This is the 4th Part on the Series ‘Images from Seerah’s Album’, the English rendering of late Ustadh Khurram Murad’s urdu original ‘Seerat ke Album Se’.
The Second Image – The Tender, Tormented Heart
Let us take a look at the second picture. It was not drawn by any mortal but by Him Who is “The Artist”; the entire universe speaks of the excellence and perfection of His art.
“It may be that thou tormentest thyself (O Muhammad) because they believe not”. (Ash-Shura 26:3).
The statement is brief but the picture is complete and comprehensive. Only a few words reflect a myriad of colors; there are several of its features that stir the heart.
One aspect is the Prophet’s faith in his own truthfulness, a faith that one has in the existence of the sun on a bright sunny morning. Whatever is beyond our sight and perception is quite evident on the Prophet.
His faith is confronted by repeated denials and rejections. What would be the mental condition of the person who, pointing to the shining sun, declared that it was day time and people refused to accept it? They brand him as a liar, and an impostor. Could you imagine how stifling their attitude to him would be? The people are not satisfied with only refuting his claims; they laugh at him, turn against him, and oppress him. Think of what his heart goes through and how correctly the Artist paints his picture by using the expression “tormentest thyself”.
There is another feature far more fascinating. To grieve over rejections is but natural. Every human being suffers them. But there is one thing very hard to visualize. The Artist brings it before our eyes. Despite rejections, accusations and enmity, there are no signs of anger or ill will on the part of the Prophet. He has only one desire, one concern, one passion: to bring his people to the way of Allah, rescue them from the wrath of Allah and the fire of hell. His greatest wish is that they be sent to heaven and rewarded with a fair and just reward in this world and the hereafter.
It is one of the most attractive combinations of devotion, concern and grief from which emerge the characteristics of the picture of one who torments himself. He is emaciating, losing control over himself and virtually dying of this grief.
He is not aggrieved because people are not paying him the attention he seeks. He is not suffering because people are rejecting the invitation to the Truth. He is not dying to win their confidence. The pain and the grief is because people are rushing towards the fire like moths falling in it, and are, above all, happy and contented to die this way.
“Ah! what boldness (they show) for. the Fire!” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:175).
On one hand he is in love with his Lord and fellow creatures. He is by nature a compassionate being. Mercy for Mankind is his title. On the other hand, his beloved fellow human beings are running away from his beloved Lord and almost killing themselves. Can you imagine the condition of such a heart? The Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) himself describes the situation:
“My example is that of a man who made a fire, and when it lighted what was around it, moths and other insects started falling into it. The man tried (his best) to prevent them, (from falling in the Tire) but they overwhelmed him and rushed into the fire. Now, similarly, I take hold of you by your waists to keep you from falling into the fire, but you strive hard to fall (Bukhari, Muslim).
Now look at yourself. Do you believe in your message so intensely as to find it difficult to breathe when people refuse to accept it? Do you love humanity so well that disappointment, anger and hate do not replace the feelings of love, sympathy and concern? Do you feel the same pangs of grief when you see people going astray, as you would feel seeing some dear one burn in fire?
After all, among these dear ones are included your mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, wives and children, relatives, friends, schoolmates and colleagues. The worldly cares, financial concerns, and hardships of those whom we love depress us and render us well nigh dead. All of us have been through this in some way or another.
Does the concern to deliver the message of Allah to the people, the desire to save them from fire and lead them to salvation keep us impatient and agitated? Do we try to hold them back and save them from disaster instead of branding them transgressors when we see people going astray? Believe me, until our lives reflect the image of “thou tormentest thyself, we will not be able to do, even mention, what was successfully performed by the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him).
……To be continued Inshaa’Allah.