'O Muhammad! We have sent you to be a real blessing for the people of the world' (21:107)
'He brings them out of the depths of darkness into the light.' (2:257)
This publication takes the liberty, by the grace of the Almighty to portray the unique and exemplary roles of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam:
As An Orphan
"Your Lord shall give you, and you shall be satisfied. Did He not find you an orphan and shelter you ? .... Did He not find you needy and suffice you? As for the orphan, do not oppress him, and as for the beggar, scold him not" (Al- Duha: 94.5-6,8-10)
The Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was, from his birth, brought up in the sight and under the care of Allah Ta'aalaa. He was deprived of his father whilst still in his mother's womb. With the death of his father, Allah deprived him of all human support and directed him to the realization that `there is no diety save Allah; He has no partners whatsoever'.
Resultantly, he was to be called the "Matchless Orphan Pearl." According to the noble families of Makkah, he was taken by a foster mother Halimah, who was from the tribe of Hawazin and the family of Banu Sa'ad to her village. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam lived for six years in the care of his foster parents, among the Banu Sa'ad, during which time he developed the purest dialect of Arabic. He used to respect and revere Halimah just like a real mother.
Abu - Tufayl reported that a woman met the Prophet at Ji'raanah. When he found her, he spread out his sheet for her where on she sat. Abu Tufayl enquired who the woman was. They replied, "She is his mother who suckled him."
When he was six years old Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam returned to Makkah. The noble Aaminah was very pleased to receive him; her only child. Even at such a young age Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was unlike his playful peers, but quite serene and scrupulous. He never wasted his time in wild games like the other children.
The Matchless Orphan Pearl not only lost his father, he lost also his mother, Aaminah at an early age. At the vulnerable age of only six years the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam experienced the pain of being left without father and mother. Indeed, there would be nothing he would not learn and no suffering he would not have to bear, since his very coming to the world was to be an open example for man.
After the demise of his mother, his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib took custody of the child, who brought him up with love and affection. However, his guardianship did not last too long as he died when the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was merely eight years of age. The honourable grandfather of Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, whom even the great army of Abraha could not bring to tears, wept bitterly when he took to his death bed. His son, Abu Talib, came to him and asked why he was weeping. He replied, "I am weeping because I will no longer be able to embrace Muhammad." He added, "I am afraid something might happen to my Matchless Pearl I entrust him to you for safe keeping."
Abu Talib, the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam uncle took great care of him and became his guardian. He faithfully and kindly dicharged his duties.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam continued to develop into a well cultured youth. He was never perverse or stubborn in his ways. The Prophets were especially brought up by Allah Ta'aalaa. To cite an example, at the time when Ka'abah was rebuilt in the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam childhood, he fell unconscious when he lifted his lower garment in order to collect the stones in it.
The Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam endured so much in life. In his very childhood his parents died, a few years later the sad demise of his grandfather also occurred. He spent his boyhood tending the flocks of sheep and goats in the company of the bedouin boys. Education did not even scathe him; he was completely unlettered and unschooled. Never did he acquire the chance to sit in the company of the learned.
Even so, the tribulations and trials that befell the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam did not in any way blemish the infallibility of the blessed Prophet. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam also remembers: `During the restoration of the Ka'abah, prior to my Prophethood, I was carrying stones and as everyone else I lifted the bottom of my clothes over my shoulder to avoid injury, which left some part of my thighs uncovered. All of a sudden, the angel that I had seen several times in my childhood appeared to me in all his majesty. I fell down and fainted. That was the first and last time I uncovered any part of my body which Allah has ordered to be covered." (Bukhari)
The Almighty protected the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam from falling even for a twinkle of the eye, since his going astray even an inch may have resulted in almost complete deviation of mankind.
As A Trader
The commercial life of the Arabs is a known fact of history. In particular the real means of livelihood of the inhabitants of the towns of those areas where the land was dry and sandy, or of rocky dry mountains was 'trade.' Naturally, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam adopted the profession of his elders seeking merely to make "both ends meet".
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has advised, " Take to trade, because out of ten divisions of livehoods, nine are in trade." The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was not sent to mankind as a trader. Referring to this the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has stated, " I have not been given Revelation to hoard up wealth or to be one of the tradesman."
The Almighty Allah intended that his Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam should serve as a true example of mans 'life amongst man. Thus, in order to achieve this, the blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam undertook all roles and their relating works. His life was an open book to be read by all.
It is a fact of history that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam not only did his trading justly but laid the fundamental principles for just and fair trading. And the honesty, fairness and straight forwardness with which he did his business dealings with these people has become an eternal example for all business.
The Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam reputation as an honest and truthful trader was well established while he was still a youth. He always showed a great sense of responsibility and integrity in dealing with people. His benevolence and strength of his word is prominently learnt from the following example:
Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Abi Hamza (R.A) has reported that he entered into a transaction with Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam but, without finalizing the details, suddenly had to leave for urgent work, promising that he would soon return to settle the terms. Hadhrat Abdullah (R.A) forgot the unfinished transaction, remembering after three days he returned to the original place of transaction to find the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam still awaiting his return. No sign of annoyance could be learnt from the blessed Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam face. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said softly, "You have caused me much pain. I have been waiting for you since three days."
During the youth and manhood of the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam life, much stringency was placed upon trading which procured decent and lawful earnings. It is reported that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has stated, " No one has ever eaten better food than he who eats as a result of the labour of his hands....." ( Part narration : Bukhari )
Hadhrat Aisha ( R.A.) reported Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam as saying, " The most desirable of things you eat come from what you earn, and your children come from what you earn." ( Tirmizi )
Lawful earnings can only be wholly accomplished through honest and faithful practices.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was commonly known amongst the people of Makkah as "Al- Sadiq" (truthful) and "Al- Amin" ( faithful ). His truthful and faithful traits are found readily in numerous ahaadith.
There are many virtues for a truthful merchant. In a hadith it has been said, " The truthful and trusty merchant is associated with the Prophets, the truthful and the martyrs." ( Tirmizi )
" God shows mercy to a man whom is kind when he sells, when he buys and when he makes a claim." ( Bukhari )
Similarly, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was very particular about refraining from unlawful earnings. He forbade business in many things which themselves are unlawful and also in many forms of business because of the presence of unlawful elements.
Accordingly, to Abu Dhar (R.A), the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, " There are three to whom Allah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection, at whom He will not look and whom He will not purify, and they will have a punishment." Abu Dhar (R.A) said, " They are the losers and disappointed.... who are they, Messenger of Allah ?" He replied that one of them would be " he who produces a ready sale of a commodity by false swearing of Allah's name." ( Muslim)
He also said, " The merchants will be raised up on the day of Resurrection as evildoers, except those who fear Allah, are honest and speak the truth."( Tirmizi and Ibn Majah )
Many sayings of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam openly condemn all the parties involved in interest transactions : Hadhrat Jabir ( R.A.) said, "Allah's Messenger cursed the one who accepted interest, the one who paid it, the one who recorded it, and the two witnesses to it, saying they were all alike." (Muslim)
Pages upon pages could be filled with the astounding conducts of the blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Conclusively, study the following incident which highlights the Prophet's (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) patience and acceptance of a trying situation :
Hadhrat Ali ( R.A.) told that Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam owed some dinars to so-and-so, a Jewish doctor, who demanded payment from the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. When he told him, "I have nothing to give you, O Jew,". He replied, "I will not leave you, Muhammad, till you pay me."
Allah's Messenger said, " I shall sit with you, then," and did so. Allah's Messenger prayed the noon, afternoon, sunset, night and morning prayers, and his Companions were threatening and menacing the man, Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam being aware of what they were doing.
