Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy

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  • Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy


    1. A sorcerer! A madman! A liar!
    Rather, he is a poet!

    Malicious attitudes and hateful looks
    angrily pursued the Prophet of Islam r, almost influencing his
    steps and causing him to slip and lose his balance and firmness on the earth. This
    is depicted in the Noble Qur’an, which portrays the inward wrath, enmity, and
    spite which was evident in the eyes of his opponents1: (Verily, those who
    disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes through hatred when they
    hear the Reminder (the Qur’an), and they say, “Verily, he (Muhammad
    r) is a madman!”)2

    Their poisonous, feverish looks were accompanied by abusive
    cursing, insulting, and mocking: “You are a madman! You are a sorcerer! You
    are a liar!”

    They reacted with insolent pride and opposition; confused and
    wavering, they swayed in their denial of the Message from one pretext to

    they say, “(The revelation is but) a mixture of false dreams! Nay, he has
    invented it! Nay, he is a poet! Let him then bring us a sign like the ones
    (Prophets) that were sent before (with signs)!”

    - They called the Prophet r,
    A sorcerer, a liar!

    wonder that a warner has come to them from among themselves. And the
    disbelievers say, “This is a sorcerer, a liar. Has he made the gods (only) one
    God? Verily, this is a curious thing!”

    - They called him r,
    A poet!

    we going to abandon our gods for the sake of a mad poet?”

    - They called him r,
    A madman!

    you upon whom the Reminder (the Qur’an) has been sent down, indeed you are

    - They called him r,
    A soothsayer!

    and preach (mankind, O Muhammad). By the Grace of Allah, you are neither a
    soothsayer nor a madman.”

    But not for a moment did
    the chiefs of Quraish believe themselves when they said that Muhammad bin
    r – known among them as the Honest Truth-Speaker – was a sorcerer, a liar, or a
    madman. This was just a weapon of provocation and misguidance; a war of
    deception that is well mastered by people of power. They used it to protect themselves
    and their positions from the danger of the truth embodied in this creed, which
    would certainly have shaken the false values and corrupted status quo on which
    these high people built themselves.

    Details of an agreement
    between the chiefs of Quraish to wage a defamatory propaganda campaign against
    and the truth revealed to him r is reported by Ibn Ishaq. Their aim was to
    protect themselves and their authority over the people of Makkah, and to repel
    the tribes that visited Makkah annually at the Hajj season from the new
    religion and its preacher. Ibn Ishaq said

    A group of Quraish
    convened with Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah, who was a senior among them, at the
    time of the Hajj season.

    He said to them, “O
    people of Quraish, the Hajj season has arrived. Delegations of Arabs will come
    to you. They must have heard about this companion of yours (meaning the Prophet
    so agree on one opinion regarding him. Let there be no contradiction or denial
    of one another’s statements

    They said, “O Abu
    ‘Abd Shams, suggest and give us an opinion which we will say

    He said, “No, you make the suggestions and I will listen.”

    They said, “We will say he is a soothsayer.”

    He said, “No, by
    Allah, he is not a soothsayer. We have seen soothsayers; his words are not the
    murmuring and rhyme of a soothsayer

    They said, “We will say he is a madman.”

    He said, “He is
    not a madman. We have seen madness and know it. There is not the choking,
    agitation, and anxiety of madness

    They said, “We will say he is a poet.”

    He said, “He is
    not a poet. We have known all forms of poetry, its chanting, hymning, lyrics,
    rhymed and unrhymed. It is not poetry

    They said, “We will say he is a sorcerer.”

    He said, “He is
    not a sorcerer. We have seen sorcerers and their sorcery. This is not their
    incantation and conjuration

    They said, “What should we say, O Abd Shams?

    He said, “By
    Allah, his words have sweetness, with numerous roots strongly branching; their
    branches richly abounding in growth. Anything you say about them will be known
    to be falsehood. The closest thing you can say about him is that he is a
    magician, who came with words which are magic that separate man and his father,
    man and his brother, man and his wife, man and his clan. This way you will shun
    people away from him

    They began to sit in
    the path of people who came at the Hajj season. They warned anyone who passed
    by them against him (meaning the Prophet r) and mentioned the
    (fabricated) story about him.

