All praise is due to God, the Lord1 of the worlds, and may God praise Prophet Muhammad, and render him and his household safe and secure from all evil.
When talking about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)2, one should keep in mind that he is talking about the greatest individual in history. This is not a baseless claim; for the one who reads his biography and learns of his mannerisms and ethics, while keeping aside all preconceived notions, would certainly reach this conclusion. Some fair and just non-Muslims have reached this conclusion as well.
The late Professor Hasan Ali, may God have mercy on him, said in his magazine ‘Noor al-Islam’ that a Brahmin3 colleague of his once told him: “I recognize and believe that the Messenger of Islam is the greatest and most mature man in history.” Professor Hasan Ali, may God have mercy on him, asked him: “Why do you consider him as the greatest and most mature man?”
Great riches would come to him, and yet he lived in a state of poverty; fire would not be lit in his house for many days, and he would stay hungry. He was a great leader; he led small numbers into battle against thousands, and yet he would decisively defeat them. He loved peace agreements and would agree to them with a firm heart, even though he had thousands of his brave and courageous Companions by his side. Each Companion was very brave and could confront a thousand enemies alone, while not feeling the least bit intimidated. Yet, the Prophet was kindhearted, merciful, and did not want to shed a drop of blood. He was deeply concerned about the affairs of the Arabian Peninsula, yet he did not neglect the affairs of his family, household, or the poor and needy. He was keen to disseminate Islam amongst those who had gone astray. In general, he was a man concerned with the betterment and wellbeing of mankind, yet he did not indulge in amassing worldly fortune. He busied himself with the worship of God and loved doings deeds which pleased Him. He never avenged himself on account of personal reasons. He even prayed for his enemies’ wellbeing, and would warn them of the punishment of God.
He was an ascetic regarding worldly affairs and would worship God throughout the night. He was the brave and courageous soldier who fought with the sword – and the infallible Prophet – the conqueror who conquered nations and countries. He slept on a mat of hay and a pillow filled with coarse fibers. People crowned him as the Sultan of the Arabs, or King of the Arabian Peninsula, yet his family lived a simple life, even after they received great fortunes; the riches were piled in the Mosque. Fatima4 complained to him about the strenuous work she did, the grinding stone and water jug which she used to carry – how they had left marks on her body… He did not give her a portion of that wealth; instead, the Prophet (pbuh) taught her a few words and supplications. His Companion Umar5 came to his house and looked in his room, and saw nothing but a hay mat which the Prophet was sitting on, which had left marks on his body. The only provisions in the house were half a Saa’6 of barley in a container, and a water skin that hung on the wall – this is all the Messenger of God owned at a time when half the Arabs were under his control. When Umar saw this, he could not control himself and wept. The Messenger of God (pbuh) said:
“Why are you weeping O Umar?” He replied: “Why shouldn’t I weep – Khosrau and Caesar enjoy themselves in this world and the Messenger of God (pbuh) only owns what I see!” He responded: “O Umar, wouldn’t it please you that this is the share of Khosrau and Caesar in this life, and in the Hereafter this pleasure would be for us alone?”
When the Prophet examined his troops prior to the occupation of Makkah, Abu Sufyan stood beside al-Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (pbuh) and they looked at the banners of the Muslim army. Abu Sufyan at that time was not a Muslim. He was amazed by the vast number of Muslims; they advanced towards Makkah like a torrent of water. No one could stop them and nothing stood in their way. Abu Sufyan then said to al-Abbas: ‘O Abbas, your nephew has become a grand King!’ al-Abbas responded saying: ‘This is not kingship, rather prophethood, and the Message of Islam.’
A’dee at-Ta’ee, the son of Ha’tim at-Ta’ee who is the paradigm of generosity, attended the assembly of the Prophet (pbuh) while he was still a Christian. When he saw how the Companions aggrandized and respected the Prophet (pbuh), he was confused – was he a Prophet or a king? He asked himself, “Is he a king or a Messenger of the Messengers of God?” While he was pondering over this, a destitute woman came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: “I wish to tell you a secret.” He said to her: “In which road in Madeenah do you want me to meet you?’ The Prophet (pbuh) left with the destitute maid and took care of her needs. When Ad’ee saw the humbleness of the Prophet (pbuh), he realized the truth and discarded the crosses that he was wearing and became a Muslim.
We will mention some statements of the Orientalists concerning Muhammad (pbuh). We as Muslims firmly believe in the Prophet (pbuh) and his Message, and as such, do not need the statements of non-Muslims to establish this fact. We are mentioning these statements for the following two reasons:
- To serve as a reminder and admonition for name-sake Muslims who have abandoned their Prophet and his teachings, so that they would heed and return to their religion.7
- So that non-Muslims would know who the Prophet is from the statements of their own people, so that they would be guided to Islam.
I ask all readers to not hold any preconceived notions when searching for the truth, whether it be this or any other Islamic material. I ask God to open their hearts and chests to accept the truth, and to show them the right path and inspire them to follow it.
- The actual word used in the Qur’an is Rubb. There is no proper equivalent for Rubb in the English language. It means the Creator, the Fashioner, the Provider, the One upon Whom all creatures depend for their means of subsistence, and the One Who gives life and causes death.
- This Arabic term means, “may God praise him and render him safe from all evil.”
- Brahmin: member of the highest of the four Hindu castes: the priestly caste.
- Fatimah was one of the daughters of the Prophet, may God praise him.
- One of the Prophet’s close companions, and the second Caliph after his death.
- Saa’: a measure of capacity equal to four handfuls of the two hands held together.
- The word translated as religion is ‘Deen’, which in Arabic commonly refers to a way of life, which is both private and public. It is an inclusive term meaning: acts of worship, political practice, and a detailed code of conduct, including hygiene or etiquette matters.
- Born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1958
- Intermediate and secondary schools in Riyadh from the Scientific Institute of Forensic Sciences and Arabic
- Degree in Arabic Language and Literature (1982)
- Master’s degree in Islamic Studies (2004)
- Doctorate degree in Islamic culture in (2009)
- Women in Islam & Refutation of some Common Misconceptions
- The Message of Islam
- Human Rights in Islam And Common Misconceptions
- Islamic Perspective on Sex
- The Beginning and The End
- The Purity
- Hisn al-Mu’min “The Fortification of the Believer”
- The Key to Understanding Islam
- Muhammad The Messenger of God
- My First Steps in Islam
- The Key to Happiness
- Islam is the Religion of Peace
- Every Religious Innovation is a Means of Misguidance
- Bilal the Abyssinian – One Light, Many Colors
- Islamic Viewpoint on Racism
Riyadh, 11535 P.O. Box 59565
Abdurrahmaan b. Abdul-Kareem al-Sheha
M. M. Abdus-Salaam
Abu Ayoub Jerome Boulter
Second Edition, 1427/2006
Copyright © 2006 Abdurrahman al-Sheha
All rights reserved.
This book is copyrighted. Any or all parts of this book may be used for educational purposes as long as the information used is not in any way quoted out of context or used for profit, and the source is mentioned.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to those who contribute to the publication of this book. May Allah reward them for their efforts. If you have any corrections, comments, or questions about this publication, please feel free to contact us at:
The Islamic Propagation Office in Rabwah
Tel. +4454900 – 4916065
He is Abul-Qasim (father of Al-Qasim) Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, the son of Abdul-Mutalib. His lineage traces back to the tribe of Adnan, the son of Ishmael [the Prophet of God, the son of Ibraheem (Abraham)] may God praise them all. His mother is Aminah, the daughter of Wahb.
The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Indeed God chose the tribe of Kinanah over other tribes from the children of Ishmael; He chose Quraish over other tribes of Kinanah; He chose Banu Hashim over the other families of the Quraish; and He chose me from Banu Hashim.” (Muslim #2276)
Thus, the Prophet (pbuh) has the noblest lineage on earth. Even his enemies attested to this fact, as did Abu Sufyan, the arch enemy of Islam before he became Muslim, in front of Heraclius8, the Emperor of Rome.
Abdullah b. Abbas, the nephew of the Prophet, reported that the Messenger of God (pbuh) wrote to Heraclius and invited him to Islam though a letter he sent with a companion of his named Dihya al-Kalbi. Dihya handed this letter to the Governor of Busra who then forwarded it to Heraclius.
