Islam is Mercy and Blessing
by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)
Islam is a religion of Mercy, Peace and Blessing. Its teachings emphasize kind heartedness, help, sympathy, forgiveness, sacrifice, love and care. Qur’an, the Shari’ahand the life of our beloved Prophet (SAW) mirrors this attribute, and it should be reflected in the conduct of a Momin. Islam appreciates those who are kind to their fellow being, and dislikes them who are hard hearted, curt, and hypocrite. Recall that historical moment, when Prophet (SAW) entered Makkah as a conqueror. There was before him a multitude of surrendered enemies, former oppressors and persecutors, who had evicted the Muslims from their homes, deprived them of their belongings, humiliated and intimidated Prophet (SAW) hatched schemes for his murder and tortured and killed his companions. But Prophet (SAW) displayed his usual magnanimity, generosity, and kind heartedness by forgiving all of them and declaring general amnesty.
Allah (SAW) is all Merciful, Compassionate and Forgiver. Hence anyone who believes in Him naturally should have the attribute of mercy. The Holy Qur’an time and again mentions Allah’s attribute of mercy.
Aayah 22, Surah Al-Hashr says: “He is the Lord of mercy, the Giver of mercy.”
Aayah 156, Surah Aaraf says: “I bring My punishment on whoever I will, but My mercy encompasses all things.”
Allah (SWT) admired this attribute of mercy in Prophet (SAW) as mentioned in Aayah 107 of Surah Ambia: “It was only a mercy that We sent you (Rasool Allah) to all people.”
Allah (SWT) has identified Qur’an as divine mercy in Aayah 57 of Surah Yunus, which says: “People, a teaching from your Lord has come to you, a healing for what is in [your] heart, and guidance and mercy for the believers.”
Paradise has also been named as divine mercy in Aayah 107 of Surah Aaley Imran: which says: “… but those with brightened faces will be in Allah’s mercy/paradise, there to remain.”
Allah (SWT) has called Muslims as divine mercy for the fellow Muslims in Aayah 29 of Surah Fat’ha: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Those who follow him are harsh towards the disbelievers and compassionate [merciful] towards each other.”
A Momin has been commanded to initiate or begin his or her work glorifying Allah (SWT)’s attribute of Mercy and Compassion by reciting BismillahhirRahmannirRahim.This is recited daily many times from dusk to dawn and late at night in every prayer and outside of prayers. Recitation of this attribute of Allah (SWT) is not only an indication but an assurance that the heart of a Momin is a reservoir for mercy, kindness and compassion for all Allah’s creation.
Prophet (SAW) in his well known tradition said: “Whoever is unkind to others, Allah (SWT) is not kind toward him.” (Bukhari). In another tradition, Prophet (SAW) said: “Unfortunate is the person who is devoid of feelings of mercy and kindness.” And yet according to another tradition Prophet (SAW) said: “Without doubt he is far away from Allah’s mercy, whose is hard hearted.” (Abu Dawood).
Prophet (SAW) also said: Allah (SWT) is kind to him, who is kind to others. You be kind to the people on earth, the One in Heaven will be kind to you.” (Tirmidhi).
Zainab was Prophet (SAW)’s daughter. Her infant son was seriously sick, and he breathed his last in Prophet (SAW) arms. Tears came to Prophet (SAW)’s eyes. Present from among the companions there, Sa’ad bin Ibadah was surprised and submitted to Prophet (SAW): “Ya Rasool Allah, you too…? He perhaps thought that Prophet (SAW), unlike members of the bereaved family, shouldn’t have been moved. On which Prophet (SAW) replied: “Ya Sa’ad, these tears are divine mercy, whomever Allah likes, this mercy is given to his heart. And Allah (SWT) bestows mercy upon him, who is merciful to others. (Bukhari & Muslim).
Similarly when Prophet (SAW)’s infant son Ibrahim passed away in Prophet (SAW) arms, his eyes became wet. Seeing Prophet (SAW) grief stricken, Abdul Rahman bin Auf (RA) submitted: “Even you Ya Rsaul Allah …?..Prophet (SAW) replied: “Ibne Auf, these tears are symbols of divine mercy.” (Muslim).
Sa’ad and Abdul Rahman bin Auf perhaps thought that certainty of death and thus passing on to eternal life in the Hereafter shouldn’t have saddened Prophet (SAW). Prophet (SAW) was a human being, had a family bond with both the infants, and above all he was the very embodiment of love and compassion for all. He felt pain for others and was always generous in consoling and comforting others on such occasions.
Expression of sentiments of mercy, compassion and kindness are directed toward all, but especially the week, the helpless, women, orphans, widows, handicapped and physically challenged members of society deserve them most. Allah (SAW) says in Aayah 9-10 of Surah Ad’duha: “So do not be harsh with the orphan and do not chide the one who asks for help.”
Once Prophet (SAW) joined his two fingers together and said: “The one who looks after an orphan, he and I will be like this in the Hereafter. (Bukhari). At another time he (SAW) said that one who tries to help the widow and the poor is like a person making Jihad in the path of Allah. (Bukhari & Muslim). Prophet (SAW) also advised to pay wages to the laborer before his sweat dries.”
With regards to parents, particularly when they are old and weak, Qur’an in clear terms commands kindness toward them. Allah (SWT) says in Aayah 23-24 of Bani Israel: “Your Lord has commanded that you should worship none but Him, and that be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say no word that shows impatience with them, and do not be harsh with them, but speak to them respectfully, and lower your wing in humility towards them in kindness and say, ‘Lord, have mercy on them, just as they cared for me when I was little.”
Children also deserve love and kindness and they should be treated with utmost care and affection. Prophet (SAW) likened them to “flowers”. He (SAW) was so kind to them that he used to shorten his prayers if he (SAW) heard a child crying. Once he (SAW) kissed his grandson Sayyidina Hasan (RA), Iqra bin Haabis Tamimi, who was present there submitted: “Ya Rasul Allah, I have ten children, but I never kissed any one of them like you have kissed.” Prophet (SAW) replied: “One who is not kind to others doesn’t deserve Allah’s kindness.” On another occasion Prophet (SAW) said: “One who doesn’t love his younger and doesn’t respect his elders, is not from us.” (Tirmidhi)
Upbringing well behaved children, teaching them manners and etiquettes, raising them as good Muslims and making them good community members and citizens is also an important act of love and affection.
Islam teaches us to treat even animals with love and kindness. Once Prophet (SAW) related a story about a thirsty person, who having quenched his thirst saw a thirsty dog by the well. The man realizing his own condition, took pity on the dog, used his sock as a bucket to draw water for the dog. Allah (SWT) liked his act kindness and forgave his sins. (Muslim).
In yet another story, a woman punished his cat which has licked his pot. The angered woman tied the animal with a rope, kept it hungry and thirsty until the poor thing died. The act warranted Allah (SWT)’s displeasure and the woman was sent to Hell. (Bokhari).
The foregoing examples illustrate that Islam is a faith of love, kindness, compassion, and mercy for the entire humanity. Let us be kind, compassionate, useful, and helpful to others, let us be Allah’s blessing to the entire humanity. This is what Allah (SWT) commands us and this is what our beloved Prophet (SAW) taught us. Let us tailor our life according to the dictates of our faith.