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The Last Prophet—the Paragon of Mercy in the Quranic Light

By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam

04 July 2018

Allah Almighty has sent the last prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a mercy to all worlds. The teachings of Islam that the beloved Prophet brought are entirely based on mercy, compassion, love, respect and benevolence. Allah Almighty has repeatedly mentioned His prophet’s mercy. In the following we are presenting some verses of the Quran along with their accepted commentaries, by which it becomes crystal clear that the last Prophet Muhammad –Peace be upon him- is the paragon of mercy.

Allah says,

1.       “And We did not send you but as a Mercy for all worlds” (21:107)

Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Naeemi writes in the commentary of this verse, “it should be remembered that Allah Almighty has called Himself ‘Lord of the worlds’, while for the holy Prophet (peace be upon him), He has used ‘Mercy for all worlds’. This tells us that he whose Lord is Allah Almighty, the Prophet is mercy for him. Thus, his mercy is absolute, complete, and in its entirety. It includes everything and it is for everything. It is within the surrounds of Allah Almighty, the Knower of everything, hidden and open, and Omnipresent eternally in both the worlds (Ruh al-bayan). In addition, the general mercy of the holy prophet is received by the believers and the non-believers, but his specific mercy i.e. faith and mystical knowledge etc is received by the believers only. Allah says, the prophet “is the most kind and merciful to the believers” (9:128). If any person makes this mercy a punishment for himself, it is his own doing. Some of the plants are destroyed by the rain, but most of them flourish. The bat is blinded by the brightness of the sun, but this is not due to the fault of the sun or the rain.” (see Noor al-Irfan 21:107)

2.       Allah says,

“(O beloved) It is by the Mercy of Allah that you (beloved Prophet) are so gentle to them. Had you been severe and hard-hearted (unsympathetic), they would have certainly been uneasy in your company; so forgive them and intercede for them and consult with them in the conduct of affairs; and when you decide upon something, rely upon Allah; indeed Allah loves those who trust (Him).”  (Surah Al-e-Imran- 3:159)

In the explanation of this verse, Syed Naeemuddin Muradabadi writes that the beloved Prophet “was so gentle, kind and merciful that he did not get angry on the day of Uhad” (Footnote on Kanzul Iman p.104, 3:159)

3.       Allah says,

“And it is not for Allah to punish them while you (O dear Prophet) are among them. And also, Allah will not punish them as long as they are seeking forgiveness.” (Surah Anfal - 8:33)

According to a number of exegetes, this part of the verse (“And it is not for Allah to punish them while you (O dear Prophet) are among them...”) was revealed at a time when the beloved Prophet was present in Makkah. And when the beloved Prophet migrated to Madinah and some Muslims remained in Makkah who used to seek forgiveness, the second part of the verse (“And also, Allah will not punish them as long as they are seeking forgiveness”) was revealed.

This verse shows that presence of the beloved Prophet and seeking forgiveness are hindrances to a mass punishment. It is reported by Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that two factors saved the people of Makkah. One was the holy Prophet’s presence and the other was Istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah).

4.       Allah says,

 “Indeed there has come to you a Noble Messenger from among you – your falling into hardship aggrieves him, most concerned for your well being, for the believers most compassionate, most merciful.” (9:128)

In this verse the beloved Prophet has been referred to with two names ‘compassionate’ and ‘merciful’. According to Nasafi’s Tafsir ‘Madarik’, Allah Almighty used these two names together only for the beloved Prophet –peace be upon him. (Tafsir-e-Madarik v. 2, p.50)

5.       Allah says,

 “Then after that, you turned away. Had it not been for the Grace of Allah upon you and His Mercy, you would have been among the losers” (2:64)

   In this verse, the Grace and Mercy of Allah denote the guidance to obtain Divine repentance, or the delay in the coming of Divine punishment or the arrival of the holy Prophet –peace be upon him- in this world. If the holy Prophet had not come into this world and mankind had not sought sanctuary in him, it would have been made extinct. Thus it is clear that the holy Prophet is not only a Mercy for the world, but Allah’s bounty as well. (see Tafsir Noor al-Irfan 2:64)

6.       Allah Almighty says,

“O mankind! The advice has come to you from your Lord and a cure for the hearts – and guidance and mercy for believers. Say, “Upon Allah’s munificence and upon His mercy – upon these should the people rejoice”; that is better than all their wealth and possessions.” (10:57-58)

