When I was in Canada, I attended a lecture about mercy (Rahma), given by a knowledgable scholar by the name Shaykh Ramzy Ajem.
He began his lecture by stating that the hadeeth of mercy is one that all students of knowledge must learn before learning about Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) or about Islam in general.
By having mercy as the foundation of Fiqh, students of knowledge can form a more compassionate understanding of Islam. Understanding the hadeeth of mercy may also serve as a protection for the students of knowledge such that it can guard them from formulating any violent interpretations of Islam.
Pondering upon the hadeeth of mercy is crucial so that the students of knowledge can see the world and its inhabitants with the eye of mercy and not the eye of judgment. From mercy, all other noble characters bloom.
Without mercy, there would be no life in Fiqh. It will be dry, harsh, and hard. Like a barren land in the middle of a drought, with no form of green life in sight.
Another scholar by the name of Shaykh Dr. Umar Faruq ‘Abd Allah wrote a paper on mercy, giving it a well-deserved title, “Mercy: The Stamp of Creation“, indicating that creations is a manifestation of Mercy.
It is by Allah’s Mercy that we are here. It is by Allah’s Mercy that He sent Prophet Muhammad, the mercy to all the worlds. It is by Allah’s Mercy that He gave us ample time and opportunities to follow the sunnah (path or way) of Prophet Muhammad and to return to the path when we have gone astray.
Without mercy in our hearts, we are far away from his path. If we are not following his way, then we have to ask ourselves, “Which sunnah am I following?”
“The merciful are shown mercy by Ar-Rahman. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from Who is above the heavens. The womb is named after Ar-Rahman, so whoever connects it, Allah connects him, and whoever severs it, Allah severs him.” (at-Tirmidhi)