The Position, Personality and Message of the Holy Prophet (S)
By: Ayatollah al-Uzma Sayyid Ali Khamenei
The Holy Prophet (S) is the best among creation in terms of his personality, both the dimensions that can be understood by human beings such as noble human characteristics including wisdom, acumen, intelligence, generosity, forgiveness, mercy, decisiveness and other such things and the dimensions that are beyond the human mind, including the dimensions that show the manifestations of Ism ul-A’dham in the personality of the Holy Prophet (S) and his closeness to Allah the Exalted. Manifestations of Ism ul-A’dham and the Holy Prophet’s (S) closeness to God are only words and descriptions to us and their essence are only known by Allah the Exalted and by His great saints. Similarly, the message of the Holy Prophet (S) is the best message that can bring about happiness for human beings – namely, the message of monotheism, the message of transcendence for human beings, the message of human perfection.
Although human beings have not succeeded in implementing this message completely in all aspects of their lives, there is no doubt that one day the progressive movement of humanity will reach that point, and that point will be the peak of transcendence for humanity. Assuming that the understanding and knowledge of human beings are improving and that the message of Islam is still alive, there is no doubt that one day this message will find its place in human communities. The truth of the Holy Prophet’s (S) message, the truth of Islamic monotheism, the lessons that Islam taught and the path that Islam showed to humanity in order to help it achieve happiness and progress, will help human beings reach that point. They will help human beings find the smooth and bright path which leads to that point. They will help humanity step onto that path, move forward and achieve transcendence and perfection.
What is important for us Muslims is to increase our knowledge of Islam and the Holy Prophet (S). Today in the world of Islam, one of the greatest afflictions is discord and separation. The Holy Prophet (S) can be the pivot of unity in the world of Islam because all Muslims have faith in him and all human beings love him. We Muslims do not share any other area that is as brilliant and comprehensive as the personality of the Holy Prophet (S). This is because Muslims have faith in him and besides this faith, there is an emotional and spiritual bond that has attaches the hearts of Muslims to the Holy Prophet (S). Therefore, the Holy Prophet (S) is the best pivot of Muslim unity.
The Reasons why the enemies insult the Holy Prophet (S)
It is not a coincidence that in the recent years, the enemies are insulting the Holy Prophet (S) just like in the Middle-Ages and in the era of malevolent analyses by orientalists. During the Middle-Ages, priests would insult the Holy Prophet (S) in their writings, speeches and artistic works. And when writing history books became common among orientalists, they did the same thing in their works. In the past century, one of the areas that was the target of insults by non-Muslim western orientalists was the personality of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S).
These efforts had stopped for a long time, but they have been resumed recently. One can see that over the past few years, there has been an evil cultural and journalistic invasion in different parts of the world against the personality of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S). This could be a well-calculated move because attention has been paid to the point that Muslims can unite around the Holy Prophet (S) and around their faith in him and their love and affection for him. This is why they have focused on this area.
Muslim scholars, intellectuals, writers, poets and artists have a responsibility to try their best to delineate the personality of the Holy Prophet (S) and the dimensions of his greatness for both Muslims and non-Muslims. These efforts will promote unity in the Muslim world and they will also contribute to the tendency towards Islam which is developing among Muslim youth.
Dear brothers and sisters, today the world of Islam needs to move closer to Islamic principles and truths more than ever before. Today the ground has been prepared for an Islamic movement throughout the world of Islam. Today it is not difficult for Muslim nations to understand the truth of Islamic monotheism, especially now that they can witness the corruption of the materialistic western world. Today is the day when Muslim scholars and intellectuals should make efforts to familiarize hearts with the truth of Islam and to bring the Islamic Ummah closer to the requirements of the revival of Islam. Thankfully, the ground has been prepared in this regard and one clear example is the establishment of the Islamic Republic in our country. There are also other examples around the world.
