PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S ﷺ WISDOM
A leader gains the love and trust of his people and is followed by them in proportion to his competence in solving their problems, whether personal or public, related to individual, private life, or to social, economic, political affairs touching the community as a whole.
In solving problems, you may resort to force and fear, or apply sanctions or punishments like exile, imprisonment or depriving the guilty of their rights of citizenship, or torture people, or spy into their affairs. However, none of these ways is of much use in the long term; rather, they will bring about a vicious circle, in which the more you struggle to solve problems by such means, the more you entangle yourself in them.
However, Allah's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, solved all problems so skillfully and easily that no one disagreed with the issue of his decisions. It was prophet’s wisdom given by Allah.
Although he was sent to a people by nature and habit quarrelsome, ignorant, wild and rebellious, and sent with a mission so grave as 'to rend mountains asunder' – If We had sent down this Qur'an onto a mountain, you would have seen it humbled and rent asunder out of fear of Allah, Qur’an Surah Al-Hashr 59:21 – he made them into a harmonious community of peace, happiness, knowledge and good morals.
He prevented, through his wisdom, an imminent war between the clans of the Quraysh during the reconstruction of the Ka'bah. Each clan had claimed the honor of putting the sacred Black Stone in its place. However, the future Prophet of Islam spread his mantle on a piece of cloth on the ground and, putting the stone on it, invited the chieftains of the four major clans of the Quraysh involved in the rebuilding of the Ka'bah to each take one corner of the cloth. When the cloth with the Black Stone had been raised level with the spot where it was to be placed, he took the stone and placed it firmly in position. It was an ingenious plan and provided yet another proof of his wisdom or gift for problem-solving.
The Prophet's emigration to Madinah is so significant in the history of Islam and so sanctified that the virtuous men and women around him were praised by Allah as the Emigrants (the Muhajirin), and those who welcomed them so warmly to Madinah as the Helpers (the Ansar). In addition, the beginning of the era of this religious community was marked, not by the birth of the Prophet or by the first Revelation or such victories as Badr or the conquest of Makkah, but by the emigration to Madinah.
Despite its significance, emigration is, of course, not an easy thing to achieve. When the believers came to Madinah to settle after years of persecution in Makkah, they had neither any provisions with which to manage their families, nor any houses to live in. Moreover, some of them were extremely poor, and the others, who had earned their lives by trade, were left with no capital. The Muslims of Madinah were mostly farmers, and the commercial life of the city was thoroughly controlled by the Jewish community. Another problem worthy of note is that the people of Madinah had decided to make `Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Salul their chief, just before the arrival of Allah's Messenger.
The settlement of the Messenger brought this plan, and the hopes of Ibn Ubayy ibn Salul, to nothing, and he consequently became a bitter enemy of Allah's Messenger and, as chief of the hypocrites, never refrained from making conspiracies to ruin him. In addition, the Makkan polytheists would certainly not leave the Prophet to himself in Madinah; they had contacted Ibn Ubayy ibn Salul in order to prevent the spread of Islam in Madinah. Ibn Ubayy sent them the news: It is not something to fear that he spreads his religion here. The main danger lies in the possibility that he may ally with the Christians and Jews against paganism. That is the real threat to you.
After he settled in Madinah, Allah's Messenger ordered the building of a mosque, and himself took part in the work of building. The importance of the mosque for the collective life of Muslims is unquestionable. They come together there five times a day they increase in belief and submission to their Lord, to the Prophet and to the religion Islam, and strengthen their solidarity. Especially in the first centuries of Islam, mosques functioned, as well as being places of worship, as centers of learning. The Mosque of the Prophet in Madinah was, in the time of the Prophet himself and his immediate successors, the centre of government as well.
Immediately after his settlement in Madinah, Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, established brotherhood between Muslims, particularly between the Emigrants(Muhajir) and the Helpers(Ansar), this was the great wisdom of Prophet. They loved each other and were very close to each other. For example, Sa`d ibn Ar-Rabi` took his emigrant brother Abdul-Rahman ibn `Awf to his house and said: "Brother, you have left everything you have in Makkah. So, this house, with everything in it, belongs to both of us. Besides, you do not have a wife here, while I have two. Whichever of them you like, I'll divorce her, so that you may marry her."
Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf answered him in tears: "Brother, may Allah bless you with your wife! Please show me to the city market so that I may do some business." Sahih Al Bukhari
The brotherhood between the Emigrants and the Helpers was so deep, so sincere and so strong that the Helpers shared everything they had with their emigrant brothers. This lasted for some time. However, when the Emigrants were accustomed to their new environment, one day they came to Allah's Messenger and said: "O Messenger of Allah! We emigrated here purely for the sake of Allah. But, our Helper brothers concern us to the extent that we are afraid we will consume up here in the world the reward of our good deeds, which we expect to get in the Hereafter. Also, we feel much indebted to them. Please, ask our brothers to allow us to earn our living ourselves."
