In one of the meetings with my friends, one asked: Why is it that a person feels tranquility and safety in Madinah like no other place on earth? I answered that the prophet (ﷺ) said: “I am to you like a father to his children[1], and Allah (ﷻ) said: {The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves, and his wives are their mothers.} 33:6; and so for that, it is natural to feel peace and safety when visiting Madinah next to the one who is to you like your dad.

For all of us, when we want to be merciful and act on that concept, we need to put effort to obtain that as an ethical value and we must strive to practice it. This is not the case with the prophet (ﷺ) as Allah (ﷻ) described him {إلا رحمة للعالمين} {And We have not sent you except as a mercy to the worlds} 21:107. The prophet (ﷺ) spoke of himself as a gift; “O people, I am [nothing] but a gifted Mercy”.[2] So when thinking of everything that the prophet (ﷺ) does, from talking, to acting on something, to moving; everything is a form of Mercy (رحمة) and we should celebrate that.

It is said that Ibn Masoud (RAA) was asked, what is the most hopeful verse in the Quran? He said: {Say, O My servants who have transgressed against themselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.} 39:53.

Ali (RAA) had a different view, he used to believe that the most hopeful verse in the Quran is: {And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied.} 93:5. And this is supported by a Hadith in which Abu Zarr (RAA) said: The prophet (ﷺ) led a prayer one night and he read a verse for the whole night, repeating it after each Raka’at {If You should punish them – indeed they are Your servants; but if You forgive them – indeed it is You who is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.} 5:118. When it was morning, I asked him: O messenger of Allah, you kept reading the same verse with each Raka’at until morning! The prophet (ﷺ) said: “[After such prayer] I asked my Lord Al-Shafa’ah (الشفاعة) and He (ﷻ) granted it to me and it shall reach every person, God willing, who does not associate worshiping with God another entity.[3]  In another narration, the prophet (ﷺ) said: “I kept saying; O Lord, my Ummah, my Ummah, while crying” and for that Allah (ﷻ) told Jibreel: go to Mohammad and tell him, We shall please you in your Ummah and will not harm you [in any form of punishment to your people.][4]

One of the amazing Hadiths that I have read about him (ﷺ) is that he met once the orphan girl of Um Sulaim and said to her: “O here you are, look at you, may you keep your age.” The orphan girl misunderstood the meaning and thought it was a dua that she will not grow! She went and told her mother, and the mother came to the prophet (ﷺ) saying did you make Dua against my daughter, O messenger of Allah? The prophet (ﷺ) laughed and said: “Didn’t you know that I asked my Lord that since I am a human being who gets angry like other people do, that if I make a Dua on someone who is not deserving of it to turn it into mercy and forgiveness and closeness at the Day of Judgment?[5] Although it was a prayer for blessings during her life and strength, the orphan girl took the literal meaning but, Subhan Allah, we learned about him (ﷺ) that his human interactions, outside revelation, was all of mercy even if he was angry.

Part of understanding the mercy of the prophet (ﷺ) especially in the Hereafter with the honorable status of Shafa’ah (intersession by the will of God) is that so many hadiths came to explain how wide it is and how many of his Ummah (ﷺ) it will reach.

His Shafa’ah will include people entering Heaven without account. Ibn A’bbass narrated that during the journey of Me’raj the prophet (ﷺ) was told about seventy thousand people entering Heaven with no account.[6] (Its more of a huge reference to people than an exact count)

Even people who were engaged in major sins, the Shafa’ah of the prophet (ﷺ) will reach them. The prophet (ﷺ) said: “My intersession is for those who have committed major sins.[7]

In the verse where Allah (ﷻ) said: {There has certainly 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.} 9:128, some scholars said that, if one was short of breath and had to stop on the word {عزيز} and then continued from {عليه ما عنتم} the meaning is still valid. The original meaning if read in one breath means, the prophet feels sad for the hardships you go through. While if you start by {عليه ما عنتم} it means, he shall carry your burdens. And that is true because of his Shafa’ah.

I ask Allah (ﷻ) to grant us the Shafa’ah of the prophet (ﷺ) and his company in Heaven, Ameen.

By Sheikh Kifah Mustapha

[1] Abo Daoud

[2] Al-Hakem

[3] Ahmad

[4] Muslim

[5] Muslim

[6] Al-Tirmizi

[7] Abu Daoud