Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Spirit of Mercy in Islam

The following is a translation I prepared  for a Friday Sermon by Ahmed Zaoui:

The call to mercy has been a common theme shared not only by the Prophets of Allah, but also between all of mankind from beginning of creation.  There is no doubt that righteous men will continue the call to mercy till the day of resurrection. 

Adam and Eve prayed for mercy:

 (قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنْفُسَنَا وَإِنْ لَّمْ تَغْفِرْلَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُوْنَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِيْنَ) سورة الأعراف آية 23 . 

They said, "Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers." 7:23.

Prophet Solemon Prayed for mercy:

(وَأَدْخِلْنِيْ بـِرَحْمَتِكَ فِيْ عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِيْنَ) سورة النمل آية 19

So [Solomon] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants." 27:19.

 Prophet Noah prayed for mercy:

(وَإلاَّ تَغْفِرْلِيْ وَتَرْحَمْنِيْ أَكُنْ مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِيْن) سورةهود

[Noah] said, "My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers." 11:47.

The People of the Cave prayed for mercy:

(فَقَالُوْا رَبَّنَا آتِنَا مِنْ لَّدُنْكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيـِّئْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا) سورة الكهف  آية  10

[Mention] when the youths retreated to the cave and said, "Our Lord, grant us from Yourself mercy and prepare for us from our affair right guidance." 18:10.

Allah instructed our Prophet Mohammad PBUH to pray for mercy:

 (وَقُلْ رَّبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِيْنَ) سورة المؤمنون آية 118

And, [O Muhammad], say, "My Lord, forgive and have mercy, and You are the best of the merciful." 23:118.

One of the Prophet's well known supplications is:

O Allah, I ask for your mercy, And ask that you do not let me depend on myself for even a blink of an eye, and I ask you to take care of all my affairs.. there is no God worthy of worship except you.

Another well known supplication of his is:
Oh He who is Everliving and Self-sbusisting I seek refuge in your mercy.

Mercy is the tenderness and kindness of the heart.  In other words it is the tenderness and kindness towards other people.

The two well known names of Allah,  al Rahman - The beneficient, and Al Raheem, the Merciful are derived from the word Rahmah, which means mercy.  The beneficient is more specific and has more exaggeration, which is why it is a name that may only be used by Allah.  Furthermore, The mercy of the Al rahman (the Beneficient) encompasses all of mankind, regardless of whether they are sinners or righteous.   It is also said the Al raheem hides the sins of men in this life, while Al Rahman forgives the sins of men in the next life.

Mercy is the foundation of Gods Judgement between his creation.  It encompasses them and surrounds them in this life and in the hereafter:

Allah says: 

"Your Lord has decreed upon Himself mercy" 6:54.

The Prophet PBUH said, in and authentic Haddeth: When Allah created his creation, he wrote in a book, that hangs above his throne, My mercy has preceeded my Anger.

To grasp an understanding of the magnitude of Allah's mercy, The Prophet tells us that all of the mercy that is shared between all of Allah's creation, be they Human beings or animals, is but a fraction, or one per cent, of Allah's mercy. The prophet goes on to tell us that Allah has saved The remaining 99 percent of his mercy for the day of resurrection.

Allah's mercy overflows onto all of mankind, and their being depends on it:

 "My punishment - I afflict with it whom I will, but My mercy encompasses all things." 7:156.

Our life, depends on Allah's mercy.. and we can see and feel Allah's mercy in every aspect and every moment of our life.

Allah's mercy is evident in his creation of Mankind from nothingness and in bestowing upon them characteristics that raise them above the level of other creations.  Allah's mercy can be seen in his guidance of people to the belief in his Oneness, by sending Prophets to them whenever they went astray. Allah's mercy can be seen in the Messages carried by his Prophets to mankind throughout history.  The Quran itself is an embodiment of mercy.

Allah describes the Prophet as Merciful:

"And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds".  21:107.

The Prophet PBUh says: I am a gift of mercy.

It is Allah's mercy that touched him, and through him, touched his companions.  Allah's mercy made him merciful and gentle towards his companions

Allah says:
And by the mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently.  And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you.

People need from a leader merciful patronage, gentle ways, empathy and patience that is unaffected by peoples ignorance and shortcomings.  People need a big heart that always gives.  These were the characteristics of our Merciful leader and Prophet Mohammad PBUH.  This is how he dealt with his followers.  He never became angry for himself, never lost patience with his people and always gave all that he had and owned to his followers.  This why he instilled his love into anyone that met him.

Oh how, as Muslims, we need Imams and leaders that follow the Prophet's merciful example in dealing with people.  Merciful and gentle leaders will return Muslims to the greatness they once had.

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