Rahmanan (RHMNN) - An Ancient South Arabian Moon God?
Written by mquran.org   
Thursday, 23 November 2006

1. Introduction

The saga of ascribing lunar characteristics to Allah has become a very common habit of the Christian missionaries and apologists. One of the first proponents of this "hypothesis" was Robert Morey who claimed that "Allah" of the Qur'an was in fact a pagan Arab "Moon god" of pre-Islamic times. This claim was refuted utilising the archaeological evidence and it was shown that Morey's claims were nothing but a grand fraud. After this the claim was made that Allah and Hubal – the principal idol located in Makkah – were one and the same entity. Furthermore, they added that Hubal was a Moon god. This contention was also refuted and suffered the same fate. One would hope that those would engage in a more studious approach by learning the history of the Ancient Near East in general and Arabia in particular, before starting yet another round of their Moon god myths. However, perhaps under the false impression that the more you repeat something the more likely people are to believe you (i.e., argumentum ad nauseum), those have wasted no time in embarking on yet another lunar fable. Their latest round of claims now say that al-Rahman, one of Allah's names, was known in South Arabia before of the advent of Islam and that it "signified" a Moon god. Those say:

The fact is that even 'Allah's' most frequently used title, ar-Rahman (the Merciful) was known in South Arabia well before the advent of Islam, and signified a moon-god, whom Muhammed even occasionally confused with or used as a substitute for 'Allah'. The Koran mentions ar-Rahman occasionally, for example in sura 43:19, which most translators have renamed as God or Allah, since they, as Muhammed, found no difference between these two South Arabian moon-gods.

Clearly, those have lifted the above statement from another like-minded website. That al-Rahman was a South Arabian Moon god was again mentioned by those in the context of Allah being the one and only God. According to the Christian missionaries' claim:

According to the Koran, 'Allah' is one and no other god can be associated with him. This concept was most likely adopted from the South Arabian moon-god ar-Rahman (the Merciful), whose name was later adopted by Muslims as one of 'Allah's' titles.

Not surprisingly, this material is lifted from the same website. With regard to the claim that al-Rahman was a South Arabian Moon god, those have not provided any evidence. This is not surprising since the website from which they lifted the material did not do so either! This is sufficient to cast doubt over their entire allegation that al-Rahman was a South Arabian Moon god. Nevertheless, what does the scholarly literature say about the origin of "the Rahman" or "the Merciful" in the South Arabia? Was he a lunar deity? Who worshipped him? The purpose of this article is to examine the claims of the Christian missionaries in the light of modern scholarship and provide a brief overview of the religion in South Arabia before the advent of Islam.

2. Rahânān In South Arabia

The ancient South Arabian religion of each of the South Arabian kingdoms involved worship of a national god, who was the patron of the principal temple in the capital. In Sheba, it was Ilmaqah (also called Ilumquh or Ilmuqah or Almaqah or Almouqah), in the temple of the federation of the Sabaean tribes in Marib. In Hadramaut (or Hadhramaut), Syn (or Sayin) was the national god and his temple was located in the capital Shabwa. In Qataban, the national god was called ‘Amm ("paternal uncle"), who was the patron of the principal temple in the capital Timna‘. ‘Amm was seen as a protector of Qatabanite dynasty, and it was under his authority that the ruler carried out various projects of the state. In Ma‘in, the national god was Wadd ("love") and it originated most probably from Northern Arabia. He was sometimes invoked as Wadd-Abb ("Wadd is father").[1] However, the last three centuries of South Arabian history is called the "Late Sabaean Period" and is associated with the rise of monotheism. From the mid-4th century CE, the monotheistic religions such as Judaism and Christianity start to replace the traditional South Arabian religion.[2] The first monotheistic inscriptions appear around the year 378 or 383 CE. The traditional South Arabian religion did not cease to exist overnight but it is astonishing that pagan deities are not mentioned after this date.[3] Perhaps even before the rise of monotheism, the traditional South Arabian religions had already become weak and less attractive. Since the epigraphic material mostly stems from the upper class and does not reflect the situation of the lower class, this has led scholars to conclude that the rapid conversion to monotheism started with the upper classes such as the royal family and aristocracy, followed by the lower classes.

The efforts of the Byzantine church to Christianize southern Arabia in 4th century CE appears to have been in vain. Only Najran became the well-known centre of Christianity in the Arabian Peninsula. The monotheistic period was mainly a period of Judaism. This is attested by Jewish words and phrases contained in Sabaean texts. In the Jewish Sabaean texts, "God" is called "Rahânān", , "the Merciful", the "Master of heaven and earth", "Lord of the Jews", etc.

