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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

The One Who Was Crowned With the Title of "Mercy" Among Prophets

Prophethood is such a great position that it is not accorded to everyone, nor a person can obtain it through his desire and endeavours. This is a gift which is gifted to one whom Allah pleases. Allah says in the holy Qur’an:

Allah chooseth from the angels messengers, and (also) from mankind. Lo! Allah is Hearer, Seer. (Al-Hajj: 75)

We all believe that all the prophets are superior to general people by great degrees. However, prophets themselves are not of the same grade. Some prophets are higher in rank compared to others. Allah says in the holy Qur’an:

Of those messengers, some of whom We have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spoke, while some of them He exalted (above others) in degree. (Al-Baqarah: 253)

Allah had sent as many as one hundred twenty four thousand prophets for the guidance of the mankind. All of them deserve our respect and they all have high ranks. However, the last messenger Muhammad (PBUH) is the highest in rank among all of them. Although, Muhammad (PBUH) came at last in sequence, he is the best among all the prophets and messengers, and even among all the creatures of Allah. Till the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH), the prophets would be sent exclusively for a specific period of time and for a specific nation or area. However Muhammad (PBUH) was sent as a Prophet for all those who will come into being till the Day of Judgment.

A lot has been written and spoken on the great status and superiority of Muhammad (PBUH) and his praiseworthy characters will continued to be praised as long as the world lasts. The last book of Allah which was sent down during a period of 23 years by revelation to Muhammad (PBUH) is the epitome of his noble characters, virtues and perfect morale, and a clear mirror or his high morale and noble characters. Allah mentions him in the holy Qur’an at different places. At some place Mohammad (PBUH) is named as "رسول الله" "Allah's Messenger", at some places he is named as بشير"" bearer of glad tidings", and at the other place he is named as نذير"" a warner". At some place it is mentioned that his prophethood is for the whole Universe, and at some places he is named as the "خاتم النبيين""seal of prophets". At a place Allah says "ألم نشرح لك صدرك", at other place Allah says "سبحان الذي أسرى بعبده ليلا من المسجد الحرام إلى المسجد الأقصى", at some place Allah says "إنا أعطيناك الكوثر", at some place Allah says "لقد كان لكم في رسول الله أسوى حسنة", at some place Allah says "إن الله وملائكته يصلون على النبي ، يا أيها الذين آمنوا صلوا عليه وسلموا تسليما".  Allah mentioned a number of characteristic of His messenger in the Holy Qur’an. However, in this verse "وما أرسلناك إلا رحمة للعالمين"Allah has mentioned a distinctive characteristic of His messenger (PBUH) i.e. "We sent thee not save as a mercy for all creation".

The Holy Qur’an is abundant with the countless characteristics of Allah's Messenger (PBUH). However, in this verse "وما أرسلناك إلا رحمة للعالمين" Allah mentions the distinguishing characteristic of His Messenger i.e. "We sent thee not save as a mercy for all creation".  Muhammad (PBUH) is an epitome of mercy, not only for the time when he was sent as a messenger, and not only for those to whom he was sent but for all the people who will come into being till the Day of Judgment.

By going through the books of Prophet's biography, we come to know about the affliction and trial he was subjected to in the cause of Islam. However, despite all the sufferings, he did not invoke Allah against them nor did he wish for a calamity to befall on them. Whenever he was given a choice of punishment for his people he pardoned his people out of his mercy and love, overlooking all the pains he was subjected to by those wrongdoers. This is despite the fact they had committed great crime by hurting Allah's Messenger (PBUH). This would have been enough for the punishment of Allah to befall on them, but Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would always pardon them, and his people were safe from the wrath of Allah due to his characteristic of mercy.

The personality of the king of the two worlds was an epitome of mercy. This characteristic was manifest in all of his aspects in its fullest. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) in his marital life, in his dealings outside his house, whether with his relatives or with others, whether with children or with adults, he would be kind, merciful and kind-hearted. Allah granted him a role full of mercy, which would make him feel the pain of the weak, and he would become filled up at the bad condition of the poor and orphans. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) felt the pain of the entire world in his heart. This has made the characteristic of mercy a second nature of Allah's Messenger (PBUH). The young, the adult, the Muslims and disbelievers all would benefit from the mercy of Allah's Messenger (PBUH).

