Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


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  • Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy



  • Why Muhammadr?

    It must be a heart superior to all
    others. A heart brought up under the Eye of Allah U,
    a worshipper of Him Alone. Inside him must be Purity, Piety, Love, Sincerity,
    Charity, Wisdom, Bravery, Justice, Generosity, Honesty, Modesty, Kindness,
    Mercifulness, Forgiveness, Patience, Perseverance, and every other quality of
    moral excellence and righteousness in their most exalted human forms.

    ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ud t,
    a Companion of the Prophet r,
    said: “Verily, Allah has looked into the servants’ hearts and found
    Muhammad’s heart the best heart among the servants, so He chose him for Himself
    and sent him with His Message
    .”1

    The heart of As-Sayyid2 among the offspring of Prophet Adam r,
    whom Allah U
    chose above all others to send, not to a certain race or people at a certain
    time – as was ‘Isa (Jesus r):
    I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel3 – but to all existence until the Last
    Hour. It shall continue inspiring faith and goodness, pulsating throughout the
    living being of earth: “Truly, in the body is a little lump of flesh, which
    when it is right, the whole body is right, and when it is corrupt, the whole
    body is corrupt; it is the heart
    .”4

    Muhammad r, who never bowed to an
    idol, spent the days of his youth in silent worship, contemplating and
    thinking. This endless blue sky, like silk spread out with no rifts in it,
    glittering at night with countless silvery stars, raised without any pillars
    one can see; these firmly set mountains adorned in majesty; this glorious sun
    spreading warmth and light, rising and setting at a precise time, so that the
    night never outstrips the day; this barren earth that when rain is sent down on
    it, is stirred to life and puts forth every lovely kind of growth; these fruits
    of different colors, tastes, and shapes all watered with the same water; this
    pure milk in the bellies of cattle given from between excretions and blood;
    these birds above, spreading out their wings and folding them in… who holds
    them aloft? Who taught all these creatures? Who taught man? These signs must
    have a Creator, All-Wise, Almighty.

    During his long retreats in Hira’ Cave – the sanctum of
    his devotions and meditations on Jabal An-Nur (the Mountain of Light) –
    Muhammad r
    was far away from the impurities of life, and in close communion with the
    Unseen Power that lies behind all aspects of existence in this infinite
    universe.

    In the solitude of Hira’ Cave,
    where silence prevailed, spiritual serenity surrounded the Coming Prophet r,
    giving him the power needed for what was yet to come… meeting the Divine
    Revelation that descended upon him with the first command, “Read
    [Al-‘Alaq 96: 1]; then proceeding to the prophetic charge, “Warn
    [Al-Muddaththir 74: 2]; then the request for him to call his near kindred,
    [Ash-Shu‘ara’ 26: 214]; then the Call being extended to the whole town of
    Makkah and all those around it, [Al-An‘am 6:92]; and finally to all of mankind,
    [Al-Anbiya’ 21: 107].5

    Power
    of Caring, Loving, and Reaching All

    It is not only his kindred, or the
    Arabs, but all humanity: (And We have not sent you except as a giver of glad
    tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most of the people know not.
    )6

    Such capacity for preaching the Message to all emanates from
    the Prophet’s special capacity for loving and caring for all, “I am sent to
    every red and black person
    .”7 By
    the red the Prophet r
    meant the non-Arabs, and by the black he r meant the Arabs.

    This is the essence of the universality of his Message. It is
    not an expression of dominion or a desire for supremacy, but an innate love of
    goodness for all beings. Nothing is more indicative of this than his sincere
    words: “I am sent to all people; and if they do not respond to me, then to
    the Arabs; and if they do not respond to me, then to the Quraish; and if they
    do not respond to me, then to Banu Hashim; and if they do not respond to me,
    then to myself alone
    .”8

    The Prophet r is simply calling those
    whom he loves to goodness. If they respond to him, his happiness and theirs is
    great; and if they do not, he r has honored his duty
    and conveyed the Message,9
    leaving people no excuse before their Lord. (Lest you say: There
    came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner.
    )10

    Dissolving
    All Differences in His Message to All

    Without specifying a certain class,
    race, or origin, or making a special mention of Muslim followers, the Prophet
    of Mercy r
    teaches, saying: “Show mercy to those on the earth, and He Who is in the
    heaven will show mercy to you
    .”11Show mercy,
    and mercy will be shown to you; forgive, and Allah will forgive you
    .”12

    This is the Prophet’s Message to all.

