By Khalid al Maeena
His early life, his struggle against heavy odds, his preaching of the truth ushered a new dimension into the world – that of Islam.
In the 23 years that he spread his message, he offered the world truth, clarity and a sense of purpose. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the only prophet whose life and work has been closely studied by scholars of all faiths. His daily life, his actions, his responses to situations are all extremely well documented. He was truly an example to all of us.
The revelation that came to him and the knowledge that he acquired was transmitted truly and accurately to a people who initially rejected it but who later joined his growing band of followers. The message of Islam spread quickly. It appealed to many.
It was a message that was exemplified by the character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – as a man, a leader, a father, an administrator, a lover of the poor and orphans, a friend of the unfortunate and a mentor. He stressed the need to take care of orphans, women and the poor.
His acts were a beacon of light.
Today, as we stumble through our confused and turbulent world, as we grope in darkness, as we suffer from uncertainty and depression, we must look for and grasp at the teachings of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) – so that they will act as a cure for many of the social ills that have befallen both the Islamic world and the non-Islamic world.
Mistakes are of course made but Almighty God is genuinely forgiving. After all, these individuals are frail human beings, just as we are; they are subject to the same weaknesses and temptations that beset us. It should come as no surprise if aberrations occur. Duplicity in people’s behavior occurs at all levels; however, it is no longer accepted by the general public. It is therefore of the utmost importance that people in positions of power live up to expectations and function as role models for society.
In our Islamic society we have many role models. Foremost among them is the last messenger of God, the Holy Prophet of Islam – Muhammad (peace be upon him). His life shines as a model for us to follow. No other person in history has had so much written about him. The virtues of the Holy Prophet, his life, his dealings with young and old, friends and foe are a looking glass for all of us. We should therefore, all of us, look to his life as an example to follow.
Let us also remember that we, as Arabs and Muslims, need not fear knowledge from others. Here again the tradition of our Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) clearly states: “Acquire learning even unto China.” The stress was on the time and effort it would take to reach China. In those days, China was worlds away.
We cannot progress if we do not learn. And in today’s world, fast changing technology has created a global village which makes the learning process easy. In the world of satellites and the Internet, we cannot feign ignorance. That in itself would be a crime. I am not saying that we should become mere copiers. We should, however, tailor ideas and methods to suit our needs, altering parameters so as to fit our culture, traditions and ideology. Our capacity to improvise creatively will be the deciding factor in differentiating us from those societies that have yet to become successful.
It is here that we should follow our Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and set an example so that others will truly appreciate the philosophy of our ideology and abide by the example of the greatest of all men – the Prophet of Islam. Let us teach ourselves and our children and make them aware of the life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and use it an example in our daily lives in order that we may improve our conduct and become better human beings.
Let us all pray that in the life hereafter we will have a chance to be near our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) – Aameen.