The Prophet’s Mercy
Referring to the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), God says:
And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds (Quran: Al-Anbiya’ 107)
The Prophet’s mercy was not, in any way, restricted to Muslims. Rather, it encompassed all, Muslims and non-Muslims, humans and the Jinn, and even animals and non-living things. The Prophet showed mercy even to those who wronged him or attempted to kill him.
Below are some prime examples of the mercy he showed to people of other faiths:
Be Kind to Your Non-Muslim Relatives
Asma’ bint Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with her) said:
“My mother came to me while she was still a polytheist, so I asked Messenger of Allah, ‘My mother, has come to visit me and she is hoping for (my favor). Shall I maintain good relations with her?’
He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, ‘Yes, maintain good relations with your mother’” (Al- Bukhari and Muslim).
Exchange Gifts with People of Other Faiths
Narrated Ibn `Umar:
`Umar saw a silken cloak over a man for sale and requested the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) to buy it in order to wear it on Fridays and while meeting delegates. The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said, ‘This is worn by the one who will have no share in the Hereafter.’
Later on, Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) got some silken cloaks similar to that one, and he sent one to `Umar.
`Umar said to the Prophet, ‘How can I wear it, while you said about it what you said?’
The Prophet said, ‘I have not given it to you to wear, but to sell or to give to someone else.’ So, `Umar sent it to his brother at Makkah before he embraced Islam” (Al-Bukhari). The Prophet did not blame him for his deed.
Protect Rights of People of Other Faiths
A number of Prophet’s Companions narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:
‘Beware, if anyone wrongs a mu`ahid [a non-Muslim enjoying the protection of Muslims], or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall be his adversary on the Day of Judgment’ (Abu Dawud).
Narrated `Abdullah ibn `Amr:
The Prophet said, “Whoever killed a mu`ahid shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of travelling).” (Al-Bukhari).
The Prophet used to do business and enter into dealings with non-Muslims. It was narrated that `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:“The Messenger of Allah bought some food on credit from a Jew, and he gave him a shield of his as collateral (rahn)” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Respect for the Deceased of Other Faiths
Jabir said:“The Prophet and his Companions stood up for the funeral of a Jew until it disappeared” (Sunan An-Nasa’i).
A Final Word
The Prophet treated all people well, including people of other faiths. God enjoined fairness, kindness, good treatment and rendering back trusts for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Qur’an says:
Allah does not forbid you from dealing kindly and fairly with those who have neither fought nor driven you out of your homes. Surely Allah loves those who are fair. (Quran, 60:8)
We understand from this verse that Muslims should be kind and nice to all peaceful people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.