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Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy Projected through the Pairs of Divine Attributes: A Criterion for Social Amelioration

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Bibliographic Information
Journal Al-Milal: Journal of Religion and Thought
Title Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy Projected through the Pairs of Divine Attributes: A Criterion for Social Amelioration
Author(s) Ashfaq, Muhammad
Volume 2
Issue 1
Year 2020
Pages 57-80
DOI 10.46600/almilal.v2i1.69
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URL Link
Keywords Divine Mercy, Pairs of Divine Attributes, Exegetical Approach, Social Betterment, Qur’ānic Worldview
Chicago 16th Ashfaq, Muhammad. "Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy Projected through the Pairs of Divine Attributes: A Criterion for Social Amelioration." Al-Milal: Journal of Religion and Thought 2, no. 1 (2020).
APA 6th Ashfaq, M. (2020). Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy Projected through the Pairs of Divine Attributes: A Criterion for Social Amelioration. Al-Milal: Journal of Religion and Thought, 2(1).
MHRA Ashfaq, Muhammad. 2020. 'Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy Projected through the Pairs of Divine Attributes: A Criterion for Social Amelioration', Al-Milal: Journal of Religion and Thought, 2.
MLA Ashfaq, Muhammad. "Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy Projected through the Pairs of Divine Attributes: A Criterion for Social Amelioration." Al-Milal: Journal of Religion and Thought 2.1 (2020). Print.
Harvard ASHFAQ, M. 2020. Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy Projected through the Pairs of Divine Attributes: A Criterion for Social Amelioration. Al-Milal: Journal of Religion and Thought, 2.
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Abstract

This paper intends to discuss Qur’ānic concept of Divine Mercy in the light of couples of Divine Attributes mentioned at the end of verses in order to study what standards have been given for the best human conduct and how we may extract guideline and principles for communal amelioration acquiring well-balanced social rhythm. Conversely, what are the conditions and prerequisites that are responsible to make a person deserving and worthy of Divine Mercy as advised by Qur’ānic verses from within the domain of selected pairs. This paper desires to estimate the hypothesis that Divine Mercy gives rise to the better understanding leading towards broad spectrum of the subject theme where social betterment is greatly concerned. Employing analytical method, we may be able to know multiple dimensions regarding human life and its rectification. This study concludes that from the universal message of Divine Mercy each pair demonstrates its unique communication, which may cause to find the details for social amelioration as well as practical evidences concerning the better social milieu, instead of just concentrating upon theories and revolving around the ideas in relation to the concept of mercy. This communication finds that how these pairs mutually addressed the humanity to educate them commendable conduct along with preventive measures, for praiseworthy living. It is recommended that this discourse will provide a data from Islamic weltanschauung concerning Divine Mercy projecting an exclusive comparative stance towards different thoughts and religions.

Introduction

This study aims to discuss Divine Mercy (DM) from Qur’ānic perspective selecting relevant verses in which mercy has been expressed at the end of verses indicating the couples of Divine Names and Attributes simultaneously. There are number of Qur’ānic references in which verses having the statement of mercy paired with other Divine Attributes. Each relation has been discussed separately in order to grasp various unattended aspects of the subject theme. Hence, far-reaching domain of this study is to know real meaning of DM up to the possible extent where different modes of interpretative approaches like proportionality, coherence, contextual domain and thematic exegetical methodology are required to be applied if necessary for better comprehension.

This paper intends to know demands for practical development improving lifestyle and moral par-excellence for human conduct and social amelioration considering the question that, is it a just question of salvation what is merely related to soteriological aspects or something more. As John L. Esposito added regarding the Islamic concept of mercy that it doesn’t include only the concept of forgiveness, however, it entails bounteous mercy with the idea of safeguard, protection, and rewards for humanity.[1] So, this discourse examines what is the integral outlook from mutual nexus of these selected verses showing couples of DM and their message of compassion from Qur’ānic perspective either from Lord to humanity or from man to man as well as societal betterment associated with well-mannered and civilized living around the globe. This study wants to find that, is it possible from Qur’ānic milieu that mercy plays a fundamental role to determine how to confront the clashes aggravated against the dynamic social tempo and moral conduct based upon well-balanced footings? So, it is required to know that mercy is a correlated relationship from Allah Almighty to cosmos and from man to universe and other creature where question of compassion, love, forgiveness and kindness is important in these relative bonds.

It is important to note that Christianity has been exploring day by day the concept of mercy with respect to its religious domain along with launching number of conferences annually on the topic ‘International or National Divine Mercy Conference’ in different countries like Dublin and Ireland. Moreover, one can visit also higher-level conferences conducted at University of Glasgow U.K etc. On the other hand, acquainting with the various dimensions of Islamic concept of Divine Mercy, it is required to develop research in current era providing the atmosphere to highlight full-fledged Qur’ānic Worldview up to the possible extent in this regard. Hence, this study may facilitate to provide an opportunity, to share ideas with a new landscape looking for a comparative view and vista to understand and judged the data from both religions intellectually.

It is necessary to know different angles of universal concept of Divine Mercy from the subject discourse in order to actualize and operationalize the insight as per outlines defined by Qur’ānic Scripture towards betterment of social life for humanity rather than just turning around the theories and ideas without practical development of society. In this way the paper intends to show that what are the prerequisites and conducts required to be adopted in order to acquire the blessing of DM and as a result its impact upon humanity concerning social issue and mutual living. It is also central to know that how Qur’ānic worldview regarding DM is distinct and unique with respect to its stance and practical aspects as compared to other religions and thought.

Literature Review

Literature Review has been conducted visiting number of theses, books, research articles and conference presentations, which are helpful to judge the earlier endeavour and work done concerning the subject topic. The mostly relevant literature has been taken into account, which projects the objectives and necessity of this paper considering the Qur’ānic episteme in this regard. Musa Abdeleke Ahmed compiled his MA thesis entitled, ‘God of Raḥmah: A Study in the Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy’, having basic discourse about the root rḥm after introductory chapter one.[2] In second part, he analysed the root words and its derivatives, indicating the nature and scope of God’s bestowal of raḥmah on human kind, e.g. provision of rain and revelation is also an expression of divine mercy. This study also elaborates the people who have been merited God’s special Mercy and those who have not.

Another research is conducted by Imran Izzat Yousaf Bakhait concerning the topic The Mercy of God (Qur’ānic Study).[3] Author discussed basic concepts regarding Divine Mercy. He also penned various titled having expression of Divine Mercy, qualities and good deeds for obtaining Lord’s Mercy and the way how to get God’s Mercy. Similarly, on the theme ‘The Merciful and Compassionate God: Biblical Theology in an Islamic Context’[4] Emad Botros compiled a master thesis. The primary purpose of this study was to write a biblical theology (Old Testament) in the form of commentary in an Islamic context. This study consisted of the narrative of Exodus 32-34 revealing the character of the biblical God in dealing with the crisis of worshiping the golden calf in an Islamic context.

