Why Do Muslims Believe Allah is Merciful?
|Peaceful Muslim: Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam|
There are, actually, plenty of peace-loving Muslims - the vast majority, I would say are. One thing I was wondering, however, is why it is that Muslims believe that Allah is merciful?
For us, we hear some stories of God's mercy in the Old Testament. In His mercy, God spared Abraham's son and instead the Angel of the Lord appears and suggests a ram instead. God spares, in His mercy, Noah, so that the human race may live. God, in His mercy, sends prophets to the People of God warning them of the need for repentance and to seek His face. In His mercy, God spares Lot and some companions from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. These are, really, quite feint glimpses of God's mercy.
We have to say, however, that if we were just left with the Old Testament, we would perhaps not believe that mercy is God's most glorious attribute. It is only because of the Lord Jesus, Who shows mercy to the adultress, Who says that "It is mercy I require, not sacrifice", Who shows mercy to lepars, Who shows mercy to the penitent thief, mercy to repentant sinners, as well as the sick, the blind, the lame and Who opens up the Heart of His mercy on the Cross, that we believe that God is merciful.
Because of the Lord's Death and Resurrection, the mission of mercy is now the Church's mission to the World, because the Lord did not come to 'condemn the World, but to save it'. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a visible sign and Sacrament of God's inexhaustible mercy and compassion for us. The Holy Eucharist is Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, He is Who is both Truth and Mercy and Love. The Lord Jesus's Ministry on Earth just shouts "Mercy" to the Church and the World. His Death says "Mercy" and so does His Resurrection.
I admit I have not read the whole of the Koran. I read some and read some passages on mercy. I'm just trying to think whether there is an incident in the life of the prophet Mohammed that says 'Mercy'. Even if Islam promotes peace and mercy and says that Allah is merciful, I am trying to work out in what way Allah is shown to be merciful. The practice of Islam in Brighton is peaceful. We don't have stonings of adulteresses and homosexuals in Churchill Square - but in Iran and Saudi Arabia and other regions of the World, they do. Is Islam in those countries extreme, or is the Islam of Brighton just mild and wishy washy? I'm just wondering why Muslims believe Allah is merciful...