He always held himself under complete control. Even when he became a sovereign he always listened to everybody with patience, and if a person treated him with impertinence he bore with him and never attempted any retaliation. In the East, one way of showing respect for a person whom one is addressing is not to address him by his personal name. e Muslims used to address the Holy Prophetsa as: “O Messenger of Allahsa,” and non-Muslims used to address him as “Abu’l Qasim[sa]” (i.e., Qasim’s father: Qasim being the name of one of his sons). On one occasion a Jew came to him in Medina and started a discussion with him. In the course of the discussion he repeatedly addressed him as “O Muhammadsa, O Muhammadsa.” The Prophetsa paid no attention to his form of address and went on patiently expounding the matter under discussion to him. His Companionsra, however, were getting irritated at the discourteous form of address adopted by his interlocutor until one of them, not being able to restrain himself any longer, admonished the Jew not to address the Prophetsa by his personal name but to address him as Abu’l Qasimsa. e Jew said that he would address him only by the name which his parents had given him. The Prophetsa smiled and said to his Companions: “He is right. I was named Muhammadsa at the time of my birth and there is no reason to be upset at his addressing me by that name.”
Sometimes people stopped him on the way and engaged him in conversation, explaining their needs and preferring their requests to him. He always stood patiently and let them go on and proceeded only after they had done so. On occasion people when shaking hands with him kept hold of his hand for some time and, though he found this inconvenient and it occasioned a loss of precious time also, he was never the first to withdraw his hand. People went freely to him and laid their troubles and difficulties before him and asked him for help. If he was able to help he never declined to do so. Sometimes he was pestered with requests and they were unreasonably pressed but he went on complying with them as far as he was able. On occasion, after complying with a request, he would admonish the person concerned to have greater trust in God and to avoid asking others for relief. On one occasion a devout Muslim asked him several times for money and each time he complied with his request but in the end said:
“It is best for a man to put his trust in God and to avoid making requests.” The person concerned was a sincere man. Out of regard for the feelings of the Prophetsa, he did not offer to return what he had already received but he declared that in future he would never make a request to anybody under any circumstances. Years later, he was taking part in a battle, mounted on a charger, and in the thick of it when the din and confusion and the clash of arms were at their highest and he was surrounded by his enemies, his whip fell from his hand. A Muslim soldier who was on foot, perceiving his predicament, bent down to pick up the whip for him but the mounted man begged him to desist and jumped from his horse and picked up the whip himself, explaining to the soldier that he had long since promised the Holy Prophetsathat he would never make any request to anybody and that if he had permitted the soldier to pick up the whip for him it would have amounted to his having made an indirect request and would thus have rendered him guilty of breaking his promise to the Holy Prophetsa.
- Hazrat Mirza Bashir-Ud-Din Mahmud Ahmadra, Life of Muhammadsa (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2013), 217-219.