Did the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) pray for the Muslims who did not see him?
The noble Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the most merciful and kindest of people, who loved good for them and was keen for them to be happy and prosper. We will never find anything more true than the words of Allaah which speak of that (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) is anxious over you; for the believers (he صلى الله عليه وسلم is) full of pity, kind, and merciful”
He loved his ummah a great deal, and was very concerned about their salvation on the Day of Resurrection, hoping that Allaah would honour them with His Paradise. He would weep because of the depth of his fear for them and his compassion towards them.
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) recited the verse about Ibraaheem (peace be upon him), “O my Lord! They have indeed led astray many among mankind. But whoso follows me, he verily, is of me” [Ibraaheem 14:36], and the verse in which ‘Eesa said, “If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if You forgive them, verily, You, only You, are the All‑Mighty, the All‑Wise” [al-Maa'idah 5:118]. Then he raised his hands and said: “O Allaah, my ummah, my ummah.” Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, said: “O Jibreel, go to Muhammad, although your Lord knows best, and ask him why he is weeping.” So Jibreel (peace be upon him) went to him and asked him, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him what he said, although He knows best. Allaah said: “O Jibreel, go to Muhammad and say: “I will make you pleased concerning your ummah and not displeased.”
Narrated by Muslim (202).
This hadeeth includes a number of things that we learn from it, such as: the Prophet’s complete compassion towards his ummah; his concern about their interests and his care for them; the great glad tidings for this ummah – may Allaah increase it in honour – of what Allaah has promised it, as He said: “I will make you pleased concerning your ummah and not displeased.” This hadeeth represents one of the greatest hopes for this ummah. End quote.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed for all of his ummah, and he sought the help of Allaah, praying that He would make it a nation that would be honoured and shown mercy, until Allaah answered his prayer and said that half of the people of Paradise, or more, would be from his ummah, and they would be blessed with his intercession on the Day of Resurrection.
One sign of his compassion and love towards his ummah was that he prayed for more blessing and goodness especially for those who believed in him and followed him without seeing him.
It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Glad tidings to the one who believed in me and saw me, and sevenfold glad tidings to the one who believed in me but did not see me.”
Narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad (3/155). The scholars said: it is hasan li ghayrihi (hasan because of corroborating evidence). It was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (1241), A similar hadeeth was narrated from a number of the Sahaabah.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Sharh Muslim (2/176):
With regard to the meaning of glad tidings (tooba): the mufassireen differed concerning the meaning of the words of Allaah “Tooba (all kinds of happiness or name of a tree in Paradise) is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return” [al-Ra’d 13:29].
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that what it means is joy and delight. ‘Ikrimah said: Joy that will be theirs. Al-Dahhaak said: Bliss that will be theirs. Qataadah said: Goodness that will be theirs. It was also narrated from Qataadah that it means that they will attain goodness. Ibraaheem said: Goodness and honour that will be theirs. Ibn ‘Ajlaan said: Eternal goodness. And it was said: Paradise, or a tree in Paradise. All of these meanings may be applied to the hadeeth. And Allaah knows best. End quote.
Then the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) gave glad tidings to the believers who came after him and did not see him, that they would see him at the Cistern (al-hawd):
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out to the graveyard and said:
“Peace be upon the abode of believing people, and if Allaah wills we will join you soon. Would that I could see our brothers.” They said: Are we not your brothers, O Messenger of Allaah? He said: “You are my companions. Our brothers are those who have not come yet. I will reach the Cistern before them.” They said: O Messenger of Allaah, how will you recognize those of your ummah who came after you? He said: “Do you not see that if a man has a horse that has a white blaze and white feet among horses that are all black, will he not recognize his horse?” They said: Of course. He said: “They will come to me with bright faces and limbs (like the white markings of a horse) because of the traces of wudoo’, and I will reach the Cistern before them.”
Narrated by Muslim (249), al-Nasaa’i (150), and this is his version. See also al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (2888).
Whoever wants to attain this virtue must adhere to the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and adhere to his Sunnah, so that he may win his companionship in Paradise.
We ask Allaah to honour us and you with that, by His grace, for He is the Most Generous and Most Kind.
And Allaah knows best.