Jan 23, 2013, 10:58 AM
One of the most magnificent rings of this love which the Glorious Quran has considered to be equivalent to the reward for the Prophetic Mission of Islam and for the Prophet’s services to this community (ummah) is the following: the ring which connects the whole Islamic community with the Ahl al Bayt (a), a family which comprises the most competent people to lead the Islamic community and a household which is, in fact, considered as the ship of deliverance and the coast of safety:
….Say, ‘I do not ask you any reward for it expect love of [my] relatives,’… (42:23)
As for the smallest ring of love, namely the love and friendship between husband and wife, the Quran say:
….and He ordained affection and mercy between you… (30:21)
Islamic sources (Quran verses and Prophetic traditions) have sometimes spoken about the rupture [that occurs] in the relationship between God and people who are outside [the embrace] of His commands-trespasser, unbeliever, oppressor, egoists, traitors, sinners, mischief makers, the arrogant, and pleasure-seekers. These sources have also spoken about the break-up of relations between people who fellow God and those who fellow Satan:
You will not find a people believing in Allah and the Last Day endearing those who oppose Allah and His Apostle…. (58:22)
The conclusion that is draw from the foregoing discourse is that Muslims believe that they live in world of reciprocal love and friendship. This belief has significant influence in producing hope in man’s heart-constructive hope which gives him zeal in the pursuit of felicity and wellbeing.
4. MERCY AND KINDNESS ARE THE ORIGIN OF THE WHOLE OF BEING
This section explains the most splendid part, as well as the secret and key, of Islamic belief. It has been narrated some traditions that the whole Quran had been summed up the Opening Chapter (Surah al-Faihah) and that the Opening Chapter has been summed up in Bismillahi al Rahman al-Rahim (“In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful”). These traditions indicate that the Opening Chapter has been considered the heart and soul of the Glorious Quran because it contains a summary of the basic principles and tenets of Islamic belief-i.e., it acts as the ideological framework of all that the Glorious Quran has uttered.
Now if we move to the second level, we will see that on is own Bismillahi al-Rahman al-Rahim also constitutes the heart and foundation of Islam because it stresses the point that in the first sage everything in the world of being has emanated from the Name of God the Almighty and in the last stage everything has issue from the framework wherefrom the origin has sprung from. The origin of all things is Bismillah and its concomitant is infinite mercy.
We perceive that this reality corresponds with the various parts of the Glorious Quran which are expressive of one of the manifestations of perfection in the Essence of God. The Quran establishes firm belief among Muslims that man has his origins in the fountainhead of mercy, has been settled in a world of mercy, and moves in the discomfiture of the protection of this mercy, which in many instances possibly overlooks ad forgives deviations in his conduct.
When we examine the effects of supplication, particularly in the supplication transmitted from the Imams (a), we come across many pedagogical tools of an ideological nature which put emphasis on this aspect [of the role of mercy]. In the Glorious Quran as well, we come across many noble verses which harmonize God’s attribute of glory with that of His mercy and graciousness. These include the following examples:
Indeed His is the All-mighty, the All-merciful. (44:42)
…..You are the best of the merciful. (23:109 & 118)
….He has made mercy incumbent upon Himself…. (6:12)
Your Lord is the All-sufficient dispenser of mercy….. (6:133)
…..There has already come to you a manifest proof from your Lord and a guidance and mercy…. (6:157)
….Indeed Allah’s mercy is close to the virtuous. (7:57)
So observe the effects of Allah’s mercy: how He revives the earth after its death….. (30:50)
Say [that Allah declares,] ‘O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah … (39:53)
The All-beneficent settled on the Throne. (20:5)
Even on the most difficult and most frightening of occasions, the quality and attribute of mercy is mentioned:
On the day they will fellow a summoner in whom there will be no deviousness. The voices will be muted before the All-beneficent, and you will hear nothing but a murmur. (20:108)
Therefore, besides the two elements of right and justice-which more then anything else denote, balance and parity-Muslims also believe in two other elements, namely love and mercy, which denote even-increasing goodness and more than deserved generosity.
Till now, we have become acquainted with the fundamental laws governing he world of being, namely truth, justice, love, and mercy. [What is important to note is that] Islam has placed its noble messenger to be the model par excellence of these fundamental realities and his conduct and precedents have deeply infused these essentials into hearts of Muslims.
THE NOBLE PROPHET (s) IS THE GREASTEST EMBODIMEN OF THESE NOTIONS
If we take a look at the normative conduct and precedents of the Noble Prophet (s) we will see them as the clear manifestation of these realities-i.e, truth, justice, love, and mercy- and we will see him (s) as the rightful completer of noble ethical traits as well as a mercy bestowed to mankind.
We will examine this point in the following sections, particularly through various traditions, but firs we wish to quote sayings from the Nahj al-balagha wherein Imam ‘Ali (a) has ascribed the most magnificent attributes to the Apostle of God and has described him (s) as his own mentor, teacher, prophet, and beloved one. Imam ‘Ali (a) says,
God the Glorified raised Muhammad (s) to the prophetic mission in order to actualize His promise and culminate His delegation of prophets (a). He had gotten pledges from the former prophets (a) regarding him (s). His characteristics which had been explicitly stated in the [Divine] Books of former prophets and of which they had given glad tidings were well known.’ (Nahj al-balagha, p. 44)…. To be continued.