To begin to understand Allah’s Rahma I explored the God’s attribute and the fact that as Muslims we are constantly invoking God’s mercy in our daily actions countless times. Its quite amazing to consider how often it is we seek His mercy, yet, we don’t truly understand or comprehend the extent of it, so I thought it would be good to give a Hadith from Al Nawawi #37 that discusses Allah’s Compassion:
On the authority of Ibn’ Abbas (RA), from the Prophet SAW relating a saying that is related to hi s Lord (SWT) is that he said:
“Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones. Then He explained it by saying that he who has intended a deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed.”
I find it easy to really get caught up in Deed Crunching- get into the whole how many deeds add up to along with subtraction, I don’t think that Allah intended us to fully comprehend the system but rather presented the concept in a way that would allow us to comprehend His mercy. Clearly, what is striking is that even if you intended a bad deed but refrained from acting on it, that counts as a good deed- Crazy right? That truly is the extend of God’s Mercy and Compassion toward us.
In order to live up to this standard we are told, through the Prophet SAW’s example how to be compassionate and merciful. For instance we know that we give the benefit of doubt to people and suppress our suspicion or bad expectations of their intentions; we are told that we are not the judge of intentions, but rather God is; we are reminded again and again about holding our tongues (since some of the most un-merciful and un-compassionate actions are spoken); we have a limit to how long we can be upset and angry at another person- 3 days, at which point we must forgive them for their transgression; on top of that we are told that on the Day of Judgement, those we have transgressed again and who have not forgiven us are due justice for our injustice against them. The list goes on about how one’s self (ego or in Arabic nafs) can be brought in line with the Divine manifestation of Rahma.
People might find that this involves work, hard work, or that such a state is unachievable. If you have such a defeatist mentality then you could never achieve this state, but if you try, you might surprise yourself. I believe that if there were a self help book on attitude and actions- our MODERN understanding of psychology and human interaction- then the Prophetic example is truly better suited to be utilized because it stems from the Creator who knows us far better then we will ever be able to understand ourself. That is why I believe that we have the ability to find the Mercy within us and that we can embody Rahma.
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