In view of the Holy Prophet’s exalted status and elevated position and purpose for which he was raised, it is important to understand that although prophethood and kingship are to many Christians two very different offices, the Holy Prophet was bestowed the office of kingship for a very special purpose. His elevated position and status of a Perfect Prophet, and his being the Seal of the Prophets meant that Allah wanted him to be an example and a practical guide for every aspect of human life and for every sector of humanity. The words of God:
Verily you have in the Prophet of Allah an excellent model . . . (Holy Quran, 33:22)
Meant that Allah had placed upon him the responsibility of providing a practical example for every aspect of human life. It was for this reason that he had to pass through all possible phases of human life. And in each phase he provided an excellent and complete example for all mankind for all time to come.
“Muhammad achieved an extraordinary political success and Christians tend to see such worldly triumph as of questionable godliness; but is a Christ like failure the only way to God?” (Karen Armstrong -Muhammad.- A Biography of the Holy Prophet. Page 15).
The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says in this context:
“All aspects of moral development are not completed unless all conceivable circumstances are faced. The prophets and the messengers of God pass through periods of hardships and difficulties and these difficulties come so that they may perfect their moral qualities. No other prophet, however, was bestowed the opportunities to display every type of moral quality except the Holy Prophet. For as long as he lived in Makkah, he faced every type of ordeal, persecution, suffering and difficulty. Under these conditions were manifested his moral qualities of patience and submission to the will of God. Then, he entered Makkah victorious as a king. He could have put each and every one to the sword quite justifiably. Despite having the power to punish, he forgave them all. This displayed his great selflessness, generosity, mercy and forgiveness. Jesus was not bestowed such oppotunities, so he could not display both these aspects.” (Alhakam, Vol. 9, No. 28, pp. 2-3, dated August 10, 1905)
He was given kingship so that he could teach the kings the paths by which they could receive spiritual blessings. As a result, they were taught the best ways of serving humanity. He lit up perfectly the paths in every situation and circumstance that all matters could be accomplished by exercising the highest of morals. The character of the Holy Prophet was completely free from the ways and means which develop in the political leaders and the worldly kings who are intoxicated by the lust for power and government. He continued to illumine the world by the light of his true mission of the Perfect Prophet and Khataman Nabiyyin, with which he had been bestowed.
The Holy Prophet was elevated to kingship in Madinah. Bid his daily life and activities and his behavior change in any way? Let us see what were his day to day activities, habits, deeds and sayings during his life in Madinah.
A learned Romanian orientalist, Mr. Konstin Virgil Georgiev, has written a book entitled: “Muhammad is a Prophet, to Recognize Whom We Need to Try Again Anew.” This book has been translated into Persian, Arabic and many other languages. This orientalist has written extensively on the life of the Holy Prophet in Madinah. To a great extent his writing displays an attitude of fair-mindedness and sincere search for the truth. Some of his views are presented here for the benefit of the readers.
Konstin Gorgiev writes: “it was not difficult at all to try to assassinate Muhammad in Madinah, because the Prophet of Islam did not have any group of bodyguards safeguarding him. He left the door of his house open for everyone. Anyone who wished, could enter his house. Whenever anyone did so, he/she found him occupied in the repair of his shoes, his clothes, or in helping the members of his household with the daily chores.” (Sayyarah Digest, Lahore, Special issue Aksi Seerat, page 300)
Mentioning a special incident, this learned Romanian orientalist writes in his book:
“Pursuant to a well laid out plan, Abu Lahab sent Umair Bin Wahab to Madinah for the purpose of killing the Holy Prophet. He had promised to pay Umair the expenses of his journey, and had promised to look after the needs of his family. Upon reaching Madinah, Umair entered the house of the prophet and saw that he was busy washing his clothes. Upon seeing Umair enter the house, the Holy Prophet lifted his head and asked: Is there anything that you wish of me’? Umair replied: O Muhammad! I see that you are busy washing your clothes. It is amazing for me to see a person who claims to be a prophet doing this. Smiling, the Holy Prophet replied: What is amazing in this? Umair said: A person who claims to be a prophet should not have to wash his own clothes. This work should be done by his servants or slaves. The Holy Prophet replied: I do not possess an army of servants or slaves. I do my work with my own hands. I assure you that if a prophet washes his own clothes, it does not diminish his status as a prophet in the least.” (Ibid. P. 301)
This learned orientalist goes on to write:
“Changing the direction of the conversation, the Holy Prophet again asked Umair: Is there anything that you wish of me? Umair replied: Yes, actually I came to ask how much I shall have to pay to get my son freed? When the Holy Prophet heard this, he said: O man! You are lying. You have not come to pay to get your son released. You have come to kill me.
When Umair heard this he was shaken to the bones. He dropped the dagger hidden in his clothes to the ground and said: By my Lord, apart from myself and the three other men who had planned to kill you, no other human being knew that I was coming to kilt you. i am certain none of these three has told anyone of this secret. The fact that you have become aware of it tells me that you are a true prophet of God. I declare my faith in you this very instant, and accepting Islam I forever renounce disbelief and associating partners with God. (Ibid., p.302)
In his comments, Toynbee accused the Holy Prophet of converting Makkans to Islam by force. If only he could tell us what force or coercion made Umair of Makkah accept Islam! It was the power of the Holy Prophet’s high moral and spiritual character which had established the truth of Islam in the hearts of the Makkans. Alt of them joyfully entered the fold of Islam in legions. History cannot present a single example of any Makkan who had been forced or coerced into accepting Islam. And how could this happen in anyway when the Holy Word of God was declaring openly to Muhammad: There shall be no compulsion in religion. (Holy Quran 2:257)
Anyone who wishes may believe and anyone who wishes may disbelieve. (Holy Quran 18:30)
What a wonderful announcement of freedom of conscience this is!
Karen Armstrong, in her biography of the Holy Prophet notes:
“Finally it was the West, not Islam, which forbade the open discussion of religious matters. At the time of the Crusades, Europe seemed obsessed by a craving for intellectual conformity and punished its deviants with a zeal that has been unique in the history of religion.
The witch hunts of the inquisitors and the persecution of Protestants by the Catholics and vice versa were inspired by abstruse theological opinions which in both Judaism and Islam were seen as private and optional matters. Neither Judaism nor Islam share the Christian conception of heresy, which raises human ideas about the divine to an unacceptably high level and almost makes them a form of idolatry. The period of the Crusades, when the fictional Mahound was established, was also a time of the great strain and denial in Europe. This is graphically expressed in the phobia about Islam.” (Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet, page 27).