Wherever we paid sincere attention to Islam, Islamic truths and the responsibility that Islam has specified for us, we received assistance from God and we managed to achieve victory and success. We have experienced this in the case of our domestic issues and in the case of the issues relating to the world of Islam. The faithful youth in Lebanon managed to achieve a great victory for themselves, for the Islamic Ummah and for the Arab world, and this achievement was because of Islam, familiarity with Islam and observing Islamic rules. This is the case with everything else as well. This is the remedy for the afflictions of the world of Islam and the remedy for the deep wound of the Muslim world – namely, the issue of Palestine.
It is wrong to think that the issue of Palestine is over, that the Palestinian nation has been wiped out and that the issue of Palestine has been buried under the existing uproar. This is a mistake and an illusion. Passage of time cannot wipe out a truth like the issue of Palestine. Palestine and the Palestinian nation are alive and the future prospects of Palestine are bright.
The fall of the eastern super-power: An example that reveals vulnerability of the arrogant powers
Notice that several countries both in Central Asia and in the Balkan region were part of the former Soviet Union, some for fifty years and some others for seventy years. And nobody would have thought that one day they would restore their original identity, but they did. There was a day when the Soviet Union appeared to be invincible. It looked like a country that would never decline. Narrow-minded people thought that those countries had been incorporated into the Soviet Union forever, but this was not the case. The same is true of Palestine. After all, Palestine cannot be wiped out. Palestine cannot be wiped off the map of the world, just as southern Lebanon could not be wiped off the map.
The Zionists had not occupied Lebanon only to leave later on. They were there to stay forever. You saw that the selfless struggle, patience and resistance of the people and youth of Lebanon, which lasted for twenty years, made things difficult for the enemy and forced them to retreat. The same is true for Palestine as well. The resistance of the faithful people of Palestine and their commitment to Islam can wipe out the existing fake borders and restore the original Palestinian territories to the people of Palestine. By Allah’s grace, this is possible.
In the shade of familiarity with Islam and implementing Islamic rules, many of the things that might appear to be impossible and difficult to certain people, are possible and once they have been made possible, people will realize that they were not very difficult either.
We hope Allah the Exalted awakens the Islamic Ummah and helps us appreciate Islam, the Holy Quran and the existence of the Holy Prophet (S). By Allah’s favor, the conflicts and splits that exist among Muslims will turn into unity, unanimity and affection. By Allah’s grace and in the shade of divine attentions and the blessed prayers of the Imam of the Age (may our souls be sacrificed for his sake), the people of Iran and the entire Islamic Ummah will manage to reach the point that Islam has specified for the Islamic Ummah and for all human beings. 1
Mab’ath is truly an Eid, a great occasion for celebration – both for Muslims of different eras and for all human beings, only if they reflect appropriately onto the message of Islam.
Be’that: A path that leads human beings out of all kinds of individual and social darkness
Be’that of the Holy Prophet (S) opened up a new path in front of humanity.
“He it is Who sends His blessings on you, and (so do) His angels, that He may bring you forth out ofutter darkness into the light.” 2
The purpose of Be’that is to help human beings out of darkness and to lead them towards light. “Darkness” includes all kinds of darkness that exist in the world, in the social life of people and in all historical eras: the darkness of polytheism and Kufr, the darkness of ignorance and confusion, the darkness of oppression, injustice and discrimination, the darkness of drifting away from Islamic ethics and sinking into the quagmire of moral corruption, the darkness of fratricide, the darkness of misunderstanding and different other kinds of darkness. Islam leads human beings out of these types of darkness, helping them to gradually find their way through learning, moving forward, making decisions, thinking appropriately and identifying the obstacles.
Compared with the past, today people of the world have far more potential for understanding the message of Islam. The more collective human knowledge increases, the more likely it becomes for the message of Islam to succeed. The more powerful people in different parts of the world use brutal methods to suppress human feelings and to enslave human beings, thereby exposing their oppression, the more space will be created for promoting the light of Islam and the more human beings will thirst after this light. Today we can see the signs of human beings’ thirst for the message of Islam, which is the message of monotheism, the message of spirituality, the message of justice and the message of human dignity. We can see that human beings are enthusiastic about the message of Islam.
