The small word ‘Mercy’ that contains five words looks very small. However, we consider it so big that we can not afford it. In result, we are titled as harsh and arrogant. Let us learn how to be merciful on each other (irrespective of how bad we are treated) from the most influential person in history: Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)
Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) who is listed as the most influential person in history in the book ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’ authored by Michael H. Hart. The Prophet was not only merciful to his family and companions but to animals, non-living and enemies too.
The Quran talks about his compassion and mercy. “We have sent you as a [manifestation of our] grace towards all the world.” [Quran, 21:107]
This is the reason when he commanded a military expedition, he would always urge his commanders and soldiers to observe these ethics.
Anas ibn Malik reported in one hadith (teachings of Islam) that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said them, “March by God’s name and help, and on the basis of the message of God’s messenger. Do not kill an elderly person, a child, a youth or a woman. Do not hoard anything of a war gains, but group them together. Put things right and do well, for God loves those who do well.” [Abu Dawud, Sunan]
Even those who were the harsh enemy of Islam, and subjugated Muslims to the extreme level were also not deprived of the Prophet’s mercy.
The Prophet was prejudiced by some people in many ways. They spat on him. Emptied sheep’s stomach over his head. Put thorns in his path. Confiscated his property. Exiled him. Conspired against him. Killed his beloved ones. Once he said, “No prophet has been harmed as much as I have been.”
Even after prolonged subjugation he was remained patient and above all merciful to the people who subjugated him. When he triumphed over the Mecca people, he did not go beyond forgiving and overlooking the harm dealt with him by the Meccans.
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He said to them, “What do you think I am going to do to you?” In answer, they said, “You will deal with us with kindness. You are a gracious brother and the son of a gracious brother.” The Prophet said, “I shall say to you just as my brother the Prophet Joseph had said: ‘No harm upon you; go, for you are free’”.
He forgave all of them including the most bitter of his enemies such as Abu Sufyan and Hind.
The lifestyle of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is an example for all of us. The more we follow him and emulate his character the better person we will become. Be merciful to other and Allah will shower his mercy on you. “And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.” [Quran, 3:132]