Abu Lahab and Quraish
One day the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) climbed Mount Safa, calling, “Oh tribe of so-and-so, Oh tribe of such-and-such.” So they all went to him, even the one could not reach the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) sent a messenger instead of himself. When they had gathered, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, <‘If I tell you that behind this mountain was a chavalry which wanted to attack you, would you believe me?’ The people clearly announced, ‘We have never heard you lie at all.’ Then the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) started to proclaim the Message which he had been ordered to tell the people in public, saying, ‘I am a warner to you, warning you of a severe torment.’ Abu Lahab replied, ‘May you be perished! Is this what you gatherd us for?!’> [related by Muslim]. Consider his response….even after the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said he was a Prophet, Abu Lahab replied, “May you be perished!” But he did not accuse the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) of lying!! Yes, this was the case. The disbelievers of Quraish acknowledged to themselves that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was truthful. In fact, they even admitted this, but they did not believe in him due to their fear of losing their worldly benefits and due to their personal desires.
The best testimony of this is the discussion of Abu Sufyan, before he entered Islam, with Heraclius, the Roman ruler. During this discussion, Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan, “Did you used to accuse him of lying before he started saying what he now says.” Abu Sufyan replied, “No.” At the end of the meeting, Heraclius said, “I asked you if you used to accuse him of lying before he started to say what he now says, and you replied, ‘No.’ Consequently, I knew then that it was not possible for him to be known to not tell lies about the people, but tell lies about Allah” [Fath Al-Bari].
The testimony of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb was not the only testimony about the Messenger of Allah’s good character by one of the Prophet’s enemies. In fact, there is a testimony of one who was a stronger enemy of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)…Abu Jahl! He testified that the Messenger of Allah was truthful and was truly a Prophet. When Al-Akhnas ibn Shurayq asked him on the day the believers and disbelievers met in battle at Badr, “Oh Abu Al-Hakim, tell me about Muhammed; is he truthful or a liar? There is none from Quraish here but you and I who can hear what we say.” Abu Jahl said, “Woe to you! By Allah, Muhammed is truthful; he has never lied. But, if the sons of Qusayy are the keepers of the banner, the distribution of water for pilgrims, the custodianship of the Ka`bah and prophethood, what will be left for the rest of the Quraysh?” [Comparative Religions by Ibn Al-Qayyim] It is a definite statement and a clear proof of the truth of Prophet Muhammed’s prophethood—and from who?! From Abu Jahl, the strongest enemy against Islam. No doubt, the testimony of an enemy carries weight, as it indicates how honest the people thought the Messenger of Allah was.
An-Nadir ibn Al-Harith
Although the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had many enemies after he started calling people to Islam, from the Jews, Christians, disbelievers of Quraish and others, no one ever questioned his truthfulness and trustworthiness. We have An-Nadir ibn Al-Harith, one of the enemies of the Messenger of Allah, talking to a group of Quraish, saying, “Oh Quraish, by Allah, words have been revealed to him which will never be given to anyone after him. As a young boy that lived among you, Muhammed’s manners pleased you; he was always truthful when he talked to you and very trustworthy. Even when white hair appeared on his head and he started to say what he now says, you said, ‘A sorcerer. No, by Allah, he is not a sorcerer. We have seen sorcerers and their beliefs.’ Then you said, ‘A fortuneteller. No, by Allah, he is not a fortuneteller. We have seen fortunetellers and their whispers, and have heard their chants.’ And then you said, ‘A poet. No, by Allah, he is not a poet. We have seen poets and have heard all types of poetry and their different types of rhymes.’ And finally you said, ‘He is mad. No, by Allah, he is not mad. We have seen madness and he is not one who is possessed, and he is not like one who hallucinates or is confused.’ Oh Quraish, reflect on your state of affairs, as truly, Allah has revealed to you mighty words” [The Prophet’s Biography by Ibn Hesham] This was a testimony of the Arab who was an enemy of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), so see how the Prophet’s enemies had no choice but to admit that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was truthful. What do you think of the stance of Quraish and the testimonies of the leaders of the disbelievers with regards to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)?