The courage of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

The courage of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

Brave although unarmed

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was with the Companions in one of the battles in the area of Najd. The valley where they stopped to rest had many trees, so the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) got off his ride under one of the trees and hung his sword on one of the tree’s branches. The people dispersed throughout the valley, taking shade under the trees.

Then an Arab secretly crept up to the Messenger (peace be upon him) when he was sleeping under the tree and took the sword that was hanging on the tree. The Messenger (peace be upon him) woke-up to find the man standing by his head and holding the sword in his hand. The Messenger (peace be upon him) was unarmed and the Companions had dispersed away from him throughout the valley, so no one noticed what was happening at all. The man came closer to the Messenger (peace be upon him) and he was sure that he would overtake the Prophet, as there was an uneven match between them; one was armed and the other was asleep and unarmed!

Then the man said, “Who can stop me from harming you, Oh Muhammed?!” No signs of fear appeared on the Prophet’s face at all; he just confidently said,

Allah!!

The man did not expect such a reply, so he asked again, “Who can stop me from harming you?” The Messenger (peace be upon him) remained steadfast although many others would not be so steadfast in such a situation; he just bravely and confidently replied,

Allah!!

The Prophet’s bravery was a result of his heart being attached to Allah and him relying on his Lord (Glorified is He). At that point, the man started to tremble as he realized he was not standing in front of an ordinary man; so the sword fell from his hand! Consequently, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took the sword and then said to the man,

Who will stop me from harming you?!

The Arab said, “Be better than me (and so forgive me).” Threfore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

Will you bear witness that there is no god [worthy] of worship but Allah.

The man replied, “No! But I promise I will not fight you and I will not join any group of people who are fighting you.” Therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) freed the man, and the man went to his friends

and said to them, “I have just come from the best of people.” It was said that he entered Islam, returned to his people, and many people were guided through him.

From what you have just read, what made the Prophet (peace be upon him) brave and courageous?

The testimony of a brave hero about the bravery of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him)

If the battle became fierce and fighting increased, the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to take shelter with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) confirmed this, although he was one of the bravest and courageous of the Companions. Ali said,

If the fighting became fierce when the two nations met, we used to seek protection from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). And none of us were nearer to the enemy than he was!! related by Ahmed.

Al-Bira’ (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

By Allah, when the battle became fierce we used to seek protection from the one who was the brave one among us and who used to be next to the enemy, that is, the Prophet (peace be upon him)! related by Muslim.

In fact, he used to go ahead of the people at times of fear in order to protect them, and then return to them to calm their fears. Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said, {The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), with regards to his character, was one of the beautiful, the most generous and the bravest of people. Once the people of Medina were frightened after hearing an uproar, so Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) mounted the unsaddled horse of Abu Talha to see what the noise was. Next, he returned and said,

There is nothing to be afraid of!!’ And, we found it (this horse) had become like a torrent of water (indicating its swift-footedness) related by Ahmed.

Does one taking the appropriate means to gain victory and overcome the enemy contradict with being brave and relying on Allah?

The bravery of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) on the battlefield during the battle of Hunayn.

A heroic incident on the battlefield proves that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had unparalleled courage. During the battle of Hunayn, when the Companions were overcome and ran away due to the difficulties they encountered in facing the enemy, the Prophet (peace be upon him), who remained alone on the battlefield--although he was the leader of the army—rode a mule, and moved through the battlefield, announcing,

I am the Prophet; this is no lie. I am the son of Abu Al-Muttalib Until one of the Companions said, I did not see anyone that day who was more courageous than the Prophet (peace be upon him) related by Al-Bukhari.

He stayed on the battlefield, calling out,

Return to me, Oh slaves of Allah!

Until the Companions returned to him to fight the enemy again, defeating them within one hour.

Bravery was one of the virtuous qualities of Prophet Muhammed

Lane-Poole said, speaking about the virtuous qualities of Prophet Muhammed, [Muhammed had many good qualities, like being kind and brave, and having good manners

Lane-Poole

Orientalist and British archeologist

The bravery of Prophet Muhammed during the battle of Uhud

During the most difficult defeat of the Muslims in front of the enemy in the battle of Uhud, we see the Prophet (peace be upon him) remaining courageous. He met Ubayy ibn Khalaf, who said, “Either I kill him [Prophet Muhammed] or I will be killed.”

So the people said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, do you mind if one of us confronts him?”

The Messenger of Allah said,

Leave him be

But when he drew nearer, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took a spear from Al-Harith ibn As-Simmah. When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) took the spear, he raised it high (announcing his attack). One Companion said, “We flew away from him like the flies on the back of a camel fly away when it rises. The Prophet (peace be upon him) then faced him (Ubayy ibn Khalaf), and speared him in his neck so strongly that Ubayy fell from his horse, rolling over and over again. Ubayy ibn Khalaf died on the way back to Mecca.

What is the difference between bravery and recklessness? From what you have read, what do you think of the Prophet’s bravery?

