Take a Minute to Think This Ramadan
Jarir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet said, "Allah
does not show mercy to whoever does not show mercy to people." (Al-Bukhari)
Maybe we have all heard this hadith at some time, but it is really something
to think about during the blessed month of Ramadan.
One of the reasons we fast is that we want the mercy of Almighty Allah; we
want His help, His guidance, and His forgiveness. We do without food and drink
during the day and pray more at night and give charity and try to control our
anger, all in an attempt to receive Allah's mercy. However, maybe there is
something we have forgotten! Maybe the answer to our prayers lies within the
words we speak and the things we do. Almighty Allah is letting us understand
the way to receive His mercy. It is through being merciful to others.
Now, what springs to mind? Are you thinking about massive humanitarian efforts
or giving lots of money in charity? But what about your family, your
neighbors, and the strangers who pass you by every day? Who are the people we
should being merciful to? Maybe it would be a good start if we turned to those
around us right now.
It might be an annoying brother or sister, a very tired-looking mother, an
overworked father, or an elderly grandmother. Sometimes, the people we see the
most often become less important to us as we seek what lies beyond our usual
playing field in life. How do we know, however, that these very same people
are loved by Almighty Allah and may be our gate to Paradise?
Being merciful is not just a word or an action; it is an attitude to life.
Mercy is something we take with us when we go to university or work or when we
go shopping or out with family and friends. It is the way we smile at people,
the way we stop and listen when they talk, the way we say "thanks and have a
nice day!" and the way we apologize when we are wrong or forgive when we are
The test of our mercy usually comes at a heated moment: When someone has just
cut us off with his or her car or bumped into us when we are trying to carry
lots of things; it might be that annoying child who keeps nagging for
something or insisting he or she is not wrong when we are positive it is! Did
you ever think why Allah placed these people in our lives? Then again, did you
ever think how many times you have responded arrogantly, flippantly, or
rudely? Did you pass the mercy test Almighty Allah gave you? Did you pass it
today? Yesterday? Last week?
Follow the Shari`ah Zone
Now, a number of excuses might come to mind; after all, we are so busy and
have schedules to follow. The streets are crowded and every one is overworked,
not just the other person in his or her car.
How clever we are at justifying the way we treat people poorly! How easy it is
to say about others "They aren't my problem!" But, be sure that if Almighty
Allah has put that person or those people in your way, then they are your
problem, your test. The next time you are feeling safe and comfortable, try to
direct your thoughts (and your heart) to those who around you.
Start with your mother or sister who might be still in the kitchen washing up
the dishes, and try and give a helping hand. Sit with your mother and ask her
about her day; make her feel that you care. When you are at the checkout
paying for the shopping and the cashier looks grumpy and tired, say a few nice
words and smile.
Take a minute to give someone you love a hug and let them know you appreciate
and care about them. The next time you are praying and asking for Almighty
Allah's mercy, remember the words of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be
"Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by the Merciful [Lord.]" (At-Tirmidhi
and Abu Dawud)
"Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in the heavens will show mercy to
"You can never be (true) believers until you show mercy to one another." The
Companions said, "We all show mercy, O Messenger of Allah." The Prophet
replied, "It is not the compassion that any one of you shows to his friend. It
is the compassion and mercy that you show the people in general [that I
Remember the angels register what we do all the time, not just in Ramadan.
However, in this blessed month, we have such a great chance to make new habits
and cast off bad ones. If you are usually not a merciful person, just take a
minute to think how difficult it would be to face life without the mercy of
Allah, and then reach out to those near you and be a mercy to them!
Selma Cook is a contributing writer to OnIslam.net. She has written a number
of books including: Buried Treasure (An Islamic novel for teenagers), The
Light of Submission (Islamic Poetry). She has also edited and revised many