Honesty & Trustworthiness
The prophet, peace be upon him, was nicknamed the trustworthy by his enemies. He was well-known for his honesty. The pagans of Mecca, who were openly hostile towards him, would leave their valuables with him as back then, there were no banks and coperatives.
Another example of his honesty is demonstrated in the Truce of Hudaibiyah. Terms of the treaty were that any man who left the Prophet would not be returned to him, but any man who left Mecca would be returned to them. A man named Abu Jandal managed to escape from the pagans of Mecca and joined the Prophet. The pagans asked Prophet Muhammad to honour his pledge and return the man. The Messenger of Allah said:
“O Abu Jandal! Be patient and ask Allah to grant you patience. Allah will surely help you and those who are persecuted and make it easy for you. We have signed an agreement with them, and we certainly do not betray or act treacherously.”bukhariy
Anas reported, “while I was walking with the Messenger of Allah while he was wearing a Yemeni cloak with a collar with rough edges, a Bedouin grabbed him strongly. I looked at the side of his neck and saw that the edge of the cloak left a mark on his neck. The Bedouin said, ‘O Muhammad! Give me (some) of the wealth of Allah that you have.’ The Messenger of Allah turned to the Bedouin, smiled and ordered that he be given (some money).
This was a man who was more honoured than the kings and rulers of today, he had the authority to do whatever he likes.
Another example of his patience is the story of the Jewish Rabbi, Zaid bin Sa’nah. Zaid had given something as a loan to the Messenger of Allah. He himself said,
“Two or three days prior to the return of the debt, the Messenger of Allah was attending the funeral of a man from the Ansar. Abu Bakr and Umar, Uthman and some other companions were with the Prophet. After he prayed the funeral prayer, he sat down close to a wall, and I came towards him, grabbed him by the edges of his cloak, and looked at him in a harsh way, and said: ‘O Muhammad! Will you not pay me back my loan? I have not known the family of Abdul Muttalib to delay in repaying debts!’
I looked at Umar ibn Al-Khattab – his eyes swelled with anger! He looked at me and said: ‘O Enemy of Allah, do you behave towards him in this manner?! By the One who sent him with the truth, had it not been for the fear of not entering Paradise, I would have beheaded you with my sword!’ The Prophet looked at Umar in a calm and peaceful manner, and he said: ‘O Umar, you should have given us sincere counseling, rather than to do what you did! O Umar, go and repay him his loan, and give him extra because you scared him!’”
Zaid said: “Umar went with me, and repaid me the debt, and gave me over it twenty sa’a of dates. I asked him: ‘What is this?’ He said: ‘The Messenger of Allah ordered me to give it, because I frightened you.’” Zaid then asked Umar: “O Umar, do you know who I am?” Umar said: “No, I don’t – who are you?” Zaid said: “I am Zaid ibn Sa’nah.” Umar inquired: “The Rabbi?” Zaid answered: “Yes, the Rabbi.” Umar then asked him: “What made you say what you said to the Prophet and do what you did to him?” Zaid answered: “O Umar, I have seen all the signs of prophethood in the face of the Messenger of Allah except two – (the first) his patience and perseverance precede his anger and the second, the harsher you are towards him, the kinder and more patient he becomes, and I am now satisfied. O Umar, I hold you as a witness that I testify and I am satisfied that there is no true God worthy of being worshipped except Allah alone, and my religion is Islam and Muhammad is my Prophet.
I also hold you as a witness that half of my wealth – and I am among the wealthiest people in Madina – I give for the sake of Allah to the Muslims.” Umar said: “You will not be able to distribute your wealth to all the Muslims, so say, ‘I will distribute it to some of the followers of Muhammad.’” Both Zaid and Umar returned to the Messenger of Allah. Zaid said to him: “I bear witness that there is no true deity worthy of being worshipped except Allah alone, and that Muhammad is the slave of Allah and His Messenger.” He believed in him, and witnessed many battles and then died in the Battle of Tabuk while he was encountering the enemy – may Allah have mercy on Zaid.
The greatest example of his forebearing and forgiveness is apparent when he pardoned the people of Mecca after the conquest of the city. When the people of makkah from whom he received all sorts of inhuman torture, brutality, prosecution, intimidation, mockery etc with his companions, and had driven them out of the city of Mecca, gathered around him, he said:
“What do you think I will do to you?” They answered: “You will only do something favourable; you are a kind and generous brother, and a kind and generous nephew!” The Prophet said: “Go – you are free to do as you wish.” Allahu akbar