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It’s Original Mercy…Not Sin

It’s Original Mercy…Not Sin

The Glorious Quran is full of glad tidings with which Almighty God soothes distressed and troubled souls, and nourishes the hearts of believers with hope of guidance and light. In one of these verses Allah says:

{We said: Go down all of you, from hence, but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve} (Al-Baqarah 2: 38)

According to the scholars of tafseer (Quranic exegetes), this verse explains what became of man after his first deviation from guidance: he got expelled out of the Paradise, an abode of bliss and comfort, to the earth, an abode of loitering, hardship and discomfort.

But still, and despite all this, the Almighty Creator, out of His mercy, always opens His gate towards salvation for those whoever wish to trek that path.

{…verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve}

To me, according to my humble perception of this glorious verse, it has a general and wide-range application, and not confined to a mere narration of what happened to man in the Garden of Eden during the genesis of life and creation.

It aims to open up our hearts and educate us about our nature as humans, created to offer a total submission to the will of the Almighty Creator and obey His orders. The verse also warns that whenever we allow Satan to overpower us and drive us from that path, this will inevitably drive us towards God’s wrath and expulsion from His mercy and blessing, leading us to degradation and falling to the bottom pit of discomfort and lack of peace:

{We said: Go down all of you, from hence…}

But still, and in line with the fact that the divine Will of God is never for making us suffer or being tormented, even though our relentless stubbornness often drives us to that point, as He has made clear in other verses of the Quran:

{Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty…} (Al-Baqarah 2: 185)

So in line with this, Allah, the almighty always comes to our rescue, spraying on us His blessing and directing us back to the root, to the foundation of our existence, when He first created us and placed us in the Garden of Eden, it was mercy…Yes, man’s existence on earth is based on the divine mercy and blessing of God, and that is the source of his guidance. We cannot obtain guidance save through God’s mercy.

But does that mean the origin of man’s creation is blanketed with sin?

I see that the answer is no. Man’s first disobedience and henceforth fall from heaven does not make his origin sinful, it’s rather a deviation from guidance, which is a product of divine mercy bestowed on man, even before his creation. Can’t we observe this in God’s address to angels when He referred to man as His “vicegerent on earth”? What an honor!

And later, when man was created, He blessed him with knowledge, i.e. full comprehension of many things, and with this he was lifted up in rank, and earning him another great honor of angels prostration, in an act of showing respect. This is another instance of divine mercy.

Then he was placed in the Garden of Eden, and provided with abundance of bliss, comfort and pleasure. Was this by coincidence or chance?

Nay, it’s a product and sign of God’s divine mercy and blessing. Nothing in this earth is by chance or coincidence, as everything has been predestined and gets directed by His Supreme Will. But what I want to emphasize here is that even with this Supreme Will, Divine Mercy walks and moves side by side.

So this is not a matter of original sin, with which we have enslaved ourselves to the whims of Satan, and rendered ourselves further incapacitated by its insinuations. It is rather the original mercy man has completely forgotten, thus surrendering himself to what he takes as his fate, and pointing always, out of ignorance, to the first sin and disobedience.

Man should always remember the “original mercy” with which he started his first life in the Garden of Eden, when everything was at his reach and beckon…when he was blessed with everything; even before being tasked with worship…he was even blessed with an honor of being ranked above the angels. Through this, man will be able to always rise up after fall, he will be able to stick to that divine rope connecting him with his Creator.

So it is man who always runs away from his Lord…Yes, it is man, out of his naivety and ignorance, who chooses to fall to Satan, despite a direct and clear warning from His Lord, thus subjecting himself to be swayed around and controlled by the Devil. So it’s a matter of running away from blessing, despite its abundance and constant beckoning to whoever wishes to get the sign…

Have you ever asked yourself, my friend: how many times you have been blessed with this chance and you squandered it?

Don’t you remember that gracious hand which miraculously rescued you from the grave of debt you buried yourself in, due to usurious transactions, only for you to turn afterwards against that hand and strive to cut it?

Do you ever remember to give just only 5 minutes to say “ thanks to you my God”, after waking up every morning, without knowing where your spirit had been, throughout that darkness of long frightening dreams and nightmares?

So it’s man, who’s running away from mercy despite its being at his beckon, only if he knew; and if we really want to be freed of daily bondage and displeasure of life, we really need to get back to Him, submitting to its will, and following its guidance.

This is exactly what Adam (peace and blessings be upon him) did after the disobedience, he returned to his Creator seeking His mercy. But what strikes me here also while reciting the Quran is that, even Adam’s effort of seeking forgiveness came from the fountain of divine mercy, it was through guidance from God, as the Quran says:

{Then Adam received (certain) words from his Lord, and He turned towards him mercifully, surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful} (Al-Baqarah 2: 37)

Let’s behold the level of mercy here! The moment Adam thought of repenting, he earnestly turned to his Lord wholeheartedly, with regret and remorse. And in reaction to this, the divine mercy descended on him, guiding him to certain effective words through which Allah would accept his repentance, subhanallah! And thus in the footsteps of Adam followed all the Prophets after him, and we should try to take them as example, {Those are the ones whom Allah has guided, so from their guidance take an example… } (Al-An`am 6:90)


About kamal badr

Kamal Badr holds a Masters Degree in International Law & Shariah from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, with a thesis written on "Modes of Reparation in Sharia & International Law -- Comparative Studies". He is working on His Ph.D. He has been an editor-in-chief for prominent Islamic websites.

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