What Would Prophet Muhammad (saw) Do? A Reflection on Kindness
Posted on Nov 06, 2019
Editorial Note: This month we are sharing a variety of reflections about the Prophet Muhammad (saw), his experiences, characteristics and lessons learned. We'd love to hear yours in the comments below!)
There’s one thing that has always stood out to me about the Prophet Muhammad (saw), and that is his treatment of others regardless of how they treated him. My favorite story is of the older, non-Muslim woman who would wake up every morning and throw garbage and animal intestines on his front doorstep. She continued to do this every morning until one day, she stopped.
The umbrella shades at Masjid Nabawi. Image source: Flickr Creative Commons
Regardless of all the hostility she showed him, the Prophet (saw) became immediately worried about her and went to check on her. When he went to see her, he saw that she was sick, which is why she didn’t harass him that morning. She was shocked at his kindness and sincerity despite all that she had done to him and eventually, the woman converted to Islam because of his kindness.
This is my favorite story because it reminds us to be kind to one another every single day – to not hold grudges against others and to not let anyone else’s negative behavior affect our character.
There is so much simplicity in being kind. It can mean a smile that you share with a stranger or picking up a piece of litter so that an animal doesn’t attempt to eat it and then choke, or moving a pen from the floor so that no one slips and falls because of it. We have so many opportunities to perform this powerful sunnah on a daily basis and in our own capacities.
Kindness is one of the best virtues we can have, and we underestimate the power of kindness all the time. With all the current hatred in the world and people jumping to cause harm to others who caused harm to them, it only makes matters worse and eliminates any opportunity for love. As cliche as it may sound, let’s focus on spreading love, and not hate – not because it’s the “cool” thing to do, but because it’s right.
The Prophet (saw) has taught us that “Allah (S) has reserved a special reward for those who are kind and gentle.”
And, Aisha reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
يَا عَائِشَةُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ رَفِيقٌ يُحِبُّ الرِّفْقَ وَيُعْطِي عَلَى الرِّفْقِ مَا لَا يُعْطِي عَلَى الْعُنْفِ وَمَا لَا يُعْطِي عَلَى مَا سِوَاهُ
O Aisha, Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness, and He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness, and He does not reward anything else like it. (Source: Sahih Muslim, 2593; Grade: Sahih)
“He does not reward anything else like it.” Can you imagine? Allah (S) gives rewards in abundance, and these are the most beautiful and infinite rewards that our minds can’t possibly even process. So for behaving with kindness and gentleness, you are rewarded with something apart from the rest, apart from the “regular” rewards – something even more special, SubhanAllah!
Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the perfect example of this – being a kind and gentle soul, and that’s something I’ve always admired about him. When I’m at a loss for what to do or how to respond to someone who has harmed me, I try to think back to the best example mankind has ever seen, and I think to myself, What would Prophet Muhammad (saw) do?
Mona Mostafa, HH's social media specialist, at Masjid Nabawi in 2016.
Share your favorite stories of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) or lessons you've learned from the sunnah below in the comments!