We are fortunate to find in The Qur’an and its Interpreters, Mahmoud Ayoub’s rendition of Ibn Arabi’s detailed theophanic commentary of al-Fatiha. Ibn Arabi observes that the names of God, as a mode of self-disclosure, are manifestations (mazahir) of the Divine attributes or actions by which the Divine is known. Of the first verse, Ibn Arabi writes:
“‘Allah’ is the name of the divine Essence as it is in Itself absolutely. ‘Al-Rahman’ is He Who causes existence and perfection to flow upon all things in accordance with the dictates of [divine] wisdom and according to the capacities of the receivers to bear it in their primary stages. Al-Rahim is He Who causes ideal perfection [in the Platonic sense] to flow upon the human species, which is proper to it in its final stages.