Understanding God’s Mercy Part 4
Mohammad Ali Shomali1
In the previous part of this series, the qualities of God, such as His kindness, forgiveness, knowledge and richness were explained in addition to the assured All-embracing mercy He has made incumbent on Himself, especially for those who qualify to receive it in their spiritual path. In this part, we will study the role of God’s mercy as seen in the Qur’an in making various arrangements for our survival and convenience on Earth, such as creating the stars, maintaining the sky, and delivering us from misfortunes.
God’s mercy also plays a part in human guidance as He sent humankind messengers with the impeccable qualities of empathy and gentleness. Indeed, God has provided humanity with infinite blessings in all aspects of their lives; it is our duty to appreciate and use them wisely in order to gain His pleasure and ultimately emerge as His vicegerents.
In the Qur’an, God refers to the different arrangements He has made in this world for our convenience or for our survival. Some of those arrangements are simply to make life easier for us while others are essential. In what follows, we will refer to some of those blessings of God.
Maintenance of the sky and creation of the stars: Emphasizing on God’s mercy, the Qur’an tells us that God preserves the sky to protect the earth:
أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّـهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَالْفُلْكَ تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ وَيُمْسِكُ السَّمَاءَ أَن تَقَعَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Have you not regarded that God has disposed for you[r benefit] whatever there is in the earth, and [that] the ships sail at sea by His command, and He sustains the sky lest it should fall on the earth, excepting [when it does so] by His leave? Indeed God is most kind and merciful to mankind. (22:65)
By saying “Have you not regarded that God has disposed for you[r] benefit…” God asks us to take heed of all that He has made manageable for us. He has given us ability to control what is on the earth and make use of the ships that move in the oceans. Moreover, God retains the sky in its place, preventing it from hitting the earth except with His permission (perhaps this refers to the incidents that take place prior to the Day of Judgement when the earth and the sky will crumble.) At the end of the verse, God reminds us of his utmost kindness and mercy. He has also created the stars to serve for orientation by night:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ النُّجُومَ لِتَهْتَدُوا بِهَا فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ قَدْ فَصَّلْنَا الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
It is He who has made the stars for you, so that you may be guided by them in the darkness of land and sea. We have certainly elaborated the signs for a people who have knowledge. (6:97)2
Alterations of days and nights: If there were no alterations and we always had the day or the night, then it would have badly affected our physical, psychological, and spiritual life. This alteration is necessary for our peace of mind and spirit. God has created the night time primarily for our rest. The Qur’an says:
وَمِن رَّحْمَتِهِ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لِتَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Out of His mercy He has made for you the night and the day, that you may rest therein and that you may seek from His grace and so that you may give thanks. (28:73)
Daytime and nighttime are two blessings of God and we should be more thankful with each day and night that comes. This verse implies that people are recommended not to choose a type of work or job that occupies the whole night. Of course, there are those who work only during the night for the benefit of society or because of their needs and there is nothing wrong, since they have no alternative. However, if it is an option it is preferable to choose work that allows for you to spend time with your family, to worship, or to rest at the end of the day.
Nighttime is undoubtedly the best time for rest. During the day, even if you attempt to simulate a nighttime setting by switching off the lights and placing a curtain to darken a room, you will still not experience the same rest experienced during the night. It is not just a matter of light or darkness; the entire atmosphere is different. We normally take this for granted as we do not count this as one of our possessions though in reality these are assets God has given us and we are to be thankful.
Winds and rain: Without wind the air remains still and that would be cause problems. Allah created wind to improve the quality of the air we breathe through the movement of the earth and the existence of wind. In some places when a city is built next to high mountains that prevent the movement of wind, people face obstacles such as being unable to leave their houses for several days. Thus, this current of wind provides benefits such as fresh air and helps disperse seeds for the fertilization of the plants:
وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً طَهُورًا لِّنُحْيِيَ بِهِ بَلْدَةً مَّيْتًا وَنُسْقِيَهُ مِمَّا خَلَقْنَا أَنْعَامًا وَأَنَاسِيَّ كَثِيرًا وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَاهُ بَيْنَهُمْ لِيَذَّكَّرُوا فَأَبَىٰ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلَّا كُفُورًا
And it is He who sends the winds as harbingers of His mercy, and We send down from the sky purifying water, with which We revive a dead country and provide water to many of the cattle and humans We have created. Certainly We distribute it among them so that they may take admonition. But most people are only intent on ingratitude. (25:48-50)
By sending this wind, He also gives you the good tidings of the possibility of rain that purifies you.