The best known event from the last period of South Arabian history is undoubtedly the persecution of Christians during the reign of the Jewish ruler Dhu Nuwas (c. 523 CE). Dhu Nuwas burned down Christian churches in Zafār and Hadramaut and then attacked Najran. The Christian population of Najran, with their leader Harith were massacred. This led to a reaction from the Christian kingdom of Ethiopia, whose army led by Abraha, invaded southern Arabia, killed Dhu Nuwas and established Ethiopian rule over the south-western part of Yemen. It was only during the period of Ethiopian rule that Christianity played a dominant role in this region (c. 525 to 575 CE).[4] There are a few Christian inscriptions of Abraha mentioning Rahânān. Now what do the Sabaean inscriptions from Jewish and Christian times say about Rahânān? Let us look at some of these inscriptions. Most of the inscriptions depicted below are part of the original ones. We are only showing the relevant material from the inscriptions that mention Rahânān. Interested readers may refer to the references cited for each of the inscriptions and their exact transcriptions for further details.

RAHMÂNÂN IN JEWISH INSCRIPTIONS FROM SOUTH ARABIA

I. Inscription Ry 515[5]

5. rbhwd / brhmnn.

5. By the Merciful, Lord of the Jews.[6]

II. Inscription Ry 520[7]

4. ... lmr’hm

5. w / rhmnn /b‘l / smyn / lhmrhw / w’hškt

6. hw / wwldhw / rhmnn / hyy / hyw/ sdqm / w

7. mwt / mwt / sdqm / wlhmrhw / rhmnn / wld

8. m / slhm / sb’m / lsmrhmnn

4. ... For their Lord

5. the Merciful, Master of Heaven, so that he grant to him and his spouses

6. and to his children, the Merciful, to live a life of justice, and to

7. die a death of justice. And that the Merciful grant to him children

8. who are healthy who will fight for the name of the Merciful...[8]

III. Inscription Ry 508[9]

10. ... w’’lhn / dlhw / smyn / w’rdn / lysrnn / mlkn...

11. ... wtrhm / ‘ly / kl / ‘lm / rhmnn / rhmk mr’ / ’t

10. ... and God to whom belongs heaven and earth shall protect our king...

11. ... and have mercy on all the world, O Merciful, you are Lord.[10]

IV. Inscription CIH 543[11]

[b]rk / wtbrk / sm / rhmnn / dbsmyn / wyśr’l / w

’lhhmw / rbyhd / dhrd’ / ‘bdhmw / šhrm / w

May the name of the Merciful who is Heaven be blessed and praised, and Yisrā’īl, and

their God, the Lord of the Jews, who helped his servant Shahrum,...[12]

V. Inscription Hamilton 11[13]

3. lysm‘n / r

4. hmnn / slth

3. May rhmnn [i.e., the Merciful] hearken unto his prayer.[14]

VI. Bi’r Hima Inscription (Ja 1028)[15]

9. dh / dqflw / ’bthmw / btltt / ‘šr / ’wrhm / wlybrkn / rhmnn / bnyhmw / šrhb’l / ykml / wh‘n / ’s’r bny / lhy‘t

11. wst / m’tm / wkbhfrt / smyn / wtdyn / w’’dn / ’sdn / dn / msndn / bn / kl / hssm / wmhd‘m / wrhmnn / ‘lyn / b-

12. n / kl / mhd‘m / dyhmshw / wtf / wstr /wqdm / ‘ly / sm / rhmnn / wtf / tmmm / dhdyt / rbhd / bmhmd

9. when they turned homeward, was in thirteen months (from its start). May God [i.e., rhmnn] bless their sons Sarahbi’il Yakmul and Ha‘an ’A’sar, sons of Lahay‘at...

11. This inscription is under the protection of heaven, and of the faithfulness and might of the (angelic) hosts, from any damager; and (of) God Most High [i.e., rhmnn]

12. any damager who may try to deface it. Recorded, written and supervised by Tamīm (or Tamâm) of the family of HDYT. O Lord of the Jews! by the praiseworthy One.[16]

From the reading of the Jewish Sabaean inscriptions it is clear that Rahânān is called the "Lord of the Jews", "Master of Heaven" and the "Praiseworthy One". The people beseech Rahânān to give them a life of justice, grant them children who will fight for Rahânān, ask for his mercy and to answer their prayers.

