Muhammad (pbuh) was the last and final prophet of Islam chosen by Allah most gracious. He is unmistakably the most historical prophet in history. There is no doubt that he ever existed. But in this day in age; rather than being realised of his brilliance, this Prophet (pbuh) of Islam is under constant ridicule and hatred. In the west he is commonly viewed to have had a hateful and aggressive personality by non-Muslims. Views like this need to be answered; otherwise the constant hatred of Islam and its last and final Prophet (pbuh) will unbearably continue without end.If one studies the biography of Muhammad (pbuh), then such negative views about the Prophet (pbuh) would be completely cleansed away. It is for such purpose that this piece of writing is being presented, that it may help the reader to understand the Prophet Muhammad in true light. This article will assist to understand how beautifully powerful Muhammad’s (pbuh) personality and characteristics were. Also the reader will understand how much the people around the Prophet (pbuh) were attracted by his sincerity, kindness, appearance and success in his mission (to deliver the message of Islam).
Personality and Characteristics:
It is important to notice that the Prophet (pbuh) was viewed to have a welcoming and honourable personality by his own people at the time. From an early age Muhammad (pbuh) was popular for his gentle and calm character. How much he was liked and trusted by his own people can only be explained by presenting events that took place in his life.
Marriage to Khadijah (ra)
Even before his prophetic life, Muhammad (pbuh) was known for his kindness and honesty all around his district. At the age of twenty, his fame had reached an individual of the wealthiest traders inMecca, a woman by the name Khadijah bint Khuwaylid (married twice and then widowed). A few years went by and she kept on hearing how honest and kind this man was. Finally, she decided to put Muhammad (pbuh) to the test, she asked him to take some of her goods toSyria with her servant Maysarah and sell them. The task given to Muhammad (pbuh) was a double success which surprised Khadijah very much. Impressed by how Muhammad (pbuh) spoke, appeared and behaved as a young man of twenty five, Khadijah decided to propose marriage to him through her friend Nufaysah. At first Muhammad (pbuh) was interested in the proposal however, due to his standing he could not think of joining together with such a wealthy woman like Khadijah. But finally Khadijah (who was around the age of forty at the time) managed to persuade Muhammad (pbuh) to accept the proposal. The marriage lasted for several years which Muhammad (pbuh) cherished for the rest of his life.
It could be said, the Prophet’s (pbuh) marriage to khadijah was only possible because of Muhammad’s fame of kindness and honesty. Such a wealthy woman like Khadijah wanting to marry an average self like Muhammad (pbuh) because of his sincerity, gentleness and appearance just goes to show what a beautiful and inspiring personality the Prophet (pbuh) had.
The Trustworthy:
A couple of years after the revelation (revealing of the Qur’an to the Prophet (pbuh) had started; the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was commanded to begin openly conveying the message of Islam, to which the Prophet (pbuh) obeyed immediately. One day, Muhammad (pbuh) climbed Mount as-Safa, stood on top and started calling out to the tribal chiefs to arrive and witness what he was going to say. Muhammad (pbuh) knew that whoever he called most certainly would come to hear him, because the people that new knew him had known him as a trustworthy and honest man who always kept his word to the letter. Standing on top of the Mount, the prophet asked the surrounding people: “If I warned you that down in this valley, armed horsemen are closing in to attack you, would you believe me?” the tribal chiefs replied more or less simultaneously:“Certainly, you are trustworthy and we have never heard you tell lies!”. Muhammad (pbuh) in that case responded by saying: “Well, I am here to forewarn you of violent torments! God has ordered me to admonish my nearest kinsmen. I have no power to protect you from anything in this life, nor grant you blessings in the life to come, unless you believe in the oneness of God. My position is like that of he who sees the enemy and runs to his people to warn them before they are taken by surprise, shouting as he runs: ‘Beware! Beware!” Abu Lahab (the Prophet’s (pbuh) uncle) responded in annoyance: “Woe to you! Is this why you have gathered us?” After saying this, Abu Lahab turned and walked away leading the all the listeners away the Prophet (pbuh).
