The Prophet Muhammad (S) – A Mercy to the Worlds

The Prophet Muhammad (S) – A Mercy to the Worlds

-Dr. Tasneema Ghazi-

 

As Pope Francis “Opened a Holy Door and a Year of Mercy” in a yearlong celebration dedicated to the theme of mercy, I began to think of the month of the birth of the “Mercy to the Worlds.”  This is the month of Rabi’ ul-Awwal, the month of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (S) who was sent as “th Mercy to the Worlds.”  It is time for all of us his Ummah to begin to plan and deliver various kind words and deeds of mercy to all of Allah’s creations.  Let us plan activities of service, sharing caring and mercy with our Catholic friends and neighbors, and with everyone.

Let us work together to bring the healing power of mercy and service to our country and the world! The Qur’an says about Prophet Muhammad (S):

1-Ayat “We have not sent you except as a mercy for all the Worlds.”

(Al-Anbiya’ 21:107)

Prophet Muhammad (S) himself is a true model of the Mercy of Allah. He practiced what he taught others.   His mercy extended to all humanity and to everything that Allah has created. Indeed Allah had given Prophet Muhammad (S) had a very kind heart.  The Qur’an says:

 

2-Ayat

“It is the Mercy of Allah that you are kind to them; if you were harsh,

They would have left you.  So overlook their mistakes, ask for Allah’s forgiveness

For them, and consult them in your affairs.”

(Al-Imran 3:159)

 

The Messenger of Allah’s kindness and compassion attracted people to him.  Most of the people who met him believed in him and became faithful Sahabah. Even before he became a prophet he was well-known for his honesty, good character and kindness.  When Allah honored him with the revelation, he was given a very special mission to perform.  Love and Mercy always guided his mission.

Prophet Muhammad (S) was kind and merciful to those who opposed him. He was tormented, made fun of and laughed at, but he never complained.  He never felt hatred towards those who hated him. In fact, his whole being was a manifestation of the divine injunction to repay evil with goodness.

Allah made him head of a new community in Yathrib.  Most of the people of Yathrib accepted Islam.  He combined justice with mercyHe cared about all people living in Madinah not just the Muslims.  He was considerate to all of his neighbors, many of whom Jewish.  He treated prisoners of war with respect and dignity.  He even released all the prisoners of the Battle of Badr and forgave the prisoners of the Battle of Hunain and returned all their property to them.

The Messenger of Allah (S) loved peace.  When he returned to Makkah eight years after the Hijrah, he showed exceptional mercy towards those who opposed him.  He forgave his enemies. He did not even allow the Muhajirun to reclaim their stolen property.

Prophet Muhammad’s Mercy with children, orphans, widows and the sick:

The Messenger of Allah (S) was specially kind and loving to children.  Anas RA has reported that said, “I start the prayers, intending to lengthen them.  Then, I hear a child crying so I make them shorter, knowing how emotional a child’s mother gets.”  (Bukhari & Muslim).  He used to stroke the heads of the children and kiss them.  He said, “He who does not have mercy will not have mercy upon him.”

He will help the poor and widow and will not eat until he has fed a hungry person. If he saw someone in a state of stress and pain he would be deeply affected by it and try to help ease the pain.

Mercy to Animals

The Messenger of Allah (S) was kind and merciful to all creatures.  He taught us to be kind to all animals.  Domestic animals must be fed properly, handle carefully and loaded lightly.  He forbade games in which animals made to fight, injured and often killed each other.  He told us that if we have to kill an animal we must do so in the least painful way.  In fact, he told us that causing pain on other creatures is wrong.

 

Mercy with the Environment

The Messenger of Allah (S) forbade cutting the trees and destroying vegetation without a valid reason.  Even during the wars he had instructed safeguarding the plants and the trees, encouraged cultivation and plantation.  He said:  “If someone has a sapling in hand to plant and he discovers the Day of Judgment is only one day away, he must still plant it.” (Abu Dawud)

 

The Messenger of Allah (S) encouraged us to use water carefully.  He advised us not waste food.  He taught us that we should share the resources of the earth so that our communities grow strong and happy.  He said: “When we share, the food of two is enough for three and food for three is enough for four.” (Al-Muwatta)

He was full of mercy and treated all hum beings equally.  The Qur’an teaches us to cooperate with others to build a better society.

 

3-Ayat

“And cooperate with each other in doing good and do not

Cooperate with each other in sin and transgression.”
(Al-M’dah 5:2)

 

Let us do just that and cooperate with people who are merciful and peace loving and stand against those who spread hatred and mischief on our beautiful earth.

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Thanksgiving in our home

By Dr. Tasneema Ghazi Turkey Dinner Table

“Mommy, I think we have been living in America long enough to celebrate Thanksgiving!”

My seven years old thinker-daughter said this to me in 1973. We had just moved from Harvard to San Diego where my husband got a teaching job at the university.

We bought our first house in the United States and decided to settle in this lovely land instead of returning to India. America was home now; and it has been ever since.

We all sat down and talked about the history and the significance of this special national holiday for all Americans, both recent immigrants and longstanding natives. We reckoned that Thanksgiving is not holiday centered on religious beliefs, like Christmas or Easter, but it is a national holiday where the citizens of this great nation together offer thanks to their Creator for giving them this land of bounty and keeping it thriving and prosperous.

If anything we can even find in the origins of Thanksgiving the very Islamic principles of migration for the sake of faith, as well as helping those in need. This Pilgrims fled their native England rather than compromise their beliefs. They struggled for existence in the first years of their life in the Plymouth Colony, and if it weren’t for the assistance of the indigenous Wampanoag people the Old World immigrants would not have survived. Does such a story ring a bell with Muslims?

Thanksgiving is about offering thanks to Allah (SWT) for bestowing His grace and blessings upon all of us living in this country. For our first Thanksgiving we invited our dear friend Qiaser Jahan, a graduate student from Pakistan, and Mr. Bari whose grandfather had migrated to California from Punjab in the early 1900. Dr. and Mrs. Dill, both professors at the university also joined us in the celebrations.

We decided that our first Thanksgiving would be in typical American-style, complete with turkey, corn, green beans, pumpkin pie and of course gravy. In the center of the table was a tray with the sign “Prophet Muhammad’s favorite Foods.” This tray contained olives, bread, finely sliced meat, watermelon etc. Dr. Dill offered the du’a before the meal and everyone enjoyed the delicious food.

Since then we have celebrated this most American holiday every year. Sometimes we cooked the turkey on Thanksgiving Day, while at other times it was on a Friday or Saturday, depending on the schedules of family members and guests over the long weekend. In Chicago we once invited a number of visiting poets from India and Pakistan who were in town for a poetry symposium and they asked for a turkey dinner. I prepared the dinner along with a roasted leg of lamb – Indian style. My daughter invited a dozen of her friends from University of Chicago International House. The guest poets sat on the dining table and spread the traditional dastarkhwan/sofrah on our living room floor for the rest of us. The joy of meeting with family and friends and having warm get together was so very important, and it continues to be so.

Thanksgiving is all about praising Allah (SWT) as a country for all of the things He has blessed us with. It is about coming together with family and friends and sharing moments of joy and happiness. And as I.M.A.N.’s Turkey Drive tells us, it should also be about sharing with those less fortunate. It is all about brotherhood, sisterhood, love and peace. This is the spirit of Thanksgiving, and it is the spirit of Islam.
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