Peace, one and all…
In Surah al-Nisa we read the following beautiful words of Allah:
‘And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of God will find God Forgiving and Merciful’ (4:110)
The Quran contains many such passages. I have always found them to be deeply consoling. They often seem to just appear, out of nowhere, like a small, still voice whispering in my heart. In the midst of this life, with all of its challenges and mistakes, we are reminded of the overwhelming forgiveness and mercy of God.
Forgiveness is beautiful. Mercy is beautiful. Small wonder then that this verse has been the inspiration behind numerous examples of Islamic calligraphy. The example above is particularly beautiful. It speaks to my heart. In particular, the colour of the text stands out from the dark background so evocatively, like lightning amidst some dark night of the soul. And in that darkness, the text’s vowel marks (tashkil) seem like musical notes in some beautiful symphony of mercy. The calligrapher has also placed extra marks along the text, in what appears to be a kind of measuring tool for an unfinished piece. At any rate, as I gaze into it this evening, these extra points remind me of a fundamental point: God’s mercy exists at each point in our life, even in the depths of the blackest night. God’s forgiveness is just within reach, where-soever we are and whatsoever we do. All we have to do is turn towards the light: ‘… but then seeks forgiveness of God will find God Forgiving and Merciful’.
O Merciful One! O Forgiving One! Heal us with Your loving grace.
And our last prayer is in praise of God, Lord of all the Worlds.