Some of the daughters of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) were divorced, and all daughters of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) died in his life except Fatimah (RA). Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was treated badly to the extent that dust would be cast on his shoulder, and thorns were thrown in the path of Allah's Messenger (PBUH). Allah's Messenger (PBUH), his family and companions were boycotted for about three years. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) received great pains. Teeth of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) were broken. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was expelled from his city. However, despite all these sufferings Allah's Messenger (PBUH) did not complain even slightly.

Mercy of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was worthy to be seen in his dealings with children. Whenever he would find any child playing in the streets of Madinah Munawwarah, he would hug him affectionately. He would kiss him, pamper him and make him laugh. Once Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was loving his grandson Hasan (RA), a villager was surprised at seeing this scene saying "Do you love your children? As for me, I don’t". Allah's Messenger (PBUH) replied, "Has Allah taken away the mercy from your heart"?

Once Allah's Messenger (PBUH) offered Salat carrying his granddaughter Umamah bint Zainab (RA).  When he would prostrate, he would put Umamah (RA) at the ground and when he would stand up he would raise her in his lap. Likewise, once Allah's Messenger (PBUH) heard a child weeping during Salat, he shortened Salat so as his mother is not disturbed.

Abu Qatadah (RA) said, that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said:

Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "I stand up to offer Salat with the intention of prolonging it. Then I hear the crying of an infant and I shorten Salat lest I should make it burdensome for his mother". (Bukhari).

Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would take the children in his lap. Sometimes, children would urinate on his garments, but Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would not anger. Mother of believers, Ayesha (RA), said once a child was brought to Allah's Messenger (PBUH). When Allah's Messenger (PBUH) took him in his lap, he urinated on his cloths. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) asked for water to clean his clothes and again took him in his lap.

Whenever the new fruit of the season was brought to Allah's Messenger (PBUH), he would give it to the youngest child. Allah's Messenger (PBUH), fourteen hundreds year ago, at a time when girls were used to be buried alive in order to avoid disgrace, taught the people that children were a source of Allah's mercy and means of comfort. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) stretched wide the sheet of safeguard, safety, kindness and love for girls when other parts of the world had no law in force for the safety of girls. The mercy for the worlds (PBUH) did not only provide permanent safety to girls but also raised them on his shoulders, hugged them with his chest and gave them such a status in the society which has no parallel in the history.

As a human being, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) passed through the state of sadness and due to his sadness Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would weep. When his son Ibrahim (RA) died, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) wept. Sad bin Ubadah (RA) asked "Do you weep O' Allah's Messenger? Allah's Messenger (PBUH) replied, (Translation of Meaning) "This is the mercy which Allah has instilled in the heart of His slaves. Allah has mercy on those who have mercy in their heart".

Women are weak by nature. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) preached his companions to deal with them with kindness earn their heart and forgive them for their ill words. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said “Treat women kindly, they are like captives in your hands”.

Once Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said about the education of girls “Whoever, brings up the daughters well, treats them well and gives them proper education they would be a shield for him from the Hell Fire”.

Allah's Messenger (PBUH) practically set excellent example of good treatment with women. Once mother of believers Safiyah (RA) was to ride her she-camel, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) sat near the she-camel, and Safiyah (RA) rode her she-camel by setting her feet on the knee of Allah's Messenger (PBUH).

Whenever daughter of Allah's Messenger (PBUH), Fatimah (RA) visited him, he would be very happy and make her sit beside him and honor her very much.

Once, some womenfolk came to Allah's Messenger (PBUH) in a group and requested him saying menfolk would find too much time to benefit from you, but we womenfolk are deprived form this. They requested Allah's Messenger (PBUH) to fix a specific time and day dedicated to them. Allah's Messenger (PBUH), granted them their request and fixed a day for them. That day Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would come to the assembly of womenfolk and preached them. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) encouraged the people to marry widows, not to leave them alone and to give them respect in the society.

Allah's Messenger (PBUH) gave the servants their due share of respect. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: “Your slaves are your brothers. Allah has placed them under your authority. He who has his brother under him, should feed him from whatever he eats, and dress him with whatever he wears, and do not burden them (assign burdensome task to them) beyond their capacity; and if you burden them then help them”.(Bukhari and Muslim).

