We're just visitors

At the end of the game, the King and the Pawn goes into the same box

Seerah episode 52: Prophetic Bodyslam – How the Prophet Gave Dawah August 31, 2014

Filed under: Seerah — visitor74 @ 2:47 pm

— Even after 10 years of hardship, the Prophet had no quit in him

  • He was still motivated to preach. He didn’t take a moment’s leave from his life mission – give da’wah

— 3 primary characteristics of a da’i (person who sets out on the objective of sharing the truth of Islam to people), as embodied by the Prophet

  • Have full conviction in what you are teaching
  • Be motivated & driven about the teaching of the message. Don’t give up easily
    • In first day & a half that Abu Bakr was Muslim, he brought 7 people to Islam
    • Abu Bakr wasn’t obnoxious; he was that one person who was beloved by everyone
    • The Prophet said about Abu Bakr, “The most merciful of my ummah towards my ummah is Abu Bakr.”
  • Be tactful. Don’t be abrasive when giving dawah
    • It’s one thing for people to not agree or accept your message; that’s in the hands of Allah. But if people are finding you abrasive in the way that you approach people & teach them, then you need to revisit the example of the Prophet & learn some tact
    • Persian scholars used the following terms, & take those into consideration when giving da’wah
      • Mardun shunasi: know who you’re talking to
      • Moka shunasi: know the circumstance (situation, time)

— “Hirs” – To desire something, to work to achieve to acquire something

  • This word is used to describe the pursuit of material things: wealth, fame, etc.
  • Allah uses this word figuratively as well
    • Haris al alaykum: well-being of others
    • The Prophet was concerned about our well-being

— During the post-boycott period (10th year of Nabua, when the Prophet is 50 years old), there was a famous man named Rukana, who was from Banu Abd Munaf, & a distant relative of the Prophet

  • Rukana was very well-known as ashaddu-Quraysh (strongest man of Quraysh)
    • Shaykh Abdul: “You know how they have the World’s Strongest Man Competition? They’re not even human beings. They don’t even look like human beings. They’re usually like 6’ 8”, and about as wide as this table.”
  • Makkah would have carnivals, bazaars, & the season of Hajj, festivals
    • Rukana would show up at these functions & display a show of strength. He would wrestle 5 people at one time or lift heavy things. He was a celebrity for these things

— The Prophet once ran into Rukana in one of outskirts of Makkah, where bazaars were set up

  • They both see each other, but Rukana pretended that he didn’t see the Prophet & kept on walking
  • The Prophet called out, “Ya Rukana, don’t you have any consciousness of God & that you’d accept what I invite you to?”
  • Rukana replied, “Ya Muhammad, if I know what you’re saying is the truth, why wouldn’t I follow you?”

— Ibn Kathir says that the Prophet then presented the challenge of wrestling (more authentic). Other narrations say it was Rukana who challenged the Prophet

  • The Prophet didn’t start da’wah by giving Rukana a lecture. He is talking to someone physically gifted, someone who makes his living by wrestling. Rukana’s whole world is being the strongest man in Quraysh, so that’s how the Prophet approaches him, by asking Rukana to wrestle, not by reciting the Qur’an to him initially
  • The Prophet said, “Hey, Rukana, how about we wrestle? What do you think about that?”
  • Rukana is of course very confident in his abilities, so he accepts the Prophet’s challenge
    • this is like challenging Muhammad Ali to one-on-one boxing, So of course, he’s gonna be like, ‘Alright, sure…
  • The Prophet said, “If I beat you in wrestling, then will you understand that what I’m saying is the truth?”
    • Keep in mind that Rukana is not the man who gets knocked down. He is the one who knocks.
    • Rukana was not only young & the strongest man in Quraysh, but the Prophet at this time was 50 years old
  • Rukana said, “Yes, I’m ready to go. If you beat me, I’ll acknowledge that what you’re saying is the truth.”

