Care and Consideration for Others
As time passed, Muhammad (sa) spent more and more time in contemplation and meditation. He possessed a sensitive mind and a grave and serene disposition. He felt keenly the distress of every fellow being, and reacted very sharply to it, affording such relief and assistance as were within his power. On one occasion, he observed an old slave labouring hard to fulfil his task of drawing water in a heavy bucket in order to tend his master’s garden. Muhammad (sa) went to his assistance and drew up a quantity of water, which gave relief to the old man for a short while, so that he could rest and husband his failing strength. Muhammad (sa) spoke cheering and comforting words to him, and on parting from him, said kindly: ‘Whenever you feel you are in need of help, you may call on Muhammad.’ Many such incidents are on record.
What affected his mind most deeply and painfully,
however, was the moral and spiritual decline into which his people had fallen,
and from which he could see no way of rescuing them, save through divine
guidance and help. For the purpose of communing with himself and imploring the
light and guidance of the Supreme Being concerning the problems that troubled
his mind and soul, he formed the habit of retiring, for several days at a time,
to one of the hills a few miles out of Makkah. There he occupied himself in
prayer and contemplation. Taking with him a modest supply of dates and water,
he would spend his days and nights in self-examination, in reflecting on the
problems that troubled him, and in prayer and supplication to God. There is no
record of the struggle that went on in his soul during this period of retreat.
In the nature of things, it is not granted to any of us to probe into the
depths of another’s soul, to appraise accurately and completely its travail and
its ecstasies. This is a holy secret between each individual and his Maker.
 Sir Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, The Message of Islam (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2016), 17-18.