ANGER, RAGE, HURT
We are all affected by these emotions and in most cases they end in a negative way: an argument, somebody getting hurt or extreme pain. But when we look back at the seerah of Prophet Muhammad when he suffered both physical and psychological torment it didn’t end ugly. In fact it ended in the conversion of many people to Islam.
The year was 619. The Muslims had been pushed to the outskirts of Makkah. For three years they had suffered a boycott, their hunger was so intense that they would eat leaves from the tree. Muhammad witnessed these hardships but things were to get worse.
First, his uncle and loyal supporter Abu Talib passed away. The raw emotion of losing a loved one was made worse with the knowledge that he had died without saying the shahadah. Within the same year, his wife, Khadijah too passed away. She had always been a personal supporter of her husband, consoling and encouraging the Prophet through all of his hardships.
With their death the Quraysh became rigorous in their persecution than ever before to the extent that the Prophet decided to go to the closes city to Makkah- at-Taif hoping for their support and readiness to believe in Islam. Instead of listening to his wise words the children of at-Taif cursed and pelted the Prophet with stones. These were not one or two stones but many stones and so many were thrown with such hate, that the Prophet’s noble heels bled, his sandals became blood stained and his blood poured to the ground.
Let’s pause for a second. What emotions would you be experiencing if that happened to you? Probably anger, rage and even the thought of taking revenge would be a likely option.
The Prophet himself explained what happened next: “I then raised my head, only to see that a cloud was giving me shelter. I looked and saw in it (the cloud) Jibreel [alayhi] who then called me and said, ‘Allah has indeed heard what your people said to you, and what they responded to you. Allah has indeed sent the Angel of the Mountains so that you can order him to do whatever you want to them (i.e. the Angel of the Mountains will crush them with mountains)’. The Angel of the Mountains then called me and extended greetings of peace to me. He then said, ‘O Muhammad…if you want me to make the two mountains of Makkah fall upon them then that is what I will do’.
Let’s pause again. Be honest- what would your response be? Remember that there would have been no sin on the Prophet if he allowed the mountain to crush the people of at-Taif for what they did to him. Indeed Allah states: “So we punished each for his sin, of some were some whom we sent Hasiban (a violent wind to the people of Lut) and of them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah (awful cry as Thamood and Shu’aib’s people), and of theme were some whom We caused the earth to swallow (as Qaru’n), and of them were some whom We drowned (as the people of Nuh or Pharoh and his people). It was not Allah who wronged them, but they wronged themselves” (Qur’an 29:40). So other nations had been punished too. So what would be your answer? Punishment?
Rather the noble Prophet replied: “I instead hope that Allah will bring out from their progeny those who will worship Allah alone, without associating anything with Him” [1. Related by Bukhari].
Thus the Prophet embodied the complete example of compassion and mercy. Despite the harsh treatment that he received he chose to forgive them and even made dua for them. SubhanAllah! And this dua was accepted whereby the later generation of the resident living in at-Taif embraced Islam.
So when we are angry instead of back-biting, attacking or defaming someone let’s make dua for them.
We are all bound to feel anger and rage- after all we are human and were created in a state of weakness but it is the way that we respond that defines who we are. If we claim to be true followers of Muhammad then we too should respond in the way he did with compassion, love and mercy.
May we all follow the sunnah of the Prophet to the best of our abilities and embody the noble traits that he possessed. Ameen.
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