The Holy Prophet’s (sa) Prayers for Guidance
The whole life of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) was full of prayers, every task he started, he prayed in the beginning and accomplished it with prayers. In the early days when he started preaching in Makkah, the opposition was intense. Chiefs of Quraish, Amr bin Hisham and Umar bin Khattab were in the forefront of this opposition. Sentiments of love and kindness stirred the heart of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) and he prayed to God in the words:
‘O Allah bestow honour and strength to Islam with one of these two (whomsoever You like) Amr bin Hisham and ‘Umar bin Khattab.’
The world is a witness to the miraculous acceptance of this heartfelt prayer of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa). As a result of this prayer the same ‘Umar who had left his house with the sword to kill the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) was smitten with the love of Islam.
When the Quraish crossed all limits in their opposition and there was no apparent sign of their accepting Islam, even then Rahmat li al-Alamin (Mercy for the World) did not pray for their destruction. His prayer for them, which apparently looks like malediction (prayer against them) but in fact it was an astute prayer to save them from destruction and great punishment. He prayed ‘O my Lord, help me with a famine against these non-believers of Makkah, as You helped Joseph with a famine.’
This prayer imbued with mercy and kindness was a request to God. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) prayed not to destroy the Makkans, ‘make this a heavenly sign and as the brothers of Joseph were forced to seek his help in the time of famine, similarly bring my people to me.’ This prayer was accepted and the people of Makkah faced severe shortage of food. This shortage of food was so severe that they resorted to eating bones and carrion. Abu Sufyan was compelled to come to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa). He requested, ‘Muhammad, you instruct people to be kind to their relatives, now your people are dying. Please pray to God to have mercy on us and send rain upon us otherwise your people would die.’
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) reminded Abu Sufyan that he was being very bold in asking for prayers for his people even though he knew that they were the defiant ones. But the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) did not refuse to pray as he was the embodiment of mercy and did not want his people to be destroyed. He raised his hands and his prayer for rain was accepted. This rain brought the days of ease and comfort for Quraish. In spite of this they become more aggressive.
When it continued to rain hard for days, the non-believers came to the Holy Prophet (sa) again to request prayers for break in the rain, he prayed and rain stopped. Alas even then the idolaters did not desist from refusal and enmity.
Muhammad (sa) – The Perfect Man (Qadian, India: Nazarat Isha’at, 2015), 150-152.