Pedagogy of Mercy


A Lecture by Suhaib Webb | Transcribed by Fuseina Mohamad

Surat Al-Fatiha Series: Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV | Part VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IXPart X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV

Now, before we continue I’m going to ask a question.  Do you really feel in yourself this responsibility towards the Qur’an?  It’s difficult if you were raised on the ‘Bam!’ madhab. This has a psychological effect. That’s why, subhan’Allah (glory be to Allah), when I was in the masjid, I would find that the adults did not want to come to the masjid. And when they would see me, when I was dressed in my big beard with my topi and stuff on, they would see me and think, “Oh my God, here comes a mawlisaab, man. Do you see a stick?” Because their whole childhood was built on this.

serenity

Whereas the Prophet ﷺ was a mercy for people (21:107).  He was a very good teacher.  He was a forgiving teacher.  He used to deal with people differently.  For example, as related by Imam Muslim, one time a man came into the masjid of the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet and his companions were in rukoo.  And you know we have that now also where people run to the salah line.  I can’t stand that.  Sometimes I break my rukoo on purpose just to teach them to slow down.  You know how it is when you go into rukoo and a guy walks into the masjid and he sees and then he makes the DSL wudu for about 10 seconds, and then he runs to the front line and pronounces, “Allahu akbar!” because he wants to let the Imam know he’s there now. The man in the hadith was wiser than we are.  He made rukoo in the doorway, and he walked to the salah of the Prophet like that while he was still in rukoo.  He was a sahabi (Companion of the Prophet). Sahabis were not clones, they were human beings.  And then he joined the salah.  After he was done the Prophet called him and said, “May Allah reward you for your enthusiasm!  But don’t do it again.” Subhan’Allah, look at the way of the Prophet ﷺ.

Another sahabi, Mu’awiya ibn Hakam, became Muslim right before the time of `Asr. And the Prophet ﷺ taught him. Nowadays when someone becomes Muslim before `Asr we don’t teach them how to pray `Asr until next year. When Mu’awiya became Muslim the Prophet taught him before the time of `Asr came. He also told him, “If anybody sneezes, say, ‘yarhamak Allah’ (may Allah be merciful towards you).” So Mu’awiya (ra) was excited. He repeated to himself, “Yarhamak Allah, yarhamak Allah. Masha’Allah, the Prophet ﷺ taught me this! The Prophet ﷺ taught me this!” He was so excited, subhan Allah.

Do we feel this excitement when we learn something? He was so excited. How many of us think we’re above the hadith and say, “Oh, I know the hadith, man. Who are you?” Or we say, “Oh, I don’t like that scholar, man, he’s a buster. He’s not with my group, I don’t like him.” Who are you, subhan’Allah? We should love all the ‘ulema. We should respect all the ‘ulema. We should ask Allah to forgive them for their mistakes.

So Mu’awiya learnt yarhamak Allah then the time of `Asr came and he joined the prayer, and somebody sneezed really loudly. And Mu’awiya said “Yarhamak Allah!” in Salat al-`Asr. And the Prophet ﷺ was the Imam. Then Mu’awiya said, “Yahamak Allah, man! What’s up? Yarhamak Allah!” He said it like that, subhan’Allah, he was hard. Then the Companions, as he said, “They threw their eyes at me.” And he said, “I was looking at them and said, ‘Yo, what’s up, man? Why are you all looking at me?’” Really, this is the translation from Arabic of what he said. He said, “May my mother lose me.” Which is like saying, “Hey, what’s up? You got a problem? Step outside.” So he said, “Why are you all looking at me like this?” Then they started beating their knees and Mu’awiya said, “I came to the conclusion they were telling me to shut up.” So he was quiet. And then afterwards, subhan’Allah look at the Prophet ﷺ. No stick, no verbal abuse, no physical abuse, no intimidation. Subhan’Allah, he had mercy with firmness.

Mu’awiya said, “The Prophet ﷺ called me. And by Allah, I never saw a teacher before or after better than the Prophet ﷺ. He didn’t hit me, he didn’t abuse me, and he didn’t do like this. He was so nice, the face of Rasul Allah ﷺ.” The Prophet ﷺ called him and said, “In this salah there is no talking. Only Qur’an and tasbeeh.” There was no hitting, there was no abuse, there was no intimidation, there was no shaming. There was teaching.

This should be our relationship with the Qur’an. But for many of  us our relationship began with mister green jeans with a big stick beating us upside our head. This was not the method of Rasul Allah ﷺ. Those of you who experienced this, wallahi, this is not the way of the Prophet ﷺ. This is the way of ignorance.

Aisha (ra) said in Sahih Muslim, “The Prophet Muhammed ﷺ never hit a woman.” Never. He never hit a woman with his hand. The Prophet ﷺ never hit people. He was not known to have hit anyone.

So we start now with the Qur’an, and how to benefit with the Qur’an.

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7 Comments

  1. y says:

    jazakallah for transcribing all this. this is a really nice talk.

  2. sabirah says:

    asalam aleykum,
    mashaAllah, I really love it, thanks for transliterating. I was rather upset with how much hitting and scolding quran is tought in traditional muslim families. I was explained that if you have to resort to forcing your close ones and family to the right practice of the deen (such as force your daughter to wear hijab) you get reward in jannah because if you are slack and they don’t wear hijab (for instance) you will be held accountable by Allah swt.

  3. Abu Adam says:

    Great. I am blessed by the hands that have beat the Quran in Me.
    MAy Allah bless the hands of my father. I have seen the results of those that are unfortunate with a parent that neglect the children in any way.
    Those that where patien tand beat us have raised Shuyoogh, Hufaadht and Muhaditheen, Quraa’ . Sure we in the West have to raise our children in a better way and we need all the help and patients we can get. But aldo those Quran teachers who thaught us Quran the hardway. I can’t thank them enough, because they where there to learn us and teach us and take us by the hand.
    Abu Adam, Ibrahim
    Amsterdam, Holland

  4. sabirah says:

    salam
    for 1 grateful person there are 10 people that run away by violence when teaching religion. That’s why the Prophet sallalah alayhi wasalam didn’t use violence. In a Hadith he even prevented Abu Bakr r from slapping Aisha r when she raised her voice against the Prophet saw
    Ahamdullillah that you weren’t one of the runaways, I hope you are creating 10 believers for one runaway in your dawah – because that is our purpose – worship Allah subhaana wa ta’ala, doing good deeds AND dawah. May Allah protect and guide you and your family ameen

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