No human being was ever required to fulfill a harder task than Muhammad (peace be upon him).
When God chose him to deliver His last message to mankind, He also charged him with its full implementation in a human society, so that his message would never be merely a theoretical outline of a code of living.
Future generations will always have the first Islamic society, established by the Prophet in Madinah and later in the entire Arabian Peninsula, as a model which they should emulate.
Thus, Muhammad’s task was to reform a human community, give it a new faith that outlines its constitution, establish a faith, and thus change the course of history.
What would have happened to humanity without Islam does not bear contemplation.
Prophet Muhammad addressed himself to his task, realizing from the very early days that it was a mammoth task that would occupy all his time.
Very early in his message he said to his wife: ‘Sleeping time is over, Khadijah’. He meant that he could never afford to sleep long on any night for the rest of his life.
With such an awareness of the task he was assigned, what it involved and what it required of him, we are surprised to see him laughing with his companions when the occasion arises.
When there was something really funny, he would laugh heartily.
Every aspect of Muhammad’s character was balanced to the most appropriate measure. Thus, he enjoyed fun but he tamed this with maintaining the truth.
He would start a joke, or say something in jest to a person but even in jesting he only said what was true.
A leading contemporary scholar, Abbas Al-Aqqad, says: “This means that his jesting was a sign of his prophethood, because it was a mark of his humanity. It was not in any way contrary to his status as God’s noble prophet and messenger.”
To take a couple of examples: his aunt, Safiyyah, requested him to pray for her to be in heaven. He said to her: “No elderly woman will enter heaven”.
As she was elderly, Safiyyah started to weep. He smiled and reminded her of a couple of verses in the Qur’an that make clear that all women in heaven will be returned to their youthful prime:
“We will have brought forth [their mates] in perfect creation, making them virgins, full of love, of matching age.” (56: 35-37)
She realized that the Prophet was only joking with her and she remained in hope that she would attain the happy status of the dwellers of heaven.
One of his companions asked the Prophet to give him a camel to ride as he was setting on a long journey.
The Prophet said to him: “Yes, I will give you one of the offspring of a she-camel.”
Thinking that the Prophet meant to give him a newborn camel, the man was disappointed, and said: “How will that help when I have a long journey ahead of me?”
The Prophet said: “Is a camel born to any creature other than a she-camel?” The man laughed.
However, only few such occasions are reported, because the Prophet was always attending to his great task with diligence.
He only jested to make a serious situation more relaxed, or to please a dear person. In this also he demonstrated his perfect human status.
– by Adil Salahi