Islam is the pinnacle of revealed religions. With the advent of Islam, the revelation of God’s word to mankind stood completed. And our beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH) is the Last Messenger of Allah SWT. The seal of all prophets. The more one reads about Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH’s) life and times, the more stable, the more tranquil and calm, becomes the hostile, irrational and restless, inner person. The mind, with all its positive and negative faculties remains in control by the “pious self”.
The culmination of the process of sending Apostles for guidance of mankind, by Allah SWT took place on the day a beautiful ray of light emerged in the city of Makkah in the year 570 in the Hashmite clan. The surfacing of this radiance is what illuminated the entire universe, which had reached the lowest pits of depravity, since the five centuries of chaos and an unguided order. On the 12th of Rabi-ul-Aawal, we celebrate the birth anniversary of our venerated Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (PBUH). The Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sent as a blessing by Allah in the lowliest society of the Arabs where evil and ills of intolerable magnitude were practiced. Killing, loot, murder, drinking, female infanticide, slavery and idol worshiping were the norms of the day.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) lost his father before he even entered this world and could not maintain a mortal association with his Mother, as she too passed away when he was just seven years old. His (PBUH) grandfather and later uncle took him into their care and custody. Although born an orphan and having lost the beloved mother at the tender age of seven, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was chosen by Allah SWT for the honour of being designated, Imam ul Ambiya and the Last Prophet.
An embodiment of mercy to his arch rivals and foes. For the first 40 years, he earned the respect and awe of the people of Makkah. He came to be known for his good manners and integrity.
Holy Prophet (PBUH) received recognition even before he proclaimed the invitation to Islam. We have twisted the process of enlightenment by rearranging the Urdu idiom of “taleem aur tarbiyat” (knowledge and up bringing). We see the Holy Prophet (PBUH) receiving “tarbiyat” for the first 40 years of his life and the process of “taleem” begins, when he is asked to, “Read, read in the name of thy Lord…”. It was much before his Prophethood that he came to be recognised by the infidels of Makkah as “Al-Amin and Al-Sadiq”. The trustworthy and the truthful. He was a model of honesty and sincerity. A model son. A model father. A model nephew. A model husband. A model companion. A model to his Noble Family. A model leader. A model follower to Allah’s will and dictates. A paragon of all known virtues.
The true understanding of the life and teachings of The Noble Prophet (PBUH) causes tranquillity to descend upon the qalb (heart, doesn’t in my view, translates qalb with fullest adequacy of its meaning) and such an individual enslaves himself to Allah SWT. And for such slaves, Allah SWT says in verse 63 of Chapter Al-Furqan, “The slaves of the All Merciful are those who walk lightly on the earth…”. A true believer walks in grace, dignity and tranquillity, with his gaze looking downwards. And these slaves of Allah SWT and followers of Holy Prophet (PBUH), reactions to the ignorant were and should be now too, full of forbearance. “And who, when the ignorant speak to them, say peace….”. (25:63).
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) remained committed to spreading the Message of Allah SWT despite the unmitigated opposition hurled at him. He never cursed or abused any for the humiliating acts and demeaning attempts by the Quraysh, who openly persecuted him. Allah SWT, says, “It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of Truth to exalt it over every other religion even though the polytheists detest it” (9:33).
The Holy Prophet (PBUH), who lived a life of abject poverty, by choice and Divine Design, while having powers and following to becoming the richest man, always ate simple food. Many a times, he would abstain too. Upon returning home one day, the only available food at his residence was a small dry portion of bread and some vinegar. He ate and said, “vinegar is fine food to go with bread”. Subhan Allah! He could have had or asked for the best of the food, with its richness and taste. But he did not. Simplicity was his rule to live. It has been reported in several Hadiths the Holy Prophet (PBUH) never reclined while eating and sat on the ground as a slave would sit.
The Noble Grandson of the Noble Prophet (PBUH), Imam Hasan (RA) is reported to have remarked, “some people have modesty in their clothes and arrogance in their hearts. Those wearing woollen and coarse material clothing could be more arrogant than a person reclining on a raised couch or a person wearing embroidered silk.” Prophet (PBUH) exhibited in his daily routine and actions, the highest form of humility. He abhorred arrogance.
He did not subscribe to either active or passive enmity and lasting enmity was nowhere to be found. He only forgave. He was always forbearing. Severity in thought or action was not his creed. He relied to improve character and exemplified that in his own behaviour.
One day, he kissed Imam Hasan (RA) and a man, named Al-Aqraibn Habis, who was sitting close by, watched this act of affection and love of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and remarked, “I have 10 children and I never kissed any of them”. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied, “A person who shows no compassion will receive none”. (This incident is quoted in Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Jami’ at-Tirmidhi and Sunan Abu Dawud). The Holy Prophet (PBUH) is also reported to have carried Syeda Zainab (RA), his granddaughter, on his shoulders – even whilst praying and when he would go into prostration, he would put the little girl on the floor to his side; and upon rising he would again put her, on his shoulder. (Related by Muslim).
“We have sent you, save as a mercy, for all the worlds” (21:107). Mercy and compassion to “all the worlds”, includes mankind, all living creatures, all cosmos, the entire universe. His (PBUH) life is a paragon of compassion and mercy, these traits permeates his entire life.
A Lamartine in his “History de le Turquie” wrote and described the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) in the following words, “Never did man propose to himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime goal than what did the Prophet of Islam, because this goal was super human. To sap superstitions inter posing between the creatures and the Creator, to render God to man and man to God, to restore the rational and the Holy idea of Divinity, in the chaos of material and disfigured gods of idolatry – again never did man undertake with such feeble means, a work so out measuring human faculties…”
The Holy Quran states, “He who obeys the Apostle, has indeed obeyed Allah…” (4:80) and significantly again as a reminder to mankind, “…You have indeed in the Apostle of Allah, a beautiful pattern of conduct…” (33:21).
All of us who claim followership to, Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have to exercise absolute control over our life, emotions and sentiments. It is unthinkable that a true follower can use abusive language in conversation; can deceive in business; can violate oaths taken; can indulge in slander; can accept bribes; can forsake truth for worldly glory; can seek power to oppress the weak and so on….Let’s re- examine our lives before we are presented to him (PBUH); we have to make our beloved Holy Prophet proud. Just look around the sleeping Ummah of the 57 odd Muslim countries – where do we want to go? Decide.Sirajuddin Aziz, "The beloved Prophet (PBUH)," Business Recorder. 2018-11-25.
Keywords: Social sciences , Holy Prophet Muhammad , Revealed religions , Hashmite clan , Killing , Murder , PBUH