A true Muslim should possess strong will and determination. He must face the ups and downs of life with the courage and determination that is cultivated through Imaan. Whether facing hardship or stress, in all circumstances, he must strive to live his life in servitude to Allah (swt), brimming with Imaan and absolute conviction. We see in the Messenger of Allah ﷺ the best example of bravery and chivalry. He ﷺ was, of course, the bravest of all creation, as well as the most determined and courageous.
Here, we share an example of the courage and bravery of the Prophet ﷺ in upholding the truth in front of the oppressor. This event happened right before the departure from Mecca. This was the time when the hatred and persecution by the Quraish against the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had reached its peak. It was at a time when this oppressor, Abu Jahl, reveled in power and stature amongst his people. Such were the times that no stranger was able find reprieve from his cruelty. It was then that a man from the Iraashi (الْإِرَاشِيّ) tribe came to Mecca with some camels for trade. Abu Jahl, the enemy of Allah (swt) and His Messenger ﷺ bought all the camels from him, but then started avoiding paying the price. The man was compelled to take his grievance to the people and sought their help in redressing this atrocity. However, he found neither a helper, nor savior. It was then that a group from amongst the Quraysh advised him to approach the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and that he ﷺ may be able to help him. This advice was nothing more than a cruel joke, as the people knew very well the ongoing animosity between the Prophet of Allah ﷺ and Abu Jahl. So the man approached the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and said, “O Abdullah, Abu Hakim bin Hisham (Abu Jahl) has dispossessed me from what was rightfully mine. I am a stranger in this land, and a traveler. I went to the people seeking a man who would help me in obtaining my right.” They sent me to you, so if you are able to help me in obtaining that which is rightfully mine, then may Allah (swt) bless you. The Prophet ﷺ got up and accompanied him. When the people of Quraish saw Prophet ﷺ standing by this man, they said to one of their men, “Follow them and see what they do.”
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ accompanied him to Abu Jahl’s house and knocked on the door. Abu Jahl enquired, “Who is it?” He ﷺ replied: «مُحَمّدٌ فَاخْرُجْ إلَيّ» “I am Mohammed ﷺ, come out.” When Abu Jahl emerged from his house, his face turned pale. The Prophet ﷺ told Abu Jahl: «أَعْطِ هَذَا الرّجُلَ حَقّهُ» “Give the man his due.” Abu Jahl replied: “You stand here, while I give him his due this very moment.” Abu Jahl went back into his home and brought the payment for the camels, and handed it over to the man. Then the Messenger of Allah ﷺ returned and said to the Iraashi tribal man, «اِلْحَقْ بِشَأْنِك»“Now you can do your work with peace.” That Iraashi tribal then approached the people and said: “May Allah reward him ﷺ well.” (Seerah Ibn Hisham 1/839)
Regarding the Prophet ﷺ’s bravery and courage in the battlefield, Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) said: «كنَّا إذا احْمَرَّ البأسُ، ولقيَ القومُ القومَ، اتَّقَينا برسولِ اللَّهِ صلَّى اللَّهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ، فما يَكونُ منَّا أحدٌ أدنى مِنَ القومِ منهُ» “When the war heated up, and the armies engaged, we would protect ourselves through the Messenger of Allah, none of us could be nearer to the enemy’s armies than the Prophet of Allah ﷺ.” (Masnad Ahmad: 343/2) It was a known practice that the army would surround the leader in order to protect the life of its leader, and not the other way around. What to say, of the bravery of the Prophet ﷺ, that he ﷺ always chose to remain close to the enemy during heavy fighting because of his ﷺ’s bravery.
Another example of the bravery and courage of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ Allah, was when once Prophet ﷺ and his companions (ra) were in danger. In this regard, Anas Ibn Malik said: He ﷺ was the best of all people, the most generous, and the bravest. One night it happened so that the people of Medina heard a voice, and got scared, and in order to enquire the source, they started walking in its direction. On the way, they met the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, who was going towards the sound even before them. He ﷺ was riding Abu Talha’s horse. There was no saddle on the horse, he had a sword in his neck, and was saying to the people, «يا أيُّها النَّاسُ لَن تُراعوا» “O people! Do not be afraid.” And he kept telling people to go back, then about the horse he ﷺ said, «وَجَدْنَاهُ بَحْرًا» “I found it (by the) river” or said «إِنَّهُ لَبَحْرٌ» “This horse is a river.”” (Sahih Ibn Majah 2254) So we see that he ﷺ was the first to investigate matters in order to reduce the panic of the people, and calmed them down so that they were not afraid.
