I have been made victorious with terror
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ بُعِثْتُ بِجَوَامِعِ الْكَلِمِ، وَنُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ، فَبَيْنَا أَنَا نَائِمٌ أُتِيتُ بِمَفَاتِيحِ خَزَائِنِ الأَرْضِ، فَوُضِعَتْ فِي يَدِي ”. قَالَ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ وَقَدْ ذَهَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَنْتُمْ تَنْتَثِلُونَهَا.
Bukhari: Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been made victorious with Terror” (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220)
The full narration reads as follows:
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with ru’b (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand.” Abu Huraira added: Allah’s Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them). (Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220)
By using the word ‘Terror’ for ru’b=رعب , the Islam-hater intends to convey the following definition of terror:
Violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
However, the word ru’b=رعب does not have that meaning at all. It refers to fright and anxiety. In fact, we can derive a better understanding of ru’b by examing other ahadith:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I was given victory through Ru`b: the enemy becomes filled with Ru`b even though they are the distance of a month’s journey away from me.” (Ahmad #20337)
The meaning is thus obvious that when the enemies’ attempts to detroy the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) failed, they began to fear him as he grew in strength in Arabia and gained more followers. They feared and hated the religion he brought which preached equality and morality and would remove them from their position of corrupt tyrants who enslaved the poor and the non-arabs.
It was fear of the mysterious power which granted Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers such rapid success. This fear was not the fear that resulted from past combat, as many Islam-haters would have us believe, rather it was a type of fear which prevented further combat.
As Jalal Abualrub notes:
Ru`b ‘, means, ‘Fear’: Here is a list of some of the Islamic resources explaining, ‘Ru`b’, as, ‘Fear’, and, ‘Awe’: Fat`h al-Bari bi Shar`h Sahih al-Bukhari ; Tu`hfat al-A`hwadhi bi Shar’h Jami’ at-Tirmidhi ; and, Shar`h Sunan an-Nasaii .
These books were written by Muslim Scholars explaining Hadeeths contained in, Sahih al-Bukhari , and the Sunan collections of Imams at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaii, respectively…. …Al-Waqidi said in his, Maghazi , that Juwairiyah Bint al-Harith said, “ We were at the Muraisii` area when the Messenger of Allah marched forth towards us.
I heard my father say, ‘There has come to us a gathering that we cannot resist.’ I saw men and horses in such numbers that I cannot describe. After I became Muslim and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, married me I looked at the Muslims and found their numbers to be less than what I had thought. I knew that this was Ru`b that Allah, the Exalted, throws in the hearts of the polytheists.’
” There are many similar examples in which the enemies of Islam, who, just like the Muraisii` people, had gathered armies to attack Madinah and the Prophet, scattered throughout the desert in fear when they heard that the Prophet had gathered an army to resist their treacherous attacks.
Many lives were saved through Allah throwing fear in the hearts of the enemies of Muhammad, peace be upon them, because his enemies feared him, fled and did not meet him in battle.
Thus, ‘fear’, in the Hadeeth…saved Muslims and many of their enemies the hardship of battle and warfare. (Abualrub, The Prophet of Mercy, emphasis added)
hence, the fear that the disbelievers had of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) can justly be compared to the fear a thief or murderer would have of a police officer. In fact, a Police officer would desire that criminals fear the law in order to maintain a safe and secure society.
Some crtitics also claim that this narration proves that the motivation of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was money due to the phrase, “the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and placed in my hand”. Of course they omit the phrase before that – “While I was asleep”.
Jalal Abualrub comments on this deceptive tactic as follows:
By doing so, it would appear that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was seeking or wishing to acquire other people’s wealth for himself. Contrary to this false illusion, this was a vision that the Prophet saw which contained glad tidings for the generations of Muslims to come.
This is why in the same Hadeeth, Abu Hurairah added, as al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from him, “ Allah’s Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them). (Abualrub, The Prophet of Mercy)
There are thousands of narrations which confirm that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived a simple life in poverty despite the power and strength he acquired as a leader. Here are a few of such narrations:
Narrated ‘Aisha: The family of Muhammad had never eaten their fill of wheat bread for three successive days since they had migrated to Medina till the death of the Prophet. (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 461)
Narrated ‘Aisha: The family of Muhammad did not eat two meals on one day, but one of the two was of dates. (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 462)
Narrated ‘Aisha: The bed mattress of the Prophet was made of a leather case stuffed with palm fibres. (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 463)
Narrated Qatada: We used to go to Anas bin Malik and see his baker standing (preparing the bread). Anas said, “Eat. I have not known that the Prophet ever saw a thin well-baked loaf of bread till he died, and he never saw a roasted sheep with his eyes.” (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 464)
Narrated ‘Aisha: A complete month would pass by during which we would not make a fire (for cooking), and our food used to be only dates and water unless we were given a present of some meat. (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 465)
When the Prophet defeated his enemies from the Romans in the Battle of Tabuk WITHOUT a fight; May God grant him victory with the terror that he hurled into the hearts of his enemies.
