Sunday, September 18, 2016

Prophet Muhammad's Relationships with his Family and Relatives

Prophet Muhammad set up principles based on the Quran to create an order in social life. A few of these principles include the brotherhood of all Muslims, helping one another and solidarity amongst people as well as putting up a shared stand against injustice. Along with these, there are other practical examples that the Prophet modelled himself and encouraged all Muslims to emulate. Some of these are equal treatment of all Muslims regardless of whether they are advantaged or disadvantaged, rich or poor, materialization of a Muslim brotherhood between Ansar and Muhajir as an institution of mutual solidarity and continued support, encouragement for helping each other, exchanging gifts and spreading salam (saying ‘peace be upon you'). All of these measures and principles are geared towards the creation of a generally harmonized and peaceful society.

One's family and relatives who make up his/her immediate environment have special importance within this framework. Tribal prejudice in the pre-islamic Arab society gave rise to a spirit of tribal loyalty in the form of strong relations amongst people from the same tribe and branch. This was however the reason for serious tribal wars and rivalry. Within such a context, the exemplary relationships that Prophet Muhammad had with his tribe and family helped put aside the inner rivalry fired by tribal prejudice and created a sound and legitimate framework of relationships among family and relatives.

The relationship of Allah's Apostle with his family and relatives can be formulated as his relationships with his Ahl ul Bayt ('People of the House', connoting the Prophet's family members and their early descendents). For the evidence in the Quran, the ahadith (Traditions and doings) of the Prophet and the literal meaning of the expression of Ahl ul Bayt in the Arab language point out to the fact that Ahl ul Bayt involves both family and relatives. It is accepted that, in the strict sense of the word, the expression refers to the Prophet's wives, children, Hadhrat (the noble) Ali and the Prophet's grandchildren Hadhrat Hasan and Hussain, and in a larger sense, it includes all of his direct descendents who are muslims.

His Relationships with His Wives

Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) married life started with hazrat Khadija and continued with his other marriages. It was said that at the time of his death, he had nine wives.

Six of the Prophet's wives were from Quraish. These are Hadhrat Khadija, Aisha, Hafsah, Om Habibah, Om Salamah and Sawdah. His other wives from non-Quraysh Arabs were Hadhrat Zaynab bint Jahsh, Maymunah bint Kharis, Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, Juwayriyyah bint Kharis. And his non-Arab wives were Safiyyah bint Huyay and Mariyyah al-Qiptiyyah, both from the tribe of Banu Nadir. Two of Prophet's wives who died while he was alive were Hadhrat Khadija and Zaynab bint Huzaymah.

Our Prophet's family life was shaped around islamic principles and he implemented in his own life the principles he preached to his ummah. The following advice of the Prophet for ensuring peace and happiness in the family both in this world and in the hereafter gives us the fundamentals of peace and happiness: "The best among you are those who behave best toward their wives. I am the best among you toward his wives. The best among you is the one  who is the kindest to his wife and the worst among you is the one who treats his wife badly."

All of the Prophet's children, except for Ibrahim, were from Hadhrat Khadija. They were Qasim, Abdallah, Zaynab, Ruqiyyah, Om Kolsoum and Fatimah. Other son of the Prophet, Ibrahim, was from Mariyyah who was sent to him as a gift from Muqavqis. Although his sons died when they were quite young, his daughters grew up and got married.

The marriages of Prophet Muhammad, sal Allahu alayhi wa Salaam, which involved a multitude of situations and aspects, were models for muslims in all respects. While his marriage to Khadija introduces to us an example of monogamous life, his other marriages brings up a rich variety of his attitudes towards his different wives each with a different personality.

The first point to be made about these relationships is the commitment of spouses to each other on the principle of honesty and loyalty. We can find numerous examples of honesty and loyalty between the Prophet and his wives on which they built a happy and peaceful family life. The first example of great loyalty in the family life of the Prophet is the commitment of Khadija, whom he married after their acquaintance through business. Khadija was always there to support him spiritually and financially both before and after his prophethood. When he first received divine revelation, Prophet Muhammad was frightened and worried and the first thing he did was to go to Khadija and tell her about the his situation. Khadija reminded him of his good virtues and told him ‘By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you.' and she relieved him by explaining to him that he was visited by an angel and that he was a prophet.

Another example of loyalty and commitment between Allah's Apostle and his wives was the freedom he gave to his wives on the basis of divine command to choose  between him or worldly benefits when they asked from him for material things, at the end of which, they always chose Allah, His Apostle and the life of the Hereafter.

In return for his wives' loyalty and commitment to him, Prophet Muhammad always observed their rights. The truth of the matter is that observing the rights of one's spouse is a principle set by the Quran itself, which can be seen in the following verse: "...And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) in kindness..."  Examples to the Prophet's careful observation of the rights of his wives are plenty. For instance, he would draw lots among his wives before he would go on an expedition and each time he would take one of them with him by turns. Again, he would allow a day and a night for each of them. Although in many hadith reports he was said to have more affection for Aisha, this never led him to treat his wives unequally or unfairly. As a matter of fact, he signified the importance of this matter, examples of which he practiced in his own life as a model for all the muslims, within the framework of the basic principles he preached in his Last Khutba (sermon): "O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you.  Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under ALLAH's trust and with HIS permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers."

Once asked by one of his companions about the rights of wives over their husbands, he said: "That you should give her food when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not strike her on the face, do not revile her or separate yourself from her except in the house."

Likewise, all the wives of Prophet Muhammad observed his rights over them both as a husband and a Prophet and they acted with care and respect when it came to protecting his prophetic attributes. Once Abu Sufyan, who was the chief of the Meccan polytheists, came to Madinah to request an extension of the duration of the Hudaybiyyah Agreement. When he saw that he was not quite welcome by people, he thought he could go to his daughter, Om Habibah and ask for her help. When he entered the house of her daughter, he wanted to sit on the cushion of Allah's Apostle, but her daughter did not allow him. Abu Sufyan asked her, ‘Oh daughter! Am I better than this seat, or is it better than me?' She said: ‘You are a polytheist and you are impure. That's why you can not sit on the bench of Allah's Apostle.' Her answer was an open manifestation of her utmost sensitivity.

"The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is someone who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best toward their wives."

What is also integral to happiness and peace in family life is love and respect between spouses, which finds its expressions in many of the Prophet's ahadith and in actual examples from his life. In a hadith, he says: "The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is someone who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best toward their wives"Also, other ahadith like,"A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another" and "I advise you to treat your wives well" are all commands to foster love and respect between spouses.

