Ya-Sin, the thirty sixth chapter of the Qur’an, is very popular among Muslims due to the many special merits associated with reading it, according to various statements attributed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
It is incumbent upon every Muslim to know and understand God’s names and attributes. It is only through better understanding Him that we gain closeness to Him, and move from worshiping an abstract God to one we are trying to come to know.
As for non-Muslims, this step will certainly bring a better understanding of the God Muslims worship. One will easily find many of these attributes are also alluded to Him in the Old and New Testament of the Bible. He is one God for all and His attributes do not change based on various religions.
The aim of this article is to highlight various names and attributes of God mentioned in some of the verses of this chapter and elaborate on them for a better understanding toward knowing our Creator.
Each attribute is at the end of each verse which in essence explains the verse itself.
The chapter begins with:
“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” (Ya-Sin 36: 1)
God is the most merciful, therefore, it is proper to start everything with His great name and attribute Ar-Rahim. Likewise Ar-Rahman is another great attribute of God, both of which are derived from Rahman.
Ar-Rahman is one which God encompasses with it all His creation, whereas Ar-Rahim is only for the believers.
One would be at awe about His mercy and compassion for His creation. God has instructed us to start all chapters of Qur’an with His name, except chapter 9 (At-Tawbah). This reminds us that while we read the chapters of the Qur’an, we should remember His compassion and mercy.
“By the Qur’an, full of Wisdom.” (Ya-Sin 36:2)
God swears by the Glorious Qur’an which is full of laws, evidences and proofs. According to Ibn Kathir, Al-Hakeem (full of Wisdom) means Al-Muhkam (perfect) which cannot be damaged by falsehood in any shape or form.
God swears by the Qur’an which is perfect in order to emphasize its incredible importance.
“It is a revelation sent down by the Almighty, the most Merciful.” (Ya-Sin 36:3)
For those who may doubt about God’s power and might, this verse serves as a reminder, especially to the disbelievers about who is behind sending down the mighty revelation to the last Prophet of God.
Yet, to His believing servants, He reminds them how merciful He is to them, while he is most powerful against His enemies.
This verse should be a strong reminder to both believing and disbelieving creatures of God.
He shows in the Qur’an and through His mercy that He guides, protects and nurtures His creatures.
It is important to note that God only guides to the straight path for which He has sent down many verses like the ones below:
“… if I am on the right path, it is but by the virtue of what my Sustainer reveals unto me.” (Saba’ 34: 50)
“…and verily, you are indeed guiding (mankind) to the straight path. The path of Allah to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. Verily, to Allah all matters return.” (Ash-Shura 42:52-53)
“You (O Prophet!) can only warn him who follows the Reminder (i.e. Qur’an) and fears the Most Beneficent (Allah), unseen. Then bear the glad tidings of Forgiveness to such a one, and a generous reward (i.e. Jannah).” (Ya-Sin 36: 11)
Here, Karim (generous) refers to another attribute of God which He uses here as means to show a reward – a generous reward for those take heed to the warning and fear God when no one sees them, except God. He does righteous deeds because he knows God is watching him.
In another similar verse, God says:
“Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.” (Al-Mulk 67: 12)
Only a believer is looking forward to receive a generous reward for doing good acts while not being seen. The wicked does not see, or care about any reward, as he is heedless of his Creator in the first place. His aim is only satisfaction of his desires of this world.
In as much as warnings that are given to the disbelievers for heedlessness of their evil deeds, the believers are given glad tidings of great reward and in each verse of the Qur’an the promise of reward is preceded by the acts that would deserve such rewards.
So, Prophet Muhammad is given order to warn the believers while promising him great reward:
“ (It will be said to them): “Peace be on you”, a Word from the Lord, Most Merciful.” (Ya-Sin 36: 58)
“Rahim” again, is a reminder to such believers about the Most Merciful.
Can one imagine receiving ‘Salam’ or greeting from His Lord personally?
Would there be a higher honor than this?
This is when one must contemplate on this attribute of God, Ar-Rahim who gives glad tidings of His presence with the believers.
Narrated Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri: Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:
“Allah will say to the people of Paradise, “O the people of Paradise,
They will say, ‘Labbaik, O our Lord, and Sa`daik!’
Allah will say, ‘Are you pleased?
They will say, “Why should we not be pleased since You have given us what You have not given to anyone of Your creation?’
Allah will say, ‘I will give you something better than that.’
They will reply, ‘O our Lord! And what is better than that?’
Allah will say, “I will bestow My good pleasure and contentment upon you so that I will never be angry with you after this forever.” (Al-Bukhari)
“Say: (O Prophet!): “He Who created it (the bones) for the first time will give life to it. And He (Allah) is the All-Knower of every creation.” (Ya-Sin 36: 79)
Al-Alim (the All-Knower), surely is manifested in this verse, pointing to the one who created human from just a drop and certainly after death, He knows how to revive him and bring him into account.
Not only that, God knows all the intricate properties of each of His creation. So, He is indeed All-Knower of each and every creation He has ever created.
“Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like thereof? Yes, indeed! He is the All-Knowing Supreme Creator.” (Ya-Sin 36: 81)
As in the previous verse, again we refer to the unimaginable, ever encompassing knowledge of God.
He has informed us that the creation of the heavens and the earth is much greater than the creation of humans and he can recreate the like of it as He wills. He is the All-Knowing, Supreme Creator.
If one were to contemplate about the vast creation of heavens and the earth, he cannot but be awed at the incredible knowledge of the Creator for what He has created, known or unknown to us.
“The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind. Yet most men understand not.” (Ghafir 40: 57)
Taken with slight editorial modifications from onislam.net.
Raya Shokatfard holds an MA in Journalism/Mass Communications and an M.A.D. in TV journalism. BA in Communication and BA in Islamic Studies in progress. She has been Islamic propagator in the U.S and Egypt for many years and academic lecturer, writer, international presenter, consultant, foreign correspondent, and former Editor in Chief for Reading Islam website. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org