Allah's Messenger sent for the Helpers and told them of the situation. The Helpers unanimously objected to the offer of the Emigrants, it was unbearable to them to be separated from their brothers. In the end, in order to save the Emigrants from the feeling of indebtedness, the Helpers agreed that the Emigrants would work in the Helpers' fields and gardens in return for wages until they could build their own houses. (Bukhari, Muslim)
As a second step in solving the immediate problems which appeared after the Hijrah (emigration), Allah's Messenger signed a pact with the Jewish community in Madinah. According to this pact, which some scholars describe as a first constitution of the city-state of Madinah, the Muslims and Jews were confederated as two separate, independent communities.
Since, however, Allah's Messenger had the initiative in making this pact and acted as an arbiter in all disputes and disagreements, the new city-state of Madinah was under the overall control of the Muslims.
In order to guarantee the security of this state on the part of the Muslims, Allah's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, ordered the establishment of a new market. Until then the economic life of Madinah had been under the control of the Jewish community. Shortly after the establishment of the new market, Jewish domination of the economic life of the city declined as the Jews no longer monopolized commerce in the city.
No sooner had the Muslim community of Madinah begun to become established and grow in strength than they had to respond to attacks from inside and outside.
Whenever a situation occurred which called for reconciliation, the Prophet ﷺwould hurry to resolve it. Once when he heard that the people of Qubaa’ disputed with each other about a matter, the Prophet ﷺsaid: "Let us go to resolve the situation and make peace between them." Sahih Al Bukhari 2547
The sagacity or wisdom of Allah’s Messenger also demonstrated itself in the counsels he made with his Companions. Counsel or consultation is so important in Islam that Allah’s Messenger did not take a decision, especially in public affairs, without consultation. He sometimes held counsel even in his personal affairs.
Example 1:He also consulted with his Companions before the Battle of Badr, which was the first major encounter between the Muslims and the Makkan polytheists after the Emigration, whether to fight against the Makkan army approaching. The Muslim force numbered 315 or 317, while the Makkans numbered around one thousand.
Miqdad ibn ‘Amr stood up on behalf of the Emigrants and said: ‘Spur your horse forward even to Bark al- Ghimad; we will follow you, with no one left behind.’ When the Messenger turned to the Helpers in order to learn their views, Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh stood up and said: O Allah’s Messenger! I think you are waiting for the opinion we will give. This is our opinion: Here we are, at your command, with our souls and possessions. Take from our goods whatever amount you wish; and as many people as you desire are ready to sacrifice themselves in your way!
Example 2:In the fifth year of Hijra, the Quraysh made an alliance with certain desert tribes and Jews of the Banu Nadir, who had emigrated from Madina to Khaybar. However, the Prophet, forewarned of their plans, consulted with his Companions about what to do in order to defeat the enemy offensive. Salman al-Farisi gave him the idea that they should dig a defensive trench around Madina, a stratagem hitherto completely unknown among the Arabs.
Allah’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, adopted the idea and ordered the digging of the trench. This war was therefore called, after the trench, the Battle of the Trench or Ditch.
Example 3:The Muslims found the terms of the Treaty of Hudaybiya unpalatable, and showed some reluctance to perform the Prophet’s order to sacrifice the animals they had brought to sacrifice in Makka during the rites which the Treaty prevented them from observing. Allah’s Messenger consulted with his wife Umm Salama about how to respond. She gave this opinion:
O Allah’s Messenger! Do not repeat your order lest they should disobey you and perish. Sacrifice your own animals and take off your pilgrim dress (ihram). When they understand the order is decisive, they will perform it unhesitatingly.
Allah’s Messenger acted according to the counsel of his wife.
Example 4:Allah’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, was a man of action. He never hung back in putting his plans or decisions into action. Any hesitation in the leader causes his followers to falter. Allah’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, always acted with deliberation, never neglected to consult, but once he had come to a decision or planned something, he did not show any hesitation in carrying it out.
Allah’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, never repented of what he had, or had not, done, nor regretted any lost opportunity for doing something. Before starting something, he used to take all the necessary precautions, consider all the probabilities, and take counsel with those who could give expert advice on the matter, and once he made up his mind, he never faltered in carrying out his decision. This is one of the important reasons why he carried all his attempts to victory and why his Companions followed him in every step he took.
One of the events worthy of elaboration to understand how Allah’s Messenger solved problems easily is the Treaty of Hudaybiya.
The Muslims faithfully observed the terms of the Treaty. But the Makkans later on broke the terms in the attack which one of their allied tribes (the Banu Bakr) made on the Banu Khuda‘a (who were in alliance with the Prophet). So, in January 630, two years after the Treaty of Hudaybiya, at the head of an army of 10,000, Allah’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, marched upon Makka and conquered it, meeting almost no resistance. The Ka’ba was purified of idols and in the course of the following days, the Makkans accepted Islam. This was due to happen because,
It is He who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, that He may uplift it above every religion. Allah suffices as a witness. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers, merciful to one another. You see them bowing, prostrating, seeking grace from Allah and (His) good pleasure. Their mark is on their faces, the trace of prostration. That is their likeness in the Torah, and their likeliness in the Gospel: as a seed that puts forth its shoot, and strengthens it, and it grows stout and rises straight upon its stalk, pleasing the sowers, that through them He may enrage the unbelievers. Allah has promised those of them who believe and do deeds of righteousness forgiveness and a mighty wage. Quran al-Fath, 48.28-29