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Lessons imparted by Prophet centuries ago relevant even today

Lessons imparted by Prophet centuries ago relevant even today

Muhammad cautioned Muslims against exaggerated interpretationof religion so that tyranny isn’t instituted

By Khwaja Mohammed Zubair (Reflections)

Published: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 1:21 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:16 PM

Worshippers attending Friday prayers at Al Rashidiya Mosque in Dubai. -Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

The holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is the practical image of Islam. There is no way that one can get to know Islam without knowing Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) — his guidance, work, instructions and prohibitions. Muslims had weakened only because they failed to follow his pattern and guidance. Almighty Allah says: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” — Holy Quran, 33:21.

A description of the Prophet’s life and Seerah has a great lesson, which is of immense value for all Muslims. It brought about a refreshing and righteous change in the lives of early converts to Islam and possesses even now the capacity and capability of transforming the character and conduct of the Muslims of today, provided they are determined to take a lesson from the life of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).

But if there is no such resolve, then we shall go on in the usual way without realising what the mission of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was; what its significance and importance for the world is; what its relevance is today; what beneficial role it can play in solving the problems confronting the humanity in the 20th century; how it would go on benefiting the future generations of man till the end of this world; how the early converts to Islam fulfilled that noble mission; and what the responsibility of the present day Ummah in regard to that noble message of Tawheed is.

If we have the firm determination like that of the early converts to Islam, to benefit from the Seerat of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), only then it will certainly mould all departments of our life, like those of the companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) No aspect thereof shall remain outside the purview of the Prophet’s life sketch. We should bear in mind that the Holy Quran is the mirror in which the full-fledged life-picture of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) can be seen. No other book in the world is so authentic and genuine as the Holy Quran in giving a faithful description of the life and Seerat of the holy Prophet (Peace be upon him).

The birth of Allah’s last Apostle, a blessing for all mankind, the harbinger of hope for humanity and the engineer of revolutionary reform, was an occasion for thanksgiving for every human being irrespective of cast, colour and creed. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) preached and practised nothing but Islam, a simple, natural, perfect and practical religion, all his life.

The last sermon (khutba) of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) at the farewell Haj, which gave the first clearly formulated charter of human rights, laid emphasis on the sanctity of life and property; on the sanctity of the pledged word; on abolition of usury; on renunciation of revenge; and above all, on the concept of equality. He thus knocked down the deeply-entrenched notions of tribal, racial and parochial prejudice.

His accent on moderation and the middle path is specially worth recalling as many of us are apt to be assailed by partisan or extremist sentiments. He cautioned the Muslims against exaggerated interpretation of religion so that no tyranny could be instituted by invoking religion. Those Muslims who fight among themselves in the name of religion and think they are serving the cause of Islam must pause and ponder today if they are not misled by momentary passion.

The place of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in the ranks of the great men of history is unique. There have been other statesmen; there have been other good men, who by their precept and example, have helped their fellowmen to lead better lives; there have indeed been other prophets. But a combination of all these qualities is rare, if it has ever existed at all.

Remembrance of Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) character has a life-giving value to those who remember and those who listen; and the setting down of Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) qualities in books of biography and history, in speeches and sermons, has enabled countless people in countless generations to lead better lives. Small wonder then, that the Word of God urges believers to follow the example of the holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). If the Muslims want to recapture their past glory and want to make their due contribution to the peace and happiness of mankind, the schism in Muslim social life must go. The holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) demonstrated how a man can live a fuller life without becoming a recluse. If each and every action in one’s life is performed with a sense of accountability to the Lord on the Day of Judgment, the difference between the religious and the secular disappears and life becomes one harmonious whole.

For leading such a life, the holy Prophet’s teachings can serve as the candle that illumines humanity’s path till the last Day.

(The author is a former Khaleej Times staffer)

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