Generosity of Prophet Muhammad

(Keywords: The Prophet’s Generosity, Kindness and Compassion, Muhammad’s Generosity, Muhammad’s Kindness and Compassion, Generosity in Islam, Kindness and Compassion in Islam, Prophet Muhammad’s Morals, Reward of Generosity)

 

   قال الله عز وجل: { وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى * أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآَوَى * وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَى * وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَى * فَأَمَّا الْيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقْهَرْ * وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ * وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ} سورة الضحى 5-11. ـ

    God -the Exalted- says: { And verily your Lord will give you, and you shall be satisfied.

  1. Did He not find you (O Muhammad) an orphan and gave you refuge?
  2. And He found you lost and guided you;
  3. And He found you poor and made you self-sufficient.
  4. Then as for the orphan, do not oppress him;
  5. And as for the beggar, do not repulse him;
  6. And as for the favor of your Lord, proclaim it} (Surah 93, verses 5-11).

     قال الله عز وجل: { وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيم} سورة القلم 4. ـ

     Allah -the Exalted- says: {And Verily, you (O, Muhammad) are of a high moral character} (Surah 68, verse 4).

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             Almighty God enumerates to His Prophet and Messenger, Muhammad, His many blessings on him.  God reminds him that it was God Who moved Prophet Muhammad from the state of insecurity to the state of security, from the state of no parents to the state of kin’s support, from the state of no shelter to the state of shelter and home, from the state of lack of knowledge to the state of guidance, from the state of a righteous slave to the state of a Prophet and Messenger of God, from the state of lack of wealth to the state of self-sufficiency, and from the state of persecution and fear to the state of rule, stability and security.

Then God instructs His Prophet and Messenger to recognize these blessings, appreciate them, and reciprocate them with other people.  God instructs His Prophet to treat the orphan and weak with kindness and compassion, to treat the poor and needy with support and generosity, and to admit and report God’s favors upon him.

In the second verse, Almighty God describes the high Moral code of Prophet Muhammad, and how Prophet Muhammad had the best moral characteristics.  A praise from God is a praise indeed.

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                  There is a difference between having knowledge of something, and really experiencing it.  When we read the biography of Prophet Muhammad, we find that he experienced the hardships of losing his parents at a young age, he experienced the hardship of lack of food until he tied a stone over his stomach, of lack of sufficient knowledge to deal with his people’s lawlessness and worship of idols, and later the hardship of persecution and aggression toward the Divine Message God sent him with.  All of that created in the Prophet a great sense of compassion and kindness that distinguished him among all men.  Not only that, but that same great degree of mercy, kindness and great moral character endeared him to his friends and foes alike so that they became loyal followers and adherent disciples.

     Here is a very brief account of Prophet Muhammad’s early life and some of the hardships he experienced.

       Prophet Muhammad’s parents, Abdullah and Aminah, used to live in Makkah.  Both belonged to the noblest families of the tribe of Qureish.  Prophet Muhammad’s father was the youngest son of Abdul-Muttalib Ibn Hisham who was one of the most honorable chiefs of the tribe of Qureish. 

Abdul-Muttalib, Muhammad’s grandfather, was distinguished with both noble lineage and high social status.  As for his noble lineage, Abdul-Muttalib was a direct descendant of Prophet Ismael son of Prophet Abraham.  And as for his high social status, it was due in part to his re-discovery of the Well of Zamzam near the ka’bah in Makkah. 

When Prophet Abraham left Hajar and baby Ismael in the deserted valley of Makkah, they ran out of water.  So Hajar went looking for water, running seven times back and forth between the two hills of Safa and Marwa.  Baby Ismael cried for water and hit the ground with his feet.  God sent an angel and water sprang forth from that same spot baby Ismael hit the ground.  When Hajar came back and saw the water flowing from that spot, she surrounded it with stones, so it became a well.  Soon an Arab tribe joined her and started living in the valley, as mentioned in the following authentic hadith:

     عن ابْنٍ عَبَّاسٍ رضى الله عنهما قَالَ: قال النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: «‏ يَرْحَمُ اللَّهُ أُمَّ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، لَوْ تَرَكَتْ زَمْزَمَ ـ أَوْ قَالَ لَوْ لَمْ تَغْرِفْ مِنَ الْمَاءِ ـ لَكَانَتْ عَيْنًا مَعِينًا، وَأَقْبَلَ جُرْهُمُ فَقَالُوا: أَتَأْذَنِينَ أَنْ نَنْزِلَ عِنْدَكِ؟ قَالَتْ: نَعَمْ وَلاَ حَقَّ لَكُمْ فِي الْمَاءِ‏،‏ قَالُوا: نَعَمْ»‏‏.‏  رواه البخاري. ـ

Narrated Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- that Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said:

May God have mercy on the mother of Ishmael!  If she had left the water of Zamzam (fountain) as it was, (without constructing a basin for keeping the water), (or said, “If she had not taken handfuls of its water”), it would have been a flowing stream. Jurhum (an Arab tribe) came and asked her: ‘May we settle at your dwelling?’ She said: ‘Yes, but you have no right to possess the water.’ They agreed.”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

      The opening of the Well of Zamzam was obliterated with time, though the water remained intact within.  Abdul-Muttalib Ibn Hisham, Muhammad’s grandfather, saw the location of the well in a dream.  When he woke up he re-dug it, thus gaining the privilege of providing water to people and pilgrims, and attaining social recognition.

Prophet Muhammad’s mother was Aminah daughter of Wahb Ibn Abdi Munaf.  Aminah’s father was the chief of Bani Zahrah, a clan of Qureish.  Thus, Aminah too enjoyed a noble lineage and high social status.

When the Prophet’s mother, Aminah, became pregnant with him she saw in a dream as if a light came out of her and illuminated the palaces of Al-Sham (the Levant).  Aminah told her father-in-law Abdul-Muttalib about the dream, and he concluded that his grandson was going to be someone of importance.

Aminah’s husband, Abdullah went on a business journey to Al-Sham (now Syria), but became sick on the way back and died near Al-Medinah before his son’s birth.  Abdullah Ibn Abdil-Muttalib was around 25 when he died.  When Muhammad was born, his mother and his grandfather took care of him.

   When Muhammad was near six years old, his mother Aminah took him to visit his uncles in Al-Medinah.  She took his nanny Umm Ayman with her.  On the way back, Aminah died near Al-Medinah; she was around 20 years old.  Thus, Muhammad became an orphan at age six, having lost his father before birth and his mother at six.  Muhammad’s nanny Umm Ayman then took him back to Makkah to his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib Ibn Hisham.

Since Abdullah was his youngest and most beloved son, Abdul-Muttalib took great care of his grandson and would allow him to sit with him when no one else was allowed close.  But Abdul-Muttalib died when Muhammad was eight years old.  Just before his death, Abdul-Muttalib asked his son Abu Talib and Muhammad’s uncle to take care of him.

Abu Talib had six children and wasn’t wealthy, but he gave a great example of altruism in taking care of his nephew, Muhammad.  First, Abu Talib used to take special care of young Muhammad until he grew up.  And second Abu Talib always supported Muhammad and protected him when Qureish tried to stop his message and did everything in its power to harm him and his followers, even though he didn’t embrace Islam.

When Prophet Muhammad was around twenty-four years old, Khadeejah Ibn Khuwailid, a rich lady from Qureish who enjoyed both high lineage and social status, heard of Muhammad’s honesty and integrity and decided to send him to Al-Sham on a business journey.  Khadeejah, who was around forty, sent with him her male servant, Mayserah.  They came back with double the profit, and Khadeejah who was a much sought-after rich lady was impressed with him. Her servant Mayserah confirmed her conviction by describing the high noble character of Muhammad.  She then sent to him asking what he thought of marriage, to which Muhammad agreed and both were married.

Muhammd and Khadeejah had six children, 3 sons and 3 daughters (Al-Qasim, Al-Tahir, Al-Tayyeb, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthoom, and Fatimah).  The three sons died at a young age, and all daughters died in their twenties during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, except for Fatimah who died six months after his death.  Khadeejah proved to be the perfect ideal wife, providing moral, emotional, and financial support.  She always stood with her husband, even when his people later opposed and persecuted him.

When Muhammad was forty years old, he saw Angel Gabriel in his original form, filling the horizon with his 600 wings for the first time.  Muhammad was overcome with dread and rushed home asking his wife to wrap him in warm clothes.  After he calmed down, she asked him what happened.  When he told her about the angel, she took him to her cousin, Waraqah Ibn Nofal who had knowledge of the Scriptures. Waraqah Ibn Nofal asked Muhammad to describe what he saw, and when he did, Waraqah told them that was the same angel that came to Prophet Moses, and that Muhammad was the promised next and last Prophet.  Once Khadeejah realized the truth of the Divine message that came to Prophet Muhammad, she was the first one of this nation to embrace Islam after her husband, and the first to encourage and support her husband.

After Prophet Muhammad started receiving the Divine Message from God through Angel Gabriel, the Prophet was instructed to spread the message of Islam among people.  The tribe of Qureish were pagans and used to worship idols of stones, wood and trees that they carved and named.  So when Prophet Muhammad called them to worship One God, they rejected his call.  But little by little, many tribesmen and women started embracing Islam recognizing its true message, and rejected worshipping idols.

