How He Treated Them [3/4]

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Continued from the previous article…

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The Messenger: The Excellent Example

Allah The Exalted Says (what means),

  There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern [example] for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” [Quran: 33:21]

Ibn Katheer (a scholar) commented,

  “This holy verse contains the great principle of adhering to the sayings, actions and injunctions of the Messenger of Allah.”

Allah sent His Messenger as mercy and guidance to humanity. There- fore, the Prophet of Allah ﷺ became the best of examples for those hoping to please Allah, and those hoping for a high status in the Hereafter; for people who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption.

The definition of an “Example”:

A Muslim is always in dire need of following the example of the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad ﷺ), especially today when false claims prevail and the enemies of Allah are rallying doubtful matters and vain lusts to repel people away from the path of Allah.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the ideal example that a Muslim must follow in actions and speech and he was a source of guidance in all matters. He ﷺ was the best example in various aspects of his life; as a religious leader (Imaam), a judge, a head of state, a teacher, a nurturer, a husband, a father, a manager and a leader.

Following the examples of Prophets, So from their guidance take an example:

Allah ordered His Prophet to follow the example of the prophets who came before him. He Says (what means),

  “Those are the ones whom Allah has guided, so from their guidance take an example.” [Quran: 6:90]

Ibn Katheer said,

  “This verse contains an order to the Prophet. And his nation ought to follow what he was ordered to do.”

Ibn Taymiyyah (a scholar) said,

  “The stories of the Prophets contain admonition for believers who will surely be tested and must not go into despair. Muslims must realize that those who were better than them (i.e., the Prophets) were tested. The outcome of these ordeals was in favor of the Prophets. Thus, a doubter must become certain, a sinner must repent, and a believer must become stronger in faith. It is through stories of the Prophets that one becomes able to follow their examples properly.”

We were ordered to follow the examples of the Prophets regarding the following matters:

Zeal in obeying Allah and worshiping Him:

This is one of the most important areas of obedience to the Prophets. The Prophets demonstrated the utmost diligence in performing acts of worship and prayer to Allah The Almighty.

This is the essence of the verse (which means),

  “And remember Our servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, those of strength and [religious] vision.” [Quran: 38:45]

‘Ataa’ Al-Khurasaani (a scholar) said, “The verse means: the ones with diligence in performing worship and knowledge of Allah’s affairs.” And Qataadah (a scholar) said, “They (the Prophets) were given a strong will to perform worship and a strong vision in religious matters.”

Verses that described the Prophets’ worship:

Allah Says that Abraham said (what means),

  “My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication.” [Quran: 14:40]

And He Says in praising Ishmael (what means),

  “And he used to enjoin on his people prayer and Zakaah and was to his Lord pleasing.” [Quran: 19:55]

And in praising Abraham and Isaac, Allah Says (what means),

  “And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of Zakaah; and they were worshippers of Us.” [Quran: 21:73]

As for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ there were many narrations regarding his diligence in worship. Allah The Exalted Says (what means),

  “And during the night prostrate to Him and exalt Him a long [part of the] night.” [Quran: 73:26]

Allah ordered the Prophet of Allah ﷺ Saying (what means),

  “Worship Him and have patience for His worship. Do you know of any similarity to Him?” [Quran: 19:65]

And He The Exalted also Says (what means),

  “And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you. It is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station. [Quran: 17:79]

Diligence in remembering and mentioning Allah, and in supplicating to Him:

The Prophets used to mention Allah at all times, and they used to sup- plicate to Him continuously. This was in addition to their diligence in performing acts of worship.

Allah The Most High mentioned how His Prophets used to supplicate to Him to fulfill their needs. They used to plead with Him demonstrating their helplessness and dire need. Allah The Exalted Says (what means),

  “And [mention] Job, when he called to his Lord, ‘Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.’ So We responded to him and removed what afflicted him of adversity. And We gave him [back] his family and the like thereof with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for the worshippers [of Allah].” [Quran: 21:83-84]

Allah The Exalted also Says (what means),

  “And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darkness, ‘There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.’ So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers. And [mention] Zechariah, when he called to his Lord, ‘My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while you are the best of inheritors.’ So We responded to him, and We gave to him John, and amended for him his wife. Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.” [Quran: 21:87-90]

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ invoked His Lord frequently, especially during times of hardship. During the Battle of Badr, the Prophet of Allah ﷺ supplicated extensively hoping for Allah to grant him and his companions victory. ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab (a companion and the second Caliph) said, “On the day of the Battle of Badr, Allah’s Prophet ﷺ faced the direction of the Qiblah (i.e. the Sacred Mosque in Makkah), extended his arms and invoked, “O Allah! Fulfill what You had promised me. O Allah! Bring about that which You have promised me. O Allah! If this group of Muslims were to die then You will not be worshiped on this Earth.” He ﷺ continued to invoke while raising his arms high until his upper garment fell off his shoulders. Then Abu Bakr (a companion and the first Caliph) picked up his upper garment and set it on the Prophet of Allah’s ﷺ, shoulders. He hugged the Prophet of Allah ﷺ from behind and said, “O Prophet of Allah! Enough invocation! Your Lord will surely fulfill His promise to you.”

The Prophets’ humility and tears when mentioning their Lord:

In Chapter 19 of the Quran, Allah praised some of the Prophets Saying (what means),

  “Those were the ones upon whom Allah bestowed favor from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping.” [Quran: 19:58]

Al-Si’di (a scholar) commented,

  “Prostration and weeping means that they submitted to the verses of Allah, and that their hearts were affected by them. They had great hope and fear to the point of crying and prostrating to their Lord.”

