The Pacific Giant Octopus mother will find a den to lay her eggs in. After laying them she will stay with them to guard them from predators, brush them so algae doesn’t form and to make sure they are well oxygenated. She never leaves the den. In one of the her last actions she will blow water at them to help them hatch. Due to starvation she dies in the den so that her children get a chance to hatch. You’ll find God has written the most beautiful love stories written in the fabric of the universe.
This reminded me of this hadith narrated by Abu Hurayra in which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, says
“Allah Ta’ala has divided mercy in hundred portions. He kept ninety-nine portions by Him and sent one portion in this world. It is through this one mercy that the creation has mercy amongst them, to the extent that a horse will lift its hoof from its young fearing that it might harm it.” (Bukhari)
The Giant Octopus may well be the most devoted mother in the animal kingdom and yet its mercy is still only derived from that one portion of mercy sent to this world. Everyday Muslims stand up in prayer and declare “Allahu Akbar”, that God is greater. A declaration that no matter what concerns us in this life and the limits we can reach in our imaginations about mercy in this world, God is much greater than any of that. SubhanAllah, Glory be to God.
These moments of wonderment, awe and amazement is what I think as the quintessential experience of the believer. The experience that no matter how much of the Universe becomes clearer to us, that no matter how much we begin to see God’s attribute in His creation it is always just a beginning. It’s impossible for the human mind and heart to comprehend the greatness of God’s attributes. Even the molecules and atoms contain so much of the mercy God sent to this world. The hydrogen bond causes water to go against the norm and expand when it solidifies so that it floats above the lakes and oceans. Because of the of this the fish in the water can continue to thrive in the frigid winters.
We are engulfed in God’s mercy. The Quran reminds us of this reality and begins with “In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. All praise is due to Allah , Lord of the worlds. The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful” Surrounded by His Mercy we praise Him.