Of course, it is the responsibility of us Muslims to present this message to people of the world through our behavior, our words and our determination. Wherever faithful Muslims start a virtuous movement in the Muslim world, Islam will become more brilliant and more pleasant in the eyes of people of the world. Wherever members of the Islamic Ummah exhibit weakness, wretchedness and backwardness, this will undermine the position of Islam.
Today if members of the Islamic Ummah or powerful people in the Muslim world – who are capable of introducing change – do or say something that signals decline and degeneration, this will be viewed as an insult to Islam by people of the world. For this reason, Muslim politicians have a very heavy responsibility today. Muslim religious scholars have a very heavy responsibility. Muslim intellectuals, artists, writers and men of letters have a very heavy responsibility. Today one can hold up the message of Islam in front of oppressed and confused human beings in the world and tell them: “This is your path to salvation. These are truths.” 3
In the first sermon I would like to give a brief analysis of the behavior of the Holy Prophet (S) during the ten-year rule of Islam in Medina which is one of the brightest eras in human history. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is the brightest era in human history. It is necessary to become familiar with this short yet extremely significant and eventful era in human history. Of course, I recommend that all the brothers and sisters – particularly young people – read the biography of the Holy Prophet (S) and learn lessons from it.
The era of Islamic rule in Medina is the second chapter of the twenty-three year mission of the Holy Prophet (S). His thirteen year prophethood in Mecca was the first chapter which is considered as an introduction to the second chapter. The era of Islamic rule in Medina lasted for around ten years, which was an era for laying a solid foundation for Islamic government and providing a model of Islamic rule for all eras in history and for all places. Of course, this model is a perfect model and we do not know any other era which is as good as this era. However, by taking a look at this perfect model, we can find the necessary standards.
These standards are signs by which people and Muslims can form a judgment about governments and individuals. The goal of the Holy Prophet’s (S) migration to Medina was to fight the oppressive, Taghuti and corrupt atmosphere which had dominated political, economic and social arenas in the entire world. It was not about fighting the unbelievers in Mecca. It was about the entire world. The Holy Prophet (S) pursued the goal of promoting faith and thinking wherever the ground was prepared. He did this in the hope that his efforts would produce results in due time.
The goal was to deliver the message of freedom, awakening and happiness to the hearts of all people. This was not possible except by creating an exemplary government. Therefore, the Holy Prophet (S) went to Medina to establish this exemplary government. The success of future generations in developing this government and establishing a close relationship with it depends on their determination. The Holy Prophet (S) only provides the model for the entire humanity and the entire history.
Seven important characteristics of the Holy Prophet’s (S) Islamic rule
The government that the Holy Prophet (S) formed had different characteristics, among which seven characteristics stand out.
Faith and spirituality
The first characteristic is faith and spirituality. The driving force behind the government that the Holy Prophet (S) formed was the kind of faith which originated from the minds and hearts of people and which made their hands, arms, feet and their entire body move in the right direction. So, the first characteristic is creating and strengthening the spirit of faith and spirituality among individuals and helping them develop righteous beliefs and ideas. The Holy Prophet (S) began to do this when he was in Mecca and he raised the flag of this goal in Medina with great strength.
2. Equity and Justice
The second characteristic is justice and fairness. The government of the Holy Prophet (S) was based on administering justice and granting everybody their rights without any considerations.
3. Knowledge and understanding
The third characteristic is knowledge and understanding. In the government of the Holy Prophet (S) everything was based on knowledge, understanding, wisdom and awareness. Such a government did not blindly lead an individual in a particular direction. It turned people into active not passive elements with awareness, understanding and discernment.
4. Purity and brotherhood
The fourth characteristic is friendliness and brotherhood. In the government of the Holy Prophet (S) conflicts which arose from superstition, personal interests and selfishness were treated with hostility. The Holy Prophet (S) fought these conflicts. There was an atmosphere of friendliness, brotherhood and solidarity.
