One of the most important events that attracted people to Islam was Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) sublime manners, namely his overall nature, contentment, patience, and demeanor. The following account is an example of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) forbearance.
On his way towards conquering Mecca with an army of about ten-thousand people, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) ordered his men to torch a piece of wood and hold it high. At the time, Abu Sufyan, who was a citizen of Mecca and was doing his best to fight Islam and prevent its spread, e.g. as commander in leading several wars against Islam and the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP), sent an envoy to obtain news from around the city. When the envoy did not return, Abu Sufyan went to analyze the situation himself. When he realized that the Non-Believers were not prepared enough for war and that their defeat is certain, he agreed to the suggestion of one of his soldiers and headed to the Prophet (PBUH&HP) to ask for a respite. The holy prophet granted him a respite until morning.(1) In the morning, Abu Sufyan was brought to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and accepted to become a Muslim – although apparently and not sincerely- to be safe.
After that, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) said to him, “return, you and the ones in your house are safe. Tell the residents, whoever stays home and closes the doors is safe”(2).
Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) plan for secretly moving the Muslim army towards Mecca startled the Non-Believers, who took to their houses and left only a few to fight. As a result, the Muslim army conquered Mecca with minimum fighting, which ties in with the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) command of “do not start a war unless others initiate it”.
This historical account clearly illustrates that the Prophet (PBUH&HP) managed to conquer Mecca with the least possible fight, and even then granted security to Abu-Sufyan instead of killing or captivating him. It is noteworthy that Abu Sufyan was responsible for expelling, murdering, and torturing Muslims and the holy Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) family. In addition, the others who had taken shelter in their houses were pardoned in spite of their fights against Islam. These people had been asked to become Muslims in previous years, but had refused.
When the Muslims arrived in Mecca, they chanted “today is the day of bloodshed”. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) became sad and changed the slogan to, “today is the day of mercy and forbearance”. This was not the first sample of the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) forbearance that people had observed. Being kind to slaves, pardoning the sinners, doing good to the enemies, and avoiding avenging are just a few of the Prophet (PBUH&HP)’s demeanor as observed on various occasions.
This forbearance resulted in:
Attracting Non-Believers to Islam (due to the noble moral of Prophet (PBUH&HP))
Preventing bloodshed and further hatred;
Welcoming Islam by Non-Believers, who were at severe financial losses and casualties because of their leaders; this helped the growth of Islam
Indeed! Forbearance and benevolence were the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) approach. Now the question one should ask him/herself is whether those who kill and torture both Muslims and Non-Muslims in the name of Islam are followers of Islam? Or are they just using the name of Islam?
(Selection taken from How does the sun of Islam shine? by Muhammad Baqir Alam o-alhoda)
Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the 17th of Rabee al-Awwal, the auspicious birthday of the caller to faith and mercy, and the Final Messenger, Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah (PBUH&HP)
1. I’laam al-Wara, P. 108, Bihaar al-Anwaar, vol. 21, p. 129
2. Al-Khisaal, vol 1, pg. 133; Bihaar alAnwar, vol. 21, pg. 117