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In the Name of God بسم الله

Mercy or Love?

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In another post @hasanhh posted the following

The "Just Ends" of Allah -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). is "to gather" everything on His -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Last Day where it is revealed He -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has "prescribed" Mercy for Himself -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).(Ayat 6:12) --not "love."

I am interested in this idea of God prescribing mercy and not love.

Some people tell me that the Christan focus on God's love is equivelant to the Muslim focus on God's mercy.  In the comment above it would seem that some people see them as different.

Is God's love the same as God's mercy?  If they are different how and why?  If they are the same do they express them selves in the same way?

Why is a different word available if they are the same thing?

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1 hour ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

God's love the same as God's mercy?  If they are different how and why?  If they are the same do they express them selves in the same way?

Love for the one who seeks love and mercy for the one who seeks mercy.

Depends on who is asking and what.

Prophet Muhammed (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has a title of Habibullah (Allah's beloved).

We are sinners and low people. Allah loves us, true but our spirits don't have the capacity to recieve the love of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). 

Mercy is also for everyone. But because we have wronged ourselves in this world and disobeyed Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), we seek mercy more often.

From another angle, it can be said that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) 'loves' us while we seek his 'mercy'. 

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1 hour ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

In another post @hasanhh posted the following

The "Just Ends" of Allah -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). is "to gather" everything on His -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Last Day where it is revealed He -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has "prescribed" Mercy for Himself -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).(Ayat 6:12) --not "love."

I am interested in this idea of God prescribing mercy and not love.

Some people tell me that the Christan focus on God's love is equivelant to the Muslim focus on God's mercy.  In the comment above it would seem that some people see them as different.

Is God's love the same as God's mercy?  If they are different how and why?  If they are the same do they express them selves in the same way?

Why is a different word available if they are the same thing?

I previously shared with you some stanzas from the supplication of Jaushan al Kabeer. 

It has in total hundred stanzas. Each stanza calls Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) with approximately 5-7 distinct attributes or names. So, atleast 500 names/attributes of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). All distinct. Yet, none can be associated with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). None of them defines Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). It is we who need these names and attributes to call our Lord. He is independent of all these names and characterstics and yet all of these belong to him (the Almighty).

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bless you.

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As Salam u Alaikum,


Love and Mercy are two very different things. The discussion rather should be about Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) being Just and/or Merciful towards His servants.

For example a mother can love her child but when this child does something wrong, she can choose to be just or merciful towards it. Justice would mean she serves the child the appropriate punishment even though she loves the child and the punishment may be harsh. Mercy would mean she decides to let the punishment slip altogether or she shows leniency.

Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) loves us but we pray and hope for Allah SWTs Mercy rather than His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Justice...because if He (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) were Just towards us... we'd be in a whole lot of trouble. 

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The mercy and love of Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)] are two different things. Allah doesn't love us in the traditional sense of love as in how human beings love eachother. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is above human emotions.

Hate or displeasure of Allah means you get punished for your sins in this world or the hereafter and you don't get your prayers answered or heavenly blessings are withheld until you resolve your actions. It doesn't mean God hates us like a human hates someone.

Love of Allah: When we say Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)] loves us. It means He rewards us. Love = Reward. Rewards us with heavenly blessings in this world and the hereafter. Looks after us and our valid needs in the world and the hereafter. Grants our valid desires in this world and the hereafter. Shields us from danger and keeps us safe from harm. This is why we say the "love" that Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)] has is greater than that of a mother. It doesn't mean Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)] loves us like humans love one another.

Mercy of Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)] : Not punishing us even if we deserve it. Giving mercy and forgiveness to human beings when they ask for it. Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)]"s mercy comes first before wrath. Read Hadith Al Quds. It's speech of Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)] which is not included in the Quran. "How can I deny the sons of Adam that which they desire the most of?" These words make me cry every time I remember them. Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)] is talking about our desire for heaven. Read those hadith. You'll feel the comfort and mercy of Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)]

Allah[(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)] is above all emotions. 

Wasalam

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The word "love" is actually meaningless. 

Or at least it means whatever the speaker wishes it to mean or the listener wishes to understand. It has no set definition which is universally accepted. 

"Mercy", on the other hand, is defined.

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On 2/8/2021 at 6:35 PM, Guest A Test said:

Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) loves us but we pray and hope for Allah SWTs Mercy rather than His (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) Justice...because if He (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) were Just towards us... we'd be in a whole lot of trouble. 