But the pagan chiefs of Qureish started a campaign against the Muslims and started persecuting anyone who accepted Islam.  They harmed the Prophet and his followers with every means and at every opportunity.  Finally, they boycotted the Muslims and banned selling or distributing any food to them.  The boycott lasted for three years, and the Muslims didn’t have any food to eat so they started eating tree leaves and grass to stay alive.  At the end of the three years, the boycott was ended, but Abu Talib became sick and died.  Soon after, Khadeejah died too.  Three years later, Prophet Muhammad migrated to Al-Medinah where he enjoyed some level of security and self-sufficiency.

Then God reminds Prophet Muhammad of His favor upon him when He moved him from a state of insecurity to a state of security, from a state of lack of wealth and food to a state of self-sufficiency, and from a state of lack of knowledge to a state of guidance and prophet-hood.

Thus, after learning from these hard experiences, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- was the best of people in moral character, as stated by his followers and foes.  Prophet Muhammad was the most generous of people, the kindest, the most merciful, the most compassionate, the most forbearing, and the most patient of people.

Here are some instances that show Prophet Muhammad’s Generosity:

1)

 ‏    عَن ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رضي اللَّه عنهما ‏قَالَ: ( كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ ‏جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ الْقُرْآنَ، فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدُ بِالْخَيْرِ مِنْ الرِّيحِ الْمُرْسَلَةِ). ‏رواه البخاري.  ‏

Narrated Ibn Abbas -may God be pleased with them- said:Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- was the most generous of all people.  And he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Angel Gabriel met him. Angel Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur’an with him.  The Messenger of God then used to be more generous than the fast wind.”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

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 2)

    عن أَنسٍ رضي اللَّه عنه قال: ( ما سُئِلَ رسُولُ اللَّه صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم عَلَى الإِسْلامِ شَيئاً إِلا أَعْطاه، وَلَقَدَ جَاءَه رَجُلٌ فَأَعطَاه غَنَماً بَينَ جَبَلَينِ، فَرَجَعَ إِلى قَومِهِ فَقَالَ: يَا قَوْمِ أَسْلِمُوا فَإِنَّ محمَّداً يُعْطِي عَطَاءَ مَنْ لا يَخْشَى الفَقْرَ.  وَإِنْ كَانَ الرَّجُلُ لَيُسْلِمُ مَا يُرِيدُ إِلاَّ الدُّنْيَا، فَمَا يَلْبَثُ إِلاَّ يَسِيراً حَتَّى يَكُونَ الإِسْلامُ أَحَبَّ إِلَيه منَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا عَلَيْهَا) .  رواه مسلم. ـ

   Narrated Anas -may God be pleased with him- said: “The Messenger of God, Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, never withheld anything he was asked for the sake of Islam.

And there came to him a man, so Prophet Muhammad gave him a large flock (of sheep and goats) spread between two mountains.  The man went back to his people and said: ‘O My people, embrace Islam, for Muhammad gives so much charity as if he has no fear of want.’  Indeed, the man would embrace Islam for the sake of worldly possession, but soon afterwards Islam would become dearer to him than the world and everything on it.”  Related by Imam Muslim.

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 3)

  عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضى الله عنه قَالَ: ( دَخَلْتُ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَوَجَدَ لَبَنًا فِي قَدَحٍ فَقَالَ: «‏‏ أَبَا هِرٍّ، الْحَقْ أَهْلَ الصُّفَّةِ فَادْعُهُمْ إِلَىَّ‏»، قَالَ فَأَتَيْتُهُمْ فَدَعَوْتُهُمْ، فَأَقْبَلُوا فَاسْتَأْذَنُوا فَأُذِنَ لَهُمْ، فَدَخَلُوا‏).  ‏رواه البخاري. ـ

   Narrated Abu Huraira -may God be pleased with him- said:I entered (the house) along with Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him. There he found milk in a basin. He said: ‘O Abu Hirr, go and call the people of Suffa to me.’  I went to them and invited them. They came and asked permission to enter, and when it was given, they entered.”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

Thus,  as soon as the Prophet found any food and drink, he would share it with the poor and needy.  He would share even the little he had with the poor, and God would bless it and make it enough for all.

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 4)

       وعن سهل بن سعد رضي الله عنه: ( أن امرأة جاءت إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ببردة منسوجة فقالت‏:‏ نسجتها لأكسوكها، فأخذها النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم محتاجاً إليها، فخرج إلينا وإنها إزاره، فقال فلان: اكسونيها ما أحسنها‏!‏ فقال‏:‏ «‏ نعم»، فجلس النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فى المجلس ثم رجع فطواها ثم أرسل به إليه‏، فقال له القوم‏:‏ ما أحسنتَ‏، لبسها النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم محتاجاً إليها ثم سألته وعلمت أنه لا يرد سائلاً، فقال‏:‏ إنى والله ما سألته لألبسها وإنما سألته لتكون كفني، قال سهل‏:‏ فكانت كفنه)‏.‏  ‏رواه البخاري. ـ

 Narrated Sahl bin Sa’d -May God be pleased with him- said: “A woman brought a woven piece of cloth to the Messenger of God, Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, and said to him: ‘I have woven this sheet with my own hands for you to wear.’  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- accepted it as he was in need of it.  He later came out wearing it as a lower garment. Someone said: ‘How nice it is! Kindly give it to me.’ The Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him-said: ‘Very well.’  He remained in our company for some time, then he went back, folded it and sent it to the man.

The people said (to that man): ‘You did not do well. Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- wore it and he was in need of it, and you asked him for it when you are well aware that he never refuses a request.”  The man said: ‘I swear by God that I did not ask it for wearing, but I asked him for it so that it might be my shroud after my death.’  Sahl (the narrator of this Hadith) said: And in fact it was used as his shroud.”  Related by Al-Bukhari.
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 5)

 عَنْ أَنَسٍ رضى الله عنه قَالَ: ( أُتِيَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِمَالٍ مِنَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ فَقَالَ: «‏‏ انْثُرُوهُ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ»،‏ وَكَانَ أَكْثَرَ مَالٍ أُتِيَ بِهِ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَخَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى الصَّلاَةِ، وَلَمْ يَلْتَفِتْ إِلَيْهِ، فَلَمَّا قَضَى الصَّلاَةَ جَاءَ فَجَلَسَ إِلَيْهِ، فَمَا كَانَ يَرَى أَحَدًا إِلاَّ أَعْطَاهُ. ـ

فَمَا قَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَثَمَّ مِنْهَا دِرْهَمٌ)‏.  ‏رواه البخاري. ـ

          Narrated Anas -may God be pleased with him- said: “Some goods came to the Messenger of God, Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, from Bahrain.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- ordered the people to spread them in the mosque, and it was the biggest amount of goods the Messenger of God had ever received.  Prophet Muhammad left for prayer and did not even look at it. After finishing the prayer, he sat by those goods and gave from those to everybody he saw.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- did not get up till the last coin was distributed.” Related by Al-Bukhari.

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 6)

     ذكر علي بن برهان الدين الحلبي في سيرته عن غزوة حنين: ( وعند وصوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم- إلى الجعرانة أحصي السبي فكان ستة آلاف رأس، والإبل أربعة وعشرين ألفا، والغنم أكثر من أربعين ألفا، وأربعة آلاف أوقية فضة. ـ

فأعطى للمؤلفة، أي من أسلم من أهل مكة، فكان أولهم أبا سفيان بن حرب رضي الله عنه أعطاه أربعين أوقية ومائة من الإبل، وقال: ابني يزيد، ويقال له يزيد الخير فأعطاه كذلك، وقال: ابني معاوية فأعطاه كذلك، فأخذ أبو سفيان رضي الله عنه ثلاثمائة من الإبل ومائة وعشرين أوقية من الفضة. وقال: بأبي أنا وأمي يا رسول الله، لأنت كريم في الحرب وفي السلم، أي وفي لفظ: لقد حاربتك فنعم المحارب كنت، وقد سالمتك فنعم المسالم أنت، هذا غاية الكرم جزاك الله خيرا. ـ

وأعطى حكيم بن حزام رضي الله عنه مائة من الإبل ثم سأله مائة أخرى، فأعطاه إياها، أي وفي الامتاع: وسأله حكيم بن حزام مائة من الإبل فأعطاه، ثم سأله مائة فأعطاه ثم سأله مائة فأعطاه، وقال له: «يا حكيم هذا المال خضر حلو من أخذه بسخاوة نفس بورك له فيه، ومن أخذه باشراف نفس لم يبارك له فيه، وكان كالذي يأكل ولا يشبع، واليد العليا خير من اليد السفلى» فأخذ حكيم المائة الأولى وترك ما عداها، أي وقال: يا رسول الله والذي بعثك بالحق نبيا لا أرزأ أحد بعدك شيئا حتى أفارق الدنيا.  وأعطى الأقرع بن حابس مائة من الإبل. وأعطى عيينة مثله). السيرة الحلبية. ـ

           Ali Ibn Burhanuddin Al-Halabi describes the Battle of Hunayn in his book:When Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- reached a place called Al-Ju’ranah (after the battle), the war booty was counted and it consisted of 6000 captives, 24,000 camels, more than 40,000 sheep and 4000 ounces of silver.

Prophet Muhammad distributed his share among the new Muslims of Makkah.  The first one to receive his gift was Abu Sufyan Ibn Herb, the leader of the tribe of Qureish; Prophet Muhammad gave him 40 ounces of silver and 100 camels.  Abu Sufyan said: ‘What about my son, Yazeed (also called Yazeed Al-Kheir)?’  So Prophet Muhammad gave him another 40 ounces of silver and 100 camels.  Abu Sufyan again asked: ‘What about my youngest son, Mu’awiyah?’  So Prophet Muhammad gave him another 40 ounces of silver and 100 camels.  In total, Abu Sufyan was given 300 camels and 120 ounces of silver.  On receiving that gift, Abu Sufyan exclaimed: ‘May my parents be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of God!  Indeed, you have been generous both during war and peace.’ 

