Friday Sermon: ISLAM, THE RELIGION OF MERCY
All perfect praise belongs to Allah. May the peace and salutation of Allah be upon the noblest of mankind, Muhammad (peace be upon him), his household, his companions and the generality of Muslims till the Day of Resurrection, amin.
Mercy is a kindness of the heart and a compassion of the soul that leads to being forgiving and beneficent. Mercy is an innate quality which Allah has placed into the hearts of His creatures; even animals show mercy to their young ones.
Mercy is one of the traits of Muslims. Consequently, they love mercy, preach mercy, spread mercy and urge others to show mercy. Allah, the Most High says in the Glorious Qur’an among the striking atttributes of the believers: ‘ …and (also) recommended one another to pity and compassion’ (Qur’an: 90:17)
The prophet corroborated the mutuality of mercy. It was reported that the Prophet, ‘On the authority of an-Nu’man Ibn Bashir- may Allah be pleased with both of them- said:’ the prophet – peace be upon him said- ‘ the believers in their mutual love,mercy and sympathy are like one body. When one of the limbs feels pains, the whole of the body responds to it with sleeplessness and fever’. (Muslim)
Allah ascribes mercy to Himself in His Holy Book. ‘ … and My mercy emraces all things’ (Qur’an: 7:156)
The seal of all prophet of Allah (SAW) is described as being merciful in the Qur’an. ‘… for the believers (the prophet is) compassionate and merciful.’ (Qur’an: 9:128).
The righteous companions of the prophet earned glory from Allah Who praised them. ‘ … and (the companions) are merciful among themselves’ (Qur’an: 48 : 29).
The messengership of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) is described by Allah as a sign of mercy to the universe. ‘And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the world ( mankind, Jinn and all that exists) – Qur’an:21:107.
The prophet epitomized mercy and compassion to all and sundry. It was reported that the Prophet once kissed Al-Hasan Ibn Ali while al-Aqra Ibn Habis was in his presence. So al-Aqra said to him ‘ you kiss your children’. I swear by Allah, I have ten children and I never kissed any one of them. So the prophet said:’he who does not show mercy (to others) will not be shown mercy (by Allah)’.
The mercy of the Prophet (SAW) manifested in the cause of Salah when he opted to shorten his recitation out of compassion to the mother whose little child was crying.
Al-Bukhari reported that Abu Qatadah said that the Prophet- peace be upon him- said: ‘ when I intended to raise Salah, I wanted to prolong it. Then I heard a baby crying, so I shortened it in order to avoid boring its mother’.
MERCY TO ANIMALS
Al-Bukhari reported that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: ’Allah’s messenger said: A person was walking on his way when he became extremely thirsty. (He suddenly) came upon a well and so went down into it so that he could drink from the water. Upon coming out, he saw a panting dog eating dirt. The man said to himself: ‘ This dog was thirsty as I was,’ so the man again descended into the well, filled up his leather sock with water and holding it in his mouth , climbed back up and quenched the thirst of the dog. Allah held the act in high esteem and forgave the man’. The companions asked: ‘ shall we be rewarded for showing mercy to the animal too? He, -peace be upon him- said: ‘ a reward is given in connection for every living creature’.
O Allah! Have mercy on us above the earth and below the earth and on the Day when our deeds will be presented to us. And cause us to be merciful to one another just as the companions were. And have mercy on our dead ones and put those who have mercy from amongst your servants in charge over us, Most Merciful! Amin.