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Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) - 38: Believer And Advocate

Islamic Perspectives - Muslim Journals

Arab News & Information - By Adil Salahi

No Prophet ever achieved the sort of success for his message that was achieved by Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Prophet of Islam, with whom the divine message came to its fullness.

Only 23 years separated Muhammad’s first encounter with the Angel Gabriel, who told him that God had chosen him to be His messenger, and the day when he departed this life. In this period, the message of Islam moved from having just a single believer, Muhammad himself, to a faith upheld by the entire population of the Arabian Peninsula. It was able to withstand enormous pressures exerted by the two superpowers of the time. Within less than two decades the Byzantine Empire suffered several defeats and lost large parts of its area to Islam, while the Persian Empire totally collapsed. Nothing of this could have been achieved without the followers of the new faith being totally committed and dedicated to their message, placing it above all considerations.

Such commitment and dedication were never better demonstrated by anyone other than Prophet Muhammad himself. History tells us that firm belief in the message one advocates is the most essential prerequisite for the success of any message. Never did anyone achieve success for any idea he advocated when he himself lacked belief in it, while with firm belief in what they advocated, many others were successful despite lacking the talent of speech making and clarity of expression. What compensated for their shortcomings and helped their success was their belief in what they advocated and their total commitment to it.

When we study Prophet Muhammad’s attitude to his message, we find that he was always certain of what he was about to do. His encounter with the Angel was a unique experience for which he was totally unprepared. How could he prepare himself to it when there is nothing in human experience to tell him what to expect and how to behave?

Muhammad had long felt that there was much wrong with human life, but he had no idea how that could be corrected. When he was told by the Angel of his role which would set human life on a totally new footing, his steady character and wise attitude led him first to make sure that what he received was true. Most people would jump on a chance that promised personal success or glory. What Muhammad was told by the Angel was certain to bring him everlasting glory. Yet Muhammad showed no haste and betrayed no rashness. He did not say to those around him: “Yes, I will be the savior of mankind!” as indeed he was. He first of all wanted to make sure.

His efforts to ascertain the truth of what he was told were not concerned with the main point of the message: i.e. God’s oneness. He had long felt clear aversion to idol worship, which was the prevalent religion in his community. He wanted to be sure that the one whom he saw was an angel, and what he told him was the truth. Hence, the reassurance given to him by his wife’s cousin, Waraqah, the sage who had studied the Bible and knew the history of earlier prophets was very important. When he made sure and realized that he was the one to deliver God’s message to mankind, he summed up his role in a few words he said to his wife. When she told him to take some rest so that he could approach his task more comfortably, he said: “The time for sleep is over, Khadijah.”

These words put in a nutshell his approach to his task. Hence, it is no surprise that he was so successful.

 

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