For the guidance of humans, Allah Almighty sent his messengers from time to time. This started from Adam (a.s) and ended with the advent of Prophet (pbuh). Actually, with the arrival of blessed Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the mission was accomplished as Allah describes in Quran ‘This day I accomplished the religion for you and perfected my blessings upon you and have chosen the religion of Islam for you’ (5:3). Allah Almighty also says; ‘Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad (pbuh) you have a good example to follow for all those who look forward to Allah and the last day and remember Allah much (33; 21). From the aforementioned verse, we infer that Muhammad is an absolute model for the Muslims to follow. Veritably, Allah wants us to imitate beloved Prophet (SAW), follow his teachings, and take His sayings and acts as principles to live the life. Among many attributes of the prophet (pbuh) that we need to adopt, one of the beautiful attributes is ‘Khulq’ meaning Character, which has been referred as ‘Khulq’eAzeem’ by Quran; ‘And indeed, you are of a great moral character’(68:4).
It is beyond my capacity to write about the noble character of beloved Muhammad (pbuh), for it is a very vast subject. However, let us have a glance over the holy conduct of Prophet (pbuh) with the intension to remind ourselves, what Allah and Prophet want us to be.
Even prior to revelation, Prophet (pbuh) was known to be of sound morals. Arabians used to call him – As-Sadiq, Al-Ameen meaning honest and trustworthy respectively.
After the declaration of Prophethood, persecution began. Many tribal leaders, opposed, ridiculed, and even boycotted his clan; Prophet (pbuh) was harassed, assaulted, tortured, and even forced to exile. But Prophet (pbuh) never compromised his moral values. He never displayed anger, never asked for revenge, but always showed most beautiful morality as reported by Ayesha (r.a) mentioned in Tirmidhi that: ‘It was not the nature of Prophet (pbuh) to talk indecently, nor did he engage himself in the use of abhorrent language. Nor did he shout and talk in the bazaars (which is against dignity). He did not avenge a bad deed with a bad one but forgave it, and thereafter did not even mention it’. Who can forget the incident of Taif, in which Prophet (pbuh) and his companion Zaid ibn Muhammad (r.a) faced ill-treatment from pagans. History bears witness; people of Taif threw stones and rocks at Muhammad and his companion, causing them to bleed. The Muhammad (pbuh) bled so profusely from the stoning that his feet congealed to his sandals. Still, Prophet (pbuh) did not utter indecent words against them rather asked Allah for their salvation.
Muhammad (pbuh)’s attitude and behaviour towards common masses make a large part of his biography. Regardless of, religion, caste, creed, color, age, sex, and profession, Prophet’s (pbuh) conduct towards everyone was affectionate and respectful. In another hadith of Tirmidhi; Amr ibnulAas (r.a) says; ‘Prophet (pbuh) gave attention, spoke, and showed love to the worst person of a nation. So that, the person may feel he is being given special attention. Furthermore, He used to give attention, and spoke to me in a manner, that I began to feel that I was the best among the community’.
Prophet’s approach towards the servants and slaves was also enamouring. Anas bin Maalik (r.a) says; ‘I remained in service of Prophet (pbuh) for 10 years and not once did I even hear him say ‘oof” to me and he never asked me, ‘why did you do this?’ or, ‘Why didn’t you do that?’. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) would have something to drink for ift’ar (breaking the fast) and something to drink for sahar (the meal before dawn) and sometimes he would have one drink for both (Shamaa’il e Tirmidhi). Once a person asked Prophet (pbuh), how many times we should ignore and forgive the mistake of slaves? Prophet (pbuh) did not respond. When person repeated same question third time, merciful Prophet (pbuh) said; ‘every day, seventy times’.
Prophet (pbuh) presented a great example of dealing with women. Prophet (pbuh) protected the rights of women. Prophet (pbuh) raised the status of a female from nothingness to eminence. Prophet (pbuh) provided them right to live an honorable life and today we see female folk enjoying very respectful positions in the form of mother, daughter, and wife – The indispensable parts of life. Blessed wife of Prophet (pbuh) ‘Ayesha (r.a) reports: ” Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) never hit anything with his hand ever, except when fighting in the path of Allah. Nor did he ever hit a servant or a woman (wife, slave girl etc.)”(Ibn Maajah). By hitting, it means to hit in anger. It was this holy conduct of Prophet (pbuh) with his family members, which led Ayesha (r.a) to say in response to a question about the character of beloved Prophet (pbuh) that the character of the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) was the Quran (SahihMusim). Hazrat Qatada (r.a) commented on this hadith and said; it means Prophet (pbuh) acted according to Quran, He did what Allah had permitted to do, and whatever was forbidden, He refrained from doing that. This Hadith is comprehensive in nature, highlighting the holy character of Prophet (pbuh) in a very beautiful and precise manner. It implies his attitude embodied everything that was contained in the Quran. Allah’s choicest character was incorporated in Prophet (pbuh) thus Allah says; He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah (4:80).
The blessed month of Rabi-ul-Awal that is in progress carries with it an underlying message for all of us that is to build the character according to the paragon of morality and mercy Muhammad (pbuh). That is the best and only way to earn Allah’s special acceptance and His blessings. And to live honourable, fruitful, and successful life.