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The patience of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him


So be patient, but you cannot be patient except with [the help of] Allah Surah Al-Nahl: 127

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) faced harm with patience

Gustave Le Bon said, [Muhammed used to face harm and torture with patience…Muhammed dealt kindly and patiently with Quraish, who had been his enemy for twenty years.]

He also said, [If we measured the value of men from their noble actions, Muhammed would be one of the greatest ones who history has known. Western scholars told the truth about Muhammed, although religious prejudice blinded many historians’ views so much that they did not recognize his noble qualities.]

Gustave Le Bon

[A French doctor and historian].

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (peace be upon him)

“Have you experienced any situation which was more difficult than the battle of Uhud?” That battle was known to be very hard for the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions; many of them died and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was harmed as the polytheists wounded his head, shed his blood, and broke one of his teeth,

—his front teeth—

But, was there a situation which was harder than that situation?

The Prophet (peace be upon him) reminded

Aisha of a situation which was harder for him than the battle of Uhud, saying,

The Prophet (peace be upon him) remembered the day he left for Taif, maybe he would find among the tribe of Thaqif those who would listen and respond well to his call and support it. However, their response was bad. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stayed with the people of Taif for ten days. He (peace be upon him) did not leave even one of the nobles there without him going and talking to them. Consequently, they said, “Push him out of our town and let the foolish and young boys from among us laugh at him.” He (peace be upon him) wanted to leave the city, and (at that time) those foolish people gathered in two rows around him and started to throw stones and shout senseless words at him. They threw stones at his legs until his feet bled and his sandals were covered with blood. Zaid ibn Harithah intervened to protect the Prophet (peace be upon him) and received a wound on his head.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) continued,

recalling this painful experience, They were two mountains that surrounded the city. Showing a great aspect of his character, being patient, and withstanding the harm he received in Allah’s cause, the Messenger (peace be upon him) looked towards the future, although he had just experienced great harm, and said, I rather hope that Allah will bring from their descendants those who will worship Allah alone, not taking any partners with Him at all related by Al-Bukhari

The Prophet’s noble qualities

How much were you, Oh Prophet (peace be upon him), harmed in the cause of Allah but remained patient! In fact, your patience was so great that you ignored your own needs in order to spread the Message of your Lord. And during all this you were patient, hoping and waiting for victory from Allah, and eager that Allah raises from those disbelievers’ descendants who would worship Allah alone. And this is what happened.

Prophet Muhammed’s patience in withstanding the harm of the polytheists

The Messenger (peace be upon him) was patient in withstanding many types of harm, difficulties and tribulations. The polytheists harmed him and accused him of lying, being a fortune-teller and magician…and during all this he (peace be upon him) was patient, steadfast and kept hoping for Allah’s rewards, spreading the Message and calling people to Islam and Allah’s way of life.

The polytheists among his people even overstepped all accepted ethical standards, manners and diplomacy. Ibn Masoud (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

“The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was praying near the Kabbah, and Abu Jahl and his friends were sitting (nearby). A she-camel had just been slaughtered the day before.

Consequently, Abu Jahl said,

‘Who will rise to bring the foetus of the she-camel of so-and-so, and place it between the shoulders of Muhammad when he prostrates (in the prayer).’ The one most accursed among the people—‘Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’ait—got up, brought the foetus and, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) went down to prostrate, he placed it between his shoulders.”

Ibn Masoud continued,

“Then they laughed at him, and some of them nearly fell over with laughter. I stood looking. If I had the power, I would have thrown it [foetus] away from the back of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) had bent down his head in prostration and did not raise it until a man went (to his house) and informed (his daughter) Fatima, who was a young girl (at that time) [about this ugly incident]. She came and removed (the filthy thing) from him. Then she turned towards them, rebuking them (Abu Jahl and his friends). When the Prophet ( peace be upon him) had finished his prayer, he invoked Allah's curse upon them in a loud voice.”

related by Al-Bukhari.

In fact, the polytheists were extremely insolent with the Prophet, as when the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was praying near the Kabbah, ‘Uqbah ibn Abu Mu’ait went to the Prophet, took his cloak and twisted it around the neck of the Prophet, pulling it tightly to choke the Prophet. At this, Abu Bakr intervened, took the cloak and pushed ‘Uqbah away from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), saying,

“Will you kill a man because he says, ‘Allah is my Lord’?”

related by Al-Bukhari.

