The Mercy of the Noble Prophets
عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام
Mufti Abu Salih Muhammad Qasim Attari
Allah Almighty states:
وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنٰکَ اِلَّا رَحۡمَۃً لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ (۱۰۷)
“We did not send you, ˹dear Beloved,˺ but as mercy for all the worlds.”
Our beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a mercy for all prophets, messengers, and angels عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام, as well as for jinn, mankind, believers, disbelievers, even plants and animals. The noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a mercy for all things that are encompassed by the word “عٰلَمِیْنَ”.
The Reviver of Islam, the Imām of Ahl al-Sunnah, Imām Aḥmad Razā Khan رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states:
ꜤĀlam refers to everything besides Allah Almighty, which includes all prophets and angels. This then entails that the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a mercy and a blessing of Allah Almighty to them all, and they benefit from his esteemed being. It is for this reason that the noble saints and scholars clarify that any blessing that anybody received, or will receive, from the beginning of time till the end of it, within the heavens or earth, the first and the last, be it connected with the religion or the world, in body or soul, big or small, large amounts or lesser, all of it was distributed and is distributed from the beloved Prophet’s noble court, and it will continue to be distributed [through him].
This Quranic verse also proves the superiority of the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم over the entire creation, for when he is a mercy to all worlds, then this necessitates that he is superior to the entire creation.
The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a means of blessings, mercy, and divine proximity and pleasure for all prophets
The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a means of blessings, mercy, proximity, and Allah’s pleasure for all prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام. This is because within the “Covenant of the Prophets” mentioned in the Quran, Allah Almighty commanded the prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام to believe in the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and aid him. There is no doubt that this belief, aid, service and help of the noble prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام is a great means of mercy, proximity, and divine pleasure for them. This covenant has been mentioned thus in the Holy Quran:
“Remember when Allah took a promise from the Prophets, 'Whatever I give you of the Book and wisdom, then the magnificent Messenger (i.e., the Prophet Muhammad) comes to you; confirming the Books you have, so you should certainly, definitely believe in him and you should certainly, definitely help him.' ˹Allah˺ said, '˹dear Prophets˺ have you agreed and accepted My binding responsibility in this ˹agreement˺?' They all responded, 'We have agreed. He (Allah) said, '˹Now˺ you become witnesses upon each other, and I Myself am a Witness with you.' So, whoever turns away after this (agreement); it is they who are the sinners.”
The fourth Caliph of Islam, ꜤAlī b. Abī Ṭālib رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ stated:
Allah Almighty took an oath from Prophet Ādam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام and each of the prophets that He sent after him, that if the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم appeared during their lifetime, they would most certainly believe in him and support him. The prophets, with the command of Allah Almighty, would then take the same oath from their respective nations.
A similar narration has also been reported from the companion ꜤAbdullāh b. ꜤAbbās رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ عَنْهُمَا. This meaning of the divine covenant taken from the prophets is further supported by the hadith mentioned below. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Truly, if Mūsā عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was alive among you, he would have no choice but to follow me.”
It is mentioned in Tafsīr al-Quran al-ꜤAẓīm:
Our Master Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is Allah’s Messenger and the Seal of prophets until the Day of Judgement. He would be the greatest Imam in whichever era he appeared, and all prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام are dutybound to obey him. Hence, when all the noble prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام gathered in al-Masjid al-Aqṣā, it was he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who led them in prayer, and when Allah Almighty makes judgement among His slaves on the Day of Reckoning, it is he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who will intercede before Allah Almighty. It is only he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who is worthy of the Praiseworthy Station (al-Maqām al-Maḥmūd).
The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a means of proximity to Allah Almighty for the prophets and angels
Our dear Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is a means of closeness to Allah Almighty for all prophets and angels. Hence, it is stated in the holy Quran:
اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَدۡعُوۡنَ یَبۡتَغُوۡنَ اِلٰی رَبِّہِمُ الۡوَسِیۡلَۃَ اَیُّہُمۡ اَقۡرَبُ
“The devoted bondsmen whom these disbelievers worship; they themselves seek the medium (wasīla) to their Lord from the one amongst them as to who is nearest ˹to his Lord˺.”
The prophets and angels عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام take the closest person as a means for themselves, and there is no doubt that our beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the most proximate. Therefore, he صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is the greatest means for everyone, and what greater mercy is there than being the intermediary of proximity to Allah Almighty? Also, keep in mind that him being the means for all prophets and the rest of creation will manifest completely on the Day of Judgement, when the noble prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَامwill direct all of Allah’s creation towards him.
On the Day of Judgment, when people gather and approach Sayyidunā Ādam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, requesting him to intercede before Allah on their behalf, he will humbly decline, saying, “I am not for this; go to Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, for he is the intimate friend (khalīl) of Allah Almighty.” Thus, they will to Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, who will also decline, remarking, “I am not for this. Go to Mūsā عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, as he is the one who directly conversed with Allah (Kalīmullāh).”
