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PROPHET MUHAMMAD ﷺ AS A WARRIOR


After a brief respite, his mission is consumed by the need to fight wars of survival. These three wars in four years, Battle of Badr, Uhad and Ahzab, besides posing a physical threat, must have been extremely distracting and demanding of his time and energy. Yet the work of building the community goes on.

 

It is important to remember that even though faced with very aggressive opponents the Prophet and his followers never initiated or instigated any wars. Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallamand the Muslims engaged in these battles with great discipline, avoiding injury to the innocent and using only the minimum force needed. Women, children and non-combatants were not to be harmed. When the enemy stopped fighting, he was to be given immediate sanctuary. Striking a blow in anger, even in battle, was prohibited. He uses innovative strategies in the battles, which include the use of the trench as a defense. During the digging of the trench he is an active participant. He consults frequently (Shura) with his companions and follows the majority opinion (Ijma'), even when it sometimes goes against his own judgment.

 

Table of Contents

 

The Prophet, used to lead from the front and lead by example

The Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, used to lead from the front and lead by example: Ali said, 'In the heat of combat when we met and faced the enemy, we shielded ourselves behind the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, and there was no one who was closer to the enemy than he was'. [Ahmad]

 

The Prophet, always kept the safety of his Companions in mind

In the early days of his mission, to spare his followers persecution, he arranged for them to migrate to Abyssinia, which was ruled by a Christian king known for his just rule, for their own safety. He bore the safety and wellbeing of his Companions uppermost in his mind, which is the hallmark of a true leader.

 

The Prophet, believed in the truth of his Message

The whole life of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, was spent in establishing and strengthening Islam and delivering the Message that Allaah The Almighty had entrusted him with. He, never faltered or weakened, not even when faced with countless difficulties, because of his complete faith in Allaah The Almighty. The Companions also believed in Islam with all their hearts. Moreover, one of the reasons Islam continued to spread after the demise of the Prophet, was because they continued to believe in, fight for and uphold Islam.

 

The Prophet, was courageous and encouraging

In the cave of Thawr, hiding from the polytheists who were pursuing them on their flight to Madeenah, Abu Bakr voiced his apprehension to the Prophet. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, reassured him and told him that Allaah The Almighty was with them. Certainly, He would never forsake His Messenger, and this was just what happened. The polytheists did not find the Prophet, and Abu Bakr. Thus, we get a valuable lesson here, that the leader should not show despair or hopelessness in front of his followers, but should fill them with confidence and be as encouraging and comforting as possible.

 

He, eschewed arrogance and exuded humility

During the Battle of Badr, Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, was walking between the lines of soldiers, straightening them with an arrow in his hand, he came to one Sawad ibn Ghaziyah. Sawad was standing too far out of line. The Prophet, said, gently pricking him in the belly with his arrow: "Stand in line, O Sawad.""You have hurt me, O Messenger of Allaah! Allow me to take retaliation, "Sawad cried out, with an exaggerated expression of pain. Promptly, the Messenger of Allaah, , uncovered his own belly and said: "Take your retaliation." At this, Sawad kissed the belly of the Messenger of Allaah, embraced him, and said, "O Messenger of Allaah, you see what is before us, and I may not survive the battle, and as this is my last time with you I want my skin to touch yours.” The Prophet, then blessed him and supplicated for him.

 

He, was prepared to share hardships with his Companions

The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, himself helped the groups digging the portions of the trench during the Battle of the Trench. Although the winter season that had set in was extremely harsh and the impoverished Muslims had but little provisions to satisfy their hunger, the work proceeded smoothly owing to the enthusiasm and perseverance of the Companions.

 

Abu Talha relates that once when he was exhausted by hunger, he complained to the Prophet, and showed his belly on which he had tied a slab of stone for allaying the hunger pangs. The Prophet, then showed him his own belly on which he had tied two slabs of rock!

 

In spite of all these discomforts and deprivations, the Companions sang songs of pride (called Rajz) and chanted praises of Allaah The Almighty.  Anas relates how once, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, came to the place where the digging was going on. He saw the Ansaar (Helpers) and the Muhaajiroon (Emigrants) hard at work in the bitter cold of the chilly morning. They had neither slaves nor servants to dig the trench for them; therefore, they had to undertake the work themselves. Seeing how they were laboring valiantly with their empty stomachs, the Prophet, , said: “O Allaah, life is truly the life of the Hereafter; so pardon the Ansaar and the Muhaajireen.”

 

The Companions overjoyed to hear the Prophet’s, invocation for their forgiveness for them, said in reply, “It is we who have pledged to Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, to fight in Allah’s cause till the spark of life is imbued.” [Al-Bukhaari]

 

Anas further said that if one of them happened to procure a handful of barley, he would grind and mix it with a little fat to be shared by all, enduring its offensive smell and taste in the process. 

 

Recognition of talent in some of his followers and encouraging them in fields where they excelled or showed interest

For example, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, appointed Bilaal ibn Rabaah the Mu'athhin (caller to prayer), because of his powerful, melodious voice.

 

The Prophet, always kept the safety of his Companions in mind

In the early days of his mission, to spare his followers persecution, he arranged for them to migrate to Abyssinia, which was ruled by a Christian king known for his just rule, for their own safety. He bore the safety and wellbeing of his Companions uppermost in his mind, which is the hallmark of a true leader.

In a pivotal battle at Taa'if when he had the enemy under siege, the Prophet, could have easily annihilated them especially considering that they had been brutal to him years earlier. Instead, witnessing the heavy toll of the battle on the lives of his Companions and after listening to the counsel of a tribesman who likened them to a "fox cornered in a hole", he left them alone. The people of Taa'if later embraced Islam on their own volition.

 

The Prophet, was courageous and encouraging

In the cave of Thawr, hiding from the polytheists who were pursuing them on their flight to Madeenah, Abu Bakr voiced his apprehension to the Prophet. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, reassured him and told him that Allaah The Almighty was with them. Certainly, He would never forsake His Messenger, and this was just what happened. The polytheists did not find the Prophet, and Abu Bakr. Thus, we get a valuable lesson here, that the leader should not show despair or hopelessness in front of his followers, but should fill them with confidence and be as encouraging and comforting as possible.

 

The Prophet, never gave up, nor did he surrender even in the most hopeless situations

A leader is someone who shows determination in the face of adversity. In the Battle of Badr, when the huge army of polytheists confronted the greatly outnumbered Muslim army, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi was sallam, prayed to Allaah The Almighty and asked Him for aid and assistance.

 

References

http://www.islamweb.net/prophet/index.php?page=showarticle&id=173973

 

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