Heraclius, as a sign of gratitude to God, had walked from Hims to Ilya (i.e. Jerusalem) when God had granted Him victory over the Persian forces. When the letter of the Messenger of God reached Heraclius, he said after reading it, “Seek for me anyone of his people, (Arabs of the Quraish tribe) if present here, in order to ask him about the Messenger of God!” At that time Abu Sufyan bin Harb was in Shaam (the Greater Syria Area)9 with some men from Quraish who had come as merchants during the truce that had been concluded between the Messenger of God and the pagans of Quraish. Abu Sufyan said,
“Heraclius’ messenger found us somewhere in the Greater Syria area, so he took me and my companions to Ilya and we were admitted into Heraclius’ presence. We found him sitting in his royal court wearing a crown, surrounded by the senior Byzantine dignitaries. He said to his translator. ’Ask them whom amongst them is a close relation to the man who claims to be a prophet.’ “
Abu Sufyan added,
“I replied: ’I am the nearest relative to him.’ He asked, ’What degree of relationship do you have with him?’ I replied, ’He is my cousin,’ and there was none from the tribe of Abd Manaf in the caravan except myself. Heraclius said, ’Let him come nearer.’ He then ordered that my companions stand behind me near my shoulder and said to his translator, ’Tell his companions that I am going to ask this man about the one who claims to be a prophet. If he tells a lie, they should contradict him immediately.’ “
Abu Sufyan added,
“By God! Had it not been for shame that my companions brand me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about him when he asked me. But I considered it shameful to be called a liar by my companions, so I told the truth.”
“He then said to his translator, ’Ask him what kind of family he belongs to.’ I replied, ‘He belongs to a noble family amongst us.’ He said, ’Has anybody else amongst you ever claimed the same before him?’ I replied, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Have you ever blamed him for telling lies before he claimed what he claimed?’ I replied, ’No.’ He said, ’Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?’ I replied, ’No.’ He said, ’Do the noble or the poor follow him?’ I replied, ’It is the poor who follow him.’ He said, ’Are they increasing or decreasing (daily)?’ I replied, ’They are increasing.’ He said, ’Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and then discard his religion?’ I replied, ’No.’ He said, ‘Does he break his promises?’ I replied, ’No, but we are now at truce with him and we are afraid that he may betray us.’
Abu Sufyan added,
“Other than the last sentence, I could not say anything against him.”
“Heraclius then asked, ’Have you ever had a war with him?’ I replied, ’Yes.’ He said, ’What was the outcome of your battles with him?’ I replied, ’Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.’ He said, ’What does he order you to do?’ I said, ’He tells us to worship God alone, and not to worship others along with Him, and to leave all that our forefathers used to worship. He orders us to pray, give in charity, be chaste, keep promises and return what is entrusted to us.’ ”
“When I had said that, Heraclius said to his translator, ’Say to him: I asked you about his lineage and your reply was that he belonged to a noble family. In fact, all the Messengers came from the noblest lineage of their nations. Then I questioned you whether anybody else amongst you had claimed such a thing, and your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following a claim that had been said before him. When I asked you whether he was ever blamed for telling lies, your reply was in the negative, so I took it for granted that a person who did not tell a lie to people could never tell a lie about God. Then I asked you whether any of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom. When I asked you whether the rich or the poor people followed him, you replied that it was the poor who followed him. In fact, such are the followers of the Messengers. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing. In fact, this is the result of true faith till it is complete [in all respects]. I asked you whether there was anybody who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion; your reply was in the negative. In fact, this is the sign of true faith, for when its pleasure enters and mixes in the hearts completely; nobody will be displeased with it. I asked you whether he had ever broken his promise. You replied in the negative. And such are the Messengers; they never break their promises. When I asked you whether you fought with him and he fought with you, you replied that he did and that sometimes he was victorious and sometimes you. Indeed, such are the Messengers; they are put to trials and the final victory is always theirs. Then I asked you what he ordered you. You replied that he ordered you to worship God alone and not to worship others along with Him, to leave all that your forefathers used to worship, to offer prayers, to speak the truth, to be chaste, to keep promises, and to return what is entrusted to you. These are really the qualities of a prophet who, I knew [from the previous Scriptures] would appear, but I did not know that he would be from amongst you. If what you say is true, he will very soon occupy the earth under my feet, and if I knew that I would reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him; and were I with him, then I would certainly wash his feet.’ “
Abu Sufyan added,
“Heraclius then asked for the letter of the Messenger of God and it was read. Its contents were the following:
I begin with the name of God, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful [This letter is] from Muhammad, the slave of God, and His Messenger, to Heraclius, the Ruler of the Byzantine. Peace be upon the followers of guidance. I invite you to Islam [i.e. surrender to God]). Accept Islam and you will be safe; accept Islam and God will bestow on you a double reward. But if you reject this invitation of Islam, you shall be responsible for misguiding the peasants [i.e. your nation].
(O people of the Scriptures! Come to a word common between you and us, that we worship God, and that we associate nothing in worship with Him; and that none of us shall take others as Gods besides God. Then if they turn away, say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered [unto Him].) (3:64)
Abu Sufyan added,
“When Heraclius had finished his speech, there was a great hue and cry caused by the Byzantine dignitaries surrounding him, and there was so much noise that I did not understand what they said. So, we were ordered out of the court.”
“When I went out with my companions and we were alone, I said to them, ‘Verily, Ibn Abi Kabsha’s (i.e. the Prophet’s) affair has gained power. This is the King of the Romans fearing him.’ “
Abu Sufyan added:
“By God, I became surer and surer that his religion would be victorious till I ended up accepting Islam.” (Bukhari #2782)
- He was the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire (610–641) who captured Syria, Palestine, and Egypt from Persia (613–628).
- This is a historic region in the Middle East bordering the Mediterranean. It is generally considered to include the modern states of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordon.
The Arabs would perform pilgrimage to Makkah and circumambulate the Ka’bah which was built by Prophet Abraham and his son, Prophet Ishmael, may God praise them both.
The Prophet (pbuh) was an orphan. His father passed away before he was born, and his mother died when he was six years old. He was taken under the care of his grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib, and when he died, his uncle, Abu Talib, took charge of him. His tribe, as well as others, worshipped idols made from stone, wood and even gold. Some of these idols were placed around the Ka’bah. People believed that these idols could ward off harm or extend benefit.
The Prophet (pbuh) was a trustworthy and honest person. He never behaved treacherously, nor did he lie or cheat; he was known amongst his people as ‘Al-Ameen’, or ‘The Trustworthy’. People would entrust him with their valuables when they wanted to travel. He was also known as ‘As-Sadiq’ or ‘The Truthful’ for he never told a lie. He was well-mannered, well-spoken, and he loved to help people. His people loved and revered him and he had beautiful manners. God, the Exalted, says:
Indeed you are of a great moral character. [68:4]
The famous Scottish historian and writer, Thomas Carlyle (d. 1885) wrote in his book: ‘Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History’:
“But, from an early age, he had been remarked as a thoughtful man. His companions named him “Al Amin, The Faithful.” A man of truth and fidelity; true in what he did, in what he spoke and thought. They noted that he always meant something. A man rather taciturn in speech; silent when there was nothing to be said; but pertinent, wise, sincere, when he did speak; always throwing light on the matter. This is the only sort of speech worth speaking! Through life we find him to have been regarded as an altogether solid, brotherly, genuine man. A serious, sincere character; yet amiable, cordial, companionable, jocose even – a good laugh in him withal: there are men whose laugh is as untrue as anything about them; who cannot laugh. A spontaneous, passionate, yet just, true-meaning man! Full of wild faculty, fire and light; of wild worth, all uncultured; working out his life – takes in the depth of the Desert there.”
The Prophet (pbuh) liked to seclude himself in the Cave of Hira before he was commissioned as a prophet. He would stay there many nights at a time.
He (pbuh) never partook in any falsehood; he never drank intoxicants, nor did he ever bow to a statue or idol, take an oath by them or offer to them an offering. He was a shepherd over a flock of sheep which belonged to his people. The Prophet (pbuh) said:
‘Every prophet commissioned by God was a shepherd over a flock of sheep.’ His companions asked him: ‘Even you, O Messenger of God?’ He said: ‘Yes, I would take care of a flock of sheep for the people of Makkah.’ (Bukhari 2143)
At the age of forty, the Prophet (pbuh) received divine revelation when at the cave of Hira. The Mother of the believers, A’ishah10 said:
The first thing that God’s Messenger (pbuh) received while in the Cave of Hira in Makkah were good visions [dreams]. Every time he had a dream, it would come true and clear like the split of the dawn. Later on, God’s Messenger (pbuh) began to love being alone in meditation. He spent lengthy periods for days and nights to fulfill this purpose in the cave before returning back to his family. He would take a supply of food for his trip. When he came back to his wife Khadeejah11 he would get a fresh supply of food and go back to the same cave to continue his meditation.
