The True Love & Mercy of the Prophet (Pbuh) for Mankind
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
The love and mercy of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to the believers is great as the Qur'an testifies when it says:
"(The Prophet) is greatly grieved at your loss and extremely anxious for your good. For the believers he is full of kindness and rahmah (mercy, love)." (9:128)
The Prophet's (Peace be upon him) love was not limited just to the believers for he loved all of Allah’s creations. Allah says in the Qur'an:
"We have not sent you (O Prophet) but as rahmah (Mercy) to all the worlds." (21:107)
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asked to curse the disbelievers. He said, "I have not been sent to curse people but as a mercy to all mankind." (Muslim)
The Noble Qur’an speaks of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as a great favour to the believers:
"Indeed, Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad (saws)) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur'an), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah (the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) - i.e. his legal ways, statements, actions, etc.), while before that they had been in manifest error."
(Qur'an Al-'Imran: 164)
These verses show that his distinctive quality was that he was a blessing incarnate in word and deed and that he truly was a mercy for mankind and a great favour upon the believers.
How the Prophet (Peace be upon him) Suffered for Mankind
The blessed Prophet's (Peace be upon him) love for mankind is clear from the untold sufferings he endured at the hands of his opponents whom he forgave with such ease after his victory.
When the blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) started inviting people towards Islam almost all the people of Makkah opposed him even though they had known him for all of his life as a man of exceptional integrity and intelligence and a man who is the most trustworthy and reliable as he was known as “Muhammad the reliable”.
They used to verbally attack him, jeer at him and insult him. Then they started to physically hurt him. They would lay thorns in his way and throw garbage and dust on him. On one occasion he returned with dust still on his head. One of his daughters rose, with tears in her eyes, to wipe it off. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was more hurt to see tears in his daughter's eyes than the terrible treatment he himself received from his fellow citizens. He comforted her, saying: "My daughter, weep not, for verily the Lord will be your father's helper."
The blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) was persecuted on many occasions at the hands of his opponents and his companions constantly asked him to curse these people who tried to do the Prophet (Peace be upon him) harm but the blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) had so much mercy and did not want revenge but just wanted the whole of mankind to accept the truth and come away from the darkness and into the light of Islam! He replied to pressure on him to curse them by saying, “I have not been sent to lay a curse upon men but to be a blessing to them.” Even though our blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companions continued to get persecuted and treated cruelly and unjustly the Prophet (Peace be upon him) continued to ask Allah to forgive them and he cried so much for them because he wanted the whole of mankind to be on the straight path. (Confirmed in Hadith of Sahih Muslim)
The blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) out of his love and concern for mankind went to Ta’if which was situated about sixty miles east of Makkah, it was the nearest city of importance. Accompanied only by Zayd (May Allah have mercy on him), the Prophet (Peace be upon him) made a tiring journey through barren rocky defiles. He spent ten days in Ta’if preaching to the tribal chiefs as well as common people. It was a city full of disbelievers and idol worshippers who were very much set in their ways and our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) out of concern for them saw this as a great opportunity to try and call as many of them as possible to Islam so that they could be saved from the fire of Hell.
Our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) called on the people to forsake their idols and false Gods and called them to the oneness of Allah, but the people were very set in their ways and ignored the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) calls and did not want to listen to him. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) tried his best but the people just were not listening and were very ignorant indeed.
When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) made his way back a group of youngsters in the area started pelting stones and rocks at our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him), They continued until nightfall and our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) bled profusely until the blood made his feet stick to his shoes. Even though our beloved Prophet bled he and was in pain he continued to say, “O my Lord, guide my people along the true path, as they are ignorant of the truth.” He had so much love for the disbelievers imagine how much love he had for the believers. Zaid(May Allah have mercy on him),tried to shelter and protect the Prophet (Peace be upon him) from the rocks that were thrown and consequantly received wounds to his head which bled profusely.
The whole Arsh of Allah (Throne of Allah) shook because the most beloved to Allah was in pain and constantly crying. Our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) wasn’t crying because of the physical pain of the attack but because of the concern he had for the disbelievers.
