PROPHET MUHAMMAD ﷺ. MERCY AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS WOMEN
If one word were needed to describe the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) it would be “mercy”. In the Qur’an, he is referred to as "a mercy to the worlds":
"And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds."
The entire life of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was devoted to an immense love for Allah and love for people. It is an example of showing incredible love, care, kindness and mercy. For anyone who loves Allah knows what love is. He has always taught love for neighbor.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed: "After worshiping God, the best thing to do is to love one another."
Forgiveness and leniency were the qualities of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) towards all people, regardless of religion, age or nationality. His mercy extended even to those who tried to harm him. More than once he forgave his enemies, who brought him a lot of suffering or even tried to kill him. And it would be fairer to execute such evildoers. But when they were caught and brought to the Messenger (peace be upon him) he made them promise not to do it again and let them go free.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was very merciful, and when in one of the battles he was asked to send a curse on his enemies, he replied: "I have been sent as a mercy and not as a curse".
Muhammad (peace be upon him) bore all injustices and insults directed at him with composure, but it was much harder for him to bear the suffering of those who followed him. He was a kind-hearted man by nature, who was more concerned about people than he was about himself.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was very simple and humble. Regardless of a person's age or social status, he was always in a hurry to be the first to greet them. He helped the needy, fed the hungry, visited the sick, and reconciled the quarrelsome. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would warn people against sin with a kind word, a smile, or advice, and would guide them onto the straight path. There are many known cases when people, moved by his kindness and mercy, accepted Islam.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was an example of exceptional generosity and greatness. Because of his attentiveness to people, he immediately saw someone in need and helped him in any way he could before a person asked for help. He never kept anything for himself. If another person needed help and he could not help, then he borrowed, but he still helped people.
While already carrying out his prophetic activity, Muhammad (peace be upon him) combined community leadership with the everyday concerns of a small trader. This allowed the haughty Quraish to ridicule him, saying that he was like everyone else, seeking earnings in the marketplace. In response to these taunts, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) insisted that Allah loves those who earn their living by work, and that work is a fundamental moral duty for every believer.
During one trip with friends, he insisted on doing a certain part of the work. One of them volunteered to cook the food, another to fetch water, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) to collect firewood. "But we can do that instead of you, O Messenger of Allah," the companions said, but he insisted on doing it himself.
When the Muslims arrived in Yathrib (Medina), they built houses and a mosque for themselves. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also participated in this construction and worked alongside everyone else.
Muhammad (peace be upon him) never preached what he did not practice himself, and he never allowed himself or his family to enjoy privileges that were not available to other Muslims.
He invariably consulted his people, because, according to the Qur’an, the affairs of a Muslim are best decided after a joint discussion.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saw the best in each person and nurtured these qualities. He taught people with kindness and patient care. He trained each person according to his or her ability. He was particularly gentle with beginners, and those he sent to train other tribes were also told to be gentle with people and make their lives easier, not harder.
There is no doubt that the Prophet (peace be upon him) won people's hearts with his kindness and mercy. And people followed and still follow him, inspired by his example.
When Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked what gift he wished for more than anything else in the world, he said that people should love one another.
The simplicity and humanity of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has always fascinated people who came across him. He always tried to bring good to people whenever possible. And he showed great care for all people and especially for orphans, the elderly and women. Especially about the women.
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “A woman is what entrusted from Allah! And she’s a casket with jewels. The womb of women contains grace... bliss.”
Speaking of the many virtues of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself, I would also like to talk about his attitude towards women.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS WOMEN
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) had an impeccable temperament and treated women with great care and attention. He claimed that the best are those who treat their wives best. To understand the value of such an attitude towards women, one needs to know the situation of women at the time of the Last Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). In those days, women were the property of men and widows were part of the inheritance. The birth of daughters was considered a disgrace, there were frequent cases that they were even sacrificed to idols or buried in the sand alive.
In such a society, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) elevated women and put them on an equal footing with men. He made them equally responsible to Allah for their spiritual development, but at the same time he protected women socially and economically. Islam gives Muslim women the right to inherit property and to participate in the social and economic affairs of their community. They were given the right to study and gain knowledge. They were given the right to work and earn a living. At the same time the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that women had the right to spend the money they earned on themselves, whereas he obliged men to provide for their families. The Holy Qur'an says this:
But that is not all. According to the canons of Islam, marriage is a kind of "agreement" and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made the woman's consent to the marriage mandatory. And this all happened 14 centuries ago. Considering that in Europe they didn't start talking about women's rights until the 19th century and didn't legislate it until the 20th century, this is really something incredible.
By calling women “a casket with jewels", the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was thereby saying that women are by nature very sincere and sensual. It is women who are more likely to distinguish Truth from falsehood, as they trust their senses more than their minds. And revealing the best qualities of a woman always depends on the attitude towards her in the family and society. That is why the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) showed by his personal example how to take care and be attentive to the beautiful half of humanity.
The hadiths say that women as well as men used to come to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to get answers to their questions. One day, when the women were asking him questions rather loudly and casually, Umar ibn Khattab came. At the sight of Umar all the women at once became silent and hid. Seeing the women's behavior, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) laughed. When asked by Umar about the reason for his laughter, the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that he laughed when he saw that all the women were silent because of his coming. Umar scolded the women in anger that they should not fear him but the Prophet of Allah himself. To which the women respectfully replied that Umar is rude and harsh, and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is always kind and merciful.
It is also known that the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) exalted mothers by saying that Paradise lies beneath their feet. The hadiths have preserved a reference to a young man who once approached him and asked him whom he should treat best. He asked this question three times in a row. And three times in a row the Messenger of Allah answered that the mother should be treated best. It was not until the fourth time that he answered that it was his father.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) obliged Muslims to protect the rights of orphans and women and to take care of their daughters. A very famous hadith says:
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself had four daughters from his marriage to Khadija, whom he loved, cherished and protected in every possible way. It is known that every time his daughter Fatima came to visit him, if he was sitting down, he would get up to greet her and kiss her on the forehead.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) paid special attention to the development of women's talents and their education. An example of this is that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) himself took with him on campaigns as a surgeon, a woman, Ummah Atiyah, who helped the wounded and sick in those difficult times.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also gave women the opportunity to perform namaz in mosques. There is a hadith which states:
A lot of women visited the mosque of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). They used to perform namaz, listen to his sermons and study. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself ordered a separate door to be made for them. It remains to this day and is called the "women's door".
No doubt, thanks to the gentle care of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), women in the times of the establishment of Islam maintained an active life position and took part in the affairs of the society.
The care for women by the Messenger (peace be upon him) was constant. Even in his Farewell Sermon he did not forget about women and reminded all his followers that they do have rights in relation to their women, but women also have rights in relation to them. He commanded to treat women well, to be kind to them and to respect their rights. He reminded that women are their companions and faithful helpers.
Today Islam, more than all other religions, is regarded as a religion of the masculine spirit, in which a woman is perceived as a weak, non-independent being, standing inferior to men in all respects. But this is contrary to the spirit of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who promoted the development of women as individuals in every possible way. For a woman is a mother. And as a mother, a woman is the first teacher of her children. It is not without reason that Asian peoples have a saying: "Whoever raises a son will raise a village, and whoever raises a daughter will raise a nation”.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was very reverent about women, about their feminine nature. He said that every woman who reveals the source of Love for Allah within herself is a gift, a flower that adorns this life.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged any undertakings of women that concerned her development and education!
He always supported and encouraged people to gain new knowledge. You can find out the stunning results of this and how it further affected the development of Islamic society in the article THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE AND CULTURE OF ISLAM.
To be continued...