The Divine Quality of Mercy/Compassion
In Islam, mercy implies the fear of Allah the Almighty. For it is with this fear of Allah the Almighty that the highest degrees (of faith etc.) are reached, torments are dispelled, the evil influence of Satan is repulsed. According to the Quranic verses and various Hadiths, it is clear that life on earth is built on foundations and principles that engender happiness and encourage creatures to help one another with mercy foremost.
Indeed, mercy is a great quality that Allah the Almighty has given to the blessed and deprived the unfortunate. Mercy is implanted in the heart of every creature but it is up to this one to know how to keep this mercy alive for the sake of Allah the Almighty.
According to Abu Huraira (ra) the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, as reported through the pages of Sahih Al-Bukhari: “Truly Allah possesses a hundred mercies and of them there is one mercy through which all creation show mercy to one another and ninety nine are for the day of resurrection...” Alhamdulillah!
Mercy is one of the beautiful qualities of Allah the Almighty. For us, the creatures of Allah the Almighty, mercy is a quality of perfection. With mercy, creatures feel tenderness towards one another. He who is strong has pity/ compassion on him who is weak. That's mercy. The rich man never hesitates to help the poor, the destitute and the needy. That's mercy. For us (Muslims) in the Ummah, mercy is even an obligation at the level of the family as well as of society. And that pleases Allah the Almighty Who then sends His blessings on those who grant mercy (to others) in their daily occupations.
The Spiritual Value of Mercy
Mercy is a gift from Allah the Almighty that is anchored in the body of every human being. But, some leave this gift of Allah the Almighty in a passive state, not understanding its spiritual value. Especially when the human being is easily influenced by Satan, and then commits sins, some more serious than the others, thus allowing this great spirituality which is mercy to pass through his hands. He thus loses this blessing.
Among the believers of the Ummah, mercy is a sacred element, a divine gift, a precious element. Islam has ordered Muslims to be merciful because Islam itself is a religion of mercy. Just as the teachings of Islam came for the realization of goodness, justice, kindness, tranquility, truth, peace, and the worship of Allah the Almighty without reservation. Mercy also gives an opportunity to remove what is wrong and what is evil, bad, despicable. Allah the Almighty said to His Messenger, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh): “We have sent you only as mercy to the inhabitants of this world.” (Al-Anbiya, 21: 107).
According to Abdullah Ibn ʻAmr, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: “The Merciful (i.e., Allah) shows mercy to those who are merciful; have mercy on those who are on earth, so that the One Who is in heaven will have mercy on you.” (Tirmidhi).
Another explanation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) according to Jarir Ibn Abdallah, as reported in the Hadiths, Bukhari and Muslim: “Allah does not show mercy to the one who does not show mercy to people (mankind)”. Moreover, the one who does not forgive (others), will never be forgiven by Allah the Almighty. The example of believers in their friendship, their affection, their compassion, their sincerity, their honesty, their spirit of help, their sympathy is like the body. If one of the members of this body suffers, the whole body will suffer.
Even the youngest ones, the babies, ask for mercy from their elders. As for the elderly, the weak, the sick, mercy must be doubled, tripled, even be unlimited.
“He is not of us who does not respect the elderly, is not merciful to the young children, does not prescribe good in his daily life, and does not forbid evil, malice, tyranny, pride, corruption and other evils of society,” said the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), according to a Hadith of Tirmidhi.
The mother of the believers, Hazrat Aisha (ra) narrated an anecdote about the mercy she has experienced with the Holy Prophet (pbuh). She related: “A Bedouin came to see the Messenger of Allah and said to him, ʻYou embrace the children and we do it very rarely or even never do it.’” The Holy Prophet (pbuh) replied, “What can I do for you if Allah the Almighty has taken away mercy from your heart?” (Bukhari).
Duty to Care Animals and Nature
Even animals, even nature, have received mercy from Allah the Almighty. Why is this so? Islam is indeed the religion of mercy, justice, peace. Islam has especially commanded Muslims to be merciful.
Abdallah Ibn Jaafar narrated: “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) entered a well-fenced garden belonging to a man among the Ansars, where was a camel. When the animal saw the Holy Prophet, he began to shed tears and to groan painfully. The Messenger of Allah rushed to the wretched animal, wiped his tears, caressed him tenderly. The camel stopped moaning and showed signs of joy. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) asked who was the owner? A young man from the Ansars answered that he was the owner. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said to him, “Do you not fear Allah in respect to this animal? He lacks affection, love and mercy from you. It has hereby complained to me and is crying.” (Ahmad).
Allah bestowed this gift on the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to understand the language of the camel as He taught the language of the birds to His prophet Sulaiman.
On another occasion, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Whoever kills a bird without a valid reason, the latter will complain to Allah the Almighty on the Day of Judgment, saying, ʻOh Allah! Someone tortured me, wounded me, even killed me without valid reason, without showing the least sign of mercy towards me...’”.
Imagine the punishment of Allah the Almighty at such moments.
Islam prescribes righteousness even towards unbelievers. When acting like this, the Muslim shows mercy, to the delight of Allah the Almighty.
Reclaim Mercy and Compassion
The time we live, brothers and sisters in Islam, gives the impression that mercy is no longer part of the vocabulary of the Muslim. We in the Ummah are under the obligation to be merciful to everyone in every step of life. Even to the one who calls you his/ her worst enemy. On the contrary, Islam recommends compassion and asks you to pray (supplicate Allah/ duahs) the Almighty to grant His blessings to those people who are doing harm so that they may reform.
At this point of time of life on earth, humanity needs high Islamic principles, and it is up to us to make the necessary effort to revive the true divine/ Islamic teachings so that humanity, and Ummah of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) finally find the desired peace. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
---Friday Sermon of 09 February 2018 (22 Jamad’ul Awwal 1439 AH) delivered by Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al-Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.