By Sister Jinan
Her heart felt like it was being ripped apart. She looked around her and could not find him. She started breathing more heavily. Her eyes scanned her surroundings desperately, where she could see soldiers and captives, until suddenly, she caught a glimpse of his tiny body. She bolted towards and scooped him up as she wept, and then nursed him. Her whole body sighed in relief. Her baby was safe.
The Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam describes this scene in a famous hadeeth to give us a glimpse into Allah’s mercy. After witnessing this scene, the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam asked the Companions,
“Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?” And they said, “No, by Allah she would not, if she is able not to.” He sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam then said, “Allah the Exalted is more merciful with His slave than this woman with her child.” (Bukhari)
This is a universal example, one that most people can understand- the mercy of a mother towards her child. And not just any mother, but a mother faced with that situation. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is more merciful to His creation than that mother.
The first words that begin the journey through the Qur’an are,
We begin the journey of knowing Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala through His Mercy. This is the way in which Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala introduces Himself to us—not with the names that indicate majesty and strength.
The word Rahman comes from the root of ra-haa-meem (ر-ح-م), which means “ar-riqqa wal-ta’atuf”—a combination of tenderness and compassion.
Ar-Rahman is the Entirely Merciful whose, “All-inclusive mercy gives to both the worthy and unworthy. The mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is perfect and all-inclusive. It is perfect in the sense that He not only wills the satisfaction of the needs of the needy but actually satisfies them. It is all-inclusive in that it includes the worthy and the unworthy, this life and that which is to come and encompasses the essentials, needs and advantages which go beyond them. Thus He is in truth the Compassionate absolutely,” (al-Ghazali).
We are all recipients of Allah’s Mercy every single day. These mercies come in the form of all of the blessings in our lives. These are the things that we don’t even realize, but we all benefit from. A cool breeze on a warm day; rain after drought, the trees that purify the air for us, we are all recipients of this mercy.
We will face difficulties, and this does not contradict Allah’s mercy. Some difficulties are simply challenges we need to overcome. Others seem to have no explanation. There is light at the end of the tunnel. These challenges bring us closer to Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala because we then realize that He is the only One who can help us. And at the end of it all, we are not tested with more than we can bear.
Living with Allah’s Name: Ar-Rahman
Sometimes we can become numb to the suffering around us. We get so caught up in our lives that we lose the connection to other people, and therefore cannot empathize with their struggle.
The best way to become a manifestation of Allah’s rahma is to study the life of the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam and follow his example. The battle of Uhud was the most difficult battle for the Muslims. It was the battle in which they thought that they lost the Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam. In their panic and desperation, the companions asked the bleeding Prophet sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam to supplicate against their enemy. But he refused and said, “O Allah! Guide my people for they do not know!” These are lessons that we need to learn from.
Look at the Manifestations of Allah’s Mercy in Your Life
Reflection is considered one of the greatest acts of worship. We are the benefactors of so many mercies, every day of our lives. Moreover, there are many times when something that is perceived as ‘bad’ turns out to be something good for us. So take the time to reflect on Allah’s mercy in your life—the times He protected you, the times He gave to you, and even the times He withheld from you.
– Excerpted with slight modifications from suhaibwebb.com
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