Ads by Muslim Ad Network

My Mercy Prevails Over My Wrath – God Says

This kindness of the Prophet was not only bestowed on his own children but also extended to children playing on the street. As soon as seeing the Prophet, the children would run to him, and he would receive them all with a warm smile and open arms.

Even during prayer the Prophet’s innate kindness was clear, as he once 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)

In many situations, the Prophet taught us how children should be brought up in a kind and loving atmosphere, and that they should not be beaten, or hit across the face, to avoid their humiliation. When a man once saw the Prophet kissing his grandson, he was astonished at the Prophet’s leniency and said:

“I have ten children but I have never kissed any one of them.”

The Prophet replied:

Ads by Muslim Ad Network

He who does not show mercy, no mercy would be shown to him. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Just a Stroke of Hair

When Allah mentioned orphans in the Quran He said:

Therefore, treat not the orphans with harshness. (93:9)

In accordance with this verse came the manners of the Prophet towards orphans, for he said:

“I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together. (Al-Bukhari)

In order to make the orphan feel appreciated and that if he has lost the affection of his parents there are still people who are willing to love and care for him, the Prophet encouraged kindness by saying that a person is rewarded by good deeds for each hair he strokes on an orphan’s head.

The protection of the orphan’s property was clearly confirmed by Allah and His Prophet. For instance, Allah says:

Those who unjustly eat up the property of orphans, eat up a fire into their own bodies: they will soon be enduring a blazing fire! (4:10)

A Prophetic saying also informs us that one of the seven most grievous sins is the devouring of the orphan’s property.

Could This Be War?

Mercy in Islam extends to enemies, in times of war and peace, as Prophet Muhammad used to urge his companions to maintain family ties with relatives who were still disbelievers by calling on them and giving them gifts.

As for times of war, Allah commands Muslims to grant refuge to enemies if they should ask for it, and forbids anyone to harm them. This is stated in the Quran, where Allah says:

If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge (9:6)

As for the Prophet, he forbade his companions to harm the elderly, injured, women, children, and people in places of worship. Also, destroying fields was forbidden. Defacing the corpses of enemies was strictly banned and giving them rapid burial was commanded out of respect.

The Prophet’s orders regarding captives were strictly obeyed by his companions. In one of the stories about a battle related to us by a captive, he says that he was staying with a Muslim family after being captured. Whenever they had their meals, they used to give him preference by offering him bread while they would eat only dates.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) victoriously entered Makkah after defeating the Quraish, he approached them and asked:

“How do you expect me to treat you?”

They replied:

“You are a noble brother and the son of a noble brother! We expect nothing but goodness from you.”

Then the Prophet announced:

“I speak to you in the same words as Yusuf (the Prophet Joseph) spoke unto his brothers: {No reproach on you this day, God will forgive you, He is the Most Merciful of the Merciful} (Yusuf 12:92). Go, for verily you are free.” (Authenticated by Al-Albani)

On this day, when tolerance and forgiveness were least expected, the Prophet set an example of mercy and forgiveness by releasing all the captives without ransom, and forgiving them for the persecution and brutal torture of the Muslims, which was continuous during the first 13 years of conveying the message of Islam.

All of God’s Creatures

Animals were not ignored and were given many rights in Islam. For instance, when the Prophet saw a donkey with a branded face, he said:

“Have you not heard that I have cursed anyone who brands an animal on its face or who hits it on its face?” (Abu Dawud)

The Prophet once said that a woman was sent to Hell because of a cat that she imprisoned, neither feeding it nor setting it free to hunt for its own food. On the other hand, the Prophet said, a man went to Paradise for giving water to a dog in the desert that was panting out of thirst.

The Prophet forbade that knives should be sharpened in front of animals before slaughtering. In addition, the slaughtering of an animal before another was prohibited. This is clear in one of the Prophetic sayings:

God calls for mercy in everything, so be merciful when you kill and when you slaughter: sharpen your blade to relieve its pain. (Muslim)

One of the companions related this incident: When they were traveling with the Prophet, they found a bird with its young ones, so they took them from their mother. The bird came and started flapping its wings, so the Prophet asked:

Who has distressed this bird by taking its young? Return them to it at once (Abu Dawud)

Animal rights were affirmed by the Prophet when he said that anyone who took a living thing as a target is cursed. Forcing animals to fight till one gores the other was also strictly banned, for animals have feelings and this would be definite torture for them.

The Islamic concept of mercy is holistic and stresses the interconnectedness of all of creation with itself and with the Creator.

Mercy starts with God and is bestowed by Him to every living creature. Animals and humans alike show each other mercy, to live harmoniously with one another, and in turn, by showing this mercy, they themselves are shown even more mercy from Allah.

This vision of Islam encourages the breaking down of barriers between people and is the underlying foundation upon which both life and civilization are built.

(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)

Pages: 1 2