…Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim…
In the Name of God, God of Mercy, God of Love
Perhaps its best to start by explaining why this effort is called “786 Mercy Rules”.
786 is a numerology equation for the Bismillah. Devout Muslims recite the bismillah frequently. It is a way of remembering we are surrendered to the Divine. It also helps us attend to different activities prayerfully.
Every surah (chapter) of Quran, but one begins with the Bismillah. There are 114 surahs to Quran so 113 of them begin by reminding the reader that Allah is the Merciful and the Compassionate. It takes minimal effort to reach the conclusion that God wants us to enter into relationship with Hu (the Divine Pronoun) like a child might go to her mother. We can know that mother will love us unconditionally, feel compassionate toward us and forgive us when we goof up. Mother may discipline us, but it will only occur because she loves us.
Interestingly, there is an intriguing connection between the Arabic words for compassion and mercy and mothers. The words for compassion and mercy come from the same root word which gives us the Arabic word for womb. And since God states in Quran that SHe speaks to us often in parables, we must always look for the deeper messages. Perhaps something as small as a word can provide a deep meaning into the Divine Essence or aspects of our lives. It has been said that every word of Quran has many meanings. The Semitic languages create this possibility.
So now we know why this title, Mercy Rules, is very relevant to Islam. The Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, is told in Quran that his message is mercy.
“And We have not sent you
but as a mercy to the worlds.”
If the Prophet brought a message of mercy, then every Muslim must dedicate himself or herself to carrying that message into the world. Because Muhammad, peace be upon him, was the Prophet to whom Allah revealed Islam, mercy is now our responsibility. How dedicated are we, as an ummah (community)to being a people of mercy?
In truth, it is mercy that can unite us, making our spiritual family more closely knit. Many sects of Islam are existing nowadays. There are conservative sects, liberal sects, Shias and Sunnis and mystical Sufis. There are Ismailis and Salafis and those who adhere to the Maliki rulings or the Hanafi rulings.
Islam is like water; it forms to the shape of the vessel that holds the water. It is flexible and it can be practiced in many different ways. There is one thing we can all agree on though.
Islam is Allah’s message of mercy revealed through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad. Mercy is at the core of Islam. No matter where each spoke of a wheel goes, it returns to the center where all the spokes meet. And for the religion of Islam, the core of Islam is mercy.
Mercy Rules is a call to an Islamic revival. It is a call to Unity. Every Muslim and even every non-muslim can relate to this message and learn from this message.
Mercy creates so much beauty. It generates forgiveness, kindness, unconditional love, generosity, friendship, community and charity. It is, in that sense, that Islam is a universal message.
Whether one is Muslim or Christian or pagan or Buddhist or agnostic, there is something in Islam’s message of mercy which can make each heart a little softer, a little gentler, a little more tolerant and caring. Whether the reader is Muslim or not, the teachings in Islam can make all of us better people.
May Allah be pleased with this effort to create here a place where others can feel closer to God and find inspiration to become better people. May it create a sense of unity and show the way all creation is waiting for our own acts of mercy.
I will end with this hadith (saying)
of the Prophet, peace be upon him, who said,
“Even a smile is charity.”