Understanding The Prophet's Life


From Issue: 964 [Read full issue]

Divine Source

Sometimes the Prophet (peace be upon him) gave people information that he could not have acquired in any way other than Divine revelation. These were normally matters that the people themselves took part in, and every person involved realized that the Prophet could not have had his information from a human source.

For example, Umayr ibn Wahb and Safwan ibn Umayyah sat one night in the semi circle area next to the Kabah in Makkah and spoke sadly of the loss the Quraysh suffered at the hands of the Muslims in the Battle of Badr. They were all alone. They agreed that Umayr, who was a very courageous fighter, would travel to Madinah to attempt to kill Muhammad. Safwan promised to repay Umayr's debts and look after his family as his own if Umayr came to any harm. Thus, Umayr went to Madinah, and the Prophet instructed his Companions to admit him. The Prophet asked him why he came to Madinah, to which he responded that he only wanted to secure the release of his son who was taken as prisoner in the Battle of Badr. The Prophet pressed him to tell him the truth, but he insisted that that was his purpose. The Prophet then recounted to him his conversation with Safwan, word for word, including the promises each of them gave the other. We should remember here that this was fourteen centuries ago, a time when there were none of the rapid means of communications we have today. The only way news travelled was by word of mouth or by human Messengers who could travel only on horse- or camel-back. Umayr immediately realized that the Prophet could only have been informed by a superior power. He declared his belief that Muhammad was God's Messenger and became a Muslim.[Ibn Hisham]

Those who accepted the logical conclusion of the prophet's knowledge were quick to declare their acknowledgement that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a Prophet and a Messenger of God. They could not see any way of gathering such information, except through Divine action. There were others who may have seen such signs but refused to accept their logical conclusion. They were blinded by other considerations: such as their perceived interests, pride, position or even illogical prejudices.

The Prophet had no tangible miracles or material proof to show to people so that they would believe that he was God's Messenger. Instead, he gave a simple message, based on God's Oneness and people's accountability on the Day of Judgement. People with open minds responded favourably, but most people followed their leaders, parents, friends or the community. Only some intelligence and openness of mind is needed in order to accept the message of Islam, yet to change one's way of life, as religion in general and Islam in particular require, is difficult for most people.

Compiled From:
"Muhammad: His Character and Conduct" - Adil Salahi