Can You Explain the Trustworthiness of Prophet Muhammad with Concrete Examples?
The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, was trustworthy to the utmost degree in his mission as a Prophet and in his general behaviour towards God‘s creatures. As he did not show any disloyalty to his cause, neither did he cheat anybody in his life.
The Prophet’s trustworthiness concerning his mission
The Messenger was chosen by God for his trustworthiness so that he would be totally devoted to delivering the Message truthfully. He was so concerned about his duty that he used to repeat the verses while Gabriel was reciting them to him until God revealed:
Move not your tongue concerning (the Qur’an) to make haste therewith. It is for Us to collect it, to establish it in your heart and enable you to recite it. So, when We have recited it to you, then follow you its recital. Then it is also for Us to make it clear to you. (75:16–9)
As the Qur’an was given to him as a trust, he did his utmost to convey it to people in the best way possible. He dedicated his life to this sacred cause, constantly aware of the weight of his responsibility. In the last year of his life, he made his farewell pilgrimage, during which he gave a sermon on the hill of ‘Arafat. He communicated to people the Commandments of God once more and at the end of each sentence, he told the pilgrims, They will, in the near future, inquire of you about me, and asked them: Have I conveyed the Message to you? Each time the Muslims answered, ‘Yes, you have conveyed’, he repeated, O God, be the witness!1
God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, never thought of concealing even a word of the Divine Revelation. We read in the Qur’an that God admonished him mildly for a few actions of his. Were he not the Messenger of God and – God forbid the thought! – were he the author of the Qur’an, there would have been no such admonition in it.
The society in which the Messenger was raised was a primitive one. Many of the prevalent customs contradicted reason and sociological and scientific facts. For example, adopted children enjoyed the same legal status as natural children and it followed that a man could not legally marry, for example, the widow or former wife of an adopted son. This practice was to be abolished, as adoption can never create a relationship comparable to the relationship with biological parents. God chose to solve this problem, as always, through the ideal example of His Messenger in order to separate a ‘legal’ fiction from a natural reality, and established a new law and custom.
Zayd, who was an emancipated slave and servant of God’s Messenger whom he addressed as ‘my son’, had married Zaynab, the daughter of Jahsh. It was God’s Messenger himself, upon him be peace and blessings, who had arranged this marriage. Nevertheless, it soon became clear that the marriage would not last long. Zayd admitted that he was spiritually inferior to his wife. He concluded that it was better for him to divorce her. In the end, the Qur’an commanded Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings:
We gave her in marriage to you (al-Ahzab, 33.37).
The Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, was obliged by this Divine command to marry her. This was, of course, against the established traditions of the time, and was difficult for God’s Messenger to carry out, as the hypocrites would use this opportunity to defame him, so he delayed announcing the Divine decree, for which he received the following admonition:
Then, you said to him on whom God bestowed grace and you have done favour, ‘Keep your wife to yourself and fear God’. But you did hide in your heart that which God was about to make manifest because you feared the people [that they would speak slander against you], whereas God had a better right that you should fear him. (al-Ahzab, 33.37)
‘A’isha, Mother of Believers, later commented on the event:
If God’s Messenger had been willing to conceal any Revelation, he would have concealed that verse.2
If Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, had not been a trustworthy Messenger, he would, as ‘A’isha rightly said, have concealed that verse. However, concealing it would have been contrary to his character and mission. Furthermore, the verse 67 of sura al-Ma’ida contains a clear, decisive order for the Prophet not to conceal anything of the Qur’an, for concealment of even a single Revelation would amount to mean that he did not deliver his Message. The verse reads:
O Messenger, deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; for if you do not, you will not have fulfilled your task of His Messengership. God will protect you from men. God guides not the people of the unbelievers.
So, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, communicated to people whatever was revealed to Him by God.
1. Abu Dawud, Manasik, 56; Ibn Ma’ja, Manasik, 84; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya, 5.173.
2. Bukhari, Tawhid, 22; Muslim, Iman, 288.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.