The Holy Prophet was totally different from the people among whom he was born and with whom he lived as a child and adult. He never told a lie and was known as Sadiq and Amin- The Truthful and Trustworthy. He talked politely and never used abusive language. In his dealings with people, he always followed the principle of justice. He remained engaged in trade for many years, which he conducted with honesty and intregity. Those who dealt with him in business had the fullest confidence in his integrity. Even his enemies deposited their valuables with him for safe custody.
He caused harm to no one; rather he suffered hardships for the sake of others. He kept away from tribal feuds and rivalries and was foremost in bringing about reconciliation among enemies. Thus, the personality of the Holy Prophet may be compared to a beacon of light in the midst of dark and dismal surroundings.
Honesty and Truthfulness
The Holy Prophet PBUH proved by his example that he was the most honest and truthful person, and all the people in Makkah acknowledged this fact. He was a poor orphan who started trading and within a very short time due to his honest and fair dealings with people, he came to be known as Al-Sadiq-The Truthful and Al-Amin – The Trustworthy. Everyone in Makkah called him by these names.
His first wife, Khadija, married him because of his excellent character. She was a rich widow who would hire men to take her goods to other countries on a profit sharing basis. When she heard of Hazrat Muhammad’s honesty and trustworthiness, she asked him to take her goods to Syria for trade. His trading in Syria resulted in large profits for Khadija. She was so impressed by his honesty that she proposed marriage to him.
At the time of reconstruction of Ka’abah a dispute arose among the various tribes of Makkah about laying the Black Stone in its proper place, everyone wanted the honour. The elders agreed that the first person to enter the Ka’abah the next morning, would decide the issue, Next morning, Hazrat Muhammad PBUH was the first person to enter the Ka’abah. The ne people were happy to accept his decision because they trusted his judgement to be fair and unbiased.
After the first revelation, when he came nome and narrated to Khadija what had happened in the cave of Hira, she consoled him and said that Allah knew of his fine character and truthful nature and He would not let him come to any harm.
When he was told to preach Islam openly, he gathered the Quraish near the mount of Safa and asked them: “O Quraish! If I Say that an army is advancing on you from behind the mountain, would you believe me?”
They all replied! “Yes, because, We have never heard you tell a lie”.
The unbelievers of Makkah rejected him, abused him and said that he was mad, but they never called him a liar. Even Abu Jahl, his bitterest enemy often said: “Muhammad, I do not say that you are a liar, but what you say I do not think right” (Afzal-ur-Rehman: Muhammad: Encyclopedia of Seerah)
When the king of Rome received a letter from the Holy Prophet PBUH inviting him to Islam, he invited the Arab traders visiting his country. He questioned their leader, Abu Sufyan, who was till then a bitter enemy of Islam: “Did you ever find Muhammad PBUH telling a lie before his claim to prophethood?” Abu Sufyan replied that he had not. Then the king said: “I asked you if he had ever told a lie and you replied that he had not. I am sure, if he had spoken unjustly against God, he would not have abstained from speaking falsely against human beings.”
The Holy Prophet PBUH practised honesty and truthfulness in his life and preached it to others. He lived his life in purity and virtue among unbelievers and this was acknowledged even by his bitterest enemies who knew that he was the most honest person among them.
The Holy Prophet PBUH was a very humble person. He lived humbly all his life and never boasted of his social or political status even after his success at Madinah. There are many incidents of his humility reported by his companions and recorded in history books.
Anas said that Allah’s messenger used to visit the sick, accompany funerals and accept the invitation of slaves.
It is reported by Anas that when Allah’ s messenger performed pilgrimage, he kept on repeating:
“O Allah! Make this pilgrimage a pilgrimage without pretence and fame.”
His companions had a great deal of love and respect for him; however they did not stand up when he entered a room, as he disliked it. He did not wish to be treated as a ruler. (Tirmizi)
Someone asked Hazrat Aisha about the Holy Prophet’s PBUH life at home. She replied that he did household work. He mended clothes and shoes, milked the goats and swept the house. He shared and ate his meals with the slaves and the poor. He sat with the needy and the destitute in such a way that no one could tell the difference between him and poor people. When he went to an assembly, he sat wherever he found place.When he was entering Makkah as a conqueror, he was not proud or boastful like a worldly conqueror. An expression of humility and gentleness was on his face and he lowered his nead in such a way that it touched the saddle of his camel.It is reported by Hazrat Umar that he heard the Holy Prophet say: “Do not praise me as the Christians praise the son of Mary. I am a servant of God, call me a servant and messenger of God.”(Tirmizi)
Another one of his Companions reported him as saying: “Allah has revealed to me that you must be humble, so that no one boasts that he is better than another.
