The Prophet Muhammad was a great general and strategist as well as the leader of a new religious movement who in a single decade fought many battles, led raids, and planned military operations.
List of expeditions in which The Prophet (PBUH) took part (28) expeditions which Muhammad did not take part (73) are as follows (Have included wikipedia links within the list below for further research):
The Prophet Muhammad was a revolutionary who introduced military innovations that transformed the Arab armies and warfare throughout the then Arab world.
Yes he was a great and final prophet is undeniable; but what mattered more was he was a great warrior and military leader who was answerable to non but Allah and his focus on his mission and the way he systematically carried that out is admirable even for those who opposed the Prophet then or now.
Those who attack and insult the Prophet need to look at the environment in which Prophet lived and the people around him, the religion of Islam inspired the masses to focus and better their lives and military achievements where part and parcel of living in those times.
For example as a military leader the Prophet changed the social composition of Arab armies of the time by replacing traditional ways of fighting with a new command structure.
This transformation of Arab warfare enabled those leaders who came after the Prophet to establish the core of what then became the Islamic empire which in turn led to the Enlightenment within the then Muslim world.
This is an accomplishment that would have been militarily impossible without Prophets teachings and innovations.
As Muslims we should not shy away from accepting The Last Prophet PBUH as a Military Genius and Strategist who cared not for himself so much as he cared for the ones who will come after him.
Here is a clip from the movie The Message and gives a brief glimpse of how the Muslim armies entered Mecca:
When it came to strategies or principles that he seems to have used we can see at least ten:
To begin from the possible
Aisha, She said: “Whenever the Prophet had to choose between two options, he always opted for the easier choice” (Al-Bukhari)
To see advantage in disadvantage
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) guided by the Qur’an (94: 5-6), saw opportunities in every problem.
To change the place of action
He migrated to find more suitable place to fulfill his mission, that was to deliver the message of Islam.
To make a friend out of an enemy (Qur’an 41:34)
The life of the Prophet is an historical testimony of this. He returned bad deeds by doing good and that had a conquering effect over his enemies.
To turn minus into plus
A British orientalist remarked “He faced adversity with the determination to writing success out of failure”.
The power of peace is stronger than the power of violence
He ordered his direst opponents to go free after the conquest of Mecca. That resulted in them to willingly and immediately accept Islam.
Not to be a dichotomous thinker
He always looked for a third option instead of focusing on 2 only.
To bring the battle in one’s own favorable field
He refused to engage in battles if he can sign treaties that can allow the confrontation of ideas instead of fighting. He knew Islam will prevail in those cases.
Gradualism instead of radicalism
He implemented social changes gradually rather than radically attacking all aspects at once.
To be pragmatic in controversial matters
He was willing to compromise in order to reach agreement as long as that does not affect the Islamic faith. This is an ongoing personal project for me to understand this great man and learn from him in a way that is unemotional and detached – but its difficult as the more I learn the more I am in awe.
Other lessons we can learn from The Prophet are:
1. Seek Wisdom, Be Forgiving & Sincere in word and action.
2. Be Humble, Wins the hearts of your enemies and make them friends.
3. Be selfless.
4. Fight for your Rights and once done fight for others.
5. Trust in the Allah, Regardless of your situation.
6. Don’t Live in the past.
7. Strive again even if you fail a hundred times, keep moving.
8. World is not fair, Be strong and steady in navigating it.
9. Truth frees you and lies traps you.
10. Everyone and everything passes, do not attach yourself to things.
11. Learn from everyone and everything.
12. Life is not about resting its about leaving something for the ones who will come after you.
13. Honour your mother and father.
14. Be just – even if its against yourself.
15. Trust in Allah but work as if no one will help you.
These were just few lessons from the Life of Prophet Muhammad
Hope you find it useful and feel free to comment and suggest ideas/books/seminars which you think I can learn from and or share with others.