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Mercy of the Prophets

by Musa Bukhari

The prophets (as) are the most beloved creations of Allah. We understand that they hold a high status with Allah, and we know the most beloved to Allah are the ones who are tested the most. If you reflect on the stories of the prophets, you will see how each one of them went through many difficult trials. Trials that the average human being will never go through. Yet within their stories you can find many parallels within your own life. When you reflect on the stories of the prophets mentioned in the Quran you will start to see how much they persevered in their mission of spreading the message of God to mankind and offered us glimpses of the Names of Allah.

One such name that they embodied was Ar Rahman, the Ever Merciful. There are many stories in the Quran that show how the prophets (as) showed their mercy to the people. One example is the story of the Prophet Yusuf (as).

Prophet Yusuf (as)

In the story of Prophet Yusuf (as) we learn that he was thrown into a well as a child by his brothers who struggled with the disease of jealousy towards him. As a result the prophet Yusuf (as) was separated from his father. During this period of his life, he was sold as a servant to a wealthy man, and as he grew into adulthood, he became incredibly handsome, which attracted the attention of the wife of the Aziz, who tried to seduce Prophet Yusuf (as). He turned down her advances and sought refuge in Allah from this evil, and because of this, the wife had him thrown into jail under false pretenses. After spending over six years in jail, Yusuf (as) finally proved his innocence and was granted his freedom by deciphering a dream of the king’s. The king was so impressed by his honesty that he placed Prophet Yusuf (as) in charge of the country’s finances and gave him a high position in the court. During this time there was an extreme famine that plagued the neighboring countries. This caused the brothers of Yusuf (as) to come to the kingdom to ask for provisions. It was soon revealed to them that the one who was helping them in court was in fact their brother Yusuf (as).

“When Joseph removed his mask, they cried out in surprise, “Is it you Joseph?” He said, “Yes, I am Joseph and here is my brother Benjamin. Verily God has obliged us and verily He does not waste the reward of those who are pious and patient.” (12:90).

“They said, “Verily God has endowed you superiority over us and we have been in the wrong.” (12:91).

“Joseph said, “I forgive and may God forgive you, too, as He is most merciful.” (12:92).

Yusuf (as) extended mercy towards his brothers. After all that they put him through, he forgave them. He saw that his brothers felt remorse for what they did. He forgave them and urged them to repent to Allah for their wrongdoings. This goes to show that when someone has wronged you and they show remorse you should forgive them. When you show mercy towards someone Allah will show mercy unto you. This is a powerful insight into the best of creation and how they responded to those who wronged them, and as a result of this response we see how much it beautified their character.

Prophet Yunus (as)

In the story of Prophet Yunus, Yunus (AS) abandoned his people because he became very frustrated with them. Because of this Allah Subhanahu Tala ordered a whale to devour him. Whilst in the belly of the whale, at the bottom of the ocean, where no light reaches, Prophet Yunus (AS) made a very powerful dua. He supplicated:

Laa i-la-ha il-laaa anta sub-hanaka inni koon-tu minaz-zalimeen. (Quran 21:87)

Meaning: “There is no deity but You. Glory be to You! Verily, I have been among the wrongdoers.” (Quran 21:87)

This is such a powerful dua. In his supplication, Prophet Yunus (AS) admits to his mistake and asks Allah for His mercy. He realizes what he did was wrong and that he should have been more patient and merciful towards his people, instead of abandoning them. After he realizes his wrongdoings and repents to Allah, Allah accepts his supplication and returns him back to the shore, where Prophet Yunus (AS) makes his way back to his people and they all accept the true religion. This is a powerful lesson to us that no matter how grave the sin, no matter where you are, Allah is always near you. He is always listening. And if you truly repent then Allah will bestow His mercy upon you. Prophet Yunus believed in the mercy of Allah which is why he made the dua that he did. It is a supplication we can all use.


These are just two instances of how the Prophets showed their mercy. In one example we have Prophet Yusuf (AS) who was very unjustly wronged and betrayed by his brothers. Yet in the end he forgave them because they showed remorse for what they did. Prophet Yusuf embodied the perfect example on how to forgive someone. He accepted their repentance and then urged that they seek forgiveness from Allah for their wrong doing.

In the second instance we have Prophet Yunus seeking Allah’s mercy in the most beautiful way. He knew he committed a grave mistake by leaving his post as the prophet to the people. After being swallowed by the whale he supplicated to Allah for His forgiveness. In this story we learn a very valuable lesson, that no matter where you are Allah will always hear you. Prophet Yunus was in the bottom of the ocean where no light reaches, and in the depths he called out to Allah, and Allah heard him. This story should fill us with hope. Hope that Allah is always near.

“And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.” (Quran 50:16)

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