And in another narration, Abu Sufyan said: ‘Indeed, I have fought you and found you a noble warrior, and I have made peace with you and found you a noble peacemaker. This is indeed the utmost of generosity, may God reward you.’

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then gave Hakeem Ibn Hizam 100 camels.  Hakeem asked for more, so the Prophet added another 100 camels.

And it is related in the book of Al-Imta’ that Hakeem Ibn Hizam asked Prophet Muhammad for 100 camels, so the Prophet gave it to him.  Hakeem asked him for another 100 camels, so the Prophet gave it him.  Then Hakeem asked him for a third 100 camels, and the Prophet gave it to him and then said: ‘O Hakeem, this wealth is pleasant and sweet. Whoever takes it without being greedy, he will be blessed in it; but whoever takes it with avarice and greed, he will not be blessed in it. Then he is like one who goes on eating but his hunger is not satisfied. And the upper hand is better than the lower hand.’  So Hakeem only took the first 100 camels and left the rest, and said: ‘O Messenger of God, by the One Who sent you with the Truth (God), I shall never accept anything from anybody after you till I leave this world.’ [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- then gave Al-Aqra’ Ibn Habis 100 camels, and gave ‘Uyeinah Ibn Husein another 100 camels.”  Thus related in the book Al-Seerah Al-Halabiyah.

 

 After the Conquest of Makkah, the pagans of the city of Ta’if (the tribes of Hawazin, Thaqeef, Banu Sa’d and Banu Jashm) decided to attack the Muslims in Makkah.  They appointed the chief of the tribe of Hawazin, Malik Ibn Awf, as their leader.  Prophet Muhammad heard about their advancing troops and left the city of Makkah to meet them. The two armies met at the Valley of Hunayn (south east of Makkah) and engaged in a fierce battle.  The Muslims were ambushed at first and met with an onslaught of arrows and stones, which made many run for their lives.  But the Prophet stood firm and little by little, people gathered around him and finally the Muslims were victorious.

The leader of the opposition, Malik Ibn Awf, had ordered his people to bring all their cattle and family members to the battlefield as a boost to their morale.  But when they were defeated, the Muslims captured all of that as war booty.  By the end of the battle, the Muslims had captured 6000 captives, 24,000 camels, 40,000 sheep and 4000 ounces of silver.  One fifth of that belonged to the Prophet, and the rest was to be distributed on those who participated.

The generosity of Prophet Muhammad appears in the fact that he gave away all of his share and kept nothing to himself.  His share was hundreds of cattle heads, and had he cared for worldly possessions and wealth he would have kept some of the war booty.  But Prophet Muhammad generously distributed all of his own share among the new Muslims and gave freely until they accepted Islam sincerely, marveling at his unique generosity.  As one leader of Qureish put it, that kind of generosity only indicated a true Prophet of God:

    روى الواقدي في مغازيه: ( ويقال إن صفوان طاف مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، والنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يتصفح الغنائم إذ مر بشعب مما أفاء الله عليه، وفيه غنم وإبل ورعاؤها مملوء فأعجب صفوان، وجعل ينظر إليه فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: أعجبك يا أبا وهب هذا الشعب؟ قال: نعم، قال: هو لك وما فيه. فقال صفوان: أشهد ما طابت بهذا نفس أحد قط إلا نبي وأشهد أنك رسول الله). ـ

         Al-Waqidi mentioned in the Book of Battles: “It is related that Safwan Ibn Umayyah accompanied Prophet Muhammad while he was inspecting the war booty.  They came across a mountain pass, that was in the Prophet’s share, filled with camels and sheep and their shepherds. Safwan stared at it, admiring what he saw.  Prophet Muhammad asked him: ‘Do you like this mountain pass, O Aba Wahb?’  He replied: ‘Yes.’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Then it is and whatever in it is yours.’  Safwan said: ‘I bear witness that none whosoever can give this much except a true a prophet, and I bear witness that you are the true Messenger of God.’”

           Not only that, but after the booty was distributed, a group of the tribe of Hawazin embraced Islam and came to ask the Prophet to release the 6000 captives.  A wet nurse from this tribe (Haleemah Al-Sa’diyyah) had nursed Prophet Muhammad when he was young, so the tribe appealed to the Prophet’s compassion and to this foster relationship.  Again, Prophet Muhammad showed his great generosity and compassion and released all 6000 captives.

Finally, the Prophet promised amnesty to the leader of the enemy, Malik Ibn Awf, who had run away and took refuge with the tribe of Thaqeef.  Prophet Muhammad promised him one hundred camels and the return of his family who were captured during the battle.  Malik Ibn Awf embraced Islam and went to the Prophet.  Prophet Muhammad forgave him all, returned his family to him, gave him the hundred camels and re-appointed him leader of his tribe.

 

Thus, these incidents truly depict Prophet Muhammad’s great generosity, kindness and compassion.  These true stories show the highest level of altruism and sacrifice, of generosity and magnanimity where Prophet Muhammad gave preference to other people over himself, even when he was in need.  These episodes show how the Prophet of God was devoid of greed and selfishness, but instead cared about his people and their well-being.  God the Almighty knew that of him and thus praised Prophet Muhammad in Qur’an with the best description:

   قال الله عز وجل: { لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ} التوبة 128. ـ

    God the Exalted says: {Verily, there has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves (Muhammad). It grieves him what you suffer.  He is concerned over you, and to the believers he is kind and merciful} (Surah 9, verse 128).

 

        Then, we should take the Messenger of God as an ideal to emulate, and an example to follow.  Indeed, his morals and manners were of the highest level, and shown equally to all, that both friends and foes were amazed by it.  The Muslim should strive to have a semblance of that morality and should endeavor to treat others with a like attitude and manner.  The Muslim should be distinguished with the highest level of generosity, kindness, mercy, compassion, and other morals.  The reward of these acts of generosity and kindness will be tended not only in this world with peace and blessings, but also on the Day of Judgment by the Most Merciful God, and their reward will be the highest levels in Paradise.  And God knows best.

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Faithful Women (Umm Habibah and Abraha)

    عن أم المؤمنين أمِّ حَبِيبَةَ رضي الله عنها، قالت: ( رأيتُ في المنام كأنَّ آتيا يقول لي: يا أم المؤمنين، ففزعتُ وأولتها أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يتزوجني.

 قالت: فما هو إلا أن انْقَضَتْ عِدَّتِي، فما شَعَرْتُ إلا برسول النجاشي على بابي يستأذن، فإذا جارية له يقال لها: أَبْرَهَةَ كَانَتْ تَقُومُ عَلَى ثِيَابِهِ وَدَهْنِهِ، فدخلت علي فقالت: إن الملك يقول لك: إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم كتب إلي أن أزوجك، فقلت: بشرك الله بخير، وقالت: يقول لك الملك: وَكِّلِي مَنْ يُزَوِّجُكِ. فأرسلَتْ إلى خالدِ بن سعيد بن العاص فَوَكَّلَتْهُ، وَأَعْطَتْ أَبْرَهَةَ سوارين من فضة وخَدَمَتَيْنِ كانتا في رجليها وخواتيم فضة كانت في أصابع رجليها سرورا بما بشرتها به.

  فلما كان العشي أمر النجاشيُّ جعفرَ بن أبي طالب ومن هناك من المسلمين فحضروا فخطب النجاشي، فقال: الحمد لله الملك القدوس السلام المؤمن المهيمن العزيز الجبار، الحمد لله حق حمده، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا عبده ورسوله، وأنه الذي بشر به عيسى ابن مريم عليه الصلاة والسلام، أما بعد: فإن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم كتب إلي أن أزوجه أم حبيبة بنت سفيان، فأجبتُ إلى ما دعا إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وقد أصدقتها أربعمائة دينار، ثم سكب الدنانير بين يدي القوم، فتكلم خالد بن سعيد فقال: الحمد لله أحمده وأستعينه وأستنصره، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أن محمدا عبده ورسوله، { أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ}، أما بعد: فقد أجبتُ إلى ما دعا إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وَزَوَّجْتُهُ أُمَّ حَبِيبَةَ بِنْتَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ فبارك الله لرسوله، ودفع الدنانير إلى خالد بن سعيد فقبضها، ثم أرادوا أن يقوموا، فقال: اجلسوا فإن سنة الأنبياء عليهم الصلاة والسلام إذا تزوجوا أن يؤكل الطعام على التزويج، فدعا بطعام فأكلوا، ثم تفرقوا.

