By Sikandar Azam
God is the Most Merciful and Most Beneficent. It is out of His Munificence charged with His Attributes of Mercy and Beneficence that He takes care of and provides sustenance for each and every person. And in this process of providing sustenance, God satisfies our spiritual as well as physical needs to lead a truly successful life here on earth and in the hereafter. Guidance is our spiritual need and God has satisfied this need of ours to the fullest by sending His Prophets, from Adam to Muhammad ﷺ.
We know Adam was the first man and he was also the first Prophet of God. Thus God did not leave even a single person without Guidance. And He continued to reveal His Guidance through His Prophets from time to time, and, as the society progressed, He perfected it by revealing the Qur’ān to His Last Prophet Muhammad ﷺ for all times to come.
God sent Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as a manifestation of His grace to all mankind. History bears witness that the Prophet ﷺ left no stone unturned and took people by the hand to show them divine guidance. The code of life the Prophet gave us in the form of Hadith (his sayings) and the practical example he left behind for us ensure the happiness of the entire humanity. They lead to the highest level of perfection humanity can attain. They present the unchangeable fundamentals of human life, and are ready to meet the changing needs that are known only to God, Who is the Most Kind and is Aware of all things, for it is He who created man, and who knows His creation well.
While presenting divine guidance, the Prophet ﷺ did not preach physical torment for spiritual elevation. Nor did he neglect the spiritual dimension in order to indulge in physical pleasures. This balanced, coherent, judicious, logical and even-keeled approach of the Prophet ﷺ appeals to human conscience in a way that enables us to shake ourselves off the clutches of isms, myths, idolatry, superstition, whims and inconsistencies et al that mar the spiritual growth of man.
The Prophet ﷺ identified the essence of his message as one which brings grace and mercy to all mankind. In the verse 21:108 of the Qur’ān, God directs His Prophet ﷺ to say to people: “Say: It has been revealed to me that your God is the One and only God: will you, then, surrender yourselves to Him?” This is the most essential element of Divine Grace and Mercy in the message of Islam that promises ultimate success.