Prophet Muhammed’s bravery when dealing with oppressors and tyrants

Bravery is a quality that was implanted in the Prophet’s heart from its inception, so he (peace be upon him) acted bravely without any hesitation or fear. His bravery was clear in many circumstances, the most important of which includes: him objecting to oppression and standing in the face of oppression without any hesitation or fear.

Ibn Hesham narrated, “A stranger (traveler) entered Mecca with his camel. Abu Jahl bought the camel from him and the stranger asked him for its price [but he refused to give it to him]. The stranger went to one of the Quraishi council gatherings. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was sitting in the mosque at the time. The man said, ‘Oh people of Quraish, who can help me overcome Abu Al-Hakim ibn Hesham (Abu Jahl); I am a stranger travelling through Mecca and he took my right?’”

Ibn Hesham continued, “One of the people in the gathering said to him, ‘Do you see that man sitting over there—pointing to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), mocking him because they knew that there was a disagreement between him and Abu Jahl—go to him as he will overcome Abu Jahl for you.’

The man went to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and said, ‘Oh slave of Allah, Abu Al-Hakim ibn Hesham has not given me my right, and I am just a stranger travelling through Mecca. I asked those people for someone to overcome Abu Jahl for me in order to obtain my rights from him, and they pointed towards you. Take my rights from him, may Allah have mercy on you.’

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

Let’s go to him

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stood up to go with the man. When the others saw the Prophet stand up with the man, one of them said, ‘Follow them and see what he does.’” Ibn Hesham explained, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) left the mosque and went to Abu Jahl’s house. He knocked on his door. Abu Jahl asked, ‘Who is it?’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

Muhammed. Come out to talk to me.

So he opened the door to talk to him. His face showed so much fear that its colour almost changed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

Give this man his right.

Abu Jahl said, ‘Do not leave until I give him his right.’” Ibn Hesham continued, ‘He (Abu Jahl) entered his house and then brought the man’s right and paid him the money. After that, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) left, saying to the man,

Continue on your journey.

Then the man went to the Quraishi council gathering and said, ‘May Allah reward you. By Allah, he obtained my right.

The Prophet’s biography by Ibn Hesham

Bravery is not needed just for fighting and battles. Mention the Prophet’s courage in situations other than military conflicts.

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) encouraged his followers to be brave

The Prophet (peace be upon him) taught his followers to seek refuge with Allah from any form of weakness or cowardice. He (peace be upon him) used to supplicate Allah and teach his followers to do likewise, saying

Oh Allah, I seek refuge from You from being cowardly or miserly… related by Bukhari.

One of the greatest forms of confrontations, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) also referred to, entails standing in the face of oppression. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

The best form of struggle in Allah’s cause is to say a word of truth in front of a tyrannical leader related by Abu Dawood.

The Prophet (peace be upon him), referring to struggling and offering one’s life and money in Allah’s cause, also said,

Going backwards and forwards, fighting for Allah’s cause is better than this world and all that is in it related by Al-Bukhari.

The Prophet’s noble character

The personality of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was full of relentless courage

He (the Prophet, peace be upon him) became able, due to the effect of the revelation, to face the tumultuous hurdles of life. He (peace be upon him) had filled his heart with certain faith, and supported himself with relentless courage… Truly, he was well prepared, without feeling fearful or apprehensive, for the enormous tribulations he experienced which such guided Messengers inevitable go through…

Nasreddine Dinet

French artist and author

All the Prophet’s life and all the circumstances he lived through prove how courageous he (peace be upon him) was. His courage was based on sure faith, steadfastness, manners and principles; his courage sprang from his sincere trust on his Lord, his constant good thoughts about Him, and his knowledge that nothing happens to a person except what has been written for him. His courage was a trait that made him not oppress or act tyrannically with anyone. In fact, this bravery gave him strength and courage to make the oppressed victorious over their oppressors, relieve the downtrodden, and uphold noble ethics. What is more wonderful than such courage! And how much do we need to adopt such courage these days!

Bravery, ability and strength does not necessarily mean one is oppressive. From the circumstances you have experienced in your life, mention examples of inappropriate, fake courage which oppressors and tyrants adopt.

How can we follow the Prophet’s example?

1.Make your heart rely only on Allah, alone, to the extent that your Prophet (peace be upon him) relied on Him. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

Know that anything that happens to you will not pass you by, and that anything that passed you by will not have happened to you related by At-Tabarani.

2.Follow the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and be courageous when talking, in your actions and in all circumstances, relying on Allah in Whose Hands is the sovereignty of all matters.

3.Stand by the oppressed and stand up against the oppressor, and truly understand that nothing will happen to you except what Allah has written for you, so courage does not reduce one’s life-span at all or reduce any of the person’s provisions.

4.Your bravery should be as strong as the Prophet’s bravery, and beware of being tyrannical and oppressive. And know that true courage is incompatible with both of these.

5.Be courageous and spend your life and money in spreading the Prophet’s guidance, learning his biography and telling others about the religion which he (peace be upon him) came with.