  قالت أم حبيبة: فلما وصل إلي المال، أرسلت إلى أبرهة التي بشرتني، فقلت لها: إني كنت أعطيتك ما أعطيتك يومئذ ولا مال بيدي وهذه خمسون مثقالا فخذيها فاستعيني بها، فَأَخْرَجَتْ إِلَيَّ حِقَّةً فيها جميع ما أعطيتها فردته إلي، وقالت: عزم علي الملك أن لا أرزأك شيئا وأنا التي أقوم على ثيابه ودهنه، وقد اتبعت دين رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وأسلمتُ لله، وقد أمر الملك نساءه أن يبعثن إليك بكل ما عندهن من العطر. فلما كَانَ الْغَدُ جَاءَتْنِي بِعُودٍ وَوَرْسٍ وَعَنْبَرٍ وزَبَادٍ كَثِيرٍ، وَقَدِمْتُ بذلك كله على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وكان يراه علي وعندي فلا ينكر.
ثم قالت أبرهة: فَحَاجَتِي إِلَيْكِ أن تُقْرِئِي رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم مني السلامَ وَتُعْلِمِيهِ أَنِّي قَدِ اتَّبَعْتُ دِينَهُ، قالت: ثم لَطَفَتْ بي وكانت هي التي جهزتني، وكانت كلما دخلت علي تقول: لا تنسي حاجتي إليك، قالت: فلما قدمنا على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم أخبرته كيف كانت ا الْخِطْبَةُ وما فعلت بي أبرهة، فَتَبَسَّمَ رَسُولُ الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم، وأقرأته منها السلام، فقال: “وَعَلَيْهَا السَّلَامُ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ”).  رواه الحاكم.

  English Translation:

Narrated Umm Hebeebeh -may God be pleased with her- said: “I once saw in a dream as if someone came to me and said: ‘O Mother of the Believers’.  I was frightened and interpreted the dream as Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- would marry me [in Qur’an, God called the wives of the Prophet as Mothers of the Believers].’

And indeed, as soon as I finished my widowhood waiting period (Iddeh), a messenger from the Al-Nejashi (Negus or King of Ethiopia) came to me asking permission to enter.  She was a female servant by the name of Abreheh who used to take care of the King’s clothes and perfume.  Abreheh came in and said: ‘The king says to you: `Appoint someone as your representative in marriage.`’  So I sent for Khalid Ibn Sa’eed Ibn Al-Aas and requested him to be my representative in marriage.  I gave Abreheh two bracelets of silver, as well as two bangles and silver rings that were around my feet, out of happiness and as a reward for her for bearing the good news.

When it was evening, Al-Nejashi (Negus or King of Ethiopia) invited Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib (the Prophet’s cousin) and all the Muslims present.  Al-Nejashi then delivered a speech and performed the marriage ceremony.  Al-Nejashi said:

‘All praise be to God, the King, the Holy, the Peace and Perfection, the Bestower of Faith and security, the Guardian, the Exalted in Might, and the Compeller.  All Praise be to God as worthy of Him.  I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except God, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger whom Jesus son of Marry peace be upon him foretold about.  Then, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- has sent a message to me requesting the hand of Umm Habeebah in marriage. So I am fulfilling the request of the Prophet, and I am giving her four hundred deenar (gold coins) as bridal money on behalf of the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him.’  Al-Nejashi then poured the money in front of the gathering.

Then Khalid Ibn Sa’eed spoke and said: ‘All praise be to God, I praise Him, seek His help and assistance. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except God, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.  God says: { It is He (God) Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the polytheists may hate it} (Surah 9, verse 33).  Then, I am fulfilling the request of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, and have accepted his marriage proposal for Umm Habeebah on her behalf, so may God bless Prophet Muhammad in it.’  Al-Nejashi then gave the money to Khalid Ibn Sa’eed and he accepted it.  When the gathering wanted to disperse, Al-Nejashi said: ‘Sit down for it is the habit of prophets -peace be upn them- to throw a banquet after marriage.’  He then called for food and they ate, and then left.

When the money was given to me, I called for Abreheh who gave me the good news.  I said to her: ‘I had given you what I had for I did not have money with me at the time, so take this amount of fifty Deenar and use it for your needs.’  She took out a pouch that had everything I had given her and said: ‘The king has resolved that I should not take anything away from you, and I am the one who takes care of his clothes and perfume.  Indeed, I have followed the religion of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him and his family- and embraced Islam for the sake of God.  The king has asked all of his womenfolk to send what they have of perfume to you.’

On the following day, Abreheh came to me with lots of aloes, wers (plant with red dye), ambergris, and musk.  I brought all of them with me when I went to the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him, and he used to see it with me and never disapproved of it.

Abreheh then said: ‘My request to you is that you convey my salaam to Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- and inform him that I have followed his religion (Islam).’  She then took care of me and made me ready for the marriage ceremony.  Every time she visited me afterwards, she would remind me and say: ‘Do not forget my request.’  When we went home and I met Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, I told him about the marriage ceremony and about Ahreheh’s nice treatment, so he smiled.  I then conveyed her salaam to him, and he said: ‘And peace, the mercy and blessings of God be on her.’ ”  Related by Al-Hakim.

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The True Messenger

 

    عن أَنَسٍ رضي الله عنه قَالَ: ( بَلَغَ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ سَلاَمٍ مَقْدَمُ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ فَأَتَاهُ، فَقَالَ: إِنِّي سَائِلُكَ عَنْ ثَلاَثٍ لاَ يَعْلَمُهُنَّ إِلاَّ نَبِيٌّ، ‏‏قَالَ مَا‏ أَوَّلُ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ؟ وَمَا أَوَّلُ طَعَامٍ يَأْكُلُهُ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ؟ وَمِنْ أَىِّ شَىْءٍ يَنْزِعُ الْوَلَدُ إِلَى أَبِيهِ وَمِنْ أَىِّ شَىْءٍ يَنْزِعُ إِلَى أَخْوَالِهِ؟ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: ‏«‏ خَبَّرَنِي بِهِنَّ آنِفًا جِبْرِيلُ‏‏».‏ قَالَ فَقَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ: ذَاكَ عَدُوُّ الْيَهُودِ مِنَ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم: «‏ أَمَّا أَوَّلُ أَشْرَاطِ السَّاعَةِ: فَنَارٌ تَحْشُرُ النَّاسَ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ إِلَى الْمَغْرِبِ‏.‏ وَأَمَّا أَوَّلُ طَعَامٍ يَأْكُلُهُ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ: فَزِيَادَةُ كَبِدِ حُوتٍ‏.‏ وَأَمَّا الشَّبَهُ فِي الْوَلَدِ: فَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ إِذَا غَشِيَ الْمَرْأَةَ فَسَبَقَهَا مَاؤُهُ كَانَ الشَّبَهُ لَهُ، وَإِذَا سَبَقَ مَاؤُهَا كَانَ الشَّبَهُ لَهَا»‏‏.‏ قَالَ: أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ‏). رواه البخاري.

   Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may Allah be pleased with him- said: “When Abdul-Allah Ibn Salam [A great Rabbi at the time of Prophet Muhammad] heard the arrival of Prophet Muhammad at Al-Medina, he went to him and said:

I am going to ask you about three matters which nobody knows except a true prophet:

  1. What is the first sign of the Hour (Last Day)?
  2. What will be the first meal taken by the people of Paradise?
  3. Why does a child resemble its father, and why does it resemble its maternal uncle?’

Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Angel Gabriel has told me of their answers earlier.’  Abdul-Allah Ibn Salam said: ‘He (i.e. Gabriel), amongst all the angels, is the enemy of the Jews.’

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him-said: ‘

  1. ‘The first sign of the Hour will be a fire that will drive people from the east to the west.
  2. The first meal of the people of Paradise will be the Extra-lobe (caudate lobe) of fish-liver.
  3. As for the resemblance of the child to its parents: If a man has sexual intercourse with his wife and gets discharge first, the child will resemble the father, and if the woman gets discharge first, the child will resemble her.’

 Upon hearing that, Abdul-Allah Ibn Salam said: ‘I testify that you are the true Messenger of Allah.’”

Related by Al-Bukhari with authentic narration.

Prophet Muhammad’s Letter to the Roman Emperor, Heraclius

   عن ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو سُفْيَانَ، مِنْ فِيهِ إِلَى فِيَّ قَالَ: ( انْطَلَقْتُ فِي الْمُدَّةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ قَالَ ـ فَبَيْنَا أَنَا بِالشَّأْمِ إِذْ جِيءَ بِكِتَابٍ مِنَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِلَى هِرَقْلَ قَالَ وَكَانَ دِحْيَةُ الْكَلْبِيُّ جَاءَ بِهِ فَدَفَعَهُ إِلَى عَظِيمِ بُصْرَى، فَدَفَعَهُ عَظِيمُ بُصْرَى إِلَى ـ هِرَقْلَ ـ قَالَ فَقَالَ هِرَقْلُ هَلْ هَا هُنَا أَحَدٌ مِنْ قَوْمِ هَذَا الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ فَقَالُوا نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَ فَدُعِيتُ فِي نَفَرٍ مِنْ قُرَيْشٍ فَدَخَلْنَا عَلَى هِرَقْلَ، فَأُجْلِسْنَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ.

