By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi*
It is well-known to the friends and the foes that Allah’s last and final Messenger Muhammad (Sallallahu Aleihi Wa Sallam) was on the highest degree of truthfulness and trustworthiness. He (SAWS) was like a spring from where the truthfulness and trustworthiness were flowing. The people of Makkah used to address him as Al-Sadiq (Truthful) and Al-Ameen (Trustworthy). They honoured him with the title of Truthful; because he was true to his word. There wasn’t even a shadow of lie in what he spoke. When he (SAWS) started dealing with the people, they realized his trustworthiness and honoured him with the title of Al-Amin (Trustworthy). In spite of being the nasty enemies, the disbelievers of Makkah regarded him as truthful, trustworthy and honest and used to refer to him (SAWS) with these titles. Then in such worst environment of Makkah, the trustworthiness, truthfulness, honesty and chastity of the Prophet (SAWS) was always the talk of the town.
At Mount Safa of Makkah:
Almost three years, Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (SAWS) invited the people to Islam secretly. During this period, by the grace of Allah, some fortunate people embraced Islam. Then Allah the Almighty instructed him (SAWS) to proclaim the invitation openly as the following verses were revealed: “Now, proclaim what you are commanded to, and turn away from those who ascribe partners to Allah.” (Al-Hijr: 94) “And warn the nearest people of your clan, and be kind with humbleness to the believers who followed you.” (Al-Shu’araa: 214-215)
Following the revelation of such verses, one day, Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (SAWS) ascended the famous Mount Safa of Makkah and called each tribe by the name. When the people of those tribes assembled around him, he (SAWS) asked them: “If I caution you about a marauding party on the other side of this mountain that is about to attack you, would you believe me?” On that occasion, the people from each tribe bore witness of the truthfulness and honesty of the Prophet (SAWS) in one voice. They replied: “Surely, why not! We have only known you to be honest and truthful.” Following that, inviting them to Islam, Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: “I am warning you about a severe punishment that may befall you (if you don’t accept my message from Allah the Exalted).” Then unfortunately Abu Lahab replying in negative said: “Woe unto you. May you perish! Did you assemble us here for this reason only?” Then all assembled people scattered.
Abu Dharr (RA)’s Brother Unais’ Witness:
Unais, brother of Abu Dharr (RA) visited Makkah and met Allah’s Messenger (SAWS). Abu Dharr (RA) is narrating the same story wherein one can find that Unais in spite of being a strange and a wise man, bears witness that the Prophet (SAWS) was a truthful person. Abu Dharr (RA) mentions: "I said (to Unais): 'What did you do?' He said: 'I met a man (Muhammad SAWS) in Makkah who follows your religion. He says that Allah has sent him.' I said: 'What do the people say?' He said: 'They say that he is a poet, or a soothsayer, or a magician.' And Unais was one of the poets. "Unais said: 'I have heard the words of the soothsayers and he is not a soothsayer. I compared his words to the words of poetry and no one after me can say that he is a poet. By Allah, he is telling the truth and they are lying.' (Sahih Muslim: 2473)
Confession of Abu Jahl:
Abu Jahl was one of the nastiest enemies of Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (SAWS). He used to speak foul language against the Prophet (SAWS). He tried his level best to torture him (SAWS) mentally and physically. But he also confessed the truthfulness of the Prophet (SAWS) in his personal gathering. Once, Akhnas asked Abu Jahl: O Abul Hakm! Since here is none besides you and me from the Qureish who can hear us, so let me know about Muhammad (SAWS), is he a truthful or a liar? Answering to the secretive question of Akhnas, Abu Jahl replied: “Woe unto you, by Allah, Muhammad (SAWS) is a truthful person and he never spoke a lie.” (Tafseer Al-Tibri: 9/222)
Second Confession of Abu Jahl:
It is not once that Abu Jahl confessed the truth of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) among his friends; but on several occasions, he admitted it. Once upon a time, Abu Jahl was making Tawaf of the Holy Ka’bah in the night; while Waleed, son of Mughirah was with him. They started talking about the Prophet (SAWS). During the talk, Abu Jahl said: “By Allah, I’m very well aware of being Muhammad (SAWS) truthful. Waleed retorted him, keep quiet. What led you to that extend (that he (SAWS) is a truthful)? Abu Jahl replied: “O Abu Abd Shams (Patronymic of Waleed)! We used to address him as Al-Sadiq and Al-Amin in his childhood. When he became wise and mature, we named him a liar and dishonest! By Allah, I know him very well that he is a truthful person. Then Abu Abd Shams said: Then what is stopping to believe in him? Abu Jahl said: The Quriesh girls would say about me that I followed the path of Abu Talib’s orphan (who was brought up by Abu Talib), due to the fear of the defeat and downfall. I swear by Laat and Uzza! I will never follow this orphan. (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi: 16/170) Such an opponent like Abu Jahl couldn’t stop himself from confessing the truthfulness of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS).