— Rukana stood up & started to wrestle the Prophet

  • The Prophet grabbed him, and slammed Rukana on his back
    • Shaykh Abdul: “Just try to get the mental image of me dunking over Dirk Nowitzki. It’s preposterous.”
  • The Prophet picked up this mountain of a man, & just slammed him on his back
  • The Prophet slammed Rukana flat on his back, & the wind gets knocked out of Rukana
    • Rukana has never been beaten, so being body slammed was an alien experience to him. Rukana was so dazed that he couldn’t even get up for a few moments

— After getting up, Rukana said, “Let’s go again, Muhammad. You were hustling me.”

  • They wrestled again, & the Prophet slams Rukana again & pinned him down
    • Rukana is on the ground, pinned down, & said, “O Muhammad, wallahi, this is the most bizarre thing that’s happened to me. You keep beating me!”

— The Prophet said, “If you will be conscious of Allah & listen to what I have to say to you, then I’ll show you something amazing. ’l’ll show you something even more bizarre & amazing than me slamming you twice.”

  • Rukana asked, “What is that?”
  • The Prophet said, “You see that tree over there in the distance? I will call that tree toward me, and that tree will move towards me.”
  • Rukana said, “Do it.”
  • The Prophet called the tree, “By the command of Allah, I ask you to come to me.”
    • The tree moved from its spot & stood right next to Prophet
    • Then the Prophet told the tree, “Return to your place,” and the tree moved back to where it was

— When the Prophet visited Makkah at the time of Fathul Makkah (Conquest of Makkah), he was with some Sahaba

  • The Prophet walked by a big boulder that had always been there. The Prophet stopped in his steps & looked at the rock, & told his Sahaba, “Long before the Iqra (the First Revelation), this rock used to say salaam to me. I didn’t know what to make of that, so I would keep walking.”
  • Allah tells us in the Qur’an that each & every single thing in the creation of Allah praises & glorifies Allah, but “You are unable to comprehend & understand.”
    • Allah doesn’t say, “You don’t hear”, but He says, “You are unable to comprehend.”
    • From the sounds that animals make to thunder, the sound of streams & rain, trees blowing in the wind – we don’t comprehend that these creations all glorify Allah
  • Those same creations of Allah also recognize  the Prophet & attest to his Prophethood

— Ibn Kathir presents 2 narrations of what happened next (after the tree moved back to its place)

  • One narration mentions that after Rukana sees this, he doesn’t say anything, & goes to his family & says, “Everything existing in the face of this earth has now been enchanted by the magic of this man. I’ve never seen a greater magician than Muhammad.”
    • Then Rukana told his family what he saw. He did not accept Islam
    • This narration of Rukana not believing in Islam is authentic

— Another (more authentic) narration

  • Rukana & Prophet wrestled 3 times (Prophet wins all 3 times). In the beginning, they made sort of a bet
  • Rukana said, “If you beat me, I’ll give you 100 goats.”
  • The Prophet said, “There’s no need. I don’t need your goats.”
  • Rukana pledged 100 more goats for each time the Prophet beat him. He was arrogant, & very confident in his abilities, so he didn’t think that the Prophet would beat him
    • The ayat about gambling being forbidden had not been revealed yet, but people of high caliber considered gambling to be an immoral practice
  • The Prophet said, “I don’t want your wealth. I just want you to listen to my message.”

— Rukana is taken aback when the Prophet defeated him in wrestling, not once but 3 times

  • The Prophet then called the tree & told Rukana about Islam
  • Rukana said, “Ya Muhammad, nobody has ever put my back to the ground. To be honest with you, when you saw me earlier today, you saw me give you the cold shoulder. I didn’t acknowledge your presence because there’s nobody on this earth that I hate more than I hate you. I dislike you. I don’t like what you stand for. I don’t like the people that keep company with you. I just don’t like you. But what I’ve experienced today leads me to the undeniable truth of Islam, & I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Allah & you’re the Messenger of God.”
    • The Prophet replied, “Alright, Rukana, mubarak. Now get going before I body slam you again. You can keep your goats.”

— The Prophet approached each person as appropriate to their personalities. Da’wah isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of deal. If we want to be effective in preaching Islam, we have to interact & understand people first.

