The honesty of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

The honesty of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

And he who says the truth and those who confirm it — those are the people who are God-fearing Surah Al-Zumar: 33.

Quraish testified to the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

Three years after Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was sent as a Prophet, Allah ordered him to call people to Islam in public. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) climbed to the top of Safa mountain and called,

“Oh tribe of so-and-so, and such-and-such,” calling them by their different names in order for the tribes to gather. All of them went to him, and if a person was not able to go, he sent a messenger instead.

Why do you think they all replied to him?

This is because the call came from one who was truthful and trustworthy. In such a way, all of these people testified to the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and they wanted to learn why he had called them all and what he had to say to them.

After they had all gathered, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,

If I told you that behind this mountain is cavalry who wish to attack you, would you believe me? related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

The people declared openly, “We have never heard you lie, even once.”

Allah is the Greatest… Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made them establish the truth by their own words, as the people testified, acknowledging with their own tongues, that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was truthful and not a liar. They had lived with him for forty years before he was sent as a Prophet, calling him by the nickname Al-Ameen (the truthful and trustworthy one); they never heard him lie or be treacherous, or saw him act badly.

At that point, Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) proceeded to do what he was ordered to do with regards to spreading the Message in public, so he said,

“I am a warner to you of a very severe torture (if you do not hold the proper belief).” In reply, Abu Lahab replied, cursing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by saying, “May you be cut off! Is this why you called us all?! related by Muslim.

The unbelievers of Quraish knew that Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was truthful

This was truly the case as the unbelievers of Quraish knew, deep within themselves, that Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was truthful. In fact, they acknowledged that he was so, but they did not believe in him for their own personal interests and desires

Bertley Heller

A German orientalist

Think deeply about this situation. Even after Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) told them that he was a Prophet, Abu Lahib’s reply was, “May you be cut off,” and he unashamedly denied what Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said! But the unbelievers of Quraish knew deep down that Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was truthful, in fact they acknowledged this, but they did not believe in him for fear of their own personal interests and desires.

In general, no praiseworthy quality can be mentioned but it can be attributed to Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). The biography of the Prophet is full of incidents that indicate that he was truthful. These include:

The Lord of the worlds testifying that Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was truthful

Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was very truthful. Those near and far from him have testified to this, but the testimony of his Lord praising him is enough. He (Glorified is He) says:

And the one who has brought the truth and [they who] believed in it - those are the righteous. Surah Al-Zumar: 33.

And Allah told the truth when He says about the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him):

Rather, he has brought the truth and confirmed the Messengers Surah As-Saffat: 37.

And says:

Your companion is neither astray or misguided, nor does he say [anything] from [his own] desires. It is no less than inspiration sent down to him) Surah An-Najm: 2-4.

Nothing is more beneficial for the slave than being truthful to his Lord in all his affairs as well as being truly determined. Consequently, his truthfulness and determination is recognized, as Allah (Glorified is He) says:

Once the matter [of fighting in Allah’s cause] is resolved upon, being true to Allah would be better for them Surah Muhammed: 21.

He attains happiness because of being truly determined and honest. And who is truthful to Allah in all his affairs, He will arrange for him better than what He arranges for others.

How can you lay down steps in order to be truthful in all circumstances in your life?

Modern science testifies to the Prophet’s truthfulness

Proof of this can be found in the hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Masoud, who said that Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), who is the truthful and the one who was truly inspired, said,

(As regards your creation), every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for another forty days, and then a piece of flesh for another forty days. Then Allah sends an angel to write four items: He writes his deeds, time of his death, means of his livelihood, and whether he will be wretched or blessed (in the religion). Then the soul is breathed into his body. Consequently, So a man may do deeds characteristic of the people of the hell-fire, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses him, and so he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise and enters Paradise until the end of the hadith. related by Al-Bukhari.

When Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) mentioned this hadith, it was very strange, as there was no proof at all to support it. But now it contains well-known facts of modern science. So who taught him such knowledge?!