The Prophet (SAWS)’s Business with Saib (RA):
When two people do a business together in partnership, at that time, their honesty, reliability and truthfulness are known to each other. When the Prophet (SAWS) started his business, the people observed closely his truthfulness and trustworthiness. He (SAWS) was the partner of Saib (RA) in a business. On the day of the Conquest of Makkah, Saib (RA) came to him (SAWS). Then what happened, read his words. He says: "I came to the Prophet (SAWS) and they started praising me, and saying good things about me. Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) said: 'I know best (about him),' I said: 'You are right, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you. You were my partner and what a good partner, you didn’t argue or quarrel."
The Prophet (SAWS)’s Arbitration about the Placing the Black Stone:
Due to the truthfulness, honesty, wisdom and good understanding of any issue, the people of Makkah used to like the Prophet (SAWS) and make him an arbitrator when they had a controversial issue. They believed that he (SAWS) would do justice in mediating the issue. When he (SAWS) gave a judgment about an issue, the people never hesitated to endorse it due to his truthfulness, trustworthiness and honesty. When the Prophet (SAWS) was 35 years old, the Qureish decided to reconstruct the holy Ka’abah. The reconstruction was divided over the various clans; so that none remains deprives of this noble service. Each clan started to rebuild their allocated portion of the Ka’bah under the supervision of a Roman builder called “Baqum”. When the building reached completion and the crucial moment of placing the Black Stone (Hajare Aswad) surfaced, several clans started arguing that who should be given the opportunity to place the Black Stone at its place. So, the violent disputes broke out among them. The people started fearing that it might lead to a fight and killing each other at the sacred and holy place of Ka’bah.
When the people didn’t find the solution of this issue, Abu Umayyah bin Mughirah Makhzumi, the father of Umme Salamah (RA), a wise and eldest person of the Qureish, submitted his opinion that the decision to raise the stone should be conferred upon the first person who enters the door of the Haram the next morning. We will accept him as our arbitrator and whatever decision he gives, we will agree upon it. The people approved this proposal. To protect those people from the big fight, Allah the Almighty enabled the Prophet (SAWS) next morning to reach the Haram firstly. When the people reached the Haram, next day in the morning, they saw the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) as the first entrant of the Haram. With one voice, they spontaneously proclaimed: “This is Muhammad, the trustworthy. We are pleased with him (as arbiter). This is after all Muhammad.” (Noor al-Yaqin Fi Seerah Sayyid al-Mursalin, P.: 17)
On such critical occasion, the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) gave very beautiful, wise and convincing decision. He (SAWS) asked for a sheet to place the Black Stone onto it. Then he (SAWS) asked: “The chief of each tribe should grasp the ends of the sheet so that none of the tribes are deprived of this grand opportunity. They grasped a side of the sheet and hoisted it to the vicinity where the black stone was to be placed. He (SAWS) then went forward and with his blessed hands raised the stone and placed it in its proper place. This was such arbitration that the people remain protected from a big fight. Allah’s peace and blessing be upon such great arbitrator! (Al-Seerah Al-Nabawiyyah Ala’ Zaw Al-Qura’an Wa Al-Sunnah: 1/228)
The Prophet (SAWS)’s Truthfulness and Honesty in the Court of Negus:
