Although the disbelievers were far stronger and in greater numbers at that time, the Prophet (saas) paid no heed to their disposition and threats, but with great determination preached the words of the Qur'an and made it quite clear that he would never turn from the true path. Determination and patience are defining characteristics of the faithful, and every Muslim must take the determination and strong will of the Prophet (saas) as a model.
The Prophet (saas) warned the People of the Book in the best way, and communicated to them, not a distorted, polytheistic form of religion, but rather Allah's final revelation. In the same way as with the disbelievers, the Prophet (saas) did not put pressure on the People of the Book, but simply conferred to them advice.
One of the main features of the People of the Book, and the Jews in particularly, is that they also see themselves as the dearest servants of Allah and claim that none but themselves can enter Paradise. Several verses in the Qur'an treat such a claim.
The Prophet (saas) called on the People of the Book to have faith, without resorting to idolatry, and to live by the morality of the Qur'an. Yet, he still treated those who refused to obey him most gently and justly. He left the People of the Book free to worship as they saw fit, allowed them to maintain all their own customs, and ordered his own people to treat them with justice.
While calling the People of the Book to the true religion, the Prophet (saas) told them not to set up any partners in worship with Him, and invited them to agree with Muslims on a mutual point of faith:
Say, "People of the Book! come to a proposition which is the same for us and you-that we should worship none but Allah and not associate any partners with Him and not take one another as lords besides Allah." If they turn away, say, "Bear witness that we are Muslims." (Surah Al 'Imran: 64)
Say: "People of the Book!
The preceding chapters of this book discussed examples of the Prophet (saas)'s morality, as revealed in the Qur'an, and which is an example to all of mankind. We have considered various aspects of his just, compassionate, merciful, peaceful, conciliatory, mild, patient, Allah-fearing, modest and determined disposition.
As well as verses from the Qur'an, statements from the Prophet (saas)'s companions that have come down to us also contain a great deal of information about the Prophet (saas).
The companions of the Prophet (saas) have passed on a great many detail about him, from the beauty of that blessed individual's external appearance, his radiance and disposition that left those who beheld him in awe, to his smile, and many other beautiful aspects that Allah had manifested in him. There were a fair number of such companions, and they have given many details of his great beauty. Those Muslims who lived at the same time as the Prophet (saas) have described many aspects of the servant of Allah.
His companions described the beauty of the Prophet (saas) in these terms:
"The Prophet (saas) had a most handsome constitution. Some gave the smile of his beauty to that of the full moon…His nose was thin… His face was smooth…His beard was thick…His neck was the most beautiful…If the rays of the sun fell on his neck, it appeared like a cup of silver mixed with gold… The place between his shoulders was wide."67
Anas bin Malik (ra) says:
"The Messenger of Allah, was not excessively tall or short. He was not very pallid nor dark. He did not have curly hair or lank hair.
Ahmet Cevdet Pasha, an important scholar from Ottoman times, wrote a study that effectively summarized descriptions of the Prophet (saas)'s features. That appeared in Part IV of the Qisas al-Anbiya (Stories of the Prophets), under the heading "Some Attributes of the Prophet Muhammad (saas)":
"The blessed one had a beautiful appearance, his limbs were in perfect proportion, his body was well-formed, his forehead and chest and the distance between his shoulders were broad.
Allah favored the Prophet Muhammad (saas) over all beings, and declared him to be "the Final Seal of the Prophets." (Surat al-Ahzab: 40) No prophet would be sent after him, and the Qur'an would be the last revelation to guide people onto the true way. Allah manifested that unique feature of the Prophet (saas) with a mark on his body.
There are different descriptions of the length of the Prophet (saas)'s hair. It is natural that there should be discrepancies between them, as the people these accounts have come down from saw him at different times, when his hair may have been of different lengths. Yet, what can be recognized from these descriptions was that the Prophet (saas)'s hair was at ear-level at its shortest and at shoulder-length at its longest.