 فَقَالَ أَيُّكُمْ أَقْرَبُ نَسَبًا مِنْ هَذَا الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ فَقَالَ أَبُو سُفْيَانَ فَقُلْتُ أَنَا‏.‏ فَأَجْلَسُونِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ، وَأَجْلَسُوا أَصْحَابِي خَلْفِي، ثُمَّ دَعَا بِتُرْجُمَانِهِ فَقَالَ قُلْ لَهُمْ إِنِّي سَائِلٌ هَذَا عَنْ هَذَا الرَّجُلِ الَّذِي يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ، فَإِنْ كَذَبَنِي فَكَذِّبُوهُ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو سُفْيَانَ وَايْمُ اللَّهِ، لَوْلاَ أَنْ يُؤْثِرُوا عَلَىَّ الْكَذِبَ لَكَذَبْتُ‏.‏

  ثُمَّ قَالَ لِتُرْجُمَانِهِ سَلْهُ كَيْفَ حَسَبُهُ فِيكُمْ قَالَ قُلْتُ هُوَ فِينَا ذُو حَسَبٍ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مَلِكٌ قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ كُنْتُمْ تَتَّهِمُونَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ مَا قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ أَيَتَّبِعُهُ أَشْرَافُ النَّاسِ أَمْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ قَالَ قُلْتُ بَلْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ‏.‏ قَالَ يَزِيدُونَ أَوْ يَنْقُصُونَ قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ بَلْ يَزِيدُونَ‏.‏ قَالَ هَلْ يَرْتَدُّ أَحَدٌ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ، بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِيهِ، سَخْطَةً لَهُ قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ قَاتَلْتُمُوهُ قَالَ قُلْتُ نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ قِتَالُكُمْ إِيَّاهُ قَالَ قُلْتُ تَكُونُ الْحَرْبُ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُ سِجَالاً، يُصِيبُ مِنَّا وَنُصِيبُ مِنْهُ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ يَغْدِرُ قَالَ قُلْتُ لاَ وَنَحْنُ مِنْهُ فِي هَذِهِ الْمُدَّةِ لاَ نَدْرِي مَا هُوَ صَانِعٌ فِيهَا‏.‏ قَالَ وَاللَّهِ مَا أَمْكَنَنِي مِنْ كَلِمَةٍ أُدْخِلُ فِيهَا شَيْئًا غَيْرَ هَذِهِ‏.‏ قَالَ فَهَلْ قَالَ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ أَحَدٌ قَبْلَهُ قُلْتُ لاَ‏.

‏ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِتُرْجُمَانِهِ قُلْ لَهُ إِنِّي سَأَلْتُكَ عَنْ حَسَبِهِ فِيكُمْ، فَزَعَمْتَ أَنَّهُ فِيكُمْ ذُو حَسَبٍ، وَكَذَلِكَ الرُّسُلُ تُبْعَثُ فِي أَحْسَابِ قَوْمِهَا، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ كَانَ فِي آبَائِهِ مَلِكٌ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ فَقُلْتُ لَوْ كَانَ مِنْ آبَائِهِ مَلِكٌ قُلْتُ رَجُلٌ يَطْلُبُ مُلْكَ آبَائِهِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ عَنْ أَتْبَاعِهِ أَضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ أَمْ أَشْرَافُهُمْ فَقُلْتَ بَلْ ضُعَفَاؤُهُمْ، وَهُمْ أَتْبَاعُ الرُّسُلِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ كُنْتُمْ تَتَّهِمُونَهُ بِالْكَذِبِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُولَ مَا قَالَ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ، فَعَرَفْتُ أَنَّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَدَعَ الْكَذِبَ عَلَى النَّاسِ ثُمَّ يَذْهَبَ فَيَكْذِبَ عَلَى اللَّهِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَرْتَدُّ أَحَدٌ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ بَعْدَ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ فِيهِ سَخْطَةً لَهُ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ، وَكَذَلِكَ الإِيمَانُ إِذَا خَالَطَ بَشَاشَةَ الْقُلُوبِ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَزِيدُونَ أَمْ يَنْقُصُونَ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنَّهُمْ يَزِيدُونَ، وَكَذَلِكَ الإِيمَانُ حَتَّى يَتِمَّ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ قَاتَلْتُمُوهُ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنَّكُمْ قَاتَلْتُمُوهُ فَتَكُونُ الْحَرْبُ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُ سِجَالاً، يَنَالُ مِنْكُمْ وَتَنَالُونَ مِنْهُ، وَكَذَلِكَ الرُّسُلُ تُبْتَلَى، ثُمَّ تَكُونُ لَهُمُ الْعَاقِبَةُ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ يَغْدِرُ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنَّهُ لاَ يَغْدِرُ، وَكَذَلِكَ الرُّسُلُ لاَ تَغْدِرُ، وَسَأَلْتُكَ هَلْ قَالَ أَحَدٌ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ قَبْلَهُ فَزَعَمْتَ أَنْ لاَ، فَقُلْتُ لَوْ كَانَ قَالَ هَذَا الْقَوْلَ أَحَدٌ قَبْلَهُ قُلْتُ رَجُلٌ ائْتَمَّ بِقَوْلٍ قِيلَ قَبْلَهُ‏.

‏ قَالَ ثُمَّ قَالَ بِمَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ قَالَ قُلْتُ يَأْمُرُنَا بِالصَّلاَةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَالصِّلَةِ وَالْعَفَافِ‏.‏ قَالَ إِنْ يَكُ مَا تَقُولُ فِيهِ حَقًّا فَإِنَّهُ نَبِيٌّ، وَقَدْ كُنْتُ أَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ خَارِجٌ، وَلَمْ أَكُ أَظُنُّهُ مِنْكُمْ، وَلَوْ أَنِّي أَعْلَمُ أَنِّي أَخْلُصُ إِلَيْهِ لأَحْبَبْتُ لِقَاءَهُ، وَلَوْ كُنْتُ عِنْدَهُ لَغَسَلْتُ عَنْ قَدَمَيْهِ، وَلَيَبْلُغَنَّ مُلْكُهُ مَا تَحْتَ قَدَمَىَّ‏.‏

 قَالَ ثُمَّ دَعَا بِكِتَابِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَرَأَهُ، فَإِذَا فِيهِ ‏”‏ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ، إِلَى هِرَقْلَ عَظِيمِ الرُّومِ، سَلاَمٌ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَى، أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنِّي أَدْعُوكَ بِدِعَايَةِ الإِسْلاَمِ، أَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ، وَأَسْلِمْ يُؤْتِكَ اللَّهُ أَجْرَكَ مَرَّتَيْنِ، فَإِنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ فَإِنَّ عَلَيْكَ إِثْمَ الأَرِيسِيِّينَ، وَ‏{‏يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ تَعَالَوْا إِلَى كَلِمَةٍ سَوَاءٍ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمْ أَنْ لاَ نَعْبُدَ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ‏}‏ إِلَى قَوْلِهِ ‏{‏اشْهَدُوا بِأَنَّا مُسْلِمُونَ}‏‏”‏‏.‏ فَلَمَّا فَرَغَ مِنْ قِرَاءَةِ الْكِتَابِ ارْتَفَعَتِ الأَصْوَاتُ عِنْدَهُ، وَكَثُرَ اللَّغَطُ، وَأُمِرَ بِنَا فَأُخْرِجْنَا قَالَ فَقُلْتُ لأَصْحَابِي حِينَ خَرَجْنَا لَقَدْ أَمِرَ أَمْرُ ابْنِ أَبِي كَبْشَةَ، أَنَّهُ لَيَخَافُهُ مَلِكُ بَنِي الأَصْفَرِ فَمَا زِلْتُ مُوقِنًا بِأَمْرِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ سَيَظْهَرُ حَتَّى أَدْخَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَىَّ الإِسْلاَمَ‏.

قَالَ الزُّهْرِيُّ فَدَعَا هِرَقْلُ عُظَمَاءَ الرُّومِ فَجَمَعَهُمْ فِي دَارٍ لَهُ فَقَالَ يَا مَعْشَرَ الرُّومِ، هَلْ لَكُمْ فِي الْفَلاَحِ وَالرَّشَدِ آخِرَ الأَبَدِ، وَأَنْ يَثْبُتَ لَكُمْ مُلْكُكُمْ قَالَ فَحَاصُوا حَيْصَةَ حُمُرِ الْوَحْشِ إِلَى الأَبْوَابِ، فَوَجَدُوهَا قَدْ غُلِقَتْ، فَقَالَ عَلَىَّ بِهِمْ‏.‏ فَدَعَا بِهِمْ فَقَالَ إِنِّي إِنَّمَا اخْتَبَرْتُ شِدَّتَكُمْ عَلَى دِينِكُمْ، فَقَدْ رَأَيْتُ مِنْكُمُ الَّذِي أَحْبَبْتُ‏.‏ فَسَجَدُوا لَهُ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ)‏.  رواه البخاري.

   Narrated Ibn Abbas -may Allah be pleased with them- said (English translation): “

Abu Sufyan narrated to me personally, saying: “I set out during the Truce that had been concluded between me and Prophet Muhammad.  While I was in Al-Sham (Levant), a letter sent by the Prophet (ﷺ) was brought to Heraclius.  Dihya Al-Kalbi had brought and given it to the governor of Busra, and the latter forwarded it to Heraclius.  Heraclius said: ‘Can you find anyone from the tribe of this man who claims to be a prophet?’ The people replied: ‘Yes.’

So I along with some men from of the tribe of Qureish were called, and we went to see Heraclius.  We went, and we were asked to sit in front of him.

Heraclius said: ‘Who amongst you is the nearest relative to the man who claims to be a prophet?’   I replied that I was [Abu Sufyan was the leader of Qureish and was the cousin of Prophet Muhammad].  So they made me sit in front of him and made my companions sit behind me. Then he called upon his translator and said (to him): ‘Tell them ( i.e. Abu Sufyan’s companions) that I am going to ask him (i.e. Abu Sufyan) regarding that man who claims to be a prophet. So, if he tells me a lie, they should contradict him.’  By Allah, had I not been afraid that my companions would consider me a liar, I would have told lies.

