A prophet means a messenger of God to mankind. The mission of a prophet’s life is to spread the Word of God. The total number of such prophets is one lac and twenty four thousand. The Prophet of Islam (Peace be upon him) was the last messenger of God to the whole world.
The Holy Prophet was born in Arabia‘ in 571 A. D. He was named Muhammad (Peace be upon him). The Arabs were a race of wild tribes. They led a cruel life. They burried their newly-born daughters alive. They ill-treated women, orphans and slaves. They worshipped Idols. They were addicted to wine, adultery gambling, and bloody quarrels.
The Holy Prophet was sent by God to set these bad people right. He hated their cruel ways. He worked hard to reform them. He changed their habits and manners by his own shinning example. He taught them to speak the truth, to showed, mercy to the poor and the sufferers to respect women and to be kind to children.
At the age of forty, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had revelations. By dint of this high character, nobility of mind, his truthfulness and broad humanity he gained some disciples. He began his great missionary work and started preaching the gospel of God. His followers grew from day to day. The Holy Prophet was called Sadiq (Truthful) and Ameen (Trustee) even by his enemies because of his honesty and straight-forwardness.
The Prophet married a widow Khadija by name who embraced Islam and stood by the Holy Prophet throughout her life.
The old idol-worshippers tried their best to harm and tease him. They wanted even to kill him. The Prophet fled to Madina in the company of Hazrat Abu Bakar, This day of exodus marks the dawn of the Islamic Hijra (Exodus).
Madina became the centre of the Islamic activity of the Prophet. He gained many followers there. He mobilised them into a small army. He challenged several hundred of thousands of his enemies with the help of that small band and inflicted defeat after defeat upon them. At Iast the Holy Prophet entered Makkah as a victor. He showed grace and mercy to all the Makkans and proclaimed general amnesty. Thus he set a shining example of humanity and high mindedness before the world.
The Prophet taught his followers a simple code of life. He wanted them to live peacefuly, serve others, speak the truth and help the needy. His life is a living source of inspirations to the world.
Lives of great men all remind us.
We can make our lives subime.
And departing leave behind us.
Footprints on the sands of time.
No life – history of any man has such an inspiring record of the day-to-day events as the simple but stirring story of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) is the last Prophet of Allah Almighty, who was born in 570 A.D in the city of Makkah. Right from his childhood, He was very different fromother ordinary people and later in His life; he used to stay in the cave of Hira to find the spirituality he was always looking for. Finally He received a revelation from Allah Almighty when the angel named Jibrael (A.S) was sent down by Allah to disclose the very first five Ayahs from Surah Al-Alaq upon Him which is translated as:
“Read in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot. Read, for your Lord is most Generous, Who teaches by means of the pen, teaches man what he does not know.” (96: 1-5)
The holy Quran was officially revealed upon Him then and He became the last and final Prophet of Allah after that. He had extraordinary characteristics in his personality which is why He got such a huge honor to be chosen as the messenger of the Almighty. The Arabs were blessed in a sense that they got the opportunity to get enlightened by the teachings of Allah from Muhammad (PBUH) as He is regarded as the noblest Prophet of all, and that too is possible only because he had a great character.
Now let us discuss some of the most important personality traits of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Kindness to all
The courtesy and good manners of the Prophet (PBUH) are well known as He was not only kind hearted to other fellow human beings particularly to the children but also to the animals. It was the time when the Arabs used to feel shame in being loving and affectionate to their kids.
“The Messenger of God (PBUH) performed Salah (prayer) while he was carrying an infant girl named Umaamah, daughter of Abul-Aas. When he bowed, he put her on the ground, and when he stood up, he would carry her again.” (Bukhari #5650)
Such was the high degree of love in the heart of Muhammad (PBUH) towards children that He used to tell other Arabs to love their kids and to be fearful from Allah in this regard. He was also kind in His behavior towards animals.
During a journey, somebody picked up some birds eggs. The bird’s painful note and fluttering attracted the attention of the Prophet (PBUH) who asked the man to replace the eggs. [Al-Bukhaari]
The above mentioned Hadith shows how well mannered Muhammad (PBUH) used to be that he was consistent in His behavior towards all the living creatures.
Truthfulness and promise fulfilling
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) always spoke the truth in His entire life and always taught others to base their personalities around this act. Even His enemies used to testify that they had never seen as truthful and honest person as Him. The Holy Quran also gives evidence about the truthfulness of Muhammad (PBUH).
“We know indeed that what they say certainly grieves you, but surely they do not call you a liar; but the unjust deny the verses of God.” (Qur’an 6:33)
Allah Himself testifies about this great attribute observed in the personality of the Prophet (PBUH). He earned the title of Al-Ameen (trustworthy), which is why even the non believers used to keep their valuable things in the custody of Muhammad (PBUH) as they trusted him for his promise fulfilling nature.
