Prophet Muhammad and Tolerance
In the name of Allah, most merciful, most gracious: Please permit space in your widely circulated medium to ponder my thoughts. On the little of the thousands qualities of tolerance bestowed on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) which he demonstrated to the whole mankind. I do believe if we the Muslims emulate a bit of such exemplary example then people will end their misunderstanding of this wonderful religion we found ourselves.
I pray Allah will guide me to do justice to the topic at the same time be just to my readers because this same question about the character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) was posed to his wife Aisha (RA) a person who knew the Prophet in a way no other person did. She was asked about the character of the Holy Prophet, her reply was amazing she said “The character of the Prophet was the Quran.” (Muslim)
Allah gave us a prophet with the best of characters, morals and emotional state of mind. Allah bestowed on him the best of characters, one of which was his exceptional tolerance which is manifested in his life and teachings: The Holy Quran in Sura Al-Qalam 68: 4 reads Wa-innaka laAAala khuluqin AAatheem “And indeed, you are of a great moral character”
During the first thirteen years of his life in Makkah, he and his followers faced so much persecution from his opponents. The Holy Prophet’s companions asked him to curse his opponents the Prophet replied them “I have not been sent to lay a curse upon men but to be a blessing to them.” (Muslim).
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) once decided to personally visit the village of Ta’if east of Makkah, to invite its inhabitants to Islam. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessing of Allah be upon him) was not only rejected by the people of Ta’if but he was stoned, expelled, and they made him to bleed.
According to narrations Angel Gabriel came to him and said: “Allah has heard what your people say to you and how they rejected you. He has ordered the angels of the mountains to obey whatever you tell them to do.” The angel of the mountains called him, greeted him and said, “Send me to do what you wish. If you wish, I will crush them between the two mountains of Makkah.” The Prophet said: “Rather, I hope that Allah will bring forth from their loins those who will worship Allah alone and not associate anything with Him.” (Al-Bukhari)
In Madinah, when Prophet Muhammad and many of his companions migrated he again demonstrated his great character in dealing with his companions and enemies. Allah confirms his blessed character by saying: in Sura Anbiya 21 v 107 which reads “Wama arsalnaka illa rahmatan lilaalameena “We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures”. The Prophet once said: “A true believer is one with whom others feel secure.” (Al-Bukhari)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be with him) was in the mosque with his companions when a man entered the mosque and started urinating right inside the Mosque, the companions were so furious and wanted to grab the man but the Holy Prophet stopped them and said “Do not interrupt his urination (i.e. let him finish). Then the Prophet asked for a pitcher of water to be poured over the place of urine. (Al-Bukhari)
According to report the Holy Prophet Counsel the man and later he accepted Islam though he was pleased with the Holy Prophet only and not his companions but the Holy Prophet unify their minds as they are all brothers. Can someone image what will be his reaction if he witnessed such scene?
In another report once the Holy Prophet’s Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be with him) once have a neighbor who was a Jew he hated the Prophet so much that each day he would throw trash on his way. One day, the Jew did not show up. The Prophet asked about him, and was told that he was sick. So, he went to visit him and inquire about his health with kindness. Upon seeing this, the Jew embraced Islam. Such manners of tolerance gained him the respect even to his enemies, and his followers stood by him through all kinds of hardship and misfortunes.
Once, when the Prophet was sitting at a place in Madinah, along with his companions, a funeral procession was passing by. On seeing this, the Prophet stood up. One of his companions remarked that the funeral was that of a Jew. The Prophet replied: “Was he not a human being?” (Muslim). Prophet Muhammad’s character and qualities are not only for the Muslims to follow, but the sincere seekers who learn about him.
Ma Sha Allah, I praise his noble character and wish to follow it. Our Honorable Dr. Ibrahim Salieu Kamara used to say to us “Knowledge without good character is just like a vehicle without engine”.
By: Alhaji Mohamed Wusha Conteh
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