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The Reasons Behind the Progress of Islam
1- One of the reasons for the progress of Islam was the excellent conduct, attitude and characterists of the Holy Prophet (S) and the way and way he lived.
2- The other reason was the Holy Quran which was a miracle of the Holy Prophet(S). The Unique beauty, depth, and attraction of the Quran expedited the spread of Islam.
3- The personality and the leadership quality of the Holy Prophet(S)
4- Influence of the historical biography of the Prophet Muhammad (S). The Holy Quran, God’s words to the Prophet,says:
“It was by the mercy of Allah that thou wast gentle with them (O Muhammad), for if thou hadst been harsh and of heart they would have dispersed from around thee. So pardon them and pray forgiveness for them and consult with them in the affair. And when thou art resolved, trust in Allah, Lo! Allah loveth those who firmly trust in Him.” The Holy Quran,(3:159)
This shows that Muhammad’s attitude was a factor in attracting Muslims. Any leader who wants to summon people God should also be gentle and lenient in his personal attitude. The importance of this Holy verse is that one should be lenient as an individual, but not in principles. The Holy Prophet(S) was very firm when it came to principles and showed no flexibility. If someone insulted him, he would forgive him kindly, because that was something related to himself. But once someone violated Islamic rules, the Holy Prophet(S) would treat him with severity.
Once someone stopped the Holy Prophet(S) and claimed that the Holy Prophet(S) owed him some mony and that he would not let him go unless he received the amount back right there. The Holy Prophet(S) said, “I don’t owe you anything, but even if I do, let me go home to get you your money. “The man said that he would not let the Prophet take another step. Ignoring how gently the Holy Prophet(S) had behaved, the man acted fiercely, to the point that he took the Holy Prophet’s gown off and wrapped it around his neck and pulled him, such that the Holy Prophet’s neck was bruised. The Holy Prophet(S) was on his way to the mosque and when people noticed that he was late, they want in search of him and found a Jew obstructing him in the way. The Muslims wanted to slap and punish this rude fellow, but the Holy Prophet(S) said, “No, you people don’t interfere. I know what to do with my friend. “ Observing so much leniency, the Jew became a Muslims right there and said: “You are so powerful yet you are so lenient, and this is not possible for an ordinary man. I bear witness that certainly Muhammad is the Messagner of God and there is no Allah except God.
When the Holy Prophet entered Mecca after that city had been conquered, a woman from the Quriash aristocrats has stolen something and according to Islamic rules, her hand had to be cut off. The woman was an influential Quraish and her relatives tried to save her by recommending to the Holy Prophet (S) that she was the daughter of such and such a personality and if her hands were cut off, a whole family would be disgraced. The Holy Prophet said:
“Impossible! I cannot suspend the Islamic rules. If this woman were not a member of the aristocracy ,you would all confirm that she must be punished, but now say she should not be punished, because an aristocrat family will be disgraced. How can I forgive her? Never! The Laws of God will never be suspended and nor recommendations will be accepted.”
He never reconciled in principles, but when his own interests were in question, he was extremely lenient and generous.
Ali(A.S) too was very lenient and kind in his personal affairs, but in principles, he would never accept any reconciliation. Contrary to our apparently sacred persons who think other people own them because of their sacredness, and always frown and never smile, as if to be sacred means to be morose and stern, Ali (A.S) was very cheerful and jovial.
Why must a Muslims be grim? A faithful Muslims is never so. Ali (A.S) said: “A believer has smile and cheer on his face and sorrow in his heart.”
Ali (A.S) always met people with a smile on his face. Like the Holy Prophet (S), he made jokes with people, but not to the extent of futility. Ali (A.S) was so cheerful that some people considered it a weak point for a would be Caliph, saying that a Caliph must be grim, a person people should be afraid of.
Why wasn’t the Holy Prophet (S) like that? Says about the Holy Prophet: “I was by the mercy of Allah that thout wast
gentle with them ( O Muhammad), for if thou hadst been sterm and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from around thee.” The Holy Quran, (3:159)
The Holy Prophet’s approach in leadership was gentle and kind, not harsh and rough. Amir Al-Mumenin, Ali (A.S) ,says about the second Caliph: This one has put the Caliphate in a tough enclosure where the words were haughty and the touch was harsh.”
Ibn-Ass also said that there was a problem he wanted to discuss with the Caliph, but he dared not do it while Umar was alive and he said, “The lashes of Umar is more frightening than the sword of Hajaj. “But Ali(A.S) was very lenient in his personal affairs and very tough in implementing principles. Once his brother Aqil asked him for financial help. Ali (A.S) said that he would pay him from his own salary. Aqid said, “O dear brother! Your salary is very low. Why don’t you pay me the Beit-ul-mal (Public funds)?” Aqil was blind, Ali (A.S) ordered his men to bring forth a heated piece of iron and asked Aqil to take it. Aqil thought it was a bag full of coins, so he grasped it and his hand burnt. He shouted and cried. Ali (A.S) then said:
“ Moaning women may moan over you,O Aqil! Do you cry on account of this (heated) iron which has been made not by man for fun, while (because of injustice and partiality) you are driving me towards the fire which Allah, the powerful, has prepared as (a manifestation of) His wrath.”
This is how Ali (A.S), lenient as he was in his personal affairs showed severity in implementing the law of God On the other hand, Umar, who was so fierce even towards his wife and his son, showed flexibility in dealing with principles. The inequitable or unjust distribution of the Beit –ul- mal began during umar’s Caliphate. He acted against the principles of the Holy Prophet(S), basing his decisions on convenience and personal relations.
The Holy Prophet(S) was so kind and lenient to Muslims that they all loved him. A woman came to him and said, “O Prophet of God! Please take my six –mouth old baby into your lap so that he will have good destiny in future, do pray for him.” The Holy Prophet(S) did so. Scenes like this occurred often and the babies would sometimes wet the Holy Prophet’s lap. Their parents would get worried about it and run about for their babies, but the Holy Prophet(S) would tell them, “Leave them in peace.”
Councils and Consultation
Another aspect of the Holy Prophet’s gentlenss was his Consultation with others. The Holy Prophet did not need advice from others, but he did so to impose this principle on everyone who wielded power after him without considering himself superior to others and not in need of counsel and advice. Moreover, by consulting his people, the Holy Prophet (S) increased the morale among them and raised their prestige. If a leader doesn’t consult his men, even if he is one hundred percent sure about his decisions, his men will feel inferior and debased, thinking they are only tools in the hands of their leader. If on the other hand, they are consulted and are involved in decision- making, they will be aware of their personality and obey better. The Holy Quran says: “…And when thou art resolved, then put they trust in Allah..” The Holy Quran,(3:159)
O Prophet! Be careful that your consultations do not lead to irresolution. Consult before making decisions, but once the leader has made a decision, he should carry it out firmly. Once you have made your decision, trust in God and ask Him to help you. The foregoing points were mentioned in relation to the principle of calling to God and propagating. Once of the principles of propagation is friendliness, leniency and kindness and avoiding any force, harahness and compulsion. The issue of leadership, of course, is an independent one which should be dicussed separately in detail.
noble character of the Holy prophet of islam- pages: 157to167
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