“Abu Hurairah reported that Allah’s messenger said that whoever adopts humility for the sake of Allah would be raised in status by him. One of the functions of Allah’s messengers was to practice and preach humility. The Holy Quran says:
“before thee We sent (messengers) to many nations, and We afflicted the nations With suffering and adversity, that they might learn humility.” (6:42)
The Holy Prophet always lived in a humble way and taught his followers to do the same. He lived the life of an ordinary human being and showed by his own example, how to lnve humbly, even in greatness. Forgiveness A great quality of the Holy Prophet was that he never took revenge from anyone and always forgave even his bitterest enemies. Hazrat Aisha said that Allah’s Messenger never returned evil for evil, but would always forgive and pardon. The Quraish rebuked him, taunted and mocked at him, beat him and abused him. They even tried to kill him. When the persecution and aggression of the Quraish became unbearable, his companions requested him to curse them, but the Holy Prophet PBUH said:
“O Allah! Forgive my people for they know not.”(Afzal-ur-Rehman: Encyclopedia of Seerah Vol.1)
After the Holy Prophet’s PBUH migration to Madinah, the Quraish waged many wars against him. In the Battle of Uhad, when his head and face were injured, his Companions asked him, to curse them, but he said that he was not sent to curse people but to invite them to the path of Allah. when the Holy Prophet PBUH entered Makkah victorious with an army of 10,000 men, he did not take revenge, but forgave everyone. Even his enemy Abu Sufyan who fought against him, was forgiven and anyone who took refuge in his house was also forgiven.
After the conquest of Makkah, the Abyssinian slave who had killed Hazrat Hamza in the battle of Uhud, and Hinda, who had torn out his liver, came to the Holy Prophet and accepted Islam. Both were forgiven. The people of Taif, who threw stones at the Holy Prophet PBUH when he visited that town in order to invite them to Islam, and the Jews of Medinah who were always engaged in hostile activities against the Muslims, were also forgiven by him. Abdullah bin Ubbay, the leader of the hypocrites, worked all his life against the Holy Prophet and Islam. He was continuously involved in intrigues with the chiefs of Makkah to Wage war against the Muslims. In the Battle of Uhad, he deserted With three hundred of his supporters, thus weakening the Muslim army. Yet, after his death, the Holy Prophet PBUH prayed to Allah to forgive him. The Holy Prophet was an example of forgiveness and kindness, as mentioned in the Holy Quran:
“Hold to forgiveness, command what is right.” (7:199)
Fulfilment of Promises
The Holy Prophet always fulfilled hi promises. He was always held in such trust that people left their valuables with him for safe keeping. When the king of Rome received a letter from the Holy Prophet inviting him to Islam. He called the Arab traders who were then visiting his country. He asked some questions about the Holy Prophet from their leader Abu Sufyan, who was at that time, one of the bitterest enemies of Islam. One of the questions was whether the Holy Prophet had ever broken his promise. Abu Sufyan replied that he had never broken his promise.
One of the conditions of the Treaty of Hudaibiya was that if any Muslim from Makkah went to Madinah, he would be returned. When the Treaty of Hudaibiya was being written, Abu Jandal, bound in chains, escaped from Makkah and came to the Prophet, asking for refuge. The Musiims were shocked to see him in this condition, but the Holy Prophet said to him: “O Abu Jandal Be patient, we cannot break the treaty. Allah will very soon find a way for you. He was returned to the people of Makkah.
Two companions of the Holy Prophet, while coming from Makkah were caught by the unbelievers. They were released on the condition that they would not fight on the side of the Muslims in the battle of Badr. They came to the Holy Prophet and informed him about the incident. The Muslims were very few in number and needed more men to fight against the unbelievers, but the Holy Prophet said:
“Both o you must go back; we will keep the Promise under all circumstances.”
By always keeping his promises and contracts the Holy Prophet PBUH set an example for all mankind.