The Truth came to him while he was in the Cave of Hira. The Angel Gabriel came to Muhammad (pbuh) and commanded him to read. Muhammad (pbuh) replied, “I cannot read!” Gabriel embraced Muhammad (pbuh) until he could not breathe, and then let him go saying, “O Muhammad! Read!” Again, Muhammad (pbuh) replied, “I cannot read!” Gabriel embraced Muhammad (pbuh) for the second time. He then ordered him to read for the third time, when he did not he embraced him tightly until he could not breathe, and then released him saying, “O Muhammad!
“Recite with the Name of Your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood: Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.” (96:1-3)
The Messenger of God (pbuh) returned home trembling. He entered his home and told Khadeejah: “Cover me up, cover me up!” Khadeejah covered Muhammad (pbuh) until he felt better. He then informed her about what happened to him in the Cave of Hira. He said, “I was concerned about myself and my well-being.” Khadeejah assured Muhammad (pbuh) saying:
By God! You don’t have to worry! God, the Exalted, will never humiliate you! You are good to your kith and kin. You help the poor and needy. You are generous and hospitable to your guests. You help people who are in need.
Khadeejah took her husband Muhammad (pbuh) to a cousin of hers named Waraqah bin Nawfal bin Asad bin Abdul Uzza. This man became a Christian during the pre-Islamic times, known as the Era of Ignorance. He was a scribe, who wrote the Scripture in Hebrew. He was an old man who became blind at the latter part of his life. Khadeejah said to her cousin,
“O cousin, listen to what your nephew [i.e. Muhammad pbuh] is about to tell you!” Waraqah said: “What is it you have seen, dear nephew?”
The Messenger of God (pbuh) informed him of what he had seen in the Cave of Hira. Upon hearing his report, Waraqah said,
“By God! This is the Angel Gabriel who came to Prophet Moses, may God praise him. I wish I would be alive when your people will drive you out of Makkah!” The Messenger of God (pbuh) wondered: “Are they going to drive me out of Makkah?!” Waraqah affirmed positively saying, “Never has a man conveyed a Message similar to what you have been charged with, except that his people waged war against him – if I am to witness this, I will support you.”
Waraqah lived only a short period after this incident and passed away. Revelation also stopped for a while.’ (Bukhari #3) The chapter of the Qur’an quoted in the hadeeth12 above marks the beginning when he was commissioned as a Prophet. God, the Exalted, then revealed to him:
O you (Muhammad pbuh) enveloped (in garments); Arise and warn! And your Lord (Allah) magnify! And your garments purify! (74:1-4)
This chapter of the Qur’an marks the beginning when he was commissioned as a Messenger.
With the revelation of this chapter of the Qur’an, the Prophet (pbuh) began calling his nation to Islam openly. He began with his own people. Some of them refused adamantly to listen to him, for to them, he was calling to a matter which they had never witnessed before.
The religion of Islam is a complete way of life, which deals with religious, political, economical and social affairs. Furthermore, the religion of Islam did not only call them to worship God alone and to forsake all idols and things they worshipped; rather, it prohibited them from things they considered pleasurable, such as consuming interest and intoxicants, fornication, and gambling. It also called people to be just and fair with one another, and to know that there was no difference between them except through piety. How could the Quraish [the most
noble tribe amongst the Arabs] stand to be treated equally with the slaves! They did not only adamantly refuse to accept Islam; rather, they harmed him and blamed him, saying that he was crazy, a sorcerer and a liar. They blamed him with things they would dare not have before the advent of Islam. They incited the ignorant masses against him, harmed him and tortured his companions. Abdullah b. Masood, a close companion of the Prophet said:
While the Prophet (pbuh) was standing up and praying near the Ka’bah, a group of Quraish were sitting in their sitting place, one of them said: “Do you see this man? Would someone bring the dirt and filth and bloody intestines from the camels of so and so, and wait till he prostrates, and then place it between his shoulders?” The most wretched amongst them volunteered to do it, and when the Prophet (pbuh) prostrated, he put the filth between his shoulders, so the Prophet (pbuh) stayed in prostration. They laughed so hard that they were about to fall on each other. Someone went to Fatimah who was a young girl, and informed her of what had happened. She hurriedly came towards the Prophet (pbuh) and removed the filth from his back, and then she turned around and she cursed the Quraishites who were sitting in that sitting. (Bukhari #498)
Muneeb al-Azdi, a companion of the Prophet (pbuh) said:
I saw the Messenger of God in the Era of Ignorance saying to people: “Say there is no god worthy of being worshipped except Allah if you would be successful.” There were those who spat in his face, those who threw soil in his face, and those who swore at him until midday. When [once] a certain young girl came with a big container of water, he washed his face and hands and say: “O daughter, do not fear that your father will be humiliated or struck by poverty.” (Mu’jam al-Kabeer # 805)
Abdullah b. Amr al-Aas, a companion of the Prophet (pbuh) was asked about some of the evil the pagans did to the Prophet (pbuh), to which he replied:
[Once a pagan] approached the Prophet (pbuh) while he was praying near the Ka’bah and twisted his garment around his neck. Abu Bakr13 hurriedly approached and grabbed his shoulder and pushed him away saying: “Do you kill a man because he proclaims Allah as his Lord, and clear signs have come to you from your Lord?” (Bukhari 3643)
These incidents did not stop the Prophet (pbuh) from calling to Islam. He preached this message to the many tribes that came to Makkah for Hajj14. A few believed from the people of Yathrib (a small city north of Makkah), known today as Madeenah, and they pledged to support him and help him if he chose to migrate there. He sent with them Mus’ab b. Umair to teach them the tenets of Islam. After all the hardships that the Muslims of Makkah faced from their own people, God granted them the permission to migrate to Madeenah. The people of Madeenah greeted them and received them in a most extraordinary manner. Madeenah became the capital of the new Islamic state, and the place from which the call to Islam was spread far and wide.
The Prophet (pbuh) settled there and taught people how to recite the Qur’an and the rulings of the religion. The inhabitants of Madeenah were greatly moved and touched by the Prophet’s manners. They loved him more than they loved their own selves; they would rush to serve him, and they would spend all they had in the path of Islam. The society was strong and its people were rich in Faith, and they were extremely happy. People loved each other, and true brotherhood was apparent amongst its people. All people were equal; the rich, noble and poor, black and white, Arab and non-Arab – they were all considered as equals in the religion of God, no distinction was made among them except through piety. After the Quraish learnt that the Prophet’s call had spread, they fought him in the first battle in Islam, the Battle of Badr. This battle took place between two groups unequal in preparations and weapons. The Muslims numbered 314; whereas, the pagans were 1000 strong. God gave victory to the Prophet (pbuh) and the Companions. After this battle, a number of battles took place between the Muslims and the pagans. After eight years, the Prophet (pbuh) was able to prepare an army 10,000 strong. They proceeded towards Makkah and conquered it, and with this Muhamamad (pbuh) overcame the people who had harmed and tortured him and his Companions with every conceivable cruelty. In their fleeing for their lives, they had even been forced to leave their property and wealth behind. The year of this decisive victory is called ‘The Year of the Conquest.’ Allah, the Exalted, says:
When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest, and you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes, then glorify the Praises of your Lord and ask His forgiveness. Indeed, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives. [110:1-3]
Upon the conquest, the Prophet (pbuh) gathered the people of Makkah and said to them:
“What do you think I will do to you?” They answered: “You will only do something favorable; you are a kind and generous brother, and a kind and generous nephew!” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Go – you are free.” (Baihaqi #18055)
This incredible act of forgiveness caused many to accept Islam. The Prophet (pbuh) then returned to Madeenah. After a period of time, the Prophet (pbuh) intended to perform Hajj, so he headed towards Makkah with 114,000 Companions and performed Hajj. This Hajj is known as ‘Hajjatul-Wadaa’ or the ‘Farewell Pilgrimage’ since the Prophet (pbuh) never performed another Hajj, and died shortly after he performed it.
On the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah at Mount Arafat, the Prophet (pbuh), delivered his farewell sermon. After praising Allah, he said:
O People! Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.