Animals: Out of His mercy, God has created animals, some of which help us transport our goods. Had He not created animals such as horses, camels, donkeys, and mules then we would find it difficult to carry our goods, especially before the invention of the automobile. Perhaps if there were no such animals to transport goods, the idea of inventing automobiles would not have occurred, for we normally model what exists in nature, such as the invention of the airplane modeled after birds. This has been termed by biophysicists as biomimetics. In any case, the Qur’an says:
وَتَحْمِلُ أَثْقَالَكُمْ إِلَىٰ بَلَدٍ لَّمْ تَكُونُوا بَالِغِيهِ إِلَّا بِشِقِّ الْأَنفُسِ إِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ وَالْخَيْلَ وَالْبِغَالَ وَالْحَمِيرَ لِتَرْكَبُوهَا وَزِينَةً وَيَخْلُقُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
And they bear your burdens to towns which you could not reach except by straining yourselves. Indeed your Lord is most kind and merciful. And horses, mules, and asses for you to ride them, and for adornment, and He creates what you do not know. (16:7&8)
Thus, the creation of animals is partly meant for our convenience. Of course, Islam provides recommendations and instructions as to how to treat these animals. Even narrations recommend that, for example, if a person is seated on a horse or a donkey and then meets a friend, he or she must not begin speaking until coming down from it, because doing so is painful to the animal. Or Imam Ali (a) tells us not to curse animals; otherwise you yourself will be cursed. Also, animals should be fed properly and be provided with shelter and even medicine.3
Transport in the seas and oceans: Out of His mercy, God has enabled us to build ships and boats to carry our goods in the seas and oceans. If it were not for the ability of water to be a container for carrying goods as well as having the quality of allowing objects to float on its surface, we would not have been able to carry them:
رَّبُّكُمُ الَّذِي يُزْجِي لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ فِي الْبَحْرِ لِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا
Your Lord is He who drives for you the ships in the sea, that you may seek His grace. Indeed, He is most merciful to you. (17:66)
Protection from catastrophes: Though we see the disasters that occur, we do not see the many from which we are saved. For example, the Qur’an says:
وَإِن نَّشَأْ نُغْرِقْهُمْ فَلَا صَرِيخَ لَهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يُنقَذُونَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَمَتَاعًا إِلَىٰ حِينٍ
And if We like We drown them, whereat they have no one to call for help, nor are they rescued except by a mercy from Us and for an enjoyment until sometime. (36:43-44)
If God had wanted He would have made us all drown in floods. It is because of His mercy that He saves us and gives us this ability to survive.
When we think carefully about the probabilities we have for death and survival since childhood and take into account all the risks and threats we faced since birth, we realize that our chance of survival is actually very little. For example, to a newborn, numerous threats and dangers can happen every day. Just imagine your child playing with a knife, a fork, with the toys and instruments in the house, or simply touching hot objects.