The harm the polytheists meted out to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions increased until some of the Companions asked the Messenger (peace be upon him) to pray for victory because of the harm they received from the polytheists. They (the Companions) said,

“Will you not ask Allah to help us? Will you not pray for us” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) only replied,

Before you a man used to be taken, a pit dug in the ground for him, and then he used to be placed inside it. Then a saw would be brought and placed on his head until it was sawn into two halves. His flesh might be combed with iron combs and removed from his bones, yet, all that did not make him leave his religion. By Allah, this religion will be completed (and triumph) to the extent that a rider (traveller) will travel from Sana to Hadramout not fearing anyone but Allah and the wolf lest it trouble his sheep; but you are impatient related by Al-Bukhari

Quraish laid siege on the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions, who were forced to live in a canyon near Mecca called the valley of Abu Talib, for three years. They said no one would buy from them or sell to them, no one would be allowed to marry their women or give their own in marriage to them, no one would talk to them, and all dealings with them would cease until they handed Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) over to Quraish. They wrote these conditions in a deed which they then hung in the Kabah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Companions remained sieged and under the ban until the difficulties became very great. Abu Talib died six months after the siege, and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) died a few days after this. Their deaths were very difficult for the Prophet (peace be upon him). The feeble-minded ones kept mocking and harming him greatly.

But the Prophet (peace be upon him) kept calling others to worship Allah, alone, saying,

Oh people, say, ‘There is no god (who deserves to be worshipped) but Allah,’ in order to be successful related by Ahmed

And Abu Lahib followed him (peace be upon him) wherever he went, saying,

“He is a liar.”

But the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not give up or weaken his resolve, and he (peace be upon him) did not lose his patience, as he relied on his Lord for help and was sure Allah would make him victorious, relying totally on Him. May prayers be sent upon you, Oh Messenger of Allah, at all times throughout history; you have proclaimed the Message, taught your followers, and exerted great efforts for Allah in the way efforts should be exerted for Him.

Prophet Muhammed’s patience in withstanding the harm of the hypocrites

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was dividing the booty, so a man said, “By Allah, this division is not as Allah wants!” The Prophet (peace be upon him) was told this. It was very difficult for him and his face changed, showing signs of anger, when he heard this remark. Then he said,

Truly, Musa was harmed in a worse way than this and he remained patient related by Al-Bukhari

The hypocrites harmed the Prophet (peace be upon him) very much. They even smeared the honour of his family when they spread the slander against Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), but he (peace be upon him) remained patient until Allah proclaimed Aisha’s innocence. He did not take revenge against those who had spread bad rumours about his family’s honour; in fact, he remained patient, hoping for a reward from Allah.

Is it possible for the life of any man to have no distressful and unpleasant experiences, sufferings and calamities? Why?

Prophet Muhammed’s patience in withstanding harm from the Jews

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) withstood the great and continuous harm of the Jews. They even tried to kill him (peace be upon him) more than once. On one such occasion:

A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep to the Prophet (peace be upon him), who (peace be upon him) ate from it. She was brought to the Prophet and he was asked, "Shall we kill her?" He said, "No."

Anas said,

‘I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth

of the Messenger of Allah”

related by Al-Bukhari.

Prophet Muhammed’s patience in withstanding the difficulties of life, especially when the troubles were severe

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was patient in withstanding life’s problems and hunger. He (peace be upon him) used to be so hungry that he used to tie a stone to his stomach, and his voice would become weak. This is mentioned in the story of one of the Companions with his wife, when he said to her,

“The Messenger of Allah is so hungry that his voice is weak. Do you have anything to give him?”

She said,

“Yes.” Then she took a few loaves of barley bread and wrapped the bread in her head covering. She then sent it to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)

related by Al-Bukhari

And it has been reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

Indeed, I have feared for the sake of Allah like no one else has feared. I have been persecuted in the cause of Allah like no one else has been persecuted. Thirty days and nights have passed over me, and there was nothing with Bilal and I that a living creature could eat except what Bilal could conceal under his armpit related by Ahmed

Imagine, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to patiently withstand the pangs of hunger to this extent?!

Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said to ‘Urwa, “My nephew, we used to wait for the new moon once, twice, three times: three new moons covering two full months, and there was no fire in the Messenger of Allah’s house to cook [food].” ‘Urwa asked, “What sustained you?” Aisha said, “The two black things i.e. dates and water, except that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) had neighbours from the Ansar who had some milch she-camels

—as a gift—

and they used to give the Prophet (peace be upon him) some milk from their house, and he used to give us some to drink”

related by Al-Bukhari

As for his bed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to sleep on a mat and the marks from the mat used to be clear on his side. Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) saw these circumstances of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and as a result cried. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him,

 

So he replied, “Oh Prophet of Allah, why should I not cry when this mat has left marks on your side? And I do not see much in your stores? However, Caesar of Rome and Khosrau of Persia live surrounded by fruit and rivers, and you, Oh Messenger of Allah, are in the situation I just described with the stores I have just mentioned!”

