Allah (swt) has willed that we be of the late group of believers who believed in the Messenger of Allah ﷺ without seeing him. We ask Him (swt) to make us of those whom he ﷺ described:«إِيمَانُ أَحَدِهِمْ بِخَمْسِينَ» “The Eman of one of them is equal to fifty” or forty as was reported.
On his bravery ﷺ, Ali (may Allah bless his face) said: «كُنَّا إِذَا احْمَرَّ الْبَأْسُ وَلَقِيَ الْقَوْمُ الْقَوْمَ، اتَّقَيْنَا بِرَسُولِ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَمَا يَكُونُ مِنَّا أَحَدٌ أَدْنَى مِنَ الْقَوْمِ مِنْهُ» “when the battle grew fierce between the two sides, we used to resort to the Prophet ﷺ for succor. He was always the closest to the enemy.” [Reported by Ahmad]. Anas bin Malek confirms this with what happened to the people of Medina once, when they got frightened because of a loud noise, so the people wanted to know the cause of this noise, and while they were in this situation, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ came forth to them on his horse, holding high his sword, and said: «لَمْ تُرَاعُوا لَمْ تُرَاعُوا» “Don’t get scared, don’t get scared” (reported by Bukhari and Muslim).
And many are the stances that demonstrated the courage of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, as he was brave, and courage was not strange to his personality. Ahmad and Al-Hakim reported in Al-Mustadrak the Hadith of Ibn Mas’oud, who said: «كُنْتُ مَعَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ، فَوَلَّى عَنْهُ النَّاسُ وَثَبَتَ مَعَهُ ثَمَانُونَ رَجُلاً مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالأَنْصَارِ، فَكُنَّا عَلَى أَقْدَامِنَا وَلَمْ نُوَلِّهمُ الدُّبُرَ» “I was with the Prophet ﷺ in (the battle of) Hunayn, people turned away from him, while eighty men of the Muhajireen and Ansar stood firmly with him, so we were steadfast and we did not flee away (from our enemies).” Tirmidhi also reported from the Hadith of Ibn Umar with a sound Isnad, he said: «لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُنَا يَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ وَإِنَّ النَّاسَ لَمُوَلِّينَ وَمَا مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مِائَةُ رَجُل» “I witnessed the day of Hunayn, people were running away, and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ only had one hundred men.” At that point, the bravery of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that is like no other appeared, he said: «طَفِقَ يَرْكُضُ بَغْلَتَهُ قِبَلَ الْكُفَّارِ وَهُوَ يَقُولُ: أَنَا النَّبِيُّ لَا كَذِبْ * أَنَا ابْنُ عَبْدِ الْمُطَّلِبِ» “he was leading his mule towards the kuffar saying: (I am the Prophet, not lying! I am the son of Abdul-Muttalib!)”.
The courage of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, which is as described by our mother Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her: he was a Quran. The Messenger of Allah was a Quran in his tolerance, good character, and generous guidance. He was also a Quran in his firmness, courage and determination. He was a Quran in his strength in the call to Allah, firmness on truth and steadfastness on principle.
This courage and steadfastness, was an approach that teaches Muslims that if he ﷺ had not been steadfast in his command when Quraysh tempted him with money, women, position and power, and when the Arabs fought him and united against him, had he not committed himself to what he was inspired, then Islam and Muslims would not have empowered, وَإِن كَادُوا لَيَفْتِنُونَكَ عَنِ الَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ لِتَفْتَرِيَ عَلَيْنَا غَيْرَهُ وَإِذاً لَّاتَّخَذُوكَ خَلِيلاً * وَلَوْلَا أَن ثَبَّتْنَاكَ لَقَدْ كِدتَّ تَرْكَنُ إِلَيْهِمْ شَيْئاً قَلِيلاً “AND, behold, they [who have gone astray] endeavour to tempt thee away from all [the truth] with which We have inspired thee, [O Prophet,] with a view to making thee invent something else in Our name – in which case they would surely have made thee their friend! And ‘had We not made thee firm [in faith], thou might have inclined to them a little.” [Al-Isra’ 73-74]
It was possible for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to escape on the Day of Hunayn to re-form a strong army to face the Polytheist masses, or give Quraysh some of what they asked and reassure them to keep their harm away from him and devote himself to the call secretly thus increasing the number of Muslims. But he is a teacher for those who follow him of the believers, a rule in the call, and there is no room to deviate from it: The integrity of the method comes before the soundness of the souls.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Tarifi said: “Of the mistakes committed by the Da’wah carriers is limiting Islam to ethics and behavior and leaving Tawheed, Halal and Haraam, and if the apostle of Allah ﷺ limited Islam to that, then Abu Lahab would have been his first believers!” He (Al-Tarifi) says: “When falsehood spreads, many people stay silent when they have the ability to present (the truth) and see in this the lowest ranks of safety, and this is wrong, for Allah (swt) says: سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ “Those who eagerly listen to falsehood” (5:42) i.e. and remain silent.
