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The gentleness of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him


The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

Shall I tell you who the hell is forbidden to touch or for whom the hell is prohibited? It is forbidden to touch one who is always around people, and is polite, tender and easy with others related by At-Tirmidhi

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) possesses noble manners

Muhammed used to have noble manners. He was wise, had a tender heart, was compassionate, merciful, truthful and trustworthy

Gustave Le Bon

French doctor and historian

It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you Surah Al-Imran: 159

A wise, gentle teacher!

When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was in the mosque one day with his Companions, a Bedouin entered and urinated in the mosque. The Companions shouted at him and wanted to stop him from doing this heinous act.

But the gentle teacher realized that the man was ignorant, and did not understand or was not aware of the sacredness of the mosque. Consequently, he (peace be upon him) ordered his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) to not approach the man until after he had finished urinating! So they let him finish urinating.

After the man had finished, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) called him and said to him, with the gentleness of a clever teacher,

Mosques are not places for urine and filth. Mosques are places where one remembers Allah (Glorified is He), prays and reads Qu’ran.

Consequently, he ordered one of the men to bring a bucket of water and pour it on the urine

related by Muslim

Then he said to those who had shouted at the man,

Truly, I was sent to you to make matters easy; I was not sent to you to make things difficult related by Al-Bukhari

Oh Allah! The noble Companions were greatly disheartened by the action of the Bedouin, and who—if they were in their position—would not have felt dishearted! But the teacher of this nation was open heartened and even more gentle with this Bedouin of limited knowledge; we can see from this incident how the Prophet (peace be upon him) was gentle with one who was ignorant and how he taught him what he should have done without being rough or harming him. This is the usual way the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) dealt with others, and what he was known for: being gentle in all situations, as a husband, father, teacher, leader…The history of no one has been recorded like the history of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), recording stories and incidents about him that illustrate how very gentle and easy-going he was. An example of such incidents include:

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) encourages his followers to be gentle

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“Allah is gentle and loves gentleness in all matters”

related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim

She also related that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

Allah is gentle and loves gentleness. He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness, and He does not reward anything else like it related by Muslim

She (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) also said,

Truly, gentleness is not in anything but it beautifies it, and it is not removed from anything but it disgraces it related by Muslim

Does gentleness contradict strength or firmness? Is gentleness a weak or strong character trait?

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with his family

Concerning this, his wife Aisha (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did not hit anyone at all, not a woman or servant, except when he was fighting in Allah’s cause. Moreover, he never took revenge for any bad anyone did to him, unless the person did something prohibited by Allah, for which he would take revenge for Allah”

related by Muslim

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was gentle with his family, taking into account their personal circumstances. He used to allow his wife Aisha to do anything she wished as long as it did not entail a sin; he (peace be upon him) allowed her to watch the people from Abyssinia play, and permitted her to celebrate and play on the Eid days.

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with his servants

His servant, Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), bore testimony to this when he said,

“I served the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) for ten years. By Allah, he never once said, ‘Uf’ to me. Moreover, he never said to me concerning something, ‘Why did you not do it this way?’ or, ‘Why did you do it this way?”

related by Muslim.

An example of the Messenger of Allah’s gentleness with his servants is that he (peace be upon him) used to call his servant Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him), saying,

Oh my [dear] boy related by Ahmed

In fact, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was lenient and gentle with his servant if he (peace be upon him) had asked him to do something and the servant responded slowly or did not do what he asked. His servant Anas mentioned this point when he said,

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was one of the best people with regards to his manners. He (peace be upon him) once sent me to do something one day,

but I replied,

‘By Allah, I will not go,’ but I had the idea in my mind that I would go and do what the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had ordered me to do. I left on the way until I passed some boys who were playing in the market-place. In the meantime, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came and held me from the back of the neck.

I looked at him and saw him smiling,

And he (peace be upon him) said,

Oh Unais, did you go where I ordered you to go? I replied,

‘Yes, I am on the way’

related by Muslim.

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with children

We can also see an example of the Prophet’s gentleness with young children as

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to ask for Allah to bless the baby boys that were brought to him

 

and used to give them a small amount of chewed dates

(when the baby was born, chewed dates used to be placed in his mouth)

and he (peace be upon him) used to supplicate Allah for them”

related by Al-Bukhari.

Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to also

“visit the Ansar (people of Medina), shake hands with their boys and wipe their heads”

related by An-Nisa’i].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to always kiss Al-Hasan and Al-Hussain and play with them, and also carry Umamah, the daughter of Zainab, during the prayer as a way of caring for her.

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) dealt gently and patiently with his townsfolk

Thomas Carlyle described how the Prophet (peace be upon him) dealt with his townsfolk, by saying, [Muhammed dealt gently and patiently with them, but they refused [his call]…]

Thomas Carlyle

[Scottish author, satirical critic and historian].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was the most open-hearted of Arabs

[Muhammed used to be the cleverest Arab at his time, the most God-fearing and religious, the most openhearted, and the most gentle one with his enemies and opponents of the religion]

Bertley Harley: About the East

A German orientalist.

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with the ignorant

We have talked about the incident in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught the uneducated Bedouin, and how he was so open-hearted that he waited until the Bedouin had finished urinating before talking to him.

And there was another uneducated man in the mosque who talked during the prayer. Below is his story that shows how the Prophet (peace be upon him) took the role of a gentle teacher when dealing with him. Mu’awiyah ibn Al-Hakam related,

“When I was praying with the Prophet (peace be upon him), one of the men sneezed,

so I said, ‘May Allah have mercy on you.’ As a result, the others looked at me and said, ‘What a great loss!’

–a phrase which is said at times of distress, eg. when a mother loses a child–

I asked, ‘Why are you looking at me?’ This made them slap their thighs. When I understood they wanted me to be silent, I stopped talking. After the Prophet (peace be upon him) had prayed, may my mother and father by sacrificed for him, I had not seen a better teacher before or after that time. By Allah, he did not punish me,

hit me, or swear at me.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) just said,

Talking to others is not appropriate during prayers, for prayer is for glorifying Allah (saying Tasbih), exalting His Greatness (saying Allahu Akbar) and reciting the Quran related by Muslim.

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with the foolish

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was very gentle even with the foolish of those who followed a different religion to him. And how can he be otherwise when he is the one who called to the way of his Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching.

And said,

‘Death be on you,’ that is poison and death on you. Aisha understood what they had said, so she replied, ‘And may death and a curse be on you.’

Consequently, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘Wait, Aisha. Allah loves gentleness in all matters.’

She replied,

‘Oh Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) did you not hear what they said?!’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘But I said, “[let it be] on you”’

related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim

And how can he (peace be upon him) not be gentle when he is the one who said,

Whoever is depraved of gentleness, he is depraved of all forms of goodness related by Muslim.

In this incident, the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised Aisha to be gentle and kind even with spiteful Jews. He (peace be upon him) explained to her that it is not permissible for a Muslim to allow anger to control his responses and actions. In Islam, gentleness results in having good manners. This was always the response of the Prophet (peace be upon him) if anyone swore or cursed him.

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with the disobedient and sinners

A young man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said,

‘Oh Messenger of Allah, give me permission to fornicate.’ The people surrounded him and rebuked him.

They said,

‘Be quiet, be quiet!’

 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘Come here [and sit down].’ So he came close to him and sat down.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘Do you like that for your mother?’

The young man said,

‘No, by Allah. May I be sacrificed for you!’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘And people do not like it for their mothers. Do you like it for your daughters?’

The young man replied,

‘No, by Allah. May I be sacrificed for you.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘And the people do not like it for their daughters. Do you like it for your sister?’

The man replied,

‘No, by Allah. May I be sacrificed for you.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘And the people do not like it for their sisters. Do you like it for your aunt [on your father’s side]?’

The young man replied,

‘No, by Allah. May I be sacrificed for you.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘And the people do not like it for the aunts [on their father’s side]. Do you like it for your aunt [on your mother’s side]?’

