The Stoic Optimist

The next facet of his life is of bringing about proactive change by inviting people (dawa) to islam. With it comes the inevitable hostility of the entrenched powers in the society. Change is always threatening, and the greater the change, the more threatening it is. this would be true of the change against any established system of practices, whether it be economic, social or behavioral.


It would also be true for change in personal behavior like wearing immodest clothing, promiscuity, and consumption of intoxicants. Changing attitudes that valued pride in wealth and country or class and color of the skin over all else would also be difficult. Not surprisingly the struggle for change becomes life threatening. Muhammad (pbuh) had to lay his life on the line and on several occasions the nascent muslim community faced the possibility of total extinction.

Fortitude in the face of adversity is the salient feature of this phase. The patience and stoicism Muhammad (pbuh) displays during this phase has been a source of strength to many a muslim who has found himself beleaguered by apparently hopeless circumstances.

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