A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)
By Imam Zijad Delic
Day 258: Muhammad (S): The Prophet of Mercy
Narrated by Abu Musa Al Ash’ari (r) that Allah’s Messenger (S) mentioned many names of his and said: “I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad. Muqaffi (the last in succession), Hashir (gatherer), the Prophet of repentance, and the Prophet of Mercy.”
عَنْ أَبِي مُوسَى الأَشْعَرِيِّ، قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُسَمِّي لَنَا نَفْسَهُ أَسْمَاءً فَقَالَ “ أَنَا مُحَمَّدٌ وَأَحْمَدُ وَالْمُقَفِّي وَالْحَاشِرُ وَنَبِيُّ التَّوْبَةِ وَنَبِيُّ الرَّحْمَةِ ”
Transliteration: “Ana Muhammad, Wa Ahmed, Wal Muqaffa, Wal Hashir, Wan Nabiyyut Tawbah Wa Nabiyyur Rahmah.”
We live in the time of noticeable diversity and when it could be easily detected that many cannot settle with the other — those different than us.
It is the time of ignorance and prejudice of the human worth that goes against what God Almighty instructed us with: “And We have honored all children of Adam.” (Qur’an 17:70)
وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ
As we welcomed the month of Rabi’ul Awwal with the commemoration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (S), we are obliged to remind ourselves on the purpose of Muhammad (S) being sent to the worlds – ar Rahmah (Mercy)!
If we would like to put a claim about Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (S), in regard to the impact on all aspects of people’s lives, Islam as a social notion and Muhammad (S) as a social Prophet, we could say with some certainty that Islam is the faith of Rahmah (mercy, compassion, kindness) and its Prophet Muhammad (S) is the Prophet of Mercy!
Actually, if we would like to define the whole message of Muhammad (S), there is one term, one word that sums it up well – ar Rahmah.
God Almighty described the sole purpose and objective of the message of Muhammad (S) in the following verse: “And We have not sent you but as a Mercy for the Worlds.” (Qur’an 21:107)
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
The classical scholars of Islam such as Ibn Al Qayyum Al Jawzi stated that “the goal of life is to be beneficial to the creation and be merciful to all under all circumstances.
And then he said: “Wa Hadhihi Hiyar Rahmatullati Bu’itha Biha Muhammad (S)!”
“This is the Mercy with which Muhammad (S) was sent!
So, Rahmah is the spirit of Islam and thus the core of its message!
Therefore, it is not strange to understand it this way since its Originator is the Most Merciful and Compassionate One – Ar Rahman and Ar Rahim.”
The Almighty says: “And My mercy encompasses all things.” (Al ‘A’raf 156)
وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ
And the Prophet (S), as narrated by Abu Huraira (r), said: “When Allah created the creation, He ordained for Himself and this document is with Him: Verily, My mercy predominates My wrath.” (Muslim)
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ لَمَّا قَضَى اللَّهُ الْخَلْقَ كَتَبَ فِي كِتَابِهِ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ فَهُوَ مَوْضُوعٌ عِنْدَهُ إِنَّ رَحْمَتِي تَغْلِبُ غَضَبِي
What do we mean by Rahmah?
It is a superbly comprehensive term!
Rahmah cannot be translated into English with one word but has a wide range of meanings that includes mercy, compassion, kindness, love, tolerance, patience when dealing with people, treating people the way we would like them to treat us, etc.
Basically, it could be defined as:
- a) inclination to treat others with compassion and kindness
- b) the act of being forbearing and not treating others harshly
- c) possessing a compassionate attitude and soft heart for others
So, as believers, we believe that the source of Rahmah is the Creator, Allah Himself!
And thus, we believe that all of the Prophets and their messages were to uphold, proclaim and their followers live within this framework of the quality of Rahmah.
The last in the chain pf Prophets of Allah, Muhammad (S) is the Rahmah presented by the Creator to the worlds – humanity and others.
Abu Salih (r) narrated that the Prophet (S) addressed the people about his mission saying:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّمَا أَنَا رَحْمَةٌ مُهْدَاةٌ
“O people, I am only a mercy and a guide. (Sunan al-Darimi)
He, Muhammad (S) also mentioned to the companions some of his personal names: “Muhammad, Ahmad. Muqaffi (the last in succession), Hashir, the Prophet of repentance, and the Prophet of Mercy.” (Muslim)
Rahmah was the Prophet (S) methodology in dealing with all – those close to him or distanced from him.
He preached and acted Rahmah in every aspect of his life.
He stood on the opposite side of those who were merciless, even if they were his close relatives.
He warned once, as narrated by Abu Huraira (r) that he heard from Muhammad (Abi Qasim): “The mercy is not removed from anyone but from a wretched and miserable/harsh person.” (Abu Dawud)
أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا الْقَاسِمِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ لاَ تُنْزَعُ الرَّحْمَةُ إِلاَّ مِنْ شَقِيٍّ
That is why the Prophet (S) told his companions: “By Allah, the One in Whose Hand is my soul! You will not enter Jannah until you are merciful to others.
They said: We are! And then he stated: “It is not just being merciful with your own people, but mercy is for all in general.” (Nasa’i)
إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ بِرَحْمَةِ أَحَدِكُمْ خَاصَّتَهُ وَلَكِنْ رَحْمَةُ الْعَامَّةِ
Let me conclude by stating that the mercy is the essential characteristic of our faith – Islam since the originator of the message of Islam is the One Who is Merciful – Ar Rahman Who has sent the Prophet of Mercy to guide people to be merciful not just to those close to them but to all in general!
Ya Rabb! Help us attain mercy in our hearts; the hearts that can give not only take and the hearts that can eliminate distress and sorrow and not add to it!