Say: 'O My servants who have transgressed against your own souls: do not despair of God's mercy, for God forgives all sins. It is S/He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.' Qur'an (39:53)

Monthly Archives: March 2012


The Prophet David sings, “She is near.

Her hand touches your broken heart.

She saves you when you are crushed in spirit.”

(Psalm 34:18)


I follow the religion of Love,

Now I am sometimes called

A Shepherd of gazelles

And now a Christian monk,

And now a Persian sage.

My beloved is three-

Three yet only one;

Many things appear as three,

Which are no more than one.

Give Her no name,

As if to limit one

At sight of Whom

All limitation is confounded.

– Ibn Arabi –

The Prophet said, “Be kind. Allah is kind and loves kindness.”


“Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you!

Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart.”

-Proverbs 3:3

A word like “reform” which is added to Islam is only a label. Quran says, “Allah never changes a people´s state until they change what is in themselves.” (13:11). Sometimes change is necessary, but Islam need not change. We must change. Words like “reformed” and “progressive” inaccurately define the intention of liberal Muslims. Where is the common place for both sides to come together; one that is deeply reverent toward the message of Islam? It is through a recommitment to mercy. It is obvious we can’t please Allah by ignoring Islam’s message of mercy.

Many Muslims agree that Islam needs to be re-evaluated in a way that leads to it being more compatible with the 21st century. Their problem is often with the rulers of some Muslim-majority countries who have become harsh and oppressive. It is simple to see what is missing in their practice of Islam and it is obvious it is not in synch with the religion Islam is meant to be.

What needs to happen within the ummah to bring about an Islam which is relevant to all of us? I believe it is time to re-evaluate what has happened to the concept of mercy that is meant to be at the core of Islam. Quran tells us that Muhammad’s, peace be upon him, message is meant to be one of mercy. “We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.” (Quran 21:107)

Islam must be refined, not reformed, not recreated. Islam must be refined by a people of mercy. We all know Islam means complete surrender to God. Again we are given a message here. At the beginning of all but one of Quran’s 114 chapters we are reminded of Allah’s Compassion and Mercy. If Allah and the Prophet are clearly telling us that Islam is deeply committed to making us a people of mercy, how do we put it at the center of every Muslims faith?

If we accomplish this, we become a community which improves the world through acts of kindness and compassion. We become a people who make the earth a better place for all creation. We are meant to emulate the Prophet. Many have forgotten that means we are meant to emulate a message of mercy. It doesn’t matter if we brush our teeth with a miswak. Islam is not about brushing teeth. It is about spreading mercy. Not only for those of us who are Muslims, but for all creation.

If we unite as a People of Mercy, we unite as an ummah. By refining Islam, we restore the example of the Prophet as a gentle and compassionate man who forgave even his greatest enemies. Islamophobia will fade as people realize the ummah has the best intentions. Just as Allah had the best intentions for creation when he sent us Muhammad. May we become a blessing to Islam and the world by becoming the humble followers who are in complete alignment with the Bismillah. We cannot call out to God who is Most Compassionate and Most Merciful and then harm people. The Bismillah is a constant reminder that our faith should make us the merciful and compassionate ones, not just now and then. It must become present in every breath we breathe.