English-16

16) What is wrong in considering that Muhammad () had aimed for
worldly power?

What is it that is meant by the love of power and clout? It is the
desire to invest oneself with the authority and power of a country and
to, thereby, lead a life of comfort and luxury. It is true that the Prophet
had attained power after having had borne the trials, tribulations and
tortures for thirteen years before reaching Medina by adopting exile
from his own land. However, his authority was never a path to a life of
comfort and luxury. For, who, if any, can ever call a lover of authority,
a man who, even when in the position of a ruler, slept his nights on
mat of palm leaves, washed his own clothes, stitched his footwear and
milked the goats?
Those who actually seek after power are those who desire to
stand aloof from, and be respected by, people in the sake of their
important office. As for the Prophet, he was one who had served the
people while living as one amongst them. On one occasion, all who
were present stood up as the Prophet entered the place. The Prophet,
thereof, ordered against this practice. He said, “Do not stand up in
respect like some amongst the Persians who stand up in respect of
others from amongst them.”
He advised thus, “Do not praise me as the Christians praised
Jesus, the son of Maryam.” All this indicates clearly that Muhammad
() was never one to go after pomp and praise associated with the
power.
Furthermore, he was promised authority and power in the early,
difficult days at Mecca itself if, and only if, he stopped the propagation
of his message. The leaders of the society approached him one day
with the intention of enticing him with a proposal. They said, “If it is
wealth that thee covet, we will give thee all the wealth that you desire.
If it is authority that ye want, we will make obeisance to thee as our
king. If it is women of beauty that ye desire we will arrange for your
marriage with the women of your own choosing.” An offer before
which any person would have succumbed! A most tempting offer
indeed! Just one word was all that was required. He would then be the
most wealthy man in the region. All people of the land would then
pay their homage to him as their king. Beautiful women would then
dance before him. But this was what the Prophet said, “ I am in need
of neither authority nor wealth. The Lord Creator has appointed me
but as a warner to mankind. It is His message which I deliver unto
you. Those who accept it can achieve for themselves peace and
contentment in this world and eternal salvation in the next. As for
those who accept not the divine message, it is He Himself Who will
judge their case.”
This incident took place in the early years of the mission at
Mecca. If the Prophet’s goal was to grab authority by writing the
Qur’an and thereby making it accepted that he was, indeed, the
messenger of God, why was it that he refrained from the offer of
authority that was placed at his feet without his having to undergo
any suffering whatsoever? It is amply evident from this thatMuhammad () never hankered after power or authority. Briefly put,
it was never the desire for power which worked behind the composition
of the Qur’an.

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