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Islam's Merciful God: Part II

In the past few days a lady in Denmark wrote a piece in a religious newspaper and said about the Holy Quran that in it there is repeated mention of punishment and wrath of God and there is no mention of love except in one or two places. And that it can never be said truly at least - by Muslims - that a man believes in God voluntarily and freely and because of his love for God. Quoting some verses without understanding them or mentioning them out of context she has tried to put forth her inference that the God of Islam is quick in punishment and hard. The Jama’at of Denmark is writing a rebuttal of this article but I have presented these few references from the Holy Quran which, while they give a message of hope to the believers they also provide answers to these types of writers and enemies of Islam who ascribe falsehood to Islam and have malice in their hearts towards Islam and the Holy Quran.

Allah, the Exalted, is the Master. He forgives. This attribute of His encompasses all His other attributes. He forgives and He shows Mercy. This is His Mercy that despite the innumerable excesses and wrongs committed by man He does not hurry to punish. But, yes, it is true that because of committing excesses beyond the limit and then being obstinate, Allah, the Exalted, says that you will receive punishment. If you continuously go on committing sins and excesses and do not stop, no matter what, you will become subject to punishment. This is the law of nature and in fact this is the law that is operative in the world also. But even then Allah, the Exalted, is so Gracious, that a time will come when Hell will become empty. This is how expansive and unlimited God’s Mercy is.

In these verses, after mentioning His Mercy and Forgiveness, Allah, the Exalted, says that if you still do not take benefit of My Mercy and Forgiveness then there is, for you, also punishment for your sins and excesses. But nevertheless, it is my Mercy and Forgiveness that is drawing your attention again and again that you should safeguard yourselves before such a time that some punishment surrounds you. Do not commit excesses beyond all limits so that you become caught in My punishment. So try to save yourselves.

So now, those who criticize even upon knowing all this what should one say except that that their thinking is blind and their hearts are filled with malice, antagonism and ill will. When they formulate the laws of their own countries they indeed want to punish for crimes but those who break the commandments of Allah, the Exalted, and who commit excesses and wrongs - about them they ask why does God Almighty say that I will punish such people.

How Forgiving is the God of Islam? This is illustrated from this narration:

Hazrat Abu Saeed (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said that among the Children of Israel there was a person who had committed 99 murders. [These examples are being given so that we may be informed about the Mercy of God which has been in existence from the beginning and shall remain forever.] The Holy Prophet said that this man had committed 99 murders and then he started out to ask about repentance. He came upon a hermit, a monk and asked him whether he could now repent? This hermit said no, there is now no way to repentance. This man killed him also.

He kept asking about this after that as to whether repentance can be achieved or not even after all these things and a man told him to go to a certain place. But as he was going there he died and before breathing his last, and as he fell, he turned his chest towards the direction of this place he was heading towards.

The angels of mercy and the angels of punishment arrived and started to dispute about the fate of this man. Allah, the Exalted, ordered the place he was traveling towards to draw near to him and ordered the place from which he was traveling away to become distant from him and then ordered the angels to measure the distances to both these places from where the man had died. And it turned out that the man had died just a tiny distance closer to the place towards which he was traveling to achieve repentance than the place from which he was going away. So Allah, the Exalted, forgave him for this reason.

So this is the God of Islam Who prefers forgiveness instead of punishment and Whose Mercy is the most expansive.

Then there is another narration.

Hazrat Abu Dharr (ra) narrates from the Holy Prophet (sa) that he said concerning His Lord, the Exalted, that He says: O son of Adam, you do not pray to me and yet entertain hope also. So I say, with the sole condition that you do not associate partners with me, I will forgive all other sins and shortcomings, even though your errors be the size of the entire earth. I will come and meet you with my forgiveness that is greater in expanse than the earth. And if you have committed errors so tall as to reach the heavens, and you ask for My forgiveness, I will even forgive you such large errors and will not care an iota’s worth.

This is Allah, the Exalted, Who is the God presented by Islam, Who is the Most Forgiving. And we, the believers, how greatly beholden we are to Him for His enormous beneficence from among which one is that every year in the month of Ramadhan, the doors of His Forgiveness open even more widely.

Check out this slide show: Islam's Merciful God

This article and the accompanying slide show are a summary of Friday Sermon of July 18th delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

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