 Prophet Muhammad never forgot the sacrifices Hadhrat Khadija made and the respect she had for him and he always cherished her memory with love and respect. Once when he talked about her, Aisha told him, ‘Why do you keep talking about that old woman? Allah gave you better ones than her.' Allah's Apostle got upset at her remark and replied: ‘"Allah has not given me a better one. She believed in me when no one else did; she accepted Islam when people rejected me; and she helped and comforted me when there was noone else to lend me a helping hand. She used her property for me when noone gave me anything and she gave me children when noone gave me children. "On the other hand, when asked about who was dearest to him, Allah's Apostle said ‘Aisha' from among women and ‘her father' from among men, which is a clear expression of his love and respect for his wives.

We can see that, along with tolerance and sacrifice, solidarity and support in good and bad times play an important part in Prophet Muhammad's relationships with members of his family. He always welcomed their appropriate wishes and actions and helped them.  Once Hadhrat Aisha wanted to watch the sword show of a team from Habesh in the yard of the mosque, the Prophet accepted her request and waited till the end of the show.

When Safiyyah, whom the Prophet wed after the conquest of Khaybar came to Madinah, Aisha went to visit her. On her return from the visit, the Prophet asked her how she found Safiyyah and Aisha said, ‘Just like a Jewish girl.' The Prophet did not get angry with this answer given for some personal reasons and also as a reaction to the beauty of Safiyyah, he only said, 'O Aisha, don't say that, she accepted Islam and how beautiful her Islam is.' to correct her.

Members of Prophet Muhammad's family were his greatest helpers in the face of hardships. We could find in their lives the peaks of solidarity. The year the Hudaybiyyah Agreement was made, muslims intended to make umra (a visit to the Kaba'a), wore their ihram (to be clothed in two seamless sheets to perform Hajj or Umra) and prepared to sacrifice animals. In spite of all these preparations, the polytheists did not allow Muslims in Mecca and made an agreement with the Prophet. The agreement not only involved some articles that were not in favor of the muslims but it also stopped them from making umra that year. When this agreement was signed, the Muslims got very upset and had difficulty accepting its conditions.

Although the Prophet told them three times: "Get on your feet, sacrifice your animals, shave and take off your ihram." noone was willing to do anything. He became very upset and  went to his wife, Om Salamah, who was with him at that time, and told her about the situation. Safiyyah answeed: "O Allah's Apostle! Go out, sacrifice your animal without talking to anyone, then call someone, let him shave you and take off your ihram." The Prophet did as she told and took off his ihram.  Then his companions did the same when they saw what he did although they were a bit half-hearted. This incident shows us how Om Salamah saw how the companions of the Prophet did not want to obey him because of their unhappiness with the situation and also their hatred of the polytheists and how this left the Prophet upset and in despair. The advice she gave at such a critical moment both helped the companions to obey the word of the Prophet and to relieve the Prophet's burden.

Another distinctive attribute of the family of the Prophet was their patience and contentment in the face of material depravity. While some of the Prophet's wives were poor, some of them were from rich families. All of them, however, by wedding with the Prophet renounced any prospect of material prosperity and exemplified a greater patience. Aisha narrates, "A complete month would pass by during which we would not make a fire (for cooking), and our food used to be only dates and water unless we were given a present of some meat." Again, in another report of hadith, she says: "The family of Muhammad had never eaten their fill of wheat bread for three successive days since they had migrated to Medina till the death of the Prophet. ". These are all exemplary expressions of altruism and patience.

We can find innumerous reports which show that the Prophet wished for a life of modesty and thankfulness to Allah for whatever He provides instead of leading a rich, prosperous life.  The prophet used to make the following dua (invocation): "O Allah, keep me in the company of the poor. Let me die in poverty, raise me with the poor on the Day of Judgement." Aisha once asked the Prophet, "Why do you ask to be kept in the company of the poor, let you die in poverty and raise you with the poor?
Rasulullah replied, "The poor will enter the Paradise before the rich." After a pause he added, "O Aisha, never turn a needy person away from your door. Give him something, though it be only a piece of a date. Respect the poor and love them in spite of their poverty. If you bring the poor and needy closer to you, Allah will bring you closer to himself."

Rasulullah replied, "The poor will enter the Paradise before the rich. O Aisha, never turn a needy person away from your door."

The following hadith of Allah's Apostle gives us the broadest perspective on the issue of education of propriety, good morals, virtues and knowledge within the family: " All of you are shepherds and each one is responsible for his flock. A leader of a people is a shepherd and responsible for them. A man is a shepherd over his family and is responsible for them. A woman is a shepherd over her husband's house and his children and she is responsible for them..."

His Relationship with Children

We can see a great deal of this dimension of education in the Prophet's relationships with his children.He raised them on Islamic principles and continued to look out for them after their marriages too. He not only took care of some of their material needs, he was also there for their spiritual needs. When it came to this, he did not make any difference between his own children and his stepchildren. He treated them with the same love and compassion and drew their attention to whatever was necessary for their education. Once he saw Umar, the son of Om Salamah from her prior marriage to Abu Salamah, eat from all sides of the dish and said to him: "O boy! Mention the Name of Allah and eat with your right hand, and eat of the dish what is nearer to you". When in Madinah, Allah's Apostle used to go to the house of her daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law Ali every morning after he woke up for the morning prayer to wake them up, which is only a small portion of his affection and care for them even after they became adults and got married.

The Prophet shared all the worries and happinesses of his children not only as Allah's Apostle, but also as a human being, as their father. Once his son-in-law, Abu'l As, the husband of his eldest daughter Zaynab, was taken by the muslims as a prisoner of war from the side of polytheists at the Battle of Badr.

 While the prisoners of war were being released in return for a ransom, Abu'l As wanted to offer his wife's necklace to be released too. When the Prophet saw this necklace which was a wedding gift to Zaynab from Khadija, he became very sad and told his companions: ‘You can either take it or leave it.' When they saw how upset he was, the companions of the Prophet gave the necklace back to him. In what progressed later, the Prophet asked Abu'l As to bring his daughter to Madinah. Abu'l As kept his promise and brought Zaynab to Madinah. The Prophet was very glad that Zaynab could come and appreciated his son-in-law on this one. Again, similar to this, the Prophet could not see or hear from his other daughter Ruqiyyah, who married to Othman and migrated to Habeshestan with him, for a very long time. He was rejoiced when a woman came to him and told him that she saw them and that they were fine. His shedding tears by the side of the grave of his other daughter, Om Kholsom, is another one of his sad and happy moments that we can find in sources. There are many other similar instances with his daughter Fatimah, his son-in-law Ali and his grandchildren Hasan and Hussain in sources of hadith and others.