Many things may happen to him in which you may not always have full control. Or when we cross the street, and many cross it on a regular basis, if one of the many drivers is not cautious for even a moment, we are bound to face the inevitable. On motorways, if only one of the many drivers for a moment goes unconscious there will be fatal crashes. There must be some mercy of God that saves us; otherwise we could not have continued our life, or at least remain healthy. To determine that mercy, God states this provision in the Qur’an:
لَهُ مُعَقِّبَاتٌ مِّن بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِ يَحْفَظُونَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّـهِ
He has guardian angels, to his front and his rear, who guard him by God’s command… (13:11)
God appoints angels mainly for our protection. There are angels whose responsibility is to protect us from the ongoing risks and dangers we face on a daily basis. Imam Baqir (a) describes this ‘divine decree’:
يحفظ بأمر الله من ان يقع في ركى أو يقع عليه حائط او يصيبه شيء حتى اذا جاء القدر خلوا بينه وبينه يدفعونه الى المقادير وهما ملكان يحفظانه بالليل وملكان من نهار يتعاقبانه
By an instruction from God, man is saved from falling in a well or collapse of a wall on him or calamities happening to him until a divine decree comes. So when it comes he would be left with that decree and will be pushed towards it. There are two angels that protect him during night and two day angels succeed them.4
Imam Sadiq (a) has also said:
ما من عبد الا ومعه ملكان يحفظانه فإذا جاء الامر من عند الله خليا بينه وبين امر الله
There is no servant of God except that there are two angels with him for protection. When God’s decree comes they will leave him to that decree.5
The same idea can be found in Nahj al-Balaghah where Imam Ali (a) says:
ان مع كل انسان ملكين يحفظانه فاذا جاء القدر خليا بينه وبينه
Truly there are two angels with every person who protect him. When the decree comes they leave him to that decree.6
More generally, Imam Ali (a) says that there are angels whose task is to protect God’s servants (ومنهم الحفظة لعباده ).7
Help and protection in particular cases: There are also many particular cases in the Qur’an where God helped and protected specific people though His mercy. For example, in the story of Prophet Khidr (a) and Musa (a), while Prophet Khidr was restoring a wall, Musa was unable to understand why. Prophet Khidr later explained that underneath that wall was some treasure for two orphans, and God out of His mercy wanted that treasure to remain buried until they grow up and find it themselves:
وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِي ذَٰلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا
As for the wall, it belonged to two boy orphans in the city. Under it there was a treasure belonging to them. Their father had been a righteous man. So your Lord desired that they should come of age and take out their treasure —as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do that out of my own accord. This is the interpretation of that over which you could not maintain patience. (18:82)
So God is so merciful that He asked His Prophet to act as a simple labourer to make this wall free of charge so that these two orphans later would easily find it.
Another example regards Prophet Zechariah (a) who was given a son, John, out of God’s mercy:
ذِكْرُ رَحْمَتِ رَبِّكَ عَبْدَهُ زَكَرِيَّا إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ نِدَاءً خَفِيًّا قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَهَنَ الْعَظْمُ مِنِّي وَاشْتَعَلَ الرَّأْسُ شَيْبًا وَلَمْ أَكُن بِدُعَائِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيًّا وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِيَ مِن وَرَائِي وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِي عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ وَلِيًّا يَرِثُنِي وَيَرِثُ مِنْ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِيًّا يَا زَكَرِيَّا إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلَامٍ اسْمُهُ يَحْيَىٰ لَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِيًّا
[This is] an account of your Lord’s mercy on His servant, Zechariah, when he called out to his Lord with a secret cry. He said, ‘My Lord! Indeed my bones have become feeble, and my head has turned white with age, yet never have I, my Lord, been disappointed in supplicating You! Indeed I fear my kinsmen, after me, and my wife is barren. So grant me from Yourself an heir 19:6 who may inherit from me and inherit from the House of Jacob, and make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You]!’ ‘O Zechariah! Indeed We give you the good news of a son, whose name is ‘John.’ Never before have We made anyone his namesake.’ (19:2-7)
God also gave Prophet Musa (a) his brother, the Prophet Aaron, who aided Musa in his accomplishments:
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَا أَخَاهُ هَارُونَ نَبِيًّا
And We gave him out of Our mercy his brother Aaron, a prophet. (19:53)
Moreover, out of His mercy, God favoured Prophet Job (a) in his distresses and difficulties by returning to him his family members and others like them:
وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُم مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَذِكْرَىٰ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
And We gave [back] his family to him along with others like them, as a mercy from Us and an admonition for those who possess intellect. (38:43)
اسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ فَكَشَفْنَا مَا بِهِ مِن ضُرٍّ وَآتَيْنَاهُ أَهْلَهُ وَمِثْلَهُم مَّعَهُمْ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَابِدِينَ
So We answered his prayer and removed his distress, and We gave him [back] his family along with others like them, as a mercy from Us, and an admonition for the devout. (21:84)
Thus, for all human beings out of His mercy God has made arrangements for everyone’s convenience, survival, and protection as well as in particular cases, as God confirms this in the Qur’an.
