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Pondering the Quranic Commands Addressed to Prophet Muhammad Regarding Adherence to Patience

 Pondering the Quranic Commands Addressed to Prophet Muhammad Regarding Adherence to Patience

 

 

 

Published in May 11, 2020

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

 

 

Firstly: harming Muhammad by the Meccan disbelievers among the Qorayish tribesmen:

1- Of course, the Qorayish persecution inflicted on the early believers around Muhammad in Mecca reached the extent of torturing victims so that they were forced to announce their rejection of the new faith and to utter words of blasphemy/disbelief; this is inferred from the following Quranic verse: "Whoever renounces faith in God after having believed - except for someone who is compelled, while his heart rests securely in faith - but whoever willingly opens up his heart to disbelief - upon them falls wrath from God, and for them is a tremendous torment." (16:106).

2- Yet, Muhammad was never tortured or physically harmed by the Qorayish disbelievers in Mecca for the following reasons.

2/1: The Lord God has protected Muhammad from people so that he would be able to complete his mission; i.e., conveying the Quranic Message: "O messenger, convey what was revealed to you from your Lord. But if you do not, then you would not have delivered His message. And God will protect you from all people. God does not guide the disbelieving people." (5:67).

2/2: Of course, the Quran tells us that Muhammad was very much eager for, and keen on, guiding the affluent, big criminals of Mecca; he tried to draw nearer to them and this made him felt shy to appear within the presence of the poor ones among his believing companions: "He frowned and turned away. When the blind man approached him. But how do you know? Perhaps he was seeking to purify himself. Or be reminded, and the message would benefit him. But as for him who was indifferent. You gave him your attention. Though you are not liable if he does not purify himself. But as for him who came to you seeking. In awe. To him you were inattentive." (80:1-10); "And content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, desiring His Presence. And do not turn your eyes away from them, desiring the glitter of this world. And do not obey him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance..." (18:28); "And do not drive away those who call upon their Lord, morning and evening, seeking His attention. You are not accountable for them in any way, nor are they accountable for you in any way. If you drive them away, you would be one of the unjust ones." (6:52). Hence, this relation between Muhammad and the elite members of the Meccan society also prevented their thinking of trying to torture him.  

3- Within this relation between Muhammad and the Meccan wealthy, powerful elite members, some Quranic commands have been addressed to Muhammad concerning not to obey them: "So do not obey the deniers. They would like you to compromise, so they would compromise. And do not obey any vile swearer. Backbiter, spreader of slander. Preventer of good, transgressor, sinner." (68:8-12); "So be patient for the decision of your Lord, and do not obey sinners or disbelievers among them." (76:24). This means that this relation made them hope to influence and convince Muhammad so that he would introduce any changes to the Quranic text; their evil endeavors would have succeeded if it had not been for the protection by the Dominant Lord God Himself: "They almost lured you away from what We have revealed to you, so that you would invent something else in Our name. In that case, they would have taken you for a friend. Had We not given you stability, you might have inclined towards them a little." (17:73-74). 

4- As per history, Muhammad belonged to the Hashemites who were a powerful faction of the Qorayish tribe. This means that the powerful Hashemite faction would never have allowed anyone to torture Muhammad or to harm him physically in any way.   

5- The harm inflicted on Muhammad by the Meccan disbelievers was verbal (i.e., ridicule, accusations, and insults); this is mentioned in the Quran along with refutations by the Lord God. Within the contexts of such refutations, we read the Quranic commands addressed to Muhammad urging him to adhere to patience.

6- In our own view, physical, tangible harm was suffered by Muhammad, to some extent, by his paternal uncle Abee Lahab and his wife; the entire Quranic Chapter 111 predicts Hell for both of them in the Hereafter, and this prediction means their death as disbelievers without repentance; here is the entire text of the Quranic Chapter 111: "Condemned are the hands of Abee Lahab, and he is condemned. His wealth did not avail him, nor did what he acquired. He will burn in a Flaming Fire. And his wife - the firewood carrier. Around her neck is a rope of thorns." (111:1-5).

7- Some evil, disbelieving Meccans tried, but failed, to employ physical violence against Muhammad at the beginning of his ministry as a prophet; they surrounded him and were about to beat him (but they did not) when he urged them to stop deifying/sanctifying their allies/gods/saints and tombs and to dedicate their acts of worship only to Allah; this is inferred from the following Quranic verse: "And when the servant of God got up calling on Him, they almost fell on him in a mass." (72:19).

8- This is about their schemes/plots thwarted by the schemes/plans of the Lord God against them: "When the disbelievers plotted against you, to imprison you, or kill you, or expel you. They schemed, and God schemed, but God is the Best of schemers." (8:30); "And they swore by God with their solemn oaths, that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any other people. Yet when a warner came to them, it only increased them in aversion. Priding themselves on earth, and scheming evil. But evil scheming overwhelms none but its authors. Do they expect anything but the precedent of the ancients? You will not find any change in God’s practice, and you will not find any substitute to God’s practice." (35:42-43).