    This was their way of
    resisting and preventing the truth from reaching people, to keep them living on
    a fake inherited creed. The chiefs had to make the populace believe that behind
    this new Call was a mystery whose secret they were most knowledgeable about and
    most capable of handling. They wanted people to leave such a matter to their
    gods and return to their inherited beliefs. They wanted people to silently rest

    while the chiefs protected their interests, beliefs, and gods!

    It is the typical technique
    used by tyrants to distract people from concern about public matters and
    truth-seeking. People speaking amongst themselves and seeking to know the truth
    posed a danger to the chiefs, for they could only maintain their power by
    steeping people in lies.

    The Prophet of Mercy r reacted calmly and
    nobly to their war of words, as touched on in the story of Dimad t. Ibn ‘Abbas t said:

    Dimad, who belonged
    to the tribe of Azd Shanu’ah, came to Makkah. He used to recite incantations to
    cure people of madness and bedevilment.

    He heard some fools
    from among the people of Makkah saying that Muhammad r
    was mad.

    He said, “If only
    I c
    an see that man, perhaps
    Allah will cure him at my hand

    It happened that he
    met with him and said, “O Muhammad, I recite incantations as a cure for this
    madness. Allah cures whom He wills at my hand. Would you like to try it?

    The Messenger of
    Allah r
    said, “All praises and thanks belong to Allah. We praise Him and seek His
    Help. Truly, whoever Allah guides, no one can misguide; and whoever He leaves
    astray, no one can guide. And I testify that there is no god but Allah Alone, with
    no partners, and that Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger. Ama Ba‘d (Then

    Dimad said, “Repeat
    these words of yours to me
    .” The Messenger of Allah r
    repeated them to him thrice.

    Dimad said, “I
    have heard the words of soothsayers, magicians, and poets, but I have never
    heard such words as yours. They reach the depth of the sea. Give me your hand
    to pledge allegiance to you for Islam
    .” And he pledged allegiance to him.”11

    The truthful words that the Prophet r conveyed speak for
    themselves, laying bare any falsehood, and testifying to their Divine Origin. Words
    beyond the power of humans to say, unlike those of a soothsayer or a poet, but
    words of an honored Messenger:
    (I swear by whatsoever
    you see, and by whatsoever you see not, that this (Qur’an) is verily the word
    of an honored Messenger. It is not the word of a poet; little is that you
    believe. Nor is it the word of a soothsayer; little is that you remember. This
    is the revelation sent down from the Lord of all that exists. And if he (Muhammad)
    had forged a false saying concerning Us, We surely would have seized him by his
    right hand. Then We certainly would have cut off the aorta from him. And none
    of you could have prevented it for him. And verily, this is a Reminder for the
    pious. And verily, We know that among you are deniers. And indeed, it will be
    (a cause of) regret upon the disbelievers. And verily, it (the Qur’an) is an
    absolute truth with certainty. So, glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most

    1 Adapted from Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the
    Surat Al-Qalam
    [68: 51].

    Translated meanings of Al-Qalam 68: 51.

    Translated meanings of
    Al-Anbiya’ 21: 5.

    meanings of Sad 38: 4-5.

    meanings of As-Saffat 37: 36.

    meanings of Al-Hijr 15: 6.

    meanings of At-Tur 52: 29.

    8 Adapted from Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the
    interpretation of Surat Sad [38: 4-5], thirty-sixth
    edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.

    9 Ibn Hisham, As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah:
    of the Quraish
    to Denounce the Messenger r as a Magician, vol. 1.

    10 Adapted from Sayyid Qutb, In the Shade of the
    interpretation of Surat Sad [38: 4-5], thirty-sixth
    edition, Dar Al-Shorouk.

    11 Sahih Muslim, Book of Al-Jumu‘ah (Friday Prayer), Hadith no. 1436; a similar version of the Hadith is
    also reported by Ahmad (2613).

    Translated meanings of
    Al-Haqqah 69: 38-52


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