By: Osman Nuri Topbaş
Source: Osman Nuri Topbaş
The Best of You
The Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings attached utmost importance to the mutual rights and responsibilities of family members and sought for familial peace to be maintained under any circumstances. He says in this regard:
“The best of you are those who are best to their families, and I am the best of you to my family.”(Tirmidhi, Manaqib, 63/3895)
“A believing man should not despise his believing wife. If there is any quality he dislikes in her, he will certainly be pleased with another.”(Muslim, Rada’, 61)
Lest the Crystals Should Break!
The Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, treated his wives with the greatest compassion and gentleness.
During a journey, an attendant by the name of Anjasha goaded the camels in the caravan forward by singing with his fine voice. In view of the possibility that the delicate constitutions of the females seated on the camels might be hurt, the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, cautioned:
“Anjasha, take care lest the crystals should break!” (Bukhari, Adab, 95; Ahmad, III:117)
A Matchless Court of Mercy
The Prophet’s circle of education and guidance was akin to a social complex which embraced people from every social strata and all segments of society. There, the weak and the powerful, the rich and the poor were no different with respect to truth and justice.
Just consider those who followed the Messenger of Allah: Among them one would see such dignitaries and eminent figures as the Abyssinian King Negus al-Asham, Byzantine governor of Ma’an Farwa ibn ‘Amr, Himyar chief Dhu al-Kila’a, Fayruz al-Daylami, the viceroy of Yemen, as well as governors of Oman ‘Ubayd and Ja’far.
Further consideration would reveal that in addition to these rulers and administrators were such downtrodden individuals as Bilal, Yasir, Suhayb, Khabbab, ‘Ammar and Abu Fukayha, as well as such poverty-stricken, helpless women as Sumayya, Lubayna, Zinnira, Nahdiya and Umm ‘Ubays.
The Peerless Exemplar
The noble character of the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, constitutes the epitome of human conduct and behaviour, even with its expressions that lie within the scope of human conception. He is a model of excellence completing his mission of communicating the Divine message via illustrating by example. Allah Almighty has presented that noble human being to the rest of humanity as (in the words of the Qur’anic expression) al-uswa al-hasana, or “an excellent example”.
The Qur’anic verse in question reads:
“Assuredly you have in Allah’s Messenger an excellent example to follow for whoever looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers and mentions Allah much.”(33:21)
A Bouquet of Rare Roses
The Messenger of Allah, upon him be blessings and peace, has displayed an exceptional beauty and grace in every way, in all life’s phases. Every human being can find the most perfect of actions in the elevated practice of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, which they can hold up as an example. That is to say, the life of the Messenger of Allah, the pride of humanity, with all its colour, harmony and aroma, is akin to a bouquet composed of the most exceptional roses, such that the seeker can find the most beautiful of roses in that cluster.
The personage of the Noble Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, is like a clear and polished mirror. Every human being can behold his outer and inner, external and the inward, word and action, morality and character, and measure their own state and situation up against it. Reforming one’s character in accordance with what one sees in this mirror and correcting his or her faults and shortcomings is the responsibility of every believer.
An Example to People From Every Walk of Life
Allah Almighty elevated that Noble Messenger from the social position of greatest weakness and helplessness – from the status of an orphaned child – to the highest position of head of state. And the Prophet displayed the most perfect standards of behaviour in all the echelons in between.
For this reason, notwithstanding their particular social rank, every human being can hold up the noble conduct and morality of that great Messenger as an example to themselves and endeavour to put it into practice to the best of their ability.
Behold Yourself in His Mirror
If you are prosperous and wealthy, reflect upon the humility and generosity of that lofty Messenger who dominated Arabia in its entirety and endeared himself to all Arab notables and chiefs.
If you are one who is oppressed and wronged, take example from the life of the Prophet who lived under the rule and reign of the cruel and tyrannous polytheists in Makka.
If you are a victorious conqueror, draw lesson from the Prophet of courage and submission who overcame the enemy at Badr and Hunayn.
If – God forbid – you should ever face defeat, remember that resigned Messenger who patiently and stoically walked among his fallen and injured Companions during the Battle of Uhud.
If you are a teacher, think about the Prophet who taught the Suffa Companions in the mosque, by transferring to them the spiritual luminance from within his delicate, subtle and sensitive heart.
If you are a student, imagine the Prophet who sat before archangel Gabriel, the Trustworthy, in great reverence and aspiration.
If you are a caller to goodness and a truthful guide, listen to the Messenger in his spiritual exchange with his Companions in the Prophet’s Mosque and radiating wisdom in this way. Lend an ear and heart to his melodious voice!
If you wish to defend, convey and uphold the truth and if you have not even a single helper supporting you in this regard, look at the life of the Prophet who declared the truth to the oppressors in Makka when he was deprived of any help or support, and who invited them to belief.
If you have vanquished the enemy and announced the truth and brought falsehood to ruin, then picture the Messenger who, despite being a victorious commander on the day of Makka’s conquest, entered the city in great humility, as though in prostration on the back of his camel.
If you are the owner of a farm and wish to set everything in order, take example from the insightful Prophet who, after taking possession of the Banu Nadir, Khaybar and Fadak lands, appointed the most suitable individuals to oversee and administer them.
If you are forlorn, then contemplate the orphan and the apple of ‘Abd Allah and Amina’s eye, the beloved innocent.
If you are a young man or woman, pay heed to the life of the Prophet in waiting who tended the flock of his uncle Abu Talib in Makka.
If you are a merchant setting forth with trade caravans, lend a thought to the reputation and manner of the noblest personage in the caravans travelling to Damascus and Yemen.
If you are a judge in the position of pronouncing judgement, take into account the just and perspicacious conduct of the Messenger in the matter of putting the Black Stone in its place at the Ka’ba just as the Makkan chiefs were about to draw their swords.
