In an American publication entitled ‘The Hundred,’ the author Dr Michael Hart, places Prophet Muhammad in the number one position of the most successful people in history, writing: “He was the only man in history, who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.” (Dr Michael Hart, The Hundred, New York, 1978) Maulana Wahiduddin Khan explains that the secret of this outstanding success achieved by the Prophet of Islam was, in one word: peace. The Quran states, “Reconciliation is the best.” (4:128) In controversial matters, a peaceful course of action is far more effective than having recourse to violence. The Prophet of Islam was the greatest pacifist in history. He exploited peace as an unconquerable force.

A study of the life of the Prophet of Islam tells us that the Prophet discovered peace both as a complete ideology and as a methodology, which was the most effective strategy in all matters. The mission of the Prophet of Islam was utterly peaceful, that of spiritual purification of individuals. The Quran calls it the purification of the soul (2:129), developing a positive personality. Such a mind re-engineering can only be achieved through counselling and persuasion and awakening man’s ability to think. The means of achieving it is not a political revolution but rather an intellectual revolution. It can only take place in an atmosphere of peace. Prophet Muhammad was a Prophet of Peace to the fullest extent. All the teachings of Islam are entirely based directly or indirectly on the concept of peace.



In the religion brought by Prophet Muhammad, peace was the rule and war was the rare exception, a measure to be resorted to as an unavoidable option in the case of armed aggression by an attacker. Prophet Muhammad demonstrated his profound wisdom in his method of negotiating the Hudaybiyyah peace treaty. By unilaterally accepting the conditions of his opponents, he concluded a historic ten-year no-war pact, without apparently receiving justice or his rights. By means of this peace treaty, the Prophet and his Companions were able to consolidate themselves so thoroughly that they had no need to wage war to attain justice.

The truth is that the above-mentioned principle of the Prophet is not only a religious principle: it is also a law of nature. And it is a fact that in this world only those people achieve success who follow the law of nature, while those who deviate from it are doomed to failure.

A tradition narrated by Ayesha, the Prophet’s wife, provides a guiding principle. She said: ‘Whenever the Prophet had to choose between two courses, he would always opt for the easier one’ (Sahih, Al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 1492). This means that whenever the Prophet had two options before him in any matter, he would always abandon the harder option in favour of the easier one.

This tradition (sunnah) of the Prophet Muhammad is relevant not only to everyday affairs but also to such serious matters as, by their very nature, entail more difficult options.

The truth is that in life we have to face the problem of choosing between two courses: between the confrontational and the non-confrontational, between the peaceful and the violent. The study of the Prophet’s life tells us that the Prophet, in all matters, abandoned the violent or confrontational course in favour of the peaceful or non-confrontational course. The whole life of the Prophet provides a successful, practical example of this principle.

Prophet Muhammad was indeed a Prophet of Peace. He gave an ideology of peace to the world based on the creation plan of God, and a methodology to establish peace based on the Hudaybiyyah model of peace. The exemplary life the Prophet lived serves as an unfailing guide to right thinking and right living. Through his example, man can understand how to live in accordance with the creation plan of God. This is the greatest boon of the Prophet to the modern man. His teachings give man the opportunity to live his life in a far better way, and on a far higher plane.

Source: The Prophet of Peace

Many historians have acknowledged that the Prophet of Islam achieved extraordinary success in his life. For instance, Michael Hart states in his book, The 100, that Prophet Muhammad was supremely successful on both the religious and the secular levels, and places him right at the top of his list of the one hundred most illustrious names in the entire range of human history. (Michael H. Hart. The 100: 1978) But this author does not tell us how the Prophet of Islam managed to achieve this extraordinary success. The secret lay in his being perhaps the first person in history who adopted the principle of ‘peace for the sake of peace’.

Prophet Muhammad went out of his way to follow this policy of peace throughout his life, contrary to the misconception that a significant part of his life was spent waging wars. The Prophet also made the important point that peace in itself does not necessarily lead us to our goals. It rather opens the door to opportunities, by availing of which we can achieve our desired goals. The Prophet of Islam was the Prophet of Peace, in the full sense of the expression. All his teachings, directly or indirectly, are based on peace.

Source: The Prophet of Peace

The study of the Prophet's life shows that he never initiated a military move himself. When his opponents wanted to embroil him in war, he would on all occasions resort to some strategy of avoidance to avert war. He fought only when there was no other way left to him. According to the sunnah of the Prophet, there is no aggressive or offensive war in Islam. Islam allows only a defensive war and that, too, only when there is no other option.

The few ‘battles’ that took place throughout his life were purely defensive in nature. These were of such short duration that they could more appropriately be called skirmishes. The Second World War lasted six years, whereas the total duration of the Prophet’s ‘battles’ was less than six days.

Prophet never waged war against the injustices done to him and his Companions. What he did, first of all, was to establish peace through unilateral adjustment. He later availed of the opportunities this offered to achieve his desired goals. It was this wise principle which the Prophet honoured throughout his entire life.

Political power was not the goal of the Prophet of Islam. The actual goal of his prophetic mission was to help people to lead their lives in accordance with the straight path laid down by God so that they might have an eternal share in God's mercy.

When this objective of the Prophet of Islam’s mission is borne in mind, it becomes abundantly clear that the Prophet of Islam was indeed the Prophet of Peace.