O People! Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember, you will indeed meet your Lord and He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury; therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer inequity. Beware of Satan for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in great things, so beware of following him in small things.
O People! It is true that you have certain rights with regards to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Al-lah’s trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right, then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not take as intimate friends those whom you do not approve of as well as to never be unchaste.
O People! Listen to me in earnest; worship Allah, perform your five daily prayers, fast the month of Ramadhan, give alms and perform the pilgrimage (i.e. Hajj) if you can afford to. All mankind is from Adam and Adam is from clay. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over an Arab; or for a white over a black, nor for a black over a white; except through piety. Know that every Muslim is a brother to every other Muslim and that the Muslims are one community. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim that belongs to another unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware! Do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. O People! No prophet or messenger will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people! And understand the words that I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, if you follow them you will never go astray: the Book of Allah (i.e. the Qur’an) and my Sunnah. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah, that I have conveyed Your Message to Your People.’
The Prophet (pbuh) died in Madeenah on the 12th day of Rabi al-Awal in the 11th year of Hijrah and was buried there as well. The Muslims were shocked when they learnt of his death; some Companions did not believe it. Umar said: ‘Whoever says that Muhammad is dead, I will behead him!’ Abu Bakr then addressed the Muslims and read the words of God:
Muhammad is not but a Messenger. Other messengers have passed away before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels to unbelief? And He who turns back on his heels will never harm God at all; but God will reward the grateful. [3:144]
When Umar heard this verse, he stopped saying what he was saying, since he was very keen on applying the rules of God. The Prophet (pbuh) was 63 years of age when he died.
The Prophet (pbuh) stayed in Makkah for forty years before being commissioned as a Prophet. After being commissioned as a Prophet; he lived there for another thirteen years, in which he called people to the pure monotheistic belief of Islam. He then migrated to Madeenah, and stayed there for ten years. He continued to receive revelation there, until the Qur’an and the religion of Islam were complete.
The famous playwright and critic, George Bernard Shaw (d. 1950) said:
I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to possess that assimilating capability to the changing phases of existence which make itself appeal to every age – I have prophesized about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today. Medieval ecclesiastics, either through ignorance or bigotry, painted Muhammadanism in the darkest colours. They were, in fact, trained to hate both the man Muhammad and his religion. To them, Muhammad was an anti-Christ. I have studied him, the wonderful man, and in my opinion, far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of humanity.15
- A wife of the Prophet (pbuh).
- Khadeejah was the first wife of the Prophet.
- The narration of a statement, deed, tacit approval, or characteristic of the Prophet.
- The closest companion to the Prophet (pbuh) and the first Caliph of Islam after his death.
- Pilgrimage to Makkah.
- Encyclopedia of Seerah, by Afzalur Rahman.
The Prophet (pbuh) would walk briskly with a forward-leaning gait, moving with strength of purpose and lifting each foot clearly off the ground. His pace was such that fit men would tire trying to keep up. When he turned, he would turn his whole body, giving full attention to the one addressing him and showing complete concern to what was being said. When he pointed, he would use an open hand so as not to offend. Likewise, when he criticized a person’s behavior, rather than name the individual, he would simply say: “Why do people do so and so?” He would laugh only to the extent that the gap between his front teeth would become visible. He would become angry only to the extent that his face would turn red and the vein between his fine, bow-shaped eyebrows would bulge. He once said:
“I am the master of the descendants of Adam and I do not say so out of pride.” (Tirmidthi)
That freedom from pride was obvious even to children, who would playfully lead the Prophet (pbuh) through the streets of Medina whilst grasping his finger. Indeed he had said:
“He who does not show mercy to our young, nor honor our old, is not from us.” (Abu Dawood)
(Allah has sent you) a Messenger who recites to you the clear Signs of Allah that He may take out those who believe and work righteousness from the darkness to the light (of Islamic Monotheism). [65:11]
Ali, cousin and son-in-law to the Prophet, said of Muhammad:
“He was the Last of the Prophets, the most giving of hearts, the most truthful, the best of them in temperament and the most sociable. Whoever unexpectedly saw him would stand in awe of him, and whoever accompanied him and got to know him would love him. Those describing him would say: “I have never seen anyone before or after him who was comparable to him.”
The Prophet’s beloved wife, A’ishah, said of her selfless husband:
“He always joined in household chores and would at times mend his clothes, repair his shoes and sweep the floor. He would milk, tether and feed his animals.” (Bukhari)
She also described his character as: “The Qur’an (exemplified).”
Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example to follow for whoever hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. [33:21]
The Messenger (pbuh) had an excellent, complete and sound intellect. No man has ever had an intellect as complete and perfect as his. Qadhi Iyaadh16, may God have mercy on him, said:
This becomes clear to an individual when the researcher reads the Prophet’s biography and understands his state of affairs, and his meaningful and inclusive utterances and traditions, his good manners, ethics and moral character, his knowledge of the Torah and Gospel and other Divine Scriptures, and his knowledge of statements of the wise, and knowledge of by-gone nations, and ability to strike examples and implement policies and correct emotional manners. He was an example and paradigm to which his people could relate to in all branches of knowledge; acts of worship, medicine, laws of inheritance, lineage, and other matters as well. He knew and learned all of this without reading or examining the Scriptures of those before us, nor did he sit with their scholars. The Prophet had no formal schooling, and was without knowledge of the above before being commissioned as a Prophet, nor could he read or write. The Prophet (pbuh) was wise to the fullest extent of his mental capacity. God, the Exalted, informed him of some of what had taken place (in the past) and of that which would take place in the future. This is a sign that the Dominion belongs to God, and that He is capable over all things.17
2. Doing Things for the Sake of God
The Prophet (pbuh) would always do deeds through which he would seek the pleasure of God. He was harmed and abused when he invited and called people to Islam; yet he was patient and endured all of this, and hoped for the reward of God. Abdullah b. Masood said:
“The Prophet (pbuh) resembled a prophet who was harmed by his people. He wiped the blood from his face and said: ‘O God! Forgive my people, for they know not!” (Bukhari #3290)
Jundub b. Sufyaan said that the Messenger’s finger bled during one of the battles, and he said:
“You are but a finger which has bled; which suffers in the path of God.” (Bukhari #2648)
The Prophet (pbuh) was sincere and honest in all his matters, as God had ordered him. Allah, the Exalted, says:
“Say, Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for God, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded and I am the first (among you) of the Muslims.” [6:162-163]
4. Good Morals, Ethics and Companionship
The Prophet (pbuh) was a living example for all humans to follow. His wife A’ishah was asked about his manners, and she said,
“His manners were the Qur’an.”
In this statement, A’ishah meant that the Prophet (pbuh) abided by its laws and commands and abstained from its prohibitions, and observed the virtuous deeds mentioned in it. The Prophet (pbuh) said:
“God has sent me to perfect good manners and to do good deeds.” (Bukhari & Ahmed)
Allah, the Exalted, described the Prophet (pbuh) saying:
“And indeed, you are of a great moral character” [68:4]
Anas b. Malik served the Prophet (pbuh) for ten years; He was with him day in and day out, both when the Prophet (pbuh) traveled and when he was a resident in Madeenah. He was knowledgeable of the Prophet’s manners. He said:
“The Prophet (pbuh) did not swear at anyone, nor was he rude, nor did he curse anyone. If he desired to reprimand someone, he would say: ‘What is wrong with him, may dust be cast in his face!” (Bukhari #5684)
5. Politeness and Good Manners
The Prophet (pbuh) showed good manners and was courteous to all, even to children. Once when the Prophet was in a gathering, a drink was brought to the Prophet (pbuh) and he drank from it. On his right side there was a young boy and on his left side were elderly men. Feeling obliged by the respect of elders, and not wanting to hurt the feelings of the child, he asked the young boy:
“Do you mind if I give the drink to them?’ The young boy said: ‘O Prophet of God! By God! I would not prefer anyone to drink from the place you drank. This is my fair share18.’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) handed the boy the drink.” (Bukhari #2319)
6. Love for Reformation and Reconciliation
Whenever a situation occurred which called for reconciliation, the Prophet (pbuh) would hurry to resolve it. Once when he heard that the people of Qubaa’19 disputed with each other about a matter, the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“Let us go to resolve the situation and make peace between them.” (Bukhari #2547)
7. Ordering with the good and forbidding evil
If the Prophet (pbuh) saw an act which opposed a tenet of the religion, he would reprimand it in a suitable manner. Abdullah b. Abbas said: The Messenger of God pbuh saw a man wearing a gold ring20, so he reached for it, [and] removed it…. He then said:
“Would one of you seek a burning charcoal and place it on his hand?!”
