the love and the mercy of ALLAH and prophet mohamad (part 2):
One of the teachings of love from Prophet Muhammad s.a.w is for us to love one another. The Prophet s.a.w taught us that what we love for ourselves should also be what we love for others. In a hadith, Rasulullah s.a.w. reminded us of this golden rule,
لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لِأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ
“None of you has faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself”.
The Syrian scholar Sheikh Mustafa Bugha commented on this hadith in his book Al-Wafi Fi Sharhil Arba’een An-Nawawiyyah, it is mentioned that ‘brother’ here is not limited to just fellow believers, but can be extended to all of humanity as well, commonly refered to as Al-Ukhuwwah Al-Insaniyah (brotherhood in humanity). Hence, we must ensure that what we like for ourselves, we also do it for others. What we do not like for ourselves, we do not do it to others. The Prophet s.a.w emphasised that we should be good neighbours. He told us that, as believers, we should not usurp the rights of our neighbours and do things that may disturb and harm them.
The Prophet s.a.w instructed us to look after one another and love the poor and needy. In a hadith, Rasulullah s.a.w. reminded his wife Aisyah r.a,
يَا عَائِشَةُ أَحِبِّي الْمَسَاكِينَ وَقَرِّبِيهِمْ
“Oh Aisyah, Love the poor and be near them, "
The Prophet s.a.w. taught us that indeed, a society that loves one another and takes care of each other is a society that is strong and cohesive. In a world where there is a proliferation of hate and enmity, as followers of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w, let us re-establish this golden rule as a basis of our relationship with others.
4. Love for Other Creations
Beyond doing good to one another, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. also showed how we should treat other living creatures with love and mercy. He warned against harming the animals. In a hadith, Rasulullah s.a.w. said,
عُذِّبَتْ امْرَأَةٌ فِي هِرَّةٍ سَجَنَتْهَا حَتَّى مَاتَتْ فَدَخَلَتْ فِيهَا النَّارَ لَا هِيَ أَطْعَمَتْهَا وَلَا سَقَتْهَا إِذْ حَبَسَتْهَا وَلَا هِيَ تَرَكَتْهَا تَأْكُلُ مِنْ خَشَاشِ الْأَرْضِ
“A woman was punished because of a cat which she kept locked up until it died, and she entered Hell because of it, because she did not feed it or give it water when she kept it locked up, neither did she let it eat from the vermin of the earth.”
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was always gentle with other creations. Even though we regard some animals as impure, Muslims are expected to respect and handle them with love and mercy. For instance, in dealing with dogs, the Prophet s.a.w. did not teach us to hate them. In fact, the Prophet s.a.w. told us about the merits of feeding dogs
In a hadith, it was shared that,
بَيْنَا رَجُلٌ بِطَرِيقٍ، اشْتَدَّ عَلَيْهِ الْعَطَشُ فَوَجَدَ بِئْرًا فَنَزَلَ فِيهَا فَشَرِبَ، ثُمَّ خَرَجَ، فَإِذَا كَلْبٌ يَلْهَثُ يَأْكُلُ الثَّرَى مِنَ الْعَطَشِ، فَقَالَ الرَّجُلُ “لَقَدْ بَلَغَ هَذَا الْكَلْبَ مِنَ الْعَطَشِ مِثْلُ الَّذِي كَانَ بَلَغَ مِنِّي”، فَنَزَلَ الْبِئْرَ، فَمَلأَ خُفَّهُ مَاءً، فَسَقَى الْكَلْبَ، فَشَكَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ، فَغَفَرَ لَهُ. قَالُوا “يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَإِنَّ لَنَا فِي الْبَهَائِمِ لأَجْرًا؟” فَقَالَ "فِي كُلِّ ذَاتِ كَبِدٍ رَطْبَةٍ أَجْرٌ”
"A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst and came out. Meanwhile, he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said to himself, “This dog is suffering from thirst as I did.” So, he went down the well again and filled his shoe with water and watered it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him. The people said, “Oh Rasulullah! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?” He replied: “Yes, there is a reward for serving any animate (living being).”
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. emphasised to us that we have a collective duty towards our environment. Rasulullah s.a.w. encouraged us to plant trees as it would benefit other creations
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said,
مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَغْرِسُ غَرْسًا، أَوْ يَزْرَعُ زَرْعًا، فَيَأْكُلُ مِنْهُ طَيْرٌ أَوْ إِنْسَانٌ أَوْ بَهِيمَةٌ، إِلاَّ كَانَ لَهُ بِهِ صَدَقَةٌ
“No Muslim who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, except that this is regarded as charity.”
Today, with the threats of climate change and global warming, there is a need for us to treat our environment with love and respect. We should make efforts to prevent wastage, over-reliance on single-use plastic, and make efforts not to pollute our waters and the air. We need to inculcate our love towards the environment and make efforts to protect it from degradation and destruction.
Read: 5 Things Prophet ﷺ Taught Us About Protecting the Environment
Indeed, we need to bring back the teachings of love and mercy of Rasulullah s.a.w. into our lives. In facing the challenges of today’s post-modern society, we need to spread the values of love and mercy. The amplification of hate today needs to be challenged by radiating love and mercy to humanity. We seek to build bridges with others and not walls. We need to manifest our faith through the prism of love and mercy.
Read: Why Is Love So Important?
May Allah s.w.t place us among those who will be granted the love of Rasulullah s.a.w. and be among those who will spread his enduring love to humanity. May we be among those who spread love and not hate, spread peace and not conflict, spread unity and not division. Amin.
And Allah knows best.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُقَرِّبُ