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Mercy – A Trait of the Righteous

Many types of people who are mentioned in the Quran; believers, disbelievers, Prophets, hypocrites, those who have diseases in the heart… etc.

The list is very long.

One of the interesting groups of people mentioned are those in the verse of Surah Al-Fath:

{Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are firm against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves.

You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure.

Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration.

That is their description in the Torah.

And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers – so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers.

Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.} (Quran 48:29)

After mentioning the name of the Prophet, Allah does not say those who believe in Him. Allah says those “with him”.

This is a special category of believers who are very close to the Prophet, like the companions were (the original people mentioned about in this verse).

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And there are a few characteristics mentioned about them in this verse, but most importantly is that they are “merciful among themselves.”

Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

At face value this might seem to be a very common characteristic to have.

However, a bit of context will prove otherwise.

This Surah was sent down after the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah.

Before the treaty happened, the Prophet had seen a dream whereby he was seen to have joined the pilgrimage to the Ka’bah. And a large group of Muslims all joined in and went ahead.

However, the Quraysh were determined to stop that.

Initially they sent a group of assassins to kill the Muslims.

That plan was foiled, and the Muslims had to take a detour to Makkah that was dangerous, just so that they could avoid the Quraysh.

Later on the Quraysh would come up with terms of peace agreement that were horrible for the Muslims; they could not keep any new converts in Madinah, they could not make Umrah this year etc.

And yet the Muslims patiently bore all of it.

In fact, one of the Muslims had come to the Prophet after fleeing from Makkah, but he had to be given back to the Quraysh because of the agreement.

There was also an attempt on the life of Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, during the treaty.

All of this was very humiliating for the Muslims and many of them felt a great urge to lose it. However, they all felt for Uthman, they all felt for the Muslims who had to be given back to the Quraysh.

They bundled together and took care of one another.

Even when there was little food and the journey was arduous, they did not get angry at one another, they did not shout at one another etc.

Despite all that was going on, they had mercy between themselves.

The Best Muslims

The mercy that Allah is talking about is a mercy that transcends situations.

It is when regardless of our own situation, we still have mercy towards a fellow believer.

It is an embodiment of the hadith where the Prophet said:

“The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

He also said:

“The best Islam belongs to those from whose tongue and hand people are safe.” (Narrated by Ahmad)

Imam al-Hasan al-Basri said:

“If you would be pleased to be safe and for your religion to be safe for you, then restrain your hands from harming the lives of people, restrain your tongues from harming their honor, and restrain your stomachs from consuming their wealth.”

The challenge in all of these situations is that it is quite easy to be good to those who are good to us. However, when people are not the best to us, or when our situations are not at the best is when our true mercy and patience is tested.

It is about making our mercy more important than whatever is going through our lives. To make it the most important part of our conduct with fellow believers.

And to end, we might also reflect on one of the most profound hadith of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):

“The most beloved of people according to Allah is he who brings most benefit to people, and the most beloved of deeds according to Allah the Mighty, the Magnificent, is that you bring happiness to a fellow Muslim, or relieve him of distress, or pay off his debt or stave away hunger from him.

It is more beloved to me that I walk with my brother Muslim in his time of need than I stay secluded in the mosque for a month.” (Narrated by Tabarani)

(From Discovering Islam archive)

About Raiiq Ridwan
Raiiq Ridwan is a Bangladeshi medical student at the University of Bristol, UK. He has a Bachelors In Arts in Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. He is founder of "The One Message". He’s certified life coach. He can write on topics related to Quran, dawah, depression, anxiety, achieving goals, productivity etc.