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14949

Mercy in Islam

Place : Saudi Arabia / Riyadh / None / None /
Business Category : Good morals
date of publication : 1439/05/30
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1- The world's need for mercy today. 2- The mercy of Allâh. 3- The mercy of Prophet Muhammad (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). 4- The areas of Mercy in Islam. 5- Virtues of the merciful and punishments of the cruel.

First Sermon:

 

All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

 

( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ )

(O ye who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]

( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )

(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you.) [An-Nisa: 1].

 

( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا )

(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].

 

How dire is the need of our today’s world for mercy! A world that has become a jungle, where the strong eats the poor! For trivial reasons, wars erupt in which blood is shed, the weak are crushed and the sanctities are desecrated!

A world that tears itself apart; the rich get richer, the poor are minced under the feet of poverty, and this does not have mercy on that! A world where materialism has dominated the ethics, emotions and feelings, there is no value for anything but materialism! A world that has become arrogant with its science and overshadowed by the influence of its capabilities so much so that it thought that it has gained control over its sphere. It neither lowers its wing of compassion for the weak, nor do accords any value to the poor, but makes them fuel for its tyranny!

Slaves of Allâh! Allâh the most Glorified and Exalted is the creator of this world. He owns all mercies. He the Almighty has called Himself “Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim”, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, duo qualities not one, so that He the Almighty may solely reserve the bulk of Mercy for Himself alone. The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said, “Allâh has divided mercy into one hundred parts; and He retained with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent down to earth one part …” (Agreed upon).

 

Whatever mercy, kindness and compassion is found among the creation Allâh is More Merciful than them. Umar bin al-Khattab, may Allâh be pleased with him, narrated that some Sabi (i.e. war prisoners, children and women only) were brought before the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) and behold, a woman amongst them was milking her breasts to feed and whenever she found a child amongst the captives, she took it over her chest and nursed it (she had lost her child but later she found him). The Prophet said to us, “Do you think that this lady can throw her son in the fire?” We replied, “No, if she has the power not to throw it (in the fire).” The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) then said, “Allâh is more merciful to His slaves than this lady to her son” (Agreed upon).

 

Allâh has decreed that His mercy supersedes and predominates His anger. The prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), says, “When Allâh created the creation as He was upon the Throne, He put down in His Book: Verily, My mercy predominates My wrath”.

 

In some narration it reads: “Verily, My mercy precedes My anger” (Agreed upon).

 

O believers! Allâh did not send His prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) but as a mercy. The Almighty said,

( وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَـٰكَ إِلَّا رَحۡمَةً۬ لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ )

And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the worlds [Al-Anbiya: 107].

 

His life is mercy, his commission is mercy, his speech is mercy, and his silence is mercy … mercy for Mankind, the Jinn, and animals in general, and a mercy for his nation particularly. Allâh the Almighty said,

( بِٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ )

For the believers he (Muhammad) is full of pity, kind, and merciful [At-Taubah: 128].

 

Here is the Messenger of Allâh,(May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), crying for his nation, saying, O Lord, my Ummah, my Ummah, and Allâh the most Glorified and Exalted, says, ” O Gabriel, go to Muhammad (though your Lord knows it fully well) and ask him: What makes thee weep? So Gabriel (peace be upon him) came to him and asked him, and the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), informed him what he had said (though Allâh knew it fully well). Upon this Allâh said: O Gabriel, go to Muhammad and say: Verily We will please you with regard to your Ummah and would not displease you “(Muslim).

 

Now look at his mercy (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) for his enemies who drove him out. And when the Angel of the mountains came to him saying: “If you like, I will let Al-Akh-Shabain (i.e. two mountains) fall on them”. The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “No but I hope that Allâh will let them beget children who will worship Allâh Alone, and will worship none besides Him ” (Al-Bukhari).

 

When Tufail bin Amr Ad-Dausi and his companions came to the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), he said: The Daus (nation) has disobeyed and refused to accept Islam. So invoke Allâh against them. Then it was said, Daus has perished. But the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “O Allâh! Give guidance to the Daus (tribe) and bring them (to Islam)! “(Agreed upon).

