Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Courage, Bravery and Shyness


Muhammad had great courage. He faced a multitude of dangers and calamities all at once but never showed any weakness or timidity. When the opposition and rebukes of the Quraish of Makkah became unbearable, his uncle Abu Talib spoke to Muhammad and said, "Could you not be silent about all this; believe it all for yourself, but not trouble others, anger the chief men, and endanger yourself and all of us, talking of it?" Muhammad answered: "If the sun stood on my right hand and the moon on my left, ordering me to hold my peace, I could not obey!" This indicates what divine courage Muhammad possessed and that he never showed any weakness in his determination to fight for a just cause.

Abu Hurairah reported God`s Messenger saying, "By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, were it not that men among the believers are not satisfied with remaining behind me when I cannot accommodate them, I would stay behind when an expedition goes out in God`s Way. By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I wish I could be killed and brought to life, then be killed again." (Bukhari and Muslim). And Sahl ibn Said reported God`s Messenger as saying, "Being stationed on the frontiers in God`s Way for a day is better than the world and what is in it." (Bukhari and Muslim). Ka`b ibn Malik said that when God`s Messenger intended to go on an expedition he always pretended to be going somewhere else until the time came for that expedition, meaning the one to Tabuk. God`s Messenger undertook it in extreme heat, facing a long journey and a vast enemy. He made clear to the Muslims what they were about to do in order that they might get ready the equipment for their expedition, telling them where he was going. (Bukhari).

He fought scores of battles with great courage and determination without ever suffering total defeat. In the battle of Badr, he faced 1,000 fighting men, fully equipped with the armour of the time, with only 313 ill-equipped men, including some children, but he never showed any signs of fear or cowardice. He fought against heavy odds with extreme courage and won the battle. In the heat of the battle, the Muslims looked to him for support and protection. In the battle of Uhud, victory was converted into partial defeat by the mistake of a few archers. The Muslims were running around in complete chaos after hearing the false news of the death of the Holy Prophet but he was as calm as ever. He continued fighting in the company of some of his faithful companions, even after the loss of his teeth, until other Muslims came to know of his whereabouts and gathered round him. Then they fought a very fierce battle under his courageous guidance and the enemy withdrew with the final result of the battle still undecided.

In the battle of Hunain, when the new converts fled from the field in utter confusion in the face of a storm of arrows, and the rest of the army followed them in chaos, he and some faithful companions were the only ones who stood firm. He called to the fleeing Muslim army and encouraged them to fight back. At his call, all the Muslims came back, reorganised their attack and won the day. Bra ibn Azib, who participated in this battle, was asked by someone whether they ran away in the battle of Hunain and he replied, "Yes, that is true, but I bear witness that the Messenger of God stood firm and did not move from his place. By God, when the fighting rose to its height, we took refuge by his side and the bravest among us was considered that man who stood by him." And Anas said that God`s Messenger was the bravest of all. Once news spread in Medinah that the enemies had attacked, the people got ready to fight but the man who advanced ahead of all was Muhammad himself. He did not even wait for the saddle but rode bareback into all the probable places of danger, returning with the news that there was no danger.

Muhammad never killed anyone with his own hands. Abi ibn Khalf was his deadliest enemy; when he was released on ransom after the battle of Badr he said that he would kill Muhammad on his horse, which was being nourished and fed for this purpose. In the battle of Uhud, he was riding on that horse and, after crossing rows of soldiers, he came close to Muhammad. The Muslims wanted to stop him there but Muhammad forbade them and took a spear from the hand of one of his companions and advanced

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