Heraclius then said to his translator: ‘Ask him: What is his (i.e. the Prophet’s) family status amongst you?’  I replied: ‘He belongs to a noble family amongst us.’  Heraclius said: ‘Was any of his ancestors a king?’  I replied: ‘No.’  He said: ‘Did you ever accuse him of telling lies before his saying what he has said?’  I replied: ‘No.’  He said: ‘Do the nobles follow him or the poor people?’  I replied: ‘It is the poor who followed him.’  He asked: ‘Is the number of his follower increasing or decreasing?’  I replied: ‘They are increasing.’  He asked: ‘Does anyone renounce his religion (i.e. Islam) after embracing it, being displeased with it?’  I replied: ‘No.’   He asked: ‘Did you fight him?’  I replied: ‘Yes.’  He asked: ‘How was your fighting with him?’  I replied: ‘The fighting between us was undecided and victory was shared by him and us by turns, sometimes he wins and sometimes we win.’   He asked: ‘Did he ever betray?’  I replied: ‘No, and now we are away from him in this truce and we do not know what he will do in it.   Abu Sufyan added: ‘By Allah, I was not able to insert in my speech a word (against him) except that.’ Heraclius asked: ‘Did anybody else (amongst you) ever claimed the same (i.e. Islam) before him?’  I replied: ‘No.

                   Then Heraclius told his translator to tell me (i.e. Abu Sufyan): ‘I asked you about his family status amongst you, and you told me that he comes from a noble family amongst you.  Verily, all Apostles come from the noblest family among their people.  Then I asked you whether any of his ancestors was a king, and you denied that.  Thereupon I thought that had one of his forefathers been a king, I would have said that he (i.e. Muhammad) was seeking to rule the kingdom of his forefathers.  Then I asked you regarding his followers, whether they were the noble or the poor among the people, and you said that they were only the poor (who follow him).  In fact, such are the followers of the Apostles.  Then I asked you whether you have ever accused him of telling lies before saying what he said, and your reply was in the negative.  Therefore, I knew that a man who did not tell a lie to people, could never tell a lie about God.  Then I asked you whether anyone of his followers had renounced his religion (i.e. Islam) after embracing it, being displeased with it, and you denied that.  And such is Faith when it mixes with the cheerfulness of the hearts.  Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing.  You claimed that they were increasing.  That is the way of true faith till it is complete.  Then I asked you whether you had ever fought him, and you claimed that you had fought him and the battle between you and him was undecided and the victory was shared by you and him in turns; sometimes he wins and sometimes you do.  Such is the case with true Messengers; they are tested but the final victory is for them.  Then I asked you whether he had ever betrayed; you claimed that he had never betrayed; and indeed true Messengers never betray.  Then I asked you whether anyone had said this statement before him; and you denied that.  Thereupon I thought if somebody had said that statement before him, then I would have said that he was but a man copying some sayings said before him.’

Abu Sufyan said: “Heraclius then asked: ‘What does Muhammad order you to do?’  I replied: ‘’He orders us to pray to God, to pay charity, to keep good relationship with the Kith and kin, and to be chaste.’  Heraclius said: ‘If whatever you have said is true, then he is a true Prophet.  I have known that a true prophet was going to appear, but I never thought that he would be from amongst you.  If I were certain that I can reach him, I would like to meet him and if I were with him, I would wash his feet.  Surely, his kingdom will expand to what is under my feet.’

Then Heraclius asked for the letter of the Messenger of God (Muhammad) and read it wherein was written:

‘In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.  This letter is from Muhammad, Messenger of God, to Heraclius, the sovereign of Byzantine

Peace be upon him who follows the Right Path.  Then, I call you to embrace Islam. Embrace Islam and you will attain salvation, embrace Islam and God will give you a double reward.  But if you reject this message, you will be responsible for the sins of all the people of your kingdom.  God says: {O the people of the Scripture, come to a word common to you and us that we worship None but God, that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides God. Then, if they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims”} (3.64).’

When Heraclius finished reading the letter, people’s voices grew louder near him and there was a great hue and cry, and we were ordered to go out.”  Abu Sufyan added: “While coming out, I said to my companions: “The situation of Ibn Abi Kabsha (i.e. Muhammad) has become strong; even the king of Banu Al- Asfar is afraid of him.”  So I continued to believe that the Messenger of God (Muhammad) would be victorious, till God guided me to embrace Islam.”

Az-Zuhri said: “Heraclius then invited all the chiefs of the Byzantines and had them assembled in his house and said: ‘O group of Byzantines, do you wish to have a permanent success and guidance and that your kingdom should remain with you?’  Upon hearing that invitation, they rushed towards the gate like zebras, but they found them closed.  On seeing their reaction, Heraclius said: ‘Bring them back to me.’  He then addressed them and said: ‘I just wanted to test the strength of your adherence to your religion. Now I have observed of you that which I like.’ Then the people fell in prostration before him and became pleased with him.”  Related by Al-Bukhari with authentic narration.

 

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Prophet Muhammad – Forgiving and Kind

(Keywords: Prophet Muhammad’s forgiveness of Quraish, Prophet’s Muhammad’s forgiveness of his enemies during the Conquest of Makkah, Prophet Muhammad’s mercy and kindness, Prophet’s Muhammad’s high Morals)

 

     قال الله تعالى: { لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ} التوبة 128.

      God -the Exalted- says: { Verily, there has come to you a Messenger (Muhammad) from among yourselves. It grieves him what you suffer.  He is concerned over you, and to the believers he is kind and merciful} (Surah 9, verse 128).

    عن عَائِشَةَ رضى الله عنها أَنَّها قالت: ( مَا انْتَقَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم لِنَفْسِهِ فِي شَىْءٍ قَطُّ، إِلاَّ أَنْ تُنْتَهَكَ حُرْمَةُ اللَّهِ، فَيَنْتَقِمَ بِهَا لِلَّهِ). متفق عليه.‏

            Narrated Aisheh (Wife of the Prophet) -may God be pleased with her- said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- never took revenge over anybody for himself, unless the limits of God were violated then he would serve justice for Allah’s sake.” Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.


 

         Prophet Muhammad urged the Muslims to show forgiveness and kindness to others.  Not only did he express that in words, but he also accompanied it with action.  If we study the biography of Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him, we see instance after instance of forgiveness and largess.

The most clear instance of Prophet Muhammad’s great forgiveness appears in his treatment of the tribe of Qureish after the Conquest of Makkah.

Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- spent thirteen years in Makkah inviting his people to Islam.  During this period, his tribe Qureish not only refused his invitation but persecuted him and his followers.  Qureish used to worship idols, and vehemently rejected the call to worship one God.  They believed in God, but associated other idols in worship as well.  As the Prophet explained his divine message, and as people saw the true divine and noble nature of his message, many people embraced Islam and devoted their worship to one God only.  However, the chiefs and powerful men of Qureish insisted on their belief, and moreover started harming and torturing those who followed Prophet Muhammad, and employed many methods to make them renounce their religion.

In response to this persecution, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- allowed his followers to migrate to Ethiopia first, and to Al-Medina later.  Al-Medinah is located around 210 miles north of Makkah, and at the time was populated by a tribe called Al-Ansar.  Beside Al-Ansar Tribe, many Jews had moved to Al-Medinah as they determined it to be the place where the next true prophet would appear.  The Ansar used to worship idols, while the Jews used to worship God.  The Jews often used to warn the Ansar that soon a true prophet will come then they will kill all of Ansar.  Therefore, when some Ansari men heard of Prophet Muhammad, they remembered the warning of the Jews and readily accepted his prophet-hood and believed him in his Divine message.  Finally, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- migrated to Al-Medinah and the whole town embraced Islam vowing their allegiance to God and His true Messenger.

Qureish had decided to kill Prophet Muhammad by asking each sub-tribe to send a man to participate in killing Prophet Muhammad.  God revealed their plan to Prophet Muhammad and commanded him to migrate to Al-Medinah.  Qureish promised 100 camels for whoever caught the Prophet dead or alive, but he evaded them and reached Al-Medinah safely.

Once in Al-Medinah, the tribe of Qureish organized many military expeditions and armies to defeat the now Muslim Ansar tribe and Prophet Muhammad.  After a number of battles, both sides signed a peace treaty named Al-Hudeibiyah Treaty that favored the tribe of Qureish, but the Prophet looking for peace signed it.  When Qureish violated the treaty, Prophet Muhammad with the permission of God decided to march to Makkah, his birthplace and the starting point of his Divine true message.

The Muslim marched in large numbers to Makkah and overcame the minor resistance they faced.  When they entered Makkah, there were many of idols around Ka’bah in the Great Sacred Mosque of Makkah.  The Prophet had all of the idols destroyed.

                   The Forgiveness of Prophet Muhammad appeared even before he entered Makkah.  Prophet Muhammad had it announced that whoever stayed in his house or in the house of Abu Sufayn, then no harm will come to him.  Thus, instead of killing and pillaging the tribe that spent every penny opposing and fighting him and his followers, he granted them general amnesty.  The tribe of Qureish, who always fought the Muslims, tortured them, and killed many of them, now could see the real high moral character of Prophet Muhammad and his followers.

    عنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَامَ الْفَتْحِ جَاءَهُ الْعَبَّاسُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ بِأَبِي سُفْيَانَ بْنِ حَرْبٍ فَأَسْلَمَ بِمَرِّ الظَّهْرَانِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ الْعَبَّاسُ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، إِنَّ أَبَا سُفْيَانَ رَجُلٌ يُحِبُّ هَذَا الْفَخْرَ فَلَوْ جَعَلْتَ لَهُ شَيْئًا،‏ قَالَ: «‏ نَعَمْ، مَنْ دَخَلَ دَارَ أَبِي سُفْيَانَ فَهُوَ آمِنٌ، وَمَنْ أَغْلَقَ عَلَيْهِ بَابَهُ فَهُوَ آمِنٌ» .  رواه أبو داود.

