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The Mercy of Allah (part 2 of 2)

Description: A continuation of the signs of Allah’s mercy and a discussion about the link between mercy and forgiveness.

By Aisha Stacey (© 2012 IslamReligion.com)

Published on 11 Jun 2012 - Last modified on 20 Oct 2016

Printed: 324 - Emailed: 0 - Viewed: 12078 (daily average: 6)

Category: Lessons > Islamic Beliefs > Oneness of God (Tawheed)


Objectives:

·       Appreciate the vastness of Allah’s mercy towards the believers and towards the whole of creation.

·       Understand the connection between mercy and forgiveness.

Arabic Terms:

·       Sunnah – The word Sunnah generally means whatever was reported that the Prophet said, did, or approved of.

·       Wali -  an Arabic word that means helper, supporter, protector.

More signs of Allah’s Mercy

·       Rain

While rain can sometimes be a reminder of God’s punishment, it is a true blessing and a mercy of the highest order.  Without rain, life as we know it would not exist.  All power and strength is from God Alone and He reminds us of that in the Quran.  God is Almighty, with total control over rain and its bounties.

“And We sent down from the sky water (rain) in (due) measure…” (Quran 23:18)

“And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His Mercy.  And He is the Wali, Worthy of all Praise.” (Quran 42:28)

·       Life everlasting in Paradise.

It is the mercy of Allah that will admit the believers into Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.  No one will ever enter Paradise because of his deeds alone.  Prophet Muhammad, may Allah praise him, explained that to his companions saying, “No one’s deeds will ever admit him to Paradise.” They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No, not even me, unless Allah showers me with His Mercy.[1]  However it is the good deeds of a person that draws Allah’s Mercy.

Mercy and all it involves is a very important concept in Islam because from it stems generosity, respect, tolerance and forgiveness; all qualities that a Muslim is expected to cultivate in this life.  Because of this Islam places great emphasis on developing the qualities of compassion, sympathy, forgiveness, and love.   Both the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad display and encourage these ideals.  Allah blesses Muslims who are kind to others and dislikes behaviour that is hard hearted or cruel.  Consequently Prophet Muhammad could often be heard invoking God’s Mercy on the believers. 

Mercy & Forgiveness

Allah’s mercy should never be underestimated and the qualities of mercy and forgiveness are linked together throughout the Quran and the authentic traditions - the Sunnah - of Prophet Muhammad.  Allah asks us to seek forgiveness from Him and Prophet Mohammad reminded us that God forgives when we turn to Him.   In the last part of the night, when darkness lies heavily across the land, God descends to the lowest heaven and asks His slaves.  “Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it?  Who is asking something of Me that I may give it to him?  Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?”[2]

“Say, ‘O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah.  Indeed, Allah forgives all sins.  Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.’ And return [in repentance] to your Lord and submit to Him before the punishment comes upon you; then you will not be helped.” (Quran 39: 53 – 54)

Allah created humankind with an inclination to commit sins and make mistakes, however when a person repents he or she is able to see and experience Allah’s divine attributes of mercy and forgiveness.  Prophet Muhammad said, “If you did not commit sins, Allah would wipe you out of existence and replace with another people who would commit sins and in turn seek Allah’s forgiveness.[3]  Falling into error, realizing the mistake, and seeking Allah’s forgiveness whilst hoping for His mercy, is spiritual growth that develops a person’s love for Allah.  Allah loves those who constantly turn to Him seeking forgiveness. 

Although Allah is eager for all human beings to turn to Him and ask forgiveness, and although His mercy is vast and all-encompassing, this is not a license to commit sins.  In order for a person to feel the mercy of Allah and be forgiven for his or her transgressions, the conditions of repentance should be fulfilled[4].  Then and only then will the mercy of Allah descend.   

The mercy of Allah is made manifest when Allah counts the sin of the sinner as one sin.  It is further manifested when Allah rewards the righteous person ten times what his good deed is worth and then Allah may multiply his reward even more than ten times.  “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 does 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 does 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.”[5]  Also, Allah erases sins with each good deed performed.  “…Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds…”(Quran 11:114)



Footnotes:

[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim, Malik, At Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud.

[3] Saheeh Muslim

[4] The first is be sorrowful for having committed the sin, the second to immediately quit the sin and the third is to vow not to return. If the sin includes transgression against someone’s right, that right should be restored to that person.

[5] Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim

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