Seerah: EP52 – How the Prophet Gave Dawah

Aug 13, 2013 | Abdul Nasir Jangda, Podcast, Seerah


Episode 52: Prophetic Bodyslam: How the Prophet Gave Dawah

Welcome to Seerah Pearls, which aims to highlight some tantalising learning points from each episode of the Seerah- Life of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was just as determined as ever to continue preaching the message of Islam. A da’ee, preacher, must have the following qualities:

  1. Have full conviction that the message preached is the unequivocal truth.
  2. Be motivated, driven, passionate and determined.
  3. Be tactful when delivering the message.

In this post-boycott period, around the 10th year of Prophethood, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is 50 years old. This story recounts how the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) spread the message of Islam to a man called Rukana, who was famed at the time for being the strongest man in Quraysh. A distant relative of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he came from the tribe of Banu Abd-Manaf. We learn the tactful manner of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)- he understood people and dealt with them according to their personalities.


The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw Rukana in one of the outer areas of Makkah. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, ‘Do you not have any consciousness of God and that you would accept what I invite you to?’ Rukana replies, ‘Oh Muhammad, if I know what you are saying is the truth, why would I not follow you?’ Some narrations say that Rukana actually challenged the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) challenged Rukana to wrestle with him: if he managed to beat Rukana, would Rukana accept his word as the truth? Rukana agreed to these terms.


Rukana stands and starts to wrestle the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) grabbed him and slammed him on his back. Rukana had never been beaten- being body-slammed was an alien experience to him. He was not able to get up and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had him pinned down.


Rukana challenges him again: the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) slammed him again. Rukana says, ‘This is the most bizarre thing that has happened to me’. He could not believe he was being beaten. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said he would show him something more amazing if he would be conscious of Allah and follow what he told him to follow. Rukana asks further and the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) says, ‘You see that tree over there, I will call that tree to me and the tree will move towards me’. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) called the tree and the tree moved from the spot and came and stood right in front of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Prohet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then told the tree to return to its place and it does so.


There are two versions of what happened next:

  1. After seeing this, Rukana goes to his family and says that everything on the earth has been enchanted by the magic of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and that he had never seen a greater magician than him.
  2. The stronger narration recounts that Rukana was slammed three times in total. After seeing the tree move, he declared the Shahadah.