Part of God's being is to be just.  So to say that we hope God will be merciful rather than just means we are hoping God will not be true to himself.

I agree if God is just towards us we are in a whole lot of trouble.  So what happens?

As a follower of Jesus the Messiah, I see God's love, mercy and justice brought together in Jesus's life death and resurrection. 

My experience of God is that he has shown that the just consiquence of our shameful acts and our rejection of his ways is to face eternal separation from him.  That is to be removed from the source of life, love and peace.  In Jesus the Messiah. God willingly took on himself the consiquence of our actions.  In some mysterious way Jesus was separeted from his Father so experiencing the just consiquences of our actions.  He had no sin and so was not taking any judgment of his own - he didn't deserve it.  His resurrection from the grave was a clear demonstartion that God had seen his action and acepted Jesus's self offereing.

The way to enjoy God's love and mercy and not to experience his Judgement is now open.  I have chosen to accept this free offer of love and so have no fear of God's judgment.  It releases me to live a life motivated by love for God and thankfulness for his intervention in my life.

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On 2/8/2021 at 5:06 PM, Zainuu said:

I previously shared with you some stanzas from the supplication of Jaushan al Kabeer. 

It has in total hundred stanzas. Each stanza calls Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) with approximately 5-7 distinct attributes or names. So, atleast 500 names/attributes of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). All distinct. Yet, none can be associated with Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). None of them defines Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). It is we who need these names and attributes to call our Lord. He is independent of all these names and characterstics and yet all of these belong to him (the Almighty).

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bless you.

Yes thank you so much for sharing you experience of God and your walk with him.

As we journey along life's road, may The God who is beyond understanding guide and lead us to his truth and into his eternal presence.

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On 2/9/2021 at 7:03 AM, notme said:

The word "love" is actually meaningless. 

What I mean, @Dave follower of The Way is that without a working definition of the word "love" this comparison is futile. 

For the purpose of this discussion, what is meant by the word "love"?

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On 2/8/2021 at 3:22 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

In another post @hasanhh posted the following

The "Just Ends" of Allah -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). is "to gather" everything on His -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Last Day where it is revealed He -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has "prescribed" Mercy for Himself -(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).(Ayat 6:12) --not "love."

I am interested in this idea of God prescribing mercy and not love.

Some people tell me that the Christan focus on God's love is equivelant to the Muslim focus on God's mercy.  In the comment above it would seem that some people see them as different.

Is God's love the same as God's mercy?  If they are different how and why?  If they are the same do they express them selves in the same way?

Why is a different word available if they are the same thing?

Mercy can only be granted from a position of power. But love can be unconditional. Eg a slave could love the master.

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19 hours ago, notme said:

what is meant by the word "love"?

A simple definition could be - "Wanting the very best for the other"

There is a famous chapter in the Injil where Paul defines love - The definition is a bit longer!  (1 Corinthians chapter 13)

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

John when talking about love said (1 John 4)

10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

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3 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

A simple definition could be - "Wanting the very best for the other"

If this is the meaning, shouldn't we love all human beings, and all other living things too? 

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On 2/12/2021 at 12:36 AM, notme said:

If this is the meaning, shouldn't we love all human beings, and all other living things too? 

Yes agreed!!!

But do we?

God has entrusted us with this responsibility but when we don't do it we bring shame on him.   It is like a father trusting his son to take over an honourable and reputable family business.  The son squanders the money and badly manages the business so it colapses.  The father and the family who had won a good honour through running a good and just bussiness are shamed.

How will the father respond to the son?

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6 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

But do we?

Yeah, and it stinks sometimes.  It's absolutely heartbreaking. 

Wouldn't change it for the world. 

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6 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

God has entrusted us with this responsibility but when we don't do it we bring shame on him.  

We're going to have to disagree on this. It is not possible for a person or even mankind to bring shame on The Creator. Your analogy is invalid, from my point of view. 

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On 2/13/2021 at 11:27 PM, notme said:

We're going to have to disagree on this. It is not possible for a person or even mankind to bring shame on The Creator. Your analogy is invalid, from my point of view. 

Yep let's disagree.

But do we bring shame on ourselves by not fulfilling the responsibilities given us by God our creator?  If we do, what does God do about it?

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7 minutes ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

Yep let's disagree.

But do we bring shame on ourselves by not fulfilling the responsibilities given us by God our creator?  If we do, what does God do about it?

