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Mercy


  • he Prophet ﷺ said, “Those who are merciful will be given mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy on you.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhee: 1924; Sunan Abu Daawood: 4941)
His mercy embraced countless aspects, including the following:

Mercy towards children

  • A Bedouin once came to the Prophet ﷺ and said, “Do you kiss your children? We do not kiss them.” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Can I put mercy in your heart after Allah has removed it?” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 5652; Saheeh Muslim: 2317)
On another occasion, a man saw the Prophet ﷺ kissing his grandson, Al-Hasan ibn ‛Ali, and said to him, “I have ten children, but I have never kissed any of them.” The Prophet ﷺ looked disapprovingly at him and said, “He who does not show mercy to others will not be shown mercy.” (Saheeh Muslim: 2318)
  • Once he carried his granddaughter Zaynab while standing in prayer, and he put her down gently when he prostrated. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 494, Saheeh Muslim: 543)
  • If he heard a baby crying while the mother was praying behind him, he would shorten the prayer so that the mother could attend to the baby’s needs. Abu Qataadah  narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, “When I begin the prayer, I always intend to make it long; however, if I hear a baby crying, I shorten it, as I do not wish to cause his mother any distress.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 675; Saheeh Muslim: 470)

Mercy towards Women

The Prophet ﷺ urged his companions to look after girls and show kindness to them; he used to say, “Whoever is in charge of any of these girls and treats them well, they will be a shield for him against the Fire.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 5649; Saheeh Muslim: 2629)
He even stressed that women must be given their rights and be well cared for and commanded Muslims to make this issue their concern and to advise one another to do so: “Take good care of women.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 4890)
He was a shining example of kindness to family members. He once sat beside his camel and put his knee for Safiyyah ~, one of his wives, to put her foot on, in order to get onto it. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 2120)
Whenever his daughter Faatimah ~ came to visit him, he would get up to welcome her, take her by the hand, kiss her and make her sit where he was sitting. (Sunan Abu Daawood: 5217)

Mercy to the weak members of society

  • The Prophet ﷺ commanded people to sponsor orphans and look after them. “A person who takes care of an orphan and I will be like this in Paradise,” he once said, joining his forefinger and middle finger together by way of illustration. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 4998)
  • He considered a person who looks after a widow or a poor person just like a warrior who fights for Allah’s cause, or like one who performs prayers all night without slackness and fasts continuously and never breaks his fast. (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 5661; Saheeh Muslim: 2982)
  • He regarded showing kindness to the weak members of society and giving them their rights a strong reason to gain Allah’s victory over the enemy as well as gaining more means of subsistence: “Seek help among your weak ones, for you are given provision and help only because of the weak amongst you.”(Sunan Abu Daawood: 2594)

Mercy towards animals

  • The Prophet’s comprehensive sense of mercy extends even to animals and insects. He urged people to show kindness to animals and warned them against harming them or laying loads on them which are more than they can bear. He said, “Allah has prescribed proficiency in all things. Thus, if you kill, kill well; and if you slaughter, slaughter well. Let each one of you sharpen his blade and let him spare suffering to the animal he slaughters.” (Saheeh Muslim: 1955)
  • Once he noticed a mound of ants which had been burned up. “Who has set fire to this?” he asked. One of his companions replied, “We have.” “No one should punish with fire except the Lord of the fire,” he disapprovingly said. (Sunan Abu Daawood: 2675)
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