In these dark and confusing times, Imam Khalid Latif reminds us how the best of mankind, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ responded to adversity.
Zayd ibn San’an (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
Once, God’s Messenger ﷺ borrowed some money from me. I was not yet a Muslim then. I went to him to collect my debt before its due time, and insulted him, saying; ‘You the children of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, are very reluctant to pay your debts!’ ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) became very angry with this insult of mine and shouted; ‘O enemy of God! Were it not for the treaty between us and the Jewish community, I would cut off your head! Speak to God’s Messenger politely!’
However, God’s Messenger ﷺ smiled at me and, turning to ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), said, “Umar, pay the man his debt! And add to it the amount of twenty gallons because you have frightened him!”
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) relates the rest of the story: “We went together. On the way, Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) spoke to me unexpectedly;
O ‘Umar! You got angry with me. But I have found in him all the features of the Last Prophet recorded in the Torah, the Old Testament. However, there is this verse in it: ‘His mildness surpasses his anger. The severity of impudence to him increases him only in mildness and forbearance.’ In order to test his forbearance, I uttered what I uttered. Now I am convinced that he is the Prophet whose coming the Torah predicted, so, I believe and bear witness that he is the Last Prophet.
The mildness and forbearance of God’s Messenger ﷺ sufficed for the conversion of Zayd ibn San’an (may Allah be pleased with him), who was one of the Jewish scholars of the time. [Suyuti, al-Khasa’is, 1.26; I. Hajar, al-Isabah, 1.566.]
The Prophet ﷺ was a person of Haleem, his example for us was that he had a sense of kindness and love and a sense of justice and compassion.
Your prayer is not only for you but for all of humanity, your forbearance impacts all of humanity. Look inside and ask yourself “What am I going to give?”
The Prophet ﷺ in his forbearance was always merciful, compassionate, generous, loving and a source of hope.
Pray, smile and love others from your heart. The things that are happening around us, hardships do exist, ask yourself how will you meet it? If you meet it with anything less than true forbearance, to be able to recognise and what it means for us individually and communally, Allah will give us opportunities for growth and we will have to decide if we are going to take it on or not.
We are grateful to ICNYU for this recording.
Resources for seekers
- A Guide to the Confused of Our Times, by Imam Zaid Shakir
- Prophetic Guidance: On Forbearance, Patience and Kindness
- Habib Ali al-Jifri – Lessons on Anger, Forbearance, and Disciplining the Soul Through Prophetic Wisdom – from the RIS Knowledge Retreat
- Why Is the Prophet’s Character Described as Being Tremendous? – Faraz Rabbani
- Good Character is Not Becoming Angry
- A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah