Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)- Mercy to all Mankind
Rasheed Ahmad Chughtai
In the fifth and sixth centuries, the world stood on the verge of chaos and that mankind was likely to return to the condition of barbarism where every tribe and sect was against the next, fighting each other, law and order were not known. There wasn’t any hope to bring mankind into unity and to save humanity. At that period of darkness and ignorance Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was born as a mercy to mankind as Almighty God says in the Holy Quran We sent you not, but as a mercy for all creatures(21:107).
The Prophet Muhammad was sent as the last prophet. He closed the long line of messengers. He was a living example of the sublime morality of God’s last revelation. A Muslim needs to try to emulate the behavior and the morality of the Prophet Muhammad. Allah confirms that in a verse:
You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much. (33: 21)
The Prophet’s words “The most perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners.” This make clear, morality is one the most important components of true faith. It is therefore an important religious duty to learn about and practice the very best examples of it.
The Prophets Character
The good character and the ethics of the Prophet made all who dealt with him love him. It has been narrated that Zaid Ibn Haritha was captured and Lady Khadija brought him to serve the Prophet Muhammad( P.B.U.H). After some days, Zaids family asked the Prophet to release him for ransom. The Prophet told them that if Zaid chose to go with them, he would give him to them without ransom. Zaid chose to remain with the Prophet. His family said to him woe be to you! Do you prefer slavery to freedom! Zaid answered in affirmative and added, By God! So long as I accompanied him( the prophet) , he never asked me why I did or did not do anything, I would do or would not do . So, Zaid stayed with the Prophet who took good care of him, as accustomed by the Arabs before the mission. Thus he was called Zaid son of Muhammad until the adoption was prohibited by God.
The Prophet was the fairest person to all the people: those who were close to him and those who were not , and both the strong and weak , even if they were non Muslims. The Prophet derived his ethics and morals from Gods guidance.
The Prophet was always tolerant
Throughout his life, however, he showed an interest in each and every one, warned them about their mistakes , and tried to educate them in all matters, from cleanliness to matters of faith. That compassionate, tolerant, understanding and patient attitude of his was the means by which many peoples’ hearts warmed to Islam and developed a genuine love for the Prophet. Allah describes this pleasing attitude adopted by the Prophet towards those around him in the Qur’an:
It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them (3: 159)
The Prophet never pressured those around him to accept the religion, nor imposed conditions on them. Instead he always used the pleasantest ways to tell them about it. He always supported the community of the faithful with his strong conscience, and was a benefactor to them at all times. Those believers who were able to comprehend the conscientiousness of the Prophet regarded him as closer to them than all others, and
humbled themselves towards him.
Everyone thought that the Prophet honoured him more. Whoever came to him could see his face… He used to call his companions by their surnames with honour and he used to give one surname who had no
surname… He was very affectionate and kind in dealing with the people… The Prophet’s human love, kind thought and compassion, which turned those around him to true religion and warmed their hearts to faith, is that superior morality which all Muslims should seek to reproduce.
The exemplary justice of the Prophet
In the Qur’an, Allah commands believers to “Be upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, Allah is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth…” (4: 135).
With the rules he imposed on Muslims, his just and tolerant attitude towards those of other religions, races and tribes, and his way of not discriminating between rich and poor, but treating everybody equally as Allah’s Messenger is a great example to all of mankind. The Prophet abided by Allah’s commands, even with such difficult people, and never made any concessions in his implementation of justice
During the time of the Prophet Christians, Jews and pagans were all treated equally. The Prophet abided by the verse “There is no compulsion where the religion is concerned ” (1: 256), explaining the true religion to everyone, but leaving them free to make up their own minds. The noble attitude of the Prophet being in total harmony with the morality of the Qur’an, should be taken as an example of how members of different religions today should be treated. During his final sermon, the Prophet called on Muslims in these terms: “There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab and for a non-Arab over an Arab; nor for white over the black nor for the black over the white except in piety. Verily the noblest among you is he who is the most pious.”
The Prophet was most considerate and compassionate
The Prophet was a compassionate man, full of love and understanding. He took an interest in the physical and spiritual problems of his friends, relatives and all those around him, Muslims or non-Muslims, and took all appropriate measures to ensure their health, security and happiness. He took them under his wing, and always bore in mind their lot in the hereafter by encouraging them to remain godly. These features of the Prophet that are an example for all of humanity.The Prophet reminded his companions to be compassionate, and was the greatest model for them in that regard:
“Those who have mercy will receive the mercy of the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those who are on earth, the One in heavens will have mercy on you.
The Prophet was always courteous
Some of those who surrounded the Prophet were less than well-mannered and cultured. It can be seen from a number of verses that they could not understand how thoughtless they were and that their behavior could make others uncomfortable. For instance, verses speak of people entering houses by the back instead of the front, arriving when the Prophet was dining, or else taking up his time by talking for a long time. The Prophet Muhammad on the other hand, was very thoughtful, courteous, patient and civilized, and treated such people nevertheless with the greatest tolerance. Also, in the most pleasant manner, he warned those around him against behavior that would make others uncomfortable, and thus won their sympathy, teaching them through patience and perseverance. That comportment made him an excellent example for all believers.
Because of his being both a Messenger of Allah and a head of state, the Prophet was in constant contact with people from all walks of life, from the wealthy leaders of states and tribes to poor, defenseless women and orphans. He was able to communicate with and win the hearts of people whose social status, ways of life and customs were very different from one another, he exhibited understanding, patience and a desirable attitude. The Prophet was always optimistic and pleasant, never harsh or rude . He never caused a ruckus in the markets , was never indecent or a eulogist.
Additionally, the Prophet avoided three things when dealing with people . Firstly, he never insulted or defamed people. Secondly, he would not speak except regarding things for which he would hope to receive some reword from God, and when he spoke, the attendees would sit attentively, and when he remained silent , they would speak but without quarrel. The would also listen one another politely. Thirdly , he was patient with strangers despite their ill manners and answered them in a kind manners.
The Prophet also said that fearing God and treating people will lead to paradise He also used to say that the true pious Muslim is he who has the best ethics. Further the Prophet Muhammad( PBUH) was an extremely successful social reformer as well as spiritual and political leader who championed the rights of the women, weak and oppressed.
At his last will and testament the Prophets farewell sermon is devoted more to the theme of establishing a lasting peace among the people than any thing else. His injunction to respect the life and possession of other people, his constant reminder to take care of the wives and to treat the slaves well; also his parting injunctions to forget all blood sheds and forgive interest on all borrowed sums, these are fundamental principles of achieving peace and harmony in the word.
Karen Armstrong, an internationally renowned expert on religion, a powerful voice for interfaith understanding said in her book, MUHAMMAD A PROPHET FOR OUR TIME:-
As a paradigmatic personality, Muhammad has important lessons, not only for Muslims but also for western people. His life was a Jihad; as we shall see, this word does not mean holy war , it means to struggle. Muhammad literally sweated with the effort to bring peace to war- tone Arabia and we need people who are prepared to do this today. His life was a tireless campaign against greed, injustice, and arrogance.