(part 1 of 2)
„Willing to forgive and not to punish“ is a definition that is often used for the word grace, but what does grace mean in Islam?
With Islam, grace became deeper that creates a living aspect in the life of every Muslim because he is rewarded for showing it, and God’s grace He shows to all His creatures can be seen in everything we look at: in the sun, the light and provides heat, and in the air and in the water, which are necessary for all life.
An entire chapter in the Quran was named after the divine quality Ar-Rahman or „the merciful“. Two of God’s qualities are also derived from the word for grace. They are Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim, they mean „the merciful“ and „the merciful“. It is these two qualities that are meant in the sentence recited at the beginning of 113 chapters of the Quran: „In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Merciful.“ This sentence is a constant reminder to the reader of infinite grace and great goodness.
God assures us that if someone commits a sin, he will be forgiven if he repents and stops when He says:
„Your Lord has prescribed Mercy on Himself, if one of you unwittingly does something wrong and then repents and remedies, He is Forgiving, Merciful.“ (Quran 6:54)
This verse is supported by the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, in which he said that God says,
„My grace outweighs my anger.“
The reward for kindness and grace was also promised to us by the Prophet Muhammad:
“Mercy is shown to those who are merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and He who is in heaven will be merciful to you. ” (As-Suyuti).
The grace of a prophet
As for the grace of Prophet Muhammad, it is best to mention what God Himself says about him:
„And We only sent you out of mercy for all worlds.“ (Quran 21: 107)
… assuring that Islam is based on mercy and that God has sent Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessing and peace on him, as mercy to all creatures without exception.
God also says in the Quran:
“Verily, a Messenger from your midst has come to you; it hurts him a lot if you suffer from something; he works hard for your well-being; he is compassionate and merciful to the believers. ” (Quran 9: 128)
These verses clearly describe the properties and nature of the prophet because he endured much suffering in spreading God’s message. The Prophet was the gentlest in leading his people and whenever they harmed him, he asked God for forgiveness for their ignorance and cruelty.
The companions of the Prophet
God describes the companions in the Quran:
“Muhammad is the Messenger of God. And those who are with him are tough on the unbelievers, but merciful to each other. ” (Quran 48:29).
Some people think it is clear that Muhammad had good moral qualities because he was a prophet, but the companions were ordinary people who dedicated their lives to obedience to God and His Prophet. For example, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq used all of his wealth to buy slaves from their brutal masters and then release them for God.
When he was about to explain the right idea of grace to his companions, the Prophet said that not only was it kindness to family and friends, but also to show grace and affection for the community, whether you knew them or not.
A little bit of mercy
Some of the heartless pre-Islamic traditions were to sacrifice a child to the deities and to bury living girls. These offenses against children have been strictly prohibited many times by the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet.
As for the Prophet’s grace towards children, he once led prayer and his grandsons, Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain, who were little, played and climbed over his back. Fearing to hurt her when he got up, the Prophet extended his prostration. Another time, the prophet Umamah, his granddaughter, carried in his arms while praying.
The prophet’s friendliness was not only limited to his own children, but also to the children who played on the streets. As soon as they saw the Prophet, they ran to him and he received them all with a warm smile and open arms.
Even when praying, the innate kindness of the Prophet becomes clear, because once he said:
“(It happens that) I start a prayer with the intention of making it longer, but then I hear a child cry and then I shorten it Prayer because I know that the child’s cries are disturbing his mother. ” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)
In many situations, the Prophet taught us how to raise children in a friendly and loving atmosphere and that they should not be slapped in the face in order not to humiliate them. When a man watched the Prophet kiss his grandson, he was amazed at the Prophet’s tenderness and said, „I have ten children, but I never kissed one of them.“ The Prophet replied:
„He who shows no mercy will also be shown no mercy.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)
Just stroke your hair …
When God mentions orphans in the Quran, He says the meaning:
„So don’t suppress the orphan.“ (Quran 93: 9)
Consistent with this verse, the Prophet’s behavior toward the orphans when he said:
„Me and the one who looks after an orphan and cares for him will be like that in paradise,“ and he showed his index and middle fingers together. (Abu Dawud)
To give an orphan the feeling of being wanted and that it is Though he has lost his parents‘ affection, still gives people who love him and willingly care for him, the Prophet called for kindness by saying that one person for every hair he has on an orphan’s head deletes, is rewarded with good deeds.
The protection of the property of an orphan was clearly ordered by God and His Prophet, for example God says according to the meaning:
„Truly, those who unjustly consume the orphans‘ good will consume (in reality) fire in their bellies and will burn in hellfire.“ (Quran 4:10)
A tradition of the Prophet also tells us that consuming the property of an orphan is one of the seven worst sins.
(part 2 of 2)
Could this be war?
Grace in Islam also extends to enemies, whether in times of war or at peace, because Prophet Muhammad used to instruct his companions to maintain relationships with relatives who were still incredulous by speaking to them and giving gifts to them.
As for the times of war, God commands the Muslims to allow the enemies to withdraw when they ask and forbids anyone to harm them. We find this in the Quran, where God says according to meaning:
“If one of the idolaters seeks protection from you, grant him protection until he can hear God’s words; then let him reach the place of his safety. This is supposed to be because they are an ignorant people. ” (Quran 9: 6)
The Prophet forbade his companions, the elderly, the injured, women, children and people to harm places of worship. Destroying fields was also prohibited. Mutilating the bodies of the enemies was strictly forbidden, and a quick burial was recommended out of respect.
The Prophet’s instructions regarding prisoners of war were strictly followed by his companions. In one of the stories of a battle that a prisoner told us, he said that after he was captured, he stayed with a Muslim family. Whenever they ate, they preferred him and offered him bread, while they only ate dates.
When the prophet, God’s blessings and peace, was upon him to enter Mecca after defeating the Quraish, he turned to them and asked,
„What do you expect, how I will treat you?“
They replied: “You are a noble brother and the son of a noble brother! We expect nothing but good from you. ”
Then the Prophet announced: “I say to you the same words that Yusuf (the Prophet Joseph) said to his brothers:
“ You will not be blamed today. May God forgive you! Because He is Most Merciful. ” (Quran 12:92).
Go, because you are actually free. ”
On that day when tolerance and forgiveness were least expected, the Prophet set an example of mercy and forgiveness by letting all prisoners go without ransom and forgiving them the persecution and brutal torture of Muslims, among which she was the first 13 Years of preaching the message of Islam had suffered constantly.
All creatures of God
Animals are not ignored either, but they are granted numerous rights in Islam. For example, when the prophet saw a donkey with branding on his face, he said,
„Haven’t you heard that I cursed anyone who branded or hit an animal in the face?“ (Sahieh Muslim).
The Prophet once said that a woman was sent to hell for locking up a cat, and she did not give her food or release her so that she could hunt. On the other hand, the Prophet said that a man came to paradise because he had given water to a dog that was panting in the desert for thirst.
The prophet prohibited the knives from being sharpened before the animal’s eyes before slaughter. He also prohibited the slaughter of one animal in front of the other. This is also very clear from one of the prophetic statements:
„God calls you to mercy, so be merciful if you kill and slaughter: sharpen the blade so that its pain is relieved.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari).
One of the companions reported about this occurrence: „When we were traveling with the Prophet, they found a bird with its cubs, and they took them away from their mother. The bird came and began to flap its wings, the Prophet asked:
„Who took care of this bird by taking its young? Give it back immediately.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari).
The rights of animals were confirmed by the Prophet when he said that anyone who targets a living being is cursed. Forcing animals to fight until one kills the other is also strictly forbidden, because animals also have feelings and this would be a bad ordeal for them.
The Islamic concept of grace is sacred and emphasizes the connection of all creation with one another and with the Creator. Grace begins with God and He grants it to every living being. Animals and humans show grace to each other equally, live harmoniously with each other and because of this grace, God grants them even more grace. This prospect of Islam encourages us to tear down the boundaries between people, and it is the foundation upon which both life and civilization are built.