RAHMÂNÂN IN CHRISTIAN INSCRIPTIONS FROM SOUTH ARABIA

Perhaps the two best known Christian Sabaean inscriptions are from the time of Abraha. The Christian inscriptions are different from their Jewish counterparts as there is no beseeching in them at all. The inscriptions begin by pointing out the "power" of Rahânān.

I. Abraha's Murayghan Inscription (Ry 506)[17]

An inscription relating to Abraha's campaign of Huluban discovered at Murayghan (or Mureighan), east of the upper Wadi Tathlith, records a defeat inflicted by Abraha on the North Arabian tribe Ma‘add in 662 of the Sabaean era. This inscription begins with the formula "By the power of the Merciful One and His Messiah". The titulature adopted by Abraha calls him the "King of Saba' and Raydan and Hadramaut and Yamanat and their Arabs in the plateau and lowland".

1. bhyl / rhmnn / wmshhw / mlkn / 'brh / ...

8. ... wqflw / bn / hl

9. [b]n / [b]hyl / rhmnn

1. By the power of the Merciful One and His Messiah, the king Abraha...

8-9 ... So Abraha returned from Haliban by the power of the Merciful One.[18]

II. Abraha's Inscription On The Marib Dam (CIS 541)[19]

Abraha's long inscription on the Marib dam records the quelling of an insurrection supported by a son of the dethroned Esimiphaios in the year 657 of the Sabaean era; repairs effected to the dam later in the same year; the reception of embassies from Abyssinia, Byzantium, Persia, Hira and Harith bin Jabalat, the phylarch of Arabia; and the completion of repairs to the dam in the following year. The text of the inscription begins, "By the power and favour of the Merciful and His Messiah and the Holy Spirit".

1. By the power and favour

2. of the Merciful and His Mes-

3. -siah and the Holy Spirit. They have

4. written the inscription: Behold

5. Abraha who has been exalted, the king, the descendent of men of Ge‘ez, the ramaihis,

6. Za Bayman, king of Saba' and Dhu

7. Raydan and Hadramaut and Yamanat

8. and of 'their' Arabs on the plateau and in Tihamat.[20]

III. Inscription RÉS 3904[21]

16. ... bsm / rhmn / wbnhw / krśtś / glbn

16. ... in the name of the Merciful and, his son Christ, the victorious.[22]

3. Lexicographic Study Of Rahânān

The Sabaic word Rahânān, translated as "the Merciful", can be written as rhmn-n. The rhmn is a noun marked with -n, a definite article.[23] To understand the word rhmnn in the South Arabian context, let us look at the Sabaean lexicons. Figure 1 shows the entry "RHM" in the Dictionary Of Old South Arabic: Sabaean Dialect.[24]

Figure 1: Rahânān in a Sabaic lexicon.

The word rhmnn is derived from rhm, which means mercy. The dictionary cites numerous Judeo-Christian Sabaean inscriptions, some of them which we have already mentioned earlier, to explain the word in-depth. Since the focus of our discussion is the word rhmnn, it is clear this word refers to the deity, "the Merciful". The dictionary also compares rhmnn, i.e., Sabaic Rahânān, with Arabic al-Rahân and Rabbanic epithet Rahaânā. Clearly, they all mean the same thing, "the Merciful" with no lunar connotations whatsoever. Moreover, the Jews have a long history of using the name "ha-Rahaman" in their liturgy.[25] Again ha-Rahaman is the Hebrew equivalent of Sabaic Rahânān.

One can see that there is no evidence that Sabaic Rahânān worshipped by the Jews and Christians, which is an equivalent of Arabic al-Rahân, was a Moon god. It appears to be a massive Freudian slip on the part of the Christian missionaries to claim that their brethren in South Arabia before the advent of Islam worshipped a Moon god. In their fervour to hypothesise the lunar characteristics of Allah, those and apologists have engaged in self-imposed paganism – a worrying development. Apart from their telling ignorance about the ancient South Arabian religion, one can also notice that their old habits of claiming Allah being a Moon god stick-in-the-mud.

