A Mercy to the Whole Universe
By: Husein Khimjee
Of all the Anbiya(A.S.) that Allah sent to different tribes and nations, Rasulu-Allah (S.A.W.) was sent to the whole mankind. Allah says He sent him as a mercy to the whole universe. At another place, that (Mankind) will find in Rasulu-Allah the "Uswat al-Hasana", i.e. the best example (to follow). Rasul-Allah's status, (i.e. Darajat) therefore, was the flowering of all Anbiya (A.S.) that precede him.
(The very first to appear in the chainhood of Nabuwwat was Adam (and) its perfection was in Muhammad (S.A.W.) who was "the Seal of all Prophets".
Allah, in completing His Message also sealed the Nabuwwat and guaranteed mankind that He chose Islam as the only religion in which mankind would find full perfection, blessing and completion of all His laws.
It is a fact that in the 7th century C.E. people were involved in superstitious beliefs, myths and social traditions that literally prevented humankind from progress. It is true that by that time, Nabi Musa (A.S.) and Nabi `Isa ibn Maryam (A.S.) had already brought the Tawrat and the Injil respectively, revealed to them by Allah for the Bani Israel. The Jews and Christians had, unfortunately, deviated from the actual teachings of Nabi Musa and Nabi `Isa ibn Maryam a great deal. The complete guidance was not available.
In Arabia itself, people lived a wretched life-style. We know that apart from the aristocratic tribes of the Quraysh who prided themselves on their tribes (Ashraf al-Qabail), the Bedouin Arabs as nomads lived on raids and plunder. The non-Arab slaves were treated as chattel and so were the Arab women. We also know that some Arabs believed birth of daughters to be harmful and would bury their infant daughters alive. Imam Ali (A.S.) speaks about the conditions of Arabs of the time in one of his sermons collected in Nahj al-Balagha.
The peoples of the more civilized areas like the Roman Empire and the Persian Empire were also involved in false beliefs and superstitions. Women in their societies were also considered inferior. Morality was lacking everywhere. This was literally a dark age! What was required, therefore, was a true enlightenment, a true social revolution to uplift the condition of mankind and to show them the purpose in the life.
The transformation could only occur with the divine blessing from Allah through the divinely appointed leader. Allah (SWT) chose Muhammad Rasul-Allah (SAWA) for this great mission that changed once and for all the condition of mankind. Rasul-Allah lifted mankind once and for all from the abyss of darkness and showed them the path to the true Light where they could live a good life on the earth and prepare for the eternal Hereafter. The choice to choose the path was left entirely upon human beings themselves. Those who chose the correct path in the footsteps of Rasul-Allah were helped and guided by Allah. Those that did not, would never find guidance unless they realized and turned to Allah by obeying His commands through Rasul-Allah (SAWA).
In order to achieve this status of the guided, Allah sent as an example of virtue and morality, Rasul-Allah. A man of greatest patience, charisma and gentle behaviour, Rasul-Allah would be like a beacon of light in the sea of darkness. Rasul-Allah's gentle behaviour is recorded in the Holy Qur'an where Allah reveals in 3:159 "This is due to the mercy from Allah that you deal with them (so) gently..." The incredible understanding, gentleness and most importantly truthfulness and high morals of Rasul-Allah brought about the revolution, first in Arabia and then in the whole world.
For the very first time, mankind began to feel its worth. For the very first time, the social status of women was raised and brought in line with men. The revolution was amazing. It turned conflict into unity, arrogance into modesty, illiteracy into motivation to learning and selfishness into altruism. As men and women became models of morality, darkness would begin to disappear. Rasul-Allah (SAWA)'s morality is described in the Holy Qur'an (68:4): "And without any doubt (O Muhammad) you truly stand on an exalted character."
When he spoke, he did not use hurtful words. Rasul-Allah (S.A.W.) was always cheerful. Rasul-Allah disliked to be treated where others would feel inferior. When he was among the people, he would mingle so much that a newcomer would not even know who Muhammad (SAWA) was. With no love for the luxuries of this world, Rasul-Allah taught that this world is only a passing place and should be used to build for the permanent life in the Hereafter.
Rasul-Allah (SAWA) would feel angry only when he observed violation of Allah's (SWT) commands.
Rasul-Allah paid full attention to the needs of people. When someone talked to him , he listened to him attentively. Amazingly affectionate to the downcast, like slaves in the society, he always endeavoured to remove their sufferings. With his own servants, Rasul-Allah was extremely gentle. It is reported that one day, Anas ibn Malik, his servant, knowing that Rasul-Allah (SAWA) had fasted, prepared milk for him. Since Rasul-Allah was slightly late in returning home, Anas thought that Rasul-Allah might have already broken the fast with someone. He drank the milk he had prepared for Rasul-Allah,himself. When Rasul-Allah returned, Anas discovered that Rasul-Allah had not broken the fast yet. When Rasul-Allah was informed that Anas had alreaddy drank his milk, he made no remark and behaved as if he was not hungry. Without any food, he still remained cheerful and still fasted the next day. No wonder even the non-Muslim sources show that people loved him so much that they would throng around him when he was doing his Wudhu so that they would collect water flowing from his face and hands to rub it on themselves.
Rasul-Allah loved his prayers. And he taught never to lie. Never did he disrespect anybody and was always forgiving.
When he conquered Makkah and his defeated enemies asked him what he would do with them, he said to them in the most touching and beautiful manner that they were like brothers unto him. Just as Nabi Yusuf (A.S.) had forgiven his brothers, so did he likewise forgave them.
In the Khutba that he gave from Jabal al-Rahmah in his "Hajjat al-Widah" he commanded people not to treat others inferior. The Arabs were not superior to the Non-Arabs. Neither was a white man superior to the black one. All were the childern of one father and one mother, Nabi Adam and Bibi Hawwa; and Adam was created from the dust, he said. The only one superior to Allah is the one who is the most pious to Allah, the one who has the most Taqwa!
This was the true enlightenment that would illumine the world, for Allah loves those who are Muttaqi and promises them an everlasting happiness in the hereafter where they will be in the company of Rasul-Allah at the Hawdh al-Kawthar. And this will be from the greatest rewards of the Jannat.
How much do we long even now to be in the company of Rasul-Allah (S.A.W.).
We pray to Allah for that status, Amin.