Message of Thaqalayn

A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies

Understanding God's Mercy, Part VIII

The previous part of these series touched upon the qualities of those who qualify themselves to receive extra mercy from God, namely the patient, the good-doers, the righteous, the repentant, the obedient, and those who migrate and struggle for the sake of God. The present article studies divine mercy as illustrated in the way God rewards. Our happiness in the Hereafter depends on our faith and actions, and we need adequate provisions for the eternal journey ahead. Since it is likely that people tend to exaggerate their few deeds, we may not realize the actual length and duration of this difficult journey. Therefore, God, out of His vast mercy, assists us in various ways to enable us to obtain sufficient provision. Some characteristics of divine rewarding include: a) rewarding people for good intentions, although not punishing them for bad ones, b) multiplying rewards for good actions, although punishment for bad actions are not multiplied, 3) rewards for recommended deeds as emphasized in hadiths even if the hadiths are not authentic, 4) rewarding the pious according to their best performance and without measure, 5) transformation of sins into good deeds, 6) and forgiving people through intercession and for those who have hope in His forgiveness. In the meantime, people are to maintain a healthy balance between despair and contentment with our actions so as to become hopeful and determined to strive in doing good to tread on the right path towards the infinite God. 


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