All translations from the Qur’an are from The Noble Qur’an: a New Rendering of its Meaning in English
by Hajj Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley, published by Bookwork, Norwich, UK. 1420 CE/1999 AH.
Translated by: Carl Rossini
Edited by: David Livingstone
Download the book from this link
As a verse of the Qur’an reveals, “… Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and the Final Seal of the Prophets.” (Surat al-Ahzab: 40), the Prophet Muhammad (saas) was sent to mankind as the last prophet. He was a living example of the sublime morality of Allah’s last revelation. He was a friend of Allah and inspired humanity by his nearness to Him. He was His representative, noble in His eyes, and a friend to all believers.
As Allah has revealed in another verse, “We will impose a weighty Word upon you…” (Surat al-Muzammil: 5), he charged His last prophet, Muhammad (saas) with a heavy responsibility. Due to the Prophet (saas)’s strong faith in Allah, he fulfilled that responsibility in the best possible way, called mankind to the path of Allah and Islam, and illuminated the way for all believers.
Although we have never seen the Prophet (saas), we can still do our very best to come to know his exemplary behavior, his sayings and the pleasing morality he displayed, by means of the verses of the Qur’an and the hadiths (the sayings and teachings of the Prophet (saas). We can try to be like him, in order to be close to him in the hereafter. People today, and the young in particular, take many individuals as role models, imitate the way they behave, speak and dress, and try to be like them. Yet, since the great majority of these people are not on the right road themselves, they lack proper morality and attitudes. It is therefore a serious responsibility to lead people to the truth and the best morality and behavior. A Muslim needs to try to emulate the behavior and the morality of the Prophet Muhammad (saas). Allah confirms that in a verse:
You have an excellent model in the Messenger of Allah, for all who put their hope in Allah and the Last Day and remember Allah much. (Surat al-Ahzab: 21)
Like the Prophet Muhammad (saas), the other prophets were also role models for believers, and enjoyed Allah’s good pleasure. Allah says in one verse:
There is instruction in their stories for people of intelligence. This [the Qur’an] is not a narration which has been invented but confirmation of all that came before, a clarification of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for people who believe. (Surah Yusuf: 111)
The aim in writing this book is to introduce various characteristics of the Prophet Muhammad (saas), by showing the superior features and qualities a society may enjoy when it adopts such a morality, thus encouraging others to adopt that same morality. As the Prophet (saas) has revealed in the hadith, “Verily, I have left amongst you the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Apostle which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray,”1 a Muslim’s two truest guides are the Qur’an and Sunnah (the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (saas)). The Prophet Muhammad (saas) was an example to all humanity with his morality, to which he called on mankind to live by. It was the Prophet (saas) who said “I was sent to perfect good character”2 and “By One in whose hand there is my life: None shall enter Paradise except one who has got good conduct.”3
Those Muslims who follow the way of the Prophet (saas) need to be foremost in their morality and behavior, and to invite others to adopt that same morality.
THE SUPERB MORALITY OF THE PROPHET (SAAS)
AS RELATED IN THE QUR’AN
In the Qur’an Allah has revealed that the Prophet (saas) possessed the finest morality, and says:
Nun. By the Pen and what they write down! By the blessing of your Lord, you are not mad. You will have a wage which never-fails. Indeed you are truly vast in character. So you will see and they will see which of you is mad. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His Way and He knows best those who are guided. (Surat al-Qalam: 1-7)
Allah also revealed in that verse that the Prophet (saas) was a tireless toiler on His path. That demonstrates that he always displayed a pleasing morality, never departing from the way of Allah.
As the Prophet (saas)’s words “The most perfect believer in respect of faith is he who is best of them in manners.”4 make clear, morality is one the most important components of true faith. It is therefore an important religious duty to learn about and practice the very best examples of it.
This chapter will discuss a number of examples of that morality recommended by the Prophet (saas).
The Prophet (saas) practiced only that
which was revealed to him
One of the most important characteristics, frequently mentioned with regards to the Prophet (saas) in the Qur’an, is that he only practiced what Allah revealed and asked of him, with no concern about what others might think. Important figures and members of other religions at the time wanted him to impose rules that would benefit them. Although these people were more numerous and powerful, the Prophet (saas) was punctilious about abiding by Allah’s commandments and the Qur’an. Allah tells us the following in one verse:
When Our Clear Signs are recited to them, those who do not expect to meet Us say, “Bring a Qur’an other than this one or change it.” Say: “It is not for me to change it of my own accord. I follow nothing except what is revealed to me. I fear, were I to disobey my Lord, the punishment of a Dreadful Day.” Say: “Had Allah so wished, I would not have recited it to you nor would He have made it known to you. I lived among you for many years before it came. Will you not use your intellect?” (Surah Yunus: 15-16)
In a number of verses of the Qur’an, Allah warned the Prophet (saas) about the conduct of his people. For instance:
And We have sent down the Book to you [Muhammad] with truth, confirming and conserving the previous Books. So judge between them by what Allah has sent down and do not follow their whims and desires deviating from the Truth that has come to you. We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had Allah willed, He would have made you a single community, but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to Allah and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed. Judge between them by what Allah has sent down and do not follow their whims and desires. And beware of them lest they lure you away from some of what Allah has sent down to you. If they turn their backs, then know that Allah wants to afflict them with some of their wrong actions. Many of mankind are deviators. (Surat al-Ma’ida: 48-49)
The Prophet (saas) told people repeatedly and determinedly to do nothing but that which Allah had revealed to him. One verse concerning this superior morality of the Prophet (saas) reads:
Say: “I do not say to you that I possess the treasuries of Allah, nor do I know the Unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I only follow what has been revealed to me.” Say: “Are the blind the same as those who can see? So will you not reflect?” (Surat al-An‘am: 50)
Alongside that determination and constancy in the way of Allah, the Prophet (saas) told people about the true religion in the best and most pleasing manner. Comparing the Prophet (saas) to the great majority of people will be very helpful in understanding his superior qualities. Most people, now as in the past, are consumed with desires, longings and passions. Although the great majority believe in religion, they are unable to overcome those obsessions. Instead of giving up those desires, they make concessions when it comes to their religious obligations. They fail to carry out some of those obligations out of concern, for instance, over what their spouses, relatives or friends might say. Or, they are unable to give up habits that are unacceptable to the religion. They therefore interpret religion according to their own interests, accept those rules which suit them, and reject those which do not.
The Prophet (saas) never made any concessions to what such people wanted. He conveyed the Qur’an to mankind with no alteration to what Allah had revealed, taking no one’s personal interests into account, and did so simply in the spirit of fear of Allah. Allah speaks of the Prophet (saas)’s godliness (taqwa) in the Qur’an:
By the star when it descends, your companion is not misguided or misled; nor does he speak from whim. It is nothing but Revelation revealed, taught him by one immensely strong, possessing power and splendour [i.e., Gabriel]…(Surat an-Najm: 1-6)
Know that the Messenger of Allah is among you. If he were to obey you in many things, you would suffer for it.However, Allah has given you love of faith and made it pleasing to your hearts, and has made disbelief, deviance and disobedience hateful to you. People such as these are rightly guided. (Surat al-Hujurat: 7)
The Prophet (saas)’s trust in Allah:
An example to all people
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