To sum up, the family life of Allah's Apostle is an exemplary one in all respects. The principles he followed in his family life are timeless and have lost nothing of their significance over centuries. What we see in the family life of the Prophet is the best model for peace and happiness in this smallest unit of society, which is also what ensures the peace of the whole of society.

His Relationship with His Relatives

Relationships with relatives make up an important part of the relations within social texture which spin from one's immediate family into a much larger group. It is a well-known fact that Prophet Muhammad always had a respected place in his society both before and after his prophethood. The respect others had for him was the fruit of his good relationships with the tribe of Quraysh to which he belonged and in which he lived. He also had a close, loving relationship with his aunts and uncles. We can read between the lines of various reports of his life to find out information that supports these facts. Such a report from his life is the one about the first time the Prophet received divine revelation. It tells how Khadija calmed him down when he went to her scared and worried. She told him: "Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You unite your relatives and you bear the burden of the weak (of our society). You help the poor and the needy, you are honorable to all guests and you bear harm in the path of truthfulness."

Allah's Apostle set an example of solidarity among relatives and of helping one another when he took his cousin, Hadhrat Ali, under his protection and raised him. According to the historical reports, the Prophet's uncle, Abu Talib, had many children and he could not afford to support all of them. The Prophet took Ali under his responsibility and raised him to alleviate his uncle's burden.  Abbas, too, took another son of Abu Talib to raise so he could help his brother.

The Prophet continued his good relationship with his relatives after his prophethood by inviting them to Islam. In fact, he first started his call to Islam from his relatives before he appealed to all people. When the ayah of "And warn your nearest relations" was revealed, Allah's Apostle climbed on top of the hill of Safa in Mecca, called out for the chiefs of the branches of the tribe of Quraysh and invited them to Islam. According to a report narrated by Ibn Abbas, Allah's Apostle was in the middle of the lineage of the tribe of Quraysh and therefore had relations with all the branches of the tribe. This was the reason why he first started his invitation to Islam with them. He requested nothing in return for his invitation. He only asked them to keep their good relations and not be unfair.

After his prophethood, the Prophet started to call people to Islam and he always had the support of those of his relatives who believed in Allah and him. During the first few very difficult years of his call to Islam, the Prophet's uncle, Abu Talib, protected him from the oppression and cruelty of the polytheists. Again, his uncle Hamza's support of him went as far as his being martyred at the Battle of Uhud. Abbas, another uncle of the Prophet, believed in him at a later time and remained by his side for all of his life.

"Worship Allah without joining him none in your worship, pray, give zakat (obligatory charity tax) and maintain good relations and ties with your kin."

Along with examples of solidarity of all kinds that the Prophet had with his relatives, we also see in his life that he emphasized the importance of not breaking relations with one's relatives, in fact he preached this to all muslims as a principle. He gave the following advice to someone who asked to tell him of a good deed that could take him to Heaven: "Worship Allah without joining him none in your worship, pray, give zakat (obligatory charity tax) and maintain good relations and ties with your kin."

He warned people that those who break their relations with their relatives would end up in Hell while he gave the good news for those who maintain these relations that they would have ample blessings from Allah. The following report provides us with a clear framework in terms of the desired relationships with one's relatives. Prophet Muhammad said: "Treating your kin with the same kindness they treat you with does not count as protecting and looking out for them.  The person who truly protects and looks out for his kin is the one who keeps benefiting them even when they break their relations with him.". The Prophet's warning on not breaking one's relations even with relatives that do not believe, is also worth mentioning here.

In some other reports, we see that the Prophet used the expression of ‘my Ahl ul Bayt' for his close relatives and he protected them from some unpleasant actions. The Prophet's uncle, Abbas b. Abdalmuttalib narrated: "A group of people from Quraysh used to stop talking amongst themselves when they saw us. We told about this situation to Allah's Apostle upon which he said: What is the matter with those who stop talking when they see someone from my Ahl ul Bayt? I swear by Allah,  that a servant(of Allah) shall not be a faithful believer unless he loves my Ahl ul Bayt on account of his love for Allah and my Ahl ul Bayt's closeness to me."

The Prophet said... I am leaving behind among you, two most precious things: Allah's scripture which contains guidance and light

In another report quoted in Muslim, the Prophet called the attention of muslims to his Ahl ul Bayt and commanded them to observe their rights. The infamous ‘thaqalain' hadith narrated by Zayd b. Arkam not only involves the Prophet's advice to muslims on his relatives but it also explains that all of the close relatives of the Prophet are among his Ahl ul Bayt. The related part of this fairly long report is as follows: "O people, know that I am only a human being. The time draws near when I will be called (to the next world), and for me to accept Allah's invitation. I am leaving behind among you, two most precious things: Allah's scripture which contains guidance and light, don't let it go and hold it tight." After this, he added "and my Ahl ul Bayt who are my family members. Beware how you behave towards these.", which he repeated three times. In the following part of the report, Zayd is asked about who are Ahl ul Bayt and he informs that they are the household of Hadhrat Ali and the households of Aqil, Jafar and Abbas, who are all close relatives of the Prophet.

Allah's Apostle reminded muslims, in many other reports, of the importance of his Ahl ul Bayt and muslims embraced the Prophet's relatives with a similar love and respect they had for him. The Prophet's relatives were prohibited from accepting zakat and a share of booty was allocated for them on a command of the Quran. The Prophet gave away 1/5 of 1/5 of the booty to his relatives. When he did this, he included Banu Hashem and Banu Muttalib while he excluded Banu Umayyah. His practice shows us that the Prophet did not forget the unbelievable oppression and cruelty of Banu Umayyah towards himself and other muslims and for this reason he did not make them a part of this allocation.