4. Pagans And Neo-Pagans

And when it is said unto them: Prostrate to al-Rahân! they say: And what is al-Rahân? Are we to prostrate to whatever thou (Muhammad) biddest us? And it increaseth aversion in them. [Qur'an 25:60]

When the pagans were asked to bow before al-Rahân, they did not know who al-Rahân was. Similarly, when the Christian missionaries mention the name al-Rahân, they associate him with a "Moon god" of South Arabia, who was incidentally worshipped by their own brethren. The ignorance of who al-Rahân or Rahânān was in pre-Islamic South Arabia appears to be quite widespread among the Christian apologetical literature on Islam. For example, Brett Marlowe Stortroen was aware that Rahânān appears in pre-Islamic inscriptions from South Arabia. But he does not even mention that this term was used by the Christians for God in the same region. He claims that the deity al-Rahân was assimilated into Allah after the advent of Islam.[26] Similarly, George Braswell Jr. says that an ancient deity in South Arabia called "al-Rahman became important to Muhammad". He says:

An ancient deity in southern Arabia known as al-Rahman became important to Muhammad. He used the name al-Rahman, which means "merciful," 169 times in the Quran to refer to the nature of Allah. With the exception of Allah, it appears more than any other descriptive term for Allah.[27]

As to what exactly is the import of this statement is unclear. "The Merciful" is an attribute of God which is used by the Jews, Christians and Muslims. This epithet was also used for the pagan deities in Syria and Palmyra.[28] This is not surprising because, whether in the pagan or monotheistic milieu, a divnity must have as aspect of mercy. Without this aspect, a divinity can never be worshipped. Nöldeke considered that Allah's name al-Rahân was borrowed from the Jews.[29] It is hard to see why this would be the case when its use was wide-spread in the Ancient Near East. On the other hand, Arthur Jeffery acknowledges that al-Rahân originated from the common Semitic root RHM and that it occurs in the pre-Islamic Sabaean inscriptions.[30] This word is also found in the pre-Islamic poetry. As for the origin of al-Rahân in Arabic, Jeffery says that "the matter is uncertain".[31]

5. Conclusions

It was claimed by the Christian missionaries that al-Rahân, one of Allah's names, was known in South Arabia before of the advent of Islam and that it was a Moon god. A study of the South Arabian epigraphy antecedent to Islam shows that around the mid-4th century CE, the monotheistic religions such as Judaism and Christianity started to replace the traditional South Arabian religion. In the Jewish and Christian Sabaean texts, "God" is called "Rahânān" (rhmnn), "the Merciful". In the Jewish context Rahânān was the "Master of heaven and earth" and the "Lord of the Jews". In the Christian context, the Sabaean inscriptions emphasize the "power" of Rahânān.

Referring to the Sabaic dictionaries confirmed that the word rhmnn is derived from rhm, meaning mercy. There are no lunar connotations at all. The Sabaic dictionary also compares rhmnn, i.e., Sabaic Rahânān, with Arabic al-Rahân and Rabbanic epithet Rahaânā showing that they all mean the same thing, i.e., "the Merciful". Let us end this article with a quote from the Encyclopaedia Of Islam.

That al-Rahân should have been the name of a single God in central and southern Arabia is in no way incompatible with the fact that, when adopted by Islam, it assumes a grammatical form of a word derived from the root RHM.[32]

And Allah knows best!


References & Notes

[1] J. Ryckmans, "The Old South Arabian Religion", in W. Daum (ed.), Yemen: 3000 Years Of Art And Civilization In Arabia Felix, 1987?, Pinguin-Verlag (Innsbruck) and Umschau-Verlag (Frankfurt/Main), p. 107.

[2] J. Ryckmans, "South Arabia, Religion Of", in D. N. Freedman (Editor-in-Chief), The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 1992, Volume 6, Doubleday: New York, pp. 174-175; J. Ryckmans, "The Old South Arabian Religion", in W. Daum (ed.), Yemen: 3000 Years Of Art And Civilization In Arabia Felix, 1987?, op. cit., p. 110; A. Sima, "Religion" in St. J. Simpson (Ed.), Queen Of Sheba: Treasures From Ancient Yemen, 2002, The British Museum Press: London, p. 165; A. F. L. Beeston, "The Religions Of Pre-Islamic Yemen" in J. Chelhod (Ed.), L'Arabie Du Sud Histoire Et Civilisation (Le Peuple Yemenite Et Ses Racines), 1984, Volume I, Islam D'Hier Et D'Aujourd'Hui: 21, Editions G. -P. Maisonneuve et Larose: Paris, pp. 267-268.

[3] With the exception of two inscriptions, one mentioning the traditional deity Ta'lab (c. 397 CE) and the other mentioning ‘Athtar dated to mid-5th century. See A. F. L. Beeston, "The Religions Of Pre-Islamic Yemen" in J. Chelhod (Ed.), L'Arabie Du Sud Histoire Et Civilisation (Le Peuple Yemenite Et Ses Racines), 1984, Volume I, op. cit., p. 267.