Narrated Ibn Abbas said (English translation): “Al-Abbas Ibn Abdil-Muttalib (uncle of the Prophet) brought Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb (Leader of Qureish) to Prophet Muhammad just before the Conquest of Makkah.  Abu Sufyan embraced Islam at a place called Marr Adhahran.  Then Al-Abbas said to the Prophet: ‘O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a man who likes the common distinction and pride, if you may do something for him.’  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘Yes, whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan is safe, and whoever closes his house door on himself is safe.’ ”  Related by Abu Dawood.

Then after the Muslims entered Makkah, the tribe of Qureish wanted to know their fate and went to Prophet Muhammad to ask him.

عَنْ أَبِي يُوسُفَ أَنَّ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ لَقريش حِينَ اجْتَمَعُوا فِي الْمَسْجِدِ: مَا تَرَوْنَ أَنِّي صَانِعٌ بِكُمْ؟ قَالُوا: خَيْرًا، أَخٌ كَرِيمٌ وَابْنُ أَخٍ كَرِيمٍ، قَالَ: اذْهَبُوا فَأَنْتُمُ الطُّلَقَاءُ. رواه البيهقي.

          Abu Yoosuf related (English translation): “After the Conquest of Makkah, the tribe of Qureish gathered in the Great Mosque, so Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- asked them: ‘What do you think I am going to do with you?’  They replied: ‘We only expect forgiveness and pardon from an honorable generous brother, and an honorable generous nephew.’  So Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said: ‘Then you may go, for you are the freed ones.’ ”  Related by Al-Beihaqi.

          Thus, we see the true moral character of Prophet Muhammad.  He forgave the tribe of Qureish after all their animosity, harm and opposition.  As a result, even his harshest opponents and sworn enemies among Qureish embraced Islam, some reluctantly at first but soon marveled and basked in the peace and justice of the true Divine message of Prophet Muhammad.

In fact, at the time of Prophet Muhammad many people of different religions used to come to see Prophet Muhammad and test his morals and outward actions.  They would set certain moral tests to see if Muhammad is a true Prophet.  Some Christians tested his acceptance of charity, but when he refused they recognized his sincerity and renunciation of the worldly life.  Some Jews tested his knowledge, and asked him deep esoteric questions that only they knew.  Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- answered all of their questions correctly as they stated.  Some pagans tested his justice and judgment, and Prophet Muhammad ruled with justice and avoided any bias.

To the extent that some famous rulers and kings accepted his true message based on his call to moral character and noble personal action.  The King of Ethiopia wept with tears when he heard the Qur’an then embraced Islam.  The Roman Emperor, Heraculius, asked Abu Sufyan (the chief of Qureish) about Prophet Muhammad and then marveled at his moral character, admitting that such moral behavior and justice only indicates a true Prophet of God.  The ruler of Yamamah, Thumamah Ibn Uthal, was captured by the Muslims.  The Prophet kept him for three days and then forgave him, releasing him.  During those three days, he was shown the real moral character of the Prophet and his kind treatment.  After his release, the Ruler of Yamamah declared Islam and then said his famous statement:

‘By God, O Muhammad, there was no face on the surface of the earth most disliked by me than yours, but now your face has become the most beloved face to me.  By God, there was no religion most disliked by me than yours, but now your religion (of Islam) is the most beloved religion to me. And by God, there was no city most disliked by me than your town, but now your town is the most beloved city to me.’

Thus, we see that the high moral code of Prophet Muhammad and his noble action including his great mercy and forgiveness set him apart and give credence to his true Divine Message, for Mercy and Forgiveness are characteristics that God often attributes to Himself.  Righteous people who follow God’s command, not only call for such moral traits but embody them in action as well.  And Allah knows best.

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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.

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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 come from Neenwa (Nineveh).’  Prophet Muhammad said: ‘The town 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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Al-Najashi (Negus, King of Ethiopia)

Editor’s note: The post is a follow up on the previous post on Umm Ayman. Both posts illuminate the important role played by black people in Islam’s early years, serving as important reminders for the need of establishing racial harmony and eliminating racism in Muslims.

Narrated Umm Salama Bint Abi Umayah Ibn Al-Mughira, the wife of the Prophet ﷺ: “When we immigrated to Abyssinia (Ethiopia), we were received by the best of hosts, Al-Najashi (Negus, King of Ethiopia), who offered us sanctuary to practice our religion, so we worshipped Allah the Exalted with no harm or hateful objection. But when the tribe of Quraysh heard about the peace the Muslim migrants enjoyed under the protection of Al-Najashi, they made plans to try to extradite them back to Makkah. Quraysh decided to send two powerful men with valuable and much sought after gifts from Makkah to Al-Najashi and to every single member of his clergy.  Al-Najashi used to like tanned leather, so the Qurashites gathered a large quantity of it and sent everything with two men, Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a Ibn Al-Mughira Al-Makhzumi and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas Ibn Wa’il Al-Sahmi. They explained the mission to the two men thus: ‘First, present to every bishop his special gift before you talk to Al-Najashi, then present to Al-Najashi his gifts, and then ask him to turn over the Muslim group to you without giving him a chance to speak with them.’

The two envoys set out to Abyssinia until they reached Al-Najashi, whose hospitality and security we [the Muslims] were enjoying. The two men first presented every bishop with his special gift before talking to Al-Najashi, and confided to each one of them: ‘Indeed, there have defected to the King’s land some ignorant young people from our tribe, who have renounced the religion of their forefathers and have not embraced your religion, but have come up with a new religion that neither of us recognize.  The noblemen of their tribe have sent us to the King seeking their extradition, so when we speak with the King about that, counsel him to deliver them to us without talking with them, for their own people are more cognizant of them and better acquainted with their beliefs and wrongdoing.’  The bishops agreed to do so.

Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas then presented Al-Najashi with their gifts, which he accepted. The two men then talked to the King and said to him: ‘O King, indeed there have defected to your land some ignorant young people from our tribe, who have renounced the religion of their forefathers and have not embraced your religion, but have come up with a new religion that neither of us recognize.  The noblemen of their tribe including their parents, uncles, and clansmen have sent us to you seeking their extradition, for their own people are more cognizant of them and better acquainted with their beliefs and wrongdoing.’

Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas wished for the King to not converse with the Muslim group and hear their speech. So the bishops spoke up and said: ‘They speak the truth, O King. Their own people are more cognizant of them and better acquainted with their wrongdoing, so send them back with the two men who would return them to their country and people.’

Al-Najashi became quite angry at that and said: ‘No, by God, I will not turn them over to these two men and will not dishonor a group of people who are my guests and who have chosen my protection over all others, until I call them and ask them about whatever these two men accuse them. If they are like what these two men have said, then I will hand them over to them. But if they are not so, then I shall offer them my protection and hospitality as long as they wish to remain with me.’

Al-Najashi then sent for the Muslims asking them to come to him.  When the King’s message reached them, they gathered and consulted with one another, asking: ‘What shall you say to the King when you stand before him?’ Others replied: ‘By Allah, we shall say what we know of the truth and of the commandments of our Prophet ﷺ, no matter what.’  When the Companions of the Prophet went to the court of Al-Najashi, they found that he had called his bishops who were seated around him with their Scriptures open before them to ask the Muslims about their beliefs.

Al-Najashi asked the Muslims: ‘What is this religion with which you have renounced the religion of your people, and have turned away from my religion and the religion of other nations?’  Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib acted as spokesperson and said: ‘O King, we were a group of people living in ignorance and immorality (Jahiliyya); we used to worship idols, eat the flesh of dead animals, engage in all kinds of debauchery, sever the ties of kinship, break the rights of neighbors, and the strong among us would take away the right of the weak.

We remained so until Allah sent to us a Messenger from amongst ourselves, whose lineage, truthfulness, honesty, and chastity were already well-known to us. So the Messenger ﷺ called us to worship Allah the Exalted alone and to renounce the stones and the idols that we and our forefathers used to worship besides Allah. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ commanded us to speak the truth, to keep our promises, to keep good ties with relatives, to be kind to neighbors, to avoid all forbidden acts and bloodshed.  He prohibited and warned us against all kinds of debauchery, against false testimony, against taking over an orphan’s property, and against false accusation of chaste women.  He ordered us to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything with Him, to establish the prayer, to give Zakah and to fast the month of Ramadan (he mentioned all pillars of Islam).

So we believed in him, affirmed his message, and followed his commandment. We worshiped Allah alone without associating any partners with Him, we avoided what has Allah has forbidden for us and did what He allowed us to do.  But our people persecuted us, so they subjected us to all kinds of torture to make us recant our faith and return to the worship of idols and the previous condition of immorality. When they subdued and oppressed us, made miserable our lives, and prevented us from practicing our religion, we sought refuge in your land, choosing you over others, desiring your protection and hoping to live in justice and peace under your rule, O King.’

Al-Najashi asked Ja’far: ‘Do you have anything with you that was revealed to your Prophet by Allah?’ Ja’far replied: ‘Yes.’  Al-Najashi said: ‘Then recite it to me.’  Ja’far recited for him the first portion of Surah Maryam which describes the story of Jesus and his mother Mary.

