Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Muharram / SAFAR 1424 H
April 2003
Volume 16-04 No : 196
Camps \ Workshops

News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Capital View Taliking Peace Community Development Muslim Perspectives Men, Mission and Machines Book Review Chennai Diary Trends and Traditions Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Reflection Religion The Month Of Safar Opinion Living Islam Person Of The Month Young Muslim Islamic History Journey To Islam Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

Qu'ran Speaks to You


Prophet Muhammad's (Pbuh) Compassionate Nature

Prophet Muhammad's (Pbuh)
Compassionate Nature

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

It is by Allah's grace that you deal gently with them. Had you been harsh and hard- hearted, they would surely have broken away from you. Therefore pardon them and pray for forgiveness for them and consult with them in the conduct of public affairs. When you have resolved about a course of action, put your trust in Allah. Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.

(The House of Imran, " Al-Imran: 3:159)
Commentary by Sayyid Qutb, Translated by A.A.Salahi and A.A. Shamis

Quran : "Speaks to You"

In the middle of the surah’s comments on the events of the battle of Uhud and the attitudes of the Muslim community and other groups towards the way events developed prior and during that battle, a few verses are included about the noble personality of Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) and how important his status as a prophet is to the life of the Muslim community. That demonstrates much of the grace Allah has bestowed on the Muslim nation. While the Prophet’s personality is the known theme of the following verses, certain lines are explained of the Islamic method in organising the Muslim community and the basis of this organisation, as well as some basic elements of Islamic philosophy and its importance to human life generally.

Our examination of these verses show that fundamental facts are explained in a few words. We can appreciate the great aspect of divine grace which is represented by the powers of personality with which the Prophet has been equipped. He had an easy, gentle, lenient and compassionate nature, which attracts people and establishes real unity between them. We also find in this short passage, the basic principles which govern the life of the Muslim community, namely, consultative government. We have here a clear order to implement this principle of consultation. It is worth to note that this order is given at a time and place when consultation appears to have led to bitter consequences. Coupled with the principle of consultative government is the principle of firm resolution and unhesitating implementation of discipline adopted after consultations. To these two principles is added the most important value of placing our trust in Allah. There is a distinct conceptual, practical and organisational complimentarity provided by all these three principles. Moreover the essence of Allah’s will and pre-destination is explained here. All matters start with Him and return to Him. His will is supreme in conducting events and determining results. The passage also warns against treachery and greed, and distinguishes between those who follow what pleases Allah and those who incur His wrath. That provides a criterion with which to evaluate winnings and losses. The passage is concluded by emphasising the great bounty Allah has bestowed on this nation which has taken the form of the message conveyed by the Prophet (Pbuh). Compared to this bounty, all material gains appear so small and all suffering appears to be easily tolerable.

All these points are discussed in six verses, the first of which is the subject of the commentary: “It was by Allah’s grace that you have dealt gently with them. Had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they surely would have broken away. Therefore pardon them and pray for forgiveness for them and consult with them in the conduct of public affairs. When you have resolved upon a course of action, put your trust in Allah, Allah loves those who put their trust in Him.”

At this point, the surah addresses the Prophet (Pbuh), who must have had an uneasy feeling towards his people. They were very enthusiastic to go out and meet their enemy outside Madinah. Shortly afterwards, confusion crept up in their ranks and one third of the army withdrew even before the battle started. Later they disobeyed his express order and yielded to the temptation of the loot. They weakened when they heard the rumour of his death. Defeated at heart, they turned back on their heels, leaving him with a handful of his companions and allowed him to be wounded. He remained steadfast at their rear calling them to persevere, while they paid no heed to anyone. The divine address provides consolation to the Prophet and tells the Muslims of Allah’s limitless grace manisfested in sending them the Prophet. It reminds them that Allah has shown them great mercy in giving the Prophet a compassionate nature which makes people’s hearts turn towards him. The purpose of this address is to enhance the Prophet’s leaning towards compassion so that he overcomes what he felt as a result of their actions. On their part, they would realize how important to them is the fact that the Prophet is so compassionate. The divine address tells the Prophet to pardon his companions and to pray Allah to forgive them. He is also called upon to take counsel with them on how important matters should be conducted, in the same way as he used to consult them. The consequences of that particular instance must not be allowed to suspend or cancel the principle of consultative government which is fundamental to Islamic life.

“ It is by Allah’s grace that you deal gently with them. Had you been harsh and hard-hearted, they would surely have broken away from you.” Allah’s grace was indeed shown to the Prophet and his companions. It is demonstrated in the fact that the Prophet himself (Pbuh) had a compassionate nature which prompted him to take a lenient and gentle attitude towards them. Had he been hard of heart, he would not have won the hearts of people, nor would they have gathered around him. People always need compassion, care, a cheerful face and patient forbearance which is not exhausted by people’s ignorance and weaknesses. People need someone with a big heart to give them all it can and ask them nothing, to share with them their worries, without burdening them with its own worries. They need someone whom they always expect to be caring, sympathetic, loving, content and forbearing. Allah’s Messenger had all these characteristics and these were the distinctive aspects of his life among his companions. He was never angry with any person, nor was he ever impatient with their human weaknesses. Never did he take for himself anything of the enjoyments of this world, on the contrary, he gave them all that he possessed with a smile and a cheerful heart. His forbearance, compassion, care and sympathy were extended to all. Everyone of them who came in contact with the Prophet was full of love to him, because of what the Prophet generously gave him of his love.

All that was by Allah’s grace which He extended to the Prophet and his followers. Allah reminds them of this grace at this particular moment in order to build on it something which is essential to the life of the Muslim community. “Therefore, pardon them and pray for forgiveness for them and consult with them in the conduct of public affairs.”

We have here a distinctive order: “Consult with them on the conduct of public affairs.” This principle which is basic to the Islamic system of government is established here, even when Muhammad himself, Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) is the one who conducts public affairs. This is then, a definitive statement which leaves the Muslim community in no doubt that consultation is a central principle to the Islamic system of government. Without it, no system is truly Islamic. What form this consultation takes and how the principle is implemented are matters which can be adapted to the prevailing conditions of any particular society. Any form and mechanism which ensures that consultation is really, not superficially practised is acceptable to Islam.

Top



News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Capital View Taliking Peace Community Development Muslim Perspectives Men, Mission and Machines Book Review Chennai Diary Trends and Traditions Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Reflection Religion The Month Of Safar Opinion Living Islam Person Of The Month Young Muslim Islamic History Journey To Islam Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

Al-Nasr Exports