The Mercy and Guidance of Allah
Ansar Al ‘Adl
The allegation is as follows:
How merciful is Allah’s mercy? He has prescribed mercy for himself [6:12], yet he does not guide some, even though he could [6:35, 14:4]
Verses in question:
6:12 Say: “To whom belongeth all that is in the heavens and on earth?” Say: “To Allah. He hath inscribed for Himself (the rule of) Mercy. That He will gather you together for the Day of Judgment, there is no doubt whatever. It is they who have lost their own souls, that will not believe.
If it is hard for you to bear their aversion [from the truth] seek if you can a chasm in the earth or a ladder to the sky by which you can bring them a sign [for We are not going to show them any signs to make them believe]. Had God pleased, He would have guided them all [to the right path]. So, do not be carried away by your desire [to guide them].
14:4 We sent not an apostle except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them. Now Allah leaves straying those whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases: and He is Exalted in power, full of Wisdom.
Hence, the allegation is that, if Allah is so merciful, why does he allow some to go astray even though he could guide them?
The response is as follows:
1. First we must understand Allah’s mercy and love. Allah’s love may be divided into two categories: the universal mercy for all creation, and the special love reserved for those His righteous servants. The rahma (mercy) spoken of in verse 6:12 is universal, and the proof of that lies in other verses, like the following:
40:7 O our Sustainer! You embrace all things within (Your) rahmah (mercy) and knowledge.
The special love of Allah that is reserved for the righteous is described in verses like the following:
19:29 On those who have faith and do good will the Most Gracious One (Rahman) bestow love (wudda).”
2. On the question of who Allah guides, we once again refer to the Qur’an for the answer:
42:13 The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).
Hence, the answer is that Allah guides those people who desire His guidance. Those who turn to their creator and fulfil their duty will receive further guidance. While those who are cruel to God’s creation, who reject His blessings with ingratitude, they will be punished and are not worthy of guidance. They will only be allowed to stray even further. And concerning them, Allah has said:
43:76 It was not We who wronged them: but it is they who have wronged themselves.
With the above in mind, there is no contradiction. God’s infinite mercy is manifest in His continual blessings, but there is divine wisdom in the fact that Allah guides those who desire guidance. If you seek Allah, He will bring you closer to Him.
We have concluded from the last episode that disbelieving and disobeying Allah is another negligence from that human who has forgotten his role in life. We have also said that the All Truth, (Al-Haqq SWT) who has created man and made him the most superior creation in the universe wanted to award mankind and to provide them with all means of happiness. For the reality of life states that every person enjoying some kind of blessing is compelled to leave it behind. And even if man does not leave the blessing by passing away, it has been seen in many circumstances of life that the blessing abandons him and he stays stripped of that blessing.
So the indulgence of man with the blessings does not last in this finite life. The blessing is either going to walk away from you, or you are going to quit it. But the All Truth, (Al-Haqq) wanted to honor man in another way so He willed to give man the law that states for him what to do and what not to do. So if man decided to follow the law of Allah, then Allah would elevate him and give him more awards by sending him to an everlasting life where he never departs or gets deprived of the blessings. This is manâ€™s prominent aspiration.
What scares people in their life is their fear of dying and leaving behind all the blessings, or the idea of living without those blessings altogether. So if Allah promised His believer another life where he does not depart the blessing and does not get deprived of it, then this would be an elevation of the awards bestowed upon the believer. When the believer accepts the law of Allah he does that for his own endless benefit. Therefore, the believer is rational and the disbeliever is foolish. The people who disobey Allah are stupid and the people who obey Allah are wise. For the later are the ones who have wisely planned their life. They have sacrificed a limited blessing in a finite life for an interminable blessing in an eternal life. So obeying the law of Allah is rational, but the people, out of their negligence, love the immediate benefit even if it is a trivial one. However, the wise people are those who plan and work for the perpetual and everlasting benefit.
