The impact of grading in spreading Islam and establishing Islamic values:
Indeed, Allah (may He be Exalted) disciplined His Prophet and chose him to be a guide to humanity, a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner of severe punishment. Therefore, Allah (Glory be to Him) has given him energy, power, and experience to deliver his mission perfectly and to deal with people according to their mentalities and powers.
Of the things which Allah granted to His Prophet (peace be upon him): Short eloquent words, eloquence, logic, and understanding the natures and conditions of people, therefore he was a healer for hearts, and his words had great impact on the hearts and the souls of those who followed him and loved him strongly.
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent one of his companions to a group of people to call them to Islam, he used to teach, commend, facilitate, and invoke Allah for him and tell him about of the nature of people and the environment then ask him to follow the methodology of grading and treat people kindly, warning him of oppression and aggression. He used to say: "Watch out the invocations of the oppressed."
When a questioner asked him, he used to answer according to his understanding and do not command the questioner with all charges at once but step by step. Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to accept the little, command with facilitation, and forbid harshness.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to care for the conditions of people whether the young or the old, so he used to approve the recitation of the old and show mercy to them for their old age. Likewise, the Prophet (peace be upon him) used not to rush things up, so whoever performed some charges without being able to perform the rest, he would accept it and invoke Allah for him.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to leave some matters from the time of the Pre-Islamic Period without hastening to change them because of improper conditions. So, he used to overlook some matters and keep silent for some time. Therefore, Al Bukhari (may Allah bestow mercy upon his soul) classified a chapter in his Sahih entitled "Leaving some permissible matters for fear that people would not understand them and fall in more reprehensible matters" then mentioned the Prophet's saying: "O `A'ishah! Had not your people been still close to the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance (infidelity)! I would have dismantled the Ka`bah and would have made two doors in it; one for entrance and the other for exit."
Ibn Hajar (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "The Hadith bears the meaning of the title because Quraysh used to glorify the Ka`bah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) feared that they would ill-think of him for taking the honor of building the Ka`bah for himself, therefore he left that (public) interest for the corruption it may cause. The Hadith also contains the meaning of leaving out deniable matters for fear of falling in more deniable matters, and that an imam may command his subjects with things that may fix them as long as these things are not forbidden."
So, the behavior of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his caring for the newly converted to Islam, and the existence of some precipitations from the Pre-Islamic Period in their hearts had a great impact in establishing Islam in their hearts. It was part of the Prophet's guidance to draw nearer to people and give them charities as if he did not fear poverty so that they would embrace Islam because his goal was guiding people and exhorting them to Islam. Allah (Glory be to Him) said: "Verily, there has come to you a Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well). It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty. He (Muhammad peace be upon him) is anxious over you (to be rightly guided, to repent to Allâh, and beg Him to pardon and forgive your sins in order that you may enter Paradise and be saved from the punishment of the Hell-fire); for the believers (he peace be upon him is) full of pity, kind, and merciful." [Surat At-Tawbah: 128].
Ibn Kathir (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) mentioned in his Tafsir the following: "It was reported that a Bedouin came to the Prophet and asked for something, and the Prophet gave him something, and asked: Did I treat you well? The Bedouin replied: No, you have not treated me well. Upon hearing this, Muslims got angry and advanced towards him. The Prophet made a sign to stop them. Then he got up and went to his house and gave him some more gift, and again asked: Did I treat you well? He replied: Yes, may Allah grant prosperity to your family. The Prophet said to him: Whatever you have said to me, is alright in its place, but my Companions are angry in regard to you, if you like, you may repeat before them whatever you have said to me so that the anger from their hearts may be removed. He said that it was agreeable to him. When the morning came, he came again, and the Prophet pointed towards him and said: According to what this Arab had said, I gave him something more, and now he says that he is happy and pleased. Is not that so? The Bedouin replied: Yes, may Allah grant prosperity to your family. Then Allah's Messenger said: My example and that of this man is like a man whose she-camel has been lost and the people ran after it to catch, but the animal was more startled; so that man told his companions: Leave me and my she-camel alone, I know its ways more and I can bring it to the right path, Accordingly he lifted some grass from the ground in his two hands and showed it to the she-camel. It returned and sat near his feet, He tied the mount on its back and rode it. If I were to leave you when he was using foul language, you would have killed him and he would have been sent to hell."
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent Mu`adh to Yemen, he commanded him to start calling to Allah by saying "La Ilaha Illa Allah Muhammadun Rasulullah [there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger]" And when they obey him, he commanded him to teach them Salah and Zakah. So, the beginning was calling them to creed then teaching them the ordinances of Islam.
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) informed the people about the branches of faith, we find that he started with the peek of matters which is the testimony of faith then with the lowest which is removing harm from roads. So, those instructions had great impacts in arranging priorities and engaging oneself in the most important matters then the important.
When Gabriel came to him to ask about the bases of religion and the Prophet (peace be upon him) answered him, he asked him about Islam which is apparent then about faith which is hidden then about Ihsan (perfection in worship) which is the highest rank. When he spoke about the pillars of Islam and used the phrase "Islam has been built," it was to teach us that construction needs bases and pillars and it is only established gradually. Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): 1- To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger. 2- To offer the (compulsory congregational) Salah dutifully and perfectly. 3- To pay Zakah (i.e. obligatory charity). 4- To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah) 5- To observe fast during the month of Ramadan."
So, that had a great impact on the establishment of the pillars of Islam.
When the Prophet commanded Muslims with changing deniable matters, the command with changing required grading according to ability and power along with using different methods in changing deniable matters. Abu Sa`id Al Khudry (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith." That had a great impact on spreading virtues, preserving the apparent rites of Islam, stopping oppression, and avoiding obscene and deniable matters. As a result, each Muslim shall feel responsibility and that he plays a role in his society, not to stand negative in the face of deniable matters.
 Fathul-Bary, vol. 1, p. 181.
 Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol.2, p. 16, Al Quds bookshop, Cairo, chapter on "His good manners, shyness, and good treatment," but I did not see it in Al Bahr Az-Zakhkhar of Musnad Al Bazzar.
 Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 166.
 Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 209.
 Sahih Muslim, the book of faith, vol. 1, p. 133.
 Fathul-Bary, vol. 1, p. 42, chapter on calling you to faith.
 Sahih Muslim, vol.1, p. 225.
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