Sunday, 18 October 2009

Allah the Most Merciful

Asalaamu alaikam

In all Islamic texts, from the Quran to ahadith to various narrations, Allah swt's Mercy and Compassion on mankind is highly stated. There are just as many though, that state is Wrath and Punishment on wrongdoers.

Many people use either His wrath or compassion/mercy in particular to help them strive in attaining paradise (while being aware of the conflicting).

I wanted to go one step further or find out whether we as humans know from prophets/imams/holy books if Allah swt's wrath and mercy are comparible in magnitude, or is one stronger than the other? Does Allah swt have the same amount of compassion for us as He has wrath (if we deserve either)?

My thoughts so far are that His mercy may be greater, since we state His mercy before reading every surah and in every prayer. Also, there are multiple verses stating His Mercy, eg

'And ordain for us good in this world, as well as in the next; we have turned to Thee with repentance.' Allah replied, 'I will inflict My punishment on whom I will; but My mercy encompasses all things; so I will ordain it for those who act righteously and pay the Zakaat and those who believe in Our Signs' 7:157

Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said, "When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His book which is with Him on His throne, "My mercy has overcome My anger.""

Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said, "Allah has divided mercy into one hundred parts, and He kept ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down one part on the earth, and because of that, one single part. His creatures are merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoof away from its baby animal, so that she would not trample on it."

Imam Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "When Allah created the heavens and the earth, he created one hundred mercies, each one can cover what is between the earth and the heaven. He allocated to the earth only one, with which the mother is compassionate with her child; the beast and the bird are compassionate with their babies. When the Day of Judgment comes, Allah will complete His mercy."

Allah (S.W.T.) has told us that from His names are "Arrahman Arrahim" the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. He also told us in His Book about Himself, so He said in surat Al-An’am, (verse 54), what can be translated as, "…Your Lord has written mercy for Himself…"

He (S.W.T.) also said about His mercy in surat Al-‘Araf, (verse 156), what can be translated as, "…And My mercy embraces all things…"

These verses and many ahadith that talk about the mercy of Allah (S.W.T.), its extent, and its greatness, constitute an important aspect about the divine reality in the mind of the Muslim. It is a beautiful and reassuring concept that manifests itself in the merciful relationship between Allah (S.W.T.) and His servants.

The mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) is manifested in all of His creatures in this universe. This is especially in the lives of human beings; it is of a magnitude that we can not confine or measure, but we can point to some of mercies, so that we can be remind, and reflect on many others aspects of Allah’s immense mercy.

The mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) manifested itself in man at the point of His creation, and in making man better than many other creatures. Allah (S.W.T.) says when He talks about man in surat Al-Isra’, (verse 70), what can be translated as, "…And We have preferred them (human being) above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment."

The mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) manifests itself in His subjecting what is in this universe for man’s use. Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Jathiyah, (verse 13), what can be translated as, "And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favor and kindness from Him."

The mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) manifests itself in what Allah (S.W.T.) in stilled in man. Byway of abilities to acquire knowledge and science and gave him the mind that can lead him to different sciences.

The mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) manifests itself for man. When Allah (S.W.T.) made man the khalifah on earth, He did not leave him without guidance, but rather He sent many messengers to guide him to the straight path, especially the comprehensive and complete Islamic legislation, that would keep him away from hardship and misery.

The mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) manifests itself in His overlooking the sins of the sinner when he unknowingly commits the sin then repents. Allah’s mercy is even beyond that; Allah (S.W.T.) changes the sins of the sinner, after his sincere repentance followed by righteous deeds, to good deeds (hasanat). Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Al-Furqan, (verse 70), what can be translated as, "…Those who repent and believe, and do righteous deeds, for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds…" All this is to prevent the sinners from feeling hopeless of the mercy of Allah (S.W.T.).

The mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) is manifested when Allah (S.W.T.) counts the sin of the sinner as one sin. The mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) is manifested further when Allah (S.W.T.) rewards the righteous doer on his good deed ten times what his good deed is worth and Allah (S.W.T.) multiplies his reward even more than ten times to whom He wants from His servants. Imam Buhkari and Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said, "Allah ordered (the appointed angels over you) that the good and the bad deeds be written, and He then showed (the way) how (to write). If someone intends to do a good deed and he dose not do it, then Allah will write for him a full good deed; and if he intends to do a good deed and actually did it, then Allah will write for him (its reward equal) from ten to seven hundred times to many more times. And If someone intends to do a bad deed and he dose not do it, then Allah will write for him a full good deed (in his account) with Him, and if he intends to do a bad deed and actually did it, then Allah will write for him one bad deed." Also, Allah (S.W.T.) erases the sin with the good deed. Allah (S.W.T.) says in surat Huod, (verse 114), what can be translated as, "…Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds…"

Also, the mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) is the reason that Allah (S.W.T.) sends His believers to Paradise on the Day of Judgment. The prophet (S.A.W.) said: "None of you will enter Paradise with his deeds", They said: "Not even you, oh messenger of Allah?!", He said: "Not even me unless Allah bestows His mercy upon me."

The prophet (S.A.W.) illustrates to us the greatness of the mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) with His servants in many ahadith:

Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that, "Some sabi (war prisoners, children and woman only) were brought before the prophet (S.A.W.) and behold, a woman amongst them, her chest was full of milk, and she found her baby boy amongst the captives, she took him over her chest and nursed him. The prophet said to his companions, "Do you think that this lady would throw her baby boy in the fire?" They replied, "No, if she has the power not to throw him in the fire." The prophet said, "Allah is more merciful to His servants than this lady to her son."

Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said, "If a disbeliever knows of all the mercy which is in the hand of Allah, he would not lose hope of entering Paradise…"

The prophet (S.A.W.) made utmost effort to clarify the reality of the mercy of Allah (S.W.T.) with His servants so that Muslims will be merciful among one another and be merciful with others, and know that this mercy is the way to gain the mercy of Allah (S.W.T.). Imam Abu Dawud, At-Tirmithi reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "The merciful people will have mercy bestowed upon them by Allah (S.W.T.). Be merciful with those on earth, so He who in the heaven (Allah) will have mercy on you." Imam Bukhari, Muslim and At-Tirmithi reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Allah will not have mercy on the one who does not have mercy on people."

The prophet (S.A.W.) clarified to us that snatching mercy from the heart of a person is evidence of his unkindness. Imam Abu Dawud and At-Tirmithi reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said: "Allah does not snatch mercy except from the unkind person"

The prophet (S.A.W.) taught us that mercy is not to be with man only but it is to be extended to include animals that Allah (S.W.T.) subjected to man to eat, so we should be kind to the animal when we slaughter it, and we should not torture it. Imam Muslim reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said, "…And if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters."

The prophet (S.A.W.) mentioned to us that Allah (S.W.T.) forgave a sinning man, and a fornicating woman for their mercy and kindness with a thirsty dog, so they gave it water to drink. Imam Bukhari and Muslim report both stories.

Imam Abu Dawud and Ahmad reported that while the companions were once travelling with the prophet (S.A.W.), they noticed a bird that had two chicks, so they took away the two chicks, then the bird came and started to flap its wings. When the prophet (S.A.W.) came back, he asked: "Who has deprived this (bird) of its chicks? Return its chicks to it." Afterwards the prophet (S.A.W.) saw an ant colony had been burnt by some of his companions, he said: "Who has burnt this?" They replied, we did. Then he said: "No one has the right to torture with fire except the One who created the fire."

May we all bear in mind the graces bestowed on us by Allah (swt), the innumerable opportunities He provides us for repenting, to become closer to him, to show our love towards those He loves – send Salaam to Allah’s Messenger (saw).

Let us be conscious of Allah (swt)'s Mercy AND His Wrath.

Allah's Messenger (saw) said: “Allah the Most High says: 'O son of Adam! As long as you supplicate to Me and hope in Me, I will forgive you what you have done. O son of Adam! If your sins were to reach the lofty regions of the sky, then you ask Me for forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! If you were to come to Me with enough sins to fill the earth, but you met Me not associating anything with Me I would bring you the like of it of forgiveness.” [Bukhari, 8/319]
From most of the literature I've read on this subject or prayers that mention Allah's mercy and wrath, it seems that the evidence points to the fact that Allah's mercy definitely exceeds his Wrath

And we ask that Allah the Most Merciful, bestow His favors and mercy on us in this life and the next. Ameen.

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