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The path of mercy

Allah is the Most Merciful

The chapters of the Qur’an start with the two names of Allah: ‘The Entirely Merciful’ and ‘The Especially Merciful’, and also mention that Allah has prescribed mercy upon Himself. {your Lord has written Mercy for Himself}(Al-An’âm:)

And that Allah’s Mercy encompasses all things. .. {and My Mercy embraces all things.}Al-A’râf: 156)

He also encourages people to hope for His Mercy and He warns them against despairing of it. {Say: “O ‘Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}(Az-Zumar:53)

Allah (Glorified be He) loves mercy. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah, the Exalted, will continue to stretch out His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and He will continue to stretch out His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, (and He will continue to do so) until the sun rises from the West.”[Muslim]

The Prophet (pbuh) also told us about our Lord and said: “ When Allah created the creation, He wrote in His book which is placed with Him on His throne: “Verily My Mercy prevails over My Wrath.”[Agreed upon]

He also said: “Allah has divided mercy into one hundred parts. He retained with Himself ninety nine parts, and He sent down to earth one part. Through that one part creatures deal with each other with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts its hoof away from its young in fear of hurting it.”[Bukhari]

And Allah sent the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a mercy to all the worlds. {And We have sent you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) not but as a mercy for the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).}(Al-Anbiyâ’:107)

Allah has perfected the Prophet’s character by placing in him the best of morals. He said: {And verily, you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) are on an exalted standard of character.}(Al-Qalam:4)

And for this reason, one of the most distinguished morals of the Prophet (pbuh) was mercy; as if he was otherwise, people would have dispersed from him. {And by the Mercy of Allâh, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh--hearted, they would have broken away from about you}(Âl-’Imrân:159)

He was compassionate and forbearing, and did not wish any anguish for the people. Allah says: {Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad SAW) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to Allâh, and beg Him to pardon and forgive your sins, in order that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of the Hell-fire), for the believers (he SAW is) full of pity, kind, and merciful.}(At-Taubah:128)

And for this reason, Islam, which was sent from Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, and was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh) as a form of mercy for mankind to protect them from the misery of injustice and hatred, from the distress of depression, anxiety and disorder, and from the way of revenge, cruelty, tyranny and despotism, this religion came as a form of mercy for all of the worlds. {And We have sent you (O Muhammad [sal-Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam]) not but as a mercy for the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).}(Al-Anbiyâ’:107)

Islam was sent to the world as an act of kindness from Allah for Muslims and non-Muslims too. It is a mercy to the obedient, the disobedient, the elderly, the young, the female, the male, the rich and the poor.

Islam is a mercy to the worlds

Therefore, Islam called for mercy and made man desirous of it, and He ordered us to advise each other to be merciful. Allah says: {Then he became one of those who believed, and recommended one another to perseverance and patience, and (also) recommended one another to pity and compassion.}(Al-Balad: 17)

And the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah is not merciful to those who do not show mercy to people.” He (pbuh) also said: “Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Merciful; be merciful to the people of the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you. The word al-Rahim (the ties of kinship) is derived from one of Allah’s Names, Ar-Rahman. So whoever keeps good relations with relatives, Allah will keep good relations with him, and whoever severs their relations with their relatives, He will sever the relation with him.” [Tirmidhi] The Prophet (pbuh) also said: “Mercy is removed only from those who are miserable.”[Tirmidhi]

Allah has ordered us to be merciful and recommended being merciful to one another, in general, viewing it as a good manner and a way of life,.