Then they said, " Messenger of Allah, is a Jew keeping you in restraint ?" To which he replied, " My Lord has prevented me from practising injustice with one whom a covenant has been made, or anyone else." Then when the day was advanced, the Jew said, "I testify that there is no diety but Allah; I testify that you are Allah's Messenger; and half of my property will be devoted to Allah's path. I swear by Allah that my only purpose in treating you as I have done was that I might consider the description of you given in the Taurah : Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, whose birth place is in Makkah, whose place of migration is in Taiba, and whose kingdom is in Syria; he is not harsh or rough, or loud voiced in the streets, and he is not characterized by coarseness or lewd speech. "I testify that there is no diety but Allah, and I testify that you are Allah's Messenger. Give a decision about this property of mine according to what Allah has shown you."
As A Husband
The Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was the perfect head of family. Managing many wives with ease, being a lover of their hearts, an instructor of their minds, an educator of their souls, he never neglected the affairs of the nation nor compromised his duties. This is a clear proof of his prophethood. If this were the only proof, it would have been enough.
Such was the eminence of our blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam that he managed to live a life of great happiness with wives of different ages, temperaments, family backgrounds and differing levels of intellect. All his wives but Hadhrat Aa'ishah ( R.A.) were widows, taking this into account all had very good mutual relations and endured an extremely contented life as members of his auspicious household.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam treated his wives equally and they in return loved him infinitely; each wife doing her utmost to please him. This was a household who lived in happiness with the others.
The blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was scrupulous in maintaining perfect equality amongst his wives as far as it was in his power. He visited them on their appointed turns, as far as possible with absolute justice and integrity. He made no distinction concerning the matters of worldly provision and needs. As far as human emotions and feelings of love and affection are concerned even the greatest man, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had no control over them, and so the Prophet clearly loved Hadhrat Aa'ishah ( R.A.) more than his other wives. This exceeding love of one wife did not lead to the neglect or lack of love for the remaining wives. The Almighty has mentioned this weakness of man in the following words :
" It is not within your power to be perfectly equitable in your treatment with all your wives, even if you wish to be so; therefore, do not lean wholly towards one wife so as to leave the others in a state of suspense. If you behave righteously and fear Allah, you will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful."(4:129)
From the above it is made clear that a husband cannot wholly and literally maintain his affections equally amongst his wives, even if it is his greatest wish to do so, as the wives themselves cannot be equal in respect of the qualities they possess. Thus, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would seek Allah's pardoning for any unintentional leanings. He would make this prayer : " I may have unintentionally shown more love to one of them than the others and this would have been injustice. So, "Oh Lord, I take refuge in your grace for those things which are beyond my power." Even so, each of his wives, because of his generosity and kindness, felt she was his most beloved.
There are many incidents in the books of ahadith and seerah which mark the sweetness, love and nobility of their mutual relationship. It has been reported that once Hadhrat Safiyyah (R.A) was weeping as the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam happened to pass by. Hadhrat Safiyyah ( R.A.) was of Jewish origin and on this occasion she was dismayed when her origin was reminded to her sarcastically. She informed the Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, expressing her sadness. Our Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam comforted her saying, " If they repeat it, give them this response : My father is the Prophet Haroon, my uncle is the Prophet Musa and my husband is, as you see, the Prophet Muhammad, the chosen one. What do you have more than me to be proud of ?"
The above incident gives a clear indication towards the excellent management undertaken by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam in minor, delicate happenings that would take place between his wives. It is reported by Hadhrat Aa'ishah ( R.A.) that whenever Allah's Messenger intended to embark on a journey, he cast lots amongst his wives to establish whom would accompany him. This way no one would have cause to complain.
When speaking to his Companions the blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to say, " The best among you is he who treats his wife the best."
On another occasion, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, "Whatever you spend on yourself, your children, your wife, and your servant is charity on your part." ( Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nasai )
According to Hadhrat Sa'ad ( R.A.) " The Prophet visited me at Makkah while I was ill. I said to him : I have property; may I bequeath all my property in Allah's cause?"
He said, " No."
I said, "Half of it ?"
He said, "No."
I said, "One third of it ?"
He said, "One third is alright, yet it is still too much, for you would do better to leave your inheritors wealthy than leave them poor, begging of others. Whatever you spend will be considered a charity for you, even a morsel of food you put in the mouth of your wife !". ( Bukhari )
Seerah kitaabs and alike compilations are filled with the duties and tasks undertaken by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. These duties were not restricted to his blessed life outside his homelife, but were very much a part of this aspect of his blessed life too. After the morning prayer, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to come to talk to Hadhrat Aa'ishah ( R.A.) if she was awake, otherwise lay down on his side and rested for a while. When he came into the house during the day, he did normal work like any ordinary man.
Hadhrat Aswad reported that he asked Hadhrat Aa'ishah ( R.A.) what the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to do in his house. She replied, " He keeps himself busy in the service of his family and when the time for prayer comes he goes out to prayer. " ( Bukhari ) She also said, " Allah's Messenger patches his sandals, sews his garments, and conducts himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He is a human being, milking his sheep and doing his own daily work."( Tirmizi )
We learn from the above of the very normality of the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam homelife. It can not be said for an instant that he shunned away his duties as a husband due to his external roles. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam took every incident as it came and enjoyed the natural instinct of his wives. In spite of heavy state responsibilities he, in his capacity as a husband, treated all his wives quite normally enjoying their occasional feminine delicacies without any pressures.
Counsel and consultation, like every good deed, were both practised by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam first in the context of his own family and then in the wider community.
Women are secondary beings in the minds of many, including those who claim they are defending women's rights. For us, a woman is a part of a whole, a part which renders the other half useful. We believe that when the two halves come together, the true unity of a human being appears. When this unity does not exist, humanity does not exist.
The following highlights an occasion when the blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam consults Hadhrat Umme Salama ( R.A.) upon a very important moment of indecision.
In the treaty of Hudaibiyyah the Sahaabaa (R.A) wanted to reject the treaty and go on to Makkah and face the possible consequences. The Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam ordered those with him to slaughter their sacrificial animals and leave their pilgrim attire. Some of the Companions were hesitant. They had hoped for a change in his decision but he repeated his order. It did not change their reluctance. They did not oppose him, but still hoped he might change his mind as they had set out with the intention of pilgrimage and did not want to stop half way. Noticing the reluctance of some of the Companions, the Ruler of the two worlds Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam returned to his tent and asked the opinion of his wife, Umme Salama ( R.A.). This great lady explained her opinion, fully aware that the Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam did not need her advice. We should learn that there is nothing wrong in exchanging ideas with the womenfolk of our families.
She said, " Oh Messenger of God ! Do not repeat your order. They may resist and thereby perish. Slaughter your sacrificial animal and change out of your pilgrim attire. They will obey you, willingly or not, when they recognize the certainty of your order." Immediately he took a knife in his hand, went out and began to slaughter his sheep. The Companions began to do the same. Everybody understood that there would be no change in his decision.
Ultimately, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam introduced new dimensions into the relationship between man and woman, enriching the family with love, pleasure and comfort. She was guaranteed her marital, social, economic and legal rights.