5. Moral virtues
The fifth characteristic is moral and behavioral virtues. The government of the Holy Prophet (S) built moral and pious individuals.
"And teaches them the Book and the Wisdom.” 4
Piety is one of the main bases of moral virtues. The Holy Prophet (S) taught each and every individual to behave in a moral and humane manner. The sixth characteristic is power and dignity. The society and the government which the Holy Prophet (S) built were not submissive and dependent. It did not follow anybody and it did not beg anybody for help. It was a powerful and determined government.
Once it realized what was right for it, it tried to achieve it and it moved things forward.
7. Constant efforts and progress
The seventh characteristic is showing diligence, moving forward and making constant progress. There was no stagnation in the government of the Holy Prophet (S). There was constant movement, diligence and progress. They never said: "Our work is over. Let us sit down and rest." Such a thing did not happen. Of course, the kind of work which they did was fascinating and enjoyable. It was not boring, tiring and tedious work. It was the kind of work which gives one energy and enthusiasm.
The Holy Prophet (S) entered Medina to help this government stand on its own feet, make it complete and leave it as a permanent model for future generations. He did this so that everybody no matter in which era they live, namely from the demise of the Holy Prophet (S) to Judgment Day tries to create a similar government and generate enthusiasm in the hearts of people to make them move towards such a society. Of course, creating such a society requires ideological and humane foundations. First, there should be accurate beliefs and ideas on the basis of which this government can be built. The Holy Prophet (S) put forward these ideas by focusing on monotheism, human dignity and other Islamic teachings during his thirteen year stay in Mecca.
Then in Medina he taught these ideas and these noble teachings which formed the foundation of such government to everybody. He did this every day until the end of his life. Second, there should be competent people who can build the foundations of this government. After all, Islamic government is not centered around one individual. The Holy Prophet (S) had built many of these foundations in Mecca. One group of such people comprised of the great companions of the Holy Prophet (S). These people were the products of the efforts which had been made during the difficult times in Mecca. Another group was comprised of the people who emerged in Yathrib thanks to his call to Islam before the migration of the Holy Prophet (S) to Medina. This group was comprised of people like Sa'd ibn Mu'aadh and Abu Ayyub.
From the time the Holy Prophet (S) entered Medina, he began educating people. Competent managers and great, courageous, self- sacrificing, religious, strong and wise individuals who formed the solid foundation for such a lofty government entered Medina on a daily basis. The migration of the Holy Prophet (S) to Medina which was called Yathrib before the Holy Prophet (S) migrated to it and it was called Madinat an-Nabi after his migration was like a pleasant breeze in the entire city.
Everybody felt that this was a great solution to their problems. Therefore, their hearts were awakened. When the people heard that the Holy Prophet (S) has entered Quba, their hearts became more eager to visit him on a daily basis. Quba is near Medina and the Holy Prophet (S) stayed there for fifteen days. A group of people went to Quba to visit him and then they returned to Medina. And a group of them waited in Medina until the Holy Prophet (S) came to their city.
When the Holy Prophet (S) entered Medina, this gentle breeze turned into a storm of enthusiasm in the people's hearts and it changed them. The people suddenly felt that their tribal beliefs, emotions and prejudices had vanished thanks to the presence, behavior and words of the Holy Prophet (S). They felt that they have found a new door to the truths about the world and about moral virtues. It was this storm of enthusiasm which first, fomented a revolution in the hearts of the people and then, spread to two great empires and countries of those times. Wherever it went, it stirred and fomented a revolution in the hearts of the people. During the early Islamic era, Muslims conquered Iran and Rome with the power of faith.
