Divine Mercy

What Is The Meaning Of Mercy?

The word mercy usually means blessing. Its original meaning however is, to soften your heart towards someone in goodness and favour.

It further means kindness, tenderness, compassion, love and care. With relation to Allah, it means every beneficence and bounty He’s bestowed upon the world. For instance, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was sent in the world as a Divine Favour.

The Ulema and scholars describe it as such:

  • Mercifulness is that trait of the heart that allows one to do favours upon the needy. (Al-Raghib Al-Isfahani, Al-Mufradat: 347)

Qadi Baydawi explains the same:

  • Basically mercy is the sentimental state of the heart that makes you a source of beneficence for the deserving.

Mercy consists of two qualities of the heart; tenderness and favour. These attributes are awakened only when you watch someone distressed and troubled. So much so their condition melts your heart and compels you to take their worries away through acts of kindness and mercy.

The Concept Of Divine Mercy

The system of this universe in itself is a proof of Divine Mercy. There’s no part of the entire existence that doesn’t advocate the Divine beneficence. Allah has made His Divine Essence a source of mercy to His entire creation. As He said in the Holy Quran:

He has made mercy incumbent upon Himself (as a gracious obligation).

(6:12)

And when those who believe in Our Revelations come to you, then say (affectionately):

‘Peace be upon you!’ Your Lord has made mercy incumbent upon Himself (as a gracious obligation).

(6:54)

Natures Of Divine Mercy

1- Evident Mercy

This kind of beneficence is the well known and common one. It is bestowed upon each and every creation of Allah Almighty. That is His outward and obvious kind of beneficence. If we think about the human creation, it’s pretty evident that Allah sent us in this world with abundant of physical blessings. He bestowed humans with a beautiful physical form that indeed holds superiority over other creations. Allah says:

  • Indeed, We have created man in the best constitution (equipoised in the finest proportion). (95:4)

2- Hidden Mercy

Peace and prosperity are the evident form of His beneficence. Hardships however, are actually a hidden form of His mercy. In this world, any difficulty that may cross your path is in fact a blessing of Allah. Without pain there’s no meaning to pleasure. If there’s no hardship in life, peace and Divine beneficence wouldn’t be as enjoyable. It is without a doubt, these hardships that give life flavour, making it worth living.

Every difficulty is declared a blessing because without it, there wouldn’t be any need for Divine favour. Hence, pain is not punishment, it is indeed a blessing in disguise.

Often people worry how they’re caught up in misery. What they don’t realise is, it is the building block for Allah’s favour and His nearness. Allah is the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful. The greatest and most abundant attribute of His Existence is undoubtedly His mercy. (Islam is a religion of peace and mercy)

Expression Of Divine Beneficence In Sura Al-Fatiha

In Sura Al-Fatiha, Allah introduces Himself as the Creator of the universe. Furthermore, He introduces the Creator of the universe as the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful. Having said that, Allah made it clear, His mercy isn’t limited to any certain race, tribe, region or religion. It is in fact universal; for the entire mankind, the entire existence. This proves Islam is the religion of peace, not only for the mankind but for the entire universe.

He doesn’t hold off His favour for anybody no matter what are their beliefs. Even if they don’t believe in His Oneness, He’s still benevolent towards them. Some seek Him in mosques, some seek Him in temples. He looks after everyone in spite of them belonging to other religions, because that’s what the Divine Essence is.

The Esteemed Prophet Mohammad Is the Manifestation of Divine Beneficence

Allah has described the merciful personality of the Prophet (pbuh) exactly like His Own:

  • And, (O Esteemed Messenger,) We have not sent you but as a mercy for all the worlds. (21: 107)

Therefore, His Prophet’s mercy is also unlimited for the entire universe, same as His Own. The reason Allah has explained His and the Prophet’s mercy in such depth is because He wants the mankind to realise that if the Divine Light illuminates one’s inward, then it will change the entire personality of an individual. Thus, every person should worry less about indulging in worldly statuses and work towards becoming a source of beneficence for the whole world. His mercifulness should become as common as Allah’s.

