Tag Archives: Mercy

1 Part of Mercy

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.

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Half of the Testimony

Ashadu an la ilaha illallah wa ashhadu anna muhammadar rasulullah
I testify that there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

Perhaps the greatest honor and the greatest illustration of the rank of the Messenger of God is that to enter Islam you have to say the testimony of faith and half of that is testifying that the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam is the messenger of God. Profound because faith can’t even begin until you accept and testify to that reality. You can believe in God, but the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam is how to believe and how to worship God. He is the perfect slave.  Its like the first part is admitting you are a slave and the second part is the how. The how to be a slave is following the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam.

I wonder how is it then that we miss the message of Islam. The revelation begins with “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim, in the name of God the most merciful the most gracious” (1:1) and in its heart Allah tells us that “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds”. (21:107). When Allah describes the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam further He says “Truly, you are of tremendous character.” (68:4) The Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasalam) himself emphasized that, “I was only sent to perfect noble character,” (Narrated by Ahmad) and said, “The believers most perfect in faith are those best in character.” (Narrated by Tirmidhi).

What went wrong? Why is it that some people seem void of mercy and good character? Then I remembered the story of the Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam and the woman who would put trash and thorns in his path to bother him. One day they were missing and he noticed and went to check on her to see if she had fallen sick. Notice he didn’t sigh due to relief because his dua was answered, because he would never make that dua. He was concerned for a person who we would consider his enemy. He went to visit her and because of the mercy he, salallahu alayhi wasalam had towards her she became Muslim. The example of the Prophet Muhammad is more merciful to his enemies than most of us are to our families, friends, love ones and communities. Meaning He, sallallahu alayhi wasalam is more merciful to people we normally hate (enemies) than we are to the people we love.

We are like that person who marches into Mecca when it was conquered by the Muslims wanting to annihilate its people, but the Messenger of God, salallahu alayhi wasalam announces that the people of Mecca who fought him, humiliated him and killed his family and companions were pardoned.  The people of Mecca were fearful that they’d all be killed for what they had done for the last 20 years of hostility, but the Prophet of God responded to their fear with love and mercy. I remember relearning about this moment as I was getting back in touch with Islam and that hard-hearted person I used to be broke down crying because I knew this was the truth. I cried due to immense gratitude to Allah for making me a person honored to be part of the community of that man, the perfect slave of Allah, sallallahu alayhi wasalam. My heart knew the truth, it knew “Truly, you are of tremendous character.” and it tasted what Allah meant by “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds” I wasn’t even a good Muslim then. I wasn’t even a decent person. I had a hard heart and bad character, but at least I knew and realized then, that the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam is the man I want to follow and emulate for the rest of my life. His example is the medicine to my diseases and the ease in my heart in times of hardship.

The Quran is a guidebook and Allah sent us with it a guide. We are blessed to know how to implement each verse in our lives because the world has seen it implemented through the Chosen One, salallahu alayhi wasalam and all the righteous people who have followed him throughout history. I mess up a lot. I make plenty of mistakes. I have many shortcomings, but I just want to stand before Allah and be able to say I tried and hopefully I’ll be able to say I tried my best.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.

Default Setting

Some of us get raised to think that the default setting of people is egocentricity. Where the only one that matters is me and I. But the Prophet Muhammad salallahu alayhi wasalam (peace and blessings be upon him), was sent to show us that this doesn’t have to be the case. That we can make our lives service to others instead of service to the self. He would turn his whole being towards someone and he gave them his full attention.

He would weep out of sincere care for his community. We forget that his farewell sermon was addressed to humankind (An Nas). We forget that a pagan woman used to put thorns on his path to bother him until she fell ill. The ego would have been thankful for ridding a nuisance in life, but his default setting was to go see her and make sure she was okay. When he carried the groceries of the old woman, who on the walk used her tongue to attack Muhammad, not knowing it was him helping her, he held his tongue and was completely well mannered because his default setting was to help her, even if she said a bad word towards him. Salallahu alayhi wasalam. Peace and blessings be upon him.

In a world that tells us to do whats best for Anna (I or Me), to fulfill our desires above all else, the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasalam) showed us a different way. A way that entails putting others above ourselves. The default setting is mercy and care for people. This is the example that we follow.

Revelation came through the heavens so that we would aspire towards greater ideals. We are taught to reach for the stars, but revelation teaches us to reach for something beyond that. It tells us to stop being obsessed with ourselves and focus on the Creator of everything. Muslims raise their hands declaring that God is greater! and this statement starts with digesting that God is greater than ourselves, greater than our desire for this world, greater than anything and everything. We raise our hands throwing everything else behind us, throwing our own selves behind us and we aspire towards goals that lie beyond the stars and skies.

Do not focus too much in how entrenched we are in darkness, because the Prostitute, who lived a life of darkness was illuminated into Paradise because of one single act of mercy of providing that dog water. Be in between two acts of mercy and do the first act in excellence and look towards the next act in excellence. God is Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim, the most merciful the most gracious. We begin in the name of God, the most merciful the most gracious, and our example is the mercy to all the worlds. There is no more time to waste, illuminate life with a new setting: mercy. And we will finally find that life was worth living.

The Quran begins in the name of God the most Merciful the most Gracious and it ends with the word Humankind (Nas). Hold onto this message of being a mercy to mankind, the Quran’s beginning and end and the middle will follow.

“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.”

