From Our Resiliency Blog Series: The Science & Spirit Of Resiliency: Building A Stronger You (Full list of 8 blogs)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) demonstrated remarkable resilience throughout his life, facing numerous challenges and adversities while spreading the message of Islam/peace in surrendering to God’s teachings. Before I list some examples of his resilience, I’d like to share what I personally believe was one of his highest traits that built his resiliency – his optimism and positive outlook. In my experience, working on this quality has had a profound effect on my own resiliency levels – in the ability to keep going (with positivity), no matter what difficulties and challenges were/are presented to me.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged maintaining a positive outlook and having hope in God’s mercy and help, even in challenging circumstances. He often spoke about the importance of maintaining a hopeful attitude.
He (pbuh) taught many principles that promoted optimism and a positive outlook for our lives, such as the following:
TRUST IN GOD’S PLAN (TAWAKKUL): having faith that God’s plan is ultimately for the best helps one approach life’s challenges with full trust in God and leads to optimism.
MAINTAINING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE – even in the face of adversity, as he did countless times, because it helps individuals navigate difficult situations with strength and resilience.
SEEKING GOOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES – which he demonstrated by always finding opportunities for growth, learning, and improvement, even in challenging times.
EXPRESSING GRATITUDE (SHUKR) – for the blessings and favors received by God, which promotes a positive mindset and helps individuals focus on the positives in their lives.
OPTIMISM IN PRAYER – When praying/making supplications (dua), the Prophet encouraged us to ask Allah with a sense of hope and optimism, believing that our prayers will be answered.
HOPE AND MERCY – knowing that Allah’s mercy is vast and that we should maintain hope in His forgiveness, no matter our past mistakes.
HELPING OTHERS – acts of kindness and helping others is another way the Prophet promoted positivity, which not only benefit others but contributes to a sense of fulfillment and positivity in our lives.
AVOIDING NEGATIVE SPEECH – he (pbuh) discouraged negative speech, gossip, and backbiting. He encouraged believers to use their words to spread positivity, kindness, and constructive communication.
KEEPING GOOD COMPANY – The Prophet advised us to associate with people who bring positivity into our lives and to avoid negative influences.
SEEING CHALLENGES AS OPPORTUNITIES – The Prophet’s life is filled with many examples of seeing challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Every adversity he faced with unshakeable resilience and unwavering determination, always seeking solutions and alternatives.
Overall, Prophet Muhammad’s teachings emphasize the importance of having trust in God’s plan, maintaining a positive attitude, and seeking the good in all aspects of life. These sublime and divine values and principles help us cultivate optimism, resilience, and a hopeful outlook on life.
1. Persecution in Mecca:
In the early years of his prophethood, The Prophet (pbuh) and his followers faced severe persecution in Mecca from the polytheistic Quraysh tribe, who opposed the Islamic monotheistic message of believing and following one God. Despite enduring physical and emotional hardships, he continued to preach and remained steadfast and resilient in his beliefs and actions.
His (pbuh) life is filled with examples of determination and perseverance such as these, in the face of adversity. His unwavering commitment to his mission served him as the model for resilience.
2. The Boycott:
The Quraysh imposed a boycott on the Prophet (pbuh) and his clan, the Banu Hashim, for three years, during which they were isolated and subjected to extreme economic hardship. Despite these conditions, he (pbuh) never wavered in his commitment to his divine mission of peace.
3. The Ta’if Incident:
After facing rejection in Mecca, he went to the city of Ta’if to spread the message of Islam. However, he faced severe rejection and was even physically attacked by the people of Ta’if. Despite this setback, he did not lose hope, and continued his mission. In the face of this adversity, he stayed positive, lifting his hands to pray to God to guide them.
This story also highlights how The Prophet (pbuh) was known for his forgiveness and compassion, even toward those who had wronged him. These qualities can be seen as part of a resilient mindset, as they help maintain inner peace and eliminate any possible resentment.
4. The Hijra (Migration) to Medina:
Facing increasing hostility in Mecca, the Prophet and his followers made the Hijra (migration) to Medina. This marked a significant turning point in the history of Islam. His divine values based leadership and resilience during this period helped establish a thriving Muslim community in Medina.
5. Battles and Conflict:
Throughout his time in Medina, he (pbuh) faced numerous battles and conflicts with hostile tribes and the Quraysh of Mecca. He displayed remarkable resilience in leading his community through these challenging times.
6. Treaty of Hudaybiyyah:
The Prophet (pbuh) negotiated the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah with the Quraysh, a treaty that was initially unfavorable to the Muslims. Despite the concessions made in the treaty, he showed resilience by using it as an opportunity to promote peaceful coexistence and later, the terms of the treaty turned out to be beneficial for the Muslims.
Adaptability – This example also highlights how the Prophet demonstrated adaptability by using different strategies and approaches to address various challenges. He was pragmatic and open to adjusting his tactics while staying committed to his principles.
7. Conquest of Mecca:
After years of persecution and exile, the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers conquered Mecca without bloodshed, demonstrating his remarkable resilience and commitment to his monotheistic mission without seeking revenge.
8. Farewell Sermon:
In his farewell sermon, delivered during his last pilgrimage, he (pbuh) emphasized key principles of Islam, including equality, justice, and unity. His ability to summarize his message and guide his followers even as his life was nearing its end showcased his unwavering commitment and a life time of solid resiliency.
Seeking Knowledge – the spirit of his sermon was emphasizing the importance of seeking knowledge, as it empowers individuals to make informed decisions and face challenges with greater understanding and wisdom.
Self-Reflection – The life of the Prophet served as a powerful reminder of his lifetime encouragement related to self-reflection and self-awareness. Taking time to reflect on one’s actions and seeking self-improvement significantly contributes to personal resilience.
Overall, Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) life is filled with abundant inspiring instances of resilience in the face of adversity, and his steadfastness in spreading the monotheistic divine message of Islam, despite monumental challenges, serves as an inspiration to people of all backgrounds and all times in history.
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Until next blog, stay resilient and keep learning!
Written by Cynthia Aisha Meguid
Well-Being – Author, Educator, Consultant & Coach