The Prophet said this hadith, as he reminded of the blessings of Allah Almighty upon him, as stated in the hadith. This indicates the Prophet’s loyalty to his Lord for him and proclaiming the blessings of your Lord.
“And proclaim the blessings of your Lord.” Quran (93:11)
Allah gave him victory over his enemies WITHOUT fighting or bloodshed, and the earth was made for him as a place of worship and purification, and the spoils were made lawful for him, and he was given comprehensive words, that is, the few words that carry many meanings, and he was sent to people in general, and in some accounts, he was sent to all creation;
There is no doubt that this hadith indicates the greatness of our beloved Prophet, the truth of his prophethood, and Allah’s support for him.
The Clarity of the Glorious Quran on not forcing any non-Muslim to be Muslim:
The Glorious Holy Qur’an is crystal clear in stating that no non-Muslim is forced to be Muslim by any coercion, Islam does not want hypocrites. In fact, Islam warns us against hypocrites, to the point that there is whole chapter dedicated to warning us against hypocrites by the same name Surah Al-Munafiqun= chapter hypocrites’ number sixty-three.
Hence Allah Exalted he states clearly in the Noble Quranic verse:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the truth stands out clearly from falsehood. So, whoever renounces false gods and believes in Allah has certainly grasped the firmest, unfailing hand-hold. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” Quran (2:256)
Allah Exalted he also instruct us Muslims NOT to attack innocents, or wage wars against anyone who never attacked Islam and Muslims nor supported anyone directly or indirectly against Islam and Muslims.
Allah Exalted he states in the Glorious Quran:
“Fight in the cause of Allah ˹only˺ against those who wage war against you, but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors.” Quran (2:190)
Despite the above, Allah exalted he stated in the Glorious Quran in several noble verses what confirms that meaning of the hadith of I have been made victorious with terror, The hadith does not mean that the Prophet who is instructed to cast terror or horror at the hearts of the enemies of Islam.
In fact, Allah himself Exalted He is the one who casts horror at the hearts of the disbelievers who have been fighting Islam, such horror played role in making some of the enemies of Islam escape the battlefield and withdraw even before a direct armed confrontation with Muslims under the leadership of our beloved Prophet and even after our Prophet passed away, when Muslims abided by Islam.
Here Some examples of Noble Quranic verses that confirms that such horror is casted in the hearts of the disbelievers by Allah Exalted He and not by the Prophet or Muslims.
“˹Remember, O Prophet,˺ when your Lord revealed to the angels, “I am with you. So, make the believers stand firm. I will cast horror into the hearts of the disbelievers. So, strike their necks and strike their fingertips.” Qurna (8:12)
“Fight in the cause of Allah ˹ONLY˺ against those who wage war against you, but do NOT exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors.” (Quran (2:190)
“But no! Allah is your Guardian, and He is the best Helper. We will cast horror into the hearts of the disbelievers for associating ˹false gods˺ with Allah—a practice He has never authorized. The Fire will be their home—what an evil place for the wrongdoers to stay!” Quran (3:150-151)
“He is the One Who expelled the disbelievers of the People of the Book from their homes for ˹their˺ first banishment ˹ever˺. You never thought they would go. And they thought their strongholds would put them out of Allah’s reach. But ˹the decree of˺ Allah came upon them from where they never expected. And He cast horror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses with their own hands and the hands of the believers. So take a lesson ˹from this˺, O people of insight!” Quran (59:2)
The Bible mentions that God helps His followers by casting terror into the hearts of their enemies, as was the case with our Prophet, in several places, including:
New International Version
25 No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.
New International Version
14 They destroyed all the villages around Gerar, for the terror of the Lord had fallen on them. They looted all these villages, since there was much plunder there.
New International Version
17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
The above-mentioned hadiths does not permit terrorism in any ways shape or form, to say it does is simply a non-sequitur. In fact as explained in the introduction of this article, Allah Exalted He prohibts attacking anyone who did not attack Islam or Muslims and fair to them.
However the casting of horror or terror at the hearts of the disbelievers who fight Islam and Muslims is an act of Allah to deter the agressors and support Muslims psychologically.
In truth, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never desired anything of the worldly pleasures. His mission was solely to please his Lord and spread the true message across the land, calling people to morality, justice and peace achieved through submission to God.
Allah knows Best.
The “I have been made victorious with terror” and ” I have been helped by terror” Hadiths – In Context
How can Islam be a religion of peace when Surah An-Nasr=chapter the Divine support (110) and Surah At-Tawbah=Chapter the repentance (9) that include the Sword verse was the last to be revealed from the Qur’an?