Once, the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) was sitting in a blessed gathering of his and speaking to his companions, meanwhile, a man entered the mosque, looking to his left and right. Then, instead of sitting in the Prophet’s circle, he headed for a corner of the mosque and began to undo his lower garment. The people were left in suspense as to what he is going to do next. Then, to their horror, he raised his lower garment, sat down quite calmly and began to urinate!
The Companions were shocked and exploded upon seeing him urinate in the mosque. They were about to rush towards him, but the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) asked them to stay seated and keep their calm; he said, “Do not interrupt him!” The Companions watched as he urinated and perhaps he wasn’t even aware of them looking on!
The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam), as he witnessed the scene – a man urinating in the mosque – continued to calm his Companions down. How forbearing he was! When the Bedouin had finished and stood up to tie his garment around his waist, the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) called him gently.
The Bedouin came and stood in front of the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam). The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said,
“The mosques are not built for this purpose. They are only built for prayers and reading of the Quran.”
This was end of his brief advice.
The man understood the Prophet’s words and left. When the time for prayer came, the Bedouin came and prayed along with them. The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) initiated the prayer with his Companions by saying “Allahu Akbar”. He then recited and bowed. When he raised up from bowing, he said, “Allah hears the one who praises Him.” The Companions said, “Our Lord, to you belong all the praise!” Except that this man added, “O Allah, have mercy on me and Muhammad, and no one else!”
The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) heard him, and when the prayer finished, he turned around and asked who said those words. The Companions pointed out the man to him, so he asked him to come forward. When he came and sat in front of him, lo and behold, it was the same Bedouin. The Prophet’s love had entered into his heart so deeply that he wished that the Prophet and he be the recipients of Allah’s mercy exclusively.
The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said to him, “You have narrowed what is vast!” Meaning that Allah’s mercy was enormous enough to include them two and everyone else, so it should not have been restricted to the two of them only.
Notice how the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wassallam) managed to capture his heart by knowing how to deal with him, for he was a Bedouin who had just come from the desert. He could not be expected to be as knowledgeable as Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, or even Mu’adh and ‘Ammar, and hence he should not be treated like them either.
God Almighty is full of love and kindness to His creation. All blessings and goodness in this world and the next are clear proofs of His Mercy. Indeed, Islam teaches that God is more merciful toward us than our own mothers. How can it be otherwise, when some of God’s names and attributes include:
These names all indicate that God is characterized by mercy, goodness and generosity. They testify to the vastness and perfection of His Mercy, which He blesses all of His creation. This same creation is addressed by God, when He says, “O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as the earth.”
Throughout life, people continually receive Allah’s blessings, be it good health, sight, hearing, nourishment, clean air, children, wealth and countless others. Some use their God-given gifts of intelligence and reasoning to acknowledge these blessings, grasp the purpose of their existence, and thereby submit themselves to Allah. Others, however, do not appreciate the Mercy of Allah toward their own selves, even though He feeds and sustains them despite their disobedience toward Him. They are given mobility, enjoyment, freedom of thought and action, despite their outright denial of Him. Their very existence would not be, were it not for the Mercy of Allah.
Ultimately, everyone has the free will to acknowledge their blessings, use them in a manner ordained by Allah (the Lord of mankind) and worship Him alone. Below, we have outlined a glimpse of such blessings, because
“... if you were to try and count the favours of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
I found the young man, sitting low below the small bulb of the street lamp. He was homeless, his clothes disheveled, his eyes bloodshot, and his hair and beard caught and twisted in knots. I had seen him a couple of times before then, though never in such a state. He was...sadder than usual. I went up to him, and asked if there was something bothering him, more than the usual I mean. I made sure that I made that clear. He looked at me, his jaw slack, and his cheeks sunken.
“What...What time is it?”
I looked down at my phone and told him it was eight at night.
Upon hearing this, he put his head in his hands and began to sob.
I stood there, upset at myself for coming over to talk to him. What had I been thinking? What did I expect was going to happen? He stopped suddenly, his cries silenced, his breathing shallow. What he said next distresses me to this very day.