Umm Salama said: By Allah, when Al-Najashi and his bishops heard the verses of Quran, he wept until his tears moistened his beard, and his bishops cried until their tears moistened their Scriptures.  Al-Najashi then said: ‘The message of your Prophet and that of Prophet Moses come from the same lamp and source.’  He then turned to Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas and said: ‘Go, for by God, I will never turn them over to you and will never bring them any harm.’

But when the two men left the King’s court, Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas said to Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a: ‘By God, I shall return to the King tomorrow and bring up something of their belief that will destroy them completely.’  Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a, who was the kinder of the two men, said: ‘Do not do so, for they are our relatives even if they renounced our religion.’  Amr said: ‘By Allah, I will tell the King that they claim Jesus, the son of Mary, is a servant of God.’  The next day, Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas said to Al-Najashi: ‘O King, the group of the Muslims say a terrible thing about Jesus, the son of Marry. Send for them and ask them what they say about him.’

Al-Najashi sent for the Muslims again asking them what they said about Jesus.  When the King’s message reached the Muslim group, they were apprehensive and gathered to consult with one another, asking: ‘What shall you say to the King if he asks you about Jesus?’ Others replied: ‘By Allah, we shall say what Allah the Exalted has said about him and what our Prophet ﷺ said, no matter what.’

When the Muslims went to the court of Al-Najashi, he asked them: ‘What do you say about Jesus, the son of Mary?’  Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, stepped forward and said: ‘We only say regarding Jesus what has been revealed to our Prophet ﷺ, that Jesus is the servant of God, His Messenger, His spirit, and His word which He cast into Mary the Virgin.’

So Al-Najashi struck the ground with his hand and picked up a small stick then said: ‘Jesus, the son of Mary, is no more than what you said about him except as much as this stick.’ The bishops around him snorted in disagreement, so Al-Najashi admonished them saying: ‘Even if you snort!’  He then turned to the Muslims and said: ‘Go, for you shall be safe and secure in my land. Whoever abuses you shall be punished, whoever abuses you shall be punished, and whoever abuses you shall be punished.  For by God, I would not like to have a mountain of gold while anyone of you should come to any harm.’  Al-Najashi then said: ‘Return these two men’s gifts for I have no need of them.  By God, when Allah returned my reign to me, He did not ask me for ransom, so I will not take ransom for this group, and people did not obey me then so I would not obey them against His pleasure.’

Umm Salama said: So Abdullah Ibn Abi Rabi’a and Amr Ibn Al-‘Aas left the court of the King, humiliated and rejected, while we lived with the King, in the best hospitality and protection.”  Related by Imam Ahmad with a good (hasan) narration.

 

And it is related that Al-Najashi did testify to the Oneness of Allah and the true message of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.  Therefore, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ performed the funeral prayer on him in absentia, and called him a righteous man, as seen in the following narrations:

عن أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضى الله عنه: ( أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نَعَى النَّجَاشِيَّ فِي الْيَوْمِ الَّذِي مَاتَ فِيهِ، وَخَرَجَ بِهِمْ إِلَى الْمُصَلَّى فَصَفَّ بِهِمْ، وَكَبَّرَ عَلَيْهِ أَرْبَعَ تَكْبِيرَاتٍ)‏.  رواه البخاري ومسلم.

Narrated Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him: “The Messenger of Allah informed us about the death of An-Najashi on the day he died. He went out with us to the prayer site and we aligned in rows behind him.  The Prophet then led the funeral prayer for An-Najashi and said four Takbirs.”   Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

وعن جَابِرٍ رضى الله عنه، قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم حِينَ مَاتَ النَّجَاشِيُّ: (‏ مَاتَ الْيَوْمَ رَجُلٌ صَالِحٌ، فَقُومُوا فَصَلُّوا عَلَى أَخِيكُمْ أَصْحَمَةَ).‏ رواه البخاري.

Narrated Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him: “When An-Najashi died, the Prophet said: ‘A righteous man has died today. So get up and offer the funeral prayer for your brother Ashama.’ ”  Related by Al-Bukhari.

What a tremendous honor, to have the Prophet pray funeral prayers on someone despite him not being there! These men and women received such blessings because of their sincerity, struggle, and sacrifice for the truth. May Allah allow us to experience even a small portion of that zeal for faith.

Families of the Righteous (Umm Sulaym and Anas Ibn Malik)

(Umm Sulaim, Umm Sulaym, Umm Suleim)

When the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions migrated to Medina, the Ansar tribe welcomed them with open arms and incredible hospitality.  Not only did they make the Muhajir migrants feel welcome, but the Ansar shared their homes and wealth with them. This happened to such an extent that Allah the Exalted praised their act of altruism in the Holy Qur’an: {And those who, before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given, and give them (the emigrants) preference over themselves, even though they were in need. And whosoever is saved from the covetousness of his soul, then it is those who will be the successful} (59:9).

One of the leading Ansari families in Medina that showed such warm welcome and utmost altruism was the family of Umm Sulaym, may Allah be pleased with her.  When the Prophet ﷺ arrived at Medina, Umm Sulaym went to him with her son Anas Ibn Malik in tow.  Umm Sulaym was among the first group to accept Islam in Medina, and when Abu Talha proposed to her, she made his acceptance of Islam as her only dowry.  Having this strong faith, she offered the Prophet ﷺ the most precious gift as seen in this authentic hadith:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him: “The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ immigrated to Medina when I was ten years old.  When he arrived at Medina, my mother Umm Sulaym took me to the Prophet ﷺ and said to him:

‘This is Anas, my young son.  I have brought him to serve you.’

So the Prophet ﷺ accepted her offer.”  (Related by Ibn Hajr Al-‘Asqalani in his book Al-Isaba fi Tamyiz As-Sahaba.)

What a great sacrifice by a mother! But she did it for the sake of Allah and in seeking His pleasure.  But ultimately, it was she who benefited most, for what greater blessing is there than being with the Prophet, listening to his blessed speech, and observing his noble action nearly all the time?

Umm Sulaym was also a great manifestation of patience and wisdom.  When her young son died, she did not wail and despair, but was calm and took matters into her hands to break the news to her husband Abu Talha in such a gentle and appealing way that the Prophet invoked Allah for her, as seen in the following hadith:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him: “A son of Abu Talha who was born of Umm Sulaym died. Umm Sulaym said to the members of her family: ‘Do not tell Abu Talha about his son until I do so.’  When Abu Talha came home, she presented supper to him, and he ate and drank water.  She then embellished herself as best like she did not do before, and he (Abu Talha) shared bed with her that night.  When she saw that he was full and had slept with her, she said: ‘O Abu Talha, if some people lent something to another family, and then they asked for its return, could the second family stop its return?’  He said: ‘No.’  She said: ‘Then seek the reward of the death of your son.’  He was angry, and said: ‘You did not inform me until I lay down with you and then you told me about my son.’  He went to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and informed him about what happened.  Thereupon the Messenger ﷺ said:

‘May Allah bless both of you in the night you spent together.’ ”

(Related by Bukhari and Muslim.)

Ubaya bin Rufa’a said: “Afterwards, I saw seven sons of that young boy. All of them had memorized the Qur’an.”

Umm Sulaym’s son, Anas Ibn Malik, benefited greatly from his association with the Prophet ﷺ, not only in terms of religious knowledge but also in worldly blessings.  Anas learned much while serving the Prophet ﷺ, and narrated over 2000 hadiths.  He is considered the third most prolific narrators of hadith (after Abu Hurayra and Ibn ‘Umar).  One of the greatest aspects he narrated of the Prophet ﷺ was his high morals and noble manners:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him: “I served the Messenger of Allah ﷺ for ten years, and he never said a word of displeasure to me (Uff), nor did he ever say to me concerning something I had done: ‘Why did you do that?’.  And he never said to me concerning something I had not done: ‘Why did you not do this?’. He had the best character. And I never touched silk or anything else that was softer than the palm of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.  And I never smelled any musk or perfume that had a better fragrance than the sweat of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ.”  (Related by Al-Tirmidhi, also related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.)


Umm Sulaym
then asked the Prophet  to invoke Allah to grant blessings upon her son, and so he did.  And Anas saw the result of that supplication in his life:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him: “My mother, Umm Anas, took me to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, having dressed me in upper and lower garments made from her headdress, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, this is my son Unais; I have brought him to you to serve you. Invoke Allah’s blessings upon him.’ Thereupon the Prophet ﷺ supplicated: ‘O Allah, make abundant his wealth and progeny.’  Anas said: ‘By Allah, my fortune is huge and my children and grandchildren are more than one hundred today.”  (Related by Muslim.)

So Umm Sulaym was the one who gained most from her offer.  Indeed, not only did she see her son prosper in wealth and progeny, but she herself gained a high status with Allah.  She continued to obey Allah and His Messenger ﷺ and do all in her power to serve the Prophet.  She was given the glad tidings of Paradise by the Prophet ﷺ himself:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet ﷺ said:

“I entered Paradise and heard the sound of footsteps.  I said: ‘Who is that?’  It was said: ‘This is Al-Gumaysa’ Bint Milhan, the mother of Anas Ibn Malik.”

(Related by Muslim.)

Such people demonstrated the reality of having a good opinion in Allah (husn al-dhan billah), knowing that what little sacrifice they offer will result in blessings in both worlds, and that Allah will never put any deed to waste. Allah says: Indeed, those who have believed and done righteous deeds – indeed, We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds. (Qur’an 18:30).

May Allah be pleased with them all.