 

Secondly: types of verbal harm (or ridicule, accusations, and insults) against Muhammad:

Accusations of sorcery, madness, telling lies, composing poetry to enchant/bewitch others, and seeking leadership as a soothsayer:

This is mentioned in several Quranic verses as follows.

1- "Those who disbelieve almost stab you with their glances when they hear the message, and say, “He is insane!”" (68:51); thus, they accused Muhammad of being insane when they heard Quranic verses read to them by him; the Lord God refutes them here: "But it is no less than a Reminder to all the worlds." (68:52).

2- "...By the pen, and by what they inscribe. By the Bounty of your Lord, you are not insane." (68:1-2); this (Bounty) mentioned in 68:2 is the Holy Quran. the Lord God has promised Muhammad to reward him in Paradise: "In fact, you will have a reward that will never end." (68:3); this verse describes the Quran itself to which Muhammad adhered: "And you are on a great religion." (68:4). We refer readers to our article, in English, about pondering in detail the Quranic verse 68:4, found on the following link:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=14241

3- "So remind. By the Bounty of your Lord, you are neither a soothsayer, nor a madman." (52:29); of course, again, this (Bounty) is the Quran itself.

4- "...“Are we to abandon our gods for a mad poet?”" (37:36); the Lord God defends Muhammad and the Quran here: "In fact, he came with the truth, and he confirmed the messengers." (37:37).

5- Defending both the Quran and Muhammad is repeated in the Quranic text: "We did not teach him poetry, nor is it proper for him. It is only a reminder, and a Clear Quran." (36:69); "Or do they say, “A poet - we await for him a calamity of time”? Say, “Go on waiting; I will be waiting with you.”" (52:30-31); "And it is not the speech of a poet - little do you believe." (69:41).

6- "Nor is it the speech of a soothsayer - little do you take heed." (69:42); this verse describes the Quran itself: "It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds." (69:43); these Quranic contexts indicate clearly that Muhammad never ascribed lies to Allah: "Had he falsely attributed some statements to Us. We would have seized him by the right arm. Then slashed his lifeline. And none of you could have restrained Us from him." (69:44-47); "Is it a wonder to the people that We inspired a man from among them: “Warn the humankind, and give good news to those who believe that they are on a sound footing with their Lord”? The disbelievers said, “This is a manifest sorcerer.”" (10:2);"And they marveled that a warner has come to them from among them. The disbelievers said, “This is a lying sorcerer.”" (38:4).

7- "Likewise, no messenger came to those before them, but they said, “A sorcerer or a madman.” Did they recommend it to one another? In fact, they are tyrannical people." (51:52-53); this means that such accusations have been leveled by all disbelievers in all eras, as a bad habit, against the Lord God's messengers and prophets; it is as if this bad habit were inherited by all disbelievers in all eras!

8- There are also accusations within the context of their demanding from Muhammad miracles/signs apart from the Quran itself.

8/1: They demanded to see angels: "And they said, “O you who received the message, you are insane.” Why do you not bring us the angels, if you are truthful?”" (15:6-7); the refutation here indicates that seeing angels means death (i.e., dying souls see the angels of death) which cannot be postponed: "We do not send the angels down except with reason, and they will not be held back." (15:8).

8/2: They demanded other tangible miracles/signs as they rejected the Quran and dismissed it as mere dreams: "And they said, “A jumble of dreams,” and, “He made it up,” and, “He is a poet,” “let him bring us a sign, like those sent to the ancients.” None of the towns We destroyed before them had believed. Will they, then, believe?" (21:5-6); ancient nations were destroyed for denying miracles sent to them by the Lord God; this means He never granted to Arabs any tangible miracles since such miracles would not have made them believe in the Quran at all. The only miracle/sign granted to Muhammad is the Holy Quran itself.

8/3: Muhammad was saddened by the repeated demand of the disbelievers to see miracles/signs; the Lord God has told him the following.

8/3/1: "We know that what they say grieves you. It is not you they reject, but it is God's Verses that the unjust ones deny." (6:33); this means that in all eras, the unjust deniers always hate and reject the Truth.

8/3/2: "Other messengers before you were rejected, but they endured rejection and harm until Our support came to them. There can be no change to God’s words. News of the messengers has already reached you." (6:34); this means that the Lord God never granted any tangible miracles/signs to Arabs of Arabia; the only miracle/sign granted to Muhammad is the Holy Quran itself; Muhammad had to adhere to patience like the ancient messengers whose stories are mentioned in the Quranic text.

8/3/3: "If you find their rejection hard to bear, then if you can, seek a tunnel into the earth, or a stairway into the heaven, and bring them a sign. Had God willed, He could have gathered them to guidance. So do not be of the ignorant ones." (6:35); Muhammad is blamed here for beseeching the Lord God to grant them a miracle/sign.

 

Thirdly: the Quranic commands addressed to Muhammad to adhere to patience:

To adhere to patience regarding their scheming:

1- "But do not grieve over them, and do not be troubled by what they scheme." (27:70).

2- "We are aware that your heart is strained by what they say. So glorify the praise of your Lord, and be among those who prostrate. And worship your Lord until reaching certainty." (15:97-99); of course, (certainty) here means inevitable death. The best response to their evil scheming is to praise/glorify the Lord God's Holy Name and to engage into acts of worship; this is what pious people do until they die.

