A Mercy to Mankind

     قال الله تعالى: { وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ} سورة الأنبياء، آية 107.

      Allah -the Exalted- says: { Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad) but as a mercy for the worlds} (Surah 21, verse 107).

   عن عائشة رضي اللَّه عنها أَنها قالت للنبيِّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: هل أَتى عَلَيْكَ يَوْمٌ كَانَ أَشدَّ مِنْ يوم أُحُدٍ؟ قال: « لَقَدْ لَقِيتُ مِنْ قَومِكِ، وكَان أَشدُّ ما لَقِيتُ مِنْهُمْ يوْم العقَبَةِ، إِذْ عرَضْتُ نَفسِي على ابْنِ عَبْدِ يَالِيلَ ابنِ عبْدِ كُلال، فلَمْ يُجبنِى إِلى ما أَردْتُ، فَانْطَلَقْتُ وَأَنَا مَهْمُومٌ على وَجْهِي، فلَمْ أَسْتَفِقْ إِلاَّ وَأَنا بقرنِ الثَّعالِبِ، فَرفَعْتُ رأْسِي فَإِذا أَنَا بِسحابَةٍ قَد أَظلَّتني، فنَظَرتُ فَإِذا فِيها جِبريلُ عليه السلام، فنَاداني فقال: إِنَّ اللَّه تعالى قَد سَمِع قَولَ قومِك لَكَ، وَما رَدُّوا عَلَيكَ، وَقد بعثَ إِلَيك ملَكَ الجبالِ لِتأْمُرهُ بما شِئْتَ فِيهم، فَنَادَانِي ملَكُ الجِبَالِ فَسلَّمَ عَليَّ ثُمَّ قال: يا محمَّد إِنَّ اللَّه قَد سمعَ قَولَ قَومِكَ لَكَ، وأَنَا مَلَكُ الجِبالِ، وقَدْ بَعَثَني رَبِّي إِلَيْكَ لِتأْمُرَني بِأَمْرِكَ، فَمَا شئتَ: إِنْ شئْتَ أَطْبَقْتُ عَلَيهمُ الأَخْشَبَيْن»، فقال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « بلْ أَرْجُو أَنْ يُخْرِجَ اللَّه مِنْ أَصْلابِهِم منْ يعْبُدُ اللَّه وَحْدَهُ لا يُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئاً».  متفقٌ عليه .

          Narrated Aishah -may Allah be pleased with her- that she asked Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him (English translation): “Have you encountered a day harder than the Day of Uhud?”

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- replied: “I have experienced many hardships at the hand of your tribe [Qureish], but the greatest ordeal I experienced was on the day of ‘Aqaba when I presented myself to Ibn Abdi-Yalail Ibn Abdi-Kulal [in Al-Taif] and he did not respond to my invitation (to Islam).  So I departed, overwhelmed with distress, and proceeded on, and could not relax till I found myself at Qarn Al-Tha’alib where I lifted my head towards the sky and suddenly saw a cloud shading me.

I looked up and saw Angel Gabriel -peace be upon him- in it.  He called me and said: ‘The Almighty God has heard the speech of your people to you, and their reaction to your invitation.  So He has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish with these people.’

The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said: ‘O Muhammad, God has heard the speech of your people to you.  I am the Angel of the Mountain, and my Lord has sent me to you to do as you command me.  Order whatever you wish; if you like I will let Al-Akh-Shabain (i.e. the two mountains surrounding Makkah) fall and crush them!’  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘I rather hope that Allah will produce from their descendants, people who will worship Allah alone and ascribe no partners with Him.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

—-

The Almighty God describes Prophet Muhammad as a mercy to mankind, and in another verse as compassionate, kind, and merciful.  God is the Most Merciful, and all of His prophets and messengers were sent with this main message of mercy.  Indeed, Mercy is a divine characteristic that distinguishes the righteous and pious from the oppressors and the unjust.  Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be him- instructed us:

    عن عبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص رضي الله عنهما أنَّ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قال: « الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ، ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ» .  رواه أبو داود والترمذي.

     Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr Ibn ‘Aas -may Allah be pleased with them- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said (English translation):

“The merciful ones will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful (God).  Be merciful to those on earth, the One in heaven will be merciful to you.”

Related by Abu Dawood and Al-Tirmidhi.

  If we study the biography of Prophet Muhammad (Seerah), we see many instances of his great mercy, kindness and compassion.  Not only did Prophet Muhammad show mercy to his followers but to all mankind, even to animals and plants.  The above story is a true story that was related by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim, something that testifies to its authenticity.

When the tribe of Qureish persecuted Prophet Muhammad and his companions in Makkah, the Prophet sought support and refuge in another tribe and town, namely the tribe of Thaqeef in Al-Ta’if.  But when the Prophet went there, not only did they refuse his invitation, they also asked their young and urchins to throw stones at his feet and drive him out.  When the Prophet reached the outskirts of the town, he passed by a farm owned by two chiefs of Qureish, Utbah and Sheibah sons of Rabee’ah.  When they saw the condition of their fellow tribesman, they sent some grapes with their Christian servant Addas.

