Anecdotes from the Life of the Prophet Muhammad

by Mumtaz Ahmad Faruqui

A Captive Christian Lady and Muhammad

Muhammad was compelled to wage wars, but never was a sword drawn except as the last resort to defend human life and secure safety for it. These battles proved useful in one way: they furnished occasions for the revelation of the nobility of the character of the Prophet, especially when dealing with the defeated and the prisoners of war. On one such occasion, after the defeat of the clan Tayy of Yemen (South-West Arabia), a band of Christian prisoners was brought before the Prophet. Amongst them was seen a group of women led by Safana, the daughter of Hatim, a widely famed Christian philanthropist. When the Prophet came to know of her lineage, he showed her great respect. He informed her that the generosity of her father called for tender treatment of his daughter.

“God loves those who are kind to His creatures,”

said the Prophet to the lady.

“And Islam aims at inculcating the higher virtues, and consequently, it must recognise them wherever they exist.”

So, saying, the Prophet set Safana free. Emboldened by this kind treatment, the lady came to the rescue of her fellow-prisoners, and entreated the Prophet to also set her companions free, as otherwise her liberty remained unattractive. Thereupon, the Prophet liberated them all and had them escorted back to their homes.