In Sura Al Fatiha before Allah describes Himself as the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful, He describes the grandeur of His Divinity by saying “praise be to Allah”. Moreover, by calling Himself “Creator of the worlds”, He describes His grandeur of being the Sustainer. Hence, the words “Most Beneficent and Most Merciful” describe His Mercifulness. That’s how He explained the connection between His Divinity, Oneness and mercifulness. He further says Him being the Creator can be comprehended by the grandeur of His Divinity. And Him being the Divine Creator can be comprehended by how merciful He is.

Surah al Fatiha also mentions His attributes of punishing, rewarding and retribution. However, His mercifulness is greater than any of those traits. Allah has declared His mercy to hold the grandest value over any of His other traits. He is merciful from the beginning to the end. (Islam is the religion of peace and mercy)

Exclusive Beneficence For Sinners

Allah showers His beneficence upon everyone according to their required conditions. Allah shows great love and mercy to those who sin and repent.

Prophet (pbuh) says:

By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace you by those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.

(Sahih Muslim: 6965)

Being regretful of your sin is repentance in itself.

(Al Khwarizmi Jamiah Al Masanid- Imam Abu Hanifa)

Allah’s Mercy Is Greater Than His Wrath

Allah showers His Mercy on every being in His entire universe. It is even greater than His anger.

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

  • When Allah Almighty created the creation, He wrote in His book, which is placed with Him on the Throne, “My mercy prevails over My wrath.” (Sahih al Muslim 6971)

In another tradition Abu Hurraira reports the Messenger said:

  • When Allah created His Creation, He wrote on His throne: Indeed My Mercy is superior to My wrath. (Musnad 10015)

The Quran says:

  • “My Mercy encompasses everything.” (7: 156)

Allah’s Favourite Name “Al-Rahman”

In Sura Bani Israel, Allah talks about all His Names and says:

  • Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Beneficent, whichever you call, He has the Most Beautiful Names. (17: 110)

At another place He says:

  • There is none in the heavens or the earth who will not return to the Most Beneficent in full submission. (19: 93)
  • Whilst your Lord is but surely (He) the Most Kind One. So follow me and obey my command.’ (20 : 90)
  • When it is said to them, “Prostrate to the Most Compassionate,” they ask in disgust, “What is ‘the Most Compassionate’? Will we prostrate to whatever you order us to?” And it only drives them farther away. (25: 60)
al-rehman

So, why does Allah choose to call Himself Al-Rahman; the Most Beneficent, Most Kind, Most Compassionate? Why does He not choose any of His other Names; Al-Qadir (Competent), Al-Hayyi (Everliving), Al-Qayyum (Self Sustainer), Al-Aleem (All knowing) etc? He is basically trying to tell His creation despite of having all other attributes, Al-Rahman (Most Merciful) describes Him best. He wants humanity to realise how Merciful He is so they may come seek and receive it. By His Favour and Grace He has made compulsory upon Himself to shower His Mercy and Kindness. This attribute is the most ample in Allah.

His Mercy Precedes His Omniscience

Allah’s Mercy is so abundant that it even overpowers His Omniscience. He says:

  • ‘O our Lord, You encompass everything in (Your) mercy and knowledge.’ (40: 7)

Here, Allah mentions two of His attributes side by side. His mercy is mentioned before His knowledge which shows which quality Allah holds superior. Just like His mercy is pervading and encompassing, so is its description.

Mercifulness Made Obligatory Upon Himself

Ask (them this question): ‘To whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth?’ And (then) proclaim (this as well): ‘Allah’s it is.’ He has made mercy incumbent upon Himself (as a gracious obligation). (6: 12)

Allah Almighty has mentioned in this verse that it is incumbent upon Him to bestow His mercy upon every creation. He has also explained that even if a person commits a sin due to foolishness or ignorance, the path of forgiveness and repentance is open for him. This is conditional upon the sinner feeling remorse, repenting, and striving for self-improvement in the future. Allah Almighty has combined forgiveness and mercy, indicating to sinful humans that they should never despair of His mercy. This is because His mercy and forgiveness is vast and boundless.

Divine Mercy Delays Wrath

Allah waits for the sinner to realise his mistakes and genuinely repent and ask for His forgiveness. That’s why He doesn’t straightaway punish His man for sinning. He wants His man to know how Merciful He is and how much He loves him.

