This story happened in the streets of Mecca at a time when Prophet Muhammad was completely disbelieved by his people. There was a huge negative image around Islam and around him personally. Islamophobia was at its utmost at that time. People were warned not to talk to him: “He is a liar. He creates problems between people and their spouses and their sons and daughters. Stay away from him.” He–peace be upon him–never stopped calling people to Allah. He never stopped living as a sincere human being with high quality character in a society that was prejudicial to him.
While walking in the marketplace, Prophet Muhammad found a very old lady struggling to carry the goods she bought from the marketplace to her house. He, unhesitatingly, offered her help. While carrying her stuff towards her house, he never called her with a name except “O my mother.” After he dropped all the stuff before her house, she told him that she cannot pay him back for what he did for her except with a sincere advice. “There is a man in Mecca called Muhammad. He is a liar. Do not listen to him.” She advised him sincerely. He-peace be upon him–responded by saying, “O My Mother! By Allah, I am not a liar.” It was a surprise to her to know that this man whom every one accuses of being a liar is the very same man who helped her getting her stuff home. Shortly, she realized that she was a victim of a false rumor. She then told the prophet, “By Allah, that is not the character of a liar!”
Living at a time when so much hatred spread around about Islam and Muslims, we must follow the tradition and the character of the Prophet in serving our society and showing humanity who Muslims are and what Islam is. We will soon make people who were prejudicial to us to proclaim it clearly, “This is not the character of a liar!”