Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’aan Majeed: “Say (O Muhammad!) to My servants who have committed excesses (sins) on themselves: “Do not despair of the Mercy of Allah, for verily, Allah forgives all sins. Undoubtedly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “He who is not merciful, mercy will not be shown to him.”
MERCY – EVEN AT THE TIME OF SLAUGHTERING
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said:
- “He who shows mercy even if he slaughters a bird, Allah will be merciful to him on the Day of Qiyaamah.” (Kanzul Ummaal)
- “If you have mercy on a goat when slaughtering it, Allah will have mercy on you.” (Kanzul Ummaal)
Islam lays much emphasis on kindness and mercy towards animals. When it is Waajib to display mercy even towards the animal about to be slaughtered, how much more mercy should we not show to these innocent creatures when they are alive???
MERCY INTEGRAL TO IMAAN
Hadhrat Amr Bin Aas (radhiyallahu anhu), the Conqueror of Egypt, had pitched a large tent in close proximity to enemy fortifications which he had besieged. The prolonged siege endured for six months. When it was time to depart, he decided to dismantle his huge tent. But before the work of dismantling the tent commenced, he observed that a bird had constructed its nest inside the tent and was sitting on eggs. He commented: “This bird has taken refuge in our tent.” He issued instructions to leave the tent intact until the eggs were hatched and the chicks strong enough to fly away. This was the effect of the mercy which is integral to a perfect Imaan.
THE REWARD OF MERCY IS MERCY – MERCY FOR A BIRD
A man presented a caged bird to Hadhrat Junaid Baghdaadi (rahmatullah alayh). Hadhrat Junaid accepted the gift. The bird remained in captivity by Hadhrat Junaid for a long period. One day Hadhrat Junaid opened the door and the bird flew away. Someone asked him the reason for having set free the bird despite having kept it so long. Hadhrat Junaid said: “Today the bird spoke and said: ‘O Junaid, you derive comfort and solace in the company of your friends while I have to pine away alone in captivity.’ Hearing the plight of the bird, I set it free.”
As the bird was departing, it said: “O Junaid! As long as an animal engages in the remembrance of Allah, it will never be caught in the net of a hunter. The moment it becomes forgetful of Thikrullah it is entrapped. I was forgetful of Allah’s remembrance only once. The punishment of this forgetfulness was years of captivity in a cage. I shiver to think of the punishment awaiting those who are forgetful of Allah for years. O Junaid, I pledge that I shall never again be forgetful of Allah Ta’ala.” The bird then flew away.
The bird would occasionally return while Hadhrat would be having his meals. It would eat a few crumbs and fly away. When Hadhrat Junaid died, the bird arrived. It was overwhelmed with grief. Rolling on the ground, it too died. When the people saw this wonderful incident, they buried the bird together with Hadhrat Junaid (rahmatullah alayh).
When a mureed saw Hadhrat Junaid in a dream, he enquired of his condition. Hadhrat Junaid said: “Rabbul Izzat (The Almighty Creator) forgave me because of the pity which I had taken on the bird and setting it free.”
MERCY – A CAUSE FOR SALVATION
One extremely cold wintery night a Buzrug came across a shivering kitten. It was clear to the Buzrug that the kitten would not survive in the extreme cold. Taking pity, he wrapped the kitten in his shawl. At home he wrapped it in a blanket. It was a deed done and forgotten. Many years thereafter the Buzrug died. After his demise, when he was ushered into the Divine Presence, he was asked: “What have you brought from the world?” The Buzrug replied: “Imaan.”
The Buzrug was shocked with fear when his Imaan was judged to be deficient. He had nothing to offer at that stage. Allah Ta’ala then said: “You shall be forgiven for a deed which had no significance for you. It is a deed which you did not dream would be the basis of your Najaat (salvation). On that cold night, you had taken pity on the kitten which was dying of the cold. That kitten had made dua for you. Its dua was accepted. Go! You are forgiven by virtue of the supplication of that kitten. You had shown mercy to one of My creatures. It is more befitting for Me to be merciful to you.”
Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) commented on this episode: “In the Hadith there are many episodes which emphasize the importance of the Mustahab acts. Many people were forgiven by Allah Ta’ala on the basis of a Mustahab act which is generally viewed with insignificance by the people.”
A villager came to Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and said: “O Rasulullah! On my way to you I passed through a field where I heard the chirping of baby birds. I took them and placed them in my basket. As I was walking away, the mother bird appeared and followed me, hovering above my head. I opened the basket and the mother bird entered and settled down with her chicks.”
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam told him to put the basket down. The lid was opened and it was seen that the mother was feeding her chicks. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said to the Sahaabah: “Are you surprised? I take oath by Him Who has sent me with the truth as the Nabi that Allah is more merciful to His servants than this mother bird is to her chicks.” Then Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam instructed the man to return the birds to the place where he had found them.