One Of The Many Examples of Allah’s Mercy

27 01 2008

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Yesterday, I was listening to a lecture on Qadr by Sister Laila Nasheeba. During that lecture, she brought up a point that I had heard many times but something clicked yesterday.  The aha! moment so to speak. I love it when that happens. Anyway,She brought up the fact that Allah knows everything that we are thinking, every bad thought, every urge that we have, everything that is just on the tip of our tongue. Yet, we are not held accountable for that unless we act upon it or verbalize it.

This is such a mercy. I remember hearing Dr.Ali Shehata give a lecture in which he mentioned the tafsir (explanation) of the last few verses of Surah Al Baqara (the second surah of the Qur’an). I immediately looked up the tafsir (Ibn Kathir) and would like to share it here so that it may be an inspiration and serve as a reminder and source of hope for us all.

Allah states that His is the kingship of the heavens and earth and of what and whoever is on or between them, that He has perfect watch over them. No apparent matter or secret that the heart conceals is ever a secret to Him, however minor it is. Allah also states that He will hold His servants accountable for what they do and what they conceal in their hearts. In similar statements, Allah said,

[قُلْ إِن تُخْفُواْ مَا فِى صُدُورِكُمْ أَوْ تُبْدُوهُ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ]

(Say (O Muhammad ): “Whether you hide what is in your breasts or reveal it, Allah knows it, and He knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth. And Allah is able to do all things) [3:29], and,

[يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى]

(He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.)

There are many other Ayat on this subject. In this Ayah [2:284], Allah states that He has knowledge of what the hearts conceal, and consequently, He will hold the creation accountable for whatever is in their hearts. This is why when this Ayah was revealed, it was hard on the Companions, since out of their strong faith and conviction, they were afraid that such reckoning would diminish their good deeds.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “When

[لِّلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَـوتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللَّهُ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ]

(To Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it. Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is able to do all things)

was revealed to the Messenger of Allah , it was very hard for the Companions of the Messenger . The Companions came to the Messenger and fell to their knees saying, `O Messenger of Allah! We were asked to perform what we can bear of deeds: the prayer, the fast, Jihad and charity. However, this Ayah was revealed to you, and we cannot bear it.’ The Messenger of Allah said,

«أَتُرِيدُونَ أَنْ تَقُولُوا كَما قَالَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابَيْنِ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ: سَمِعْنَا وَعَصَيْنَا؟ بَلْ قُولُوا: سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِير»

(Do you want to repeat what the People of the Two Scriptures before you said, that is, `We hear and we disobey’ Rather, say, `We hear and we obey, and we seek Your forgiveness, O our Lord, and the Return is to You.)

When the people accepted this statement and their tongues recited it, Allah sent down afterwards,

[ءَامَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَـئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ ]

(The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do)the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers ـ and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”)

When they did that, Allah abrogated the Ayah [2:284] and sent down the Ayah,

[لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا]

(Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error.”) until the end.”

Muslim recorded it with the wording; “When they did that, Allah abrogated it [2:284] and sent down,

[لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا]

(Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error”.)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

[رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَآ إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا]

(“Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians)”)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

[رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ]

(“Our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. ”)

Allah said, `I shall (accept your supplication),’

[وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَآ أَنتَ مَوْلَـنَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ]

(“Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”)

Allah said, `I shall.”’

Imam Ahmad recorded that Mujahid said, “I saw Ibn `Abbas and said to him, `O Abu Abbas! I was with Ibn `Umar, and he read this Ayah and cried.’ He asked, `Which Ayah’ I said,

[وَإِن تُبْدُواْ مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ]

`(And whether you disclose what is in yourselves or conceal it.)’

Ibn `Abbas said, `When this Ayah was revealed, it was very hard on the Companions of the Messenger of Allah and worried them tremendously. They said: O Messenger of Allah! We know that we would be punished according to our statements and our actions, but as for what occurs in our hearts, we do not control what is in them.’ The Messenger of Allah said,

«قُولُوا: سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا»

(Say, `We hear and we obey.’) They said, `We hear and we obey.’ Thereafter, this Ayah abrogated the previous Ayah,

[ءَامَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ]

(The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah), until,

[لاَ يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ]

(Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.)

