The Prophet Muhammad (saaw) said: “I was only sent to perfect noble character,” He was declared as a “mercy to all the worlds.”
If ‘faith is between the believer and his Lord’ as Liberals and Modernists like to say, then why need Prophet Muhammed (saaw)? How could Muhammed (saaw) perfect the character of others, if he could not force them to be good? Didn’t the Quraysh have morals they inherited from Ibrahim (a.s)? Surely the Quraysh could have worked out the truth for themselves, and had the moral courage to follow it?
What about the verse of Quran which says the man’s soul has been inspired as to its right and wrong? Why do human individuals need someone else to tell them something that was already inspired inside them?
And if only the noble of mankind would follow the ‘right’ and ‘good’ within himself, what use is it to advise the ignoble sinners to do good, when they are not naturally inclined towards the good and right?
What does this verse of Quran mean?
‘Allah would make the burden light for you, for man was created weak.’ (Qur’an 6:28:
It means that Humans can do good, but circumstances and ignorance can lead many good souls, to do repeatedly bad things.
The only way that the Prophet’s (saaw) original statement makes sense, is the way it was understood by the classical Islamic scholars. Man may feel something is right or wrong, but cannot understand by himself an alternative way of living. Sometimes, they are told lies by the religion/ideology or culture of their society, or learn to do bad as they grow older, without guidance, believing it to be the ‘pragmatic’ or ‘necessary’ thing to do.
The Prophet (saaw)’s mercy, was that he brought laws (which man could not deduce by himself) which taught man how to live harmoniously with other humans and the world, in an intended natural state. These laws were a re-iteration of the revelation which had previously come down to all nations before – but had their messages corrupted, leaving only some morals behind.
The Prophet (saaw) was commanded by Allah (swt) to establish these laws by an ordained political system that safeguards and promotes these noble values underpinning society, and helps humans who are weak, to attain nobility by eliminating public temptations to and pressures towards evil, and reinforces good alternatives and positive motivations.
The Prophet (saaw) is a mercy to mankind because the Shariah (revealed law) tells humans how to live – as humans by themselves cannot deduce a system to regulate the complex creatures that humans are:
If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would lead you away from the path of Allah. They follow nothing but speculation – they are merely guessing.” (Qur’an 6:115-116)
“Believers, if you have mindfulness of Allah, He will give you a criterion, and will cleanse you of your sins and forgive you. Allah’s favour is indeed immense.” (Qur’an 8:29)
The Shariah is here to HELP US attain nobility by removing the trials and obstacles we put in front of ourselves and each other. The Shariah makes the path to nobility and good actions – easy. When public temptations are removed, the good intentioned – yet weak – souls will find righteousness easy, the evil souls will confine their evil to the privacy of their homes (as hypocrites), and the strong righteous souls will reach the greatest heights of achievement, which pre-Islamic society had previously made difficult for them.
“And We have revealed the Book to you which has clear explanation of everything, and a GUIDANCE, MERCY and good news for those who submit.” (Qur’an 16:89)
Although the Prophet Muhammed (saaw) has passed away, the mercy he brought to the world, is ever waiting to brighten the face of mankind once again.