One of the main aims of the sura is to chastise men and jinn for their lack of gratitude towards Allah, who has showered them with an abundance of blessings. Verses 1-30 describe some of the resources (fruits, palm trees, husked grain, fragrant plants, fresh and salt water, pearls, ships) that Allah has graciously provided for the men and jinn he created, in his infinite mercy, out of clay and smokeless fire (55:14), and set down under a sky illuminated by the twin risings of the sun and moon (55:17). In addition to these material blessings, verses 1-4 recount the fact that Allah taught man how to communicate and even gave him the Qur'an to guide him on the path to righteousness. The refrain, “Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?”, chastises the bountifully-provided for men and jinn for failing to acknowledge their indebtedness to Allah for his tremendous mercy. The punishment that awaits these ungrateful creatures is briefly described in verses 35-45; for the remainder of the sura, the delights of the gardens of paradise (replete with shading branches, flowing springs, fruit, maidens, couches, cushions, and fine carpets) are lyrically described, punctuated throughout by the stinging refrain which draws attention to the discrepancy between Allah’s mercy in providing such luxuriant rewards and the ingratitude of men and jinn.
The idea that man’s gratitude towards Allah is not commensurate with Allah’s tremendous mercy is a central, recurring theme in the Qur'an, especially in the early Meccan suras, and Sura 55 is an important poetic treatment of this theme. The sura also exemplifies the Qur'an’s tendency to be self-referential and self-validating, as when in verse 2 it emphasizes the fact that Allah taught the Qur'an to man out of mercy.
In terms of theological developments, Al-Rahman introduces a three-tiered classification of men and jinn: the best of believers (“those near to God”, the muqarrabīn who will ascend to the higher garden of paradise), the ordinary believers (“those at his right”, the ashāt al-yamīn who will enjoy the second garden of paradise), and the disbelievers (who will be punished in Hell). This division is echoed in the following sura, Al-Waqi’a.
Finally, it is worth noting that the sura is dominated stylistically by pairs, which in the Qur'an are frequently employed as a sign of the divine. To begin with, it is addressed to a dual audience of men and jinn: in Haleem’s translation of the refrain “Which, then, of your Lord’s blessings do you both deny?”, “both” is understood to refer to men and jinn (likewise for the “you and you” in Arberry’s rendering). Natural phenomena are also referred to in pairs: for example, “the sun and the moon” (55:5), “the stars and the trees” (55:6), “the two risings and the two settings [of the sun and the moon]” (55:17), and “the two bodies of [fresh and salt] water” (55:19). In addition, paradise is described as consisting of two double gardens (55:62), each of which contain a pair of springs (55:50, 55:66) and fruit in pairs (55:52).
Kelebihan Surah Ar Rahman
1. Rasulullah saw bersabda: “Barangsiapa yang membaca surat Ar-Rahman, Allah akan menyayangi kelemahannya dan meridhai nikmat yang dikaruniakan padanya.” (Tafsir Nur Ats-Tsaqalayn 5/187).
2. Imam Ja’far Ash-shadiq (sa) berkata: “Barangsiapa yang membaca surat Ar-Rahman, dan ketika membaca kalimat ‘Fabiayyi âlâi Rabbikumâ tukadzdzibân’, ia mengucapkan: Lâ bisyay-in min âlâika Rabbî akdzibu (tidak ada satu pun nikmat-Mu, duhai Tuhanku, yang aku dustakan), jika saat membacanya itu pada malam hari kemudian ia mati, maka matinya seperti matinya orang yang syahid; jika membacanya di siang hari kemudian mati, maka matinya seperti matinya orang yang syahid.” (Tsawabul A’mal, hlm 117).