The man was later told, after the Prophet pbuh left: ‘Take your ring! Make good use of it [by selling it].’ The man said: ‘No, by God! I will never take it after the Messenger of God pbuh cast it away.’ (Muslim #2090)
Abu Saeed al-Khudri said:
I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “Whoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart…” (Muslim)
8. Love of Purification
A companion passed by the Prophet (pbuh) while he was not in a state of purification. He greeted him with God’s name, but the Prophet (pbuh) did not return the greeting until he performed ablution and apologized saying:
“I disliked that I should mention God’s name while I am not in a state of purity.” (Ibn Khuzaimah #206)
9. Safeguarding and Minding One’s Language
The Messenger of God (pbuh) would busy himself with the remembrance of God; he would not talk in vain. He would lengthen his prayers and shorten the speech, and he would not hesitate to help and take care of the needs of a needy, poor or widow. (Ibn Hib’ban #6423)
10. Excelling in Acts of Worship
A’ishah said that the Prophet of God (pbuh) used to pray during the night until his feet would swell. She said, ‘Why do you do this, O Messenger of God, while God has forgiven your past and future sins?’ The Prophet (pbuh) replied:
“Shall I not be a grateful slave (of God)?” (Bukhari #4557)
Once some companions came to the Prophet (pbuh) complaining about a tribe, namely the Daws, who refused to accept Islam, asking him to curse them. The Prophet (pbuh) raised his hands in prayer and instead said:
“O Allah guide the tribe of Daws and bring them to Islam!”
12. Good Appearance
The companions knew the Prophet (pbuh) to be the most beautiful of people. One companion said:
“The Prophet (pbuh) was a person of average height. His shoulders were wide. His hair reached his earlobes. Once I saw him adorned in a red garment; I never saw anything more beautiful than him.” (Bukhari #2358)
13. Asceticism in Worldly Affairs
There are many examples in the Prophet’s life which prove that he had no concern for the pleasures of this life. Abdullah b. Masood said:
“The Messenger of God (pbuh) went to sleep on a mat. He stood up and he had marks on his side due to the mat that he had slept on. We said: ‘O Messenger of God, shall we not make [a proper] bedding for you?’ He said: ‘What do I have to do with this world? I am only like a wayfarer upon a mount that stopped to take shade and rest under a tree, and then leaves it behind and continues on the journey.” (Tirmidthi #2377)
Amr’ b. al-Haarith said:
“The Messenger of God (pbuh) did not leave any gold or silver currency, or a slave, male or female, after his death. He only left behind his white mule, his weapons and a piece of land which he declared as Charity.” ((Bukhari #2588)
Sahl b. Sa’d said: The Prophet (pbuh) had more care for those around him than for his own self.
“A woman gave the Messenger of God (pbuh) a Burdah (gown). The Prophet (pbuh) asked his Companions: ‘Do you know what a Burdah is?’ They replied, ‘Yes, O Prophet of God! It is a piece of woven cloth [similar to a shawl]. The woman said: ‘O Prophet of God! I have woven this shawl with my own hands, for you to wear.’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) took it while he direly needed it. After a while, the Messenger of God (pbuh) came out of his home wearing it, and a Companion said to the Messenger of God (pbuh): ‘O Prophet of God! Grant me this shawl to wear!’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) said: ‘Yes.’ He then sat for awhile, and headed back home, folded it and gave it to the person who asked for it. The Companions scolded him saying: ‘It was not appropriate for you to ask for his shawl; especially since you know he does not turn anyone down or send them away empty-handed! The man said: ‘By God! I only asked him to give it to me because I want to be shrouded in this shawl when I die.’ Sahl, the narrator of the Hadeeth said: ‘The shawl was used as a shroud for that man when he died.” (Bukhari #1987)
15. Strong Faith and Dependence on God
Although the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions faced severe trials from the disbelievers, he always reminded them that the end was for the believers, and that the Will of God will come to pass. When Abu Bakr and the Prophet hid in a cave after they had left their homes in order to migrate to Madeenah, the disbelievers of Makkah had sent scouts in search of them. They came so close to the cave that Abu Bakr could see their feet. Abu Bakr said:
“I looked at the feet of the pagans while we were in the cave [of Thawr]. I said, ‘O Prophet of God! If anyone of them looks down at his feet he would see us!’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) said: ‘O Abu Bakr! What do you think of two with whom God, the Exalted, is their Third?” (Muslim #1854)
16. Kindness and Compassion
The Prophet was the kindest of people, and this was also apparent in his treatment of infants.
“The Messenger of God (pbuh) performed Salah (prayer) while he was carrying an infant girl named Umaamah, daughter of Abul-Aas. When he bowed, he put her on the ground, and when he stood up, he would carry her again.” (Bukhari #5650)
17. Simplification and Ease
The Prophet (pbuh) always sought to make things easy for people. The Messenger of God (pbuh) said:
“I start the prayer with the intention of lengthening it, but when I hear a child crying, I shorten the prayer, as I know its mother would suffer from his screams!” (Bukhari #677)
18. Fearing God, being Mindful to not trespass His Limits
The Messenger of God (pbuh) said:
“Sometimes, when I return to my family, I would find a datefruit on the bed. I would pick it up to eat it; but I would fear that it was from the charity21, and thus, throw it back [on the ground].” (Bukhari #2300)
19. Spending Generously
Anas bin Malik said:
‘The Messenger of God (pbuh) was never asked for something when a person accepted Islam, except that he granted that person what he asked. A man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and he gave him a herd of sheep that was grazing between two mountains. The man returned to his people and said: ‘O my people accept Islam! Muhammad (pbuh) gives out generously like one who does not fear poverty.’ (Muslim #2312)
Ibn Abbas said:
‘The Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous of people. He was most generous during Ramadhan when he met Gabriel (pbuh); he would meet him every night during Ramadhan to practice and review the Qur’an with him. The Messenger of God (pbuh) was so generous, that he was faster than the swiftest wind in this regard. (Bukhari #6)
Abu Dharr said:
‘I was walking with the Prophet (pbuh) in the Har’rah (volcanic region) of Madeenah and we faced the mount of Uhud; the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘O Abu Dharr!’ I said: ‘Here I am O Messenger of God!’ He said: ‘It would not please me to have an amount of gold equal to the weight of Mount Uhud, until I spend and give it out (in the sake of God) within a night or within three nights. I would keep a single silver piece of it to help those who are in debt. (Bukhari #2312)
Jabir b. Abdullah said:
‘The Prophet pbuh did not refuse to give anything which he had to someone if he asked for it.’ (Bukhari #5687)
The Prophet (pbuh) was not a king who commanded his followers to carry out his orders. Rather he always carried out his own affairs and helped others in collective duties. A’ishah was once asked about how the Prophet (pbuh) behaved with his family. She said:
“He helped and assisted his family members with their chores; but when the call to prayer was heard, he would [stop everything and] leave to attend the prayers.”