O Muslims! The religion of Islam as a whole is mercy, the upper part is mercy, the lower part is mercy and its middle part is mercy, and here are some of the areas of its mercy.

 

First: Mercy in the legislation. It is part of the mercy of Islam that it does not impose on people something that is above their ability. It does not burden them beyond their scope. Allâh the Almighty said,

( لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَا‌ۚ )

Allâh burdens not a person beyond his scope [Al-Baqarah: 286].

 

Anything that involves discomfort or embarrassment has been lifted from the Muslim nation. Allâh the Almighty said:

( وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فِى ٱلدِّينِ مِنۡ حَرَجٍ۬)

And He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship [Hajj: 78]

 

The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), also resolved it when he said, “Verily, the religion (of Islam) is easy” (Al-Bukhari).

 

On the whole, the Holy Qur’an has decided saying,

( يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ )

Allâh intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you [Al-Baqarah: 185].

In all canons and provisions of Islam you find mercy as a phenomenon; Prayer is shortened and combined while on a journey, At-Tayammum (alternative or dry ablution) is permitted when water is lost or when it tends to cause harm for one if he uses it, it is permissible to wipe over the socks at home and while on a journey, the traveler and the sick are allowed not to fast during Ramadan, and Zakah and Hajj are lifted from those who cannot afford …

 

Choosing the easier, as long as sin is avoided, is the methodology of the prophet of Islam, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). Aishah (May Allâh be pleased with her) reported: “Whenever the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), was given a choice between two matters, he would (always) choose the easier as long as it was not sinful to do so ” (Agreed upon).

 

Second: Mercy in worship. Anas reported that the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said, “Indeed, this religion is solid. Hence, gently get into it” (Ahmad), i.e. move in it simplistically and do not burden yourself with what you cannot bear and thus become incapacitated and abandon the work. Rather, you must take a breath through politeness and compassion. The fundamental guiding principle is the word of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), “Do of the deeds that which is within your ability” (Agreed upon).

 

In view of that, the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), used to forbid and scold any one that was excessive in worship; out of mercy for them. Aisha narrated saying, “A woman from the tribe of Bani Asad was sitting with me when Allâh’s Messenger (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) came to my house and said, “Who is this?” I said, “(She is) So and so. She does not sleep at night because she is engaged in prayer.” The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said disapprovingly: Do (good) deeds which is within your capacity  as Allâh never gets tired of giving rewards till you get tired of doing good deeds” (Al-Bukhari).

 

Anas may Allâh be pleased with him, narrated, “Once the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) entered the Mosque and saw a rope hanging in between its two pillars. He said, “What is this rope?” The people said, “This rope is for Zainab who, when she feels tired, holds it (to keep standing for the prayer.)” The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “Don’t use it. Remove the rope. You should pray as long as you feel active, and when you get tired, sit down” (Agreed upon).

Anas also reported that the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) saw an old man walking, supported by his two sons, and asked about him. The people informed him that he had vowed to go on foot (to the Ka`ba). He said, “Allâh is not in need of this old man’s torturing himself,” and ordered him to ride (Agreed upon).

Third: The mercy of the creation to fellow creatures, which includes the following:

  • Mercy to the parents. Allâh the Almighty said,

(وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ وَبِٱلۡوَٲلِدَيۡنِ إِحۡسَـٰنًا‌ۚ إِمَّا يَبۡلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ ٱلۡڪِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَوۡ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ۬ وَلَا تَنۡہَرۡهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوۡلاً۬ ڪَرِيمً۬ا * وَٱخۡفِضۡ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ ٱلذُّلِّ مِنَ ٱلرَّحۡمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ٱرۡحَمۡهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرً۬ا )

And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour. (23) And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young [Al-Isra: 23-24].

 

Regarding the rights of the parents, Man has been enjoined with five vocabulary of mercy:

First: Do not say “Uff”, a word signifying anger and hatred.

 

Second: Not to rebuke nor shout at them.

Third: To address them in terms of honour.

Fourth: To lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy.

Fifth: To pray for them that Allâh bestow on them His everlasting mercy.

