Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Mercy of Allah

Do you guys ever notice how most of the topics that Scholars talk about deal with the actions in Islam .. what I mean by this is the following:

  • How important Salah is and what a grave sin it is not to perform it.
  • How important Zaka is and what a grave sin it is not to give it.
  • How important Hijab is and what a grave sin it is not to wear it.

And so on. By all means I am NOT saying that these things are not important, on the contrary they are super important to us as Muslims. However, most of the time lecturers and scholars seem to forget to mention another very grave sin to us Muslims, and that is to lose hope in the mercy of Allah, Subhanho wa Taala.

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Surat Az-Zumar (39), Verse 53
I remember, when I was young, hearing a teacher at school talking to a parent of a girl in my class and telling her about how the youth of today have a really twisted way of thinking. The youth have basically given up hope on ever entering Paradise, and so might as well do all the sins they want since eli 5arbana 5arbana (what's rotten is rotten, basically if they are going to Hell they might as well enjoy the ride). I was pretty young when I happened upon this conversation, and so you can imagine what an impact it left in me since I can still remember it quite clearly.

I don't know what truly brought those youth to such a conclusion, but I think it might have something to do with them being told that once you have done a certain sin/sins, there is no way in the world you can be forgiven for it/them, or at least they were told that it would be incredibly difficult for them to repent from it/them. Lectures delivered in the form of threats, telling them of the punishments waiting for them after they die for what they have done. Though this form of advice does work on some people, it will make others lose hope or become immune and numb to it.

The Quran does have warnings in it to the people of sin, but it is also filled with glad tidings to the people who repent from their sins, whom seek Allah's forgiveness and apologize to Him for what they have done. The Verse from Surat Az- Zumr is a beautiful example of it, where Allah orders us to never despair from His Mercy.

وَعِبَادُ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الَّذِينَ يَمْشُونَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ هَوْنًا وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الْجَاهِلُونَ قَالُوا سَلَامًا

وَالَّذِينَ يَبِيتُونَ لِرَبِّهِمْ سُجَّدًا وَقِيَامًا

وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا

إِنَّهَا سَاءَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ قَوَامًا

وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَـٰهًا آخَرَ وَلَا يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ وَلَا يَزْنُونَ ۚ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ يَلْقَ أَثَامًا

يُضَاعَفْ لَهُ الْعَذَابُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَيَخْلُدْ فِيهِ مُهَانًا

إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا فَأُولَـٰئِكَ يُبَدِّلُ اللَّهُ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ حَسَنَاتٍ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

وَمَن تَابَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَإِنَّهُ يَتُوبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَتَابًا

And the servants of ((Allah)) Most Gracious are those who walk on the earth in humility, and when the ignorant address them, they say, "Peace!";

Those who spend the night in adoration of their Lord prostrate and standing;

Those who say, "Our Lord! avert from us the Wrath of Hell, for its Wrath is indeed an affliction grievous,-

Evil indeed is it as an abode, and as a place to rest in";

Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes);

Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for just cause, nor commit fornication; - and any that does this (not only) meets punishment.

(But) the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy,-

Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful,

And whoever repents and does good has truly turned to Allah with an (acceptable) conversion

Surat Al-Furqan (25), Verse 63-71.

I love how the verses in Surat Al-Furqan play out. They begin by describing to us the characteristics of the servants of Allah, making note them down so you can try to become as such. The Verses then take a scary turn, telling us how people who do not follow such a righteous path and perform a sin will have punishment dealt to him doubly on the day of judgment, making you get goosebumps. But then, Allah tells us that this will only be dealt to those who refuse to repent and seek the mercy of Allah. For those who do seek the mercy, all their bad sins will be turned into righteous deeds. I mean seriously, how good of a deal is this? But their is one condition for it to totally happen as such and it's for a person to truley repent, from deep within their heart and do as the verses have instructed us.

Do you not think that losing hope in Allah is also a grave sin that people must be told about? Don't ever lose hope in Allah, He is always close for those who seek Him.

إِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ ۖ فَلْيَسْتَجِيبُوا لِي وَلْيُؤْمِنُوا بِي لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْشُدُونَ

When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.

Surat Al-Baqara (2), Verse 186


Kitten said...

(ولله الأسماء الحسنى فادعوه بها)
The matter of seeking forgivness is quiet easy, the only hard thing is meaning it with all your heart.

Lovely post, as per usual.

Sara said...

That's true, and a person must never lose hope in seeking forgiveness.

Thanks hun =)

FAITH said...

Great blog Sara =)

Adding to what you've mentioned here, I think it's amazing how mercy and punishment are often mentioned together in the Qur'an, so that people will remain in a state of both hope and fear.

Sara said...

Thanks Faith <3

Yeah, what you said reminded me of the saying that hope and fear are like wings of a bird, each on one said. Without one of them the bird can't fly. Therefore there must be a balance between the two.

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