3- Here is another command addressed to Muhammad to adhere to patience: "So be patient. Your patience is solely from God. And do not grieve over them, and do not be stressed by their schemes. God is with those who are pious and those who are charitable." (16:127-128).

To adhere to patience regarding their words:

1- "And endure patiently what they say, and withdraw from them politely. And leave Me to those who deny the Truth, those of luxury, and give them a brief respite. With Us are shackles, and a Fierce Fire. And food that chokes, and a painful torment. On the Day when the earth and the mountains tremble, and the mountains become heaps of sand." (73:10-14); thus, their fate is left to the decision of the Lord God the Master/Owner of the Last Day; painful Hell-torment which is waiting for them is surely enough for them.

2- "It is We who sent down the Quran upon you - a gradual revelation. So be patient for the Judgment of your Lord, and do not obey the sinner or the disbeliever among them. And mention the Name of your Lord, morning and evening. And for part of the night, prostrate to Him, and glorify Him long into the night. As for these: they love the fleeting life, and leave behind a Heavy Day." (76:23-27); hence, Muhammad should never obey them and he should engage into prolonged praise of the Holy Name of the Lord God.

3- "And glorify Him during the night, and at the end of prostrations." (50:40); "So bear patiently what they say, and celebrate the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun, and before its setting. And during the hours of the night glorify Him, and at the borders of the day, that you may be satisfied." (20:130); patience here is linked to the glorification of the Holy Name of the Lord God at certain times; in fact, sadly, praise/glorification of the Holy Name of the Lord God is a religious duty often forgotten by most people.

To adhere to patience while waiting for the Promise and Judgment of the Lord God:

1- "So wait patiently for the Judgment of your Lord, for you are before Our Eyes; and proclaim the praises of your Lord when you arise." (52:48-49); praise/glorification of the Holy Name of the Lord God is linked to His protecting Muhammad.

2- "And follow what is revealed to you, and be patient until God issues His Judgment, for He is the Best of judges." (10:109); following the Quran is linked here to adherence to patience until the Last Day comes when the Lord God will settle the religious differences/disputes of all humanity.

3- "So be patient. The promise of God is true. And ask forgiveness for your sin, and proclaim the praise of your Lord evening and morning." (40:55); again, patience is linked to these acts of worship.

4- "So be patient. The promise of God is true. And do not let those who lack certainty belittle you." (30:60).

5- "So be patient. The promise of God is true. Whether We show you some of what We have promised them, or take you to Us, to Us they will be returned." (40:77).

6- "And be patient. God will not waste the reward of the charitable ones." (11:115).

To adhere to patience while being reminded of stories of ancient prophets/messengers of the Lord God:

1- "These are some stories from the past that we reveal to you. Neither you, nor your people knew them before this. So be patient. The future belongs to the pious ones." (11:49); this verse comes by the end of the Quranic story of Noah; the moral lesson here is to adhere to patience and rejoice by the promise of the Eternal Life in Paradise which is only for the pious monotheists, of course.

2- "Be patient in the face of what they say, and mention Our servant David..." (38:17); before beginning the Quranic story of David, we see the command addressed to Muhammad to adhere to patience.

3- "So be patient, as the messengers with resolve were patient, and do not be hasty regarding them..." (46:35); Jonah was not among the messengers with resolve; in the following Quranic context, Muhammad is told not to imitate the impatient Jonah: "So wait patiently for the Decree of your Lord, and do not be like the Fellow of the Whale who cried out in despair. Were it not for his Lord’s favor that reached him, he would have been thrown into the wilderness, fully despised. But his Lord chose him, and made him one of the righteous." (68:48-50).

To adhere to patience while being reminded of the advent of the Hour:

 "A questioner questioned the imminent torment. For the disbelievers; none can repel it. From God, Lord of the Ways of Ascent. Unto Him the angels and the Spirit ascend on a Day the duration of which is fifty thousand years. So be patient, with sweet patience. They see it distant. But We see it near. On the Day when the sky will be like molten brass. And the mountains will be like tufted wool. No friend will care about his friend." (70:1-10); "O you enrobed one. Arise and warn. And magnify your Lord. And purify your clothes. And abandon abominations. And pay no favors begrudgingly. And be patient for the sake of your Lord. When the Trumpet is blown. That Day will be a difficult day. For the disbelievers - not easy." (74:1-10); "And endure patiently what they say, and withdraw from them politely. And leave Me to those who deny the Truth, those of luxury, and give them a brief respite. With Us are shackles, and a Fierce Fire. And food that chokes, and a painful torment. On the Day when the earth and the mountains tremble, and the mountains become heaps of sand." (73:10-14).

 

Lastly:

 The above Quranic dos and don'ts are, in fact, not only addressed to Muhammad but also to all preachers of the Quranic Truth in all eras and regions; the Lord God says the following in the Holy Quran: "Say, “This is my way; I invite to God, based on clear knowledge - I and whoever follows me. Glory be to God; and I am not of the polytheists.”" (12:108). As always, the Lord God says nothing but the Absolute Truth. 


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