Once upon a time Gabriel PBUH came to see the Prophet PBUH. He looked really sorrowful and so the Prophet PBUH inquired about why He seemed so gloomy. Gabriel responded by explaining that by the order of Allah SWT, today I saw what hell looked like and that is the reason of my sorrowfulness. The following conversation then takes place between the Prophet PBUH and Gabriel PBUH.
Prophet: Tell me what hell looks like.
Gabriel: Hell is divided into seven levels. The lowest level will contain the hypocrites. The level above it (6th) would have polytheists. On the 5th level, there will be those who worshipped sun and the moon. The 4th level would consist of Zoroastrians. Jews would be put on the 3rd level and Christians on the 2nd level of hell. Gabriel then goes quiet.
Prophet: Why are you quiet? Tell me who is going to be on the first level of hell?
Gabriel: on the 1st level of hell, Allah SWT will put the sinners from your Ummah (Muslims).
The Prophet PBUH became very lugubrious when He learnt this. He started to pray to Allah SWT (God).
For the following three days, He went to pray at the mosque then head to His sanctuary, close the door and cry to God while praying to forgive His Ummah.
The companions of the Prophet PBUH were worried to see Him like that. They would wonder why He went straight to His sanctuary and never went home after He finished praying.
On the 3rd day, Abu Bakr RA went to the Prophet’s sanctuary and wished a Salaam upon Him (standing at the door). But He did not get any reply. He then goes to Umar RA to tell Him about what happened. Umar PBUH goes to the Prophet PBUH’s sanctuary and says Salaam three times to the Prophet, but again no response. He then sent Salman Farsi to the Prophet’s sanctuary but then again there was no response from the Prophet. The messenger Salman Farsi informed the Prophet’s cousin Ali PBUH. Ali PBUH thought that someone of such a highness as Salman Farsi PBUH did not get a response so then I shouldn’t go either. Instead He sent His wife Fatima RA (Prophet PBUH’s daughter) to His sanctuary.
She did Salam upon Her father and finally She got a response. She entered His sanctuary, inquired about the last three days and why He is sorrowful. The Prophet PBUH told Her about what Gabriel had informed about His Ummah and how He is worried for the Muslim sinners who will enter hell’s first level. He started to cry again and prostrated to Allah SWT to save the sinners of His Ummah from hell.
At that instance Allah’s order came down “Wa la sawfa yutika Rabbuka fatarda” – meaning “And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied.”
The Prophet PBUH became excitedly happy. He spoke to the people telling them that Allah SWT has promised me that on the day of judgement He will try to accede me in regards to my Ummah. He then said that He will not be acceded until the last member of His Ummah will enter heaven.
When you read about the Prophet’s greatness, it certainly makes you want to cry. No one is as great of a human being as our Prophet Mohammad PBUH. Only He is a merciful human being and only He can feel the sorrow of others.
Let’s question ourselves, what exactly have we given Him in return?