As soon as the nations who were under attack saw Muslims, their hearts were filled with such faith. The war was waged to overcome obstacles and overthrow oppressive leaders who were preoccupied with wealth only. The people, everywhere, were influenced by the same storm. The heart of the two great empires of that time that is to say, Rome and Iran had become part of the Islamic system. All of these things took place in forty years: the last ten years of the Holy Prophet’s (S) life and thirty years after his demise.
The existence of numerous lessons in the lifestyle of the Holy Prophet (S) and in the ten years of his rule over Medina
As soon as the Holy Prophet (S) entered Medina, he started to do his work. One of the surprising facts about his life is that he never missed a moment during these ten years. It was never witnessed that the Holy Prophet (S) neglects to spread the light of spirituality and guide and educate people. His wakeful hours, his sleep, his going to the mosque, his staying at home, his decision to go to war, his walking on the street, his paying a visit to his family and his entire existence wherever he was were lessons. What a great blessing exists in such a lifetime.
He was a person who dominated and influenced the whole history with his thoughts. As I have said many times, it was because of the influence of the Holy Prophet (S) that many concepts such as the concept of impartiality, brotherhood, justice and democracy would be considered sacred in the following centuries. Such things did not exist in the teachings of other religions or at least, they were not implemented. His rule and his political and communal work lasted for only ten years. What a blessed life.
From the time he entered Medina, he clearly stated what his position was. The camel the Holy Prophet (S) was riding entered the city of Yathrib and the people gathered around it. At that time, the city of Medina had different neighborhoods. Each neighborhood had its own houses, streets, walls and outstanding personalities and each belonged to a certain tribe such as tribes affiliated to Aws and Khazraj. When the Holy Prophet's (S) camel entered Medina, the outstanding personalities of these tribes came out and stopped the camel as she was going past their fortifications. They said to the Holy Prophet (S), "O Messenger of Allah, come here.
Our comfortable houses and our wealth are at your service." The Holy Prophet (S) said, "Clear the way of this camel. She is an agent. Let her go." They cleared the way of the camel and she arrived in the next neighborhood. Again, the great personalities, the nobility, the old men and the youth stopped the camel and they said, "O Messenger of Allah, stop here. Here is your house. We will provide you with whatever you want. All of us are at your service." He said, "Step aside. Let the camel continue her way. She is an agent.” The camel passed through different neighborhoods until she arrived in the neighborhood of Banu Najjar.
The Holy Prophet's (S) mother came from this family. The men of Banu Najjar were the Holy Prophet's (S) uncles. So, they stepped forward and they said, "O Messenger of Allah, we are your relatives. Everything we have is at your service. Stay at our house." He said, "No, she is an agent. Step aside." They cleared the way. The camel arrived in the poorest neighborhood in Medina and she sat somewhere. Everybody looked there to see whose house it was. They saw that it was the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. He was the poorest or one of the poorest men in Medina. He himself and his poor family went and took the Holy Prophet's (S) luggage to their house. And the Holy Prophet (S) entered their house as a guest.
He turned down the offer of the wealthy people, the nobility, the influential personalities of these tribes and other such people. That is to say, he clearly stated what his position was. It became clear that the Holy Prophet (S) was not and would not rely on the money and reputation of tribe leaders, his own relatives, insolent and deceitful individuals and other such people. From the first moment and the first hour he entered Medina, he made it obvious which group of people he would support in social interactions and which group of people would benefit from him. Everybody benefited from the Holy Prophet (S) and his teachings, but those people who were oppressed naturally benefited more because the oppression they had suffered had to be made up for. There was a piece of land in front of the house of Abu Ayyub. He asked whose house it was. They said that it belonged to two orphan children.
· 1. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on June 20, 2000 in a meeting with government officials of the Islamic Republic on the occasion of the 17th of Rabi’ al-Awwal
· 2. Sura al-Ahzab, Ayah 43
· 3. Supreme Leader’s speech delivered on October 25, 2000 in a meeting with government officials of the Islamic Republic and ambassadors of Islamic countries on the occasion of the Holy Prophet’s Be’that
· 4. Sura al-Jumua, Ayah 2