“How do I deal with a difficulty in comparison to the people before us?” This is the question we should all ask ourselves when reading the Makkan Seerah. The Prophet ’s entire life was plagued with obstacle after obstacle, yet he overcome each and every one and proved himself to Allah. Not once did he completely give up his preaching because someone told him not to. Based on his character we should all take a step back and truly evaluate what it means to us when it comes to overpowering an obstacle. Are we patient and kind? Do we slump into a depressive mood for months at a time? How wrong are we when it comes to being in touch with our emotions? Allah has told us how to deal with the problem by sending down the Prophet Muhammad: through persistence, humility, and patience.
To begin with, a primal focus in Rasoolullah’s story is how, despite the objections of his own tribe, he continued to preach because he knew that he was right. An exemplary example of this comes to mind when we read about how Nadir bin Harith treated the Prophet during the early stage of the call to Islam. He would invite singing girls to distract the people from Rasoolullah’s preaching. If that was not enough, he went to Hira and Syria to learn stories of old kings so he could tell them to people while Rasulullah delivered his message. Imagine someone going to these lengths just so people disregard what you say. How unmotivated and off-put would you be? Yet this is in the early stage of the call to Islam! Rasoolullah preached for decades after this, and Nadir bin Harith was merely a stone in his path, whereas, to us he might have seemed like a tsunami standing in our way. From this we see how much Islam truly teaches us about not caring about what people think. The Western world tells us ‘haters going to hate’ in this circumstance, but Islam teaches us by the most beautiful example: The Prophet never stopping doing what was right.
Furthermore, the Prophet had a very defining characteristic that is not often mentioned in regard to is problems. This quality of his was humility throughout his life wherever he faced a problem he faced it quietly. He did not broadcast his troubles like we enjoy doing today. At most, he would confide in Khadeja or Abu Bakr , but it was not a practice of his to tell everyone about his battles. When Jibreel came to him with the revelation, he was terrified. Yet he did not tell all his companions about what had just happened. He simply went to Khadeja who provided him with the comfort he needed. Similarly, when men members of his family turned against him, such as Abu Lahab, he did not spread rumors or slander them like it is common to do in a family nowadays. If Rasoolullah did not spread rumors or twist words even when dealing with the family (which is the hardest and most ‘messy’ branch to deal with), imagine how much humility Allah must have given to him. In current times we love posting about our daily troubles on social media and ‘one-upping’ people. We enjoy throwing a pity party for ourselves, and more troubling is that we seek comfort in people primarily. We believe our problems by the right presidents and higher powers when Allah is the one who gave them their ranks! This is why we need to input humility in our situations when a problem arises; it is truly one of the most significant and effective ways our beloved Prophet dealt with problems.
Lastly and most importantly Rasoolullah had patience when dealing with any issue. It is stated very often and has become a cliché of sorts because the Prophet did not have ordinary patience like we might have. It takes a lot to understand how much sabr Allah gave him. For us, patience would be keeping our anger down when in a heated situation or not panicking at every little thing. The Prophet’s patience was getting stones thrown at him until his feet bled, and still asking for the mercy of the people of Taif. If someone harassed us to the point that we had pools of red in our shoes would we ask for their forgiveness? Or would we say ’yes’ to the angel who asked if we wanted the mountains to crush them? When Abu Talib died, then Khadeja died, and then he was rejected by Taif, the Prophet took time to himself but it was not a long term process of grief like we make out to ourselves these days. Imagine losing the people closest to you, being rejected, and then getting up to preach again! We can’t imagine such a pain, yet the Prophet was a living example of pain being a temporary. God erases our sins when we are in pain; for Rasoolullah he revealed Surah Yusuf! Allah showed him that his hardship would not always trouble him through the story of Yusuf. When the disbelievers challenged Rasoolullah by asking him questions from the Jewish Rabbis, he did not worry himself sick. Allah was on his side and he would take care of him! The answers were soon revealed in the Quran such as Surah Kafirun. Today, we worry ourselves silly over mundane things like a schedule not going to plan. At that time, they were asking him those questions to prove his prophethood, and he still remained at peace. Thus is the true tawakkul of the Prophet in his Lord, it is what our patience needs to be in order to leave this world with a guaranteed destination to Jannah.
All in all, the verse of relief coming from Allah in difficult times embodies the Rasulullah in very way. He was a man who overcame his hardships simply because of his persistence, humility, and passion that were given to him by Allah. We need not worry about our troubles when our Lord is by our side. The tests we face are a blessing to us, first and foremost. We are able to rid ourselves of sin while being given the opportunity to implement what the Prophet taught us during his life. Allah says in the Quran, ‘Verily with hardship comes ease’. If our Lord sent down the best man to teach us this and he himself continues to reassure us, then surely this world can be lived in successfully. Surely we can become among the dwellers of paradise. We can overcome each and every obstacle that stands in our way to the hereafter.