    Universal in its scope: (O mankind, indeed I
    am the Messenger of Allah for you all
    .)13

    In its purpose: (O mankind, worship
    your Lord, Who created you and those before you, that you may become pious
    .)14

    In its guidance: (O mankind, eat of
    that which is lawful and good on the earth, and follow not the footsteps of
    Satan. Verily, he is to you an open enemy.
    )15

    In its admonition: (O mankind, remember
    the Grace of Allah upon you. Is there any creator other than Allah who provides
    for you from the heaven and earth?
    )16

    In its goodness: (O mankind, there has
    come to you good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur’an, ordering all that is
    good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that in your breasts –
    a guidance and a mercy for the believers
    .)17

    Unprejudiced in its Laws: (Whoever kills a soul not in retaliation for
    (having killed) a soul or for corruption (done) in the land, it is as if he has
    killed all humanity. And, whoever saves a life, it is as if he has saved the
    lives of all humanity.
    )18

    Uncompromising in its justice: (O you who believe, stand up firmly for
    justice, as witnesses to Allah, even
    though
    it be against yourselves, your parents, or your kin
    .)19

    It embodies the equality of all, for the unity of origin: “You
    all are the children of Adam, and Adam was created from dust
    .”20

    It encircles the whole earth with the Prophet’s teachings of
    universal peace and brotherhood: “None of you truly believes until he loves
    for people what he
    loves for himself.21

    It tears down any walls of discrimination: Not of us
    (not one of the Muslims) is anyone who advocates Asabiyah
    22. Not of us is anyone who fights for
    Asabiyah. And not of us is anyone who dies persisting in Asabiyah.
    23

    After years of teaching and preaching the values of Islam, and
    after students tasted and practiced the equality of Islam at the hands of the
    merciful Prophet r,
    the first Muslim generation from different classes and colors willingly stood
    side by side, the rich and the poor, in the graduation year of Farewell Hajj,
    with a seamless piece of white cloth on their bodies, like the shroud we shall
    be wrapped in when we exit this world, praying to their Lord, Who neither looks
    at shapes nor wealth, “Verily, Allah does not look at your shapes or wealth,
    but He looks at your hearts and deeds
    .”24 As equal before Him as He created us and
    as we shall all stand before Him on the Day of Judgment.

    In this great scene of equality, where all privileges melt into
    thin air, the Teacher of Humanity r uttered the law of
    unity and the one criterion of honor and superiority as declared by Allah U:
    O people, verily your Lord is One and your father is one (i.e. Adam).
    Behold, there is no superiority of the Arab over the non-Arab, or of the
    non-Arab over the Arab, or of the red over the black, or of the black over the
    red – except by piety. Have I informed you?
    25

    On the Day of the Victory of Makkah, he r
    sermonized: O people, verily Allah has rid you of the vainglory of
    Jahiliyyah
    (Pre-Islamic
    Days of Ignorance) and its pride in ancestors. People are two kinds of men: a
    righteous pious man who is honorable to Allah, and an impious wicked man who is
    worthless to Allah. All mankind are Children of Adam, and Allah has created
    Adam from dust.
    26

    The Prophet’s Call continues to all humanity (O
    mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah for you all
    ),27 with its different races and colors,
    guiding it back to its One Maker (Your god is one God.
    There is no god except Him, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
    )28 Who created the human family from one soul
    (O
    mankind, fear your Lord, Who created you from one soul (Adam) and created from
    it its mate (Eve) and dispersed from both of them many men and women
    )29 and
    shaped it into nations and tribes, for the purpose of knowledge, not fighting. (O
    mankind, We have created you from a male (Adam) and a female (Eve), and made
    you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most
    honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is the most pious of you
    .)30

    To this one humanity, the one God sent one religion: (He
    (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion (Islam) that He ordained for

    Nuh (Noah), and that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad),

    and that which We ordained for Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), and
    Isa
    (Jesus), saying you should establish
    the religion, and make no division in it
    (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion).)31

    One Maker, one religion, one origin; this is the intrinsic
    element bringing peace, mercy, and happiness to humanity through the sublime
    Message of Prophet Muhammad r: Come back! Do
    not differ, divide, or fight. Do not waste yourselves and stray from the
    purpose for which you were created, which is that you worship your Maker,
    Alone; and the purpose for which you were made into nations and tribes, which
    is that you know, complement, and cooperate with one another.

    Excellence of wealth, birth, color, race, or country is of no
    value in the Sight of Your Lord. Superiority of one over another is only
    attained by piety32: (Verily, the most
    honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is the most pious of you
    .)33

    Every human is personally responsible for their own self.

    Only the good they do places them ahead, and only the bad they
    do puts them behind.

    There is no place in this Just Balance for the intervention of
    one human for another, no matter what their status.

    No consideration is given to country, birth, or prestige in the
    weighing of a person.

    Criteria of superiority or inferiority established by people
    are worthless.

    The son of a prophet and the son of a prostitute are equal! If
    the first lags behind in the race of righteous deeds, his parentage will give
    him no support; and if the latter outruns in the race of righteous deeds, his
    parentage will do him no harm. 34

    This is the dictate of the Law of Justice preached in all
    Divine Messages: (Or has he not been informed of what is in the
    scriptures of Moses, and (of) Abraham, who fulfilled (his obligations) – that
    no bearer of burden (sins) shall bear the burden of another. And that man will
    have nothing but what he does (good or bad). And that his deeds will be seen.
    Then he will be recompensed for them with the fullest recompense.
    )35

    The Divine Law shows no favoritism: (Say (O
    Muhammad), “None can protect me from Allah’s Punishment (if I were to disobey
    Him), nor should I find refuge except in Him.
    )36 The scales will
    only balance a person’s deeds: “Anyone whose deeds slow them down, their
    lineage will not help them speed up
    ,”37 Prophet Muhammad r
    warns.

    O Banu Hisham! Let not
    people come to me with their deeds and you come to me with your lineage.
    38

    O mother of Az-Zubair bin Al-Awam, aunt of the Messenger of
    Allah! O Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad! Buy yourselves from Allah. Truly, I can
    avail you nothing against Allah
    .”39

    Truly, Allah shall not ask you about your noble descent or
    lineage on the Day of Judgment. The most honorable of you in the Sight of Allah
    is the most pious of you
    .”40

    This is the Way of the Prophet r by which all causes of
    conflict or enmity on earth dwindle, and all values over which people fight
    become worthless. All differences fall away. All criteria collapse. One Balance
    weighing one value (piety) will rise, by which all humanity will be
    judged, and its scales will decide the high and the low among them.41

    In the end: (There is none in the
    heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) as a slave
    .)42

    I made a lineage and you made a lineage,”
    Allah the Most Exalted shall say on the Day of Judgment, “I made the
    most honorable among you the one who is most pious, but you insisted on saying:
    the son of so-and-so is better than the son of so-and-so. Today I shall raise
    My lineage and put down your lineage: Where are the pious?
    43


    1 Musnad Ahmad, Book of Al-Mukthrin min As-Sahabh, Hadith no.
    34218.

    2 As-Sayyid is the one who excels others in goodness.

    3
    Matthew 15:24.

    4
    Narrated by An-Nu‘man bin Bashir: Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Iman
    (Faith), Hadith no. 50; similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by Muslim
    (2996), Ibn Majah (3974), Ahmad (I7649), and Ad-Darimy (2419).

    5 The gradual stages of preaching the Universal
    Message of Islam is quoted from
    Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah, Zad Al-Ma‘ad (Provisions for the
    Hereafter).

    6
    Translated meanings of Saba’
    34: 28.

    7 Narrated by Jabir bin ‘Abdullah: Sahih Muslim,
    Book of Masjids wa Mawadi
    As-Salah (Mosques and Places for Prayer), Hadith no. 810; a
    similar version of the Hadith is also reported by Ahmad (13745).

    8 Reported
    by Khalid bin Ma‘dan: Jalal Ad-Din As-Suyuti
    , Al-Jami As-Saghir fi Ahadith Al-Bashir An-Nadhir, Hadith no. 3147.

    9 Adapted from Khalid
    Muhammad Khalid, Insaniyat Muhammad (Humanity of Muhammad
    r),
    chapter three: Love is His Instinct.

    10
    Translated meanings of
    Al-Ma’idah 5: 19.

    11 Narrated by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As: Sunnan At-Tirmidhy,
    Book of Al-Birr Waslah (Benevolence and Upholding the Ties of Kinship),
    Hadith no. 1847; a similar version of the Hadith is also reported by Abu Dawud
    (4290).

    12 Narrated by
    ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-‘As: Musnad Ahmad, Book of Al-Mukthrin min
    As-Sahabh
    , Hadith no. 6255.

