A Rapid Review of Muhammad’s Biography before Commissioning of the Prophethood
prophet muhammad [pbuh] was, in his youth, a combination of the best social attributes. he was an exemplary man of weighty mind and faultless insight. he was favoured with intelligence, originality of thought and accurate choice of the means leading to accurate goals. his long silence helped favourably in his habit of meditation and deep investigation into the truth. his vivid mind and pure nature were helpfully instrumental in assimilating and comprehending ways of life and people, individual and community-wise. he shunned superstitious practices but took an active part in constructive and useful dealings, otherwise, he would have recourse to his self-consecrated solitude. he kept himself aloof from drinking wine, eating meat slaughtered on stone altars, or attending idolatrous festivals. he held the idols in extreme aversion and most abhorrence. he could never tolerate someone swearing by al-lat and al-‘uzza. allâh’s providence, no doubts, detached him from all abominable or evil practices. even when he tried to obey his instinct to enjoy some life pleasures or follow some irrespectable traditions, allâh’s providence intervened to curb any lapse in this course. ibn al-atheer reported muhammad [pbuh] as saying: "i have never tried to do what my people do except for two times. every time allâh intervened and checked me from doing so and i never did that again. once i told my fellow-shepherd to take care of my sheep when we were in the upper part of makkah. i wanted to go down to makkah and entertain myself as the young men did. i went down to the first house of makkah where i heard music. i entered and asked: ‘what is this?’ someone answered: ‘it is a wedding party.’ i sat down and listened but soon went into deep sleep. i was awakened by the heat of the sun. i went back to my fellow-shepherd and told him of what had happened to me. i have never tried it again."
al-bukhari reported on the authority of jabir bin ‘abdullah that he said: "while the people were rebuilding al-ka‘bah, the prophet muhammad [pbuh] went with ‘abbas to carry some stones. ‘abbas said: ‘put your loincloth round your neck to protect you from the stones.’ (as he did that) the prophet [pbuh] fell to the ground and his eyes turned skyward. later on he woke up and shouted: ‘my loincloth... my loincloth.’ he wrapped himself in his loincloth." in another report: "his loins were never seen afterwards." [bukhari chapter: the building of al-ka'bah, 1/540]
the authorities agree in ascribing to the youth of muhammad [pbuh] modesty of deportment, virtuous behaviour and graceful manners. he proved himself to be the ideal of manhood, and to possess a spotless character. he was the most obliging to his compatriots, the most honest in his talk and the mildest in temper. he was the most gentle-hearted, chaste, hospitable and always impressed people by his piety-inspiring countenance. he was the most truthful and the best to keep covenant. his fellow-citizens, by common consent, gave him the title of al-‘ameen (trustworthy). the mother of believers, khadijah [r], once said: he unites uterine relations, he helps the poor and the needy, he entertains the guests and endures hardships in the path of truthfulness. [bukhari 1/3]