His enemies admitted his truthfulness

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Did anybody accuse Muhammad of lying?

They called Muhammad al-Amin (the Trustworthy)

How could they dare to accuse him of telling lies? He was known by everybody as a truthful one. The testimony of one of his bitterest enemies, ‘Utba ibn Abi Rabi’a, is enough to prove that even his enemies admitted his truthfulness.

The leaders of the Quraysh assembled once more to discuss how to prevent the spread of Islam and arrived at the decision of sending ‘Utba to God’s Messenger. ‘Utba went to him in the hope of persuading him to stop preaching Islam and asked: ‘O Muhammad, are you, or was your father, better?’

God’s Messenger did not answer, probably because silence is the best answer to an idiot question. ‘Utba continued: ‘If your father was better than you, he cannot have been following the religion you are now preaching. If, by contrast, you are better than your father, then I am ready to listen to what you will say.’

God’s Messenger asked ‘Utba: ‘Is that all you intend to say?’ ‘Utba said, ‘Yes’, and stopped. Then, God’s Messenger knelt and began reciting from the beginning of the Chapter called al-Fussilat (Distinguished). By the time he reached the thirteenth verse, But if they turn away, then say ‘I warn you of a thunderbolt [as fell in times past upon the tribes] of ‘Ad and Thamud, ‘Utba was trembling as if caught by fever. He had to put his hand on the lips of God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and said: ‘Please stop, for the sake of the God in whom you believe!’

‘Utba returned home in bewilderment. The leaders of the Quraysh had been waiting for him anxiously. Fearing that ‘Utba might have accepted Islam, Abu Jahl knocked at his door and, when admitted, angered ‘Utba by saying:

– I heard that Muhammad treated you very generously and banqueted you, and in return you believed in him. This is what the people are gossiping about.

‘Utba was angered and responded to Abu Jahl, saying: ‘You know well that I do not need his banqueting. I am the richest among you. But the words of Muhammad shook me. They were not poetry, nor did they resemble the words of a soothsayer. I do not know how I should respond. He is a truthful person. While I was listening to his recitation, I feared that what happened to ‘Ad and Thamud might befall us.1

They had been long expecting the Prophet and knew his character very well. They had never heard him tell a lie and accordingly called him ‘the Trustworthy One’. They were charmed by his personality and the eloquence of the Qur’an. However, they could not overcome their pride and arrogance, their feelings of envy and rivalry, that they might believe in him, nor were they able to change their habits and lifestyle to submit themselves to his Message. Is the same not true of all who, although they have known the truth, have since persisted in unbelief all over the world?

1. I. Kathir, 3.80-81; I. Hisham, 1.313.

 

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