As A Father
A person's genuine moral conduct and demeanour is reflected within the privacy of his home, and his behaviour with his family members. One who appears to have maintained a lofty status of good characteristics cannot possibly uphold a mere pretence of honesty and good character from his immediate family. That is why, we see the example to mankind; Bearer of excellence; Illustrator of the ideal lifestyle : the Holy Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has, by setting an example of the perfect father, introduced new dimensions into the human relationship, implementing a new philosophy of life and enriched his family with love, comfort, mercy and security. These priceless gifts he distributed during his role as a father enabled his children to gain spiritual excellence and benefit profusely from this unique relationship.
The Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam relationship with his children was not based on mere physical and temporary emotions. However, it was the fruitful consequence of sound judgement, genuine concern and deep-rooted affection. His teachings for his forthcoming younger generation encompassed all fields and discipline, bequeathing everything from the eternal values of piety, aloofness from this world and faith to the social etiquette's of labour, livelihood and economic justice. He left behind him universal principles of education and guidance in order that they may attain success in both worlds and from the tender stages of infancy be able to distinguish right from wrong, evil from good.
Common people prefer to leave hoards of gold and property as legacy for their issues, but the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam imparted by his uniquely effective way of teaching that no amount of material wealth could ever equal to piety and virtuous conduct.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is reported to have said in a hadith narrated by Saeed Ibn Anas (R.A.), "No father has bestowed upon his child a gift more splendid than good manners." (Tirmizi).
Undoubtedly, no human has practised on his own preachings more precisely than the beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had in total three sons and four daughters, born to Hadhrat Khadija (R.A.) with the exception of Ibrahim who was born to Hadhrat Maariah (R.A).
Qaasim was born before Prophethood but unfortunately died at the tender age of two. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was later recognised amongst his companions as "Abul Qaasim". Thereafter, Abdullah was born after Prophethood and hence was given the appellation" Tayyib" and "Taahir" meaning clean \ pure. Abdullah died in infancy.
The Prophet's eldest daughter was called Hadhrat Zainab (R.A), born ten years preceding Prophethood. She was, under the influence of her father, a pillar of faith and patience. The second daughter was Hadhrat Ruqaiyyah (R.A) who died within the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam lifetime. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was much grieved at her death, as was the case with his third daughter Hadhrat Umme Kulthum (R.A) , whose death also caused the eyes of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam to weep unrestrainedly.
Finally, was his youngest daughter Fatimah ( R.A.), and what can be said for the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam unconditional love for Hadhrat Fatimah ( R.A.) ? He lavished her and her family with such adoration and warmth and taught her to run her household without any domestic help or large income. He also taught her the virtue of contentment and the art of a frugal living.
Hadhrat Aa'ishah (R.A) reports "I have not seen any person who resembles the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam of Allah more accurately than Fatimah in manner of speech, sitting posture and dialect. Whenever she entered he would rise to greet her, kiss her and seat her in his position. Likewise, when ever the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam entered Hadhrat Fatimah's home, she would rise to greet him, kiss him and seat him in her place."( Part narration, Tirmizi \ Bukhari)
All the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam children were a mirrored reflection of the teachings of their father. He served as an ideal example for other parents and was a thorough combination of all the qualities of understanding and discipline expected from a father. It has been stated regarding Fatimah ( R.A.) that she herself accomplished all the household chores single-handed. This included making the food, baking the bread, sweeping the house and drawing water from the well. This hard work caused her hands to blister, her clothes to wear away and corns to form on her chest. Once she requested the aid of a servant from the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam to which he replied, "The orphans of the Battle of Badr are more needy than you," he then alternatively advised the recital of a numbered tasbih.
Subhaanallah, this portrays that although the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam cared for his family dearly, never did he sacrifice integrity, nor did he wield excess leniency in exercising the law of Allah. His mission as a just ruler was not effected by his devotion to his children, although his companions would willingly give preference to the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam household as a gesture of self sacrifice, devotion and respect. He behaved and lived like the average human being with his children and experienced all the emotional and physical strains and sufferings of a father, yet, accepted them with patience and preservance and never lost temper on any worldly account.
According to Hadhrat Anas (R.A.) at the time of Hadhrat Ibrahim's death, tears began to fall gently from the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam eyes. Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Ibn Auf (R.A) proclaimed, "You too, (are weeping) Oh, Messenger of Allah?" The Blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied, "The eyes weep and the heart grieves, yet we only utter what pleases the Lord, and we are grieved by your separation, Oh Ibrahim !"
He lived with his children, loved them, and played with them. He enjoyed with them moments of rejoicing and mourned at their pain and affliction, showing he was a man of flesh and blood and experienced bereavement at the loss of his dear ones. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam never hesitated in showing ardour and affection upon his children. Each child was singled out individually and treated with a unique manner of care and concern. He raised the status of all children, particularly female children in both worlds, by abolishing the inhuman custom of burying daughters alive due to fear of poverty and misfortune. He declared the innocence of infants and bequeathed ideal instructions and guidances towards the upbringing of children, from the day they enter the world till they attain the stage of maturity and beyond.
Hadhrat Anas and Hadhrat Abdullah (R.A) have reported the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam to have declared, "Those dearest to Allah are the ones who treat their children kindly." (Bayhaqi)
The Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam high distinguishment as a Prophet and head of state did not restrict him from accomplishing everyday activities with children and household. This fact of his simplistic lifestyle has excelled him as an eternal example for all fathers and husbands.
Hadhrat Buraidah (R.A) recalls an incident while the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was addressing the people, Hadhrat Hasan and Hussain (R.A) came running along in red shirts, stumbling as they walked. Upon seeing them Allah's Messenger descended from his pulpit, and lifted them and commented, "Allah has spoken the truth in saying your property and children are just a temptation, when I glanced at these two I could not resist from interrupting my speech." Despite his multifarious duties as a Messenger of Allah, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam still found time to spend and play with his children. He was never a distant or neglecting father.
On another occasion Hasan or Hussain was standing on the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam foot. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam asked him to remove it after which he playfully placed it on the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam blessed chest. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam kissed him and remarked "Oh Allah I love him, you also love him." (Bukhari)
The atmosphere of the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam home was full of piety, affection and concern for each others welfare. Through his love for his family he would not tolerate a temporary termination of bonds within close relationships.
The following incident portrays this aspect beautifully :
Whenever Hadhrat Ali and Fatimah ( R.A.) disagreed upon a matter, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would resolve the problem justly and ease the friction. Once the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam entered their home and settled their arguments and reunited them. He left the house in high spirits. When the people enquired the reason to his cheerfulness he proclaimed," I have just reconciled between two people I love dearly." Such an extensive example of the perfect lifestyle to mankind. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam successfully attempted with most equitable laws to build family relationships and to cement them with mutual love, kindness and discipline. He took into consideration the natural instincts of paternal love, at the same time reaching the child and guiding him towards the laws ordained by Allah. He laid down tremendous stress on not only their education but also for early formation of the child's character and conduct, according to the lines of faith.
As A Teacher
From awakening in the morning, walking, talking, etiquette's of eating, when answering the call of nature, behavioural conduct with fellow humans, what to pray when, how to cope with different circumstances, to retiring to sleep at night, how ones every act can be worship; our Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam taught us.
If it was a simple lesson on morality or theology, an angel could have easily delivered it to the people. But the message of Allah contains a complete code of life for solving the practical problems of life. Therefore, it was necessary for a man to show us by his own practical example.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was an educator not only for Muslims but the whole of mankind. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam placed emphasis upon teaching the practical deeds and works. Thus, his every act spoke volumes. Meaning, the whole life of Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is a lesson for man. As our teacher, he did not say or preach anything which he did not practice himself.
When Hadhrat Aa'ishah (R. A.) was asked regarding the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam morals and character she replied, "His morals and character are the Qur'an."
The blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam taught with great wisdom and good admonition, imparting good news to those people who accepted his call, and warned others of the consequences for those who did not listen.
Hadhrat Aa'ishah (R. A.) narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to be very clear in his talk so that his associates could easily memorize his words. Very often Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to be quiet and would not talk unless very necessary. His speech was well articulated, concise and free from absurdities or humiliation.
While teaching in a gathering, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam refrained from mentioning anyone's name, avoiding disrespect to anyone, but used general terms, usually in the plural sense. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used his whole hand to point towards something; often people with pride point with their fingers.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam made sure, whilst preaching to the people, that it did not become a burden on the listeners. For this, the blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam did not speak to the people on consecutive days but after intervals. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was well aware of the innate nature of his fellow men.
Hadhrat Anas (R. A.) reported that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, "Create ease for people and not difficulty. Give them good tidings of Allah's mercy; don't make them disappointed or hateful." The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam took great care not to disgrace or humble his opponent.
Once the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was sitting with his Companions (R. A.) when he Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam drew a diagram, as a means of learning, on the ground with a stick. The Holy Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam then asked his Companions, "Do you know what it means?"
They replied, "Only Allah and his Rasul knows best". The diagram was made up of a square, through the middle ran a line which protruded outside the square, and inside the square, attached to the lower edge were drawn vertical (small) lines.
The diagram was drawn to gain the attention of the Ummah towards Imaan, Yaqeen and preparation for the after life. Explaining the meaning of the diagram the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, " The square is death, surrounding and encompassing `life'.(The space inside the square is life).No one can step outside the life or do anything after death. The long line protruding from the square represents our plans and thoughts, schemes and dreams and the things we accumulate (which exceed the time of death). And the lines on the side represent the good and adverse conditions which come upon you in this life, success and failure, happiness and regret. " This act of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam highlights an original and intellectual rnethod of teaching, furthermore, it creates realisation towards the plain truth that we plan too far ahead.
In the 23 years of prophethood, Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam with Allah's power achieved great heights. He raised the dignity of human beings, stressed the importance of universal brotherhood and the equality of all mankind. At the time of the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam departure from this world it was more than evident that a great revolution had occurred.
As A Grandfather
The Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is truly the pride of humanity. Humanity has never witnessed and never will witness a person like him. We have but captured a glimpse of this remarkable Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam extraordinary perfections as a father, we move now to learn of his unique role as a cherishing grandfather.
He loved all children. He loved Umaamah, his granddaughter, just as he loved Hadhrat Hasan and Hussain ( R.A.). He often went out with her on his shoulders. He even placed her on his back whilst praying. When he went to prostrate, he took her aside and when he had finished he got her on his back again. He showed this degree of love to Umaamah, so as teach how to treat girls to a society that used to bury their daughters alive only a decade previously. Among these people, the Messenger's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam care for his granddaughter was novel and had never been seen before.
There is no discrimination between son and daughter in Islam. The Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam himself showed this. How can there be?
One of them is the Holy Prophet Muhammed Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, the other is Hadhrat Khadija ( R.A.); one is Hadhrat Adam ( A.S.), the other is Hadhrat Hawwa ( A.S.); one is Hadhrat Ali ( R.A.), the other is Hadhrat Fatima ( R.A.). For every great man there is a great woman.
One day, when Hadhrat Hasan and Hussain ( R.A.) were on the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam back, Hadhrat Umar ( R.A.) came into the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam house. When he saw them on such an honoured place he said, " What a beautiful mount you have !" The Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam added immediately, " What beautiful riders they are !" They may not even have been aware of the way the Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had honoured them. This special compliment was because of their position as future leaders and family heads of the household of the Prophet. From them were to come the 'seeds' of honour and dignity. Hadhrat Anas (R.A.) reports that when the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was asked which member of his family was dearest to him he replied, " Hasan and Hussain." (Tirmizi). On numerous occasions he used to put them on his knee and embrace them and he was often reported as saying, " These are my sons and daughter's sons."
He was not only kind, caring and devoted only to his children and grandchildren but his treatment of the young children of others was also the most affectionate. Whenever he passed by any number of children he used to pass his hand over them with affection and sometimes he would join in their innocent plays. He never forgot to exchange with them most endearing and loving words. His love for his grandchildren, especially his grandchildren Hadhrat Hasan and Hussain ( R.A.) was beyond measure. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was reported to have said, "Bring my bouquets." And upon being brought to him he would embrace and kiss them.
Hadhrat Jaabir (R.A.) reported that he accompanied the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam on a party and he met Hadhrat Hussain ( R.A.) playing on the way with his friends. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam extended his hands. Hadhrat Hussain ( R.A.) began to run here and there and he was making them laugh till he took hold of him. He put his hands on his chin and the other between his head and ears and embraced him. (Tabraani)
The intensity of his love for his family can be reflected in many incidents however, his devotion for his children and grandchildren was most exemplary.
Once again, another incident in which he showed his love for his grandchildren was when he was observing prayers in the mosque. One of the sons of Fatimah ( R.A.) : Hadhrat Hasan or Hussain ( R.A.) came and got on his blessed back. He prolonged in prostration and only lifted his head when the boy got down on his own. This showed how he placed their happiness and pleasure before his own. Hadhrat Anas (R.A.) reported that he had not seen anyone more kind to his children than Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
As A Military Leader
The Prophet Sallallahu Aliahi Wasallam historically is noted to be a proficient and sublime figure in military leadership, adored by his Companions and furthermore humane towards the defeated. His intelligence, skill and determination are proven, having held 28 major and minor expeditions himself and fifty expeditions under the command of his Companions, all were victorious in aim. Establishing law and order, completely destroying the strength and fighting ability of his enemies with the sacrifice of just over 1 000 lives, peace was achieved for the first time in history in the entire Peninsula of Arabia in less than a decade.
His, (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) sole purpose being the establishment of Islam sacrificing family ties and home strove to defend and preserve his religion. In effect he (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had to subdue rising oppression and the obstacles shadowing his path to maintain peace, so circumstantially became a military leader, warrior and conqueror.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam tolerated the abuses of the unbelievers, he never became disheartened or impatient. Their abuse grew into raids, plunders and war against his people. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam stood steadfast and patiently alone amongst the polytheism, their offences failed against his high degree of patience and perseverance resulting in victory.
Hadhrat Baraa Ibn Aazib (R.A.) was once questioned, "Oh, Abu Ammarah did you ever flee from the battle when fighting aside the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam ?" He replied, "I swear by the Almighty Allah, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam never turned away although others did." The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam attacked them with arrows upon his mount. Abu Sufyan Ibn Harith held the reins of the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam mount whilst the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam went on proclaiming,
"I am a Prophet and it is no falsification, And I am the son of Abdul Muttalib." (Tirmizi Sharif)
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was regarded as a courageous warrior showing no signs of timidity or weakness, his approach was admirable upon the battlefield when facing a multitude of dangers and severe tasks. He fought steadfastly amongst the first lines nearest to the enemy, his determination and valour were exemplary. Hadhrat Ali (R.A.) states, "When the battle grew fierce there was none nearest to the enemy lines than the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam." Hadhrat Baraa (R.A.) also narrates regarding the Battle of Hunain, " There was no one as courageous as the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam that day."