This event teaches that Muhammad (pbuh) was very trusted by his fellow friends and neighbours, as he was told: “Certainly, you are trustworthy and we have never heard you tell lies!”. The Prophet (pbuh) was illiterate and didn’t hold a high profession before his prophetic life, yet still he managed to gain the people’s trust and had a name for being honest and kind. He was liked by his people so much that he had earned the name ‘Al-Ameen’ (the trustworthy) from a young age amongst his people. No one of the time had anything negative to say about the Prophet’s personality. It was only after the Prophet (pbuh) started preaching the message of Islam that the people began to dislike him, for they did not like what he preached.
In the introduction of this article, it is written that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to be unmistakably the most historical prophet in history, there is no doubt that he ever existed. This is primarily because of what Muhammad (pbuh) left forArabia.
Pre-Islamic Arabia (known as the days of ignorance, in Arabic: yawmul jahiliyya) was very the opposite of howArabia was after the Prophet (pbuh). Before Muhammad’s prophethood, a lot of the residents ofArabia used to practice the most filthiest/dirtiest and most horrible things imaginable. And the worst thing was that it was so common. People used to bury their own daughters because they felt having a daughter was a curse. Some even went as bad as to marry their own mothers. The pre-Islamic people ofArabia had no sense of shame and so they used to worship around the Kaba completely nude. And of course idol worship was prominent as well. These are only some of the many horrific things practiced inArabia before the time of Muhammad (pbuh). The Prophet (pbuh) managed to still transform such a nation deluded on the wrong path to the path of Allah. This transformation took twenty three years of the Prophet’s (pbuh) life through many struggles, trails and exile. After the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),Arabia was a total alcohol/gambling free country which also involved not in fortune telling.Arabia as a whole believed in treating everyone equally. A nation extremely better off for itself than it was twenty three years before, all due to one single man: Muhammad (pbuh) the last and final prophet of Islam.
The greatest miracle:
It was said by the famous scholar: respected late Ahmad Deedat: “The greatest miracle is to transform nations without any miracle”, indeed this is true. By this definition, the Prophet (pbuh) has succeeded his greatest miracle. The followers (Muslims) of Muhammad (pbuh) as a whole are the largest community who don’t imbibe alcohol, who don’t smoke and don’t gamble…etc (even today). The Muslim community as a whole has the largest number people who don’t believe in intermingling with the opposite sex and who don’t believe in dating and dancing, though the Muslims do have their share of black sheep (as every community has).
Nothing but appreciation
What Muhammad had done for the world (only by Allah’s will) could not be expressed enough. By studying the life of Muhammad (pbuh), one could only admire his efforts and struggles to push the world closer to the path Allah and righteousness. Muhammad (pbuh) had dedicated his life to fulfilling the command of his lord, which was to convey the message of peace/Islam. One can only wonder how somebody could hate the Prophet (pbuh) after studying his life story.
Most Important Personality in Human History:
It is natural for a Muslim to praise Muhammad (pbuh) the Messenger of Allah, and therefore hardly anyone would pay so much attention to what is said about Muhammad (pbuh (by a Muslim). But if a non-Muslim spoke praises of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) then surely everyone agrees, most persons would eagerly listen to what has to be said. So it can be assumed: a non-Muslim’s praises of the Prophet (pbuh) is of high value. The following are what some of histories great thinkers have said about Muhammad (pbuh), the last and final Prophet of Islam.
