The Soul of Mercy

Salaam and Greetings of Peace:

It is related that after the death of the great Sufi Master al-Shibli, a friend saw him in a dream. The friend asked him what God had done with him, to which al-Shibli replied, “God placed me before Him and asked if I knew why He had forgiven my sins. I said that it might be because of the good works I had done, the prayers I had performed, my fasting and pilgrimage, my having associated with pious people and my journeying in search of knowledge. God replied, “O Shibli, these were not the reasons. Do you remember when you were walking in the lanes of Baghdad and you found a small cat made weak by the cold and ice, and out of pity you took it and put in inside a fur you were wearing so as to protect it from the pains of the cold? Because of the mercy you showed that cat, I have had mercy on you.”

– Excerpt adapted from Sufis and Saints’ Bodies: Mysticism, Corporeality & Sacred Power in Islam by Scott Kugle.

Alhamdulillah, that souls resonate with each other beyond all material or bodily boundaries, and any soul is like all souls combined, for beyond the illusion of  material separateness all souls resonate in an interconnected web of unity. For Sufis, this is a spiritual reality that is denied by human reason but affirmed by intuition and confirmed by scriptural revelation. “Whoever kills a person, it is like one who has killed the whole of humankind. And whoever saves the life of one person is like one who has saved the lives of all humankind.” (Q 5:32)

O Allah, have mercy on us as we have mercy on the least of Your creation!

Ya Haqq!

15 Responses to The Soul of Mercy

  1. asmaa says:

    I love all your posts. Your blog is a good reminder. MashaAllah.

    Please remember me in your du’a.


  2. […] To know more. Powered by Gregarious (21) […]

  3. Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Irving bhai,

    As ever, a beautiful post, profound and moving. Ma sha Allah. It’s true. Life is one, in all truth.

    Ya Haqq!

    Abdur Rahman

  4. Dimas says:


  5. Suroor says:

    This was a beautiful story. How amazing is God’s mercy, subhanAllah!

  6. Sis Zabrina says:


    As Salaamu ‘aalykum brother Irving,

    Ameen to your prayers. JazakAllaah for this wonderful reminder.. :)

    Sis Zabrina

  7. jamilalighthouse says:

    yes, beautiful, thank you.

  8. irving says:

    Salaam Dear Brothers and Sisters:

    Thank you all for your comments :) Indeed, the mercy and love we show to the least of creatures, as well as to other human beings, is counted by Allah above all else. The previous post on Bayazid and the Dog also emphasizes this from a Sufi perspective:

    Ya Haqq!

  9. almiskeenah says:

    Assalamu alaikum,
    Another precise hit to the heart dear brother Irving…your arrows are laced with love from a bow of mercy, Masha’Allah!
    Wassalamu alaikum

  10. Mr. Bling Bling says:

    one of my most favorite story! it reminds its not our external practices that ensure our salvation, but those little moments when our hearts are open and we behold the mercy of God and reflect that back to the world.

  11. Sumayah says:

    Salaam Irving,

    a beautiful post…. moves the heart. It is these beautiful stories which lift the soul and bathe it in divine nur. I remember you lovely posts in my old yahoo group sufi soul.

    May Allah bless you and all you love ameen.


  12. […] Saints’ Bodies: Mysticism, Corporeality & Sacred Power in Islam by Scott Kugle. Taken from « 14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading […]

  13. Shahadath says:

    is keeping a cat/cats a sunnah?

  14. darvish says:

    Salaam Dear Shahadath:

    It is related that the Prophet (pbuh) had cats and loved them, and there are many stories about it, so I would say yes, keeping a cat or cats is a sunnah.

    Ya Haqq!

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