Word For Peace
Spiritually inclined and mystical branches of all faiths and traditions share universal and essential values. Mercy is one of them. It’s called rahm in Islam and karuna or daya in Hinduism. The practitioners of these faiths experience the divine as full of mercy and this moves them to relate to one another in merciful ways.
Etymologically, rahm has two beautiful meanings that corroborate each other: “womb of a mother” and “mercy”. From this root later came the Arabic word “Rahman” or “Raheem” (the most merciful), the two foremost attributes of Allah as mentioned in the very first verse of the holy Quran: Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem (In the name of Allah the most merciful, the most gracious). In the very beginning of the Quran, Allah conveys that just as the womb of a mother is full of mercy and unconditional compassion for the expected baby, his mercy is also all-embracing and infinite for all his creations.
Through only one part of the divine mercy, 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.
Today, when the ungodly acts in the name of God are playing havoc across the world, creating doubts and mistrust among different faith groups, the notion of rahm can lead us in the right direction of peace, pluralism and inter-faith harmony. It gives us an opportunity to listen to one another in a spirit of goodwill and amicable respect.