Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem. I begin with the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
This is a phrase that we say every day, several times per day. However sometimes we forget how mighty a phrase it is and we forget that mercy is one of His attributes that we, as imperfect human beings, constantly rely upon the blessings of Allah.
Allah is the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful, His mercy encompasses all things, and is the source of all the compassion and mercy that exists.
Allah is the Most Merciful, Most Compassionate, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. His Mercy encompasses all things. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… and My Mercy embraces all things.” [7:156]
In Saheeh Muslim it is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet ﷺ said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)
It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Some prisoners were brought to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her child). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to us, ‘Do you think that this woman would throw her child in the fire?’ We said, ‘No, by Allah, not if she is able not to.’ The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, ‘Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this woman is to her child.’” (Agreed upon)
Signs of Allah’s Mercy
He sent Messengers & Books to guide us
One aspect of the Mercy of Allah to His slaves is that He sent the Messengers and revealed the Books and laws to organize their lives according to the ways of wisdom, far removed from hardship and difficulty. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And We have sent you (O Muhammad) not but as a mercy for the ‘alameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).” [21:107]
Quran is Allah’s greatest gift to humanity – it is a book like no other. The Quran guides humankind to high standards of morality and exhorts them to strive to be the best human beings possible.
Whenever life becomes too difficult or we are beset by injury, illness, or unhappiness, Quran will light our way and lighten our burdens. It is a source of solace and ease. It is a mercy to humankind.
“And this is a blessed Book (the Quran) which We have sent down, so follow it and fear Allah (i.e. do not disobey His Orders), that you may receive mercy”. (Quran 6:155)
He accepts repentance
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin are those who repent.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 2499; classed as hasan by al-Albaani.
By His mercy towards weak man, Allaah has opened the gate of repentance to him, and has commanded him to turn to Him, every time sin overwhelms him. Were it not for that, man would suffer a great deal of hardship and would not have the drive to draw closer to his Lord; he would lose all hope of His forgiveness and pardon. Repentance is something that is necessary as a result of man’s shortcomings and human failings.
Allaah has bestowed His mercy and encompassed His slaves with his kindness. He is Forbearing and does not punish us or destroy us straightaway, rather He gives us respite, and He commanded His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to proclaim His generosity:
Good Deeds wipes out bad deeds
Allah says, “And perform As‑Salaah (Iqaamat‑as‑ Salaah), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night [i.e. the five compulsory Salaah (prayers)]. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins)” [Hood 11:114]
And the Prophet ﷺ said:
Ease in Worship
So Merciful is our Lord that He accepts our repentance even when we keep sinning and SubhaanAllah He has made good deeds easy as well.
Islam teaches that every single aspect of life can be an act of worship. Everything from eating and drinking to sleeping and going to the bathroom can be done in a way that pleases Allah. Islam is a faith that is flexible, lenient and merciful.
For instance, if a believer is sick and cannot fast during the month of Ramadan, he is not mandated to fast. In fact he is encouraged to not fast. Similarly if a Muslim cannot make the Hajj due to physical or financial difficulties he or she is excused from doing so.
It is the mercy of Allah that allows a Muslim traveler to combine prayers when traveling, because stopping every few hours to pray may make the trip longer and more arduous.
Mercy is One of Allah’s greatest attributes. It is incumbent upon those who believe in Allah to show mercy in all that they do and say.
Allah has blessed some days and deeds over other
Allah (swt) has blessed his Ummah with the opportunity to multiply their reward through His infinite mercy. He has blessed some months over others like Ramadan, Muharram, Dhul Hijjah; similarly Allah has blessed some days over others like Arafaat, first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, last 10 nights of Ramadan.
It is very important to know that every righteous deed that a person does may be part of that with which Allah will cause the balance of his good deeds to weigh heavily on the Day of Resurrection. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
But there are texts which speak of specific deeds which will weigh particularly heavy in the doer’s balance on the Day of Resurrection. In this course we will InShaAllah study about these deeds one category after the other.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Verily, Allah Almighty is pleased for this nation to be at ease, and He is displeased for it to be in difficulty,” and the Prophet ﷺ said it three times. (al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr 707; Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Suyuti)
TARGET JANNATUL FIRDOSE
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
Paradise is expensive merchandise, and al-Firdaws al-A‘la is the highest and best part of Paradise. No one reaches it except those whom Allah has singled out for more of His grace.
The people of al-Firdaws al-A‘la are the ones who hasten to do good as they are commanded. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And those foremost ((in Islamic Faith of Monotheism and in performing righteous deeds) in the life of this world on the very first call for to embrace Islam,) will be foremost (in Paradise). These will be those nearest to Allah. In the Gardens of delight (Paradise)” [al-Waaqi‘ah 56:10-12].
It should be noted that attaining high status in this world and the hereafter cannot be done by means of wishful thinking and dreaming; rather it can only be by taking the measures that lead to that. Otherwise there would be no difference between one who is honest and one who is a liar. This is by the wisdom of Allah, may He be exalted, that He has made His slaves accountable and enjoined certain things upon them.
Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah.
And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a true believer in the Oneness of Allah (Muslim), such will enter Paradise and not the least injustice, even to the size of a Naqeera (speck on the back of a datestone), will be done to them” [an-Nisa’ 4:123-124].
The Muslim should seek the help of his Lord to do good deeds, and do his best to do them. He should persist in doing these good deeds even if they are little, for that is better than doing a lot of good deeds then stopping.
It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said: “O people, you should do whatever good deeds you can, for Allaah does not get tired (of giving reward) until you get tired. And the most beloved of good deeds to Allaah is that in which a person persists, even if it is little. If the family of Muhammad ﷺ started to do something, they would persist in it.” (al-Bukhaari, & Muslim).
To sum up: striving hard in doing righteous deeds, hastening to do good deeds, persisting in righteous deeds and acts of kindness, and competing in doing good and righteous deeds form the basis for reaching what one most hopes for in this world and the hereafter, even if that ultimate goal is al-Firdaws al-A‘la.
Since doing righteous deeds is a prerequisite for us to get the desired end result that is Jannah, let us learn about the good deeds that will weigh heavily on our scales on the day of judgement. In the upcoming classes we will study about the Simple deeds with great rewards in…