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam inspired men with the truth. In a hadith it has been stated, "Never desire fighting but pray to Allah for peace and security. And when you have to fight the enemy, fight with steadfastness and know that Paradise is under the shadow of the sword. (Riyadhus Saaliheen). Giving realistic and logical explanation he created confidence and will power to such an extent that his Companions were willing to sacrifice all possessions and their lives for its cause. He disciplined his Companions spiritually to strive to the utmost with all their resources. As Allah Ta'aalaa states in the Qur'an, "And hold fast, all of you together to the rope of Allah and do not let anything divide you. ( Aali- Imraan ). The Companions co-operated fully and worked in unity to achieve their aim. Thus, in unison despite his position during the Battle of the Trench he took equal share in digging the trench and helped others with their load.
He instilled hope in his Companions and instructed them to turn to Allah in difficult circumstances as at the time of the battle of Badr. Although they were of small number, Allah sent Angels of numerical strength as divine aid. Preparing his men to meet all situations he managed to emerge with flying colours on occasions of extremity by his ingenious skill, its right application in due course helped him achieve total victory at the time of nearing defeat, as in the Battle of Uhud. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam exercised self control when many Companions panicked and ran back midst the confusion, he composedly brought the situation under control, as many a time; changing the picture of the entire battle.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was fully conscious of his lack of manpower and material compared to the enemy strength. He used all possible means of defeating them, approaching them physically, psychologically and spiritually. During war, all is dependant upon the quality, character and morale of the leadership. The Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam tactics and strategical moves proved effective, showing positive results. His military strategies included urgency, secrecy,speed and mobility. At the time of the Battle of Uhud and Hudaibiyah he organised such tactics that the enemy was completely surprised by the speed of the operation and were caught unprepared.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam ordered military training for his army thus giving sufficient practise on and off the battlefield. This enabled efficiency and ruled the importance of preparation and precaution, organising internal and external defences. His precautions included patrolling systems, secret signs and codes establishing a strong system of communication, Hadhrat Ka'ab Ibn Malik (R.A) narrates, "Whenever the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam intended to go into the Battle he used secret codes. (Bukhari Shareef). The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam kept himself well informed of all events occurring in surrounding tribes and the border area of Madina. As a result of his principles within a period of eight years they became the most powerful striking force in the region; his intelligence and ability attested.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam dealt with arising problems wisely not to endanger the objective assessing the present problems, defining solutions in accordance to human capacity. Relevantly he always discussed important matters with colleagues to reach best of solutions.
The Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam policies reproached the barbaric and uncivil war customs replacing them with humane and just laws. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Jahash (R.A) was once sent on a mission, he captured prisoners and their property without the permission of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. When the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam heard of this happening he condemned it and declared his action illegal. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam never shed innocent blood and neither of women nor children.
Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Masood (R.A) relates, " The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam expressed disapproval upon the killing of womenfolk and children." (Bukhari Shareef).
Furthermore, despite the conflicts, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam negotiated peace with them (as in Hudaiybiya) but was short lived by the opposition party, this relatively paved way for the conquest of Makkah. Gathering a large force of 10,000 men the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam entered the Holy city which completely destroyed their morale, turning his entry into a peaceful one; without blood shead. Abu Sufyaan exclaimed on this occasion rushing into the city and calling to the people at the top of his voice,
" O men of Quraish ! Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has come with an army such as you've never seen before. Put up no resistance." Even at such a triumphant moment, having become the conqueror of Makkah the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam rode in on a white mule, his head lowered with humility to Allah Ta'aalaa.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was never taught the art of war and neither proposed to become a military leader, being forced into this struggle he fought against the combined strengths of all his enemies with utmost skill and determination, and defeated them on all fronts. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam in comparison with other military leaders in history is found to be towering above all, both in war strategy, strength and skill, proving greatness and malignantly, changing the course of human history and influencing human culture and activities in every area of life.
As A Ruler
For centuries the Arabian Peninsula was without any government and the neighbouring empires and Persia to the East and Rome to the West dominated the whole region. Although these empires did not rule directly over the Arabs, they had tremendous influence over them.
The Arabs were very much divided into differing clans and tribes through which feuds ran high and wild. These tribal feuds gave rise to much bloodshed which continued for years. The division of the groups was one factor, another was the immorality of these groups which the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was to confront as a ruler. During the divine Prophethood unity was restored amongst these divided people, giving them a strong central government which established law and order for the first time in this part of the world.
Another feature of his rule was that he established a system of virtue, goodness and justice in society and guaranteed justice and fairness for all, irrespective of colour, creed or race. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam emphasized the importance of just ruling through personal example : " The one who will be dearest to Allah and nearest to Him in station on the Day of Resurrection will be a just ruler." Furthermore, Hadhrat Aa'ishah ( R.A.) relates a hadith that the people were concerned about a woman who was to have her hands cut off as a punishment for stealing. The people hoped that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would reconsider her plight. Thus, Hadhrat Usaamah ( R.A.), known to be the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam beloved, was sent to forward the request.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam rose and delivered a sermon in which he said that the people of earlier days were ruined due to their inability to prosecute the rich and reputed, and their promptness to prosecute the poor. He said, " I swear by Allah even if Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad stole I would cut her hands off ." ( Mishkaat ) The above is an evident example of the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam just and unbiased nature of rule.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would participate in work with his people, such that in the Battle of the Trench, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam helped dig the trench amongst his people. By Allah, what kindness! In spite of all his power and authority, no one could ever distinguish him from other people while he was working with them. He never liked people to make any distinction between the ruler and the ruled.
Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam left his hometown, Makkah, and migrated to Madonna where he found himself the Head of State. Although, he was Head of State he lived like an ordinary citizen and lead a very simple life. He was available to his people all the time and there were no barriers between him and the people.
The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam lead a life of poverty in plenty and humility in authority. He was far above the desires of the crown and sceptre, or the need of the pomp and glory of a ruler. A narration of Hadhrat Umar ( R.A.) states, "When I entered the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam home, I noticed the state of the furniture in it. The Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had only one sheet of cloth around him to cover the lower part of his body. There was one simple bed with one pillow filled with nut fibre; on one side of the room was some barley and in one corner was an animal skin. There were some water bags made of skin hanging beside his bed."
Hadhrat Umar ( R.A.) said that on seeing this tears came into his eyes. Allah's Messenger asked the reason for his tears. He replied, "Oh Allah's Messenger ! Why shouldn't I cry ! The strings of the bed have left marks on your body. This is a small room with all your furniture; I can see what there is. The Qaiser of Rome and Kisra of Persia enjoyed luxurious living, while you, Allah's Messenger, the chosen one, live like this. The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, " Ibn Khattaab, don't you appreciate that they choose this world and we choose the Hereafter ?"
There was no administrative or clerical staff to assist the Prophet in his work ( as there is today ), which was conducted from the mosque or his house.
It is stated in the Holy Qur'an : "It was by the Mercy of Allah that you were gentle and kind to them ( Oh Muhammad) for if you had been stern and fierce of heart they would have dispersed from round about you."( 3 : 159 )
The rulers today set an impression of concern but in reality no such concern exists. While, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was kind to his people; he was a ruler of their hearts.