Not only has God created the world including us and has made life convenient for us, but He has also bestowed His mercy by providing us with guidance. This is likened to inviting people to our place, providing them with food and comfort, in addition to planning an activity of some sort because not doing so would be a waste of their time and energy. Or imagine constructing a school, with all its facilities including a library and lab devoid of a curriculum, syllabus, or teacher. God has made this world as a school with its necessary facilities, and has also provided us with a syllabus and outstanding teachers. In doing so, He examines us, and in the end, He gives records of performance to those who have passed or failed.
According to the Qur’an, God has sent His Messengers to mankind because of His mercy. God also emphasizes on the Prophet Muhammad (s) as being sent to deliver His message of mercy:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations. (21:107)
There are two ways of interpreting this: 1) God has sent him to be a mercy, or 2) He has sent him out of His mercy. One is to take rahmah (mercy) as the reason for sending the Prophet (maf‘ul li- ajlih); the other is take it as an explanation of what the Prophet was supposed to do (hal or maf‘ul thani). The result does not differ much. In any case, God has done this out of His mercy and the Prophet was also the Messenger of mercy, though technically there are different ways to come to this conclusion.
Thus, the prophet was sent not only for Meccans and Middle- Easterners. He was not even sent for Muslims all over the world. He was sent for being a source of mercy for all people of the world, including human beings and jinns8. Any being possessing reason and understanding can benefit from him, even angels. According to a hadith, Prophet Muhammad (s) asked angel Gabriel:
هل اصابك من هذه الرحمة شيء؟
Has anything from this mercy reached you?
نعم اني كنت اخشى عاقبة الامر فآمنت بك لما اثنى الله علي بقوله: " ذِي قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِي الْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ"
Yes. I was always worried about what is going to happen to me at the end. This continued until God praised me after you [in the Qur’an] by saying,
ذِي قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِي الْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ
‘powerful and eminent with the Lord of the Throne’ (81:20).9
Regarding Prophet Muhammad’s mercifulness, the Qur’an says:
لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
There has certainly come to you an apostle from among yourselves. Grievous to him is your distress; he has deep concern for you, and is most kind and merciful to the faithful. (9:128)
An apostle has come to you from yourselves. He is not a stranger. He is not someone from another planet or another world. He is a human being from among yourselves. When you are in trouble, he is in trouble. He empathizes with your suffering. This is how much he loves and cares for you. He is like a parent who suffers when his or her child is in difficulty. He is very concerned about you. He desperately wants the best for you. And he possesses exclusive kindness and mercy towards the believers.
An Excellent Listener: Elsewhere, the Qur’an refers to another aspect of the merciful character of the Prophet (s):
وَمِنْهُمُ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ النَّبِيَّ وَيَقُولُونَ هُوَ أُذُنٌ قُلْ أُذُنُ خَيْرٍ لَّكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّـهِ وَيُؤْمِنُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ
Among them are those who torment the Prophet, and say, ‘He is an ear.’ Say, ‘An ear that is good for you. He has faith in God and trusts the faithful, and is a mercy for those of you who have faith.’ (9:61)
One of the things that some people in Medina used to do was to annoy the Prophet by calling him “an ear” (أُذُنُ). It meant that the Prophet had the habit of listening to the people. To be a person like a prophet who listens to Allah and Gabriel and then listen to the people and give them utmost respect is a miracle. Instead of appreciating this trait, some people criticized him, saying, “Why does he constantly listen to us? He has nothing else to do!” “He should not listen so much” “He is an ear!” Instead of the Prophet defending himself, Allah (swt) defended him by saying the Prophet is “an ear that is good for you.” It is to our benefit.
Listening is a difficult task. It is much easier to speak. On the other hand, listening requires patience. Sometimes we do not even have the ability to listen for five minutes without interrupting the other person, especially if the listener is an important and busy person whom everyone asks for advice; listening may make you think you are wasting your time and energy. The Prophet did not think like this. He gave people time and attention, and he did so by looking at them. One of the things we learn about the Prophet was that he always looked at people with his full attention so as to give them full respect. Sometimes you speak to people who instead of looking at you, they turn away, but the Prophet looked with his face turned to the receiver.