Al-Baraa bin ‘Azib said:
“I saw the Messenger of God (pbuh) on the Day of the Trench carrying dirt [that was dug from the trench] until his chest was covered with dirt.” (Bukhari #2780)
“The trait and characteristic which the Prophet (pbuh) hated most was lying. A man would tell a lie in the presence of the Prophet (pbuh) and he would hold it against him, until he knew that he repented.” (Tirmidthi #1973)
Even his enemies attested to his truthfulness. Abu Jahl, who was one of the harshest enemies of Islam, said: ‘O Muhammad! I do not say that you are a liar! I only deny what you brought and what you call people to.’ God, the Exalted, says:
“We know indeed that what they say certainly grieves you, but surely they do not call you a liar; but the unjust deny the verses of God.” [6:33]
22. Aggrandizing the limits set by Allah,
and Always Seeking the Moderate Path
“The Prophet (pbuh) was not given a choice between two matters, except that he chose the easier of the two, as long as it was not a sinful act. If that act was a sinful act, he would be the farthest from it. By God! He never avenged himself. He only became angry when people transgressed the limits and boundaries of God; in that case he avenged [for the sake of God].” (Bukhari #6404)
23. Pleasant Facial Expression
Abdullah bin al-Harith said:
“I have never seen a man who smiled as much as the Messenger of God (pbuh).” (Tirmidthi #2641)
24. Honesty, Trustworthiness and Reliability
The Prophet (pbuh) was wellknown for his honesty. The pagans of Makkah -who were openly hostile towards him- would leave their valuables with him. His honesty and reliability was tested when the pagans of Makkah abused him and tortured his companions and drove them out of their homes. He ordered his cousin, Ali b. Abi Talib to postpone his migration for three days to return to people their valuables.22
Another example of his honesty, trustworthiness and reliability is demonstrated in the Truce of Hudaibiyah, wherein he agreed to the article in the treaty which stated that any man who left the Prophet (pbuh) would not be returned to him, and any man who left Makkah would be returned to them. Before the treaty was concluded a man named Abu Jandal b. Amr had managed to escape from the pagans of Makkah and rushed to join Muhammad (pbuh). The pagans asked Muhammad to honor his pledge and return the escapee. The Messenger of God (pbuh) said:
“O Abu Jandal! Be patient and ask God to grant you patience. God will surely help you and those who are persecuted and make it easy for you. We have signed an agreement with them, and we certainly do not betray or act treacherously.” (Baihaquee #18611)
25. Bravery and courage
“You should have seen him on the Day of Badr! We sought refuge with the Messenger of God (pbuh). He was the closest among us to the enemy. On that Day, the Messenger of God (pbuh) was the strongest one among us.” (Ahmed #654)
As for his courage and bravery under normal circumstances – Anas b. Malik said:
“The Messenger of God (pbuh) was the best of people and the most courageous. One night, the people of Madeenah were frightened and headed towards the sounds they heard during the night. The Messenger of God (pbuh) met them while coming back from the place of the sound, after he made sure that there was no trouble. He was riding a horse that belonged to Abu Talhah without any saddle, and he had his sword with him. He was assuring the people, saying: ‘Do not be frightened! Do not be frightened!” (Bukhari #2751)
He met up with people riding a horse with no saddle, and he carried his sword, for there might be a reason or need to use it. He did not wait for others to investigate the source of trouble as is usually done in these situations.
26. Bashfulness and Modesty
Abu Ayoub al-Ansari said that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
“Four (traits) are from the practice of the Messengers; modesty, using perfume and siwak (tooth stick) and marriage.” (Tirmidthi)
“A woman asked the Prophet (pbuh) about the bath which is taken at the end of the menstrual period. The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Purify yourself with a piece of cloth scented with musk.’ The Prophet (pbuh) felt shy and turned his face. A’ishah said: ‘I pulled her to myself and told her what the Prophet (pbuh) meant.’ ” (Bukhari #313)
The Messenger of God (pbuh) was the most humble person. He was so humble that if a stranger were to enter the mosque and approach the Prophet’s sitting place while he was sitting with his Companions, one would not be able to distinguish him from his Companions. Anas bin Malik said:
“Once, while we were sitting with the Messenger of God (pbuh) in the Masjid, a man on his camel approached. After he tied it with a rope, he asked: ‘Who amongst you is Muhammad?’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) was sitting on the ground while he was leaning, with his Companions. We directed the Bedouin, saying: ‘This white man leaning on the ground.’ The Prophet (pbuh) did not differ nor distinguish himself from his Companions.”
The Prophet (pbuh) would not hesitate to help the poor, needy and widows in their needs. Anas b. Malik said:
“A woman from the people of Madeenah who was partially insane said to the Prophet (pbuh): ‘I have to ask you [your help] about something.’ He helped her and took care of her needs.” (Bukhari #670)
28. Mercy and Compassion
Abu Masood al-Ansari said:
“A man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: ‘O Messenger of God! By God! I do not pray Fajr prayer because so and so lengthens the prayer.’ He said: ‘I have never seen the Messenger of God (pbuh) deliver a speech in such an angry state.’ He said: ‘O People! Verily there are among you those who chase people away! If you lead people in prayer, shorten the prayer. There are old and weak people and those with special needs behind you in prayer.’ ” (Bukhari #670)
Once when the Prophet (pbuh) went to visit his grandchild he shed some tears.
“The Messenger of God (pbuh) sat with the child while he was on his deathbed. The child’s eyes froze in their places like stones. Upon seeing that, the Messenger of God (pbuh) wept. Sa’d said to him, ‘What is this ‘O Prophet of God?’ He said: ‘This is a mercy that God, the Exalted, places in the hearts of His slaves. Truly, God is merciful to those who are merciful towards others.’ ” (Bukhari #6942)
29. Patience and Forbearance
Anas bin Malik said:
“Once, I was walking with the Messenger of God (pbuh) while he was wearing a Yemeni cloak with a collar with rough edges. A Bedouin grabbed him strongly. I looked at the side of his neck and saw that the edge of the cloak left a mark on his neck. The Bedouin said, ‘O Muhammad! Give me [some] of the wealth of God that you have.’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) turned to the Bedouin, laughed and ordered that he be given [some money].” (Bukhari #2980)
Another example of his patience is the story of the Jewish Rabbi, Zaid bin Sa’nah. Zaid had given something as a loan to the Messenger of God (pbuh). He himself said,
“Two or three days prior to the return of the debt, the Messenger of God (pbuh) was attending the funeral of a man from the Ansar. Abu Bakr and Umar, Uthman and some other Companions were with the Prophet (pbuh). After he prayed the funeral prayer he sat down close to a wall, and I came towards him, grabbed him by the edges of his cloak, and looked at him in a harsh way, and said: ‘O Muhammad! Will you not pay me back my loan? I have not known the family of Abdul-Mutalib to delay in repaying debts!’
I looked at Umar b. al-Khat’taab – his eyes were swollen with anger! He looked at me and said: ‘O Enemy of God, do you talk to the Messenger of God and behave towards him in this manner?! By the One who sent him with the truth, had it not been for the fear of not entering the Heavenly Gardens, I would have beheaded you with my sword! The Prophet (pbuh) was looking at Umar in a calm and peaceful manner, and he said: ‘O Umar, you should have given us sincere counseling, rather than to do what you did! O Umar, go and repay him his loan, and give him twenty Sa’a (measurement of weight) extra because you scared him!’
Zaid said: ‘Umar went with me, and repaid me the debt, and gave me over it twenty Sa’a of dates. I asked him: ‘What is this?’ He said: ‘The Messenger of God (pbuh) ordered me to give it, because I frightened you.’ Zaid then asked Umar: ‘O Umar, do you know who I am?’ Umar said: ‘No, I don’t – who are you?’ Zaid said: ‘I am Zaid b. Sa’nah.’ Umar inquired: ‘The Rabbi?’ Zaid answered: ‘Yes, the Rabbi.’ Umar then asked him: ‘What made you say what you said to the Prophet (pbuh) and do what you did to him?’ Zaid answered: ‘O Umar, I have seen all the signs of prophethood in the face of the Messenger of God (pbuh) except two – (the first) his patience and perseverance precede his anger and the second, the more harsher you are towards him, the kinder and more patient he becomes, and I am now satisfied. O Umar, I hold you as a witness that I testify and am satisfied that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except God alone, and my religion is Islam and Muhammad (pbuh) is my Prophet. I also hold you as a witness that half of my wealth – and I am among the wealthiest people in Madeenah – I give for the sake of God to the Muslims.’ Umar said: ‘you will not be able to distribute your wealth to all the Muslims, so say, ‘I will distribute it to some of the followers of Muhammad (pbuh).’ Zaid said: ‘I said, then I will distribute (the apportioned) wealth to some of the Muslims.’ Both Zaid and Umar returned to the Messenger of God (pbuh). Zaid said to him: ‘I bear witness that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except God alone, and that Muhammad (pbuh) is the slave of God and His Messenger.’ He believed in him, and witnessed many battles and then died in the Battle of Tabook while he was encountering the enemy – may God have mercy on Zaid.’ ” (Ibn Hibban #288)
A great example of his forgiveness and perseverance is apparent when he pardoned the people of Makkah after its conquest. When the Messenger of God (pbuh) gathered the people; who had abused, harmed and tortured him and his companions, and had driven them out of the city of Makkah, he said:
“What do you think I will do to you?’ They answered: ‘You will only do something favorable; you are a kind and generous brother, and a kind and generous nephew!’ The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Go – you are free to do as you wish.” (Baihaqi #18055)
The Messenger of God (pbuh) was the epitome of patience. He was patient with his people before calling them to Islam; for they would worship idols and do sinful acts. He was patient and tolerant with the abuse and harm the pagans of Makkah inflicted on him and his Companions and sought the reward of God. He was also patient and tolerant with the abuse of the hypocrites in Madeenah.
