In todayâ€™s world every individual has a role model to look up to. This particular role model led an exemplary life. He taught us how to become a better person, how to be successful, how to be happy and how to live our life peacefully, by following in his footsteps. We have come across some great people in history, who have gone over and beyond, sacrificing their blood, leaving their mark in history. But there is one man who has changed the lives of 1.8 billion people around the world, for centuries; and still has a huge impact on their lives to this day. We speak of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Following are some quotes of people who studied his life and this is what they had to say.
Professor Hasan Ali, may Allah have mercy on him, said in his magazine ‘Noor aI-Islam‘ that a Brahmin colleague of his once told him: â€œI recognize and believe that the Messenger of Islam is the greatest and most mature man in history.â€�� Professor Hasan Ali, may Allah have mercy on him, asked him: â€œWhy do you consider him as the greatest and most mature man?â€ He answered: â€œNo man possessed the characteristics, mannerisms and ethics that he possessed at one time. He was a king under whom the entire peninsula was unified; yet he was humble. He believed that the dominion belonged to his God alone.â€
The following extract has been taken from the book “The 100 – a Ranking of the Most Influential Person in History” by Michael H. Hart, a Christian American, an astronomer, a mathematician, a chess master, and a scientist. After extensive research, he rated prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as number one and to be considered as the most influential single figure in human history.
“My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential person 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 religious and secular 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. Furthermore, Muhammad (unlike Jesus) was a secular as well as religious leader. In fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all time. 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.”
Following is another quote by Professor Ramakrishna Rao, in his book, “Islam and Modern Age”.
“After the fall of Mecca, more than one million square miles of land lay at his feet. Lord of Arabia, he mended his own shoes and coarse woollen garments, milked the goats, swept the earth, kindled the fire and attended the other menial offices of the family. The entire town of Medina where he lived grew in wealth in the later days of his life. Everywhere there was gold and silver in plenty and yet in those days of prosperity many weeks would elapse without a fire being kindled in the hearth of the king of Arabia; his food being dates and water. His family would go hungry many nights successively because they could not get anything to eat in the evening. He slept on no soft bed but on a palm mat, after a long busy day to spend most of his night in prayer, often bursting into tears before his Creator to grant him strength to discharge his duties. As the reports go, his voice would get choked with weeping and it would appear as if a cooking pot was on fire and boiling had commenced. On the very day of his death his only assets were few coins a part of which went to satisfy a debt and rest was given to a needy person who
came to his house for charity. The clothes in which he breathed his last breath had many patches. The house from where light had spread to the world was in darkness because there was no oil in the lamp. Circumstance changed, but the Prophet of God did not. In victory or in defeat, in power or in adversity, in affluence or in indigence, he is the same man, disclosed the same character. Like all the ways and laws of God, Prophets of God are unchangeable.”
Who was Prophet Muhammad and what is significant about his story?
He was born in Makkah on Monday morning, the ninth of Rabiâ€˜Al-Awwal, 571 A.D. His parentâ€™s names were Abdullah and Amina. His father died before his birth and his mother past away when he was only 6, leaving him as an orphan. Yet, he was tendered, loved and cared for by his beloved Uncle Abu Talib, who took guardianship over him when he was 8 years old. There were lots of signs and incidents that took place from his birth till his youth which resembled the mark of prophet hood.
During the year 610 A.D. when he was 40 years old, the Arabian Peninsula was worshiping 360 different gods. Muhammad (PBUH) was one night mediating in a Cave, praising and glorifying God as he often did. Angel Gabriel appeared in front of him and commanded him to Read, thrice but he kept denouncing it as he was illiterate, the angel then recited the following verse to him,
‘Read, in the name of Allah who created (everything). He created man from a clot of blood. Read, your Lord is Great who taught you but virtue of the pen that which you did not know’.
That was the beginning of Islam, the very first revelation from God to Muhammad (PBUH), and the revelations continued for 23 years, which were later compiled into one book, today known as the Quran.
Since then, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was on a mission to announce the true word of God, which required great sacrifice and struggle. He had to face persecution, humiliation and hunger, yet he remained patient and put his trust in God, the Almighty. The people of Makkah, the Quraish, humiliated him in many ways, by calling him names, putting thorns in his way, throwing garbage at him, labelling him as a sorcerer and a mad man, in order to discourage him from leading the people of Makkah away from the religion of their forefathers.
The people who followed the true message of Islam were persecuted and tortured so that they will denounce their new religion, but the Quraish soon realized that the task at hand was not an easy one and decided to take extreme measures. They boycotted the Messenger of Allah and the followers of Islam for 3 years, leaving them and their families in a valley near Makkah, making them suffer from hunger and thirst. In these years they had to eat leaves of trees and skins of animals to survive. Cries of little children suffering from hunger used to be heard clearly. No food would reach them except, on a few occasions; some meagre quantities of food were smuggled by some compassionate Makkans. It was the most difficult stage of his life. After the boycott; he lost the most beloved people of his life, his loving wife Khadija and his beloved Uncle Abu Talib.