[4] A. Sima, "Religion" in St. J. Simpson (Ed.), Queen Of Sheba: Treasures From Ancient Yemen, 2002, op. cit., p. 165.

[5] G. Ryckmans, "Inscriptions Sud-Arabes - Dixième Série", Le Muséon, 1953, Volume 66, pp. 314-315, picture of the inscription taken from p. 314.

[6] J. C. Greenfield, "From ’LH RHMN To AL-RAHMÂN: The Source Of A Divine Epithet" in B. H. Hary, J. L. Hayes & F. Astren (Eds.), Judaism And Islam: Boundaries, Communication And Interaction - Essays In Honor Of William M. Brinner, 2000, Brill: Leiden, p. 387. Translation taken from here.

[7] G. Ryckmans, "Inscriptions Sud-Arabes - Onzième Série", Le Muséon, 1954, Volume 67, pp. 99-105, picture of the inscription taken from p. 100.

[8] J. C. Greenfield, "From ’LH RHMN To AL-RAHMÂN: The Source Of A Divine Epithet" in B. H. Hary, J. L. Hayes & F. Astren (Eds.), Judaism And Islam: Boundaries, Communication And Interaction - Essays In Honor Of William M. Brinner, 2000, op. cit., p. 388. Translation taken from here.

[9] G. Ryckmans, "Inscriptions Sud-Arabes - Dixième Série", Le Muséon, 1953, op. cit., pp. 295-303, picture of the inscription taken from p. 297.

[10] J. C. Greenfield, "From ’LH RHMN To AL-RAHMÂN: The Source Of A Divine Epithet" in B. H. Hary, J. L. Hayes & F. Astren (Eds.), Judaism And Islam: Boundaries, Communication And Interaction - Essays In Honor Of William M. Brinner, 2000, op. cit., p. 388. Translation taken from here.

[11] Y. M. Abdallah, "The Inscription CIH 543: A New Reading Based On The Newly-Found Original" in C. Robin & M. Bafaqih (Eds.), Sayhadica: Recherches Sur Les Inscriptions De l’Arabie Préislamiques Offertes Par Ses Collègues Au Professeur A.F.L. Beeston, 1987, Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner S.A.: Paris, pp. 4-5

[12] ibid., p. 5.

[13] W. L. Brown & A. F. L. Beeston, "Sculptures And Inscriptions From Shabwa", Journal Of The Royal Asiatic Society, 1954, pp. 60-62.

[14] ibid., pp. 61-62.

[15] G. Ryckmans, "Inscriptions Sud-Arabes - Dixième Série", Le Muséon, 1953, op. cit., pp. 275-284, picture of the inscription taken from p. 277.

[16] A. Jamme, Sabaean And Hasaean Inscriptions From Saudi Arabia, 1966, Studi Semitici - Volume 23, Istituto Di Studi Del Vicino Oriente: Roma, pp. 39-55. Transcription taken from p. 40.

[17] A. F. L. Beeston, "Two Bi’r Hima Inscriptions Re-Examined ", Bulletin Of The School Of Oriental And African Studies, 1985, Volume 48, pp. 45-46. Translation taken from here.

[18] A. F. L. Beeston, "Notes On The Mureighan Inscription", Bulletin Of The School Of Oriental And African Studies, 1954, Volume 16, pp. 391-392. Translation taken from here.

[19] Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum Ab Academia Inscriptionum Et Litterarum Humaniorum Conditum Atque Digestum, 1911, Pars Quarta (Inscriptiones Himyariticas Et Sabæas Continens), Tomus 2, E Reipublicae Typographeo: Parisiis, No. 541, pp. 278-296, picture of the inscription taken from p. 278.

[20] S. Smith, "Events In Arabia In The 6th Century A.D.", Bulletin Of The School Of Oriental And African Studies, 1954, Volume 16, p. 437. Translation taken from here.

[21] G. Ryckmans, "Une Inscription Chrétienne Sabéenne Aux Muées D'Antiquités D'Istanbul", Le Muséon, 1946, Volume 59, pp. 165-168.

[22] J. C. Greenfield, "From ’LH RHMN To AL-RAHMÂN: The Source Of A Divine Epithet" in B. H. Hary, J. L. Hayes & F. Astren (Eds.), Judaism And Islam: Boundaries, Communication And Interaction - Essays In Honor Of William M. Brinner, 2000, op. cit., p. 388. Translation taken from here.

