Foremost among the key characteristics of the Holy Prophet (sa) were his courage and bravery in the face of adversity. However, analyzing the key characteristics that it takes to be brave is in itself a tall ladder to climb. Through his example, the word brave flourished into promising avenues that could take different meanings and hold many interpretations that encompass understanding being human, and accepting all life. By looking at him, we, as Ahmadi Muslims, should strive to understand the deep context behind his actions, words, and teachings to bring peace to our own lives and to the lives of others.
Even in times of trials and tribulations, Allah, the Almighty has instructed us to stay steadfast in the face of adversity. The Holy Qur’an says: “Let him who has abundance spend out of his abundance. And let him whose means of subsistence are straitened spend out of what Allah has given him. Allah burdens not any soul beyond that which He has bestowed upon it. Therefore, Allah will soon bring about ease after hardship” (). However, it is essential to understand that hardship can come in many forms, and Allah can test us in unexpected and sometimes painful ways. At times like these, we can reflect on the Holy Prophet’s (sa) characteristic of bravery to help us in our trials and overcome them.
Although most people might say that it takes strength, endurance, and gallantry to be brave, the Holy Prophet (sa), demonstrated within his own life, that passion, love, and determination are also a few elements just as essential that are needed to succeed in being strong and courageous. He showcased qualities of admiration and treasured values that paralleled God’s words. He showed us that being brave is about dedication in reaching for something that will lead to prosperity, standing up for the rights of others, and protecting every creation of God Almighty.
Aside from the many courageous battles the Holy Prophet (sa) fought in to defend Islam and display bravery, there are numerous other examples of how he brought a divergent essence and a new meaning to the word.
In Arabia, at the time of the Holy Prophet (sa), the Arabs had a barbaric non-Islamic practice of mistreating women and girls, even to the point of killing them early in life. On one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) had a guest over at his home. The man was noticeably agitated and stricken with agony as he told the Prophet (sa) that he had done something terrible. The man wept, and sadness came upon him. The Holy Prophet (sa) inquired as to what was the matter. The man in tears informed him that he had a daughter, who he walked over to a nearby water well and had her stand close by. As the man continued to weep, he told the Prophet (sa) that he had pushed his daughter down the well and soon after came to the residence of the Prophet (sa). The Prophet (sa) became overwhelmed with grief hearing the story, and tears streamed down his face as he listened to the account of the appalling death of this young girl.
This example of the encounter between this man and the Holy Prophet (sa) shows a different kind of bravery. The lifelong determination he had made to uphold the value of every human being, especially of women, was a struggle he fought to achieve as God commanded. In his heart, he truly believed in the equality of each human and their right to live happy and healthy lives. Hearing this story of the man and his daughter devastated the Holy Prophet (sa) and pained his heart to tears. However, the Holy Prophet (sa) showed bravery in that he listened to the story and felt the pain that came with it. This kind of bravery is different, but it still takes the same amount of courage and strength to bear this kind of pain. By analyzing this example, we can see that it takes more to be strong than just strength; instead, it takes a big heart, faith in Allah, the Almighty, and the hope that struggles will see their end one day. To be brave like the Holy Prophet (sa) is about being firm in religion and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his ideals and values that protect everything under God’s name. To be brave is to be human; to be human is to be brave.
There was an instance when the Holy Prophet (sa) was lying under a tree resting when a man approached him and quickly took the sword of the Holy Prophet (sa). After taking the sword, the opponent asked the Holy Prophet (sa) who would save him now that he was threatened with a weapon. The Holy Prophet (sa) calmly proceeded to say that Allah the Almighty will save him. Soon after hearing this response, the man started to shake at this unexpected reply from the Holy Prophet (sa), and the sword from his hand dropped to the ground. The Holy Prophet (sa) swiped his sword back and asked the man who would save him now? (2)
This example is a perfect scenario for how the Holy Prophet (sa) displayed bravery in an opponent’s face, literally, with patience and trust in Allah, the Almighty. Although most people in this situation would rely on a sudden surge of adrenaline to fend off the attacker, it is also essential to know that calmness and mindfulness can yield the best results as an act of bravery.
The Holy Prophet (sa) also showed that it is crucial to control one’s feelings in times of difficulty and stress. For example, on one occasion, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that the strong one is the one who can control his anger. Furthermore, the Holy Qur’an also says regarding this matter:
“Those who spend in prosperity and adversity, and those who suppress anger and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good” ().
Therefore, it is imperative to note that in addition to patience, wisdom, and thoughtfulness, it is also the ability to suppress anger in stressful times that makes an individual embody the true definition of brave.
As discussed above, there can be many interpretations of the definition of bravery and what it takes to be brave. Being brave does not always mean that one has to confront conflict with a sword in hand; sometimes being brave means just having the willpower to keep going and strive towards goodness. Throughout his life, the Holy Prophet (sa) gave us countless examples of displaying courage and bravery in the brightest sense. With guidance and unique insight into wisdom, we can analyze his teachings and implement them within our own daily lives. The steps we take to become more like him in character are all to our benefit and to the eventual benefit of society. We as human beings are imperfect; however, the efforts we make to please Allah by fulfilling the rights of others and striving with bravery and determination to better ourselves for the eventual purpose of self-improvement is what matters.
1. The Holy Qur’an (65:8)
2. Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book 56, Hadith 126
3. The Holy Qur’an (3:135)
Last modified: March 2022