In such a way the Messenger (peace be upon him) was a great example of patience. And he explained his strong faith and his hope of Allah’s blessings as well as [good in] the next life, by saying,

You like to have this life, but I like to have the next life related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim

Should a Muslim work to improve his economic, educational and social circumstances? Or should he just be patient with what he has and not try to improve his situation?

What does it mean when patience is the only act for which one receives a reward without any limit? How will this encourage us to behave?

 

Prophet Muhammed’s patience in withstanding the pain resulting from illness

Abdullah ibn Masoud (may Allah be pleased with him) entered upon the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when he had a fever

—that is, in pain and feeling weary due to a fever—

so he said to him, <’Oh Messenger of Allah, you have a high fever.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied,

‘Yes, the fever I experience is like the fever of two men from among you.’

Consequently, Ibn Masoud said, ‘Is that because you will receive a double reward for it [the fever]?’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied,

‘Yes, that is why. There is no Muslim who is afflicted by any harm, even a prick from a thorn, but Allah expiates his sins because of that, just like a tree sheds its leaves’>

related by Al-Bukhari

Prophet Muhammed’s patience and perseverance in obeying Allah

The Prophet’s patience was not limited to withstanding harm, difficulties and distress, but he was also patient in worshipping Allah (Glorified is He). His Lord ordered him to be like this in His (Glorified is He) saying,

So be patient, [O Muhammad], as those who were resolute among the Messengers were patient Surah Al-Ahqaf: 35

And His saying,

And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast in [doing] this Surah TaHa

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to continue worshipping and performing acts of obedience to Allah until his feet became swollen from standing so long praying. Even this did not make him stop worshipping and performing acts to become close to Allah (Glorified is He). The reason for all this was, as he (peace be upon him) said,

Should I not be a thankful slave related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim

Why has paradise been surrounded by hardships and hell-fire has been surrounded by temptations? What is the wisdom behind this?

Prophet Muhammed’s patience in withstanding calamities

The Prophet’s uncle, Abu Talib, died, his wife, Khadijah, died, all his children except Fatima also died, and his uncle Hamza was killed. May Allah send peace and prayers on him. In fact, his youngest child, Ibrahim, died when he was carrying him in his arms at the age of two years. He (peace be upon him) looked at his dear son that was so close to his heart with tender tears falling on his cheeks, although he was one of the most patient of people, and said,

Truly, the eye sheds tears and the heart is grieved, but we do not say anything except what pleases our Lord. Oh Ibrahim, indeed, we are grieved by your parting related by Al-Bukhari

Prophet Muhammed’s patience

Khadijah, the wise, rightly-guided and resolute wife, died; the one that used to help and support the Prophet died at a time when the call was experiencing many crises. She died when the Muslims were still living in Mecca, during the times of ignorance, before Islam had become strong, and she (may Allah be pleased with her) was his right hand.

Truly, the details of the Prophet’s biography act as sound teachings for the patient, inspired by the sweetness of patience, quenched by the certainty of Allah’s victory and reward, satiated by the taste of experiencing difficulties in Allah’s path, and patience in performing acts of obedience and avoiding sins. He (peace be upon him) never changed his ways and never became angry or never gave up; he derived his patience by being attached to Allah and hoping for His (Glorified is He) blessings

Did you notice if there was a break in the difficulties the Prophet (peace be upon him) experienced during his life at any time? Why do you think this was the case?

How can we follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him)

1.Read the Prophet’s biography and ponder over how patient he was during difficulties and crises that came his way. You have, with the Prophet (peace be upon him), a good example to follow.

2.If you are harmed in your person or your family have been harmed, you are not the only one who has experienced such pain; remember your Prophet (peace be upon him) and how he suffered more than that and remained patient, and make your heart long for the blessings Allah gives the patient ones.

3.Be patient just as he (peace be upon him) used to be patient, and how the resolute Messengers used to be patient. And remember that Allah gives more rewards for patience than He gives for other good deeds. In fact, He gives rewards for it without measure

Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without measure Surah Zumor: 10.

4.Do not let obstacles and problems deter you from calling others to Allah, and know that

Indeed, victory comes with patience

as the Prophet (peace be upon him) told us.

related by Ahmed.

5.Be perseverant in avoiding sins, even though your desires may want otherwise. And be patient in performing acts of obedience, even though you may find it difficult. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

Paradise has been surrounded by hardships and hell-fire has been surrounded by temptations related by Muslim