Allah told us that Prophet Joseph said (what means),

  My Lord, You have given me [something] of sovereignty and taught me of the interpretation of dreams. Creator of the heavens and earth, You are my protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die a Muslim and join me with the righteous.” [Quran: 12:101]

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was the most God-fearing of people. He used to say,

 “ I hope to be the most God-fear- ing among you, and most knowledgeable of what to avoid. And He ﷺ used to say, O turner of hearts! Make my heart firm upon Your religion.

And He ﷺ used to say,

 “Verily, the hearts of the Children of Adam, all of them, are between the two fingers of the Most Merciful as one heart. He directs them wherever He wills.

 “

Following their example in possessing deep knowledge regarding Allah:

There can be no doubt that the Prophets were the most knowledgeable regarding Allah. This profound level of knowledge generated a lofty standard of firm belief and fear of Allah The Exalted. The more a slave knows about his Lord, the more he reveres Him and increases in worship, fear, sincerity and love to his Lord.

Allah granted this high status to His chosen servants, the Prophets and Messengers. They received this status through their perfect knowledge of His Names and Attributes. Therefore, they became worthy of being emulated.

Prophet Abraham told his father while inviting him to the true path,

  “O my father, indeed there has come to me of knowledge that which has not come to you, so follow me; I will guide you to an even path.” [Quran: 19:43]

And Allah Said about His Prophet Jacob (what means),

  “And indeed, he was a possessor of knowledge because of what We had taught him, but most of the people do not know. [Quran: 12:68]

Allah also told us that Prophet Noah said to his people (what means),

  “I convey to you the messages of my Lord and advise you; and I know from Allah what you do not know.” [Quran: 9:62]

Allah addressed Prophet Muhammad ﷺ saying (what means),

 “ …and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.”[Quran: 20:114]

Thus, we must follow the example of the Prophet of Allah ﷺ. He was sent as a mercy to humankind, an example to his followers and a standard-bearer showing Allah’s right path.

The Obligation of following the example of the Prophets and adhering to their guidance:

Ibn Al-Qayyim (a scholar) said,

  “There is no path to happiness and success in this world or the Hereafter except at the hands of Messengers. And there is no way to determine the good from bad except through their teachings. Allah’s pleasure is never gained except through their example. Good actions, sayings and manners are only attained through the guidance they brought.

The Prophets are the scale by which our actions, sayings and manners must be weighed. And their example is the criterion be- tween the people of guidance and those of misguidance.

We are in need of following their examples more than a body needs its soul, and more than an eye needs light to be able to see. In fact, every decreed obligation is surpassed by the obligation of following the example of the Prophets. If we neglect doing so for the blink of an eye then our hearts will become corrupt, just like a fish becomes when it is taken out of water.

Since happiness in this life and the Hereafter is linked with following the example of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ a wise person who is seeking his own happiness and salvation must gain enough knowledge regarding the Prophet’s guidance and biography. This way he becomes a true follower and joins the party of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

In this regard, there are those who gain a lot of knowledge, those who gain only a little of it and others who are deprived of it. Allah grants goodness to whomever He wishes. Indeed, Allah grants great bounties.”

Why do we have to follow the example of the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad ﷺ?

We follow his example because his life is the most perfect of lives. Allah chose Prophet Muhammad ﷺ based on His Knowledge and Wisdom. He selected him over all humans. Thus, we must learn about his blessed life that was guided and decreed by Allah; perhaps his lifestyle would become a beacon for us and a cause of salvation for our nation. The following are more reasons why we must follow the example of Prophet of Muhammad ﷺ:

Out of obedience to Allah’s Orders:

We should follow the example of the Prophet of Allah ﷺ because we were ordered to do so by Allah. He, the Exalted, Says (what means),

  “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern (example) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” [Quran: 33:21]

And Allah warned us against disobeying the Prophet of Allah ﷺ. He Says (what means),

  “So let those beware who dissent from the Prophet’s order, lest Fitnah (trial) strike them or a painful punishment.” [Quran: 24:63]

Because Allah made Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, Faultless:

We should follow the Prophet’s example because his life was free from faults. He was chosen by Allah to deliver His message and was worthy of being followed. Allah safeguarded the Prophet of Allah ﷺ and protected him against all faults. In the event he did make a mistake (because He ﷺ used his best judgment in cases where he did not receive revelation), Allah did not approve of it and rectified it.

Thus, such a person is worth following, his biography is worth studying and his guidance is worth learning.

The Prophet’s life contained great wisdom:

We should follow the Prophet of Allah ﷺ because his life contained great wisdom, whether in matters of faith, manners, guidance, and perseverance in calling towards Allah and fighting evil.

Following the Prophet’s example is the condition for achieving success and victory:

We will never gain success and victory unless we follow the example of the Prophet of Allah ﷺ his sayings, actions and manners. Hasn’t Allah made the Prophet’s biography and manners an example for us?

The Prophet served as an example in all situations:

As a man, a husband, a brother, a Prophet, a ruler, a leader, Allah made the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ an example for us to follow in all circumstances.

Learning the Prophet’s biography is necessary to follow him:

We must learn how to follow the example of the Prophet of Allah ﷺ. We must learn various aspects of his life including the way he dealt with different people.

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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