By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
Bravery and courage is such an admirable quality and attribute that everyone wants to be attributed to it. This quality doesn’t depend on a man being powerful and physically strong; rather this attribute is based on the strength of one’s heart. There are many incidents of the bravery, courage, valour and boldness of Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!) which prove that he (SAWS) was a very brave and courageous person. The polytheists were standing at mouth of the cave, searching for him and he was resting in it calmly. When there is a scary sound in the night in the town, he goes alone outside town to follow it. When the flames of war flare up; he is present in the first line to fight the enemies. By raising the slogan “I am a prophet, who doesn’t speak a lie, I am son of Abdul Muttalib”, he warns the enemies that he is not going to run and flee away from the battlefield; rather, he is going to fight the enemies with courage. Some examples of his bravery and courage are being presented here in this write-up.
When the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings be upon him!) left Makkah with Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him!) for Madinah migrating; the polytheists of Makkah set a reward of one hundred camels for the one who arrests him (SAWS). Being greedy to receive this reward, many polytheists were wandering here and there for hunting for Rasulullah (SAWS). Searching in every possible direction, they reached the “Cave of Thaur”, where the Prophet (SAWS) and Abu Bakr (RA) had sought refuge with the will of Allah the Almighty. The footsteps of the polytheists were visible to Abu Bakr Siddiq from the mouth of the cave. Abu Akbar (RA) addressed the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) and said: “O Prophet of Allah! If one of them has to lower his gaze, he is certainly bound to spot us.”
Hearing the worry of Abu Bakr (RA), the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!) replied expressing his courage and bravery like this: “What is your opinion, O Abu Bakr, of those two people amongst whom the third is Allah.” In a form of an interrogative sentence, this satisfactory answer of the Prophet was enough to end Abu Akbar’s worry and apprehension.
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) describes this incident as follows: “I looked at the feet of the idolaters above our heads when we were in the cave, and I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah (SAWS), if one of them were to look down at his feet, he would see us beneath his feet.’ He (SAWS) said: ‘O Abu Bakr, what do you think of two, of whom Allah is the third of them?” (Sahih Muslim: 2381)
Allah Ta’ala has described this incident in the Glorious Qur’an as follows: “If you do not help him, (it makes no difference to the Prophet, because) Allah has already helped him when the disbelievers expelled him, and he was the second of the two, when they were in the cave, and he was saying to his companion, “Do not grieve. Allah is surely with us.” So, Allah caused His tranquillity to descend on him, and supported him with troops that you did not see, and rendered the word of the disbelievers humiliated. And the word of Allah is the uppermost. Allah is Mighty, Wise.” (Surah Taubah: 40)
Allama Shabbir Ahmad Usmani writes in the commentary of this verse: “Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) was worried that the enemy should not see the one who is more beloved than his life, for whom he had sacrificed everything. Being afraid he said, O Messenger of Allah (SAWS)! If these people look down at their feet bowing down a bit, they will be able to see us. At that time, the Almighty placed a special kind of situation, tranquility and assurance in the blessed heart of the Prophet (SAWS), and with his blessing, in the heart of Abu Bakr (RA) and they were protected and supported by the troops of angels. It was the charisma of this unseen support that the spider’s web, which is described as “the weakest of houses” became, a source of protection, more than a big, strong and stable fortresses. (Tafseer Usmani)
At the time of the Prophet’s returning from the “Battle of Zaatur Raqqa”, the incident, that took place due to a villager, is very faith-inspiring and instructive regarding the Prophet’s confidence, faith, patience, courage, bravery and trust in Allah the Almighty. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!) went towards the region of Najd along with his companions (May Allah be pleased with them!) for Jihad. While returning, the time of the afternoon nap overtook them when they were in a valley full of thorny trees. The Prophet (SAWS) and the companions dismounted at that place. The companions dispersed amongst the thorny trees, seeking the shade of the trees for resting for a while. The Messenger of Allah (SAWS), hanging his sword on a Samura tree, took shelter under that tree for a nap as well. Suddenly the companions heard Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) calling them. When they went to him (SAWS), they found a bedouin sitting with him.
Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) inform them, “This (Bedouin-Ghaurath bin la-Harith) took my sword out of its sheath; while I was asleep. When I woke up, the naked sword was in his hand and he said to me, ‘Who can save you from me?’ I replied, ‘Allah.’ Now here he is sitting.” Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) didn’t punish him (for that and let him go freely).” (Bukhari: 4135)
A blood-thirsty enemy is standing in front with a naked sword in his hand, despite this dangerous situation; there was no fear and panic observed at the blessed face of the Prophet (SAWS). He replied to the question of the villager with great satisfaction. That villager was awestruck and frightened by the patience, courage and bravery of the Prophet (SAWS) and the sword fell down from his hand. This incident is one of the best examples of the courage and bravery of the Prophet (SAWS) and his trust in Allah the Almighty. Then, not taking revenge from the villager, forgiving him and releasing him without any punishment, is a great example of the forgiveness of the Prophet (SAWS).
Sayyiduna Anas (RA) narrates that the Prophet (SAWS) was the best among the people (both in looks and character) and was the most generous of them, and was the bravest of them. (Then Sayyiduna Anas mentions an incident regarding his bravery.) Once, during the night, the people of Madinah got afraid (of a sound). So the people went towards that sound. But the Prophet (SAWS) already had gone to that sound before them (alone, ridding a saddleless horse and carrying a sword slung in his neck). He (SAWS) met them while he was saying (to them while returning), “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid.” (because he was returning after seeing from that side, there was nothing to worry.) (Sahih Bukhari: 6033)
Sayyiduna Ali (May Allah be pleased with him!) says: “When the flames of war flared up and one nation fought against another nation, we used to save ourselves through the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!). None of us was closer to the enemy than the Messenger of Allah (SAWS).” (Musnad Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal: 1347, Sunanul Kubara Lil-Nasai: 8585)
Imran bin Haseen (RA) says: “Whenever the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!) faced an army, he was the first among those who attacked.” (Akhlaqun Nabi wa Adaba by Abu Sheikh Asbahani 1/327)
Sayyiduna Ali (May Allah be pleased with him!) reports: “On the day of Badr, we used to seek refuge from the polytheists under the protection of the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him!). On that day, he (SAWS) fought a very fierce and intense battle and no one was closer to the polytheists than him (SAWS).” (Subalul Huda and al-Rashad in Seerah Khair al-Abad 7/46)
The story of the battle of Hunain shows also the bravery and courage of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). On that day, when the Muslims turned and fled the battlefield, the Prophet (SAWS) remained alone in the battlefield and challenged the enemy. Sayyiduna Abbas (RA), uncle of the Prophet (SAWS), says: I was present with the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) on the day of (of the battle of) Hunain. Abu Sufyan bin Harith bin Abdul Muttalib and I stayed close to the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) and did not leave him. The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) was riding his white mule that had been gifted to him by Farwah bin Nufaathah Judhaami. When the Muslims and the Kuffar met, the Muslims turned and fled, but the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) spurred his mule (so that it can go fast) towards the Kuffar. Abbas (RA) said: I was holding on to the reins of the mule of the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) checking it so that it did not go too fast, and Abu Sufyan was holding on to the stirrup of the Messenger of Allah (SAWS). Then the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “O Abbas, call the people of Samurah”(this is the same tree beneath which the companions swore the Baitur Rizwaan). Abbas (RA) –who was a man with a loud voice– said: I said at the top of my voice: Where are the people of Samurah? He said: By Allah, when they heard my voice, they came back like cows coming back to their calves, saying: “Here we are, here we are!” They fought with the Kuffar. Then the call went out to the Ansar: O Ansar, O Ansar! And the last to be called were Banu Harith bin Khazraj. They said: O Banu Harith bin Khazraj, O Banu Harith bin Khazraj! The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) seated on his mule, craned his neck to watch the fighting, and the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) said: “Now the battle is raging.” Then the Messenger of Allah (SAWS) took some pebbles and flung them at the faces of the Kuffar, then he said: “They are defeated, by the Lord of Muhammad!” Then I went and looked, and saw that the fighting was as it had been before. He said: By Allah, all he did was throw some pebbles at them. Then their force was spent and they began to retreat. (Sahih Muslim: 1775)
The incidents and stories which have been presented here, there are several other incidents like them about the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). These incidents proved undoubtedly that the Prophet (SAWS) was a very brave and courageous person. He did not feel any fear. He (SAWS) presented different examples of his courage and bravery on various occasions so fearlessly that no realistic person can deny his courage and bravery. ••••
Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa