Prophet Muhammad ﷺ had negotiated a business transaction with Abdullah after which Abdullah owed the Prophet some remaining dues, so Abdullah told the Prophet to wait in that specific spot while he went away to get the what was owed. The matter slipped Abdullah’s memory and Muhammad waited for him to arrive for a period of three days. On the third day when Abdullah remembered and finally returned, Muhammad simply told him “you have subjected me to an inconvenience as I have been waiting for you for the past three days”.
Similarly, when he was preparing to preach the message of One God to the Makkans he called all of them together and asked “if I tell you that an army is marching towards you with the intentions to attack us from the other side of this mountain will you believe me?” To this those gathered replied “yes we will as you never told you a lie”.
Now in retrospect Prophet really did not lie because 10 years later an army, which he led, did in fact march over the hills of Makkah to capture it. Throughout his blessed life he stood to his word.
We are not supposed to make distinction among the Messengers of Allah ; “they say, “We make no distinction between one another of his Messengers” (2:285)
However, Allah gives us examples in the Qur’an, where it is evident that Prophet’s character was a bit more refined. For example in Surah Kahf, Allah mentions the story of Musa (as) and his encounter with Khidr (as).
Musa (as), in his enthusiasm to learn, accompanied Khidr (as) in his travels under one condition stipulated by Khidr, (as) that was that he doesn’t question his action. To this Musa (as) initially agreed. As the story goes, Khidr (as) did three different actions that Musa (as) didn’t understand and as such he voiced his concern and disapproval, in every instance. For three times Musa (as) went back on his word. And in each case he renewed his promise not to say anything; but could not keep his promise.
Another example of Musa (as) acting on is own will was the time he wished to speak to Allah . He went up the mountain uninvited.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was different and this is why it is recorded that he never said anything out of his own desires. This is why Allah says that he is the best model and example for us;
‘Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the meeting with) Allah’. (33:21)
We should therefore try to cultivate our character in light of his perfect life. Whenever we are confronted with trying situations always think to yourself ‘what would Prophet Muhammad do’. Through this, insha Allah, little by little we would be able to refine our character.
May Allah always cause us to become enlightened and to follow in the footsteps of his beloved; Prophet Muhammad ( ﷺ u.w.b.p).