This is a story that’s very insightful and entertaining.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is about 50 years old; at this time he’s been preaching and teaching Islam for about ten years, and there’s a lot of opposition, persecution, and a lot of difficulty… But he hasn’t lost his mercy, his compassion, and his patience and forbearance.
One day Prophet Muhammad was walking outside of Makkah and he came across a very famous man by the name of Rukana. Rukana was Quraysh’s strongest man; he was like the wrestling champ.
The narration mentions that Rukana didn’t like the Prophet, not for personal reasons but because he knew the Prophet (peace be upon him) was preaching and teaching Islam and Rukana didn’t understand Islam so he just was apprehensive about it.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sees him and says:
Rukana, I’d like to talk to you about something.
“Why don’t we wrestle and then we’ll talk.”
So the Prophet Muhammad says:
Sure. I’m down to wrestle.
So, they set up and they start wrestling and the Prophet Muhammad picks up Rukana and body-slams him.
Rukana is like shocked; he’s never been beaten before. He gets up and he doesn’t understand what happened, and he goes:
“Let’s go again.”
And they wrestled a second time and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) body-slams him again. Rukana gets up completely just shocked. He says:
And the Prophet Muhammad picks him up and body-slams him again.
Now Rukana just doesn’t understand even what’s going on, so he says to the Prophet Muhammad:
“You have to understand I’ve never been beaten before. No one has ever slammed me on the ground before; I don’t understand what’s going on.”
So, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:
Let me show you something even more amazing than that.
And there was a tree, this is a prophetic miracle, in the distance and he calls the tree, and the tree moves from its place and comes to the Prophet (peace be upon him). He then tells the tree to go back and the tree goes back to its place. And he looks over at Rukana who said: “I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah (God alone), and I bear witness that you are the Messenger of God.”
At that point in time, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) congratulates Rukana and goes about his way.
A Lesson to Learn
This is a beautiful story of how the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) preached and taught Islam.
I want to take a couple of seconds to reflect on the story and how profound of a story it is.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the most blessed human being that ever walked the face of this earth. He is the beloved of Allah. Every second, every minute, every moment of his life is so precious and valuable, but at the same time he cared about people so much and understood people; he invested in people and accommodated people that he spent the afternoon wrestling with a man.
Understand what that exactly means.
He could have gone to him and just laid a lecture on him and walked away, handed him a pamphlet and just walked away; but the Prophet would take the time to understand people and he would accommodate people because he cared about people and he loved people.
That is what you want to do.
And because he was willing to invest in people, that’s why they loved him, that’s why they listened to him, that’s why they embraced him and because of that they were able to embrace Islam and get to know Allah.
So, let’s take a little bit of time to learn about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him); this amazing man who cared about people so much and loved us and all of mankind so much.
And, the next time you’re presented with the opportunity to talk to somebody about Islam, take a minute to understand who that person is and let’s do it on their terms, not my terms.
If that involves a little bit of wrestling, so be it!