Therefore, they were pardoned what happens in their hearts, and were held accountable only for their actions.”’

The Group recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ اللهَ تَجَاوَزَ لِي عَنْ أُمَّتِي مَا حَدَّثَتْ بِهِ أَنْفُسَهَا مَالَمْ تَكَلَّمْ أَوْ تَعْمَل»

(Allah has pardoned my Ummah for what they say to themselves, as long as they do not utter it or act on it.)

The Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«قَالَ اللهُ: إِذَا هَمَّ عَبْدِي بِسَيِّئَةٍ فَلَا تَكْتُبُوهَا عَلَيهِ، فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا سَيِّئَةً، وَإِذَا هَمَّ بِحَسَنَةٍ فَلَمْ يَعْمَلْهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا حَسَنَةً، فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا عَشْرًا»

(Allah said (to His angels), “If My servant intends to commit an evil deed, do not record it as such for him, and if he commits it, write it for him as one evil deed. If he intends to perform a good deed, but did not perform it, then write it for him as one good deed, and if he performs it, write it for him as ten good deeds.”)

[ءَامَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَـئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لاَ نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ وَقَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ ]

لاَ يُكَلّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَآ إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَآ أَنتَ مَوْلَـنَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ-]

l(285. The Messenger believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers ـ and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).”) (286. Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned. “Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Mawla (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people.”) The Hadiths on the Virtue of These Two Ayat, May Allah Benefit Us by Them Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ قَرَأَ بِالْآيَتَيْنِ مِنْ آخِرِ سُورَةِ الْبَقَرَةِ فِي لَيْلَةٍ، كَفَتَاه»

(Whoever recites the last two Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice for him.)

The rest of the six also recorded similar wording for this Hadith. The Two Sahihs recorded this Hadith using various chains of narration, and Imam Ahmad also recorded it.

Muslim recorded that `Abdullah said, “When the Messenger of Allah went on the Isra journey, he ascended to the Sidrat Al-Muntaha in the sixth heaven, where whatever ascends from the earth ends at, and whatever descends from above it ends at.

[إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى ]

(When that covered the lote tree which did cover it!) [53:16] meaning, a mat made of gold.

The Messenger of Allah was then given three things: the five prayers, the last Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah and forgiveness for whoever did not associate anything or anyone with Allah from his Ummah.”

Earlier we mentioned the Hadith regarding the virtues of Surat Al-Fatihah from Ibn `Abbas which stated, “While the Messenger of Allah was with Jibil, he heard a noise from above. Jibil lifted his sight to the sky and said, `This is a door that was opened just now in heaven, and it was never opened before.’ An angel came down through the door to the Prophet and said, `Receive the good news of two lights that you have been given and which no Prophet before you was given: the Opener of the Book (Al-Fatihah) and the last Ayat in Surat Al-Baqarah. You will not read a letter of them, but you will be granted its benefit.”’ This Hadith was collected by Muslim and An-Nasa’i, and this is the wording collected by An-Nasa’i.

You may search the tafsir of Ibn Kathir in English online by clicking this link: http://www.tafsir.com/

You may listen to live classes by Sister Laila Nasheeba as well as recordings by clicking this link:
www.sunnahfollowers.net or  view her videos and other thoughts on her personal blog http://lailanasheeba.wordpress.com


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5 responses

28 01 2008
darvish

What a beautiful and heart moving post🙂 Alhamdulillah! To hear is to obey…

Ya Haqq!

28 01 2008
Umm Yusuf

Alhamdullilah!😀

28 01 2008
ammena

salam, thanks for this sis… i added her to my blogroll😀

29 01 2008
adikbongsu

Assalamu’alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Indeed Allah is Most Merciful….

Jazakillahu khairan🙂

19 02 2008
Umm Hibaat

Assalaamu Alaykum Umm Yusuf,

Jazakilaahu khayr for this lovely reminder of Allah’s Mercy upon His creation.

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