MUHAMMAD — the praiseworthy (may infinite peace and mercy be upon Him) — the name is more than enough. What new probably can be said or written about this MAN when there is already so and so much said and written about Him? He is everywhere — in prayers, books, songs, debates, lectures, hearts and minds. It is beyond my level to say or write anything in His Honour.
Many people came to this world with some particular qualities. Some were great kings, some great political leaders, some great religious leaders, some great army leaders, some great warriors, some great administrators, some were great judges, some great scholars, some great businessmen, some with great wisdom, some with great looks, some kind and peace loving, some brave, some were great husbands, some great fathers, some great sons and some great friends but if you try to find out a single person bestowed with all these qualities, only one name comes into the mind i.e. the one and only MUHAMMD ﷺ. Born in the city of Mecca, in southern Arabia, somewhere in between 570-571CE (believed to be on 12th Rabiul Awwal in Elephant Era calculated as Monday 24th April 571 CE according to Gregorian calendar). Orphaned at an early age, He was raised first by his grandfather and then by his uncle who was a merchant by profession but his business had waned and the young orphan had to tend sheep for his own upkeep. By the age of 25, He too had become a merchant and the symbol of truth and honesty and had earned the titles of AL-SADIQ the TRUTHFUL and AL-AMIN the TRUSTWORTHY. Impressed by his qualities a rich widow Khatija married Him who was almost 15years older than him. At the age of 40, He declared himself to be the last prophet and messenger of Allah and began to preach Islam. He died in 632CE (believed to be on 12th Rabiul Awwal calculated as Monday 8th June 632 CE according to Gregorian calendar). If these dates are taken to be correct that means He lived for 22330 days i.e. 63 years and 4 days in total, from 583—609 CE as merchant and from 609—632 CE as preacher of Islam.
At the time of His birth Arabia was a backward area of the world, far from the centers of trade, art, and learning. Many evils existed during that time such as idol worshiping, tribal warfare, killing of female babies, the abuse and degradation of women, greed, racism, the abuse of the poor, slaves and orphans. Many gods and goddesses were viewed by the people as their protectors and their spirits were associated with sacred trees, stones, springs and wells. It was a period of Jahiliyah — the ignorance and He came as Hidayah — the true guide to the true path, showing His infinite mercy to all of mankind and as Noor — the light of Allah to end the darkness. He preached the word of Allah — “there is no god but Allah and Muhammad ﷺ is the messenger of Allah”, Holy Quran is the book of Allah and Islam — religion of submission, safeness and peace — is the only true way to Allah. He put an end to the practice of idol worshiping and associating people or things with God. He raised the status of women who at that time were considered as mere objects with no basic rights of life and even girls were buried alive at the time of their birth. He taught people that men and women are equal in front of their Lord and grants women divinely sanctioned inheritance, property, social and marriage rights, including the right to reject a marriage proposal and to divorce. He frequently counseled His men to treat their wives and daughters well. He himself had 13 wives and none of them ever had any complaint against Him because He treated them with equal love, care and respect. He was very kind to children and respectful to elders. He greeted with warm heart whomsoever He met. He used to care for orphans and used to ask His companions to protect and treat them well. He abolished the slavery system and ordered His companions to treat them well, buy same quality of clothes, gifts and food they would buy for themselves. He also ordered them to purchase as many as slaves as they can and to set them free. He cared for poor and to raise their economic status used to give charities of His earning and ordered His men that all Muslims are obliged to look after the poor and are required to spend their wealth to help the poor out. He used to commend having mercy on animals and used to forbid his companions from hurting them, tiring them, overburdening them with heavy loads for long periods, torturing them, or pushing them beyond their limits, for that is a form of suffering. He also called for not harassing animals by goading them to hurt or cause harm to each other. He was a great promoter of brotherhood and never discriminated anyone on the basis of colour, race, cast or gender. He clearly declared that there is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab, nor of a non-Arab over an Arab, nor of a white over black, nor of a black over a white. He spend all His life praying and crying before Almighty for the well being of His people and even at the time of His death He didn’t care for Himself or His Family but for His people and His last words were Ummah, Ummah….Ummah — my people, my people…..my people.
