Reaching divine mercy through the Prophet ﷺ
The Second Station of the Fourteenth Flash (Part 13)
NOTE: The passages in italics are from Bediuzzaman’s book and the commentaries below them are my own.
O helpless human struggling within boundless impotence and endless poverty! Understand by this what a valuable path and what an acceptable intercessor is mercy: that mercy is a path to such a Sultan of Glory that stars and particles together, with perfect order and obedience, are serving together in His army. And that Person (Dhat) of the One of Glory (Dhu al-Jalal) and that Sultan of Pre-eternity and Post-eternity has self-sufficiency. And is in absolute sufficiency. He is an Absolute Sufficient in no way in need of the universe and existent beings. And the whole universe is under His throne of authority and management, in utmost obedience underneath His majesty and greatness, in humility towards His glory.
Thus mercy will bring you, o human, to the presence of the One in absolute sufficiency and the Eternal Sultan, and make you a friend of His and make you [His] addressee, and will give you the position of a beloved slave.
Everything is best understood through its opposite. Heat is best understood by observing coolness, light is best understood by observing darkness, and so on. Similarly, the more we feel and understand our impotence and poverty before God, the more we understand His power and Self-Sufficiency. In other words, we realize the infinite gap between us and our Creator, that we are nothing compared to Him.
It is out of God’s mercy that, in spite of our humility, He gives us value and worth, enabling us to become His friend and a beloved slave. Essentially, mercy makes God closer to us.
However, just as you cannot reach the sun – you are very far away [and] cannot, in any way, move closer – but the light of the sun gives the sun’s reflection and manifestation (cilve) to your hand through your mirror; so also, while we are endlessly distant from that One of Greatest Purity and Holiness (Dhat al-aqdas) and that Sun of pre-eternity and post-eternity [and] cannot move closer [to Him], His light of mercy makes Him close to us.
The author now describes how to reach that mercy of God.
Thus, o human! One who finds this mercy finds an eternal inexhaustible treasure of light (noor). The means to finding that treasure is through the sunnah and the following of the Most Noble Prophetﷺ who is a most glowing example and representative of mercy, and a most eloquent tongue and announcer of that mercy, and the one named by “a mercy to the worlds” by the Qur’an. And the means to this embodiment of mercy, who is a mercy to the worlds, is through salawat [i.e. sending prayers/blessings to the Prophet ﷺ].
Indeed, the meaning of salawat is mercy. And [to send] salawat, which is a prayer of mercy, to that living embodiment of mercy is a means to reaching that “mercy to the worlds”. Thus, make the salawat a means for yourself to reach that “mercy to the worlds” and accept that person [the Prophetﷺ] as a means to the mercy of The Merciful (ar-Rahman). For the whole Muslim nation to say salawat in the meaning of mercy in boundless abundance with regards to [The Prophet] ﷺ – who is a mercy to the worlds – proves in a brilliant fashion how valuable of a divine gift mercy is and how broad of a sphere it has.
Showing mercy to a father incorporates showing mercy to his children as well. For how can a father be pleased while his children are in pain? Similarly, showing mercy to a leader incorporates showing mercy to the community which that leader represents. In the spiritual sense, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is in the position of a father and a leader of the believers. In fact he is connected to everything in this universe and hopes good for everybody. Hence, mercy to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is a mercy to the world. 
Thus, praying for the Prophet ﷺ has many benefits. Not only does it express our love and respect towards him and motivates us to follow his sunnah, but it also causes the Prophet ﷺ to pray for us and ask for Allah’s ﷻ forgiveness and mercy. By doing so, he becomes a means for us to reach the mercy of God.
Essentially, the acceptance of the Prophet’s ﷺ prayer is significant and concerns everybody, and in fact, the whole world. That all Muslims desire it and pray for it proves how valuable it is.
Just as the person of Ahmad (ﷺ) is the most valuable diamond and doorkeeper to the treasure of mercy, its very first key is “بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ” [In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate]. And a most easy key is salawat.
اَللّٰهُمَّ بِحَقِّ اَسْرَارِ بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ عَلٰى مَنْ اَرْسَلْتَهُ رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ كَمَا يَلِيقُ بِرَحْمَتِكَ وَبِحُرْمَتِهِ وَعَلٰۤى اٰلِهِ وَاَصْحَابِهِ اَجْمَعِينَ وَارْحَمْنَا رَحْمَةً تُغْنِينَا بِهَا عَنْ رَحْمَةِ مَنْ سِوَاكَ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ اٰمِينَ
سُبْحَانَكَ لَاعِلْمَ لَنَۤا اِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَۤا اِنَّكَ اَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
Oh Allah, for the right of the mysteries of “بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ” [In the name of Allah the Merciful the Compassionate], grant Your peace and blessings to the one You sent as a mercy to the worlds, as befits Your mercy and through his honor, and to his family and companions as a whole; and grant us a mercy that will save us from the need of mercy from anybody besides You from your creatures. Ameen.
May You be glorified! We have knowledge only of what You have taught us. You are the All Knowing and All Wise. (Baqara, 32)
 Twenty Fourth Letter, The First Addendum to the Twenty Fourth Letter, Second Point and Barla Lahikasi, The Letter He Wrote Regarding Various Topics (The second book has not been translated to English)