Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


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  • Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


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    !~!~!~!

    (Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from among
    yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He
    is anxious about you, for the believers (he is) full of pity, kind, and
    merciful
    )

    Meanings of At-Tawbah 9: 128

    !~!~!~!

     

    Mercy
    upon Mankind

    The
    Prophet
    r
    lived with mixed sentiments of grief and
    anxiety, pity and mercy struggling continuously inside him
    towards the humanity he r was sent to, as strongly worded in his Hadith,
    saying: “My similitude is that of a man who has kindled a fire, but when it
    lit all around him, moths and such insects that fall into fire start falling
    into it. He starts to prevent them, but they overpower him and burst into it.
    This is my similitude and your similitude. I am grasping you by your waistbands
    away from Fire (crying), ‘Away from Fire! Away from Fire!’ but you
    overpower me and burst into it.
    1

    A living picture of the Prophet’s feelings that can be seen,
    heard, and felt.

    People are attracted to fire, insisting on falling into it,
    while the Prophet r
    stands with his body as a barrier between them and the Fire. He r
    keeps pushing them away from it with all his might – untiring, unyielding,
    undiscouraged – but they overpower him and burst into it!

    The pain and sorrow which the Prophet of Mercy r
    experienced tormented him, as he r saw people walking on
    the path he knew would lead them to destruction. They rejected the Qur’an and
    shunned guidance. The thought of this triggered surges of grief in his soul,
    which were only allayed by the consoling and compassionate Words of his Lord,
    saying: (Then perhaps you would kill yourself through grief
    over them, (O Muhammad), if they do not believe in this Message, and out of
    sorrow
    .)2

    He r
    was so anxious for all those on earth to become believers, but he r
    could not compel people to believe. Allah3 U
    kindly addressed His Messenger r, saying: (And
    had your Lord willed it, those on earth would have believed, all of them
    together. So, will you (O Muhammad) then compel mankind until they become
    believers?
    )4

    His persistent endeavors continued; even on their deathbed,
    still the Prophet r
    called upon his people to believe in Allah, their Maker, as their One and Only
    God and to revoke the false gods their forefathers used to worship. Al-Musaiyab
    t
    narrated:

    When the time of the
    death of Abu Talib (the Prophet’s uncle) approached, the Messenger of Allah r
    came to him, but found with him Abu Jahl and ‘Abdullah bin Abu Umaiyah bin
    Al-Mughirah.

    He r
    said: “O uncle, say, ‘La ilaha illa Allah (there is no god but Allah),’ a
    word with which I can witness in your favor before Allah
    .”

    Abu Jahl and
    ‘Abdullah bin Abu Umaiyah said (to Abu Talib): “Will you desert the religion
    of ‘Abdul-Muttalib?

    The Messenger of
    Allah r
    kept on offering it (i.e. the Testimony of Faith: There is no god but Allah)
    to him, while they kept on turning him back (to disbelief) with that statement
    until Abu Talib said his final words to them, “I am of the religion of
    ‘Abdul-Muttalib
    ,” and he refused to say, “La ilaha illa Allah.

    The Messenger of
    Allah r
    said: “By Allah, I will keep on asking for forgiveness for you unless I am
    forbidden from asking for forgiveness for you
    .”

    In response, Allah U
    revealed:

    (It
    is not for the Prophet and those who believe to ask forgiveness for the
    Mushrikin
    5,
    even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the
    dwellers of Hellfire (because they died in a state of disbelief).
    )6

    Then Allah revealed a special Ayah concerning Abu Talib,
    saying to the Messenger of Allah r:7 (Indeed,
    (O Muhammad), you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills
    .)8

    Sadly, the Prophet r saw others willfully
    hurrying to fall into hypocrisy, an abyss lower than disbelief, saying with their
    mouths what was not in their hearts, mocking and thinking that Allah
    U does not know the fake
    belief they concealed.

    Again, the All-Merciful
    soothed His Messenger’s grief, saying:
    (O
    Messenger, let not those grieve you, who hasten into disbelief among those who
    say, “We believe” with their mouths, but their hearts believe not
    .
    )9

    But even if they chose to
    die as hypocrites, feigning belief while harboring disbelief and enmity inside,
    still the Prophet
    r
    was merciful to the end, sincere and persistent in his endeavors, pushing them,
    Away from Fire”; but they overpowered him and burst into it!

    Mercy to the Enemy

    To
    the Prophet
    r,
    ‘Abdullah bin Ubai bin Salul, the chief of hypocrites in Al-Madinah, was a worse
    enemy than the disbelievers. It was he who treated the Prophet
    r rudely when he r first arrived in
    Al-Madinah and happened to pass by a gathering in which ‘Abdullah bin Ubai bin
    Salul was present, before ‘Abdullah embraced Islam.

    The Prophet r greeted them, stopped,
    and dismounted. He
    r
    then invited them to Allah
    U
    and recited to them some Ayat of the Noble Qur’an. At that point,
    ‘Abdullah bin Ubai said to him: “O man! There is nothing better than what
    you say, if it is true. So, do not bother us with it in our gathering. Go back
    to your house, and if anyone comes to you, narrate (your tales) to him
    .”
    10

    After a hypocritical show of faith in Islam, ‘Abdullah bin Ubai
    bin Salul kept conspiring against the Prophet r and incited the people
    against him, saying: “Spend not on those who are with the Messenger of Allah
    until they desert him.
    ” And: “If we return to Al-Madinah, indeed the
    more honorable (meaning himself) will expel therefrom the meaner (meaning the
    Messenger
    r).”11

    More of his evil showed through forcing his two slave women,
    Musaika and Umaimah, to commit prostitution12; and the leading role he played in forging
    and spreading the slanderous story against honorable Lady ‘Aishah (may Allah be
    pleased with her), the Prophet’s wife r.13

    Nevertheless, Ibn ‘Umar t narrated that when
    ‘Abdullah bin Ubai died, his son, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdullah, came to the
    Messenger of Allah r,
    who gave him his shirt and ordered him to shroud his father in it.14

    In another report, Jabir bin ‘Abdullah t
    said: “The Prophet r
    came to the grave of ‘Abdullah bin Ubai, brought him out of his grave, placed
    him on his knees, breathed his (blessed) saliva on him, and clothed him in his
    own shirt
    .”15

    The Prophet r then stood up to offer
    the Funeral Prayer for him, but ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab t
    took hold of his garment and said: “Would you offer the Funeral Prayer for
    him although he was a hypocrite, and Allah has forbidden you to ask forgiveness
    for them (hypocrites)?
    ” He r said: “Allah has given
    me the choice (or Allah has informed me), saying: (Ask
    forgiveness for them, (O Muhammad), or do not ask forgiveness for them. If you
    should ask forgiveness for them seventy times, never will Allah forgive them
    .)16

    Then he r
    said: “I will ask (forgiveness) for him more than seventy times.”

    The Messenger of Allah r offered the Funeral
    Prayer for him, and they (the Companions) joined him in the prayer. Then Allah
    sent down to him17: (And
    do not pray (the Funeral Prayer, O Muhammad) over any of them who have died –
    ever – or stand at his grave. Indeed, they disbelieved in Allah and His
    Messenger and died while they were defiantly disobedient.
    )18

    Singular
    Capacity

    This singular capacity for mercy is
    traced all along the Prophet’s life. To grasp a glimpse of its expansiveness,
    you must envision him warning people on Mount As-Safa, going from one
    house to another in Mina, following people in marketplaces, assemblies, and
    gatherings, calling out: “O people! Say, ‘There is no god but Allah’ and you
    will succeed
    .”

    You must see him r rejected:Our
    hearts are within coverings from that to which you invite us, and in our ears
    is deafness, and between us and you is a barrier, so work (on your way);
    indeed, we are working (on our way)
    .” (Qur’an
    41: 5)

    You must see him r belied and
    slandered:
    Perish you all day! Is it for this you have gathered us?”;
    O you upon whom the Qur’an has
    been sent down, indeed you are mad
    (Qur’an
    15: 6)
    ; “This is a sorcerer, a liar.” (Qur’an 38: 4)

    You must see him r mocked:Who
    among you will go and bring the dung, blood, and entrails of the slaughtered
    camels of the family of so-and-so, and then wait until he (Muhammad) prostrates
    and put that in between his shoulders?

    You must see him r defied:O
    Allah! If this is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, rain down upon us stones
    from the sky or bring us a painful torment
    (Qur’an
    8: 32)
    ; “Or you (O Muhammad) cause the heaven to fall upon us in
    fragments, as you have claimed, or you bring Allah and the angels before (us)
    face to face.
    (Qur’an 17: 92)

    You must see him r persecuted:Uqbah
    bin Abu Mu‘ait came and seized the Messenger of Allah
    r
    by the shoulder, twisted his garment around his neck, and severely throttled
    him with it.

    You must see him r tempted:If
    you are only seeking wealth with the matter with which you came, we will make a
    collection for you from our wealth until you become the richest among us. If
    you are seeking a high rank, we will make you our master and will decide no
    matter without you. If you are seeking dominion, we will make you a king over us
    .”

    You must see him r besieged and
    boycotted:
    O people of Makkah! Are we to eat food and wear clothes
    while Banu Hashim are perishing, and neither buying nor selling? By Allah, I
    shall never rest until this unjust severing parchment is torn
    .”19

    You must see him r endangered:Aim
    at him and hit him with your swords; with the strike of one man, thus kill him
    .”