Another event in which his ﷺ’s bravery was revealed in an unmatched form, was once when he ﷺ was on a military campaign on the outskirts of Najd with his Companions (ra). They arrived at a valley with many trees. He ﷺ approached a tree and hung his sword with one of its branches, while the rest of the Companions (ra) spread around, so that they could rest under the shades of trees. Suddenly a villager emerged from hiding, near the Rasulullah ﷺ while he was resting under the tree, and he grabbed his sword in his hand, and Prophet ﷺ awakened. The man appeared to him with his sword in his hand, whilst the Prophet ﷺ was unarmed, and the Companions (ra) were scattered all across the valley and no one else had any idea about this situation. The man became close to Rasulullah ﷺ and thought that he was close to harming the Prophet ﷺ, because in his view there were no comparisons between a sleeping man and an armed one, so the man said: O Muhammad! “Who will save you now?” The Messenger of Allah ﷺ neither felt any fear and nor did he show any signs of panic and only said: «الله» “Allah” to which, the man was shocked and then asked again, «من يمنعك مني؟» “Who will save you?” Reaching a point at which most people shudder, the Prophet ﷺ exhibited exemplary steadfastness and replied with boldness and complete confidence, “Allah!!.” Since his bravery was borne from a close relationship with Allah and a powerful leaning and attachment towards Allah (swt), upon seeing this reaction, the villager was so dumbfounded, that he realized that he was not standing in front of an ordinary man. The sword fell from his hand. Then he ﷺ picked up his sword and raised it with calmness and said to the villager, «من يمنعك مني؟» “Who will save you now?” The poor man said, “The one who catches the sword best (i.e. himself).” To which, Prophet ﷺ asked him «أتشهد أن لا إله إلا الله؟» whether he now professes faith in Islam, and that he believes in Allah (swt) being the one true Creator, and that he ﷺ was His messenger. To this, the villager replied “No, but I promise you that I will neither fight with you nor will I be alongside those who fight you.” The Prophet ﷺ let him go, and this man went back to his comrades. He said to them, وقيل: إنه أسلم ورجع إلى قومه فاهتدى به خلق كثير “I am coming from a person who is the best of all people.” It has also been reported that the man returned to his people as a Muslim and many people received guidance on his hands.
Prophet ﷺ has urged his Ummah to be courageous, and has described it as a method of seeking love and blessings from Allah (swt). The Prophet ﷺ said: «ثَلاَثَةٌ يُحِبُّهُمُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ…. وَرَجُلٌ كَانَ فِي سَرِيَّةٍ فَلَقُوا الْعَدُوَّ فَهُزِمُوا فَأَقْبَلَ بِصَدْرِهِ حَتَّى يُقْتَلَ أَوْ يَفْتَحَ اللَّهُ لَهُ» “Three types of persons whom Allah (swt) loves. One of them is the one enters a war and finds it brimming with enemies numbering many, and he and his army is then defeated by the opposing army, but they retreat, regain strength, and then return to the enemy forces with renewed vigor, and he and his army keep fighting until they are either martyred, or Allah (swt) grants them victory.” [An-Nisa’i]
The Prophet ﷺ never for once use his bravery for personal revenge. This was for the sake of Allah (swt) only. It is narrated by Umm al-Mu’minin ‘A’isha (ra), that«ما ضرب رسولُ اللهِ صلَّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّمَ شيئًا قطُّ بيدِه، ولا امرأةً، ولا خادمًا، إلا أن يجاهدَ في سبيلِ اللهِ، وما نِيلَ منهُ شيٌء قطُّ فينتقمُ من صاحبِه، إلا أن يُنتهك شيٌء من محارمِ اللهِ فينتقمُ للهِ عزَّ وجلَّ» “Allah’s Messenger ﷺ never beat anyone with his hand, neither a woman nor a servant, but only, in the case when he had been fighting in the cause of Allah and he never took revenge for anything unless the things made inviolable by Allah were made violable; he then took revenge for Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.” [Muslim]
Translated from the Arabic Al Waie Magazine Issue 399