Every Muslim is liable to be placed in front of the difficult choice, which is easy for those whom Allah aids; to choose between his safety and his steadfastness on the ideology.
The nations gathered against the Muslims and attacked them at once. Islam became terrorism, mental illness and a national danger fought by America, China, Russia and all criminals. They constrict its followers in their livelihoods and fight them with arrest, deportation, murder and violation of honor. Islam is alienated, and the Muslims live in the era described by the Messenger ﷺ: «ثُمَّ جَبَرُوتٌ صَلْعَاءُ لَيْسَ لأَحَدٍ فِيهَا مُتَعَلَّقٌ، تُضْرَبُ فِيهَا الرِّقَابُ، وَتُقْطَعُ فِيهَا الأَيْدِي وَالأَرْجُلُ، وَتُؤْخَذُ فِيهَا الأَمْوَالُ»
And every group is liable for such a test, in which the rightful, sincere and those willing to pay the price of their belief in this great Deen are honored. The same price that Sumayyah, Ammar and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ have paid, and those who love him ﷺ are paying after him.
Steadfastness on the ideology is never easy, and indeed it could be deadly, and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ describes it as holding onto a hot coal. A hot coal would not be cool in the hands of its holder, except for those who seek the glory of the world and the Hereafter and underestimate every hardship in front of the satisfaction of Allah (swt).
The irony is that the safety-seekers do not enjoy it, while those who sacrifice safety for the sake of ideology seeking the pleasure of Allah receive what is unexpected when he chose to sacrifice, of prosperity among the people and the acceptance he finds of the believers and the immortality of his name in the golden pages of history.
History is an unforgettable witness. It narrates to us so that we do not forget or stray, but only the people of thought will remember. If the Judge Ibn Mufleh did not choose the approach of safety when Tamerlane came to occupy Damascus, people would not have forsaken or disagreed – they had previously fought the Tatars a war that exhausted them – and the Tartars wouldn’t have occupied the capital of the Muslims.
The Qur’an teaches us that the person who chooses to bow down to hurdles, he has chosen to relinquish his Deen. Compromise starts with the small acts. Allah (swt) addresses our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: وَلَوْلَا أَن ثَبَّتْنَاكَ لَقَدْ كِدتَّ تَرْكَنُ إِلَيْهِمْ شَيْئاً قَلِيلاً “And had We not made thee firm [in faith], thou might have inclined to them a little”, inclining to the oppressor even if little means compromise, followed by omission, then a total selling of the ideology; thus the punishment: إِذاً لَّأَذَقْنَاكَ ضِعْفَ الْحَيَاةِ وَضِعْفَ الْمَمَاتِ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُ لَكَ عَلَيْنَا نَصِيراً “In which case We would indeed have made thee taste double [chastisement] in life and double [chastisement] after death, and thou wouldst have found none to succour thee against Us!”
