What were we doing?

Where were we hiding? What place, in heaven or earth, was big enough, safe enough, far enough to provide us shelter from the brilliance of Allah’s most glorious names that lights up every nook and cranny of heavens and earth?

But I do feel a bit sensitive about encroaching on your sensibilities. I do not want to appear to be repeating the same thing over and over and thus bore or insult you or cause you to lose interest — even though I don’t think I am quite repeating myself.

But do forgive me if I am.

But now that we are here — one more time — kindly allow me to share a few things with you.

Divine vs. Human Speech

We talked about Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. This to me is not human speech. Human beings do not speak like that; they do not write like that.

They will be either too embarrassed or too conceited to write like that — coupling these two names and attributes together without the usual intermediacy of the conjunction “Wau” — or however you write it (or any other Arabic letter) in English.

Only Allah, Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala, can speak like that. And only he can repeat it so many times in the Qur’an the way he does.

Without a single instance to the contrary!

Did you hear that? Without a single instance to the contrary — in all the roughly 6666 Aayats or passages of the Qur’an! Unless I am totally and completely wrong, which I don’t think I am.

What amazing consistency coming out of a cave that an unlettered man used to frequent, surrounded by an unlettered culture with an unlettered population!

I am saying “so many times,” rather than give the exact count, because the exact count is somewhat subject to controversy among Muslims. And if there is one thing I try my best to avoid, it is getting involved in Muslim fights.

As a child I made up my mind to try to stay out of Muslim fights — as much as I could, or as much as any Muslim reasonably could afford to.

Not Even A Comma?

I first had a comma after Ar-Rahmaan, before Ar-Raheem, as I first started to write this letter. I then removed it, as I realized what an audacious error it was — trying to sunder, even by so much as a comma, even in a language which is not the original Arabic of the Qur’an, that which Allah has fused together in one seamless flow of mercy and love — Rahmah!

Did we invent the expression “seamless” too?

You think I am making too much of it? Well, try to remember what Hazrat Abu Bakr said: What heaven will shelter me, and what earth will bear my burden, if I said anything about Allah’s book that is not there?

Doing the Numbers

I hope I am right about my numbers. May Allah forgive me if I am wrong.

Time was when I could fairly easily count up to three. Then my ability to count diminished to two. Now it is rapidly dwindling to one.

So, may Allah forgive me if my tallies don’t come out right.

Besides, put it down to time and resource constraints.

How many Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem are there in the Qur’an?

Everyone agrees that Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem is part of Aayat 30 in Surah 27 (An-Naml). But is it also the first Aayah of Surah Al-Fatihah? And is it, thereafter, part of every Surah at the beginning of which it appears? Not everyone seems to think so.

There are 114 Surahs in the Qur’an, but only 113 of them begin with Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem. But it is amazing how Allah completes the count — of 114.

There is an extra Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem in the Qur’an — right in the text of the Qur’an — and that is the one in Aayat 30, Surah 27. So, in the end, the number comes out 114 anyway.

If this choreography of numbers doesn’t mean anything to you, I am not going to say anything either.

But to me it is nothing less than a numerical rhapsody. What one of my friends, Allah bless him, will, I am sure, insist we call “rhythm” — rhythm of numbers.

A Merciful, Loving, Doting God!

What is not too complicated for our understanding, however, is the fact that our Rabb is Rabbur Rahmah — that Allah, Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala, is a most merciful, loving, doting God.

Other than Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem at the beginning of the Surahs, the name Ar-Rahmaan appears in the Qur’an more or less 50 times. If you count the Surah beginnings, the count goes up to about 164 or so?

That means Allah emphasises his quality of mercy about 164 times in the Qur’an, using the name Ar-Rahmaan alone.

Outside Bismillah, the Qur’an uses Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem — the two names together — four times.

Other than that, Allah uses Raheem — outside the context of Bismillah — over 120 times.

I hope my counts are right. May Allah forgive me if they are not.

If anyone still does not get the message that the dominant attribute of Allah in the Qur’an is Rahmah, I don’t know what to say.

The Most Forgiving One: God Describes Himself in His Own Words

All of the above does not include all the other similar names that Allah uses to describe himself. Names like Al-Ghafoor and Al-Ghaffaar and Al-Wadood and Al-Hannaan and Al-Mannaan and Al-‘Afuw.

Ghafoor means the most forgiving one.

Ghaffaar is another name from the same root, which also means the most forgiving one.

Do you have any idea how many times Allah describes himself in the Qur’an as “The Most Forgiving”?

Ghafoor and Ghaffaar: two ways of saying the same thing — each better, stronger and more profound, powerful, inclusive and comprehensive than the other?

Just like Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem?

And in case anyone still missed the point — all too many people do — there is always that other name that leaves nothing to chance: Al-‘Afuw.

I don’t know what all or any of this means. All I want to do is to bask in the glow of these wonderous names and attributes of Allah.

And, whenever I can, and as Allah makes me, try to share my excitement through the medium of these E-Letters — and through my Website www.IslamicSolutions.Com and through my Qur’an and radio programs (Pasha Hour International) — with those who would permit me to do so.

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