Prophet Muhammad: A Mercy to Mankind
By Ahmad-Mubarak Tanimu
It was one Monday in April 571 AD, during the memorable year of the elephant in Arabia that the world was graced with the greatest of all children. He was born to Amina and Abdullah. His father was late before his birth. Announcement of his birth to Abulahab was a glad tiding that earned a slave woman, Suwaiba, a manumission for just been a bearer of the tiding. His birth came instantly with her freedom. She was the first to enjoy the mercies he came with.
He stood distinct among his peers in Makkah. Safe were everything put in his trust. An attribute that earned him the title of Al’ameen (the trustworthy) from the Quraysh in Makkah.
He was a man full of resilience. His call to prophethood came with a great cost for his freedom. Though he himself protected by his uncle, his followers from bottom of the social ladder were subjected to severe persecution. Sumayya for instance, was verbally assaulted by Abu Jahl. When she replied him he stabbed and impaled her to death. Her son Ammar bin Yasir was a subject of serious abuse by the cruel ruling class in Makkah. At one point he was beaten to unconsciousness for no reason other than his Islamic identity.
When the uncle and his wife died in the year that was named amul huzn (year of sorrow), he became a direct target of the makkans. He traveled to a nearby town of Ta’if to invite the people to Islam but this time he met even a more embarrassing maltreatment. Mob were gathered to stone him and they did. This extraordinary man turned to God and said “Oh God! Guide my people to the right path. They did this to me because they knew me not”.
As the persecution persisted, he was ordered by God to migrate to a land where he will have the freedom to worship. Madina was the destination. The Makkans that expelled him from his own home town made a move to completely vanish him but were met with fierce resistance that resulted in many battles; badr, uhud, khandaq, truce of Hudaibiyya and finally the conquest of Makkah.
On the eve of the conquest of Makkah something beyond extraordinary happened. Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Makkans that oversaw so much anguish melted on the prophet including the murder of his very dear uncle Hamza was caught spying on the camp of the Muslim army that set out to attack Makkah because the Makkans violated one of the agreements of the treaty of Hudaibiyya by carrying out a massacre on Banu Khuz’a, a tribe loyal to the prophet of Islam. When Abu Sufyan was taken to the Prophet he was set free without any harm. This unexpected forgiveness touched Abu Sufyan to a level so impressed that he accepted Islam and subsequently Makkah was conquered without bloodshed. In the words of the Prophet “…he Who enters the house of Abu Sufyan will be safe, He who lays down arms will be safe, He who locks his door will be safe”.
His reign in Arabia put an end to clannishness and unified the highly divisive Arabs starting with Banu Aus and Banu Hazraj in Madina and to all part of Arab land. This ability to unite under his teachings can clearly be seen in Nigeria of today between Kanuri, Hausa, Fulani, Nupe and others in Northern Nigeria. A people with historically distinct cultural idiosyncrasies but united by one faith, and that is Islam.
Prophet Muhammad liberated the girl child. Female infants were killed because in the culture of Arab they were seen as a symbol of poverty. He abrogated the evil practice. He gave women right to inherit the properties of their fathers, mothers, husbands, siblings, sons and daughters. And made it clear that the best among men is he who is best in kindness to his wife.
He made knowledge a priority for mankind. His teachings made it clear that knowledge stands atop and nothing is placed over it. “Seek knowledge even if unto China” were his words.
He enjoined compassion for one another. He said for anyone to have the mercy of God he or she must have mercy for those living on earth. He declared it a condition that for anyone to make it to Paradise he or she must spread love and he said the best way to spread love is by greeting each other. He even classified kind words as a form of charity.
He was excellent in character, full of love and restrain. And this is why he is our role model. He was such a gift that Allah said: “Surely Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He raised from among them a Messenger to recite to them His signs, and to purify them, and to teach them the Book and Wisdom. For before that they were in manifest error.” [Quran 3:164].
And in other verses: “O Prophet, We have sent you forth as a witness, a bearer of good tidings, and a warner,
as one who calls people to Allah by His leave, and as a bright, shining lamp.
Announce to the believers the good tidings that Allah has kept bounteous blessings in store for them.
Do not yield to the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and disregard the hurt that comes from them, and put your trust in Allah. Allah suffices as the Guardian to entrust one’s affairs to.” [Qur’an 33:45-48].
And these two verses of Qur’an 21:107-108 capped it all:
“We have sent you forth as nothing but mercy to people of the whole world.
Say: “It is revealed to me that your God is only One God. Will you, then, submit to Him?”
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Prophet, our pride and our honor.
Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards Peaceful Coexistence and National Development through positive narratives