Allah ordered the angel Jibra’il to go and ask the Prophet (Peace be upon him) what he needed and whatever his beloved asked for do it straight away without hesitation. So the Angel Jibra’il along with the angel of the mountains that surrounded the city came swiftly to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and asked him what they can do for him.
The angel of the Mountains said to the Prophet (Peace be upon him): "Give me the command and I shall crush the city between the mountains and the people will perish along with the city”. The blessed Prophet said (Peace be upon him) “It is not my duty to take revenge or to destroy the disbelievers but to call them to the right path, maybe their children will accept Islam one day" and he prayed that they did.
The city of Ta’if today has not got a single disbeliever. This is due to the mercy and the love the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had for the disbelievers. He prayed that if the disbelievers would not accept Islam then at least their children would accept Islam and the Prophets (Peace be upon him) prayers were answered. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) could of taken revenge but he was merciful to them and showed concern and love for them even though they showed hatred and enmity towards him.
These and many other things did the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) suffer over a period of many years. He did not have to. Just before he started his mission to invite the disbelievers to Islam he had everything that a man would want: health, a prosperous business, a loving wife, fine children, faithful relatives and friends as well as the trust and respect of his fellow citizens. If he wanted he could have led as comfortable a life as any in Makkah. But he chose the road of suffering and hardship. He did so for the love of the very people who ignorantly persecuted him and for the welfare of the whole of mankind.
The Mercy and Love the Prophet (Pbuh) had for Mankind
Another example of the mercy of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) is in this hadith:
Anas ibn Malik reports: “Allah’s messenger (Peace be upon him) was sitting in the Masjid with some of his companions when a Bedouin urinated inside the mosque. The Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) companions said: ‘What is going on?’ ‘What are you doing?’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said to them: ‘Do not interrupt him.’ He called the man and said to him: ‘These masjids are not the place where one can throw any dirt, urine or stools. They are meant for reciting the Qur’an, glorifying Allah and prayer.’ He then called for a bucket of water and he poured it over the urine.” (Bukhari, Muslim).
Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) was the best of character. In this example we had a complete stranger, doing the worst of actions in the best of places which is the house of Allah. Yet, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) due to his mercy, kindness and wisdom was patient, and treated him in the best of ways.
Our beloved Prophets (Peace be upon him) heart was filled with intense love for all of mankind irrespective of caste, creed, or colour. Once he advised his Companions to regard all people as their brothers and sisters. He added, “You are all Adam’s offspring and Adam was born of clay.” He wanted all of his Ummah to regard themselves as “One” body and if one part of the body was in pain then he wanted all of us to feel the pain and to help out our brothers and sisters where ever they maybe.
The blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) taught us that, “A true believer is the one with whom others feel secure. One who returns love for hatred.” The blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) wanted us not only to treat people well only if they treat us well but that we be good to those who are not good to us and to not to ever do wrong to those who harm us. He wanted us to show mercy and forgiveness and not to be of those who take revenge.
According to another hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) once said, “By Allah, he is not a believer, by Allah, he is not a believer, by Allah, he is not a believer, with whom his neighbours are not secure.” This Hadith clearly shows how much he loved and cared for all human beings. One of the lessons he taught was that we should live among others like flowers, and not like thorns, without giving trouble to anybody.
The blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) never beat a servant, or a woman, or anyone else. He did, of course, fight for what was right. Yet, when he had to choose between two alternatives, he would take the easier course, provided it involved no sin. No one was more careful to avoid sin than he was. He never sought revenge on his own behalf for any wrong done to him personally. Only if Allah’s commandments had been broken would he mete out retribution for the sake of Allah. It was such conduct which gained the Prophet (Peace be upon him) universal respect even till this day.
Once the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was seated at some place in Madinah, along with his Companions. During this time a funeral procession passed by. On seeing this, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) stood up. One of his Companions said “this funeral is that of a Jew”. The Prophet replied, “Was he not a human being?”
All these examples show the great love and mercy the blessed Prophet (Peace be upon him) had for mankind.
Even in his last breaths he only cared for the believers and not the terrible pain he was going through. How deep was the Prophets (Peace be upon him) love for us we could never imagine. He uttered: "Ummatii Ummatii, Ummatii" “My People, My People, My People".