  • Mercy to the women: It is out of the mercy of Islam to women in view of her psychological and emotional structure that we heard the Prophet of Islam, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) say, ” Take my advice with regard to women: Act kindly towards women, for they were created from a rib, and the most crooked part of a rib is its uppermost. If you attempt to straighten it; you will break it, and if you leave it alone it will remain crooked; so act kindly toward women “(Agreed upon).

Once again he (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) says, “May Allâh be merciful to you, O Anjasha! Drive the camels slowly, as they are carrying glass vessels! “(Agreed upon).

 

So the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) likened them to a bottle glass due to its weakness and likeliness to be broken, to draw attention to its need for politeness, compassion and tenderness.

 

  • Mercy to the prisoners of war. Indeed, the sphere of compassion in Islam stretches and expands to include even prisoners of war; our enemies from other faiths who were fighting us and were keen to shed our blood! Allâh hence, praises those that feed them saying,

( وَيُطۡعِمُونَ ٱلطَّعَامَ عَلَىٰ حُبِّهِۦ مِسۡكِينً۬ا وَيَتِيمً۬ا وَأَسِيرًا )

And they give food, in spite of their love for it (or for the love of Him), to the poor, the orphan, and the captive [Al-Insaan: 8].

 

  • Mercy to animals. This time it goes beyond all humans in the sphere of mercy in Islam, to even include dumb animals. Ibn Mas’ud (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported: “We were with the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) in a journey when he drew apart (to relieve nature). In his absence, we saw a red bird, which had two young ones with it. We caught them and the red mother bird came, beating the earth with its wings. In the meantime the Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) returned and said, “Who has put this bird to distress on account of its young? Return them to her “(Abu Dawud).

Here is he (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) recommending for one returning to his family after travel to tenderly deal with their livestock; saying to him: “Order your household to cut their nails in order not to hurt the udders of their livestock while milking them” (At-Tabarani).

 

Even when slaughtering the lawful animals, there must be compassion. The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “And if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters” (Ibn Majah).

Second sermon:

 

All praise is due and belongs to Allâh alone. May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon the final Prophet.

 

Slaves of Allâh! Happy is he to whom Allâh the Almighty grants mercy; because by that he is assured of entering the paradise. Aishah (May Allâh be pleased with her) reported: A poor woman came to me carrying her two daughters. I gave her three date-fruits. She gave a date to each of them and then she took up one date-fruit and brought that to her mouth to eat, but her daughters asked her for that also. She then divided between them the date-fruit that she intended to eat. This (kind) treatment of her impressed me and I mentioned that to the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), who said, ‘Verily, Allâh has assured Al-Jannah for her, because of (this act) of her,” or he said, “He (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him),  has rescued her from Hell- Fire” (Muslim).

 

Furthermore, he will receive the mercy of Allâh the Almighty. The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said, “The merciful are shown mercy by Ar-Rahman (Most Merciful). Be merciful to those on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from Who is above the heavens “(At-Tirmidhi).

 

Anas reported that the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said, “By He in Whose Hand is my soul, Allâh does not place His mercy except upon the merciful”, we said, O Messenger of Allâh, we are all merciful! He said, “It is not he that shows mercy to himself only, but he that shows mercy to the people in general”.

 

They also include Allâh’s forgiveness for the merciful; for Allâh has forgiven a man and an Israeli prostitute as they both showed mercy to a dog, soften their heart for it and fed her with water.

 

As for the one whose heart is stripped of mercy, it behooves him to be tortured in the fire. The Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), said, ” A woman got into Hell-Fire because of a cat whom she had tied, and thus it could not eat, and she did not let it free so that it could devour the vermin of the earth, until it died”. (Agreed upon).

 

With the painful punishment he will be deprived of the mercy of the Most Dignified, the All-Knowing. The Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him), has said, “Allâh, the Most Glorified and Exalted, will not show mercy to a person who does not show mercy to other people”. (Agreed upon).

 

O believers! Lower the wing of mercy for your brothers, and sow the seeds of mercy in the hearts of your children, you will reap happiness and paradise in the Hereafter.

O Allâh send your blessings upon Prophet Muhammad…

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