Tuesday, February 19, 2008


One of the beautiful dictums narrated from Amir al-Mu’minin (‘a), is "Irham turham" (have mercy and you shall get mercy). This informs us that if we are merciful to people, a time would come that people would be merciful to us. Other traditions also have similar demonstrations about this reality. However, most of us, due to our limited consciousness that is habituated to vision the action ('amal) and retribution (jazaa') as separate entities, always anticipate to see two different phenomena to understand this reality. For example, when we are told "have mercy, and you shall get mercy" we feel that if we show mercy, a time will come when we would be in trouble and others will show mercy on us. Obviously this is correct. However, there is another deeper and loftier understanding of this tradition, which considers the action to be the very retribution. When we say 'Irham, turham" (have mercy and you will get mercy) we are speaking of a single phenomenon that establishes both one's bestowal as well as reception of mercy at the same time. In clearer words, by having mercy on others you are actually receiving mercy yourself". And what greater mercy can one anticipate when he is able to bestow mercy on others! One needs to be loftier to be merciful than to receive mercy. Our aspirations, however, must be more exalted: we must yearn to unite with Imam al-Husayn ('a) and manifest the All-embracing mercy of Almighty Allah. This is what the Imam ('a) manifested. And that is why we address him as: Ya Rahmatallah al-Waasi'a (O the Comprehensive Mercy of Allah)…"

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