Even after enduring such hardships; he never denounced his call to God, and went on to preach the word of God. On one occasion, when he went to call the people of Taif to God, the arrogant and ignorant leaders commanded the slaves and children of Taif to throw pebbles and stones at him till he left the city. The incident left him bleeding to such and an extent that the blood from his body ran down into his sandals and covered his feet. On that day, the Angel of God, Gabriel descended and offered to destroy the people of Taif, but even then he refused and instead was found praying for the people of Taif to become Muslims.
After all these atrocities; the tribe Quraish finally planned to Murder the Prophet of God, but were still unsuccessful in their attempt. The Messenger of God never gave up hope and kept going forward till he found some people who were sympathetic to this cause. One group of people were the Ansar, who were from the city of Yathrib. They volunteered to provide him with shelter, against the persecution and injustice and eventually all the followers of Islam were ordered to migratee to Yathrib safely. Finally after everyone had left, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his Beloved friend Abu Bakr (ra) also migrated to Yathrib, which marked the beginning of the Islamic Calendar. Yathribâ€™s name was then changed to Madina.
For the next 10 years he was continually faced with conflicts involving some jewsish tribes and the hypocrites from Medina. The Prophet of God fought many battles after migrating to Madina, yet he never gave up his mission. Within those 10 years great amount of people converted to Islam.
People from around the world have been impressed by his character, his manners, his morals and his lifestyle. Even before Islam, He was known to be â€˜Al Ameenâ€™ The trustworthy by the pagans of Makkah.
Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Holy Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) had the best manners among all the human beings” (Bukhari and Muslim)
Prophet Muhammad was extremely tolerant, concerned and compassionate towards his people.
Anas, with whom Allah is pleased, said that the Messenger of Allah ~ said: ‘I start the prayer with the intention of lengthening it, but when I hear a child crying, I shorten the prayer as I know the mother of that child would suffer from his screams!’ (Bukhari #677)
He was forgiving and merciful and was never found speaking ill of anyone, including his enemies. He lived a life of simplicity, was humble and rich in giving alms. He was brave and very courageous.
Ali, with whom Allah is pleased, said: ‘You should have seen me on the Day of Badr! sought refuge with the Messenger of Allahâ€¢. He was the closest among us to the enemy. On that the Messenger of Allah. was the strongest one among us.â€™ (Ahmed #654)
He was known for his hospitality, his politeness and kindness.
Jabir b. Abdullah, with whom Allah is pleased, said: ‘The Prophet ~ did not refuse to give anything which he had, to someone if he asked for it.â€™ (Bukhari #5687)
He indulged in preservance and honesty. He was intelligent and he excelled in religious affairs.
Aâ€™ishah said that the Prophet of God (pbuh) used to pray during the night until his feet would swell. She said, â€˜Why do you do this, O Messenger of God, while God has forgiven your past and future sins?â€™ The Prophet (pbuh) replied: “Shall I not be a grateful slave (of God)?” (Bukhari #4557)
The Messenger of Allah had a beautiful appearance.
Al-Baraa’ b. Aazib, with whom Allah is pleased, said: ‘The Prophet â€¢ was a person of average height. His shoulders were wide. His hair reached his earlobes. Once I saw him adorned in a red garment; I never saw Anything more beautiful than him.â€™ (Bukhari #2358)
After migrating to Medina, the companions of the Prophet (PBUH) would sometimes feel home sick and miss living in Makkah. Afterall, Makkah was the city where Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) initially built the Holy Kaaba (the House of Allah), which was now filled with 360 idols. Makkah was a city of great significance for the Islamic history. On Wednesday 20th of Ramadan 8 A.H., Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) led 10,000 troops to the city of Makkah and conquered it on the very same day with very little to no resistance. He remained in Makkah for about 10- 15 days and performed a farewall hajj, and returned back to Madina. At the age of 63, on Monday 12th Rabi ul Awwal, he departed from this world.
After his death, the entire Arabian Peninsula had become Muslim and within a century after his death, Islam spread from the far west, Spain till the far East China and it still is growing to this day. He was a Prophet who performed miracles and was prophesied by many religious scriptures before him, like the bible and the torah. The message of god starts from the first prophet Adam, till the last Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Let us today think about his life, the sacrifices he went through for us, the humiliation he suffered and the atrocities he endured for our sake. He transformed the entire Arabian peninsula in his 23 years of Prophet hood. He resolved the tribal issues that haunted Arabia and created peace amongst people. He cured the disease of drunkenness and changed it into piety and soberness. He disciplined people��€™s life to the highest standards of morals. He ended immorality, injustice, racism, corruption, paganism and idolatry. He was able to achieve this success only because he was the Prophet of God, who was chosen to spread the message to believe â€œin One God and to believe in his Messengerâ€. In history, we will never find such complete transformation of a society. His life is not only to be followed but to be practiced by us, as he is the best of human beings who ever walked on the face of this earth.
God mentions him as a mercy to mankind in the Quran, and following his footsteps will lead us to being better individuals, to be successful and to achieve happiness and peace in all aspects of our lives.
And We have sent you (O Muhammad (peace be upon him)) not but as a mercy for all the worlds.����������������������� (Al-AnbiyÃ¢ 21:107)
Credits: Sabura Ch.