Question: Can ordinary folks experience a state of grace?
ABDUL RASHID is a member of the Ottawa Muslim community, the Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the Capital Region Interfaith Council.
By “state of grace,” we usually mean Divine blessing. In this respect, we are all “ordinary folks” in the sight of God Almighty and all of us are recipients of His grace. The Muslim scripture, the Holy Qur’an, announces: “Say: ‘To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and on Earth?’ Say: ‘To God. He has inscribed for Himself (the rule of) grace and mercy’” (6:12). We observe this grace in and around ourselves all the time.
Muslims begin every task with “With the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.” This invocation has actually two objectives. First, we remind ourselves that we cannot accomplish anything without the grace and mercy of God Almighty. At the same time, we make a humble supplication to Him seeking His blessing on and over the task in hand.
God Almighty is loving and caring for His entire creation. He not only creates, He also cherishes and sustains. He provides all that is essential for the protection, development and growth of all life.
He is not only full of mercy, His grace is all-pervasive. “Of the bounties of your Lord, We bestow freely on all these as well as those: the bounties of thy Lord are not closed (to anyone)” (17:20). In other words, His grace encompasses both those obedient and disobedient and even those who do not believe in Him.
Divine grace is especially ascribed to those who have faith and do good in this world. Since human beings are prone to error, God leaves the door of His grace open to those who repent and return to Him. “Say: ‘O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of God, for God forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (39:53).
And on the Day of Judgment when we will be accountable for our deeds, the only source of success will be through Divine grace. When that happens, it would be a perfect state of grace.
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