The attribute Al-Rahman (The Gracious) has the distinction of being one of the very first attributes of God mentioned in the Holy Qur’an – a fact that is certainly not without purpose or wisdom. When studied deeply one is amazed to discover the significance and stature of this single attribute. Over the ages commentators on the Qur’an have elaborated on how God’s Rahmaniyyat (Graciousness) spans the entire existence of life and in every minute detail. From the exquisite precision and finesse of the microcosm to the flawless design and operation of the whole universe, the attribute of Rahmaniyyat is ever-present. For man, this attribute underpins his very being for without it neither would he have been created nor could he survive or develop.

Everything around us is evidence enough that man has been provided with the necessary resources for his continued existence and progress. The true worth of such resources can be gauged at the cusp of change, when, through improved understanding, the utilisation of such resources elevates society to a higher plane of existence and improved social well-being. The contrast between one stage of human development and the next is remarkable. From the Stone Age to the Iron Age, all the way to the industrial revolution and beyond, the discovery and application of new insights have elicited pivotal change and progress at each stage. The basis of all such progress is rooted in the Rahmaniyyat of God, Who made every provision for our development.

Similarly, in each phase of our spiritual evolution the enhancement of our spiritual awareness and knowledge, at the hands of God’s prophets and khalifas, has been a catalyst for positive change that brought man closer to God, and closer to each other and enthused the believers with a zeal for sacrifice and service that exalted them and distinguished them from their fellow beings. This bounty also springs from the same fountain of Rahmaniyyat as it caters for both spiritual and temporal aspects of man’s development and its true worth is also evidenced by the impact it has on those who accepted such spiritual guides.

Today, through Khilafat, the world is once again witness to another blessed manifestation of the Rahmaniyyat of the All-Knowing and Ever-Merciful God. Like Prophethood, Khilafat is a boon for mankind and for the modern era it is the source of spiritual guidance and leadership. The ever-growing community of believers that has gathered under its benign and invigorating leadership shares a unique sense of unity, spirituality and humanity that binds it together as one and its progress is nurtured by the same God Who protected and nurtured earlier prophets and khalifas and their followers. The immense achievements of this Khilafat and its community, often in the face of adversity, is clear proof of Divine succour and endorsement.

In this issue of The Review of Religions we feature an address delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V at the occasion of the opening of the largest mosque in Canada. The mosque in Calgary represents yet another accomplishment of this blessed institution and under its guiding hand the community is enjoying continued success in every field of life. The community is emerging as a distinct entity at a global level, but this too was destined to be, for God’s Rahmaniyyat has also provided for the ultimate victory of Islam through his Khalifas; a victory that is unfolding before us and a bounty promised to those who remain devoted to God, His Messengers and His creation. How fitting it is that one of the first attributes of God mentioned in the Qur’an that provided for our creation and evolution will, despite man’s innumerable shortcomings, also provide for the final victory in bringing mankind back to God and back to peace. What a wonderful testament that will be to Rahmaniyyat!