- “Indeed, Pharaoh exalted himself in the land and made its people into factions, oppressing a sector among them, slaughtering their [newborn] sons and keeping their females alive. Indeed, he was of the corrupters” [1. Surah Qasas verse 4]
- Ghenghis Khan responsible for 40 million deaths
- 2 million killed in the holocaust
- 8372 massacred in Srebrenica 1995
From the time of Pharaoh to the modern day, History bears witness to the massacre of innocents. No sin had these innocents committed yet they became victims’ of their situation as ruthless leaders showed no mercy. But this wasn’t always the case. There was one leader who, despite having the authority to take revenge instead showed mercy.
Muhammad had witnessed it all. Any difficulties he faced were mocked by his enemies – they scorned and laughed at the death of his sons and tarnished his peerless reputation. This psychological attack was coupled with physical attack. He was boycotted, pelted with stones; he faced numerous assassination attempts and had to flee his beloved mother city of Makkah. Even when he found a safe haven in Madinah, the idolaters of Makkah still tried to destroy his message culminating in the battle of Badr, Uhud and Khandaq.
If there’s any leader that had it bad, it was the Prophet. If any leader had a reason to take revenge, then it was the Prophet. But he wasn’t like the rest…
The year was 630, the month of Ramadan and the Muslims, numbering 10,000, made their way to Makkah to conquer the city that had so forcibly persecuted and exiled them. At the head of the army was Muhammad who had the authority to do as he liked with the people of Makkah who put up scant resistance. But as we should know by now, Muhammad wasn’t one to take revenge. As Allah confirms:
“And We have sent you (O Muhammad ) not but as a mercy for Alamin (the worlds)” Surah Al-Anbiya Verse 107
Rather the Prophet lowered his head forward to such an extent that his chin almost touched the middle part of his saddle and recited Surah Fath (the Victory). He chose to show humility and gratefulness to Allah instead of lashing out on those that had ridiculed him. What a Prophet, what a leader and what an example!
As Bilal climbed the Kab’ah and the athaan reverberated throughout the city, the people of Makkah waited for the Prophet’s judgement concerning them.
“What do you think that I will do with you?” asked the Prophet.
They replied: “you will do well by us, for you are a noble and generous brother and a noble and generous nephew”.
The Messenger of Allah then said: “no reproach upon you this day; may Allah forgive you”.
Allahuakbar. Muhammad had a strong army that was capable of killing all of Makkah’s men and seizing their property but instead he chose to forgive them. Wow, that is just amazing. Consider the pitiful treatment he received from them yet in one instance they were forgiven. Has there ever been anyone like this and the answer is no. As a result some of the staunch enemies of Islam such as Suhail ibn Amr and later on Ikrimah ibn Jahl embraced Islam.
If there is one thing that I have learnt when studying the seerah, it is the unbounded kindness and mercy of the Prophet. In situations when many of us would be quick to judge, be quick to take revenge or falter at the sight of a test, the Messenger of Allah remained strong, level headed and just in the face of calamity. But most importantly, he never held grudges and never acted on the spur of the moment. This is why his life needs to be studied and emulated.
May Allah allow us to embody his noble traits to the best of our ability. Ameen.
History bears witness to the massacre of innocents. It should also bear witness to the mercy of Muhammad , the conqueror of hearts.
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