Certain people to whom the religion emphasizes we should show mercy

and at the same time, the Islamic Law put emphasis on certain people who we should be merciful to, including:

1-People in general: The Prophet (pbuh) was sent as a form of mercy to his people through which they were taken from darkness into light, and from misery to happiness. In addition, the Prophet’s mercy reached further than that, to the extent that he urged for mercy to be shown even towards the infidels who did not accept Islam. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said the following about the people of Mecca who did not accept Islam: “… I hope that Allah will bring out of their offspring people who worship Allah Alone, with no associates.” [Muslim] When the Prophet (pbuh) was wounded on the day of the Battle of Uhud, the noble companions said to him: “Supplicate to Allah so that He might punish the idolaters,” but he said: “O Allah, guide my people since they do not know.” In another narration it was said: “O Messenger of Allah, supplicate to Allah so that He might punish the infidels.” He said: “I am not sent to curse people, I am sent as a mercy.”[Muslim]

2-Children: One of the companions reported: “The Prophet of Allah (pbuh) entered the room and we accompanied him while his son Abraham was dying. Upon that, his eyes started shedding tears. `Abdur-Rahman ibn `Awf said, ‘Even you, Messenger of Allah!’ Then he said ‘Oh Ibn `Awf! It is but mercy.’ He continued (crying) some more and then said: ‘The eyes weep, the heart is full of grief, and we say nothing but that which pleases our Lord. Verily, we are sorrowed for your departure, O Abraham!’”[Bukhari and Muslim]In another hadith it is reported that he (pbuh) used to put Osama on one of his thighs and put Hasan ibn `Ali on his other thigh, and then embrace them and say, “O Allah! Please be merciful to them, as I am merciful to them.”[Bukhari] There is also the account of when the Prophet (pbuh) kissed Hassan or Hussein (his grandsons) while a man was present, and the man said: “I have ten children. I have never kissed any of them!” The Prophet (pbuh) looked at him and said: “He who does not show mercy (to others) will not be shown mercy.”

3-The weak: The Prophet (pbuh) noticed the absence of a black woman who used to clean the mosque. He asked about her and was told that she had died. The Prophet (pbuh) asked: “Why didn’t you inform me?”(It seemed as if the companions considered the matter to be insignificant). Afterwards, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Show me her grave.” When it was shown to the Prophet, he offered the funeral prayer over it.[Bukhari and Muslim] Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), the servant of the Prophet (pbuh), said: “I served the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) for ten years and he never said to me, ‘Uff’ nor ‘Why did you do that?’ about anything I had done, or ‘Why did you not do that?’ about anything I had not done.” [Bukhari]Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Once I was beating my slave with a whip and I heard a voice from behind me saying, ‘O Abu Mas’ud, know that Allah has more dominance over you than you have over him (this slave).’ I said, ‘I shall never beat any of my slaves ever again.’” In another narration it is reported that he said, “He is free for the sake of Allah.” So the Prophet said, “If you did not do that, the fire would have scorched you.”[Muslim]


Lauren Booth

A British Human Rights Activist
Security, tranquility and peace
“The act of bowing and prostrating which is performed in a Muslim’s prayer satisfies the soul with security, tranquility and peace, as everyone starts his prayer by mentioning the name of God, the Entirely Merciful and the Especially Merciful, and it is concluded with ‘Peace be upon you.’”

4-Animals: Once the Prophet (pbuh) passed by a camel that was so emaciated its back was sticking to its abdomen. Upon that, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “Fear Allah with regard to livestock. If you ride them, treat them in a fitting way, and if you (plan to) eat them, treat them in a fitting way.”[Abu Dawud].There is also the incident of when he (pbuh) entered the garden of a man from the Ansar (Muslims of Medina) and saw a camel there. When the camel saw the Prophet (pbuh), it began to groan and its eyes shed tears. Subsequently, the Prophet of Allah went to it and rubbed its ears so it calmed down, and then the Prophet said, “Who is the owner of this camel? Whose camel is this?” A young man from the Ansar answered: ”O Messenger of Allah, it belongs to me.” Following that the Prophet told him: “Do you not fear Allah with regard to this beast which Allah has let you own? It complained to me that you starve it and tire it by overworking it and using it beyond its capacity.”[Abu Dawud]

These are just a few examples that show how the Prophet (pbuh) was sent as a mercy from Allah to all the worlds. On the other hand, the manifestations and practices of mercy in Islam are many, which highlight the essential character and the way of this religion. Furthermore, this mercy is not a mercy of humiliation and submissiveness; rather, it is a mercy of honor and compassion.