Indeed, this is what our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ acknowledged when he said to Quraysh which tempted him with money, fame and women so that he doesn’t disgrace their gods:«وَاللهِ لَوْ وَضَعُوا الشَّمْسَ فِي يَمِينِي وَالْقَمَرَ فِي يَسَارِي عَلَى أَنْ أَتْرُكَ هَذَا الأَمْرَ مَا تَرَكْتُهُ» “By Allah, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to leave this matter, I will not leave it.” The Prophet of Allah ﷺ knew that the Arabs united to fight him, but his response was: «وَاللَّهِ لَيُتِمَّنَّ هَذَا الأَمْرَ،… وَلَكِنَّكُمْ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ» “by Allah, this matter will be fulfilled,… but you are hastening” and it is what Sa’d bin M’uadh acknowledged when he and the Ansar gave the pledge (bay’ah) of war to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, they pledged him to the loss of wealth and the killing of the noble for the sake of making the Deen of Allah victorious.
With these great dispositions, the first State of Islam was established. With these great determinations, Islam reached the whole earth and destroyed the two greatest empires within two decades. These are the dispositions that the Qur’an wants to instill in the hearts of Muslims.
Dispositions that follow the conduct of our Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, who was faced with the oppression of Nimrod alone, when the masses languished and with the naivety of ignorance followed the one who claimed giving death and life. قَالَ أَنَا أُحْيِي وَأُمِيتُ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْتِي بِالشَّمْسِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ فَبُهِتَ الَّذِي كَفَرَ “[The king] replied: “I [too] grant life and deal death!” Ibrahim said: “Verily, Allah causes the sun to rise in the east; cause it, then, to rise in the west!” Thereupon he who was bent on denying the truth remained dumbfounded”
So His Lord said about him: إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةُ “VERILY, Abraham was a man who combined within himself all virtues.”
To be like Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) when he faced Fir’aun alone قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَا رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ * قَالَ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا إِن كُنتُم مُّوقِنِينَ “Pharaoh says: ‘And what (and who) is that The Sustainer of the worlds?’ * [Musa] answered: ‘[He is] the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them: if you would but [allow yourselves to] be convinced!’” [26:23-24]
To have the resolve of Abu Bakr when he protected the Deen by fighting the apostates, saying: “By Allah, if they refused to give me a shackle that they gave Rasoolullah, I would fight them for it.”
A resolve like the resolve of Ja’far when he carried the flag of Rasoolullah after both his hands were cut off, being martyred as a result.
A resolve like the resolve of the leader of the ‘Ulama Al-Izz bin Abdussalam, when he incited Qutuz to fight the Moghuls despite the failure of the ‘Ulama to fight and the fear of the Ummah of them, resulting in the victory of Ain Jalout.
A resolve like the resolve of the Khalifah Sultan Abdul-Hamid who stood in the face of Europe and fought the jewish efforts to occupy Palestine and destroy the Khilafah despite all the temptations, pressures and machinations.
During times of trial, many choose the safe approach, whereas, the truthful ones persevere on the sound method despite their small number. If it was not for this steadiness, victory would not come.
Many people argue that they compromise to facilitate victory professionally, but they forgot that Allah does not want your professional attempt as much as the professional approach and safe path. Would the generation of victory have been born if the people of the ditch chose the safety approach and argued that they wanted to raise a strong and believing generation to avenge the tyrant? No, generations are brought up according to the works of the past, he who sees the cowardice of his father, who is devoid of courage, will grow up to be lowly and hypocrite.
Would Islam have reached us if the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and his companions chose to flatter to Quraish in order to prepare a strong army to support them against the Kuffar of Makkah? No, waiver is like falling from a cliff, there is no rise after it. The matter is frightening and dreadful فَتَزِلَّ قَدَمٌ بَعْدَ ثُبُوتِهَا “[your] foot will slip after having been firm.”
This is a warning from the Lord of the Worlds. Al-Qurtubi says: “it is an exaggeration in the prohibition because of the greatness of its position in religion and frequentation in socializing with people, that is, do not make oaths through encroaching on deceit and corruption, thus your foot slips after being firm, that is, the oath after having knowledge of Allah. This is a metaphor for the righteous one who falls into great evil and falls in it; because when the foot falls, it transfers man from a state of goodness to evil.”
Oh Allah, grant us firmness with the word that stands firm, in this world and in the hereafter.