The advent of Muhammad as a mercy unto all mankind
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
We thank and praise Allah SWT, Who sent to an unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves, one who heard the True Word of Allah and taught them his wisdom and what is good.; one who concerned himself with people’s welfare — who always tended and protected his flock, lest they fall victim to sorrow or suffering. We thank Thee, o Allah, ask forgiveness of our sins and invoke Thy guidance.
We bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah, Whom no one can equal, and we bear witness that the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAWS is a servant and Messenger, who has been sent as a mercy to all mankind. O Allah, shower Thy blessings on him, his friends and relatives — all those who assimilated his guidance, faithfully followed his practices and helped the Deen, thereby earning for themselves Allah’s satisfaction. Allah describes him in the Holy Quran:
“Now hath come unto you an Apostle from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that ye should perish: ardently anxious is he over you: to the Believers is he most kind and merciful.” (Q. IX, 128)
O Muslims, this is, indeed, a very important month, for it is in this month of Rabi-ul-awwal that the chosen one, Muhammad SAWS was born. On the day of his birth there were many indications of what were to come from this blessed infant. He was reared in the most perfect manner and complete in character: he was kind of heart and gentle of manner….there was no goodness which cannot be ascribed to him.
The beauty of his character was expressed in his behaviour towards others. He used to attach himself to his family, honour his guests and at all times lent a helping hand to the poor, the needy and the oppressed, and no one called upon him in vain. He became renowned among his family and friends for his noble character. No wonder they referred to him as Al’Ameen” (the Trustworthy). But Allah SWT had a reason for instilling such perfect human qualities in one human being. He was being prepared for prophethood. And when he reached the ripe age of forty, Allah inspired him and sent him to all his people as a Bringer of Good News and a Warner — a guide to all good and a warner against all that is evil. Allah sent him as a mercy to all humanity, for the whole world was on the brink of disaster. People had neglected their duties to each other and had gone astray. Through him Allah bound their hearts with love and guided them to the Straight Path. He delivered the Message of his Lord so faithfully and so completely, and carried out the task with which he was entrusted with competence and honour — even at the expense of personal injury. Remember how he was treated at Ta’if and ultimately had to abandon his birthplace and his own family! Throughout his life he strove to please his Allah. For this Allah rewarded him and he lived to see Islam manifested in his land. He called humanity to the Unity of Allah, and that He Alone should be worshipped sincerely. He warned against Shirk (Associating anything or anyone with Allah or humbly submitting to anyone except Allah, whether he be rich, a ruler or a mere idol. Out of this Unity of Allah, flows the unity of mankind. He called people to equality — that there should be no distinction between people except on the basis of Taqwah (piety). Thus he reminded the Ummah:
“There is no distinction of an Arab over a non-Arab, neither for a white over a black person, except through service to Allah and Piety.”
Allah SWT emphasises this equality of man in the Holy Qur’an:
“HE created you (all) from a single person: then created of like nature his mate; and He sent down for you eight head of cattle in pairs: He makes you in the wombs of your mothers….” (Q. 39, 6)
In another verse Allah further elaborates:
“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things.” (Q. 49, 13)
Thus Allah created us with a common purpose: to be righteous and to live in peace and harmony with one another. We must oppose with impunity any act or person who threatens to disrupt this harmony, who sows suspicion or dissension amongst us.
With our Holy Prophet SAWS came science and other branches of knowledge which would cleanse the soul and strengthen our Iman (faith), guard the senses as well as our honour and property. He taught us to use our intelligence, our powers of observation and forbade us to follow blindly our fathers or forefathers or to be guided by our Nafs (passions) or whims without reflecting or putting our decisions to the test of reason. How often does Allah not ask us to reflect in the Holy Qur’an: Do you not see? Muhammad SAWS came with a light and guidance while the people were in absolute darkness (ignorance) groping like a blind man in the dark, unaware of the pitfalls before him. He came at a time when all belief took the form of superstition and fantasies. Human values were ignored: people did not know the meaning of justice and respect. Morality was trodden under foot, innocent blood was spilt through arrogance and lack of reason. How low can man sink! Honour among people did not exist — in fact, all goodness was looked upon as being detrimental to progress.
Brothers and Sisters, do we not find something familiar with this picture of Jahiliah? The decadence with which our Prophet had to contend is back with us and threatens to devour us as individuals, families and an Ummah. The Message delivered by our Nabi changed injustice to equity, aggressiveness to knidness and brotherhood, cruel, ruthless inhumanity to mercy and forgiveness. Through the mercy of Allah SWT his followers became the leaders of the then civilized world. They ruled with justice and called people to the true religion of Peace. Surely Allah honoured the world with Muhammad (SAWS). The true followers of Muhammad spread the teachings of this great religion throughout the world until the flag of Islam flew over the earth from east to west. The life of the Holy Prophet was one great example of how to build up, guide and strive in the way of Allah. He guided humanity and called them to the truth and to those things in which lie their success and happiness. He warned us against all things which are harmful to ourselves and reason. It, therefore, behoves us to beseech Allah day and night to put his choicest blessings and mercy on Muhammad, for was he not a mercy to the entire universe? It is unfortunate to note that there are some people who celebrate the day of his birth every year simply because they feel that if they do not do so annually, he shall be forgotten and his message shall fall by the wayside. They are merely commemorating the birthday of yet another hero like a soldier who had done great service in a war for which he is remembered. They do not realise that the Nabi is greater and nobler than any hero who has ever lived,, and in being so cannot be forgotten. Mughammmad lived his teachings! Therefore, in remembering him, we cannot lose sight of his teachings — the greatest remedy for all ills, and the Quran the greatest memory of the Holy Prophet.
His religion and universal message shall live to the day of resurrection. Allah himself has pledged that this memory, the Qur’an, will prevail for all times, for Allah says:
“Surely We have revealed the Quran and we are its Guardian”
His Sunnah shall remind us of him every moment of the day if we practise it. Allah has elevated his home with his own – whenever we call to prayer five times a day we mention his name.
We cannot do anything ordered by Allah without mentioning the name of Muhammad (SAWS). So, O, muslims, the memory of Muhammad is alive when we practise his sunnah! Do we take from his example the manner of striving in the way of Allah? Do we try to emulate his moral code? Remember, there cannot be success, prosperity and happiness except for those who follow this noble Prophet sincerely and practise what he taught. The Muslims did not become weak, neither were they humiliated, nor were their enemies given the upperhand over them, except when they left the teachings of Nabi Muhammad SAWS and when their faith weakened. Such people cannot regain their lost ground, their lost authority, except when they turn back to their Deen and hold fast to the Rope of Allah.
For Rasulullah. SAWS said:
“Every one of you shall enter paradise except he who refuses:” Whereupon the companions asked,” O messenger of Allah, who then is he who refuses to enter paradise?” The messenger replied: “He who obeys me will enter paradise and he who disobeys has refused.”
Ameen! Aqeemus salaah!