Another important contribution that may be called as precursor of this paper is the work of Mustansir Mir concerning the topics, ‘The Concept of Divine Mercy in the Qur’ān’[5], in which author stated that DM is the mother of other Divine Attributes having two sides, passion and persistence. He discussed also from Christian theology referring Erasmus[6] comparatively. Various themes in relation to Divine Mercy have been discussed mentioning Islamic Scholars like A.A Iṣlāḥī[7] and Imām Al-Ghazālī[8].

One may visit contributions of scholars regarding DM encapsulating different domains, for example spiritual, theological and ontological aspects, justice cum mercy discourse in relation to legal discourse and concept of mercy concerning human right etc. Moreover, the large number of exegetes discussed the pair of al-Raḥmān al-Raḥīm (The Most Merciful, ever Compassionate) extracting multiple dimensions in relation to God man and universe. Hence, this study consists of discussion about various pairs mentioning Divine Mercy except the pair al-Raḥmān al-Raḥīm due to having a lot of literature in this regard demanding a separate study formulating a new landscape. Therefore, this paper has distinct underpinning and development exploring subject theme, finding what are the required preconditions in order to be worthy of a matchless gift of God i.e. Divine Mercy, in addition to find what are the prerequisites one may extract hermeneutically in the light of DM pairs for social amelioration. In brief, the overall make up of this paper is different as compared to the work done previously either in theme and design or particularly in objectives.

Research Methodology

This research paper has been taken into account employing analytical method consulting the verses laden with the message of mercy paired with other Divine Attributes considering literature review in addition to the application of relevant exegetical approaches. After the discourse of fundamental elaboration each pair has been visited consulting Qur’ānic verses arraigning relevant references in the tabular shape, with the aim to study what are the conditions and prerequisites for the one who wants to be blessed with Divine Mercy exercising and behaving in the light of instructed conduct and moral values. Prerequisites and what have been demanded by the Qur’ānic Scripture is indicated as bold in the middle / second column of each Table analyzing relevant couple of Divine Mercy. However, reference of each verse discussed in the table is mentioned in 3rd column instead of footnotes, furthermore in the paper abbreviation DM stands for Divine Mercy.

Discourse of Fundamental Elaboration of al-Raḥmah (Mercy)

The Arabic word raḥmah (mercy), may be understood by dint of fundamental elaboration literally and technically, prior to the study of pairs expressing mercy with other Divine Attributes as mentioned in the Qur’ān. Regarding the word raḥmah, Lisān al-‘Arab states that it consists of meanings like delicacy, subtlety and kindliness (Riqqah wal ta’ṭṭuf), forgiveness (Maghifrah), sustenance and provision (Rizq), Succour (Ghayth), benevolence and philanthropy (Iḥsān), heart leniency (Riqat al-Qalb), and compassion all these are the expression of mercy.[9] Imām Rāghib al-Isfahānī (d. 1108/1109) added that raḥmah is very correlated with the idea of benevolence (Iḥsān), with the reference of Prophet Saying about blood relationship, he deduced two meanings of mercy as one is Iḥsān, a dimension of mercy from Lord and other is riqqah which is intrinsic to human nature, whereas action motivated by kindness is the mercy from man towards man (and other humanity).[10]

We may render from Dastūr al ‘Ulamā’ the meaning of mercy as abundance in goodness and activity of betterment with the intention to deliver and convey (this message to the other humanity) as sketched in the Qur’ān.[11] Furthermore, Dr Mukhtar ‘Umar, about the fundamental discourse of DM, discussed in the light of Qur’ān and Prophet Saying indicating the role of mercy in the social life and God’s kindliness towards the creation to provide them sustenance (economics betterment). He further declared the day of Makken Conquest and victory as Mercy day and discussed with the example of Euthanasia and Mercy killing.[12] It shows different aspects of compassion and mercy dealing with collective mass and individual both in distress and in defeat.

However, Al-Jurjānī commented that mercy is the willpower to convey and deliver what is worthy, good and (towards moral par-excellence),[13] while with different approach, Al-Maydānī (d. 2007) put the two dimensions of mercy firstly of pain feelings for one who is afflicted with distress and secondly the feeling of pleasure for those who have been bestowed with pleasure.[14] This passion may cause to enhance sympathetic ties among the humanity for harmonic social structure.

Consequently, it may be added that concept of mercy from Islamic perspective may have multiple dimensions for betterment of different walk of human life. In order to be familiar with remarkable thought mentioned in the DM pairs we may ponder contemplating Qur’ānic verses that how these couples contribute demanding values, social improvement for anthropo-cosmic relationship with respect to the creator as well as from humanity with each other. All these elaborations are important factors towards better living scenario of society either partially or along with metaphysical aspects searching for what is the compatible solution towards social amelioration.

Divine Mercy Paired with other Divine Names and Attributes

There are number of Qur’ānic references in which verses having the message of Divine Mercy were paired simultaneously with other Divine Attributes like The Most Forgiving One (al-Ghafūr), Full of Kindness (al-Raūf), The Most Loving (al-Wadūd), All Mighty (al-ʿAzīz), the Most Pardoning (al-Tawwāb), the Most Beneficent (al-Barr) with reference to The Most Beneficent (al-Raḥīm). Exegetes and scholars fashioned different theme associated with DM seeking guidance in different lifestyle and context. Dr. Saban Ali extracted various principles from Qur’ānic concept of compassion. For example, he declared mercy as ‘Golden Principle’ avoiding conflict, principle of hope as well as principle of guidance etc. He also added that the mercy amends and justice deters with respect to Islamic theology he addressed ‘stimuli in cognizant self’ of Freud taking into account human anger, revenge and pleasure principle as a manifestation of mercy.[15] Now as well as the question of mercy manifested through the couples of Divine Names and Attributes, we may visit each pair separately in order to grasp multiple dimensions of guidance and directions towards human conduct and living style projecting a pragmatic illumination to the social living instead of just revolving around theoretical domain concerning Divine Mercy. For better understanding, different pairs have been explained as:

Manifestation of DM vis-à-vis the Most Forgiving One (al-Ghafūr)

Firstly, we may visit the Qur’ānic verses containing the pair of the Most Forgiving One (al-Ghafūr) along with the Most Beneficent (al-Raḥīm). Number of Qur’ānic references at the end of verses, having message of Divine Mercy, are coupled with other Divine Attributes that may be discerned employing exegetical tools like proportionality and context etc. Qur’ānic verse, “Tell My servants that I am indeed the Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”, is a proclamation of Islamic God. ‘Abdullah Yūsuf ‘Alī added that we must realize both aspects of attributes of Allah i.e. His Mercy and His Justice.[16] That is mercy also demands justice to stop disorder in society. Whereas this verse may be called as 'Mercy Slogan indicating Qur’ānic Worldview about mercy and philosophy of compassion.

