His life (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), was all patience, striving in the cause of Allah, and surrendering to Him. The Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had always been patient, persevering, and in perpetual work from the beginning of revelation until the last moment of his life. He knew the nature of what he would encounter on this path, right from the first moments of his commission as a prophet, and after the earliest meeting with the angel, when Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) accompanied him to Waraqah bin Nawfal who said to him: "I wish I were young and could live to the time when your people will drive you out." Allah's Messenger (May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) asked, "Will they drive me out?" Waraqah replied in the affirmative and said, "No man has come with something similar to what you have brought except he was treated with hostility".
Therefore, he prepared himself mentally, right from the onset, to bear upon this path hardships, harm, conspiracy, and animosity.
An example of his patience (May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) manifesting evidently, is the physical harm he suffered from his folk, family and clan while in Makkah preaching the message of his Lord. This includes what Al-Bukhari transmitted, that Urwah bin Az-Zubair asked Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-As, "Tell me of the worst thing which the pagans did to the Prophet." He said, "While the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was praying in the ‘hijr of the Ka`bah; `Uqba bin Abi Mu'ait came and put his garment around the Prophet's neck and throttled him violently. Abu Bakr came and caught him by his shoulder and pushed him away from the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said, "Do you want to kill a man just because he says; 'My Lord is Allah?’".
One day, while the Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was praying near the Ka'bah, Abu Jahl and his Companions were sitting nearby. Abu Jahl said, referring to the she-camel that had been slaughtered the previous day: “Who will rise to fetch the fetus of the she-camel of so and so, and place it between the shoulders of Muhammad when he goes down in prostration (sujood)?” The one most accursed among the people got up, brought the fetus and, when the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) went down in prostration, he placed it between his shoulders. They laughed at him, and some of them leaned upon the others with laughter. The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had bent down his head in prostration and did not raise it, until his daughter Fatima, came and removed (the filth) from his back.
More serious was the psychological harm he faced, represented in belying him and rejecting his Message, accusing him of being a soothsayer, poet, lunatic, and a magician. Moreover, the false claim that the signs, proofs, and Quranic verses he brought were mere legends of the men of the past. This includes what Abu Jahl said, "O Allah! If this (Qur'an) is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us or bring upon us some painful punishment!" [Al-Anfal, ayah 32].
When he went out to preach to the people in their meeting and market places, his uncle, Abu Lahab, used to follow him, belie him, and prevent the people from accepting his message as the truth. On the other hand, his wife used to gather firewood and thorns and cast them on his pathway.
The mischief reached its peak when he was besieged along with his Companions for three years in the mountain pass of Abu Talib, where they ate the leaves of trees out of excruciating hunger. The sorrows increased when he lost his uncle who used to protect him, and his sorrows multiplied when his uncle died on disbelief. Then he was shocked by the death of his wife Khadijah, who used to console and assist him. Then he had to leave his hometown and migrate, after a series of attempts to murder him. In Madinah, he began a new epoch of patience and sacrifice, and a life that involved a lot of struggle and adversity, where he felt hungry and became poor, and would fasten stones to his stomach to quell the pangs of hunger. The Messenger of Allah (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, ((Indeed I have been terrorized for the sake of Allah, such that no one has been terrorized, and I have been harmed for the sake of Allah, such that no one has been harmed. Thirty days and nights have passed over me, and there was no food with Bilal and I forced something with a liver to eat, except what Bilal could conceal under his armpit)).
Indeed, his honor was attacked. The hypocrites and ignorant Bedouin Arabs harmed him. Al-Bukhari transmitted on the authority of Abdullah bin Mas`ud: Once Allah's Messenger (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) divided and distributed (the war booty). A man from the Ansaar said, "By Allah! Muhammad, by this distribution, did not intend to please Allah." So I came to Allah's Messenger (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and informed him about it, whereupon his face changed with anger and he said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on Musa, for he was harmed with more than this, yet he remained patient.”
Some of the difficulties the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) endured are the deaths of his sons and daughters. He had seven children, and they all died one after the other except Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her). He quailed not, nor was he weakened. Rather he was graciously patient, to the extent that on the day his son Ibrahim passed away, he said, “Indeed, the eyes are shedding tears, and the heart is grieving, and we will not say except that which pleases our Lord. O Ibrahim! Indeed, we are grieved by your departure.”
The patience of the Prophet (may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was not confined to tolerating harm and afflictions, but it rather included patience in the obedience of Allah, the Most High and Glorified, whereby his Lord commanded him to do so. He used to struggle in worship and acts of obedience to the extent that his feet used to crack out of excessive standing at night. He frequently fasted, made dhikr, and did other acts of worship. When he was asked about that he would say, “Should I not be a grateful slave of Allah?”