 The happinesses of his relatives made the Prophet happy and their worries upset him. Once when he was with his companions in the mosque, Hadhrat Ali came in and looked for a while for a place to sit. Allah's Apostle looked around at the faces of his companions in a way to imply that he wanted them to make room for Ali. Hadhrat Abu Bakr who was sitting to the right of the Prophet noticed what was going on, moved over to the side and called Ali: "Come here Aba Hasan". This made the Prophet very glad and he thus complimented Abu Bakr: "Only the ones with virtues can know the virtues of people with virtues."

To sum up, the Prophet was very sensitive about relationships with one's immediate family and relatives. After a phase of education and illumination of his own family and relatives, he continued to treat them with love and respect. The life of the Prophet is seen as a model by muslims in this sense like every other aspect of his life and those who follow in his footsteps always work towards the creation of a peaceful society based on good relationships within family and among relatives.

M. Bahauddin Varol, PhD

Friday, September 16, 2016

Prophet Muhammad and the Celebration of ‘Eid

During the Era of Happiness the celebrations would start with the ‘Eid prayer which was held in an area called the musall(place of prayer); women and young girls joined the ‘Eid prayer.

After emigrating to Medina, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), believing that there was a need for legitimate entertainment, gave the people the glad tidings that "Almighty Allah has granted you two ...blessed ‘Eids ..." (Abu Dawud, "Salat", 245; Nesai, "Idayn", 1). He informed the people that these two ‘Eids were the ‘Eid ul Fitr (the holiday at the end of Ramadan) and the ‘Eid al Adha. Muslims should try to spend these days happily, visiting one another, celebrating the ‘Eid together, eating together and enjoying themselves in legitimate ways. In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad commanded: "The day before the ‘Eid al Adha, the first day and the following days are holidays for Muslims. These are days on which we eat and drink." (Abu Dawun, "Sawm", 50; Tirmidhi, "Sawm", 59)

The Prophet announced that the days of ‘Eid were days of cooperation and solidarity between Muslims, days of joy and days on which they could laugh and enjoy themselves. These holidays, from a religious and a social aspect, are not only a means for Muslims coming together they also provide a means to help alleviate the needs of the poor. Prophet Muhammad wanted Muslims to share their joys and sorrows, commanding that there be mutual assistance among Muslims at all times, not only on holidays. In order to provide social solidarity, those who are financially able to should give an amount of money in charity for every member of the family during the ‘Eid ul Fitr; during the ‘Eid al Adha they are commanded to sacrifice a sheep, cow or camel. Moreover, it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad to perform the tashrik (uttering Allahu akbar) after the compulsory prayer on ‘Eid al-Adha.

During the Era of Happiness the celebrations would start with the ‘Eid prayer which was held in an area called the musalla (place of prayer); women and young girls joined the ‘Eid prayer. The first ‘Eid prayer was prayed in the musallain the second year after the Hijrah at the ‘Eid al Adha, which falls on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah. Prophet Muhammad would lead the prayer in the musalla, which was a little distance from the Prophet's Masjid, if the weather was not rainy. The sacrificial animals were slaughtered here as well. Before going to the ‘Eid prayer, the Muslims would bathe and put on their best clothing. Prophet Muhammad would take one road going to the musalla and another on his return.

Before leaving for ‘Eid ul Fitr, Prophet Muhammad would eat a few dates. The fact that he did this led to the Sunnah of eating dates, which in turn led to the tradition of offering sweets at the holidays. For the ‘Eid al Adha Prophet Muhammad would eat nothing, but wait until he was able to eat the meat from the sacrificial animal. When he came to the area where the ‘Eid prayer was to be prayed, the Prophet would perform two rakahs, and then he would stand up and turn to the congregation and read the sermon, offering advice. Then he would go to where the women were in the congregation and offer advice to them. Prophet Muhammad started all sermons by thanking Allah. In addition he would utter "Allahuakbar" many times.

In the time of Prophet Muhammad women and children would participate in the ‘Eid prayer. Allah's Messenger would pay special attention to children, greeting them, stroking their heads, joking with them and giving them presents.

Women also participated in the ‘Eid prayers. Even if they could not pray they would still come to the musalla, and take their places in the back rows, listening to the Prophet's sermon and participating in the prayers. They hoped to gain from the blessings of the ‘Eid day and to be purified of their sins. In the time of Prophet Muhammad women and children would participate in the ‘Eid prayer. Allah's Messenger would pay special attention to children, greeting them, stroking their heads, joking with them and giving them presents. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was always the helper, protector and source of mercy for children, not only at the ‘Eids, but at all times.

Prophet Muhammad, who always spent time with his friends, would visit their houses at the ‘Eid, accepting their hospitality. He would also receive guests, feeding and entertaining them. Prophet Muhammad did not approve of bad feelings among Muslims and said "It is not permissible for a Muslim to be angry with another Muslim for more than three days" (Bukhari, Adab, 57; Muslim, Birr, 23-25). Allah's Messenger put great importance on visiting the ill; he stated that this was a duty for Muslims. In addition, Prophet Muhammad wanted Muslims to visit graves, praying for the deceased and think about death. In the era of Prophet Muhammad, people congratulated one another on the holiday. It is reported that the first Muslims congratulated one another on the ‘Eid with the prayer, "May Allah accept this from us and from you" (Bukhari, II/2-12); this was most likely inspired by Prophet Muhammad saying "Allah, accept this from Muhammad, from Muhammad's family and from Muhammad's community!"(Muslim, "Adahi", 19).

Prophet Muhammad, who announced that ‘Eids were days of peace, happiness and joy, desired that those days be celebrated with many people and great joy. It is known that he disapproved of Omar's trying to prevent the spear and shield games that a group of Ethiopians were performing on the dirt floor of the Masjid-i Nabawi, which he watched with his wife Aisha. Moreover, he allowed Aisha's slaves to play drums. However, he did not allow traditions or celebrations based on superstitions or the polytheistic practices from the Age of Ignorance.