There are about 48 forty-eight verses mentioning the couple (Ghafūr al-Raḥīm), out of them, some selected verses with references are listed below in the Table-I with elaboration succinctly. Where the bestowal of Divine Mercy is associated with the conditions either saturating one’s intrinsic rectification or man’s role to the social issues as highlighted, it is shown as bold in these verses. We may visit relevant Qur’ānic references where both Divine Names and Attributes have been narrated without asyndeton sign (vowel waw) as discussed below:

Elaboration Grasping relevant Contextual Domain Prerequisites and Conditions (Shown as Bold) Qur’ānic Verses
This couple associates with the condition that if one is compelled by needs, without wilful defiance and crossing limitations, then he is faultless and irreproachable. The God of Islam at the end of verse introduced Himself as the Most Forgiving along with the Most Beneficent. …” فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (2:173)
Similar paired of Divine Attributes have been mentioned after the elaboration for a person that if anyone suspects wrongdoing from testator, but wants to bring about a settlement among the people of society, then he will not be charged as erroneous actor. ...”فَمَنْ خَافَ مِنْ مُوصٍ جَنَفًا أَوْ إِثْمًا فَأَصْلَحَ بَيْنَهُمْ فَلَا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (2:182)
This pair of DM has been mentioned after the instructions with the condition of abstaining from provoking mischief and disruption in the society. (please visit consecutive previous verses ) ...” فَإِنِ انْتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (2:192)
After the condition of faith and belief, exile, struggled and Jihād for the cause of Allah with having expectation of the DM, Qur’ān elucidates the couple of DM i.e. Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm. So, these are the pre-requisites to acquire Divine Mercy. …”إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُولَئِكَ يَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (2:218)
For the protection of matrimonial life the subject pair laid down the practical procedure for betterment of nuptial relation ever taking an oath of abstention from their wives through four months wait so that issue may be resolved, opening door to bring the mate together (towards peaceful living) which also cause to get DM. …” لِلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِنْ نِسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِنْ فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (2:226)
The condition to be blessed with DM lies in the obedience of Prophet Muḥammad [P.B.H.U]. This may cause to get the love of Allah and His forgiveness, as indicated at the end. As verse (9:99) also shows the role of Prophetic nearness and to act upon his [P.B.H.U] guidance is a reason to acquire the DM. …” قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (3:31)
Repentance and social reform and betterment is a way to acquire forgiveness and DM. Qur’ānic verse (24:5) mentions the social evil accusing innocent women is strictly prohibited in Islamic Law. Similarly, we may visit (5:39) in this regard. Hence, it may be added conversely, false accusation of women will cause precious engulfing of mercy to be taken away from a person who is indulged in this (type of) social evil. …”إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (3:89), (24:5)
For the social betterment, it has been stated in relation to the alternative form of matrimonial life, marrying with slave girls due to fear of indulging in sin. Likewise, for different social relations under the subject topic, one may visit (24:22) also. The pair Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm demands better social living. What is expressed in the whole verse message. …” ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَشِيَ الْعَنَتَ مِنْكُمْ وَأَنْ تَصْبِرُوا خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (4:25)
This verse mentioning at the end (Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm) discussed the unlawful eating in unavoidable circumstance when getting into a survival situation due to hunger without inclination to sin and bad practice like learning fortune through raffling. …” فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِي مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِإِثْمٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (5:3)
As similar to the verse (5:3) these verses also instructed that because of hunger in helpless situation with condition of neither violating nor misbehaving so that social balance may not be disturbed then, no doubt God of Islam is (Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm). …” فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلَا عَادٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (6:145)

(16:115)

This verse has proportion link with consecutive next verses mentioned (7:154, 155,156) as well as with previous verse indicating DM with different conditions and context. This verse conditionally mentions introducing God as the Most Forgiving and Ever-Merciful. ”وَالَّذِينَ عَمِلُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ ثُمَّ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِهَا وَآمَنُوا إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنْ بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (7:153)
Two essential conditions for those who want to get mercy and to deliver it in the society, is eating what is lawful and fearing of Allah. Adopting these qualities one can contribute for social betterment. ” فَكُلُوا مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (8:69)
A sensitive situation to understand context of the verses vis-à-vis avoiding mischief and disruption that may lead to catastrophic failure of society is indicated here. But God of Islam is (Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm), this expression is linked with one’s repentance and obedience along with struggle for economic prosperity for have-nots. In the next verse (9:104) couple of DM (al-Tawwāb al-Raḥīm) indicates repentance in relation to economic welfare. …” فَإِنْ تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَخَلُّوا سَبِيلَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (9:5)
Confession is appreciated after what have done wrongly mixing up good conducts with bad, God of Islam may accept repentance. As He is the Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. Next verse indicates the economic issue as well as mental and inner peace as well. …”وَآخَرُونَ اعْتَرَفُوا بِذُنُوبِهِمْ خَلَطُوا عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَآخَرَ سَيِّئًا عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (9:102)
This may be called as Slogan of Mercy that inform my devotee that I am the Lord the Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful. In the next verse (15:50) depicts the expression of balance and justice as well, moderating and equating hope and fear.[17] نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ (15:49)
Migration for the cause of Allah by virtue of harsh condition and struggle in the way of Allah with the condition of fully commitment to the pious acts after these situations the pair at the end of verse is an expression of DM in relation to Islamic God. …” ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا فُتِنُوا ثُمَّ جَاهَدُوا وَصَبَرُوا إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنْ بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (16:110)
Because of ignorance those who act wrongly after that repenting compensate and try to restore (the values for social betterment) as a result that verse proclaims the pair (Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm) defining the pre requirements to get DM. ..”عَمِلُوا السُّوءَ بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابُوا مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ وَأَصْلَحُوا إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنْ بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (16:119)
Intension of social amelioration has always been welcomed converting himself from lower to higher position acquiring moral par-excellence removing evil and replacing personality with good acts. …” إِلَّا مَنْ ظَلَمَ ثُمَّ بَدَّلَ حُسْنًا بَعْدَ سُوءٍ فَإِنِّي غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (27:11)
God of Islamic is the Most Forgiving One and the Most Beneficent (Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm), one Who wants to bring friendship instead of foes and enmity among the social living sects. ”عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَجْعَلَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ عَادَيْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ مَوَدَّةً وَاللَّهُ قَدِيرٌ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (60:7)
A package has been given in this verse like the instructions taken from (49: 6) to (49:13) for social amelioration. So this verse explains the women’s oath of allegiance which consists of: -* Don’t set up any partner with Allah
  • Avoid stealing,
  • Don’t commit adultery
  • Don’t kill children
  • Don’t bring false blame and
  • Obey what is right (ma‘rūf)

These prerequisites are the source towards acquiring DM and delivering it towards social amelioration.

”يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتُ يُبَايِعْنَكَ عَلَى أَنْ لَا يُشْرِكْنَ بِاللَّهِ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَسْرِقْنَ وَلَا يَزْنِينَ وَلَا يَقْتُلْنَ أَوْلَادَهُنَّ وَلَا يَأْتِينَ بِبُهْتَانٍ يَفْتَرِينَهُ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِنَّ وَأَرْجُلِهِنَّ وَلَا يَعْصِينَكَ فِي مَعْرُوفٍ فَبَايِعْهُنَّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُنَّ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (60:12)
In family life, there may be situations where one has to overlook, forbear and forgive. Next verses also discuss social evil e.g. miserliness due to ill-commanding self (64:16). Imagine how Islamic God wants to save social bond and instructs us for smooth flowing although destructive constraint are there in the social life ”يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ وَأَوْلَادِكُمْ عَدُوًّا لَكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُمْ وَإِنْ تَعْفُوا وَتَصْفَحُوا وَتَغْفِرُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (64:14)
This whole verse states pious deeds of Prophet Muḥammad [P.B.U.H] and his companions in addition to the instructions that may cause bringing balance in socio-economic life and religious practice for the Community. So, this may be called as demand of the Lord who is Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm …” وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (73:20)

Table One: Pair of Al-Ghafūr al-Raḥīm

It may be added in the light of above stated Qur’ānic references that the couple al-Ghafūr al-Raḥīm ensures the bestowal of DM with some pre-qualifications and ethics to be adopted. From the analysis of the table one, one may become well aware how to be blessed with DM even if he has committed sin due to hunger, helplessness, or forced by necessity, coercion and compulsion (iḍṭirār) but with no bad intention. Then, he is worthy of DM with the condition of self-rectification replacing evil act with good deed, resolving issues, reforming various phases of society like matrimonial life, lawful eating and exercising good and valid economics practice and welfare, behaving patiently to tackle various social evil. All these guidance and principles have been given by this pair separately or in a package form, which results to acquire Divine Mercy and delivering it to the others for social improvement with pragmatic approach.

Theophany of DM in Relation to Full of Kindness (al-Raūf)

The couple al-Raūf al-Raḥīm may be visited in different exegetical literature. For example, Muḥammad Matwalī al-Sha‘rāwī added that both attributes have different dimensions but commonly known as one, whereas attribute of al-Raūf removes pain, he added that mercy increases benefits and also enhances what one has been bestowed. Furthermore, he made it easy to grasp and said that one may defend stone prior to that of capturing apple when both are thrown to him and quoted the legal maxim ‘removal of evil is prior to that of gaining welfares’ in this context.[18] There are about nine references where Lord’s Compassion and mercy has been elucidated in the Qur’ānic verses along with the Divine Attribute al-Raūf (full of kindness).

Elaboration Grasping relevant Contextual Domain Prerequisites and Conditions (Shown as Bold) Qur’ānic Verse
It is expressed that those who steadfast in the test and trial, Allah will not lose their deeds and faith. He introduced Himself as al-Raūf al-Raḥīm. Exegetical literature shows that rā’fah is to remove suffering and distress and al-Raūf does not want to put you in any trial.[19] This character at the end should be practiced by us to take away suffering from society. …” وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (2:143)
Muhājirīn and Anṣār who obeyed Prophet [P.B.U.H] in Tabūk expedition etc. during difficult time, even other party inclined to doubt but God of Islam accepted their repentance because He is al-Raūf al-Raḥīm. Next verse (9:118) may also be visited about the pair al-Tawwāb al-Raḥīm as mentioned in Table-IV in the similar context. …” الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٍ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّهُ بِهِمْ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (9:117)
Al-Sha‘rāwī extracted that “Repelling banes is better than securing benefits” and al-Raūf is the removal of what are the afflictions and hardships and al-Raḥīm is the one who brings benefits and improvement due to His Mercy. [20] ” لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (9:128)
Previous verses elaborate the benefits, aesthetic pleasure and creation of humanity while consecutive next verse (16:8) also indicates benefits of animals for humanity. It shows DM as shown at the end of this verse. In first paragraph after this table, this verse (16:7) has been elaborated in current context. وَتَحْمِلُ أَثْقَالَكُمْ إِلَى بَلَدٍ لَمْ تَكُونُوا بَالِغِيهِ إِلَّا بِشِقِّ الْأَنْفُسِ إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (16:7)
In the previous verses, Allah shows the dominion and power to eliminate evil and to stop the movement of deceitful people (may be called as external flowing) and in the verse (16:47) stated as being struck with fear (may also be called as human internal flowing). As psychologically one required satisfaction that has been bestowed by the Lord known as Raūf ur-Raḥīm. …”أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَىٰ تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (16:47)
Heaven, earth and natural phenomenon are subservient to the humankind whereas God of Islam revealed that “He withholds the heaven from falling on the earth.” before stating the pair al-Raūf al-Raḥīm. Hence, we may infer that cosmic balance is due to Divine Mercy. …” وَيُمْسِكُ السَّمَاءَ أَنْ تَقَعَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (22:65)
We may visit this verse and consecutive previous and next verses with regard to ‘Ilm al-Munāsabah. Bad character and sinful deeds are required to be avoided. The verse (24:22) also ended at the pair Ghafūr ur-Raḥīm like this verse, each demanding moral values and good acts. …” وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (24:20)
This verse shows the intention of Islamic God who wants to bring humanity out of darkness towards light. Next verses also indicate the traits of the good man and his great success. ”… لِيُخْرِجَكُمْ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (57:9)
Successive previous verses indicate the attitude and behaviour e.g. traits like prick of jealousy and miserliness along with preventive measure. Now, the pair Raūf ur-Raḥīm has been mentioned after defining the mutual status and manners of believers with each other. ”… رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّا لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (59:10)

Table Two: Pair of Al-Raūf Al-Raḥīm

Considering current context, al-Sha‘rāwī stated regarding the verse (16:7), that no doubt modern sources of transportation are more rapid and faster, which results the rest of cattle, but these tired the man for whom God created the whole universe to provide him relief and comfort. One knows that a man driving his car focusing to accelerate it without considering its maintenance throwing behind a cloud of toxic smoke that hurts other humanity. Driver has different position as compared to the people who feel smoke behind him. However, beware well, that your Lord Almighty neither overlooks nor sleeps (and He is watching your all activities). Imagine how you treat yourself and your children. Before driving your cars and speeding it up, it is necessary to pave the roads so that raised dust may not approach to the faces of community harming their breathing against what we have learnt and trained ethically.[21] One may think how he contextualize the concept.

Pondering over pair (Raūf ur-Raḥīm) consulting Qur’ānic references we may add that this couple shows the attribute of mercy is mutually linked with the people having steadfast behaviour and are dedicated even during the distress and difficulties, then as a result the God of Islam bestows them the beneficence (fayḍh-o-‘Aṭā) of this Divine Attribute. To actualize the tranquillity and purity of heart when dealing with other, mutual leniency, restoration of loss and removal of fear, saving and protection, all these characteristics are prerequisites to be blessed with Divine Mercy. This study shows the inclination of Allah Almighty towards his creation in order to provide them shelter in front of calamities.

DM Coupled with the Most Pardoning One (al-Tawwāb al-Raḥīm)

The pair of al-Tawwāb al-Raḥīm may also be studied with the aim to grasp what are the requirements indicated in the message of verses. Abū al-Ḥassan al-Māwardī remarked that God of Islam accepts repentance at large scale by dint of mercy working behind (the forgiveness).[22] Moreover, Imām Qurṭbī put eight elaborations of the verse (2:37) elaborating different dimensions (an opening verse of the Table-IV). In fifth elaboration about Divine Mercy paired with (al-Tawwāb), where Allah Almighty Himself expressed that (O my devotee), I have accepted your repentance (qabiltu tawbatak). Furthermore, He quoted the comments of Ibn al-‘Arabī indicating practical aspects of obedience (iṭā‘ah) as: "There is a possibility that He puts thought into the heart of the wrongdoer regarding repentance and return (toward Lord) making visible the acts of obedience on the apparent parts and physical body of (devotee). [23]"

The expression apparent parts of body ‘jawāriḥah al-dhāhrah’ as quoted by Imām Qurṭbī is important one that depicts the practical working of human physical body exercising within the ethical domain in the light of Islamic injunctions which is an expression of obedience with positive impact upon one’s personal life and collective social rhythm.

Elaboration Grasping relevant Contextual Domain Prerequisites and Conditions ( Bold) Qur’ānic Verse
This pair is mentioned in the very beginning of Holy Qur’ān showing that Allah accepts one’s the repentance depending upon how he supplicates before His court. Ibn Āshūr discussed this verse in relation to legal aspect regarding the penalty of hand’s amputation due to theft, indicating that there is no compromise on the name of mercy if one’s bad action causes social disorder and disruption.[24] Hence, it manifests that there is a balance in Islamic thought in all aspects. …”فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (2:37)
Prophet Moses (A.S) taught the people those who had worshiped the calf that it is better to repent and apologize so that you may deserve of His forgiveness with Mercy. It shows DM is conditioned to the repentance and rectification. …” فَتُوبُوا إِلَى بَارِئِكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ ذَلِكُمْ خيْرٌ لَكُمْ عِنْدَ بَارِئِكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (2:54)
Before the supplication, this verse indicates the method and manner of worship in addition to future insight for coming generation then couple of al-Tawwāb al-Raḥīm is mentioned at end of the verse. …” وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (2:128)
The condition of repentance is necessary to get forgiveness. Previous verse pointed out that to neglect the clear sign and guidance may cause to deprive one of great blessing known as Divine Mercy. ”فَأُولَٰئِكَ أَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنَا التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (2:160)
In the discussion of Ḥudūd previous verses also have the message of limitations whereas committing adultery is punishable in Islamic Legal System. Repentance and restoration may cause let culprit off with the condition that they are inclined to reforms. …”وَاللَّذَانِ يَأْتِيَانِهَا مِنْكُمْ فَآذُوهُمَا فَإِنْ تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا فَأَعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ تَوَّابًا رَحِيمًا “ (4:16)
To implore the Lord’s pardon and if it is endorsed by the prophet Muḥammad [P.B.U.H] then it would be certainly one have found Lord as Relenting and Merciful. Prophetic intersession is too much important in this regard. As coming to the Prophet [P.B.U.H] is coming to the reform and ultimate success. …” وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذْ ظَلَمُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ جَاءُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُوا اللَّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُوا اللَّهَ تَوَّابًا رَحِيمًا “ (4:64)
The verse introduced God of Islam as He accepts the repentance. Here the notion of others help has been given prestige nominating Himself (wa yā’khuẓu ‘l-Ṣṣadaqāt), as it restores economics values and financial matters of society. Verse (9:102) also ended at the pair of Divine Name expressing DM (Table-I). …”أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَأْخُذُ الصَّدَقَاتِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (9:104)
This verse is regarding three companions[25] and they were too much upset due to not joining the Tabūk expedition as well as they were assured also that there is no refuge except Allah. Because of loyalty even that they were absent in Tabūk, Allah inclined towards them with repentance. Hence, Islamic thought always welcome ameliorating factors. …” وَظَنُّوا أَنْ لَا مَلْجَأَ مِنَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَتُوبُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (9:118)
The criteria for better social life has been given in this verse laden with the message of DM as:* Avoid whims and conjectures.
  • Avoid spying
  • Avoid backbite one another.
  • And Fear (to stand before the court of) Allah.

After these instructions, which are required for social betterment, verse ended with the pair (Tawwāb ur-Raḥīm).

…”يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اجْتَنِبُوا كَثِيرًا مِنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُوا وَلَا يَغْتَبْ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضًا أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ لَحْمَ أَخِيهِ مَيْتًا فَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَوَّابٌ رَحِيمٌ “ (49:12)

Table Three: Pair of Al-Tawwāb Al-Raḥīm

Concerning the couple mentioning al-Tawwāb al-Raḥīm as studied in Table-IV, we came to know that majority of references indicate the concept of repentance before the end of verse or in consecutive verses, the pre-conditions and requirements are also there towards mercy. This pair shows that intention to be good and pious citizen may improve one’s conditions influencing social life. As we may observe considering proportionality and correspondence among the themes of a verse that social evils are condemned and good deeds are welcomed prevailing in the society.