Therefore, they will all go to Sayyidunā Musā عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, but he will also say, “I am not for this; go to ꜤIsā عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, for he is the spirit from Allah (Rūḥullah) and the ˹one created by the˺ word of Allah (Kalimatullah). Then the people will go to Sayyidunā ꜤIsa عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, but he will give the same response, “I am not for this, but you should go to Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.” The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Thus, they will come to me, and I will say, ‘I am the one to intercede.’ I will then seek permission from my Lord, and I will be granted it.”
The second manifestation of the beloved Prophet’s mercy towards the other prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام on the Day of Judgement
When the noble prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام stand before Allah Almighty on the Day of Reckoning, and He asks them regarding their conveyance of the True Message, it will be our beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم who will be the final one to attest to their truthful claims of conveying the Message. Just as it is mentioned in a hadith of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī:
On the Day of Judgement, Nūḥ عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام will be summoned. He will respond, “At your service, O Allah.” Allah will state, “Did you convey My Message?” Nūḥ عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام will reply, “I conveyed it.” Then his nation will be called and asked, “Did he convey My Message to you?” They will respond, “No warner came to us.” Allah Almighty will ask Nūḥ عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام “Is there anyone who can testify on your behalf?” He will say, “Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and his nation are my witnesses.” Thus, the beloved Prophet’s nation will testify in favour of Sayyidunā Nūḥ عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام, confirming that he عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام delivered the Message of Allah Almighty, and the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم will attest to the truthfulness of his nation’s testimony.
This is the meaning of Allah’s words:
وَ کَذٰلِکَ جَعَلۡنٰکُمۡ اُمَّۃً وَّسَطًا لِّتَکُوۡنُوۡا شُہَدَآءَ عَلَی النَّاسِ وَ یَکُوۡنَ الرَّسُوۡلُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ شَہِیۡدًا ؕ
“This is how it is; that We have made you the best of all nations, that you be witnesses upon the people, and this Messenger is your protector and witness.”
Alongside the general proofs given above of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم being a mercy for all of the noble prophets عَـلَـيْـهِمُ الـصَّلٰوةُ وَالـسَّـلَام, there are many specific evidences also, of which there are some that are particularly prominent. One is the account of Sayyidunā Ādam’s repentance. When Sayyidunā Ādam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام forgetfully ate from the tree, he supplicated to Allah Almighty, pleading:
يَا رَبِّ اَسْاَلُكَ بِحَقِّ مُحَمَّدٍ لما غَفَرْتَ لِيْ
“My Lord! I ask You by the right of Muhammad (صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم) that You forgive me.”
(Thus, it was through his intermediation that the repentance of Sayyidunā Ādam عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was accepted.)
Imam al-Zurqānī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه (d. 1122 AH/1710 CE) relates that the ark of Sayyidunā Nūḥ عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام set sail through his blessed name.
The commentator of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri, Imam al-Qasṭallānī رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه (d. 923 AH/1517 CE) has narrated the following couplets from a righteous person:
بِهٖ قَدْ اَجَابَ اللهُ آدَمَ
اِذْ دَعَا وَنُجِّى فِيْ بَطْنِ السَّفِيْنَةِ نُوْحٌ
وَمَا ضَرَّتِ النَّارُ الْخَلِيْلَ لِنُوْرِهٖ
وَمِنْ اَجْلِهٖ نَالَ الْفِدَاءَ ذَبِيْحٌ
By him, Allah answered Adam’s plea,
And rescued Nuh’s Ark from the sea.
By his light, Ibrahim was unharmed by the fire,
And by him, Isma’il was spared from slaughter.
May Allah Almighty grant us a share from the beloved Prophet’s perfect mercy and allow us to act upon his merciful teachings.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ خاتَمِ النَّبِیّیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم
 Al-Quran, 21:107, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān
 Fatāwā al-Razawiyyah, vol. 30, p. 141
 Al-Tafsīr al-Kabīr, al-Baqarah, under verse no: 253, vol. 2, p. 521
 Al-Quran, 3: 81-82, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān
 JāmiꜤ al-Bayān, vol. 6, p. 555
 Musnad Imām Aḥmad, vol. 22, p. 468
 Tafsīr al-Quran al-ʿAẓīm, vol. 2, p. 59
 Al-Quran, 17: 57, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri, vol. 9, p. 122
 Al-Quran, 2: 143, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān ; Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri, vol. 6, p. 21
 Kanz al-ꜤUmmāl, vol. 11, p. 455
 Sharḥ al-Zurqāni ʿala al-Mawāhib, vol. 4, p. 238
 Al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyyah, vol. 3, p. 605