The Pre-Islamic period was full of corruption, pleasure-seeking and waste of time, though there were some respectable, sober men here and there, but they were rarely young men; for a young man would be unusual if he didn't seek pleasure and entertainment at that time. If he added to his solemnity the avoidance of liquors which were drunk even by respectable old men, shunning of those idols set up beside the Holy Mosque (i.e., Ka'bah), keeping away from inequity, along with other noble qualities, he would undoubtedly draw other's attention since none of the old men possess such qualities, not to speak of the youths.
One of his traits was so outstanding and deep-rooted that it attracted the attention of Qurashi people - that was honesty. They used to call him "the Honest" (Al-Amin). People trusted him with their property owing to their confidence in his honesty and trustworthiness.
Muhammad's silence during the meetings of Quraysh, his wisdom and equanimity when he talked, won their respect and admiration; so they consulted him about their affairs and were satisfied with his counsel. The most famous even in this regard was the appeal of Quraysh (i.e., Makkans) to him for a decision concerning the Black Stone. They had decided to rebuild the Holy Ka'bah twice its former height because of the ruin of some parts of it. They worked together. But they differed about the Black Stone; for each tribe competed with the others to enjoy alone the honor of putting it back in its place. They almost fought with each other, but at last agreed to take the counsel of the first man to come to them. That first man was Al-Amin (the HONEST) (Muhammad) who took off his mantle spread it on the ground, put the Black Stone on it and asked a man from each tribe to carry with him the mantle holding in edges. Then he took the Stone in his hands and put it in its place. All went away satisfied with the Al-Amin's (HONEST) decision.
In his wife Khadija's (may Allah be pleased with her) description of him soothing his fears on receiving the first revelation, she gave a portrait of his manners and their impressions on people's minds. She said to him, 'Surely, Allah never will discredit you! You are kind to your relatives, truthful, protecting orphans, generous to the poor, hospitable and helpful to the victims of misfortune!
He was, during the hours of silence, much given to meditation. He spend a month of retirement every year in Hira' cave on top of the Mountain of Light (in Arabic, Jabal-un-Nur), in worship of Allah in accordance with Abraham's monotheistic religion, away from the distortions added through prevailing idolatrous ignorance.
Allah was preparing him for the serious task - for the Message addressed to the whole humanity. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) told the truth when he said: “My Lord has disciplined me in the best refined manner.”
The Prophet Muhammad's (Peace be upon him) character is the greatest character throughout human history, unmatched by any other character, not only amongst great men, but also amongst prophets. If we are to judge by the standards of human greatness, let us consider the case of a political leader, dedicating his life to political leadership. He found his nation dispersed, with no common cause or link, and was able, by means of his wise leadership and impressive character, to unite the divided nation and found the link which firmly connected its various warring factions. He drew for it a purpose which united it and removed its differences. Then he raised it to a lofty, respectable position among other nations. Shouldn't we call him a 'great man', though he devoted merely to such a task?
Suppose there was a social reformer who found injustice and corruption predominant; therefore, he took it upon himself to establish social justice and eliminate perversion and decay from society. He realized the balance between the individual and society, between the ruler and the ruled, and cased the rich to sympathize with the poor, so that the whole community lived as if it were one large family. Isn't such a man really GREAT?
What if this was only one aspect amongst many others enjoyed by the great prophet's character? How if he has excelled every other specialist politician, though the latter was devoted to such a task?
Suppose there were a social reformer who found injustice and corruption predominant; therefore, he took it upon himself to establish social justice and eliminate perversion and decay from society. He realized balance between the individual and society, between the ruler and the ruled, and caused the rich to sympathize with the poor, so that the whole community lived as if were one large family. Isn't such a man really GREAT?
How if this was one part of Muhammad's character? How if he, in this regard, surpassed those specialized in this field?
Suppose there was a moral reformer who found moral corruption prevalent in his society and devoted himself to the improvement of social manners. Through his patience and struggle he was able to establish an ethic (moral code) that ruled their conduct, so that lying, drinking, adultery and gambling disappeared; an owner felt his property was secure even if he was a weakling, an orphan or a woman; and conscience ruled human relations. Won't we agree that such a man was truly a great one?
How, then, if that was only one side of the outstanding character of the Prophet, and his influence was greater than that of any reformer in history who was devoted to his career?
Suppose, too, there was an educator who devoted himself to education and was able to bring up a generation of extraordinary people, every one of whom was a leader in his domain of activity and an example of good conduct and towering personality, as firm as a mountain and of noble character. Doesn't such a man deserve to be called a great educator? How, then if this was only one of several aspects of the Prophet, who excelled in this respect even the greatest of educators in history, especially with the generation he had educated to introduce summit leaders in every field of life?
Suppose there were a military commander, who devoted himself to his career and brought up an army of heroes - soldiers and commanding officers - accustomed to endurance of inconvenience, steadfastness in adversity and daring despite danger. He led them in battles and won. They obeyed his orders and instructions and raced to places of danger seeking martyrdom. Shouldn't he be described as a great commander?
If such a commander had trained his soldiers not only to acquire individual manners, but also to fight in the cause of ideals and values, would it suffice to describe him only as a great leader?
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human