One of man’s greatest attributes is great-heartedness. Great-Heartedness is the attribute of being patient, tolerant, and holding a big heart. Narrow- heartedness is the opposite, which can be defined as intolerance and bad-tempered. According to the Holy Quran great-heartedness is the introduction to guidance, whereas narrow- heartedness is the sign of deviation. “Those whom Allah (in His plan) wills to guide,- He opens their breast (chest) to Islam; those whom He wills to leave straying,- He makes their breast (chest) close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus does Allah (lay) the penalty (uncleanliness) on those who refuse to believe.”. 1,2
Great-heartedness is a great investment. When Prophet Musa (PBUH) was commanded by Allah (SWT) to confront the Pharaoh, the first thing he asks from Allah is a big-heart. He was told, “(Saying:) Go thou unto Pharaoh – Lo! he has rebelled.”3 Prophet Musa (PBUH) had realized that he needed a powerful spiritual force to deal with the heavy responsibility given to him. Prophet Musa (PBUH) saw that he was left to deal with a selfish and arrogant man like the Pharaoh on the one hand, and on the other to deal with the ignorant clan of Bani Israeel who kept renewing their demands, failing to obey the laws, and cause trouble; the same clan who when he returned from Miqat had begun worshiping a cow instead of Allah (SWT)!
When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had been appointed by Allah (SWT), he raised his hands in prayer, saying, “My Lord! The first weapon I ask from you in this battlefield is great-heartedness; expand my bosom, deepen my soul as that of a deep sea so it does not storm when faced with various incidents.”4
It was indeed the great-heartedness of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) that had filled up his life with utmost morality. During the time he lived in Mecca, he did not have any power, and was attacked by the None-believers from all directions, and could not defend himself. But in Medinah he was at the head of power, and had established a powerful government, in which the Jewish clan had to abide by the laws of that government. He could have acted cruelly with those who disdained him, just as many leaders during the time had done so. But instead, his divinely gifted great-heartedness made the bearing of all the harms, both the physical and emotional harms possible.
As an example, a young man from a Jewish family because of family prejudices and animosity with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) would pour a bucket full of ashes upon the passing of the prophet by their house on a daily basis to make his clothes filthy.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) had told his companions that they were not to “show a reaction towards the harm and offense of this person to me. And if anyone does so in my absence, I ban you from telling me and tarnish my heart towards him.”
Time passed and this situation continued to repeat. One day the kind prophet realized that the man had not shown himself. Several days passed and still no sign of the young man. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) asked for the health of the man, just as a friend would seek the health of his friend. His companions said that the young man was ill and in his sickbed.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) asked his companions after to prayer to join him in visiting the young man. They arrived at a house where his companions said, “This here is the house of a Jewish man.”
The Prophet said, “I know!” He then knocked. The young man’s father opened the door, and was shocked upon seeing the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HP) at his door.
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) said, “Your son is sick, I have come to visit him; I will sit a few moments then leave.” The man was humbled, and ran to the room of his son saying, “O son! Do not sit for the Prophet of Islam has come to visit you.”
The young man felt so ashamed of his doing and the kindness of the Prophet that he ducked his head under the blanket so he would not have to face the prophet. The Prophet (PBUH&HP) sat by his bed, and said, “Young man, you used to come out and remember me on a daily basis, and its been a few days that you have not come. I have heard you are sick, so I have come to visit you and pray for you so the Lord would heal you and make you successful.”
The young man felt so ashamed, that he cried while reciting, “I bear witness to Allah that there is no god but Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah”. He became Muslim, and in that day the young man’s entire family also became Muslim…
(Selection taken from the book Khatam al-Anbiya by Ayatullah Seyed Mohammad Zia Abadi)
The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 28th of Safar, the anniversary of the demise of the last Messenger, the mercy upon the universe, and master of the Prophets, Prophet Muhammad Mustafa (PBUH&HP)
1. Holy Quran 6:125
2. Some people are very intolerant when it comes to religion related matters and have no patience towards learning; whereas they can be very persistent and energetic in terms of certain worldly activities. How wonderful it is for one to be patient enough to analyze his activities in terms of the Holy Quran and the teachings of Islam, and see if his activities gets him close to Allah (SWT) or not.
3. Holy Quran 79:17
4. Holy Quran 20:25