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A. Our Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, combined in a single personality the highest degrees of spirituality through diligent worship of Allah with the highest degree of industrious struggle and constructive effort for the service of mankind. He excelled in exerting himself to worship Allah and looking forward to the Day of judgement. He was sincere in his desire and diligent to please Allah. He gave charity in the cause of Allah without limit. Also he would stand in night prayer until his feet became swollen, and would fast continually, spending the nights and day s in hunger.
However, he dissuaded his Companions from uninterrupted fasting in this way', lest it prove unbearable to them; he said: 'As for me I spend the night [in a state such] that my Lord feeds me and provides me drink.' Once, his wife 'A'isha, the Mother of the Faithful, may Allah be pleased with her, asked him about his exertion in worship in spite of the fact that Allah had pardoned him for everything he had sent ahead or left behind. He replied: "Should I not be a thankful servant"? And in a sound hadith, he says: "If you knew what I know you would weep much and laugh little."
Such diligence in worship did not prevent the Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, from initiating the right action at the proper moment in all manner of administrative, legislative, economic, political and military affairs. The Hijra marked the beginning of the Islamic era, the Muslims were beset with many problems, in addition to their shortage of armed forces, as a result of their forced migration. Nevertheless, the Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, seized the opportunity to intercept the great annual trade caravan returning from Syria under the leadership of Abu Sufyan. In consequence, the Prophet entered the battle of Badr in which he humbled the umibelievers of the Quray'sh and impressed upon the enemies of the Muslims a new respect and admiration. Later, in the battle of Uhud, victory turned into defeat when a group of archers deserted the position the Prophet had assigned to them, and the Muslims had to return to Madina greatly weakened. The Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, immediately prepared to enter upon a new battle, accompanied by only those who were with him at Uhud, to renew respect for the Muslims in the minds of the unbelievers. Their enemies were afraid and marched off toward Makka. Thereupon, the Muslims went back, led by the Prophet, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, to Madina, their morale which had been damaged by defeat thus restored and having learnt an invaluable lesson for their future military affairs.
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