Some Islamic scholars have said that the holy Prophet is the greatest bounty of Allah Almighty and the holy Quran is the mercy of Allah Almighty. Allah Almighty says, “And great is the grace of Allah upon you” (4:113). Some have said that holy Quran is the bounty of Allah and the holy Prophet is His mercy, as Allah says, “And we sent you not but a mercy for all the worlds” (21:117). From this verse (10:57) we also learn that the Quran is the cure for all our spiritual and physical ills. The Quran is guidance and healing for the entire world but only the believers derive benefits from it. (see Tafsir Noor al-Irfan 10:57-58)

7. Allah says,

 “Possibly you may risk your life by grieving (O dear Prophet Mohammed – peace and blessings be upon him) for them if they do not believe in this narration.” (18:06)

The beloved Prophet did not grieve at the persecution that he and his companions were suffering from. He grieved at the deviation and moral degeneration of some disbelievers. He was grieved because their deviation would lead them to destruction and torment of Allah. Therefore his effort was to save them but it appeared that they were bent upon incurring severe punishment of God. The beloved Prophet described his efforts to save the disbelievers and the grief he must have felt in a parable:

“I may describe this thing in a parable. A person kindles a fire to spread light but the moths persist in falling over it to burn themselves alive. He vies to save them from the fire but the moths reduce his efforts to failure. The same is true of me and you. I hold you by your skirts to keep you away from the fire, but you are bent upon falling into it”. (Bukhari and Muslim)

More than that what can be a matter of mercy for the disbelievers that the beloved Prophet –peace be upon him- risked his life by grieving for them in order to save them from chastisement of God?!

8. Allah says,

 “And among them (the hypocrites) are those who hurt the Prophet and say, “He gives an ear to all things he hears”, Please declare: “He is an ear for the good of you. He believes in Allah and believes the words of the believers and he is a mercy for those who are believers among you”. And those you who hurt the Messenger, for them is a painful torment” (9:61)

The hypocrites would say a great deal of nonsense about the holy Prophet –peace be upon him- in their gatherings. Some of them would say if the Messenger of Allah knew of what they were saying it would not be good for them. Then Jallas bin Suwaid said, it does not matter, if he does come to know of it, we will deny it in the presence of the holy Prophet. We will take an oath and because he is pure and unsuspecting, he accepts whatever is spoken before him. In response to the prattle of these hypocrites, this blessed verse was revealed.

9. Allah says,

 “O Prophet [of Allah] (the communicator of the hidden news) We have indeed sent you as an observing present witness and a Herald of glad tidings and warning and as a caller towards Allah, by His command, and as a blazing sun. And give glad tidings to the believers that for them is a great bounty of Allah”. (33:45-47)

10. Allah says,

 “(O beloved Prophet) Do not waste yourself in grief for them. Allah knows well what they do” (35:8)

This verse addresses the Prophet (peace be upon him) stating that he should not waste himself in grief for those who disbelieved.

11. Allah says,

 “And obey Allah and His Messenger in the hope that you may be shown mercy” (3:132)

This verse tells us that obedience of both Allah and His Messenger is compulsory as well as a cause of mercy.

12. Allah says,

“(They are the people) who follow the Messenger, the Prophet (titled as) al-Ummi (who imparts to the people from Allah the news of the unseen and knowledge and secrets of socio-economic disciplines of life without himself being taught by any human in the world); whose (eminent attributes and exquisite powers) these people find written in the Torah and the Injil (Gospel); who enjoins on them virtues and forbids them vices, declares wholesome things lawful and impure ones unlawful for them and removes from them their heavy burdens and yokes (i.e., shackles) weighing upon them (due to their acts of disobedience and blesses them with freedom). So those who will believe in this (most exalted Messenger [blessings and peace be upon him]) and venerate and revere him and serve and support him (in his Din [Religion]) and follow this light (the Qur’an) that has been sent down with him, it is they who will flourish and prosper.’”(7:157)

13. Allah says,

“And We have not sent any Messenger but that he must be obeyed by the command of Allah. And, (O Beloved,) if they, having wronged their souls, had come to you imploring the forgiveness of Allah, and the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) had also asked forgiveness for them, then (owing to this mediation and intercession) they would certainly have found Allah Most Relenting, Ever-Merciful.” (4:64)

14. Allah says,

“And, (O Esteemed Prophet,) We have not sent you but as a Bearer of the glad tidings and as a Warner to the entire mankind, but most people do not know.”(34:28)