  • “Whilst the truth of Islam is a truth of its own right, Prophet Muhammad recognized that as individuals, we all have different interests. In this scenario, the Prophet appealed to Rukana, a famous wrestler, with the thing which he was most famous for, wrestling. Thus, whilst the preaching of the truth of Islam remained constant, it was the approach to inviting Rukana to Islam which was specific to Rukana’s nature
  • Similarly, when we take steps to teach people about Islam, we should endeavor to do so not only on the simple truths of Islam, but on a platform and an environment which they can understand, and fully appreciate the values of Islam, and Allah knows best”

— So we see that the Prophet did not only preached with his words all the time, even though he was a very gifted speaker. In the Medinan era of Prophethood, the Prophet once gave a lecture straight to his Sahaba from Fajr to Dhur

  • Not a single person moved from his place, until they got up to pray Dhur
  • Then the Prophet talked straight until Asr. They didn’t move until they got up to pray Asr
  • Then the Prophet talked from Asr to Maghrib, & not a single person moved until they got up to pray Maghrib
  • Then the Prophet talked from Maghrib to Isha, & not a single person moved. Finally, after praying Isha, the Prophet said, “Alright, everyone go.” That’s when the Sahaba left
    • The Prophet understood that these Sahaba had enough training & development of Imaan, so they would be able to sit through & listen to the lecture for a full day

— Shaykh Abdul shares a story from his student days

  • When Shaykh Abdul was young, he had a teacher named Maulana Tariq Jameel, who was very well-known for preaching throughout Pakistan & other parts of the world
  • Shaykh Abdul traveled with Maulana Tariq to visit a wealthy landowner, who was usually busy
    • It was difficult to gain an audience with this individual, but Shaykh Abdul & Maulana Tariq were able to meet with this busy man at his estate
    • It was known that this man would give visitors just 10 minutes tops of his time, & then he’ll go to take care of his affairs
  • This man came out to meet Shaykh Abdul & Maulana Tariq, & they said salaam to each other. Maulana Tariq is a huge & well-known scholar, but it didn’t register with the man that Maulana Tariq is anyone “noteworthy.” The man came out, said salaam, & asked, “How can I help you?”
    • Maulana Tariq said, “I noticed you have some stables on your estate. Do you have horses?”
    • The man replied, “Yes, I do!”
    • Maulana Tariq asked, “What kind of horses?”
    • The man talked a bit about his horses, probably wondering whether the Maulana knows a lot of horses to begin with
    • Maulana Tariq then talked about different lineages, builds, breeds, speed of various types of horses
  • Shaykh Abdul: “I had no idea what they were talking about. I’m from Texas. If anybody should have known horses, it was me, but I didn’t even know what they were talking about.”
  • The man & Maulana Tariq talked for 2 hours (rather than the 10 minutes that was expected)
    • About 30 minutes into the conversation, the man called one of his workers for some tea. After another 30 minutes, the man called for some juice. At the end of that 2 hour conversation, the man invited Maulana Tariq & Shaykh Abdul to have lunch with him
    • During lunch, they were able to talk about other things & the man agreed to accommodate some of the requests that Maulana Tariq had
  • Shaykh Abdul: “It was remarkable, but when I was sitting there for 2 hours, and I was still a young-un at that point, I would understand now what the Shaykh was doing, but I was a young-un at that point, you know, a student of knowledge,  you know?”
    • “So I’m sitting there thinking, ‘This is a shaykh who is an ocean of ilm & he’s sitting here talking about something like the dunya, like horses. Astagfirullah, astagfirullah.’ I took out my tasbeeh & started doing istighfar, ‘Talking about the dunya, Astagfirullah, astagfirullah.’ And I’m just sitting there thinking, ‘Two hours you talk about horses, like what kind of da’wah is this?’”
    • “Only to realize that after 2 hours, this man, who was known to be confrontational, who was known to have dislike for religious people, invited us to his home, breaks bread with us, introduces us to his children, his family. We actually ended up praying inside his home. The shaykh led the prayer. We all made jamaat. Then finally at the end, this man accommodates our request & actually came out to one of the shaykh’s programs after that.”
  • So this is wisdom. This is da’wah.
    • After 10 years of preaching (10 years), even with Makkans still pitted against Muslims, even with the likes of Abu Jahl against the Prophet, the Prophet still hadn’t lost his motivation. He was just as driven & inspired as he was from Day 1


Link to the next episode



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s