“My choice of Muhammad to lead the best 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 religious and secular levels.”[1]
“I became more than 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 his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission.”[2]
“The personality of Muhammad, it is most difficult to get into the whole truth of it. Only a glimpse of it I can catch. What a dramatic succession of picturesque scenes! There is Muhammad, the Prophet. There is Muhammad, the General; Muhammad, the King; Muhammad, the Warrior; Muhammad, the Businessman; Muhammad, the Preacher, Muhammad, the Philosopher, Muhammad, the Statesman; Muhammad, the Orator; Muhammad, the Reformer; Muhammad, the refuge of Orphans; Muhammad, the protector of Slaves; Muhammad, the Emancipator of Women; Muhammad, the Judge; Muhammad, the Saint. And in all these magnificent roles, in all these departments of human activity, he is like a hero.”[3]
The Question to Ask:
The above are all praises of Muhammad (pbuh) that no Muslim can equal. If a Muslim spoke these praises, most would pay hardly any notice. Who wouldn’t speak honour and praise of the one they love, follow and admire? But praises coming from the opposition carries heavy weight. The question that needs to be put forward here is: why would someone go out their own way to speak wonders of someone who they do not follow other than to be sincere and give credit where credit is due? Michael H. Hart wrote his book: The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. His main audience was the Americans full of Jews and Christians, yet he chooses Muhammad (pbuh) to be the number one most influential man in history over Jesus (pbuh) and Moses (pbuh). He refers to the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as ‘supremely successful’. Mahatma Ghandi and Professor Ramakrishna Rao (both Hindus) were amazed with how Muhammad (pbuh) won the heart of so many people in the world. “He is like a hero” Professor Ramakrishna Rao had written in his book.
These writers were not carrying mere experimentations on how the public would react to what they have said about the Prophet (pbuh), nor were they bribed. It was their sincere understanding of Muhammad’s (pbuh) mission and trust in the One. As it has been written earlier in this article: if one studies the biography of Muhammad (pbuh), then any negative views about him would be completely cleansed away.
To the Muslim
Muhammad (pbuh) the last and final prophet of Islam will always be remembered, but how he should be remembered, we need to make amends. Too many are there that are addressing the Prophet (pbuh) a hateful and evil individual. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had a character, a personality which every person loved and we need to show the public the true Muhammad (pbuh). Right now there are more books against Islam and the Prophet (pbuh) than we can imagine, and we (Muslims) are hardly paying any notice. We should be out on the streets and roads, in our workplaces and homes openly propagating the truth of Islam and the Prophet (pbuh). As we (Muslims) are commanded: “Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.”[4].
Whether being a Muslim or a non-Muslim, one can still learn important and vital lessons from the life story of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). We (the Muslims) need to share this with our fellow non-Muslims. It is not a case of converting them (as many Muslims do think), rather shedding light and seeing that the non-believer understands what Islam is and what the Prophet’s mission was. Whether they convert or not is only up to Allah, most beneficent. Muhammad (pbuh) was the last and final prophet of Islam chosen by Allah, therefore a perfect example for mankind in all aspects of human deeds and conducts.
“Ye 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 Praise of Allah.”[5].
No one has to be an expert to spread the word of Islam. Many Muslims have a misconception that one has to first become a specialist in the field of Islam to start propagating. With this kind of mentality, Muslims would be nowhere. The holy Prophet (pbuh) taught: “convey my teachings to the public even if it were a single sentence” (Sahih Bukhari). From this teaching we can identify that the Prophet (pbuh) strongly encouraged Muslims to propagate the truth of Islam. Even if we know one single sentence (and it is accurate), we must be sharing it with those who don’t have the knowledge.
This deliberately short article is a brief and concise introduction to the holy Prophet of Islam: Muhammad (pbuh). Hopefully, reading this will give some light on the life of the Prophet (pbuh) and hisMissionto those who seek it. Both Muslims and non-Muslims can benefit from this as it presents some key issues regarding Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If one seeks to be more enlightened on the Prophet’s (pbuh) life and mission, then there are many detailed biographies one can read, whether it be classical for instance: the works of Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham, or more current. Namely a few I can recommend from my own knowledge: The Messenger, The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad by Tariq Ramadan. This book is less a biography of the Prophet (pbuh) and more pointing out invaluable spiritual teachings from events taken place in the Prophet’s (pbuh) life. Also the award winning biography: The Sealed Nectar by Saifiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri.
Amongst all the negative criticism written and spoken of Muhammad (pbuh), this short piece of writing is hardly enough to defend the Prophet (pbuh) from all the false allegations made against him. But I only hope and pray to Allah that this article inspires people to read and research more about the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his lifestyle.