Similarly, concerning the hadith:

If a dog drinks from the container of any one of you, wash it [the container] seven times, the first time being with dust> related by Muslim.

modern science has proven that this is the correct way to clean such a container.

Prophet Muhammed’s enemies testify to his truthfulness

The testimony of Abu Sufyan

The best testimony about this is the conversation of Abu Sufyan—before he entered Islam—with Hercules, the Roman leader. The hadith states what Hercules asked Abu Sufyan,

“Did you use to accuse him of lying before he started to say what he now says [that he has a Message from Allah]?” He (Abu Sufyan) replied, “No.” And at the end of the story, Hercules said to Abu Sufyan, “I asked you if you used to accuse him of lying before he started to say what he now says, and you said, ‘No.’ Consequently, I knew that he did not lie to the people, so he would not lie about Allah.”

Fath Al-Bari

What Abu Sufyan said and testified about Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) is clear proof that the Prophet was truthful about his claim of prophethood; Abu Sufyan had seen how the Prophet conversed with others with his own eyes, and lived with him so he understood how Prophet Muhammed thought and how he dealt with others.

He had ‘felt’ the Prophet’s truthfulness; truthfulness has a fragrance that is not smelt by the nose, but is ‘felt’ by the heart!!

Abu Jahl’s testimony

Abu Sufyan ibn Harib’s testimony was not the only testimony of Prophet Muhammed’s truthfulness from one of Prophet Muhammed’s enemies who lived at his time. In fact, there is a testimony from one who was a stronger enemy of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him); that is Abu Jahl. He testified to Prophet Muhammed’s truthfulness and his claim to prophethood; his nephew, Al-Miswar ibn Makhramah, asked about Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), saying, “My uncle, did you used to accuse Muhammed of lying before he said what he is now claiming?”

Abu Jahl replied, “My nephew, by Allah, since the time Muhammed lived with us in his youth, we used to call him by the nickname Al-Ameen (the trustworthy one). We never accused him of lying at all.” Al-Miswar then asked, “Oh uncle, then why do you not follow him?”

Abu Jahl replied, “My nephew, we (Bani ‘Abd Shams) and Bani Hashim have competed with each other for honour.They fed the poor, and we did too. They supplied the pilgrims with water, and we did too. They gave the right of protection (to refugees), and we did too (and so on) until we were almost equal as two race horses. Then they said, ‘A Prophet has appeared from among us.’ How could we ever achieve anything like this?”

The Prophet’s Biography by Ibn Hesham.

On the day of the battle of Badr, Al-Akhnas ibn Shurayq said to Abu Jahl, “Oh Abul-Hakam! Tell me about Muhammad; whether he is truthful or a liar. There is no one from the Quraish who will hear what we say other than you and I.”

Abu Jahl said, “Woe to you! Verily, Muhammad is truthful, and he has never told a lie. But even so, should the offspring of Qusayy take away the flag (of leadership), the care of the Kabah, the duty of giving water to the pilgrims and prophethood, what will be left for the rest of Quraish?”

Hidayat Al-Hayara by Ibn Qayyim.

People testified to his truthfulness, even the enemies. And what the enemies say about a person, if it is not in their favour, has to be the truth.

The above is a conclusive acknowledgement and a clear proof of the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammed’s claim of prophethood. And who gave such a testimony? Abu Jahl, the strongest enemy of the Islamic call! And there is no doubt that a testimony of an enemy about the truthfulness of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) is very weighty; it indicates the great level of truthfulness that the people in general described him (peace be upon him) with.

The truthfulness of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) at times of seriousness and times of humour

We have learnt about the Prophet’s truthfulness on important occasions, but at times of humour Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) used to joke with his Companions. However, he never said anything but the truth. Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said,

I do not joke orby say anything but the truth related by At-Tabarani.

