By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Word for Peace
From time immemorial, there have been two diametrically different faiths in the world. One stresses that God is “wadud” (the all-loving and all-embracing). Al-Wadud being one of the names of God in the Qur’an shows that He is truly forgiving, all-embracing in his love, as is enunciated in Surah Al-Buruj (85:14). Going by this, the believers of the first category (those who believe God is love) embrace a world of differing religions and are devoted to saving rather than destroying humanity. They epitomize the spiritual symbiosis embedded in almost all religions “To save a life is to protect the whole mankind” (the holy Qur’an). Psychologically, they are the healthy human beings and pose no threat to any section of world society. Even non-believers, atheists, secularists have nothing to fear from these believers. They rather live by universal values of love, compassion, harmony, tolerance, inclusiveness and all-embracing social integration. Thus, they benefit whole mankind and light up the world at large illuminating spiritual messages of their faiths.
On the contrary, the other group of believers propound that “fear of God” should be given preference over love for Him. This line of thinking paves the way for those who play the role of takfiris, shuddis or crusaders forcibly imposing ‘God’s will’ apropos their own concocted interpretation of faith. In a crazy bid to prove themselves pious religionists, they even usurp the personal right of one’s freedom of religion, freedom of expression and act coercively and violently to impose their own motives in the name of God’s will.
But Islam, much in the same way as all other faiths relay, shows God’s love for man as infinite; all-inclusive and all-encompassing. It exhorts mankind to follow it as the basic tenet of the spirituality. Those claiming God’s love for His creations is restricted are doing a blunder. Not a single creature is exempted from His bountiful grace and divine mercy. Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said, “When God created His creatures, He wrote in the Book: ‘Verily, My mercy prevailed over My wrath.’” (Bukhari)
According to another prophetic tradition, God divided His mercy into hundred parts, kept with Him ninety nine parts, and sent down to earth only one part.” It clearly implies that God has unveiled only one per cent of His infinite mercy as yet. Through this one part, all human beings, animals and other creatures treat one another with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts its hoof over its child lest it should hurt it. From women to female animals who love, hug, care and breastfeed their babies with loving tenderness, there are innumerable instances of pure, selfless, inherent and innate love reflecting the divine love and infinite mercy of God.
Once, Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and his companions saw a mother bird with her babies in a nest. She was feeding worms to her babies. Her actions were so loving, tender and gentle that the companions were pleasantly surprised at the display of her natural love.
This beautiful and fascinating scene reminded the Prophet of God’s infinite love for man and, therefore, he smiled and asked his companions, “Are you surprised at the love this mother bird shows to her babies? Let me tell you that God loves man 70 times more than this mother!”