The messengers of Allah came to guide manâ€™s drive on earth, and one of the fundamentals of this guided path that Allah urges His servants to follow is the confidence in the guide. Because that person who has no faith in the guide or who does not trust the one advising or directing him implicitly accuses the guide of seeking benefit to himself. But would Allah want any benefit from us by asking us to follow His law? So we should not accuse the advisor, or the guide, or the director. Therefore, we find that Allah (SWT) continued to send His messengers whenever the creation forgets about the divine law. Allah sends them a new messenger because He wants to guide His creation. Those messages ended by the message of our Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him). He was the last of the messengers, and his message does not need to be complemented by a new message from Heavens. And why was Mohammad the seal of messengers? That is because all the previous messengers came at a time when life was relatively primitive in the universe. And the primitiveness of manâ€™s activities in the universe brings him closer to his Creator.
We have many examples for that, for instance when people in the old times used to go to a well looking for water and they do not find any, they would raise their hands looking to the sky pleading to Allah to send rain. This is because there were no mediators between their drinking water and the Heavenly rain. But now there are a lot of mediators and there are tanks to store the water, motors to raise the water to the tanks and pumping machines to pump the water in the tubes. All those mediators are now between the water in its natural state and the person who is blessed with it in his final civilized state. For now when the faucet is out of water you do not think of the Heavens, but you will say â€œCall the responsible company!! Go check the tubes!!â€œ a lot of intermediaries, until you find out that the pumps are not getting any water out of the wells because the wells have dried. Only then people would turn to Heavens and ask Allah to send them the rain. So the means that people use to elevate their standard of life might give them some conceit in their knowledge and in their achievements. They might get distant from the origin of the blessing that comes from Heavens. The more time passes and the more the brains invent, the more arrogant man gets with his mind and thoughts, imagining that he is not in need of anyone.
Thus the message that comes down upon a civilized life (the message of Islam) should be a message that compulsorily draws attention to the truth and overcomes all aspects of intellectual conceit. It should provide man with something that gets him out of that overwhelming materialism to the genuine origin of everything and to the All Granter of all things. The law of Islam represented in the Qurâ€™an, the holy book, is the law that covers all doubts and uncertainties in the universe. And whenever the human intellect advances, the Qurâ€™an provides man with knowledge that pushes away any doubts resulting from pride in his mind and boastfulness in his innovations. In the law of the Qurâ€™an, Islam is represented in two matters: the first explains the essence of life and the other is represented in the commands to do and to do not. Orders to do and do not have never changed and no one could add to them. No mind can invent or rework them because they constitute a divine law to all the people from the era of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) till the Day of Resurrection. It is not reasonable to have after the times of Mohammad (PBUH) new orders to do or not to do.
So all commands to do or not to do were sent through Mohammad (PBUH) and will last till the Day of Judgment. The only thing that could change is the gifts of entities on earth, the gifts that you could benefit from if you notice them around you, and if you do not have the chance to notice them, they will not harm your belief. Imagine that you did not invent electricity or airplanes or air shuttles, what is the effect of that on your activities in life regarding the do and do not commands? If you managed to reach those inventions you are going to use them, and if not, you will get no harm. On the other hand, if you follow the divine commands you are awarded for it and if you do not follow the orders you get punished. That is why the divine law has to be consistent for all Moslems, since the day it was outlined by Allahâ€™s Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) till the day we meet Allah.
That is the reason why all new innovations do not intervene with the do and the do not commands. We tell those who try to make new commands for each era: you can not replace Allahâ€™s commands, because the commands to do and to do not that come from Allah never change. We tell those who try to replace the do from Allah with the do not from the people or the do not from the people with the do from Allah that they are polytheists. We ask them to use their mind to search in all aspects of life and to draw from life whatever they like, but never to teach Allah their religion by saying do this and stop doing that. For Allah does not need to learn how to give us orders and He does not need to be corrected in whatever He commands us to do. We tell the person who does not accept the orders from Allah to do and not to do that he should fear Allah and keep his thoughts to himself. He should not carry the sin of misleading others. And since all new innovations are only concerned with entities in life, we invite those who try to come up with new commands to look in the Qurâ€™an and observe how it has covered all life problems that might disrupt the law of Allah in all life aspects.