Source: The Prophet of Peace

Contrary to common belief, Islam does not teach its adherents to react against issues such as that of Rushdie and the cartoon issue. Islam teaches patience in the fullest sense of the word.

On the publication of the Satanic verses by Salman Rushdie, the Muslim reaction was to have him killed forthwith; he had committed an unpardonable offense against Islam and the Prophet. All over the world, Muslims demanded his head. They were not prepared to settle for anything less than that. In a similar incident, when the Denmark cartoon was published, the Muslims reacted in much the same manner.

In the modern age, all campaigns are spread like wildfire. Reactions such these give the impression that Muslims are vengeful and violent people. Consequently, in certain Western countries notice boards are put saying, "Beware of Muslims". This shows the extreme fear engendered by the Muslim fundamentalist threat worldwide.

In all fairness one can ask, 'Is this Islam?' Never! God has been represented in Islam as an All Merciful, and the Prophet has been proclaimed the Prophet of Mercy. It is ironical that in the name of such a magnanimous religion, a certain section of the fundamentalists could not appreciate such sentiments far less promote them. Islam can never incite people to committing murder in the name of religion, simply because someone had written a book or published a cartoon which ruffled their emotions.

In the days of the Prophet a large number of Rushdies, Taslima Nasreens and cartoon publishers existed, but none of them were beheaded or protested against for having insulted Islam and its prophet. On the contrary, in the times of the Prophet, the principle of countering words with words was followed. That is why those who spoke out against Islam no matter to what lengths they went were not penalised in any way. All that happened was that the Prophet appointed a poet called Hassan to give a befitting answer in verse to the offenders, poetry being the main mode of public expression and sentiments. This is the example we should follow for the resolution of all such problems in true Islamic spirit and earlier traditions.

The Prophet's name was Muhammad, meaning the praised one or the praiseworthy. But when the Meccans became his most dire opponents, they themselves coined a name for the Prophet, 'Muzammam,' on the pattern of 'Muhammad,' Muzammam meaning condemned. They used to heap abuses on him calling him by this epithet of Muzammam. But the Prophet was never enraged at this distorted version of his name. All he said in return was: "Aren't you surprised that God has turned away the abuses of the Quraysh from me. They abuse a person by the name of Muzammam. Whereas I am Muhammad (Ibn Hisham, 1/379).

This meant that abuses were being heaped on a person whose name was Muzammam. Since the Prophet's name was Muhammad, not Muzammam, their abuses did not apply to him. This shows that Islam does not teach one to be easily provoked, even in cases of extreme provocation.

On another occasion the Prophet of Islam was in the Masjid al-Nabwi in Madinah, the second most sacred mosque in Islam, when a Bedouin, that is, a desert Arab, entered the mosque and urinated inside it. It was obviously a very provocative matter. But the Prophet was not at all provoked. After the nomad had urinated, the Prophet simply asked his companions to bring a bucket of water and wash the place clean (Fathul Bari, 1/386).

A western commentator, William Patron, has observed: One of the fruits of Islam has been that stubborn durable patience which comes out of the submission to the absolute will of God.

This observation is indeed very apt. Islam attaches great importance to patience. Most of the verses of the Qur'an have a bearing, directly or indirectly, upon this virtue. In truth, patience is an attribute without which the very thought of Islam is unimaginable.

The present world is designed in such a way that here one has repeatedly to face unpleasant experiences, inside as well as outside the home. Now if people were to fall to wrangling on all such occasions, they would fail to advance along the path of human progress. That is why Islam has placed great emphasis on patience, so that by avoiding all unpleasantness, man may continue his onward journey towards the higher goal - God-realization.

The Qur'an repeatedly stresses the need for patience. In chapter 31, we are enjoined to remain patient in these words, "Endure with fortitude whatever befalls you." (17) In chapter 8, we are told to "have patience. God is with those that are patient." (46) Chapter 103 says, "Perdition shall be the lot of man except for those who believe and do good works and exhort one another to justice and to fortitude.

Similarly, the traditions have laid great emphasis on the importance of patience. The Prophet once said, 'Listen and obey and be patient.' On another occasion he observed: 'God has commanded man to be patient and forgiving.' A companion of the Prophet said: 'The Prophet and his companions always remained patient in the face of persecution at the hands of enemies.' It is true that patience provides the basic quality for Islamic activism. In this world no one can adhere to the path of Islamic virtue without remaining patient.

Patience is the exercise of restraint in trying situations. It is a virtue, which enables the individual to proceed towards worthy goals, undeflected by adverse circumstances or repeated provocations. If he allows himself to become upset by opposition, taunts or other kinds of unpleasantness, he will never reach his goals. He will simply become enmeshed in irrelevancies.

The only way to deal with the irksome side of daily living is to exercise patience. Patience will ensure that whenever one has some bitter experience, he will opt for the way of tolerance rather than that of reaction to provocation. It will enable one to absorb shocks and to continue, undeterred, on one's onward journey.

Patience, as well as being a practical solution to the problems faced in the outside world, is also a means of positive character building. One who fails to exercise patience, gives free rein to negative thoughts and feelings, develops a personality which is likewise negative while one who remains patient is so morally bolstered by his own positive thoughts and feelings that he develops a positive personality.

Sabr is no retreat. Sabr only amounts to taking the initiative along the path of wisdom and reason as opposed to the path of the emotions. Sabr gives one the strength to restrain one's emotions in delicate situations and rather to use one's brains to find a course of action along result-oriented lines.


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