He replied,

‘No, by Allah. May I be sacrificed for you.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

‘And the people do not like it for their aunts [on their mother’s side].’ Then he (peace be upon him) placed his hand on him

and said,

‘Oh Allah, forgive his sin, purify his heart and guard his chastity.’ After that, the young man never again turned to anything sinful

related by Ahmed

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) treated the idea the young man had with gentleness, wisdom, logic, discussing the matter with him. This removed even the idea of sinning and fornicating from the young man’s mind. After that, the Prophet (peace be upon him) supplicated Allah to purify him!

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with the disbelievers

Prophet Muhammed’s front tooth had been broken and his forehead had been wounded to the extent that blood flowed over his face, and it was said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, supplicate Allah to harm them.” However, he (peace be upon him) wiped the blood off his face and replied,

My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know related by Muslim.

After the liberation of Mecca, whose inhabitants had harmed Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) told them, “What do you think I will do with you?!” They replied, “You are a generous brother and the son of a generous brother.” Consequently, Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said,

Go, for you are free related by Al-Bayhaqi.

How can you be gentle with non-Muslims and still be dignified, as Allah tells us to be in His saying,

most humble towards the believers, dignified and commanding in the face of the disbelievers Surah Al-Ma’idah: 54

Give proof to support what you say from Prophet Muhammed’s biography.

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with his followers with regard to acts of worship

A man complained to Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) about Mu’adh (may Allah be pleased with him) when he lead them in prayer; he used to make the prayer long. Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) became angry and said,

<‘Oh Mu’adh, do you want to cause difficulties for the people?!’

He said this three times.

‘If you had recited sabbah b’isma rabbika (Surah Al-‘Ala), wash-shamsi wa duhaha (Surah Ash-Shams) or wal-layli itha yaghsha (Surah Al-Layl) in the prayer it would be better, for the old, weak and the needy pray behind you’

related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

This was a result of Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with the believers and the rest of his followers, taking into consideration what is for their good. He (peace be upon him) did not want to make matters difficult for them. In fact, when leading the people in prayer,

if Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) heard a young child cry, he would make the prayer shorter for fear that the [child’s] mother would be distressed

related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Another example of his gentleness with his followers is that he (peace be upon him) did not order them to use the siwak (tooth stick) before praying. Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said,

If I had not thought it difficult for my followers or for the people, I would have ordered them to use the tooth stick before every prayer related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim

…And this was the same for many other rules in Islam and rules regarding acts of worship

What are the reasons people do not follow Prophet Muhammed’s example of being gentle, acting instead in a rough manner?

Prophet Muhammed’s gentleness with animals

Even animals experienced the gentleness of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) once saw a man who had laid down a sheep to slaughter and was sharpening his knife, so he (peace be upon him) ordered the man to be gentle with the sheep, saying,

Why did you not sharpen your knife before laying it (the sheep) down to slaughter related by At-Tabarani

How could Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) not be gentle when it has been authentically reported that he warned the people from oppressing animals and that such oppression makes one enter the hell-fire. One such example is the case of the woman who tied her cat up until it died. About this Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said,

from the insects of the earth, [keeping it tied up like this] until it died

related by Muslim

No other person from among mankind was as gentle and merciful as Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was. In fact, no one was even nearly as gentle and merciful as him. How we need to adopt such gentle ways in all our dealings, following the example of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)! He (peace be upon him) was an ideal example of gentleness, kindness, and calling others to his Lord’s path with wisdom and beautiful preaching. But where are we today in relation to Prophet Muhammed’s great manners?!

Look around you at the cruel world and see what man has lost due to not following Prophet Muhammed’s guidance. Mention an incident that actually happened which illustrates this.

How can we follow Prophet Muhammed’s example?

1.Be gentle as Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) used to be gentle. He (peace be upon him) used to say,

Truly, Allah is gentle and loves gentleness. He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness, and He does not reward anything else like it related by Muslim

2.Be very careful not to be rough, with your relatives and non-relatives alike, as Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said,

Gentleness is not removed from anything but it disgraces it related by Muslim

3. Follow the example of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and improve your manners and dealings with your family, children, relatives and all the people, and be gentle to them. Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said,

The best of you are those who are the best to their families; and I am the best among you to my family related by An-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah.

4. Send prayers to the best example among people (peace be upon him), and beware of becoming angry! Anger will make you violent, rough, and severe, and Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was not like this. You should learn from his example.