Soft and gentle: Allah also says that out of His mercy He made Prophet Muhammad (s) very soft and kind to people:
فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّـهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الْأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّـهِ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
It is by God’s mercy that you are gentle to them; and had you been harsh and hardhearted, surely they would have scattered from around you. So excuse them, and plead for forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs, and once you are resolved, put your trust in God. Indeed God loves those who trust in Him. (3:159)
The mercy of God makes people soft. It is like water. If lots of rain pours into a container it cannot preserve it and the water will overflow. If one really receives mercy like knowledge, wisdom, and light from Allah (swt) it will overflow and certainly reach and affect other people as well. God says to the Prophet (s) that He has given so much of mercy to him that he became soft for everyone at his reach. Of course, this was extended finally to “all nations.”
Many people at that time were not very soft. Many of them, if not most of them, were arrogant as a result of their culture during the Age of Ignorance (the era before Islam). They used to bury their daughters alive. They would easily kill hundreds of people. They used to treat human beings as slaves and treated them like animals without any respect. They treated their wives like their property. It was a sign of weakness to show love and mercy to people, including one’s own children and wife. Once, a man was shocked to see the Prophet kissing a child, and admitted that he had never kissed any of his children. The Prophet replied: “من لا يَرحم لا يُرحم” (“One who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy”).
Moreover, when they had wars they used to commit muthlah, that is, they amputated the parts of one’s face, like the nose and ears. The so-called “Noblemen of Mecca” used to take advantage of their position and force people who used to go to Mecca for trade or for pilgrimage to leave aside their own dress and buy their dress from them; otherwise they had to go around Ka‘bah unclothed. Sometimes if a stranger entrusted them with his money and valuables they used to keep them for themselves without returning them. So these people had no mercy for strangers or for vulnerable insiders. They were merely interested in money and worldly pleasures. On the other hand, the Prophet was so patient with them and showed them so much love and mercy that in a matter of few years he transformed them. He made them people who were ready to give all their possessions to their brothers and sisters, and to sacrifice their lives for each other.
It was because of the mercy of Allah that not only was the Prophet Muhammad’s speech soft, but his entire personality was extremely gentle. God said to Moses and Aaron to go to the Pharaoh and “speak to him softly,” but when it comes to the Prophet Muhammad (s) God affirms that he has already become a soft person. So his entire personality was soft and not just his speech.
Then God adds that if he were harsh and hardhearted, people would have scattered from him and left him alone, because these people could only be handled with genuine love and mercy. Then God asks the Prophet to pardon them when they do something wrong. God also tells the Prophet to ask forgiveness for them from God. This means that God is willing to forgive them and therefore tells the Prophet, “Pardon them and ask me also to forgive them.” This illustrates another aspect of God’s mercy.
The Qur’an also affirms that Prophet Jesus (a) was sent because of God’s mercy:
قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ آيَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَكَانَ أَمْرًا مَّقْضِيًّا
He said, “So shall it be. Your Lord says, ‘It is simple for Me.’” And so that We may make him a sign for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a matter [already] decided. (19:21)
Gabriel told Lady Mary that God wanted to give her a son to make him a sign and also as a mercy from Him.
Apart from making His all-embracing mercy known through His attributes as seen in the Qur’an, God reminds of the worldly benefits we receive from it. And in addition to the creation of material assets such as the sky, stars, winds, rain, and animals for our protection and/or convenience, He has also ensured that we are guided by the noblest examples, those who possess mercy, empathy, and gentleness. These provisions of all types demonstrate that we have been given the necessary facilities and guidelines to lead us to a prosperous life and success in the Hereafter.
In the next part, we will see how God introduces His revelations and messages to be for mercy and then we move on to study the legislations that He has made in His religion out of His mercy.
- 1. Associate Professor of the Imam Khomeini Education & Research Institute, Qum.
- 2. See also the verse 16:16.
- 3. For further information, please refer to Shomali, M.A., “Aspects of Environmental Ethics” in Life, London: 2011, Institute of Islamic Studies.
- 4. Tafsir Nemuneh, vol. 10, p. 144.
- 5. Ibid. cited from Al-Burhan, vol. 2, p. 283.
- 6. Ibid. cited from Nahj al-Balaghah, Wise sayings no. 201.
- 7. Ibid. cited from Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon One.
- 8. Jinn is a supernatural creature, lower than the angels, who could appear in animal or human form. Together, jinn, humans, and angels make up the three sentient creations of Allah. Like human beings, the Jinn can also be good, evil, or neutrally benevolent.
- 9. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 16, p. 306.