The Compassionate the Merciful Both names are derived from [the word] mercy raḥma. Mercy is an eternal attribute and it is the [divine] desire for blessing irādat al-niʿma. According to the [scholarly] experts ahl al-taḥqīq these are two nouns denoting intensification with no distinction between the two [in terms of the recipients of the mercy]. [Others have] said the Compassionate al-raḥmān is the more emphatic and more complete in expressiveness. Nothing other than the Real سبحانه is called raḥmān without restriction whereas the Merciful al-raḥīm can be used to describe others. By means of His mercy the servant comes to know that He is the Compassionate. If not for His mercy no one would know that He is the Compassionate. Whether mercy is the desire for blessing or the blessing itself as some would have it the blessings themselves are varied and their degrees are different for one blessing is a blessing for bodily forms and outward circumstances al-ashbāḥ wa-l-ẓawāhir and the other blessing is a blessing for spirits and inner secrets of the heart al-arwāḥ wa-l-sarāÌir. In the system of those who distinguish between the two the compassion- ate raḥmān is a specific term with a general meaning while the merciful raḥīm is a general term with a specific meaning. As the Compassionate He provides comfort for all people in the circumstances of their exter- nal lives ẓawāhir whereas the Merciful grants success to the believers for the life found in the inner secrets of their hearts sarāÌir. He is the Compassionate by that which He gives in comfort rawwaḥa and the Merciful by that which He gives in glimmers lawwaḥa. Giving com- fort tarwīḥ is through acts of beneficence mabārr and the giving of glimmers talwīḥ is through lights anwār. [He is] the Compassionate through the unveiling of His manifestation tajallī and the Merciful through the kindness of His being a friend and protector tawallī. [He is] the Compassionate through what He gives in faith īmān and the Merciful through what He confers in deep knowledge ʿirfān. Or [He is] the Compassionate through what He grants in deeper knowledge ʿirfān and the Merciful through what He undertakes in forgiveness ghufrān. Or [He is] the Compassionate through what He gives in blessing in forgive- ness ghufrān and the Merciful through what He bestows in good pleasure riḌwān.