Islamic Character

Becoming the Servants of the Most Merciful

Becoming the Servants of the Most Merciful Series

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4110538596_e4a4c003ce_bAfter following our beloved sister and teacher Jinan’s series on Prayer in Islam, we thought it would be suitable to follow up her amazing work with another series. Over the next several weeks, God willing, we will take an analytical yet practical look at the last fifteen verses of Surat al-Furqan. In my estimation, if we were moved by the Prayer series – and we all were – then this is the next logical step. That is because prayer is supposed to make us better, spiritual people with a higher overall standard of conduct and devotion to the Almighty.

The first step in understanding verses from the Qur’an is knowing the reason why they were originally revealed. The answer to this question was mentioned in verse sixty of Surat al-Furqan,


“When it is said to them, ‘Prostrate to the Most Merciful,’ they respond, ‘And what is the Most Merciful? Should we prostrate to that which you [Muhammad] order us?” And it increases them in aversion (to faith).” (25:60)

This verse is related to a verse in Surat al-Israa when Allah says,

“Say, ‘Call upon Allah or the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names…’” (17:110)

The polytheists objected the Prophet’s ﷺ claim to being a strict monotheist while he called upon Allah and Al-Rahman (the Entirely Merciful). According to some commentaries the polytheists knew of Allah being referred to as Al-Rahman, but they are just waiting for any reason to show their rejection of Muhammad’s ﷺ Prophethood. In response to this, Allah revealed Surat al-Rahman to clarify this compassionate characteristic of His and how it manifests itself to us.

In addition to that, He revealed the last fifteen verses of Surat al-Furqan to show what the characteristics are of those who live a life of gratitude to the innumerable bounties and favors that the Most Merciful surrounds us with.

According to the Arabic dictionary Lisan al-Arab, all human beings are – whether they admit it or not – servants and slaves of God. This is because they are His creation whose bodies’ functions are subjugated to His service. The test of life for all mankind is that we come to know the Most Merciful and thus choose to consciously serve Him to the best of our ability.

The following series will be about the characteristics of those people who truly know God, the Most Merciful and thus live a lifestyle which reflects that. Choosing this most special relationship is about fulfilling the purpose of life which will lead to eternal life in bliss in the presence of the Divine, where we will have all our heart’s desire and more.

Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IXPart XPart XI Part XIIPart XIIIPart XVIPart XVII

About the author

John (Yahya) Ederer

Imam John Yahya Ederer left a life of spiritual decadence and embraced Islam in 1998. In 2002, he accepted a scholarship offer from the Islamic American University in Michigan and spent 6 years travelling the Muslim world studying with prominent scholars. He attained an associates with IAU, a certification of mastery of the Arabic sciences from the ministry of education in Egypt, a diploma in Islamic Studies from the Cordoba Institute in Kuwait and a license with one of the highest chains of transmission in Qur’an memorization and recitation. He served as the Religious Director of the Islamic Foundation of South Florida for two years and now lives with his wife and two children in Charlotte, North Carolina where he serves as Imam of the Muslim American Society. He currently sits on the clergy board of one of the largest interfaith coalitions in Mecklenburg Ministries and is a board member of the Shamrock Drive Development Association.


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