The Prophet peace be upon him lived among his people for a period of 40 years before Allah - the Almighty chose him for the message. His life before his mission is an explicit evidence of his prophethood. Allah - the Almighty said:
Say (O Muhammad! peace be upon him) If Allah had so willed, I should not have recited it to you nor would He have made it known to you. Verily, I have stayed amongst you a lifetime before this. Have you then no sense?
His people knew him as a trustworthy and honest man and they have never experienced any lie from him. The following are some of the many incidences from his life before the prophethood implying his impending prophethood:
REBUILDING AL-KA'BAH AND THE ARBITRATION ISSUE
When the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him was thirty-five years of age, Quraish started rebuilding Al-Kabah. That was because it was a low building of white stones no more than 6.30 meters high from the days of Ishmael. It was also roofless and that gave the thieves easy access to its treasures inside. It was also exposed to the wearing factors of nature because it was built a long time ago that weakened and cracked its walls. Five years before Prophethood, there was a great flood in Makkah that swept towards Al-Kabah and almost demolished it. Quraish were obliged to rebuild it to safeguard its sanctity and position.
The chiefs of Quraish decided to use only money earned honestly, in rebuilding Al-Kabah, so all the monies derived from harlotry, usury or unjust practices were excluded. They were, at first too afraid to knock down the wall, but Al-Waleed bin Al-Mugheerah Al-Mukhzumi started the work. Seeing that no harm had happened to him, the others participated in demolishing the walls until they reached the foundation laid by Abraham. When they started rebuilding its walls, they divided the work among the tribes. Each tribe was responsible for rebuilding a part of it. The tribes collected stones and started work. The man who laid the stones was a Roman mason called Baqum. The work went on in harmony till the time came to put the sacred Black Stone in its proper place. Then strife broke out among the chiefs, and lasted for four or five days, each contesting for the honor of placing the stone in its position. Daggers were on the point of being drawn and bloodshed seemed imminent. Luckily, the oldest among the chiefs Abu Omaiyah bin Mugheerah Al-Makhzumi made a proposal which was accepted by all. He said: "Let him, who first enters the sanctuary in the morning decide on the issue. It was then Allahs Will that young Muhammad the future Messenger of Allah peace be upon him should be the first to enter the Mosque. On seeing him, all the people at the scene, cried with one voice: Al-Ameen (the trustworthy) hacome. We are content to abide by his decision. Calm and self-possessed, Muhammad peace be upon him received the commission and at once resolved upon an expedient solution, which was to satisfy them all. He asked for a mantle which he spread on the ground and placed the stone in its center. He then asked the representatives of the different clans among them, to lift each corner of the cloth. When they reached the proper place, Muhammad peace be upon him laid it in its proper position with his own hands. This is how a very tense situation was eased and a grave danger averted by the wisdom of Muhammad peace be upon him even before he became a Prophet.
ON MOUNT AS-SAFA
Al-Bukhari reported part of this story on the authority of Ibn Abbas He said: When the following verses were revealed:
And warn your tribe (O Muhammad PEACE BE UPON HIM) of near kindred.
The Messenger of Allah peace be upon him ascended Mount As-Safa and started to call: O Bani Fahr! O Bani Adi (two tribes of Quraish). Many people gathered and those who could not come sent somebody to report to them. Abu Lahab was also present. The Prophet peace be upon him said: You see, if I were to tell you that there were some horsemen in the valley planning to raid you, will you believe me? They said: Yes, we have never experienced any lie from you. He said: I am a Warner to you before a severe torment. Abu Lahab promptly replied: Perish you all the day! Have you summoned us for such a thing?
AN-NADER BIN AL HARITH SAYING
Once An-Nadr bin Harith addressed the Quraish people in the following manner: O Quraish! You have experienced an unprecedented phenomenon before which you have so far been desperately helpless. Muhammad peace be upon him grew up here among you and always proved to be highly obliging, the most truthful and trustworthy young man. However, later on when he reached manhood, he began to preach a new faith alien to your society, and opposed to your liking so you began to denounce him at times as a sorcerer, and at another as a soothsayer, a poet and even as insane. I swear by Allah that he is not anyone of those. He is not interested in blowing on knots as magicians do, nor do his words belong to the world of soothsaying. He is not a poet either, for his mentality is not that of a rambler, nor is he insane because he has never been witnessed to develop any sort of hallucinations or insinuations peculiar to madmen. O people of Quraish, it is really a serious issue and I recommend that you reconsider your attitude.
HERACULES AND ABU SUFYAN
Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Ibn Abbas, narrated that Heracules sent for Abu Sufyan and his companions, who happened to be trading in Ash-Sham, Jerusalem. That was during the truce that had been concluded between the polytheists of Quraish and the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him. Heracules, seated amongst his chiefs of staff, asked, Who amongst you is the nearest relative to the man who claims to be a Prophet? (Abu Sufyan) replied: I am the nearest relative to him from amongst the group. So they made me sit in front of him and made my companions sit behind me. Then he called upon his translator and said (to him). 'Tell them (i.e. Abu Sufyans companions) that I am going to ask him (i.e. Abu Sufyan) regarding that man who claims to be a Prophet. So if he tells a lie, they should contradict him (instantly). By Allah, had I not been afraid that my companions would consider me a liar, I would have told lies Abu Sufyan later said. Abu Sufyans testimony went as follows: Muhammad descends from a noble family. No one of his family happened to assume kingship. His followers are those deemed weak with numbers ever growing. He neither tells lies nor betrays others. We fight him and he fights us but with alternate victory. He bids people to worship Allah Alone with no associate and abandon our fathers beliefs. He orders us to observe prayer, honesty, abstinence and maintain strong family ties. Heracules, on hearing this testimony, turned to his translator bidding him to communicate to us his following impression which reveals full conviction in the truthfulness of Muhammads Prophethood: I fully realize that Prophets come from noble families; he does not affect any previous example of Prophethood. Since none of his ancestors was a monarch, we cannot then allege that he is a man trying to reclaim his fathers monarchy.
So long as he does not tell lies to people, he is immune to telling lies as regards Allah. Concerning his followers being those deemed weak with numbers ever growing, it is something that goes in agreement with questions of faith until it later assumes full dimensions geographically and demographically. I have understood that no instance of apostasy has as yet appear among his followers and this points to the bliss of Faith that finds its abode in the human heart. Betrayal, as I see, is alien to him because real Prophets hold betrayal in abhorrence. Bidding worship of Allah with no associates, observance of prayer, honesty and abstinence and prohibition of paganism are traits bound to subject to him all my possessions. I have already known that a Prophet must arise but it has never occurred to me that he will be an Arab from among you. If I was sure I would be faithful to him, I might hope to meet him, and if I were with him, I would wash his feet. Heracules then requested that the Prophets letter be read. The observation of the emperor and finally the definite and clear-cut exposition of the Islamic message could not but create a tense atmosphere amongst the clergy present at the court. We were ordered to go out. Abu Sufyan said, While coming out, I said to my companions, The matter of Ibn Abi Kabshah (meaning Muhammad PEACE BE UPON HIM) has become so prominent that even the king of Banu Al-Asfar (i.e. the Romans) is afraid of him. So I continued to believe that Allahs Messenger peace be upon him would be victorious, till Allah made me embrace Islam. The king did not embrace Islam for it was differently ordained. However, the Muslim envoy was sent back to Madinah with the felicitations of the emperor.