Ishfaq Nissar Padder
The mercy and forgiveness of Prophet Mohammad(SAW) is clearly demonstrated in the fact that Prophet Mohammad(SAW)never took revenge on anyone for personal reasons and always forgave even his staunch enemies. In the earlier period of prophet hood, the Prophet Mohammad(SAW) travelled to the city of Taif, a city located in the mountains nearby to Makkah in order to invite them to accept Islam. When the Prophet(SAW) arrived at Taif, he made for a number of Thaqif who were at that time leaders and chiefs, namely three brothers: ‘Abdu Yalayl, Mas’ud, and Habib, sons of ‘Amr bin ‘Umayr bin’’Auf bin ‘Uqda bin Ghiyara bin’Auf bin Thaqif. One of them had a Quraysh wife of the Banu Jumah. Prophet Mohammad(SAW) sat with them and invited them to accept Islam and asked them to help him against his opponents at home. One of them swore that he would tear up the covering of the Ka’ba if God had sent him. The other said, “Could not God have found someone better than you?” The third said, “By God, don’t let me ever speak to you. If you are an apostle from God as you say you are, you are far too important for me to reply to, and if you are lying against God it is not right that I should speak to you!” So, Prophet Mohammad(SAW) got up and left, despairing of getting any good out of Thaqif. The leaders of Taif were rude and discourteous and their treatment of Prophet Mohammad(SAW) not being content with their insolent attitude towards him they not only shouted at and abused him, but also threw stones at him, until Prophet Mohammad(SAW) was compelled to take refuge in an orchard. Thus Prophet Mohammad(SAW) had to endure even more obstacles in Taif than he had to face in Makkah. These oppressions so grievously dejected the Prophet(SAW) and plunged him into in such a state of depression that a prayer, sighting his helplessness and pitiable condition and seeking aid of Allah sprang spontaneously from his lips:
“O Allah! To you alone I complain of my weakness, my insufficient ability and my significance and my insignificance before the people. You are the most Merciful of the merciful. You are the Lord of the helpless and the weak Lord of mine! Into whose hands would you abandon me: into the hands of an unsympathetic distant relative who would angrily frown at me, or to the enemy who has been given control over my affairs? But if your wrath does not fall on me, there is nothing for me to worry about.”
“Your pardon is ample enough for me. I seek protection in the light of your Face, which illuminates the darkness, fixing the affairs in this world as well as in the Hereafter. May it never be that I should incur your wrath, or that you should be wrathful to me? And there is no power nor resource, but yours alone.”
Soon after, Allah sent the angel of mountains, to Prophet Mohammad(SAW) to join together the two hills and crush the city of Taif between which it was located. Out of his great tolerance and mercy the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) replied:
“No, for I hope that god will bring forth from their loins people who will worship god alone associating with Him” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith.1759)
His(SAW) mercy and compassion was so great that one of the greatest opponents of Islam, Abdullah bin Ubayy, the leader of hypocrites of Madinah, outwardly proclaiming Islam, inflicted great harm to Muslims and the mission of Prophet Mohammad(SAW) Knowing this state of affairs, the Prophet Mohammad(SAW) still offered funeral prayers for him and prayed to Allah for his forgiveness the Quran at (9:84).
The mercy of Prophet Mohammad(SAW) even extended to those who brutally killed the Prophet’s(SAW) uncle Hazrat Hamzah who was one of the earliest to accept Islam. An Abyssinian slave of the wife of Abu Sufyan, Hinda, sought out and killed Hamzah in the Battle of Uhud. The night before the victory of Makkah Abu Sufyan accepted Islam, fearing the vengeance of the Prophet(SAW) whoforgave him and sought no retribution of years of enmity. After Hinda had Hazrat Hamzah(RA) killed, she mutilated his body by cutting his chest and tearing his liver and heart into pieces. But, when she quietly came to the Prophet(SAW) and accepted Islam, he recognized her but did not say anything. Prophet(SAW) extended his generous mercy and she was forgiven. The same generous treatment was accorded to Habbar who had attacked the Prophet Mohammad’s (SAW) daughter with a spear so grievously that she ultimately died of the fatal injuries while on her way from Makkah to Madinah. Prophet Mohammad (SAW) was all for forgiveness and no amount of crime or aggression against him were too great to be forgiven by him. He was the complete example of forgiveness and kindness as mentioned in Quran (7:199).
There is no compulsion in religion although Prophet Mohammad (SAW) and his companions believed that it is right to adopt Islam-as it seals of the previous messages, they never tried to force anyone to adopt Islam. It is mentioned in the Quran(2:256) and (10:99).Islam not only gave non-Muslims the freedom to retain their religion but it also allowed them to practice their ceremonies and preserved their religious places. The value of justice with others Prophet Mohammad(SAW) dealt fairly with all people whether Muslim or non-Muslim. It is mentioned in Quran at (4:58).
The Holy Prophet (SAW) ruled fairly if Ahli-al-Kitab (the Jews and the Christians) choose him as their arbitrator of disputed. It is mentioned in many traditions of Prophet Mohammad(SAW) that if anyone kills a man whom he grants protection pre maturely Allah will forbid him to enter the paradise. Prophet Mohammad(SAW) also preserved and guaranteed the security of non-Muslim’s lives, wealth and honor in the Islamic community. Such was the compassionate and great nature of our great Holy Prophet(SAW).
—The author holds a Master’s in Islamic Studies from the Islamic University of Science & Technology, Awantipora. He can be reached at: [email protected]