Patience as virtue of Prophet Muhammad
We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger and loss of wealth and life and fruits of your toil. But give good news to the steadfast: Those who, when disaster strikes them, say, “we belong to Allah and to Him we will return “. Those are the people who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord; they are the ones who are guided.” -Quran 2, Verse 155-157
In his classic book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill, a non-Muslim shared the story of prophet Mohammad (SAW), the last prophet based on a review by Thomas Sugrue. Here is an excerpt:
‘Muhammad was a prophet, but he never performed a miracle. He was not a mystic; he had no formal schooling. He did not begin his mission until he was forty. When he announced that he was the Messenger of God, bringing word of true religion, he was ridiculed and labelled lunatic. Children tripped him and women threw filth upon him. He was banished from his native city, Mecca, and his followers were stripped of their worldly goods and sent into the desert after him. When he had been preaching ten years he had nothing to show for it but banishment, poverty and ridicule.
Yet before another ten years had passed, he was the dictator of all Arabia, ruler of Mecca, and the head of a new world religion which was to sweep to the Danube and the Pyrenees before exhausting the impetus he gave it. That impetus was three-fold: the power of words, the efficacy of prayers, and man’s kinship with God.
His career never made sense. Muhammad was born to impoverished members of a leading family of Mecca. Because Mecca, the crossroads of the world, home of the magic stone called the Ka’aba, great city of trade and the centre of trade routes, was unsanitary, its children were sent to be raised in the desert by the Bedouins. Mohammad was thus nurtured, drawing strength and health from the milk of nomad, vicarious mothers. He tended sheep and soon hired out to a rich widow as leader of her caravans. He travelled to all parts of the Eastern world, talked with many men of diverse beliefs and observed the decline of Christianity into warring sects.
When he was twenty-five, Khadija, the window looked upon him with favour, and married him. Her father would have objected to such a marriage, so she got him drunk and held him up while he gave the paternal blessing. For the next twelve years Mohammad lived as a rich and respected and very shrewd trader. Then he took to wandering on the desert, and one day he returned with the first verse of the Quran and told Khadija that the archangel Gabriel had appeared to him and said that he was to be the Messenger of God.
The Quran, the revealed Word of God, was the closest thing to a miracle in Mohammed’s life. He had not been a poet; he had no gift of words. Yet the verses of Quran, as he received them and recited them to the faithful, were better than any verses which the professional poets of their tribes could produce. This, to the Arabs, was a miracle. To them the gift of words was the greatest gift, the poet was all-powerful. In addition, the Quran said that all men were equal before God, that the world should be a democratic state – Islam.
It was this political heresy, plus Muhammed’s desire to destroy all the 360 idols in the courtyard of the Kaaba, which brought about his banishment. The Idols brought the desert tribes to Mecca, and that meant trade. So the businessmen of Mecca, the capitalists, of which he had been one, set upon Mohammad. Then he retreated to the desert and demanded sovereignty over the world.
The rise of Islam began. Out of the desert came a flame which would not be extinguished – a democratic army fighting as a unit and prepared to die without wincing. Mohammad had invited the Jews and Christians to join him; for he was not building a new religion. He was calling all who believed in one God to join in a single faith.
If the Jews and Christians had accepted his invitation, Islam would have conquered the world. They didn’t. They would not even accept Mohammed’s innovation of humane warfare. When the armies of the Prophet entered Jerusalem, not a single person was killed because of his faith. When the crusaders entered the city, centuries later, not a Muslim man, woman, or child was spared. But the Christians did accept one Muslim idea – the place of learning, the university.’
As explained above based on a review by Thomas Sugrue, Prophet Mohammad (SAW) never gave up despite the challenges he faced from his own people. With patience and perseverance he was able to fulfil his destiny and spread his faith across the Arabian Peninsula, and the world.
Dear Champion, God’s promise is real. It may seem distant or fickle at the beginning, but it is just a matter of time before it comes to fore. Regardless, of our present challenges our noble prophet Mohammad(SAW) has demonstrated to us beyond reasonable doubt that with patience we are WINNERS. With patience, your health, financial, family, business, or personal challenges will become a thing of the past. Be patient, believe in Allah, believe in yourself and be up-and-doing. Before you know it, your final product will be a sunny smile laced with joyful songs of victory. In Suratu Al-Baqarah, Verse 153 Allah says, “Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient, perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere.”
• Ahmad Kareem is a member of NASFAT Public Relations Committee, Headquarters.