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Mercy Stories in the Prophet’s Life (10+ Hadiths)

Can you define the whole message of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in one word?

The best to do that, of course, is the One Who sent the message and Who chose the Messenger. In the Qur’an, Allah Almighty makes this brief yet crystal-clear statement: {And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds} (Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:107)

Mercy is the keyword here. It is the spirit of Islam and the core of the message. That’s no strange since its originator is Allah, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. He says in the Qur’an: {My mercy encompasses all things.} (Al-A`raf 7:156)

The Messenger chosen by the Most Merciful to deliver the message of mercy set a great example in this regard. His life reflected this sublime value. In his sayings, actions and dealings, he reflected the highest level of mercy that could be ever reached by a human being.

In this collection, we list a number of sayings, testimonials, stories and situations that show the significance as well as the application of this value. The collection is divided into parts but it is by no means exhaustive. Examples of the Prophet’s mercy cannot be fully contained in such brief articles.

Divine Mercy Prevails

1. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, “When Allah created the creatures, He wrote in a Book, which is with Him over [His] Throne: ‘Verily, My Mercy prevails over My Wrath” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

2. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) also narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said,

Allah has divided mercy into one hundred parts; and He retained with Him ninety-nine parts, and sent down to earth one part. Through this one part creatures deal with one another with compassion, so much so that an animal lifts baby animal, lest it should trample on it.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Mercy: A Proof of Faith 

3. Jarir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Allah does not show mercy to those who do not show mercy to people.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

4. `Abdullah ibn `Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by the Merciful [Lord.] Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in the heavens will show mercy to you.”(At-Tirmidhi and authenticated by Al-Albani)

5. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

You can never be (true) believers until you show mercy to one another. 

The Companions said, “We all show mercy, O Messenger of Allah.”

The Prophet replied,

It is not the compassion that any one of you shows to his friend. It is the compassion and mercy that you show the people in general [that I mean].” (At-Tirmidhi)

Kind Correction of Mistakes

6. Once a Bedouin entered the Prophet’s mosque for the first time. He raised his voice in supplication, “O Allah, forgive me and Muhammad, but don’t forgive anyone else!” The Prophet smiled at him and remarked gently, “You are limiting something that is vast.“Later, the man urinated on the masjid floor. The Prophet calmed the dismayed onlookers, and told them to leave the man alone. He reminded his companions that they were sent to make things easy on people, not difficult. The bedouin later recounted his experience with the Prophet:

May my mother and father be sacrificed for him. He did not scold or insult me. He just said, ‘We do not urinate in these mosques-they were built for prayer and remembrance of Allah.’ Then he called for a bucket of water to be poured on the ground. (Ibn Majah and authenticated by Al-Albani)

7. A man once confessed he was doomed because he slept with his wife while fasting in Ramadan. The Prophet asked if he was able to free a slave. The man said no.

– “Can you fast two consecutive months?

– “No.”

– “Can you feed sixty poor people?

– “No.”

The Prophet stayed quiet. Soon, a basket of dates was presented to him. The Prophet took the dates, and looked for the man.

Take these dates and give them in charity.

The man said dejectedly, “No one is poorer than me, Messenger of Allah. By Allah, there is no family in all of Madinah poorer than mine.”

At this, the Prophet’s face broke into a smile.

Take it and feed your family,” he said. (Al-Bukhari)

The above two incidents are taken from the article 7 Prophetic Strategies of Correcting Mistakes. Read more examples in Part 1 and Part 2 of the article.

Care for Vulnerable People

8. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

I served the Prophet at home and on journeys. By Allah, he never said to me for anything which I did: Why have you done this like this? Or for anything which I did not do: Why have you not done this like this? (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

9. Once Mu`adh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) led people in prayer and prolonged it. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) rebuked him and directed him to recite short chapters of the Qur’an saying:

O Mu`adh! Are you putting the people to trial? [Thrice]

It would have been better if you had recited Sabbihi-sma Rabbika-l-a`la [Surah 87], Wash-shamsi waduhaha [Surah 91], or Wal-layli idha yaghsha[Surah 92], for the old, the weak, and the needy pray behind you.” (Al-Bukhari)

10. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet said,

“(It happens that) I start the prayer intending to prolong it, but on hearing the cries of a child, I shorten the prayer because I know that the cries of the child will incite its mother’s passions.” (Al-Bukhari)

11. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) also narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

I am closer to the believers than their own selves. So, if one of the believers dies leaving debts [unpaid off], I will repay it, but if he leaves wealth, it will be for his heirs. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)


About Muhammad Fathi

Muhammad Fathi is the managing editor of the Shari`ah page, and a former Imam and teacher at the Quran Institute of America, MI, USA.

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