Dear world! till now you have heard or watched the name of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) uttered by the fierce illiterate Taliban jihadists carrying a bomb, a staunch Mullah verbalizing his personal desire using the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) or by twisted politicians creating a religious divide to fulfill their sinister plans. Did you ever try to read the biography of the sacred prophet? No! Because we have been hypnotized by these politicians, jihadists, and rigid conservative Mullahs altogether to ignore the other facts. Let’s be reasonable before making any judgment and pause for a moment and instead of being a victim of political and religious propaganda against a noble figure and Islam, we do some research and read about the actual life of his holiness the Final Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Islam emerged like a limpid fountain and increased in depth and expanse as time went by. It finally became a great river passing through various human societies, irrigating fields in which seeds of humanity were to be planted, satisfying the thirst of human beings for salvation and justice. It is going on and will surely continue to do so as long as there are human beings on earth because human nature is thirsty for this heavenly faith and would perish if it were denied it.
Obviously, Islam does not please those who oppress the colonialists, the arrogant, and their like. So they have always tried hard to hinder it, but in spite of so many wicked policies and plots of the world-exploiters and despite the serious attempts of the enemies of Islam to misrepresent this holy faith, Islam has prevailed.
It goes without saying that all laws and precepts in the holy faith of Islam have been made based on human nature, which is the same in all human societies and at all times. So those who say, `East is east and west is west’ and `An eastern Prophet cannot be a good leader for western people’, are absolutely wrong. For human beings, whether of the east or the west, have their nature, their natural characteristics, and their wants in common.
There is no difference between people in this respect, no matter how different their race, color, traditions, geographical conditions, and the like maybe. And just as eastern people need an innate faith – a faith compatible with their nature and capable of satisfying their various human needs – western people require such a divine faith, exactly to the same extent. A simple comparison can serve to clarify the matter. Human beings all over the world and at all times need food, water, and oxygen to survive, and no human is being found without a need for them for his survival. Just so, all of them need spiritual nourishment for their souls, their emotional health, their spiritual survival, and, most significant of all, their finding salvation.
It is crystal clear that when the Holy Prophet of Islam Muhammad (PBUH) illuminated the dark atmosphere of Makkah with the call of monotheism, he did not mean to lead just the people of the Hijaz or the Arabs, but his divine mission was to communicate God’s message to the whole world and to start this momentous task from Arabia.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the finest example of a perfect man in every sense of the term. He was a paragon of virtue and is the best exemplar for the human race. The Almighty distinguished him from all and sundry by instilling in his sublime personality such fine qualities as modesty, truthfulness, kindness, patience, loyalty, honesty, courage, bravery, generosity, magnanimity, wisdom, and the like. By studying his lofty character and the amazingly simple life he led with his household, companions, wives, and others, we are apt to learn valuable lessons from his conduct and accordingly mold our own lifestyle.
One proof of this true belief is that at the beginning of his mission, he said to his own relatives, `Truly, I am God’s Messenger to you, in particular, and to all people, in general…’.
There are also some verses in the Qur’an that confirm this claim. Consider the following three verses:
`Say, O people, surely I am God’s Messenger to you all”’ (7:158).
`And we have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds’ (21:107).
`And this Qur’an has been revealed to me that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches’ (6:19).
Such verses reveal the fact that the divine mission of the Holy Prophet was not revised to become universal after his migration to Medina and the prevalence of Islam. From the very beginning, his holy mission was meant for all people, for all parts of the world, and for all times.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) always used to contemplate the greatness and majesty of God, the glorious and the welfare of the human race. He closely followed the affairs of his people and the spreading of the light of Islam. He talked only when necessary and when he did, his speech was devoid of any rhetoric and unnecessary words. It was precise, to the point, and full of great meanings.
He was punctual, active and energetic, and led an orderly life in the strict sense of the word. He gave some important tips to the people.
“Blessed be my people for their early rising.”
“Too much sleep does away with both religion and the world.”
“O People, you have certain (special) characteristics, so get to (emphasize) them and you have an end, so get to (be prepared for) it…, a servant of Allah should take (make provisions) for himself from his self: from his world (life) for his hereafter, during his youth before his old age, and in life before death. By the One in whose hand is Muhammad’s soul, after death, there will be no blaming and after this world, there is nothing except Paradise or Hell.
He was the finest embodiment of modesty, and deeply abhorred arrogance and haughtiness. Almost all of his companions in the early days were poor and oppressed people, as he was the champion of the downtrodden and the defender of the deprived masses.
His house was simple and modest, built of clay bricks, palm leaves, and trunks. His food was simple like that of the poor, consisting mostly of barley bread. There were occasions when he might skip that meager meal too. He socialized with his companions as one of them: talking, listening, smiling, and displaying a sense of humor. Sometimes he might join in their laughter to cheer their spirits up. He would visit them when they fell sick or accept an invitation for a meal irrespective of whether the person concerned was poor, a slave, or any other. In case a companion of his died, he used to participate in the funeral procession, walking alongside the bier.
So modest was he that he hated to see people rising to their feet when he entered an assembly. And on entering he used to sit at the nearest vacant spot, so that his companions might not think that he was sporting an air of superiority over them. His magnetic personality drew love and respect from all. He used to sit on the ground, even while eating and slept on the ground with a simple mat serving as his bed. He greeted even small boys, as well as women. If some man shook hands with him, he would not unclasp his hand till the other did it first.
Once, a Christian chieftain named Adi bin Hatim al-Ta’i, came for an audience with the Prophet of Islam, who happened to be sitting on a cushion. On seeing the visitor he took the cushion from underneath and offered it to his Christian guest, himself preferring to sit on the ground. This admirable display of modesty by the great Prophet so deeply affected Adi bin Hatim al-Ta’i, that the Christian chief immediately embraced Islam.
This is how Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught us the best of morals and excellent manners. By living a simple and ordinary life and treating everybody alike with courtesy and respect, he was able to spread the light of Islam. His immaculate personality and lofty character, coupled with his honesty and wisdom, attracted multitudes of people towards truth and justice.
The Messenger’s social ties with his companions portray the most wonderful picture of Islamic brotherhood ever heard of. The following narratives give us a glimpse of his firm ties with the society in which he lived:
Anas bin Malik, who used to frequent the Prophet’s assembly, says that whenever the Prophet missed any one of his companions for a period of three days, he used to inquire about that person, would pray for him and if he happened to be ill, would visit him.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was second to none in Allah’s creation, beginning from Adam till eternity. He was an excellent exemplar of the noblest manners and merits including courage and bravery. His valor was a byword among his contemporaries, for he stood up gallantly against the heaviest odds, endured pain and injuries, and victoriously fought, overcame, and showed mercy to the stone-hearted infidels of ignorant Arabia. Magnanimity is the finest form of valor and the Prophet excelled in this particular field, forgiving enemies and freeing multitudes from injustice, oppression, servitude, and ignorance.
He endured pain and sufferings for thirteen long years in Makkah, inviting people to Islam, without once being over-awed by the sheer force and numbers of arrogant Jahiliyah. And all these single-handedly without any group or supporters except his few weak but devoted followers.
After migrating to Madina he organized an army to defend against the idolaters and he himself led the faithful in many a battle against overwhelming odds, always coming out victorious. The Battles of Badr, Khandaq, Uhud, Khaibar, Hunayn, and the conquest of Makkah were some of the epoch-making events.
(To be continued)