Mothers in Islam

God’s Mercy is Vast

Throughout life, people continually receive Allah’s blessings, be it good health, sight, hearing, nourishment, clean air, children, wealth and countless others. Some use their God-given gifts of intelligence and reasoning to acknowledge these blessings, grasp the purpose of their existence, and hereby submit themselves to Allah. Others, however, do not appreciate the Mercy of Allah toward their selves, even though He feeds and sustains them despite their disobedience toward Him. Allah says:

وَالَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهْدَ اللَّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مِيثَاقِهِ وَيَقْطَعُونَ مَا أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمُ اللَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدَّارِ

“And those who break the Covenant of Allah after contracting it, and sever what Allah has commanded for it to be joined and spread corruption in the earth. Those – for them (is) the curse, and for them (is) an evil home.” (Surah Ar-Rad, 13:25)

They are given mobility, enjoyment, freedom of thought and action, despite their outright denial of Him. Their very existence would not be, were it not for the Mercy of Allah. Creation itself is an expression of divine favour, mercy, and love. God invites us to observe the effects of His mercy around us: Allah says:

فَانظُرْ إِلَىٰ آثَارِ رَحْمَتِ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“So look at (the) effects (of the) Mercy (of) Allah, how He gives life (to) the earth after its death. Indeed, that surely He (will) give life (to) the dead. And He (is) on everything All-Powerful.” (Surah Qaf 30:50)

God loves compassion. Muslims view Islam to be a religion of mercy. To them, their Prophet is God’s gift of mercy to all humanity: “And (thus, O Prophet) We have sent you as [evidence of Our] mercy towards all the worlds.” (Quran 21:107)

Just as they believe Jesus was God’s mercy to people: “And that We may make him a symbol unto mankind and an act of mercy from Us.” (Quran 19:21)

Allah’s mercy forgiveness repentance:

Your Lord has prescribed mercy for Himself. So that if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allah), then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah Al-Anaam, 6:54)

  • The Acceptor of Repentance
  • The Compassionate
  • The Most Gracious
  • The Loving
  • The Bestower
  • The Most Merciful
  • The Most Generous
  • The Forbearing One
  • The Source of Goodness

These names all indicate that God is characterized by mercy, goodness, and generosity. They testify to the vastness and perfection of His Mercy, with which He blesses all of His creation. This same creation is addressed by God, when He says, “O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as the earth.” Allah says:

وَقُل رَّبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

“And say, “My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, and You (are the) Best (of) those who show.” (Surah Al-Muminun 23:118)

Allah orders people to avoid committing bad deeds and prohibits them from unbelief, sins, rebellion, oppression, tyranny, killing and shedding blood. Ultimately, everyone has the free will to acknowledge their blessings, use them in a manner ordained by Allah (the Lord of mankind) and worship Him alone. Below, we have outlined a glimpse of such blessings. Allah says:

وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“And if you should count the Favors of Allah, not you could enumerate Indeed, Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:18)

From the beginning of creation, man was not left to face the struggles of life alone. Due to God’s Mercy, the man received revelation through Prophets, who conveyed and taught it to their people to guide and protect them. The most perfect and merciful of revelations was the Quran and the last of the prophets was Muhammad (peace be upon him). Allah says:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

“And not We have sent you but (as) mercy for the worlds.” (Surah Al-Anbiya` 21:107)

Forgiveness of sins is another example of Allah’s Mercy, as Allah knows we are imperfect and commit mistakes. The fact that believers commit sins does not mean that we should lose hope in Allah’s Mercy or that we have exhausted Allah’s Forgiveness. Allah says:

يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

“He chooses for His Mercy whom He wills. And Allah (is) the Possessor of Bounty – [the] great.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:74)

The creation of human beings and all their faculties is great mercy in itself. The fact that we can get out of bed, work, eat, play and sleep should make us grateful. Allah says:

وَمِن رَّحْمَتِهِ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لِتَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

“And from His Mercy, He made for you the night and the day, that you may rest therein and that you may seek from His bounty, and so that you may be grateful.” (Surah Al-Qasas 28:73)

A spouse is one of the greatest of mercies, a means to tranquillity and affection. Another mercy is the fact that He created us sinless and will not hold us to account until the age of maturity and decision-making. This is in stark contrast to the “Original Sin” concept in Christianity. Allah says:

وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“And obey Allah and the Messenger so that you may receive mercy.” (Surah Al-Imran 3:132)

The Merciful Creator ensures that every creation is looked after – from the fish in the depths of the ocean, to the insects on the earth, and the birds in the skies – all are sustained by Him.
How to increase Allah’s Mercy upon us.

Sincerely asking for Mercy from God in The Holy Quran:

  • “…but My mercy encompasses all things….” (Quran 7:156)
  • “Say: ‘Limitless is your Lord in His mercy….” (Quran 6:147)
  • “Whoever believes in God, God guides his heart aright.” (Quran 64:11)
  • “Obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.” (Quran 3:132)
  • “Surely Allah is Most Gentle, Ever Compassionate to people.” (Quran 22:65)
  • “Our Lord! Make not our hearts to deviate after You have guided us aright, and grant us mercy from Yourself; surely You are the Bestower.” (Quran 3:8)
  • “It is He Who sent down tranquillity into the hearts of the Believers, that they may add faith to their faith.” (Quran 48:4)

Allah is the Most Merciful, however, He is also Swift in Reckoning. One cannot try to deceive Allah and take advantage of His Mercy by constantly committing the same sins without sincere repentance or resolving never to go back to the sin again. Allah says:

قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

“Both of them “Our Lord we have wronged ourselves, and if not You forgive [for] us and have mercy (on) us, surely, we will be among the losers.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:23)

Muslims are encouraged to have a hope of reward for good deeds while being concerned about sins they may perform. When they commit sins, they repent sincerely and are hopeful of being forgiven. And finally, they feel content with the words of their Creator, and keep them close to their heart: Allah says:

وَلَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَاحِهَا وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“And (do) not cause corruption in the earth after its reformation. And call Him (in) fear and hope. Indeed, (the) Mercy of Allah (is) near the good-doers.” (Surah Al-A`raf 7:56)

Islam teaches us to be merciful to the entire creation, to Muslims and non-Muslims, to friends and enemies and even to the animals. Mercy (raḥmah) in Islam has a very wide meaning that includes kindness, compassion, love, tolerance, patience with people, and treating others the way we would love to be treated. Every Muslim needs to strive to be an agent of mercy on earth for all human beings and creatures.

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