Likewise, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "If your servant prepares food for you, let him eat with you or give some food to him, for it is he who has suffered the heat of fire and smoke".

Allah's Messenger (PBUH) had kindness towards orphan also. That is why, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would preach his companions (RA) to take care of orphans. Once Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: “I will be like this in Jannah with the person who takes care of an orphan”. Messenger of Allah (PBUH) raised his forefinger and middle finger by way of illustration. (Bukhari).

Mercy of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was not confined to human being, rather animal would also benefit from his mercy. It has been reported in a Hadeeth:

He (Allah's Messenger (PBUH) entered the garden of a man from Ansar. All of a sudden, a Camel saw the Prophet (PBUH) it wept tenderly producing yearning sound and its eyes flowed. The Prophet (PBUH) came to it and wiped the temple of its head. So it kept silence. He then said “Who is the master of this Camel? Whose Camel is this? A young man from Ansar came and said “It is mine, O Apostle of Allah (PBUH).” He said “Don’t you fear Allah about this beast which Allah has given in your possession. It has complained to me that you keep it hungry and load it heavily which fatigues it.”

Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: Verily Allah has prescribed ihsan (proficiency, perfection) in all things. So if you kill them, then kill them well and if you slaughter, then slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.”(Muslim).

Inanimate Beings were also within the fold of Mercy of Allah's Messenger (PBUH)

A strange event has been reported in the books of Biography of Allah's Messenger (PBUH) which testifies how Allah's Messenger (PBUH) was a mercy to even inanimate beings. While delivering his speech in Masjide Nabawi, when he would become tired, he would take support of a pillar. Thereafter, a pulpit was prepared for him and Allah's Messenger (PBUH) would sit on that pulpit. Obviously that pillar would no more feel the soft touch of the body of Allah's Messenger (PBUH). This inanimate being was so sad that it cried and Allah's Messenger (PBUH) and his companions (RA) all heard the voice of its weeping. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) came down from the pulpit and went to that pillar. He caressed and calmed it. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said to his companions (RA) that if he would not calmed it, it would weep till the Day of Judgment.

During his life in Makkah Mukarramah, the Quraish people tortured him too much, to the extent that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) bade goodbye to his homeland. What else may be more painful for a person that, due to the torture and wrongdoings of his fellow people, he was compelled to resort to other land leaving behind all his dwelling and properties etc. Despite that, after a few years when Allah's Messenger (PBUH) entered the city of Makkah Mukarramah victorious, his head was bowing out of his humbleness and he was reciting “لا تثريب عليكم اليوم” i.e. “This day let no reproach be (cast) on you”. If Allah's Messenger (PBUH) had so willed, he would have taken revenge from each and every person. But Allah's Messenger (PBUH) preferred forgiveness over revenge saying “اليوم يوم الرحمة” i.e. “Today is the day of mercy”.

In the Holy Qur’an, Allah's Messenger (PBUH) has been named “رحمة للعالمين” as mercy for the worlds. Allah says “وما أرسلناك إلا رحمة للعالمين” i.e. “We sent thee not save as a mercy for all creation”. The word “عالمين” is plural of “عالم”. This encompasses all the creatures, such as human being, jinn, animals, plants as well as all the inanimate being. Allah's Messenger (PBUH) is a mercy for them due to the fact that the real sprit of the entire universe is zikr (remembrance) of Allah and His worship. That is why, when this sprits will cease to exist in this land and there will be nobody to remember Allah, all these will perish and the world will come to its end by doomsday. When we have concluded that zikr of Allah is the spirit of all these things, it is easy to understand that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) is a mercy for all of them, for it is only thanks of his instructions, that zikr of Allah and His worship exist in this world.

It has been said that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) is a mercy to all creation means the code of life which Allah's Messenger (PBUH) has brought in the world, is for the well-being of the mankind. Every instruction and provisions contained in the Shari’ah brought by Allah's Messenger (PBUH) is a source of good for the mankind.

The one who was crowned with the title of "Mercy" among prophets is so extensive a subject that if one writes days and nights on the topic of mercy and kindness of Allah's Messenger (PBUH), he cannot give this topic its due right. May Allah guide us to treat our wives, children, family members and other people from outside the house in the same way as the mercy for the worlds (PBUH) has proved by his word and deed for the mankind till the Day of Judgment, Amen!

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)