عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " بُعِثْتُ بِجَوَامِعِ الْكَلِمِ، وَنُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ، فَبَيْنَا أَنَا نَائِمٌ أُتِيتُ بِمَفَاتِيحِ خَزَائِنِ الأَرْضِ، فَوُضِعَتْ فِي يَدِي ". قَالَ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ وَقَدْ ذَهَبَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَأَنْتُمْ تَنْتَثِلُونَهَا.
Bukhari: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been made victorious with Terror" (Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220)
The full narration reads as follows:
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "I have been sent with the shortest expressions bearing the widest meanings, and I have been made victorious with ru'b (cast in the hearts of the enemy), and while I was sleeping, the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and put in my hand." Abu Huraira added: Allah's Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them). (Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 220)
By using the word 'Terror' for ru'b, the Islam-hater intends to convey the following definition of terror:
Violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
However, the word ru'b does not have that meaning at all. It refers to fright and anxiety. In fact, we can derive a better understanding of ru'b by examing other ahadith:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) saod: "I was given victory through Ru`b: the enemy becomes filled with Ru`b even though they are the distance of a month's journey away from me." (Ahmad #20337)
The meaning is thus obvious that when the enemies' attempts to detroy the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) failed, they began to fear him as he grew in strength in Arabia and gained more followers. They feared and hated the religion he brought which preached equality and morality and would remove them from their position of corrupt tyrants who enslaved the poor and the non-arabs. It was fear of the mysterious power which granted Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers such rapid success. This fear was not the fear that resulted from past combat, as many Islam-haters would have us believe, rather it was a type of fear which prevented further combat. As Jalal Abualrub notes:
Ru`b ', means, ‘Fear': Here is a list of some of the Islamic resources explaining, ‘Ru`b', as, ‘Fear', and, ‘Awe': Fat`h al-Bari bi Shar`h Sahih al-Bukhari ; Tu`hfat al-A`hwadhi bi Shar'h Jami' at-Tirmidhi ; and, Shar`h Sunan an-Nasaii . These books were written by Muslim Scholars explaining Hadeeths contained in, Sahih al-Bukhari , and the Sunan collections of Imams at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasaii, respectively.... ...Al-Waqidi said in his, Maghazi , that Juwairiyah Bint al-Harith said, “ We were at the Muraisii` area when the Messenger of Allah marched forth towards us. I heard my father say, ‘There has come to us a gathering that we cannot resist.' I saw men and horses in such numbers that I cannot describe. After I became Muslim and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, married me I looked at the Muslims and found their numbers to be less than what I had thought. I knew that this was Ru`b that Allah, the Exalted, throws in the hearts of the polytheists.' ” There are many similar examples in which the enemies of Islam, who, just like the Muraisii` people, had gathered armies to attack Madinah and the Prophet, scattered throughout the desert in fear when they heard that the Prophet had gathered an army to resist their treacherous attacks. Many lives were saved through Allah throwing fear in the hearts of the enemies of Muhammad, peace be upon them, because his enemies feared him, fled and did not meet him in battle. Thus, ‘fear', in the Hadeeth...saved Muslims and many of their enemies the hardship of battle and warfare. (Abualrub, The Prophet of Mercy, emphasis added)
hence, the fear that the disbelievers had of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) can justly be compared to the fear a thief or murderer would have of a police officer. In fact, a Police officer would desire that criminals fear the law in order to maintain a safe and secure society. Some crtitics also claim that this narration proves that the motivation of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was money due to the phrase, "the keys of the treasures of the world were brought to me and placed in my hand". Of course they omit the phrase before that - "While I was asleep". Jalal Abualrub comments on this deceptive tactic as follows:
By doing so, it would appear that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was seeking or wishing to acquire other people's wealth for himself. Contrary to this false illusion, this was a vision that the Prophet saw which contained glad tidings for the generations of Muslims to come. This is why in the same Hadeeth, Abu Hurairah added, as al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from him, “ Allah's Apostle has left the world and now you, people, are bringing out those treasures (i.e. the Prophet did not benefit by them). (Abualrub, The Prophet of Mercy)
There are thousands of narrations which confirm that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived a simple life in poverty despite the power and strength he acquired as a leader. Here are a few of such narrations:
Narrated 'Aisha: The family of Muhammad had never eaten their fill of wheat bread for three successive days since they had migrated to Medina till the death of the Prophet. (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 461) Narrated 'Aisha: The family of Muhammad did not eat two meals on one day, but one of the two was of dates. (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 462) Narrated 'Aisha: The bed mattress of the Prophet was made of a leather case stuffed with palm fibres. (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 463) Narrated Qatada: We used to go to Anas bin Malik and see his baker standing (preparing the bread). Anas said, "Eat. I have not known that the Prophet ever saw a thin well-baked loaf of bread till he died, and he never saw a roasted sheep with his eyes." (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 464) Narrated 'Aisha: A complete month would pass by during which we would not make a fire (for cooking), and our food used to be only dates and water unless we were given a present of some meat. (Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 465)
In truth, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never desired anything of the worldly pleasures. His mission was solely to please his Lord and spread the true message across the land, calling people to morality, justice and peace achieved through submission to God.