I remembered a story shared by a religious teacher during a weekend class on the subject, Akhlaq or Good Manners. The Ustadz shared with us one very meaningful story.
It was about how a man with a beautiful character had such a great influence on the whole world. A man who would always stay calm, contained and polite amidst the way others were mistreating him, even to the point of abusing him. The way he forgives and the way he looked past others mistakes was beyond any normal human could understand.
While others would fight fire with fire, he would use all his strength to put it out with cold water instead. It was because of his character that those who opposed him became fond of him.
He didn’t need any public rally to gain followers. People would still follow him because of his pure akhlaq. That man was Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
The Prophet and The Rude Jewish Scholar
There was a time when the Prophet (pbuh) was treated harshly by a Jewish scholar who was impressed by the prophet’s reaction.
It all started when the Prophet(pbuh) took a loan from the scholar to help other people in the city and he had promised to pay it on a certain date they have agreed on.
But, two or three days before the deadline, the scholar decided to ask for the payment.
That day the scholar went to the mosque where the Prophet and his companions had just completed their prayers. He took this opportunity to approach the Prophet(pbuh). When the scholar caught up with the Prophet (pbuh), he grabbed the Prophet’s (pbuh) clothes, looked at him angrily and started yelling, threatening him to pay his debt.
The prophet stayed quiet while waiting patiently for the scholar to calm down. By that time, Saidina Umar r.a who saw how the prophet was being treated became infuriated. Saidina Umar r.a was known as a bad-tempered man and he treated the Prophet (pbuh) as his own brother.
But, Saidina Umar restrained himself as a way to show his respect for the Prophet(pbuh). He warned the scholar that he could have struck the scholar’s head with his sword if he wanted to. Upon seeing Saidina Umar’s r.a reaction, the Prophet(pbuh) scolded him and told him to calm down.
The prophet then asked Saidina Umar r.a to take some money he had to pay the debt and to give extra as a way to compensate for the fact that Saidina Umar r.a had frightened the scholar.
The scholar who had already learned the signs of prophethood in Muhammad (pbuh) before meeting him personally had (pbuh) embraced Islam upon seeing such kindness.
In actual fact, he was just curious to see how would this man who was acknowledged as the most kindhearted person, would react when being mistreated. You can read more about this story here.
Do unto others like how you would do unto yourselves
It is the Golden Rule in Islam.
This saying was not only taught in Islam, but by all sorts of great and worthy individuals from all over the world. Anyone who practices this virtue will surely be someone noble and respected.
Each and one of us is born with our own natural character. It is what make me who I am, and the same goes for you. We do things differently, and we accept them in different manners too.
Some of us get upset and angry easily while others seemed to show no expression at all. These are individual traits we are born with, but we must not let this natural state define our character.
Imagine how would schools, workplace, public areas and even home would be like if we practice treating others like how we want others to treat us too. Ignoring the fact that we are born with different needs and perceptions.
It is not about others. It is about ourselves. It starts with us, not from people around us.
Who am I kidding? It’s not easy, isn’t it? Heck, my friends would say “tell that to yourself.”
And I would say..
“Yes, I think we all should tell this to ourselves. Then we would really understand why Prophet Muhammad, Prophet Jesus, and even Confucius said that long time ago.”
You get what I mean?