Some of the Surahs that we read during salah are made up of: “We are Allahs slaves”, ” Please have mercy on us” , “Save us from hellfire” etc. These make me disbelieve the Love of Allah, his kindness, his Care on us etc. When we say “Oh Allah please Have mercy on us” it is as if he WANTS to punish us (astaghfirullah), When we say “we are your slaves” Then I think of a Slave master who is bad to his slaves, And when we say “Save us from Hellfire” I think that I am deemed to go to hell.
I just want to love Allah and to recognize his love for me too. Because of these thoughts, I’m also leaving Salah sometimes. Please help me my dear brother.
Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,
Allah Ta’ala has showered us with every bounty which we enjoy. Allah blessed us with our limbs, our health, our wealth, our luxuries, the air that we breathe, etc. The primary reason for giving us all of these is so that we can utilise these bounties in the obedience of Allah. Yet, inspite of us continuously breaking every commandment of Allah, Allah does not seize these bounties from us. Is this not a clear indication of the great mercy and love that Allah has for us?
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) explained the great love Allah SWT has for us. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates,
وعن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه، عن النبيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: إنَّ لله مائة رحمة، أنزل منها رَحمةً واحدة بين الجنِّ والإنس والبهائم والهوام، فبِها يتعاطفون، وبها يتراحَمون، وبها تعطف الوحشُ على ولدها، وأخَّر الله تسعًا وتسعين رحمة يَرحم بها عبادَه يوم القيامة (رواه مسلم)
The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects. By means of just that one part, all these creations are compassionate and merciful to one another, and wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has held back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which He will be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Muslim)
In another narration, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said,
وعن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه أنَّه قال: قُدِم على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بِسَبي، فإذا امرأة من السَّبي تَبتغي، إذا وجدَت صبيًّا في السَّبي أخذَته فألصقَته ببطنها وأرضعَته، فقال لنا رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «أترون هذه المرأة طارحَةً ولدَها في النَّار؟»، قلنا: لا والله وهي تقدِر على أن لا تطرَحَه، فقال رسولُ الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «للهُ أَرحم بعباده من هذه بولدها»؛ (رواه مسلم).
“Prisoners were brought before the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and behold, there was a woman among the prisoners who was searching (for her son). When she found her child she embraced him and put him to her breast. The Prophet said to us, “Do you think that this lady can throw her son in the fire?” We replied, “No, if she has the power to not throw him (in the fire), she will never do so.” The Prophet then said, “Allah is more merciful to His slaves than this lady is to her son.” (Sahih Muslim)
This proves that Allah loves us and is merciful to us beyond what we can imagine. Our actions demand the immediate withdrawal of every bounty, but Allah does not take away any.
Likewise, in the hereafter too, Allah will enter us into Jannah solely through His mercy.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:
عن أبي هريرة، عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: «لن ينجي أحدا منكم عمله» قال رجل: ولا إياك؟ يا رسول الله قال: «ولا إياي، إلا أن يتغمدني الله منه برحمة» (رواه مسلم).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No one’s deeds will ever be a means of his salvation.” A person asked, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “No, not even me, unless Allah showers me with His mercy.” (al-Bukhari, Muslim)
Ofcourse, there will be those too who transgressed so much that they will have to be purified with punishment.
Here we should realise that Punishment is not an indication of ill-will or hatred. Inspite of having utmost love for their children, parents still punish them when they are disobedient. Similarly, governments imprison and penalise transgressors.
Had there been no system of punishment, there would be no order in this world. Every person would have been at liberty to do as he desires. There would be absolute chaos.
Assuming there was no reward and punishment, why would a person then obey Allah? What would motivate a person to wake up on a cold morning to pray Fajr? If there was no punishment, why would a person stay away from wine, adultery, lies etc? Thus, it is only logical that Allah rewards those who strive to follow His laws, and punishes those who violate his commandments. An important point to note is that everything that Allah has prohibited is in fact, to protect us from the harms of it, and everything that Allah has ordained or encouraged upon us is to our benefit.
Inspite of this, Allah looks for excuses to forgive and reward us. On small actions Allah is prepared to grant huge rewards. A person only intends to do some good action, and already one good deed is recorded for him. If he then carries that good deed out, the angels records a minimum of ten rewards for him. On the other hand, when we sin, Allah commands the angels not to record the sin immediately, because Allah is waiting for us to repent. If after this respite we do not repent, only one sin is recorded.
From this we can understand the vast mercy of Allah. Allahs mercy is much more than His anger. Allah Himself says:
﴿ وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ﴾ [الأعراف: 156]
“But My mercy encompasses all things.” (al-Araaf, 156)
﴿ نَبِّئْ عِبَادِي أَنِّي أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴾ [الحجر: 49].
“Declare (O Muhammad) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful. [15:49-50]
And in another verse Allah said,
﴿ قُلْ لِمَنْ مَا فِي السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قُلْ لِلَّهِ كَتَبَ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ﴾ [الأنعام: 12]
“Say: ‘To whom belongs what is in the heavens and the earth?” Say: ‘To Allah, He has prescribed mercy on Himself…” (al-Inaam, 12)
Hence, we are to be blamed for disobeying Allah. But since Allah left the doors of repentance open, we can always turn back to Him.
Brother, think of it with the following example: a widow goes out of her way to bring up her child as a single parent. She sacrifices all her needs for the luxuries of this child. She goes to bed hungry just so that her child can get good education. Yet, after years of this sacrifice, the child kicks the mother out of his house. Now, is it not only fair that the child should be exhorted to beg his mother for forgiveness? Imagine his mother promises, that if he comes to her just once, then inspite of his disloyalty and cruelness, she will not only accept him, but she will show him excessive kindness. Can anyone then claim that it is cruel for the mother to expect the son to ask her forgiveness?
Allah is even more kind to us. Allah gave us the air to breath, Allah feeds us, Allah gave us every limb and organ, Allah blessed us with so many bounties, yet we disobey Allah. Allah has the full right to destroy us and take every bounty away from us. Yet, in spite of that, Allah has so much forbearance. So should we not beg Allah to forgive us and have mercy on us? Is the fault not ours?
Bear in mind that once we turn to Allah in repentance, Allah not forgives all our wrongdoings, but He turns all them into good deeds. So when we ask Allah to forgive us and have mercy on us, we should rather think of a disobedient, disloyal and ungrateful child repenting to his mother.
These are just a handful of narrations and verses that show the mercy and love of Allah for His bondsmen. The Qur’an and Hadith are replete with quotes that prove Allah’s mercy and love far outweigh His wrath and anger. So my dear we should as a believer have hope in Allah’s mercy and at the same time fear His wrath, so that we live in a balanced manner. Too much hope will cause a person to do as he pleases and expect Allah to forgive him, while too much fear will cause him to become despondent and give up.
So focus on Allah’s love for you while carrying out actions that will be pleasing to Him and strive to please Him just as an indebted son would strive to please his parents. If at all Shaytaan whispers any such doubts to you again, then say “I believe in Allah” and cast them aside.
And Allaah Ta’aala knows best
Ismail Moosa (Mufti)