Take his name as an example; Muhammad which literally means, ‘the Most Praised One’. Now, why would a human be praised more than another or all others for that matter? The reason is that he is the one who serve humanity more than anyone else since the creation of the heavens and the earth. The name itself was an indication that he will serve and benefit humanity more than anyone else. This is why he is the most praised human being and his munificence cannot be compared to anyone else. He loved humanity intensely to such an extent that Allah warned him that, ‘Perchance, you may grief yourself to death if they don’t become believers.’ (17: 78) It is also reported in the authentic Ahadith that he used to go to the graveyards of the Muslims to pray that Allah may have mercy on them. His mercy knew no bounds. The grace and beneficence of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa cannot be fully explored and described in one book or piece of paper. It will be prudent therefore to examine, to some extent, some salient features of his most remarkable life.
Love and Trust in God
The love and trust in God exhibited by the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa is unmatched and the like of it cannot be found in anyone’s life in the entire history of man. The incident of the visit to Ta’if shed ample light on both his trust in God and his love for humanity. Even Christian writers like Sir William Muir have acknowledged the high level of character showed by the Holy Prophet in this historic journey. He writes: There is something lofty and heroic in this journey of Muhammadsa to At-Ta’if; a solitary man, despised and rejected by his own people, going boldly forth in the name of God, like Jonah to Nineveh, and summoning an idolatrous city to repent and support his mission. It sends a strong light on the intensity of his belief in the divine origin of his calling. (Life of Muhammad by Sir Willim Mur pp. 112-113)
Not even once did the Holy Prophet doubt the divine origin of his mission. He was completely certain of the fact that he was the Chosen One of God and that he will succeed. His love of God is illustrated by an incident which took place during the battle of Uhud. When the seeming victory of the Muslims was turned into a virtual defeat, the Quraish, celebrating by shouting the names of the Holy Prophetsa, Abu Bakrra, Uthmanra, Umarra and Ali bin Abi Talibra claiming to have killed them. All this while, the Muslims remained silent. Then the Quraish shouted Hubl! Hubl! Hubl! The Holy Prophet showed anger that the Muslims were still quiet. They asked what they should say and he said, ‘Allah is the Greatest.’ They did as they were told. The name of any of the companions or his own name was not worth defending in his opinion but he could not bear to hear them celebrate the name of an idol.
High moral qualities
The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was the kindest man who ever lived. He was the most merciful of men and yet the humblest. No wonder Allah, the Sublime refers to him in the Holy Quran as the, ‘Rahmatul Lil Aa lameen’ mercy for the universe. He had mercy for both friend and foe and no one was bereft of his kindness. The Holy Prophet Muhammad was a human being – no more, no less – and as such he could serve as a model for mankind. He had no supernatural abilities, nor did he claim any. He was subject to the same conditions and limitations as his contemporaries. He suffered more than most and achieved outstanding success in his lifetime. His life had many facets and passed through many phases. Like other men, he was a son, a friend, a husband and a father. He had been a servant employed by a master, and was a citizen subject to the authorities of his town. God appointed him a teacher and a guide. He immediately became an object of scorn and derision, and soon of bitter persecution. He was a loving and watchful shepherd of his small community. Through bitter persecution and hard fighting he gave proof of the highest moral qualities: courage, endurance and perseverance.
Later on in his life he was called upon to render the duties of Chief Executive and Chief Magistrate of a heterogeneous community, divided into sections in conflict with each other. He thus became the head of a state beset by internal frictions and fraught with external dangers of every description. In addition to the heavy duties and responsibilities pertaining to his prophetic office, he was called upon to display qualities of administration and statesmanship that stretched his abilities to the extreme. He was a man of peace. The due discharge of the trust and responsibility, which God had been pleased to place upon him, demanded the establishment and preservation of peace. His enemies would let him have no peace. They forced him to take up arms in defence of the most fundamental human right: freedom of conscience. He hated war and conflict, but when war was forced upon him, he strove to render it humane. He abolished all savage and barbarous practices. He commanded in battle, but scrupulously refrained from personally shedding blood. His strategy was faultless and was always designed to reduce loss of life and human suffering to the minimum.
It is clear from the above that the Holy Prophet Muhammad having passed through all conceivable situations was the perfect exemplar for mankind. He has set an example for everyone to follow no matter who or where you may be. A Christian writer ranked the Holy Prophet Muhammad number one among history’s greatest men, and further said that if Muhammad were to return to the world as a leader, he would have solved the problems of the world in a short time. All these qualities endear him to us and all other true believers like no other. He is our Master, our Beloved and our Exemplar. The founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at said in one of his poems: After God I am intoxicated by the love of Muhammad. If this is disbelief, then by God, I am the greatest disbeliever. We say as he said, after Allah the Almighty, it is the love of Muhammad that has permeated our hearts and souls. He is our Leader, Master, Exemplar and Guide.
Allahumma Salli Alaa Muhammadin Wa Alaa Aali Muhammadin!
Musa Bah is the author of several books and an English teacher at Nusrat Senior Secondary School.]]>