I mentioned before that I took a class with Bayyinah, and that my favorite parts of the class were when we talked about the eloquence of the Qur’aan, and the subtelties in Arabic that we do not notice as English speakers – or rather, as non-Arabic readers. Here is another example of one of the amazing things we discussed, when we talked about Allah’s Beautiful Names Ghafoor and Ar-Raheem.
Over 70 times in the Qur’aan, Allah ends an ayah with these two beautiful Names of His: Ghafoor (Forgiving) and ar-Raheem (Merciful).
If something is dirty/bad, it must be cleansed before it is made good. Similarly, Allah must forgive us (Ghafoor) before He rewards us through His Mercy with Jannah (Raheem).
There is only one ayah that does not mention those two Names in that order. And that is the ayah in Surah Saba. Allah says:
وهو الرحيم الغفور
In the following ayah, He talks about the coming of the Hour (the day of judgment). In this situation, we need Allah’s Mercy first, when we die. And we need His forgiveness afterwards, when we are resurrected. SubhaanAllah.