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam really succeeded in establishing the kingdom of Allah on the earth by recognising a right to a livelihood of every citizen of the state. The rights of the poor, the orphans and the destitute were fully looked after and cared for by his government and no one was left to beg or starve. He made it clear to his companions that the poor and destitute had a due right in the wealth of the rich members of the community. It was the result of their labour and that it must be returned to them as a right and not a charity. The Qur'an mentions this as a quality of true believers : " And in their wealth and possession ( was remembered ) the right of the needy, him who asked, and him who was prevented from asking." ( 51 : 19 )
Practically, another great contribution to political philosophy was the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam concept of consultation .The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam established a government which was conducted on the principle of consultation on all levels. It was the real and effective basis of a popular government of the people and by the people. Administrative decisions and decisions of policy on all levels were taken after proper consultation with the representatives of the people. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, "No one will rule ten people or more without coming to Allah who is Great and Glorious on the Day of Resurrection with his hands chained to his neck, being set free by his goodness or brought to destruction by his sin." He also said, "Anyone who is asked by Allah to take charge of subjects and does not protect them with good counsel will not smell the fragrance of Paradise." ( Mishkaat )
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was the first man to introduce the concept of a written constitution into the political history of mankind and gave his people a most comprehensive constitution, covering every aspect of human life from the cradle to the grave. It contained all the fundamental principles of good constitution, laying down the nature, scope and objects of the Islamic state, the powers and functions of the organs of government, the duties and rights of its citizens and its relations with foreign governments in war and peace. The primary source of this constitution is the Qur'an which contains instructions and directives governing every field of human activity. The second source of the constitution is the Sunnah, which gave practical shape to the philosophy of the Qur'an and evolved a political system which covered the entire life of man in light of the Revelation of Allah. The third important factor which helped in building the structure of the Islamic state was the principle of referring disputes to a consensus of high ranking jurists.
Conclusively, the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam gave a clear indication of the kind of society he wanted to achieve, a society wherein no poor and destitute would be left to die. Instead there would be an efficient system of social justice and security on an individual as well as a state level which would fully meet the economic needs of all its less fortunate members. This was the kind of society the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam dreamed of and bequeathed to his successors. All this he achieved in less than a quarter of a century. He first tamed his people into submission to the law of Allah through noble teaching, argument and reasoning; developed the concept of virtue and justice in them and brought political and religious unity with his skilful and shrewd judgement and efforts; established law and order and then introduced major social changes which completely changed their whole concept of life.
As A Companion
Imaam Muslim and Bukhari, Imaam Ahmed and Tirmizi (R.A) have related Hadhrat Saeed Khudri's (R.A) narration that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has stated, "Upon me there is no greater favour of self sacrifice and possession as that of Hadhrat Abu Bakr's. (R.A) Excepting Allah, if I were to befriend anybody it would surely have been Hadhrat Abu Bakr, however, Islamic brotherhood and companionship is sufficient."
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam educates man to befriend another for the purposes of Islamic bondage. Worldly friendships hold no more than worldly pleasures which do not necessarily reap goodness for the concerned in the Hereafter.
Numerous ahadith can be studied in order that one may learn of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam as a companion. The following hadith serves as a sound piece of advice for all when choosing the right companion.
Hadhrat Abu Huraira (R.A.) has narrated in Abu Dawood that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, 'A man follows the religion of his friend, so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.'
A righteous friend is one whom will, through compassion, act defensively and yet at all times be just and bear the importance of equality in mind. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was an immaculate example to man of these righteous traits of friendship ...
It has been stated in Sahih Bukhari that Hadhrat Abu Dardaa (R.A) relates that he was sitting with the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, when suddenly Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) came holding the edges of his clothing. He had lifted his garment to the extent that his knees were uncovered. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam stated, " Your companion has just returned from fighting with another." Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) voiced his salaam after which he said, "Oh Rasulullah! An argument has taken place between Umar Ibn Khattaab and myself. In haste I have spoken improperly and now I am regretful. I have asked for forgiveness from Hadhrat Umar, however, he has refused to pardon me and so I have come to you." The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam repeated thrice, "Abu Bakr! May Allah pardon you."
Later, Hadhrat Umar (R.A.) was most ashamed of his deed and so went to Hadhrat Abu Bakr's house, where he enquired, " Is Abu Bakr there?" He was told that he wasn't. Thus, Hadhrat Umar (R.A.) went to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Hadhrat Umar (R.A.) greeted the Prophet with 'Salaam' upon which the Holy Prophet's blessed face became flushed with anger, to the extent that Hadhrat Umar ( R.A.) became apprehensive. Hadhrat Umar (R.A.) lowered himself onto his knees and said, "Oh Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam I have been extreme."
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam stated, "Allah has sent me, and you people have said that I have spoken false. However, Hadhrat Abu Bakr ( R.A.) said that I have spoken the truth. He continued to aid me through his self sacrifice and possessions. Will you not pardon my companion for my sake? " Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was never troubled again.
In contrast, we learn of the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam just character which yields equality and Prophetic conduct. ' Once Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam visited us in this house of ours and asked for something to drink. We milked one of our sheep and mixed it with water from this well of ours and gave it to him. Abu Bakr was sitting on his left side and Umar in front of him and a bedouin on his right side. When Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam finished, Umar (R.A) said to him, "Here is Abu Bakr." But Allah's Messenger gave the remaining milk to the bedouin and said thrice, " The ( person on the ) right side ! So, start from the right side."
Hadhrat Anas ( R.A.) added, " It is a Sunnah, " and repeated it thrice. ( Sahih Al Bukhari )
Every act and role of the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was one of morality and a source of learning. How many times have we displaced our values or Islamic conducts for the sake of a friend, for whom we feel all should be lost? It is well known that Hadhrat Abu Bakr ( R.A.) was a very close and fortunate companion of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam , this did not cloud the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam conduct in any sense. The Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam compassion for Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) is evident by the following :
It has been narrated in Tirmizi and Ibn Majah that Hadhrat Anas (R.A) has reported that the people asked, " Oh Prophet of Allah! Who is your most beloved ?" The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied that it was Aa'ishah. The people further asked, " Oh Prophet of Allah! We are asking from amongst the menfolk". The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied ,"Aa'ishah's father."
Furthermore, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, " Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah's cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, "Oh Slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity." So, whoever was among the people who used to offer their prayers will be called from the gate of the prayer. Whoever was among the people who used to participate in Jihad will be called from the gate of Jihad. Whoever was among those who used to give in charity will be called from the gate of charity.'
Hadhrat Abu Bakr (R.A) said, " My parents be sacrificed for you, O Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam! No distress or need will befall him who will be called from these gates. Will there be anyone who will be called from all these gates?" The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam replied, " Yes, and I hope you will be one of them." (Narration of Abu Hurayrah R.A).
All friendships are based upon a concrete foundation of faith and trustworthiness. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam placed much trust in his immediate companions. For example, once Allah's Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam offered the morning prayer then faced the people and said, " While a man was driving a cow he suddenly mounted it and beat it. The cow said, ' We have not been created for this. We have been created for ploughing." Upon hearing this, the people said in astonishment, "Glory be to Allah! A cow speaks!" The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, " I believe this, Abu Bakr and Umar too believe it." although neither of them were present there." (Sahih-Al-Bukhari).
Volumes upon volumes could be written upon the nature of the beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam as a companion. Conclusively, read of the humorous, benevolent and light hearted aspects of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam from this example.
A bedouin entered the mops and presented himself before the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam having left his camel outside the mosque. The Holy Prophet's companions said to Hadhrat Nu'ayman, "It is he who is known as Nu'aymaan. How we wish that you would sacrifice this camel, so that we can eat it, how we are desirous to eat meat. The Holy Prophet will see to its payment". The narrator has reported that accordingly Nu'aymaan sacrificed the camel. After which, when the bedouin left the mosque and saw the state of his camel, he exclaimed, "O Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam! someone has sacrificed my camel." Having heard this, the The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam stepped outside the mosque and asked who was responsible. The people stated that it was Nu'aymaan. Thus the The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam went in pursuit of Nu'aymaan to find him hidden in the basement of Hadhrat Zubair's [R.A.] daughter's home. He had concealed himself with dry branches and dry skins. A knowing person pointed to Nu'aymaan's whereabouts, yet voicing loudly, " I haven't seen him".