    13
    Translated
    meanings of Al-A‘raf 7: 158.

    14
    Translated
    meanings of Al-Baqarah 2: 21.

    15
    Translated
    meanings of Al-Baqarah 2: 168.

    16
    Translated meanings of Fatir 35: 3.

    17
    Translated meanings of Yunus 10: 57.

    18
    Translated meanings of
    Al-Maidah 5: 32.

    19
    Translated meanings of An-Nisa

    4: 135.

    20 Narrated by Abu Hurairah,
    Sunnan At-Tirmidhy, Book of Al-Manaqib (Outstanding Virtues), Hadith no.
    3890; similar versions

    of the Hadith are also reported by At-Tirmidhy (3891), and Abu Dawud (4452).

    21
    Narrated by Anas bin Malik: Musnad Ahmad, Book of Al-Mukthrin min As-Sahabh,
    Hadith no. 13372.

    22 Fanatical
    attachment to race, country, gender, group, ethnicity, etc.

    23
    Narrated by Jubair bin Mut‘am: Sunnan Abu Dawud, Book of Al-Adab (Good
    Manners), Hadith no. 4456.

    24 Narrated by Abu Hurairah: Sahih Muslim,
    Book of
    Al-Birr Waslah Waladab (Benevolence, Upholding the Ties of Kinship, and
    Good Manners)
    , Hadith no. 4651; a similar
    version of the Hadith is also reported by Ibn Majah (4133).

    25
    Reported by
    Abu Nadrah: Musnad Ahmad, Book of Al-Ansar
    (Supporters), Hadith no. 22391.

    26 Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar: Sunnan At-Tirmidhy, Book of
    Tafsir Al-Qur
    an
    (Interpretation of the Qur’an), Hadith no.
    3193.

    27
    Translated
    meanings of Al-A‘raf 7: 158.

    28 Translated meanings of Al-Baqarah
    2: 163.

    29
    Translated
    meanings of An-Nisa’ 4: 1.

    30 Translated meanings of Al-Hujurat 49: 13.

    31
    Translated
    meanings of Ash-Shura 42: 13.

    32
    Adapted from
    Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade
    of the Qur’an
    , interpretation
    of Surat Al-Hujurat [49:
    13], thirty-sixth
    edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.

    33
    Translated
    meanings of Al-Hujurat
    49: 13.

    34
    Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali, At-Ta
    assub
    wa At-Tasamuh Bain Al-Masihiyah wa Al-Islam
    (Fanaticism and Tolerance Between
    Christianity and Islam)
    ; chapter one: Islam Between Its Two Enemies, Nahdet Misr Publishing House.

    35 Translated
    meanings of An-Najm 53: 36-41.

    36
    Translated meanings of Al-Jinn 72: 22.

    37
    Narrated
    by Abu Hurairah: Sahih Muslim, Book of Dhikr, Dua, Tawbah, wa Istighfar (Remembering
    Allah, Supplication, Repentance, and Begging Forgiveness), Hadith no. 4867;
    similar versions of the Hadith are also reported by At-Tirmidhy (2869), Ibn
    Majah (221), Ahmad (7118), and Ad-Darimy (348).

    38
    Az-Zamakhshari in
    AlKashaf, vol. 1.

    39 Sahih Al-Bukhary, Book of Al-Manaqib, Hadith no. 3264; similar
    versions of the Hadith are also reported by Al-Bukhary (2548, 4398), Muslim
    (305, 303), An-Nasa’y (3584, 3586, 3587), Ahmad (8051, 8246, 8346, 8372, 8812,
    9417, 10307), and Ad-Darimy (2616).

    40 Reported by Ahmad, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Mardwiah, and Al-Baihaqi on
    the authority of ‘Uqbah bin Amir: Jalal Ad-Din
    As-Suyuti, Ad-Durr Al-Manthur fi At-Tafsir bi Al-Ma’thur.

    41
    Adapted from
    Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade
    of the Qur’an
    , interpretation
    of Surat Al-Hujurat [49:
    13], thirty-sixth
    edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.

    42 Translated
    meanings of Maryam 19: 93.

    43 Hadith
    Qudsy (Revelation from Allah in the Prophet
    s words) narrated by Abu Hurairah: Al-Haythami, Majma‘ Az-Zawa’id wa
    Manba‘ Al-Fawa’id
    ,
    Hadith no. 13083; also reported by At-Tabarani and
    Ibn Mardwiah.

     

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