Mercy – Is It The Same As Rahmah?

Gnadenstuhl, in the Blutenburg chapel in Munich from 1491, by Johannes Polonus

In the late 12th century, mercy was used in the approximation of “God’s forgiveness of his creatures’ offenses,” from the Old French “mercit/merci”, a “reward, gift, or kindness”, from Latin, mercedem (nominative merces) a “reward, wages, or hire” (in Vulgar Latin it was thought of as “a favor” or “pity”), continuing to merx (genitive mercis) meaning “wares” or “merchandise.” By the 6th century, in the Latin Church, it had come to be applied as a heavenly reward for those who showed kindness to the poor and misfortunate. The meaning “disposition to forgive or show compassion” is seen in use as early as the 13th century. It also had uses as an interjection, as is corroborated in its use during the mid-13th century. In French, it was largely succeeded by miséricorde, except as a word of thanks (this is still apparent in modern French when one says “thank you” once says, “merci”. The Seat of Mercy, also know as the “golden covering of the Ark of the Covenant” (circa 1530), hails from William Tyndale’s  borrowed translation of Martin Luther’s Gnadenstuhl 1 (gnaden/grace + stuhl/stool), an approximation of the “kapporeth” (an object which rested upon the Ark of the Covenant, and was connected with the rituals of Yom Kippur), perhaps best rendered as “propitiatory.” Continue reading “Mercy – Is It The Same As Rahmah?”

Gratitude In Islam: An Exposition

First Khutbah – Main Points

الله الذي خلق السموت والأرض وأنزل من السماء ماء فأخرج به من الثمرت رزقا لكم – وسخرلكم الفلك لتجرى في البحر بأمره – و سخرلكم الأنهر
وسخر لكم الشمس والقمر دائبين – وسخرلكم الليل والنهار
وءاتكم من كل ما سألتموه – وإن تعدوا نعمت الله لاتحصوها – إن الإنسن لظلوم كفار

“God is the one Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down rain from the sky, bringing forth from it fruits as a provision. And He has made subservient to you the ships so that you may sail on the open sea by His command. He has also made subservient to you the rivers. He has also made the sun and moon subservient to you, holding steady on two courses. And He has made subservient to you the night as well as the day.

He has given to you everything you have asked for – if you were to count the blessings that God has bestowed, you could never do so. Truly man is wrongdoing, ungrateful.” [Q: 14:32-34]

Let’s open today’s discussion on gratitude by looking at the Majesty of God.

Thankfulness leads to perpetuation of favors already received and also fosters the hope of obtaining what is desired:

وإذ تأذن ربكم لئن شكرتم لأزيدنكم

“And when your Lord proclaimed: ‘if you are give thanks, I will increase you in it!” [Q: 14:7]

وما بكم من نعمة فمن الله

“What ever good you have if from God.” [Q: 16:53] Continue reading “Gratitude In Islam: An Exposition”