Emine Gümüş Böke, PhD

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mercy and Compassion Embraced Everyone


In order to understand to what degree the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is a mercy ("We sent you as a mercy to the world" Al-Anbiya 107), it is necessary to take a look at the situation of the world before him. It has been historically established that, just as in many regions of the world, idols were dominant in  Meccan society and, consequently, a full human drama was taking place. According to a statement in the Quran, "Evil appeared on land and in the seas because of the acts of man, and disorder reigned everywhere" (Rumi 41). When the Prophet was still in his twenties, he participated in the Hilfu'l-Fudul which had been founded for the purpose of struggling against injustice, and he took an active role in it. Mentioning this event himself during his period of prophethood, he said, "If I were called to such an organization today, I would immediately accept and follow it" (Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat I, 129); thus, he announced how he maintained the ebullience of his inner stream of mercy.

a. Meccan Years

The compassion and mercy of the  Prophet and the patience he demonstrated against the bad treatment and unbearable rudeness he saw during the Meccan years was manifested in the form of always wishing for the salvation of the oppressors who had long since been worthy of damnation. During his return from the trip to Taif, Gabriel informed him that he would immediately act against the Meccan idolaters in any way the Prophet wished.  Muhammad's pleading, "My Lord, forgive my people; they do not know what they are doing" (Bukhari, Istitabe, 5), his forgiving and asking for salvation for his enemies who were merciless to him, and his praying to Allah to bring a generation with faith from their linage (Bukhari, Bad'ul-Halk, 7) is evidence of mercy and compassion unequaled in the world.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had the duty of conveying the message of Islam. This required compassion and mercy. He presented such a compassion-laden call to everyone he could reach. He spoke with everyone he could in every place. He especially never hesitated to speak with prominent Quraysh polytheists. However, at the same time he was cautioned in the Abasa Sura never to neglect ordinary citizens and believers. It was necessary to carefully pursue, every time and in every place, propagation activities with compassion that did not neglect the believers. In fact, throughout his life the Prophet spoke with everyone who came to him and particularly during the Medina period, he treated them with amazing hospitably and complimented them.

His manifestation of mercy, patience, wishing for their forgiveness and salvation and his conveying Islam's message (training-teaching) would infuriate the Meccans who understood no language other than coarseness and roughness. They could not understand why he was patient and did not respond in kind to all they had done to him. The torture they made was not enough for them because, as stated in the Holy Quran, mercy and patience are the most powerful weapons (Balad 17). He would have an impact even on the most oppressive persons. The Meccans did not endure this war of patience; they had to exile Muhammad, the focal point of mercy and compassion, from Mecca. Whereas, he was a great blessing: "I swear that by sending a prophet who reads Allah's verses, purifies them and teaches the people the book and wisdom, Allah has given believers a great blessing. Whereas, they were formerly clearly in perversion" (Al-i Imran 164).

Since the Prophet's apostleship was directed towards all people, naturally compassion and mercy would be aimed towards all mankind, as well. In fact, Allah described him to us as follows:

"I swear that such a prophet has come to you that your falling into difficulty will weigh heavy upon him. He is concerned about you and very compassionate and very merciful to believers" (Al-Tawba 128).

The Prophet, some of whose higher virtues are found together in this verse, was happy with the salvation of believers and extremely sad when they fell into difficulty, and he showed them great compassion. In spite of the behavior of the hypocrites that made him extremely uncomfortable, he did not have them killed and gave them the same treatment as Muslims received. He never gave an opportunity for the propaganda, "Muhammad is killing the sahaba," to be materialized. Those who did not declare their faith were a constant source of pain for him and a subject of his call. The verse, "(My prophet!)You are almost going to give your life because they do not declare their faith!" (Al-Shuara 3), shows the dimensions of the compassion he felt towards people and, consequently, the sadness he felt for their not knowing the tranquility of faith.

b. Medina Days

The Prophet's Medina life was the period when the Mercy of Muhammad (pbuh) reached its zenith.

The Prophet was a natural head of the family at home. He was very compassionate to members of the family and children. Anas ibn Malik was very happy to say that during the ten years he served the Prophet he never heard reproach from him even once. In fact, once when he got caught up in playing with some children he saw on the road to where he was going, the Prophet, who came to the same spot, only smilingly asked whether or not he had gone to the place he was sent. On another day an elderly woman was going to take the Prophet to oversee her work in a neighborhood outside of Medina. His mercy did not allow him to say "no" to anyone who asked something from him. If he had it, he would give it; if he did not have it, he would remain silent and wait.

Children, orphans, the forlorn, the elderly and the weak received the biggest share of the Mercy of Muhammad. The children he took on his shoulders even during salat, the children he accepted on the back of his saddle on his return from trips and those he took in his lap, the little ones he always  greeted and patted on the head wherever he saw them were all nurtured and trained as future compassionate adults with the Mercy of  Muhammad.

Rough and coarse behavior like dirtying the masjid and hanging on to the Prophet to ask for something were always met with understanding and a smile. By means of the compassionate warnings of Muhammad, animals were saved from being killed as hunting targets, from being seared with fire, from being left hungry and thirsty, from carrying heavy loads, and from being beaten, cursed and damned. It was the Prophet who said that a woman who caused a cat's death by confining it and leaving it without water would go to Hell, and that a sinful woman who saved a dying dog from a well and gave it water would go to Heaven. A locus of mercy, the Prophet saw a dog nursing its new-born pups on the side of the road in the Arch valley during the year 8 H. as he was going towards the conquest of Mecca. He immediately called its owner, Juayl ibn Suraqa, to stand guard there until the army had passed so the dogs would not be disturbed (ash-Shami, Subulu'l-huda va'r-rashad, Vii, 51). The Prophet, who went to the grave of the custodian of the masjid (whose death he was not informed of) and prayed for him, also reminded the imams that there may be sick, poor and elderly in the congregation. In matters that were left optional he always chose the easier one indicating that a trace of mercy should prevail in actions of the community. He would warn those who refrained from and abstained from the easiness and permission he had given, for whatever reason, that he knew Allah better than others and reminded them that he feared Allah more than anyone else (Bukhari, Itisam 5).

The natural environment eventually became green due to his compassionate hands and effective suggestions. He persistently recommended that obstructions be removed from the roads, that still waters and oases not be polluted, that a tree be planted even on Doomsday, that trees not be cut unnecessarily even in war, and that crops not be burnt.  Declaring Mecca and Medina to be a forbidden region and giving everything there a special status were extremely important precautions in respect to urbanization and environmentalism. Pilgrims being forbidden to kill any living creature in the Harem area and their not being allowed to pull up or cut plants or trees  when they are dressed in pilgrim's garments sanctifies the idea of "not harming the environment" and protection of the environment, and also spreads this idea throughout all Islamic countries. The environment received its share of the blessing of the Mercy of Muhammad in this way.

