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The Prophet's bravery and courage:

Abu Usamah At-Thahabi

Ali (رضي الله عنهم ) said: 'When the war become hot and we met and faced the enemy, we shielded ourselves behind the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) and there was no one who was closer to the enemy than he was'. Ahmed

Al-Baraa ibn Aazib (رضي الله عنهم ) said: 'Wallahi, if the war become severe we would shield ourselves from the enemy, by getting behind the Prophet, and the brave one from amongst us was the one who would stand next to the Messenger of Allah'. Muslim

Anas ibn Malik (رضي الله عنهم ) said: 'The Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) was the best of the people, and he was the most generous of the people, and the bravest of the people'. Bukhari/Muslim

From the clear examples of the Prophet's (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) bravery on the battlefield is the fact he use to ride a mule as opposed to riding a horse or a camel. This shows he never intended to escape from the heat of the battle, as the mule is an animal that is not capable of moving very fast.

But instead, he was on the battlefield to either kill the enemy or to be killed by them, in the cause of Allah and in defending Islam. An example of this is what has been collected by Imam Muslim on the authority of Salamah ibn Al-Akwa' (رضي الله عنهم ). He narrated that in the battle of Hunain, many of those who accompanied the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) , after being defeated by the Kuffar, they turned away from the battlefield.

Salamah ibn Al-Akwa' (رضي الله عنهم ) said: 'And I also turned away defeated, and I was wearing two mantles. One was used to cover my lower extremities and the other was used to cover my shoulders. And my Izaar became unfastened so I gathered all of my clothes together. He said, 'I passed by the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) while in this defeated state and he was riding on his white mule. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) said to me, "Verily Ibn Al-Akwa' finds himself as being utterly perplexed"

These are a few of the many examples of his bravery on the battlefield. But his Sunnah is filled with many other examples of his courage while he called the people to the Deen.

Anas ibn Malik (رضي الله عنهم ) said: 'The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) was the best of the people, and he was the most generous of the people, and the bravest of the people. One night the people of Medinah heard a loud noise and they became overwhelmed with fear. The men went out to see what the noise was, only to find the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) riding his unsaddled horse, and coming from the direction of the noise with his sword wrapped around his neck. He said to them, "Don't be afraid, don't be afraid. I found (my horse) very swift".

In this hadith, Anas ibn Malik (رضي الله عنهم ) described the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) as being the bravest of the people because, as we can see, all of the people made preparations to meet the pending danger (noise) by completely preparing themselves for battle. They saddled their animals and they gathered their weapons. Whereas the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) simply jumped on his horse, and took the closet weapon he could find and he went directly towards the danger.

Before his companions reached the outskirts of Medinah, he was already on his way back to Medinah with the news that there was nothing to fear or to worry about.

Another example of his courage can be seen in the way he told Quraish about the religion of Islam. And not being afraid to introduce issues to them, no matter how strange it would appear to their minds. And in many instances, he would stand alone in his efforts like in the case of the Israa and the Mi'raaj.

He could have told his trusted and beloved companion Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنهم ) about this incident before he told anyone else, so as to receive support from Abu Bakr. But instead, we find him telling this miraculous story to those who he knew would find it hard to comprehend, not to mention difficult to believe!

When he told them about the incident, he found their response varied. There were those who began to clap their hands in surprise and utter amazement. And others disbelieved him and they begin to ridicule his story. And there were those from the Muslims who apostated and left Islam upon hearing this news. As for the Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) , none of that deterred him from his mission of calling the people to the Deen, and relaying the message of Islam in a clear and concise way. Which shows his high level of courage. Many times we as Muslims, are afraid to even allow people to know about Islam, or to know that we are even Muslims.

There are those of us who change our beautiful Islamic names, to the names of the Kuffar in an effort to hide our Deen. An example of that is changing the name Muhammad to Moe, of Daud to David, or Saami to Sam! The Messenger of Allah (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) would never take such a despised and weak position when dealing with the Kuffar. But instead, he would establish his Deen and his Islamic identity.

In addition to that, he use to seek refuge in Allah from falling into such a despicable act. From the authentic supplications that come to us from his Sunnah is that he use to say, "Oh Allah! I seek refuge in you from being incapable, and from laziness, and from being a coward, and from senility". Bukhari/Muslim

The Muslim man and the Muslim woman is need of some level of courage in order to establish their Deen. The Woman must have courage to wear the Hijab, and to practice the dictates of the religion inspite of the censorship of the Kuffar. And likewise, this is the case for the Muslim man. He is in more need of courage then the woman is, as the Deen and the Dawah will not prosper and flourish at the hands of cowards.

This is what we find the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) and his Companions (رضي الله عنهم ) upon when we read their history, and this is what we should strive to be upon. And verily Imam Malik (may Allah have mercy upon him) spoke the truth when he said: 'The last of this Ummah, will not be rectified, except by that which rectified the beginning of this Ummah'.

And our Tawfeeq is only with Allah the Most High and the Most Mighty, who said in His Book: "Oh you who believe, whoever of you should revert from his religion, Allah will bring forth (in place of them) a people He will love, and they will love Him. (Who are) humble towards the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they strive in the cause of Allah and don't fear the blame of the critic…". Maidah Ayat 54

And Allah is the best of those who dispose of our affairs.

Abu Usamah At-Thahabi




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