Quran – Universal Mercy
PROF. G R MALIK
One of the many epithets that Allah (SWT) has used for the holy Quran is that it is a manifestation of His boundless and universal mercy. Just as air, water and sunshine are expressions of Allah’s mercy to man for the maintenance of his physical existence so is the Divine revelation, embodied in the Quran, His mercy for the spiritual and moral life of man. The Quran as the embodiment of the Creator’s mercy is a subject so vast and multidimensional that it cannot be touched upon even in the form of the barest outline in a short write-up. One of the dimensions of its mercifulness is the way it relates to those who do not believe in it.
In this connection the first noteworthy thing is the way in which the believers have been instructed to assert their faith. Again and again, they are asked to declare their faith in emphatic terms:
Say (O believers) we believe in Allah and we believe in that which was sent down unto us and that which was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and to their progeny; and we believe in that which was given to Moses and Jesus and in that which was given to the (other) prophets by their Lord; we do not discriminate against any one of them and we obey Allah. (2:136)
This cardinal article of Islamic faith is repeated with prominent emphasis in the Book. The last verses of Surah al-Baqarah constitute one of the most prized gifts that the beloved Prophet (SAW) was blessed with on the occasion of M‘iraj. The first of these verses reads:
The Messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord and so do the believers. Each of them believes in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers (asserting that) we make no distinction between any one of his messengers. (2-285).
Polytheism and its most obvious form, idol-worship, is denounced by the Quran in unmistakable terms but the believers are forbidden from using any derogatory language even against the idols:
Revile not those unto whom they (the idol-worshippers) pray beside Allah. (6:108)
To those who are the repositories of the earlier scriptures, ahl al-Kitab, the Quranic manifesto is loud and clear:
Say ‘O people of the Scripture, come to the terms which are common between us and you, that we worship and obey none but Allah, that we associate no partners with Him, and that we do not take, besides Him, one another as lords; but if they turn away, tell them to stand witness that we surrender in obedience to Allah’ (3-64)
One of the most important Quranic teachings in this context, and one which we believers unfortunately tend to forget, is that while combating our adversaries, we should not return evil with evil but with good:
Good cannot be equated with evil, repel evil with that which is most good: then he between you and whom was enmity shall become as if he were your bosom friend. (41:32)
The same wholesome teaching was communicated by Jesus (ahihi salam) through a heart-melting analogy: you cannot extinguish fire with fire but only with water.
It is only when Muslims are victims of aggression that the Quran asks them to defend themselves and it is verses revealed in this context which are exploited by the enemies of the Quran to denigrate this embodiment of Divine mercy.
A very pertinent question that the present circumstances naturally pose to all of us is whether a book thus embodying Allah’s boundless mercy should be disrespected or enthusiastically respected and loved.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 16 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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