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THE PROPHET OF ISLAM - MUHAMMAD

Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is one the greatest benefactors of mankind. The Prophet of Islam undoubtedly proved a great blessing to humanity. It was he who preached for the first time complete equality of mankind. He gave a high sense of self-respect to an uncouth desert people among whom he was born. He removed all distinctions of caste, creed or colour, and introduced among his followers the principle of universal brotherhood. All these ideas were refreshing to those who were suffering under so many inequities and acts of injustice.

The Prophet of Islam, in fact, revolutionized human thought by his preaching. He not only preached, but also acted upon every word he spoke for the guidance of humanity. Thus his life became a source of true inspiration to his followers. Even minute acts and deeds of him have been recorded by his Companions and contemporaries for the benefit of mankind. His life was practical demonstration of how high precept and noble example can be blended harmoniously in the life of man.

The torch lit by the Prophet of Islam about 1,400 years ago should always be peoples' guiding light to keep their steps away from the path of sin and error. The many phases of Muhammad's unique personality must be studied carefully in order to draw up a system of conduct for ourselves. Islam itself is a perfect code of life and hence, in every age and clime, it can easily fulfil the moral and spiritual as well as material needs and requirements of humanity.

Humanity needs a standard by which it may judge itself in all problems in every walk of life, social, economic, political, religious, commercial and cultural. Such a model is found in the life of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He was born amongst a people who had touched the lowest ebb of degeneration and degradation. His clarion call not only aroused them from the slumber of ages and pulled them out from the shadows of darkness and oblivion, but also converted a backward and primitive tribal community into harbingers of one of the greatest civilisations on earth. From a life of ignorance, misery, evil social customs, and blood feuds, they were transformed into champions of knowledge, science, literature, medicine, astronomy and philosophy. They literally fixed a pattern of high moral standards, socio-economic justice, and equality for all mankind. Never has the world witnessed such a great transformation in such a short span of life.

Muhammad, Prophet of Islam, is the last of Prophets ; one who brought the Divine Message in its final and complete form. Muslims are asked to look upon all other Prophets with equal reverence.

Islam seeks to bring about mutual understanding and reconciliation between the followers of different faiths and to enjoin upon them to respect and honour one another. The Quran says

"Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabeans and the Christians whoever believes in Allah and the last Day and does good - they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve 1 " and " O, People of the Book, come to an equitable word between us and you, that we shall serve non but Allah and that we shall not associate aught with Him, and that some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah." 2

The life of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ) is unique among the founders of faiths. He was a ruler, an administrative, a soldier and a states man. As a husband and a father he sets an example which if carefully followed would eradicate many evils and prevent destruction of family life. Gentleness and humility, courtesy and hospitality, patience and tolerance, courage and fortitude, the warmity of his affection for friends and his large-hearted magnanimity to his enemies were some of his qualities. Above all, he was the man chosen by Allah to convey the Message of all good and happiness to humanity.

Prophet Muhammad's life (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) can be described as a struggle between truth and falsehood, justice and inquity, good and evil and happiness and misery.

Before Muhammad's mission (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), the world, as described by Allah in the Quran, was as follows

"Indeed, there has come to you from Allah a Light and a clear Book whereby Allah guides such as follow His pleasure into the ways of peace, and brings them out of darkness into light by His will, and guides them to the right path". 3

 
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