His patience was severely tested when he lost his loved ones. His wife, Khadeejah, died during his lifetime, as did all his children, save his daughter, Fatimah. His uncle Hamzah and Abu Talib passed away as well. The Prophet (pbuh) was patient and sought the reward of God. Anas b. Malik said:
“We entered the house of Abu Saif – the blacksmith – with the Prophet (pbuh). Abu Saif’s wife was the wetnurse of his son, Ibraheem. The Messenger of God (pbuh) lifted his son Ibraheem, and smelled and kissed him. After a while he went and saw his son again – he was dying. The Prophet (pbuh) started to cry. Abdurrahmaan b. Auf said: ‘O Prophet of God, you too cry!’ The Messenger (pbuh) said: ‘O Ibn Auf, this is a mercy’ – the Prophet (pbuh) shed more tears and said: ‘The eyes shed tears, the heart is saddened, and we only say what pleases our Lord, and we are saddened by your death, O Ibraheem!” (Bukhari #1241)
31. Justice and Fairness
The Messenger of God (pbuh) was just and fair in every aspect of his life and in the application of the religion. A’ishah said:
‘The people of Quraish were extremely concerned about a Makhzoomi woman (i.e. the woman from the tribe of Makhzoom) who committed a theft. They conversed among themselves and said, ‘Who can intercede on her behalf with the Messenger of God (pbuh)?’
They finally said: ‘Who dares to speak to the Messenger of God (pbuh) in this matter except Usamah b. Zaid, the most beloved young man to the Messenger of God (pbuh).’ So Usamah spoke to the Messenger of God (pbuh) regarding the woman. The Messenger of God (pbuh) said:
The Messenger of God (pbuh) got up and delivered a speech, saying:
The Messenger of God (pbuh) was just and fair and allowed others to avenge themselves if he harmed them. Usaid b. Hudhair said:
‘A man from the Ansar, was cracking jokes with people and making them laugh, and the Prophet (pbuh) passed by him and poked his side lightly with a branch of a tree that he was carrying. The man exclaimed: ‘O Prophet of God! Allow me to avenge myself!’ The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Go Ahead!’ The man said: ‘O Messenger of God, you are wearing a garment, and I was not when you poked me [i.e. you jabbed my exposed skin, so it is only fair I do the same to you]!’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) raised his upper garment [to expose his side], and the Ansari [merely] kissed it, saying: ‘I only meant to do this, O Messenger of God!’ (Abu Dawood #5224)
32. Fearing God, and Being Mindful of Him
The Messenger of God (pbuh) was the most mindful person of God. Abdullah bin Masoud said:
“[Once] the Messenger of God (pbuh) said to me: ‘Recite to me from the Qur’an!’ Abdullah b. Masood said: ‘Shall I recite it to you, while it was you to whom it was revealed?!’ The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘I started to recite Surat an-Nisaa23, until I reached the verse:
“How then if We brought from each nation a witness, and We brought you as a witness against these people!” (4:41)
Upon hearing this verse, the Messenger of God (pbuh) said: ‘That is enough!’ Abdullah b. Masood said, ‘I turned around and saw the Messenger of God (pbuh) crying.’ ” (Bukhari #4763)
‘If the Messenger of God (pbuh) saw dark clouds in the sky; he would pace forwards and backwards and would exit and enter his house. As soon as it rained, the Prophet (pbuh) would relax. A’ishah asked him about it, and he said: ‘I do not know, it may be as some people said:
33. Richness and Contentment of the Heart
Umar b. al-Khattab said:
‘I entered the Messenger’s house and I found him sitting on a mat. He had a leather pillow stuffed with fibers. He had a pot of water by his feet, and there was some clothes hung on the wall. His side had marks due to the mat that he lay on. Umar wept when he saw this, and the Messenger (pbuh) asked him: ‘Why do you weep?’ Umar said: ‘O Prophet of God! Khosrau and Caesar enjoy the best of this world, and you are suffering in poverty?!’ He said: ‘Aren’t you pleased that they enjoy this world, and we will enjoy the Hereafter?’ (Bukhari #4629)
34. Hoping for Goodness, Even for his Enemies
‘I asked the Messenger of God (pbuh): “Did you face a day harder and more intense than the Battle of Uhud?‛ He replied: ‘I suffered a lot from your people! The worst I suffered was on the Day of al-’Aqabah when I spoke to Ali b. Abd Yaleel b. Abd Kilaal (in order to support me) but he disappointed me and left me. I left the area while I was quite worried, and walked – when I reached an area called Qarn ath-Tha’alib, I raised my head to the sky and noticed a cloud that shaded me. Gabriel (pbuh) called me and said: ‘O Muhammad! God, the Exalted, has heard what your people have said to you – and has sent the Angel in charge of the mountains, so you can command him to do what you please.’ The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘The Angel in charge of the mountains called me saying: ‘May God praise you and keep safe from all evil! O Muhammad, I will do whatever you command me to do. If you like I can bring the Akh-shabain mountains together and crush them all.’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) said: ‘It may be that God raises from among them a progeny who worship God alone and associate no partners with Him.’ (Bukhari #3059)
- A great scholar of Islam who wrote many works, including on the Biography of the
- Qadhi Eiyadh, ‘Al-Shifa bita’reefi Hoquooqil-Mostafa’
- According to Islamic etiquette. One should always begin from the right.
- A town previously on the outskirts of Madeenah.
- It is prohibited for men to wear gold in Islam.
- It was forbidden by God for the Prophet (pbuh) or his family to accept any form
- Ibn Hisham’s Biography, Vol. 1, p.493 [Arabic Edition].
- The fourth chapter of the Qur’an.
- Bukhari #3034.
The Prophet was very close to his companions, and this is well-known when one reads the detailed reports about the Prophet’s biography. The Prophet (pbuh) is the example which we should emulate in all our matters. Jareer b. Abdullah said: ‘The Prophet (pbuh) did not prevent me from sitting with him since I accepted Islam. He always smiled when he looked at me. I once complained to him that I could not ride a horse and he hit me in my chest and supplicated God, saying:
“O God! Steady him, and make him a person who guides others and a source of guidance.” (Bukhari #5739)
2. The Prophet (pbuh) would entertain his Companions
and joke with them
An old woman came to the Prophet (pbuh) and said: “O Messenger of God, ask God to admit me into the Heavenly Gardens.” He said: “Old women will not enter the Heavenly Gardens!” She then walked away crying. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Tell her that she will not enter the Heavenly Gardens as an old woman” for Allah says:
Verily, We have created them (maidens) of special creation. And made them virgins. Loving (their husbands only), (and) of equal age. [56:35-7]
The Prophet (pbuh) did not only verbally entertain and joke with his companions, but sported and amused them as well. Anas b. Malik said:
“A Bedouin named Zahir b. Haram would give gifts to the Prophet (pbuh) and he would prepare things for him as well. The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Zahir is our desert, and we are his city.’ “
The Prophet (pbuh) approached him while he was selling his goods, and the Prophet (pbuh) hugged him from behind, and he could not see him. He then said: ‘Let me go!’ When he knew that it was the Prophet (pbuh) who was hugging him, he pressed his back towards the Messenger’s chest! The Messenger of God (pbuh) then said: ‘Who will buy this slave from me?’ Zahir said: ‘O Messenger of God, I am worthless!’ The Messenger of God pbuh said:
“You are not considered worthless by God!’ or he said: ‘You are valuable and precious to God.” (Ibn Hibban #5790)
3. He would consult his Companions
The Prophet (pbuh) would consult his Companions, and take their opinions and points of view into consideration in issues and matters for which no textual proofs were revealed. Abu Hurairah said:
“I have not seen a person more keen for the sincere advice of his companions than the Messenger of God (pbuh).” (Tirmidthi #1714)
4. Visiting the sick, whether he was Muslim or non-Muslim
The Prophet (pbuh) was concerned about his Companions and would make sure that they were well. If he was told about a Companion who was sick, he would rush to visit him with the Companions that were present with him. He wouldn’t only visit the Muslims who were sick; rather, he would even visit non-Muslims. Anas b. Malik said:
” ‘A Jewish boy would serve the Prophet (pbuh) and he fell sick, so the Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘Let us go and visit him.’
