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The Holy Qur’an introduces the Prophet Sallallahu`alaihi wasallam
by Shaykh Ahmed Abdul Mujeeb Qasmi Nadvi (translated by Muhammad Owais Jafrey)
The Holy Qur’an has mentioned many attributes of our beloved Prophet (SAW). Last Friday we had discussed two of the four of his (SAW)’s attributes mentioned in Aayah 128 of Surah Tawbah: “Laqad ja ‘aa akum Rasuulum-min-anfusikum Azizun alay-hi-maa’anit-tum…”, that is: “A Messenger has come to you from among yourselves. Your suffering distresses him…”
Let us discuss the rest of the Aayah which reads: “hareesun ‘alay-kum-bil-Mu’mineena Ra-uufu-Raheem”, that is: “He is deeply concerned for you and is full of kindness and mercy toward the believers.”
As per Qur’an Prophet (SAW) is from the noblest and purest lineage and is most exalted in character. The Aayah continues to define the second attribute which is that Prophet (SAW) is extremely kind, affectionate and merciful to his Ummah. The third attribute of Prophet (SAW) is that he is very concerned for the good of his Ummah in this world as well as in the Hereafter. Prophet (SAW) had no wish for his own self, but he always focused on the betterment of his Ummah, and in Ummah rests the interest of the entire humanity. He (SAW) had an intense yearning to connect the created with the Creator. He longed that man should recognize his Lord, his real Master, his Sustainer, and his Provider and obey Him the way He must be obeyed. He (SAW) knew the consequences of disobedience, disloyalty and thanklessness. Mercy to the Mankind, he (SAW) wanted to save people from Allah’s displeasure, and his deep concern for people caused him great discomfort. Aayah 103 of Surah Yusuf reads: “However eagerly you [Rasul Allah] may want them to, most men will not believe.”
Allah (SWT) time and again comforted Prophet (SAW) not to worry so much about the disbelievers. Aayah 3 of Surah Al-Shu’ara’ says: “Rasul Allah, are you going to worry yourself to death because they will not believe.” There are many such consoling and comforting Aayahs in the Holy Qur’an.
Utbah bin Rabiah, the chief of the Quresh once went with a proposal to resolve the conflict between his tribe and Allah’s Messenger. Utbah said to Prophet (SAW):
“My cousin! By preaching this new Faith, if you want wealth, we can put together so much that you will be the richest person among us. If you want name and leadership, we are willing to name you as our leader, and wouldn’t make any decision with out your consent. If you want kingship, we will make you our king. If you are possessed by a spirit, and you don’t know its cure, we can provide you with the best physicians and will make sure that you are fully cured.”
When Utbah concluded his proposal, Prophet (SAW) said to him: “Listen to me now.” He (SAW) then recited some verses from Surah Fussilat. Utbah was so much moved by Prophet (SAW)’s recitation that he went to the leaders of Quresh and said:
“I have heard such a Kalaam, that I had never heard before. I swear by God, that it is not poetry, it is not magic, and it is not hearsay. People of Quresh, listen to me and agree to what I say: leave this person (Muhammad - SAW) alone and let him go his own way.”
Prophet (SAW) rejected all those offers of wealth, honor, and power, which could have been very tempting to any one. He (SAW) made it clear that he (SAW) had come with the Message of Allah (SWT) and his mission was to deliver the Message to everyone who was prepared to listen.
The supplications made by Prophet (SAW) from time to time reflect his deep affection for the Ummah and its well being in both the worlds. The person who prepares to depart for the next world thinks of things which are very dear to his heart. Listen to what our beloved Prophet (SAW) wished for the Muslim community a month before his death. He (SAW) prayed: “May Allah give you peace, protect and save you from evil, help you and exalt you, guide you and shield you from adversity, and safeguard your Deen for you.” This is only one example. If you read his biography, you will find that he (SAW) was always extremely concerned for the good of his Ummah and prayed for it day and night.
This Aayah under discussion mentions two additional attributes of Prophet (SAW), which are bil-Mu’mineena Ra-uufu-Raheem [He (SAW) is full of kindness and mercy towards the believers].
We all know that Prophet (SAW) is Mercy to the worlds, and his attribute of Mercy is for all the humanity without any discrimination. In one of the Aayahs of Surah Anbiaa, Allah (SWT) addresses him as “Rahmatul Lil Aalameen.” And in this Aayah of Surah Tawba, Allah (SWT) calls him “Raheem”. There is no conflict between Rahmat and Raheem, as truth never contradicts itself. Scholars opine that the Aayah of Surah Al-Ambiaa mentions his general mercy and kindness, while Aayah of Surah Tawbah emphasizes his special mercy and kindness towards the believers.
Let us see some examples how Allah (SWT) has used the world “Aalameen” (worlds) in the Holy Qur’an.
In Surah Fatiha, Allah (SWT) has referred Himself as “Rub’bil Aalameen”. (The Lord, the Master, the Self-Sufficient Sovereign of the worlds.)