The Pair of the Most Merciful and All Mighty (al-ʿAzīz )

The couple al-ʿAzīz al-Raḥīm may be visited in the following Qur’ānic references as:

Elaboration Grasping relevant Contextual Domain Prerequisites in relation to the Couple al-ʿAzīz al-Raḥīm Qur’ānic Verse
This verse has been repeated about 8 times in a Sūrah (26:9, 68, 104, 122, 140, 159, 175, 191 and also slightly different as 26:217). Each time addressing different dimensions may be visited in the light of ‘Ilm al-Munāsabah considering particular context also given after the Table-III. ”وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (26:9)
Before the verse question of Persian dominance and then Roman dominance has been stated with foretelling. So, the verse ended as He is Almighty, Ever-Merciful (al-ʿAzīz al-Raḥīm). ..”بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ يَنْصُرُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (30:5)
He plans and executes controlled system from the heavens to the earth. As consecutive previous verses indicate the natural phenomenon and next verses draw attention to the creation. It gives intellectual nourishment to the humanity. …”ذَٰلِكَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (32:6)
Consecutive previous verse shows that no friendship will be helpful and in the next verses torment has been prescribed. Even in this panic situation Qur’ān guaranteed of shelter for those people to whom Allah has shown Mercy. .”إِلَّا مَنْ رَحِمَ اللَّهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ “ (44:42)

Table Four: Pair of Al-ʿAzīz al-Raḥīm

Visiting repeated verse (29:9) at different places pictured different dimensions of Da‘wah of Prophetic mission. Answering why Almighty (al-ʿAzīz) has been mentioned in the verse prior to al-Raḥīm. Imām Al-Rāzī added that Allah Almighty is able to take revenge, but he is merciful with his creation so that they may believe.[26] This pair shows dignity, overwhelming and omnipotence of the God of Islam. Al-Sha‘rāwī added that al-ʿAzīz is Dominant one not recessive, Mighty and Omnipotent and not subdued under any control.[27] Furthermore, Al-Rāzī discussed that His Mercy doesn’t mean that He is not capable to punish the wrongdoers; therefore al-ʿAzīz has been mentioned before al-Raḥīm for removal of this illusion. Punishment does not hinder bestowal of His Mercy.[28] This pair can be studied further in relation to the well-balanced concept with reference to mercy-cum-justice discourse of Islamic legal system. How mercy functions in relation to justice regarding the modes of punishment in Islamic law.

Divine Mercy Paired with the Most Beneficent (Al-Barr al-Raḥīm)

Number of scholars and exegetes explicate the couple of al-Barr al-Raḥīm rendering al-Barr as sincere in promise, broad sense of charity and compassion observing it as extended form of benevolence.[29] It means kindliness, caring and protection bestowed by Allah for His devotees and followers along with compassion and benevolence to them.[30] Considering al-Barr in relation to the Most Kindest One (al-Laṭīf), Al-Māwardī expressed that the combination of both names is a supplication (before the court of God).[31] Al-Iṣfahānī discussed al-Barr with respect to the God as well as humanity that it is an expanding concept of doing good, upturn in pious deeds and generosity.[32] These remarks lead us to think of the dynamic and progressive aspects of the pair, ‘al-Barr al-Raḥīm’.

The linguistic examination of Amīn Asḥan Aḥsan Iṣlāhī concerning ‘barr’ with different diacritical marks displays that it includes the concepts of loyalty, fulfilment of duties and rights, benevolence as well as justice.[33] Hence, practicing excellent values for the benefits of other human being is the utmost demand of this pair. Concerning this couple Holy Qur’ān states as:

إِنَّا كُنَّا مِنْ قَبْلُ نَدْعُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْبَرُّ الرَّحِيمُ [34]

“Truly, we did call unto Him from of old: truly it is He, the Beneficent, the Merciful!”

Buqā‘ī remarked that the Divine Name al-Barr means benefactor having limitless generosity. His bestowal and provision is wisdom and when He prevents to give and withdraw is also based on mercy, whereas His treasure is neither reduced due to provision nor increased due to depriving of anyone. He treats His faithful devotee as per need and capacity either by blessing and grace or by distress. He chooses for His devotee what is better for him so, the believer should not accuse of His decision.[35] Furthermore, Al-Bahaiyqī added that al-Barr is One whose friendship with His followers results to provide them tranquillity and easiness removing their hardship and awarding ten times reward for good deeds and one time punishment against wrongdoing.[36]

We may think that after repentance and rectification one has to make sure that he will be blessed with Divine Mercy irrespective of undergoing circumstances believing confidently in God. This couple also displays the leniency of Allah Almighty towards devotees bestowing them provision increasingly. It invigorates to perform good acts and (‘Ibādah) showing one dimension towards humanity and other towards The Merciful Lord.

DM Expression Paired with The Most Loving One (al-Wadūd)

The Divine Name (al-Wadūd) paired with the Divine Name al-Raḥīm has only one reference in the Qur’ān. It is also mentioned in Sūrah al-Brūj and in Sūrah Maryum with different derivatives where subject attribute is stated. Qur’ānic reference in this regard is as under:

وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي رَحِيمٌ وَدُودٌ[37]

“But ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn unto Him [in repentance]: For my Lord is indeed full of mercy and loving-kindness.”

Al-Rāzī considering internal link and proportionality (Munāsabah) within the themes of the verse added that previous disbelief and disobedience might not prevent a person to join faith and obedience because Allah Almighty accepts their repentance, whereas, DM and love is incumbent upon God of Islam. This discourse is of high prestige and perfect one showing Ghāyah al-Kamāl.[38] While the Divine Name (al-Wadūd) has also been stated in Sūrah al-Brūj as, (Wa Hawa al-Ghafūr al-Wadūd) i.e. He is the Most forgiving and the Most Loving Lord.[39] Furthermore, with other derivative Qur’ān states:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ وُدًّا [40]

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow love.”

We may add in the light of Qurṭbī’s interpretation of this verse that Allah Almighty inculcates in the hearts of people the love and respect of one who believed in God and behave rightly.[41] Moreover, Abū Ḥayyān added with reference to exegetes that al-Wadūd is one who is affectionate towards His devotees bestowing benevolence upon them. Then because of acquisition of love from Allah, these people have the attribute of compassion and mercy towards the human race. Due to this bond in social life people (in return) used to supplicate demanding for them forgiveness due to their merciful and sympathetic behaviour.[42] In this way, flow of merciful behaviour enhances social life positively. We may label this functioning as Mercy Cycle towards excellent social movement. This pair of DM like other couples indicates the pre-conditions and requirements, which lead us towards the perfect and civilized style of living along with living spiritual values.

