Allah SWT our Creator who knows what is best for us, teaches us in the Quráan how to achieve success in all its elements, this success can be achieved by following the footsteps of the best of creation, Nabi Muhammad SAW. Allah SWT says “You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the remembrance of Allah.”(33:21). He says in another verse “If you obey him (Muhammad), you shall be on right guidance” (24:54)
Prophet Muhammad SAW is the most ideal role model of all times.
Let us reflect upon the following: The Holy Qurán is the book of guidance which contains everything, it’s the revelation of Allah the All wise, All-knowing, and whoever adheres to the Qurán will certainly attain success. Allah SWT says: “And We have sent down to you (Muhammad) a Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims” (16:89).
The beloved Prophet SAW was an embodiment of the Qurán, that is how he was described by his wife Sayeda Aísha who lived with him and knew him very well, when she was asked about the character of the beloved Prophet SAW she answered by saying “His character was the Qurán” (Muslim). It is more significant when this description comes from the wife of the prophet SAW, because the relationship with the family shows a man’s character, it’s possible to pretend or put on a good character with others whom we spend a short time with, but the real test is with our families whom we live with. The Prophet SAW said “The best of you is he who is best to his family, and I am the best of you to my family" (Tirmithi, Ibn Majah).
We are very fortunate that the life of the Prophet SAW has been recorded in its minute details. Allah SWT promises to preserve His book, “We have, without doubt, sent down the remembrance (Qurán); and We will surely guard it (from corruption).” (15:9). The Sunnah of the Prophet SAW explains the Qurán, that is why the preservation of the Qurán includes the preservation of the Sunnah which is what the Prophet SAW said, did or approved. Allah SWT says, “Nor does he (Muhammad) speak of (his own) desire, it is only a revelation revealed (to him)” (53:3, 4). Furthermore, Allah SWT teaches us about the perfection of the message of the Prophet SAW and how important it is to follow, “And whatsoever the messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)”(59:7).
Allah SWT perfected the character of His beloved Prophet SAW that we find guidance in all aspects of his life. This guidance is in words and actions. Let us compare between the life of the Prophet Muhammad SAW and some of the other Prophets, peace and blessings be upon them all. This comparison is in no way degrading of the other Prophets and we can find this clearly in the Qurán as Allah SWT says “Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honor)” (2:253). This comparison shows the perfection in the personality of the Prophet SAW. If you study the life of Prophet Eesa A.S, you will not find examples in following him as a husband or a father, on the other hand, there are many examples which show Prophet Muhammad SAW as the most ideal husband, the best father, wise father in law and the most well balanced family man.
The other example is that of Prophet Sulaiman A.S who was a king. You cannot find a role model for a poor man. However, Prophet Muhammad SAW experienced every thing, in poverty he was patient and contented, and in prosperity he was generous and grateful. In the life of the Prophet SAW we find direction for all sorts of situations; in peace and war, defeat and victory, prosperity and poverty, ease and difficulty and for every experience that a human being can go through.
The perfect model of the beloved Prophet SAW transforms lives. It transformed the life of Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn Al-Khataab, Uthmaan Ibn Afaan, Ali Ibn Abi Talib and all the other companions may Allah be pleased with them. They were the stars around the moon of guidance and mercy. They filled this world with light and they were a great proof of the perfection of the example of the Prophet SAW. The perfect model of the Prophet SAW continued to transform the lives of all the great Muslim leaders, reformers and scholars who have come before us, and still continues to do so to millions of people around the globe. This is evident in Islam being the fastest growing religion in the world.
The perfect model of the Prophet SAW was the salvation and solution of all the problems of that time, and the times after him and there is no doubt it is the cure to the challenges we face in this world today. The Prophet SAW is described in Surah Al-Anbiyaa as a mercy to all worlds. He was a true mercy to all around him, if we aim towards being a mercy to Allah’s creation we will indeed solve all problems we face in the modern world starting from global warming, armed conflicts, poverty, immorality, disunity and other challenges which threaten our existence on this earth.
Many Non Muslim personalities spoke highly of the perfect model and character of the Prophet SAW, below are some of the sayings of prominent leaders and writers.
• Mahatma Gandhi said; “I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind.... I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet's biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life. 'Young India,'1924.
• Sir George Bernard Shaw said; “I have studied him - the wonderful man, and in my opinion from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness. 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.
• Michael Hart in his book The 100, A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons In History, New York, 1978 said; “My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the secular and religious levels…it is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity.....it is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.
Oh Allah, we ask you to shower your peace and blessings upon the most beloved Prophet SAW, his family, companions and all those who follow him righteously until the Day of Judgment. Ameen.
by Sheikh Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh