Muslims are blessed with Ramadan: a month filled with spiritual opportunities to seek mercy, forgiveness and emancipation from hellfire.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said:
“This is a month, the first part of which brings Allah’s Mercy, the middle of which brings Allah’s forgiveness and the last part of which brings emancipation from hellfire” [Sahih Bukhari].
According to this hadith, Ramadan is broken into thirds. The first ten days of Ramadan are considered the “ten days of mercy.”
One of Allah’s 99 names is also Ar Rahman, which means “The Most Merciful.” There’s no surprise that mercy manifests itself in the month of Ramadan.
Fasting itself is a mercy
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, which itself is an act of mercy. When we fast, we experience a healthy detox from foods that don’t benefit us. It also gives many of our organs a chance to rest and recuperate.
Fasting recharges us spiritually and makes us more desirous of leaving distractions that don’t benefit us. Fasting also helps us appreciate whatever we have and think of those who have even less; for example, families with children in war-torn countries.
Allah SWT promises another reward for fasting in Surah Baqarah:
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” [Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:183].
To be considered amongst the most pious Muslims is the most merciful gift that Allah SWT can give His servants. A title easily achieved by making full use of Ramadan’s first 10 days.
As Muslims we have the opportunity to show more mercy towards ourselves and others and gain the rewards.
As a matter of fact, mercy manifests itself through our humanity in many ways, and all of this can be achieved by cultivating a Ramadan filled with implementing mercy in our daily lives.
There are a few ways that Muslims can show mercy to others in their homes and communities in the first 10 days of Ramadan:
Lighten the load
For many families, Ramadan brings an expectation that all members of the household need to maintain their pre-Ramadan duties. Some even expect others to perform extra household duties, like cooking, baking, cleaning, and entertaining, even while fasting and performing their extra worship activities.
Instead of demanding that family members do more, show mercy by understanding that they will instead be doing much less. Be content to eat simple meals and helping with household chores you don’t usually do. Give others a break and take a load off them this month.
Show extra love and affection to children and other family members
Part of Allah’s mercy is the love we feel for our parents, children, siblings, cousins, and other extended family. Make time in Ramadan to just be with your family.
This does not need to be worship-focused time. Family time can include reading books together, crafting, cooking, taking family outings, or walking in the evenings before iftar. Give extra cuddles, snuggles, and kisses in this month.
The love and mercy you can show others will multiply the love and mercy that Allah will have for you.
Ramadan is the perfect time to forgive any outstanding debts that are more than a year old – or any others that you can afford to give up.
When you forgive others’ debts you ease the stress they’re enduring over repaying your loans. Show them the mercy for their financial situation that you also hope to also be shown on the Day of Judgment.
Let go of grudges
Holding hatred and grudges against others speaks more to the nature of your own soul more than it does theirs. First, recognize that we are all human and we all make mistakes.
Next, take the first ten days of Ramadan to let go of any feelings of hate or anger towards others in your life that you feel have wronged you in some way. This is actually a mercy not to others, but to your own soul and self.
The rewards accrue throughout Ramadan for those who sincerely repent and occupy themselves in good actions for the sake of pleasing and worshiping Allah SWT.
The mercy of Allah SWT washes over everyone busy in worship and good deeds. Bask in Allah SWT’s mercy during the first ten days of Ramadan.
First published: June 2016