When a big group of the Muslims (83 Males and 18 Females) reached Abyssinia making the second migration, the disbelievers of the Quriesh sent two very shrewd and clever men: Abdullah bin Abi Rabiah and Amr bin Al-Aas bin Waail as its ambassadors to Abyssinia to talk to the King Negus. Requesting the king they said: O King, our few unwise youths are in your kingdom. Please send them back! The king refused to send them back without investigating their worry and concern. The king sent his messenger to call those migrants. They came in the court of the Negus. Representing the migrants, answering the questions of Negus, Jafar (RA) gave his inspirational sermon. In his sermon, describing about the pre-Islamic era and introducing Islam, he mentioned the truthfulness and honesty of Allah’s messenger (SAWS) as well. He said:
“O Emperor! All of us were ignorant. We would worship idols and devour carrion. We were caught up in a host of vices. We would sever family relationships and ill-treat our neighbours. The powerful amongst us would gobble up the weak. Whilst we were wallowing within such an abyss of spiritual decadence, Allah the Exalted favoured us with one of His messengers whose noble lineage, truthfulness, honesty and chastity we are fully aware of. (Musnad Ahmad: 1740) After listening to the clarification from Jafar (RA), the King refused to send the migrants back to Makkah.
Jibreel (AS) and the Truthfulness of the Prophet (SAWS):
The people of Makkah for whom the light of Iman was not destined, not only used to call the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) a magician, crazy etc.; but even they used to belie him (SAWS), whenever he used to present them the divine message and Wahi (Revelation) which was revealed upon him directly from Allah. So, once the Prophet (SAWS) was sitting sad and Jibril (AS) came to him. He asked Allah’s Messenger (SAWS) the reason behind saddening. He (SAWS) replied that the disbelievers of Makkah belied him. On that Jibril (AS) said: Truly they don’t belie you; they truly know that you are a truthful person; but the transgressors actually deny the signs of Allah. (Al-Ana’am: 33) (Tafseer Al-Tibri: 9/221)
Reason of Leaving Ali (RA) in Makkah in the Night of Hijrah:
When the people had some valuable items and they feared that it might be taken or stolen, at that time it was only the Prophet (SAWS) in whole Makkah that the people trusted him and they entrusted their items to his care; because they were well-aware of his truthfulness and trustworthiness. So, when the Prophet (SAWS) was instructed to migrate from Makkah to Madinah, at that time he (SAWS) had several entrusted items of the people with him. He (SAWS) handed over Ali (RA) those items and instructed him to return them to their rightful owners. He (SAWS) advised him to migrate only after he has retuned those items to the owners. This was the reason Ali was left behind in Makkah. (Seerah Ibn Hisham 1/485)
Despite of being the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) a truthful and a trustworthy; when he (SAWS) was blessed with the Prophethood and was given the responsibility to spread the true messages of Islam, the disbelievers of Makkah rejected his messages and they refused to come from the darkness to the light due to their pride, arrogance and egotism. They started spreading about the Prophet (SAWS) that he was a magician, fortune teller, crazy, a liar etc. They tortured and troubled him (SAWS); but he (SAWS) continued preaching Islam and having patience following Allah’s commandment as he (SAWS) was instructed. The Qura’an speaks: “So, be steadfast patiently in (obeying) your Lord’s command, and do not obey any one of them who is sinner or ungrateful.” (Al-Dahr: 24) ****
* The author is Head: Islamic Department, Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa and can be accessed at firstname.lastname@example.org