Reflection No. 199 on Q 43:32 – Seeking Divine Mercy
وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ
Warahmatu rabbika khayrun mimmā yajma‘ūn
And the mercy of your Lord is better than what they amass.
(Sūratul Zukhruf, No. 43, Āyat 32)
People of this world believe that wealth and worldly status gained by people make them worthy of a certain position. Human beings have always thought like that, judging things by a short sighted and narrow vision of life. People during the Holy Prophet’s time, and in the time of the other Prophets, objected at who was given revelation from God. Why was it not given to one of their mighty and powerful leaders? To them such people were more worthy of revelation. For example in the previous verse Allah quotes them saying, Why this Quran had not been revealed to a man from either of the two great towns (Q 43:31). The Quran, according to Makkans, should not have been revealed to “a poor man like the Holy Prophet who did not own any wealth and comforts. So degenerated had become the tastes of the people that moral goodness and spiritual excellence had no value at all with them” (Quran tr. by Mir Ahmed Ali, p. 1461). Allah, ‘azza wa jall (the Mighty & Majestic) tells them that He grants apostleship/prophethood, and His mercy, to whoever He knows is worthy of it.
Human beings spend a lot of time amassing wealth, worldly provisions and fame. Qualities of life, status in society, satisfaction with life, are all thought of in terms of what people have. But Allah reminds us of an important point in the above verse. His mercy is what is worth acquiring. If we are able to please Him and receive His mercy then we have achieved something more valuable than all the world has to offer. Nothing can compare to that. It is a fact that must be reminded often for human beings are prone to forget.
Just as human beings seek worldly provision, they must be on a constant and serious quest to seek the mercy of Allah. In the daily ta‘qibāt after salāt we say; O Allah I seek the causes of Your mercy (Du’‘ās after Zuhr & Maghrib prayers). Man must be vigilant of small and large actions that bring down the mercy of God.
The Holy Quran mentions many actions that will bring down the mercy of Allah:
1) Complete obedience to Allah and His Messenger.
And obey Allah and the Messenger that mercy may be shown to you (Q 3:132)
2) Being God conscious
And be God conscious that mercy may be shown to you (Q 6:155)
3) Respecting the Quran by being attentive and silent when it is recited.
And when the Quran is recited, then listen to it and remain silent, that mercy may be shown to you. (Q 7:204)
4) Establishing salāt and charity
And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and obey the Messenger, so that mercy may be shown to you. (Q 24:56)
5) Seeking forgiveness
Why do you not ask forgiveness of Allah so that mercy may be shown to you? (Q 27:46)
These are the causes that bring down the rains of mercy on people. These causes must be gathered and acquired to have a life that is truly blessed. Recite the above verse to remind yourself that nothing is more valuable than the mercy of Allah. Recite it when you see other people enjoying great wealth, or status, or when you see people with that which God has not decreed for you. If you feel a longing for such things, recite this verse and understand that if you are seeking the causes of the mercy of Allah it is better than all that the world gives you.
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (ed.),Tafsīre Namune;
The Holy Quran: with English translation and commentary according to the version of the Holy Ahlul-Bait, S.V. Mir Ahmed Ali, 1988.