Looking Back to Madeenah – Complete book
MERCY AND INDULGENCE
Through the windows of history, we visit the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] in Madeenah to confirm his indulgence, kindness and clemency towards human beings Muslim and non-Muslim. We see his embodiment of the verse, ‘We sent you (Muhammad [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]) only as a mercy unto all creation’. We celebrate the fulfilment of his mission as he served his own family, strangers, rich, poor, slaves, slave-masters, animals, plants and all forms of life by pouring out his mercy and clemency over them. May Allaah bless him with His love and mercy for his honourable struggle to sacrifice his own life and material comfort to secure the happiness of all Allaah’s creation.
While out walking, the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] would stop Believers to relate to him tales of other Companions. ‘I desire to meet all of you with a pure heart (not with any preconceived idea),’ he told them. Thus his heart was free from malice, negative thoughts or enmity towards his Companions and friends.
He removed the difficulties of worshipping Allaah from his Companions. He wanted them to brush their teeth before the commencement of prayers, but avoided making this a command in fear that it would be difficult for his people to obey. He even feared that the taraaweeh prayers would be too difficult to perform. He said, ‘I fear that they may think that the taraaweeh is a must’. He stopped them from midnight prayers and from continuous fasting (wisaal).
He was concerned for those among his people against whom he may have prayed. He said, ‘If I cursed any of my people, O Allaah, replace that call with mercy and a means to cleanse that person. Let him gain nearness to you on the day of reckoning due to the call I made against him’.
Once, while he led the prayer in his Mosque, he heard a child crying. The beloved Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] immediately shortened the prayer, concerned that the mother might become embarrassed and lose her concentration.
His love extended to animals. Once he saw Aa’isha [radhiallaahu anha] struggling with a camel. She pulled it to make it move forward. The Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] disapproved of this action, and said to her, ‘Show more indulgence and mercy, dear Aa’isha! With indulgence matters are beautiful; in its absence they are repugnant’.
This indulgent and merciful nature was part of his character as a Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] and reformer even prior to his arrival in Madeenah. Remember Taa’if when Angel Jibreel called on the angel of the mountains to fold the mountains over the people who persecuted and abused him. He refused, saying, ‘I only wish that Allaah bring forward from these people those who will worship Him alone and not associating partners with Him’. He intended that people embrace Islam and be saved from the misery of kufr. Thus he was more indulgent with potential Muslims.
Safwaan ibn Umayah [radhiallaahu anhu] was the Prophet’s [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] greatest opponent. The Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] wished for his Islam and knew that, if he showed kindness towards Safwaan [radhiallaahu anhu], Safwaan [radhiallaahu anhu] would embrace Islam. So the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] gave the man 300 sheep. Safwaan became the best friend of the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. He told his people of the kindness of Muhammad [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] and they too embraced Islam.
The Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] gave money to a Bedouin. The man was disappointed at the amount and insulted the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. All the Companions jumped up to attack him, but the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] stopped them. Then he added to the amount until the man was eventually satisfied. The Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] requested that the Bedouin thank the Companions also, but he refused and thanked the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] alone. The Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] reminded the Companions that, had he not stopped them, the man would have refused to thank even the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. Thus he taught them the power of showing mercy to and indulgence of Allaah’s creation. He likened the case to that of the she-camel that will respond only to the call of the owner who cares for it, and will refuse to go to any other.
The Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] displayed great wisdom in his manner of calling to Allaah
- while Western media tend to portray the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] as a warloving leader, Madeenah teaches the truth that he was in fact most indulgent and merciful
- he offered his precious life to secure the good of humanity, tolerating and showing mercy and indulgence toward the people whom he longed to come to Islam
- had he been a leader with no mercy for human weakness, his followers would have left him. ?Thus it is by Allaah’s mercy that you are gentle to them. And had you been rough, hard-hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you.’
- the stories we witness in Madeenah confirm the Quranic verse: ‘Now comes to you a Prophet from among you, and it gives him great pain that you perish. He is ardently anxious about you and towards the Believers he is most indulgent and merciful’
- the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] was tender-hearted, and concerned that his flock might rush headlong into ruin. He watched over them; whenever they showed signs of faith, he rejoiced and surrounded them with kindness and mercy
- the loving Prophet of Allaah [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] was truly a fountain of beauty, majesty and human perfection.
WE SHOULD …
- be critical of media attempts to criticise Believers
- love humanity and exert special effort to call them back to Islam, applying wise strategies.
- be patient with potential Muslims, displaying indulgence and mercy towards them
- be merciful and kind towards Believers
May Allaah make it easy for us to emulate the Prophet’s [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam] mercy and indulgence for the sake of Allaah and for the spread of Islam.
In conclusion, we should compare our capacity for mercy and indulgence to that of the Prophet [sallallaahu alayhi wasallam]. How far from or how close are we to Madeenah?