Examples of his truthfulness while joking:

A man came to Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and said, ‘“Oh Messenger of Allah, give me a means to transport things.’” Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said, ‘“A baby camel will be given to you.’” The person said, ‘“What shall I do with a baby camel, O Messenger of Allah? (I want one to transport things).’” The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) replied, ‘“Every camel is always a ‘baby’ of another camel’ related by Abu Dawood.

In fact, Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) warned the people against lying when joking, saying,

Woe to those who lie when telling tales to make people laugh, woe to him related by Ahmed and Abu Dawood.

The words of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) are words of truth coming from an unknown world

We do not consider Muhammed a false liar, one who was deceitful or a fraud, one who desired to be a king or ruler, or one who ran after his own personal wishes. The Message he gave us is nothing but the clear truth, and his word is nothing but the sound of truth coming from an unknown world. Truly, Muhammed (peace be upon him) was not a liar or one who blows his own horn. He was a unique person that appeared in this world to be a shooting star that lit all the globe.

Thomas Carlyle

Scottish writer, satirical critic and historian.

Do you think it is acceptable to lie when joking?

The truthfulness of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) when angry and calm

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) said,

I used to write down everything I heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) as I wanted to preserve it, but the people of Quraish discouraged me from doing this. They said, ‘You write down everything and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is a human who speaks when angry and when calm?!’ Consequently, I stopped writing down such things and told the Messenger of Allah about what had happened. He (peace be upon him) pointed with his finger to his [own] mouth and said, ‘Write, as I swear by the One Who holds my life in His Hands that I say nothing but the truth. related by Ahmed.

The truthfulness of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) during peace and war

Even during war, when lying and tricking the enemy is allowed, Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) was truthful. Ibn Katheer stated in his biography of the Prophet, “The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) left [the Companions] with Abu Bakr to learn news about Quraish. They met an old Arab, and the Messenger of Allah asked him about Quraish, Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and his Companions, and what he had heard about them. The old man said, “I will not tell you anything until you tell me who you are.” Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said, “If you tell us we will tell you.” The old man said, “I heard that Muhammed and his Companions left [Medina] on such-and-such a day. And if what I heard is true, they will be in such-and-such a place—the place where the Messenger of Allah was at that time--today. And I heard that Quraish left on such-and-such a day. And if what I heard was true, they will be in such-and-such a place—the place where Quraish were.” After he had told them the news, he said, “Where are you from?” The Messenger of Allah replied, “We are from water.” Allah (Glorified is He) says:

We have made every living thing from water Surah Al-Anbiya: 30

This is what Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) meant by his words, “We are from water.” In this way he was truthful with the man; if Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) had told the old man the truth about his identity, it would have been a danger for the Muslims. Despite this, Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) did not resort to lying, but he relied on the use of ambiguous words. Using words with two meanings is better than lying. As such, he remained truthful in what he said without harming others, that is, for the benefit of all.

Is there a difference between lying and relying on ambiguity? Explain your answer referring to incidents in the Prophet’s life.

What would you say to a person who thought that a white lie is permissible as long as it does not harm anyone? What is the ruling about April fool’s day?

Mention three incidents you liked in the biography of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) that indicate his truthfulness.

How can you take Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) as an example to follow?

1. Be particular to be always truthful in whatever you say or do, and remain truthful and be close to those who are truthful.

O believers! Be mindful of Allah and be with those who are the truthful Surah At-Tawba: 119 .

2. If you are in a situation when you want to justify how you have acted, do not rely on anything but the truth; it is the way out of difficulties for whoever is truthful.

3. Be truthful in all circumstances, while joking and while being serious. Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said,

Woe to those who lie when they speak in order to make people laugh; woe to him, woe to him

related by Ahmed

4. Be truthful when you speak, at your work, and with regards to your intentions and commitments. Allah (Gorified is He) says:

And when a matter is resolved upon, if they were true to Allah it would be best for them Surah Muhammed: 21 .

5. Follow the example of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) and be truthful to receive the reward of the truthful, to respect yourself, and for the people to respect you.