Dealing with Harsh Treatments, Prophet Muhammad’s Way

The Prophets are those that the most tested especially with harsh people. Different prophets came with a few other challenges and issues, especially in dealing with people, to call them to worship only Allah. Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I said: “O Messenger of Allah, which of the people are most severely tested?”. He said: “The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested by his level of religious commitment. If his religious commitment is strong, he will be tested more severely, and if his religious commitment is weak, he will be tested by his religious commitment. Calamity will keep befalling a person until he walks on the earth with no sin on him.” [1]

How did Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) deal with all these challenges, especially the bad treatment he received from the disbelievers? He (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) is the best teacher. The prophet has taught us many ways and examples. We should emulate and follow on how he dealt with the harsh treatments that he faced in his life.

as an oppressed person, he made a lot of supplication.

There were many incidences when the idolators tried their plot against the Prophet to kill him. Uthaibah bin Abu Lahab once approached the Prophet, and he shouted at him. Uthaibah told him that he does not believe in the Quran. he dealt with him violently, tearing his shirt, and tried to spat on the Prophet. What did the Prophet’s reaction? Prophet Muhammad did not rebuke and remain silent. Instead, he made a supplication to Allah ‘O Allah!, Set one of your dogs on him,’ Allah responded to his supplication. A lion in Syria killed Utbah when he was traveling there.[2]

There were a few other incidences when the idolators tried to kill the Prophet. Even his uncle Abu Jahl attempted to drop a heavy stone on the Prophet’s head while he was prostrating in prayer. Still, they were unsuccessful due to the Prophet’s dua. Mu’adh ibn Jabal reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace, and blessings be upon him, said: ‘Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.’ [3]

He remained patient and persistent in his actions.

The Prophet remained patient and persistent even though he faced harsh treatment by others on many different occasions. For example, during the social and economic boycott that happened towards him and his family members, the Banu Hashim and Banu Muttalib. The Quraish retracted them to the Valley of Abu Talib for three years. They were suffering from no food, no medication, and even eating on dried leaves. Even that, Prophet Muhammad and his followers continued to remain patient, courageous, and determined. The Prophet continued to preach openly in Makkah near the Kaaba during this difficult time.

He did not rebuke and did not take revenge for his own sake.

During Prophet Muhammad’s expedition to the Taif to call people to worship only Allah, he faced harsh treatment by the city’s people. They used harsh words and pelted him with stones. He was bleeding and had to seek refuge in one of the numerous orchards, miles away from the city. Not rebuking, he only complains about his helplessness towards Allah. Jibrail and the angels of mountains came asked to help him destroy Taif’s people. He rejected the offer because he wanted the next generations of Taif to worship Allah. ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) was never given a choice between two things, but he would choose the easier of the two, so long as it was not a sin; if it were a sin, he would be the furthest of the people from it. And Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) never took revenge for his own sake, unless Allah’s sacred limits were transgressed, in which case he would seek revenge for His sake.[4]

he did not repay evil with evil.

Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him) is a noble person with great qualities, not scolding others with harsh words. His companions respected him for all these characteristics. It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: He is not harsh and aggressive, and he does not make a noise in the market-place; he does not repay evil with evil, rather he overlooks and forgives. [5]

There are lengthy examples and stories in the seerah of Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings of Allah be upon him). As Muslims, we should emulate his actions in facing any challenges that we face today, even the harsh treatment. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I have only been sent to perfect good characteristics.”[6]

[1] Al-Tirmidhi (2398), Classed as-saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 143.
[2] Tafheem-Ul-Quran, 6/522
[3] Saḥiḥ al-Bukhārī 4090, Muttafaqun Alayhi
[4] al-Bukhaari (3560) and Muslim (2327)
[5] Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2125)
[6] al-Bukhaari in al-Adab al-Mufrad (273) and classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (45)


  1. Ar-Raheeq Al Makhtum, The Biography of the Noble Prophet, Safiur Rahman al Mubaakpuri
  2. IslamQA website supervised by Skeikh Salih Al Munajid

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