When a champion wrestler met Mohammed

Mohammed was famous in his kingdom, during the early Islamic era. He was humble, but had a huge reputation. One day he met a champion wrestler, who saw an opportunity to look cool by wrestling the so-called messenger of god. He challenged Mohammed, but was politely turned down. But the wrestler was persistent, and eventually Mohammed agreed to wrestle the champ. Mohammed threw him onto his back, which was a huge shock to nearly everyone. The wrestler got up quickly, suggesting that Mohammed got lucky, and Mohammed threw him down again. This was an undefeated champion, who had now met his match in the form of a much smaller, seemingly weaker man. Losing patience, the wrestler came back at Mohammed, and Mo threw him on his back for the third time in a row. The wrestler then declared that Mohammed had the strength of ten men, and surely had god on his side.

That’s how the story goes, and I’m happy to believe it, as a martial artist who has seen how small people can beat big people, in the same way that a wild animal in the jungle has reactions much faster than a man with a mind full of useless information.

In martial arts there’s nothing more important than having a pure, empty mind during a fight. Maintaining faith that the empty, submissive mind can trump every learned skill. This is why kids don’t like studying/school – they know it’s not natural and is only messing with their head. This is also why Mohammed was said to have been illiterate – it was not from lack of opportunity, it was from his own decision to keep a fresh, empty, useful mind.

Many a Muslim at this point will turn to his traditional culture, and see that it only endorses studying as far as he is aware. But this is based on a misinterpretation of the words of the Quran and Hadith, which do not explicitly endorse studying, they only link studying to fear and to knowing the direction to heaven, and then people presume it’s good to be fearful so must be good to study, and that any way of seeing the way to heaven must be good (even if it is actually by walking towards the burning hellfire in order to feel the heat and know which way to turn away from – the true meaning of that Hadith).

Seriously, who wants to live a life in fear? What happened to Peace? Is-Salam (lit: The Peace – the etymologicial origin of the word Islam). The Quran says god wants things to be easy for us, not stressful. Let’s look at Mohammed’s example as an example of someone keeping it real, better than the academic scholars who are so revered by muslim communities today but are so different to how Mohammed really was.