O unhappy man afflicted by boundless impotence and endless wants! See from the following how valuable and acceptable an intercessor is divine mercy. For it is a way to know the All-Glorious Sovereign in whose army both the stars and minute particles serve together in perfect order and obedience – the Glorious Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, who is self-sufficient and utterly without need. He is rich without limit and in no way in need of the universe and its beings. The whole cosmos is under His command and direction, utterly obedient beneath His majesty and grandeur, submissive before His sublimity. That is divine mercy for you, O man! It raises you to the presence of the One who lacks all need, the Eternal Sovereign, and makes you His friend, addressee, and well-loved servant. But just as you cannot reach the sun and are far from it although it fills your mirror with its light, reflection, and manifestation, and you can in no way draw near to it; in the same way you are infinitely distant from the Most Pure and Holy One, the Sun of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, and cannot draw near to Him, but the light of His mercy brings Him nearer to us.
O man! Anyone who finds this mercy finds an eternally unfailing treasury of light. And the way to find it is by following the practices of the Most Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace), who was the most brilliant exemplar and representative of mercy, its most eloquent tongue and herald, and was described in the Qur’an as a “Mercy to All the Worlds.”
The way to attain to this embodiment of mercy who is a mercy to all the worlds is to utter the prayer calling down God’s blessings upon him. Indeed, the meaning of this prayer is mercy. As a prayer of mercy for that living embodiment of divine mercy, it is a means of reaching the Mercy to All the Worlds (UWBP).1 So, make this prayer the means to the mercy to all the worlds for yourself, and at the same time make him the means of reaching the mercy of the Most Merciful One.
The whole Muslim community in all its vastness uttering this prayer which is synonymous with mercy for the Mercy to All the Worlds (UWBP) proves in brilliant fashion what a precious gift is divine mercy, and how broad is its sphere.
See, Muslim, Salat, 11, 70; Tirmidhi, Witr, 21; Abu Da’ud, Salat, 36, 210; Witr, 26; Nasa’i, Jum’a, 5; Adhan, 37; Sahw, 55; Ibn Maja, Iqama al-Salat, 79; Darimi, Salat, 206; Riqaq, 58; Musnad, ii, 168, 375, 485; iii, 102, 445: iv, 8.