And turning your gaze once more to Madina, look at that Prophet sitting in the Prophet’s Mosque who judges between the people in the fairest manner, holding the impoverished and the affluent as equal before him.
If you are a spouse, take note of the gentleness and refinement, the profound feeling and mercy of that blessed figure who is the husband of Khadija and ‘A’isha.
If you are a father, learn the manner in which that illustrious individual who is the father of Fatima the Luminous One and the grandfather of Hasan and Husayn approached his children and grandchildren.
In short, whatever your rank or title, whatever your state or circumstance, at each and every minute of every day, you will find the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as your most perfect master and your most excellent guide.
Such a master is he, that by way of his Sunna can you correct all errors. That you may put all your affairs into order and reform your state and circumstance and that you may, by virtue of his light and guidance, disentangle yourself from life’s unforeseen storms and dangers and thus find true happiness.
The Prophet’s Teacher is Allah Almighty
The Messenger of Allah, upon him be blessings and peace, received instruction from no mortal. By stating, “My Lord educated me, and so made my education most excellent,” (Suyuti, al-Jami’ al-Saghir, I, 12) he affirmed that his sole teacher was Allah the Exalted.
For this reason, he stood as the paragon of the entire spectrum of disciplines addressing the human being and analysing the human soul, some of which are known in our day as psychology, pedagogy and social anthropology.
The Product of Which Education System?
The faithful friends of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, strove to be in his company at every opportunity. Some of them even devoted themselves to following him like his very shadow. The imprint of love that Allah’s Messenger left on hearts was so powerful that the Companions emulated each and every one of his actions, even if they could not immediately comprehend its wisdom.
Which system of education was the spiritual training of the Companions a product of? Which educator, which psychologist could provide this instruction? Could all the psychologists, sociologists, pedagogues, social anthropologists, social engineers, philosophers and the like in the world today bring about even a small society adorned with elevated attributes of a quality to match that of the Age of Happiness?
The Fire will not Burn the Heart that is Filled With Him
The more the heart of a believer is filled with love for the Messenger of Allah, upon him be blessings and peace, the more it grows distant from Divine punishment. As is declared in a Qur’anic verse:
“But God would not punish them so long as you were among them…” (8:33)
A believer whose heart burns with love for Allah’s Messenger must forever follow in his footsteps and must remain devoted to his elevated Sunna.
Whoever Revives My Tradition
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, wished for every single member of his community to be with him in Paradise. He would therefore forewarn and counsel all people in accordance with their own individual level.
Anas ibn Malik, may Allah be well pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, said:
“Dear Anas, if you are able every morning and evening to remove any rancour from your heart towards any other (especially without harbouring even the slightest hatred or coldness towards any believer), then do so.”
“Dear Anas, this is my Tradition and whoever revives my Tradition has loved me, and whoever loves me will be with me in Paradise.” (Tirmidhi, ‘Ilm, 16/2678)
The Fibres of a Rope
‘Abd Allah ibn al-Daylami, may his secret be sanctified, illustrated the importance of adherence to the Prophetic Practice in the following words:
“…The beginning of the end of the Religion will transpire with the abandonment of the Sunna. Like the coming loose of the fibres of a rope, the Religion will vanish with the relinquishment of the Prophetic Practices one by one.” (Darimi, Muqaddima, 16)
This means that the receding of the Sunna from our lives one after another – may Allah protect us from that! – renders our eternal deliverance to be hanging by a thread.
The Need for Adherence to the Sunna
Allah, exalted and glorified be He, commands adherence to His Beloved Messenger as follows:
“Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it willingly; and whatever he forbids you, refrain from it. Keep from disobedience to Allah in reverence for Him and piety. Surely Allah is severe in retribution.” (59:7)
“O you who believe! Obey Allah (in all His commandments) and obey the Messenger (in his execution of Allah’s commandments and in his own directives), and do not let your deeds go to waste.”(47:33)
“Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger (as they must be obeyed), then those are (and in the Hereafter will be, in Paradise) in the company of those whom God has favoured (with the perfect guidance) – the Prophets, and the truthful ones (loyal to Allah’s cause and truthful in whatever they do and say), and the witnesses (those who see the hidden Divine truths and testify thereto with their lives), and the righteous ones (in all their deeds and sayings, and dedicated to setting everything right). How excellent they are for companions!” (4:69)
The Impossibility of Complete Comprehension of Allah’s Messenger
It is not possible for us to fully comprehend the Pride of Humanity, the Messenger of Allah, upon him be blessings and peace, within the limits of human intelligence and capacity. This is because the impressions obtained from this realm fall short of duly describing and perceiving him. Just as it is not possible to fit the ocean in a single cup, it is not possible to fully comprehend the ‘Muhammadan light’ (al-Nur al-Muhammadi).
The One Sent Bespeaks the Might of the Sender
The Messenger of Allah, upon him be blessings and peace, is a Divine masterpiece with no equal, possessing perfect countenance and character. In this respect, no human being has the capacity to describe his greatness as it deserves to be described.
On one of his military expeditions, Khalid ibn Walid, may Allah be well pleased with him, once put up camp with a Muslim tribe. The tribal chief asked him, “Could you describe to us the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace?”
Khalid ibn Walid, may Allah be well pleased with him, said, “Describing the beauty of Allah’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, is beyond the bounds of possibility. I am incapable of describing him (as he deserves to be described).”
The tribal chief said, “Describe him as best as you are able, in a few words.”
Khalid ibn Walid, may Allah be well pleased with him, replied:
“The one sent bespeaks the might of the sender.”
In other words, as the sender is the Lord of the Worlds, just consider the glory and honour of the one who is sent!