– The Quran in Surah Al Anbya (The Prophets) 21:107

(This is inspired by the words of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Feb 2013)

The Palm Tree’s Stump

The Sahaba, the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, narrate a story about a tree stump that loved the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alyayhi wasalam) so much that it wept. The Sahaba Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (may God be pleased with him) narrates to us that “The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam (God send peace and blessings be upon him) used to stand by a tree or a date-palm on Friday. Then an Ansari woman or man said. “O Allah’s Apostle! Shall we make a pulpit for you?” He replied, “If you wish.” So they made a pulpit for him and when it was Friday, he proceeded towards the pulpit (for delivering the sermon).The date-palm cried like a child! The Prophet descended (the pulpit) and embraced it while it continued moaning like a child being quietened. The Prophet said, “It was crying for (missing) what it used to hear of religious knowledge given near to it.”

A tree stump was moved so much by the prescence of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and longed so much to be near him that it wept knowing he would be losing his closeness to him. How many times have we wept because of our longing and yearning to be with the Prophet Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasalam). Its possible that this tree stump loved him more than many of us do and its not even human. I think that all Muslims say they love their Prophet, but the proof is in our actions and how much our hearts are moved by the mentioning of the Prophet, the best of creation (salallahu alayhi wasalam).

I’m of the opinion that if your heart doesn’t pine and yearn for him, it is probably because you don’t know him. He is as Allah (Glorius and Most High) has described him “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (21:107). This becomes quite clear in the story of the tree stump in which the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) embraced while it continued moaning like a child being quieted. Perhaps the tree stump weeping is miraculous in itself but I am more deeply moved by the amount of mercy the Prophet had for the tree. He gave the tree a hug and comforted the tree. Such a great level of love in his heart and imagine how much more love he has for his Umma,  his community.

He had so much concern for his community that instead of using his special supplication he was given as a Prophet on himself, he used it (salallahu alayhi wasalam) so that he could intercede for us on the Day of Judgement. He had so much love for his community that he used to supplicate to Allah for our forgiveness, probably more often and more sincerely than most of us supplicate for ourselves. He certainly loves us more than we even love ourselves. He used to weep out of his concern for us. His concern for us doesn’t just stop in his lifetime either, it keeps going until we walk into Paradise. SubhanAllah, Glorius is God.

If a tree could be so moved by the presence of this man and do something abnormal to its type of creation and weep, imagine what true love for the Prophet, (salallahu alayhi wasalam), could do with us. Its no wonder how the Sahaba, his companions did the unimaginable and went from traders and shepherds into running a territory larger than the Roman Empire. It’s because they were transformed by their love for this man, the beloved of God, the best of all creation, a mercy for all the worlds. Salallahu alayhi wasalam,  peace and blessings be upon him.

May our love for the Prophet, salallahu alayhi wasalam, deepen, increase and transform us into people greater than we think we can be. Ameen.

The Darkest Part of the Night

Jonah was in the 3 darknesses, the belly of the whale, the deep ocean and the night sky

Literally descending to his lowest point

Before his Lord answered his call, and filled his life with a beautiful light

Guided his people, placed a tree for shade because the sun was too bright

Moses, was facing the sea, with nowhere to turn but his Lord

His people had lost hope, they thought it was an end

But he knew, God was near, help was ready to come

God opened the sea for Moses

Out of his mercy, his divine openings and hope

The Prophet Muhammad

Peace and blessings be upon him

Had lost his protector, his great love and supporter

And the people of Taif tried to denigrate him

But little did they know, Allah was bringing the dawn

And he ascended above the heavens,

To go meet his Lord

Adam had made a mistake,

and felt the greatest bit of guilt

And then he learned he was created to

Seek forgiveness and be forgiven in the first place

So if you fall, do not fret

And never forget that God

Is waiting on your call

Ready with your ease
Just point your heart towards Home

It is the darkest part of night

That invites the coming of the dawn

How Many Generations?

A Poem About the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)

Jesus son of Mary, brought the dead man back to life,

but How many generations of men have you brought back to life?

How many generations of men and women did you save, Oh Chosen One?
Salallahu alayhi wasalam. Peace and blessings of God be upon you.
Your light illuminates the whole world,

and even lights the life of those who do not believe in you.

Your character spread across the Earth and all good character is encompassed in it.

Even the disbelievers after you have values and morals

due to your light shining through the Earth, although they are unaware.

You benefitted like a sweet fragrance, to even the hands that tried to crush you.

Your light spread across the globe by those who loved you.

The people of the earth stared and gazed

at the light illuminating from the face of your lovers,

in awe, inspired by their righteous character.

Oh even the stranger can see your light illuminate on the faces of those who love you!

But how small is the light of those who follow you

in comparison to the man called a guiding light in the Quran.

People amazed by stars, but you shone brighter than the sun!

Spreading peace, bringer of glad tidings, a warner to take remind that God is One.

How many men and women found themselves in darkness

and were given a way out by the illumination of your prayers.

How many men and women do you rescue from the fire!

How many lovers drew close to God because the closest to Him,

told us that He is near.

Oh Chosen One! Peace and blessings be upon you,

how can I ever express my love at all.

If my words became all be praise of you, in my whole lifetime,

I couldn’t even equate the beauty of just one of your breaths.

There is no honor in me knowing you, but my honor is that before I existed,

I was in your breast.

My love for you will never be sufficient…

But your love…
How could I ever be without you? Ya Rasulallah, salallahu alayhi wasalam.

You once asked have I conveyed the Message?

Another generation of men and women

will confirm that what you have brought and said are all truth.

Gods Peace and blessings be upon you

A Prayer

Ya Allah make our friends beneficial for us in remembrance of You and make our enemies beneficial in our remembrance of You. If You place the truth upon the lips of a dear friend inspire me to obey it and if you place the truth upon the lips of a hated enemy cause me to obey it. Surely our only real enemy is those who make us forget You. A loved one can be a greater enemy to you than a hated one, so cause us to love what reminds us of you and to hate what causes us to forget you. And make us of those who love those who constantly remind us of you. Ameen