They went to visit him, and found his father sitting by his head, and the Messenger of God (pbuh) said: ‘proclaim that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allah alone’ and I will intercede on your behalf on account of it on the Day of Resurrection.’ The boy looked at his father, and the father said: ‘Obey Abul-Qasim!25’ so the boy uttered: ‘There is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allah alone and Muhammad (pbuh) is the last Messenger.’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) said: ‘All praise is due to God, Who saved him from the Fire of Hell.’ ”
(Ibn Hibban #2960)
5. He was grateful for people’s goodness towards him,
and would reward that generously
Abdullah b. Umar said that the Messenger of God (pbuh) said:
“Whoever seeks refuge with God against your evil, then do not harm him. Whoever asks you by God, then give him. Whoever invites you, then accept his invitation. Whoever does a favor for you or an act of kindness, then repay him in a similar manner; but if you do not find that which you can reward him with, then supplicate God for him continuously, until you think you have repaid him.” (Ahmed #6106)
“The Messenger of God (pbuh) would accept gifts, and reward generously on account of that.” (Bukhari #2445)
6. The Messenger’s love for everything which is beautiful and go
“The hand of the Messenger of God (pbuh) was softer than any silk that I had ever touched, and his scent was sweeter than any perfume that I had ever smelt.” (Bukhari #3368)
7. The Messenger of God (pbuh) loved to help others
by interceding on their behalf
Abdullah b. Abbas said:
“The husband of Bareerah was a slave whose name was Mugheeth – I saw him walking behind her in the streets of Madeenah crying, and his tears were falling off his beard. The Messenger of God (pbuh) said to Al-Abbas: ‘Doesn’t it amaze you, how much Mugheeth loves Bareerah, and how much she dislikes Mugheeth!’
The Prophet (pbuh) said to Bareerah: ‘Why don’t you go back to him?’ She said to him: ‘Are you commanding me to do so?’ He said: ‘No, but I am interceding on his behalf.’ She said: ‘I have no need for him.”
(Bukhari # 4875)
8. The Messenger of God (pbuh) would serve himself:
“I was asked how the Messenger of God (pbuh) behaved in his house. She said: ‘He was like any man; he washed his clothes, milked his sheep, and served himself.” (Ahmed 24998)
The Prophet’s excellent manners, not only made him serve himself; rather, he would serve others as well. A’ishah said:
“I was asked how the Messenger of God (pbuh) behaved in his house. She said: ‘He would help out in the house with the daily chores, and when he heard the Adthan he would leave [everything and head] for the Mosque.” (Bukhari 5048)
- Another name of the Prophet (pbuh).
The German Poet, Wolfgang Göethe26, said:
I looked into history for a human paradigm and found it to be in Muhammad(pbuh)
Professor Keith Moore
Professor Keith Moore27, said in his book: The Developing Human:
It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, or Allah, because most of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God, or Allah.
He further said:
“I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or revelation, which lead him to these statements.”
Dr. Maurice Bucaille
Dr. Maurice Bucaille28, said in his book: The Qur’an, and Modern Science:
“A totally objective examination of it [the Qur’an] in the light of modern knowledge, leads us to recognize the agreement between the two, as has been already noted on repeated occasions. It makes us deem it quite unthinkable for a man of Muhammad’s time to have been the author of such statements, on account of the state of knowledge in his day. Such considerations are part of what gives the Qur’anic Revelation its unique place, and forces the impartial scientist to admit his inability to provide an explanation which calls solely upon materialistic reasoning.”
Annie Besant29 in The Life and Teachings of Mohammad, said:
“It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia, who knew how he taught and how he lived, to feel anything but reverence for the mighty Prophet, one of the great messengers of the Supreme. And although in what I put to you I shall say many things which may be familiar to many, yet I myself feel, whenever I reread them, a new way of admiration, a new sense of reverence for that mighty Arabian teacher.”
Dr. Gustav Weil
Maurice Gaudefroy said:
“Muhammad was a prophet, not a theologian, a fact so evident that one is loath to state it. The men who surrounded him and constituted the influential elite of the primate Muslim community, contented themselves with obeying the law that he had proclaimed in the name of Allah and with following his teaching and example.”31
Washington Irving32, said:
“His military triumphs awakened no pride nor vain glory as they would have done had they been effected by selfish purposes. In the time of his greatest power he maintained the same simplicity of manner and appearance as in the days of his adversity. So far from affecting regal state, he was displeased if, on entering a room, any unusual testimonial of respect was shown to him.”33
Edmund Burke said:
“The Muhammadan law, which is binding on all from the crowned head to the meanest subject, is a law interwoven with a system of the wisest, the most learned and the most enlightened jurisprudence that ever existed in the world.”34
- German writer and scientist. A master of poetry, drama, and the novel. He also conducted
scientific research in various fields, notably botany, and held several governmental
- He was the former President of the Canadian Association of Anatomists, Department
of anatomy and cell biology, University of Toronto.
- Dr. Maurice Bucaille was an eminent French surgeon, scientist, scholar and author
of "The Bible, The Qur’an and Science."
- English theosophist, philosopher, and political figure who advocated home rule and
educational reforms in India.
- Encyclopedia of Seerah, by Afzalur-Rahman.
- He was a famous writer. He died in 1859.
- Encyclopedia of Seerah, by Afzalur-Rahman.
1. Religious and legislative purpose
The Prophet (pbuh) married Zainab b. Jahsh. The Arabs in the Era of Ignorance would prohibit a man from marrying the wife of his adopted son; they believed that the adopted son was like a man’s actual son in all aspects. The Prophet (pbuh) married her, although she was previously the wife of his adopted son, Zaid b. Harithah. The Messenger of God (pbuh) married her to abolish this belief. God, the Exalted, says:
“And when you said to him to whom Allah had shown favor and to whom you had shown a favor: keep your wife to yourself and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; and you concealed in your soul what Allah would bring to light, and you feared men, and Allah had a greater right that you should fear Him. But when Zaid had accomplished his want of her, We gave have her to you as a wife, so that there should be no difficulty for the believers in respect of the wives of their adopted sons, when they have accomplished their want of them; and Allah’s command shall be fulfilled..” (33:37)
2. Political reasons and for the spread of Islam, to invite people
to Islam, and to gain the favor of the Arab tribes
The Messenger of God (pbuh) married women from the largest and strongest Arab tribes. The Prophet (pbuh) ordered his Companions to do this as well. The Prophet (pbuh) said to Abdurrahmaan b. Auf:
“If they obey you (i.e. accept Islam) then marry the daughter of the head of the tribe.”
Dr. Cahan said:
“Some of the aspects of his life may seem confusing to us due to present day mentality. The Messenger is criticized due to his obsession of attaining worldly desires and his nine wives, whom he married after the death of his wife Khadeejah. It has been confirmed that most of these marriages were for political reasons, which were aimed to gain loyalty of some nobles, and tribes.”
3. Social reasons
The Prophet (pbuh) married some of his Companions’ wives who had died, in battle or while on a mission to preach Islam. He married them even though they were older than him, and he did so to honor them and their husbands.
Veccia Vaglieri35 in her book ‘In Defense of Islam’ said:
“‘Throughout the years of his youth, Muhammad (pbuh) only married one woman, even though the sexuality of man is at its peak during this period. Although he lived in the society he lived in, wherein plural marriage was considered the general rule, and divorce was very easy – he only married one woman, although she was older than him. He was a faithful husband to her for twenty-five years, and did not marry another woman, except after her death. He at that time was fifty years old. He married each of his wives thereafter for a social or political purpose; such that he wanted to honor the pious women, or wanted the loyalty of certain tribes so that Islam would spread amongst them. All the wives Muhammad (pbuh) married were not virgin, nor were they young or beautiful; except for A’ishah. So how can anyone claim that he was a lustful man? He was a man not a god. His wish to have a son may have also lead him to marry; for the children that he had from Khadeejah all died. Moreover, who undertook the financial responsibilities of his large family, without having large resources. He was just and fair towards them all and did not differentiate between them at all. He followed the practice of previous Prophets such as Moses, whom no one objected to their plural marriage. Is the reason why people object to the plural marriage of Muhammad (pbuh) the fact that we know the minute details of his life, and know so little of the details of the lives of the Prophets before him?”
Thomas Carlyle said:
“Mahomet himself, after all that can be said about him, was not a sensual man. We shall err widely if we consider this man as a common voluptuary, intent mainly on base enjoyments,–nay on enjoyments of any kind.”36
- A famous Italian Orientalist.
- ‘Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History’