15. Allah says,

“Indeed, We have sent you as an eyewitness (of the actions and the state of affairs of Umma [Community] to bear testimony on the Day of Reckoning) and as a Bearer of good news and as a Warner, So that, (O people,) you may believe in Allah and His Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) and may help his (Din [Religion]), and revere and venerate him heart and soul, and (with that) glorify Allah morning and evening.” (48:8-9)

16. Allah says,

“So do not place any pressure on an orphan, and do not scold the needy, and publicize well the Bounty of your Lord” (93:9-11)

In the pre-Islamic age, the orphans were oppressed and deprived of their rights. Islam came to “uphold justice for the orphans (4:127) and enjoin Muslims to “approach the orphan’s property in the best manner” (6:152, 17:34). In this regard the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “The best among the Muslims is a house in which an orphan has been treated well. And the worst among the Muslims is a house in which an orphan has been treated poorly”. Then the Prophet pointed with his middle finger and his index finger and said, “I and the caretaker (kafil) of an orphan are like this in the Garden”, meaning that those who care for orphans will attain a high station and know the Prophet in Paradise.

17.  Allah says

“And spread your wing of mercy for the believers following you” (26:215)

18. Allah says

“do not direct your eyes towards the things We have given to some of their couples to enjoy, and do not at all grieve because of them, and take the believers within the fold of your mercy”

19. Allah says,

 “And among them is one who slanders you regarding the distribution of charity; so if they receive some of it they would be happy- and if not, thereupon they get displeased! How excellent it would be, if they were pleased with what Allah and His noble Messenger had given them and said, Allah suffices us; Allah will now give us by His munificence, and (so will) Allah’s Noble Messenger – and towards Allah only are we inclined” (9:58-59)

20. Allah says,

“And keep the prayer established and pay the obligatory charity and obey the Noble Messenger, in the hope of attaining mercy” (24:56)

21. Allah says,

 “O People who Believe! Do not enter the houses of the Prophet without permission, as when called for a meal but not to linger around waiting for it – and if you are invited then certainly present yourself and when you have eaten, disperse – not staying around delighting in conversation; indeed that was causing harassment to the Prophet, and he was having regard for you; and Allah does not shy in proclaiming the truth; and when you ask the wives of the Prophet for anything to use, ask for it from behind a curtain; this is purer for your hearts and for their hearts; and you have no right to trouble the Noble Messenger of Allah, nor ever marry any of his wives after him; indeed that is a very severe matter in the sight of Allah” (33:53)

22. Allah says,

“And they swear by Allah that they did not say it; whereas indeed they had certainly uttered the words of disbelief, and after having entered Islam turned disbelievers and had wished for what they did not get; and what annoyed them except that Allah, and His Noble Messenger, made them prosperous with His grace? So if they repent, it is better for them; and if they turn away, Allah will afflict them with a painful punishment – in this world and the Hereafter; and they will have neither a protector nor any supporter in the entire earth.” (9:74)

23. Allah says,

“The Prophet is closer to the Muslims than their own lives, and his wives are their mothers; and the relatives are closer to each other in the Book of Allah, than other Muslims and immigrants, except that you may be kind towards your friends; this is written in the Book.” (33:6)

The beloved Prophet has more right over the Muslims than they have over themselves. Another verse of the Quran says, “So (O dear Prophet), by oath of your Lord, they will not be Muslims until they appoint you a judge for the disputes between them – and then whatever you have decided, they should not find opposition to it within their hearts, and they must accept it wholeheartedly.” (4:65). A famous Hadith reads, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, none of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his own self, his wealth, his children, and mankind all together”. In the commentary of this verse and this Hadith, al-Tustari writes, “Whoever does not see himself or his soul as belonging to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and does not see the patronage of the Prophet in every situation has not at all tasted the sweetness of his Sunnah. The reason is that the Prophet is the closest to the believers” and also that, according to the rendering of the verse 9:128, the Prophet is troubled by what the believers suffer and is solicitous, kind and merciful toward them.  It could also mean that holy Prophet –peace be upon him- is the provider of the greatest comfort to the believers than their own selves in this world and the Hereafter.

The Quranic verses mentioned above call us to believe that the Last Prophet –peace be upon him- is the paragon of mercy for all worlds.

A regular Columnist with, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is a Classical scholar of Islamic Sciences (Theology, Fiqh, Tafsir and Hadith) and English-Arabic-Urdu Writer and Translator. So far he has written more than a hundred articles, especially on subjects like de-radicalization, counter-terrorism, Peaceful coexistence, Islamic Mysticism (Tasawwuf). 


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