Before concluding remarks, it is required to know the derived ethics and way of action as per reflections of ‘Divine Mercy Pairs’. Humanity has to follow Prophet Muḥammad [P.B.U.H] as Qur’ān claims that, “We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures.”[43] Dr. al-Zuḥaylī interpreting this verse highlighted the universality of Prophetic mercy for the whole humankind, djinn and creature. We may think in accordance with his commentary that ‘mercy for whole mankind’ is the gift of God for well-being of the whole creature and what is better for their subsistence in this world and in the world Hereafter (ma‘āsh o ma‘ād).[44] Therefore, any pragmatic approach towards social uplifting or creating any paradigm for communal amelioration is fruitful and more productive if it is consistent with Prophetic guidance, instructions as well as in relation to discussed themes in the paper.

Conclusion

In this study, we pondered over the concept of Divine Mercy from Qur’ānic perspective visiting references where message of mercy has been conveyed at the end of verses in the pairs shape. As a result, we came to know the following outcomes:

  1. Almost all these verses in which various dimensions of mercy have been indicated, expressed that the bestowal of Divine Mercy is conditional to good deed and moral par excellence considering the given preventive measures. In the light of this study it may also be added that the subject pairs ensured the bestowal of DM with some pre-qualifications. These verses indicated the conduct and characters for how it is permissible to be blessed with God’s Mercy with respect to certain conditions.
  2. This discourse shows that no bad intention is allowed along with the condition of self-rectification replacing evil with good, resolving issues, reforming various aspects of society like matrimonial life, lawful eating and exercising good and valid economics practice and welfare, behaving patiently to tackle the social evil. All these principles and guidance have been given by the pairs of mercy either separately or in the form of package which are the preconditions for one to be worthy of Divine Mercy. These conducts result to acquire DM which is necessary to deliver it for social amelioration with practical input.
  3. Furthermore, the subject couples show that these attributes are mutually linked with the people having dedicated and steadfast behaviour even during the time of distress and difficulties. Then as a result, the God of Islam bestows them with beneficence and kindness.
  4. To actualize the tranquillity and purity of heart with good intentions for others, decent interaction with other human beings, mutual leniency, restoration of loss and removal of fear, saving and protection. All these values and morals have been expressed in the selected verses. Here, in this regard role model of the merciful Prophet (Raḥmah lil-‘Ālamīn) is essential to be followed.
  5. One has to be well-aware of how to acquire Divine Mercy even in case he has been committed sin due to hunger, helplessness, force by necessity, coercion and compulsion (iḍṭirār). There is no question of disappointment regarding compassion and mercy of Allah Mighty with respect to the Qur’ānic Worldview regarding Divine Mercy.
  6. This study also displays the inclination of Allah Almighty towards his creation in order to provide them fortification in front of calamities by His Mercy.
  7. In brief, each remarkable pair contributes well, demanding values, social betterment for anthropo-cosmic relationship with respect to the creator as well as from humanity towards each other. All these findings are important factors concerning better social scenario either apparently and physically or along with metaphysical aspects providing a compatible solution for social amelioration.
  8. Moreover, Qur’ānic worldview regarding Divine Mercy is distinct one having exclusive stance and practical aspects as compared to other religions and viewpoints.

Recommendations

In the light of this discourse following recommendations (although some topics are under progress as a part of my doctoral dissertation in this regard) may be considered for future work as listed below:

  1. This study may be a precursory approach to the comparative scenario for religious creeds searching common dogmatic line with distinctiveness from Islamic concept of Divine Mercy where question of its practicability is important one, instead of just revolving around the ideas and philosophical dilemma related to soteriological aspects etc.
  2. It is recommended that other Divine Attributes may be studied in the light of Qur’ān taking into account the practical aspects of human life extracting guidance over and above pragmatic waves of the day bearing in mind the current context.
  3. Considering Prophetic [P.B.U.H] Saying the concept of mercy may also be visited where the root word of raḥmah has been narrated directly.
  4. Similarly, Divine Mercy vis-à-vis Divine Justice is an important topic in front of Anselm thesis or any other cliché-ridden remarks regarding Islamic law.
  5. Divine Mercy interpretation with special reference to the human rights as contributed by Khalid Abū al-Faḍl (b.1963) etc. It may also be visited extending the conceptual domain towards other agenda and issues.
  6. Philosophy of Divine Mercy in relation to ontological discourse and existential aspect of anthropo-cosmic entities are also important aspects of DM, hence research may also be conducted regarding suggested topics and similar themes.