Allah says:

And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Full of Mercy. If He had to take them to task for their doings, He would certainly send the torment upon them quickly. (18: 58)

divine mercy blog

Revelation Of Prophets; Ultimate Manifestation Of Divine Beneficence

On various occasions, sending prophets is also expression of Divine favour. It is Allah’s sunnah to not punish any nation or settlement for their sins without having sent a prophet to them.

He says:

And We do not torment (any people) at all until We send a Messenger (to them). (17 : 15)

Hence, in any nation, Allah would send a prophet who was born and raised in the very place. He used to live with them in the same atmosphere as his people. Then he deliver Allah’s message to them, and show them Allah’s miracles to prove his authenticity.

It’s not Allah’s way to torment a people without having proven Himself. In fact first and foremost, His prophets make sure that the Divine message has clearly been conveyed, yet if the people fail to submit, they’re punished. So, we can say that prophets are a tool of mercy sent by Allah to guide His people.

Quran; The Great Source Of Mercy

One of the greatest sources of Divine beneficence is the Quran. Allah has talked about various subjects in the Quran, but His guidance and mercy top all.

He says:

  • And verily, it is guidance and mercy for the believers. (27: 77)
  • These are Verses of the Book of Wisdom, Guidance and mercy for the pious. (31: 2-3)

The Quran: Mercy And Manifestation Of Mercy

Allah has very elaborately mentioned His mercy being vast and excess in the Quran. He has explained it in so many words. The words “Merciful” (Rahman) and “Beneficent” (Raheem) together have been mentioned 113 times in the Quran. Singularly “Merciful” is mentioned 57 times and “Beneficent”, 95 times.

Other than that, there are hundreds of mentions in Quran that advocate Allah’s Mercy.

The Order To Celebrate Divine Mercy

Say: ‘(All this) is due to the bounty and mercy of Allah (bestowed upon you through raising Mohammad [blessings and peace be upon him] as the exalted Messenger). So the Muslims should rejoice over it. This is far better than (all that affluence and wealth) that they amass.’ (10 : 58)

Allah has given so much importance to His mercy that it’s so special yet so common that He ordered to celebrate it. No other blessing of the world can compete with Divine Mercy. All bounties of Allah are basically mercy in itself and also the building block for it.

Wordly Relations And Love; Part Of Divine Mercy

Only one of 100 parts of Divine Mercy has been attributed with the world.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

“I heard Allah’s Messenger saying, Allah divided Mercy into one hundred parts. He kept ninety nine parts with Him and sent down one part to the earth, and because of that, it’s one single part, His Creations are merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it.”

(Bukhari: 6000, Muslim: 6972)

Even though Divine Essence and His attributes are free from having parts or divisions but just to make it easier for humankind to understand, He says if His mercy has a hundred parts, only one part is in this universe from beginning till the end.

Nevertheless, our Lord is the Most Beneficent, blesses with love and kindness and all forms of bounties. Yet man runs away from His Mercy and remains disappointed. He fails to answer Allah’s calling.

Run Towards Allah

It is His kindness that He didn’t make humans unattractive or wild looking with one eye, one ear or one hand. In fact, He gave him a very beautiful form.

Allah bestows man with numerous blessings from the day he’s born till the day he dies and keeps blessing him until the Day of Judgment. Even so, man doesn’t turn to him and disregards all His favours. What more ingratitude can he show to Allah?

Let’s make an effort to understand Divine mercy in literal terms. In the present day, reaching out to Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib ur Rehman to gain Divine mercy in the form of company of spiritual guide is the best way to go about it. He can turn every seeker of world into seeker of Allah by the beneficence of his spiritual sight. And seekers of Allah can gain His Marifa and gnosis enabling him to succeed in both the worlds.

sufism

Q1: What does Divine mercy actually mean?

Answer: The true meaning of Divine Mercy is every favour done to man by Allah, silently or obviously. It could even be in the form of punishment that apparently looks like Allah’s wrath but is actually His Mercy in disguise.

Q2: What are the types of Divine mercy?

Answer: There are two types of Divine Mercy; evident and hidden.

Q3: Who is eligible to attain Divine mercy?

Answer: Every speck of being in this entire existence is eligible to attain Divine Mercy. Allah created everything for this very reason and has made obligatory upon Himself to show mercy to every being no matter how unworthy they may seem.

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