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam uncovered Nu'aymaan's face to find his face somewhat changed due to the debris from the dry skins and branches. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam questioned, " Who told you to do it?" He replied, " Those who have shown you of my whereabouts." The Holy Prophet dusted Nu'aymaan's face and laughed.
The narrator reports that the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam saw to the payment due for the camel The blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam addressed all humanitarian needs through his companionship. It is time that we all assessed how ethical and true our friendships are so that each and every friendship is a source of goodness both on this world and for the Hereafter.
As A Servant Of Allah
Before time existed, when no man or being had yet been created Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'aalaa created the divine noor of the Holy Prophet SallallahuAlaihi Wasallam to remain in attendance before Him for thousands of years. There, in the presence of the Almighty, Allah's miraculous splendour was gradually revealed unto him. Undoubtedly, an increase in the recognition of Allah Ta'aalaa's miraculous splendour and a deeper perception of Allah's majestic sovereignty, inevitably generates within the psyche and physical conduct an extreme degree of servitude and unrestrained full bondage. With servitude comes total submission to worship, and who could possibly claim to have discerned this recognition more effectively than Allah's beloved Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam himself? For in the same manner Allah's chosen messenger was immaculate in all relationships with mankind, he also excelled in his relationship with Allah.
Despite being the chosen one and possessing clear cut superiority over the entire world put together, Allah's sincere Messenger was a spectacle of humbleness before Allah. Never did he appear to be even slightly deficient in compliance to Allah's ordained laws and restrictions, nor did he ever claim ascendency on account of his lofty calibre. Moreover, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would repeatedly beseech Allah for refuge from His chastisement and protection from His wrath.
From the initial stages of prophethood, in the era when the custom of ignorance was still expansively prevalent amongst the Makkans, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would frequently take refuge in the cave of Hira where he would fully devote himself to the ibaadat of one Allah with whom he associated no partner. Later on in life when old age paved way to weakness the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would still rise in the middle portion of the night and busy himself with Salaah.
To encompass all the forms of worship offered by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would be beyond the bounds of possibility. Every breath and every blink of an eye was an act of worship, whether it be in explicit forms such as salaah and recitation of the Qur'an or abstruse forms such as walking, sleeping or eating etc.. No matter what state the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was in, the remembrance of Allah would effortlessly be flowing from his lips and firmly be embodied in his heart. Hadhrat Aa'ishah (RA.) has stated, " The Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would continuously be engrossed in the remembrance of Allah (Abu Dawood). This is why numerous supplications have been narrated for various occasions.
Once Hadhrat Aa'ishah (R.A.) was questioned," Inform us of an unusual aspect of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallarn." She replied, "Which aspect of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was unusual! One night he arrived home and lay down beside me. After a short while he rose and exclaimed, `Leave me to worship my Lord.' He then performed ablution, began salaah, and began to weep. He continued to weep to such an extent that his blessed tears rolled on to his chest. In ruku' he also wept profusely and when he prostrated his blessed tears were still flowing. He remained in this position until dawn when Hadhrat Bilal ( R. A.) arrived and seeing him in this pitiful condition remarked,' Oh Prophet of Allah, why do you weep excessively when Allah has forgiven all your past and future sins?' Upon this the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam remarked, ' Should I not be a grateful servant then?' (Shamaa'ile Tirmizi)
Despite being totally safeguarded from even the touch of corruption, Allah's beloved Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam remained motionless in the servitude of the Almighty until his blessed feet were sore and swollen.
Hadhrat Aa'ishah (R. A) comments, " Whenever the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would recite an aayah of chastisement and wrath he would beg Allah for refuge, and when mentioning Allah's clemency and mercy he would beseech Allah for a share." (Shamaa'il) Not only did he surpass all in salaah, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is also reported to have fasted until his companions assumed he would never respite. From the little wealth he did possess he would generously spend in the path of Allah until he had not a single dirham to his name.
Even at times of war when both forces would clash and the atmosphere on the battle field intensified, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would be found in prostration with his forehead pressed against the ground pleading Allah for his assistance. When Allah's divine attributes of beauty and majesty were exposed to the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam simultaneously, he would become so overwhelmed by weeping that his companions would describe the sounds as those of an over boiling pot of water.
On the occasion of a solar eclipse the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would perform extremely lengthy rakaats and inhale deep breaths whilst sobbing, "Oh Allah did you not vow not to punish them whilst I was amongst them and whilst they begged for forgiveness? "Oh Allah we beseech you for forgiveness!"(Shamaa'il)
We see, it is typical of man's disposition to be inclined to spend the night engrossed in an act that delights him the most, as we see the gambler spends it in gambling, and the student in his studies. Likewise, Allah's beloved Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would dedicate the night to worship, fully relishing the opportunity to converse with his Creator and present himself humbly before the Clement Lord. This is the genuine active illustration of total submission to worship, which is the sole purpose of mans existence, unearthed most effectively by the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.
Regardless of his numerous responsibilities and social priorities as head of the Muslim nation, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam never disregarded the most eminent of them all; the worship of Allah. According to Allah's words: 'So when thou art relieved, still toil ( in worship ).' ( Al Inshiraah: 7) he diligently applied him self to all obligations.
The above is merely a minute representation of the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam example as a servant of Allah. In reality, the truth is that every aspect of the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam lifestyle was adorned with servitude and unlimited devotion (ibaadah.)
As An Adviser
The Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam contribution to advice and counsel for mankind holds no parallel in history. Despite being an uneducated orphan himself, his advice was the answer to all of life's mysteries and confusions regarding every principle of morality, ethos and religion, revealing to man the wealth of eternal values and standards. Collectively, these pearls of wisdom formed the basis of culture in all its many dimensions, including religion, psychology, commerce, agriculture, medicine, general sociology and scores of other fields of knowledge and human activity man was devious to.
Not only was this advice comprehensive, but was also delivered in the most influential way imaginable and never failed to leave a lasting impact on the listener as intended. Each word, example and suggestion of the Blessed Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was enriched with love, consideration, ease and justice, often calling his companions with affectionate nicknames such as Aba Hir (Abu Huraira), Aa'ish and Ya Bunayya (0 dear son). This outstanding feature of genuine care and concern made it impossible for the listener to turn down and ignore.
Even prior to the advent of his prophethood, the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam advice was of great importance to the Makkans. During the time when the ka'bah's structure was undergoing renovation, a conflict arose regarding who should be honoured with positioning the black stone. Finally, when the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam was blessed with this honour he suggested the stone be placed in a sheet with a member of each clan holding a corner so every individual was satisfied and could participate in positioning the stone.
Later on as Islam progressed gradually, he began to advise in all religious affairs and offered knowledge in place of ignorance, reason in place of custom and tradition, and freedom of research in place of blind conformance. Throughout every guidance he never swayed from the intended goal of life - the pleasure of Allah, and every word of advice was a token for the Hereafter.
Hadhrat Abu Najih (R. A) narrates that we requested, "Oh Prophet of Allah advise us." He responded `I advise you to fear Allah and to be absolutely obedient even if a slave is given authority over you. Verily, he among you who survives will witness great controversy, so cling to my sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs - grasp them firmly. Beware of new inventions, for every new invention is an innovation, and every innovation is going astray and every astray is in Hellfire! (Abu Dawood, Tirmizi).
In another sermon he spoke the concise words that form the root of religion and advised, "I am leaving behind two things. The Qur'an and my example; the sunnah. If you follow these you will not go astray."
