BISMILA-HIR RAHMA-NIR RAHIM
Dear reader today may the Grace of Allah be upon thee…for He is the Lord of Grace abounding (Al-Hadid 29). As we open the Holy Books we ask in humbleness that Allah will hear our prayer (du’a), that He will open to our understanding, more of His Grace which He gives to mankind. (An-Nami 73) May we be among those who are grateful for Grace.
The topic of Grace is found throughout the Honored Qur’an as well as the Taurat and Injeel. In the Honored Qur’an alone the subject of “Grace” is found 74 times! Should this not tell us something, that the Grace of Allah is something which we need to study deeply. What is Grace? How do you define this term? We need to know before we can really begin to understand what Allah is trying to give us in the gift of Grace.
The dictionary defines ‘grace’ as “the free unmerited love and favor of God, the spring and source of all the benefits men receive from him.”
If Grace is therefore unmerited love and favor of God, that means that we cannot earn it…it is therefore a gift. If we could earn it or achieve it through some other effort from our own, then it would cease to be “Grace”. Is it any wonder that the prophet of the desert spoke so often of Grace? Dear reader 74 times Grace is spoken of in the Honored Qur’an. Sinners deserve death, but God gives Grace. Are you dear reader a seeker of Allah’s Grace? … “seek ye the Grace of Allah… (Al-Muzzammil 20) and you will surely find it is a promise.
There is a story from olden times of someone who found the Grace of Allah. This story comes from the desert.
Mohammed said that we needed to “mention in the book the story of Isma’il” (Maryam 54). Yet in order to get the entire story we need to go to the Bible (Taurat) Genesis chapter 16 because it is not found in the Honored Qur’an! Yet the prophet of the desert has instructed us to know the story of Isma’il. Therefore Muslims need the Bible, in fact the Honored Qur’an doesn’t make sense without a knowledge of the Bible. Many of the stories in the Qur’an are incomplete without the Bible revealing the full account.
Here in the Taurat, is told one of the most moving accounts of the Grace of Allah given to mankind in the Taurat. All the while remember that the Grace of Allah is not deserved by any of us. Grace is a gift and a gift cannot be earned or it ceases to be a gift.
In this story, the rich man Abraham and Sarai (Sarah) his wife, are both old and are childless. Sarah had passed her child bearing age. Many years earlier, God had promised them a son. Yet no son came, had God forgotten? Had He failed in the promise of a son to Abraham? “And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him [Abraham], saying,… he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:4-6
Time continues on…Abraham and Sarah are now very old and still there is no heir, no child upon which they can bestow their love and affection. No heir to the riches which Abraham possessed. Yet they had been promised by God that Abraham would have a son. But until this time no son came. So Sarah and Abraham now design a plan whereby they wish to help God to accomplish His promise of an heir. Genesis 16:1 Does Allah need assistance to carry our His designs? One day Sarah suggested a plan, whereby Abraham could have a child.
The account continues in the Taurat…
“Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.” Genesis 16:1-4
“And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai's maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. And Hagar bare Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bare, Ishmael. And Abram was fourscore and six years old, when Hagar bare Ishmael to Abram.”
Taurat Genesis 16:4-16
This is how man sought a solution to the problem of Abraham not having children. Yet his plan was not God’s plan. Even so God did not abandon them, He still worked with them. God’s plan was for Sarah the wife of Abraham to bear a son and this she eventually did. After many more years, Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in their old age. God’s promises know no haste nor delay. Isaac was born to Sarah when she is very old, it is by the Grace of God. Now there is severe contention in the home of Abraham between the two wives, Sarah and Hagar.
“And the child [Isaac] grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.”
At this point all looked hopeless from man’s eyes. Here Hagar is out in the desert heat, food spent, the water gone, and the child is dying. She casts Isma’il under a bush and she weeps.
It is here when it appears hopeless that the Grace of Allah appears.
“And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; [Grace] and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran…”
Taurat Genesis 21:17-21
Dear reader are you troubled? Is your life in turmoil as was Hagar out in the desert? Who ever you are Allah is near, His Grace is abounding for the chief of sinners if they only will turn to Him with the whole heart and seek His Grace.
Dear reader, today seek His Grace, make no delay, Allah is near and ready to hear the cry of the weakest sinner. Wishing you Allah’s Eternal Peace and Grace.
Text Copied from DivineIslam's Qur'an Viewer software v2.913
Bible scriptures from King James Version
“How Hagar found Allah to be Gracious!”