Young people became subject to love and compassion and older people to respect and deference. The statement, "Those who do not show respect to their elders and compassion to the young are not from us" (Tirmidhi, Birr 15), created a superior level and simplicity in human relations. Encouragement of compassion was stated in the principle, "Those who are not merciful will not be treated mercifully." Muhammad forewent making some recommendations due to his concern that they would be hard for Muslims or that they would lead to difficulty over the long run (saying "lawlâ an ashukka alâa ümmatî" - if it were not difficult for my community) (Bukhari, Iman 26).

Signing the Hudaybiya peace treaty with its harsh conditions and meeting opposition from those around him because of it, the Mercy of  Muhammad declared a general amnesty two years later at the conquest of Mecca and forgave the Meccans who were awaiting death. And in a manner that amazed everyone...

He accepted repentance from everyone who understood their mistake and repented, and he never blamed them for their past, which made it easier for them to become purified and change. Thus, he did what a Prophet of repentance should and showed that compassion and forgiveness were necessary.


Outside of war, he did not even flick anyone with his finger, and he cursed almost no one. When the Prophet exceeded these limits and cursed a Muslim, the Prophet asked Allah to make this a reason for forgiveness for him (Muslim, Birr 88-95). He only damned the enemy who laid a trap and killed Muslims.

The Mercy of Muhammad (pbuh) took sides with the Muslims who were treacherously martyred while they were going to teach the people and responded to this injustice with damning. This is quite natural... because he was a compassionate, but cautious commander who was careful to resurrect hearts with Islam rather than killing them even in war. His statement, "I am a prophet of mercy; I am a prophet of war" (O. Hanbal, Musned V, 405), affirms this. According to the findings of contemporary scholar Prof. M. Hamidullah, in ten years of war in an area of approximately two million kilometers, a total of 250 enemy soldiers and 150 Muslims gave their lives for the advent of Islam. This means that war had ceased to be a vehicle of destruction due to the Mercy of Muhammad. He always taught that women, children, civilians, places of worship and religious officials should not be touched, the environment should not be destroyed, and that being the means for one person's salvation was more important than possessing the world (Bukhari, Jihad 102). In other words, futuhu'l-kulub precedes fütûhu'l-bul. He commanded that captives be treated humanely and that a mother should not be separated from her child even if they were slaves. With his guidance, people were saved from being killed by having their organs cut out, from being tortured, and from having their female children buried alive.

His being a "prophet of war" did not contradict his status as a "prophet of mercy." For he made war into an activity of mercy and turned it into a vehicle and means of implementation for a final call to make the affirmation of Allah. He fought against those who did not accept his call to Islam and who pointed their weapons against Muslims. It became a principle that, regardless of the conditions, those who proclaimed faith were spared. Jihad was no longer a display of heroism or a vehicle for exploitation, and was practiced as a last resort for people to be able to see the truth and accept it. This was a natural and even necessary attitude like resorting to surgery as a last means. In other words, armed struggle in Islam was like surgical intervention in medicine. For this reason, jihad is a principle and practice of mercy and compassion. Starting off from the word "melhame" which means both war and peace (İ. Manzur, Lisanu'l-Arap,XII, l-h-m article), it is also possible to understand and interpret the statement, "ane nabiyyu'r-rahma wa ane nabiyyü'l-melhame," as "I am a prophet of mercy; I am a prophet of tranquility and peace." In fact, during the final official parade of troops on the way to the conquest of Mecca, the Ansar commander, Sa'd Ubade, shouted in a voice loud enough for Abu Sufyan to hear, "Today is the day of the great battle." When Abu Sufyan complained, the Prophet corrected Sa'd Ubade's words saying, "Today is the day Allah will exalt the glory of the Kaaba. Today is the day of mercy..." (Vakidi, Megazi, II, 822), and thus declared the day of conquest to be a day of mercy.

After he made this statement and then cleansed the Kaaba of idols, he announced a general amnesty for the Quraish who had forced him to migrate from Mecca eight years previously. This shows what kind of war or peace prophet he was.

With a brand new perspective gained for believers through their belief in the unity of Allah, the Prophet both declared and actively showed that legally everyone was the same and equal (some were not right or wrong from birth), and that like the natural environment, other creatures possessed certain rights and deserved merciful treatment.

Freedom of Religion and Belief

Saying, "Wasn't he a person, too?" (Bukhari, Janaiz 50) the Prophet even showed respect to a Jewish corpse. Those who accepted the rule of Islam continued to live their own religion and beliefs and secured protection by the state with the tax they paid. For he never thought to force anyone to become Muslim.

The Need for a Secure Environment

Islam needs a free and secure environment. There is need for this environment in order to be able to influence minds and hearts. For this reason, loci of terror (individual and institutional) were removed as a necessity of the Prophet's compassion towards mankind. Those who gathered power against the homeland of Islam and Muslims and attempted to make provocation were made ineffective from the beginning by special forces, and the Masjid-i Dirar event mentioned in the Quran (Al-Tawba 107) is one of the most striking examples of this.

As is known, there was a masjid made in Medina for the use of the hypocrites against the Muslims. A secret weapon depot at the same time, this masjid is called the Dirar Masjid in the Quran. Upon revelation that came on the return from the Tabuk campaign, this masjid was razed by the Prophet. This shows that due to compassion for the community, divine mercy and the Mercy of Muhammad did not close their eyes to an institution basic to Islam being used against Muslims and to exploit them.

Construction of a Higher Identity

There is no denial of identity in his compassion. To the contrary, there is construction of a higher identity. In the Medina agreement the Arab tribes that were a party to it were listed one by one. It brought the opportunity for the Jews and Christians to continue living according to the commands of their identities and religions.

Tribalism was defined as love for a person's nation, not as support for it in spite of injustice (Abu Davud, Adab 112).

Universal Document of Compassion

The twenty-three years of struggle for unity (tawhid) made with broad mercy and compassion by the Prophet (pbuh) was crowned by the universal document of compassion, the Farewell Address. The Mercy of  Muhammad attained a truth and warmth that embraced centuries in the Farewell Address.

Forgiving Wahshi who martyred the Prophet's uncle Hamza and Hind who chewed his liver, the Mercy of Muhammad announced in the Farewell Address that all blood feuds were abolished and left behind the comfort and fairness of practices that were proof of this declaration.

The Farewell Address was the final document to the effect that the Prophet Muhammad represented divine mercy in the universal plan. It was the most sacred duty of those who heard it to inform those who had not heard it. For the Mercy of Muhammad was directed towards all creatures of the world until Doomsday. Because Muhammad was a universal mercy. Whoever follows him will attain salvation and happiness; whoever rejects his leadership will fall into full destitution. 