There are consequences, sometimes in the life and sometimes not until the Day of Judgment. Sometimes other people are negatively impacted by our poor choices. They will be justly compensated, either in this life or the next. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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On 2/15/2021 at 11:56 AM, notme said:

There are consequences, sometimes in the life and sometimes not until the Day of Judgment. Sometimes other people are negatively impacted by our poor choices. They will be justly compensated, either in this life or the next. 

From what you have writen I see that God does two things when we bring shame on ourselves

1. He brings about consequenses - Judgment

2. He compensates others

I believe God is willing to do more than that.  God wants to cover our shame.  He recognises the burden resulting from living in shame and out of his great love offers us garments of honour to cover our shame so that the burden is lifted and we can live in joy and peace in his presence.

A son leaves home and by his deeds brings shame on himself and on his family.  One day he comes to his senses and realizes the weight of the shame he bears and the effect it has had on his family.  He decides to return home and try and sort things out.  When his father sees his son he runs to him and orders that his rags and dirt are covered with the best robe and that a ring of family authority is put on his finger.  He then honours his son with a celibration festival so the community can recognise his son's new status.

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God forgives. I see a lot of Christians who think they have a monopoly on forgiveness, but that's wrong. 

Use all the slippery words you want, but it's right there in the first verses of the Quran, the ones every Muslim who prays has memorized: 

"In the name of God, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful. Praise be to God, Lord of all the worlds.The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning. You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help. Guide us on the straight path, the path of those who have received your grace; not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray."

 

On this, Christians and Muslims agree: the Mercy (ie Love) of The Creator is without limit. 

Justice and Mercy can not contradict. Justice will happen. Mercy will happen. God knows best. 

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On 2/25/2021 at 7:49 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

God wants to cover our shame.  He recognises the burden resulting from living in shame and out of his great love offers us garments of honour to cover our shame so that the burden is lifted and we can live in joy and peace in his presence.

You cover your own shame by obeying  God’s commands and no you cannot bring shame to God it is irrational and impossible, your being shame only to yourself, God has set clear commandments which is proof against you and the whole of mankind. 
 

you ultimate goal is to try twist the word “Love” to suit ur irrational barbaric doctrine of jesus dying for your sins.  Like mentioned before justice and love cannot contradicts each other so the nonsensical words that your saying which have no basis are not valid. God‘s love is simple He  loves the ones who do good hates the ones who do bad but out of His mercy gives them chance TO AN EXTENT to come to the right path. Story of pharaoh shows that likewise the people of Noah and Lot. 
 

Deuteronomy 8:5 read it, it’s clear as daylight how consequences happen. 

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On 2/25/2021 at 7:49 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

son leaves home and by his deeds brings shame on himself and on his family.  One day he comes to his senses and realizes the weight of the shame he bears and the effect it has had on his family.  He decides to return home and try and sort things out.  When his father sees his son he runs to him and orders that his rags and dirt are covered with the best robe and that a ring of family authority is put on his finger.  He then honours his son with a celibration festival so the community can recognise his son's new status.

prophet Noah’s son disbelieved in Noah’s message and the righteous men who believed in the message of Noah did not look at Noah with shame; Lot when his wife was betraying him and the righteous knew about it they did not look at prophet Lot with shame. Only the ignorant and arrogant look at people with shame. their perspective is of no value, as everybody agrees on that rather it is the righteous since they JUDGE with justice. 

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On 2/10/2021 at 8:13 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

So to say that we hope God will be merciful rather than just means we are hoping God will not be true to himself.

No that’s a load of nonsense, I find it Funny how when you try to use ur head you fail miserably when the scripture goes against ur not-so-well-thought opinion.

Many times do you see the prophet’s say the Lord is slow to anger, meaning His wrath will not be ignited quickly rather there is a chance for you to make things right before you reach the no point of return and God’s punishment comes upon you, we can see that manifested when God gave chances to the people Moses when they disobeyed and also pharaoh but he persisted  with his arrogance and God sent His wrath upon him. When a person repents of his sins follows God’s ways because of his righteousness God would forgive his sins but sometimes God gives him consequences to deal with(Deuteronomy 8:5) so he may not face the harsh punishment in the hereafter. So when a person has done good deeds but may have slipped but got back inline and then slips again but goes back inline again as long as he keeps repenting and tries his best to say inline and continue to do good he can hope for God’s mercy on the day of judgement. If God can forgive all the sins of a sinner he has committed in the past, despite not God punishing him, if he adheres to God’s ways then God can certainly judge by his Mercy if He wants to. 