Leading by example
Muhammad (PBUH) did not spread Islam by dictating others, rather he always did His best to serve as a guiding principle to others by acting upon Allah`s teachings Himself first. Before the famous battle with non believers called “Ghazwa-e-Khandaq”, He participated Himself in the digging trench just outside Madina, and He even lifted the heaviest stones during the process.
Indeed the Noble Qur’an says:
“Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.” (Qur’an 33:21)
It is evident from the above Ayah that Prophet (PBUH) is indeed a great example for all of us to succeed in this world and hereafter. He was such a visionary leader that he saved the Muslims from going extinct by agreeing to the treaty of Hudaibiah for ten years which proved to be vital for success of the Muslims later against non believers.
Jabir b. Abdullah narrates that:
“The Prophet (PBUH) did not refuse to give anything which he had to someone if he asked for it.” (Bukhari #5687)
As Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, so the Prophet (PBUH) always emphasized on its importance by doing charity, used to observe Zakat and showed the real meaning of it by sharing everything He had with other needy people.
The Prophet (PBUH) always did His own work by Himself and helped the family members in the daily work. Aishah (R.A) once said:
“He helped and assisted his family members with their chores; but when the call to prayer was heard, he would [stop everything and] leave to attend the prayers.”
Muhammad (PBUH) always showed through His character about the virtue of team work and collaboration as observed in the battle of Khandaq, where He participated along with other Muslims in digging trench. (Repeated Example)
Muhammad (PBUH) had a great personality in terms of physical appearance as well as His conduct.
According to Al-Bara’:
“The Prophet (PBUH) was the handsomest of all people, and had the best appearance. He was neither very tall nor short.” (Bukhari)
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) always used to keep smiling expressions on His face, and He was a very friendly person.
Abdullah bin al-Harith said:
“I have never seen a man who smiled as much as the Messenger of God (PBUH).” (Tirmidthi #2641)
There is a lesson for each and every one of us in the personality of Muhammad (PBUH) to keep good relationships with others through our kind and friendly behavior.
The Holy Prophet spent a very simple life. He used to have a single dress to wear, cleaned His clothes and mended His shoes Himself. He always preached others to avoid going towards materialism by not accumulating any kind of wealth in His entire life. He never ate to fill his stomach, rather he used to fast, and on many time He would wrap stones around His belly to avoid having a feeling for hunger.
“Look at those who are at a lower level than you, but do not look at those who are at a higher level than you, because that would make it conducive to (Allah upon you) slightly (in the eye).” (Muslim)
He always had satisfaction with His life and never complained about lacking anything. Despite being the Prophet of Allah Almighty, he never considered living a life like a king which he could easily have.
Muhammad (PBUH) was well known for his humbleness and humility as He never said No to anybody seeking His help. His openness and candidness also played a vital role in spreading Islam as He treated everyone alike regardless of their statuses.
“A woman from the people of Madeenah who was partially insane said to the Prophet (PBUH): ‘I have to ask you [your help] about something.’ He helped her and took care of her needs.” (Bukhari #670)
He did not discriminate among people and used to help everyone without any intention of return. He used to visit the sick, accepted invitations from the poor, and attended the funerals. He never considered Himself as a better person than others; rather He always lived a very modest life.
The compassionate behavior of the Prophet (PBUH) was highly notable. He never took revenge for personal matters, e.g. when He used to walk through the streets of Makkah, an old lady used to throw garbage on His head. One day when she did not throw garbage on Him, He went to see her. He found that the old lady was sick. He looked after the old lady till she got better. The Prophet Muhammad (s) once said:
““Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to people.” Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 9, #473.
He forgave all the non believers after winning the last battle of Makkah. This kind and courteous conduct of Muhammad (PBUH) made the Kuffaars (non believers) to embrace Islam. That was not the first time that the Prophet (PBUH) showed His people to forgive others. He also forgave a woman named Hind (after the victory of Makkah), who had eaten the liver of the Prophet`s (PBUH) uncle Hazrat Hamza (May Allah be pleased with him).
Epitome of ethics
The Holy Prophet`s (PBUH) whole life is a personification of goodness and morality. He never said any vulgar word in His entire life, even when he was abused and made fun of by the non believers. Instead of being offended, He used to pray for their well being. Allah Almighty Himself testifies in the Holy Quran:
“And indeed, you are of a great moral character” (Qur’an 68:4)
It is not possible to describe the greatness of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in one attempt, because there is a multitude of characteristics of His personality which make Him a great person. He changed the lives of the illiterate Arabs who were enemies of one another and could not live a day in peace. The character of Muhammad (PBUH) is not only a huge source of inspiration for the Muslims but for all human beings. All the societal issues and evils could be eradicated if we all follow His teachings and act like him.