Muhammad (pubh) had great courage. He faced dangers and calamities but never showed any weakness or timidity. When the opposition and rebukes of the Quraish of Makka became unbearable, his uncle Abu Tailb spoke to Muhammad and said, ‘Could you not be silent about all this: believe it all for yourself but not trouble others, anger the chief men and endanger yourself. Muhammad (pbuh) answered, ‘If the sun stood on my right hand and the moon on my left, ordering me to hold peace, I could not obey!’ This indicates what divine courage Muhammad (pbuh) possessed and that he never showed any weakness in his determination in case of fighting for a just cause.
Abu Hurairah (Ra) reported Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) as saying, “By him in Whose hand my soul is were it not that men among the believers are not satisfied with remaining behind me when I cannot accommodate them I would not stay behind when an expedition goes out in Allah’s way. By Him in Whose hand my soul is I wish I could be killed and brought to life, then be killed again.” (Bukhari and muslim). And Sahl bin Said reported Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) as saying, “ Being stationed on the frontiers in Allah’s way for a day is better than the world and what is in it.” (Bukhari and muslim). Ka’b bin Malik said that when Allah’s Messenger intended to go on an expedition he always pretended to be going somewhere else until the time came for that expedition meaning the one to tabuk. Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) undertook it in extreme heat facing a long journey and an enemy. He made clear to the Muslims what they were about to do in order that they might get ready the equipment for their expedition, telling them he was going.” (Bukhari). He fought scores of battles with great courage and determination without ever buffering total defeat. In the battle of Badr, he faced 1,000 men fully equipped with the armors of the time with only 313 ill-equipped men, including some children, but he never showed any signs of fear or cowardice. He fought against heavy odds with extreme courage and won the battle. In the heat of the battle the Muslims looked at him for support and protection. In the battle of Uhud, victory was converted into partial defeat by the mistakes of a few archers. The Muslims were running around in complete chaos after hearing the false news of the death of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) but he was as calm as ever.
He continued fighting in the company of some of his faithful companions even after the loss of his teeth until other Muslims came to know of his whereabouts and gathered round him. Then they fought a very fierce battle under his courageous guidance and the enemy withdrew with the final result of the battle undecided.
In the battle of Hunain when the new converts fled from the field in utter confusion in the face of a storm of arrows and the rest of the army followed them in chaos he and some faithful companions were the only ones who stood firm. He called to the fleeing Muslim army and encouraged them to fight back. At his call all the Muslims came back re-organised their attack and won the day. Bar bin Azib who participated in this battle was asked by someone whether they ran away in the battle of Hunain and he replied ‘yes’ that is true but I bear witness that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stood and did not move from his position. By Allah when the fighting rose to its height we took refuge by his side and the bravest among us was considered that man who stood by him. And Anas said that Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) was the bravest of all. Once the news spread in Medina that the enemies had attacked, the people got ready to fight but the man who advanced ahead of all was Muhammad (pbuh) himself.
He did not even wait for the saddle but rode bareback until the news was confirmed that there was no danger. Muhammad (pbuh) never killed anyone with his own hands. Abi bin khalf was his deadliest enemy; when he was released on ransom after the battle of Badr he said that he would kill Muhammad (pbuh) on his horse which was being nourished and fed for this purpose. In the battle of Uhud he was riding on that horse and after crossing rows of soldiers he came close to Muhammad (pbuh). The Muslims wanted to stop him there but Muhammad. He forbade them and took a spear from the hand of one of his companions and advanced towards him and gently pushed the end of the spear into his neck. He rode away shouting and people asked him why he was so horrified at this slight wound. He replied, ‘Yes it is slight but it is from the hands of Muhammad (pbuh).’ Later on he died as a result of that wound.
The writer is the former Director, Islamic Foundation, Bangladesh