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References

  1. John L Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 23.
  2. Musa Abdeleke Ahmed, "God of Raḥmah: A Study in the Qur’ānic Concept of Divine Mercy" (MA thesis, McGill University, 1980), 1-145.
  3. Imran Izzat Yousaf Bakhait, The Mercy of God (Qur’ānic Study) (Palestine: Jāmiah al-Najah al-Waṭaniyyah, 2009), 1-154.
  4. Emad Botros, "The Merciful and Compassionate God: Biblical Theology in an Islamic Context" (MA thesis, McMaster Divinity College, 2013), 1-118.
  5. Mustansir Mir, "The Concept of Divine Mercy in the Qur’ān," Islamochristiana, 42: (2016) 43–56.
  6. Erasmus (1466-1539) was a Dutch philosopher, Christian scholar and originally trained as catholic priest who is generally known as great intellectual and unique figure with reference to the Northern Renaissance that occurred in Europe i.e. north of the Alps which is the most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe and stretched about 1,200 kilometers approximately. He is first editor of New Testament who came to know that Holy Writ and sacred writings are the expression of Divine Mercy at large as compared to any other virtue. He published “De Immense Dei Misericordia” that is (On the immense Mercy of God) in the year 1524 A.D. He is also renowned due to his notable Ideas of syncretism and Erasmian pronunciation. Concerning the concept of mercy in comparative landscape of religion Erasmus ideas may create a proportional discourse in relation to Islamic Worldview concerning mercy and compassion.
  7. Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī is a well-known Islamic scholar was born in 1904 A.D at Bamhur, a small village in Azamgarh (U.P.) India. He is famous for his exegetical approach published in Urdu called as Tadabbur-i-Qur’ān. Amīn Aḥsan was admitted in Madrasah Iṣlāḥī in 1915 and he developed his carrier in Farāhī school that is known after Mawlānā Ḥamīduddīn Farāhī. He worked under Farāhī’s tutelage and both scholars contributed well to the idea of thematic and structural consistency in the Qur’ān known as ‘theory of coherence in the Qur’ān (naẓm al-Qur’ān).
  8. Abū Ḥāmid Muḥammad bin Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (1058-1111) was Muslim jurist, philosopher, Ṣūfī and the most prominent figure of Islamic world. He contributed number of books along with a famous magnum opus entitled Iḥyā’ ‘Ulūm al-dīn (The Revival of the Religious Sciences).
  9. Muḥammad bin Mukarram Ibn Manẓūr, Lisān al-‘Arab (Beirut: Dār al-Ṣādar, 2011), 12: 230.
  10. Ḥussain bin Muḥammad al-Rāghib Al-Isfahānī, Al-Mufradāt fῑ Gharῑb al-Qur’ān (Beirut: Dār al-Ma‘rifah, 2008), 191-92.
  11. Qāḍī ‘Abd Rab al-Nabī Nakrī, Dastūr al-‘Ulamā’(Jāmi‘ al-‘Ulūm fī Iṣṭlahāt al-Fanūn) (Beirut: Dār al-Kutab al-'Ilmiyyah, 2000), 2: 95.
  12. Aḥmad Mukhtār ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd ‘Umar, Mu‘jam al-Lughghah al-‘Arabiyyah al-Mu‘āṣirah (Cairo Egypt: Al-Nāshar ‘Ālam al-Kutab, 2008), 2: 872.
  13. ‘Alī bin Muḥammad bin Alī al-Zain al-Jurjānī, Al-Ta‘rīfāt (Beirut: Dār al-Kutab al-'Ilmiyyah, 2010), 95.
  14. Abdul Raḥman Ḥassan Ḥabankah al-Maydānī, Al-Akhlāq al-Islāmiyya wa Assisuha (Damashq: Dār al-Qalm, 1999), 2: 3.
  15. Saban Ali Duzgun, The Nature of Mercy and its Manifestation in the Qur’ān Quran (Turkey: Kader Publisher, 2017), 15: 564-75.
  16. ‘Abdullah Yūsuf ‘Alī, The Holy Qur’ān: Arabic Text English Translation and Commentary, Al-Qur’ān 15:49 (Lahore: Ashraf Printing Press, 2006), 628.
  17. Muḥammad Jamāl ud Dīn al-Qāsmī, Maḥāsan al-Tā’vīl, ed. Muḥammad Bāsal ‘Ayūn (Beirut: Dār al-Kutab al-'Ilmīyyah, 1418 A.H), 6:261.
  18. Muḥammad Matwalī al-Sha‘rāwī, Tafsīr al-Sha‘rāwī (Cairo: Islamic Research Academy al-Azhar, 1991), 6091.
  19. Fakhr al-Dīn Muḥammad bin ‘Umar Al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-Ghayb (al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr), ed. Zia ud Dīn ‘Umar (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1987), 4: 99.. We may visit also Al-Sha‘rāwī, Tafsīr al-Sha‘rāwī, 626-29.
  20. Al-Sha‘rāwī, Tafsīr al-Sha‘rāwī, 3796.
  21. Ibid., 6659.
  22. Abū al-Ḥassan bin ‘Alī bin Muḥammad bin Ḥabīb Al-Māwardī, Tafsīr Al-Māwardī (Al-Nukat wal ‘Uyūn) (Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012), 1:110.
  23. Abū ‘Abdullah Muḥammad b. Aḥmad bin Abī Bakr Al-Qurṭbī, Al-Jāmi‘ li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, ed. Hisham Smir (Riyad: Dār ‘Ālam al-Kutab, 2003), 1: 325-27.
  24. Ibn Āshūr and Muḥammad bin Ṭahir, Al-Taḥrīr wa al-Tanvīr (Tunis: Dār al-Tunisia, 1984), 6:193.
  25. The three Companions (R.A) were Ka‘b bin Mālik, Marārah bin Rabī‘ and Halāl bin ‘Ummayah whose decision was pending and they were too much in trouble.
  26. Al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-Ghayb (al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr), 24: 132.
  27. Al-Sha‘rāwī, Tafsīr al-Sha‘rāwī, 6626 , 89.
  28. Al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-Ghayb (al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr), 24: 105.
  29. Qāzī Muḥammad bin Alī Al-Shawkānī, Fatḥ al-Qadīr (Beirut Lebanon: Dār al-Ma‘rifah, 2007), 1414.
  30. Ḥasan ‘Izz al-Dīn bin Ḥussain al-Jamal, Mu‘jam wa Tafsīr Lughavī li Kalmāt al-Qur’ān (Egypt: Al-Hay’ah al-Masriyyah al-‘Āmah lil Kutab, 2008), 1: 172.
  31. Al-Māwardī, Tafsīr Al-Māwardī (Al-Nukat wal ‘Uyūn), 5: 383.
  32. Al-Isfahānī, Al-Mufradāt fῑ Gharῑb al-Qur’ān, 114.
  33. Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadubbūr-i Qur’ān (Lahore: Fārān Foundation Fairuz Pura, 2009), 1: 187.
  34. Al-Qur’ān 52:28
  35. Burhān al-Dīn Abī al-Ḥasan Ibrāhīm bin ‘Umar al-Buqā‘ī, Nazm al-Durar fī Tanāsab al-Āyāt wa al-Suwar, ed. Abdul Razzaq Ghalab al-Ma’dī (Beirut: Dār al-Kutab al-Ilmiyyah, 1995), 7: 301.
  36. Aḥmad bin al-Ḥussain Al-Bahayqī, Al-Asmā’ wa al-Ṣifāt, ed. 'Abdullah bin Muūammad al-Ḥashadī (Jeddah: Maktabah al-Sawādī, 1993), 1: 179.
  37. Al-Qur’ān 11:90
  38. Al-Rāzī, Mafātīḥ al-Ghayb (al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr), 18: 39.
  39. Al-Qur’ān 85:14
  40. Al-Qur’ān 19:96
  41. Al-Qurṭbī, Al-Jāmi‘ li Aḥkām al-Qur’ān, 16: 160.
  42. Muḥammad bin Yūsūf Abū Ḥayyān, Tafsīr al-Baḥr al-Muḥīṭ, ed. Sadaqī Muḥammad Jamīl (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1420 A.H), 6: 200.
  43. Al-Qur’ān 21: 107.
  44. Wahaba Bin Muṣṭafa al-Zuḥaylī, Al Tafsīr al-Munīr fī ’l-Aqīdah wa ’l-Sharī‘ah wa ’l-Manhaj (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1418 A.H), 17: 143-44.