The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would always consider his companions' opinion when discussing how to approach certain problems. Before the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam discussed what action to take against the opposition. Many companions overwhelmed by their powerful zeal for Jihaad suggested the Muslim army should march forth and confront the enemy. Although this was contrary to what the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had planned, he acted accordingly and subdued his own opinion.
Thereafter, when the non-Muslim gained the upper hand momentarily, the Companions (R.A) realised that the Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam advice was full of wisdom and betterment in every situation. Anything besides it could lead to negative consequences as is evident by Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar Ibn Aas's ( R.A) experience when he was advised to fast only three days per month. Hadhrat Abdullah requested permission for more to which he was advised to fast a day and rest two days. When he requested more, still he was advised to fast on alternate days. (Muslim). In another narration he is reported to have added ," In the latter part of my life (due to weakness and old age) I wished I had accepted the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam counsel!
It should be understood here that it is necessary to act according to any order the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam gives as part of his message by the command of Allah in religious affairs. However, advice and intercession given in worldly matters is not compulsory to comply to and is optional. Although acting accordingly holds fruitful consequences in both worlds as portrayed in the following two incidents.
When Hadhrat Bareera (R.A.) was liberated from slavery, she divorced Hadhrat Mugeeth (R. A). As a result Mugeeth (R. A.) who loved Bareera unconditionally was heartbroken and would roam the alleyways of Madinah, weeping with his tears rolling down his beard. The Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam took great pity upon this sorrowful state and remarked, "Are you not amazed by Mugeeth's love for Bareera and Bareera's love for Mugeeth?" Thereafter, he interceded on behalf of Mugeeth to which Bareera replied, "0 Prophet of Allah, if this is an order I will oblige, but if it is intercession then I have no need for Mugeeth."
On another occasion Hadhrat Fatimah bint Quais (R.A) requested the Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam counsel regarding marriage proposals to which he advised, " Mu'aawiyah (R. A) does not possess much and Abu Jahm does not remove the case from his shoulder but Usaamah should be considered." (Abu Dawood).
Although reluctant at first Fatimah (R. A) obeyed and wed Usaamah (R. A) later, she was envied by many due to the benefits she achieved from this marriage.
Occasionally, the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would display anger and sternness to emphasize the importance of a situation. In such cases the companions were overcome with fear and the message set firmly in their minds. In every case he would advise according to what was better for the ummah and not give preference to himself.
The Holy Prophet's Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam advice was not limited here, but during his short lifetime he also initiated a method of discovering order to achieve benefit from the natural faculties Allah has bestowed. The entire human civilisation received a tremendous boost from his cultural heritage, especially in the development and progress of sciences. Many complications regarding medicine, economics and other sciences were unearthed within his advice.
When Hadhrat Asma (RA) complained of excessive blood loss, in order to treat herself, she was advised to sit in a tub of water to ease the flow. Similarly, on other occasions the Holy Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would prescribe various methods of overcoming illness by using honey, herbs, olive, oil, milk and other easily obtainable natural substances. He also advised the Ansaar farmers on how to handle their fields and crops.
"O Allah! We seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) We seek strength, and We ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and We do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (We are about to take) is better for my religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for us and make it easy for us and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for us. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for us, bad for our religion and faith, for our life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from us and turn us away from it and whatever is better for us, ordain [destine] that for us and then make us satisfied with it."
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Importance of a good shaykh by Shaykh Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi Allahu anhu
Al Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh Sayyad Abd'al-Qadir al-Jilani Radi 'Allahu anhu said: You must work hard to ensure that your hearts are not locked out of the door of His nearness. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must seek the company of a Shaykh who is learned in the law [hukm] and knowledge ['ilm] of Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He), and who will show you the way toward Him. Without seeing the successful [muflih], one cannot succeed. If a person does not seek the company of scholars who put their knowledge into practice ['ulama 'ummal], he is a chicken from an egg abandoned by the rooster and the mother hen.
Seek the fellowship of those who enjoy fellowship with the Lord of Truth (Almighty and Glorious is He). What each of you should do, when the night has grown dark and people have gone to bed and their voices are silent, is get up, take an ablution [yatawadda'], perform two cycles of ritual prayer [yusalli rak'atain] and say: "O my Lord, guide me to one of Your righteous servants near to You, so that he may guide me toward You and make me familiar with Your path." The instrument [sabab] is necessary. Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) was quite capable of guiding [His servants] to Him without the Prophets [anbiya']. Be sensible! You are getting nowhere. You must awaken from your heedless folly. As the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: If someone relies entirely on his own subjective judgement, he will go astray. Try to find someone who will be a mirror for the face of your religion [din], just as you look in the mirror to check the appearance of your outer face, your turban and your hair. Be sensible! What is this crazy foolishness? You say, "I don't need anyone to teach me," and yet the Beloved Prophet Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam has said: The believer is the believer's mirror [al-mu'minu mir'atu 'l-mu'min].
When the believer's faith is sound, he comes to be a mirror for all creatures. They behold their religious faces [wujuh adyanihim] reflected in the mirror of his speech, every time they see him and get close to him. What is this craziness? Not a moment goes by without your begging Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) to provide you with more than you already have to eat, to drink, and to wear, with more sexual opportunities and more income. These are not things that could increase or decrease, even if you were to be joined in your plea by every supplicant whose prayers are answered [da 'in mujab].
Supplication [da 'wa] will neither increase one's sustenance by so much as an atom, nor reduce it by an atom. This is a foregone conclusion [mafrugh minhu]. You must devote your attention to doing what you have been commanded to do, and to avoiding what you have been forbidden to do. You should not worry about that which is bound to come your way, because He guarantees that it will come to you. Allotted shares [aqsam] arrive at their appointed times, whether they be sweet or bitter, whether you like them or dislike them.
The people [of the Way] attain to a condition in which they no longer have any prayer of supplication [du'a] or request [su'al] to make. They do not beg [in their prayers] to gain advantages, nor to get rid of disadvantages. Their supplication comes to be a matter concerning their hearts, sometimes for their own sake and sometimes for the sake of all creatures, so they utter the prayer of supplication without conscious premeditation [fi ghaiba].
"O '' Allah, endow us with good behaviour in Your company under all circumstances!
[When the believer's faith is sound], fasting [sawm], prayer [salat], remembrance [dhikr] and all acts of obedience [ta 'at] become second nature to him, mingled with his flesh and blood. Then he receives protection from Allah (Almighty and Glorious is He) under all circumstances. The restraint of the law [hukm] does not desert him, not for an instant, while he is on this course. The law comes to be like the vessel in which he sits, as he travels over the ocean of the power [qudra] of his Lord (Almighty and Glorious is He). He goes on traveling over it until he arrives at the shore of the hereafter, at the shore of the ocean of grace and the hand of nearness. Thus he is sometimes in the company of creatures and at certain times in the company of the Creator. His work and toil are with creatures, while his relaxation is with the Creator.
From Shaykh 'Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, "The Sublime Revelation (Al-Fath ar-Rabbani)," translated by Muhtar Holland (Al-Baz Publishing, Houston, 1992), p. 426-8.
Whosoever shows enmity to someone devoted to Me, I shall be at war with him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him, and were he to ask Me for refuge, I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate about anything as much as I hesitate about [seizing] the soul of My faithful servant: he hates death and I hate hurting him. (It was related by al-Bukhari)
“Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal. Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him. Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth. Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave? He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them, while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will. His throne includeth the heavens and the earth, and He is never weary of preserving them. He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.”