İsmail Lütfi Çakan

Friday, January 22, 2016

How is Prophet Muhammad Introduced in the Qur’an?

The Qur’an instructs and guides us in every aspect of life. introduces us to Prophet Muhammad (saw) and informs us of his characteristics. In this article, we will be examining ten of the Prophet’s characteristics mentioned in the Qur’an:

1- Prophet Muhammad is the Last Messenger and Last Prophet

“I am like the last brick (of an excellent structure that has one brick missing). I am the last of the Prophets.” (Muslim, Fazail 22)

Messenger, envoy, and prophet mean one who informs, one who conveys messages. “Messenger” or “prophet” is used as a term to define those assigned to convey Allah’s Messages, His commands and prohibitions, and His recommendations and warnings. In the Turkish language, the word “prophet” is used for both prophet and messenger. In the Qur’an the “envoys” defined as mursal and nadhir (warner), bashir (bearer of good tidings) and hadi (guide to the truth), are those blessed with the Divine revelations, and those to whom the scriptures, commands and Divine wisdom were sent. (see; Al-Hadid 25-26; Al-Hajj 52; Al-Imran 79, 81; An-Nisa 63-165; Al-Ahzab 45)

Allah the Almighty sent a Prophet to every nation, Prophet Muhammad was sent as a Messenger to the whole of humanity. “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and the last of the Prophets.” (Al-Ahzab 33:40)  

The word hatem pronounced with predominate letter “te” in the Arabic text of the verse and in the Asim qiraat, is pronounced “hatim” in the other qiraatsHatem is a verb that means the end of prophethood, or that the prophethood has been sealed, whereas hatim is the noun form that means the end or the seal of Prophethood. As a “seal” is used to confirm and certify something, it means the “end” and “verification.”

The verse defines that Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet, and also that he was ranked as the divine seal acknowledging and certifying the previous Prophets, and that prophethood had come to an end.

The Prophet Muhammad described himself as the last in the chain of Messengers and the last Prophet: “I am like the last brick (of an excellent structure that has one brick missing). I am the last of the Prophets.” (Muslim, Fazail 22)

The development of humanism, in terms of religion, reached a climax and religion reached perfection with Prophet Muhammad. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3) There was to be no Prophet or Messenger after Prophet Muhammad. So whoever claims to be a Prophet, Messenger or Warner would be a liar and therefore would have claimed false prophecy.

2- Prophet Muhammad is the Messenger of the Whole of Humanity

“And We have not sent you except comprehensively to mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. But most of the people do not know.” (Saba 34:28)   

Since Adam, Allah the Almighty has sent a messenger to every nation. This is clearly defined in the verses of the Qur’an mentioned here: “And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, (saying), “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut (evil).” (An-Nahl 16:36)“And there was no nation but that there had passed within it a warner. (Fatir 35:24) “..for every people is a guide.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:7)    

Prophets prior to Prophet Muhammad were sent as messengers to one or more nations, whereas Prophet Muhammad was sent as a Prophet to the whole of humanity from 610 A.D. until the Day of Judgment. This is clearly stated in the Qur’an:

Prophet Muhammad is the Last Messenger and Last Prophet

“And We have not sent you except comprehensively to mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. But most of the people do not know.” (Saba 34:28)   

“And We have sent you, (O Muhammad), to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is Allah as witness.” (An-Nisa 4:79)

These verses of the Qur’an affirm the universality of Prophet Muhammad’s prophethood.

3- Prophet Muhammad is a bearer of glad tidings and a warner.

Many verses of the Qur’an states that Prophet Muhammad was sent as a bearer of glad tidings (bashir) and a warner (nadhir-munzir):

“We have sent you with the Truth as a bearer of good news and a warning...” (Fatir 35:24)

“You (O Muhammad) are not but a warner.” (Fatir 35:23)

The words bashir and mubashir mean a conveyer of the glad tidings of Allah’s pleasure, Paradise and its blessings; whereas nadhir and munzir means the warner of the torment and punishment of those who reject and disobey the Divine commands. Being a warner and bearer of glad tidings was a mutual characteristic of all the Prophets. Prophet Muhammad (saw) was assigned not only to warn his own people with the Qur’an, but also to to warn the whole of humanity: “…this Quran has been inspired to me, to preach it to you and whomever it reaches.” (Al-An’am 6:19)

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and (who) remembers Allah often.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

4-The Prophet Muhammad is the Most Excellent Model.

The example of the Prophet Muhammad is stated in the Qur’an as shaheed and uswa-al hasana. The dictionary meaning of shaheed is to witness, to testify, to know, be aware, to be present, and to confirm. In the Qur’an just as a witness is someone appealed to regarding information or evidence in respect of a certain event or issue of rights, (see An-Nisa 4:135) the Messengers and believers who are a good example to others in their faith, words, actions, behavior and conduct were also referred to as witnesses. (see Al-Ahzab 33:45)

Prophet Muhammad (saw) was an example to his followers in his speech, worship, morality, actions, activities, dealings and behavior. These verses of the Qur’an clearly define this: “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.(Al-Baqara 2:143)  “Allah named you “Muslims” before (in former scriptures) and in this (revelation) that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people.” (Al-Hajj 22:78)  

The words shaheed and shuhada mentioned in the Qur’an, not only indicate that on the Day of Judgment the Muslims will witness that previous Prophets conveyed the true faith to their nations, and that Prophet Muhammad (saw) will bear witness to the Muslims (Baydawi, I 214; Hazin, I 214), but also signifies a meaning of being an example in this world. (Yazir I 524)

Uswa-al hasana means being the most excellent example. The Prophet Muhammad as the most excellent model is defined in the Qur’an with the words: “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and (who) remembers Allah often.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21)

This verse mentioning Prophet Muhammad (saw) as an example first for all Muslims in general, and then particularly for those who bear hope in Allah and the Last Day, is in fact aimed at defining the qualities of those to whom the Prophet will be an example. Prophet Muhammad is an example of excellence to the believers in his faith, worship, morality, in his words and every action.

