18.6 The Influence of Mohamed
Mohamed's personal goodness played an important part in winning people to Islam. He never preached what he did not practice himself, and never allowed himself or his family any privileges that other Muslims did not enjoy. He was modest and helpful about the house. Once he was having great difficulty in mending his sandals and Aisha, seeing the bother he was having, started to read a piece of poetry to him. Immediately his face brightened, and he thanked her profusely. The simple things in life gave him great pleasure.
On a journey with friends, he insisted on doing his share. Someone volunteered to cook, another to fetch the water, and Mohamed offered to gather the wood.
"But we can do that instead of you, Messenger of Allah,"
his Companions said, but he insisted.
One day a Jew to whom he owed money came to demand it. The man was rude and aggressive in the way that he spoke to Mohamed, implying that he had not been prompt in fulfilling his commitments. He included the whole of Mohamed's tribe in the implication, which to the Arabs was an infuriating insult. Umar ibn al-Khattab could not bear this and rough handled the man.
Smiling, the Messenger asked him to release him.
"We needed something other than this from you, Umar. I need to be told to pay up what I owe, and he needs to be told to ask nicely. There are still three days for his bond, but go to the Muslim treasury and pay him, give him a bonus over it."
After the Jew had received his money, he returned, swore allegiance to Mohamed and entered into Islam. When asked why he had entered into Islam, he said,
"These are not the manners of ordinary mortals; these are the manners of the prophets."