“…The Holy Prophet(sa) was confronted by a people who were experienced in the ways of mischief, were malevolent and hardened in evil. But the Holy Prophet(sa), as he stated himself, was unlettered and was untaught in the secular sciences. And so, those who were unlettered contended with those who were seasoned in scheming and mischief. This is why Islam has been referred to as marhumah (blessed with divine mercy)…”
“It becomes particularly evident that this blessed community has been born in an era of newly emerging calamities. Mankind is advancing towards sin and vice at the rate of a falling rock. The reason this ummah has been described as a community blessed with divine mercy (ummat-e-marhumah) is due to the rampant proliferation of sin. In this context, Allah the Exalted states:
Zaharal fasaadu fil-barri wal-bahri
Corruption has appeared on land and sea.
In another instance, He states:
Yuhyil-arda ba’da mawtihaa
He gives life to the earth after its death.
A study of these verses makes it evident that in both instances Allah the Exalted has provided two illustrations. In the first verse, God describes the era in which our Noble Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was born. At that time, since the state of the world had become immensely pitiable and cried for mercy, and all traces of morality, good deeds and sound doctrine had vanished, this community was referred to as ‘a community blessed with divine mercy.’ For in that era there was a dire need for God’s mercy and this is why the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was addressed in the following terms:
Wamaa arsalnaaka illaa rahmatan lil-aa’lamiin
And We have sent thee not but as a mercy for all peoples.
A person who is in a pitiable state and deserving of mercy is the one who is ordered to traverse a snake-infested land, in other words he is faced with grave dangers and severe calamities. And so, this nation was described as a ‘community blessed with divine mercy’ because it was in a difficult state. When someone is assigned a difficult task, their challenging situation arouses pity and they become deserving of mercy. The Holy Prophet(sa) was confronted by a people who were experienced in the ways of mischief, were malevolent and hardened in evil. But the Holy Prophet(sa), as he stated himself, was unlettered and was untaught in the secular sciences. And so, those who were unlettered contended with those who were seasoned in scheming and mischief. This is why Islam has been referred to as marhumah (blessed with divine mercy). How pleased should the Muslims be, for Allah the Exalted has deemed them worthy of receiving His blessings and mercy. Previously, Prophets and other preachers appeared in times when the people were not experienced in plotting schemes. Some of these guides came to their own people. But in today’s age the people are seasoned experts in fraud, and in secular knowledge and skill, as well as in philosophy and science. However, the righteous are scarcely involved in the field of secular knowledge; they have no interest in worldly mindsets, or its intricacies and artifices. It has been related in a Hadith that Allah Almighty said: ‘O Jesus! I shall create a community after you who will be both devoid of sense and bereft of knowledge’, i.e. they will be ignorant. Jesus responded: Yaa Rabbi kayfa ya’rifuunaka, i.e. ‘O Allah! When they shall be deprived of knowledge and sense, how then shall they recognise you?’ Allah the Exalted responded: ‘I shall confer upon them knowledge and sense”.
(Malfoozat Vol. I, pp. 122-123)
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