5- Prophet Muhammad is an Advisor

The Qur’an clearly states that Prophet Muhammad is an advisor: “So remind, (O Muhammad); you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller.” (Al-Ghashiya 88:21-22) “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:55)  So remind, if the reminder should benefit; He who fears (Allah) will be reminded. But the wretched one will avoid it.” (Al-A’la 87:9-11)

6- Prophet Muhammad is a Caller to Truth and an Illuminating Lamp to All Those Around Him

One of the main characteristics and duties of Prophet Muhammad was calling the people to the truth. Those who perform the duty of calling people to the truth are called da’i. Prophet was referred to by this characteristic in the Qur’an. “And one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp.” (Al-Ahzab 33:46)

Prophet Muhammad is an Advisor

7- Prophet Muhammad is a Guide

One of the fundamental characteristics of a Prophet is guiding the People to the path of truth:

“You are only a warner, and for every people is a guide.” (Ar-Ra’d 13:7)

As in the case of all the previous Prophets, being a hadi (guide) as mentioned in the Qur’an, was also an attribute of Prophet Muhammad. The fact that the Prophet was a guide to the path of truth is clearly stated in the Qur’an. This verse is one of the examples: “And indeed, (O Muhammad), you guide to a straight path.” (Ash-Shuraa 42:52)  The Prophets guidance consists of teaching people the path of righteousness, indeed Allah is the One who bestows guidance.

“And one who invites to Allah , by His permission, and an illuminating lamp.”(Al-Ahzab 33:46)

8- Prophet Muhammad Bears the Most Excellent Morals

 “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” (Al-Qalam 4) Hazrat Ali said: “The greatest of morals is the morals of the Qur’an.” (Qurtubi XVIII 227) Tabari (d.310) commented on the Prophets conduct with the words to the effect: “This is the morals of the Qur’an. Allah disciplined His Messenger with the Qur’an. And excellent morals are the objective of the Islamic religion.” (Tabari XIV 29/18)

Prophets morals favored by Allah’s compliments, were the morals of the Qur’an. When Said b. Hisham asked the Prophet’s dear wife Aisha, about the morals and manners of the Prophet, she asked him, “Do you recite the Qur’an” when he replied “Yes”, she said “His morals were the Qur’an” (Tabari XIV 29/18) and then recited the verse: “And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” (Al-Qalam 68:4) (Tabari XIV 29/19)

Prophet Muhammad bore the most excellent of manners. (Bukhari; Adab 112) As the religion of truth reached perfection, good conduct also reached perfection with Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet said: “I have been sent to perfect good character.” (Ahmad III-175; Malik, Huluk 8)

The Prophet gave great importance to good manners and supplicated: “O Allah! Grant me a character of beauty just as You created me with beauty.” (Ahmad, I 403. VI 68, 155) “O Allah! Guide me to the best of deeds and the best of morals, as none can guide to the best except You, and save me from bad deeds, as none can save me from what is bad except You.” (Nasai Iftitah 16, II 129) “O Allah! I seek Your protection from disunity, hypocrisy and bad character.” (Abu Dawud, Salah 367; see Nasai, Istiazah 21)

9- Prophet Muhammad was Immensely Merciful and Affectionate, and Very Devoted to His Followers

Prophet Muhammad was sent as a mercy to the whole of creation. And this fact is stated in the Qur’an: “And We have not sent you, (O Muhammad), except as a mercy to the worlds.” (An-Anbiya 21:107) “There has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves; Grievous to him is what you suffer; (he is) concerned over you, and to the believers is kind and merciful.” (At-Taubah 9:128)

The word haris in the Arabic text means something which is greatly aspired. The Prophet Muhammad deeply wanted all those around him to be believers, to do good deeds and attain the pleasure of Allah. “Perhaps, [O Muhammad], you would kill yourself with grief that they will not be believers.” (Ash-Shu’ara 26:3; also see Al-Kahf  18:6)

Raufmeans the most affectionate, the most tender, very kind and pitiful. (Qurtabi Al-Asna, p. 73-75) Indeed, the Prophet Muhammad was very kind and compassionate to his followers. Rahim means the most compassionate. Prophet (saw) was the most compassionate of all humans. He was merciful to all those around him, when someone said to the Prophet: “O Messenger of Allah! Curse the polytheists”, he replied: “I am sent as a mercy, not as a curse on humanity.” (Muslim, Birr, 87) Even when his face had been wounded during the battle of Uhud, he prayed for the disbelievers: “O Allah! Forgive my people for they know not.” (Ibn Hibban, Ad’iya No:973)  

Prophet Muhammad is a Guide

10- Prophet Muhammad was Kind and Gentle

Prophet Muhammad was a very modest, gentle person. And because of this, he attracted the people around him. Allah the Almighty revealed this in the Qur’an: “So by mercy from Allah, (O Muhammad), you were lenient with them. And if you had been rude (in speech) and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them in the matter. And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely (upon Him).”(Al-Imran 3:159)

As a result, Prophet Muhammad (saw); was sent as a Messenger to the whole of humanity, and he is the last of the Prophets. Prophet-hood came to an end with Prophet Muhammad (saw).

He is bearer of glad tidings, a warner, an advisor caller to the truth, a guide, a Prophet of tenderness and mercy.

He was a Prophet who invited the people to the truth, who conveyed faith. (Al-Ma’idah 5:99; see An-Nahl 16:82) He was not a tyrant (Qaf 50:45), a controller (Al-Ghashiyah 88:22) or harsh (Al-Imran 3:159). He was lenient (Al-Imran 3:159) and a reminder (Al-Ghashiyah 88:21)

He related the revelations of Allah to the people, purified them from polytheism, blasphemy and hypocrisy, and taught them the Qur’an, its wisdom and what they did not know (Al-Jumu’ah 62:2; Al- Baqarah 2:151). He guided the people to the straight path (Ash-Shuraa 42:52). He commanded good and prohibited evil (Al-A’raf 7:157). He fought on the path of Allah (An-Nisa 4:84), he revealed the commands of the Qur’an and commands of religious topics (An-Nahl 16:44), and conveyed the lawful and unlawful (Al-A’raf 7:157; See At-Taubah 9:29)

He practiced the commands, rulings and prohibitions of the Qur’an in every aspect of his life. In his speech, behavior and essence, he was the most excellent example to the whole of humanity. He was a Prophet of love, affection and compassion, not of hatred and harshness.

Prophet Muhammad fulfilled his duty towards his followers in the most excellent manner. And the duty of his followers is to bear witness to his prophecy, obey his teachings, love him and embed this love into the hearts of others, and to practice and continue the religion he preached.  

İsmail Karagöz, PhD