Sunday, February 22, 2009
THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAAS)
As a verse of the Qur'an reveals, "… Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and the Final Seal of the Prophets." (Surat al-Ahzab: 40), the Prophet Muhammad (saas) was sent to mankind as the last prophet. He was a living example of the sublime morality of Allah's last revelation. He was a friend of Allah and inspired humanity by his nearness to Him. He was His representative, noble in His sight, and a friend to all believers.
As Allah has revealed in another verse, "We will impose a weighty Word upon you..." (Surat al-Muzammil: 5), he charged His last prophet, Muhammad (saas) with a heavy responsibility. Due to the Prophet (saas)'s strong faith in Allah, he fulfilled that responsibility in the best possible way, called mankind to the path of Allah and Islam, and illuminated the way for all believers.
Although we have never seen the Prophet (saas), we can still do our very best to come to know his exemplary behavior, his sayings and the pleasing morality he displayed, by means of the verses of the Qur'an and the hadiths (the sayings and teachings of the Prophet (saas). We can try to be like him, in order to be close to him in the hereafter. People today, and the young in particular, take many individuals as role models, imitate the way they behave, speak and dress, and try to be like them. Yet, since the great majority of thesepeople are not on the right road themselves, they lack proper morality and attitudes. It is therefore a serious responsibility to lead people to the truth and the best morality and behavior. A Muslim needs to try to emulate the behavior and the morality of the Prophet Muhammad (saas). Allah confirms that in a verse:
You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much. (Surat al-Ahzab: 21)
Like the Prophet Muhammad (saas), the other prophets were also role models for believers, and enjoyed Allah's good pleasure. Allah says in one verse:
There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence. This [the Qur'an] is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who believe. (Surah Yusuf: 111)
The aim in writing this book is to introduce various characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (saas), by showing the superior features and qualities a society may enjoy when it adopts such a morality, thus encouraging others to adopt that same morality. As the Prophet (saas) has revealed in the hadith, "Verily, I have left amongst you the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Apostle which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray,"1 a Muslim's two truest guides are the Qur'an and Sunnah (the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (saas)). The Prophet Muhammad (saas) was an example to all humanity with his morality, to which he called on mankind to live by. It was the Prophet (saas) who said "I was sent to perfect good character"2 and "By One in whose hand there is my life: None shall enter Paradise except one who has got good conduct."3
Those Muslims who follow the way of the Prophet (saas) need to be foremost in their morality and behavior, and to invite others to adopt that same morality.
We only send the Messengers to bring good news and to give warning. Those who disbelieve use fallacious arguments to deny the truth. They make a mockery of My Signs and also of the warning they were given.(Surat al - Kahf:56)
Nothing in return from others
One of the fundamental tenets of Islam is that a person must found his whole life on the love and fear of Allah, and carry out all his obligations solely to win the good will and mercy of Allah and to attain His Paradise. In one verse, Allah tells believers: "Say: 'My prayer and my rites, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds.'" (Surat al-An'am: 162)
In the following verse, believers are told to live their religion solely for Allah, and not for any other purpose: "Except those who repent and put things right and hold fast to Allah and dedicate their religion to Allah alone; they are with the believers. Allah will give the believers an immense reward." (Surat an-Nisa': 146) Anyone who holds fast to Allah, knows that there is no other god than Allah, lives his life solely to gain His good pleasure, and never, ever abandons his faith in Him, shows he has true faith.
No sincere believer tries to gain the love, good will, praise of anyone other than Allah in his actions and religious duties. The finest examples of such sincere believers are the Prophet Muhammad (saas) and other prophets (peace be upon them all).
The Prophet (saas) sought only to win Allah's good pleasure, and spent his life striving to win His mercy, compassion and Paradise, with never a thought for personal interests or worldly gain.
Say: "I do not ask you for any wage for it, nor am I a man of false pretentions." (Surah Sad: 86)
Say: "I have not asked you for any wage - it is all for you. My wage is the responsibility of Allah alone. He is witness of everything." (Surah Saba': 47)
The patience exhibited by the Prophet (saas) in the face of difficultyThroughout the period of his mission, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) experienced all manner of difficulty. Deniers and polytheists, from among his own people, insulted him most terribly, even calling him a magician or a madman. Others wanted to kill him and even schemed to do so. Despite all that, the Prophet (saas) tried to teach people of all backgrounds and cultures about the Qur'an, and therefore about proper morality and good behavior.
As is revealed in the verses of the Qur'an, some people had not the slightest idea of the basics of good manners, for which reason it never entered their minds that they might appall someone who possessed superior morality. The Prophet (saas) displayed the greatest patience in this circumstances, turning to Allah and asking for His help in all situations and encouraging believers to patience and submission.
In many verses in the Qur'an, Allah advises the Prophet (saas) to be patient despite the words of unbelievers:
So be patient in the face of what they say and glorify your Lord with praise before the rising of the sun and before it sets. (Surah Qaf: 39)
Do not be grieved by what they say. All might belongs to Allah. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surah Yunus: 65)
We know that your breast is constricted by what they say. (Surat al-Hijr: 97)
Perhaps you are leaving aside part of what has been revealed to you and your breast is constricted by this because they say, "Why has treasure not been sent down to him or an angel not accompanied him?" You are only a warner and Allah is Guardian over all things. (Surah Hud: 12)
Believers must remember the kind of things Allah's Messenger (saas) was patient for, and take him as a model when dealing with their own difficulties. Those who despair at the slightest problem, who are unable to bear the smallest objection, who stop preaching the religion of Allah, or who lose hope when their business dealings go wrong, must be aware that such behavior is incompatible with Allah's holy book and the sayings and deeds of the Prophet (saas). Believers must always be patient, take Allah as their helper and give thanks to Him, adopt the superior morality of the Prophet (saas), and hope for the mercy, compassion and Paradise of our Lord.