The Holy Prophet Muhammad
Reform through Example
by Dr. Allah Bakhsh
The Islamic Guardian (UK), April to June 1981 Issue (Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 17–19)
Friend and foe alike are astounded at the amazing and un-paralleled success of the Holy Prophet of Islam [Muhammad (pbuh)]. How was a solitary mortal absolutely shorn of every kind of material, monetary, social and intellectual means of source and strength, able to achieve such a miraculous victory as the Holy Prophet attained within the short period of two decades? Not only was he deprived of all worldly resources but he met with a most determined, fierce and violent opposition for a full decade and a half, from a whole nation equipped with all kinds of pelf and power. The most wonderful phenomenon is that the Holy Prophet worked out this miraculous transformation, despite the most determined and sustained opposition, during the short period of two decades only; a transformation wholesale, complete and perfect, in the outer as well as the inner world of mankind.
How was he able to found at once a new empire, a new civilisation, a new society and a new faith? Friend and foe alike admit his eminent elevation, glorious greatness, and unique and unexcelled achievement. However, there is divergence of opinion as to the exact causes conducive to the Holy Prophet’s un-matched triumph. Sometimes ignorance and prejudice have combined to attribute it to physical force and worldly allurement! Not only was he wanting and bereft of these, but, on the contrary, these were the very hurdles that barred his way. Was the Holy Prophet not a solitary soul, an orphan by birth and un-lettered by breeding; a helpless, forlorn and forsaken man, a most severally persecuted and bitterly tyrannised mortal at the time of his claim and for full fifteen years afterwards? There is no greater fabrication than the charge that he took up the sword and employed force to compel acceptance of his faith. Events of history belie it and bear witness to the contrary.
Early Wars for Defence of Islam:
The Holy Prophet, with his few faithful followers, was surely threatened with total annihilation by the united forces and powerful arms of a whole sub-continent. To his aid were merely a handful of ill-equipped, untrained and ill-provided persons. During the first conflict of Badr, a place of battle situated nearly forty miles from the Muslim headquarters and nearly one hundred and fifty miles from the enemy centre, he could muster only three hundred and thirteen persons including raw and hungry youths to confront one thousand acclaimed warriors. During the second battle at the place of Uhud only three miles from Madina, he had but one-third strength of the enemy forces. In this battle the Holy Prophet received wounds on his face and fell down unconscious. During the third encounter called the battle of Ahzab or Confederates, all the Arabian forces had allied together and were arrayed against him, twenty thousand strong to deal a decisive deathblow to the Muslims. The Muslims were besieged within the city walls, protected only by a ditch from the onrush of the heavy and overwhelming invading numbers. What do these historical events reveal? Were the Muslims invading the Makkans or were the Makkans out to force Muslims to abandon and abjure their faith at the point of the sword?
Expansion of Islam based on Peace:
Two years later, the Holy Prophet, when he marched to Makka for performing Pilgrimage, had with him only fourteen hundred companions. And yet a year and a half after this event (at which the Hudaibiyya Truce was concluded) at the time of the victorious march to Makka, ten thousand Muslims had flocked to the Holy Prophet’s banner. The peace of Hudaibiyya had turned the tables. It was thus during peacetime, a period of calm-pondering and quiet-understanding, that the faith of Islam gained its victorious marches.
Holy Prophet’s emulation of Divine Attributes:
Mercy, kindness, forgiveness, humility, loving-service, tolerance, benevolence, justice, equality and the true reflection of all the Divine attributes had been the weapons that had converted the confronting hostile ranks to convinced adherents. It was the hearts and souls of the opponents that had been won over by the spiritual and moral armoury of the Holy Prophet and his faithful followers. While they displayed Divine-qualities during the daytime in dealing with people, the early Muslims humbled themselves before Allah during the night-time for their success. Such a superhuman achievement at once provides positive proof for the truthfulness of the spiritual realities; the existence of a Divine Being and His word as revealed to the Holy Prophet, as well as the fact that at the Holy Prophet’s back, it was He Who aided and assisted him. The Holy Quran has expressed it thus:
فَلَمۡ تَقۡتُلُوۡہُمۡ وَ لٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ قَتَلَہُمۡ ۪ وَ مَا رَمَیۡتَ اِذۡ رَمَیۡتَ وَ لٰکِنَّ اللّٰہَ رَمٰی ۚ
“It was not you that killed them (i.e., the enemy in battle) but it was Allah Who killed them. It was not thou that didst smite them but it was Allah Who smote them” (The Holy Quran, 8:17).
Through self-annihilation and imbibing Divine attributes in their lives, the Holy Prophet and his followers had invoked Divine blessings and Divine-benediction in their favour. The conflicts that ensued were truly the conflicts between Divine attributes and the forces of the devil. According to the eternal Divine Law, the forces Divine were predestined to be victorious.
اَلَاۤ اِنَّ حِزۡبَ اللّٰہِ ہُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۲﴾
“Beware, the forces of Allah are the achievers” (The Holy Quran, 58:22).
اَلَاۤ اِنَّ حِزۡبَ الشَّیۡطٰنِ ہُمُ الۡخٰسِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾
“Be sure, the forces of the devil are the vanquished ones” (The Holy Quran, 58:19).
If Muslims today were again to demonstrate the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet, they have no other alternative but to imbue themselves with Divine traits in the true following of the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) in conformity with qualities as explained in the following verse:
لَا تَجِدُ قَوۡمًا یُّؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ یُوَآدُّوۡنَ مَنۡ حَآدَّ اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ وَ لَوۡ کَانُوۡۤا اٰبَآءَہُمۡ اَوۡ اَبۡنَآءَہُمۡ اَوۡ اِخۡوَانَہُمۡ اَوۡ عَشِیۡرَتَہُمۡ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ کَتَبَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمُ الۡاِیۡمَانَ وَ اَیَّدَہُمۡ بِرُوۡحٍ مِّنۡہُ ؕ وَ یُدۡخِلُہُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا ؕ رَضِیَ اللّٰہُ عَنۡہُمۡ وَ رَضُوۡا عَنۡہُ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ حِزۡبُ اللّٰہِ ؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ حِزۡبَ اللّٰہِ ہُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۲﴾
“Thou wilt not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, though they be their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kinsfolk. These are they (the believers) into whose hearts He has impressed faith and strengthened them with the spirit from Himself… they are Allah’s host. Surely Allah’s hosts are the successful ones” (The Holy Quran, 58:22).