By: USTAZ DR MOHAMMAD HANNAN HASSAN
Being mocked, insulted, and provoked is nothing new thing for the noble Prophet Muhammad.
Rasulullah responded to this insult and provocation by extending love, forgiveness, and kindness. This is the noble character of Rasulullah, regardless of when he is weak or when he is in power.
How should we honour and glorify the Prophet Muhammad in the face of a provocation?
If our beloved Rasulullah is with us at this time, how would Rasulullah react to the taunts, ridicule, scorn, and provocation against him?
Did Rasulullah act violently against those who mocked, ridiculed, and provoked anger? It is hard to speak on behalf of the noble Prophet, as he is too noble.
Reflecting upon the Prophet’s life history and the events in his life, I try to get inspiration and lessons from the noble life of Rasulullah.
PRAYING FOR HIS PEOPLE
Rasulullah was ridiculed and provoked more than what is happening today. What were his reactions?
Rasulullah did not feel provoked and did not act violently to avenge these insults towards him. On the other hand, Rasulullah responded by extending love, affection, and mercy and offering his prayers, despite being ridiculed and insulted.
The humiliation that Rasulullah received physically and emotionally was far worse than what we see today, which we will never imagine happening what
Rasulullah went through. However, Rasulullah never felt provoked and always reacted wisely with full of love and wisdom.
Can we imagine how the polytheists of Makkah placed faeces, camel intestines, and dirt on the noble shoulders of Rasulullah while he was prostrating in Makkah? Such is a severe abuse that existed during that time.
This incident is narrated in Imam Muslim’s hadith when the Prophet was praying in front of the Kaaba; Abu Jahal and his friends noticed the Prophet praying.
Abu Jahal challenged his friends to throw the faeces and intestines of camels on the Prophet’s noble shoulders while he was prostrating. Some of them followed Abu Jahal’s instructions. They also laughed at Rasulullah and challenged each other.
Rasulullah continued to prostrate and did not raise his head until his daughter, Fatimah, came crying sadly to see how his father was treated like that. Fatimah lifted the excrement from the shoulders of the Prophet. He did not retaliate harshly. Rasulullah only prayed to Allah.
On another occasion, the Prophet was insulted and being called names.
One day, Abu Lahab’s wife, Umm Jamil, followed Rasulullah because she wanted to embarrass him. Umm, Jamil insulted and called Rasulullah “mudhammam,” i.e. a person who is despised and reviled in public, in front of Rasulullah’s companions.
The Prophet did not reply or retaliate. He calmed down and advised his friends not to feel provoked.
Rasulullah said to his companions calmly and confidently, “Do you not see how Allah turned me away from the insults and humiliation of Quraish?
They insulted and called me ‘mudhammam’ while I was Muhammad (the praiseworthy)”.
The Prophet did not feel provoked. The insult does not change the fact that he is a praiseworthy and noble human being. He taught his close friend Abu Bakr patience when insulted and ridiculed.
Abu Hurairah narrated the incident where Abu Bakr was rebuked and humiliated by a man. The Prophet watched that Abu Bakr did not answer the man’s taunts and insults, and the former was amazed and smiled.
Then, faced with constant ridicule, Abu Bakr replied and protested with the man. Witnessing this, Rasulullah was angry and turned away.
Abu Bakr then followed the Prophet and said, “O Messenger of Allah, when he rebuked me, you sat down. But when I answered and contradicted some of his words, you stood up and became angry.
The Prophet then said,” Indeed, when you do not dispute, there are angels with you who answered and defended you. But when you retaliate and protest, the devil comes. And I don’t want to sit with the devil.”
Rasulullah then instructed Abu Bakr, “O Abu Bakr; there are three things that are the right of a servant.
When a servant is oppressed, he leaves it to Allah, and Allah will give him victory.
Second, a servant opens the door of his generosity to connect human relationships, and Allah will bestow wealth on him.
Third, a servant cannot expect an abundance of wealth unless Allah grants it.”
Such is the personality of the Prophet. He was not only physically insulted but emotionally mocked.
ENEMIES BECOME FRIENDS
The glory and self-esteem of Rasulullah are not pawned by this provocation, abomination, and insult. Of course, Rasulullah was saddened by all these abominations and insults.
But Rasulullah’s grief was not for him, but his people and mankind, for those who insulted him. Because they have not yet seen the truth, they have not been given guidance.
That is why Rasulullah prayed for them. Rasulullah did not give up praying and hoped that they would see the truth one day, and he remained optimistic and confident.
Among those who repeatedly insulted and insulted Rasulullah was Abu Jahal, Rasulullah’s strong enemy. Despite insulting and doing various things to Rasulullah, his family and friends, Rasulullah still prayed and hoped to Allah that Abu Jahal would be given guidance. The Prophet prayed: “O Allah! You glorify Islam with one of the two Umar, namely Umar ibn al-Khattab or ‘Amru ibn Hisham (the name of Abu Jahal)”.
Allah then gave guidance to Umar Ibn al-Khattab, who was also among those who insulted Allah’s Messenger and wanted to hurt the Prophet. Umar went to the house of Arqam ibn al-Arqam to kill the Prophet. But instead, Umar embraced Islam when he heard the revelations of Allah.
This is the vision, faith, and belief of the Prophet. He believed that there were still elements of goodness in everyone, and there is still hope for everyone. The insults, blasphemies and scorn hurled by these people are driven by ignorance and arrogance. But this trait is not “permanent or natural” in a person.
These qualities are born because of certain life experiences. The “noble nature” is still inherent in every person. And let us not despair the potential of these noble qualities, no matter how evil a person may be.
Among those who were evil and oppressive in the age during the Prophet’s time later became the Prophet’s companions.
Some may argue that the Prophet acted passively or did not respond violently because he and his companions were weak at the time, and the Prophet was not able to avenge this cruelty. Is this claim true?
The Prophets noble character remains intact when the Prophet and the Muslims became strong and powerful. Is it true that Rasulullah’s passive attitude was due to his weakness? Or because of his mercy and love to his people and mankind? If only al-Habib, our beloved Rasulullah, was with us today.
• The author is the Deputy Mufti of Singapore