If we reflect upon our experiences with others, we find that people have different natures, just like the varying nature of the land. Some are soft, while others are hard. Some are as generous as a fertile land, while others are as miserly as a barren field. We also know that various terrains are traversed in different ways. The manner in which solid ground is walked upon is certainly not the way soft ground is. Similarly, a person’s nature and personality should be understood before dealing with him.

Look at the conduct of the Prophet (sa), as he advanced with his battalions to conquer Makkah. Before the conquest, Abu Sufyan (rtam) visited the Prophet (sa) and accepted Islam. When he became a Muslim, Al-Abbas (rtam) said to the Prophet (sa): “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a man who loves pride and honour. Please offer him something.”

The Prophet (sa) said: “Yes, whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan is safe. Whoever locks himself in his house is safe. Whoever enters the Masjid (Masjid-ul-Haram) is safe.”

When Abu Sufyan (rtam) set off to return to Makkah, the Prophet (sa) looked at him and thought that this is the man who mobilized the Quraish to fight him at Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. Since he was a new Muslim, the Prophet (sa) wanted to show him the strength of Islam.

The Prophet (sa) said to Al-Abbas (rtam): “Delay Abu Sufyan in the narrow pass of the valley so that he can witness the armies of Allah (swt) as they pass by him.”

Al-Abbas (rtam) took Abu Sufyan (rtam) to the valley just as the armies began to flood into Makkah. The battalions, one by one, began to pass by him. When he saw the first one, he asked: “Who are they, O Abbas?”

Al-Abbas (rtam) replied: “They are Sulaym.”

When the second battalion passed, he asked: “Who are they, O Abbas?”

Al-Abbas (rtam) replied: “They are Muzaynah.”

Every time a battalion passed by, Abu Sufyan (rtam) asked the same question, until there finally came the Messenger of Allah (sa) with his Green Army, surrounded by the Muhajirun and the Ansar.

Abu Sufyan (rtam) asked: “Subhan’Allah! Who are these people?”

Al-Abbas (rtam) replied: “This is the Messenger of Allah amongst the Muhajirun and the Ansar.”

He said: “By Allah, your nephew’s kingdom has expanded!”

Al-Abbas (rtam) said: “O Abu Sufyan, this is prophethood!”

“Prophethood it certainly is!” replied Abu Sufyan (rtam).

When the armies had passed by, Al-Abbas (rtam) told him to warn his people. Abu Sufyan (rtam) rushed back to Makkah and began to shout: “O Quraish! Muhammad is approaching with an army you cannot match! Whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe!”

The people questioned: “What good will your house do to us?”

Abu Sufyan (rtam) repeated the Prophet’s words and said: “Whoever shuts himself in my house is safe! Whoever seeks refuge in the Masjid is also safe!” Some people dispersed into their houses, while others entered Masjid-ul-Haram. How wonderful was the Prophet (sa) to have such a positive effect on Abu Sufyan (rtam)!

Adapted (with permission) from “Enjoy Your Life” published by “Darussalam”. Compiled for “Hiba” by Bisma Ishtiaq.