Aayah 27 of Surah At-Takwir refers to the Holy Qur’an as “In huwa illa Zikrul-lil-aalameen.” (Verily This is no less than a Message to all the worlds.)
Aayah 96 of Surah Al-Imraan defines Kaabah as: “bi-Bakkat mubaarakanw-wa hudal-lil-aalameen.” (Bakka [Makkah] full of blessing and that of guidance for all the worlds.).
In Aayah 91 of Surah Al-Anbiaa Allah (SWT) referred to Nuh (AS)’s boat and the personality of Maryam (AS) as “Aayatal-lil-aalameen.” (Sign for all the worlds/people.)
The attribute of “Rahmatul lil Aalameen” has been exclusively used for our beloved Prophet (SAW). To fully comprehend the scope of Prophet (SAW)’s attribute of Mercy and Kindness, keep in mind the attribute of Mercy of Allah (SWT) as mentioned in Aayah 156 of Surah Al-A’araf: “Wa Rahmatee wasi-‘at kulla shay’.”(My Mercy extends to all things). Allah (SWT)’s reference of “Aalameen” highlights His exclusive sovereignty over the entire universe and in this context see the attributes of kindness and mercy of Prophet (SAW) toward the entire universe. Note how parallel these attributes run in the Holy Qur’an with regards to Allah (SWT) and the Prophet (SAW). This parallelization of attributes gives us an idea of the exalted stature of Prophet (SAW). Think and deliberate on the scope of Prophet (SAW) attribute of Mercy and Kindness which extends itself to all the mankind; the women, children, slaves, orphans, widows, poor, sick, oppressed, prisoners, travelers and people of all shades and classes.
Allah (SWT) has used His own attributes namely “Ra’uuf” and “Raheem” (Full of Kindness and Merciful) for Prophet (SAW). In Aayah 65 of Surah Al-Hajj Allah (SWT) says: “Innal’Laaha binnaasi la-Ra-‘uu-fu-Raheem.” (for Allah is Most Kind and Most Merciful to mankind.) The use of these two attribute for Prophet (SAW) shows his honor and exaltation in the sight of Allah. Allah (SWT) is most kind and most merciful towards all mankind and Prophet (SAW) is most kind and most merciful towards the believers.
Among all Prophets and Messengers, it is only and only our beloved Prophet (SAW) for whom Allah (SWT) has used the attributive adjectives, which He has used for Himself.
The celebrated poet companion Hassaan bin Thaabit (RA)’s in his odes has glorified Prophet (SAW). In one of his couplet, he says: Allah (SWT) has drawn Prophet’s (SAW)’s name from the root of His own name. He (SWT) is Mahmood (the One Who is most worthy of praise and glorification and is praised and glorified the most). And Prophet (SAW)’s name Muhammad means the one who praises and glorifies Allah (SWT) the most, and by the extension of its meaning is himself the most praise worthy after Allah (SWT). Literary scholars in their critical appreciation of the couplet have complimented Hassaan (RA) for his imagination and creativity and added that there are at least 80 such attributive names of Prophet (SAW) which are derived from the root of Allah (SWT)’s attributive names. Insha Allah I will talk about such names on another occasion.
There are numerous examples of Prophet (SAW)’s love, affection, thoughtfulness and concern for the Ummah. Abdullah bin Masood (RA) said that Prophet (SAW)’s sermons were always educational, and engaging. We always looked forward to them, yet Prophet (SAW) delivered them only occasionally and not daily so as not to discomfort us. [Bukhari & Muslim]
Whenever a child cried during prayers, Prophet (SAW) used to shorten his prayers to enable the mother to take care of her child. It also controlled the disturbance and distraction of those who prayed. Though his companions loved to be at his service, but he (SAW) never liked the idea of seeing someone walking on foot while he himself rode the camel or the horse. He (SAW) never accepted any inheritance of a deceased. On the contrary he (SAW) always paid off money for those who died in debt. Prophet (SAW) always kept his heart clean. Ibn Masud (RA) narrates that Prophet (SAW) said: “None of my Companions should convey to me anything regarding another because I desire to meet every one of you with a clean heart.” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi]. This tradition emphasizes that a Muslim should not have a bias or prejudice against anyone and his heart should remain clean.
It was Prophet (SAW)’s habit to pray for his Ummah. He always loved children, said Salaam to them, used to provide them ride, was kind to the slaves, visited them and invited them to have food with him. Time will never be enough to count the attributes of love, compassion and mercy of Prophet (SAW). Darud o Salaam on that personification of perfection and the greatest benefactor of humanity.
SWT = Subhanahu Wa Ta'Ala
SAW = Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam
RAnha= Radhiyallaho anha
The Friday Khutbahs are published to enhance your knowledge of Islam. The references of Quran and Hadith are the approximate translation of the Arabic text. The editors have not verified the accuracy of the the English translation. The scholarly reader is encouraged to refer to the original Arabic script if there is any doubt. Kindly notify us if the translation can be enhanced.