Ibn Hisham related in “The Prophet’s Biography”: “Addas placed some grapes on a plate and presented it to Prophet Muhammad.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said Bismil-llah (in the name of God) and then ate from it.  Addas was surprised by his speech, so asked: ‘By God, the people of this land do not utter these words.’ 

Prophet Muhammad asked him: ‘And which land do you come from? And what is your religion?’  Addas replied: ‘I am Christian, and I am from Neenwa (Nineveh).’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘The town of the of the righteous man, Yoonus Ibn Matta (Jonah).’  Addas was astonished and asked: ‘And how do you know about Yoonus Ibn Matta (Jonah)?’  Prophet Muhammad replied: ‘We are brothers, Yoonus (Jonah) was a prophet and I am a prophet.’  Addas knew the true message of Prophet Muhammad and accepted Islam on the spot, and then knelt down to kiss the hands and feet of the Prophet.”  Seerah Ibn Hisham.

Prophet Muhammad then headed back to Makkah, with a heavy heart but full trust in God.  On the way, he invoked God, seeking His help and support.  And how soon does God respond to his supplication, for soon God sent him the Angel of the Mountains to order as he likes.  The Angel of the Mountains addressed Prophet Muhammad directly and let him choose the type of annihilation for his people.

          Here we see the true mercy of Prophet Muhammad, for here was the tribe of Qureish, who had called him bad names, had accused him falsely of different things, and had harmed him in every way possible.  And yet Prophet Muhammad showed great mercy not only to his followers but to his foes as well.  He said to the Angel of Mountains: Rather, I hope God will guide them, and if not then guide their children.

The Almighty God has praised Prophet Muhammad in Qur’an and stated that this mercy is a blessing of God on him, and had the Prophet been rude and churlish then people would have turned away from him.  But due to his great mercy, kindness and mercy, people admire Prophet Muhammad and follow his example in obedience to God and good morals.

      قال الله عز وجل: { فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ} آل عمران 159.

    God the Almighty says (English translation): {And by the mercy of God, you (O Muhammad) dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you} (Surah 3, verse 159).

          In response to this true and loving feelings, the invocation of Prophet Muhammad was again granted, and many of his sworn enemies became his staunch followers and allies.  Not only that, but once they came to know Prophet Muhammad’s high moral character and his true message, they declared their deepest love for him.

Omar Ibn Al-Khattab took his sword to kill him, but had a chance to listen to Qur’an.  Upon hearing it, Omar was overwhelmed by its deep meaning and embraced Islam.  Then Omar became one of the Prophet’s strongest supporters and defenders.

Abu Sufyan, the Supreme Chief of Qureish, who fought Prophet Muhammad at every opportunity, finally embraced Islam and declared his greatest love for Prophet Muhammad.

Abu Jahl, an enemy of the Muslims, died as a disbeliever.  But his son Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl who fought with his father, finally embraced Islam and became a great defender of Islam and the Muslims.

Hind Bint Utbah, whose father, uncle and brother were killed as disbelievers during the battle of Badr, hated the Muslims and fought them along with her husband Abu Sufyan with all her might.  She also participated in the mutilation of the Prophet’s uncle Hamza.  But after the Conquest of Makkah, she embraced Islam.  After she came to know Prophet Muhammad and his true message, she went to Prophet Muhammad and said:

          عن عائشة رضي الله عنها، قَالَتْ: ( جَاءَتْ هِنْدٌ بِنْتُ عُتْبَةَ بْنِ رَبِيعَةَ فَقَالَتْ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، وَاللَّهِ مَا كَانَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ خِبَاءٌ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ أَنْ يَذِلُّوا مِنْ أَهْلِ خِبَائِكَ وَمَا أَصْبَحَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ خِبَاءٌ أَحَبَّ إِلَىَّ مِنْ أَنْ يَعِزُّوا مِنْ أَهْلِ خِبَائِكَ). رواه البخاري ومسلم.

     Narrated Aishah -may Allah be pleased with her- said (English translation): “Hind Bint Utbah Ibn Rabee’ah, came to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- and said:

O Messenger of God, I swear by God that there was no household upon the face of the earth that I wished to be disgraced and degraded more than your household.  But today there is no household on the face of the earth that I wish to be honored and revered more than your household.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim with authentic narration.

Then indeed we see how Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to mankind, who was sent with true guidance and to show people the right path to God.  We see the great moral character and standards that Prophet Muhammad had and which he instructed his followers to have.  We see the great mercy he showed not only to his followers but to all mankind.  And finally, we see how when people really came to know Prophet Muhammad, they declared their utmost and deepest love for such a noble and blessed true prophet of God.

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