[23] For a discussion on the definite article in epigraphic South Arabian, please see N. Nebes & P. Stein, "Ancient South Arabian" in R. D. Woodard, The Cambridge Encyclopedia Of The World's Ancient Languages, 2004, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, p. 461.

[24] J. C. Biella, Dictionary Of Old South Arabic: Sabaean Dialect, 1982, Harvard Semitic Studies No. 25, Scholars Press: Chico (CA), p. 485; Also see A. F. L. Beeston, M. A. Ghul, W. W. Müller & J. Ryckmans, Sabaic Dictionary (English-French-Arabic), 1982, Publication Of The University Of Sanaa (Yar), Editions Peeters: Louvain-la-Neuve and Librairie du Liban: Beirut, pp. 116-117.

[25] "God, Names Of", Encyclopedia Judaica, 1971, Volume 7, Encyclopaedia Judaica Jerusalem, col. 684. A detailed study on the use of ha-Rahaman in Jewish liturgy was done by J. C. Greenfield, "From ’LH RHMN To AL-RAHMÂN: The Source Of A Divine Epithet" in B. H. Hary, J. L. Hayes & F. Astren (Eds.), Judaism And Islam: Boundaries, Communication And Interaction - Essays In Honor Of William M. Brinner, 2000, op. cit., pp. 381-393.

[26] B. M. Stortroen (Ed. G. J. Buitrago), Mecca And Muhammad: A Judaic Christian Documentation Of The Islamic Faith, 2000, Church Of Philadelphia Of The Majority Text (Magna), Inc.: Queen Creek (AZ), pp. 94-97.

[27] G. W. Braswell Jr., What You Need To Know About Islam & Muslims, 2000, Broadman & Holman Publishers: Nashville (TN), p. 20.

[28] J. F. Healey, "The Kind And Merciful God: On Some Semitic Divine Epithets" in M. Dietrich & I. Kottsieper, "Und Mose Schrieb Dieses Lied Auf" Studien Zum Alten Testament Und Zum Alten Orient: Festschrift Für Oswald Loretz Zur Vollendung Seines 70. Lebensjahres Mit Beiträgen Von Freunden, Schülern und Kollegen, 1998, Alter Orient und Altes Testament - Volume 250, Ugarit - Verlag: Munster, pp. 349-356.

A brief and now slightly outdated study on the issue of rhm in the Ancient Near East was done by Toufic Fahd. It is nevertheless quite useful. See T. Fahd, Le Panthéon De L'Arabie Centrale A La Veille De L'Hégire, 1968, Institut Français D'Archéologie De Beyrouth Bibliothèque Archéologique Et Historique - Volume 88 , Librairie Orientaliste Paul Guethner: Paris, p. 141.

[29] Theodor Noldeke, "The Koran", Encyclopædia Britannica, 1893, Volume 16, Adam And Charles Black: Edinburgh, p. 603. This article was reprinted many times with slight modifications. T. Nöldeke (J. S. Black [Trans.]), Sketches From Eastern History, 1892, Adam and Charles Black: London & Edinburgh, p. 44; N. A. Newman, The Qur'an: An Introductory Essay By Theodor Nöldeke, 1992, Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield (PA), p. 19; Also see Theodor Nöldeke, "The Koran" in Ibn Warraq, The Origins Of The Koran: Classic Essays On Islam's Holy Book, 1998, Prometheus Books, p. 53; Also Theodor Nöldeke, "The Koran" in C. Turner (Ed.), The Koran: Critical Concepts In Islamic Studies, 2004, Volume I (Provenance and Transmission), RoutledgeCurzon: London & New York, pp. 85-86.

[30] A. Jeffery, The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur'an, 1938, Gaekwad's Oriental Series No. LXXIX, Oriental Institute: Baroda, pp. 141-142.

[31] ibid., p. 141.

[32] B. C. de Vaux (L. Gardet), "Basmala" in H. A. R. Gibb, J. H. Kramers, E. Lévi-Provençal & J. Schacht (Eds.), Encyclopaedia Of Islam (New Edition), 1960, Volume 1, E. J. Brill (Leiden) & Luzac & Co. (London), p. 1085; Also see P. K. Hitti (Rev. Walid Khalidi), History Of The Arabs, 2002, Revised 10th Edition, Palgrave Macmillan: New York, p. 105. Hitti says:

The word Rahân-ān is especially significant because its northern equivalent, al-Rahân, became later a prominent attribute of Allah and one of His names in the Koran and in Islamic theology.

M S M Saifullah & `Abdullah David

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 November 2006 )