While preaching the message of Allah, He had to face a lot of hardships. He was persecuted and frequently came under not only verbal criticism but formal military attack. The people of the Quraysh rebuked Him, taunted and mocked at Him, beat Him and abused Him. They threw stones and dirty things on Him, called Him by names like mad man, fortune teller, magician, possessed. They tried to kill Him and waged many wars against Him. To save His life, family and followers, He even migrated from Mecca to Medina. For an ordinary person with all these hardships it would have been easy to fell into depression, and to give up and walk away from the challenges and blame those around him. But He chose to walk on the path of truth, believed in one God, conveyed God’s message and stood like rock solid and answered everything with His wisdom and patience. He forgave those who did wrong to Him because of his kindness and at the same time He not only was a warrior but also created an army and as the Commander-in-Chief led many victorious wars by his bravery and strategies and was successful in uniting Arabia into a single Muslim polity creating an Islamic Empire. His position was like that of a dictator who had everything under His control and could have easily unleashed a reign of terror upon His opponents and forced them to accept Islam but being the messenger of Allah — the most merciful, He showed mercy on them and declared that the basic principal of Islam is no compulsion in religion. He did not take revenge on anyone. He forgave all. He was all for forgiveness and no amount of crime or aggression against Him was too great to be forgiven by Him. He was the first to make treaties with the enemies, to lay down war rules-how to treat enemy corpses? How to treat women and children of enemies during and after war? How to treat prisoners of war? He was the first to frame a Constitution — Constitution of Medina, establishing a kind of alliance or federation among the tribes and Muslim specifying rights and duties of all citizens, and the relationship of the different communities. He was a law maker, brought new laws and rules. Old ways were modified, eliminated or replaced by new regulations. He introduced a new moral order in which the origin and end of all actions was not self or tribal interests but Allah’s will. And by the time He died, He had brought a new life, a new culture, a new civilization, a new kingdom and a new revolution in the world which influenced the thought and life of millions of the people.
There is something extra-ordinary about his personality, career, message and role in history that attracts the attention of all. There has been no other single person in history that has raised from the ranks to the position of dominance in such a way — from an ordinary sheep tender to the greatest political, religious and army leader the world has ever seen and has changed the lives and minds of so many people in such a short time and His impact still affects millions of lives every day. Despite being an illiterate with no formal education, He had the understanding of all the matters — religious, political, social, family and economic matters, and led a community, who behaved like animals and transformed them into men the world had never seen. He sacrificed his own interests, happiness and loved ones for the sake of his people and brought out from that scattered nation, not only a consolidated one, but one that has a specified message and a specified role in the history of mankind. Although his position was that of a king but he chose to live a simple life of poverty and His followers were mainly poor, destitute and the weak. Even today, after 13 centuries of His death, His influence is still powerful and pervasive. Every second, His name is uttered somewhere in the world. Sermons, prayers and marriages are incomplete unless His name is taken. Millions of people follow Him. He indeed is a role model for them. No one among creatures can be like Him. He was an ordinary man (in the sense not among Jinns or Angles) but with extra-ordinary manners and wisdom. There has never been a human being so well-respected, loved and followed as Him, there has never been a person who has changed world history so dramatically as Him and there has never been a single most important person in the history as Him. The reason is simple that He was sent with a mission of delivering the pure message from Allah that would help us to understand how to live our lives, to distinguish between good and bad, tell us about mankind, the universe and the rest of creation around us and our relationship with Allah and also about the Hereafter, the Day of Judgment, Heaven and Hell.………….
And in His entire life He has never (not even a single time either impliedly or expressly) proclaimed to be god or said to worship Him or call His followers as Muhammadians but Muslims, He never said that He is the founder of Islam but He completed it and there are no more messengers to come after Him. He was the seal of the prophets. He neither himself celebrated nor said to his followers to celebrate His birthday. He never said that He came for Muslims only but as the blessing for the whole universe — Rehamatan—lil—Alameen.
Writer is a Advocate