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The unfathomable mercy of God

According to a saying of the Prophet, related in the Sahih of Imam Muslim: “God has a hundred mercies, and one of them He has sent down amongst jinn and men and cattle and beasts of prey. Thereby they are kind and merciful unto one another, and thereby the wild creature inclines to tenderness unto her offspring. And ninety-nine mercies has God reserved unto Himself, that there with He may show mercy unto His servants on the Day of Resurrection.”

The mercy of a mother manifests itself in multiple ways. Should her infant baby strike her on the face, the mother will not take offence. She will not react by striking her child back. She will hold her child close to her, turning his apparent act of aggression into an act of love, rewarding him for what was a punishable deed. Incidents of this nature occur in every home. 

Human beings do not have knowledge of the unseen, so they have to suffer all sorts of setbacks in life. They lack willpower, so they tend to give way to base impulses and commit grave mistakes.


They provide us with a tiny glimpse of the mercy of God. Mothers are not the masters, or the makers of their own mercy. It is a small fraction of God’s own mercy, which He has bequeathed to them–along with other living creatures–so that they may show compassion to one another.

Human beings do not have knowledge of the unseen, so they have to suffer all sorts of setbacks in life. They lack willpower, so they tend to give way to base impulses and commit grave mistakes. The resources at their disposal are insufficient for them to deal with external factors working against them, so they crash to defeat. Predicaments such as these have combined to turn man into an afflicted soul, constantly tormented by thoughts of having been a failure in life, of not having achieved what he set out to do. Rich and poor, powerful and weak, all human beings are prey to such despair.

Can man hope for any improvement of his lot? Can our failures in life become successes at the end of the road? Is it possible that our faults will be counted as good deeds, that despite our digressions, we will safely reach our destination? The glimpse of God’s mercy that we gain from a mother shows us that this can indeed come to pass. God’s mercy to us is many times more than that of a mother to her child; by His grace He will make up to us what we lack, but on one condition, that we make Him our everything, as a mother means everything to her child.

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