 

Ezekiel 18:30

30Therefore, every man according to his ways I will judge you, O house of Israel, says the Lord God: repent and cause others to repent of all your transgressions, and it will not be a stumbling block of sin for you.

As long as a person keeps asking forgiveness and tries to adhere to the law then he shall have no fear. 
 

On 2/10/2021 at 8:13 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

God will not be true to himself.

I agree if God is just towards us we are in a whole lot of trouble.  So what happens?

As a follower of Jesus the Messiah, I see God's love, mercy and justice brought together in Jesus's life death and resurrection. 

Lol desperately trying to find a loophole, you just said not long ago that if we hope God to Judge by His mercy and not by his Justice we were essentially hoping God would not be true to Himself since He is just. What’s the difference between hoping and manifesting.... you just shot yourself in the foot and showed that, according to your Pauline faith, God wasn’t true to Himself.....He manifested it. 

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On 2/14/2021 at 4:20 AM, Dave follower of The Way said:

Yes agreed!!!

But do we?

If God dislikes a thing should we also dislike it? 
 

Matthew 23:

33“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 
 

Jesus calls another fellow humans “snakes and brood of vipers” and he implies they are already condemned to hell and they can’t escape it.  Was Jesus wrong for saying these things? Was he wrong for pointing out arrogant people and exposing them ? 
 

 

 

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On 2/25/2021 at 7:49 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

believe God is willing to do more than that.  God wants to cover our shame. 

Once ur a cheater it will always be known at some point you were a cheater although your good now and if God wanted to cover your shame then He would cause to them forget these shameful stuff about you but they still remember them but don’t mention them because you proved you can be better.  God only causes the angels not to remember the bad once you have repented and followed God’s ways as Ezekiel 18 shows, if you try to misinterpret it then you’re falsifying Ezekiel 18 since many people can tell you of a person who had a shameful past who is now good and God fearing; they did not forget the persons shameful past but they recognised that person proved himself/herself wrong and became good. 

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On 2/25/2021 at 12:02 PM, notme said:

God forgives. I see a lot of Christians who think they have a monopoly on forgiveness, but that's wrong.

Thanks this is a really important comment.  Yes both Muslims and Christians talk about forgiveness and God forgiving.

My questions is more about the process of forgiveness. 

Does God forgive arbitrarily?  God's character to to forgive.  God tells us what sin is.  We do something that needs God to forgive us.  we recognize our failiour. We come to God and say I repent please forgive me. God says "Yes you are forgiven"

Has God done something that means the seriousness and the cost of our actions are acknowledged through the process of forgiveness.  God reveals the desparate plight of those who sin.  He reveals actions that are necessary for us to receive forgivness.  We sin and recognize our inabiliity to completly fulfil the conditions to be forgiven.  God fulfills the conditions in himself, then offers forgivness which not only provides forgivness but also restoration to a state of being right before God.

I believe that the forgiveness God offers is more than our sins being wiped out.  It also includes restoration, transformation and assurence.  Forgiveness without these things is just a plaster on a wound, whereas God longs for us to know healing and wholeness.  And he offers that as a gift.

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@THREE1THREE  I want to respond to your helpful comments and thoughts.  Thank you for engageging with my thoughts.

You have writen so much - I don't know were to start.  These are obviously topics you have thought a lot about.  Shame, forgiveness, mercy, love they must be topics at the heart of your faith.  It is such a privilage to have a relationship with a merciful, loving God who offers forgivness to cover our shame.  It is comforting as well to know that when we come to God he will deal with us justly without prejudice.

As I spend time with the loving and merciful God I realize the truth of Deuteronomy 8:5.  Yes God disciplines those he loves.  Love and mercy always seeks to show the consiquuences of our deeds and help us to learn from our actions.

You are right that people remember our sins and faliours.  We can not hide ourselves from their acusations and rejection because of our past.  But God is different when he forgives.  He forgives completly because his forgiveness offers restoration, transformation and wholeness.

An interesting verse I read yesterday writen under insperation by the prophet Michah chapter 7

18 Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry for ever
    but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Each day I rejoice that God has forgiven me and has come to me by His Holy Spirit to live within so I can resist temptaion and know divine transformation.

Can you tell me something of your experience of God's mercy, love and forgiveness?

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