    You must see him r expelled:O
    Allah (bear witness), you (Makkah) are the most beloved land to Allah, and you
    are the most beloved land to me. Had your Mushrikin people not driven me out of
    you, I would not have left you
    .”

    You must see him r pursued:If
    he had entered therein (the cave), a spider web would not be across its mouth!

    You must see him r
    ferociously fought.
    All the while he r quietly endured,
    silently suffered, and patiently waited, showing unprecedented fortitude in
    conveying the Message of his Lord: “By Allah, if they put the sun in my
    right hand and the moon in my left hand on condition that I abandon this cause,
    I will never abandon it until Allah makes it prevail or I perish therein
    .”

    And after all, you must hear him r
    forgiving them:
    I say to you as Yusuf (Joseph) said to his brothers:
    ‘No blame will there be upon you today.’ Go, you are the free ones
    .”

    His caring eyes were always on those coming tomorrow:I
    hope that Allah brings forth from their loins those (children) who will worship
    Allah Alone and associate nothing with Him
    .”

    No wonder he is the Prophet of Mercy r.

     


    1 Narrated by Abu Hurairah: Sahih Muslim,
    Book of Al-Fada
    il, Hadith no. 4235;
    similar
    versions of the Hadith are also reported by Muslim (4234), Al-Bukhary (6002),
    At-Tirmidhy (2799), and Ahmad (7019, 7769, 10540).

    2
    Translated
    meanings of Al-Khaf 18: 6.

    3 The Name indicative and all-inclusive of
    every Divine Name and Attribute of Absolute Perfection: the One God, the Maker,
    the Almighty, the All-Merciful, etc.; in Arabic it means: The One exclusively
    worthy of deification and worship.

    4
    Translated
    meanings of Yunus 10: 99.

    5 Plural of Mushrik: One who associates
    others with Allah in His Divinity or worship
    .

    6
    Translated
    meanings of At-Tawbah 9: 113.

    7 Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Tafsir Al-Quran, Hadith no. 4399; similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by Al-Bukhary
    (1272, 3595, 3407, 6187); Muslim (35), An-Nasa’y (2008), and Ahmad (22562).

    8
    Translated
    meanings of Al-Qasas 28:
    56
    .

    9
    Translated
    meanings of Al-Ma’idah 5: 41.

    10 Narrated by Usamah bin Zaid: Sahih Al-Bukhary,
    Book of Al-Marda (Patients), Hadith no. 5231; similar versions of the
    Hadith are also reported by Al-Bukhary (4200, 5739, 5784), Muslim (3356), and
    Ahmad (20772).

    11 Narrated by Zaid bin Arqam: Sahih
    Al-Bukhary, Book of Tafsir Al-Qur’an, Hadith no. 4521; similar versions
    of the Hadith are also reported by Al-Bukhary (4520, 4522, 4523, 4524), Muslim
    (4976), At-Tirmidhy (3234, 3235, 3236), and Ahmad (18482, 18492, 18527).

    12 Narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: Sahih Muslim,
    Book of Tafsir (Interpretation), Hadith no. 5355; similar versions of the
    Hadith are also reported by Muslim (5354).

    13 Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Tafsir Al-Quran, Hadith no. 4380; similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by
    Al-Bukhary (2467, 3826, 4381), Muslim (4974), and Ahmad (24444).

    14 Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Tafsir Al-Quran, Hadith no. 4304; similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by
    Al-Bukhary (1190, 4302, 5350), Muslim (4413, 4978), At-Tirmidhy (3023),
    An-Nasa’y (1874), Ibn Majah (1512), and Ahmad (4451).

    15 Sahih Muslim, Book of Sifat Al-Munafiqin wa Ahkamihim (Characteristics of the Hypocrites and
    Rulings on Them),
    Hadith no. 4977; similar versions of the Hadith are
    also reported by Al-Bukhary (1191, 1263, 5349), An-Nasa’y (1875, 1992, 1993),
    and Ahmad (14457, 14544).

    16
    Translated
    meanings of At-Tawbah 9: 80.

    17 Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar: Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Tafsir
    Al-Qur
    an, Hadith no. 4304; similar versions of the Hadith
    are also reported by Al-Bukhary (1190, 4302, 5350),
    Muslim (4413, 4978), At-Tirmidhy (3023), An-Nasa’y (1874), Ibn Majah (1512),
    and Ahmad (4451).

    18
    Translated
    meanings of At-Tawbah 9: 84.

    19 The words of Zuhair bin Abu Umaiyah reported by Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah:
    Revocation of the Boycott Parchment, vol. 2.

     

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