Allah (swt) refers to the Prophet (pbuh) as 'rahmat al il alamin' in the Quran. We translate this as 'mercy to the universe', or 'mercy to the worlds'.
Some of our brothers translate this as 'mercy to mankind'. Is there any legitimate basis to translate the word alamin as mankind or 'mankind & jinns'?
The answer to this question lies in identifying the exact meaning of Alam (plural is Alamin, Alamun). In the commentary of Al-Hamdu Lillahe Rabb al-Alamin, Ibn Abbas has said it means ‘the Lord of the humans and jinns.’ Qitada said in his exegesis that it means ‘the Lord of all creations. The proof for the opinion of Ibn Abbas is from the verse, ‘so that he can be a warner for the worlds (Alamin).’ (Furqan: 1). He states that Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is not a warner for the angels and the animals, though they too are the creation of Allah. Rather, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent as a warner for the humans and jinns only. On this basis, Alamin means mankind and jinns only.
However, the correct opinion is that everything other than Allah is classified as Alam. All of His creations are considered under the term Alam. The proof for this is the verse from the Holy Qur’an;
‘Firaun said, ‘And what is the Lord of the worlds (Alamin)? Musa said, ‘the Lord of the skies and earth and whatever is in between them; if you all understand.’ (Shu’ara: 23-24).
These verses clearly indicate that all the skies and earth, and everything in between is considered as Alam.
Specifically with regards to the verse Rahmat lil Alamin, it is better to interpret it as mercy of the worlds, and not just mankind and jinns. This is because the Prophet’s mercy extended to all, including animals and innate objects.
Author: Qazi Muhammad Sulaiman Salman Mansurpuri; Qazi Abdul Baqi (translator)
Publisher: Ferozsons Ltd. (2005)
Pages: 1113 Binding: Hardcover in Case
Description from the publisher:
Rahma-tul-lil-Aalamiin or �Mercy unto the Worlds� was first published in 1912 where it quickly joined the ranks of existing classical biographies of Muhammad (SAW), the Holy Prophet of Islam.
This translation allows English speaking readers the opportunity to examine the Holy Prophet�s life and achievements in previously unparalleled detail. All material used has derived from the Qur�an, the Sunnah, and the works of celebrated historians such as Ibn Ishaaq, Tabari, Ibn Sa�ad and Ibn Qiyyim. A renowned research scholar, the author has looked to hundreds of genealogical tables in order to elicit the actual names of prominent figures of Islam�s infancy who had previously lain unrecognized.
Academic debate as to the dates of the Holy Prophet�s birth, death, arrival at Quba and migration to Madina has now been conclusively resolved with mathematical precision. The text contains copious references from the Old and New Testament and the Quran, and casts light on topics such as the appointment of the Caliphate and of the innumerable prophecies in the Jewish and Christian scriptures relating to the life of the Prophet.
Volumes 2 and 3 detail in-depth character profiles of the Prophet, his wives, and other key figures in addtition to containing the Prophet�s biography as based on purely Qur�anic sources. Further more, and for the first time in print, there appears a full genealogy spanning twenty-one generations, and compromising, in addition, the maternal names of the Holy Prophet�s forebears. Also included is a historical discourse �Was Islam Spread by the Sword?� which, in making use of authentic historical records, examines the validity of a common criticism laid against Muhammad (SAW) and his companions.
Rahma-tul-lil-Aalamiin is the product of one man�s lifetime of dedicated study, and a frank and thought provoking commentary on the most influential figures in the course of history. Readers, regardless of faith, will appreciate the lucid text, attention to detail and strict emphasis on sound historical data which forms the backbone for an altogether remarkable account of an equally remarkable man, Muhammad (SAW) � Prophet of Islam.